How groundhogs and falling leaves affect your prosperity

Years ago, a journalist friend in Washington, DC, who also had walked away from her job with a prestigious media outlet, had a suggestion: Why don’t we enroll in a free online 40-day prosperity class?

We could barely afford to wait 40 days for our ships to come in. We immediately plowed into the program and followed all the directives precisely, keenly aware that we had no margin for error.

From prosperity to prospoority

What do you mean, I'm overdrawn? I still have checks left!We joyfully and diligently did the work, fully expecting that the abundance we sought would be the abundance we’d see. A few days before the end of our journey—and just as my rent was due—someone made two $900 charges on my debit card. I was $1,800 less prosperous than when I enrolled!

I eventually got my money back. But I got a lot more: a lesson in cause and effect. Admittedly, the prosperity class didn’t cause dollars to drain from my bank account. But it also didn’t cause a cent to be pumped into it.

Been there, done it

You can imagine my reaction when another entrepreneurial journalist friend told me a few days ago that she had enrolled in a prosperity class. To her delight, she then began receiving offers for freelance work.

“Are you saying the class is the reason you’re getting work?” I asked.


I probed further: “So, if the class hadn’t been offered—or if you hadn’t enrolled in it—your phone wouldn’t have rung?”

She paused. “Good question.”

She wasn’t totally convinced that the class shouldn’t be credited with her good fortune. After all, several classmates had shared great testimonials.

“Did everyone in the class have a testimonial?” I asked.

“No,” she conceded, getting my drift.

My drift was this: If everyone in a class becomes prosperous—and no one outside a class does—then, and only then, can we logically conclude that the class was the cause of the students’ prosperity.

Correlation, causation and coincidence

A psychiatrist recently told a story about folks who noticed a recurring phenomenon: Every year, leaves fell off the trees. After that, it snowed! They concluded that falling leaves cause falling snow.

Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog DayDon’t snicker. For more than 120 years, we’ve claimed a wacky correlation between spring’s arrival and a hapless rodent “seeing” his shadow. Statistics show no correlation between the two. I think the falling-leaves-cause-snow people get the last laugh!

Looking but not seeing, hearing but not listening

Most of us find it unfathomable that we are made in the image of Our Creator: invincible, immortal, invisible, omniscient and divine. We believe that we are merely the physical shell, and outer conditions and other humans ultimately control our lives.

Our Ego-Selves are outwardly focused, always comparing other physical shells’ possessions with our own. Ego incessantly yammers in our heads: “Let’s go here, do this. Why can’t we have that?” When it’s not dictates our desires, it’s distracting us with fear of loss and worry.

If we don’t own our egos, they will own us

Head for the future, forget the pastThose who have learned to be in this world, but not of it, hear Ego’s fear-peddling messages; but they are not disturbed or distracted. In their view, this planet is like educational theater: instructive, but not always entertaining.

They know that every lesson on Earth’s stage has the perfect setting, props and supporting cast. Human is merely a role we play, even though Ego says it is who we are.

Perspective can land you in a trick bag

Through ego's eyesPerspective is a powerful thing, and it comes with consequences attached. For example, Ego has taught us to judge situations and other actors on Earth’s stage as “good” or “bad,” and treat them accordingly. However, if we’re held accountable for how we treat others, and are treated the way we treat others, we can find ourselves in a trick bag, inflicting unnecessary pain and distress upon ourselves.

Through Ego’s eyes, adversity is bad. It should be feared, avoided, and eliminated. That’s why, when adversity enters the stage, we instantly panic. If it doesn’t paralyze us, we rush into “fix it” mode, running around with our hair on fire, looking outside of ourselves for solutions. Like classes or prayer.

Ego has taught us to pray to a “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. How much can you grovel” God. And he cleverly placed God light years away, in outer space.

Ego’s no dummy: How fast does sound travel? How many light years away is the Ego’s God? Prayers won’t even arrive before your physical life ends.

It’s to Ego’s advantage that they don’t: Frightened humans, whose prayers aren’t always answered, are so much easier to manipulate. And much more apt to believe it when Ego says, “You can’t trust God. You can only count on yourself.”

The prospering power of adversity

Through the loving, nonjudgmental eyes of the Eternal Spirit of Love that others of us call God, adversity is the identical twin of prosperity. But most of us can’t see that because we’re bouncing around like unguided missiles, looking for something to change our circumstances—ideally, inject some prosperity into our lives.

Unguided missiles

We wonder: Didn’t someone say that God wants us to be rich? In that case, everyone on Earth should be rich!

Just as there is no correlation between groundhogs and spring—or falling leaves and snow—there is no correlation between the outer world and your prosperity.

Prosperity is as invisible as the real you, the invincible, immortal, omniscient and divine you that was made in the image of Your Creator. Your prosperity is the fulfillment of your unique life purpose. It cannot be caused, created or discovered through anything tangible.

Your prosperity lives within you, as you. Just because you refuse to look or acknowledge it or your own divinity doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Keep doin’ what you’re doin’ and you’ll keep gettin’ what you got. You have been given free will to go within, ask, listen and follow divine direction. Or you can keep following Ego’s map.

Pat ArnoldJoin me March 29-31 at “The Gold Rush” spiritual conference for women!

Come hear Iyanla Vanzant, Susan Taylor and other dynamic speakers. On Friday, have some fun in my latest Drama Queen Workshop: “Have You Lost Your MINE?” It’s gonna be a blast! For more information, click here.