Sunday, December 19, 2021

Scanning the Periphery

Recently there has been someone in my life that has been recovering from a series of medical issues.  I make a point to ask this person daily how they are feeling because I know that our mindset and emotions are the key to our success in so many arenas.  Yesterday, when I checked in on this friend, they described how they were beginning to notice pain in a particular body part.  What's interesting is to realize that this pain was always there.  It was simply brought to the surface when another, formerly predominant pain retreated into the background.  In other words, we can't help but listen to the loudest voice in the room.

I mean, it's almost human nature, isn't it?  Your migraine was so strong that you didn't really notice the sore throat coming on until it finally goes away and suddenly the sore throat is all you can think about?  It seems that the cycle of poverty includes the nasty habit of focusing largely on the loudest voice in the room.  We scrape together the money for the car repair while ignoring or losing track of the light bill because, well...  something more pressing got in line ahead of it!  Now the rent is late because of the money being used for the car repair, and it's incurred a late fee which to no surprise, we don't have the money for...  We're constantly running back and forth from fire to fire, focusing almost exclusively on that which screams for our attention the very loudest.  Sometimes, it feels like we're doomed to repeat the process until we somehow, as if by magic, manage to hear those seemingly smaller voices and answer their call.  Sometimes the loudest voice in the room is the one that requires the most immediate attention, but what about those slightly softer voices?  Are their requests of us any less important?  How do we simultaneously honor them while addressing the thing that is screaming in our face?

There's this lovely meditation I like to do; I've discovered variations of its theme in multiple places.  It involves a heavy amount of visualization and scanning of one's body from head to toe.  The scanning takes place only in the imagination and ranges from blasting each body part energetically with positive intentions and love to checking in with the feeling of balance in the various chakras or areas of the body.  As I perform this meditation, it occurs to me that in these moments, I am holding a microphone up to those quieter voices within me so as to truly observe their needs.  Only then can I even begin to make an effort to honor their request and make right any perceived wrong.  

Financially successful individuals, whether they realize it or not, become attuned to a bit of a scanning activity of their own.  They systematically scan their financial worlds; checking in with the varying parts to ensure things haven't slipped out of balance.  Now, what does this scanning look like in a practical sense?  The loudest voice in our financial room is often our screaming debt, the mortgage or rent payment, the occasional emergency car repair, or accidental late fee... But what does it look like to scan the rest of the financial room, to ensure we've given proper attention to items around the periphery?  Perhaps this is checking up on insurance coverage when open enrollment comes around, making sure that you're still utilizing the best option for yourself and your family.  This could mean checking up on your retirement accounts when the quarterly statement comes out: Are they doing well? Do you need to increase contributions?  Move things around?  How about checking your monthly credit card statements?  This can be a five-minute activity; just scan them to be sure all of the charges are legitimately yours.  While I don't do a ton with my monthly budget, scanning for me looks like checking in on the lifestyle section of my 50/30/20 Budget to make sure that my spending is intact.  It might mean checking up on my goals category to see if my debt elimination or savings is also on track.  Is there anything that could speed up my timelines?  

There are plenty of other things for you to scan in your financial life, and no doubt you can come up with a list!  But the critical skill to develop here is that of training yourself to scan on a regular basis and notice things out of balance or out of place.  It is also to develop a sense for identifying a need to be filled and being malleable enough to begin working toward meeting it.

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    Sunday, December 12, 2021

    Shedding the Old Story (Part 2)

    You know, I'm pretty much always reading something in the Law of Attraction space.  Even just a few pages a day makes me feel like I'm dialing into my inner self and giving her just a few minutes to refocus on that which is truly important and shut out the noise from the rest of the world.  One of the most recent books I've been reading is You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero.  I've resonated with a lot of her message, as it has quite a bit of crossover with my own, and there is one passage that really spoke to me recently.  It reads "This is how so many broke people act when it comes to their money.  We'd rather limp around taped to our ratty, unhealthy relationships with money, afraid that if we peel back the layers, we won't be able to handle what we see underneath."  It's a hard thing to look at; to admit to ourselves that we've become so comfortable holding on to and carrying around things that don't serve us well.  Not only do they not serve us well, but they oftentimes cause us great pain and suffering in life and yet we continually reengage ourselves in the very behaviors that perpetuate that very pain, subsequently renewing our commitment to carrying it around with us even further.  

    We have these stories that we continue to tell ourselves.  Perhaps you came from poverty and learned to be comfortable going without.  While it taught you many valuable lessons, you also find yourself saddled with the weight of a story that suggests that financial success is for other people, that your lot in life or place in society is one that is firmly rooted in "have not" and that is where you're destined to remain.  We carry these stories with us, attaching them to our identities in a way that prevents us from realizing the whole of who we are.  We are meant to fly free from these chains and into the bliss of who we are, for that is where we will do the most good for ourselves and others, from this place of freedom and joy.  We were not put on this Earth to suffer from lack, but rather to give, and love, and serve, which we can do best from a place of abundance.  So, what if we could just set down the weight of the old story and allow ourselves to be free?

    There is a certain pain that comes with venturing into the unknown.  This is why we continue to carry things around with us that are no longer serving us well.  We are afraid of that which we don't understand, and unfortunately, we don't understand any experience other than the one contained within the old story.  Now, perhaps it is worth taking a moment to examine our fear.  Is it possible that we fear moving toward who we are truly meant to become because it means shedding portions of our old identity?  Perhaps there will be people in our lives that are not capable of coming with us; there's pain in that too. Perhaps stepping into who we really are will take us away from certain things we've become accustomed to; jobs, pastimes, relationships...  The fear and pain surrounding change is difficult; we owe it to ourselves to acknowledge that... But isn't the fear of never allowing ourselves to step into the whole of who we are meant to be an even greater fear?

    So, what do we do with that old story?  As humans, we aren't very good and breaking up our relationships with other humans in a loving and dignified way.  So, it seems reasonable that we might have no idea what to do when breaking up with our relationship to our old story.  Perhaps, we can approach it with love and gratitude.  Tell the old story that you love everything that it's contributed to the development of who you are so far.  Express deep gratitude for the lessons you've learned and the manner in which it has taught you how to keep yourself safe for all these years.  Just like a job you've performed with love for many years, you're ready to move on because you must continue to develop, so too must you continue to develop into the loving, giving, abundant being you are meant to be.  Just like you will never forget the way you grew as a direct result of the previous position, you will never forget the way your old story helped you grow.  But just like we need to be prepared to move on from our old job in order to develop ourselves fully, we must also be prepared to walk away from the parts of our old story that is no longer serving us.  Just as the Universal Law of Release states, we must be prepared to release that which is no longer serving us.  It is for our greater good and the greater good of those we can benefit in the future.

    Perhaps a few of you would like to remind me that I forgot to tell you to do something in particular with your money...  So, here it is... Right now, the best thing you can do about your money is to look inward and address the parts of your old story that are no longer serving you.  Then, we can talk strategy..  

    For those of you that resonated with this message about mindset and maybe realizing that you need to do some work in this area, I am conducting a free workshop called The Magic of Mindset on Money on Sunday, December 19, 2021.  In this workshop, we discuss our Old Money Story and how it feeds into a cycle of influence that directly impacts our ability to build wealth and create abundance in our lives.  Click here to register.  You will have to confirm your subscription in order to become fully registered. Zoom links will be provided the day before the workshop.

    For Further Reading:

    Shedding the Old Story (Part 1)

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