You belong where you can breathe.

There are places that make you want to inhale deeply, pulling the goodness of oxygen into your cells.

You belong there.

There are people who hug you tight while you exhale your truth, your love, your fears.

You belong there.

There are adventures that make you gasp in excitement.

You belong there.

There are friends who allow you to breathe out your fatigue, covering you with a cozy blanket so you can rest. The ones who share your laughter and tears, blending their breath with yours. And the ones who take a step back, making space for you to inhale so deeply you go up a size.

You belong there.

 

You belong in the places, with the people, in the roles and moments that let you breathe.

 

  • Looking at your calendar, do you hold your breath, shrinking under the weight of all you have to do?

Cancel some plans. Create white space where you can breathe.

  • Is your breathing flat and shallow from doing too much of the same old thing?

Try new things that will take your breath away.

  • Has a friend’s nervous chatter got you revved up and holding your breath?

Breathe deeply and slowly as you listen. It will calm you both down.

Your breath can show you how you are and teach you how you can be. A simple deep breathe brings you out of your thoughts and into the present moment. It enables you to hear your truth and express it more clearly.

Your breath will guide you to where you want to put your energy, focus, money and love.

You belong there.

When I’m not caught up wondering how I should do things, I use my breath to guide my decisions. Recently I had an offer to invest in two different real estate opportunities. Both were with a developer that I trust. He’s a visionary, who creates strong partnerships, includes the community, is sensitive to the environment, gives a good return, and makes me laugh.

In the first deal I was waffling – I’m in. I’m out.   Uh… in.    Eeeks… out.   Everything about this deal sounded good and made perfect sense. But when I dropped into my body as I thought about the investment I felt the slightest contraction in my breath. Barely perceptible, but there. It’s not that I doubted any aspect of the deal. It was a great opportunity.

I just didn’t belong there.

When the second opportunity came around I felt my body expand. My breath filled me up and pressed against my skin from the inside. There was no waffling or confusion. The choice was easy, and when I got the a picture of the land with a note that the deal was done I felt the sweet fullness of life fill my lungs.

I belong there.

Your mind is so busy filling your head with ideas about what you should do, that it can be challenging to feel the wisdom of your body through the cacophony of it all. But when you take the time to feel your breath moving through your body, and listen to what it’s telling you, it will guide you to your truth, where you belong.

Radical Self Care ~ Pay Yourself First

This is the blog I almost didn’t write. Though the idea came to me the moment I posted my Radical Self Care New Year’s Wish, I dismissed it as too obvious and not worth writing. Everybody knows this, I thought. I told that to a friend who responded, “Write It. We don’t know. If we knew we’d be doing it.”

The “It” is simple…. Pay Yourself First.

It should have been obvious to me that this is a post that needs to be written, perhaps not for you, but for that one person who needs to know it, because it’s been my experience with clients that this is not common knowledge.

Most of the clients I work with make more money than I do. Some make A LOT more. But even some clients who make a few hundred thousand a year have complained about money fears and stress. It use to surprise me. It not longer does. They have nice homes, new cars, go on great vacations and have beautiful wardrobes. Upon further investigation I discovered that these money-anxious clients had no savings, were behind in taxes and had credit card debt. The patterns were the same whether their income was $50,000 or $250,000 a year.  No wonder they were stressed.

How does this happen?

These people aren’t dumb . They are smart and creative and doing great things in the world. It’s just that nobody taught them good habits with money. 

So here’s one of the things I teach clients about money. Pay Yourself First. Decide on a percentage of your income and put it aside to invest BEFORE you do anything else. I recommend a minimum of 10%. It’s a nice easy number to remember and it won’t make a big dent in your lifestyle.

With some of my clients there is much grumbling, followed by explanations that it will be too hard, or that small a percentage won’t be enough to make a difference.  But those who do it, and commit to it, turn their financial situation around in lightening speed. It continues to amaze me how fast it changes things. I believe the primary reasons this is so effective are:

  • You bring consciousness to habits that were previously unconscious.
  • You give yourself a message with every cheque you receive that you value yourself enough to invest in yourself.
  • Priorities change once there is self-worth and consciousness brought to your relationship with money, and that has a systemic impact on spending, saving and investing.

It’s important to know that this 10% is for investment only ~ something that will give you a return on your money. It’s about having your money work for you. That’s a critical part of this. An investment is not a $2,000 pair of Manolo Blanik boots or a week at a spa, no matter how much you think those will improve your life. 

You may think you don’t earn enough to pay yourself first, but if you don’t change your habits now, you’re going to keep spending and living in such a way that you won’t be able to afford it later. I was teaching these same principles to my retail staff in the 90’s who were earning between $7.00 and $12.00 an hour. If they can do it you can do it.

Another great excuse is that you’re an entrepreneur and don’t have a regular income. Spending lots of money when big checks come in and feeling broke when they don’t is like being caught in a dieting spiral of binging and starving and binging again. Neither are loving ways to treat yourself. Setting 10% of every cheque aside creates a solid foundation that grows over time and will give you peace of mind. When you’ve got peace of mind you can truly give your gifts to the world, feeling generous and fulfilled.

You may think you’ve got too many other things to worry about. You can’t focus on this now. Well, I learned this principle from my mom, along with “never spend more on your credit card than you can pay off completely when the bill comes”, and “have a year of expenses in savings for emergencies”.

You see when my mom was 33 years old my dad left her will all his debts and two kids. She could have crumbled under the pressure. Instead she got a second, third and fourth job, then used the extra money to pay off his debts and make investments. She bought her first house when she was 35 years old, and went on to build a real estate portfolio that enabled her to retire at 54 years old. She’s got a great attitude and super-human energy, but it shows you what is possible even in dire situations.

I’ve never been a financial wizard, and I don’t have to be. I make money decisions based on what feels good in my body. I don’t have a big house, expensive clothes, or a fat portfolio. But I do have peace. And a life I cherish ~ living by the beach, walking in the sunshine, spending time doing things I love with people I adore. I don’t work very much, and when I do it is profoundly fulfilling.

At 37 years old I was very sick and was told that I might never work again. I was shocked and scared. I had never expected to quit working so young. I was so very grateful that I had some investments to live on, even if I wasn’t ready to start living on them. I thought I’d have many more years to contribute to them, but you never know what life is going to bring your way. I’m healthy enough to be working again and you bet I’m paying myself first.

Make this a year of Radical Self Care and Pay Yourself First.

P.S. My mom only worked multiple jobs for about 4 years to dump the debt and buy her first house. She is now married to a wonderful man who also enjoys travelling the world and doting on the grandchildren.