Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why Fear Wealth?

One of my biggest limiting beliefs is that being rich will lead me away from being spiritual. I've been trying to figure out why. I think I know.

It's because of the phrase "Idle Rich".

I don't believe there is such a thing, at least not in my world. I'm only idle when I'm poor, because the things I love to do cost money (if I'm doing them effectively). I stay home. I trim down to a frighteningly frugal level of bare minimum maintenance. I haven't had a hair cut in over a year. I do not go out. Period. I use the library. I rarely leave the house. I become tight-fisted and less generous because you never know when you might need that $20. I only maintain cable because my internet service comes through it, and in the event I get a freelance design job, I need to maintain my capability of getting the job to the clients and the print shop. But I've trimmed the cable selections to nil.

When I'm wealthy, OTOH, I am ACTIVE. I'm all over the place! I'm traveling, dining out, meeting friends, socializing, thinking up project after project, starting a new one before beginning the old, "going off on tangents/traipsing all over the countryside" as my Mother used to say...

I'm a go-getter, up and at em, energy ball when I'm wealthy. I'm the opposite of idle.

And that's the problem. Because all of those things are DISTRACTIONS. They are time suckers. They keep me going, going, going like the Energizer Bunny, rarely slowing down to take a breath while the world whips past.

When I'm working it's even worse. I spend 8-10 hours at the job, where it's go go go meet deadlines fix problems don't think just DO and hurry up about it (I was a print production technician and designer), then I go home and collapse from exhaustion in the evenings. Time is lost because I'm too worn out to do anything "fun" or for myself. Weekends are a busy cramfest where I try to fit in all the things I didn't have time or energy for during the week. Church? Are you kiddin' me? Get up early on a Sunday when I could be sleeping in?

And so my spirituality fell short. I fell out of touch with my inner being, with God, with the whole meaning of life. As I wrote in my journal the other day, certainly judging by the events of the past few years, this qualifies as the WORST time of my entire life.

But it has also in many ways been the best. There are a couple of areas that have gone well in spite of it all: my horsemanship activities and my spirituality/self-knowledge. I've had plenty of time to sort myself out, reconnect with God, and figure out what spirituality means to me. I've also worked on my horsemanship and riding, which is moving me towards my goal of becoming a Parelli Natural Horsemanship Instructor and Horse Developer.

The other day, I asked myself what my favorite experience on this planet has been. The answer? My time with horses. The past eight years have had horses in them full time, and it has been the BEST time of my life.

Wait a minute. Didn't I just say it was the WORST time of my life?

Yes. The best AND worst times of my life are occurring simultaneously. The beauty of this realization is in understanding that I've been focusing only on the WORST part, and completely overlooking the BEST part. My joy, my heart, my reason for existing is wrapped up in that horse, and nothing I've experienced any other time in my life other than God has been that joy-filled.

So in a way, this temporary descent into the world of the not-haves has had its blessings.

But... when I return to prosperity... when my life picks up and takes off again... when I return to work... if I suddenly find myself in possession of a large amount of money... will all of this change? Will I revert? Will I go back to being busybusybusy with no time to stop and smell the horse barn? Will I lose sight of my spiritual side, my connection with God, and be mindless again?

I suppose my fear of suddenly becoming wealthy again stems from this sense that my connection to my spiritual side is not yet as firm, not cemented in place. It's still shaky. It's still developing. It has roots, but the soil could be a bit more fertile. It's growing, but the leaves are new, and they must enlarge to take in the nourishing sun. The blossoms are still buds. I fear that one smell of material boost and WHAM goes the plant, tromped down under the shiny new Kenneth Cole boot that just had to come home with me. (I exaggerate—I'm not very materially inclined nor am I particularly attracted to designer labels unless you consider Wrangler and Resistol to be designers, but I needed an analogy.)

All of the material goods that accompany financial prosperity, and the events and circumstances, can become distractions that lead the focus away from the spiritual self and the Unseen, directing it to the physical, earth-bound "can be seen" reality. I guess I just really don't want to be that person anymore. Ever. It doesn't mean I don't want a decent home, my truck and trailer, and a lovely little farm—just that when I attain those, I'd like to also maintain and continue to foster my spiritual growth IN SPITE of my prosperity.

And I don't want to be one of those people whose success and financial status makes them the subject of critical judgment and sneers. Such as a former boss. My friend's husband worked briefly for the company that had laid me off. He told of how because of the economic "crisis", it was necessary to cut everyone's salary by 20%. That was done; then two weeks later, the boss rolled up in a luxury car that was newer, nicer and twice as costly as the luxury car he'd been driving the previous week.

Now. It LOOKS as though the boss did not apply his philosophy to himself and in fact continued to treat himself while making his employees cut back, and that left employees steaming with unexpressed resentment and jealousy.

But is this how it REALLY was?

What if the boss had also tightened his belt? What if they'd been a two-car family; the newer car had been his wife's, purchased during an economic upswing or on a discount because they had a friend who deals cars who got them a deal, and it was fully paid off; and in the light of the economy now, they'd opted to become a one-car family, so the boss had traded in or sold off one car, and they'd decided the wise thing would be to keep the newer, paid-off car for obvious reasons, and his wife was now sacrificing her mobility so hubby could get to the job?

Nobody thought to consider that, though, I'll bet. Besides, he IS the president of the company. His economic standing was always going to be higher than that of his employees. Even if he DID cut back in his own way.

But being the subject of the first assumption is something I wish to avoid.

However, this belief is serving me poorly, no pun intended.

So is it okay for me to pray for a lottery win? Of course. Because it's not about the money; it's about what it can do for me, for my family and friends, and for all the people I have yet to meet that will benefit from my generosity.

I've also realized that the way I behave MATTERS. Despite my economic position, it is imperative that I continue to behave in as many ways possible as if I am wealthy in order to generate the proper vibe to attract more wealth in to my life. Putting out vibes of scarcity and restriction attracts more of that.

I may not have oodles of money to spend, but I can certainly do things in ways that make me feel more prosperous. I just need to be considerably more creative than via shopping and dining out. If it helps, for example, to eat my Ramen by candlelight on the good china with a freshly pressed tablecloth on the table and soft music in the background, then I should do that, while relishing every yummy bite.

If I feel more prosperous simply because my gray hair IS covered, then I should prioritize applying that $2 bottle of dye to my head even if it's not the spa experience I'm used to, then swing my hair around like the girls in the shampoo ads (because I'm worth it™).

It's the little things that matter; and the little details that are the devil to distract you. How you approach them is the trick.

I've finally narrowed down my spiritual leanings and determined that I would be considered a practitioner of Religious Science, Science of Mind, or New Thought. (Note—this is different from Christian Science or Scientology!) I've located THREE (!) spiritual centers in my area and a church of Universal Unitarianism nearby that I'm planning to check out this month. My gut feeling is that once I'm firmly ensconced in a church setting where my faith is being supported and maintained beyond what I do here at home, it will give me the roots and fertilizer needed to strengthen my faith so that it will be strong enough to withstand the distractions that may come up as my prosperity returns. I believe that once it is obvious that I'm decidedly on this path, things will turn around, blocks will lift, and I am being fully restored.

Go forth, and prosper. May you be blessed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Can We Rethink It?

You know, if we all quit thinking of it as a "financial crisis", it would quit BEING a financial crisis.

I vote we all refer to it as "the financial transition" from now on. Then picture it transitioning into prosperity.

I mean, what the hey--we're awfully good at mass manifesting a CRISIS, right? What if we used our powers for good rather than evil?

Just a thought.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why Do Some Things Manifest More Easily?


Why is it so easy to manifest some things than others?

For example, I quit smoking 10 years ago simply by changing my mind. Seriously! I'd just purchased and moved into my first home, and I didn't want to mar the cleanliness with my smoking habit. I considered insisting that all smoking take place outside, but realized I'd enjoyed smoking inside, so that wouldn't work.

I'd been suffering on and off with persistent bronchitis that fall, and the doctor told me I was pre-asthmatic. Having grown up with a serious asthmatic and being well aware of the progression, I decided maybe I should try to quit.

So I started declaring every chance I got that I was a non-smoker, and, well, here I am, a very happy non-smoker for ten years without a single slip or craving. And not asthmatic, either.

At first, it was a tad bit of a challenge. I had to be on top of reminding myself I was a non-smoker. I had to catch myself a few times before the new habit of NOT reaching for the pack when I got in the car became more natural. But as time wore on, I didn't have to be so diligent. Now, I don't even think about it. In fact, I often forget I ever was a smoker.

Try that with "I'm a multimillionaire". Not sure why, but it doesn't seem to be working quite as effectively...


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Oh, As IF—and, How Do You Deal with Fear?

Today I must admit to something that I'm not proud of.

I'm not always cheerful and upbeat. Nor am I always the best representation of a follower of the LOA or someone of faith.

Sometimes, I fall down.

Yesterday was one of those days. (Before we go on, today is better, so fear not for my well-being.)

In hindsight, I realize there was a lesson in all of this, and that I had to go through it to be able to understand it when others go through it, which they will, so that I can help them by example.

I've been reading Barbara Sher's book with the impossibly long title, "I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It". We'll call it Sher's book for brevity's sake. Many of the exercises correlate to self-analysis work I've already done, but some are new. I do those. Most of them.

One exercise wants you to ask yourself which of the Four Feelings is the one you're experiencing right now. The Four are Anger, Fear, Hurt and Joy, as these are the most basic emotions we feel. Other emotions, like grief or resentment, are combinations or variations of the Four.

Well I opened up a can of worms Sunday night. The one that came up was ANGER. With a capital everything. I had no idea. I thought I was just sort of sad. Turns out, I am PISSED OFF BEYOND BELIEF. At my Mother. At my sibling. At my childhood. At myself. At former bandmates and beaus. At my old jobs. At all of the injustice I've experienced in my life. I let it all out. It was a long night. But I slept well, and I woke up feeling...

Not so good. REALLY bad, in fact. I haven't felt this down-deep depressed in a long time. And it lasted all day. It was so bad... I actually wrote up a note of whom to call in case I couldn't take it anymore—who gets the cats and horses, who to email... in a way, that might have been part of the purge because after that and hours of crying, sobbing and grieving, I felt better. Not good, mind you, but the feeling had passed.

Yes, it was hours of torture going through it. Wave after wave of excruciating emotional pain kept coming up. I cried myself hoarse and my eyes still feel like sandpaper. Apparently I'd crossed from ANGER to HURT.

Thing is, I'd been attributing the emotion to frustration, and believing it was because of my blocked financial situation. I live in Ohio. Our economy isn't the best right now. The excuses are, I have things to sell but due to the economy in this state (when I switch into the old thinking of "being realistic"), nobody's buying; the estate hasn't closed because the house hasn't sold; my employable skills apply to jobs that aren't available right now and the jobs that are available don't align with my skills (or won't hire me because of that nasty little glitch called being "overqualified"), and the correlation between the amount available in my bank account versus the bills that need to be paid is way out of balance.

Poor me.


It took HOURS to work through all of this. Alone. At the tail end of the sobbing, when I'd finally wore myself out, I begged God to help me. I became very quiet. I had nothing left in me, nothing left to say.

For a moment or two, there was nothing but the silence after the storm.

Then a small, soft voice in my head said:

Act as if it is all right.


It continued.

What would you be doing differently tomorrow, if you KNEW help was on its way, if you KNEW that in a few days, it WOULD be all right?

Well, hell. I'd never considered... that I might be living my life anyway BUT that way. This voice and I had a conversation in which it was pointed out to me that I'd been living as if it was NOT going to be all right, and all of my actions—or lack thereof—sent out that message.

Naturally, it attracted the very experiences to me that I didn't want to have, and voila—here I am.

I realized that if I truly believed that everything was on the upswing, whether it had manifested any visual signs yet or not, I would be living a little bit differently every day.

I'd be focusing on improvement (not just emotional): getting in shape, cleaning up the house, sorting stuff, preparing for the future that was on its way. I would NOT be living every day as if it might be the last day I have heat, or with full-on scarcity mindset, putting off stuff and refusing to "get involved" because what's the point? Why get deeply entrenched in a recording or creative project, or my horsemanship studies, or studying for the GRE, when by next week or next month, I might be giving away all my possessions because the person whose couch I'll be occupying when the money runs out doesn't have room to store them all, or I'll be working two jobs just to pay the bills and won't have time for "such nonsense"?

Yes, one's brain can think up some pretty wild thoughts, can't it? It's tricky, true, but my mind is really making an enormous mountain out of an inconvenient little molehill that I really am quite capable of overcoming. The house is paid for, in fact it still belongs to the estate, not me; so the chance of being evicted by anyone is unlikely. I do have friends who would help me out in a crisis if I'm too embarrassed to request a small advance from the estate, and I'm not in serious debt (no credit cards). There are jobs out there, and who knows? If I focus on what I want, I can create it. Hell, I seem to be pretty good at creating the other stuff, right?

The point is, my mind was tricking me. It was feeding into my fears, and it was using MONEY to set up a crisis so that I would avoid dealing with the feelings that I accidentally wound up dealing with this weekend. I even, at one point, seriously doubted the validity of the LOA.

Sidenote: Just because someone had great parents and a nice upbringing doesn't mean there wasn't pain.

When I realized that I'd been sitting on a schload of anger and hurt, and hiding it behind semi-imaginary money woes that I'd created all by myself, I was in shock. When I realized that I'd been acting and speaking as if it was NOT turning out OK, even though I thought I was doing otherwise, I was horrified.

Shortly thereafter, I outlined how I'd behave if I believed, and I began to feel better.

This morning, I caught myself in a thought process I was surprised to have. I realized I'll need to be very diligent and observant because scarcity thinking can be sneaky.

I was wondering, "should I maybe check into the insurance agents I see advertised on TV all the time and see if I can lower my car insurance payment even further?"

Not because it's a great deal, but because then I would have less going out, more to live on, not use up my savings so fast in the event that things didn't improve...

SMACK! What did you JUST think?!?!?

Oh, my. A very complex, convoluted thought, and it was right back into scarcity.

" in the event that things didn't improve..."

Naughty, naughty!

So it isn't enough just to decide "OK I'm going to act as if from now on". Nope, I have to watch myself because the scarcity thinking is so deeply ingrained it filters out subtly without my even noticing.

How do you fix it?

By becoming aware of it and perishing the thoughts.

How does one live "as if"?

It's not that I should go out and act as if I'm a multimillionaire and start spending like crazy. That would be dumb. But what can I do that is in alignment with being "OK" that doesn't cost anything? There are plenty of actions along those lines. When I start doing those as much as possible, I'm sending out the message that I believe.

My objective is to maintain the lifestyle I had before my parents died, which is a comfortable neither-rich-nor-poor lifestyle in which my needs are met and I'm able to enjoy the small pleasures that make life worth living, like an occasional dinner out, a movie matinee, a short roadtrip, and so on.

Continually trimming out more and more things until I'm down to food, absolute basic utilities, and shelter with absolutely no room for even one night out is sending a message of a belief in scarcity.

But that reality thing... so someone asks me to go check out that new restaurant in town. I could answer "truthfully",

"Sorry. Can't afford to right now. Maybe later."

Or, I could answer "as if":

"Sure, I'd love to! This is a busy time—how about we try for next week/next month?"

Not ruling it out. Not claiming scarcity. Just, scheduling it for the future. Which is going to be FINE. Which will be a time when I am more than able to afford it. And, visualizing ahead to the day we go and check it out. Then letting it go. Forgetting about it until next month, when...

Surprise, I'll be able to afford to go.

As for my bills, I'll do triage. Pay the most urgent. Partial pay the less-urgent. Decide that it's OK to pay some next week, when there is more money. Fix these thoughts in my mind. Hold the visualizations then let them go. Expect it to be fine. Expect that the job is appearing. Expect that the blocks are dissolving.

And act as if it IS working out.

But... what about the fear?

Well, emotions come in and go out much like a ride on a rollercoaster. They start at the bottom, quietly, then rise, rise, rise until they peak, then you freefall back down until they subside and go away.

The trick is to hang on for the ride. I've discovered three ways that we deal with emotions.


What usually happens is we sense the feeling rising, and we think NONONONONO and try to push it away. RESIST. Panic rises inside of us because we do not want to feel this. So it tries even harder to get to us, and eventually either we stuff it back down for awhile (ever wary of its next attempt) or it gets us anyway.

When it is suggested that we allow the experience, people worry, "but isn't that going to attract more of it to me?"

Nope. To attract it requires either resisting it (which energizes it) or SENDING IT OUT on purpose. That requires a conscious effort to push it out. Raising your arms and sending it out, or pushing it from your solar plexus—both require active energy.

That's not what I'm talking about.

ALLOWING the feeling is like passive-resistance. You see it coming. Instead of rising up to battle it, or actively sending it out, you STOP. Just stop and be still. Wait for it. Continue to stay calm and breathe through it. You let the energy come TO you and go THROUGH you, but you do not add your own energy to it.

Think of yourself like a reed in the water. Usually it is still and calm. But you see it, on the horizon, an enormous wave is headed your way. If you fight it stiffly, you will break under the weight of it. But if you bend... it will wash over you. You will withstand it, and then it will pass and calm will return.

What you do is you open yourself up, and welcome it. When you feel it beginning to rise, you take a deep breath and set your internal stance to a power position where you cannot be knocked over. Then you wait. The feeling comes. It will rise. It will reach a point where you think "I cannot withstand this anymore". This is the peak.

This is the point where most people cave in, and they either put up the fight or they break.

This is the point where you hold strongest. One more deep breath, and...

There it goes. It's subsiding. Only this time it will likely stay gone.

If it's fear, it'll rise, peak, and fall away.

If it's anger, same thing, but you may need to open a portal and express it safely. Write in a journal, punch a pillow, or yell.

If it's pain, you will have to allow the tears. It's going to hurt like hell at the peak, and that will be scary, but stay with it.

I promise. If you stay with it, and ride over the crest, you will land safely on the ground again, and you will be fine.

I should know. I'm speaking from personal, recent experience.