Breakdown To Breakthrough
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Breakdown To BreakthroughTurning The Darkest Of Life's Trials Into Opportunities For Growth
In our fifth year of running Energy Muse, we officially entered what I call the “Business School of Hard Knocks.” There’s no way to sugarcoat it, so I’ll just say it: We were drowning in financial debt.
We had been invited to participate in a high-end retail spa show. This was exactly the venue we needed to expand our company into a larger marketplace. The only problem was that the show was in Cancún, Mexico, and would be expensive to attend.But despite the financial risk, we decided to roll the dice and place a bet on Cancún.
Our mild-mannered, business-savvy accountant—let’s call him Kyle—was in shock when we told him of our plans to spend money on a trip when we were already in debt. He had warned us about becoming financially overextended with our overstaffing, heavy inventory, and “unconventional” expenses.
I could tell he had had enough of us by the tone of his voice and the look on his face. “Can you please explain the ridiculous expenditures at a store called Get Lucky Bamboo? Or why you hired a shaman to bless your business? And this is the best one yet—a 500-pound Amethyst crystal.”
I cleared my throat and said with full authority, “I know these charges seem extraneous, but we work with energy. To shift energy, we need out-of-the-box techniques. Come on, you know we’re not your standard corporate America clients.”
“Obviously! I’ve known that since the day I met you two,” he responded. “Since you asked about the shaman,” I continued, “here’s why we felt it was necessary: We realized we never had our business officially blessed to bring in positivity, blessings, and financial abundance. And the Amethyst crystal had an unexplainable energy about it. The moment we saw it, we knew it had come into our lives for a reason: to help us with our business.
We need it to hold the vibration of abundance until Timmi and I can work through our current poverty consciousness issues. We added the bamboo for good Feng Shui. Our east quadrant in the showroom was completely devoid of life. Now, it’s flourishing with living bamboo, which represents upward mobility. It’s all coming together for us, Kyle!”
Timmi was more pragmatic. “We know you’re confused about our decision to go to Cancún. The financial timing isn’t good, but we feel it’s important that we go there to introduce Energy Muse to a new market.”
Kyle was silent.
I jumped in again. “Did you know that money is just an exchange of energy? We’re in debt because our personal energy is blocked. We’re not in the flow, so our money isn’t flowing either.”
I pressed on. “To shift our financial energy, we must be re-inspired, see life through a new set of eyes, and move beyond the finances.
It’s important for us to tap into our gifts so that we can share those gifts with our customers and help them. Right now, we’re so consumed with fear that we’ve lost sight of our goal of educating people on the healing properties of crystals. On this trip, we’ll have the opportunity to start over again. In the Riviera Maya, there’s a pre-Hispanic spiritual purification ceremony similar to a sweat lodge called a Temazcal. It purifies your body, mind, and spirit, and gives you the feeling of being rebirthed or reborn!”
Timmi nodded and added, “Maybe after the Temazcal, our finances will be reborn, and we can have a fresh start.”
We sat back and waited.
Finally, after a very uncomfortable silence, Kyle cleared his throat, straightened his tie, and put his pen on the table. Then, in an uncharacteristically loud voice, he shouted,
“Are you both insane?!”
This wasn’t the first time we’d heard this.
Our family and friends often questioned our business logic. When I told my mom of our upcoming trip, she said, “Smart people don’t go on trips and spend more money when they’re already in debt. I know no one is going to stop you from doing what you want to do, but I’m curious—will you be celebrating Mother’s Day with me this year since it’s on the Sunday of the week you’re gone?”
Timmi’s mom shared a similar opinion.
“Isn’t it possible to create more business in the U.S. instead of traveling to Mexico?” Timmi was also expected to attend the family Mother’s Day dinner that her mom was hosting.
They all had a point. The responsible choice— from a financial and familial perspective—would be to skip Cancún, but our minds were made up. We were going, and that was that.
How did it turn out? Unfortunately, the spa show was a complete bust. Our luck hit an all-time low. People loved the energy and beauty of the crystals, but there was one major concern—importing fees.
Everyone felt this additional cost would price the crystals and jewelry out of the market. Our gamble hadn’t paid off, and we were now in even more of a financial hole.
While packing our booth up for the day, a woman named Bertha walked over and introduced herself. She told us that she was a healer who had grown up in a family of healers in Cancún and was very interested in learning more about crystals. The minute I heard this, I asked if she knew anyone who could lead a Temazcal for us. She grinned from ear to ear.
“Yes, my good friend is a very respected shaman. Would you like me to call him for you?”
The stars had suddenly aligned for us!
At dusk, we drove down a long, secluded road, deep into the jungle. When the trees parted, a breathtaking ecological reserve appeared. We followed a Mayan shaman named Gabriel down a candlelit pathway past a house with images of Mayan gods etched on the walls.
The energy buzzed at a high frequency. We felt as if we had been transported back in time. When we reached the end of the path, we saw a round, igloo-shaped Temazcal—the womb of Mother Earth.
Before we entered it, Gabriel purified us with copal smoke and chanted softly. We crawled into the womb on our knees through a small, south-facing opening. Once we were inside, it was hot and dark.
The ceremony lasted for well over 90 minutes.
We prayed, let go, and purified ourselves.
Childhood wounds reemerged, as outdated beliefs and negative thoughts melted away. In that moment, we had no debt, fear, or desperation about how we were going to make money. It was all just an illusion, created in our minds.
In the darkness, we realized that we are spirit. We are light. We are energy. We aren’t contained in this human vessel. We’re so much more! Our souls have an everlasting resonance.
This out-of-body experience made us feel connected to the Earth and the cosmos at the same time. In that moment, we knew the truth, and we were purified of our self-imposed illusions.
We were set free. When the ceremony ended, we crawled out of the Temazcal and were greeted by the sparkling stars in the sky. In the middle of the jungle, in an adobe dome, we experienced the wisdom of facing fear and looking inward.
We connected with the wisdom of endurance, courage, purification, and healing. We ended the night by swimming in a cenote, a sacred well or sinkhole that some believe the Mayans used as a portal to speak with the gods. It was a powerful day of spiritual awakening that would shift our lives forever.
The next day, on the way to the airport, we were faced with the reality of our dire financial situation. Not only were we going home further in debt, but we knew we’d be hearing “I told you so” from everyone who had advised us not to go. What were we going to do to get out of this mess?
Going Home With Our Tails Between Our Legs
Due to the combination of our financial problems and the intense spiritual work of the Temazcal, I felt like I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. I became violently ill and told myself it was just Montezuma’s revenge.
I had cold sweats and spent a lot of time in the bathroom. I practically crawled onto the airplane.Then I couldn’t control my tears. All my emotions flooded to the surface, and there was nowhere to hide during the flight home.
Timmi, on the other hand, felt great. She had purged her past and released her fears, leaving her with that “top of the world” feeling. She frequently turned to me on the plane, teasing me about being a baby and telling me I needed to get over it.
When I arrived home, my family was waiting for me to celebrate Mother’s Day. I quickly hugged my mom, immediately ran to the bathroom, and then went to bed. Not only did I feel physically horrible, I also felt guilty because I couldn’t celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom and kids. Obviously, I wasn’t winning any Mother (or Daughter) of the Year awards.
Timmi headed over to her mom’s house for the family Mother’s Day dinner. Unlike me, who was having an intense physical reaction to the purging of emotions, Timmi was holding everything together . . . or so she thought.
She walked into the house, feeling better than she had felt in years. “Hey, everyone! Happy Mother’s Day!” she said. As they sat down at the dinner table, Timmi asked her husband, Jim, if he had remembered to pick up the gift for her grandma. When he apologized for forgetting, in the blink of an eye, Timmi transformed from Gandhi to a self-righteous brat. In front of everyone, she rolled her eyes and remarked, “Of course you did. I should have known this would happen. I should have just taken care of it myself. Then it would have been done right.”
Timmi’s mom, Terry, looked at her in complete shock and horror. “Well, Jim was taking care of your kids while you were off being‘spiritually enlightened’ in Mexico. Maybe you should give him a break.”
As dinner progressed, the emotions built. Every little thing bugged Timmi, from the clinking of the forks to the way people breathed, to the “non-spiritual” conversations around the table. Her head started pounding. Why am I here? I feel terrible, she thought.
Then the gift exchange began. At a breaking point, Timmi turned to her mom and said, “I have the perfect gift for you. This book has helped me to become compassionate, loving, and gracious. I think you would really benefit from this.”
Terry looked Timmi in the eyes and said,
“You should really follow through with the things you read.”
Timmi’s jaw hit the ground. “Excuse me?!”
Her mom repeated herself. The whole room went silent.
“I do!” Timmi screamed. “I’m on a spiritual path!” She proceeded to flip off her mother and exclaimed, “Fuck off!” in front of everyone. Then she stormed out, leaving her mom and family in disbelief on Mother’s Day. Yes, the Temazcal purge had finally hit her and hit her hard.
Seventeen hours later, after some much needed rest, Timmi awoke horrified by her uncharacteristic episode the night before. She called me and confessed what had happened with her mom. She felt physically ill from the guilt. I couldn’t believe Timmi had acted that way—it was so unlike her. I suggested she get off the phone and send her mom the biggest, most beautiful bouquet of flowers with a simple note that read, “I’m sorry. I love you, Mom.”
The Challenges Of A Spiritual Path
Being on a spiritual path is not all unicorns and rainbows. It stops you in your tracks and kicks you in the ass when you least expect it. You have ups, but then you have downs. You aren’t blissed out all the time. Why? Because as you become clearer, you see the truth. This clarity doesn’t always make life easier. It forces you to be honest with yourself and take ownership of what you’ve created. It’s as if every step forward takes you into the unknown, and when you turn around to walk back into the safety of your comfort zone, there’s no longer a door to get back in. You’re forced to move forward, knowing the old way no longer exists.
After our intense breakdown came our breakthrough. We realized that we already held within us all the necessary tools to be spiritually and financially successful. Instead of relying on others to solve our problems, we had to take responsibility and solve them ourselves. By shifting our perspective, we were able to see our financial debt as an opportunity to grow, rather than viewing it as a burden. This awareness changed our business from that day forward, and a huge breakthrough did happen, clearing the path for a new beginning: David Beckham was spotted in public wearing our jewelry only
days after we returned. The image went viral, catapulting our business to new levels.
Maybe there was some wisdom to the shaman’s blessing, strategically placing the bamboo, having the Amethyst hold the space for abundance, and purging our fears?
Trust us, there was!