11 Creative Ways to Source More Money for a Happy, if Hectic, Holiday Season

With the holiday season barreling toward us, it’s easy to be trapped in the land of not enough. Instead, make clever choices that help you source the money for happy holidays.

Not enough money. Not enough resources. Not enough clients. Not enough… well, you get the picture. Sadly, what we focus on, grows, and so the not enough-ness becomes magnified, especially during the hectic holiday season.

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Even the Nutcracker might grind his teeth when he figures out Clara is worried about the number of nuts in her bank box. It’s like everything in the imaginary land of fear and money: we paste on a smile even as we cringe. The thought of travel expenses, gift-giving, and specialty menus threaten to destroy our budgets and fragile sense of self-worth.

Forget pictures of sugarplums dancing in our heads. Like misfit toys, we’re focused on worry. Not to say the problems with the economy are imaginary. Like all things government, the recent election has far-reaching implications on the mindset of everyone who spends and earns.

Comfort and joy? Bah, humbug. It’s as obvious as the midnight clear that present uncertainties suggest the wisdom of hoarding resources. Lack is on lots of minds. In actuality, hoarding money or dwelling on what one does not have makes it well nigh impossible to feel one iota of gratitude – or to create more of what you need.

If you don’t believe me, ask the Grinch. He’ll be around in a week or two for his annual visit.

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Hope Is Headed Your Way

Really, it’s time to call in a higher level of consciousness around our holiday experience, and around money. I’m calling in hope.

Hope is needed to save the holiday season.  Together, you and I are going to change our thinking about the way we can source abundantly throughout the holiday season. No lumps of coal in our stockings. In a non-literal sense, we’re holding space for silver and gold and presents under every single tree.

So please accept this holiday present from me to you, offered in love and trust and from a place of delight that’s merry and bright. You’ll be surprised how many monetary resources you actually have lying around. I know I am, every time I try this tactic to create that teeny bit of extra cash for special treats.

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Here is my faithful list of 11 tried and true ways to immediately create more money and positive energy all around during the holiday season (none of which require credit cards):

  1. Collect all the change from around your house. Then, take it to the bank and turn it into cash so you can carry it in your wallet and immediately feel richer.
  2. Take an inventory of all your unused gift cards. Those go in your wallet, too, along with my urging to go out and use them immediately to do something nice for yourself or someone you love.
  3. Take a look at your subscriptions and memberships. Is there anything there you can let go? Honestly, I find all those perfect women pictured in magazines with their perfect kids and immaculate homes a bit depressing, anyway.
  4. Close out unused accounts, and consolidate the money into one place. Often, bank or credit union accounts require a minimum balance, so those little chunks of money could add up.
  5. Collect outstanding loans from family and friends. This tactic feels a bit weird, but when you’ve addressed the matter, you’ll find you feel much better about breaking bread across from them at Grandma’s house.
  6. Sell things you no matter want or need. Craigslist, ebay, the classifieds, or an interested friend may help you clear space and source the resources you desire.
  7. Clip coupons for everything from gifts to groceries. If you don’t know this already, your favorite retailers often send great coupon deals in their email communications. It’s not unusual to get 50 percent off the already marked 50% off rack. So that $100 gift just magically became… $25.
  8. Cut out unnecessary expenditures. I confess, I’ve got a serious coffee habit. On busy days when I’m networking or meeting colleagues for work sessions, I can spend $30 easily on caffeinated beverages – and repeat the spending patter regularly. If I were my client, I’d suggest making this an exception, not a rule. So I’m cutting back on the café au lait, making a good pot of coffee at home, and socking those dollars into my bank account.
  9. Use buy now, pay later options. These types of options, popularized by PayPal, allow you to defer payment on gift items for up to 90 days. This tactic works great if you budget appropriately and pay on time.
  10. Take out a small signature loan. If you pay a small loan back over time, you can actually build your credit and get yourself out of a tight spot. A caution: don’t try this one if you’re out of work, or if your expenses always exceed your income.
  11. Don’t barter. Ask people to pay in cash so that you can source what you need from your own expenditures of energy.

May you enjoy an abundantly blessed holiday, and may you source more than you need.

Sherri L. McLendon, M.A., is owner-founder and managing director of Professional Moneta International, LLC, a marketing public relations consultancy. She also coaches feminine leaders who cultivate an abundance mindset when marketing their businesses at http://www.professionalmoneta.com.

An earlier version of this updated article appeared in WNC Woman Magazine.

Is Self Doubt Sabotaging Your ‘Infinite Potential?’

Years ago, I had a beautiful picture hanging on my wall, which I enjoyed throughout my pregnancy. It was called “Infinite Potential,” and it simply glowed with the unfolding of new life within the womb of the archetypal mother. 62c2d25ffc655deb43d309fbc7e921d8

At right is a photograph of Mara Friedman’s original as it appeared in Mountain Astrologer 2003.

Infinite potential is easy to see in a newborn, so close to spirit, so present in the now. But when we want to grow something new in our business, is’s more difficult to see the unlimited potential which lies before us. The spark of something new emerging from our creative centers can easily become overwhelmed by our life experience, our insecurities, our doubts, our fears. We allow these falsities to become limiters of our potential, settling for what we know over what we know we can do.

Together, let’s kick self-doubt to the curb with decisive action. Below, we’ll identify the top 3 serious, self-defeating doubts conscious women tell themselves when the going gets tough, and share “coachable moments” designed to move us on and through.

Self-Defeating Doubt #1: Taking Action is Too ‘Hard’

As a coach, I have a reputation for being able to get people to take calculated risks to grow, to accept on faith the small yet transformational actions which move them from where they are to where they’d like to do.

So I wasn’t prepared when I encountered the up and coming practitioner who said “yes,” but did not set a priority on taking the actions that would generate new business for her practice. Month after month, she kept finding excuses, placing her calling on hold, waiting. The commitment was “too hard.” When I checked in with her at the beginning of this year, 5 years after our first conversation, she was still saying “yes” while her choices were still saying otherwise.

The fact is, it’s hard to grow your business – if that’s what you believe. The economy is bad – if that’s what you believe. And clients are scarce – if that’s what you believe.

Coachable Moment #1: Renew Your Commitment. Move quickly toward realizing your infinite potential by committing fully, making decisions and following through with immediate action on specific tasks. Helping clear space for leaps of faith to occur within your self is one of the greatest gifts a coach can offer.

Self Defeating Doubt #2: Beliefs Cannot Be Changed

Of course, you can choose to change a belief which does not serve your highest and best expression of your life force. How do I know? I’ve done it. I’ve hit the absolute dregs of self doubt, and come back from less than zero in my self worth account.

Coachable Moment #2: ‘Be the Change You Wish to See.’ Here’s how: Write down the negative belief, then reverse it into an affirmation. Take on the affirmation as an opposing, equally true belief. Write or repeat it often. Then, act as though the belief is real to you as though it is already your truth. This effect is what is meant by the oft-paraphrased Dalai Lama statement, “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.”

Self-Defeating Doubt #3:  I am “not enough”

My friend, Fatma Zaidi, says it well. “To lead is to be the active creative force of your own world so you can serve the larger world.” I couldn’t agree more. But many of us don’t realize that we are enough, just as we are. The key to infinite potential in one’s business as an expression of our higher self comes directly from the ability to reach out to others consistently and offer meaningful support for their journey. Being in service is not about you, it’s about humanity and honoring the humanity of your client. This one simple, heart-centered action of reaching out in support is the first rule of feminine leadership.

Coachable Moment #3: I already have everything I need. As a feminine leader, choose instead to reframe your entire situation and your response to it. By changing your mindset, moving your body, and addressing underlying beliefs and perceptions that are holding you back, you can grow your business, create new, sustain-able economy, and attract plenty of new clients. Sharing your experience to support the growth of others exemplifies the right relationship needed to create and manifest infinite potential through our business.

Thankfully, each of us gets to choose which beliefs we hold. May those you choose as your own serve the realization of your infinite potential.

So be it.

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, is a conscious business coach, magazine columnist, marketing public relations and content strategist with Professional Moneta International, http://www.professionalmoneta.com. (c)2016, Sherri L. McLendon, All Rights Reserved. Reprint with credit.

Why Journal as a Spiritual Practice?

Why would anyone keep a journal?

I use mine to whine, to rail, to complain… to call in change.
I use mine to chronicle, sort through, dig deep… to call in change.
I use mine to talk directly with Source, or to balance my inner selves… and call in change.
I use mine to workshop my relationships, grow my business, grow myself… and call in change.

Journalling is a text of the self. And the way I do it, it’s a text of the higher self. It’s about letting my lower self, my monkey mind, my cortisol laden brain clear out so my higher self and my purpose can get through.

Plain paper, an inspiring writing implement, the page, and you. What a beautiful way to start each day.

Start each day with Journaling as a Spiritual Practice.

Here is what I know is true:

I cannot lie on the page
I cannot commit to straight lines or neatness
I cannot always use words
I sometimes skip journaling as an avoidance tactic (see #1)
I sometimes journal when I have nothing to say just to clear the way
My journal is my refuge and solace

It’s the place where I write letters to my Mama, who isn’t here any longer. I write to my guardian angels and my divine feminine leaders. I write to my child and to my inner child. Blessings, prayers, poems, blurts, plans, welcome all.

I also write things I don’t intend others to see. My mother kept a journal where she “dumped” big blobs of worry. In everyday life, she was an optimistic person. I believe in my heart that she was able to see the bright side of things because she got them out of her psyche and onto the page.

I journal to cope. For decades, I’ve struggled with stress and seasonal blues. Journaling is my pathway through the dark months and back to light.

Due to the recent political climate, I have returned to my journal as a way to find a stillpoint in the chaos, a touchstone, a way to hear myself think and feel without the cacophany of monkey minds we encounter online and in life these days.

Taking this right action led to almost instantaneous infusions of energy and clarity. As my favorite poem by Max Ehrmann says, “Go out amidst the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”

Find the silence where your inner voice resides with Journaling as a Spiritual Practice

This kind of silence isn’t the one of “keeping quiet.” It’s the place where we find our voices and meet our truth. It’s a place that’s above or beyond the commonplace in resonance. It’s the sacred space where journalling takes place.

My favorite way to journal is to prepare the space. I clear the table, lay out my tools as though I’m creating a formal place setting for a special dinner with a lover. I light a favorite candle: orange or nutmeg with coffee beans or spice. Ground and center. I open my eyes and begin to write. Stream of consciousness, the words spill over the page in blobs and blurts. I write without lines and without limits. Whatever comes, comes.

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Sherri McLendon offers Journaling as a Sacred Practice, first Mondays monthly through June 2018.

I write in different ways at different times of day. At night, I may write about why I cannot sleep, why the owl hoots at the dog who barks back, or I may make a list of gratitudes. Gratitude journaling at night is a beautiful way to close a day.

So you’ll find different types of journals scattered all over my house dedicated to different types of journalling. For most meanderings, I recommend an 8 1/2 by 11 sketchbook journal with no lines. Should you need boundaries, you’ll be the person defining those. If you choose an artist’s pad with spiral binding, decorate the front cover with fabric or special paper and trim to make the journal special to you.

Over the next 12 months, a beautiful group of women and I will work with a range of journalling techniques, tactics and tools gleaned from more than two decades of writing my way back to center. Learn more by clicking on the Journaling tab or one of the links in this post.

It’s my honor and joy to share this work from a place of gratitude and pure love of Journaling as a Spiritual Practice. 

So be it.

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, is a presence based marketing public relations pro, conscious business coach, and lead content strategist with Professional Moneta International,http://www.professionalmoneta.com.

(C) 2017 BY SHERRI L. MCLENDON, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINT WITH PERMISSION.

Hungry Ghosts: What Eats at Us, Eats at Our Money

In Buddhist beliefs, there are six worlds. On the wheel of life, the world of the Hungry Ghosts is the largest of the four forming the actual wheel. The landscape of this shadow world is desolate, written in shades of gray and white, and fraught with yearning. For what we yearn, we may know not.

This relentless desire to hold and control is the opposite of the energies of growth and rebirth we normally associate with Spring Equinox, but this emotional Pisces new moon coincided with an eclipse window, opening the door to both light and shadow. Those who struggle with the descent into darkness at this time may be wrestling in this toxic world of Hungry Ghosts. We recognize this possibility because our experience with them can be painful. In Western mythologies, we may be the gift-bearing Inanna to their inner angry Erishkegal, while they are the dark side to our inner mirror.

As humans, each of us experiences life as a Hungry Ghost at some point in our lives. As Hungry Ghosts, we are driven by cravings which mask our displaced desire for something to be different. Often, this wanting we can’t quite put a finger on shows up in our money lives, and in our business.

For me, when I enter the world of the Hungry Ghosts, it first shows up in my life and business as restlessness. It may present as a craving for a new city, lifestyle, office, house. I imagine and desire a different life. From the shadow world, I sometimes watch my current life from afar as though it belongs to someone else, as though it were the shadow, not the reality. If my thoughts get caught in a loop, the desire for difference takes over and my reality becomes painful with lack of fulfillment.

The yearning takes the form of thoughts of escape, and struggles to move forward, a butterfly in a cocooned straightjacket made of wisps, of sylphs, of invisible ties that bind.

Instead of escaping to re-create my life, I shop. I focus on the textures of the fabrics, the colors, the rhythm of the flipping of hangers, to bring me back to reality. But inside, I am still hungry.

In seeking fulfillment, I over-shop.  My life and I are colorless, so I buy color. Instead of eating what I love, I overeat. Instead of de-cluttering my house, I look for the next place I’ll call home. During these times, I can barely repress the expression of the reality I wish I had. I feel a tightness in my throat for the words I do not say, and a weight in my heart for those I do.

HungryGhostScrollKyotoHungry Ghosts Scroll, Kyoto, Japan.

During the darkest times, food becomes tasteless and I drop weight, feeling the Hungry Ghosts deep in my gut. Joy is out of reach, receded like a low tide, ripeness and plenty lie out of reach, and everything I touch turns to cinders.

I become Hungry Ghosts. Each of us becomes Hungry Ghosts. How do we know? We

  1. buy things. Sometimes just for the need to buy something, anything, to prove we are here.
  2. splurge against our own desires as a form of self-sabotage.
  3. cannot control our spending.
  4. become obsessed with having an object of our desire.
  5. are preoccupied with savings, our checking balance.
  6. hoard, living on the minimum possible instead of allowing luxury into our life.
  7. pile up money for our own sake, not for others’.

When we buy one thing as a substitute for something else, or exhibit forms of unaware self-sabotage, we are neither conscious nor fulfilled. We are Hungry Ghosts with our desires surrounding us, binding us to our own unspoken yearnings.

The problem with being a Hungry Ghost is that we eat ourselves up from the inside, and undermine ourselves through our unhealthy use of our life force energy expressed as money.

To survive, we need either to release the cravings, desires, and the suffering of being unfulfilled, or we must take action to bring the thing our heart desires most into reality. The in-between place between the two is a form of limbo, where we wait for something to justify the change we want to see, we want to be, in the world.

I am grateful to be a witness to others’ experience of this phenomenon this year, rather than currently living the experience. But others may be living with the hungry ghosts of a parent, a partner, or a co-worker. We see the self-destructive behaviors and know those for what they are. Or, we’ve there ourselves, looking for a way out.

What happens when you’re dealing in the world of the Hungry Ghosts?

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, operates Professional Moneta International, a marketing public relations consultancy. Learn more about her conscious business coaching for spirit-rich women at http://www.womenspiritandmoney.biz.

 

 

Feminine Creative Potential and the Magdalene Heart

Water and money share currency, and the ability to source abundance from the feminine, sourced from within, is a topic that spirit-rich women business leaders may consider deeply. The feminine archetype represented by Mary Magdalene is associated with the sex and money dynamic of the second chakra, comprising a part of women’s identity and relationship to money. 

In ancient Sumeria, a Priestess holds an urn, waist high, from which she pours the living water of Source. Where there is water, there is the currency of deep emotion and of love. The vessel she holds is symbolic of womb and vagina, and of the mythic feminine principal of Creation. Centuries pass. Another woman follows in the footsteps of the first and picks up the urn, assuming the ancient feminine identity associated with the struggle between good and evil. Her name is Mary Magdalene, and it is the symbolism associated with her person on which we now focus.

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A 15th c. Bourbonnaise statue bears a striking resemblance to the Magdalene statuette in the private collection of the author.

This inquiry began when, recently, a vintage chalk statue of Mary Magdalene found its way to me. At first, I wasn’t certain who was depicted in the simple form in modest attire, with downcast eyes, and a lidded jar. At once human and saint, and despite a “garbled Biblical account of a female follower of Christ,” the story “conceals a woman of immense importance,” according to Witcombe’s “The Shifting Identity of Mary Magdalene in the Renaissance,” a 1993 scholarly paper presented at a 16th century studies conference. To many, she is at once human and saint, priestess and goddess.

The urn, traditionally an ointment jar, may be depicted with the lid either closed or ajar. “Taking the lid off” is a particularly potent symbol-action, according to Witcombe. The equivalent in mythology is the opening a Pandora’s box of sexuality and feminine power in which the source of life is also the source of evil. This depiction is shared with ancient Goddess images of Isis, who hold a skull in one hand with a snake wrapped around their arm, and the telltale ointment jar in the other.

Certain of the Essene Gospels remark upon Mary Magdalene’s use of spikenard ointment in ritual and ceremony; there are more of these verses than the oft-cited Alabaster Jar anointing of Yeshua, and these bear closer scrutiny. In these, it is the Magdalene heart which emerges.

In Magdalene’s identity, women may choose to consider the import of the one who has travelled the singular path of the divine feminine – even when doing so seems counter to the society of the day. Should we choose to pick up the vessel in turn, we might ask:

  • What does it mean today to be a vessel for the energy of Source through our symbol-actions in the world?
  • What of our relationship with our bodies as indwelling temple spaces?
  • How does it feel to explore our sexuality or Creation power and its connection to money and abundant resources?
  • What do Magdalene and Yeshua model for us regarding conscious equal partnership with our beloveds, both within our hearts and in our relationships with our partners?

How do these influences positively or negatively impact our creation potential or ability to increase currency in the forms of energy or money in business and life?

Sherri L. McLendon is a conscious business coach, marketing public relations consultant, and content strategist with Professional Moneta International, http://www.womenspiritandmoney.biz.