A Money Coach in Canada

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It took an app, of course, to get me to do it. God forbid I use cursive and a book, even if its a moleskine book, to note the pieces of my life for which I am grateful. It took an app and a challenge to mark up to 1000 items for which I am thankful (I’m at 236 FTR) because I didn’t believe in it, not really, that gratitude journals were worth the effort, the minuscule effort, to lift up my eyes, take note and *make* note of the this and thats which make my life, well, make it also wonderful in the midst of less-than-wonderful.

What we focus on grows, it’s said, and I’m not sure that’s true. It defies my logic (or perhaps signifies my lack of imagination?) to believe my thoughts, my shambling thoughts, have much direct influence on my outer world. But what I have become sure is true is this: As I increasingly orient towards the things that are good in my life – that which is true, that which is quality, that which brings life, that which brings contentment, that which brings delight, that which endures – this new app-enabled-praxis is generative of a gentle, permeating easiness with life, even the less than wonderful parts.

What is that worth?

Your new car. Your new relationship. Your new Fleuvogs. Your amazing vacay. Your promotion.

If you’re like everyone else, cold, hard science says these things will bring you a boost in your well-being for a length of time between a few weeks to a few months, then it’s right back to however happy you felt (or didn’t) before these entered your life. (As a point of interest, a study in Germany found getting married provided a boost for 2 years on average, before the individuals reverted to their baseline experience of happiness). Why does this happen? We are hard-wired to adapt to, as in get used to new and good things in our life and take them for granted. Kinda sucks, but there you have it.

Want to get the most happiness for your buck?

A recent study gives two clear ways we can significantly slow down the adaptation process.

1. Active appreciation of the new item or experience. Appreciation is the psychological opposite of adaptation say the authors of the study. It amplifies the various good components of the new item thereby regenerating the feel good responses. It turns out those gratitude journals are probably extending your happiness and lowering your need to buy the next bright, shiny object.

2. Variations of the new item maintain the feel good responses as well. For example, new apps on your iPhone bring back its original sexiness and thrill. Or using your new car for different purposes – road trip, carpool, volunteering – will sustain your sense of pleasure in your new vehicle.

photo credit: hurricainemaine

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I’m not sure the best things in life are free, but a lot sure is. These are the trees in my yard (make that garden for my English friends).

Autumn Tree
A Vagabond Song – Bliss Carman
THERE is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

IMG_1854

The snow’s sad drift.
A bed unmade.
Doleful dishes strewn.

My melancholy’s showing.

Everything wrong threatens permanence: We’ll never get better, our global inequities, and neither will I have a fully funded pension and more than 3 weeks vacation when I can mentally let go of my business responsibilities. ever.

Everything right seems of no consequence: My earning power is at its peak but the world is teetering on economic collapse, if climate change and peak oil doesn’t shatter us, every last one of us, first.

Snow sadly drifts.

Why would any thinking person make a bed, clean the dishes, cozily simmer soup in such conditions?

Why would anyone download their business receivables from Paypal and tally up their net revenue and press Send Money to the psychologist who contributed a module to the program,and also press Send Money to the firm that created the site?

Why would anyone respond graciously to an email query laced with tone?

Why would anyone continue saving $50/paycheque for that 6-months-in-Detroit (yes, Detroit) for an unorthodox 50th experience? It’ll never happen.

Snow sadly drifts.

But quietly I root into resources, inner and outer, that pacify. For me:

  • last of a dying breed (see?  even here my melancholy’s showing), a mainstream-religion-member and believer, I content myself in trusting that Another has much more at stake than I do in the wellbeing of planets and poverty-crushed souls
  • and the psychologist and the firm, for them I give calm thanks:  they were good to me.  they were good to me.  So I will gather my energy, enough energy to press Send Money.
  • and the savings, all my little stratagems to realize my desires, created in better moments, these carry on with or without me (thank you, auto savings plans) and they may not reach their goal, or they may.

The snow drifts.   The bed gets made.  The dishes can wait til tomorrow.  I watch a video about Detroit.

Photo Credit:  Opaline Fracture

BEAUTs, yes?

And for me, gently miraculous:  sun, soil, water, seeds … and from that, THESE?

… but how to ripen?  how to ripen?

It’s dropping to 0C so I had to harvest them today despite being green.

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