Thursday, July 25, 2013

Financial Reading

Finances are often a taboo topic in our culture, and I decided that since I’m not comfortable with money per se that I ought to spend some time with it educationally and intellectually to get stronger bearings on my own relationship to it.  Confronting fears is healthy.

I’ve mentioned in a previous entry that a conscious economy (Ben Hewitt’s term) will replace the unconscious myth of separateness.  Our current systems are doomed to fail.  Continuous growth is no longer sustainable on our planet.  90% of what we make we throwaway (except there is no “away”…).  We have serious survival reasons to adapt more sustainable practices, communities and mindsets.  We must evolve or cease and desist, as it were.

Saved: How I Quit Worrying about Money and Became theRichest Guy in the World (Ben Hewitt) is a book that interests me greatly.  Ben Hewitt is a writer that I keep up with books and blog-wise, and he has a straight-forward manner of addressing issues like food safety/autonomy, local movements, sustainable living, authentic living etc.  I keep looking for that silver bullet idea in the book, that insight that would change everything.  I don’t think there is one even though the gist is that we need to shift to a conscious economy since our current system poisons us and the Earth.   The book does examine the lifestyle of someone living off of what we can’t imagine and living what he considers a rich life.  But he’s detached from what most of us are still plugged into.  (Next I’d like to read Sacred Economics:Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition.)

We need to have real value to offer the world regardless of inspired motives for change.  Generally, our lives become compromises of ideals to live whichever we deem authentic or full.  The main guy, Erik, depends on the generosity of many people.  There’s nothing wrong with interdependence (since he obviously inspires and gives of himself in many ways), but many of the people assisting him in his detached life earn money from within our current system.  So no one is truly detached.  The cast-offs that he finds in dumpsters were also made in this system.  So while Hewitt and his subject offer a wildly different perspective and way of living, I can’t imagine it working for EVERYONE.  If everyone unplugged, there wouldn’t be sources to pad those tough choices (with autonomy still in place)--no wasted resources to find in dumpsters, no cars to borrow and what-not.
 a book that is supposed to give insight into generating more wealth.  There is an unflinching idea that while he regrets the gap between the haves and have-nots, it’s due to an unenlightened, crowd-following, misinformed flock.  I have some news for him: if the flock were hip to his jive, he wouldn’t have the microphone (or any song for that matter).  Corporate maneuvers and “smarter” financial choices and loopholes still work out to cost people somewhere.  Perhaps those externalized costs don’t keep him up at night, but I’m afraid my conscience does not escape them.  To be sure, only a few can be rich the way he advocates being rich—letting money work for you, being smarter not working harder, being the great employer rather than the employee.  Resources on our earth and people’s lives (via our time and efforts) are very real even if what our currency represents is _not_ given the eradication of the Gold Standard.
And yet I banter with myself.  So often I feel connected to negative thoughts and judgments.  I'm not sure I'll effect the world for good Marching AGAINST Monsanto and launching campaigns with the Badass Teacher's Association (both of which I'm generally a part).  Those types of group (and the type of thinking that disregards our current financial system) are in essence negative or reactive.  We educate the public in many instances; but once we/others have some education, what do we do with all that rancor?

What I did take away, still, was that mindsets about assets and liabilities vary for middle class and wealthy folks.  That was an interesting notion to ponder, and ponder it I will.  I don’t regret wanting to be more savvy with money.  Wanting to be in the proper flow of wealth gives much to many; and as Wayne Dyer says, “you will never be sick enough to heal the sick.”  Essentially guilt does not help people out of predicaments.  But innovation, ah, the creative spirit: humans are amazing this way!

I’d like to go on record to say that I can’t imagine concrete socialism either.  Given our current state of evolution, such ventures seem bound to fail.  But what if humans are changing?  What if we do manage to save our skins and really have a go at sustainable communities?  Perhaps we will emerge different.  What if people really tapped into their deepest Source and united?

Another thing worth noting is the importance of sales/marketing whatever special thing you have to offer.  Too often we feel this is beneath us, but Kiyosaki points out that it's necessary to reach more people.  I also took away the idea that your own learning and growth are ultimately more important than (a false sense, really, of) security.  That’s pretty powerful, regardless of our views about systems, finance and the world’s progress.  To keep learning in a huge variety of areas is essential for his view of success.

Good reads even if I was still left without a more concrete “solution” from either book.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Carol Tuttle

I want to mention a resource as much as to talk about one of the books I've finished recently.  Originally, I thought about just putting my normal book reflections here;  but the ideas are woven with others that are highly valuable.
The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children
The Child Whisperer is a fantastic book about raising kids and looks deeply at four energy types and how they think (at various ages) with lots of examples.  I THINK I have it down to ZoĆ« being a 4 (not sure about secondary) and Eleni as a 3 (secondary 2).  I need to study their faces more because the energy types are traceable in our features even.  (Here are videos that help with that.) There was a lot of discussion in this book about how to support our kids true to their type and needs.  It made me think a lot about various expectations we have that might or might not be necessary but because we were raised this way we assume it's good for all kids etc.  It's interesting.  Lots to ponder.

First, I should talk about who Carol Tuttle is.  She is an energy healer and a spiritual teacher.  In her grounding beliefs, we see a lot of familiarity since she's a Christian and is very interested in serving God.  I think she's a perfect bridge for a lot of people who worry about dabbling in the uncomfortable. I first heard of her because of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or "Tapping," as it is called) which is a wonderful way to sort of hit the resent button on your nervous system (very helpful as regards stress).  (There are many sources for EFT, but The Tapping Solution stuff by Nick Ortner is where I started.  He holds a tapping summit each year where you can hear talks and practice tapping for free.)  Then I realized she had her own very comprehensive body of work.

She offers quite a lot free online--I did the Energy Profiling tutorial stuff for free and found where I fit very easily.  It's harder for me to nail where my girls fit, but I'm getting a clearer picture these days.  The energy typing is different from personality types etc.  It's about the type of movement you have/express more than personal quirks so much.  (I'm a Type 2, by the way.)  Her book on the subject is called It's Just My Nature.

Then I explored her Dressing Your Truth work which has free components too.  It might be odd that I took any plunges there and actually spent money since I can be low on the frill factor this way, but I did.  I did the tutorials there and have guides/info.  I'm sorry to say I haven't read that accompanying book (yet) and did pass it on.  One day I'll probably revise things that way.  This program is so very freeing--to understand beauty as part of your natural expression rather than trying to fit with all the fads, fashions and body imaging world.  I'm not sure if this is true for me, but many of the women I see who dress according to their energy types look much younger.

It feels so much easier to put together my outfits for work, and that has all become a lot of fun for me.  (I confess that I'm lazy about it at home.)  She has club nights that are recorded each month so we get to learn new stuff as we go along.  There is all kinds of support--even down to hairstyles and accessories that seem to jive with types.  The Carol Blog is a good resource for a lot of her material and different areas too.

They have other programs too, but these are the ones I am familiar with.  Her reach and that of her team is pretty prolific, and I think she is so successful because so much of what she teaches is necessary these days. So many of us are very wounded and out of balance.  I'm curious to read her earlier book Remembering Wholeness.  I'll get to that one probably next.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Spicy Asian Salad

I can't tell you how much we're enjoying flowers lately.  Here are some of a friends' from the farmer's market.  What a show.
 The Forks over Knives Cookbook isn't disappointing!  We made their Spicy Asian Salad from page 63, and Eric liked it so much he got seconds.  (I used red quinoa because I like variety!, and I didn't do as many green onions as they call for.)  We had enough for leftovers and some for the freezer.  We ate it over spinach and also had some roasted okra to accompany it--purple/red okra from our CSA bag.
 Here's some dried feverfew from our garden.  To think, I could have three times this amount if I had harvest it all and not been overwhelmed with all three large stalks.  The compost is might anti-inflammatory these days.

Parts of the garden

 This is Eric's basil and pepper patch. :)  We have only three varieties of basil in this box (sweet, Thai and lime), but in my other herb boxes we have tulsi (or holy basil) and pineapple basil.
 Cabbages and brussel sprouts share a box with cauliflower and broccoli.

Tomatoes, pinto beans (just a few for experimentation) and strawberries (same, few for experimentation) are the raggle taggle gypsy box.
 Here's one of the herb boxes.  I have a lot of new seedlings scattered in both this box and my less populated one.  Our larger plants are lemon balm, sweet mint, spearmint, feverfew, foxglove, holy basil, thyme, sage, rosemary and oregano.  (I haven't checked to see if the bee balm survived?)  Seedlings I'd like to grow aside from various flowers are echinacea and calendula.  It'd be cool of the purslane/shiso made it or the chamomile.  We're trying to sprout more holy basil too--the scent of that stuff is amazing.
 We're growing a fig tree, black berries, rasberries and lilies in this corner of the yard.
 And then our bean tee pee for fun needs some wedding so it can keep growing.

Sauerkraut and Kefir

 It's great to make kefir--much cheaper than buying it!  We have sourdough going and made some delicious sourdough chocolate chip cookies.  We're also brewing kombucha as ever but having a hard time creating a new mom this time.  Ah well, hopefully it's still a good batch?  There can be cross contamination especially with kefir.  Even though I think we kept them far enough apart, it's a possibility.
 Chuck and Michelle's (our farmers) cabbages and carrots will make some yummy sauerkraut!