Value vs. Money: Some Thoughts on Habits and Life

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Only what you have not given

Have not Given

Nature abhors a vacuum.  Now that we are in the New Year and my habit of revisiting last year’s ACIM lesson begs to be replaced by something else, I find that I am examining my daily habits.  Habit is something I slip into when a void arises, or I am faced with doing something I don’t want to do.  This is why it is crucial that I develop habits that serve me and while I have some excellent habits, I also have some bad ones.

Newton’s first law of motion states, ” An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” I don’t know about you, but when I feel restless or stuck, I reach for habit.  I do what I have done because it is the path of least resistance.  It is easy, though quite often it is NOT taking me in the direction I want to go.  I find myself thinking about this because the world, of course, is a reflection and I was chatting with my son last night, who, as usual, is struggling and on the edge of hopeless.  He actually asked me why I was doing so well.

I found myself remembering how poor we were when he was little and it saddened me to think that I had inadvertently taught him learned helplessness.

Today’s ACIM lesson (#4) begins, “These thoughts do not mean anything.”

Last night, for whatever reason, my Kindle was dead.  But because I have the habit of reading it before I drift off to sleep, I grabbed my phone (which miraculously had a full charge) and read on that instead.  Books aren’t downloaded to the phone the way they are on my actual Kindle though so I found myself looking for something new and reading one of my Kindle Unlimited books:  Fearless Giving.  As a child, the author, Tath R. Ashcraft, found himself in abject poverty when his parents divorced.  Eventually, he learned that the “problem” wasn’t money, but rather it was how he thought about money.

A Course in Miracles says that “Miracles rearrange perception.”  One of my favorite ACIM quotes is “Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation.”  As I started thinking about this, I realized that I definitely needed to shift how I think about money.  Ashcraft says, “Money is the ‘middle man’ in the situation.  It is the exchange medium in between things of real value.” Even though I have known this intellectually, I needed this shift in perception to remove me from the “not enough” mindset.

Ashcraft says, “Our best life wants and needs many things money can neither nor sell us.  It needs relationships, it need love, it needs purpose, and it needs contextual and emotional support – many things we cannot buy.”

As I shift my habits, it occurs to me that it isn’t just about exercising more or meditating or calling the people I need to call to be successful in my business, it is about changing my mind.  Or as the Course says, “Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result and not a cause.”

That is why I do the daily lessons, so that I can change how I think.  It is the habits of mind that matter most of all, for it is this that determines reality.

So, as I find myself forming the habit of consciously choosing to be mindful  of how I spend my time and what my habits are, I notice that it is time to get on with my day.  Wayne Dyer says, “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but what you give away.”

What am I giving?  What are you?

Namaste, my friends, Namaste.


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