I’m a worrier. I especially worry about money. But on the rare bad days I worry about my competence, my reason for being, my ability to do things I pretty much have proven I can do. And then I get mean. I call myself, lazy, stupid, incompetent, a fraud, too trusting, too cynical, a bad friend, a bad family member, oh and I throw in fat and ugly, too.
Ironically, I have two very wonderful clients who work to make people the best most successful people they can be: Robin Samora of Partner Promotions and Make Yourself Shine and Rosie Battista of Sleeping Naked After 40. And they always express a need to be kinder to ourselves, Robin tells us not to hide our brilliance under a bucket. To basically accept how great we are at each stage and every day without tearing ourselves down for every little thing. And Rosie tells us to treat ourselves like we would our best friend. I use this thought to bring me back from the edge when I’ve screwed something up. What would I say to a friend who did the same thing? Would I tell her she was stupid, incompetent, or would I be gentler and more realistic, i.e.: yup you screwed up but it’s not the end of the world?
Rosie of Sleeping Naked After 40 has a new 40-day program (SN40X) that I’ve helped edit. It’s mostly not about the food. It’s about relearning how we care for and about ourselves. It teaches us in very simple steps that can sometimes take less than a minute a day to honor ourselves with good treatment and positive thoughts. So she has me beta testing the program. And I can say that at the half way point I can feel it working. I feel much lighter mentally. I’d stopped singing or even listening to music; I especially hated hearing other people’s music because I felt like it just added another layer of chaos and mental noise to my stressful and hectic life. Lately, I noticed that I started singing as I go about my day. Now this may cause stress for other people because I seldom know more than a couple of phrases I repeat over and over, but it is a sign to me that I am in a better space.
I will spill the beans about one step in Rosie’s program. She encourages all the ladies on the program to go out and treat themselves to an extravagant lipstick. To move away from the drug store and head to the fancy counters in a department store like Neiman’s or Macy’s. It just so happened that the day before she made this suggestion, my last lipstick (Walmart $4) rolled out of my car and into a slimy parking lot puddle so I took this as a sign that I needed to try the lipstick step. Chanel sounded like a true luxury, and I had a $20 Macy’s gift card to hedge my bet. Rosie recommended buying an outlandish new color, but it was the end of summer, not yet fall, so I wanted something to span both seasons, so I’d look for a lovely, luxurious, practical, full-year color, hedging my bet there, too.
Rosie also encourages spending time on yourself so I figured I would take 15 minutes and engage the clerk to help me pick out the lipstick shade and type. Fifteen minutes led to twenty and twenty to thirty-five and my foot was waggling a mile a minute and my mind was racing with all I had to do. I hadn’t mentally signed on for the half hour visit. I never asked prices because I fully anticipated that no lipstick anywhere could ever be over twenty dollars. But with a Chanel lipstick (Rouge Allure 119 Captivante) and a Chanel lip liner (Le Crayon Levres Tulip) (you can’t really have one without the other), I was presented the bill for about $40. I gently admonished the very helpful clerk, “Oh you must have forgotten the gift card”…She hadn’t. I was astounded. That was more of an extravagance than I expected. And now I was upset, I needed a new knock-about-everyday watch so much more than a lipstick, and there was a nice Anne Klein on sale in the next department at Macy’s for $49 and instead I had a lipstick. I don’t waste money on myself like that.
So I called Rosie and said, “Listen I just don’t think like you. This makes me feel anxious. Guilty for wasting money that could have had more practical uses.”
She asked if I liked the lipstick. I said “Yes, it makes my lips feel more supple and smoother than the $4 Walmart lip stain, though it doesn’t stay on as long.”
She asked if I intended to return it. I said “No”. She said “Well then you better just start loving the lipstick. It’s a treat; it isn’t a lifetime of wasting money and it’s pretty, so quit beating yourself up over it and enjoy.” And then she said, “Don’t worry about the money; the universe will fill your request to be able to afford it.”
This is as far from my financial thinking as anything can get. I think you work for what you want and buy it after you’ve got the money.“Why should the universe supply my request for lipstick when other people request cures for cancer and they don’t get it?” It seems way too self indulgent to ask the universe for something so trivial and let’s face it I did have $40, but I’m a gal who NEVER pays retail. My other client, Robin who is also a smart and talented woman has said the same thing and both of these ladies seem to have much more exciting fulfilling lives than most, and both are always traveling to wonderful places and meeting fascinating people.
I figured I’d have to agree to disagree with these women I admire.
Later that day I told this story to my aunt expecting validation for my way of thinking. But, she agreed with Rosie and Robin. So I pretty much accepted that the world had gone mad.
Then a funny thing happened. The next day an announcement was made that a client I had been working on for almost two years was one giant step closer to becoming a reality. And now I’m left to worry if that success is less because of the hard work and long hours I put into it and more simply because I bought the damn lipstick?
Rosie’s response to this turn of events… “Dior mascara”.
Robin Samora Inc. http://www.robinsamorainc.com/
Sleeping Naked After 40 http://sleepingnakedafter40.com/
©2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell