Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Asha Lets it Go

I logged on to check my income tax today and noticed that my PAYE (Pay As You Earn) information had been filed by my department. This was of particular interest to me as I had been overpaid in 2013 and they had repaid the substantial amount in one lump sum in 2014. 

My expectation was that my earnings would be significantly less than normal - well that didn't materialize. In fact when I added up my pay checks they came up to be less than what was filed by about one thousand dollars.

I called one of the accountants twice, and each time netted me information but nothing I could really work on. I pointed out that the overage was probably overtime but I was pretty sure I had not worked enough doubles in that period to account for the thousands of dollars I paid back, as well as the thousand dollars extra.

The accountant succinctly told me that I should have kept better track of my overtime with a finality that said me that she certainly wasn't concerned with whether or not the time had been logged correctly. I acknowledge that my problem is not her problem and that any bitter feelings I have really stem from a feeling of helplessness in the situation.

There have been instances recently where persons have spoken quite tenaciously about making sure that they are given what is due to them and not being 'unfaired' by entities or authority. Within myself I feel the stirrings of wanting to dig down and get to the bottom of this to make sure that I am given what I deserve - in the end I would want my tax return to be such that I get back some of the money I paid in taxes in 2013 for money that I ultimately did not get to keep.

The feeling of 'fighting' for what is mine, or in the very least digging into the situation until it was fully understood by me was accompanied by a sinking feeling. I was not inspired or uplifted by the prospect of going on this hunt for information, and, if need be, the quest for justice.

I looked at it, and I wondered if I was just a coward; maybe I was 'too passive' as one of my good friends likes to say in reference to Bajans in general. I consider that I don't like to cause strife or to rock the boat; I prefer peace and quiet - and there is no peace and quiet to had when it comes to pursuing the threads of an administrative debacle.

In fact, I was not even 100% sure that there was an wrong-doing and I was already upset. This didn't bode well for how I would fare as the situation developer. Although it seemed cowardly to prefer to simply let it go, I also felt that my soul would be much better served if I did.

But why, you ask? It is not because it is 'just' money. It is because right now in this moment as I sat there, solving it wouldn't add anything to my life beyond soothing out a wrinkle. In fact the wrinkle was being caused by my own emotional reaction to the idea that 'something' was wrong. 

But what if I choose to believe that the PAYE info was correct? 

My peace of mind, happiness and well-being right in this moment was not hinged on a hypothetical tax return being the correct figure. My happiness right now depends on me embracing my current situation and making the absolute most of it.

In choosing to believe that the PAYE information filed is correct, I refund myself hours of worrying: back and forth on the telephone or even in person, and there is nothing more I hate than having to converse with virtual strangers on potentially upsetting topics. 

Even if the end result netted me a thousand dollars(which it wouldn't), I would no doubt end up having to spend it all on self care to help to combat the stress that I put myself under trying to unravel the situation. And even after it happened, I could see myself feel bitter and jaded that I even had to go through all of that trouble in the first place.

But more to the point am I a coward? Yes. I don't like confrontation and I avoid it. There, I said it. 

Anyone that reads my blog would know the story of the centipede ~ taking on a situation like this with admin, feels like trying to face down a centipede with one thousand giraffe-sized legs. I simply don't want to.

And you know what? I won't. 

What will I do? Let it go.

Why? Because I was happy and I want to be again.

You don't really believe you can just magic it away? Yes and No. But still.

But still what? I choose to be happy right now over being richer or righter later. 


The End.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Stamp Out Money Worries


If you find yourself regularly stressed and upset over money it is a clear indication that you need to to shift your mindset.

Numbers are beautiful; simple addition and subtraction does not lie. If you do not have enough money to pay your bills, it will be set out clearly in front of you. There is nowhere to hide from the dreaded red numbers that declare that you owe debt to someone or some entity.

Worry is not a mathematical function. It will not improve or change the sum total of your situation and so it is best left out of the equation.

I have often said before to replace worry with hope, neither may have an impact on the answer to your problem, but one is remarkably healthier than the other.

The ill effects of constant worrying on a body have been stated several times, but even more dramatic is the negative effect that it brings to bear on your productivity.

It is only through producing a more abundant situation for yourself that you can begin to bring your money equations back into the black. For some this may be achieved by getting a second job, while others cut their expenses. Some may face the tough decision of downgrading their living standards or in extreme cases filing for bankruptcy.

In each stage of the process, worry can plague you like an unwelcome house guest and rob you of any peace of mind or personal well being.

It is best to make the decision today to set it aside and to fill your life to the brim with gratitude and positive thinking.

When next you start to worry, stop and ask yourself what you can do to improve your situation even a little. Go do that thing. Rinse and repeat.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

First Create a Vision

Knowing where you are going helps you to make important decisions about your preparation. I struggled with vision for a long period of my life and it caused me to feel as if I was getting nowhere; and I wasn't far wrong.

From 2009 to 2012 I saved about 16000 dollars however, by then end of 2012 I only had 5000 dollars left. Of the things I spent the money on, most are gone. Dim to my memory and hardly leaving behind anything tangible that I can say still brings value to my life today.

Back then I was saving money just because I thought I should. The problem came after I saved the money and didn't have any plans for how to spend. This resulted in a free-for-all type of spending with no forethought.

This short term sight followed me from my teen-age years when the traditional path through school didn't appeal to me. I felt depressed instead of energized by the thought of going to college and I had no clear talent in any area that I could focus on.

I was drifting like a log on the river completely at the mercy of the pull of the water. I was ageing but not growing and headed nowhere fast.

Even when I got a grown up job, which had morphed into a respectable career as an Air Traffic Controller, I still suffered from a fundamental lack of vision. I knew quite staunchly what I did not want: a husband, a car, a mortgage but I found it difficult to express what I did want.

When I became interested in personal finance, I tried to take my life plan from the examples of people like Mr. Money Moustache, and other finance gurus preaching the doctrine of early retirement. What he and others have said, and continue to say, makes a lot of sense but it didn't fire me up. I had no passion for it.

And there was the rub; just because something makes logical sense doesn't mean that it is part of your vision. A vision is something that should come from a gut feeling. It should fill you with hope, and drive you to put in the necessary work, to achieve your goal.

I spoke about working with a life coach, and my initial difficultly in coming up with a vision. It continues to be something that I occasionally struggle with but I am getting better and reaping the benefits. There is a satisfaction that cannot be otherwise duplicated, which arises from seeing your hopes and dreams manifested into reality, and knowing that you put in the work to make it so.

Here are some of the tools I use to come up with a vision for myself:

(1) Create a vision board. It is basically a collection of images that you connect with.

(2) Meditate and allow yourself to envision yourself in the future. Be open to whatever images may come up.

(3) Define your core value and then extrapolate from them what changes you could make in your life to live by those values more so than you are doing now.

(4) Above all be open and flexible. As you grow your vision will grow with you. It may change, or it may simply become more refined but refrain from holding on to an old goal that no longer serves you.

The above statement is very true, if you don't make a concerted effort to change your life, the patterns of before continue. It takes first knowing what you want to change to get the ball rolling in that direction.

What is your vision? And what can you do today to get your one step further?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Harnessing Inspiration

Too often in the journey things that we used to enjoy start to lose their sparkle and suddenly they are seen as just another chore on the to-do list. When motivation wanes, it is most often because we lack the spark of inspiration which makes the mundane interesting and enticing.

In her book the '8 Pillars of Motivation", Farnoosh Brock writes that once she discovered her true passion that her motivation became unfailing. It even spread from her main task to all areas of her life leading her to total fulfilment.

Knowing your passions has become the corner stone of the methods I use for coaching clients to master their money; my philosophy is that when you use your abundance to fuel what brings you to life, you will begin to adjust your money habits to ones that make you happier.

I have seen this in action in my own life and so I am happy to show others how to do the same. My passion for writing has grounded me into a reality that is now filled with productivity and contentment.

A passion without inspiration however, is like a light-bulb with no electricity. In order to connect the circuit and make it work, you need to harness your creativity by way of inspiration and bring your passions to life.

Knowing what inspires you to create, can help to top up your energy when you are feeling low. Overcoming writer's block or solving a problem that has you stuck, are hurdles that can be surmounted by strategic action.

I am inspired by portraits, music, comfort and my dreams. Additionally I am inspired by landscapes, flowers, budgeting and good food. I utilize these as my muses, to help me to birth into being new ideas, concepts or simply to bring a smile to my face or in the case of music, a rhythm to my body.

For each person this list will be different, so I implore you to take some time to investigate what causes the gears in your mind to turn. It could be reading poetry, making art, taking a walk or having a soak in the tub; climbing a mountain or watching your favourite movies.

Once you have compiled a list of the things that get your creative juices flowing, set an intention to mindfully do one or more of those things when you are stuck in a rut.

If I am trying to write a scene in my romance novel and struggling, I turn on my playlist and head-bang through the rest of my word count. The work may often needs a bit of polishing, but is filled with raw potential and many times a brilliant new facet of one of the characters is revealed.

In trying to keep my blog populated with posts, I have taken to brainstorming articles and keeping a list of possible topics. I find that I get this done well if I am in my favourite sweater and sipping peppermint tea. Setting the scene to be one that fills me with good feeling, translates to increased productivity.

Take a few moments out of your day today to find your muses and do all you can to keep them nearby. You next great creation is ready to be showcased, so get to it!