What You See Isn’t Always What You Get

girl-flowersThis week’s blog is a bit personal, but I feel compelled to share some of my thoughts since this subject has come up too many times in the last week and these thoughts just won’t leave me alone.

While at a family reunion a wee bit ago, I had the chance to visit with dozens of family and friends. It was awesome. Everyone was happy, healthy, and vibrant. We were all catching up with each other and it was really fun. But I found myself feeling awkward a few times and here’s why.

Many of these folks hadn’t seen me, or I them, for several years. Many didn’t know I was in a car accident that left me brain injured. They knew about the neck surgery and rotator cuff surgery, but didn’t seem to know or remember the brain injury.

I didn’t give it much thought in the moment, and my response was, “Brain injuries are invisible; one can’t see the injury, so many believe there isn’t one. And that’s the beauty of a TBI (traumatic brain injury), if I kept a smile on my face and my mouth shut, no one knew my struggles.

And the truth was, I struggled A LOT! The part of my brain that handled computation, order, and routine had been severely injured. For a few years, I was on a delay, anywhere between 2 minutes and 20, before what was said to me actually sunk in, computed, and I could respond. Keeping up with a conversation that had more than two people in it was excruciating and scary; one false word or response and they’d know I was struggling. Worse even, my shame would overtake me and my esteem went into the toilet.

differenceprayerI’m pleased to say that I’ve been the receiver of many miracles and blessings because of the accident and the adversity that came along with it. One such blessing was I found my true calling and purpose. Another was that I discovered who my true friends were. A third was I learned what sound health was. A fourth was the body is an amazing, self-healing mechanism if we support it as such. And yet another, that the brain can find new neuro-pathways to circumvent injury and find its way to healing and recover over time.

The first three years were rather depressing. Even though I smiled a lot and tried to make the best of it, I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. In my third year of challenges, post surgeries, I thought I’d never work again. But by the end of my fourth year, I had glimmers of hope. I’d been given the gift of barometric chamber treatments, and I was able to make a startling progress in a a little over eight weeks. By the end of year five, I was certain I could manage being a business owner. And by the end of the sixth year, I was actually performing calculations in my head again.BlameChange

Why am I sharing all this with you? Because a TBI is an invisible injury, as are many disorders and diseases, such as leukemia, fibromyalgia, and auto-immune diseases. We can’t always SEE what someone is going through, and it’s presumptuous to think that because someone LOOKs normally healthy, that they actually are. It’s something that we healthy folks take for granted and assume everyone is just like us. But many are not; many are hanging on by their fingernails simply trying to stay active and engaged.
But that doesn’t always work out the way we plan. Things go wrong: inflammation flares, pain erupts, and thinking can become like a thick fog. Snapping to judgment when someone doesn’t respond as quickly or in the way that we’re used to, isn’t fair or right. I once heard someone snap, “what are you, retarded?” to someone who stuttered and couldn’t get the words out. So unkind …I wanted to cry.

All I ask is for us to be patient, kind, and loving. If someone isn’t moving as fast as we are, graciously move around them; our hurry isn’t their business. Consider helping someone who’s struggling; I love it when I see people helping people, because that’s how it’s supposed to be. Let’s face it, if we’re lucky enough to live into old age, we just might move a bit slower then and appreciate some loving kindness and patience.

I’ve been blessed with a remarkable recovery even if I’m not the same, and I’m ever so grateful. We should all be grateful for the gifts and blessings we have, and share them with those who could use our help and want it.

I love you. I hope you don’t feel I’m scolding you. I’ve just got a head full of steam and needed to let it out. The Money Savvy Woman community is full of loving and supportive folks—You’re one of them! Thank you being a part of it, for letting me get this off my chest, and for the kindnesses you’ve shown each other as you make your way on your journey to financial independence and freedom. God bless!

Remember, it’s your money, your rules, your way!

Money Savvy Woman © 2016

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Your Happiness & Overcome Fear of Success in 7 Powerful Steps

MaltzOne of my favorite mentors and coaches suggested I read Psycho-Cybernetics, by Maxwell Maltz. I’m a reader, so it wasn’t long before I got myself an audio version and started listening to it as I exercised. To cut to the chase, it may be the greatest recommendation she’s made to me. What I’ve learned, I simply have to share. It’s truly exciting stuff.

You know I’m all about mindset and having a wealthy mind, so this book, having originated before I was born, is a manifesto on self-image, self-empowerment, and success. It’s A-MA-ZINGLY simple. In fact, Dr. Maltz has an acronym of SUCCESS that truly spells out the basic steps and requirements, while all the while reminding us that we are all children of God and His plan for us is to prosper. What we believe about ourselves determines everything.

James Allen wrote “You are today where your thoughts brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” Our habits of thought plant the seeds of success or failure. Here are the seeds to sow for SUCCESS according to Maxwell Maltz. I have found them to be true

direction-JeffYoungS = Sense of Direction. Keep your sense of direction. Set goals that keep you on track, not what others expect of you. Ask yourself what you want, what do you want to achieve, where do you want to go. Think of riding a bike… one cannot maintain their balance without moving ahead in the direction they steer the bike. Keep yourself focused on the future, acquire a nostalgia for the future. We are engineered as goal-seekers; keep your clearly defined targets in front of you.

U = Understanding. See the truth and accept it for what it is. When it comes to living as our real selves, living in truth can best be defined as choosing self-acceptance over self-rejection. He explains that when we “shoot the messenger,” even if it’s ourselves, we don’t want to admit to ourselves that we were wrong, mistaken, or have failed. Because we don’t understand or accept the truth, we lie to ourselves.

Sincerity is not telling ourselves rational lies. Who’s right doesn’t matter, but what’s right does matter. You are not your mistakes. Admit mistakes and errors, but don’t cry over them. Acknowledge them, learn from them, set them aside and move on without getting mired in them. Correct them and go forward.

C = Courage. Live courageously by strengthening your self-image. Be more assertive in asking for what you need or want. Bounce back from adversity. Bet on yourself. Take action. Try to see others’ points of view and consider their validity and worth.

Discover your options, pick the course with the most promise, and go for your goal. Take the risk of making a mistake. Modifying and amending–course correcting– as you go will keep you on track.

Be willing to make a few mistakes, suffer a little pain. Don’t sell yourself short. You don’t know how brave you really are. Caste your self-doubt aside and garner your self-reliance. Act boldly and with courage in the smaller, little things in life. When the big things call, you’re more prepared to respond boldly, yet appropriately.

C – Charity. Charity is symptomatic of people who are dealing with reality. Treating people with respect is charity as it isn’t instantly reciprocated. It isn’t transactional, but it can be our contribution to society.

Be kind when dealing with others. Offer them the respect we wish for ourselves. People are important and can’t be treated disrespectfully or simply as a means to our ends. When we begin to feel more charitable to others, we become more charitable to ourselves. Our own self-image improves when we start respecting others as unique, worthy and valuable individuals contributing to society, our society.

ForwardTake time to be considerate of others, to stop and think about what they must be feeling. Act as if other people are important and treat them as such.

E = Esteem. “It’s no use. I can’t do it.” is defeatism. The inner critic who holds a low opinion or low esteem of ourselves is the thief of happiness, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and peace of mind. We must be strong enough to chastise our inner critic especially when it begins to harp and belittle us. We must be able to say, “Stop!” And send it back to its dark corner properly chastised for doubting us.

S = Self-Confidence. Self-Confidence is the result of a series of successful experiences. Remember past successes and forget failures. It’s time we stop impressing failures into our brains, destroying our self-confidence.

We must be able to fail 99 times with the intention of succeeding once and not suffer emotionally in that process. Think of actors, writers, and sales people are faced with a ridiculous amount of rejection, however, they don’t take it personally, or own it as self-rejection. They develop a muscle of resiliency that keeps them in the game, keenly focused on their goals.

Successful personalities take failures, errors, and mistakes as ways of learning and then dismiss them. We need to call up feelings of past success and focus on those feelings to imprint confidence.

S = Self-Acceptance. Self-acceptance is accepting that God made each of us unique and in His own image, warts and all. When we change our self-image from a negative to positive outlook, we’ve opened the door to self-realization and self-actualization. Again, we are not our mistakes. It’s important to recognize them, overcome our ignorance, accept our weaknesses and imperfections of our real self, and move forward.

WomanBusinessFirst things first, accepting ourselves as we are and starting from there. Learn to accept our imperfections. We’re all perfectly imperfect. Differentiate your SELF and your behavior. Love yourself and nurture good behaviors. Focus on constant improvement in areas you can control.

When we keep a clear sense of direction, and remain steadfast in understanding the truth and reality of what is and where we are, and combine it with courage to take action and the charity to consider others’ opinions and feelings while holding our inner critic at bay, our experiences lead toward more self-confidence and self-acceptance, which in turn manifest as success.

It is my firm belief that any challenge is won or lost between our ears. I challenge you to practice these simple, yet powerful steps to success for 21 days, journaling as you go. Creating your own string of successful experiences will open the door to more happiness, less fear, and true self-respect.

Remember, it’s your money, your rules, your way!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2016

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Reframe Your Pain RIGHT NOW with One Simple Step

ReframeI don’t have a lot of time, but I just wanted to bang this one out to you as adversity seems to have hit so many recently.

Life isn’t easy. Yeah, I know you already know that. But I just feel compelled to talk to you about it a bit.

To coin the cliché, “it’s what we make it” is so true. So I want to ask you…

What are the most important things to you in your life …the one you’re living right now? You’re REAL life. Is it really your money? Your stuff? (That big screen? The coffee maker (well, in my case, maybe the coffee maker), your clothes, shoes, car?

I don’t think so. I get caught up with the rest of society going for my “goals.” But when I look at the list before me, not many are really stuff. My goal list looks like this:

  • Take a road trip up Pacific Coast Hwy 1 to see our beautiful coast and visit family and friends all the up to Canada
  • Visit my family in Florida, my aunt isn’t getting any younger
  • Visit my family in Wisconsin as I haven’t seen them in 10 years!
  • Go to Oregon to …can you guess? Yeah, visit my cousin and bestie from high school
  • Visit my family in the U.K. and see more sites we missed the last time
  • Visit our friends in Germany …we want to see more of their beautiful country and the links to my heritage
  • Hit the French country side & take some cooking lessons
  • Go to Perugia, Umbria, and Tuscany in Italy …cooking lessons 😀
  • Take a Mediterranean cruise by sailboat of Greece
  • Visit all the islands in the Caribbean

The goals that are needs are:

  • Buy a new car (we need one in the next year or so)
  • Remodel the master bath, it’s sorely in need of some TLC
  • Remodel the kitchen … same thing, it’s dated by 30 years
  • Save for retirement

According to this well-thought out goals list, nothing else matters. When life throws me a curve ball, it’s the memories of time spent with family and friends that gets me through it. In my mind’s eye, I see their love for me, their own survival when the sh*t (just being real) hits the fan, and the encouragement for me to remember, “This too shall pass.”

Life IS what we make it. We need to slow down, take a few deep breaths, look for the miracle or lesson in what’s happening right now, and turn our trials and tribulations into life lessons and wisdom we can apply to ourselves and share if need be. I don’t know about you, but I’m so much happier when I’m learning than when I’m stubbornly waiting for something to end.

Life is an experience …it truly IS what we make it. It’s a journey, adventure, and miraculous thing. We can frame it anyway we like.

In less days than I can count on two hands, I get to visit with an Aunt who turned 90 years old yesterday. How blessed am I to have an aunt that “seasoned.” One who loves me, gets me, and always has love in her heart. When I spoke to her yesterday, she requested that we not get any gifts as the gift she truly wants is to SEE us, to HUG us, and to SPEND TIME with us, “so be prepared to hang out” with her and the 50 other people coming to celebrate with her.

What a gift to me her perspective is. It’s not about stuff, it’s all about LOVE.

So when it comes to money, keep it all in perspective. If you have a little or a lot of it, you still need to make decisions about what to do with it. Keep in mind what truly is important and the fluff will fall away.

Young happy woman converting the word impossible to possible. Positive thinking and success concept

I love you. I pray for you to have all you need and want. If I can help you get better at it, I’m here for you. And, if you’re struggling, let me remind you that…

You’ve got this! You can do it. Just keep what matters most to you in front of you and align your thoughts and actions with that. When things blow apart, reach for what matters most, and find a way to live, love, and learn.

Remember, it’s your money, your rules, your way!

Money Savvy Woman, Inc. © 2016