Wednesday, July 18, 2012

7/19/12—Having it All

Today's Draw: Feast from the Gifting Bones. Are you someone who wants it all right now? Does your bank account suffer because of it? Or have you developed a good balance between feast and fast?

It's still All About Ego Week here at the Daily Draw and today's draw is a Gifting Bone. Gifting bones are little porcelain rods with a drawing on each side. They're all about duality or opposing forces. So while I drew Feast, the other side of the bone is Fast.

One of the lessons about ego is that it's a necessary part of being human. Along with the body, it's what differentiates us from our spirit-self form. So the object is not to eradicate ego, but temper balance with it. Like we might temper our feasting with fasting. Or, better, just consume wisely at all times.

The message of the Gifting Bone "Feast" is to look at all that's on offer to us at this time and determine what's right for us in this moment. It sounds like it makes sense, but we know people who want to have it all, whether that means material things or a combination of material things and pursuits. Chances are you may even feel that pull yourself. 

Our current financial issues in the United States, I think, came about from people wanting it all, right now. The bankers wanted it all right now. The homebuyers who bought overpriced or oversized homes wanted it all right now. People with loads of credit debt wanted it all right now. We're a nation of people who want it all right now and I include myself among them. 

What's working for me in this equation, is that I fast as much as I feast, financially speaking. I may be a conspicuous consumer of tarot decks, but I make tradeoffs. There are a lot of things I don't have that other people a new car, new furnishings, electronic toys, a cell phone contract, new appliances, a nicer neighborhood...debt, haha....the list goes on and on. I may want it all, but I make tradeoffs within my personal economy.

Frankly I need to make more tradeoffs to put money aside, so I don't mean to paint myself in a wholly favorable light. But when I look at statistics about credit card debt, home debt and car debt, then compare that to where I am, it's clear there are a lot of people who aren't stopping where they should...who are feasting more than they fast. And that all goes back to the thing about finding value and affirmation in things outside of yourself.

So while there are many ways to measure whether your ego is in balance, this is one that came to us today. You know what you can afford and what you can't...what you're giving up for what you have. Are you in a good place...saving for retirement, your kid's education, paying off all your debt? Or could you do better? I could do better. I could make more tradeoffs.

One of the things our economy has done for a lot of people is show them what's really important. Ask someone who's been unemployed at some point over the past few years, or who has lost their home and they'll tell you what's important. It's not where you live, but the fact you have a roof over your head. It's not what luxuries you have, but the fact you have the necessities of survival. I imagine from that humbling perspective, the whole idea of "having it all" takes on a different definition.

So many of us will never have to face facts that hard. We're fortunate. Many of us are choosing between Whole Foods and Giant, Apple or Dell, Ruth's Chris and Sizzler. Those are fortunate choices to have. We still get to "have it all" and even take it for granted for the time being. So while we're in such a fortunate place, it wouldn't hurt to consider what's feeding our ego vs. what's feeding our survival and maybe make a few more tradeoffs in our lives. We may find out that "having it all" is more about having the choice and using it to make tradeoffs than it is about getting everything we want.

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