Spirit and Money

IN THE DARK OF NIGHT

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IN THE DARK OF NIGHT…A MIRACLE HAPPENED

I believe in miracles and I believe they happen each day  to every one of us, if we stay conscious and present to what is happening around us. In this season of love, I want to share a personal story of a miracle that happened to me, on an ordinary day.

Upon wakening, I felt exhausted. I began noticing irritants while showering. I was out of hair conditioner, my new toothbrush’s bristles were too rough on my teeth, my favorite soap was a sliver of a bar.

My car was running on fumes (just like its owner). I was worried about a friend who was in the hospital and I couldn’t shake “worry thoughts” out of my mind. To boot, I had a full day of appointments that were long overdue and I stuffed them all into one day (not recommended). At the end of the day I had my annual physical, mammogram and blood tests all done.

Once I got home, the dishwasher broke, the oven wouldn’t heat on it’s regular “bake” setting, and one of our dogs wasn’t looking like he felt so good.

At one point in my day, I started crying and praying at the same time. I wanted this day to be over. The heaviness from what I was carrying around mentally and the negativity I was swirling in was too much for me. My nervous system was on overload and I don’t do so well living in that space anymore.

I began thinking about how I could shake this heaviness off of me and what came to mind was to take a long walk. It was cold outside and dark. It was the kind of night that called to a roaring fire, a good book and a down comforter.

Yet, I knew my body and mind could benefit from physical movement. Moving my body has always helped me shift negative energy out of my space.

So, bundled up, off I went. Me and the dogs (them with a wag in their tail). The air was crisp and a couple of inhales and exhales made the little celia in my lungs stand up and take notice. The cold air made me feel alive. I could see my breath (a sign I was indeed alive in spite of how I felt).

Movement, breath, wagging dog tails, and mesmerized by the outdoor holiday lights in my neighborhood began to shift my mood. I started to feel more grounded. I began thinking I needed to release worry energy (I come by it naturally) and have faith that my friend in the hospital would be OK and that tomorrow would be a new day.

As I picked up my pace (now in a dark canyon), a woman’s voice out of no-where said, “hello honey.” I jumped and was startled. I didn’t readily see her. She was on the side of the road, approached me and said, “I bet you had a hard day, how about you take this boquet I just picked (it was 10pm at night) and take it home and enjoy it. These are angels trumpets, a night shade flower and they have a beautiful fragrance. Just don’t eat them because they are hallucinogenic.”

Once I accepted them, she was gone. You can see how beautiful they are from my iphone photo above.

In the dark night, out of the blue, I came home with a boquet of angel trumpets whose fragrance graced my home for about 3 days. I took this as a sign that my prayers had been heard and it was a beautiful way to end a day. I slept well that night.

I am sharing this with you because this experience touched my heart in a deep way. I’ve never been given flowers by a stranger on a dark street while walking my dogs and releasing negativity. These flowers were a sign of hope and the experience felt other worldly.

Why am I sharing this on a financial blog? Because little moments like these are miracles of abundance. I have them in my life and so do you. All we have to do is be awake to appreciate them. This miracle shifted me to  a space of grace and gratitude (very different from the space I’d been in all day long).

Here’s to all of us, staying more present to the magic of love in all its forms. Happiest of holidays.

Categories: Spirit and Money | 11 COMMENTS

READY TO CREATE A BIG ABUNDANT LIFE?

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READY TO CREATE A BIG ABUNDANT LIFE?

 

blodeuweddAbundance is an internal experience of fulfillment, having enough in life, and an appreciation for what is. It is a state of being, a sacred space in which to live and view life. For me, it takes conscious effort to stay and live in this space. Life events, if I let them, can propel me out of this state in nano-seconds and into the space of scarcity.

I wasn’t always a person who experienced abundance. Habits of perfectionism and a heavy critical voice living in my head for years, blocked me from seeing a life of plenty and beauty. Maybe due to age, accessing inner wisdom, my connection to the Divine and staying committed to my own inner work…has changed this.

I am not an expert. I am a seeker of knowledge, one who enjoys living in the mystery of life, and one who trys to make sense of life experiences by looking at them as lessons to grow from.

In that light, I share with you what has worked for me, to help me shift to living (more moments than not) in the space of abundance. Join me in conversation and ideas. Please.

So, here are some behaviors I practice that allow me to stay for longer periods in this sacred space.

(1) I believe all that happens to me is the Universe’s way of propelling me toward my highest good (even the painful things) and it is not until I am “through” something…that I can look backwards, connect the dots and actually see the sequences and purpose of what unfolded. In looking back, I see how a life event “moved” me toward a vision I have been holding. Noticing this gives me an experience that I am being supported by the Universe. Make sense?

(2) This year, I started to make decisions and take action on those decisions from a “gut level,” rather than a cognitive “head” level. My gut doesn’t care about the approval of others. It cares about what is best for me. Honoring my “gut” helps me to say “No” to things, rather than say “Yes, with a resentful heart. Saying “No” with an open heart, brings me the experience of abundance…because I carefully choose what is in my life and what is not invited in at any given moment. How do you choose?

(3) I have Type “A” tendencies, and used to, book clients and appointments back to back. This was insane and a set up for exhaustion and depletion, which is part of what “scarcity and deprivation” energy is all about…creating experiences with TIME, ENERGY, and MONEY…where there isn’t “enough.” Now, I create spaces between appointments so I have time to go to the bathroom, drink water, take a few breaths of fresh air and enjoy a few minutes petting my dogs before going on to another appointment commitment.

(4) In honoring my energy, I work on eating foods that give me fuel rather than deplete me. I choose relationships where there is a balance between “giving and receiving.” I allow relationships to dwindle where I perceive there are gross imbalances and where I feel I am constantly giving. I work on this stuff in an ongoing way.

(5) With money, I spend wisely. I ask myself if what I am spending is bringing me the amount of fulfillment in relation to the time I spent earning that money. If it doesn’t, I don’t make the purchase.

These are some of the ways I bring the energy of abundance into my life, some of the practices that support the state of “enough” for me. I am interested in hearing what works for you.

The more we can talk about this, the more we support one another in being in this state of “enough” in all life areas. Who knows, living in this state in many ways is an economy of our time, energy and money…and instead of spending more (in time, energy and money)…we can conserve and build up our reserves in all three of these areas.

What are your thoughts?

Categories: Spirit and Money | 0 COMMENTS

OPENINGS

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dreamstime_s_48698156One recent Saturday, I visited a local coastal town’s (Bonny Doon) ecological reserve. I was on a docent lead hike with botanist, Linda. Linda opened our hike by saying, “we are going to begin our hike through an area where the fires seered the land about 5 years ago. Everyone here thought the fires devastated the land, which it did…but it also did something else. The fires opened this area to new growth. Ancient seeds started to sprout, new plant species came forth. The heat from the fire burst open the lupine and cyprus seeds, so this reserve now boasts they are one of the worlds largest population of Cyprus. None of these new plant species would have taken root if it hadn’t been for the fire and its heat.”

As in nature, so in life. Sometimes, we initially experience the financial fires of life as losses. Job loss, illness, disability, death of a spouse, and divorce, are common financial and emotional fires.

Elizabeth Lesser, author of the book, Broken Open, tells us that our losses can break us down and change us, in “making us a little more cynical or scared or unable to cope.” We can allow the experience of our losses to build mental scar tissue. This scar tissue embodies the qualities of restriction, pain, effort and keeps us living in a “woe is me” dynamic. Over time, it takes lots of energy to live with scar tissue. We get worn out.

However, breaking down, isn’t the only option. Elizabeth says, “There is this other possibility that after the breaking, we can open up more into who we are supposed to be, in the way that a flower breaks out of the confines of a bud into its full blossoming.”

 

HOW DO YOU OPEN?

Just like the lupine required the intense heat from the fire to bloom, the heat from our external experiences can be the catalyst in opening us to internal changes that sprout new growth. When we open from loss, we embody the qualities of freshness, elasticity, beauty, authenticity, simplicity and wisdom.

It doesn’t just have to be the extreme of a fire that causes us to open. Some people open themselves when they “act” on insights from divine “ah-hah” moments. Have you ever had an “ah hah” moment where (out of the blue) you received an idea or answer to something that helped you to flow and live in more open-ness in your life?

Others open themselves by paying attention to states of energy and discerning states of flow (open) from states of effort (constriction). Living in flow is like living in a state of magic. It reminds me of the childhood song of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. We are in flow when life is effortless, merry and just plain feels right.

In my financial life, I regularly examine where I am experiencing states of flow and states of effort. I give thanks to areas that are flowing and surrender to states of effort until they too begin to take on that quality of “flow.”

Judith Orloff, MD, is an energy psychiatrist. She tells us there are signs when we are pushing against an opening. These signs are: cycles of frustration, irritation, uphill battle, fixated on the same issue over and over again, strain, drain, feeling of heaviness.

Financially, where are you pushing against an opening? Lots of effort and heaviness come with credit card debt, living a larger lifestyle that what our energy supports, not earning our worth, being attached to a “woe is me” attitude, and living in a state of vagueness (yes, vagueness stops flow) about how money flows in our lives (expense and income).

As a financial consultant, I am always examining my own issues with money. I have under-earning behaviors to stay on top of. Right now, I am pushing against an opening with how to better package and offer my services. I bump up against my own mental scar tissue and the mental adhesions that keep me tied to a certain way of thinking.

“When we open ourselves to the energy of flow we make room for life force to dance.” This is a guiding light quote for me, by Judith Orloff.

 

THOUGHTFUL QUESTIONS TO SUPPORT YOUR OPENINGS

So, I have a couple of questions for you.

(1)  Where financially are you pushing against an opening?

(2)  What shifts can you make to open your particular situation to more flow?

(3)  What is keeping you from acting on creating this opening right now?

If these questions are too personal to respond to in this blog, just think about them privately. I would love to hear about how you move into the space of “opening” and what your experience is in that space.

Categories: Spirit and Money | 4 COMMENTS

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

4 COMMENTS

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, A NEW KIND OF WEALTH

dreamstime_s_27873462Attitude of gratitude?   Joy, Love and Gratitude all live in the same vibrational house.   The experience of these energies in our lives is mind altering. When we are in a state of deep appreciation, dopamine (a neurotransmitter) washes over our brains.
This neurotransmitter creates a natural euphoria in us. This veil of euphoria helps us view the cup of life half full rather than half empty, it directs our focus on the virtues of another rather than character defects, and it gives us that warm honey feeling inside that opens up our flow of generosity.

I find it interesting that the same areas of the brain light up when scanned, whether experiencing deep appreciation or if taking an opiate, such as heroin. Practicing gratitude turns on our internal pharmacy, naturally creating that inner “high.”

So what does practicing the attitude of gratitude have to do with money? Well, research done by Dr. Michael McCollough, of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Dr. Robert Emmons, of the University of California at Davis, suggest that gratitude plays a significant role in a person’s financial well-being and general well-being.

WHY AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE CREATES A FEELING OF “ENOUGH”

When we are in a state of internal fulfillment, there is less of a tendency for us to create fulfillment in external ways, like retail shopping.

People that practice daily gratitude define success in ways other than possession accumulation.  This alone is a positive bottom line way of thinking.

Living in an attitude of gratitude protects you from the behavior of comparing yourself to others. Comparison is a behavior rooted in lack consciousness. It cost money to keep up with the Joneses or the latest greatest (fill in the blank)_________.

People that practice gratitude realize that abundance comes in many forms, not just monetary wealth. Examples of other forms of abundance are: health, relationships, soulful work, pets, etc. Wealth takes many forms if we are open to seeing those forms and inviting them into our lives.

This research is important because Americans have a history of living beyond their means. Our focus is on better and more. We’ve become disconnected from what truly makes us feel satiated, which are things money can’t buy. These things are love, freedom, connection and purpose.

Dan Gilbert, a psychology professor at Harvard University and the author of the new book Stumbling on Happiness, tells us multimillionaires from the Forbes 400 list aren’t much happier than the average suburbanite. He says once basic human needs are met, a lot more money doesn’t make one have increased happiness.

I do a simple daily gratitude practice. I close both hands into a fist. Then as I release one  finger at a time, I think of one gratitude. This helps me to focus on ten things each day I am grateful for. I’ve been doing this for over five years and it has changed my internal chemistry and focus. Here are my top ten gratitudes that just about are the same every day.

  • My connection with Source energy
  • My health
  • Relationships with my husband, friends and family
  • Soulful work
  • Our dogs, Sadie and Kiska
  • Our home
  • Hiking mountain tops with friends
  • Connecting with the Sacred in nature
  • Strong french roast coffee in the morning
  • Sinking into a comfy down bed at night

 

One of the best things about doing a daily gratitude practice for me, is that it has gotten me in touch with my core needs. When my true and deepest needs are met, there isn’t much else I truly want. Do you relate to this?

I’d love to hear how your attitude of gratitude affects your money life!

Categories: Spirit and Money | 4 COMMENTS