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Creating from Nothing 2 -- Cross-Country Without Enough Money

I’m nothing if not flexible. Launch my business from the bottom of a deep, dark ditch of homelessness and pennilessness instead of from a cushy, self-financed runway? You got it. But I’m still going to do it in and from New York, my home city. I gotta be somewhere on the planet, for business purposes it needs to be a city, I am at home there, I will be able to hit the ground running there and this train will be back on track, stat. All I have to do is get my website online because, for sure, it will start generating income the day it goes live. I know that. So I gave almost all of the cash I had left to a trusted developer/designer who had become a friend after creating a few other websites along the way. I told her, though, that this project was the mother lode — the only one, by comparison, I really cared about. She was happy to let me pay in installments and she was already working on it. Excellent! Now all I had to do was get my Self to the city and watch the magic unfold.

All the money I had left in the world after the website downpayment would literally fuel my trip from southern California to New York City — with no room for error. None. And then? Error! A car thing in Denver that literally displayed a skull and crossbones on the dash of my original model Prius hybrid. In the end, it wasn’t enough to wipe me out, just enough to render me without enough money to make it all the way. Like college all over again.

I was indignant that a decent person with a proven business that does good in the world would have to struggle so mightily to launch said business into the actual world.

It was still dark when I departed Denver at four am and I was maniacally mad. Furious. Incredulous. I couldn’t believe this was my life. I was indignant that a decent person with a proven business that does good in the world would have to struggle so mightily to launch said business into the actual world. I was screaming at God so much it sored my throat. I was repeatedly side-punching the top half of the passenger seat, really hard, after I’d cleared it for that express purpose. I was tapping furiously when I wasn’t punching, still screaming, and I was making clear, intention-wise, reiterating to God, my Higher Self, and any and all spirit guides who hadn’t been scared off by my antics, exactly what I wanted: Manhattan! Below 14th Street! Solo! That was my original intent and still was. Forty-five minutes later, when I felt sure “everyone” knew what I wanted, when the fuel ran out of my outrage-fueled tantrum, I re-oriented my Self back to the present. Ahhh. I expressed gratitude to All That Is for all that I had, which boiled down, actually, to this — Spiritual Workout. It was, aside from a car full of physical belongings and the car itself, the one true “thing” I had and the only thing I needed. It would guide me through all this ridiculousness and it would provide me with a living doing what I love. A classic win-win. So with about 15 hours of driving ahead of me — hoping to land with friends in Chicago — I would spend that time really cultivating my intentions to be in New York and getting this entrepreneurial fucker off the ground.

That’s when I engaged that biblical story of Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea. In my Jewish youth, I heard it every Passover as Egypt, slavery, desert, blah blah, then “the waters parted and they made their way as if on dry land.” In my adult life I’d heard a preamble, if you will, which takes place when everyone was bemoaning their fates at the water’s edge. That’s when a guy called Nachum just started walking into the sea. Water rose to his knees, his thighs, his waist, and he kept walking. It rose to his chest and his neck and he kept walking. It rose higher and he tilted his head back to breathe, continued, and that’s when the waters parted. He had to take some action, he had to have some faith. Who cares if it ever “really” happened or not because I was now that guy one hundred percent.

Somewhere in Nebraska I received some kind of notice on my phone — pre-smartphone days requiring that feat of tapping the “4” key three times to get to the “i” and such — from a friend in New York, though there wasn’t service enough to retrieve it for a few hours. When I did, I thought I heard him say, scratchy scratchy, he was taking a spontaneous trip out of the country tomorrow or the next day and thought to offer me his studio. He knew I’d been thinking about making my way to the city, but didn’t know any of the gory details.

He had to take some action, he had to have some faith. Who cares if it ever “really” happened or not because I was now that guy one hundred percent.

I made it to Chicago that evening, at about eight or nine pm. My friends had invited me to stay for a while, wanted me to, but I said that if this studio was a real thing, I just had to get to New York. In the morning, they went to work and we planned to meet for lunch. Job one for me was sorting the apartment situation — was that really a thing? Job one number two was seeing what, if anything, I could possibly do about the fact that I had about a gallon of gas in my car and four whole dollars to my name. Interestingly/maddeningly/shockingly/ridiculously it’s like I was in college all over again: putting myself through school, working two, three, and four jobs to make it happen, rooming with this friend/roommate/fraternity brother who was always witness to my struggle while he and so many of our other friends would just call their parents to deposit money in their accounts whenever they needed it. I had overcome all of that and then some and then some and somehow here I was again.

Then a thought came “out of the blue” to check something on an old bank account. Was there a line of credit attached to it that I’d forgotten about? One hundred sixty-five dollars “came to mind.” I went to an ATM, walked ever so plaintively, hopefully up to it, held my breath, inserted the card, checked the balance and, as expected, far fewer than ten dollars. Wah wah. I hit withdrawal, took an insanely deep breath, punched in $160 and…ker-ching! Holy fucking shit. Four to one hundred and sixty four dollars in an instant at which time I knew I’d be in New York the next night. Right then, quick quick, my friend in New York and I connected by phone, he was at the airport, leaving keys with his friend in the neighborhood, call the friend anytime, yes yes yes, tomorrow night will be perfect. It would be my birthday the next day and I knew for sure I would make it my business to sleep in Manhattan that night to (re)start my adventure — on 18th Street. Close e-fucking-nough.

And the hits just kept on coming. After lunch and after I told my friends that I’d be off first thing next day to New York after all (they understood), I had a few hours at their house to my Self. I checked my email and no joke: three hundred dollars had been deposited into my PayPal account. Three people of about sixty or seventy regular Spiritual Workouters from my little town in the mountains had somehow decided in the last 24–36 hours to take me up on my offer to be a “Founding Lifetime Member” of the coming online version of Spiritual Workout for the low, low cost of $100 each. This was ten years ago and most of them barely “did email.” After a couple of weeks I had given up thinking any of them would grab the offer. Then three did.

Later that night two of my friends’ three adult kids came over for dinner to hang and say hi and bye. “Uncle Morey!” Jimmy, their dad and my long-time friend whose wife/their mom is also a school mate (and I stood up in their wedding) gave me a birthday card from the family and a $100 bill fell out of it. Wow. A cocktail of simultaneous cellular relief and deep humility before God, I must say, for taking care of me and the humiliation of appearing in my friends’ home like I was 19 again, steeped in struggle, saturated me as we continued our banter and (re)telling of old stories. But as I was going to sleep later that night, I took responsibility, too, Spiritual Workout-style for my new reality. The previous morning I was that guy walking into the Red Sea. I didn’t have the resources to get from where I was to where I was going much less any prospects of what I’d do when I got there. Now, I was poised to arrive in the city of my choosing, with a soft landing into a studio apartment in a lovely neighborhood for ten whole days, solo, just four blocks from my desired demarcation and a little more than $500 cash in my pocket. In hindsight, I was learning about miracles or, as a friend of mine likes to call them, normalcles or manifestations or whatever we call them. Bottom-line, I was learning I wasn’t really in this alone. And I was proving, yet again, that I know what I’m doing with this practice.

But wait, there’s more. While on that last leg of my cross-country journey from Chicago to New York, I got an “out of the blue” call from a friend-of-a-friend who had an opportunity for a place to stay — in SOHO, well below 14th Street. Prest-o-change-o, I wound up taking it for a few months. I had the place to myself and how did I pay rent? It was deferred for two months, thank you very much. Oh, and if all of that wasn’t enough, the greatest bit was that I manifested a place to park my car. For free. For what turned out to have been a 12-month stay. And anyone who knows anything about anything would have to agree that that is a fucking miracle, through and through.

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