Here’s that guest post I promised on Friday. Thanks, Fel!!!
Money, My Long Lost Lover
by the inimitable Felicia Spahr
There was a time, not so long ago, that I was afraid to look at my checking account. Not because I wasn’t making any money, but because my relationship with money was a little off-kilter. We didn’t look each other in the eye. We weren’t honest. We didn’t communicate. I didn’t listen when my money said ‘too much’, and I didn’t listen when my money said, ‘Hey there—wasn’t our date supposed to be tonight?’ I never listened, and I became afraid. Afraid of what money would do to get back at me.
I realized that I needed to do a little remixing on how I felt about money. I was taught to believe that money was ‘bad’, that people who had a lot of it were ‘bad’, and that if life were free of money, I would feel freer, better, and happier. But, as my fine green friends are teaching me, a world without money is a world without value—and a world without value is people just walking around, saying hi on the street, then staring at their cup of a tea for a few hours and hearing that whisper in their heads: Now what?
As Kate Northrup has taught me, a great way to look at money is to see it as an exchange of value for value. For example, it’s a blessing to have hot water to shower with so that I can feel clean and ready for the day. It’s a blessing to have electricity so I can see, so I can plug in my computer, so I can run my online business and connect with some pretty amazing people. It’s a blessing to put gas in the car that takes me where I need to go. It’s a blessing to pay someone to help me get my life on track, so I can be free to be the person I’m meant to be. It’s a blessing to be financially independent, and live in a city I want to live in, with the people I love. All of this is extremely valuable because it amplifies our lives. It makes us better. It makes others better. Money is everyone’s BFF and they don’t even know it.
As I was going through this transformation of thought, the writer in me gently poked me a few times and asked me to write about it. Writing is how I explore and make sense of things, and of course I put a little creative twist on it and thought I would make something dashing, romantic—something for the books. And from that, my ‘Dear Money’ letter was born: a sweet love letter dedicated to a lover I had lost many moons ago.
Here it is, in its original form:
I know we’ve been on the outs for a while. But I think it’s time I told you how I really feel: I love you.
You have helped me move from place to place—pretty much whenever I wanted to. You have helped me go on fun trips, give gifts to people—wash my hair and brush my teeth, and all that other sexy stuff that I might take you for granted for. So thanks for that.
You have also given me freedom. You’ve let me do what I need to do so I can still eat and be happy. You’ve let me have a life I’ve always dreamed of. You’ve let me help people. In fact, now that I think about it, you’re pretty much my number one fan. You’re committed, you’re invested. You’re always there. So thanks for that.
In order to repair any damage that’s been done—have I mentioned that I love you?—I think it’s fair to say that I owe you a couple of very sexy and romantic dates. We could buy a bottle of wine, peruse what you’ve been up to the past month. Maybe we’ll write some jokes about it, or a funny song. Either way, I think we should be friends. BFFs. With the forever and ever after it.
I know it will take time, but you’ve given me plenty of that.
So, let’s make out.
Since I’ve written this letter, my money and I have had dates daily. In fact, a few times a day. First in the morning, I look at my bank account and I wave, and say things like ‘Hi’, ‘Thank you’, and ‘You give me the freedom to live the lift I want’. When I go to the bank I give a loud and proud ‘yes’ when I’m asked if I’d like to see my balance. When I make a payment on my student loan, I say ‘thank you for giving me what I needed to change my life’. When I need to talk about my money, I talk about it like it’s my loyal friend, proudly showing it off; and smiling when I see that I’ve spent it on delicious food to munch, small gifts for people I love, ways to make my business even better. I didn’t know my money affair could be such an adventure.
And I can say to you, that reimagining your feelings around money is a little scary at first. You’re letting go of some hardcore ingrained beliefs. But for a first step, just give your money a look-see. A blind date if you will. You don’t know each other very well—but you at least want to give it a try. Dazzle with your best smile, and find what you can that makes your heart go pitter-patter. The rest, as with all things, is your journey.
Bio: Felicia Spahr is a writing rogue and adventurous guide who helps people achieve their creative writing dreams. She’s a published short story + prose author, and she created Write For You, a one-on-one virtual program that leads people on an exhilarating and inspiring journey of completing that short story, screenplay, novel, play (et al!) that has been swirling around in their heads for ages and is dying to run around and get out in the world. She also teaches class and workshops on creative writing and the art of teaching. All the explosions of creativity happen at Fel’s Got Swag.
“By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist, we create it.” – Nikos Kazantzakis
At 9 tonight, I’ll be at an anarchist wine bar called the Infinite Monkey Theorem. Which is say I’m heading out of town on a travel assignment. Woot! Woot!
Have I mentioned that I. LOVE. MY. JOB!!
Anyway, because I’m going commando (that’s sans laptop, Mom), I won’t have my trusty computer to send out my regular blog posts.
But guess what? I’ve invited some amazing guests to fill in. Felicia Spahr of the totally awesome blog, Fel’s Got Swag, is going to share the fabulous love letter she wrote to money. Do NOT miss it!
Another new friend is going to share his amazing demonstration and well, you may just hope I keep traveling and never reunite with my laptop.
One last thought before I pack my suitcase.
The quantum world is the real world. The world you think you see is an imperfect perception of the quantum packets (yep, that’s what quantum physicists call the probabilities of existence that make up our cosmic soup.) that you’ve drawn out so far. There’s a whole lot more coming as you open up and let its magnificence flow.
Also, just want to reiterate that in this cosmic soup, we are all one. We are all entangled and I am so glad every one of you will be with me tonight at the Infinite Monkey Theorem.
Have a fab weekend!!
“Accepting the idea there were going to be no problems was a greater adjustment than one might think.” –Glenda Green
I’d like to interrupt this blog with an important non-commercial announcement.
You are already a master at creating reality.
You can’t not be.
By virtue of being alive, this power is yours. Like all things vital to your well-being—air and sunshine, to name a couple you already take for granted—the energy to create worlds is your birthright. You do it every day, at every second.
The trick is to let got of the default “reality” you focus on now.
Once you do, the minute you let go of the “reality” you were mistakenly taught, it’s impossible to avoid joy, peace and daily blessings. They will stalk you like Freddy Krueger.
You have been taught that “life is a struggle,” that “nothing comes easy.” You have erroneously mastered the idea that people are not to be trusted, that it’s important to “be careful.”
And look how good you’ve been at creating THAT reality. In fact, it would be highly appropriate to get up right now and take a bow.
And while you’re standing, go ahead and do the “Harlem Shuffle” because once you let go of the “old reality” you created so successfully, the one with the deck of cards that proclaims “sickness is inevitable,” “abundance is limited,” “good things sometimes happen, but not all the time,” you can customize your reality to your liking.
Congratulations! You are now free to roam around the planet.
Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.
“It gives strength to anyone who asks, in limitless supply.” –Course in Miracles
A person very close to me is struggling right now with depression. Since I used to believe I, too, had depression (To borrow a Prince moniker, I now refer to myself as “Joy Previously Masquerading as Sorrow”), I wrote him the following letter:
Dear________, (He refers to himself as a committed Christian which explains the terms in which this missive is couched)
I’ve been thinking a lot about your current depression. Because I have also suffered the debilitating “dis-ease,” I feel that I can understand and perhaps help in some way.
Here’s what I now know: The only thing “wrong” when I’m depressed is my thoughts. My thoughts start their incessant yammering, telling me I’m bad, that something is wrong with me, that life is hopeless.
But what I now believe with complete certainty–and what Jesus promises—is that these thoughts are false. They’re the tool of the devil or what I call “the ego.”
The Truth of which Jesus speaks is that He is stronger than the devil or those erroneous thoughts. At any time, I can throw those thoughts overboard because in God’s Truth, they are powerless. They are as insignificant as a dandelion blowing in the wind.
Luckily, I’m now able to laugh in the face of those thoughts. They’re simply NOT TRUE. And I refuse to buy into them.
God promises me an abundant life, a life of joy, purpose and peace. That’s the only Truth.
The thoughts of worthlessness are imposters. They only get away with their bald-faced lies to the extent I let myself believe them.
Quite frankly, I view them now as downright ridiculous. There is NO WAY I can be worthless or bad or unloved because God made me in His image and likeness.
The devil and the “evil thoughts” he puts in my heard are a giant bucket of bull.
Furthermore, they have no power except the power I give them. As for me, I choose to let them go, to see them for the posers they really are.
The only, only Truth is that God loves me as His precious child. He adores me and wants only good for me and for all His children.
As for the devil and his thoughts of worthlessness? They can kiss my beautiful, adored-by-God ass.
And so it is.
Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.
“You are what you practice most.”—Richard Carlson
When I played soccer, my team met twice a week at a park in front of Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to practice. Likewise, when I was learning Clair De Lune on the piano, I rehearsed it over and over again. Practice, of course, makes a new skill normal, second-nature.
Practice is also imperative when setting intentions. It’s important to practice being what you intend to manifest.
If you want money, for example, you have to practice being rich. Every day for at least an hour (or better yet, 24/7 once you get the hang of it), act like the prosperous person you want to become, BE the recipient of abundance you are in Truth. Make all your buying decisions from the perspective of a wealthy person. Ask yourself, “WWOD?” (That’s “What would Oprah do?” for those of you who’ve never worn one of those bracelets.)
When buying makeup, for example, don’t choose the cheapest kind. Act like a wealthy person. Act like you deserve abundance.
My daughter, who just came home for spring break, and I spent the whole two weeks practicing being wealthy. Every day, we went out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We shopped and saw movies and didn’t one time consider price tags. We were, to quote Gandhi, “Being the change we wished to see.”
If your intention is to drop poundage, practice being skinny and beautiful. Strut around in the body you want to have. Feel that gorgeous beingness with all your heart and soul.
If you want a fabulous relationship, practice having one. One of my favorite stories about relationships comes from a therapist who was counseling a guy on the brink of divorce.
This lovelorn husband says to the therapist, “I cannot wait to get rid of my obstinate, unhappy, horrible wife. And I’ll do anything to make her pay.”
“Okay,” says the therapist, “Here’s what you do. For the next three months, build your wife up. Tell her how beautiful she is, praise her, act as if she’s the woman of your dreams. When you ask for that divorce down the road, she’ll be devastated that she’s about to lose that kind of attention.”
Six months later, the therapist runs into the same guy at a party. “Hey,” he asks, “Did you ever get rid of your obstinate, unhappy, horrible wife?”
The guy looks at him with utter indignation. “What are you talking about?” he says, “My wife is the most beautiful, perfect partner a guy could ever have.”
What do you want in your life? Start practicing.
Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.
“Why does a standard mental health text list over 300 symptoms for mental ILL health but nary a one for GOOD mental health?” –Rob Brezsny
Happy April Fool’s Day! As a kid, April 1 was right up there on my list of favorite holidays. What a blast it was putting sugar in the salt shaker, adding food coloring to the milk, running into my parents bedroom screaming, “Becki (my sister) just fell down the stairs and broke her leg. April Fool’s.”
In honor of this sacred holiday, I couldn’t decide between two approaches. The first, honoring the holy fool, really appeals to me. I love people like Rob Brezsny who ran for office as the nation’s first Fool Czar.
Much like a drug czar who educates the nation on the hazards of drugs, his self-created Cabinet position would have the mission of teaching us how dangerous it is to take everything so seriously.
Among other things, he proposed Unhappy Hour, a two-hour moan and groan blowout to be held every Tuesday, so for the rest of the week, we can all enjoy good moods and broadminded visions and Bacchanalia, a week-long extravaganza where work and business is suspended so all patriotic adults can have a rip-roaring good time. Another of Brezsny’s brilliant schemes is “Reverse Panhandling.” At least once a year, he stands on an exit ramp holding $5 bills and a cardboard sign that reads, “I need to give. I love to help. Please take my money.”
My other April Fool’s approach was to list all the foolish practices in which we engage: worrying, feeling unworthy, trying to be cool.
So in honor of my friend, Carla, who is healing her belief in “either/or.” (old beliefs such as “You can’t be in love AND happy.” “You can’t have a job AND enjoy it.”), she now focuses on both/and. It’s normal to do all those things (both/and) at the same time.
So since I’ve already mentioned my deep appreciation for sacred silliness (And should probably list a couple things I’ve been known to do: One Easter, we all wore underwear on our heads. And instead of a tool box, I have a fool box with all kinds of crazy costumes that come in handy when I take myself too seriously), I will now explain why I think it’s a fool’s errand to worry, a practice I hope you’ll suspend in honor of this joyous holiday:
All the important stuff is already taken care of. The sun comes up every morning and you don’t have to do a thing. It warms the soil, turns seeds into food and provides light for you to go out and have a good time.
Your heart beats without you having to remind it. Your body heals itself every time you scrape your knee. I also believe it heals every other ailment or would if we didn’t begin focusing on the problem and blocking the flow. The big stuff, all the really important stuff, goes on seamlessly without us having to do a darned thing.
So today, I encourage you to do “both/and”. Give up worrying and do something gloriously crazy.
“Without the distraction of the world’s guidance, you can finally hear your own undivided genius.” –Tama Kieves
“The instant it is welcome it is there.” –Course in Miracles
Earlier this week, Jewels Johnson, the creative mastermind behind the ever-inspiring Law of Attraction Radio sent me an email with this message: “I want you to write a script. It’s about this amazing humanitarian who knows Nelson Mandela, Prince Charles and the Dalai Lama. Richard Branson will bankroll.”
I had to smile as I wrote back, “Yea, I know.”
I knew because I made the intention several years ago to win an Oscar. While I’ve done everything I know how to do (written a couple amazing scripts, had plays produced here in the Midwest, sent a few pitches to Hollywood agents), I had no idea how a writer from Lawrence, Kansas, with exactly zero contacts in the movie biz, was going to make that happen.
What I did know is that if I focused solely on the end result, letting go of all seemingly brilliant schemes on my part, I wouldn’t be required to work out the details.
In fact, any attempt from me could only get in the way. Trying to work out the process of how something will happen is invariably our biggest stumbling block.
Here’s why: By concentrating on how to work something out, you’re making the assumption it’s not already worked out. If you made the intention, it’s worked out, awaiting your consciousness to tune into the right radio station.
The other boo-boo of trying to “work it out” is coming up with a finite plan, a process for getting from A to B. We think we know how everything should work and we don’t have a clue. Our planning sets up nothing but limits.
Here’s an example. Everybody wants to win the lottery.
There’s nothing wrong with winning the lottery, but that’s a very finite way to achieve abundance. The Universe (the field of potentiality, God, whatever you choose to call it) is infinite. It can create abundance in three thousand bazillion (and even that number is a limit) ways. So by intending to win the lottery, you give the Universe a grand total of one option.
I much prefer to rely on Its plan which is always so much cooler, so much more exciting than anything my mind can conceive.
As always when making an intention, I simply have to remove all blocks (normal human fears), open the gates and let it come pouring in.
And, as I will repeat again and again, we let our dreams flow in by focusing on “unceasing joy” and knowing that all the world’s goodness is our birthright. Let the universe haggle with the details.
“Defenses are but foolish guardians of mad illusions.”—Course in Miracles
I have four main intentions: peace of mind, surety of purpose, clear, unmistakable guidance and unceasing joy. I used to keep that last intention to myself. People tended to think it was foolhardy and not at all possible.
“What?” they’d mock. “How can anybody be joyful 24/7?”
What I now know is that any other goal is simply irresponsible.
Our only function here on Planet Earth is to having a rollicking good time. I mean, we are meant to laugh and have fun and enjoy ourselves at every moment. And I refuse to feel guilty for proclaiming that.
Recently, I’ve been getting emails from people wanting more tips on how to manifest, how to kick their natural, create-their-dreams skills into high gear.
So, here are the three best techniques I can offer for letting go and letting your every intention happen:
1. Focus on the end result. Period. Do not give any air-time in your thoughts–and especially your feelings–to the way it appears now. What appears now is history. It only appears that way because you think about it. You don’t even need to worry about how you’re going to get to where you want to be. In fact, one of our biggest stumbling blocks is obsessing about the process for getting to your goal. It is irrelevant. Just keep focusing on where you want to be. Tune in to that reality just like you tune into your favorite radio station. Ignore the other channels. Ignore what appears so real now. Again, it’s only “real” until you get clear focus on where you want to be.
2. Live by Bobby McFerrin’s mantra: “Don’t worry. Be happy.” The more joy you can have in your life, the wider the door opens for life’s largesse to flow in. The only person who can erect walls that keep it away is you. If you’re in a state of perpetual joy (again, this is your natural, God-given state), all the security forces in the U.S. Army can’t keep it away.
3. Throw this phrase overboard: “It’s hard.” Do you know how often I hear this from people, even people who know good and well how to manifest? I even hear myself saying it sometimes. But the moment I catch myself, I turn it around immediately and remember that it’s my choice. Life can be hard, complicated and difficult to manage. Or it can be a pleasure trip down easy street. Whatever it is you want to accomplish, affirm often that it’s easy to get there. The only reason life is anything but a piece of cake is our focus on hardship.
“What keeps the world in chains but your beliefs?”
–A Course in Miracles
Every town has one. The mumbling guy on the street. The woman in all-black who frequents coffee shops carrying a three-foot cross. Those intriguing characters that always make you wonder. In Lawrence, Kansas, where I live, we have a whole contingency of such characters. Dennis, who typically wears a Spiderman outfit, never leaves home without his “daughter” Cheryl, a plastic doll he either carries or pushes in a stroller. Over the years, Cheryl has “grown up” from a baby doll to a bigger doll until now she’s the size of a storefront mannequin which, in truth, she actually is.
Pranksters kidnapped Cheryl the other day and the local police force, taking it quite seriously, put out an A.P.B., which thankfully resulted in an immediate recovery. Dennis and Cheryl are local celebrities. Dennis even has his own fanpage on Facebook.
The point I’m trying to make is that Dennis is no different than the rest of us. His world, although a slight deviation from what’s considered normal, is very real to him. Just as the world we’ve made up in our minds is very real to us. But both—Dennis’ world and the world we “see” and believe in with such a tenacious grip—is fiction. Neither constitutes Reality.
Reality, according to physicists who study these things, is that we are all connected. We are all one. In fact, the biggest secret in the world is we all really love each other.
We only “see” this other reality, this separate, divided, ugly world, because we imagine it to be that way. Illusions are as strong in their effects as is truth.
Because we continue to repeat and believe in the world we see on the six o’clock news, we continue to see the all hell-breaking-loose world of destruction and limits. Because dodging minefields is our source of vision, we continue to see a world of doom. Through our rote insistence on fear, we have created a fearful world.
But it’s no more real than the world of Dennis.
We have enslaved the world with our fears, doubts and miseries. By simply changing our vision, by imagining what “could be” instead of believing in “what we think is” we can literally change the world. The inner always creates the outer.
Instead of swimming in the insane culture-wide obsession with pathology, we should revel in the endless flood of miracles.
Isn’t it time to give up the world we keep re-running in our mind, to overthrow the status quo? A new more imaginative and free world is possible. But we must retrain ourselves to look through optimistic eyes. To say “thank you” and recognize all the beauty and largesse in our lives.
“We can no longer consider ourselves merely onlookers who have no effect on the world we observe.”
–John Wheeler, Princeton physicist
It’s Rave Monday (thank you, Michelle Dobbins) so I get to spout monstrous thanks for all your emails. I love nearly everything about being a writer. I love research (yes, I actually think it’s fun), I love crafting sentences and I love the opportunity to channel the muses (my best stuff, I feel obligated to admit, isn’t mine, but comes from this mysterious “other,” often referred to as “the muses.”) But numero uno on the love train of raves right now is hearing from peeps who have read my new book.
Shilpi Gupta, in fact, suggested I start a community (she called it a global village) where people share their stories so others will be uplifted and gain faith in these principles. As you already know, it is my position that we should be using this information to create a better world that works for all of us.
So today I’m sharing a story from a new comrade of mine who I actually got to talk to yesterday. We met on Facebook while she was in Kentucky and I was in the Los Angeles airport heading to the Cook Islands. She had read E-Squared and was kind enough to let me know how much she enjoyed it. We bantered back and forth a bit, discovered we had a lot in common (both writers, both moms, both enjoying love affairs with Belize).
So yesterday, I get this message from her: “Since I read your book and subsequently Edwene Gaines’s book I have made close to $100,000 in (an incredible) 3 weeks.”
I’d heard from quite a few who noticed the pleasurable side effect of rising income since reading my book. BUT $100 GRAND. IN. THREE. WEEKS!
You don’t get a message like that without wanting “the rest of the story.” Turns out, Nandini Shastry is even more fascinating than I even suspected. She once worked in corporate America (Honeywell), but has since started and sold started several online businesses (brainybetty.com, a fab site that provides resources for teachers, to name one of them). She has also been a jazz singer, a pretzel maker, a vacuum cleaner saleswoman and a lyrics writer for the alternative band, Pleazin Iris. And this is all while raising three sons.
Like me, she’s a student of metaphysics.
“But even though I was fascinated, I’d never really put it into practice. I always saw it as esoteric, not something you used in your every day life,” she told me.
So, she did the Volkswagen Jetta experiment, the one that proves “You impact the field (of potentiality) and draw from it according to your beliefs and expectations.”
Rather than feathers or cars, she decided to look for polka-dots.
“I saw polka-dots everywhere,” she says. “Practically everyone I saw that day was wearing polka-dots. It was uncanny.”
So then she decided to use the principle to bring in some cash. Within three weeks, she won an unexpected $88,000 and another $10,000 in free jewelry.
“It was serendipitous. I sold my corporation last year. I’m waiting on a new job. I have kids in college. So finding your book was just what I needed, a reminder that things come flying to you when you make the intention and get out of the way,” she says.
Next, she’s going for a $750,000 condo in Nashville and knowing Nandini, it won’t be long. I’ll post pictures.