Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Staring At Your Shadow

As I write this February is fast approaching, and as it approaches, I often find myself thinking about the groundhog and whether or not he will be bringing us good news.  This year seems different in that I have a new realization.  I am the groundhog...and so are you.  

No one stops to ask themselves what the groundhog was doing down there all that time?  Perhaps it was all naptime and Netflix, I'm no one to judge.  But perhaps it was something different.  Perhaps it was a year of turning inward and devouring that which will lead him one step closer to enlightenment which he now knows as truly knowing himself, what he truly desires, and that which will serve to make him better.  I must admit, the latter is what happened to me, and I emerge, not exactly a different person, but different... more of who I truly am... more aligned with my purpose.  I can't help but wonder if he, too did something similar during all that time.  Now, you see?  What's even more interesting is the reemergence, for he knows it's time to come out, but really has no idea what's waiting for him out there.  So, he tiptoes his way out, reluctantly, to rejoin a world he isn't certain is ready for him.  Then next comes the moment we all wait for:  What will he do?  Will he stay and explore, looking to see if there's something out there for him?  Will he retreat back to the very place from which he came, taking comfort in familiarity and certainty?  We may stand around watching, begging him to make the choice that serves us best because of course we're always looking out for our own best interests.  But ultimately, whichever choice he makes, he must make it strictly for himself, not for us.

Recent universal circumstances have forced us underground, into hiding, into a place of isolation from which we are just emerging.  As we, too tiptoe back into the world, different than we were before, we look upon our life choices perhaps with the same eyes, but through new lenses.    We too have to make some choices about where we want to be, and how we want to exist in the world.  Sometimes parts of our life don't quite fit the same way they once did.  It may be your job, your home, the city in which you live.  You might be considering changes in many parts of your life.  Just recognize as you step into your truth, you may find yourself staring at your own shadow, and it might be scary.  You might feel ill-prepared for some big move in life that you feel called to make.  If it's the truth of who you are, if it aligns to your calling, you'll likely feel called to answer. Don't allow fear of your shadow to scare you away from your purpose and back into hiding.  You have the opportunity in this moment to step back into the world as you truly are and live a life that is beyond your wildest dreams. 

Sometimes there are practical considerations that scare us away from following our bliss.  We spend our lives running scared.  That's a phrase I learned from my mother, and it took a very long time for me to fully understand it.  Running scared is when you move through life allowing fear to fuel the speed and direction in which you run.  Very little good comes from running scared.  We must remember that fear is an intense emotion with the power to use our negatively inspired actions to manifest things in the direction of that which we don't want.  For that reason, fear cannot be our primary motivator.   Just think about it.  When you're living paycheck to paycheck, you're running scared.  When you have zero dollars saved, and any emergency will quite literally wipe you out, you're running scared.  When your monthly obligations eat up every last dime, you're running scared.  It's incredibly difficult to follow our bliss, align to our calling, and live the life of our dreams when we're running scared. We must take the necessary steps to create for ourselves an environment in which fear has very little place. How do we do that?

There is so much super-sophisticated financial education out there, and honestly I'm really into it.  But the truth of the matter is that the simplest of things are the ones that make me feel secure, like I can stare my shadow directly in the face and not go running scared.  The first of these items is a large, liquid, savings account.  We each have the right to define "large" for ourselves.  But what I will suggest is this:  You become significantly more powerful and able to stand in the truth of who you are when you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that no job loss or other series of mishaps and emergencies are able to take you out.  "Bring it on scary shadow!  Do you're best!  I can take you on!"  It maybe a little funny, but the truth is that there's no better shield than a nice pile of cash.  Another simple consideration that makes me feel incredibly empowered is my budget.  I keep it super simple, but I also keep my expenses minimal.  If push comes to shove, I've already either trimmed the fat or know exactly where to make cuts.  Too many bills will not keep me from living my dreams.  Finally, eliminate fear of the future by stacking the deck in your favor.  If you currently have a very secure job with a decent 401k or other retirement account, take the opportunity to load it up now and let the power of compounding help secure your future position.  By focusing on doing what you can in the now, you can minimize or eliminate the need for fear in the future and also open yourself up to a myriad of opportunities that may present themselves without that being as heavy of a concern.

I think many of you out there, particularly my readers have emerged from the past year or two different from what you were before.  You owe it to yourselves to realize the whole of who you are even if that means change.  Your money should be a part of the solution, a part of which propels you toward the life you long for, not an obstacle preventing it.  So, that begs the question: How are you going to use your money to support the life you long to live?

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