Month: December 2014

No Matter How Hard I Worked, I Never Felt Like I Had Enough Money…

DSC06027 I would gladly fold ten loads of laundry rather than look at my bank account, balance my checkbook or, quite frankly, talk about money in any way, shape, or form with my husband. Until recently, I have despised any conversation around money, regardless of having a healthy income or not.  As a working mom, one of my core qualities is ambition. It’s served me well. However, as I’ve become established in my career and made more money, I have realized that the way I relate to money remains an uncomfortable relationship. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’m going to be brutally honest: even when I go to nice restaurants and something is priced over $20.00, a little voice in my head yells, “Oh, that’s pricey! You can’t have that.” Talk about a buzz kill when you’re a foodie AND when you want to experience things to their fullest.

Until recently, I have operated under this premise: if I made more money, I would feel different. Boy, was I wrong. The universe in the past couple of months has provided me a couple of clear examples as to why that hypothesis is completely off base. When I’ve come across a month where I have a bit more spending cash, I still feel anxious, worried, and that I’m not making enough. These feelings use to really paralyze me and kept me from making choices that were aligned with my heart and my intuition.

One of my goals for 2015 is to change the way that I relate to money. Instead of coming from a place of scarcity and being afraid of not having money, I’m going to trust that the universe is abundant, and that my intuition combined with my ambition can create the prosperity I desire in all areas of my life.

My professional coach recently shared the most poignant quote by Albert Einstein: “The most important decision … is that we live in a Benevolent Universe.”  That’s when it clicked. I’ve been operating under a misbelief that I have to play every decision safe (which often can mean “small”) because that’s how I comfortably make more money. I’ve been neglecting the fact that that the universe is friendly and always shows up for me when I follow my intuition. Sometimes this means taking a chance by making tough, scary choices that require me to really ask for what I want. Until now, I’ve called those moments when things work out as good luck when, in fact, it is the universe showing up and being friendly towards me as someone who has followed the intuition that ambition points towards. Note, this does mean I have to do my part: the universe meets me at the point of action.

Can you think of a decision you’ve made where you’ve played it safe because you’ve been concerned and worried about lack of money if you do something differently?

You might be asking yourself, “Well, how on earth do I break this pattern of how I relate to money?’” I’m so glad you asked!

What’s my simple process?

  1. Identify misbeliefs I have around money and at what age they started
  2. Replace those beliefs about money with new, current beliefs (be truthful!)
  3. Vocalize my new beliefs about money daily, so that they become a part of my consciousnesses
  4. Be compassionate with myself while I transition from this place of fear of not having enough to a place of knowing, abundance, and comfort.

One more thing: I have found that my fears around not making enough money can flair up even more around the holidays. This is why I’m particularly focused on practicing discernment, working my process to update my limiting beliefs. The goal is to transform my mindset to come from a place of neutrality when discussing or thinking about money. I’m committed to changing this pattern for 2015. Just the thought of that sounds so refreshing.

I’m excited to enjoy the fruits of my labor, have financial discussions with my husband without feeling a pit in my stomach, and, most importantly, being able to not just react to it. I’m excited to make choices about my life that don’t feel small because of the new way I’m going to relate to money. I’m confident that when coming from this state of being, I will truly experience an abundance of prosperity in all areas of my life.

If you can relate, I’d love to hear how you’re overcoming your anxiety and fear with money.

Wishing you loads of prosperity in 2015,

Sarah

P.S.

The 1st picture was taken of my husband and I at a super lovely restaurant celebrating my Masters in Psychology this Aug, while the 2nd was taken with girlfriends post dinner. It reminds me of how wonderful I can feel when I choose to embrace the whole experience for what it is and not worry about any of the cost involved.

There is such a thing as backing out of commitments gracefully….

DSC07097 I have a confession (which will not come as a surprise to my husband): I have a hard time saying NO to things, especially during the Holiday season. Some might refer to this as an over-commitment problem, but I prefer view it as a habit of saying YES. There’s just so much I want to do, experience I want to take in, and so much to be a part of in this amazing world we live in.

I finally met my match recently with the amount of YES I had agreed to. For the past 7 years, I have been heavily involved in a volunteer group that is very near to my heart. I had spent easily 10+ hours a week dedicated to this group and was carrying a lot of responsibilities (organizing meetings, calls, project managing a major annual event). Things in my life started to take a turn; I was experiencing a major bandwidth issue and was starting to experience anxiety over how I was going to get everything done.

Here was my issue: I had said YES, and just the thought of backing out gave me a near panic attack. My inner critic was saying things like, ”You gave your word. People are counting on your. How can you let them down? You’re going to disappoint everyone!”

I knew in my heart that I needed to create space in my life to grow and, while it didn’t mean that I was completely stepping away from my volunteer group, I needed to pass the baton. I needed to have the conversation. Woah, scary! This got me thinking: how do you back out of commitments gracefully, so that you feel good about your decision?

Here’s what works for me:

1. Set a clear intention for how you want the conversation to go. How do you want to experience the conversation?
2. Have the conversation from a neutral place; ensure that you are internally 100% resolved to the decision you’ve made. Some things I consider: What doors does this decision open for me? What doors does this open up for others?
3. Always have the tough conversation in person or over the phone. Email should be a last resort. And, text is absolute no no.
4. Honesty is the best policy; keep your respect in tact and doors open.
5. Show Gratitude – There’s always an opportunity to show appreciation. This can be in the form of finding your replacement, writing a note, or making a call.

Warning: you might experience mixed emotions when you back out of a commitment gracefully, especially if it’s something that’s been a part of your life regularly. That is OK. Rest assured, that is natural, and I encourage you to take note of how you’re relating to those feelings.

I attended the big annual concert for my volunteer group this week and noticed I felt a bit of sadness (missing my tribe), distance (because I hadn’t been a part of the day-to-day), joy (incredibly proud of what they accomplished) and most of all gratitude for the amazing experiences they’ve all brought to my life. I allowed myself to sit in those feelings and actually experience them, albeit some of them uncomfortable, which is a pattern change for me. To my surprise, the next morning I was left with pure gratitude and joy for this amazing group of volunteers and all the life lessons I’ve learned from them.

Maybe it’s time to take inventory of your commitments and ask yourself, are there any commitments that are not serving you for your highest good? If there are, now you have some tips on how to back out gracefully.

Happy Holidays to you,

Sarah xx

Consider this crazy idea…children want to be loved independently?!

LHG_SLG_LondonSkating_376x669 (1)I just gave myself and my oldest son the most amazing gift: a week long holiday together; just the two of us. We chose to go to London because he was born there and was also turning 6. It was important to me to share his birth experience with him now that he’s old enough to see and understand his roots. I’m first to admit this took months of planning, saving, and communicating with my husband. But, my oh my, I can wholeheartedly say it was one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had. Bear with me over the next few months because I have a feeling I will draw on this experience quite a bit, but for the sake of this post, I want to focus on one major awareness and share it w/ you Moms who have more than one child. I’m an only child and, while I loved the attention I received, I always knew that I wanted to have several children. I wanted them to experience a life of constant of sharing toys, parents, and love.

Keeping that in mind, I remember when I had my second son, Felix, my pediatrician’s main advice was whatever you do, make sure you spend at least 10 minutes a day with each son, so they feel special and connected. While I’ve always done my best to squeeze in 10 minutes, which can feel like an impossible task certain days, spending a week with my oldest son was incredibly eye opening.

As the trip got underway, I noticed he was naturally happier because he had me to himself; my undivided attention. We had time to play Legos on the floor, we could walk at a normal speed to wherever it was we were headed that day without rushing and, when it came to the evening, he didn’t have to share me at bedtime. As the trip went on, this happiness turned to strength. Over the course of few days, I saw a more confident version of my son. He didn’t seem to mind that he had to get acquainted with an old friend he hadn’t seen in a few years, nor was he bothered by the unfamiliar house or accents be spoken around him. He still seemed assertive and yet didn’t need to be first. Throughout the week, I noticed so many changes in his behavior. This new found strength fostered a greater sense of independence, and he was alright with it. In return, I experienced a sense of a freedom. I could carry on with conversations without the regular interruptions I experience when we’re together.

This entire experience reflected back to me how important it is for my children to feel loved, independant from one another.

I offer to you a few realistic suggestions on how to create this experience. Again, I’m first to admit, it takes a bit of planning, saving and mixing of responsibilities:

Communicate with your partner and ask for what you want. Discuss your desire to create this experience and requests that it be a four night minimum. This will allow you time to settle out of the daily stresses and into the flow of a proper holiday.

Decide on the location. Pick somewhere by plane, train or car that has some sort of meaning to you and your child. This will add sentimental value to your experience, which will make it even that much more meaningful.

  1. Make it manageable: Be realistic. You don’t have to break the bank. If you have an option to stay with friends, then do it. You will still have plenty of time with just your child.
  2. Communicate in advance to your other children: Leading up to the trip, remind your other children you’re taking a trip with child X, and that everyone will get a turn to have a special trip with Mama. The purpose is to spend one on one time together.
  3. Plan a special activity for your other children while away: Work with your partner, to plan one activity that gives them something to look forward to. Doesn’t take much for children to get excited, so don’t over think it.
  4. Involve your child in the trip planning: allow them to have a say in how you spend your time. This will also bring you closer together.

Lastly, set the intention to have a safe, special trip knowing that the whole purpose is to spend one-on-one time together, so whatever happens along the way, is truly for both of your highest goods.

 

Happy travels,


Sarah xxx