Taking Life by the Horns Part 3

Taking Life by the Horns Part 3

Never for a second did I think this would become a saga. Obviously when I started this I really didn’t comprehend how much I had to share on this subject.

Decisions made can affect our lives ten fold. Some are the kind to make a decision on the spur of the moment and usually get it right. There are those who carefully think everything through, weighing up the pros and cons and get it right every time. And then there are those of us, no matter whether it is a spur of the moment or carefully thought out, we mess up almost every time.

For instance, taking out a mortgage or a loan. These are major purchases, for a house, car, a holiday, renovations on a home, a boat, caravan, motor home. A house full of furniture, white goods, a TV and sound system.

We have become a society where we must have it now and often we upgrade just for the hell of it, rather than because something has broken down or no longer serves our needs. Like a bar fridge in a house with 2 adults and 4 children, just doesn’t work.

Say you are buying a car. There are so many things to consider. Size of the vehicle, function and uses, availability and cost of repairs and parts, insurance, can you afford to pay the loan comfortably if you lose your job or take a pay cut when you change jobs? Do you have other loans and credit cards to take into consideration as well.

Do you choose the nice shiny car that you have always wished to own and is $50,000, or do you choose the car that suits you needs, your budget and costs say $20,000. But that nice shiny car you’ve always wanted and the car sales man is making you an offer you can’t refuse, is swinging your decision. Do you go with your heart or do you go with common sense?

How many of you have chosen the first option and six months down the track you can’t afford new tires or something needs fixing and it is too expensive to fix or you have lost your job and you can’t afford to make the payments. You either end up selling it and losing money, or you take on another crap job to make the payments, and take out a small loan to cover the expenses of repairs, etc. It becomes a vicious circle and you get further into debt.

So here is an example of how I would go about it.

I want to buy a place of my own, I am living in a place where monthly mortgage payments are much cheaper than rent. I have a good deposit and a great job. My partner hasn’t worked in six months but he has equity in a caravan and a good size boat, and we are okay financially. I also own a property in the city which has no mortgage and  I am renting it out. I see lots of lovely places, apartments, and houses, they are all good investments. There is only me and my partner so we only need a small place and we are both over 50 so the mortgage we would qualify for would have to be paid out in 15 years, not the usual 25-30 yrs.

There is this lovely 3 bd/2bth  house near the beach but it is $400,000 and we have to sell everything like the caravan, boat and our extra car to get the deposit together as well as what we have in savings. The place also has two yards which need upkeep and mowing and neither of us are gardeners.

Or do we find a 2 bd apartment or duplex that is half the price, has a lot of facilities like a gorgeous swimming pool and is also near the beach, we can keep both cars and the boat, and we can comfortably afford the repayments, being half of what we would be paying on the $400,000 property.

Me personally I would take the small apartment, because we would still have assets to sell in an emergency, and we could live comfortably on one wage and would be able to keep some savings aside, just in case.

So many would take the bigger house and to hell with the consequences. And often end up losing everything in the process. So many people struggle with debts they can’t afford and even worse don’t change their regular spending habits to make debt repayment easier.

So many people still go out to dinner with friends or buy lunch everyday, have the latest phone, buy coffees, have to have that new dress to go to that party. And when they get into trouble financially they don’t know how to cope. You could get another job, take out short-term loans to get by. But does that really work. As far as I am aware, taking out more loans to cover the ones you already have, doesn’t work.

We have forgotten to live within our means. But also part of it has a lot to do with not realising the consequences of our actions, not having enough foresight to realise that we are extending ourselves a bit too thinly.

Our thoughts and beliefs can also play a part in this. If we believe we are better and more acceptable if we have the big house and the flashy car, the 2.4 kids, and live a certain lifestyle, then commonsense doesn’t come into it. I would rather drive that little car I can afford to pay even if I lose my job and live in that small place and know I can sleep at night without stressing about finances. I would rather have a second-hand small screen TV than have to continue working in a job that I hate and which will eventually wear me out. I would have a few little black dresses that can be dressed up or down and tend to be nondescript and wear them over and over again without anyone realising I am wearing the same old dress every time I go out. I like to know I get my money’s worth out of something.

I think we all need to consider things more, take our time making decisions. And live a better life.

 

 

 

 

 

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Taking Life by the Horns Part 2

Taking Life by the Horns Part 2

When I first started my blog post yesterday I didn’t realise it would become a series. So I apologise for the length. Maybe because this particular subject involves change over time and examining our thinking, beliefs and decision-making processes, that’s why this subject has taken on a life of its own.

In order to change our lives for the better, we really need to take a good, long, hard look at ourselves and work out how and in what ways, we contribute to how our lives evolve. I am not saying we are to blame for everything that has gone wrong with our lives, or the way we were treated as children or as adults. When someone treats you badly and they have no reason to, then the blame is squarely on the other person’s shoulders. It is how we react and if we continue to allow people to treat us that way, as well as letting it affect us over a long period.

How we are raised as children and how our parents, siblings and extended family acted around us, teaches us about the world. If our parents had only our best interests at heart and taught us the life lessons we needed to learn in a safe and loving environment, we tend to grow up as healthy adults and tend not to make bad decisions or take things too personally when things go wrong or people are unkind to us.

Every time someone treated you badly or called you names, put you down, criticized you, bullied you, disrespected you, it wrote on the slate of who you are (to quote my favourite Psychologist Dr Phil), and the younger you are the more damage it can do.

If we were raised to believe we were worthless, and were made to feel worthless often enough we began to believe it, to the point it became so ingrained in our psyche that we would automatically think it not realising we had actually had that thought.

I believe the first part of changing your life for the better is to change your thinking, and in order to do that, we have to catch ourselves out when we have these demeaning thoughts and question why we automatically think that way. What caused us to believe this about ourselves. Where did it come from. Was it your parent who told you, you were annoying or stupid or useless, every time you did something wrong in their eyes? Was it a school teacher or a sibling, that made you feel so stupid? Or were you bullied in school or even in a job by a co-worker or boss? It could be any number of situations that contributed to our beliefs about ourselves.

I found writing the thought on a piece  of paper and question whether that thought was valid, in my case, feelings of worthlessness, helped.  Think about moments when I felt this way, what event triggered this thought. I would question the thought’s validity. Is this true?  I would write down all the things about me that proved I wasn’t worthless, all the things I was good at, all my achievements. Think of instances when I was made to feel worthless and who was involved. Whatever came to mind I would write it down, no matter how strange or trivial it might seem at the time. And then once I understood why I had that thought in the first place and what the triggers were that caused this thought I would work out something that I could replace that thought with. Affirmations are a great way of changing your thought processes, Louise Hay is a great person to start with. She has a book that is all about this very subject. You Can Heal Your Life. And she also provides a lot of affirmations to help you change your thinking.  Dr Wayne W Dyer, is another person who used affirmations.

Changing how we think is a process, it can’t be changed overnight. But you have to want to change in the first place. You have to do the work, You have to catch yourself thinking these thoughts. And you need to question them.

It is the same with beliefs. Write down a list of beliefs you may have about yourself and others and life in general and question whether each belief is valid, or if it works for you. And if it doesn’t then brain storm about what you think would suit you better or is more positive.

One thing I want everyone to remember. Don’t apply absolutes to what you think and feel and believe. Don’t say to yourself, “That was a bad thought and I shouldn’t be thinking that way.” Because this is where we all go wrong. We tend to believe those thoughts that allow us to believe we are not a good person, or decisions that end up going pear-shaped are more a case of things not working for us and we all should consider something different. And come up with suitable replacements.

All too often, and we are all guilty of this at one time or another, think of people as being negative, or bad or toxic. And the same with thoughts and beliefs, and decisions. The spiritual/new age community can be terrible for it. As children maybe our parents scolded us for being angry or sad, and dismissed the feelings we were having, making us believe these emotions were not acceptable.

Our emotions are normal and a natural part of being human, we wouldn’t have them if we weren’t meant to. It is how we deal with them and process them and then let them go that is the important part. Don’t feel bad because you are angry about something, there is a reason why you feel that way. Acknowledge your anger and the reason behind it. And then let it go. Often we have emotions associated with certain thoughts and beliefs and they came feelings of guilty, anxiety etc. Take note of these emotions and consider why you feel this way.

It’s all about paying attention to this wonderful mind of ours.

Looks like there will be more parts to this Blog. Stay tuned for Part 3.

 

 

 

 

Wilderness of Esoteria

Wilderness of Esoteria

Before my biggest challenge with mental health issues, I considered myself quite the spiritual person and had dreams of becoming a healer of some kind. I had begun studies of the Tarot, which unfortunately turned out to be not quite what I thought it would be. And by this I am not talking about the Tarot itself, it is more the teacher who failed to inspire me. None of what she taught seemed to make sense. It was sad really because I believe she had great potential to be a wonderful teacher of the Tarot. But my belief is she was too caught up in ego-centred pursuits and this ruined it for me.

I realised quickly that the money I was paying, of which would have been the sum total of around $1500 at the end of the twelve month course, was a needless waste. I did however, keep the book she insisted I buy and the set of cards that were necessary to the course.

Four years later I opened the book and began to read and all of a sudden it began to make sense. The Fool was the one that opened my eyes. Some of the other major arcana cards are a bit more complicated, but I believe with time and doing what the author of the book advises, research the Tarot and find out all I can and my understanding will increase.

This particular instance is quite typical of the world of Psychics and Mediums, they may start out with the best of intentions but often the ego will take over and it becomes about the material benefits and attention. The best readers and healers are often quite humble and don’t see themselves as anything special. There are charlatans in every industry but, the spiritual world is like the medical profession, you are playing with people’s lives. The damage that can be done by someone who has developed a  god complex, is far-reaching. Quite sensitive and fragile people go to Psychics, Healers and Mediums looking for answers to their problems, and in some cases beneath the fragility can be an underlying mental disorder that the reader/healer isn’t aware of and doesn’t have the skills to deal with.

During my healing time, I realised something about myself. I am an empath, but I am unable to use my ability as I tend to take on others emotions and find it difficult to deal with them. I have learned to cleanse myself and protect myself, but with my Borderline I am unable to deal with and process these alien emotions as a normal person would. I have shut down my empathy, and know that my ambitions to help people on a one on one basis is out of my reach.

So I write and I share my wisdom and what I have learned about life and my mental disorders, via various forms of social media. I sometimes miss being able to connect to people on such a personal level, but for my own sanity and well-being I choose to let it go.

A lot of what I clung to spiritually has now become less important to me. I still have my basic beliefs and practices, but I am nowhere near as involved as I used to be. It was like I was on a mission and I believe I was trying to find myself in this world.

I look back on my life and realise I have affected a lot of people and in a good way. Having had random meetings with strangers and they have walked away from our meeting feeling better about themselves and smiling. This is the key to happiness, to fulfilment, having a profound affect on people and they walk away feeling the better for it. And all it takes is one kind word or act, one selfless deed with no thought of reciprocation. The universe blesses you for your kindness.

I share my mental health issues with the world because it is time we, as a society, stopped looking at people as being not right or normal, because they don’t fit into a mould that was created by a small-minded majority. Stop buying into the stereotypes, open our eyes to the uniqueness of everyone, celebrate who we all are as we are. We all make mistakes, we all have our battles in life, just some of us have a few extra challenges along the way that we have to overcome.

 

Good for Bad

Good for Bad

We all have good and bad in our lives, it is what we do with it that really defines our life’s course and who we become.

When a difficult situation arises as it often does, sometimes created by our own actions or of those around us, what do we do?, What are we supposed to do? That is down to the individual and their specific set of skills.

From birth we learn skills to be able to function in life, whether it be from our parents and those around us or, we learn through making mistakes, there could be many contributing factors. They can be as simple as learning to feed ourselves to the most complicated of skills, like building something from scratch. But it doesn’t just involve physical skills like the above mentioned. It includes life skills like coping with grief and those curve balls life has a habit of throwing at us, especially when we least expect it. Some of us learn dysfunctional skills, that may work at the time when we most needed them but in real life they just don’t work.

So a bad situation arises and all too often we tend to blame other people involved or situations that may be a contributing factor. Some people are able to accept their part in it without even thinking about it and change their behaviour, choices, tactics to fix the problem. We are all so good at focusing on the negative and complaining about it rather than finding a solution.

Many people seem to have a victim mentality and if that works for them well that is their choice. And believe me we all have it in us to play the victim. I have been guilty of it myself, and recently too.

I find myself in a bad situation at present, and on occasion I resort to the blame game, but I also look at the part I played in it. I know what I could have done different but I chose to take the easy way out. I can only control what I do from now on. There are certain factors I cannot change or even have an impact upon. I can only make my actions positive from here on in,and work toward an objective that I set for myself. Bad will happen, it is up to you as an individual to do your part and focus on what you could have done better or different and come up with a plan to solve the problem.

Sometimes I feel bitter and resentful that others involved, continue to behave in exactly the same way without dealing with the consequences, without accepting responsibility for their actions and decisions. But going down that road is detrimental to my mental health and well-being. I can only give so much of myself before I am depleted. I can’t change someone else. I can only work to ensure the vulnerability I feel, at this particular time in my life diminishes and eventually no longer exists.

Focusing on the bitterness and resentment, playing the blame game, only serves to keep me in a rut and not taking responsibility for my life and choices. I can’t fix someone else’s problems if they don’t want to fix them themselves. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. You can offer all the sound, experience based advice and opinions in the world but if someone isn’t listening, you are wasting your breath and energy.

It is so easy to fall into negative habits, but in the long run does it really serves us for the better, we may get sympathy for a while but it doesn’t change anything. And we end up focusing on all the bad that has happened to us and miss the wonderful opportunities that will so easily pass us by if we aren’t looking.

I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I will make a promise to myself to change my bad habits that take me to that negative place, and take responsibility for my actions, work to a more sound financial future. I will make sure I never put myself in the position where I literally don’t know whether I will still have a roof over my head tomorrow. I will stand up for myself, I will not give in to keep the peace and I will not allow anyone to manipulate me or disrespect me. I deserve a much better life, I have paid my price to the ferry man. I refuse to put myself in situations that I have no control over. And if I find I have no control, I will not allow the situation to eat away at the good in me.

Reflection of the Year that Was.

Reflection of the Year that Was.

Looking back on the last year, I realise this hasn’t been a good year. In fact, neither was 2015. Financial struggles that seem to be on going and multiplying, new health problems, one business in the throes of possibly failing, its fate still uncertain.

A myriad of excuses can be found and used, but it ultimately comes down to myself and my partner. We made choices and decisions that gives us the situation we have today. It is so easy to blame the other person involved and a hundred other possible causes, new competition opened up, another business at the same market gained a bad reputation and it had a profound effect on our business, we can’t anticipate the weather, there were other markets and fairs on the same day. But do you increase your buying and reduce your prices to compensate?

I fully accept my part in this, I spoke my opinion when it was asked but what I should have done was pushed it home. I should have stood firm when I said no, not giving in to keep the peace. I know and understand my part in all of this and I am now working on a number of solutions to help begin to fix the problem.

Selling everything we can do with out is the first move, it won’t get us in front but it will get us through the next couple of weeks. And there are local charities around that will help with food and groceries for a small fee. Pride has nothing to do with this right now. We are in a precarious position and if we have to give up everything to get back on our feet then so be it.

The difficulty in parting with cherished items that once belonged to loved ones who have died, is the price I have to pay for my lack of affirmative action. But one thing I realise is, I still have a few wonderful photos and a lifetime of memories with each and every one of them. A few things will remain but they have no monetary value. I have these people and animals in my heart and that is all that matters.

My partner and I are desperately in need of a fresh start and I can only do what I can to make this happen. I cannot control him or what he does or doesn’t do. It’s not about a big screen TV or the latest DVD or a dragon statue or wolf picture, it is about survival, and keeping a roof over our heads and food on our table.

Maybe we need to get rid of everything to earn the fresh start we so desperately need. This is our price, for a better life. Letting go of things that serve no real purpose in our lives and are just dust collectors, to have the life we deserve. Who is to say….

Either way I am working towards 2017 being a much better year, and leaving the painful, negative past behind.

Spiritual Jealousy

Spiritual Jealousy

One would think in the world of New Age and Spirituality, jealousy and pettiness has no place. But it actually exists. The good Psychics and mediums and other spiritual types, have no ego issues, or if they do it is kept in check.

I’m not sure if it is about lack of self belief or self-esteem, or just professional jealousy, but competition and to put it succinctly, marking one’s territory, does happen in such a positive and relaxed field of expertise.

From my perspective, I feel it is either, lack of faith and belief in what they do, or they have no real talent and are threatened by someone who oozes real power. You will always get your naysayers and sceptics, but jealousy can be found in the ranks.

One situation I knew of, the person professed to be a Psychic Medium and Tarot Reader, but her ability to read people was more the case. She had an instinctual ability to read a person and work from there. And basically she was in it for the money.

For example, she taught a year-long Tarot Course that cost the student $1500+, where others offered the same course for a fraction of the cost and the time.

Her main objective was the money she earned from it and she often professed to be a counsellor without any training what so ever. The worst part, in one particular class she had two people with mental disorders. The course curriculum was centred around learning the Tarot, of course, but also a form of self discovery and healing. But having started this very course myself, I quickly realised her hidden agenda and the kind of dangerous ground she was walking on. The students she nurtured were people who she could manipulate and control. Anyone showing any real talent was quickly dismissed and pushed out of the class.

You will find some really genuine spiritual people who have the right intentions and are there to share what they know and to help people. But unfortunately, as with every vocation, you will find the ones who are just in it for the money and are just con artists.

 

A sad but true reality……