How I Found God In A Ponzi Scheme
I grew up in the “five towns” on Long Island-, a place where my friend’s sweet sixteen gift was arrived as a red Mercedes Benz wrapped in a bow in the garage. However, I lived on the more modest side of one of these towns, North Woodmere and was bused to Brooklyn through high school for private school. My parents moved from Brooklyn, New York when I was five to the ‘“island” to live a better life than their parents who shared thirteen rooms and one bathroom on the east side of New York.
I would often look around and ask why the people I saw had so many things but appeared so unhappy. In hindsight, maybe it was my own projection of a lack of gratitude and appreciation for the things in my life- when my vision was fogged by others who had more. Not the case after undergoing a tough midlife experience.
One day, my husband and I learned his business partner had laundered our money. The business partner was sent to prison but this still left us to face devastating real-world consequences. We lost our home, cars, and rental properties. In our fifties, we had to start from scratch. We had to trade our beautiful 4,500 square foot house and moved into a tiny apartment with our large dog. I had to take a full-time job and work weekends.
Faced with this dire situation, I saw no way out but to double down on my meditation and other spiritual practices. One profound source of comfort was prayer. Fortunately, my husband and I weren’t trying to learn to move into stillness and meditate for the first time at the height of this drama. We both had a steady meditation practice. I’d say it saved our marriage.
There was no denying our lives were stressful. Yet I found meditation, as well as practices like chanting, and my art, inoculated me from feeling choked or subsumed by our financial challenges. Indeed, with my mind at peace, and faith in my heart, I began to notice miracles everywhere. What we needed simply began to show up. We felt the generosity of our friends. Even strangers showed us a great deal of kindness. I wasn’t used to this, receiving a helping hand. I was accustomed to “living atop the hill” so to speak. I was always the giver. Now, I was the one receiving.
If not for years of meditation, I think we would have cracked -,or at least not stayed together as a couple. While we relied on each other, we found that meditation helped us to find the inner strength to trust and perceive the divine protection that is always present. I began to see our situation as an opportunity to let go of fear. It was as if I was being shown that something terrible could happen and I’d still be fine.
Our egos still wanted to place blame. I knew it was the spiritual practices we had built up for so long prior to this event that saved us.
I always created a sacred space in all the places we lived. Even with our more demanding schedules, my husband and I found time to meditate and pray each day. The inner stillness we experienced began to feel like an enormous treasure. More than ever before, we found an attitude of gratitude began to permeate our consciousness.
During the last seven years, I showed up for others at my healing practice and found a fulfillment and strength I had not known before. Having no distractions, I wrote articles, spoke at events, and even published a book. I moved forward each day with great fortitude feeling a guiding presence within. I realize now it was me who was being laundered and revamped into a better version of my Self; at least that’s the attitude I adapted.
The takeaway: don’t wait for a crisis to start meditating, and remember to practice gratitude with each other first. You never know when things in the material world may come and go.
Gedalia Genin PhD- Mind/Body healer- Ayurvedic Specialist- artist- transforming women’s health and vitality using natural modalities. Recent author “ Enough Drugs! I Am A Woman And Can Heal Naturally- a practical guide to feeling your best. Avaialble on Amazon. www.gedalihealingarts.com