As I sit down to write to you this evening, I am reviewing the last 30 years of my life. The various websites we started, the countless email campaigns, the hundreds of events and venues myself and staff have worked as a Keynote Speaker or as a Financial Coach are all being run across my path. I have been reading 30 years of comments and recommendations. Why, you ask, have I been doing this? Well, I am, once again beginning again. And as I am, I am realizing that life is not about making the one right choice and staying on that path alone. I am realizing that life is like an ocean that is filled by the countless meandering rivers that flow into it. As such, each season of our life is filled with the amazing waters of our current river. If we are wise, we learn from these and add this knowledge to our larger ocean called life. Hopefully, we will have spent the time in our current river being refreshing water to others as we flowed through our season into our larger waters. The problem lies when we get so focused on this season, on this issue, on this river's flow that we sometimes drown underneath the low waters before we meet our ocean wave that will help us to rise up out of the issue we are in. In other words, we get so focused on our current situation we are in that we lose site of the larger picture of our life that this one moment in time is simply a dot in the larger beautiful picture. And when we do, we allow the circumstance to guide our lives, our language, our hopes and dreams. We use terms like "I'm drowning in debt", or "I'm sinking here". So today, as I begin this newest updated version of our website and blogs, I am looking over the last 30 years and hoping I impacted lives and I am praying I will be able to use the wisdom of the last 30 years to be a wave of hope and inspiration to you all. So, let's get to living WHILE we get out of debt, WHILE we work on our health, WHILE we work on our relationships--Let's start living today and enjoying this ocean of life no matter what river you are flowing on to get there! #herestoliving!~
As we dive in to this new blog, I want to fill you in with WHY I am starting now. You see, when I was a young newlywed, fresh out of college with a passion to change people's lives, I took the path that was set before me at the time. And, being the person who strives for excellence, I became the best teacher I could. And I wrote. I wrote to encourage. I wrote to support. I wrote to be free of my personal pains I was experiencing. I wrote--because writing was always cathartic for me. It was as if putting the words on the paper actually took the pain from my heart. And my prayer was always that the words on the paper would help heal the reader's heart as well. That was 30 years ago--pre computer and pre internet and website. So, I put it all into an anthology. My intent was that this would then be published. But as life would ebb and flow, everything else became more important and I never followed through and gave it to the publisher. So it sat, unread except by those who asked to see it. Many would say that was a path not taken. I do not. I see it as a season of preparation for today.
So I went back to teaching school. It was wonderful and I will always look upon those times as an amazing gift of opportunities that taught me how to love, laugh and color outside of the lines when needed! But I always knew I was supposed to do something else. So I took those years and put them on the shelf. But not before I wrote down the knowledge I learned along the way. And then life took another amazing turn....
I was blessed with my 3 amazing children over a course of 4 years. What proceeded to follow was a life filled with laughter, tears, going back to school in the late hours of the night after all the children were sleeping, amazing wonders and lots and lots of growing up by my children and by me as well! And through it all, I wrote. I wrote about my successes. I wrote about my failures and I wrote about my fears, worries and what ifs.
I would pull those writings out over the last 30 years from time to time and I found out that the same issues were happening over and over for the people I was now counseling in their marriage and money. So it got me thinking....If we all experience the same issues over our lifetime, am I really on a different path now, or was I just learning about the things I was supposed to share with people to help heal all of our hearts now?! I realized so many people were coming to me--stuck in a perpetual circle of "someday my life will change" all the while, their life was happening right before them. It was as if my writings while I lived over the last 30 years were somehow revealing to us all now that life happens whether we are waiting for someday to come. And, if we are not careful, when we finally look up from our constant striving to get "somewhere" for "someday".....well, someday may never come.
So, now, I have these 30 years of wisdom sitting here alongside my current life of counseling. But what I see is that we are all still asking the same questions. And, ultimately, those questions can be summed up in 1 Biggest Picture question.......How do I LIVE my best life when so many of life's meandering rivers are hitting me full force? And suddenly I realized--The time is now to start again--to start a new river path to the larger ocean and take you all with me! As the Bible says in Esther 4:14, "Perhaps this is the day for which you have been created."
And now I sit here writing to you. Because I believe that Perhaps THIS is the day for which YOU have been created and it is time to stop waiting for someday and it is time to start LIVING. I believe that someday will come if you actually take the actions necessary to create that someday!
So my team and I created Here's to Living!~ Actually, it has been my signature and my tagline for 30 years. Every one of those writings or musings I have read signed off with the same 3 words--Here's To Living!~ So I realized--NOW is my time to start helping all of us actually start learning to live a life that has us all saying, "Here's To Living!~"
So every Wednesday we will be posting a word of wisdom to help us start living WHILE creating that plan of action to get to someday. BUT.... by working on 1 action at a time, you will actually get to someday with your head looking up to experience NOW..the very amazing life that is happening all around us.
Together, we will pay off our bills, get healthy, become wealthy & live out the dreams of our Best Life. And, ultimately, help you achieve your Best YOU!
So how do we expect to do this? Well, we are going to start with the questions and concerns people have been sharing with me over the last 30 years. Hopefully, you will find a nugget of gold for you to add to your amazing life to help you achieve your Best YOU!!
This week, we are addressing the age old question, do I save my tax refund or do I spend it? I want to encourage you to save some AND spend some! Here is what I am talking about.....
Let's think about our tax refund like this: More often than not, people come to me around tax time hoping they will be receiving a tax refund. Their idea is that when they get the refund, THEN they will live, but the conflict always occurs in their inner dialouge that tells them, "I should use it all to pay off debt, I should save it all, I should....."
STEP #1 TO YOUR DESTINY: STOP USING THE WORD SHOULD! Sure, I should have saved, BUT I DIDN'T! Sure, I should have a savings--BUT I DON'T! I should have gone to the gym, I should have bought a cheaper car.....We keep ourselves swirling in our own whirlpool of should haves and never move forward. So, STOP SAYING SHOULD! If you don't have a savings account, then open one--even if it is just with $5.00! As we will learn in the coming weeks, as we start something and put that line item into our budget (yes we are writing budgets!), then we end up following through, creating and LIVING the life we have been longing to live! So STOP using SHOULD and start doing.
STEP #2 TO YOUR DESTINY: We are planning for your tax refund that will happen in the next few months. This week, go open a savings account. If you already have one, that is fine. But this savings account is your future you account. So, open the savings account. I encourage you to look up bank accounts that have bonus deposits if you open their account. I googled it this morning and found 5 different accounts that, if you deposit and open an account you can receive up to $500! That is instant growth! Some of these require a large deposit and some require only $40 to open! So, go open a savings account. And then....
STEP #3 TO YOUR DESTINY: Set up an automatic deposit from your checking account to the savings of $5.00 a month. If you find that you have more to put in there after your bills are paid, then add more. However, create the automated $5.00 to begin your wealth growing plan.
STEP #4 TO YOUR DESTINY: Plan for your Tax Refund today. Answer the following questions to yourself: 1. What do I want to accomplish with my tax refund this year (I actually do not like people receiving a refund, but we will discuss that in a later article)? 2. What portion will I be comfortable spending? 3. What portion will I be comfortable saving? 4. What credit cards and debt do I have that could use an extra payment to prepare me for paying that card off next year? Once you have the answers to these questions, make the decision that your tax refund will be deposited to your new savings account automatically by filling out the direct deposit form when you file your taxes. You will receive your tax refund faster as it arrives many times in as little as 10 days!
Take today to be your new beginning and start you path to living your best YOU!
Here's to Living!~