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10. Escaping Financial Traps

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Do not value money for any more
nor any less than its worth; it is
a good servant but a bad master
.

ALEXANDRE DUMAS

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Valuing money above all else.

* LET GO of beliefs, relationships, and actions that keep you small.

* SAY YES! to a balanced relationship with money.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I fulfill my financial needs and honor who I am.”

* Amanda: I worked for a very challenging company for eighteen years, and I went through some exhausting trials and tribulations with them. From highly visible and nerve-wracking lawsuits to incompetent bosses to an employee turnover rate of more than 30 percent in a single year due to gross mismanagement, I endured my time there, toughed it out, in part because I felt that my role was important and helpful to people. But if I look back honestly, I think I really stayed because I had started on this path and didn’t know how to get off. I continued to get promoted, making more and more money. I also kept getting more responsibilities, so the job was never boring. I think the great salary, promotions, new responsibilities, and perks just kept me there. The job wasn’t a good fit for me, but it made possible some things that I felt were important, like a nice house, lovely clothes, a tennis club membership, travel, freedom and financial independence from my parents and others, etc. It’s funny, I’m not a materialistic person overall, but I was so focused on doing my job well every day, building a strong and secure career for myself, and living this life I’d created (with its heavy obligations to a host of family and friends), that I never stopped to examine how unfulfilling and stressful my life was. I didn’t see my relationships too clearly, either. I missed the fact that so many people were using and draining me, and many weren’t capable of giving back at all. I feel like I was so busy living my life that I wasn’t conscious of what I was missing—a career that thrills me, fulfilling relationships, and utilizing my creative talents.

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4. Resolving Chronic Health Problems

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

A bodily disease which we look upon
as whole and entire within itself,
may, after all, be but a symptom
of some ailment in the spiritual part
.

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE The body is communicating what the lips are not.

* LET GO of ignoring or resisting what is.

* SAY YES! to hearing your body, your intuition, and your heart.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I am healthy and strong.”

* Helen: Here I was, a top administrator in a large city public library system, and the stress of it was killing me. I was working a zillion hours, and it was all administrative—I wasn’t working with children or books, both of which I loved. I knew I had to leave, but it’s really hard to leave a job that you create. Anyway, I did it, I left, but then I needed another job quick. So I took a position that focused on teaching librarians how to use the Internet. I worked on computers all day, every day, and let me tell you, computers aren’t my thing. It was all-encompassing, and I hated the computer aspect. I then began to have these terrible dizzy spells—blinding spells that made me nauseous and weak, and I couldn’t see. It was so painful to use my eyes in any way, to read the computer screen, to read books. I felt dizzy and sick all the time. Imagine a librarian not being able to read books, books that I had so loved. I went to doctor after doctor, and nobody could get to the bottom of it. I grew allergic to my contacts, and I couldn’t wear my glasses either. Nothing was working. I had so much stress, just dealing with feeling sick all the time and trying to hold it together for my little children. On top of that, I was dealing with my mother’s decline into dementia with Alzheimer’s, and the sudden death of my cousin from cancer. It just was all too much. But I always had a gut feeling that my dizziness was about being on the wrong path, doing the wrong work.

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14. Balancing Life and Work

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Being responsible for my life,
my children, my choices sustains
me even in the darkest hours
.

LESLIE MORGAN STEINER
Mommy Wars

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Overfunctioning and perfectionism to control your world.

* LET GO of your fears about not being in control.

* SAY YES! to being helped by others and your higher self.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I balance my life and work with joy.”

Because balancing life and work is one of the most prevalent crises for working women today, this chapter offers two compelling stories about real-life professionals who have achieved balance and harmony and inspire others to do the same.

* Karen: When I think about childhood, I realize now that I was deeply formed by my culture and upbringing. My mom was a traditional wife and mother—a corporate executive’s wife—and Dad was a high-powered successful executive. I grew up in suburbia, and somewhere I got the message that I needed to go it on my own, be independent, tough it out, go do it. I felt I needed to be successful monetarily or something was wrong with me. Either you married success, or you did it yourself—that’s what made you worthwhile. Looking back now, I see that it was huge ingrained fear—I felt as if I were going to die if I didn’t have money.

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12. Helping Others and the World

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I get up every morning determined both
to change the world and to have one
hell of a good time. Sometimes, this
makes planning the day difficult
.

E. B. WHITE

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Resisting the fact that you can make a difference.

* LET GO of believing you don’t have what it takes.

* SAY YES! to changing the world.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I help others and the world.”

* Laurie: I suppose you could call my professional experience of several years ago a “crisis,” but truthfully, I’ve been through such personal traumas that I don’t use the word lightly. I’m a mother of two, Luke (16 years old now) and Dylan (14), who are the loves of my life, along with my husband, Grayle. Luke is a surviving twin, and we lost our son Jason at 6 days old. That was a true medical and personal crisis, and it was unspeakably painful. My newborn babies were terribly ill, and Luke survived with significant special needs. After that experience, everything pales in comparison. This life experience, of losing Jason, and now having two precious children—one of whom has extensive special needs—has given me so much that is a blessing, and I’ve received real perspective from it.

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Empowerment Guide

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I. EMPOWERMENT WITH SELF

CRISIS Resolving Chronic Health Problems (chapter 4)

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE The body is communicating what the lips are not.

* LET GO of ignoring or resisting what is.

* SAY YES! to hearing your body, your intuition, and your heart.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I am healthy and strong.”

* BEST ADVICE Hear your body. Heed your intuition. Follow your heart.

CRISIS Overcoming Loss (chapter 5)

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Grieving lost parts of yourself.

* LET GO of overidentifying with one aspect.

* SAY YES! to healing lost parts of yourself.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I am integrated and whole.”

* BEST ADVICE Bring suppressed parts forward. Avoid overidentification. Find a “better way.”

CRISIS Achieving Self-Love (chapter 6)

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Needing to reclaim your power from a source outside of you.

* LET GO of giving up your power to others or things.

* SAY YES! to acting in alignment with the real you.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I love and accept myself.”

* BEST ADVICE Discover where you are being false. Find the power inside you. Disentagle from your struggle.

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