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Archive for the ‘Finding Your Center’ Category

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)

Look Within

“It is written in a ancient manuscript, ‘After Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, God caused a deep sleep to come over them.  He then called a council of angels and said to His heavenly hosts, ‘When Adam and Eve awaken, they will know that they are no longer divine, and they will go in search of their divinity.  Tell me Angels, where shall I hide this Divinity?’

“One of the angels spoke and said, ‘Lord of the Universe, let us conceal their Divinity within themselves, for that is the last place they will go in search of it.’

“You alone have the power to reach within to discover your own untapped resources.”

Rabbi Earl A. Grollman, Journeys 2007

Struggle

To struggle is part of the human condition.    Struggle is defined as, “making a strenuous effort against opposition; to proceed with difficulty or great effort.”  Struggle is an inherent part of daily living;  struggles can be little or large; prolonged or short; necessary or not necessary.

From Zen comes the admonition to not push the river.  There are circumstances wherein the more we struggle the less we succeed.  When no matter that putting forth our  best and most diligent effort, we are not moving forward, or what little forward movement there may be is simply not worth all the effort and energy we are expending.  When you feel that you are pushing the river, stand back for a moment and assess the circumstances.  Consult your ‘objective self’, examine your motivation.  It can also be of great value to ask an expert or a trusted friend for advice. 

There are struggles that require every ounce of perseverance, strength and effort that we can muster to get us to the other side.  In these situations there is generally no way around or over, there is only through.  Inviting wisdom and faith to be our comrades in arms is a good strategy.  Acceptance also has its role in struggle.  Accepting  things we cannot change is an very important factor in overcoming our struggles.

Fortitude, strength of character, perserverance, a grateful attitude, a sense of pride and accomplishment are all fruits of struggle.  As you move through the the struggles of living, big and small, allow yourself to go with the flow of the river, and savor the fruits of success.

Active Wisdom

“How do you partake of its unlimited vision, its divine judgment, its holy discrimination, its clear intuition?  By letting the highest aspect of your being take control of your lower nature.  And when your true self takes command, you do not sound as foolish nor as irresponsible and your actions do not boomerang to dig a deeper hole for you than you were in before.  Your words resonate with the Power of Spirit, your emotions are motivated by love, and each decision is looked upon as skill in action.  With the energy of  Wisdom circulating freely, lack is transformed into abundance, illness to wholeness, failure to success, harmfulness to harmlessness, futility to fulfillment. ”

The Angels Within Us, John Randolph Price

Harvest

Harvest is a very beautiful and very busy season.  If you have had the experience of living close enough to the land to be personally involved or affected by the  season of  harvest, you are familiar with the smells, good and not so good,  and the  ant-like frenzy; the drive to get the harvest in while crops are ripe and ready. 

In a life intentionally lived the harvest season is a regular opportunity to examine our personal crops.  To look thoughtfully, reflectively and as objectively as possible at what we have reaped, or are reaping.  Have the seeds we have sown, the plants we tended to maturity, viable.  Metaphorically, what is the state of our relationships, our integrity, our zest for life.   What needs adjusting, what needs to be abandoned or re-worked.  What is to be acknowledged and celebrated.

Tasting, feeling and participating in the changing of the seasons, changes that are reflected by the weather, by the presence of seasonal foods and seasonal celebrations, serve to give us notice, to remind us not to ignore the spiritual side of beingness.  It is a time to give thanks.