growth · scarcity · truth

I’m a teacher, so…

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I spoke this quasi-sentence on the phone Monday when talking with a potential couples’ therapist.  She and I were getting to the brass tacks portion of the conversation, settling in on the, “How much is this gonna run me” dialogue, and I offered up that half-phrase.

“I’m a teacher, so…”

What implications are in that sentence?!  I am underpaid; I don’t have any money; I cannot afford your full fee; I cannot afford even close to your full fee; I am in a profession in which I will never afford your full fee; I am poorly paid; I am undervalued.

Oh, honestly.

Whose “fault” is this? Well, surely, I could say it’s the “system’s” fault, it’s America’s fault, I could even say it’s the president’s fault.  And while each of those might have grains of truth, there is no honor in blame of others.

To be clear, a) it’s my “fault” I’m a teacher, and b) I’m manipulating the codified undervaluing of our country’s education system to seem poor and weak and un-robust so that I can get a deal on something.

I realized in recounting this later, that this is such an “underbeing” phrase! How can I stand in one breath and tout the munificence of the Universe AND ALSO pervert the archetype of the broke teacher to my benefit?

Maybe you have your own version of the above sentence?  I’ve certainly said iterations of the same: “I work in nonprofits, so…” “I’m a student, so…” “I’m in the arts, so…”

I don’t enjoy realizing that I’ve capitalized upon the pity, or generosity, of my fellows to cajole a few dollars out of them, but I do appreciate learning that my understanding of my profession as an “underearning” one lurks beneath my thoughts, as does the notion that I need to depend upon others’ pity to have what I want in life.

It will be up to me to change the thoughts, or to change my profession (which I don’t wish to happen any time soon), or to increase my income in alternate ways.  In any case, using my “pain” to foster empathy in others is a low (and borrowed) form of power, and I vow to give it up, even a day at a time.

 

 

 

freedom · growth · success

Many drops in the bucket.

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This morning, I completed the 21-day meditation challenge from Oprah and Deepak called, “Manifesting True Success,” and was struck deeply by this line:  Every path to success is a path to freedom.  This brought me pause and led me to write, and emphatically circle: What “freedom” am I seeking from this success?

What freedom am I seeking from becoming a tour pilot over Napa valley vineyards?  Well: competence, adventure, intellectual amplification, joy.

What freedom am I seeking from being a school teacher?  Freedom over my time (during the summers), intellectual & creative amplification, spontaneity.

What freedom from being in partnership? Stability, serenity, emotional growth.  From being a mother?  Joy, continuity, sharing my abundance. …

I can, and likely will, make a chart of each of my “Success –> Freedom” desires, because the magic piece is how to amplify each of these desired successes in my daily life as it is.  If I want to share the abundance of my heart, how can I do that today?  If I want to expand my intellectual engagement, how can I do that today?

How can I inject today with each of the freedoms/successes that I seek?

Every day I open the WordPress site, I must click a button labeled, “Write.”  And each morning I click it, I feel a hearty dollop of joy, competence, and esteem drip into my personal bucket.  I feel accomplishy, even if it’s the only thing I do this day (as it insinuates that I’ve already written Morning Pages and meditated, as I won’t blog without clearing my personal pathways first).

When I cross off “moisturize face and body” on my Habit Calendar, I feel competent, self-loving, and prosperous (as it implies I purchase and replenish my moisturizer).

Every morning I drink my coffee, it implies that I’ve set it up the night before, replenished and ground new beans when it was low, and desire to gift myself a physical pleasure.  Competence, stability, self-love, and prosperity.

In every morning, I can list a host of ways I feel successful before breakfast!  And that’s good, because lately in the afternoon when I continue to sit reading Game of Thrones for 3 hours… I start to feel less esteemable.

So it will be up to me to see if there is a “success” to be gleaned from 3 hours of sedentary imbibing of gore, and to parse out what it is I’m attempting to accomplish if there’s not.

What freedom am I seeking from this success?  And how can I own that freedom today?

abundance · authenticity · expansion

“Damn the Man, Save the Empire.”

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I met with two women this Sunday to review my and their financial situations.  We meet about every 6 weeks to go over our “numbers” and to offer feedback or advice wherever the other person wants it.

We particularly focus on what is “pressuring” us — where do we feel out of balance or unclear, where do we need ideas or support, encouragement or caution.  And I brought up this idea of Stocks.

As you read a few weeks ago, I recently bought my very first share of stock (in Tesla) and the following week, I bought a few shares in Starbucks.  While this has been a pretty cool exercise, and I do like watching the numbers go up or down (as they will do!), as I look toward a next investment, I begin to feel stymied.

Despite my affinity for renewable energy and Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial style, Tesla mines an incredible amount of precious metals and minerals from the ground, and their batteries will only last a decade at max, at which point they’ll be trash.  Despite having installed a new executive board that is purported to be full of innovation and forward thinking, Starbucks produces a ton of waste per minute.

If you know me, you’ll know that I compost voraciously, I use handkerchiefs that I wash weekly, I carry reusable bags and bottles to the grocery store, I purchase consignment clothing, and I donate to organizations working to fight the conservation fight.  My values around conservation of the earth are virile.  So how can I rightly invest in companies that have such a harmful impact on the earth, even if, in Tesla’s case, the ecological benefits in the long run may outweigh the costs?

So, I brought this up to my financial group of ladies, as I’ve also known that the investment funds that support “eco” or moral entities do not perform well in the stock market.  It seems that in order to make money in the market, I cannot live by my values.

My ladies said: Yep.

One did suggest my looking up the sustainable investment bundles, just to check out their recent performance (which I’ve not done yet).  But the other woman said something that struck me even more brilliant:

Soon, I won’t need to invest in others’ ideas.  My own success will fund me.  My own ideas will fund my life.

This was a welcome thought: I do not have to play the game if I don’t like the rules.  To me, it had felt as though there were two options: profit from Earth-raping and the demise of the planet or don’t profit.

That there is a third way doesn’t surprise me — though at the moment of realization, it always does!  There seems always a third way; always a path I’ve not considered.

Consider that my own success, in whatever realm, will lead me to be financially prosperous and financially independent from corporate malfeasance?  Yes, please.