The 100 Day Reality Challenge

I haven't videoblogged or blogged for the past few days. It's been a whirlwind of a weekend- my first craft fair ever, my entire family at my apartment AND studio, once again finding I am not pregnant.. an emotional ride for sure.

I am grateful that I am doing this challenge because it's keeping me in the game. Usually after a disappointing event (like the craft fair) I want to cry and hide. I actually couldn't this time- Jeff was here, my mom was here and then there was a party to throw. And then Monday rolled around and I almost went back into my shell, but I didn't. I got out today, did my errands, ran into some snafus, and dealt with them all easily.

Something I noticed when I was walking around the Upper East Side today-- I noticed how attached I often am to suffering. And how a lot of it is attached to ego and money. It's not so apparent to others, but it is to me. I often feel like life isn't so easy for me living in nyc. I live up in Harlem in a 5 story walk-up surrounded by people who don't have so much money. Why do I live there? Because it's cheaper. My neighborhood grocery doesn't have all of the gourmet choices of another neighborhood. And the lines in there take forever. Suffering. And why don't I go elsewhere to shop? It's too far away.. too much work, too much suffering. Just planning to walk out the door in the morning- I have to plan my whole damn day because I may not be back home again until whenever. Poor little me. This goes on and on.

Yet-- I realize yesterday how I was happy to show my family that I am not living in some fancy apartment- I am showing that I am tough by living here and I can handle anything. I am proud to say that I bought all my furniture off of Craigslist to them. Frugality is good and suffering a little when it comes to finances is the norm in my family. So, I fit right in.

And then TODAY, I am walking around in this posh neighborhood which usually this makes me judgmental and jealous. I decide to feel gratitude for the day, for the atmosphere, for all of the abundance I see. I like it. A lot. I think- I can have this if I want. It's ok. I don't necessarily need to live here, but I can assume an attitude of ease. I can create ease where there was suffering. Maybe I can use money to make some things easier. Maybe I can spend money where I never would before just to make life easier. Wow. Less suffering. More fun. And more flow of money. Just to do it. Not for show, not in an irresponsible way, but just thinking how hard I make things on myself sometimes, and how I could choose to be at peace with the "cheap way" or choose to do things the more expensive way- I can still adopt an attitude of abundance. Be abundant.

Alright, this is really a ramble, so I will stop. But I am glad that I'm getting it out. Good. Being abundant with words.

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Comment by Paula on December 15, 2009 at 4:21pm
More thanks for all the comments. Love to all y'all!
Comment by Joanne Morton on December 15, 2009 at 3:48pm
I just took a 2 hour nap to take a break from the nagging part of my mind ... as I wrote to you - I'm telling myself as I prepare to leave the apartment

... TRUST YOURSELF! We are doing something right and are worthy of a positive cash flow on OUR TERMS!!!
Comment by Carly Caryn on December 15, 2009 at 12:49pm
Wow, you are beautiful and so honest, Paula. (So are you, Julie! And Joanne and Candi) Thanks for sharing. I also have tears in my eyes from reading this thread. I identify so deeply with your feelings of lack and suffering. Trying not to spend to "have more in case I need it down the road" (hoarding). Caring heavy bags of groceries for blocks and blocks, straining my back and arms to exhaustion, instead of jumping in a cab, all in an effort to save a few bucks. Frequently thinking "I can't afford that" and experiencing an attitude of lack. And on some level it does feel good to be 'thrifty' and 'tough', to think "I can do this (the hard way) and I don't need all this stuff", and that not buying nice things for yourself (however small) is 'smarter'.

But I'm so glad for your recent mental shift, and my own. I'm suddenly much more conscious about every time I say, "I can't afford that" and questioning whether it's really true. Choosing to focus more on gratitude, who and what we're thankful for, not feeling the need to be envious of other people. It does take a lot of energy to keep up with the pace and cost of NYC. It takes a psychic toll, especially in this economy, and especially in this city when you see the radical disparity between people who have so much and those who have so very little.

But be proud of the fact, (whether it was your family's presence or your own strength), that you didn't RSVP to that pity party. You flipped it, you focused on the good things you already have, what you're proud of, and gratitude. I'm really proud of you! We all are. So, the craft fair didn't pay off the way you wanted it to. At least you're putting yourself out there and taking risks! You're learning and growing. That new apartment and a baby, and all the changes you want to make will manifest when the time is truly right. In hindsight, it's always easier to see, "Yeah, I wanted that so much, but I wasn't quite ready for it until XYZ happened." For now, you have awesome new studio in Harlem that's close to where you live and gives you an appreciation for how fortunate you are. What a gift on this journey of discovery!

I watched Louise Hay's video recently and she talks about the flow and exchange of money. That you have to spend money, to make money, how money is constantly flowing to and away from you. You help others by letting go of your money and open up space for it to be returned to you. It's a tricky idea to wrap your mind around, because we've really been taught to do the opposite - "save your pennies for a rainy day", "better safe than sorry", "save don't spend", and the fear of running out of money is so scary. Just feel good in your awareness and the changes you're making, the fact that you're not alone, and we are all in the same boat supporting you! xoxo
Comment by Joanne Morton on December 15, 2009 at 11:21am
One day at at time ... One F&@KING Day at time!

Trust Julie ... she knows what she's talking about :) A very powerful FCW just like YOU. Trust Yourself xo
Comment by Paula on December 15, 2009 at 12:01am
Julie! I cried when I read your comment! THANK YOU for getting me! It really IS work, you know. And I am choosing to have this experience. I won't live here forever, I know. I have always wanted to try living here, and I am. I'm having the quintessential nyc experience, and just embracing it. Every city has a different energy and this one really has chaos going on. It's exciting and draining all in one big cycle.
Comment by julie staub on December 14, 2009 at 11:45pm
i have so much to respond here...first off...i'm sorry you are not pregnant and the craft fair did not feel like a success for you. BUT you are HERE telling us about that and that is SO BRAVE! i have complete faith that you will be preggers by the end of this 100 day challenge and i truly BELIEVE that you will look back on these days (at the end of our 100 days) and see all of the beautiful gifts these bumps in the road gave you...

i truly can relate to your relationship with nyc. i struggled in the SAME WAY when i lived there. there is this sense of pride that living in nyc gives you...if i can make it here...i can make it anywhere! but it IS A LOT of WORK to live there! and it is tough to embrace day in and day out the amount of energy it takes to sustain yourself there. BUT, we can either see the abundance or deny it. and it sounds like you just flipped the switch! just by focusing on your gratitude. it's just a shift in our perception that moves us away from the suffering cycle!

i remember being so broke that i would walk the 45 minute walk from tribeca to my apartment in the LES...instead of taking the subway...just to save a couple bucks....bc i was so low on cash...and as i walked...i repeated my abundance affirmations...determined to rid myself of this lack cycle...and in the process...i would look up at all those tall tall buildings...and i would get a glimpse of some amazing apartment...a terrace...a lit room where i could see everything...a chandelier....a gorgeous floor to ceiling painting hanging in somones living room....and i would declare...THIS IS ALL FOR ME! i DESERVE to have the BEST in life and i am WORTHY of it RIGHT NOW. it shifted my mood instantly, put a smile on my face as i walked along my way and aligned my vibration with JOY and GRATITUDE! it is ALL just depends on where i focus lies. THANK YOU for sharing! i am sending you LOVING ABUNDANT JOYFUL vibrations! :))) <3

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