Wealth

I recently listened to an interview with Suze Orman, the money gal. She is the one always on PBS talking about how you can keep your hard earned money. She corrects the mistakes people have already made in their financial choices and sometimes does it in a very eye-opening way. In other words, she preaches.

Now I like what she says most of the time but sometimes I feel down right stupid when it comes to my finances. Let’s just say it’s not one of my strong points. So when I listen to Suze I don’t feel like I’m the brightest one on the block.

But this last interview really stuck with me. She talks about her eight qualities of success. I liked what she said so much I wrote them down and put them on my bathroom mirror so I would remind myself every day what it is to be wealthy.

Here they are…Harmony, balance, courage, generosity, happiness, cleanliness, wisdom and beauty.

“Now I know this seems very basic and obvious,” I said to myself until Suze started taking each word and describing what it meant to her. And that’s when I started thinking about what it meant to me. I have to say it was more difficult than I thought. I can tell myself what each of those words means to me but actually living them is a completely different animal.

Courage is the ability to make choices that bring harmony and balance. And that comes from being in a total agreement between what you think, say and do. And then to be calm about it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself why I said what I did and then not have the courage to own it. Feeling more ashamed and embarrassed.

Generosity is giving with no strings attached and happiness comes when all four of the above comes together. Sometimes easier said than done. Definitely a work in progress.

As is wisdom which is the ability to make the right decision at the right time. Cleanliness stems from the wisdom to clear your thoughts and access the balance and harmony to find courage.

And last but not least the beauty when you incorporate all of it to find the wealth in life. Not necessarily all about money. In fact, very little.

As Suze sees it, it’s the foundation that propels you from being overwhelmed to empowered. Gotta say I’m right there with her. And I didn’t even have to use math.

Overload

Where did five months go? My calendar was full. Not with work but with life. House, reading, visiting friends, dinners, baby shower, etc. And in between all of that starting a new venture that has been in the back of my mind for five years.

My to-do list always seemed to be too much and too longterm. Which meant the same things kept being carried over day after day after day. I still haven’t cleaned up my computer or my garage and God knows when that will happen. I know the computer especially is a necessary evil but because I am so computer illiterate I can’t imagine I will conquer that anytime soon.

Yes, I should hire someone to sit and help me but I haven’t taken the time to find the right person who will be knowledgeable, but more importantly, patient. I know I will have to strap myself down to go through it so I can’t imagine it will be any fun for someone holding my hand through the process.

I have said before my life worked even before computers and cell phones and all the other things that are now at my fingertips. But I have to admit it is a hell of a lot easier to find information, communicate for business and connect with people I have lost touch with over the years.

I know I get anxious when I don’t have any internet service because God forbid I miss that life changing email that will tell me what direction I should go in my life.

I am an information junkie and can spend hours just on google alone learning new things. I use to carry a book everywhere I went especially when I lived in NYC and spent many hours riding the subway. Now I pulled out my phone when I was riding the subway instead of the NYC Times or a magazine or book.

I must confess I still get the Sunday NYC Times delivered every week and have stacks of books by my bed to read. I still love the physical feel and the familiar smell of a new book. Old habits die hard.

But there are days when I feel overwhelmed and overloaded. And I’m not even working! How did I do it before? I just did. I was overtired and anxious and grumpy. I am starting a new project soon and feel better knowing I took that time to organize what was missing in my life. Me. I took the time to find out what I needed to somehow keep a bit of balance in my life and work.

Not saying that it will be perfect but I feel clearer now knowing where I want to go. I know my home is my haven and being able to come home to my own bed has been heaven.

Sculpture

Many years ago, while in New York City, I took up sculpture. I enrolled in a Saturday class at the New School/Parsons School of Design. I was teaching a night course at the time at Parsons so the sculpture class was free for faculty. I have always had a love affair and great admiration for the classic sculptors especially Rodin. I have been to the museum many times and am overwhelmed with the amount of work this man has accomplished. There was no way he had time to sleep.

The time it takes me to do one small head I’m sure he could have done in a couple of hours and to perfection. I remember the feeling of relaxation sculpting brought me so I decided to enroll in sculpture class recently. Wow, have I changed. In my youth, I had no expectations of what I should know and how “good” I would be. The world was my oyster and I knew if my piece wasn’t perfect I could chalk it up to youth.

But now, many years later, after being in the “professional” world for so long I am much harder on myself. I am judgemental and feel I should be automatically perfect. After all, I’ve been practicing my art for many, many years. “It should be second nature,”I tell myself. And then I struggle to not make the mouth look like a fish or the eyes look like they are two holes.

Part of me wants to walk away and say screw it. I don’t need to do this. But the other part (the defiant part) tells me to keep at it. After all, when the weekend is done, no one will see the piece but me. But it’s not about the sculpture. It’s about me not being able to finish something that is up to my standards.

What this diatribe all means is that I don’t have the patience to take the time to learn again what I knew so many years ago. I am a makeup artist by trade not a sculpter. And each skill I try to do needs time and practice to discover what works and what doesn’t. I’m sure Rodin didn’t create a masterpiece first time out of the box. But he was a genius so maybe the second time!

Regardless, that doesn’t give me the excuse to continue not to sculpt. Each time I get a bit better and the lessons I learned years ago are coming back to me. The thrill and love of sculpting is also coming back to me. And that is what is important when moving on in life. Find the things to rediscover that use to give you joy before you had to worry about making a living. Rediscover the beauty of taking as long as you like to do what brings you pleasure. And when that mouth finally looks the way you want it to or the eyes are beautiful and telling then you know you have accomplished what we seem to want out of life. Satisfaction, joy and love.