O's guide to financial serenity.
What I know for Sure
"Life is an exchange of energy—and currency is one of the biggest energy forms."

Why anyone chooses to live a life in debt has always been a puzzle to me. I'll never forget a couple who appeared on my show last year. Though they'd only been married for nine months, their relationship was already buckling beneath the weight of a gigantic bill. They'd charged most of their beach wedding in Mexico, paying for hotel rooms and spa treatments for some of their guests, lobster and filet mignon for the wedding dinner, and an open bar. On the other side of this blessed event were credit card statements for almost $50,000. That didn't include the $9,000 the husband had borrowed from his 401(k) plan to buy the engagement ring. The pursuit of a fairy-tale weekend had landed them in a years-long nightmare.

What I know for sure: Life is an exchange of energy—and currency is one of the biggest energy forms. You can't exchange what you don't have. When you define yourself by the things you can acquire rather than seeing what you really need to be happy and fulfilled, you're not just living beyond your means or overextending yourself. You're living a lie.

That's why being burdened with bills feels so awful. You are being untrue to yourself. When you free yourself from debt, you create space in your financial energy field to purchase with purpose—to add to your life things that are meaningful.

How many times have you shopped without thinking just to make yourself feel better? Then you got home and felt worse—buyer's remorse. Suze Orman often talks about how we fritter away our wealth with mindless spending. Even now, in the unimaginable position of being able to buy anything I want in doubles and triples, I try to remain grounded. Another yellow sweater is going to make me feel…what? If the answer is "nothing," I'll put it back or decide to get it for someone whose day it will brighten (like my best friend, Gayle, because yellow's her favorite color!).

Mindfulness matters in all experiences.

The illusion that somehow how much we buy tells people who we are is so misguided, it borders on insanity. I've heard stories of people so in debt, they must have been out of their minds to create such financial turmoil.

I hope the way you spend your money is in line with the truth of who you are and what you care about. I hope that your money brings joy to you and the ones you love. And I hope you use it as a powerful force for good to fulfill your best intentions.


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