Salmon Surfing Rocks Chapter 2 Part 2

 

Money and Financial Rocks part 2

 

Money should FLOW like “ebb and tide” to be at it’s most powerful. But there will be times when circumstances are hard and conditions are harsh. Not long ago I had big credit card debt, no stable income, and I was self-employed . Every time I tried to “refinance” to lower interest rate payments, “computer said no!” I just didn’t fit the box.

I had to learn to make phone calls to the bank to tell them of my situation, and arrange a dates to review. I came very, very close to losing everything, however, somehow ,things always worked out, even at the last the very last second.

I still continued with my quest to surf downstream ( * Salmon Surfing Downstream ) as I was wholeheartedly committed to living the life I needed to live, my truth , no matter what the pain.

I found friends and family who were unhesitatingly, and unquestioningly supportive when I had to swallow my pride and make an SOS call.  I also had people who shied away, embarrassed that I had the audacity to ask for help.

Those people, presumably, made assumptions based on what they saw, not fact, and chose not to support me, assuming that I was lazy. The reality of my situation when things really hit rock bottom, was, however, that the intense stress over a number of years had led me to a place where I couldn’t do the job I was trained for. Every time there was any stress, my hands would shake uncontrollably. If I had been employed I would have definitely been “signed off,” but that doesn’t happen in the self–employed world. I decided I had to find another job thinking that so long as I had an income of sorts, I could cover interest payments on my debt at least.

I applied for 64 different jobs, from train driver to check-out assistant for a well known supermarket chain, and other clerical, medically based roles. I was turned down for all 64. It was just after Christmas, and I remembering phoning my mum and asking her to put $50 in my account because I couldn’t afford to buy a stamp to send my niece a birthday card in the UK. I was having to make decisions between buying medications and food. I hid it relatively well, but I was in torment big time. I felt a complete failure. A high – functioning depressive, I think is what they call it.

So what on earth was the upside to this life lesson?

Well, I found out who my friends were. I became stronger and much more resilient as a consequence. It taught me what was really valuable and important in life. I think losing my health was more frightening than not having money, or going bankrupt (my nemesis). If you have your health, mental health more importantly than physical health, you have a chance. Losing your mental health is like losing the foundations of your life. It underpins everything.

You never forget those who unconditionally support you in hard times. And you never forget the others either!!

After having just been turned down for my 64th job, the very next day I received a phone call from a business , where 6 months previously, I had dropped off my CV, just incase  a position became available in the future. The bosses and staff were lovely, and I had admired the business ethic, so it was a joy and a privilege to be offered a reception position. Even though it was very part-time, for me it was gold. With over-time, it covered my interest payments and in the other time I had during the week, I worked on my other business, hoping at some point it would start to pay.

Through out ALL of this I remained stoically convinced that I was on the right path and in time I would reach my pool of calm. After all, when I started the journey I really had no other choice.

What other benefits came out of my situation?

I couldn’t afford a car, so I had to cycle everywhere or take public transport. I do love cycling so I cycled everywhere, which meant I became relatively fit. I had to get a job close to home to be able to cycle. NO COMMUTE, NO TIME WASTED TIME STUCK IN TRAFFIC JAMS, AND TIME TO SPEND DOING THINGS I WANTED TO.

I GOT TO BREATHE THE AIR AND SMELL THE WIND, SUN, AND RAIN. I GOT TO HEAR BIRDSONG AND WIND BLOWING THROUGH THE TREES .

IT DIDN’T COST ME A PENNY!

I discovered the awesome resource of the local library, being able to read all my favourite magazines for free, time to research, learn computer skills and UPSKILL AT NO COST.

 I discovered the joy of vintage or pre-loved shopping, searching out great bargains and gaining a wardrobe of clothes I couldn’t possibly have wanted to afford in the “real” world. An example of this was a pair of beautiful wedding shoes , which “appeared” on a shelf in a local Salvos for $15. They were “once only” worn, Italian Calf skin cream leather shoes lined in gold and were a beautiful retro design. I still have them and will never part with them.

(More about these “Cinderella Shoes” in the next book “Paint your Butterfly”

I learnt to recycle and repurpose things I already had.

And the biggest lessons of all –

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE REALLY ARE FREE!

TIME IS FREEDOM.

 

The challenges of financial issues are not just at the practical level. They are very much at a personal, personality, and character level.

You will, maybe, face these challenges at the same time….. each time we face these, and overcome them, is when we grow, so embrace them.

PRIDE

EGO

FEAR

ADMITTING AND TELLING THE TRUTH

LACK OF COMMUNICATION SKILLS

PROCRASTINATION

HEALTH ISSUES

 

PRIDE

Pride comes before a fall, so the saying goes. Have pride in what you do to rise to the challenge and solve the problem. Do not have the empty pride based on EGO that holds you back.

EGO

Leave your ego at the door. Be humble enough to admit your position is not a perfect one, and that you need help to sort it out. Most people will respect your honesty and admire your efforts to resolve the shortfall. 

FEAR

Fear of whatever it is: other people’s reactions, being judged, of unknown consequences. LET IT GO! Do not give that thought any power. Facing fears is when we grow, it is an opportunity not a punishment.

ADMITTING YOUR STUFF AND TELLING THE TRUTH

This has to be done, first to yourself, then those for whom your position affects.

You cannot solve things from a baseline of dishonesty.

LACK OF COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Work on these. Work on being empathic, both in your written communications and verbal ones. Good communication skills will help you to get the help you need.

PROCRASTINATION

Do not put off what needs to be done today. Do not put off that difficult phone call, or decision. Almost certainly you will feel relief of sorts after having made it.

Believe me after a few of those calls have been made, the difficulty disappears forever, and you will find a new sense of freedom.

HEALTH ISSUES

This is a whole topic on it’s own and will have it’s own chapters in the book. Suffice to say, for now, health and wellbeing can be powerfully, adversely affected by negative, financial issues, and lack of health can CAUSE financial issues.

SO to take responsibility for, and, to look after you health, should be you number one priority. 

I will finish this chapter by returning to the beach, which is where I was this morning. The tide was right out, further than I had seen it before, exposing the rocks, which normally lurked beneath the surface of the sea. It was astoundingly beautiful. I normally avoid swimming in those areas so I don’t hurt my feet, but today I could walk over the rocks with confidence knowing where to tread safely, and I was overjoyed to find wonderful pretty rockpools full of colourful weeds, shells and sealife, 

So even rocks can contain pools of calm and beauty. Nature and the Universe in balance, just as it should be.