For this issue on financial literacy, I assigned the Leadoff to Chris, my better half and CEO of Gabriel Media Group, Inc. After all, he is the numbers guy in the family and I am the philosopher.

Apart from running our company, Chris has been a builder of houses, a mortgage broker and a real estate agent, and he has run small businesses for the past twenty-five years. Even when he is not working, he delights in teaching people about finance and leverage, and how to build a solid financial foundation for themselves and their families.

I am the writer and the contemplative in the family. I used to live in a Zen center with my head shaven, wearing a robe and eating out of a wooden bowl, meditating eight hours a day and experiencing the oneness of all things. Just being, I felt like a fish in the water… until I got a tap on my shoulder. The call was to go out into the world, become socially engaged and participate fully in the swirling dramas of everyday life.

A few months later that call got answered: I met Chris and, almost overnight, went from having no “worldly” responsibilities to becoming a spouse, a step-parent, business owner and financial partner.

Finding peace during a silent retreat is one thing. Experiencing oneness in your business is a whole different story.

Today we are ten years into our partnership and we’ve learned a lot from each other. When Chris tells me at the end of the day about our profits and losses, I listen to the numbers, but what I hear is the joy he finds in his work and the confidence that we can overcome whatever obstacles we are facing, as long as our vision is bigger than our problems.

As we were completing this issue, I decided to take back the assignment I had given to Chris (he didn’t mind!). I realized once again the importance for the philosopher of taking an interest in financial success, just as the business person awakens to the fullness of his entrepreneurial vocation. This is a time of building bridges, of all the pieces coming together if we are to save and enjoy the whole—our businesses, our lives, our world, our planet.

You don’t have to tune into the media to notice that our country—and the world economy—is in need of financial healing. Unless we bring more consciousness to the world of money, until the awareness of oneness reaches the financial decision makers, we can only get so far. My Zen community was filled with “enlightened” people who were financially illiterate and utterly broke. Only when more conscious people learn and start doing what it takes to create wealth will the paradigm shift.

Wherever you are on the financial literacy spectrum, may this issue help you reach your next level.


DR. JOSEPHINE GROSS is Cofounder and Editor in Chief of Networking Times.