Borrowing Money

Every time I plunk down a credit card to pay for something I am borrowing money.

Fact.

I have managed to avoid this fact because for many years—from the mid 90s as a young adult to right up to the economic crash of 2008—I had the funds to pay off all the cards immediately. I was what is known as a transactor. I used the card as a convenience, never as a way to avoid settling up at the end of the month.

But it is so so easy to slip from being a transactor into being a revolver, someone who doesn’t pay off the entire amount at the end of the month and lets the debt sit there to be paid off at some point in the future, a point that quickly recedes, accumulating interest, leading straight into the hell of debt.

I got my hair done today. When it was time to pay up I did something that is so radical for me: I pulled out my debit card. The funds came out of what I have right now, at this moment, in the bank. I didn’t borrow money to get a fabulous new do. I paid for it with what I already have.

I know this sounds so obvious, but it is quite a revelation and change of habits for me.

Breathe

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What I bet will be a key to my success: regular morning meditations. I’ve been doing this a few weeks. One week into my new practice a Vietnamese Buddhist friend told me how simple it was. Just focus on one thing, drop all the tension, keep the eyes open and gazing at something nearby. Then slowly breathe in, then out, very slowly, and with each breath count. Count 50 breaths. See how long that took — maybe ten minutes? — then if you’ve got time, do it again.

Sometimes I will add in positive thoughts, a word I breathe in thinking I am making it happen now. My favorites: wealth, beauty, space, and time. Yes, every moment I’m living simply I am creating wealth. Every loving attention to my health I am creating more beauty. Every thing I do intently and with dispatch, creates more time. Every bit of clutter removed makes more space.

I have superpowers.