Inviting Serenity to the Fear Party

Hello! Thank you for touching eyes to this page!

I’ve learned that it’s an occupational hazard of financial coaching, to hear and feel a great deal of financial stress, worry, regret, and fear. I accept it as a sacred honor and part of this path that I’ve been called to walk professionally.

Sitting with and next to true pain inspires me to find and share tools that actually work in this arena. Yes, some financial tips are straightforward and effective. Yay for that! However, some big honkin’ problems can lurk underneath the veneer of financial stress. Things that deserve far better than a tip or concrete strategy, especially when those are intended to be one-size-fits-all.

What I’m mainly encouraging you to do, as you navigate the information and emotions associated with your own financial wellness, is to always take the information with the grain of salt that includes YOUR season in life, YOUR family’s values, and YOUR internal call.

I think the hard part of this is, welllllll…. most of it, now that I think about it, is the hard part. It can be really flippin hard. Yeh, let’s just not think about it, mk?

Noooo just testing you! It’s hard but it’s harder to evade it in the long run! C’mon, stick with me. Okay, I believe a list is in order here:

1) How much shame do you feel when you hear external advice about your finances?

Let’s say for example that your parent-in-law is suggesting you definitely go ahead with the remodel idea because it sure would mean a lot to your spouse.

Get to know yourself here. What reaction arises most easily for you? Just starting with that awareness can be super powerful.

Do you tend to cough cough change topic? Do you head into battle? Do you shuffle shuffle leave the room?

None of these are bad or wrong, they’re just our most accessible coping strategy until we can build other muscles.

2) When you hear an idea that might help “fix” your finances, what has been your history with what tends to happen next?

Do you snap into your to-do list like a Slim Jim? Sometimes that can mitigate anxiety, but then what happens when you run out of steam? Or do you traditionally find creative ways to procrastinate that to-do list, until the price gets too high to avoid and the pressure motivates you into frantic action?

We all have our coping mechanisms with this stuff, too. And ohhhhh Lordy can it get vicious and malicious when 1 person in a couple takes 1 strategy, and the other person in the couple takes the other strategy. Woohoo just sit back and watch the dynamic fireworks!

Sorry, I shouldn’t make light of it. Well, I should because then it can get lighter. But I know the struggle is real very often!

Even being aware of our history with trying to change and improve our finances, can affect how we act (or not) today. Often that can touch on feelings of self-worth, self-love, anger, desire, etc. So it just makes so much sense to me that this stuff can be haaaaaahrd.

3) While you are applying your strength, wits, courage, and mettle to improving your financial situation….how often can you identify yourself applying these things to parts of life that cannot actually be changed? I lean on the Serenity Prayer bigtime. The reminder is invaluable. I need it multiple times each day.

I could fret endlessly about things such as, will the stock market collapse? How long will my parents live, and what resources will they need in that time? How long will my landlord welcome me to stay in my Mill Valley studio? Gahhhhhhhh crazy-making to not know the answers AND ALSO THINK I SHOULD BE ABLE TO KNOW THEM.

Here’s how I pray:

“Divine/Universe/Reality, I can really use some extra serenity to accept that I don’t know whether or not the stock market will crash in my lifetime. And I don’t know how long my beloved parents will live. I don’t like not knowing these things. I would prefer to know them and then be able to plan accordingly. But since I cannot know them, and I wish to know them, please send help in the form of serenity. And keep reminding me that some stuff I just can’t change so send me help with accepting that even when I don’t like it.”

Now, there *are* things I can change in these areas. But I don’t want to do anything. I don’t feel like taking any action, especially since I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, anyway! Jerkuniverse. Making me not know stuff I wish I could. Boooooo.

So the prayer continues, since I still need help:
“I want you to take away the bad feelings and keep a steady stream of good feelings coming! While also helping me grow. Yeh, that’s my preference. Help me be a stand-up person and stellar human being who also just feels good all the time. Oh. That’s not an option? Why not? I don’t like that. I want that option. Ah shucks, well at least send me some courage to take the actions that I can. And while you’re at it, please give me suggestions for these actions I can take because I can’t see straight through the dang fear OR the effort of trying to be serene about this stuff!! ”

Life is gonna life. And it lifes in our money, and in our hearts. It’s supposed to. Good job, Life. And, we all can use help. From each other. From ourselves. From strangers. And definitely from Source. Whatever the heck that is. I don’t understand it, but I sure do appreciate it.

I would LOVE to hear from any of you…

What Season are you in now, financially? And what’s the weather report where you are within that Season?

I’m in the season of aging becoming more real, and the game plan of planning to just pretty much work a little bit forever doesn’t seem as solid as it used to. (But I’m not so deep into that season that Panic is real yet. So I can still twiddle thumbs and pseudo-Panic on occasion for now. Low-level sporadic entertainment Panic.)

What is the last piece of financial advice (or even financial insinuation) that really hooked you? And why?
Mine was triggered by needing to pay to get back in therapy regularly for now. I’ve been trying to meet my monthly designated retirement savings goal for some time. It’s ambitious for my level of income and remains unattainable as of yet. Well, more truthfully, I *could* come closer to attaining it with some lifestyle spending changes but I haven’t been willing to make those changes. I’d rather stick with Whole Foods and Young Living, than depart from it now to maybe be able to afford more Whole Foods later in life. Another perfect breakdown of the Serenity Prayer. What can I change? What do I need to accept? And how can I get help and guidance around both of those challenging things? (If it wasn’t challenging, I would have cracked the code already and we wouldn’t be talking about this right now!!)  So I get to practice not blaming my real need for therapy, on not meeting my retirement savings goals. That is a false equation. I could hide behind financial insecurity to keep myself out of therapeutic work, but I’m choosing this plotline instead of the plotline where I need conditions to get even more challenging before I accept professional support and guidance.

What character traits are you being called to embody more deeply in your life?
Mine seem to be faith and trust. DAMMIT. I want my previous levels of Faith and Trust to have been enough! But there is more being called for! And it hurts like hell when I don’t surrender yet I have everything I need to surrender! But that doesn’t make it easy! Wow, all these exclamation points, I am clearly exercised around this one.

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Hey, really, thanks again for being there. For reading, for writing back, for engaging. I feel sad about how many folks out there aren’t able to engage. Or are so hooked on various addictions that connection isn’t an option for them now. Whatever your struggles are, I wish you tons of self-love, and willingness to receive Grace. I know it’s there in spades. I’m lucky enough to be found by it again and again.

Here’s to sharing with each other Faith, Truth, Grace, Trust, Honesty, Warmth

Financial Wellness Coaching Curriculum
~ Budgeting/Tracking/Goal Setting and Reaching
~ Mindfulness with Money: With Self and Other(s) (meditation, acceptance, intuition)
~ Boundaries with Money: Beliefs, Resolving Past Hurts and Fears, Communication Skills, Valuing Your Time As Invaluable
~ Profit First Implementation for small business owners: 10% organizing the cash management system, and 90% behavior and follow-through
My Website if you’d like to connect more: FinancialWellness.Coach
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