Evidence Based Spiritual Practice


evidence based practice

The wind blows, but you cannot see it. You see evidence of it by the leaves on the trees moving. You feel the cool air on your skin. You may even hear rustling noises—but you don’t see it. “I’ll believe it when I see it.” No! You’ll see it when you believe it! If you’re not familiar with Wayne Dyer, he wrote a book titled, You’ll see it when you believe it. Well worth a read.

You don’t see the wind, does that mean the wind doesn’t exist? It can blow buildings  down, and it can supply energy for cities. Wind power can be a sailor’s dream, or deadly nightmare.

What could you see in your life if you believed in it? I believe we are channels for the Universal Power at all times. It’s impersonal, but we personalize It.

I think this story is about Edwene Gains, but we’ve all had something similar. As the story goes, she identified with prosperity and abundance when she had almond-stuffed green olives. They were expensive, and it was a rare treat to have them. Opulence!

A friend invited her on a cruise, already paid for. At the time this was a big, extravagant event for her. She went and set the intention to feel the energy of abundance. To take in the wealth, and feel rich!

One night at dinner, her plate—not the plate of anyone else’s at her table, but her plate had an almond-stuffed green olive on top of her meal. To her, this was the pinnacle of feeling the abundance all around her. Not only around her, but for her. For her!

How in tune are we with abundance? We say we want it, but do we think, talk and act like it, or do we wish, hope, and bemoan what isn’t in our hand right now. If there’s a feeling of not having, it’s a feeling of lack, and that pushes what you want further away. Think of it this way: when you daydream of living a certain life, you catch yourself smiling, and feeling great. When you wish, or look back with regrets, you catch yourself frowning and feeling sad. Both activities are directing the universe. Which scenario do you want the Universe to answer? It will answer the stronger lead.

 

Buying Stocks for Kids


 image credit: Google

Do you have young family members, or children of friends you’d like to get interested in investing? While I don’t like the idea of promoting gambling—and let’s face it, the stock market is a form of it, I do think the stock market is at least worth talking about to kids.

Do you watch television, or read the newspaper? If you watch a television show to do anything with money, or pour over the stock report page in the newspaper, talk about it with a child, teen—or anyone who’ll listen. I’ll never forget the day when I was living in New Zealand and a friend of mine saw me reading the stock reports and with shock asked, “Do you understood it?” Meekly adding, “I wish I did.” I brought the page over to him and explained the columns. Soon after that he let me know how Coke and Disney were doing. For his birthday a few years later, I bought him some shares in Coke. Rather than having him open an account for a few stock shares and pay taxes on his gift, I bought some shares to add to my account then told him what I’d done, and why. The idea was to sell the shares to cover some of his travel expenses to the states when he came for a visit.

According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, 12/20012 if you want to buy some stock for a minor, you could go through a brokerage firm, several of which offer custodial accounts with low minimum, no setup or annual fees, and low or no commissions for buying and selling shares.

  •   Capitol One (formerly ING Direct) has no minimum and charges $4 per trade if you sign up for their monthly automatic investment plan. Capitol One (as far as I can tell) is continuing with their Kids Saving Account, which has no fees or minimum and currently pays 0.8% interest. I like this site for kids. It promotes taking/teaching about money—specifically saving, in a casual, fun style.
  • Charles Schwab has a $100 investment minimum and charges $8.95 for on-line stock trades.
  • TD Ameritrade charges $9.99 for each on-line stock trade, and has no fees or minimum.
  • Scottrade has a $500 investment minimum and charges $7 for on-line trades.

If you have more than one child involved, they will each need their own custodial account, each having a custodian, who’ll manage the account assets until the child is eighteen or twenty-one, depending on the state in which they reside. The custodian doesn’t need to be the child’s parent. The custodian can be a grandparent, aunt/uncle, parent’s friend—anyone who’ll manage the assets responsibly until the child is of legal age to do so. Anyone may contribute to the child’s account, not just the custodian.

This could be a fun gift if you got creative with it. You could still wrap something up, or create a scavenger hunt for hints—stock report page, pictures from magazines that represent the stock. You don’t have to go big with this. You can buy one share if you want, and depending on what you buy, maybe you wait a few months and buy another share. Have fun and use it as a learning tool for your child. Maybe they pay the fee and you pay the stock, or the other way around. Make sure you educate them the ups (bull) and downs (bear) of stock, and how time heals most wounds. Maybe a trip to the library for some books or videos, too. Have fun!

Children friendly links:

Creative wealth

Money management 

 Finance park video

Young Savers

 

Free Money


 image credit: Google

Boom! Wow! You’ve just won $1,000.00 after taxes.

What would you do with it?

It’s “unscheduled money” so would you use it for bills anyway? Or would you use it as “fun money”?

House repairs? Car savings? A year’s worth of dinner and movies? Travel? Clothes? Tools? Donations?

Sit with this idea of getting $1,000.00 and feel it. Pay attention to how it feels receiving the money, and making plans to spend it. If it doesn’t feel good, you’re in the moment of lack — wishing it were more than $1,000.00, or focusing on “it’s not real.”

Everything begins in the mind. Imagination is where it all starts for everything — the chair you’re sitting on; the computer you use. The idea is to feel the fun of the money and plans. That shifts your focus and energy to receiving and if you keep this up throughout the day, you’ll see a shift. Some may see it that day, others in a few days, and others a week or so. Don’t stress out about “doing it right.” Have fun. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.

Sometimes I do this throughout the day. I’ll plan to spend it on yard art. Then a few hours later, I spend it on travel. I never tell myself, “You can’t re-spend it.” I just keep having the experience of receiving and planning.

Have fun with  your free money!

Cha-ching!

Free Money


 image credit: Google

Boom! Wow! You’ve just won $1,000.00 after taxes.

What would you do with it?

It’s “unscheduled money” so would you use it for bills anyway? Or would you use it as “fun money”?

House repairs? Car savings? A year’s worth of dinner and movies? Travel? Clothes? Tools? Donations?

Sit with this idea of getting $1,000.00 and feel it. Pay attention to how it feels receiving the money, and making plans to spend it. If it doesn’t feel good, you’re in the moment of lack — wishing it were more than $1,000.00, or focusing on “it’s not real.”

Everything begins in the mind. Imagination is where it all starts for everything — the chair you’re sitting on; the computer you use. The idea is to feel the fun of the money and plans. That shifts your focus and energy to receiving and if you keep this up throughout the day, you’ll see a shift. Some may see it that day, others in a few days, and others a week or so. Don’t stress out about “doing it right.” Have fun. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.

Sometimes I do this throughout the day. I’ll plan to spend it on yard art. Then a few hours later, I spend it on travel. I never tell myself, “You can’t re-spend it.” I just keep having the experience of receiving and planning.

Have fun with  your free money!

Cha-ching!

Savers and Spenders


 image credit: Google

Savers and spenders. It could be seen as two sides to a coin. There are those who think having “too much” money is bad, greedy, or evil. There are those who can’t get enough of money—whether by hoarding for status, or in hope that it’ll solve all their problems. Then there are those who could be considered tight-wads by their lifestyle of saving. These are people who can squeeze a nickel so tight, it gives Jefferson a headache.

It’s beneficial to know in which of these categories you tend to land.

By examining the emotions around what motivates you, you can realistically look at a situation and say, “Oh, I see it. The emotion, the small-self, the fear—whatever you want to call it, is afraid that: _________ (fill in the blank) money will corrupt me, I won’t fit in with the crowd, I won’t have enough to retire, even if it takes longer I must keep looking for a better deal. . . .

Consider journaling on your self-talk about money. Or paint, or draw your emotions. Maybe you can sit and have a “conversation” with your money issues. Ask it’s fear. Ask “why?” Ask yourself if you’ve outgrown that old belief — or why you haven’t. Maybe someone long ago told you what may have been true for them, but that doesn’t mean it’s true for you—especially now, as an adult, in your own life. It doesn’t make that person wrong, but it gives you control by your being conscious of what you believe.

Savers and Spenders. Two sides to a coin. What will you do with your half?

Abundance isn’t Gluttony


 Image credit: Google

I’m absolutely amazed as I look around on the freeways. They’re packed with nice, new, gas guzzling cars and trucks. I’m all for new, nice and abundance. We live in the land of plenty. Is it abundance? Is it gluttony?

Then, there are people uncomfortable with gas prices, but not willing to boycott oil companies, even for one day. Do they fear their stock may drop—and they think they won’t have new options for investments? Is it because we’re a rich nation? Or are we, the people, apathetic?

Are you paying .10 for a plastic grocery bag yet? This has been common practice for years in Ukraine, other European countries and the South Pacific—and these are only the countries I know of first hand.

Q: How do you tell an American traveler in a foreign grocery store?

A: The American shows up without a grocery bag, and is shocked when charged for one!

We claim we’re doing our part to help, if not save the environment. We all have our re-usable bags. They’re left in our car, but we have them. They’re cotton, plastic, or nylon. We’ve get them through event give-aways and donation recognition. They’re cheap, yet a statement. Are we slowly replacing paper and plastic with material bags of multiple color and size, made in China, to be left at home or in cars, later for the thrift store or land fill?

We plod along—as individuals, as a nation—complaining, resisting, and then stand in shock, finger pointing, wondering how “they” got us into this mess. Do you want to mail a letter in New Zealand? Go to the gas station! (They’ve already closed their post offices. They didn’t argue about it for years. They swallowed hard and did it.)

We are a nation and world of igneous people. We will always find ways to replace and improve what doesn’t work. More isn’t always better—even the good stuff.

Find a balance. Today exercise a bit. Think a bit. Rest. Be good to you. Be good to those around you. Be good to those you’ll never know.

Consciously Deciding


 

Photo Credit: Google Image

 

Sometimes we can get caught up in the outer pull. A sale. A season. The excitement around us, or the smell of a bakery. Be conscious. I love the bakery aroma! Sometimes, I even love the bakery taste! More than once I’ve found myself in the bakery, or store bakery section for a peek or to get a whiff of the treats. I know this sounds a bit eccentric, but as usually, as I look, I imagine the taste before deciding if I will buy it. Ah, beautiful, but not sweet enough. Wow. That’s huge—and I’d eat it all now, then regret it. $7 for a small pastry! Holy cow! I’d rather donate the money to a local hiking trail. If my desire and imagined or remembered taste meet my feel good point, I buy it. No guilt. The point being, be conscious in whatever you do.

Do You bake? Have you ever made a cake so you can have two or three pieces? Give the rest of the cake to neighbors who don’t talk about calories or eating only organic. (Give those sorts of neighbors carrots.) By sharing, the cake will stay fresh, and sharing a treat creates a bit of unexpected fun. Who knows, maybe they’ll have just bought some ice cream and offer to share with you!

I confess, once I made a pie because I wanted a piece. I had every intention to share with a neighbor, but when the pie was ready, I noticed they were busy. (Too busy for pie?) I ended up having (really good) apple pie for breakfast for a few days. Next time I made pie, I told those same neighbors I was about to make it, and asked them if they wanted to come over in about two hours. They were thrilled. I was consciously aware of what I was doing. When it comes time to eat your bakery or home made treat, enjoy! Savor! Taste the experience, not just the flavor.