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Archive for the ‘Finding Your Center’ Category

The Trick of Living

“The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster.  I’m not a professional philanthropist, and I’m not running for sainthood.  I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”

Paul Newman

The Seeds of the Mind

“Your mind is like a piece of land planted with many different kinds of seeds: seeds of joy, peace, mindfulness, understanding, and love; seeds of craving, anger, fear, hate, and forgetfulness.  These wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind.  The quality of your life depends on which seeds you water.  If you plant tomato seeds in your garden, tomatoes will grow.  Just so, if you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow.  When the seed of happiness in you is watered, you will become happy.  When the seed of anger in you is watered, you will become angry.  The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong.”

Walking Meditation, Nguyen Anh-Huong & Thich Nhat Hanh (2006)

Loss

“When we think of loss, we think of big losses, such as losing a loved one, our life, our home, or our money….

“Losing those we love to death is certainly one of the most heartbreaking experiences.  An interesting comment, made with no disrespect to anyone, is that people who lose someone through divorce or separation will often say that they realize death is not the ultimate loss.  Rather, it’s the separation from loved ones that is so difficult.  Knowing about someone’s continued existence but being unable to share it with them may cause more pain and make resolution far more difficult than permanent separation through death.  With those who have died, however, we find new ways to share their existence as they live on in our hearts and memories.”

Life Lessons, Kubler-Ross & Kessler (2000)

Money Success

An important key to money success is understanding giving and receiving; giving to yourself as well as others and being able to receive with wisdom and confidence.  The gift of large sums of money, coming all at once, does not equal money success.  Witness the tragic financial lives of lottery winners.  How quickly many of them are back where they were, or worse, before they received their largess.

Money success is an attitude.  It is feeling good about what and where we spend.  Not for just a moment or a day, but for a sustained period of time.  It is a sense of financial independence and freedom arising from making good decisions about spending and saving regardless of how big or small the budget.  Money success is discipline; the discipline of keeping track, the discipline of saving, the discipline of spending.  Money success is not only learning your money style, but practicing it, owning it…living it.

“If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, and endeavor to live the life you have imagined, you will meet with unexpected success.”  Henry David Thoreau

Money Strategies

Certainly one of the most important money strategies is knowing how much is coming in and going out.  Writing down what you spend can be very insightful.  We want to know who comes and goes in and out of our house.  We should be equally concerned with the traffic through our wallets and bank accounts.  Budgets, whether you stick to them or not, are ways of keeping track.

Many of us were never taught to be savers;  many of us don’t believe we have anything left to save.  There are many good strategies for saving.  Again, it is important that you are in harmony with your money style.  Be realistic.  Although a piggy-bank may seem a silly way for an adult to save money, it works; and it can be fun. 

I have several friends who play the lottery faithfully.  I wondered what saving the $5 or $10 a month would look like, feel like.  Now more than five years later none of them have won the lottery, but I have a few $100 in the bank just by ‘saving’ lottery money.

Credit although not so easy to obtain anymore is a double-edged sword.  It feels good to have the things you want now, but fees and  usurious interest rates can keep you in bondage for years, often beyond the life of whatever you ‘had to have’.  Educate yourself about credit and you will be a wise consumer of this valuable commodity.

There are many resources for educating ourselves about money, budget plans, ways of investing for or planning for retirement and saving.  Find the ones that work for you or create your own plans.  Good money strategies are essential for money success.

“If you believe you can – or – If you believe you can’t, you’re right.”  Henry Ford

Money Style

What is your money style?  Are you a liberal or conservative spender?  Do you make thoughtful or spontaneous purchases?  Are you a ‘saver’ or do you live from paycheck to paycheck?  Do have a weekly, monthly or yearly budget?  Is having an abundance of money important to who you are?  Is giving, sharing, or tithing part of your money style?  What changes, if any, would you like to make in your money style?  Your financial reality?

Most of us are some synthesis of all of the above to greater or lesser degrees.  To achieve or maintain financial success it is important to have a clear and focused understanding of your personal money style. 

I invite you to set aside some time to answer the above questions.  Put it on paper or in a computer file.  Include your feelings.  If you are among the fortunate few who have learned sound money principles, do the exercise anyway.  It can help clarify and affirm your money style. 

Get to know intimately your money personality as it is the foundation of your financial success.

Money Fear

“When you don’t know where the money will come from to pay your bills, or you are afraid to take the steps you are being shown from within that will help you change your current situation, you may be dealing with fear.  Fear can be an easier feeling to change than you think.  All it takes to release it is your willingness and intent to do so.  One way to release your fears is by identifying specifically what you are afraid of. ”  Getting Money, Keys to Abundance, Sanaya Roman & Duane Packer.

I use this technique whenever feelings of fear arise around my issues and my experiences, and money fear is certainly near the top of the list.   I begin the process by asking myself,  ‘What is the worst thing that can happen?’  As I follow the answers, I get to the biggest fear.  Then I release it, I send all of my fears to the Divine Throne of Love.  I consciously choose feelings of faith over feelings of fear.  I am now free and clear to create a plan; to do whatever work is necessary to move forward. 

Interestingly my worst money fears have rarely manifested, and even then, I recognized that I was exercising a great deal of choice, consequently the circumstances were not only bearable but very temporary.  Life is full of cycles and seasons, plenty and scarcity follow each other throughout the dance.  It is good to keep in mind, that whatever your situation or circumstance that this too shall pass.

Money Beliefs

Our attitudes about money are rooted in belief.  For example we approach money issues from a place of scarcity or abundance.  Beliefs about money play a significant role in how we attract, manage, spend and save money. 

We may believe that without money we are not valuable members of society;  that rich people are selfish; that poverty is a spiritual virtue.  There are a great many and varied beliefs that we hold about money, individually and collectively.

Much of our attitude and belief about money develops in our family of origin.  Sadly, as we grow up, few of us are taught good money sense,  how to use this commodity of exchange successfully.  We are most often not aware of the deep emotional attachments we have to money regardless of how much we have or don’t have. 

In crisis is opportunity.  Certainly the current economic situation gives us opportunity to examine our beliefs and attitudes about money and begin to take the steps necessary to change them.

Money Worry

“If you are worrying about money, work on increasing your sense of well-being rather than thinking about money.  Rather than asking, ‘How much money do I need today?’ ask yourself, ‘How can I create money today?’  There is an enormous difference in the energy you send out to the universe when you focus on creating money rather needing money;  the first is magnetic to money and the latter is not.”

Getting Money, Keys to Abundance, Sanaya Roman & Duane Packer (1988).

Laugh

“I will laugh at the world.”

“No living creature can laugh except man.  Trees may bleed when they are wounded, and beasts in the field will cry in pain and hunger, yet only I have the gift of laughter and it is mine to use whenever I choose.  Henceforth I will cultivate the habit of laughter.”

“I will smile and my digestion will improve; I will chuckle and my burdens will be lightened;  I will laugh and my life will be lengthened for this is the great secret of long life and now it is mine.”

“I will laugh at the world.”

“And most of all, I will laugh at myself for man is most comical when he takes himself too seriously.  Never will I fall into this trap of the mind….”

“I will laugh at the world.”

“And how can I laugh when confronted with man or deed which offends me so as to bring forth my tears or my curses?  Four words I will train myself to say until they become a habit so strong that immediately they will appear in my mind whenever good humor threatens to depart from me.  These words, passed down from the ancients, will carry me through every adversity and maintain my life in balance.  These four words are:  This too shall pass.”

“I will laugh at the world.”

The Greatest Salesman in the World,  Og Mandino (1968)