Slow foods…sustainable living….the idea of being conscious of our carbon foot prints. We are slowly, very, very slowly becoming conscious as a people of how we live and consume. Recently, I watched Oprah who was doing a show on how to live on less. I have to tell you that I simply hate that concept. I find it a bit depressing. I know that on some level we are suppose to find living with less spiritually freeing. I am just not that evolved.
I found the “Thriftiest Couple in America” who fed their four boys and themselves on four dollars a meal – not empowering or up lifting. I get that they were happy – that this identity brought them incredible pride. After all, they made the cover the “Parade” magazine for their thriftiness. I also understand that the frugal identity was born for them out of necessity and a life style choice for Mrs. Frugal to stay home with the kids and have a large family.
I get that many Americans are simply out of work or drained of their financial resources by the economic down turn. But there are many who are ego proud of living with less. There is a pridefulness about frugality – that is becoming rather chic. The other recent Oprah that I caught was abouy people that ate out of garbage cans by choice. They were “freegins” who scope out super market trash cans at night to fish out recently expired or less than perfect food that he markets could not longer sell – but were still consumable. I guess that it goes with sustainable living and not leaving carbon foot prints…..something that I do find empowering and upcoming! Just not four dollar meals, and eating out of the trash.
I listened to Suze Orbin talk about “Women and Money” today and even bought her book to listen on my Shameless Book Tour. Her PBS special inspired me. I actually like how she talks. She lectures to women about becoming wealthy through living with courage, generosity and cleanliness. She talked about the qualities of a wealthy woman. I can’t remember all of them – but as she mentioned each one – I remember nodding “yes” to the television set. Suze talks about creating abundance. Now that I dig. So, before I left on my book tour - I cleaned my house. And for the first time in about nine months – I got help to do it. This amazing women came and started cleaning at 8am and left at 6pm. I feel like my apartment has had some kind of ritual bath. She cleaned under my bed. I haven’t looked under my bed in years. That is way too scary for me. She got on her hands and knees to wash my floor. I never get on my hands and knees to clean! I use a mop!
She told me that this way was better. I think that I am in love. I have been thinking a lot about the care of and feeding of a Goddess lately….what does it take to sustain me. After all – I am also making big changes in my life and taking a risk. I am going after the life of a full time author, fertility coach, sex educator and speaker. I think it is called – “self employment”.
What do I really need and what do I want? Many of us are feeling the financial pinch. I know that my family might be – as I transition to working for myself as opposed to working for somebody else. I still have a kid in college – some of you may have other big expenses such as paying for an IVF cycle.
That is a big deal. There just isn’t credit right now. So many of us are cracking a very big nut every month that we were hoping not to crack – and money is tighter than must of us would like it to be. The line between what I need and what I want is a very fine line. Because we can live without a lot. But what do I want to live without? What am I willing to live without? I enjoy being generous. For me, it is people first and things later. And I rather work smarter and harder rather than figure out how to create that $4.00 meal for four.
I am a woman that loves foe gras and leather skirts. I would love nothing better than throwing a party for my friends and giving them gifts for being extraordinary beings. I want to take my family to Italy again – only this time to Southern Italy…and figure out a way to go to Greece with my girlfriends (on me of course!) Wouldn’t all of that be delicious? I want to create that!
That is my focus…so while I watch these good people focus on how to live with less – I want to focus on how to create the full abundant life that I desire. That is what I want to bring to myself and those around me. I believe in radical self care – and that includes having enough abundance to be able to take long walks – go yoga – and get a massage!
But I also understand that to get what I need and create what I want – that I can’t be sloppy and greedy. There are choices involved. I heard Suze when she said that how we live reflects how we value our money and our lives. If we buy clothes – then our closets should be neat. We need to take care of that new car. We need to value all the things that we bring into our lives. We need to live clean. Hence the cleaning girl. I needed help in living cleaner. I needed the ritual bath. I have been thinking a lot about what I can let go of. What is just habit – and what is need. That is truly an exploration for me. I never really had a grip on my own dollars. I always felt that money was a renewable resource that I simply could create more of. And frankly – I am attached to that belief.
The world though is having problems with that concept these days – and that has begun to worry me. Border’s Book Store has closed – and I am speaking in way too many books stores that feel empty except for the people that have turned out to hear me read. Maybe – I should pay attention to that? If for no other reason as to be way more conscious of my own sustain ability. It can be expensive – what I need to truly sustain my physical and emotional well being. And I have up front to telling other people to feed themselves first – and by doing that they will have more abundance in their lives to give to others. But in seeing all of these empty stores – I have questioned whether I am entitled to care for myself in the way that I have in the past. I have questioned what is truly working for me – and what is adding to my own carbon foot prints.
It can be tricky stuff – sustainability. What do you need to take care of yourself? What would you never give up? And what would you give up to live your dream?