An excerpt from: Release Your Obsession With MONEY: Heal from the Inside Out. Coming soon!
It’s a balmy, rainy day on the west coast of Florida where I’m spending the next thirteen days alone to reflect on my life with all its twists and turns. I knew as a small child that no one could box me in—I was a free spirit. I loved to run, hang from trees, and play kick the can with the neighbors. I never was a girly-girl following the crowd.
I danced to my own beat, listening to my inner guidance, the very one we all hear whispering our course of direction in this life. Ignoring what it says will lead to a loss of energy and power and lead to a sense of spiritual deadness. When I was a little kid, I was always daydreaming about creating stories of make-believe, playing with animals and out in nature.
I wanted to live freely.
My dad was one to give me bear hugs and rub his whiskers into my face, holding me tight. I loved his love but not being held so tight. It wasn’t comfortable. And it left my face burning red. But later, when I turned five, the affection stopped, and I missed it. The lesson I learned is that sometimes even if we’re uncomfortable we need to stay the course. Behind every cloud, the sun awaits.
When I was in my early twenties, I moved to downtown Chicago from the suburbs to avoid the long commute. I’d already been bartending and made substantial money in a quaint family-owned Italian restaurant called Seneses Winery. We were a close-knit group for many years, sharing stories of hardship, college trials and errors, love, and even death. To leave my happy nest of friends and once again start over from scratch was a big decision.
I tired of the long commute to DePaul University, so leaving my safe nest became a reality. I moved without a job in place. I thought getting a job with my skill sets would be easy-peasy, and tons of nightclubs stretched for blocks on end on Rush Street in Chicago. I was wrong. I applied everywhere. The biggest problem was most clubs wanted me in a skimpy outfit showing lots of cleavage and derriere, and that was a double no for me.
I went months without a job, and money ran out, leaving me broke, again. I was desperate, so I went to apply for food stamps and some kind of assistance. Terrified, I was at one of the lowest points in life. The irony was my wealthy dad lived in Chicago too, but he set the tone, without saying it, ever—that we were to find our own way through school and all our endeavors—since I was a kid.
The fellow taking my information looked at me kindly with chocolate, deep-set eyes. He had black hair, a mustache, and beard. His face was kind. Softly, he told me I didn’t have a chance. He offered to continue to fill out the paperwork, but assured me I’d be denied. I was baffled. I had needed all my being to apply for help—something I didn’t want to do with every ounce of me—but I had pushed forward out of desperation.
I had one jar of peanut butter in the fridge, a head of lettuce with salad fixings, and a few cans of tuna, tea and skim milk. That was it. I had no money in the bank and my rent was now past due. How in the world could they deny me? I felt small, tiny, sitting in that chair, looking up at this stranger for help with pleading eyes.
He gently shook his head, stayed quiet for a moment, tapping his pencil to his lips before he said, “I’m sorry but how can you get approved? You have more education than I. You live in a studio apartment on Orchard Street. You have a car and you have a checking account.” What? But there’s no money in my checking account, I thought. So, I was turned away. I walked off, crushed.
This was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got down from my high horse and applied as a server at a pizza joint to make my ends meet. Bartenders do NOT want to be servers; waitressing is beneath us, a step down. But I got over my arrogance and went to work for Prosciuttos, a pizza joint off Michigan Avenue, which is where I met my best guy friend, Michael, who drove horse carriages throughout the city.
Eventually, I found a lovely bartending position at a quaint club. The name escapes me, but the managers’ faces do not. They were not sweet and kind, like my beautiful Seneses family at the Italian restaurant. They were harsh and pushed every bit of energy out of their employees. I walked out of there each night with loads of money, sore feet, and a banging headache from listening to music so loud I shook from the trauma it brought to my heart and body.
I was an excellent bartender, fast and furious, making the establishment money along with myself. I was at liberty to wear my personal designated uniform of black pants, white tux shirt, and a thin black tie. NO showing of body parts. I was a mean machine climbing out of debt when I had been penniless only a few short months before. Life, or the universe (God for me), has a way of working things out in the time that events are meant to unveil.
The lesson was to work, no matter what, and trust the rest will turn out as it should. And it did. And it will for you too. Work smart toward your dreams, save money, and give money. Love and love freely. Be true to yourself and to those around you, and miracles will flow your way. The lesson was to never give up—that quitters never win, and winners never quit.
“The lesson is every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness,” writes Shakti Gawain. Find your authentic you and follow your inner guidance—it’s there ready to guide you to your spiritual awakening.
Richard Carlson in his, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life, reminds us, “When you look at life and its many challenges as a test, or a series of tests, you see each issue you face as an opportunity to grow, a chance to roll with the punches. Whether you’re being bombarded with problems, responsibilities, or even insurmountable hurdles, when these are looked at as a test, you always have a chance to succeed, in the sense of rising above that which is challenging you.”
He says if, instead, you see each new issue you face as a serious battle that must be won in order to survive, you’re probably in for a very rocky journey. Often we believe the only time we’re going to be happy is when everything works out just right.
I’ve tried to make it obvious in story after story in this upcoming book, Releasing Your Obsession With Money: Heal from the Inside Out, the happy endings came from working through the trials and tribulations. Life is full of lessons and one is that money isn’t always what brings happiness. You and your inner workings are what brings happiness.
Now go take on your life without obsessing over money. Work smart and save, and you’ll be better off than you think. Obstacles will come and obstacles will go—that’s life. But you have the choice of how to work through each challenge and rise above, coming out stronger than you were before.
What are your obstacles? When you push through tough times how does it feel? What brings you and your inner workings together? Share your thoughts, we can all learn from you!!
Thank you for spending time with me and my thoughts throughout these pages. I hope my words lit your excitement to become your best self for you. I look forward to sharing my next book with you on how to release your obsession with money. God bless you… and your journey through this life and all that awaits beyond…
Thank you for being a part of the reading blog forum of this blog. If you have something you’d like to say, I’d love to hear it. YOU are important and your words need to be heard. I’m here for you.
To learn more on recovery from food addiction, eating disorders, weight issues, dieting, and aging, please check out my Release Your Obsession Series.
Stay tuned…you never know where my mind will wander…
And now my newest release:
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.