14. Stay afloat with a Focus on Cash-flow
Without money, in current world systems, access to goods and services is severely curtailed. The impression is often given through the media, employers, social organisations and shopping encounters that the rich count far more than the poor. No one can buy their way out of suffering, though, not the ordinary experiences of birth, sickness, old age and death, or the subtler kinds. Money is a good servant but a voracious master because once the chase for it begins, there never seems to be enough. It morphs far too quickly and routinely into interest-bearing debt, pushing many into competition, scarcity and anxiety. Charles Eisenstein reminds readers that formulas such as those popularised by The Secret, The Law Of Abundance, and similar miracle-promising texts may induce comfort and hope but fall short of addressing what is occurring in reality. Those with financial difficulties deserve a pat on the back for persisting – it’s not our fault.
Nevertheless, a minimum or basic income at least is required to get by; indeed, the grounds for a growing worldwide campaign to introduce such a regular universal payment are based on this very premise. Meanwhile, bills arrive. Food, clothes, transport, utilities, entertainment and more cost dearly. Credit cards urge splurges, but being in debt is common and can be frightening. It’s a big challenge for so many, regrettably often preventing enjoyment of the finer things in life. Vicki Robin’s brilliant programme, Your Money Or Your Life, gets in behind the influences on spending behaviour. She teaches a more supportive understanding of money and provides invaluable guidance on how to manage it for personal and public benefit. Sally Lever’s blog on sustainable living is also enlightening. The big lesson is that once conscious attention is shifted to observing everyday patterns of money-handling, control of them becomes possible. Help from others, welfare agencies, banks and so on, may still be needed for a while, but it’s within everyone’s capacity to take themselves sooner or later to a point where money is not owed and there is consistently enough and even a little or a lot left over.
In the heat of life-threatening scenarios, to be worrying about money on top of it all is tragic, and what’s worse, the stress of it suppresses the immune system. Reviewing how resources, including money, are allocated, however, is a key part of a successful recovery programme, when the environment should be optimum and whatever is essential to making it so afforded. Now or never is the time to spend or unapologetically appeal for aid from appropriate quarters. Then, resolve to study how to find balance in this area, for it brings a great deal of peace of mind.