I treated myself to a massage for my birthday, and though I had a coupon for 15% off, when I got up to the counter to pay, I left the discount behind and tucked in an extra something special to my tip.
The whole experience was rather curious, because like most people I enjoy special deals and take great care in watching my spending. However, because my day at the spa was something I was giving myself for my birthday and my massage therapist had worked extra hard to provide excellent service, taking that extra 15% off didn't seem to be in spirit of the experience but heaping a huge tip on top felt like I was spreading sunshine.
A couple days later as I popped into Whole Foods and gathered myself a gigantic bowl of goodness from their salad bar, I pondered how to get Hint Jewelry off life support from a slow sales month and the idea that cash flow starts with me. To engage in the giving and receiving of goods in a healthy way, I'm the one who has to uncover the hidden blocks to my cash flow. I'm ground zero.
Thinking back to my massage, I saw that if I felt an experience had fulfilled everything I was wanting and even more, I was willing to pay top dollar and throw in something extra to make someones day equally special. Looking at my $13 bowl of salad for lunch, I noticed that if a business was able to take care of something that I didn't have time or materials to do for myself, I'm willing to pay whatever total comes up at the cash register.
For me, there is a lot of personal guilt wrapped up in receiving money -- a sense that I don't deserve as much as I am given. However, if I use the experience of the massage and the salad bar in terms of Hint Jewelry, then I am starting to see that I provide a service that fulfills someones need as well as a product that they probably didn't have the experience, time, or materials to do for themselves. It seems so simple and positive when I put it to myself like that, but in all honestly this concept is a big mental leap for me.
I decided to go one step further with my salad bowl and map out what my $13 at Whole Foods actually bought me. Beyond fuel to keep me going throughout the day, my money contributed to the salaries of Whole Foods' employees and their lives. Their money in turn goes to the taxes they pay, the government employees and teachers they keep in jobs, the education of their children, their contributions to charities, their spending on goods and services, etc. I could go through the same process with local farmers and ranchers that supply Whole Foods their goods. Are you seeing the endless amount of people and organizations I am touching with my contribution of $13 to the cause of being here together?
Connecting on an emotional level with the impact my $13 has on the bigger picture is keeping me in the spending cycle. It's easy to withdraw from the flow of cash that is happening out there when times get tough, so I'm trying to spend my money in the places that I most want to nurture and keep as vibrant as possible -- yoga, healthy food, museums, and charities. I'm also learning to see that the money I spend isn't simply about getting my needs met but more importantly offers sustenance for a community.
I hope you'll find yourself sharing your wealth with the places you want to see grow.