do-gooders need not apply

I suspect this post will be somewhat controversial, so I’m just going to jump in:

There’s something about my online dating profile lately that’s inspired a lot of guys to write me and tell me about the do-gooder work they do, often in some nonprofit field or with some higher purpose or mission. And I mean that’s their introductory pitch, as if it will somehow make them instantly appealing to me.

On one hand, I think this is really great; everyone should have a purpose and feel fulfilled by his or her work. I, for one, can find great satisfaction even in a corporate role because I believe that I can guide others through my leadership and communicate in ways that help improve understanding. In fact, helping others understand complex topics is something I’ve quite naturally done all my life.

On the other hand, I wonder how it is that I’m giving the impression that I’m more likely to want to be with someone who’s dedicated his life to the sort of work that provides higher “cause” rewards than financial ones. To be quite frank — and you may think me a pig because of it — I like a man who wants to provide well for his family, who finds earning well both fulfilling and great fun and who desires to spoil me. I want the guy who says, “My love, you’d look great in that Audi Q5 — how do you feel about taking a test drive?”

I have great respect for the folks who have devoted their lives to causes. However, with a parent working in social services and friends in other types of serving roles, I’ve heard repeatedly that when passions like these become jobs, the stress and bureaucracy often end up outweighing the satisfaction of making what feel like real accomplishments or progress. Many have recommended to me to take the financial rewards that I’ve achieved and contribute (as I already do) through volunteerism and nonprofit contributions. Giving is, in fact, central to my life and a value that I’m sharing with my children.

Maybe my beliefs are outdated, outmoded and behind the times; after all, nonprofits have made great strides in paying better since I’ve first had an eye on them.

So what is the real issue here? I think I’m simply more traditional in how I view roles:  I want an ambitious, smart, hardworking guy who — as I wrote earlier — wants to earn a shit ton of money and provide an abundant lifestyle, so that I can focus on the role of guiding my family’s values, community involvement, volunteerism and giving. I do as best I can in the present, yet I can’t help but think removing the stress of being primary breadwinner would enhance my feeling of empowerment in this regard.

Keep in mind that I’ve supported my family for many years and found that a complete reversal of gender roles felt uncomfortable and unnatural to me. I felt it left little room for me to express my natural femininity or, at the very least, it was difficult for me to switch back and forth between the masculine energy I used at the office and the feminine I wished to express in my home. Meanwhile, I freely acknowledge that there are many masculine ways to contribute beyond the financial.

Ultimately I’ve been going out and meeting these fellows anyway; I certainly wouldn’t rule anyone out using this alone as a filter. At the same time, I’m not consciously trying to attract men with this particular career type. But hey, I try to stay open to the possibilities and if I fall in love, so be it.

Does this wish for a somewhat ambitious man make me a pig? Is it somehow misguided or focusing on the wrong things to wish for a man who gets a kick out of earning? I freely acknowledge that I may be way off base here — and I’d love to hear your perspective.

my money demon

Yesterday I promised to follow up with the rest of the story:

I think I’ve been quite open about my being on a path of growth since my early twenties, and with some renewed vigor following my divorce. Also, I’ve wrestled with “money issues” off and on for years. I know this because people have told me things like, “you’re too materialistic” or “you’re high maintenance.” While these types of judgements are relative, they always strike me as odd, because I am a pretty down-to-earth, value-conscious and go-with-the-flow kind of gal. When outside feedback doesn’t match inner reality, there must be some kind of dissonance. Whether it brings up our blind spots or other areas that aren’t resolved, that dissonance tells us something.

More recently, I’ve been feeling super grounded, grateful and optimistic. I feel like “me” again and I think the way I’m feeling is reflected in others’ perceptions of me, too, which suggests that my true nature and disposition are expressing themselves.

BUT — every time an unhappy financial surprise shows up in my life, my stress response could be described as way out of proportion to the actual event or cost. Furthermore, the simple stuff that others appear to be able to do, such as hire a landscaper, go on a girls’ weekend or buy a new car, continue to seem utterly out of reach despite the fact that I earn among the top 18% of all US households. People, this shit defies reason! (Again, I must acknowledge that I’m doing something right!)

Thus, Morgana Rae‘s concept (which I brought up yesterday) of visualizing your money as a person blew my mind! Rae is an abundance coach or “financial alchemist,” someone who helps others release their blocks to abundance. She had her own financial issues when her coach asked her that very question:  “If your money was a person, what would that person be like?”

I immediately closed my eyes, opened my mind and welcomed the vision of the embodiment of my money, while Morgana described hers as a large, physically intimidating “biker guy.”

My money wasn’t like that at all. In fact, he kind of looked like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, casually attired in a tee-shirt (maybe a wife beater) and jeans, with — instead of a leather jacket — a plaid shirt hanging over, unbuttoned and untucked. He leaned his thin frame against a wall, sort of in the shadows, kind of lurking. His hair was kind of greasy and you could tell by that and his scent that he hadn’t showered recently.

Am I starting to paint a picture here? Lurking, shadows…this guy’s kind of like a drug dealer. He swoops in for a quick fix now and again, but he’s completely unreliable and not at all trustworthy. He’s cool, noncommittal, dishonest, and can manipulate and control a situation with his smooth talk. He’s evasive and elusive. When I’m around him, I feel unsure of myself.

Seeing this embodiment of my relationship with money was a huge revelation to me. Wow! I’ve never had this sort of realization while doing any of the other work I’ve done around this issue. This just happens to have been the technique that gets to the heart of it for me. So…

Morgana’s first advice? Break up with your “money monster.” (“Money demon” resonates more with me.) Then find yourself a “money honey” and have an enriching relationship of mutual adoration with him (or her, depending on your preference). In all, Morgana has six steps for this process — and, if this interests you remotely, I highly recommend you look her up.

Finally, as I scribbled all of this down on paper, I began to see that many of the characteristics I assigned to my money demon are shared by my ex husband. In other words, if I heal this relationship, it will help improve all of my relationships.

Once again, this stupefying realization made me think, “Whoa, I’ve got a lot of work to do before I am capable of a truly healthy relationship!” Of course, I can manage well for a while, but patterns recur until we fully address them, right? So I’m ambivalent about whether to continue dating casually, or whether to really take the time to prioritize myself by doing meditation, yoga and other things that nurture my body and soul, opening myself to what comes to me naturally. Of course this is the way things would unfold according to my preference…but I’m still enjoying meeting people and the male attention in the meantime.

So I’ll stay online for a bit longer, see what happens and nurture myself enough to ensure I don’t allow myself to get too fatigued with the whole thing.

Meanwhile, I’m off to dream up a money honey — should he look like Dennis Quaid in The Rookie? Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man? The Jake Ryan character from Sixteen Candles? Max? At any rate, he’ll be gorgeous, I’ll treat him with love and respect, we’ll adore each other completely!

a lesson in abundance

I was turned on to a recording by Dov Baron the other day, and one of the concepts he talked about was so simple, so memorable and so powerful that I felt compelled to share it with my children, and now with you:

Imagine you’re here with me in my living room. I’m pulling money out of my pocket. I take a bill and hold it up. You see that it’s a $100 bill.

“How much is this worth?” I ask you.

You say, “one hundred dollars.”

Right. So, I ask “How much would it be worth if I took it to the bank?”

You answer, “$100.”

And I ask:  “How about if I took it to a restaurant? A clothing store? To Target? To a gas station?”

It’s still worth $100.

What if I threw it on the ground and stomped on it?


What if I crumpled it up? What if I cupped the crumpled mess in one hand and used my other fist to hit it? What if I yelled obscenities and insults at it?

It’s still worth $100. Its value hasn’t changed.

That’s how our self-worth must be. We are all worth every bit as much as that first moment we came into this world and our mother and/or father looked into our eyes with love and awe.

So, whether we’ve been hurt, called names, insulted, physically abused, verbally abused, no matter what our boss or co-workers or friends or enemies or neighbors or family members have said, our worth and our value in this world has not changed. We are still precious, miraculous and worthy…and to live with this knowledge is bliss!

Of course, at the end of this lesson, I asked my children how much they are worth.

My son replied knowingly, “Two thousand and three dollars,” for the year (“moment”) of his birth.

I assured him he and his sister are worth much, much more.