The Finances of Change
The Change Finances,
If you can’t afford to make change in your life, it most likely has nothing to do with money.
Change is expensive – energetically speaking.
Wait. Before you tune out because I’ve gone full hippy on you, hear me on this one. Change really is expensive, and if you don’t have the energetic capital to fund it, you’re either going to fail or go bankrupt – neither of which will help you lose the weight you want, write the book you’ve been dying to get out there, or have the baby that’s at the top of your 2016 “to do” list.
Learning to understand and manage your energy will allow you to make changes in your life that stick. Changes that have potential to pay you back with dividends beyond your wildest dreams. Let’s look at the role our daily energy plays in our lives and how to both grow it and manage it so it’s there to fund the life of our dreams.
Since everyone has had to use money at some point in their lives and is fairly familiar with the concept, let’s think of your daily energy as the money you wake up with each day. It’s like an allowance. Depending on your age, health, and the constitution, this number changes over time, but is relatively consistent every day.
For argument’s sake, let’s say you wake up each morning with a shiny new hundred dollar bill. This is your energetic capital for the day. Sure, you can spend more than you’ve been given, but that will leave you with less for tomorrow. You can keep borrowing and borrowing if you’d like, but eventually we all have to pay the piper.
So, it’s morning, we’re awake, we’ve got our crisp Benjamin in hand, and we’re eager to do some shopping. Let’s slow things down a bit, though. It may be first thing in the morning, but we’ve already got some taxes we’re committed to paying:
- Showering, eating breakfast, walking the dog, putting on make-up – $15
- Driving to work and dealing with traffic – $10
- Dealing with having a real a-hole for a boss – $15
- Working in a job that we like – $25
- Working in a job that we hate – $40
- Having an argument with your significant other on the way into work – $8
- Still being pissed from last week’s disagreement after you caught him talking to “her” – $12
- Worrying about how you’re going to afford a new car? – $5
- Wondering what to make for dinner? – $2
- Making dinner – $8
- Thinking, “I really should go to the gym, but I don’t want to” – $4
- Thinking, “Screw it. I’ll go anyway” + $5
- Three other, “I really should…but not tonight” thoughts – $10
Grand total – $129 if you like your job. $134 if you don’t.
See where this is going? Thoughts are expensive. Memories can be costly, as well. As can discord. The only energetic income-producing activity above came from going to the gym, where you lowered your cortisol levels and got your blood flowing. Well done.
Even more important to notice is the financing of not doing certain activities – like actively sending your resume out, meal planning, or taking that class you’ve long to be in. Those items cost rent in your life. If you need to do something like clean out a closet, organize your taxes, make that phone call you don’t want to but know you should, then fussing about it and not doing it still costs you energetic capital. Capital that could be used to finance all manner of awesome ideas and kick-ass activities.
If it costs $134 to get through a typical day as outlined, and we’re only given $100 each day, where does the other $34 come from? Usually, it comes from substances that are slowly tapping our adrenals and killing us. We wake up and hit Starbucks, have something sugary after lunch, and then down a pre-workout before hitting the gym.
In False Yang Fake Energy (link) we covered the fact that the energy you feel during these negative-balance days is not pure. It’s not real energy. It’s like Monopoly money being used at local markets. It may fool some people, but eventually you have to pay up.
So, how do we get through the day without spending as much? Let’s look at some ways we can curtail “spending.”
1. You’re going to have to get yourself to work in a presentable manner, however, how you go about that can be cheaper or more expensive. Lay your clothes out the night before, have a nutritious breakfast, and keep your phone and television off until you get to work. This will allow you to relax into your morning and won’t start your reactive mind until it’s needed.
2. On the drive to work, utilize your time. Listen to inspirational podcasts, books on tape, or something that will make you laugh. It’s hard to be stressed about traffic when Louis CK is with you.
3. I’m sorry your boss is a challenge. Sometimes this is life, but other times we can use his/her a-holeness to our advantage as a form of practicing patience, speaking our truth, standing up for ourselves, or finding an employment option that doesn’t include having to speak in ways that are now unacceptable because your self-esteem demands more of you. Just saying.
4. Arguments happen. And they are expensive. Is there a way to put your ego to the side and apologize for your role in the disagreement? Can you see things from your significant other’s point of view? It’ll save you a lot of cash in the long run. Trust me.
5. Unexpressed upset from last week, last month, or last year is really expensive. It also doesn’t cost the offending party anything at all. You pay; they skate. Sounds like a shitty deal to me. So express yourself. Find a way to do it skillfully and let your partner know what you’re going through. Perhaps starting with, “I want to completely own this and it’s my experience so I’m not asking that you do anything but hear me out. I’m feeling XYZ.”
6. Take three of your ever present “shoulds,” block out thirty minutes on a weekend or evening, and knock them out – you know what they are. Use the “vacation rule.” If you were going on vacation tomorrow at 6am and needed these actions completed, you’d do it. You might stay up till midnight, but you’d get them done. I can’t tell you how many times an activity that took no more than eight minutes to complete was sitting on my “to do” list for months just charging rent. And every time, the feeling of elation at its completion was followed by the inevitable, “I can’t believe I put that off for half of the year and thought about it 10,000 times.”
Going through the above, staying focused on the present moment, and holding yourself to the understanding that how you live costs you real “currency” will help you dictate the manner in which you conduct yourself. If you take action on these tips, you’ll start to feel a reduction in your energetic expenditures.
Now let’s look at ways to increase our energetic capital. You may start each day with $100, but you can earn money by how you live, and – here’s the best part – if you don’t end up spending your energy on Wednesday, it rolls over to Thursday. This is why most of you feel human again after one week in Cancun and ready to take on the world after two weeks. It’s all due to accumulated energy.
Here are six ways to increase the amount of energetic capital you have at your disposal on a daily basis. Six ways to make yourself feel better all day long!
When not done excessively, movement practices will give you energy. How much better do you feel after going for a run, swimming, surfing, or doing yoga? I can quote thousands of people who have walked into a workout tired from the day, yet walked out feeling renewed and refreshed. The key is not to overdo it and to listen to your body. If your workouts are leaving you exhausted on a regular basis, it’s most likely time to reevaluate a number of areas of your life – including your choice of workout.
Eat real food. I’ve found that eliminating processed foods, sugar, wheat, and dairy is the fastest way to increase daily energy. Real, long-lasting sustainable energy that doesn’t lead to a metabolic crash that necessitates a 3,000-calorie drink from Starbucks to replenish. Eating vegetables, lean meats, fats, and light starches makes for a wonderful meal plan and infinite options, all of which help you finance a healthy life.
By slowing down your metabolic rate and lowering your cortisol levels first thing in the morning, the amount of energy needed throughout the day is lowered. It’s expensive to be reactive. It’s expensive to live in a state of agitation. Start your day in a state of calm and slowly collect dividends all day long.
Gentlemen, how do you feel after a haircut and a shave? Ladies, how do you feel after a haircut and mani-pedi? I don’t have hair anymore, but I remember well that my head was held higher and there was more pep in my step after leaving Joe the Barber back in the day. Taking care of ourselves is invigorating. It’s a reminder to our systems that they can run efficiently. Just like with meditation, when we feel good about ourselves, we are less reactive, things roll off us more easily, and our central nervous system is more at ease. Thus, self-care is a pleasant addition to the energetic piggy bank.
Genuine human connection, be it between lovers, friends, or family, will add real money to your account. Human beings are communal creatures and spending time with supportive, like-minded people reminds us at the deepest level that we’re OK, and that we’re going to be OK, no matter what happens to us. When we have a village around us, it inspires us to take greater risks and accept larger challenges as the collective energy of those around us raises our own.
6. Spiritual Enrichment
Regardless of how you define “spirituality,” communing in a space that involves something larger than ourselves is a great boost to our energetic account. This can be anything from time in church to being on the open ocean. It’s is up to you. “Finding God” can mean praying, meditating, reading spiritual texts, or engaging in conversations about your higher power, whomever or whatever that may be.
Cultivate Energetic Wealth
Some of us are disasters when it comes to money. And some of us are disasters when it comes to our daily energetic finances, as well. But neither realm has to be that confusing. It’s a simple matter of what gets spent and what is earned. Take a look at your energy income vs. expenses and see where you’re leaking much-needed finances. Stop spending that money. Stop wasting that energy. And instead, start devoting yourself to energy-enriching, life-expanding ventures.
Cultivating wealth leads to riches in the financial realms. Cultivating wealth energetically gives us the ability to pursue big dreams, finance great health, and enjoy prosperity in the way we experience our day-to-day lives. It makes our time here on earth richer and fuller.