Fluffy Duck & The Black Hole

Recently I had the joy of talking to my spiritual teacher, and we got onto the topic of abundance. “Money is just energy,” he said to me. “It can be good energy, or bad energy.”

He went on to explain that abundance is all around us. When we are in alignment with ourself and our path, money doesn’t need to be a point of focus – it flows effortlessly and there is always enough for our needs. Conversely, when we are out of alignment with ourself and our path, it doesn’t flow.

“That’s why I always give 110% to my clients in every session,” he went on to say, “Because I want that money to be good energy.”

This got me pondering. How often in my life have I experienced a sense of lack, and focussed on money (or love) as the issue, rather than my own alignment with myself and my path? 

My teacher often talks about the concept of free falling. When we free fall in life, with no expectation of the outcomes, we find ourselves in exactly the right situations at the right times.

There’s a certain magic to this state of flow. I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself in your life. It’s the exact opposite of that state of heightened control and “hanging on” that we often experience when we’re in a state of lack.

So where does the fluffy duck come into all of this? If you’ve not read my previous blog on the Fluffy Duck, I’m sure you will enjoy it. But in the context of abundance, it means to do our “toil” like it’s a fluffy duck. When a child sees a fluffy duckling, it’s so innocently gorgeous that the child can’t help but be drawn to it with all of their heart and soul.

They just want to pour themselves all over that fluffy duck.

That’s the energy we want to bring to anything we do – whether it’s our relationships, our friendships, our self-care time, or our work and chores. If we engage with each of these aspects of life like they’re a fluffy duck, we bring such positive energy to them that they can’t help but create a positive and abundant ripple for us. And I’m not only talking about abundance in financial terms, but in terms of an abundance of spirit, an abundance of love, and an abundance of positive outcomes.

Conversely, when we engage in any activity in our life and don’t treat it like a fluffy duck, we shouldn’t be doing it…..simply because we are creating negative energy fields around ourself, rather than sprinkling love and joy onto our body, our life and our activities. And those negative energy fields are the seed of unhappiness and dis-ease.

We’d be better to say “no” to that activity, than push ourselves to do it when it’s really not something we want to be doing….OR we need to change our attitude around it so it becomes a fluffy duck.

I ran a workshop on the weekend, teaching how to anoint with essential oils. The students were floating by the end of the day, having both given and received. They described the experience as “sheer luxury”, and talked about how soulfully relaxed they felt.

At the end of the class as we were packing up, one of the students received a phone call from someone I assume was her daughter, wanting this woman to drive 2 hours out of her way to collect her, in order to save her from catching the train home and having a late night.

As I listened to this one-sided conversation, I heard my student trying so hard to say to her daughter that, “I feel so relaxed, I really don’t want to battle the traffic in order to pick you up.” To her credit, she didn’t make a decision on the spot, but said she’d think about it and call her daughter back.

That allowed me the opportunity to say a few simple words to her, which were, “It’s OK to say no.”

If it was truly in this woman’s highest path to go out of her way to collect her daughter this day, she would have felt it like a fluffy duck. There would have been a pull to go, and a delight in seeing her daughter that would have overridden her challenges of negotiating the city traffic.

But when it was being done out of a feeling of obligation or manipulation, without any fluffy duck in sight, it wouldn’t have been the right energy exchange for either of them.

This brings me to another example of money as an energy exchange.

When I was separating from my husband, we entered into the tricky discussions around a financial settlement. We had businesses, we had properties – some which we’d entered into the relationship with, and some that we’d grown from scratch together.

We didn’t have a pre-nuptial, but we did have a verbal agreement about how we would handle our finances should we ever separate. It was very simple – anything we individually owned prior to the relationship would be considered a personal asset (to be retained solely by that person), and anything we grew together would be split 50/50.

As so often happens in life, things were not quite that simple when it came to the settlement. There were a lot of heightened emotions, and a lot of opinions on exactly how we would determine the value and the split.

Initially, whenever we had a point of discussion, I found myself offering more than what was needed. Underneath this was not only a sense of care for my soon-to-be ex-husband, but also feelings of guilt because I was the one who had triggered the separation. 

But as we got further down this rabbit warren of financial intertwinement, I noticed that my offerings of “more” still never seemed to be enough. We’d appear to reach a consensus, then “more” was asked for.

If I backtrack just a little, to the day before our separation, we were having a very powerful conversation. My husband was extremely upset that some money he received for his work wasn’t as much as he felt he deserved.

Knowing him as well as I did, I could see a bigger picture. Money is a form of love. When we feel like we’re not good enough, and experience that sense of lack of love inside, it works like a negative magnet to repel money and love from us.

Then, I saw something that drove a hole through my heart, and I spoke it out loud.

“I love you sooooo much,” I said to him.

“But I feel as though it makes no difference to you. All I want is for you to be happy, but I feel like all of my love is disappearing down this big black hole, and not even touching the sides.”

And in the moment that I saw and felt that, I also saw that if I continued to give in this way (where my love could not be received), I would end up creating cancer to escape a hopeless situation in my marriage, just as my aunt had done many years earlier.

It was that awareness which (unbeknownst to me at the time) was to become the unravelling of our relationship. Trying to make my husband happy when he was unable to love himself was a futile exercise. And until that moment, I had no idea how sad I really was.

Let’s fast forward again. My husband and I were already separated (but hadn’t yet reached an agreement on our financial settlement), and I was living on my own. I was heading interstate for an event, and a lovely lady was coming to mind my cats and home while I was away. But my trip was cut short, and I came home much earlier than expected.

Rather than saying to my house-sitter that she needed to head back home, I recognised that she had made space in her life to come to Byron Bay to help me out, so instead I rented an AirBnb for her for the rest of her stay.

This was a small act of kindness on my part (certainly not one that was expected by her, but definitely one that was appreciated), and it had an amazing ripple effect.

The owner of the AirBnb was having some challenges, and my house sitter was able to help her out.

This happened right at the time that we were enmeshed in our financial settlement. It was dawning on me that just as no amount of love that I gave my husband was going to be enough to fill that black hole, the same was true for money. Nothing I gave him was going to be enough.

As love would have it, I spent the next few days with another amazing spiritual teacher, Amma (the hugging saint). In addition to receiving blessings from her through her heart-melting hugs, I also received some beautiful guidance around money. 

When I asked her for guidance, she spoke into my mind (not as words, but as wisdom).

“When you gave the gift of generosity to your house sitter, do you see how that gift multiplied and grew?” Yes, I most certainly did.

“That’s what money is here to do – it’s here to create a positive ripple in our world. But when you give money into a black hole, that money disappears and does no good.”

That answer was profound for me, and has been a guiding light a number of times in my life. It allowed me to focus on a “fair” financial settlement with my ex-husband, rather than a guilt-driven settlement.

But it also showed me that no matter how much or how little money we have, we have the choice to treat it like a fluffy duck, and allow it to create positive ripples so that it grows in energy and blesses our world and the people in it….or we can place it into black holes, where it is devoured and never sees the light of day.

The choice (and the lesson) is ultimately ours.

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