Monday, August 2, 2010


August 2, 2010

This will be my final regular blog.
I believe that if we only had two doors to choose from, death and the truth, 95% of people would choose death. To face our greatest fears, to reveal our secrets, to discover that if we said what was actually true for us, we believe that we will never be loved. When in fact the opposite is true. Until we reveal our truths then it is always the leverage that convinces us of why we are unworthy of the love we seek. We must first love ourselves.

SM Management is a business but I have come to understand that my purpose is not to grow my business. My purpose is to continue to live from my truth authentically. Writing my blogs or doing facebook were suggestions made by clients who enjoy this medium. I enjoy authentic human engagements and there can be so much left unsaid in this medium. I have learned a lot but can no longer pretend. What I have discussed in my blogs, the conversations with my clients, is not a business to me. It is my life. Growing up I always avoided what I knew because it scared me. Someone would say something and it was if there was a loud speaker that said the truth. I have in the last few months lost friends because I just couldn't ignore the loud speaker anymore. I watched them suffer and recreate the same challenges over and over and decided to say something. I tried to ignore their blatant actions that conveyed their truths but in the end I can't pretend that I don't know. I know more than anyone, until you are ready, you are not ready. So I understand. But understanding doesn't make it any easier. I do think though that most people would rather die than reveal their truth. It is a shame that we have been programmed this way because it is the exact revealing of the truth that would allow us to begin to heal and release. But it can be a pain because to continue to heal and release you have to keep being honest with yourself and telling the truth in a world that encourages the quick fix. The quick fix is only temporary and my interests is in the long term commitment to the truth. Long term commitment to love, heart and truth.

I used to think my purpose was to be a singer, dancer and actress. Then it was to be an actress. Then it was to build my business. Now it is to get out of debt. But at the root, it is and as always been, to live inspired, fulfilled and free. When I am at the lake surrounded by rabbits, geese, water and trees, here in beautiful Upstate New York I experience that. When I am speaking with my remaining friends and/or clients that have come to love who they are because they faced their truths, I experience that. I am 37 years old and honestly I am tired. I want to live in peace with beauty surrounding me and authentic love, trust and people willing to to put their core conversations in action.

This is my last regular blog. I want to engage in Core Conversations. This process requires time and trust and if a person is just looking for the quick fix and not willing to go within then sadly they will just circle back to where they have always been. There are plenty of places people can go to get the "quick fix." I am not interested in the continuation of the suffering, I am interested in the healing and the release and people knowing that who they are is enough.

I have known when someone is going to die, I have felt natural disasters before they came, I have looked at someone and felt their pain. I have discovered here in the natural beauty of things that I am home. I am inspired and free. I am growing and I am aware that I may not have everything I want, but I am so aware that I do always have everything I need.

Before I sign off one last time, I am hoping if I give an example of an actual conversation, it may inspire you to some time open the door to the truth instead of to your repeated death.

>Client: I see from the numbers what I have to do.

Me: What is it that you have to do.

Client: The thing that has no creativity, the thing that I hate.

Me: So if you know that you hate it and thank you for admitting that, why is it that you think that you just have to do it.

Client: Because I am an adult. And I can't just keep being immature. I will make it work. I always do. It is fine. I will do it.

Me: What if you let go of that habit of forcing yourself to do what you don't believe in. Start there and see what shows up. You are not being immature, it is simply what is true for you and that is ok. What if you didn't keep stopping at what is not true for you. What would be possible?

Client: Stop it. This is what I have to do and that's it.

Me: Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Every meeting we've had, it's ended with the suffering. The truth is as you just stated, you don't want to build your business this way. This is the foundation which causes you to suffer so that will always be the result. Always. I am asking you to start from what is actually true for you and go from there.

Client: Why? I might not like it but that is just the way it is.

Me: But it isn't just the way it is. You know you don't want to build your business this way.

Client: But the numbers show it is the only way to make the business viable.

Me: Yes, and more than the numbers, I believe and have seen that when we go from what is true for us, the rest will fall into place, numbers, time, etc. but first we MUST BE WILLING TO ADMIT WHAT IS TRUE AND TAKE ACTION FROM THERE. If you didn't believe that you have to suffer and just make it work what else would be possible.

Client: You're not going to let this go.

Me:No, because there is no pleasure in these meetings always ending with suffering. Something else is possible but you must first go from what is true. First you faced the numbers and saw why the business was losing money. Then you saw that the most viable way to earn the money still wasn't going to be enough and on top of that it is a business that you would hate. What if you did not have to force yourself to do a business you hate. What else is possible?

Client...Well, ok. Yes, I don't want the business to be...that would be awful. I would hate it and no I don't want to do that.

Me: Good. That is the truth. What do you want to do?
Client: When I started the business I wanted....wait...oh..if I go back to what it was supposed to be originally...oh my god....I started trying to make it fit into something else...I lost sight of my own visions....oh my god...(she drew out her business...) everything that she had spent 4 years suffering through all clicked in to place once she was willing to admit her truth. Her resistance to what was true, her habit having trained her to call herself "immature", contributed to much suffering over several years. Once she admitted it, in less than a half an hour she was full of possibility. She could tangibly see how she could now make her dreams a reality by following her core truths. She had to first be with what was true and she will now need to consistently be willing to admit her truths and make decisions and take actions from there. Death and suffering is built into our habits, truth is our only opportunity for it to be released.

I am now willing to admit my truth. My purpose is not to grow my business, my purpose is live the rest of my days authentically engaged with others ready and willing to live authentically.
I'm off to live my purpose. If you need me, you know where to find me.
I'll be AT THE LAKE.

May you be apart of the 5% opening the door to your truth consistently- it is the only path for your healing, love and release!

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010

Article Published in The NorthEastern Holistic Resource July 2010.
A magazine supporting Integrative Health Care for Balance of body, Mind and Spirit.


By Samarra Mbenga

How is it possible to have a financial healing when you are facing foreclosure, bankruptcy, and being laid off? You are stressed, afraid, and feeling as if your life is coming apart. STOP and face it. Part of the reasons for our fears is that as we are running (this includes constantly helping others) we are still carrying the weight. But as soon as you stop and face it, you are giving yourself the opportunity to actually put the weight down. Once you face it, then you can devise a plan to deal with it.

In the last article I encouraged you to address yourself spiritually. First, stop blaming your money, second, pay attention to yourself and third track your income and spending daily. If you have followed through on these steps (please read June 2010 issue) now you are ready to implement a practical tool. Again it is not enough to read this article. Before the month is over please actually do the items listed below. Knowing is not enough, it is about what you will discover when you experience the steps below.

Step 1. Take 3 deep breaths.

Step 2. Make a calendar. Do this with crayons, color paper; anything that as a child you had fun playing with. Follow these steps as the child in you that welcomed projects as a new adventure. (If you prefer computers, use the calendar spreadsheet and follow the steps below accordingly.) Make sure each date has room to write/enter in several entries.

Step 3. Gather all of your Bills - (If this sentence makes you cringe start with 3 bills. Add 3 bills each day until it’s complete.) Be present. Don’t try to figure anything out with your mind, simply gather your bills and place them in the appropriate dates. Take 3 deep breaths.

Step 4. Write the bill and amount due on the corresponding calendar date(i.e. Mortgage $600 written in space for July 1st on calendar, $500 Car Insurance written in space for July 15th on calendar, etc.)

Step 5: Gather your income (make sure accurate amt. after taxes, etc.) Write the source and the income amount on the corresponding date(s) on the calendar

Step 6: Be present. Breathe.

What has unfolded? What do you notice?

Write down what comes to you.

For example: If you have more income the second week of the month and many more bills the last week of the month then the “extra” from the second week you pay towards the bills that are due the last week of the month. Instead of getting to the last week and saying “I don’t have enough money.”

If you see that every week your expenses are far outweighing your income, then you need to cut your expenses. You may have to make some tough choices at first but you will feel in control of the situation as you begin to experience that you do have enough. It is the beginning of putting down the weight. This will result in you experiencing peace spiritually which will then allow abundance to manifest physically. But you will first need to be honest about where you are now and act accordingly.

Make a plan (based on what is in front of you). If you are present ,you will experience possibility. If all you are experiencing is the same pain and fear then that is an indication that you are operating from the habitual patterns of your mind. Breathe and return to the spiritual practice outlined in the June 2010 issue. Return to the calendar. Repeat this process until possibility unfolds.

You can heal. We have spent years approaching our finances from a place of fear, secrecy and dread. When we are uncomfortable with something, we don’t enjoy spending time with it. We avoid it for as long as we can or we look for shortcuts to get it over with. If you find a process that can allow you to enjoy the process itself, it will become easier and easier to approach your finances from a place of discovery, possibility and eventually even enjoyment. Do this calendar for at least three months. Once you begin to face yourself spiritually, you will begin to focus on your strengths instead of your fears and learn to have compassion for your weaknesses. You will like yourself a little more and you will be able to face your finances because you will have faced yourself.

We are a culture that has been invested in the shortcut. We are shown everyday, that in the long run shortcuts do not work. This process is about you experiencing the possibility of financial ease and peace for the long term. I invite you to try something different. Stop running. Put the weight down. The results are 100%. When we face the root of what we have been avoiding, what is on the other side is our core peace.

Face your finances. Make your calendar today. Face yourself. Stop blaming your money. Pay attention to yourself and track your income and expenses daily. It’s 100% guaranteed. Take actions on these steps and experience spiritual and financial ease and peace!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 6, 2010

Article Published this month in The NorthEastern Holistic Resource: A Magazine Supporting Integrative Health Care for Balance of Body, Mind and Spirit.

Healing Finances by Samarra Mbenga

Healing Finances. What exactly does that mean? It means to experience financial ease and peace. There is a distinct difference between knowing something and doing something. I When we face our finances, we face ourselves.

How many times have you wanted to do something and used money as the reason that you decide not to? How many times have you punished yourself for what you should have done with your money? Or maybe, you‘ve taken various seminars on creating and implementing a budget and a few months later the old habits have returned. Did you ever stop to consider that the issues actually have nothing to do with money? They repeat themselves, no matter how hard you try to correct it, because the solutions you are implementing have nothing to do with the cause of the problem. Our financial systems are simply mirroring our beliefs. Because our finances connect to every single area of our lives, when we deal with our finances, we are automatically addressing ourselves. I think many of us know this intellectually but we need to implement an approach, which goes beyond knowing to actually experiencing. Unless we have first identified the root issue and then put in place a practice that we can authentically and consistently repeat, the old patterns remain and we cannot consistently face our finances or ourselves. We operate many times unconsciously and the pointers I will be making below are to help you stop and begin to operate consciously.

The elements to this process are spiritual and practical. One without the other creates an imbalance. To budget without discovering a system that is in alignment with you spiritually is to create a budget that will not last long. To meditate and take part in many healing spiritual practices during the day and then avoid your mail and your checking account at night means you are engaging in temporary fixes which is very different from actually healing. The process that will create a healing in your finances and in your life requires a conscious effort to address yourself spiritually and practically.

They are: 1. Stop blaming your money

2. Pay attention to you

3. Track your income and spending.

1. STOP BLAMING YOUR MONEY - What would happen if you went beyond the first thought that came to you. “If I had money then I would….” or “If I made more money than I could…” If you removed money as the reason, what would you discover? For example I had a client this weekend that was very stressed about the fact that she spent $2000 in one week. I asked her to consider what she was really upset about. Her first response was that everything was fine; she just needed to get responsible and stop her spending. She blamed her relationship with money. After several more questions it turned out that she had agreed to meet her mother somewhere that she really didn’t want to go. “This happens all the time with my mother. She only wants to do what she wants to do. We just can’t communicate. But I’m not upset about it. It’s always been that way. I just deal with it, it’s no big deal.” She was blaming her relationship with money but really, it was the relationship with her mother that was at the root of the issue and had been for many, many years. It was a very big deal. But instead of being willing to say what was true for her, she instead settled and spent the week anxious and trying to medicate with money. When she made money the problem, her solutions didn’t stop her from spending because it wasn’t really the problem. Stop blaming your money.

2. PAY ATTENTION TO YOU – She ran around the entire week spending and punishing herself for spending. This next step requires that you STOP. One practical way to help you do this is to take at least take three deep breaths in the morning and three deep breaths in the evening. This will allow you to reconnect with yourself. You will notice that sometimes you will feel differently than you thought you did. You may have on a happy smiling face and as soon as you stop, tears come to your eyes. Stop and see if you can get to the reason why. There is a reason. The way to know that you haven’t gotten to the core reason is that you keep engaging in the activities that cause you to feel upset. Out of habit we say that we are upset because ““I am bad with numbers,” or “I’m an irresponsible person.” When in fact, your financial system is simply revealing that there is an unresolved spiritual/emotional need asking for help. This client was in pain and had been taught that spending and settling makes you feel better. It used to, but she had reached a point in her life where it was no longer enough. Because she wasn’t paying attention to herself, she wasn’t able to admit the real issue so she had no idea how to engage in behaviors that would cause her to experience peace.

The relief comes when we face it; it is never as bad as we fear. As soon as you take the time to understand why you feel the way you feel, you instantly experience what is possible. You finally have the answer to your “why.” Until you STOP and PAY ATTENTION TO YOU, you never get the experience of the release. Sometimes we think that it is easier to believe that there is something wrong with us than it is to face our fears. My client had faced her fear and now she was ready to face her mother and tell her the truth. “I don’t want to meet you close to the mall so we have the distraction of shopping. I want to actually just sit down, have a meal and actually spend time with each other. Why can’t we just spend time together?” She realized, that it is not that she and her mother can’t communicate. It is that she first has to be connected and in communication with herself. Please stop and take at least three deep breaths in the morning and in the evening. Connect and pay attention to yourself.


Write down daily what you bought and the amount of the item. Write down the amount you received and from where. We are often quick to track spending but so often leave out what we have received. Please track both. It does not matter if you have done this before. It only matters that you do it now coupled with the two items above. Because this client had followed the coaching and had kept track of her spending, when we added the numbers she saw that the income ratio more than doubled what she had spent. Prior, she had just been telling herself that she had spent more than she had. But by having the actual numbers, the habit of blaming the money had lost all of its power. She could see for herself that something else had to be in play. Track your income and spending so you may shed the habitual emotional money blame.

Remember the point of this article is not just to read it, but also to actually follow through in action. Talking, reading and learning about something are not enough. You need to experience yourself and we have to move the excuse of money out of the way. It is an energy that we use to make manifest our belief. This client believed that her and her mother could never communicate. That is painful. More importantly, it wasn’t true. We fear facing our finances and ourselves because we believe in what is not true. We repeat the actions that cause us the pain and reinstate the belief. But she experienced that it wasn’t true and that is the difference in this process. By taking action on these three steps, the repeated pain is immediately taken away. By paying attention to herself she can communicate what is true for her to her mother. She suddenly feels at peace and in control and tears come to her eyes because she glimpses the possibility that she and her mother can communicate. She realizes that there isn’t something wrong with her. Every time she is untrue to herself and chooses to blame her money, the old patterns of pain will surface again. But every time she is truthful to herself, peace, control and possibility are experienced again.

I would love to hear about what you experience when you implement these steps. Feel free to email or call for your free consultation. Remember, if nothing changes for you by the middle of the month, you are not practicing the three steps consistently. First, consider that money is not the issue. Second, stop and pay attention to you using breathing as a tool and third track your financial income and spending. In a future article, I will share a very simple and practical tool that anyone can use to help them face, implement, use and even enjoy their financial planning.

Face your finances, face yourself! It is never as bad as what your mind thinks. Face it so YOU can experience spiritual and financial ease and peace!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


May 3, 2010

Two deer together.
One is by the woods. The other has ventured closer to the highway.
On one side: green trees and quiet.
On the other: 8 lanes, hundreds of cars going at least 60 miles an hour.
They are animals, they do not know the concept of death.
We are human. We do.

We choose to take the highway. When we make it to the other side, we can revel in "wow, look what I did, I made it through that!" We get hit over and over; broken legs, broken arms, mostly broken hearts. It doesn't seem quite as thrilling to get to the other side of the woods because we can't see what we'll be facing until we chance going in. What we face in the woods is ourselves. It's so much more thrilling to be able to see the cars and hear their roar and say that that is the thing responsible for our suffering. We pat ourselves on the back, lick each others wounds and revel in what we conquered. "Oh yours was a red car, well, that was nothing, mine was a semi, can't you hear the roar!"

As humans, we know that we will die. We can give ourselves the false hope that we are in control, by choosing the same tangible obstacles, over and over and over and over again. My clients are always ready to think that a question is about how they are going to be made wrong, it never occurs to them that it so they can know for themselves why they are right. They are always prepared for the cars, the bruise and the pain. They have been on the highway. Now that they have begun to venture into the woods, they are always surprised by their new experiences of peace.

One thing about the "highway" is that the result is always the same. Some form of pain, suffering, and fear gets constantly repeated no matter the job, the relationship, the house, or the amount of money made. No matter what happens externally, the internal sense is the same; "there is something wrong with me." We are afraid to go towards the woods because we think that our greatest fears are going to be confirmed. We are afraid to face anything except the the roar (bills, job, relationship, etc.) because we think it is going to confirm what we already believe. By going into the woods, I have discovered that our greatest fears are not true. In the woods there is plenty of food, beauty and peace. Less dodging and fighting, less of what we know already. There are few cars. There is ourselves, beautiful and free. The wood and the highway are always parallel, it is up to us to choose to go beyond what we can see.

The young deer near the highway, I pray it goes towards the woods. It does not know about death, so it may not. We do. We most often choose the highway. But our bounty is right there waiting for us, beyond what we can see, the wood parallel to the highway, ourselves beautiful and free!

Identify what is the wood and what is the highway in your life.
Choose actions that will allow you to have peace. It isn't enough to want peace, you will have to experience it. You will have to have the courage to take actions that may go against your habits. We have the perfect barometer. The fight with yourself is simply that you keep taking actions that are in reaction to who you thought you were or against who you are. Take actions that lead you to your peace, it will be beyond what you can see. It's scary at first but well worth it! Go away from the roar of the highway and towards the quiet of the woods.

Did you get your taxes done? Give yourself the experience of the woods. Get off of the highway before the end of May!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


April 5, 2010


I attended my first Crappy Derby this year. (Remember the movie Grumpy Old Men). It exists. Trucks and building structures and people on a frozen lake; fishing.

There is a gentleman probably in his upper 80's with a cane pulling a sled with his "building and "fishing supplies" behind him. I am amazed that he is out here on the ice with a cane! I realize that he has probably been doing this annual Crappy Derby for longer than I have been alive. He was going to participate no matter what. It is what he had always done. I was reminded instantly of the power of our habits. They will put us in danger, have us ignore what is before us in plain sight. What price are we are willing to pay to do as we have always done?

Taxes, taxes, taxes, they are our friend.
Well...I enjoy getting a refund. A lump sum of money. But I used to always hate having to go through all of my receipts. I spent days going over my receipts, but the accountant always had other questions that would involve more days of looking things up. I had always been told if I tallied up my expenses and income monthly, it would make things a whole lot easier. But year after year I instead choose to do what I had always done. Tally, sort, and search through receipts and dread, dread, dread tax time.

I finally had to recognize that doing what I had always done was not working. I was tired enough of the dread to be willing to do what I had never done before. Tally my receipts monthly. Last year, it took hours to do my taxes, instead of days. This year it took less than 10 minutes!! I took note of what the accountant really needed last year and I set my spreadsheet up with those categories included. Practically, it took 10 minutes. But what was most important was that this tax season, spiritually, I had no feelings of dread!

If you have not done your taxes, please, please, please, please get them done. Aren't you tired of having to pay a price? Turn off the tv, turn on the radio, invite over a friend, pop some popcorn, get the box of receipts, pull out your check ledgers, pull up your credit card/bank statements online and start calculating. Get it over with! In many cases you are only keeping yourself from receiving your refund. If you owe and can't pay the whole amount, set up a payment plan. You must tackle practically what you have been avoiding. It is the only way for you to spiritually be free of the dread.

If you carve out time and make yourself a priority in the way that you make your job or your family a priority, it will be done. Put yourself on the calendar. If you are filing with your spouse, pull out your calendars together and mark the date and time to do it together. If it takes you five hours to do it, that will still be less than the 24 hour day after day process of living in dread from now until April 15th. Or if you think it is better to put in an extension, then you live with the dread from now until October! Please, get off of the ice.

Why are we willing to hold on to our habits that produce months and years of dread? Why are we willing to live our lives with a cane on ice?

Finish your taxes!
Allow yourself to be free of the dread.
Use the rest of the month to complete your spreadsheet. Collect and add your receipts monthly. Note what you or the accountant needed. Set up your categories accordingly. Tally your receipts, income, expenses, mileage, whatever pertains to you, each month. Use the month of April to get your systems in place for the rest of the year. (Refer to February's blog for a mock spreadsheet.)

I would love to know how you feel about tax time? Have you done them? Why or why not? What process do you use? What do you need spiritually and/or practically to get your taxes done?

Sunday, February 28, 2010


March 1, 2010


My 1999 Gold Buick LeSabre is spacious and solid and provides everything I need. I drive over 300 to 400 miles per week and I just surpassed the 200,000 mile mark. Lately I've been feeling like it's a little shakier than normal. I check the tires and the oil constantly. Those are things I know how to do. I hesitate on taking it to a mechanic. Then riding home in a snow storm, suddenly the car powers down. The needle goes from 40 to 0 in an instant. I can no longer steer. I press the gas and nothing happens. I'm 45 minutes from home in the middle of no where. I put on my hazards. A few minutes later I turn the key. It starts up instantly, Practically speaking it was a smooth ride home. Spiritually, long and very shaky.

Begin gathering your receipts so you can know specifically where you are spending your money. That will provide you with information you can see and trust. Only from there can you begin to make a plan. From what I have seen with my clients, in most cases they have more than they think they do. The item they have been holding off on, they have spent four times that amount on other things. In one case I had a client who wanted to get her own apartment. She was living with roommates and wanted to be on her own. When she began looking for an apartment, she looked for places that she didn't really love thinking that that was all she could afford. She hired me, expecting to be told why she needed to remain living with her roommates. After two sessions together, she discovered that she had been short changing herself. Once she completed her weekly assignments, she saw she had more than enough funds to go for the apartment that she REALLY wanted. Because she wasn't willing to face her finances, she kept herself in a habitual box depriving herself of what she wanted. Though financially, practically, she had all she needed. Spiritually, she was shaky, doing only what she knew to do; keep herself in lack.

Practically: Did you try any one of the Action Steps from February's blog? Spiritually, do you know why or why not?

Sometimes we're riding along smoothly. Other times we're riding along but we have a sense that there is something shaky underneath. Usually there are hints provided and eventually we're powered down. We can turn the key and as long as it keeps going, we pretend that everything is ok. We do what we've always done until we're stranded at the side of the road. Don't wait until then. Facing our finances provides the balance of the spiritual and practical. Reread February's blog. Complete the practical spectrum of this financial journey so your spirit can Embrace, Let Go & Be Free!


Friday, February 26, 2010


February 1, 2010

It's one month into the New Year. How are you doing on your New Year's Resolutions? Have you already forgotten what you said you wanted to accomplish this year?

New Year's day I found myself stranded in Erie Pennsylvania in two feet of snow. My financial plans wrecked, and my spirit in the toilet, I thought, "how can this be happening?" This was going to be the check where I was going to... But life as always had its own plans. We can make resolutions, we can set goals, but at the end of the day LIFE will do as it chooses. This is a given. However, when there is no system, plan or goals in place, all we find ourselves doing is reacting, reacting, and digging ourselves further in the hole.

We can not stop life from happening but we can help ourselves be more prepared. AVOIDANCE IS NOT PREPARATION. I know that is the system that most of us have in place to deal with our finances but it does not work. I know it is scary to face the bills that never seem to stop coming, but how much better will you feel knowing each month that on this date this amount will be due? How much better will you feel tallying up your credit card debt and seeing what the number is versus every month paying the minimum and never understanding why the balance just doesn't seem to move anywhere? The solution IS NOT to simply ignore it and charge something else. I was angry on New Year's because my "financial plan" was wrecked. But because I had had a system in place, for once I wasn't financially wrecked. I was just really angry and so sad because I was going to be ahead of the game - make an extra payment, put money in savings, get my sweetheart a gift...none of those plans were possible. But I also didn't spend to ease the pain. I knew based on the system that I had in place, to go on an emotional spending spree would only cause me pain for much longer than just the weekend. I didn't plan on being trapped in another town, but I was prepared for it.

If one of your New Year's resolutions involved you getting your financial picture together, I invite you to take action NOW. If it wasn't on your list but you have a pile of "avoided" mail, I invite you to add it to your resolutions list. NOW is the perfect beginning, You're at the beginning of the month very close to the start of the new year. One of my clients followed through on her New Year's resolution to continue her work with me. I won't ever forget the smile on her face this week when after we opened the "avoided" mail she discovered out of 6 envelopes, 4 were reminders or statements and two were bills but both less than $50. One was going to be due the next day and had she not opened it, it would have been late so by time she faced it, there would have been late fees. After the "avoided" pile was off of her shoulders she was freed up and ready to place her monthly bills on a one month calendar. In an instant she found herself automatically making a financial plan. The habitual anxiety she faced each month "not knowing" was immediately replaced with peace of mind. She could now "see" that she was in control of her finances, something that she had never in over 50 years of her life had ever experienced. There has not been one client in three in a half years that faced their finances who did not end up with a smile on their face. Not one, no matter their financial earnings and positions. The physical money is not the point. YOU ARE. Turn and face it.

KNOWING what you have will help you have some control instead of simply being the victim to your bills and having to react over and over, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If you have no idea where to begin, choose any one of the below items to get you started:
1. Gather your bills and write the company and amount due on a month to month calendar.
2. Keep your receipts, don't throw them away. (Ask for it, if its not given to you.) At the end of each day/week/month separate them into categories i.e. groceries, eating out, entertainment, etc. and get a monthly total for each category. At the end of the year you don't have to scramble to get your records together for the tax person. You don't have to wonder where your money went.
3. I have attached a modified version of my actual spreadsheet. Begin by using my categories: plug your numbers in and adjust/add/delete the categories that pertain to you.

4. If you try any of the 3 items listed above and you find yourself in tears and/or hyperventilating. Stop. Give me a call and I will help you take the first step (free of charge).

If I had known then what I know now, my financial situation would be so much better. But since I started facing it, I KNOW 3 years from now, as long as I keep facing it, it WILL be better. The sooner you start the better. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us. So commit to taking the action right now. Try it for one month and you will have a smile on your face. The greatest thing that can help our economy in the long run will be each of us individually taking responsibility and facing our financial situations truthfully and consistently.

We can't predict the future; life has its own plans, but we CAN know where we stand in the present. When we don't know where we stand now and we simply wait to react, we have no solid foundation on which to build our future.

Don't waste more time "thinking" about it. Just pick one of the four items above and begin taking action on it TODAY.
I'd love to hear your insights, questions and/or comments on what occurred for you one day, one week, one month after following one of these action items.

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.

It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

William Jennings Bryan, American Politician