Lessons in Badassery IV: Dollars and Sense

The Book: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. Jen Sincero. Running Press, 2013.

Jen wraps ups the last part of You are a Badass with what I think are maybe the four main ingredients to the Badass Cake (I’ve been craving cake, ok…chocolate, with chocolate butter cream frosting). Not in this order:

Decision:

You can’t be wishy-washy about changing your life.  You have to decide that that’s what you’re gonna do come hell or high water. This is something that presents difficulties for me, because even simple decisions terrify me.  What if I make the wrong choice?  What if my decision is wrong and catastrophe ensues?  Case in point: never let me talk you into going shopping for shampoo and conditioner with me, because I will smell EVERY bottle of both.  TWICE.  And then I will proceed to hem and haw for 45 minutes about which to get.  I like how this one smells, but it has sulfates.  This one doesn’t have sulfates, and it’s volumizing, but it smells too flowery. I *might* have even been known to ring my hands and more than once I’ve aborted the mission because it was too much.  For shampoo and conditioner.

I have, however, made the decision to make some major changes in my life.  I’m not entirely certain what direction that decision will take yet, so don’t ask me  but I’ll tell you when I have more information.

Action:

Once the decision is made, you have to actually do it…come hell or high water.  That makes sense.  If you decide to do, and then don’t do, you didn’t really decide now did you?

This blog, and reading the books discussed herein, is a part of my action. So is showing up more fully and being more present in life in general.

All this despite the fact that my sofa is second only to my bed in the level of comfort and well-being it provides me.

Surrender:

This isn’t the lie-down-and-take-it kind of surrender, where we give in to that impulse to pull the covers up to our chin, call in sick, and stare at the wall all day (surely I’m not the only person who’s tempted to do that at least twice a week?).  This is surrendering to the Universe (what Jen calls Source Energy, remember?).  It’s allowing the Universe to work for us instead of clutching on to all of those things — our stories, mostly — that keeps us stagnant at the edges of our own lives.

Surrender is gonna be hard.  I know this, because I’m a clutcher.  I hold onto things tightly, so tightly.  I don’t like to let go.  Recently, I noticed this manifests physically: I wake up almost every morning with clenched fists, as though I were holding onto something for dear life.  File “Surrender” under “things to add to my meditation practice.”

Money:

WHOA.  WHOA. Stop.  Money?  This supposed to be about raising your frequency and deciding to be a badass and surrendering to the Universe to give you what you need, and now we have to talk about money?  Yep.  I guess it’s hard to be a badass when you’re constantly doing financial acrobatics to figure out how to pay the rent AND buy groceries.  EDIT: I guess nothing…I know that to be a fact.  Money and I, we are not like this *holds up a hand with two crossed fingers*.

The chapter is called “Money, Your New Best Friend.” The argument is that money = currency, currency = energy.  If you put out bad energy about money, then it’s not going to come to you, but if you put out good energy about it, then you’ll attract it.  So money is about raising your frequency and surrendering to the Universe, in a way.

And boy-oh-boy have I had bad energy around money.  There’s not enough, I don’t make enough, I’ll never be able to [fill in the blank] because of money.  You know, regular stuff about money.  It sometimes kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Money is about relationship, too.  If you want to fix your money situation, you have to fix your relationship with money.  Mine’s not great; the idea of money, talking about money, makes me extremely uncomfortable. It’s a love/hate, desire/fear relationship, fraught with big things like lack and shame and greed and ethics. Or, it was that sort of relationship.

The exercise in this chapter was simple: write a letter to money.

In the spirit of the exercise, I got out the fancy stationary, got my good pen out, and sat up in the slightly uncomfortable position that allows me to use my best handwriting. No use offending money with a lax attitude and bad paper when I keep using said money to buy said fancy stationary.

“Dear Money,” I wrote, “I don’t really know what to say to you.” Then I proceeded for two and a half pages, writing to money as if it were a person.  For me, it ended up being a cross between a formal letter I might write to a business associate (if I had such a thing), a stream-of-consciousness exercise, and a platonic love letter.  I worked out some good things, proposed that we try to be friends, apologized for not taking better care of it, and thanked it for being there as much as it has been.

I can’t say that everything is fixed and I’m now rolling in dough, but it was a small exercise that made a huge impact on my psyche.  You should do this exercise.  Right now.  Send money an email, or write a greeting card.

A Thing happened, too.  Payday came a couple days after I wrote the letter, and with it, bill paying time.  Usually, this is a source of extreme anxiety, because, quite frankly, there’s often more month than money.  But I paid the bills that aren’t on some sort of autopay, calculated what I had left over including the bills that are on autopay, and became very confused.  So I calculated them again.  And again.  I should note that “bill-paying time” is 5:30 am, and I was only a third of the way through my first cup of coffee, so the confusion was legitimate.  Also, there was waaaaayyyy more money left than there usually is.  Now, my paycheck wasn’t any bigger than it should have been, and I didn’t get a sudden, unexpected windfall (in fact, my Amazon Prime was charged for the year, which I’d completely forgotten about). It was like Money said, “Ok.  Let’s work this out,” and the pieces fell into place.

Those little badass dollars and I, we’re gonna be great friends.

Next Time: A new book! You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.

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