Dusting Dead Relatives

Kelly Salasin

All Souls Day, 2008

After spending the past six months “on hold” while the Universe dilly-dallied around our needs, I’m taking a decidedly religious approach to my husband’s extended unemployment.

I’m uncertain as to whether this tack indicates a regression or progression in my spiritual development. Results will tell or perhaps desperate times simply demand desperate measures.

In the meantime, I’ve dusted off my late grandmother’s statue of the Blessed Virgin and unearthed the “Hail Mary’s” recited at my Catholic high school. And although I can’t remember exactly how to use them, I’ve unpacked the rosary beads passed down by my husband’s Polish grandmother.

I’ve also taken to dusting off all the dead relatives– the photos of them that is. I’ve lined them up on the shelf above the stairway as a place of honor to beseech them for any assistance they might lend from the other side.

My bedroom “altar” beholds a potluck of devotion: tall strawberry-blonde Mary draped in blue robes towers over my peacefully seated, full-bodied goddess, Kuan Yin, purchased at the Food Co-op. On the other side is a sculpture of a woman in a bathtub, reminding me of the divine act of self-nurturing.

I’m not above adding a lucky rabbit’s foot although I imagine that is no longer PC. I’ve re-opened my late mother’s Contact Your Angel guide insisting my husband meditate with the angel of his choice.

We’ve made it this far without bellying up, but yesterday we had to face the reality that a job that pays our bills in the way we’re used to paying them may not be coming. We’ve  buckled down and began the daunting task of whittling down a budget that had just begun to get some breathing room.

Things are about to get a lot harder… that is unless Mother Mary and the dead relatives have something to say about it.

Until then,

Hail Mary, full of grace

(authors note: My husband did get a job– 3 months later.  He still has it.)

A Budget Affair

I’m in love with my budget. That’s right, my budget!

I remember the first time we met each other- and I flatly REJECTED him!
A young teaching colleague of mine in New Jersey (who I was supposed to be “mentoring”) often made reference to her “budget” when she talked about the land she purchased with her fiance and the home they planned to build. In her early twenties, Tammy’s self-discipline was impressive, but it wasn’t for me. I was of the “never grow up” camp and wanted to avoid all the pitfalls of adulthood for as long as I could: marriage, credit cards, mortgages et al. As a workaholic, there was always enough money for the essentials with an occasional surplus to support my wanderlust- three backpacking trips through Europe by the age of 26.

As I approached thirty however, an irrational desire to procreate took over. I soon found myself transformed into a stay-at-home mom dependent on my spouse’s first year VT teaching salary. I had to learn how to budget or else! I kept track of all our expenses (I had seen others do that and thought them neurotic), cut out ALL our non-essentials (ouch!) and made it through that first year without credit cards. I was so proud- and depleted. The next handful of years found us rebounding into a financial free fall, with credit card balances close to $10,000- on two different occasions. With my husband in graduate school, the birth of our second child, the death of a parent and the high cost of a larger rental, we hit bottom. It was an “ouch” that HURT for a long, long time until I shifted my thinking.

In order to claim the freedom I wanted to experience around money, I had to let go of the victim mentality and the sense of entitlement. I had to stop seeing the budget as an enemy and empower it as a provider. Our relationship matured as I aligned my income and spending with my intentions. Mentally, I set the debt aside and recommitted to living within our means.

That was almost a decade ago and since then our evolving and beloved BUDGET (it deserves capitals) has taken us from renting to building to owning to navigating our way through two rounds of extended unemployment. No matter what the financial situation, the budget is my friend. I might not always like what it tells me, but I always appreciate the peace of mind that comes from honesty and clarity. Over time, we’ve grown more flexible with each other, able to inhale or exhale more seamlessly along with the tides of life.

As a lifelong learner, my passion for understanding is never satiated. I continue to explore and grow. As an educator, I love to share what I’m learning along the way. As a coach, I thrive on supporting others in their own journey toward greater freedom and peace- in all aspects of living.

If your current desire intersects with my own passion, let’s come together. For $150, I’m offering a three-part “budget affair” package- up to 5 hours of focused attention- tailored to your needs and expression. Whether young or old, “rich” or “poor”, we can take a look at where you are and where you want to be- and begin to mesh the two with powerfully aligned, concrete actions. A phone or email consultation is offered free of charge. A single session (of up to an hour and a half) is offered at $75 to jump start your own process.

Internet, phone or in person contracts available.
Complimentary phone/email consultation at (802) 254-7724

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