Money Is Just Energy, Dummies

Money Is Just Energy, Dummies

You know those money issues you struggle with?  The ones that keep you cash poor, that have you maxing out your credit card each month, that keep you from asking for that raise every year? Yeah, those are the ones.  Well, here’s a little something I learned recently – those beliefs and issues surrounding money start WAY earlier than I ever would have imagined.

Case in Point:

money issuesA few weeks ago, as I was crawling towards the coffee pot early one morn, I happened upon my three nieces, along with one of their small neighbor friends, planning a summer job.  Pink, red, and yellow construction paper was strewn all over the front porch and markers were tossed aside – lids off – to dry in the sun that was already baking the concrete.

I stopped, wiped my bleary eyes, and asked what they were doing.

My niece Jocelyn gave me the hand-made poster which outlined their services:

Dog  Wash

If you got a dirty pup we’ll clean them up!

Open Hours 11:00 to 2:30

$2.00 per dog             Any size dog

Not open on holidays and Friday and Mondays and Birthdays

(You will see the dog when you come in the neighborhood)

Plus we dry, brush or put something in their fur, your choice.

It may have been my dull senses upon just waking but I was über proud of my ability to refrain from asking which Friday they are closed (as there seemed to be only one) and whose birthdays they were talking about (the customer’s or theirs) and what “something” they planned to put in the dog’s fur.  (A few hours later, their Dad was not so full of restraint and told Jocelyn that he wanted her to put $4.00 in his dog’s fur.) And, damn. . . “you will see the dog when you come in the neighborhood” – they’re certainly confident aren’t they?  Lastly, I beamed with a pride I couldn’t contain over their correct use of the word “their.”

After my coffee-deprived brain had spell-checked their document I did the math.  For each dog they washed they would make $.50 a piece.

Say what?

The hair on the back of my neck stood on end as I asked, incredulous, “That’s all you’re charging? $2.00 per dog?”

Four heads nodded at me in unison.

“Girls, you are seriously undervaluing yourselves.”

MaKendra, another of my nieces, looked up at me confused, “No we’re not.”

I turned red as a pomegranate. “You should be charging at least $8.00 per dog.  That’s $2.00 a piece per dog.  Your time is more valuable than $.50.  How long is it going to take you to wash each dog? How big are these dogs?  $2.00 is just too low, you’re all worth more than that.”

Then I stopped ranting.  $8.00?  I pay $45.00 for So-kr8z’s S-PaW days (though that $45.00 includes the massaging of his oh-so-delicate anal glands – a task which I’d happily pay $150.00 for.) But even I, at the age of 40, am undervaluing time and energy.  Yes, even I was ball-parking low for these girls. What’s with that and where does it come from?

I got my answer

Days later I was talking with their Dad – who is probably the hardest working guy I know, as is their mother.  These two parents are on the go from 7:00 am until 1:00 am Every. Single. Day. working their guts out.  And they’re not rich.  Yeah, they get by, they have the necessities and some fun toys but they’re not vacationing in the Bahamas every year. They fervently believe that they have to work extra hard for every single red cent. They hope the washer doesn’t break down.

I know, I know, material stuff shouldn’t be important, and you can throw tomatoes and other soft fruit at me later, but bear with me for a moment and hear me say that money and material stuff IS important.  Let me explain.

Money is just energy.

Let me repeat that. Money is just energy. Let’s use the analogy of the ocean in place of money.  The ocean is vast, huge, and, in fact, water covers 70% of the earth’s surface.  And it might be my optimism speaking but I don’t see the oceans drying up any time soon.  So water flows in to the ocean and water flows out but the ocean never dries up.  Money is the same way.

Roald Dahl knew this when he brilliantly penned thee most apropos money quote I’ve ever heard in his novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Charlie is thinking of selling his Golden Ticket so his family can eat when Grandpa George tells him, “There’s plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket — There are only 5 of them in the whole world, and that’s all there’s ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?”

Yup. Me and my family are a bunch of dummies – and so are you if you have issues in regards to the green stuff.  Just as the ocean never dries up, neither does energy and so, therefore, neither does money.

Possessions also have energy.

Many of us with money issues believe it’s “evil” to want things.  So, for example, it’s bad to want that nice house with the freshly painted white fence when you already have a roof over your head.  It’s horrible to want those strappy Manolo Blanik’s right?  Nope.  Possessions have energy too and the only requirement for you in the wanting of something is that you love it.

As part of a social media campaign recently I asked people on Facebook, “What’s your favorite material possession.”  (WOW…  this raised some major angst among people.) Most folks appeared to scratch their heads, hem-haw, and not respond at all.  My guess is that these peeps have money issues and believe that they shouldn’t value the possession of a thing. I thought that too, for the longest time, and I would stand upon my pedestal with a golden aura surrounding my head like a halo while I spouted, “you can’t take ‘stuff’ with you when you die.”

But now I beg to differ. When you love a possession – when you truly value it – you’re imbuing that possession with energy. Perhaps the best example is to use an item from your childhood that you still hold on to.  One of my most valued material possessions is a blanket that my Grandma made for me when I was ten. Over the years this blanket has traveled thousands of miles with me.  This blanket has been washed more than I have. It’s vibrant canary yellow color has faded to a dingy off-white.  The stuffing is matted and falling out and sticks to my clothes whenever I huddle beneath it.  But I love this blanket.  Like L. O. V. E. love.  Every time I use it, and feel that feeling of utter comfort, I myself am giving this blanket some of my energy.

My point is that every material possession that you value and love is full of energy.  Haven’t you heard the wise sages and money gurus tell you, over and over, to surround yourself only with that which you love?  To pare down, clean house, de-clutter?  This is why. Because what you love has value and energy.  In the case of my blanket, someone out there in the world made the material that my Grandmother bought in order to make it for me.  Then, of course, there’s the energy of love that my Grandma put into it while she sewed. The postman who delivered it expended energy too as he drove from the post office, down the tree-lined streets of Stevens Drive, to get it to me a few days before Christmas.  You get the point.

Surrounding Yourself with Shit

I’m guessing that 99% of hoarders (or even those folks who just collect a whole lot of shit) have money issues as well, and I’m almost 100% positive that many of these people don’t surround themselves with only things that they love.  Rather, many of them surround themselves, simply, with things; an empty plastic Dr. Pepper bottle, a string cheese wrapper, a sack full of things they picked up from Wal-Mart that they just had to have but have never taken out of the bag.  That, my friends, is NOT honoring your material possessions. I understand that hoarding is an illness and my heart goes out to those struggling with this issue. But, whether you’re a hoarder or not, I imagine that we all hold on to things we don’t love, even after we’ve douched our own personal space.

So… what’s to be done?  How do we reconcile some of these age-old money issues?  How do you figure out how to expend your energy, how to value your energy, and how much to charge for your energy? The first step, I think, is simply to realize that your time, money, possessions, you, yourself, everything is energy.  That’s all I’m asking, even of myself, is to take that first baby step towards not being a dummy.

Melanie Bates

Femme Tales – Truth with Humor

Reprinted with permission from OwningPink.com | © Copyright Owning Pink

Bliss Mission: Strengthen Your Relationships

Bliss Mission: Strengthen Your Relationships

Chris Pirillo and Ponzi @ Gnomedex 2005Today’s Affirmations

I learn lessons in love that help to make my relationship stronger.

I believe in love and the stirring emotions that I feel when I encounter someone whom I can call my soul mate. I realize that such a relationship is rare, so I carefully nurture it to allow those feelings to grow deeper and stronger, fortifying our bond of love.

I acknowledge that no relationship is perfect, yet everything that happens in my relationship has a lesson attached to it. I take advantage of these lessons in love to build a more positive relationship each day.

When I have an argument with my partner, I always endeavor to reach a point of forgiveness in a short time. I initiate discussions on the issue so we can find a resolution. This approach makes it easier for us to relate more positively going forward.

Whenever I make the mistake of doing or saying something hurtful to my partner, I immediately acknowledge the negative effect on their well-being.

I take a step back and revisit my actions. I put myself in my partner’s shoes and realize the impact. Then, I sincerely apologize.

Today, I take the time to learn from love so our love can keep growing. I commit to learning each day from my relationship and embrace the fact that every effort made to build a better relationship results in a stronger love.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Do I strive to strengthen my relationship?
2. How can I avoid saying or doing hurtful things to my partner?
3. Do I make it a point to apply the lessons learned in love to fortify our bond?

The Value of a Compliment: A Challenge

The Value of a Compliment: A Challenge

After my recent Facebook poll on what makes people happy, I posted a link to the resulting blog post in the thread so that those who I’d featured could read it. Another of my friends, who hadn’t seen the status on Facebook before I’d written the post, commented later, and she really made me think. The comment came from a fellow writer and one of our WM Freelance Writers Connection bloggers. She’s got a wicked-sharp sense of humor that makes me wish I  knew her in “real life.”

“I’m a total sucker for a compliment,” she wrote. “Could be for my writing, my parenting…my hair, my shoes. Doesn’t much matter. (Good shoes=happiness. See?) Also, facing a fear, understanding it, working through it and realizing everything is still okay…that’s a less Pollyanna form of happiness for me.”

I’m totally with her on the facing a fear thing, but that compliment part really got me thinking. Even though I laughed when I read her thoughts (as I often do–girl is hilarious), I also knew she was on to something serious there. The fact is, I don’t know very many people (save for a few sullen teenagers) who don’t love a good compliment. (more…)

No Strings Attached: The Only Way to Give

No Strings Attached: The Only Way to Give

“To give and not expect anything in return; to give for no special time or season; to give, not for any particular recognition; to give, not for a substantial tax refund; to give for the sake of giving — often just between giver and receiver — has a life of its own — an elevated one.” ~Glaceta Honeyghan

They say there are no selfless acts, because when you do something nice for someone else, you get (at the very least) a warm fuzzy feeling–but there’s a difference between benefiting from “good karma” and benefiting because you only help people with conditions attached.

Earlier this month, a woman I know told me that she couldn’t afford to buy school supplies for her kids. As a single mom who was unemployed, she just didn’t have the money. She had done everything she could to try to procure the things her kids needed for school–even called several charity groups in the area for help, but she got nowhere.

So, I did what anyone would do–I offered to buy her kids the things they needed to start school.

She was grateful, and that made me feel good. She insisted that she pay me back, but I kept telling her it wasn’t necessary. I knew she couldn’t afford to do it, and I didn’t offer to help because I expected anything in return.

I offered to help because I could afford to help, because I care about this person and her kids–and because I have been helped myself along the way. No strings attached.

She felt so strongly about giving back that she came over and helped me with some things around the house, which was appreciated but again, not necessary.

When Strings Are Attached

I have been lucky in my life to have supportive people around me, and when I’ve fallen in the past, they’ve helped me get back on my feet. I’ve always felt grateful for those people and the help they offered me in my times of need.

But in some cases, there were strings attached–like, if I help you, you have to agree to do what I want. Whether the giver expects money, love, support or something else in return, these “strings” can cause a lot of stress and negative energy for both parties.

Dawn over at Frugal Life offers a perfect example of this–a friend of hers offered her a monetary gift, but when Dawn said she wanted to spend the money on a bill, her friend told her that she needed to spend it on something nice for herself instead.

“I was a little upset that she had changed the ‘rule’ on the ‘gift’ and now it came with a condition,” Dawn writes. “She might as well just keep the money and use it on herself. Well, that wasn’t a good response and things escalated into a war of words–me accusing her of being materialistic and having a spend, spend mentality; and she accusing me of being tight fisted and not having any fun.”

See what I mean? Bad energy for all involved.

Pay It Forward Instead

As for me, I work hard to avoid attaching strings to any generosities I extend to my family or friends. It is human nature to expect something in return, of course, so I have to be very intentional about it. When people insist on “repaying my kindness,” I simply ask them to pay it forward–because for me, that’s the best gift they could offer.

As I said before, I have been helped along the way by many kind people, both personally and professionally–and that’s why I help people whenever I can–to pay it forward.

How to Give Without Attaching Strings

It’s simple: only give what you can afford to spare, and don’t expect anything in return from the recipient of your gift. You can, however, expect to feel great when you do this–which makes your energy and general vibration more positive. That, in itself, can bring more good things into your life.

When you give with strings attached, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. Even if you get what you expect from the person you help, it won’t be because that person really wants to give it to you–it will be because he or she feels obligated to do so. And that, my friends, doesn’t feel good to anyone.

So, next time you help someone, do it without expectations, without “strings” attached, even if your human nature urges you to do otherwise. You won’t regret it.

Have you been the giver or receiver of gifts with strings attached? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

Is Beauty An Inside Or An Outside Job?

Is Beauty An Inside Or An Outside Job?

Note: Today’s guest post is reprinted with permission from one of my favorite websites, OwningPink.com.

The Owning Pink Community seems to be showered with new and lovely Pinkies on a daily basis. One of our newest members is Goddess Oceana. If you are looking for a fresh, revitilizing spirit, she is it. (Plus, I can’t help but be in love with her pink, glowing feathers.) Enjoy this magnificent thought from our lovely new community member. — Megan Monique

Beauty–An Inside Or An Outside Job?

By Goddess Oceana

Magazine covers would have us believe that beauty is an outside job, and yet our spiritual leaders tell us it all comes from within. I don’t know about you, but it
leaves my head in a tizzy! I’ve tried every hair color, every type of makeup, dressed myself in every fashion to hit the runways…and unlike the majority, I’ve also studied spirituality from Christianity to paganism and everything in between.

Untangling beauty

As they say in Maine, ya can’t get they-ya from hee-ya. What I mean is that as women, we search constantly for a way to attract attention from that special one or many and end up either beautifying ourselves to exhaustion, or giving up completely and neglecting ourselves. Does this sound familiar? (more…)

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