For the Next Thirty Days


When I tell people I don’t have a television, I’ll get comments like, “You must get a lot done.” Or I’ll get looks like, What rock do you live under? I’ve been offered at least one television a year for eight years.

I’m not advocating everyone giving up their television. (Having one per house, and not in the bedroom, maybe.) I am encouraging people to look at what they do with their time, and think of what they’d do if they had more time. What have you thought of giving up? (Gossip, swearing, smoking, sugar, fat, negative thinking. . .) What do you want to do? (Yoga, sing, read, water color paint, cook. . .) Don’t have time to cook a healthy, tasty dinner? Get the family involved in the activity. Husbands can shop. Teens can chop onions. Families can talk during dinner (oh, aren’t we glad we gave the television away!)

Here’s a six minute video about trying something new for 30 days. By the way, it takes 27 days for something to become a habit. Once a habit is formed, you’ll miss it if you break the pattern.

Dinner on a Budget


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Dinner on a budget, fighting inflation, making money go further at the grocery store. Call it whatever you want. Here are some tips for healthy eating and saving money.

We only need three ounces of protein a meal, and it doesn’t need to come completely from meat. By cutting down on meat intake, you’ll save money, and depending on how much meat you’ve been piling on your plate, you may be doing your body a world of good. Have a small portion of meat and a high-protein side dish, such as beans, lentils or grains.

Check your cupboards and refrigerator. I have a fit if I have to toss food. Often, I’ll turn one meal into another meal to use up what I have. I may have roasted vegetables one night with leftovers. The next night, I may have soup with the leftover roasted vegetables in it, Or add cheese and pasta sauce to the vegetables. Use ingredients before they expire. Get creative without going to the store. Maybe you’ll find a can of diced tomatoes, a can or bag of frozen corn, and a can or bag of frozen green beans. By adding rice or pasta, spices and some meat, you’ve got a meal you can make in one pan. Or, add chicken broth and you’ve got soup. For great soup, you could use the bones from a rotisserie chicken and use up “tired” vegetables from the refrigerator. (Celery tops, onion chunks, carrots, parsley—whatever you have.) Add enough water to cover the bones and cook for an hour or so. Take out the bones and vegetables and add new/good vegetables to the broth.

I used to buy black and Northern beans in cans. I didn’t know how to use the ones from the bag, and didn’t want to have to plan ahead so far to soak them for hours before cooking. I have a 94 year old neighbor who was upset with me when I told her I never “made” beans before. She brought me a bowl of Northern beans and spaghetti (no sauce) and told me the beans were from a bag, and she cooked them for one and a half hours (no soaking.) I thought they’d be hard and tough. They were delicious. The beans were far better than the caned ones, and I’ve learned they last longer in the refrigerator than canned ones. Stored the un-used cooked beans in a jar with some of the water they cooked in covering them. You’ll be happy how easy and inexpensive beans form a bag are to prepare.

Take advantage of the grocery store sales. If you’re low on something, but not out of it, consider buying it before you run out, when you may have to pay full price. You may need to cook up the sale meat that day, or freeze it, but if it’s something you’ll eat anyway, it’s savings.

Buy oatmeal in the drum rather than the packages. Or, if you’re okay buying from bulk bins, scoop up savings that way.

Buy smaller amounts to keep things fresh. I love what Nabisco has done with the Original Saltine crackers. Fresh Stacks are packed in smaller portions, so they don’t go stale. Rather than having four long packs of crackers, this box has six packs. I think you get two ounces less of crackers and pay about fifty cents more. It’s a bit more expensive—or is it? None of my saltines go stale anymore.

Add Two Zeros Savings Plan


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I came across a great “retirement plan” idea from a magazine article. The idea can be altered a bit for someone who’s just begun the workforce, too. It’s fun, easy to remember and can really add up into some serious savings.

Here’s the idea: Save your age plus two zeros every year. Whoo-Hoo 21! means putting aside $2,100 that year. The next year would be $2,200 and at Hello 50! you put aside $5,000. You can do this over the year-long period, or as a single, big birthday gift to yourself. You can also set it up with your bank to automatically transfer the funds into your retirement account with a preset schedule.

If you can’t set aside the two zeros for retirement now, put aside your age every week. ($35 per week when you’re age 35.) It’ll add up to half as much as the two zero system, but half is half more than nothing!

If you’re planing to wait until your birthday to begin this, write it down, set it up as a reminder and with your bank or you won’t do it. If it’s not important enough to do this week, it’ll fall to the land of could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. Be pro-active. Set it up now.

Quick and Easy Ways to Save Money


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  • Do you smoke? Quit! It’ll save about $2,000 a year — and your life. If you’ve tried but “it” didn’t work, call American Cancer Society for help: 1-800-227-2345 (1-800- ACS-2345).
  • Eat at Joe’s—Not. Eat at home! It’s healthier for you and your bank account. I love to grill. I used to be a vegetarian. Now when I do eat, I grill it. It’s easy clean up, keeps the smell of meat and fish outside, and it changes up my routine of cooking. Depending how often you eat out, this could save you $1,000 just cutting your dining out in half! For the last two years, for Mother’s Day lunch, I grilled filet mignon and lobster tails, boiled some rice and put together a green salad. All under $25. for two of us! (And I knew there wasn’t any msg seasoning, or hidden fatty something to any part of the meal.)
  • Wash your clothes in large loads, which saves water, and energy. If you just have a few colored clothes and are doing a load of whites, use Clorox Color Catchers. They really work. You can combine all your laundry rather than doing two small loads. If your clothes aren’t needing hot water, use cold or warm water. It gets them clean, is easier on your clothes, and saves energy. Air dry your clothes on a clothes line, or clothes rack. It’s easier on your clothes, too. This’ll save you $200 year, and your clothes will smell fresh-air great!
  • Three different people told me last month they were insulating their homes. It’ll save them money in the long run. So will insulating your water heater, setting its thermostat at 120 degrees and installing an automatic timer to turn it off when not in use. Doing all of this can save about $500 a year.
  • Unplug it. Did you know even when appliances are off, they still use energy? They use 5-10% of the  total household electricity costs—when not in use! If you can’t be bothered with unplugging them after each use, use a power strip that can be turned off. This super simple act can save you $200 a year.
  • Do your own lawn care. Mow the grass, pull the weeds, rake the leaves. Exercise and money saver all in one. It’s relatively easy for the average person. Now, people have flashy landscape, and someone else to tend to it. Think back. Most people didn’t have gardeners 30 years ago. (I was the one raking the leaves, 20 years ago, I was the one pushing the lawn mower — and the front yard looked fabulous!) Do it yourself could save you over $500 a year.
  • Peeww! What’s that smell? I like a clean house. I hate the smell of cleaning supplies. To some, the smell means a clean house. I say it’s a cover-up; a waste of money, product and lack of effort on the person doing the job. Cleaning products can also shorten the life of your floors, tables, etc. Use less, if at all. Got stained coffee mugs? Use a teaspoon of baking soda and water to clean them out. Dust. No spray involved, and it spruces up the house way more than a smelly spray. Mop the floor with a little bit of cleaner. Sometimes the eco-friendly stuff isn’t as good, but it depends on the product you have, it’s purpose, and your commitment to the environment. Cutting back on using cleaning supplies could save the average American $1,000 a year. (That’s a lot of stinky stuff!)

The Conscious Mind Guards the Sub-Conscious


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The main function of the conscious mind is to protect the sub-conscious mind; to stand guard. The only thing that limits us is our belief system. By impressing on our own mind with the thoughts and actions of what we desire to experience, we impress the same thoughts on the Universal Mind. This is to pray without ceasing. We don’t need to hold the thought, but know it is already done, and release it. There’s nothing our subconscious doesn’t know. It’s our intuition when properly directed. The sub-conscious mind works all the time—with or without our making any effort. When one falls asleep in front of the TV, the sub-conscious mind is still taking in the commercials, the world news—everything the conscious mind missed. The nature of the sub-conscious mind is to obey and create. It never doubts, questions or initiates. The sub-conscious mind only says, “Yes”.

We have the capacity to choose. Whatever our sub-conscious mind accepts, it will bring to pass. If everyone who ran around saying, “I’m a millionaire” believed it at a sub-conscious level, we’d see a lot more millionaires. (And just because they haven’t manifested it quickly, doesn’t mean they won’t.)

Here are a few things you can do to check in with what you’re thinking:

  • Set an alarm (kitchen, watch, phone…) to go off at random throughout the day. When it goes off, write down what you were thinking about, or your self-talk.
  • In the morning when you awake, notice how you feel, or the very first thing you think, or say.
  • Write an affirmation to use throughout the day. Write it in the present, positive tense, first person. (I am healthy versus I’m not sick, or I’ll be healthy.) Keep it short so you can remember it and repeat it. If you have a goal of paying off your bills start with an affirmation of something like “I am financially wise” instead of “I am a millionaire.” Once you are debt free, or have savings put aside, then you can move the affirmation to the next level. (It’s the feeling, and if you feel discouraged while you’re saying you’re a millionaire, you won’t be one.) Stretch yourself, but not so much that you give up in a week because you feel defeated, and not supported. The idea is to keep moving up the scale, not to stop at the first affirmation you ever do.

It’s all true to the sub-conscious mind


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I encourage you to keep an “answered prayer treatment list.” We pray. We receive. Then what? We often forget, or discredit how great the answered prayer was! We fall back into feeling life doesn’t support us. How can we go into Prayer Treatment expecting it to work when we don’t have the conviction of knowing the answer to our request is already ours? An answered Spiritual Mind Treatment list also acts as a proving ground for our consciousness.

Collective consciousness is one reason to take responsibility for being aware of our thoughts and beliefs. If we float through the day, without taking conscious charge of our own mind, we’ll have hoards of information coming into our sub-conscious mind, without a filter. The sub-conscious mind takes everything in as true. It’s our conscious mind that filters the information.

When I was a social worker, I visited juvenile hall to see a client. As I waited in the room for visitation, I felt sick to my stomach, like I was going to throw up. I thought about the energy in that room. It felt grungy, like the walls had a thick gray coat of anger and sadness on them. Then I thought—They do! I was feeling the collective consciousness of inmates and their visitors over the years in juvenile hall. If I hadn’t been aware of what the feeling was, I would’ve either gotten sick in that room, or felt sick the rest of the day. Instead, I became aware of the situation, and in my mind I put a shield of White Light (God’s Divine protection) around me, and started to “clean” the walls with pink (love). In my mind, I wiped down the walls with my pink sponge. The muck dripped down the walls, graying the space below what I’d just wiped clean. My client was escorted to see me before I finished the room, but I already physically felt better. I encourage anyone to do this exercise when in a place that feels disturbing. Be sure to wrap yourself in Divine protection first. That’s the conscious choice you make to not take on a lower level of vibration or consciousness of others, or the collective consciousness.

Exercise:

  • Think of one thing you can do to help shift collective consciousness in one area. “Clean” walls, send love to the neighborhood, recycle, turn off the news or TV. Seek out positive people and monitor your thoughts – even the “I was just joking” negative talk.  What are you willing to do today?

Change Your Thinking


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What happens when you go through the day on “auto-pilot”? Everything you do is one flip-switch away from “disengage.” When we’re conscious, we’re making choices with awareness. We don’t just go to the restaurant with our friend and say, “I’ll have the same as you.” A salad taste different than a melted cheese sandwich. By being conscious, we can imagine the taste and if it agrees with the mood and desire we have then. We have free will. We’re at choice.

By being aware of our consciousness, we’re not getting sucked in, or over-ridden by the collective consciousness. Try this: Go to different locations (stores, states, parts of town, countries) and just feel the energy. You’ll feel the difference, if you’re aware. You don’t even have to look for visual cues. The energy will override the passive, the “I’ll have the same as you” because I don’t want to think for myself folks. When you’re in an atmosphere like that, it’s even more important to be aware of your choices; your mindset. If you’re in a crowd and feel a shift of your mood, it’s very likely the energy of the crowd lifting or pulling you down. If it lifts you, realize you can do that on your own. You don’t need to pull from them, and it’s better if you become a contributor to that feeling rather than going to be lifted by them. Because, if you go to be lifted, you will drop when you leave that group/event.

When we pray, it’s more effective to pray for a raised consciousness than for immediate good. Many people win the lottery, or receive a windfall of money from other means, and within a few years they are broke. They had the consciousness to get the money, but not the consciousness to keep the money. This is true of relationships, health—anything. It may take longer to demonstrate when you pray for an increased consciousness, but when you do demonstrate, your consciousness is at a higher level of foundation. Once you are comfortable at this level, you will again be able to raise your consciousness to the next level. Consciousness works the same for getting and taking. What we focus on increases. Is your focus on ease and abundance, or hardship and lack? The universe responds impersonally with “Yes!”

Hoping, wanting, even working really hard doesn’t change anything—unless you change your thinking.

Exercise:

  • Everything has a level of vibration. What sound, color, shape or feeling do you hear/see/feel when you are around certain groups of people? Don’t judge, just be aware.

How to Learn First 10 Digits of Pi


March 14

(3.14)

Happy pi day! Eat responsibly.

How may digits of pi can you recite? I can can get to ten digits. If you know the tune of M-i-c-k-e-y—M-o-u-s-e, you’re half way there! Now, to that tune, 3.1415—92653: “three point one four one five nine two six five three.” Anyone know a way to remember the next ten (short of studying them!) Please let me know. Some people do well using “phone numbers” etc. I’m looking for more song type ideas.

Affirmative Prayer. Step 6 of 6. Release.


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The last and sixth step in Spiritual Mind Treatment is release. This is the point where you “Let go and let God.” When you release your prayer, you feel it’s done and that you’re at the point where you can accept your desire. You must truly release it, and not get in the way of Divine Intelligence.

If you plant a seed in your garden then dig it up to see how it’s coming along, it won’t grow well, if at all. With prayer, your job is to convince your mind to change to allow your good, then hand it over to the Universe. At that point, your job is to nurture your prayer, protecting it from weed-thoughts (negative thinking), and to anticipate your good. If you knew there were pests in your garden, you’d cover the tender baby basil rather than providing a free-for-all. Your dream or prayer is like that plant. Once it’s established, you might choose to share it with others. Doing so before it’s established could set you up for well-meaning, but not supportive input from others who will “warn” you or squash your dream in some other unconscious way. God will never respond with the attitude, “Get real!” “That’s impossible!” or “Yeah, everyone wants that.” Protect your dream/prayer from nay-sayers, and share it those who can support you. A prayer partner, or someone who will hold the vision with you, of you achieving your desire.

“Pray without ceasing.” I believe every thought is a prayer. What are you praying about? Think about your thoughts.  Are they affirming positive? Or are they regret and worry? Either way, it’s a prayer going out to the Universe, and the Universe only says, “Yes!”

When you get to the point of release, let it go. Like letting a balloon go —up, up, and away! Remember the excitement as a child at that moment? We’d only be disappointed if the balloon got caught in a tree. If something blocked it from it’s free-form journey.

Release it with joy. If your mind comes back to digging up that seed, or if your balloon gets caught in a tree, go back to prayer and keep changing your mind to allowing your good.

Affirmative Prayer. Step 5 of 6. Gratitude.


gratitude image credit: Good Search

Gratitude is the fifth step in Spiritual Mind Treatment. The more we give thanks, the more we experience things for which to be thankful. All words have a vibrational level. When you express “thank you” you’re sharing a higher level of vibration than if you’d said nothing at all. Gratitude is energy. Everything is energy. To say “Thank you” before receiving something is to affirm you believe you’ll receive it, and to express gratitude for it.

Write a list of thirty things each day for which you’re grateful. Do this for one week, everyday. Try not to daily repeat things on your list. Then, keep an ongoing list of 5-10 a day. Can you list five things right now on your gratitude list?