Entitlements??

February 6, 2020

I already know that I’m not going to make friends on this blog article. The word “entitlements” is charged without even knowing the perspective or specific contextual meaning. Usually, we use the term Entitlements to mean benefits that one earns through working and paying into a system such as for social security retirement or Medicare insurance. After working for 40 years, and paying for 40 credits (quarters), one earns the right to have benefits paid out in the form of a social benefit payment known as social security. However, if one is disabled and by definition can’t work, one is entitled to claim benefits after as little as five years. That is, in our great country, we pay people social security disability after just a few years of working versus the full 40 years if they are able bodied.

So why am I bringing this up? Well, I have a friend that wants to retire and is complaining that he might have to work a couple  more years rather than retire now in order to help his family – disabled sister and invalid Mom out for a bit. But let’s look a little deeper. The family has resources that they are not using or wish to keep for later. So rather than sell one of their two properties (a home in an affluent city neighborhood as well as a vacation home in the outer banks) to take care of the disparity in their finances, they want to just live off of the government. My friend is complaining that the amount of money that his sister gets from food stamps which was reduced from $300 per month to $260 is outrageous (as he puts it) and so unfair. This is in addition to the money she gets for social security disability. Now I certainly am sorry that she can’t work and that she is caring for her daughter and yes, it’s difficult to eat well on that money. But I can also tell you that I’ve gone through tough times in my life, when I was starting my life coaching business and was living pretty meagerly. Sometimes one has to do that. What I’m hearing from him is that his family doesn’t want to give up anything, and that the government should take up the slack. He’s furious with the President, since of course it’s all Trump’s fault for his current situation. If it were me, I’d sell one of the properties, accept that the vacation home is a luxury that isn’t affordable in the current climate and then live comfortably with the money one gains. No, unfortunately, he doesn’t agree (and I didn’t actually say that only thought it).

Why do people think the government should take care of everyone to such an extent that family should never have to help out? Who is the government but us individuals who pay taxes into a system? At what point are we paying for a lot of other people to live well because their families don’t want to help them? It all comes down to a bank account of ins and outs. I’ve saved all my life and in putting money away for a raining day I had to give up some meals out, some special activities that I didn’t attend, etc. I’ve watched this friend spend lots of money on special programs not giving any thought to whether he could really afford it or not. Where is it written that we have the RIGHT to fancy restaurant meals, Starbucks café coffees daily rather than as a special treat or other niceties?  We all have to make choices and it really irks me to listen to this guy complain about the current administration and how his problems are all due to the Government and not in his own financial management.  He also told me that he would have to figure out how to get his 88 year old Mom a car so his sister could drive her around. Perhaps Uber for the few trips would be more economical or a special ride program. Oh no, they’d never be able to drive up the long drive way. He has an answer for everything. Well, perhaps the big home they’re living in is no longer suitable for his Mom and sister. Again, they don’t want to make any changes. It’s easier to just blame everything on the government.

I’ve written about personal accountability before, but this is a bit different. We can’t expect the government to do EVERYTHING. I feel that his sister is getting a lot from the government. When I asked about the other services available to her, he just brushed me off. He knows I’m one of the millions of crazy people who actually voted for this President and who is very happy with this economy which is very much due to his economic policies. And that’s my side of the story.


Slow Down for 2020

January 22, 2020

Thinking about New Year’s resolutions? How about slowing down and enjoying the many blessings that we already have in our lives? If we are going so fast, running around doing errands, attending to the insurance and phone problems as well as the doctor appointments, visits with friends that we cram in rather than space out, we just can’t enjoy our time. So for this New Year, I vowed to really slow down. Then the universe began to give me opportunities to do so as well as other people who felt the same to help me attain my new goal.

Sometimes there are pushes to get to new soul developments in our lives. In my case, it was ill health throughout the month of December. First, I had stomach issues that seemed to be related to overdosing on vitamin supplements. I had been told that I needed to take more and more specialized supplements to handle leaky gut and adrenal problems. The underlying symptoms were extreme fatigue, poor digestion, and the feeling that my very expensive organic diet wasn’t being converted to energy. In the end, I had to stop taking all this stuff and just rest, relax and slowdown in order to get better.  Towards the end of the month I came down with a really bad cold and cough which I believe was part of a healing crisis.

During this time, I began to do some journaling and realized that it was a turning point in my life. Perhaps my soul was writing the story of my life and detoxing from the prior extremes that I had gone through for what may well be the first 2/3 of the years that I would have on this plane of existence. Although one never knows the exact time that we get here, I just have this feeling that my time as a life coach had come to an end, even though I will continue to help others in a more probono manner.  Just as I had left the corporate world over 10 years ago, I was now letting my semi-retirement profession go as well. I had done this partially a couple years ago, but felt that I had totally left it now and was detoxing from the residue of helping others get rid of their junk.  The final phase was to literally slow down.

And then I went off to a tango festival on the west coast in concert with a family visit. During this time, I met some awesome people who were light bearers. When I refer to people in this way, I mean that I could feel how spiritually then led their lives and interacting with them was a joy. Truly I was feeling the joy return to my life after being around these people for several days.

This was the fourth year that I’d done this particular dance program but the first one where I’d met so many light bearers. I might meet someone in a workshop and then somehow connect for a meal during which we’d chat; I’d then find out how really interesting they were and that it was their birthday the following week. So, in my good feelings of abundance, I paid for their meal as well as mine. They were happy and I felt great. By being with people of the light, I was more of the light also. Another example was of a guy I met at one of the dance evenings that interacted with me on an outing to a park the next day. We totally had a great time and enjoyed the day together. During this time, we shared stories of our lives and found out how very spiritual we both were.  I thought I was spiritual, but he’d studied for many more years and shared with me about his beliefs of compassion, meditation and allowing the universe to guide him. Although I had my own version of these disciplines, it was wonderful to be with a kindred soul. His energy felt so good to me that I was in a very nice calm place all day. The hours flew by. Once again, the universe delivered me to just the right people in just the right place for me to evolve even more.

So as I celebrated the New Year on the West Coast, I brought in a new spirit of abundance, calmer and with a renewed desire to appreciate all the many blessings I already have… in other words, to slow down and find my joy.


Be friendlier

November 1, 2019

It’s an age old wisdom that we should look in the mirror first if we feel there is something missing in our lives. Thus when I decided that I needed more friends and that I would have to be more welcoming to bring people into my life. In other, I would have to be friendlier.

Ok so how do I become friendlier when I thought I was already a nice person who was polite and congenial to those that I met anyway? Well I guess it came down to my energy. What was the message that my energy was sending out? Although I felt friendly, perhaps I was inwardly insecure or afraid, which sent a similar awkward message out to the world. This was not what I wanted. In other words, as is quite common, I was guilty of sending out a mixed message. My outer voice wanted one thing while my inner voice was reflecting another. I needed to become congruent.

Thus I had to really become a happy person, feel good about myself, and raise my self-esteem which in turn would send out a happy vibe to the world. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I booked a social group and just smiled and talked with people being non-judgmental and accepting them for who they were. Suddenly people began to like me more. When I became more of a listener reflecting back to people what they were saying, staying present and really hearing them, even more people liked me. In turn, I was laughing more.

Before I knew it I was in my authentic self, feeling good and sending out positive vibes. Soon, I was getting return positive glances at my gym class at Zumba and in social circles. Then on travel, people would engage with me more. All of a sudden, I then realized that i was really making friends. I had become a friendlier person with all the associated qualities. My energy changed and I attracted healthier people into my life that warranted my friendship. As far as I can tell so far, these are people that really want to be friends, have no ulterior motives or axes to grind, no mood disordered and just healthy happy people. What a relief it is. It’s been awesome so far and I certainly hope it continues. I offer my personal experience to you so that you can give it a try and see what happens. As always comments are welcome.


We are our own worst critic

October 5, 2019

We know that being judgmental is not good behavior yet we judge ourselves all the time. That voice inside our heads can be positive or negative; this is called self-talk. Unfortunately, that inner voice is more often negative than positive reminding us of all of our faults rather than of our wonderful qualities. Why do we do this? The answer is low self-esteem.

                                                            
There are times in our lives when we don’t feel good about ourselves like when we decide that we’re not moving forward in our lives in some way that we think we should. We have a tendency to look at others then judge ourselves. They have the house already or a better job therefore we failed. We should be thinking that the other person is just ahead of us and we will get there in our own time. Everything in its own time, right? Or that’s how it should be. Instead, we judge others for having more or being prettier or thinner or going on a neat vacation.

Rather than judge ourselves, or others why not just accept the situation for what it is? Its human nature to compare one to another; we are creatures of a pack, team or community. But in those relationships we must take care not to think less of ourselves for our points that are just different. We all do this. Last night I almost didn’t go out dancing because I’ve gained a few pounds due to less activity while my ankle was healing from an injury. I convinced myself that I needed to go out and that being with people would make me feel better rather than being alone. The woman in charge of the dance who is very tiny commented that due to her hurting foot she had gained 8 pounds. Wow I was surprised. So it happens to many people. I felt ok and decided that rather than judge myself for having gained weight I would focus on losing it now that my activity could increase.

In other words when your self-talk becomes negative find a way to stop yourself to make it positive. Life will flow better and you will soar along with your self-esteem. Comments are always welcome.


Personal Accountability is the Way to Go

September 5, 2019

There is so much in the news lately about planning for retirement. We have at least 40 years to start putting some money away to take care of ourselves when we get older. Yes but you say, what about the current house, kids and bills? There just isn’t anything leftover. Well I disagree. I see how people spend their money. The kids have to have candy and soda at the movies or the parents have to have the next version of the iPad, cellphone or tablet. Perhaps it’s the necessity of eating lunch hour or going to Starbucks…

Yes you can enjoy your life when you’re young but one must pay the piper when they are finished playing as the saying goes. Whether its small change or dollars saved, there are ways to do it. Something has to be given up in order to have something later. Sorry but one cannot have their cake and eat it too. Why is it the government’s responsibility to provide for all that a person can’t pay for? I’m not talking about those truly in need. I give plenty to charity and believe in helping those less fortunate. I’m talking t people that get caught up in living the good life and then wonder why they are still working at 72 because they can’t retire….as they don’t have enough money to live on.

Let’s break this down. Daily Starbucks is $25 A week just for the world week. Then lunch is another $50 if it’s kept simple. What’s wrong with fixing a teabag in the office or a cup of coffee? And there are a ton of options to save money lunchtime from prepared meals from the store to actually making something or even just sandwiches from home. If one adds up 40 years of teabags and lunches from home we have lots of money. Ok not enough? Vacations once a year versus every holiday.. staycations can be fun too. An event locally can be fun and usually a lot less expensive than a quick trip to the Caribbean over  four day break. An exaggeration? Perhaps, but I know people like this…

I might be the exception but I took my lunch to work most days, ate a nice salad at the salad bar otherwise, was careful about electronic consumerism and was moderate about vacations. I paid extra on my mortgage to pay it off by retirement and saved yearly. I can now reap the benefits of the savings that I slowly put away year after year. In other words, I’m living the American dream. I worked my 40 years in a normal corporate job, saved my money and now can pay my bills and do a fair amount of travelling. I feel blessed that I have the money for doctor bills, household expenses and a trip here and there. Being in abundance by giving to charity means that God lets me keep the rest.

In summary, personal accountability is the way to go; slow and steady for 40 years not trying to screw the system in the last few years to make up for what you did or didn’t do all along. We pay into social security and Medicare so these are earned benefits not optional entitlements. That’s my version of the story and I’m sticking with it! Comments are always welcome.


People and processes don’t always cooperate

August 26, 2019

We all know, or have learned the hard way that human communication is not an exact science. The old adage is that’s why there are lawyers! Today, I’m going to relate a situation that I experienced regarding a transaction on EBay. The whole interaction went from a misunderstanding to bad then to worse. Then it got ugly! Sometimes people and processes just don’t go as one might expect.

 First, let me say that my perspective on EBay is pretty laid back because it’s not my main business; it’s very much a hobby and a casual one at that. I sell stuff to get it out of my closet and if I’m lucky, I get a few dollars for it. So what’s my story? I offered a beautiful designer red silk dress for sale at a fabulously low price plus shipping. The woman in question, whom I will call “The Buyer”, sent an offer. What I saw on my end was “an offer to buy at $50” which I accepted. I’ve been doing EBay for about 8 years so I don’t question offers. I just look at the figure and either accept the bid or not. Usually people pay within a day or two. My listing clearly states that non-payment after 48 hours will result in a cancelled transaction. If someone made a mistake in pushing “buy”, then an email to me indicating such will solve the problem. I’m not out to force any sales, so if there’s a mistake, I’ll cancel the transaction.

I accepted the offer and the EBay system put the offer in as a sale and sent the Buyer an invoice for the price plus shipping. No response. Several days go by. I sent a nice note with a reminder invoice – “is there a problem, I ask?” No response. More time goes by.  The EBay system opened a non-payment case against the Buyer automatically, which when she received the notice made her furious resulting in her sending me a scathing email stating that I hadn’t read her offer. What? I never saw any email or further detail about her offer. Apparently, she writes that she’s retired and doesn’t have the money. (Why buy if you don’t have money??) At this point it was very confusing to me because she referred to 8/30 which I assumed meant August 30, but it was August 20. I had no idea what she was talking about. Rather than calmly explain to me that she’d get money at the end of the month which eventually I realized, she raved at me that I hadn’t read the offer details (that I’d never seen) and basically was saying how stupid I was for causing this problem. As it wasn’t an auction item, just a fixed price, make an offer, she could have waited a few days until her pension check arrived. Rather, she chose to expect me to make the system work according to what was best for her. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

It became obvious to me that she had anger issues and was venting at me for other situations where she hadn’t been heard. I was just the one getting her venom over these frustrations in her life. I kept trying to write to her calmly explaining that the system was automated, that offers are translated into purchases, and that non-payment cases can be opened without me doing anything. She insisted that I cancel the transaction at this point which was impossible according to the EBay system even after I tried calling them directly. I wasted so much time over almost a week for a non-sale with this woman. I had packed this gorgeous dress with tissue paper in a strong box so that it wouldn’t get wrinkled… basically for naught. After 2 days of her insisting that I cancel the transaction, I find that she paid. It was the night before the payment was due or a negative mark would go against her. I figured that she paid to clear the case so that I could cancel the transaction. So I went into the transaction, which was now clear, and cancelled it. I thought this was what she wanted. She had not sent me an email to tell me that she changed her mind about cancelling the transaction and now she wanted it. So what happened next?

The next morning I got a wailing email, “oh, I’m going to cry. You cancelled the transaction after I paid for the dress!”  Well, yeah, after receiving email after email insisting that I cancel and no communication indicating otherwise, what else could I do? Then I get more communication about why did I do that? It’s like being in Wonderland! Ok, so I thought about it and my final email to her was my best attempt to be spiritual, “I’m sorry that you’re not happy with this transaction. Sometimes people and processes don’t go as one might want or expect. Rather than directing anger at me, a bit of patience might have been a better idea. It would also be a good idea to find a healthier channel to vent your frustrations that to direct them at me”.

The moral of the story is that when crazy interactions occur like this story; take a moment to reflect on the situation. Chances are there’s more going on than the immediate reaction. Usually, there are related experiences that the person is reacting to in this lifetime or a prior one. It’s easy to ignore the person but just a bit harder to consider how you can be a guiding light. Just consider that she needed to be reminded of her behavior and it took me going beyond the physical to tell her about it.

Although I had planned for this to be the end, there’s more. The woman wrote back telling me that “You’re a fool!” Well so much for being a messenger of light. I thought about her response a lot and I truly believe that I was guided to write back to her what I had to give her a chance to reconsider her self-righteous position. Unfortunately, she failed the test. Now the universe takes over and karma steps in. I believe that she’s really in scarcity and has a lot of hatred, anger and hostility built up over being in a compromising financial situation. But what got her there? Meanwhile, I live in abundance and reap the rewards. Comments are always welcome.             


Adopt Yourself!

August 1, 2019

Love yourself in order to be the best you can be!

Do you have a dog or a cat? If you’re a pet owner and your fur baby needed help, whether special care or a visit to the vet, would you go out of your way to make sure they got what they needed? If you have a child, to what extent would you go through to help your child? The subject of this article is to treat yourself as good as you would treat your child or fur baby. In otherworld’s, it’s time to adopt yourself!

There are people that take such good care of their pets that they’re like children, my guy Skylar is a case in point. He’s in renal failure and needs a lot of daily treatments as well as medications. I’ve had people tell me they’d like me to adopt them! Skylar gets all kinds of vitamins and really good food. He likes his water bubbly and fresh and he loves his greenies that clean his teeth. I’ve even started to use a liquid that cleans his gums to help with gingivitis. Skylar especially likes me to kiss his head and purrs when i tell him Mommy loves him. Sometimes it’s hard for me to do all these things for myself!

Do you make sure that you eat properly, have clean water to drink and get exercise? To what extent will you go to make sure you leave space in your life for friends and love in your life? I’ve asked one of my close friends who runs around for mothers doing for them, helping with their lives, with her own children yet rushing to get her hair or nails done. Sometimes I feel that I have to remind her to take time for herself…real time. She does goes to her yoga class but there is very little down time… then she gets headaches; it’s no wonder with the pace of her life and what she squeezes in.

Everyone gets the same 24 hours. How you divide it is up to you. Allowing some time for others is great but leave time for yourself. Love yourself enough to do for you as you do for others. Adopt yourself!


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