Feeling The Toxins Emerge
I'm on day four of my spending detox and I can tell you that the toxins are emerging right on schedule.
Ugh. I know it is a wonderful thing, but why does the releasing process have to feel so yucky??
So here are a few things I am noticing...
First, I watched myself, particularly on day 1 and 2 have urges to buy non-essentials. Most things were just passing bits of whatever that I could easily say, "Coco, that really doesn't feel essential." And no big deal, I let it go and didn't feel any sort of conceivable sting at not making the purchase. I can't really even remember what any of the items were... an ice cream cone for my daughter, a coloring book I thought she'd like, a light fixture for the downstairs bathroom that I will one day install, but it certainly doesn't need to be now. It felt really good to see these items drift out and away from me like toxins going down the drain.
There were also few items I had real difficulty walking away from purchasing. One was a book that was recommended to me, and I felt that all so familiar feeling that "if I read this book, I will finally have the answer to X I've been searching for," and another was a song I heard in my yoga class that my mind kept rationalizing to me that it would be okay to purchase, given it would add to my morning meditation, make me feel centered, and it would only be 99-cents on iTunes blah, blah, blah.... Basically, these were various versions of the same idea that "I don't have what I need already, but this random item will make it all better." So fascinating.
It is becoming clear that 99% of the items I want in a passing moment, I don't truly desire.
I have most everything I need. And I'm no less happy not having these little extras that in the moment, I tell myself will make me feel so much better.
Second, as part of this toxin-releasing journey, I spent a full day on Tuesday dedicated to getting up close and personal with our household finances. This is such important work for me, as it really allows me to have clarity and visibility about where we are, and where I am.
What led me to this detox was a sneaking suspicion that somewhere in our finances I am feeling out of integrity.
Getting up close and personal with the numbers allows me to see if, how, and where my suspicions are accurate.
Our finances, like probably everyone's, is complicated. And while it certainly doesn't earn us a bit of sympathy, because my husband generates a considerable income, our finances are not simple like they were when I was a single woman with one checking account and one savings account. Frank is a partner of firm that does business in lots of states. And because he's a partner, taxes are not automatically withheld, so we are responsible to for making regular payments to several states. Thus, it always seems like we have more money than we do because we haven't yet paid taxes on a big chunk of it. The other wonderful thing about his income is that it has allowed us to make investments. However, each investment requires it's own bit of oversight and attention.
It's very easy in the blur of accounts and numbers for me to sort of numb out and live in a state of denial.
But my soul has no interest in me living in denial. It is the seed of my self-hate. And as a participant of a workshop I recently attended said, "I have no time for self-hate."
I've been heard it said, and my inner voice of wisdom seems to be saying this again quite loudly...
The universe will only give you as much abundance as you can handle.
In other words, if we are not responsible, accountable, and aware of where are money is, where it goes, and wide-awake aware of the choices we are making about it, then certainly the universe will not offer us more.
So I'm getting the strong sense that my soul is directing me to look at this area of my life, so that I may clear it out, clean it up, and that then, when my house is in order, the universe will be ready to offer us more (more in the form of whatever will truly make Frank and me whole, which may or may not come in the form of money).
Thus, on Tuesday, I used the day to update all our numbers of where our money is, the taxes we owe this year, and all the other expenses we anticipate in the remainder of the year. I'd created a budget earlier in the year, and I do our bookkeeping at least once each month in Quicken, but I don't always take the time to fully sit with the numbers and recognize where we are, and whether it is aligned with our larger dreams.
The truth: I calculate the numbers with a level of disconnected brain fog going on, and then email the numbers off to my husband tossing the proverbial ball into his court, hoping that well, now hopefully he's making sense of all of this. And make his lack of response mean, "Oh well, silence must mean everything is good as it is, so we can all just carry on as we have been."
I know. The truth is sometimes embarrassing.
Awake and out of my fog, the numbers revealed that we are quite significantly over budget, as I was suspecting.
And that fact brings forth a familiar whiff of shame.
But before I will allow myself to digress in the all-too-familiar bit of self-criticism and self-loathing, I decided to greet my shame in a different way.
I ask myself....
What is this showing me must change?
And I hear the answer right away, "Well clearly, you must spend less money."
And then my higher wisdom asks me in a clear, powerful voice?
But why is spending less what's truly best for your soul? Not just your way out of shame?
I take a deep breath as I consider this idea. Yes, it makes nothing but logical sense I need to spend less money. I'm over budget, that's logical, yes? But this isn't just about that. I'm getting that spending less will clear out space for my soul to breathe. It will require less energy, less things, less complications.
I'm also seeing that spending isn't making me happy. It's simply another thing I do to avoid being me. I lean on spending to make me feel safe, valued, important. Because the money happens to be there, and because I can spend it if I want, I have derived a feeling of safety, protection, and even value from it.
But all this unconscious spending isn't what my soul wants or needs.
My soul wants to lighten up.
It wants freedom to express itself.
It wants me to surrender any behaviors that are misaligned with my deeper, higher intentions and values.
My intentions include following our budget, saving our money, keeping our costs low so the amount of money needed for our financial freedom is less.
And more than that, I'm seeing that I am not okay with having my husband work so hard in a job that he sometimes enjoys, but is not the higher expression of his soul, while I mindlessly spend the money he makes, prolonging the time it will take for him to retire.
That's the yucky hairball toxin I'm digesting right now.
My soul wants me to follow a path into great love, harmony, bliss, and prosperity. But frankly, I keep getting too hung up, consciously or otherwise, to fully surrender to my soul's higher journey because the human part of me is ashamed of my lack of integrity in this area.
Being accountable, responsible, and in integrity will stop me from leaking my energy and power. It will cork the bleeding, so that I can finally feel free and worthy of what my soul wants for me.
I also believe that the very act of discovering integrity in my relationship with money will heal that part of me that feels shame. It will open up new wisdom and power in the process. It is the perfect salve, while also placing me directly afoot with my soul's higher path.
So this awareness has been big.
I am doing my best to stay focused on having this process be a tool for releasing what's not working, discovering truth, identifying new choices, healing the part of me that is broken, and delivering me to a place where new light can ultimately come in.
Thus, I am in a constant state of reminding myself to not beat myself up for what I discover.
Shame is an old, endarkened way of getting myself to change.
I am not interested in shame as my tool for transformation. Shame is only my indicator that something is out of whack, that something needs healing, and that integrity can be restored through surrender and love.
I realized today that if we continue to live at the spending level we are living, we will need to save almost twice as much as we had been planning for, in order for my husband to retire.
I could use this information to beat myself up. But I choosing surrender and love instead.
Thus, I stand here today feeling sad, disappointed, and ashamed, and I am using that as a way to lift myself into new awareness.
I am open and surrendered to allowing myself to change and new behaviors to take root in my being, so that I can now be in integrity with our desires... our agreement to follow a budget, my wish for my husband's freedom to retire, and my soul's calling toward light, expression, bliss, prosperity, and wholeness.