Archives for February 2017

I found Magic in Bodega Bay

Where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Author of ‘The Secret Garden’

I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. The promised secrets behind the closed gate and high walls, stirred something inside of me — a deep repressed desire that wished to be expressed.

The first thing to capture my eye, as we came round the bend in the road, was the beautiful, little wooden structure so lovingly maintained. Atop it was a big sign that drew my eyes up which gave me my first clue as to what was behind the closed gate and high walls.

The ornate, metal gate was painted green; the color of life, nature, and energy. The high walls, made of the same wood and rich color of the building, were topped with beautiful lattice work. The cross hatched lattice design was a tease to make you believe you could peek into what was hidden behind.

We passed by it many times until the calling from my soul was so strong that I insisted we stop. The CLOSED sign on the gate no longer deterred me. I knew I must peek through it and see what lay behind.

What was revealed was exactly what the sign, “SECRET GARDENS,” had promised.

A fertile environment, lush and alive with every sort of plant, flower, bush, and fern. Redwood trees throughout with a winding, gravel pathway that led to a wooden bridge. White iron love seats placed here and there, begging for you to sit and take in the secrets of the garden. A storybook tiny bride’s birdsnest cottage placed perfectly amongst the flowers.

A peek was not enough — I craved more.

I wondered if I could climb over the gate? Could I manage, with a boost, to make it over the high lattice on the fence? My desire was strong to enter and soak in the deliciousness of the gardens — I fell in love on first sight.

The sign told me to not enter without permission. “Sorry, We’re CLOSED. Please come again.” 

But, when would I pass by this way again?

Our trip to Bodega Bay was a quick, unexpected one to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. Two days away that we force-fit into our business schedules. Neither of us had ever been there before and wondered how in all the years living in California had we missed such a peaceful oasis.

It made me wonder, as well, how easily we let magical, enchanted moments pass us by. As we put our heads down to work hard and bring in cash flow, so many things drift by barely noticed — we don’t even realize we missed them.

Until, that is, a magical moment stops us dead in our tracks — until a secret garden reminds us the moment is now!

No longer can we ignore the calling in our hearts. The promise of something greater than ourselves — a paradise that our souls know intimately and calls to us to enter.

This magic is a life force itself, here to remind us of the importance of positive energy and thinking which aids in our overall health. Not just physical health, but economic and spiritual as well.

The redeeming and healing power of it cannot be ignored. It infuses us with the stuff of life.

Magic, the thing present in all things — life force, all powerful, all knowing, and omnipresent. Where happiness begets happiness and reminds us that we often choose misery instead which begets only more of itself.

This awareness comes flooding in all at once in that magical, enchanted moment. Like the Secret Gardens, it cannot be ignored. It cannot be passed by in our busyness. It begs to be noticed, to be embraced — a place to linger.

A place that is available to us all — if we but stop long enough to recognize it.

I do have to admit that I almost missed it. I almost let the magical moment pass me by.  Unlike my normal focused approach to life, this time I did stop.

I did not let the CLOSED sign deter me. I did not convince myself the gardens were off limits to me.

I imagined myself sitting on one of those little, white iron love seat benches, soaking in all the secrets of the gardens. In that imagining, I felt myself walking the gravel pathways, crossing the bridge, caressing the plants as I passed by them, all under the watchful eyes of the ancient, wise redwood trees.

I allowed the magic to enter my awareness and to fully appreciate the moment, the gift, and the happiness.

How about you? Where do your magical moments reside? Do you take the time, the moment, to embrace them?

Your physical, economic, and spiritual health and vitality will thank you when you do!

Do “shoulds” run your life?

“To define life (and particularly your life) as existing within any pre-defined framework is to reject the experience of life.”
Brett Gallaher
Author of ‘Broken Scythe’

I have lived a life of “shoulds.” I have followed the rules. I have not broken any laws and I have done what I was told. My goal, it seems, was to be a good girl.

Or, at least what I defined as a good girl.

For years, I thought all I needed to do was follow the lead of someone who had honed the perfect set of good girl skills — do what they did — and, I too, would be the perfect good girl. I would be liked, fit in, and rise to the top of the good girl pile.

Did I bother to ask myself (or as a friend recently called it, “meself”) if their way, was my way? What did they have that
I did not? Were they even like me at all?

Did I even have a clear definition of what a good girl was anyway?

Heck no! I didn’t bother to ask, “Hey, meself, what do you think? Is this the direction I am meant to go? Is this the me that I am meant to be?”

The rules were made for a reason, I would think, why stir the pot and make trouble?

It seems, at a young age, I decided it was much easier to go along. I learned to shut up, say nothing, and do what I was told. And this belief, carried through into many aspects of my life.

I even created a profession, a business, of “shoulds.” What other profession could possibly have as many “shoulds” upon it than money?

Maybe law enforcement or religion have that beat, but you get my drift, right?

There are so many rules and laws about money that it makes your head spin. Step in the wrong direction, and you’ve broken one. But, do what you are told, and somehow your money life will come together like magic.

But does it?

Not by a long shot. Following the rules made by another, seldom, if ever, leads to true satisfaction or success.

I have seen this, again and again, in the years I have counseled people on their money. Something always trips them up. Many times these have been the same darned money traps that have tripped me up.

I used credit, and I used it in a responsible way. Or so I thought.

I bought homes, several of them throughout the years, and used debt to pay for them. Followed all those rules, too.

I once leased a car. It fit my monthly cash flow and made sense to lease versus buy. That wasn’t such a hot idea either.

My husband and I saved for our future, retirement still a number of years away. We invested wisely and that turned out to be a bumpy road I do not wish on anyone.

We learned to live within our means — a rule preached in the industry of wise money management — and found some potholes to fall into with that approach as well.

All this said, money is not as predictable or handled as easily as the guru’s in the industry lead you to believe. The rules, followed religiously, do not work for everyone.

They are NOT one size fits all.

Maybe that certain rule, guidance, or concept was not meant for you. What if another way was actually smarter or wiser?

What if you were meant to have a different money life than anyone else you know?

Unfortunately, most of us do not question the road or path that money leads us. We do not ask, “Is this the right path for me? Is there another way?” Instead, we just follow along and do what we believe, were taught, or learned to do with money.

And, if we fail, we scramble to find someone or something to blame. Maybe even ourselves.

Could it be that you, too, have created a life of “shoulds”? Does it look, or sound, something like this?
• I “should” have followed the rules correctly.
• I “should” have known better.
• I “should” have managed the money smarter (or my partner “should” have).
• I “should” have never bought this house, car, or gone on vacation.
• They “should” have told or warned me.
• They “should” never have approved my loan.
Maybe your “should” is not on the list. Like me, you may have followed all the rules and it still didn’t come out as planned.

It might be time to take another road or path. Maybe it’s time you said “enough already!” How about you blow up all the ‘shoulda’, ‘coulda’, ‘woulda’ beliefs and follow your own divine path? The one meant only for you!

Intuitive Financial Counselor
& Guideatude Coach

“Where there is darkness, I help bring light!”