Friday, November 07, 2008

Part VIII: What you can do

(eighth and final installment of talk entitled, "How being yourself guarantees infinite supply")

There are some specific things you can consider as you move ahead toward full-tilt abundance. [Some of this is more written out in full here than I had time for in the presentation.]

Enrich your purchases

When you purchase an item, be it a work of art, an appliance, computer equipment, a car, or even something small, you are saying "thank you" with your dollars. In fact, you are saying, "I love you." What if you therefore only buy those things you are truly delighted with, that make you grateful they are in your lives?

For example, food. Perhaps buy higher quality food that you love rather than cheap junk that is ultimately unhealthy. Don't spend that three bucks on an impulsive appetite urge; think about whether you really love what you're eating before you pay for it or put it in your mouth.

Lately I've taken to doing this when contemplating snack food. I'll be on the road, and a twinge of hunger will come on. I'll know there's a fast food drive-thru on my way. I'll allow myself to savor the idea of French fries, remembering their crispy texture and the salt. Then, I'll take a moment to remember what they're fried in and how they're manufactured somewhere, frozen, soaked in grease, then delivered to me as instant gratification. I'll think about the dollar I could spend on something else of lasting benefit. And I'll find myself driving by the drive-thru without stopping.

It's about purchasing according to our values. In this way, we endow our money with spiritual power.

I love what Wes said yesterday about the Bible being centered on the Love Ethic. We can apply that ethic even to what we purchase. Think about it. What if we only bought those things that truly express the love we feel? That truly delight us and we appreciate fully?

I'm currently writing a book of fiction about Julius Caesar, so I've been spending a lot of time mentally in ancient Rome. Recently, at the mall, I was in a jewelry store that had these beautiful Roman glass rings and earrings. As I looked at the pieces, I felt connected with Rome in a tangible way. These sparkling little chips of glass were 2,000 years old, from the Roman glass factories in the Middle East. So, I bought myself some. They were pricier than any jewelry that I've ever bought for myself, but I know I will treasure them for a lifetime. I'm wearing them now, look. I am clothing myself with what I love.

Divesting

The flip side of enriched purchases is to get rid of old things that no longer express who you are today. I did this recently when I moved. I didn't move anything to the new house that wasn't reflective of who I am today and is in alignment with my values. I made it so that everything in the new house had specific meaning for me. I'm surrounding myself with meaning.

Add value; invest in good

If the love of money is the root of all evil, then loving with money could be the salvation of the world.

You can maximize each purchase to create a sense of wealth in your life, by loving the craftsmanship or the design or the functionality of the item consciously, rather than just grabbing the first or cheapest version of whatever it is you fancy you need.

How do you grow wealth? By taking the wealth you have and investing it in things that add value. Make it a point to add value with everything you do, and you will always be wealthy.

Let's follow the money, shall we? Let's say you're an interior designer. You go to a paint store and buy some paint. You take it to a client's house, and you recommend how to put it up on the walls. You've added value. The client pays you for that added value. It's not just the cost of the paint, but the ideas. This is how economic growth happens. People add value where it did not exist before.

Once you achieve a certain level of expertise in your field, you know without any question that you will be able to add value to anything you work on. I know that for any piece of paper someone shows me with words on it, I will be able to add value. That's just a skill I have as an editor. Once you are able to add value, the Divine will match you up with those who need that value, even as you are matched up with those who bring value to you. This is a holy transaction that is entirely governed by Mind.

A word about comparisons and jealousy—recognize this and thwart it. When you see someone with something you value but don't yet have, rejoice that they've manifested it in their lives and see it as an indication that you can—and do—too.

Freedom from debt; the larger economy

Something else to think about is working to become free from debt if you're not already. I just did this myself, and not necessarily for monetary reasons—I wanted to be more flexible. But listen to this quote from Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek: "Since the 1980s, Americans have consumed more than they produced—and they have made up the difference by borrowing."

I'd never looked at debt that way before. Sure, I was borrowing more than I owned due to my mortgage and car payment, but I hadn't thought of is as consuming more than I produced. I was giving my children a nicer home than I could actually afford to buy with cash, so what's wrong with that? But isn't a huge mortgage just another way to look at renting? I had a prime loan, but in the end I was more or less renting the house I "owned" from the bank rather than a landlord, which also meant I was responsible for upkeep, insurance, taxes, etc. In the end, it cost me way more than it would have if I'd been renting all that time. I could have rented as nice a house and not had to deal with all the ancillary expenses. I *was* renting as nice a house before I bought the one I "owned." Silly me!

Now, I am free from debt. I am renting a house, I just bought a cheap but reliable car with cash I had saved, and I have no consumer debt. My income, too, has increased over the last year. Suddenly, I'm very liquid and flexible—nice spiritual qualities, wouldn't you say? I can also save money for the first time in many years, so at last I can plan for retirement. I don't feel trapped by financial decisions I made that were beyond my means, and I'm free to move as I like. This is a good, abundant feeling.

Everyone's financial situation is different, so don't take me too literally here. You've got to do what feels right and appropriate for you and your families. What's important is to craft a situation for yourself that maximizes where you are in your demonstration right now, and doesn't load you down with obligations that deplete you.

I've come to believe that supposed growth that is based on borrowing is not adding value; it's just spreading around what is already there, or banking on what might be there in the future. But it's not based on solid fact.

Going back to what we discussed earlier, I feel that today's economic situation is part of that belief in death. Global warming is, too. It's the fear that we're on the road to destruction. But man always survives. That's what the Noah and the ark story is all about.

Kerry gave us a thorough treatment yesterday about the market situation. I loved what he said about the mustard seed not staying a seed. Our faith that might start out small will grow and grow into a tree that can house all the birds. This is real value, and we can count on it.

Thank you again for having me here today. It's been such a privilege. To summarize, know God, be obedient, be yourself, and let it flow. Please, please be yourself. Being yourself makes my world better.


Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or submit a question.
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3 Comments:

At 11/10/2008 08:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has been a wonderfully inspiring string. Thank you so much.

 
At 11/10/2008 07:01:00 PM, Blogger Laura Matthews said...

This came in from a blog reader:

Laura,
As I journeyed through the 8 parts of this adventure I found it to be amazing, inspiring and yet so very practical. I will continue to refer to it in the future. Many thanks for sharing it with us.

Columbia

 
At 12/03/2008 05:00:00 PM, Anonymous Bill Spera said...

Wow, Laura, this is great stuff. I can definitely use this as an ongoing reference! Love ya, Chill

 

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