Do you feel a mix of emotions this time of year? Joy, happiness, connection - as well as grief, sadness, and loneliness?
We see commercials, Instagram & Facebook feeds full of everyone celebrating, being 'joyful'. Yet if this isn't our current reality, it can intensify the grief that is either prominent - or was laying dormant, unexpressed.
Grief illuminates the divide between our current reality to what once was, or what never was. It can be hard to talk about, because it doesn't feel very welcome in a time of 'good cheer' and 'holiday spirit'.
Yet death, divorce, heartache, illness, absence, and the wounds of abandonment (both emotional and physical) can bubble to the surface for nearly every single one of us this time of year.
Aging is its own form of grief - one that we all wrestle with (including the grief of babies becoming children, becoming teenagers, becoming adults... there is always grief with change, as welcome as it also is).
When there isn't space to allow these...
...to be a rags to riches story, a succinct success story, a bright and shiny ‘before and after’ story.
[...a story is usually used to sell, to motivate, to inspire… they delight our imagination, AND they can have unintended consequences. Hopes are heightened, the let-down hard. Inducing shame, self-doubt, and despair. Because what we don’t see clearly is the messy BETWEEN]
The external is always a reflection of the internal. And the internal is messy. Overlapping. Unclear. And complex.
The real story moves forward, then back a bit, then around in a circle, or spiral of repetition - trying to gain clarity, understanding and solid ground.
It will move forward again - often with wind in its sails, relief for the full-bellied breath. The slow and steady exhale.
Inevitably, however, there will be more circling, seemingly backward steps, but this time seeing a...
Maybe you have heard this ‘under-earning’ term thrown around. Maybe you identify as an ‘under-earner*’ (see some signs below). Or maybe you have never heard it before now?!
When I heard it I winced to see myself so clearly defined - then I felt a wave of relief (I am not alone!) only to crash into an unknown landscape - what do I do with it now? It felt like a mark on my forehead (which it is NOT). I wanted to hide from that label - deny that there was this giant piece to earning that I would need to address.
It is a journey of many steps from that definition to the profound healing on the other side.
In college I cleaned houses as an efficient and flexible way to earn money. My name spread around, and I was hired for 2-3hrs to deep clean a new woman’s kitchen. My rate at the time was $12/hour, and I had already discussed it with her.
I cleaned her kitchen from top to bottom - including the fridge: the inside + the greasy top, the floors, the cabinets....
I am curious...when the topic of money comes up, do you 'space out', feel defensive, get distracted, suddenly need to take a nap, take 'flight' or some other interesting response?
Or maybe it isn't the 'everyday' topic of money... but it comes up when you think about asking for a raise, increasing your rates, finalizing your will. Doing taxes. Getting life insurance.
Each and every one of these 'topics' can be an alarm to our nervous system - triggering a fight response (defensiveness...). Or a flight response (actually "taking flight" or through distraction - suddenly needing to respond to your aunt's email about the family reunion happening....next year). And for some, it looks like a shut down response (yawning, wanting to lay down for a nap, 'spacing out'). AND they are all normal physiological, unconscious responses to something 'threatening'... normal, but not necessarily helpful.
The nervous system fascinates me - personally, and professionally.
Tanya and I created the Yoga +...
There are many practical, logistical, strategic, action-oriented steps that we need to take in our own financial lives: getting paid, saving/investing, paying the bills, paying down debt, creating spending plans...
Each of these is important.
The recipe for building wealth is, quite honestly, pretty simple: earn more, save/invest more, spend less spend consciously (more on that distinction another day…).
This is the simplest recipe I know for attaining - and maintaining - financial wealth.
Simple - but by no means easy. Each one of the three has its own layers… its own complexity… its own hurdles to cross: both visible and invisible; personal and institutional.
The statistics are bleak when you examine race, gender, class, and ability. We don’t arrive at the ‘wealth...
Are you caught up in the wild and productive inspiration of the Tidying Up show? Marie Kondo is sweeping the nation - and inspiring a wave of Spring Cleaning well before the Spring is even here.
I read her book years ago - and got as far as my clothing. But I will say, its 4 years later and my socks are still neatly folded and separated in lovely lined boxes. It will soon be cliche, but it most certainly sparks Joy each time I get dressed.
Having order, calm, and yes - even reverence - for my clothing is a revelation. I recently did my sewing room (if you are on Instagram, perhaps you followed along in my stories... @tendedwealth). And I have kept it very neat ever since, even after multiple sewing projects have littered the floor.
What I appreciate the most about her style is this: she wants the discerning / discarding to be the individual's own process. She encourages each person to determine what is relevant, and meaningful, and...
It is so much fun to give - particularly when we find just the right gift for someone we love.
One of the best strategies to stay financially grounded during the holidays is to create a holiday spending plan… aka, a spending roadmap.
It isn’t as fancy as it sounds - if you have never made one before. It is simply a list of categories you are likely to spend on. With the amount you plan to spend beside it.
Total it up to ensure you will have the funds to cover all that you are planning. Don’t panic if it is more than you realized… you haven’t spent the money yet, and there is time to course-correct. If debt has been an issue in past years,...
Is your inbox as full as mine? Black Friday! Cyber Monday! Giving Tuesday!
And so here we are... fully immersed in the holiday season before we have even turned the calendar to December.
I won't lie. It all makes me tired. It is a quick pull away from this moment - a grounded sense of enough. Of plenty. It reminds me just how quickly we can get pulled off center.
It isn't necessarily negative - so much that is being offered is lovely, worthy, helpful, and fun! It is just that there is an incessant pace to all of it at this time of year. This is the first ingredient of the storm.
It is the season of over-spending, over-eating, over-drinking, over-committing, general over-indulging. Each one of these has an effect on your financial wellbeing. Combined, it creates a bit of internal chaos.
This time of year also holds emotional highs and lows - for many of us this time is laced with sorrow or nostalgia for what was, or isn't. This is another layer of the storm - and...
We all need to wear clothing... and for so many of us, it is more than just covering our bodies and being warm - it is about expressing ourselves. Spending money on clothes can be thrilling. Expressive. Sometimes guilt-inducing - but of course - necessary.
It is an area that gets confusing - where there is often a blurry line between 'need' & 'desire'. We tend to be more vulnerable to overspend when we aren't clear - making impulsive decisions that may be filled with later regret.
I want to invite you to take a look at your closet and approach buying new clothing from an intentional, thoughtful, 'slow money' perspective - where it feels really good to wear what you buy! I want you to LOVE what you wear and spend without guilt.
The steps below help you get there.
Because I am so tired of our culture wasting on all the levels - wasting MONEY, wasting RESOURCES, wasting TIME, wasting SPACE, ...
Do YOU run from money??
“Oh no, not me, [you say] – I love money!”
But perhaps the answer isn’t so simple. You see, sometimes we turn our backs when things get hard – when things aren’t quite as easy, or nearly as pleasant, as we would like. [Ahem]
Being in a relationship with money requires we are there, for better or worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health.
Which is work. And it’s HARD. And it makes any of the below really, really difficult to face:
Those unopened bills oppressing you daily with their very presence on the counter…
The student loan debt that you just can’t bear to look at – the balance unrecognizable from the amount you borrowed in the first place…
The dread of speaking to your accountant and finally knowing the amount you owe for last year’s taxes (so you just forget to return their calls and miss some critical...