Closing the Gate Soon on Money…

CaveWriting about money is awkward now. Thinking about it has become an obsession which isn’t surprising given my current situation. If I had it, I wouldn’t have to think about it quite so much except as it relates to this blog and the deeper concepts of value and worth. Regardless, everything I think about is linked on some level. And, as I’ve mentioned before, my worth doesn’t have a price tag on it unless I put one on it. However, living is a costly business. Most of us negatively imprint this planet; we use resources, and we expend energy. All of it takes a toll. There’s no getting around it. Even if I were to find a cave somewhere to squat in, and foraged for my food and water, I would be taking more than giving. In order to bring the balance back, I would need to find a way to re-invest. But, let’s face it, our existence here has not really ever been about balance. It’s been more about taking. And it’s pretty much the same with money; we’re not great at sharing the wealth.

That isn’t to say there are no standards of altruism. There are sterling examples of giving like the Mother Teresa types who diligently work to open hearts and comfort the afflicted. We can all offer small amounts of support to others from time to time which tip the scales back. I dreamed of building a foundation that would do a smidgen of it. “Just for Today” was meant to offer a helping hand for a day. It might be something as small as a rose, or as large as rent, but it would be just what someone needed to keep going for – you’ve got it – one more day. A friend suggested a way to start it without money in the bank, but I didn’t move on it. Like so many of my bright ideas, I couldn’t breathe life into if it meant knocking on doors (more like heads). That’s why the windfall  is dreamed of, so I can simply do it quietly and let it grow organically.

It’s the same with writing. A writer (a really, real one) acquaintance frequents a beautiful spot in southern Spain. Oh how I wanted to go when he told me there was a vacancy coming up next month. This place is not for the faint of heart, but for serious, and proven writers, musicians, and artists. Reading over the website and looking at the application dashed my hopes quite violently. I’ve no track record, no scholarly awards, and my only published piece was over twenty years ago. No momentum. I just don’t keep at stuff. But, the real heart breaker for me was this: money. I cannot pay the required fee. And while it’s not exorbitant, I haven’t got it to give. Yes, there are grants awarded to two “worthy” artists but the criteria is artistic quality and professional excellence, neither of which I have.

So, here’s what I keep confronting in my life. Because I never believed I could, I simply didn’t try. That’s true of everything including what I had natural adeptness at. I didn’t give anything my best shot – not ever. All I saw were those better ones, the accomplished, and naturally talented ones. Now I realise that people achieve through tenacity and a belief that they can get better. Oh boy, here comes a flood of uninvited memories! Ugh and drat.

So, now I feel horrid. It’s the dark past coming uninvited. But, I’ve options. I can continue to wallow, seeing no value in myself at all, or I can decide to keep trying. I choose the latter. And maybe, I’ll tell myself a fresher story, one that is kinder to myself and more forgiving of my choices. Wasn’t I just bragging a few nights ago about how the ‘new stories’ seemed to be working? What was true in that moment, must still be true now, yes?

My wish tonight is for greater understanding in the light of cowardly and cruel events that seem to be all too prevalent these days. They remind me that: A) I am as responsible for this world and its order as the next person. B) I can act with kindness and compassion, or with anger and meanness. C) There was once violence on the streets because women asked to vote. D) Once it was illegal for a black to marry a white. E) Women did not have the right to an education. Need I go on? We have raised ourselves up. We have adjusted and altered rigid biases. We have become more just. We have choices. Let’s guard and protect what is affirming and compassionate. That is our job now. We have the power to love it all, and that is enough.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

Not So Much About Money…27

StormsA couple friends mentioned I’m being a downer. Blah. Don’t mean to be. My messages aren’t supposed to be about no way out but out, so to that end, tonight’s blog post will be about something slightly different. (Yes, I’m still one behind so need to catch up before I leave money and move on to less material topics.) But I need to be clear. When I’m struggling, it’s because we all do. There is no solution if we don’t recognise the problem causing aches. In the meantime, let me have my frustrations and fear, my down days and dark ones, because I (we all) need to notice and feel what’s going on inside us. We pay it heed so we can realise it is part of what makes us tick. If we want to change anything about ourselves we have to know what’s going on with our-very-selves. Trust me, I’ve little doubt there will come a light at some point which will point me toward brighter days, but until then, I’m grateful for even the depression because I’m learning, growing, and expanding. Still, I thank you for caring, for reaching out, and for wanting me to look for that light. You remind me to keep the faith.

Tonight I’m wishing for thunder. You know, the sound that follows lightning. We might not always see the electric flash, but most of us can hear the warning. Even those of you who can’t hear it might feel the vibration it brings. And it’s a precursor to something. It might be rain, wind, or both. It might cause destruction or merely get you off the golf course alive. Whatever the case, it’s glorious how nature alerts us to all kinds of stuff. Emotions do the same. Storms will pass. So here’s to thunder.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

 

 

Truth and Money…26

DinahWhat a difference a day makes, la di da. Dinah is singing about rainbows with her coveted rasp and polished vibrato. It’s lifting my mood beautifully. My temples are burning slightly, the effect of peppermint essential oil. I’m digging the smell. And, speaking of vibrato, who has watched Grace and Frankie’s third season? There’s lots of vibrating! You owe it to yourself to watch and the reference will be well and truly explained if you do.

Today I needed the light so I could accept the dark. Realising I’m pretty seriously fucked was tough. I’ve no home. I’ve no money. I’m alone in the grand scheme. Starting over is really, really tough when you’re in this stage of life – not impossible, but ridiculously hard. Why? Well that’s an entire book waiting for someone (me?) to write. The age game is one without written rules. The playing field looks very different. Opportunities that once popped up do not anymore. People are not as accepting (or forgiving). And, I get it. If I were in their shoes would I be different? Not likely. As for me, starting over has cost me a lot more than just money (that I don’t have anymore). Furthermore, unless I can make it over here somewhere – preferably England – it means the end of a dream. And that’s the worst. It’s the worst, worst and the hardest, hardest because it means that everything I believe in is a joke. Wow. Tough anyway you look at it, yes?

I’ve little else to add at this point. There’s more to be said, more to be written, but I can’t go on right now, so will pick this up later. And yes, I’m one blog behind – still. 🙂

My wish tonight is for guidance. Purely. Simply. When the dark sets in you need a light shining from somewhere. You can sit in stillness, you can feel gratitude for everything, and you can trust. All good and necessary things. But, you need to know what to do to stop the darkness from swallowing you. You need a glimmer, a spark, a miracle.

Until tomorrow…

Going Around With Money…24

SallyAm behind – again – and uninspired to top it off. Feeling like I’m between a rock and a hard place, stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. Could I be any further wedged on the horns of a dilemma?

Money. Blah. Does it make the world go round? Liza said it did, or rather, sang it. She and Joel Grey as Sally Bowles and Emcee were quite convincing in Cabaret. How can one’s world continue to go round if their money well has dried up? I suppose they can keep hoping with yet another adage that says, when one door closes, another one opens.

I’m wishing for inspiration tonight. I’ll also wish for calm and courage, for faith and trust. Too much to wish for? Never. The Universe is big enough to handle any request. I can send out countless rockets of desire! And tonight, as I close my eyes, it is with a grateful heart. Despite my fears, I remain humbled by the generosity and ongoing support of virtual stranger. As I launch my desires, my wishes, I want to trust that something will shift soon. After all, it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Until tomorrow…

Value Lessons and More Money Talk…22

HairToday’s been filled with writing and hair. The writing continues, obviously. The hair is done.

Having curls like mine can be fun. One advantage is that grey roots aren’t as obvious when ringlets and frizz are the look of the day. But I can only see them so long before I have to get rid of them.

For more years than I can count, I’ve had my hair done at a salon. Such luxury. Now, however, it’s not where I should be spending so I visited Boots and bought some colour. It’s my second box, truth be told. The first one didn’t take. And sadly, neither did this one. It’s better than the first, but it’s still a lousy job. Damn frugality! Haha. But, I’m learning.

In the UK, I frequented a great shop where for the price of three boxes, I had my roots done. Again, such luxury. Thing is, after today, if I have to buy yet another box of product, I will have paid more than the salon price here. You see, I found a place in the city that will do what the spot in the UK did for even less! Here it’s roughly the price of two good over the counter colour products. Conundrum? Not really. I need to find the right colour match for me, and I’ll be fine. That written, in the meantime, I might be heading to that place mentioned above to correct the mess I’ve made. Blah. Which brings me to a thought about value and de-valuing when it comes to money.

Recently a friend wrote about being discouraged when folks want the best of everything but won’t pay a fair price. Often, they are willing to behave quite badly to get what they want, too. Why is that? I suppose it’s kind of normal to want a “deal”, but what of a “just wage” payment? When does a “deal” become mean spirited?

Another friend explains money as part of an exchange. An agreement is reached for a good or service and a fair price or payment for the good or service is agreed upon. That’s a healthy and reasonable approach. When does it step out of line? Possibly when a purchaser wants something for nothing. There is nothing healthy in that approach and furthermore, no balance. But why do we think it is okay to do that, because we do. In fact, we often applaud it. It’s a too old story to dredge up, but I’m sure you can conjure up adages that suggest convincing a seller to reduce her price is a worthwhile practice. Lots of backslapping goes on when somebody gets “a bargain”. Fine line, isn’t it, between abuse and greed?

I’ll wrap up here, but will pick up this conversation tomorrow. It deserves further fleshing out because I’ve a feeling more discussion might shine a light on attitudes and practices that are weakening us in ways we might not be aware of.

My wish tonight is to try a new response to something we do regularly. Our reaction is pretty standard in this particular situation so it’s not going to be easy to change, but let’s try it together, shall we? When your next electric bill (or any bill, invoice etc.) arrives, hold it lovingly before opening it. I know, I know, but let’s try this. Now, gauge your feelings carefully. If you’re like me, you’ll have mixed emotions and love isn’t one of them. But we are trying to see it with love, so give it your best. Now, open it and when you read what you owe say immediately, “So little? The privilege of having lights and heat is priceless and all I need to pay is this? Wonderful!” Check in again with your feelings. Make sure appreciation, happiness, and gratitude are there. Yes it’s an expensive wish and one I’m happy to ask for. With gratitude and love…

Until tomorrow…

Pandora’s Hope. More Money Talk…21

PandoraDon’t rush into anything. There’s no time like the present. Every cloud has a silver lining. Life is short. So many contradictions in these too often repeated clichés. And, there are plenty more pointed phrases. Women are illogical, governed by emotions. Men are reasoning humans, governed by logic.

These statements are all true, though.

You’ve all the time in the world. Not every cloud have a silver lining. Life is long. Women are logical and able to tap into their emotions. Men are illogical, governed purely by cultural mores.

These statements are all true, too, depending on one’s point of view.

It seems our understanding of lots of things has little to do with whether they are true or false and more to do with blind acceptance. When repeated often enough, we begin to believe what we’re being told even if in the beginning we doubted. At what point do we give up critical thought? When did we stop questioning age old beliefs and sanction broad sweeping societal inculcation? Why do we simply accept that what is, is?

Of course, not all believe. Not everyone is controlled. Sentient beings break standardised moulds all the time. And why shouldn’t they? After all, everything is constantly evolving, changing, ever moving. I tend to forget that.

Thinking about money these past weeks has opened a sort of Pandora’s Box for me. Not the modern Pandora, but the original gal and her “jar”. It’s glorious; unsettling and more than a little disturbing but still glorious, watching the “evil” rise up and taunt me. I can scrutinise every thought and feeling, every word and response, knowing I’m transforming misconceptions and misunderstandings. Once gone or altered, they’ll have left me with only hope in the box as the myth goes. I’m ridiculously happy about that.

Just like so many words and phrases, we have stopped questioning long held concepts about money. We persist in states of want and even need because we believe it’s our lot in life. The constructs keeping us enslaved, however, are of our own design. Those who do find new ways to make it, and new ways to spend it, are simply deciding to see money, and the system supporting it, differently. I’m working at that while trying not to freak out about being broke. Wow. Lump in throat. Trouble breathing. Must. Not. Panic!

So, the perfect wish tonight is for calm. My mess is of my making and somehow I will clean it up. Chaos will further complicate things. I have much to be thankful for, after all, and much to pray for, too. The violence in London reminds me that many souls are struggling, confused, and misguided. They have fallen prey to the worst kind of rhetoric, the most insidious mind-control. Let calm reign so that clear eyes and open hearts can find hope in the bottom of the box.

Until tomorrow…

Honestly it’s about money…20

Head in sandCan you be honest when it comes to money? I’m lousy at it. Of course, I struggle with honesty generally, but money’s a big one. I’d like nothing more than to confess to you that making up stories about money is merely a bad habit, but that would be another lie. And this is a pisser – I don’t always know when I’m fibbing. Odd, eh? Why? I’m not sure, but figure it’s got something (everything) to do with pride – the false kind.

Why can’t I accept who I am? Gosh, there’s tons of reason for that. Who hasn’t wished to be somebody else for even a short time? We wish to be anyone other than who we are because we feel inadequate. When, however, I espouse riches I don’t possess (or poverty that isn’t real) and put myself in jeopardy with the lie, it’s because I cannot face myself. Pure and simple. I hate where I’ve put myself and equate it directly with who I am. It’s all rubbish and I bury myself with the crap.

Being honest is hard. It might be one of the hardest things we are asked to do in our search for enlightenment and freedom. However, if we get honest, if we face the truth head on, we just might break the barrier holding us captive. Funnily, it’s a barrier we might not have even known existed.

Honesty, when it comes to everything in our life, is critical. Regarding money, it can mean the difference between poverty and wealth. Yep, it’s that stark. Get real, face the facts about the games you play, the truth you avoid, and the language you use, and you might find yourself flush. Wow, wouldn’t that be gas?

I wish tonight for – what else – honesty. Like dreams, honesty can be multi-dimensional. Capital “H” honesty is an infallible principle. Without it we will not, we cannot, find our way to Love. I for one, want all the Love I can get. Guess that means I’d best work on getting honest.

Until tomorrow…

Still dreaming…19

Dream1The discussion about dreaming, what it means to us and for us, isn’t over. I need to explore it further within the context of money. Interesting how the two share a great deal. The links are both subtle and obvious, but the more ethereal threads are surprising me, as is the entire concept of dreaming.

The planet is filled with dreamers. Some we know like da Vinci, Tesla, or Disney. Millions of others we will never hear about, ordinary people who follow their hearts and never give up, are unsung. As I was thinking about this earlier, oddly, I recalled Marie Curie whose persistence changed the world. Her habits brought about an early death, but the rest of us learned great lessons from her dogged determination in the lab. She once said nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. I wish I could understand why I persisted in giving up on my passions and dreams.

So today is a “down” one for me. All this review is drudging up uncomfortable ‘stuff’. I’ll have a look at it and see what needs attention but I’ve a pretty good idea what this black dog is doing here and what I have to do about it. My goodness, habits are tough to change sometimes, aren’t they? And yes, money’s woven into the mix along with choices.

I wish for the courage to face honestly any and all fears that might be keeping you from your dreams.

Until tomorrow…

 

 

Dreaming money…18

DreamMost of us have desires. As one is achieved another takes its place. That’s how we move forward, make our way, and build a life. Ask yourself this: Are my desires really, truly, mine? Are they born of my biggest and smallest, my most possible and most improbable dreams; or, have I sacrificed it all because I don’t actually believe in dreams coming true?

Harriet Tubman said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

For some, they dare not dream. They stymie hope, stay small, cloaked in self-imposed limitations. Others dare to dream. For them, I am grateful.

I’d like to be a dreamer. Looking back, it’s easy to remember my dreams. It’s also easy to see why they did not come to pass. Is there an expiry date on dreams? Probably not.

My wish is that we all ask the difficult question: Am I living my dream? Whether it’s saving the whales, writing good stories, or making a million dollars, are you doing it? Only you can. Stop telling yourself what you cannot do, who you cannot be. No excuses. Be the dreamer.

Until tomorrow…