Monday Morning Musings on Money

Some people say that all anxieties and fears arise from the fear of death. Do you agree? I’m not so sure I agree.

My first musing has to do with tracing anxieties and fears to their root causes. Do you ever do that? When I follow mine, they do not seem to arise from fear of death, but rather from fear of poverty… And a step up from that fear is the fear of sickness that can lead to poverty.

When I am feeling miserable due to chronic health issues caused by Fibromyalgia, I do not feel afraid of death at all… But what I do feel is extreme anxiety about not being able to work, and fear of the physical discomforts associated with poverty.

My second musing is what it feels like to actually have money. Do you have lots of money now? Do you appreciate it and enjoy it?

Throughout my adult life, several times I have had the good fortune to experience having money. I appreciated it so much each time, and I loved being able to buy whatever I needed at any time… But what I enjoyed more than being able to buy myself things was being able to give generously to others. I loved buying someone a plane ticket or sending them a special gift package. Can you relate to this? Do you enjoy giving generously to others?

My third money musing is about why some people have lots of money and others don’t… The speculations here are endless, but a few ideas come to mind: fate, karma, destiny, magic, astrology, luck, charm, skill, mojo, family inheritance or genes, law of attraction, and so on. What do you think? Why do you think there are billionaires on this planet, while there are poor people living in shacks with dirt floors? What is really going on here?

My fourth musing is a heart-warming story I heard years ago about a wealthy man who enjoyed walking down the city streets giving out one hundred dollar bills. He loved to see the surprised and joyous expressions on people’s faces!

Remembering that story led me to have this fantasy: Perhaps some wealthy person will find my blog and feel inspired to purchase one thousand dollars worth of copies of my book on Lulu, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, and then they will go out on the streets giving them out! Spreading the Love! 🙂

My fifth and final musing for this morning is based on the title of a children’s book called “Are You My Mother?” Some years back, when my financial difficulties began, I got this idea that it would be so wonderful if we could somehow match up wealthy people with visionary mystics… I jokingly called out “Are You My Millionaire?” Then I posted this question:

Are you a millionaire looking for a mystic to sponsor?

Keeping a sense of humor is key when you are feeling any anxieties or fears!

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed this post.

May All Beings Be Free of Poverty and Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash.

 

Happy-ing Up With Images

I am pretty sure that color saturation increases serotonin, that neurotransmitter which helps us to happy up… At least it seems to for me! How about you? Do you love looking at bright images? Do you notice how color saturation affects your mind?

When I first started blogging, I used a lot of NASA space images with my posts, because I didn’t know that there were other sites with free images… Discovering those other sites opened up whole new colorful worlds for me! One of my fave tasks of blogging is scrolling through images on Unsplash or Pixabay to find just the right image for each post… That scrolling has become like a spiritual practice which really helps to happy up my mind!

Another fun practice with images is collage-making. Do you ever make collages? Some people get really artistic and elaborate with their collages, but mine are pretty basic, as you can see in the photo…

HappyingUpWithImages

This collage is glued onto my next journal cover, and I really had fun creating this one. I think it’s going to be one of my favorites ever. Lately I’ve been struggling with a Fibromyalgia flare-up, and my mind can get pretty negative, especially about financial issues, so in this collage I added some humor to lighten up the situation. I laugh every time I see that phrase at the bottom, “You need financial solutions.” Then I say, “You’ve got that right, I sure do need them!”

The meditating Buddhist image* in this collage reflects my current studies of the teachings of the Zen Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh. Soon I will write some posts about him and his Plum Village monastery in France. In his book, Peace is Every Step, he says, “The foundation of happiness is mindfulness. The basic condition for being happy is our consciousness of being happy.”

When I look at bright colorful images I feel happy, and I am aware of feeling that happiness. The next time you look at some beautiful photos, notice how they make you feel, and enjoy any happy feelings which arise!

May All Beings Be Happy! 🙂

 

* Buddhist image is a painting called “Serenity” by Anyès B. ~ AnyesEmotionArt.com

 

Put A Sun On It.

Hello dear readers… Greetings from Indiana, where the wind is blowing and clouds are gathering, as the rains from Tropical Storm Barry make their way up here. I am grateful for the cheerful birdsong and for my colorful room, as I write and sip my strong black coffee.

This morning while eating some soaked oats (watch for a recipe post soon), I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, and I noticed that there was a balance between good happy news and bad sad news, which made me think of the happy-ing up practice I already had in mind for this post… This practice brings a little humor and helps shift your perspective with regards to good and bad times.

Years ago there was an episode in the TV series “Portlandia” (that I never watched but heard about) in which an interior decorator’s solution was to “Put a bird on it.” That expression became a popular catchphrase, and when I heard it, somehow it tickled me deeply, so lately I’ve been playing around with the idea… That is how I came up with today’s practice: “Put a Sun on it.”

Having a bad day? Put a Sun on it.

In the Adhyatma Ramayana (translated by Swami Tapasyananda), Rama’s brother Lakshmana tells Guha, “In the midst of happiness, misery can occur, and in the midst of misery, happiness too can occur.”

So, beyond the humor of “Putting a Sun on it,” in this practice there is also a shift in your perspective. In times of misery, it is all too easy to spot the misery, but can you find the happiness in the midst of the misery?

The next time you feel less than happy, try this practice… Think to yourself, “Put a Sun on it.” Next, ask yourself, “What is right in this situation? What happy thing is happening? What small joy can I find in this moment?”

I hope this practice helps you to happy up… And if you are already feeling happy, that’s awesome… Put a Sun on it, and perhaps you will feel even happier! 🙂

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Where Were You During the Facebook Outage of 2019?

March 13th began like an ordinary day. After eating some oatmeal, I sat down with my coffee and posted a blog, “Sauerkraut is the New Yogurt… Or the New Apple” but when I hit the button to share it on Facebook, I got an error message. After trying to share the blog several times unsuccessfully, I googled and was drawn to a site called Down Detector, where I learned about the Facebook Outage of 2019.

On the Down Detector site they had a live map which showed all the places in the world where Facebook was having technical difficulties, and they had a live feed (by Disqus) in which people from all over the world were commenting about the issues they were having with Facebook. That comment feed was very entertaining. It was like a Facebook feed on steroids! One person marked themselves “safe during the Facebook Outage of 2019”, while another person shared that they had just eaten some walnuts and a banana!

But beyond the humor of that comment feed, the range of comments revealed the spectrum of our human condition. Some people were very angry and threatening to quit Facebook, while others were speculating about whether or not China or the aliens were attacking us.

That first day I was quite intrigued by the map, and I posted a few comments referring to how interesting it was that Los Angeles and New York seemed to be “hot spots.” Well, the next day I wasn’t so enchanted with that live feed anymore, because I discovered that they had deleted about 2,000 of the 21,000 comments, including several of mine, which they marked as “detected as spam”… Do I seem like a spammer to you?

Anyhow, let’s get to the emotional center of the matter. Were you affected by the Facebook Outage this week? If so, did it stir up any feelings for you? How do you feel about Facebook in general?

I have always had mixed feelings about Facebook. When I could not get into my account, and I was staring at that white screen with the small letters “Sorry, something went wrong,” I found myself wondering, “Did something go wrong? Or… did something go right?”

What would life be like if we no longer had Facebook?

 

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!