Wednesday, October 15, 2014

An Aha Moment - What I learned About Success, And Myself

Personal Blog 
Subject: If I become successful I will lose everything. My dysfunctional relationship with money.

A friend of mine is a Life Coach and is furthering her education.  She has to get some 'coaching' hours in and asked if I would be interested.  I emailed her back and said I would love to be a guinea pig.  As our session approached, I decided to think more seriously about what our session should really be about. It was a fairly easy decision - it should be about my 'fear' of success, my 'fear' of money and of losing everything - AGAIN!

A little back story before we continue:  My husband and I had a somewhat successful business (at least it was to us) in Seattle.  Long story short - our bank of 10 years decided to screw us (and a few other small businesses), they called our loans. No warning, no provocation, they simply no longer wished to have our business. We, of course, could not comply so they proceeded to foreclose on our business. We lost everything - our income, our business, our clients, years of blood and sweat, money - our success. We were helpless. And angry. Years later, I find myself still afraid. Afraid to put myself out there. Since that time we have been financially impaired. Broke. Impoverished even. Partially due to the economy. Partially due to FEAR.

This was the focus of our coaching session. And did I ever learn a lot about myself. We focused on the thought, "If I become successful, I will lose everything." Now to turn it into the thought, "If I become successful, I won't lose everything."  What I probably really should be saying is: "If I become successful, I won't lose myself."

We did this fun little exercise. At first, I wasn't quite sure how it worked, or why, but I learned quickly.

First Object:
First question/suggestion: Pick an object in the room. An object that is capturing your attention. My thought, "Strange, but ok." So I picked a sign I have in the room for the Skagit Valley Camera Club. Second question/suggestion: Name 3 things about that object.  What, I thought. Deciding to play along I went with - 1. big 2. white 3. and we then chose prominent. Now here is where it got fun. Third question: How does this relate to money? The answer hit me hard and fast. Pure instincts. And, was I ever surprised. We were talking about money and my relationship to it. This was why I was staring at the sign: I used to be the Treasurer for the camera club, but then one day, out of the blue, no warning, nothing, - a board member, decided to accuse me of possibly stealing money because of my personal financial situation. I was devastated. And, ANGRY! Of course, I would be staring at the sign - subconsciously.  Fourth question/suggestion: What can you do about it?  The answer was simple: FORGIVE.  Turned out, not necessarily forgive him, he's just a jerk, - I need to forgive myself. I need to forgive money.

Second Object:
Now, I am kind of getting the hang of it.  Next object was a stack of books, books we had done for clients. I enjoy doing the books, but marketing our Armchair ePublishing business has become quite difficult lately. Honest answer: It was starting to work a little. Fear of success? There are some other factors outside my control though. Name 3 things: I don't remember the first two, but it was the third one that turned out to be important.  All I could come up with is the color "brown." We decided that meant, 'Muddied", my relationship with money is muddied. What to do about it? The answer is obvious when you use the word muddy - make it clear.

Third Object
The red bag I use for art shows at the Depot. I don't remember the 3 things, but my relationship with money and the bag - There is none. It is a volunteer position. There is no money involved. The lesson: do things that provide value unrelated to money.

Fourth Object
Artwork hanging on the wall.  The 3 words describing it: 1. I enjoy it. 2. Reminds me of a better time. 3. I don't remember the third.  The lesson: It's okay to have money.

We equate success with money. We look up to the people that have it and wish we did too. Society has programmed us that success is defined by how much money we have. But there are varying degrees of success. Some that don't include money.

Success can simply be: how we feel about ourselves, our relationships with other, what we do, how we act, how we give back, our faith, and so on...

What I really learned from my Coaching Session with Katie - I learned I already have SUCCESS! I have the success that matters most: Good friends, a community I love, I give back to the community and others, family, still working on the faith part, and myself. These are things that no one can take away from me.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Love and Devotion

Last night, I went to visit a friend in a skilled nursing center, it was the dinner hour and I witnessed a tender loving moment of a devoted husband, that touched me so much I had to write a little about it.

Love And Devotion

Tiny and frail, her shriveled body sat bent, lost in the oversized wheelchair. Her mind, no longer present, she was unaware of her surroundings.

It was the dinner hour and her husband was patiently trying to feed her. Tenderly he tucked a lock of stray peppered-gray hair behind her ear.

This tender touch said it all. That single moment revealed his devotion for the woman he still loves.