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The Spirit of Giving

For 11 months out of the year, we focus our energy on working, raising the kids, maintaining our relationships – both romantic and platonic, and trying to live as balanced a life as possible.

In the midst of juggling all of these responsibilities, we go through periods of neglecting and/or feeling neglected by our significant others; feeling under-appreciated by our immediate family; emotionally and physically distanced from our closest friends; disappointed with what’s going on at work; and disconnected with the most important person of all: ourselves.


Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we find ourselves adding time, energy and money exponentially to all the people we didn’t get to spend as much time with as well as the ones who are the most important. We celebrate the season with countless holiday parties, grab bags and Secret Santa gifts. Ugly sweater parties and “catch up” drinks with friends we rarely get to see.

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5 Healthy Financial Habits That Foster Wealth

“Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.” 

~William A. Ward

Many women that I’ve met in my life seem very afraid of money and wealth. It’s as if they’d rather do anything (ANYTHING!) than check their bank balance. They seem to fly by the seat of their proverbial pants letting either emotion or circumstances take control of their finances until it’s too late and they find themselves suffering the consequences.

Hopefully, that’s not you. But if it is, know that you’re certainly not alone! Take a moment to ask yourself why is that? Why are women typically less able to effectively manage their finances and accept the abundance and wealth that is their inherent right?

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3 Wealth Lessons I Learned After Becoming a Millionaire

I actually became a millionaire quite suddenly, almost overnight. If you’re wondering how to become a millionaire or want to be a millionaire one day, you may find it helpful to learn these lessons.



“Money is usually attracted, not pursued.” —Jim Rohn

As a result of becoming a millionaire so fast, I didn’t have a lot of time to adjust to suddenly having much more money than I was used to. It happened very fast after the success of the first  Chicken Soup for the Soul book took off.

That experience taught me 3 powerful lessons about money and being a millionaire.

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Define Your Life

We’ve all met this person: all they can talk about is their professional life. How busy they are at work. Their latest promotion (or their quest to get one). Their job title. All of us know someone who is defined by their job. Sometimes, this person is a lot closer than we think.

 

It’s us.

 

Does your job define who you are?

 

It’s quite easy to get caught up in the career trek; we do spend the majority of our waking hours working. And when we’re not working, we’re thinking about work. Stressing about work. Wondering if a work project will get approved. Hoping our boss doesn’t give us a bad performance review. Wishing our work paid us more but too afraid to go out there and ask for it.

 

The thing about letting your job be your definition is this: the money you make from it now dictates your life. You must start to unplug from a job you don’t want – yet defines you – and begin to search for a job that will nourish your authentic self.

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Relationships: Money Issues

A money issue doesn’t just mean having none. It can mean that one of you makes a lot and one makes none or a little, unbalancing the ‘power’ in a relationship. When you were dating did you both try to pay equally for things? After you moved in together did financial responsibility shift to one person alone? Did things move from balance to imbalance? Did you talk about it or just let it happen because it was uncomfortable?

 

Are you living within your means or way beyond them? Address this. This is one of the biggest problems couples face - And they usually don’t want to talk about it. Does one of you like to have lots of savings, college funds for the kids and insurance policies and the other simply likes to have things when they want them regardless of cost? This has to become balanced. It’s not a fight of one being responsible and one irresponsible. It’s different personalities; one may be fearful and label it responsible. One may be free and fun and label it irresponsible. Don’t label it. Talk about balance.

 

Show each other the real financial situation. Maybe you have separate credit cards with balances the other partner knows nothing about. Maybe there’s a secret debt. Maybe there’s a secret habit. Talk about it or honesty will be compromised and the relationship will be undermined.

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Planting The Seeds For Your Financial Success

Springtime brings out the gardener in all of us. Driving by a packed Home Depot parking lot this week it made me wonder if people are putting as much energy into planting and nurturing their “financial gardens”.

With the state of the economy today, it is my hope that we all take a look at our financial buckets: Long Term, Mid Term, and Short Term savings. This is the perfect time to make sure that these buckets are positioned correctly and are aligned with what your dreams, desires, and goals are.

Make sure to set Financial Intentions along with those goals. If your money is not providing you with what you want in your life, you need to change the energy surrounding it, and intentions will help to shift that energy. You can set an intentions like...

”My long term bucket is in place to make sure I can retire at age 55″.


“I’ve got my short term bucket in place so my family and I can take that trip to Disney in a year”.


“I choose to increase my cash flow monthly.”

Don’t worry about how grand or specific your intention setting is. As you build your confidence by setting your intentions, and begin witnessing the desired results, you will move up to the next level.

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7 Ways to Painlessly Discuss Finances – Part Two

In Part One of this article, I talked about some of the very real, and very serious, problems that I had when it came to talking about money in my own relationship. I also gave you the ground rules that my husband and I agreed to use so that we could talk start about money in a transparent, non-judgmental, and open environment.


Here in Part Two, I’d like to tell you about seven techniques that you can use in your own relationship to talk about money, financial goals, spending, and saving for that rainy day in a peaceful, loving, and productive way.

 

Action Step 1: Start with What’s Working

Start with an easy discussion about what is currently working in your financial life – individually and together. Strive to find the common ground. Most financial discussions come about when something isn’t working, and that turns into blaming and arguing. So start with something positive. Ask your partner what they feel is important financially. By gaining a better perspective on their values, you not only gain a more intimate understanding of who they are, but you can honor those values when you communicate. These may not be the same values that you have – it’s important to realize that that’s okay! So long as you are both heard, respected, and validated, acceptance doesn’t have to equal agreement, but it does help you approach the conversation with deeper compassion and unconditional love. The main objective here is re-learning how to communicate with your partner by realizing that you’re on the same team. This involves some letting-go of control and ego – and believe me, that’s always a good thing!


Action Step 2: Become an Assertive Communicator

Seek to become an assertive communicator. Share your thoughts and feelings respectfully, and listen to your partner with the same respect. As I’ve pointed out before, you don’t have to agree on everything. But you both need to feel heard and validated. It’s one of the best ways to build an intimate bond of trust.


And speaking of trust – a word here about lying about money and secret spending. If this is you, you already know it. And intuitively, you know that it needs to stop. You will relieve yourself of so much guilt if you reveal your secrets and simply move forward into a new mode of thinking and a new goal of acting financially responsible. And if you have a spending problem, an addiction to buying – please get help, my friend. It is a real disease, and you are not at fault.


Action Step 3: Foster Healthy, Positive Financial Communication

Money issues have to be solved if you’re going to have a happy and balanced relationship. Solving those issues means talking about them in detail, and letting go of ego and judgment while you’re in that space (and hopefully, in your entire relationship).


Action Step 4: Focus on Forward Progress

It can be very, very easy to feel defensive and attacked when we discuss spending and finances. Know that this comes more from inside you (internal guilt) than it does from outside of you (your other). Temper your reactivity, and at a separate time when you are alone, examine it to find its roots. That’s a subject for a different post!

7 Ways to Talk to About Money Painlessly Part Two

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7 Ways to Painlessly Discuss Finances – Part One

Right from the start of our relationship, any discussion around money created antagonistic gridlock all the way to disproportionate chaos and conflict for my husband and me. At that time, I was turning 50 and had amassed very strong and wildly illogical beliefs around finances. Just hearing the word “money” or “bills” would cause me to emotionally and physically shut down. I would pick fights with him about his work ethic and earning capacity. I would battle over whose money it was and who could spend it. I would point fingers at what I believed to be ridiculous spending habits. And then on those ominous days when bills had to be paid, I would morph into a screaming, crazy woman.

In retrospect, I can tell you these arguments were completely irrational. We were both working hard and making ends meet. Whenever I checked the online banking statements, the money was there. But I never felt abundant. I truly believed that I would die alone and penniless. (The alone outcome scared me far less than being penniless.) It was a story to which I was so attached that through the force of my energy I was bending our reality to almost insure that our finances were a house of cards ready to collapse at any moment. And my staunch unwillingness to meet my husband in a place of mutual respect where we could talk about these deep values was eating away at our intimacy.

You see, when couples fight about money, their respective positions deeply reflect their core values. And as time goes on, this polarization becomes caustic and like a strong acid, it eats away at the very foundation of the relationship. The unwillingness to appreciate and sympathetically discuss your conflicting attitudes and beliefs eventually creates all kinds of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. If the arguing persists, one day you will find yourself believing that you’re better off alone than constantly fighting over money.

It took time and introspection, but when I could finally articulate what money represented (safety, security, self-esteem, protection, and ultimately freedom and independence) which translated into me being a SAVER (or as he saw it, a miser); and he could identify all that it represented to him (feelings of competence, power, control, happiness and a celebration of hard work) which translated into him being a SPENDER (or as I saw it a spendthrift). we began to gain a greater appreciation for why we were so conflicted. That compassion and deeper understanding created the foundation for learning how to have the tough discussions in a mutually respectful manner and eventually building a strong financial future together.

Why Couples Have Problems Communicating About Finances

Our opinions and values regarding wealth, abundance, and worthiness almost always stem from our upbringing. That’s why so many couples have issues talking about money. Some of us had lots of direction growing up when it came to money management. And some of us watched our parents struggle with not having enough money to buy sufficient food or clothing. Then there are those who witnessed non-stop conflict between their parents over money, a constant source of strife, screaming and suffering. We bring these emotional artifacts of those experiences into our present attitudes about money.

As adults, we can choose to recognize those artifacts, and we can recognize what’s healthy and productive, and what’s not. We can courageously learn to replace those old artifacts with an increasingly positive mindset where wealth – and worthiness – are concerned. Opening ourselves up to our partner to reveal and release the negative while nurturing the positive is a wonderful experience.

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Choose A Happy Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us, which means holiday spiced coffees, the excitement of spending time with family and friends and the beginning of that yearly holiday spending spree. From holiday travel plans (those flights aren’t going to pay for themselves) to Secret Santa’s to making sure there are enough gifts under your own tree, this season brings so much joy – and so much stress; especially for those prone to charge now and pay – and stress – later.

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How to celebrate #Giving Day!

Ok, can I just say how much I LOVE what today means? Not sure if its everywhere in the world but it is an important day in the USA and Canada.


I’m not sure who made it official but it’s the day of the year where charities call out to us to help their causes.


There are so many charities that depend solely on our donations to survive and to make a difference in the world. Today is that day when we really can make a difference.

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Adapt – Your Life Depends on It

I am reminded time and time again that it is critical that no matter what is happening in our lives, we need to adapt.  None of us our given our life’s roadmap to follow.  Life can be messy, confusing, and not what you expected.  See, that’s the whole challenge.  We expect.  We attach ourselves to outcomes that aren’t necessarily in our best interest, or on our soul’s path. 

 

I hear and read things that tell us to:

  1. Do what’s most expansive. 
  2. Get in the flow of your life.
  3. Detach from outcomes.
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Healing America

My mission is to help financially heal the world. I help people to remove the shame blame and judgment from money. People become numb to sliding a credit card. They know that financially they've done things wrong, and they want solutions.
  


We as human beings do not take our emotions out of our money decisions. The only way to build wealth is from the inside out.

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3 Ways to Feel Like Yourself Again

Why do we not do things that make us feel good? It’s that old adage, “Misery loves company” and we get trapped in living a life that we never thought we’d be living. I have found so many times that we stay stuck because financially we’ve pigeon-holed ourselves into lifestyles, marriages, family expectations, and all those “stable jobs” we think we have.


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5 Financial Lessons on Creating More Freedom

This week, a good friend of mine reminded me that the world we live in is a world of mastering lessons, not to fix the world or yourself. Interestingly enough, we all come from a place that we are going to fix this and fix that when in reality, it’s actually just about the lessons to be learned.

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6 Ways to Regain Your Financial Power

Why do we give away our personal power over to money? So many of us in this world are trapped by our lifestyles and the debt we chose to take on. All this does is keep us in a cycle that is never ending, a cycle that completely disempowers us from the greatness that we are and came here to be.

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Financial Self Love

Wow, this past month has been intense. Who else is with me? All that no longer serves us must fall away. The old model of doing things must go. It’s time for energetic and financial expansion.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

Join Soulspring for conscious insights...

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind