One of my seminar students was a man of great faith that he built through overcoming longtime alcoholism. When Dan came out on the other side of his addiction, he embodied a remarkable blend of strength and sensitivity.
"Sometimes I feel embarrassed," Dan told me privately. "I spend most of my time sponsoring people trying to beat their addictions. I’m on the phone and at meetings constantly. I love it and my people are doing very well."
"Then what’s the problem?" I had to ask.
"My income comes from car sales – I used to be in the business. Now I buy and sell cars on a small scale from my home. I turn around a couple of cars a week, which provides me with enough income to spend the rest of my time supporting people. I feel guilty because I work for just a few hours a week. Shouldn’t I have a real job?"
I laughed and told Dan, "You have the realest job in the world. You are helping people improve the quality of their lives. You are on the Divine Payroll."
If you stay true to your purpose of healing, no matter what form it takes, universal sustenance will keep you on the payroll. Your income may derive from your healing work or it may come through another door. It doesn’t matter. The deal is: You heal, life supports you.
For an inspiring demonstration of this principle, watch the film Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. This touching documentary chronicles the life of Mark Bittner, a gentle soul who nurtured for a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco for more than 25 years. Bittner spent most of his time feeding, nursing and caring for this large flock, and did not do any other "work" for two and a half decades. Yet, because people recognized his devotion, he was given free rent, meals and whatever else he needed. Bittner was on the Divine Payroll.
One of my coaching clients is a radio announcer who hosted a highly successful all-night show. He had a marvelous undercover ministry, sending positive messages through words and music to people awake during the night – folks who felt too troubled to sleep, graveyard shift workers in prisons and mental institutions, and creative spirits. Yet there grew a parting of ways between him and his producers, who were more interested in adhering to a commercial radio formula. Finally his show was cancelled and he was out of radio work for an extended time.
One of the gifts of this period was his opportunity to use the time for spiritual growth and inner healing, which he did quite successfully. As time went on, he became concerned about sustaining himself in the absence of his former income. Then one day during a coaching session he casually mentioned to me that he had received a large check as an inheritance from the passing of a distant relative
"Why didn’t you tell me this in capital letters and an exclamation point?" I asked him. "Can you see that you are on the Divine Payroll?" Indeed he was.
Some people formalize their contract with God, which you may wish to do as well. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore founded the uplifting Unity Church movement back in 1889. Like many spiritual leaders, the Fillmores began with a leap of faith. To formalize this, the couple literally wrote a contract with God, stating that their part would be to carry out their ministry with love and integrity, and practice the principles to the best of their ability. God’s part would be to sustain them in finance, health and peace of mind. They signed the contract and lived by it. Well more than a century later, Unity continues to thrive and grow, and it has helped many millions of people improve their lives. The Fillmores kept their end of the deal, and God kept God’s.
The same contract is available to you if you choose to exercise it. Whether you identify your source as God, Spirit, life, love or universal sustenance matters less than that you recognize a loving intelligence that provides for you. You may record your contract on paper or in your heart. The truth works if you work it.
Do not try to dictate or force the avenue through which your paycheck comes. Spirit has ingenious ways to pay your due salary. It may come directly from your clients or in a roundabout way. A friend of mine wanted to live near the ocean, and a friend of hers bought a million-dollar home on a Maui beach and asked her to caretake it when he was not there – which is nearly all the time. If you translate the value of living in that home to dollars, the number is huge.
You, too, will be sustained if you are true to your trade. Just remember the formula: You heal, life supports you. It’s a done deal.