Disclaimer: I share this month’s musings with a caveat that I write from a place of immense privilege, and that when I talk of my father’s helpers and a lesson about “ease,” I also understand how steeped that is in opportunity. My hope in sharing is that you are able to garner from it any inspiration for inviting abundance into your life, just as I am working to do in mine.
My dad – lovingly known as “Jookie” (said like “Cookie” with a J) – is 93 and he lives alone. That’s how he wants it, even if it means one of us has to push his gassy tush up two flights of steps to his bedroom, too many times a day.
Jook has two helpers (G-d bless them!), and is never without his life saving necklace, the one that he can push anytime he needs help. One click and the paramedics are on their way.
Dad’s pretty with it, but sometimes he forgets stuff. So we have placed little whiteboards all around the house, reminding him of what day it is and what (if anything) he’s doing today, just so he doesn’t have to keep asking us the same questions over and over again. Because as he will tell us, sometimes 10 times a day, “I don’t remember shit”.
One of those little dry erase boards we put in plain sight across from his bed says, “Push your necklace if you need help.”
Last month he did, at 3 a.m.
My sister Jodi, who lives a few blocks away, also gets contacted when Dad calls for help. It doesn’t happen often, but when it did, Jodi threw on some clothes quickly and ran over to Dad’s house in a bit of a panic, only to be met at the corner by a paramedic, calmly standing outside her ambulance with her hand up, lights flashing feverishly in the darkness.
“Slow down,” she told Jodi, chuckling under her breath, “Your father is fine. He also follows directions very well. You keep reminding him to push that button around his neck when he needs help, so in the middle of the night, when he couldn’t find his nail clipper, he pushed it. We found his clipper and he went right back to sleep. You can go home now.”
The next morning, Dad remembered none of it. (Funny, but also NOT!)
My Dad’s actions can serve as a metaphor from which we all can all learn.
If help is just a button push away, why don’t we call for it when we need it? And why, when someone we love needs our help, are we so quick to drop everything and be there for them?
Read those two lines above one more time please, before you continue…
Here’s the deal: Help IS waiting to be invited into your life. But if you don’t ask for it, it’s probably not coming…and if it is, it’s not moving as fast as it could! (Believe me. I’ve put myself through this test more times than I’d like to admit!)
About a year into COVID, like so many of us, I was at a financial crossroads, due to the ripple effects of the pandemic. So I reached out to one of our brilliant Campowerment Financial experts, for advice. Something I would not hesitate to do for anyone else in my community who needs help, but not a request I might typically make on my own behalf.
Ellen Rogin is a NYT Bestselling Author, a CPA and a wildly successful Certified Financial Planner, who sold her Chicago practice and is now using her gift of intuition to guide her clients towards building a healthier relationship with money. Ellen literally has conversations with Money, and she believes it talks back. Here’s how she describes her program, *“Messages from Money.”
“Almost mysteriously, money operates differently in response to abundance than it does to scarcity. It’s as if money is an entity and our relationship with it changes how it shows up in our lives and in the world. When seen through a lens of contribution, sufficiency and leverage, money seems to materialize more abundantly and brings more contentment, peace, and purpose. Through my conversations with Money I now help people from all walks of life to change their relationship with Money and the impact it can have on them and the world.”
I didn’t quite get it, so after I shared with her some details of my money woes, Ellen started at her baseline: with generosity.
Ellen believes that the more money you give away, in ways you’d least expect yourself to, and a little more than maybe makes you comfortable, the more that will come back to you. Ellen told me those are the kinds of messages money sends to her.
She challenged me: to not just see that as an opportunity to write a check to my favorite charity, but to do something spontaneously for someone, a little out of my comfort zone.
Not sure what she meant by that, but prior to our call, I had planned to splurge on some new Allbirds sneakers. I had loved the ones I’d bought a year earlier, had worn them to shreds, and was ready for a new pair. But after Ellen and I spoke, I held a silent debate in my head, and began to reconsider my decision, even as I headed west on Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Allbirds store, just to have a look at their newest styles.
What I witnessed there in the store as I tried on the shoes I had been eyeing before my session with Ellen, caught me off guard. I was chatting with a postal worker, in uniform, who was trying on a few pairs of these super comfy sneakers, taking laps around the store. When I shared with him how much I loved their shoes, he sheepishly told me he hoped to one day be able to buy his own pair. l glanced at his tattered old sneakers, knowing he’d walked a gazillion miles in them, delivering our mail, in rain and snow and sleet and hail. At a time when snail mail isn’t exactly getting a great rap.
So I went to the counter and paid for the man’s shoes, with the promise that the sales guy wouldn’t tell him until I left the store.
I was energized, skipping home in my old sneakers, feeling the intense power of generosity, which was so much stronger than any other emotion that might have come from buying a new pair for myself. The next day, I called Ellen, to thank her for her suggestion, and a few days after that, seemingly out of the blue, I received a package from Staples. Inside was a giant red button with one word on it: EASY. It was from Ellen.
When I pushed that button, the voice bellowed: “That was easy.”
I hesitate to tell you that some real good money fortune followed. But actually, it did.
And while I can’t really explain how this financial windfall happened, it almost felt effortless. So did my ethos around the idea of abundance. It feels like the more I give to others, the more that comes my way. How is that possible? As Ellen says, shift your mindset and everything else might actually shift
Moral of this story? Ask for help. It’s really that easy.
And if you need s’more support rewiring to make this a hard-coded habit, may we suggest a safe space to redesign your intentions, habits, routines…and life?
It can all be so much easier than your trained brain could even imagine…
From the campfire & beyond,
*Look out for Ellen Rogin’s digital session, Messages from Money on Campowerment.com on September 27th