The moment after loss

I tell myself that this is going to open up space for something else. But still, in this moment, it is all to easy to wonder and worry about where my income is going to come from.

I tell myself that I have got through downs like this in the past, and survived, and even thrived. But in this moment, it seems second nature to think that this is the way I am always going to feel from now on.

I tell myself that it was not really about me, that it was circumstance and timing. But my critical minds wants to get its two cents in and tell me that I could have done more, been more, tried harder.

If there is one thing the past two and half years have not been, its dull. I reflect on this time, and draw strength from what I am capable of absorbing, standing up to, getting back up from. I am strong and can handle so much more than I thought.

So today, despite the nagging voices from the dark places, I choose to go on, to enter the confusion and uncertainty, and to create and make as well as I know how.

 

The trouble with internally evaluated success

I want the success of my life to be determined by me. By how well I have lived according to my personal quest: connection; conversation; consciousness; wellbeing; context awareness; creation; contribution; curation.

According to these measures it is really only me who can decide if I am tracking to this or not. I like the idea of this. I want to live this way.

I run into trouble when I simultaneously want others to recognise that I am successful as well, and when I start to want the things that will show people that I am really making it now. Things like clothes, cars, houses, being well known, excess money.

I want to have it both ways, to be successful in my quest, and the have others envious of me because of the external trappings of that success. This is particularly true when I think about those I believe have slighted me: I will show them, I tell myself.

The truth that is sinking in, of course, is that in following my quest and being successful in it, it may not look like success to anybody around me. In fact, it may look like failure. Like I have no money, no external ornaments, not being all that well known.

This can be hard to swallow. I want to be adored and follow my quest. And perhaps I will. But more likely I think, I will be joyfully invisible.

Money Supply

Debt: The first 5000 years is a book that changed they way I think about money. It is a bit of a long, tough read, and I confess to not reading all of it. But two things a percolating within me: money is a way of pretending to be exact about something we cannot be exact about: human exchanges of all kinds. Since we have created money for our own purposes, we could design it in such a way to serve all of us, for example by create and giving more of it away, or forgiving crippling debts.

The books talks about the origins of money, and what money actually is. Money did not come out of necessity to replace a barter system that was getting too ungainly. The barter system was not actually practised that widely in human societies - before money communities held a kind of mental ledger and were usually prepared to give something they had to anybody who asked or need it. They knew that soon enough the tables would be turned.

I am trying to think of a pithy take-away, but right now there is not one forthcoming. There is something about understanding that money is a tool, and that it can be created very easily for achieving specific human purposes. There is something else about the guilt we all feel about debt, and how this is also human designed and it is not a moral absolute that everyone pays their debts.

Perhaps in understanding the origins and characteristics of money I can be less attached to it, and allow it to come and go in my life to help me achieve my purposes.

When tattslotto seems like the answer

I sometimes find myself dreaming about winning the lottery. I find it very hard to ignore what I could do with a $30M windfall. The thing that stops me buying a ticket is not actually the overwhelmingly poor odds. The thing that stops me is that I find myself asking the question, 'But what if I won?', and not liking the answer.

What would happen to my life? What would I miss out on learning? How would my sudden change of fortune change the way I am with people?

It seems like it would be a short cut to have all the finances I want right now. I would be able to launch my breath mint business. I would be able to design a build a family home. I would be able to push my podcast to be a revenue generating venture. But the fact is that right now I have all the finances I need to do the things I need to do. I have enough to send my kids to school, to buy food, to pay the rent, to start the businesses. A large influx of cash would not actually push forward my current ventures in a sustainable way.

What I think I am craving when I fantasise about winning the lottery is not having to go through the uncertain times I know are ahead: the times of wondering how it will turn out; the times of feeling uncomfortable; and the times of feeling like I am out on a limb all by myself.

And it is these feelings and living through them that are actually the marrow of life. They can't be purchased with any amount of money, and ironically money can actually rob us of the opportunity to have these experiences and learn these lessons. 

Right now I move forward knowing that I have everything I need. And when the temptation of a $30M jackpot is too much to resist, luckily the odds are stacked against me.