Be still

Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself. – Hermann Hesse

You deserve to be happy. You are good. You are enough. Breathe deeply and remind yourself of this often.

Saving is self care

Forty-seven percent of Americans “can’t pay for an unexpected $400 expense through savings or credit cards, without selling something or borrowing money.” – Hunter Schwarz on June 8 in a Washington Post article

Don’t worry if you’re in that number. Just start where you are. Saving is particularly important for women for several reasons. Women are often concentrated in lower paying jobs, which means lower overall lifetime earnings. Also, women frequently live longer than men and can be financially vulnerable in cases of separation or death. That is especially true when children are involved. Ultimately, having money in the bank contributes to a feeling of security and peace of mind. Here are some ideas to try.

Keep a piggybank

Many years ago I helped my mother roll up $25 worth of pennies. She used the money to open her first account separate from my father. She still has that account today.

Consider your company 401k plan

When you contribute $25 of your pre tax earnings you reduce your tax base and you may even be eligible for company matching – free money. Even better, pre-tax contributions mean you save $25 but your paycheck is only about $20 less. It doesn’t matter that you aren’t saving as much as you want to save. It only matters that you start saving. You can increase your savings as your budget allows.

Consider an incremental purchase plan.

Maybe you don’t have enough to buy a share of Apple or Google. An incremental purchase plan allows you to purchase portions of shares. So if you can invest $25 you can start purchasing stock without a lot of cash. Providers such as Sharebuilder also offer automatic dividend reinvestment and automatic deductions. Easy breezy.

Set a small savings goal

Your goal need not be big. Just make one, such as $5 or $10 per month. Save the money through automatic deduction in an account you do not have regular access to. If your budget is just too tight to allow any saving, sell something you are no longer using. Consider a yard sale, eBay or Tradesy. Tradesy users can upload photos of clothing items they want to sell. When the item sells, transfer the money from your PayPal to your savings account.

Remember, you can’t buy your way out of pain or disappointment, so don’t try. The debts will likely make you feel worse. Tune in tomorrow for alternatives to spending.

Job One

Regardless of your occupation the most important work you will ever do is on yourself. What skills, resources and support will you need for your revolutionary self-care practice?

Who Do You Think You Are?!

Maybe the question looms large each time you try to step outside your box. Or maybe it is yet unspoken. Lodged deeply in your subconscious mind and blocking any bold ideas before they form into actions. No matter where the question is, for many of us it is there. Finally answering it may be just the encouragement you need to free yourself from the burden of unrealized potential. So…who do you think you are?

Write it now, loud and proud. Claim your gifts as well as your flaws (know what you are working with and what you want to work around). Not sure what to write? Ask someone you trust who knows you well enough (and is emotionally healthy enough) to give you some useful feedback. Embrace the promise within the part of you not bound by doubt, fear, criticism or the voice of the ever vigilant and critical inner commentator. Maybe she does make you feel safer, but she also keeps you away from what is possible.