I want to write of my freedom from money as a gift to a friend. Not sure if it will be received as a gift. I want her to continue living out here and gaining freedom from money makes everything so much more pleasant. I guess she could get a job and not need freedom because she’d have more money, but from what I’ve seen, its never the amount of money that is the real difficultly. People seem to live as slaves to money, or free from it, whether they have plenty or just a little bit. Turns out the whole question is not about money specifically, but about a paradigm.
I have written about this a bit in the past. I have learned the skill of harvesting maple sap and guiding its change into sugar. Granulated sugar, mmmmmm. I love sugar. I could get a job and receive money for my hours worked, then travel to the store and purchase sugar. That is what I used to do. That is what I was taught to do. That is what society showed me was the proper, acceptable way to live life. Well, I read Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I was a kid and the idea of making sugar was firmly planted in my mind. Making sugar and then eating great quantities of it, with a spoon. Sure enough, the universe delivered to me a life that involves making my own sugar. This life involves making and harvesting all of the food that I eat. I could get a job and make money and then use that money to buy food. But instead, I quit my job, gave up the money and made the choice to only eat what the good earth provides. Freedom
OK so the kicker here is the paradigm. I always sort of believed I could do anything. That’s in my nature, to just go for it, what ever I happen to fancy. I have never felt boxed in or limited in any significant way. If I want something, I find a way to get it. If I want to go somewhere, I go. When I want to do something, I figure out a way and do it. Money was never a limiting factor for me. I have never had tons of money, but I’ve always had the basic understanding of numbers and the simple desire to honor the numbers, or live within my means. I’m not sure why, because my brother who was raised in the same household with me, he lives his life differently. So for some unknown reason, I spend less than what I have. I look at the numbers and adjust my spending accordingly. And at the same time, I have always felt unlimited. I have had a fantastic, adventurous life, with the amount of money that I had. I was a nurse and I worked with many other nurses and I knew how much money they made because we were all paid according to the Union scale of seniority. There were many nurses who continually complained about not having enough money. They lamented about oh, I wish I could do such and such and but its too expensive, I am broke.
This was always so confusing for me. I was working right along side these people, making the same amount of money, living a nice life and feeling unlimited. This obviously was not about the money. It was about choosing to live consciously and make decisions that allow dreams and desires to be fulfilled or to stay in old patterns of thought and continue experiencing a sense of limitation and lack of ability to fulfill ones desires. From my father I learned, mostly just by being around him, a sense of fearlessness, a belief that I am powerful and I can do or have anything that I want. Money is a tool that we use and with my paradigm I use the amount of money that I have. Other people with the same amount of money, the same tool, follow their paradigm and use the tool poorly. I don’t really understand it so I shouldn’t try to describe it. To me its numbers, its simple. I like numbers because they don’t move or change, they are reliable. When I have twelve dollars in my wallet, I have twelve dollars. That won’t ever change. It won’t suddenly change into four dollars or even forty dollars. It will just sit in my wallet and be twelve dollars. Until I do something with it. If I spend it, then its not twelve anymore. If I give some of it away, then its not twelve. But I am the one that changes it from twelve to something else. There is no mystery in it. Its numbers. I hear some people speak of money like it is a mystery and again that is a paradigm. Keeping money mysterious allows the person to continue living in a sort of victim state.
This is not about managing money. Its about seeing oneself as powerful and intelligent and capable of living consciously and making choices that honor numbers for the stable friends that they are. So I don’t know how to help someone learn to see themselves as powerful, to view the world through a new paradigm. I want to help my friend because I can see that she in uncomfortable in the current state of helplessness. So one thing that can really change this whole money issue is learning to cut expenses. This involves living consciously and evaluating what exactly the money is being spent on and what one wishes the money could be spent on. For me cigarettes is a good example of making a choice to live consciously, cut expenses, and honor the numbers.
I enjoy smoking cigarettes and I have no intention of stopping. In 2010 I quit my career that paid me over $50,000 a year and started following my heart to work on farms. My monetary income was cut by 75%. But I still wanted to smoke cigarettes. A new farm friend had a rolling machine and I tried it out and smoked a home rolled ciggy. It was fine. In fact, as I smoked more home rolled cigs, I noticed that my cravings were less and overall I smoked fewer cigs, which was more comfortable for me anyways. So I went to the store and bought myself a little machine, a big bag of tobacco and a box of tubes. Then I did the math. I love math, always have. Thank God I was one of those nurses that wasn’t afraid of math. Again, my dad taught me to live fearlessly and even though I was a girl, I fell in love with numbers, because I believe I can do anything.
The cigarette math came out very clear. Rolling my own cost a bit over $2 a pack. Ok, that’s settled. I made my choice. I honor the numbers. I make the conscious choice to roll my own and not live beyond my means by spending $8 on a pack and then smoking them faster than if they were home rolled. This is offered simply as an example. There are many ways to cut expenses once one decides to spend money consciously and honor the numbers.