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EFP Tips: Living within your means

Posted on May 25, 2015 at 8:25 PM

For Tired Eyes... EFP:Tips 'Living Within Your Means'

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Hello and welcome, 

I had an inspiration in the shower, these happen to me often. Unfortunately I have no way of writing them down whilst in the shower, soap makes a lousy writing tool.

I was thinking of my financial situation, I was thinking about “living with in your means”. If you are not familiar with this term it means you only spend what money you have, buy only what you can afford. Knowing where those boundaries and spending limitations are is important. If your not doing this, get it together.

Unless you have plenty of $100 dollar bills lying around, this means denying yourself certain things. I can't trade my car in for a brand new one, I can't have a latte every day, I can't get those pink swarovski rhinestone covered high heels. I can't literally make it rain money, nor have I been successful at growing it despite my trying. I can't change that. It sucks. And our capitalist society reenforces the idea that this sucks. If you wanna be a cool kid, you gotta have the car/clothes/phone to go with it, right?

What we don't learn from society about 'living with in your means' is to make peace with it. It is an important lesson to learn, I learned it through trial by fire. I have the crappy credit merit badge to prove it, I earned it by getting into debt and making stupid choices. Seriously, don't chase inanimate objects with your money.

But what I learned is that you have got to love what is. I can't trade my car in, but it still runs wonderfully and I am grateful for that. I can't have lattes every day, but I don't need an overpriced cup of milk with a hint of coffee. I can't buy those painful but exquisite heels, but I would NEVER wear them any way so whatever. I try to be content and happy with what I already have.
The paradox is that we have internalized the idea of living with in our means when it comes to matters of the heart, soul and mind..

We place limitations and boundaries on ourselves that we wholeheartedly believe. 'I cant go back to school, I am not smart enough.' Or just as detrimental, 'I have my masters in business management and need no further education', 'I hate reading books', 'I am too old to join the circus', 'I can't write a novel, I can't spell', 'I can't paint, I don't know how', 'I can't love again, my last relationship destroyed me.' And it goes endlessly on, what you think you can't do.
Here is the big secret, you are the only one who thinks that. You are the only one who believes that you can't break free of those limits you set on yourself. I know I don't know you, but you are dead wrong.

I encourage you to examine all of the ideas you have about what you think you can't do, and challenge them. Just because you think some thing is true, doesn't mean it is. One step further, I encourage you to disregard those silly notions. No, actually I hope you donkey kick those supposed limitations in the teeth. Donkey kick, right in the teeth..

I am ok with the fact that I will probably never be fabulously rich. That is ok, I can accept that. I can not change that today. If I have enough, I will be just fine. But what I can not accept is the idea of “living with in my means” emotionally, spiritually and intellectually... The parts of me and you that matter, heart/head/soul don't have to ''live with in our means''. We can change our means. I do have power over this, as opposed to the ever elusive dollar. And so do you.

For example, I have been trying to educate myself on whats going on in the world, even though a lot of it infuriates me. But its taught me that being mad or passionate about some thing feels better than apathy. I've learned that being passionate makes me feel powerful, and not so insignificant in this world. It makes me crave more knowledge, so I do my best to shove more things in my brain. That feeds my creativity! It's a vicious, awesome, exciting cycle.

More importantly to me, I have allowed myself to step out of the boundaries I set on my own creativity.. I have decided that I don't have to live with in the small box of things I think I can do and can't do. I absolutely believe that I can expand my talents. I do not have to 'live within those means'. I can write a blog and make YouTube videos about creativity because I challenged myself on what I think I am capable of. I am also entertaining the ideas of writing full time, photography, installation art, making a documentary and writing tv shows despite the fact I have never done any of those things and know only a little about them.

The core message that I want you to take away from this is to challenge all of your preconceptions about life and creativity, but most importantly what you think you are capable of. And if it helps, you have some one in your corner that knows you can.

Thank you for reading, 

Emma Jean

Categories: EFP Tips

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