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Welcome To Silvia’s 60 Second Wealth Creators!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


You have now at your fingertips the first 30 days of a course like no other – this WILL make you work smarter, harder, more focused, more creatively and it will exercise your mind as well. The exercises in this project will reduce stress, help you stay on track with your daily tasks, give you new ideas and just sometimes, they will even make you smile!

There are 30 different exercises, all of which can be done in one minute or less, which will help you stay on track to create your own personal wealth in its widest definition. This is one exercise a day, and if you keep to that programme, you have here a custom made prosperity course in which YOUR mind, YOUR body, YOUR heart and YOUR business is what we are talking about, and what we are dealing with at all times.

To get the best from this project, I encourage you to read through each exercise, one a day, and simply have a go. Not every exercise will suit everyone, of course, but it is true that in attempting these exercises, especially the ones which may feel a little unusual at first, we really do expand our minds, flex our capabilities and get smarter as we go along. You will find that after a short time, many of the “mental moves” will become much easier to do. Your “vision” will improve; your clarity and your focus, and many things besides.

The second important strand to this course are the stress releasing aspects of many of the techniques. All exercises have a focus on true wealth, but they are also designed to calm us down and help us think more logically, more reasonably and more clearly.

This is very important, especially for long term wealth and security, and much more so than most people will ever realise.

The third aspect of these exercises is to develop your strength of mind and a flexible, responsive attitude to the circumstances in which you find yourself. This is priceless and one of the main features that those who find true wealth and happiness in their lives have in common.

Every so often, you will find an exercise that will really set you alight. I suggest you make a note of those exercises and practise them more often.

Make these exercises a part of your life. Allow them to support you, to help you, to encourage you in moments of doubt. Keep them close by and use them to find YOUR own true wealth, in every way. I wish nothing more than that, for you.

And now, and as time waits for no man or woman, let’s get started right away with the first of our 30 daily 60 second exercises.

money wallpaper

Enjoy yourself!

Dr Silvia Hartmann, Author,
The 60 Second Wealth Creators

Getting Started

Before we get started with our newest project, I think it would be a good idea to make note of our goals and aspirations for the next 30 days. Here are some questions to consider.
  1. What would you like to accomplish?
  2. How will you know this project was a success?
  3. How are your finances right now today?
  4. Where would you like them to be at the end of the 30 days?
  5. Is there a project or a goal that you'd like to complete?
  6. What does prosperity mean to you?

I'd like to encourage every one to post answers to these questions. If you take the time to comment here today, it will be easier to log your success at the end of the 30 days of our "quickie" prosperity techniques. You can be as vague or as specific as you'd like.

As promised, here's our first desktop wallpaper. Click on the image to enlarge it, then right click and save to your computer. As always, if you have any problems acquiring the image, let me know, and I'll do my best to help.

We've got a poll!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

As promised, I've posted a poll. You'll find it in the sidebar down towards the bottom of the page. What we are voting on is our June and July projects. The one that gets the most votes will be our June project, the runner up will be our July. You can vote for as many as you like. The choices are as follows:

1. Ask angels to help us. Is it possible to enlist angelic aid in our projects and our finances? Do angels help us create prosperity in our lives? I'd like to find out.

2. Real stories about real people. Maybe it's time to take a look at real stories about real people who have started from nothing and created affluence. How did they do it? Could their techniques work for me? I'd like to find out.

3. The Energy of Money. This is a great book with a huge resource of tasks and activities to help sort out and rectify personal issues with regard to money. Do the techniques work? Can we use this book to create a flow of money energy in our lives? I'd like to find out.

4. Creating Work You Love. Another cool book with exercises and ideas specifically targeted at helping to create lives that are interesting, fulfilling, and financially satisfying. What if we actually worked on the ideas presented? Would we be able to create work that we love? Jobs we enjoy? I'd like to find out.

5. The Science of Getting Rich. This little book is a classic. Written back in the early 1900's, it's the basis for "The Secret" and a number of other prosperity books and methods. Will it work for you? Would you like to find out?

6. Creative Visualization. Almost all of the prosperity books available today stress some form of creative visualization. It does seem to be important to have a really clear vision of what it is that you'd like to create. Would a 30 day focus on honing our visualization techniques bring us increased prosperity? Success in our endeavors? I'd like to find out.

The poll will be open until May 20th. If you have any suggestions you'd like for us to consider for future projects, we'd love to hear them.

Sixty Seconds to Wealth and Riches!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Introducing our next project. For the month of May, we'll be working with Silvia Hartmann’s 60 Second Wealth Creators. Daily exercises for wealth and prosperity. Each exercise only takes 60 seconds, and will give us a great way to start the day. How cool is that?

This is offered as a FREE download provided by Dragon Rising, and is actually a sample of her book of 365 Daily Exercises For Wealth. I'm hoping she won't mind too much if we play with the first 30 exercises.

In addition to the exercises, I also found some really cool wealth inspiring desktop wallpapers. We'll have a new one every day. (The image I used to illustrate this post is a sample. If you like it, you download it by clicking on the image to enlarge it, and then right click and save it to your computer. It can then be "set" as desktop wallpaper.) If you have any questions about the wallpapers, let me know, and I'll do my best to help.

I'm hoping that you guys are up for joining me on this one. It looks to be a fun and easy project. Who doesn't have 60 seconds to devote to becoming more prosperous? Not only that, there's free desktop wallpaper! Is this irresistible or what?

We're going to:

Get Cool,
Get Smart,

Giving For Prosperity - Project Summary

Deeds of giving are the very foundation of the world.
~The Torah

Here is an overview of our 30 Day Giving for Prosperity project. This post provides links to pertinent aspects of this project, so that you won't have to sift through the archives. To find out more about this project, you can read this post to see why we thought giving would be a good idea.

If you would like to try this project for yourself, you could start on Day One - Taking Inventory and then continue on through Day Thirty - Giving - How'd we do?. Or, you could browse through the posts and work the project in no particular order.

This is an active blog, and if you post, we will notice and reply. We love to hear what other people have to say about what we're doing. So feel free to post your thoughts, ideas, results, joys and disappointments as you go. If you have questions or issues, we'd be happy to also give you the benefit of our own experience and our support if it seems pertinent or appropriate. Our only stipulation is that you not post anonymously, and that the comments be appropriate to either the project or the subject at hand.

Even though we love you, comment spam is deleted when discovered. In other words, don't just comment as a way to talk about your website or promote your product unless you are using our techniques to create prosperity in those areas. If you have used one of the techniques discussed, we'd love to hear how it worked for you.

Individual comments and feedback on our results can be found here: Winding Down. You will find complete listing of the day by day links at the bottom of this post.

We do have a recommended reading list if you are interested in expanding your understanding. I don't know how up to date it is, but there are plenty of really good books listed. Feel free to add titles and authors that you would recommend. There is also a collection of our favorite affirmations, prayers, poems, and etc. Or you can just go to Way Cool Quotes and find a bunch more.

As promised, here is the complete listing of all the posts for our 30 days of Giving for Prosperity:

  1. Our Big Give
  2. Taking Inventory
  3. The Greatest Gift
  4. On Giving by Kahlil Gibran
  5. The Law of Giving and Receiving
  6. Receiving
  7. The Giving Game
  8. Stories of Giving and Transformation
  9. The Road To Hell
  10. Giving Freely
  11. Giving Too Much
  12. The Secret to Living is Giving
  13. Something we can all do today!
  14. Giving and Debt
  15. What's missing?
  16. The Art and Science of Giving
  17. St Theresa's Prayer
  18. The Giving Zone
  19. Giving is Love
  20. A Giving Spell for Prosperity
  21. My Dialoge With John Chow
  22. Solace In Service
  23. Giving Blood
  24. What my sister thinks
  25. 3 Tips to Giving Intelligently
  26. Giving Makes You Rich
  27. Tithing
  28. It's a hold up!
  29. The Secret to Living is Giving
  30. The Magic Law Of Return
  31. Winding Down
  32. Giving - How'd we do?

Sorry Guys!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm sorry for the hold up. I've been spinning my wheels this week.


Tomorrow I'm going to get totally caught up here. We'll have a poll so that we can decide what our upcoming projects will be, and I'll also be posting the summary for the project we just completed.

Next Monday I'm leaving for Texas to spend two weeks visiting family. It occured to me that a good project for this busy time might be a series prosperity quickies. Each of which can be done in 60 seconds or less. I also have a nice collection of really cool money desktop wallpapers. It occured to me that it just might be fun to keep money on our desktops, and do some quick little prosperity exercises every day. I hope this is OK with everyone. I'm thinking of starting it on May 1st.

This way we can have several weeks to vote on our next "in depth" project, and I'll have time to plan for it. I really think the "giving" project would have been a much more rewarding project if it had more well thought out. So, I'd like to give myself adequate time to plan our next one.

How does this sound?

Giving - How'd we do?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Well, I have to say that I am really disappointed in this project, and judging from the lack of enthusiasm for posting our results, I don't think I'm alone in that feeling.

One thing that occured to me yesterday was that this project wasn't organized in the best way. Yes, I posted lots of articles on giving, but I never really found a good rhythm of what to talk about, or what to do, so one of the problems was a lack of focus. It might have been way different if we had "adopted" someone and focused all of our giving efforts in the same place for the same cause... etc. We could at least then be able to pat ourselves on the backs and say... well at least we did "such and so" and it was good.

I did upload a few odds and ends today to finish out the project. And I cannot tell you how happy I am to be done with this one! In the next couple of days I'll be posting the "end of project" summary, and I'll also be putting up a poll, and begin talking about ideas for upcoming projects, and where do we want to go with the prosperity project next.

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Blessings to you all.
You are appreciated more than you know!

Winding Down

Monday, April 21, 2008

We are almost to the end of our current project on giving. It's time to begin to take stock of the last 30 days so that we can share our insights and experiences, our opinions and our ideas with anyone else who might be tempted to work toward prosperity through giving.

Talk to me guys:

  1. Do you believe that giving is an avenue to prosperity?
  2. What did you give during the last 30 days?
  3. What did you receive in return?
  4. Is your financial situation improved? the same? even worse than before?
  5. Did you find this project to be easy? hard? interesting? boring? fun? excruciating?
  6. What else would you like to say?

I do have a few more posts on giving that I'll be sharing in the next few days. And I'm working on a poll so that we can decide what our next project will be. If anyone has any ideas of what they'd like to focus on, I'm all ears.

The Magic Law Of Return

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Do things really return threefold to you in magic ...?

Ever Mind The Rule Of Three
Three Times Your Acts Return To Thee
This Lesson Well, Thou Must Learn
Thou Only Gets What Thee Dost Earn.

How does that "Law Of Return" (Law of three, rule of three) work? And what does it mean?

It's simple, really.

These different planes HAVE DIFFERENT LAWS OF NATURE.

Only one of these planes is the Hard. But it is NOT the only one. In the Hard, when you give someone your banana, you DON'T HAVE A BANANA ANYMORE.

That's a fact according to that plane.

On a different plane, one which is functioning according to different laws of nature, when you give your energy banana to someone, you open up from your end a banana corridor or banana funnel which remains open until you close it and through which banana energy will come TO you as well as from you.

So now, if you want to do something that is known as "a totality endeavour" aka acting in accord, you do a metaphorical act IN THE HARD to represent the opening of the banana funnel on the energy plane in order to try and "balance the planes", make a connection between the planes, so they function together and in harmony as the creative order intended it to be and how it used to work before humans with their fledgling consciousnesses got in the way.

So you paint a banana on a piece of paper and chuck in the sea, or hang it on the wall, to make that transfer declaration appear in the Hard as well, using your hard hands and hard objects.

The banana picture would be known as a symbol and the actions are the ritual.

As to the law (rule) of "three", I hold it that this is a spurious number and not necessarily an exact number as it is very difficult to measure just how many "buckets of water" flow by in the brook at any given time.

I believe that this law of three was a teaching device, short hand or metaphor to get the gist across that when you do things magically, the same things start to flow in your direction automatically and exponentially MORE (to the power of 3, at least!) than you put out, because you're only opening a connection, not trading in some tit for tat market place in the Hard.

The Law Of Three - The Rule of Three - The Magic Law Of Return - The Modern Version

I would re-state that law of three (rule of three, law of return) for modern people to say:

1. Remember that when you throw out anything on the energy planes, it is not a single stone but opens a corridor, like a time lapse photograph of infinite stones that form in fact a funnel. These funnels are bi-directional in nature so as soon as the funnel is open, you get more (of the same) than you originally gave flowing right back to you and this will continue until you actively close the funnel from your side.

2. The act of "giving" is what makes that bridge to another energy field. You can't open a funnel by trying to take, or by sitting around hoping for one to appear at random and then try to jump on it.

3. Remember that information streams through these bridges so this can be used for learning about anything and anyone - in return for a gift.

4. It is entirely up to you WHAT exactly it is that you are giving, because that sets what you will learn more about (in theory and in practice!), WHAT you will experience more of, and WHAT it will be you have more of flowing towards you.

5. WHAT is given sets the exchange and outcome - not why it was given or any of the usual human contortions, excuses or reasonings, or even lies and deceptions. Those things don't exist in these realms.

6. These information bridges are entirely systemic and entirely structural in nature, and they can be made to anything at all, not only things that have representations in the Hard, or just people, or just animals, or just objects. They are also not time bound because in the realms of their existence, there is no linear time.

7. Once one has a contact with any system through the means of this information bridge, one may change that other system, but one is also changed through the contact with it at the same time, and to the same degree as to the completeness of that information bridge. When it is complete, there is no longer any distinction between the one, and the other.

Now that's ... MAGIC!

© The Law Of Three - The Rule of Three - The Magic Law Of Return SFX - Silvia Hartmann 2004

The Secret to Living is Giving

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The secret to living is giving. One way to judge a person is by what they say. A better way is by what they do. The best way is by what they give.

Charles Spurgeon said, "Feel for others - in your wallet." An Indian proverb says, "Good people, like clouds, receive only to give away." Whatever good happens in your life is not so you can keep it all to yourself. Part of it is intended to be given to others. I agree with E.V. Hill when he says, "Whatever God can get through you, He will get to you."

The book of Acts says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Giving is always the thermometer of our love for others. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die." If you have, give. If you lack, give.

Selfishness always ends in self-destruction. John Ruskin said, "When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package." Henry Drummond said, "There is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving." The test of generosity is not necessarily how much you give but how much you have left. Henry Thoreau said, "If you give money, spend yourself with it." What you give, lives.

It's a hold up!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Apparently I have exceeded the bandwidth at one of my (soon to be former) image hosting accounts, My Other Drive. Interestingly, there is no place - I repeat not one place where a person can see that they are even getting close to exceeding said bandwidth. So, I had no clue. I haven't even used 25% of my storage space there...

I suppose this was to be expected, considering how popular the picture blogs are, and naturally, I would discover the situation an hour before I have to leave for work! I did do some "damage" control by pulling as many affected posts as I could find. Don't worry, they're not gone for good, I'm just saving them in draft form while I work to get the images uploaded to more reliable host site... probably Flickr or Slide.

So, please be patient. If you find a post with a little red x instead of an image, I'd love it if you'd leave a comment so that I can add it to the list of posts to redo.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

We haven't talked about the subject of tithing yet, and I'm curious to know what your beliefs and habits are when it comes to the idea of giving a percentage of your income.

  • Do you tithe?
  • If so, who do you tithe to?
  • How much do you usually give?
  • Do you tithe from your gross income? or your net?
  • What do you think about tithing?
  • Is it a "good" thing to do?
  • Does it bring prosperity?
  • Have any other opinions on the subject?

My own idea of tithing is this. I think I need to tithe to ME. If I put 10% of even my net income into savings, that would be awesome! I could call it my "soul food" money and spend it on what feeds me spiritually.

I also have this other really cool idea that if everyone on the planet, including corporations and governments were to tithe 10% of their land back to nature. Leave it untouched and sacred... how different life on earth would be. I have 6.5 acres of land, and I do keep a portion of it untouched. We so often forget all the other little lives that depend on green spaces and wild natural places.

I'm not sure how something like this would work in an apartment... but I am sure that a person who was committed to the idea could figure something out.

Anyway... those are my thoughts for today. What are yours?

Giving Makes You Rich

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

According to Arthur C. Brooks, giving makes you rich. Here's the article. It's a little dry, but I did want to get it posted as part of this month's project.

In John Bunyan's 1684 classic The Pilgrim's Progress, the character Old Honest poses this riddle to the innkeeper Gaius: "A man there was, tho' some did count him mad, / The more he cast away, the more he had." Gaius solves the riddle thus: "He that bestows his Goods upon the Poor / Shall have as much again, and ten times more."

Less poetically, the idea is this: Giving makes you rich. A lovely sentiment, to be sure, but quite backward-sounding to an economist. You obviously have to have money before you can give it away, right? Or in the pithy words of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, "No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions--he had money too."

Well, it turns out that Gaius was right, and new economic research backs him up. Emerging evidence--crunchy statistics from real data, not the mushy self-help stuff--supports the contention that giving stimulates prosperity, for both individuals and nations. Charity, it appears, can really make you rich.

People do give more when they become richer--research has shown that a 10 percent increase in income stimulates giving by about 7 percent--but people also grow wealthier when they give more.

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The United States is a remarkably charitable nation. The Giving U.S.A. Foundation estimates that Americans donated nearly $300 billion to charity in 2006--more than the gross domestic product (the annualized value of goods and services produced within a nation) of all but 33 countries in the world. More than three-quarters of this came from private individuals. Additional research suggests that between 65 and 85 percent of Americans give to charities each year.

How does all this generosity relate to our high average levels of prosperity? Let's begin with individuals and families. The Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, completed in 2000, is a survey of about 30,000 people in more than 40 communities across the U.S. and is the best single source of data available on the civic participation of Americans. The S.C.C.B.S., which takes into account differences in education, age, race, religion, and other personal characteristics, shows that people who give charitably make significantly more money than those who don't. While that seems like common sense, it turns out that the link in the data between giving and earning is not just one-way. People do give more when they become richer--research has shown that a 10 percent increase in income stimulates giving by about 7 percent--but people also grow wealthier when they give more.

How do we know this? When two variables like giving and income are interrelated, economists use something called an instrumental variable to see which is pushing and which is pulling. In a nutshell, that means selecting something that's closely related to donations but not directly to income, like volunteering. Volunteers tend to be money givers and vice versa because of the same charitable impulse. But income doesn't always directly affect volunteering. (While people have differing amounts of money, they all have the same amount of time.)

We start by predicting how much money people would donate based on how much they volunteer, regardless of income. This projection essentially strips out the role of income in giving. Next, see if that predicted donation level correlates with income. If it does and the correlation is positive, it means that giving pushes up income and not just vice versa.

This is precisely what is found in the S.C.C.B.S. data: More giving doesn't just correlate with higher income; it causes higher income. And not just a little. Imagine two families that are identical in size, age, race, education, religion, and politics. The only difference is that this year the first family gives away $100 more than the second. Based on my analysis of the S.C.C.B.S. survey, the first family will, on average, earn $375 more as a result of its generosity.

How can this be? Is it a statistical anomaly--or even a metaphysical phenomenon? While the link between giving and prosperity is not as mechanistic as returns on municipal bonds, there are some very earthbound explanations for it. Psychologists and neuroscientists have identified several ways that giving makes us more effective and successful. For example, new research from the University of Oregon finds that charity stimulates parts of the brain called the caudate nucleus and the nucleus accumbens, which are associated with meeting basic needs such as food and shelter--suggesting to the researchers that our brains know that giving is good for us. Experiments have also found that people are elevated by others into positions of leadership after they are witnessed behaving charitably.

The financial advantages of giving aren't limited to individual givers. There is also evidence that donations push up income even more at the level of an entire nation's economy. We can demonstrate this by looking at average household charity and per capita G.D.P. as they change over time. Charity and G.D.P. levels have moved together over the years. Corrected for inflation and population changes, U.S. government data show that G.D.P. per person in America has risen over the past 50 years by about 150 percent. At the same time, donated dollars per person have risen by about 190 percent.

These trends by themselves don't tell us which force is pushing and which is pulling, however. To figure that out, we need to determine whether past values of one affect future values of the other. By using a method called vector autoregression, economists can see how changes in this year's G.D.P. are affected by past values of both G.D.P. and charity. If an increase in last year's charity levels correlates with a jump in this year's G.D.P., it is logical to conclude that donating is stimulating the economy.

As in the case of individual income, the evidence is that increases in G.D.P. and giving mutually reinforce each other: Economic growth pushes up charitable giving, and charitable giving pushes up economic growth. Data from the Statistical Abstract of the United States and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University provide examples: In 2004, $100 in extra income per American drove about $1.47 in additional charitable giving per person. At the same time, $100 in giving stimulated more than $1,800 in increased G.D.P. This rate of social return shows that economic-multiplier effects are not limited to private investment. In short, giving plays a positive role in American economic growth. It is a good investment for our country. Some might even go so far as to say that donating to charity is a patriotic act.

Arthur C. Brooks for American Enterprise Institute.

3 Tips to Giving Intelligently

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tip 1 - Give some thought and do some planning before you give to others.

You probably would not want to give to a person with criminal intentions. Also it would not be wise to give freely to a child who is spoiled and demanding. A valuable exercise is to write on a piece of paper who you give to, what you give, and what benefits or detriments they receive.

Tip 2 - Discover what you like to give to others.

If people repeatedly ask you to do things for them that you dislike doing, you are probably going to end up feeling unhappy about giving those things. You might even feel like a martyr about it. Martyrs are miserable people who make others miserable.

Discover what you like to give that is beneficial to others and give it. Success both personally and professionally is formed when you learn this habit.

Tip 3 - When you give, make sure it is something that is wanted by the recipient.

If we are giving something to people that they don't want, it could be a waste of time, effort or money. For example, we may give a gift to someone, and it is not needed by them. Another example, is talking to someone about something that they have no interest in. Make sure what you give is of value to the recipient.

~from Bruce Painter

What my sister thinks

Monday, April 14, 2008

My sister made this comment in an email the other day. I'm posting it here because I'd be interested to hear what you all have to say about it. Do you think she's right? Wrong? Is there anything you'd like to add? subtract?

When you asked what’s missing, it occurred to me you just can’t give to get because that isn’t really giving at all – it’s more a function of trying to get... I guess I’m not sure that giving is a workable strategy for getting wealth, although I do see how selfless giving has unbelievable rewards. Does that make sense?

Giving Blood

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I've been thinking about this giving thing, and it occured to me that possibly some of us (myself included) are thinking of giving in terms of giving money or "stuff" when maybe, it's sufficient and good to give attention, compassion, nonjudgment, smiles, hugs, appreciation, and those kinds of "things."

Giving Blood

I firmly believe that we need to share our good, but you don't ask a person who is hemoraging to donate blood, nor do you ask this of a person who is sick or in a weakened condition. We need to give from our strengths, from our fullness.

Which brings me to the following questions:

  1. What are your strengths?
  2. What is your fullness - what are you rich in?
  3. What do you most like to give?
  4. Are you generous with your attention, your compassion, your open heart?
  5. What (who) do you devote the bulk of your time and energy to?
  6. When do you give to yourself first? How do you take care of you?

That picture, by the way, is a photograph of the very first blood transfusion. More details can be found at Flickr where the image is hosted. And on a side note, if you are healthy why not consider giving blood? Here's a link to the Red Cross to find out more.

Solace In Service

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I found this article at the Daily Om, and it seemed appropriate for this project, so here it is. Enjoy!

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Doing For Others

When we feel bad, often our first instinct is to isolate ourselves and focus on what’s upsetting us. Sometimes we really do need some downtime, but many times the best way to get out of the blues quickly is to turn our attention to other people. In being of service to others, paradoxically, we often find answers to our own questions and solutions to our own problems. We also end up feeling more connected to the people around us, as well as empowered by the experience of helping someone.

When we reach out to people we can help, we confirm that we are not alone in our own need for support and inspiration, and we also remind ourselves that we are powerful and capable in certain ways. Even as our own problems or moods get the better of us sometimes, there is always someone else who can use our particular gifts and energy to help them out. They, in turn, remind us that we are not the only people in the world with difficulties or issues. We all struggle with the problems of life, and we all feel overwhelmed from time to time, but we can almost always find solace in service.

In the most ideal situation, the person we are helping sheds light on our own dilemma, sometimes with a direct piece of advice, and sometimes without saying anything at all. Sometimes just the act of getting our minds out of the obsessive mode of trying to figure out what to do about our own life does the trick. Many great inventors and artists have found that the inspiration they need to get to the next level in their work comes not when they’re working but when they’re walking around the block or doing dishes. We do ourselves and everyone else a great service when we take a break from our sorrows and extend ourselves to someone in need.

My Dialoge With John Chow

Friday, April 11, 2008

I found this post at, The title of it is: It's not how much you make, it's how much you give. My original intention was to post a few excerpts and a link, but as I was reading through it, I realized it might be more interesting to post the article in it's entirety - along with my own comments and observations. So, here goes:

Many people ask me how much I make on the Internet. My blog income recap is always one of the most popular posts of the month.

This is because we'd all like to make that much money, it gives other bloggers and Internet wanna-be entrepreneurs hope. (Here's a link to the post on his March income - if you're curious).
I guess I can’t really blame people for asking.

Actually, John, you want people to ask because us coming to see how much you've made is how you make your money... a sweet little set up to be sure. We want to see how you do what you do, so we sign up for your affiliate programs, copy your template, and leave comments. We talk about you and raise your Google ranking, we link to you and pay for advertising on your blog. It's all about you and how much you make... so of course you can't blame people for asking... you want us to ask!
Most of us equate success with how much money you make. However, I think the true measure of success is not how much you make, it’s how much you give.

And of course, the more you make, the more there is to give... it's a catch 22.
You Can’t Take It With You

OK duh!
While it’s great to have a bunch of fancy toys, you have to keep in mind that you can’t take it with you when your time comes and God isn’t going to judge you based on how many fancy cars you drove.

Another duh! And, actually, you sound like you are bragging a little bit here! Letting us know that you do have a lot of fancy toys and cool cars and other luxury stuff.

My first responsibility to my wife and family. After they’re taken care of, I feel we have a duty to help others in need. I used to like accumulating toys (I still do) but now I find much more fulfillment and pleasure in matching donations to worthy causes.

Alright, so I get it, you're a family guy, a good guy and you have so much stuff that now you are feeling good about donating to worthy causes. You're a philanthropist and a family man who incidentally has lots of cool expensive toys. Hurray for you.
How would you like to be remember; as someone with a lot of toys or as someone who made a difference in the world? You can say what you want about Bill Gates but when he goes, he will be known as one of the greatest humanitarians who’ve ever lived.

So, John, are you a Bill Gates wanna be? And, again, another duh! We all want to make a difference in the world and we all want a lot of toys.
The true measure of a man is not how much he makes, it’s how much he gives.

And again, may I point out that if we are talking about monetary giving - how much you make has a definite impact on how much you can give.

You Have To Give In Order To Get
Now we're down to the heart of the matter. This is what our prosperity project is about this time around, testing to see if this is really a true statement or not.
I’m really fortunate that the Internet has not only provided me with a way to provide for my family, it has also provided me with the means to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Don’t get me wrong, I like buying fancy sport cars as much as the next guy. However, in order to have those fancy things, you have to give first.

Shut up already about the fancy toys and the Internet income.
This is something many people have a hard time understanding but it is a universal truth. The best way to explain the concept is with this quote:

If you want to live with masses, serve the classes.
If you want to live with the classes, serve the masses.

I have a definite issue here. For one thing, if you are going to admit to quoting someone, (this is actually your 3rd quote), you might at least share the source of said quote. And another thing, I deeply resent the "masses - classes" concept. What a derogatory statement. Am I one of the faceless masses just because I don't have fancy toys and a $100,00+ Internet income? Am I "less than" because I have "less than" you?
If You Want To Live with The Classes, Serve The Masses

OK, rub it in some more...
If you look at any successful businesses, you’ll see that they serve a lot of people. The more they serve, the richer they get. Google serves millions of web surfers everyday. Walmart serves more customers than any store in the world. They’re among the richest companies in the world. The rich got rich because they serve the masses. The masses being their customers, employees, shareholders, etc. The poor are poor because they serve the classes (their boss). The more you serve, the richer you become.
Excuse me? Walmart? Serve? They got rich because they had something that other people want. Walmart got rich because they take advantage of 3rd world economics. They routinely screw their employees around, they are all about their bottom line. A certain amount of PR is done to ensure that the "masses" see them in a positive light, but push come to shove, Walmart is here for Walmart - not for me and not even for you.

As for Google... you might have a point there. I personally love Google (this blog is courtesy of Google) they do serve the masses (me) and they also serve the classes (you). Google serves everyone and in return, they make money hand over fist. What's great about Google is that much of what they provide is given freely. And the "classes" (that would be you?) pay to be listed first and featured most on those freely given services.

You attract what you give out. If you give out negative vibes, you’ll get negative vibes back. If you want people to smile at you, just smile at them. If you want love, give your love.
No arguments from me here. I believe this to be true. I have experienced it.
If you want money, give your money. It will all come back to you in greater amounts than you gave.
Here's where I'd like to see your personal financial statements proving this theory. Because I don't believe it at all. I could go out right now and give all my money away. And then what? I wouldn't have any money, that's what. Now, if I channeled all my resources, my energy, my passion into a "worthy" cause... then, yes, I agree. It would come back but not to me, it would come back THROUGH me for that "worthy" cause.

So, the question comes... what constitutes a "worthy" cause? In my opinion, anytime a person or persons has a passion a surge of creative intensity, a drive that transcends the ordinary - regardless of the specifics - there you have a "worthy" cause. for example. You had passion for it, you channeled your resources, your energy, and now it's a thriving financial success. Or Mother Theresa, she channeled her resources, her energy, and created something pretty amazing. And what about The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, now there was passion, energy, resources, and look what happened with that! Everyone gave 120% and they created something spectacular.
When you donate to worthwhile causes, you are serving the masses. You serve enough of the masses, you will live with the classes.

Bullshit! (Sorry - but that's what I think). Again, "masses" ?? "classes" ?? I'm wondering, do you have a donation button on your site? Something new that you get a small kick back on?


OK, that was fun! So, what do you guys think? Any insights or comments? Do you read John Chow?

A Giving Spell for Prosperity

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Money is energy and to keep the money energy going into your pockets, you should understand how motion plays an important role in the money that flows toward you. Life teaches us that nothing ever stays the same - the essence of life is energy and energy creates change constantly. In order to keep money flowing in towards you, you should keep it moving in a forward direction.

For this spell, you need:

  • 5 one dollar bills
  • 5 stones (Smoky quartz, aventurine, citrine or garnet, you can use all the same stone or a mixture of the above stones).
  • sea salt
  • money bag

Do this spell on any Thursday.

Place the dollar bills where the sun will shine on them part of the day. (Put them on foil or plastic wrap). Put one stone on each bill. Sprinkle salt over the bills and stones. Leave the bills and stones until they have received at least 3 hours of sun. Shake off the salt onto the foil or plastic wrap. Toss the salt out of the door you use the most in your home. Put all the bills and stones in the bag.

On the following 4 Thursdays spend one of the dollar bills for anything that you would usually buy (a newspaper, lunch, bus token, etc). On that day. give one of the stones to someone (a loved one, friend or even a stranger) and tell him or her, "This is a lucky stone to keep money flowing to you. Please keep for awhile and then pass it on to someone."

Keep the 5th dollar bill and stone in the bag in your purse or pocket for one year and then spend the dollar and give the stone away.

All the money you need will flow to you!!!

Copyright © 2006
This spell may be reprinted if credit is given.

Giving is Love

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Giving is an expression of our love. We give in many ways with our supportive words, our listening, attention and giving of our time and of course through material giving too. Giving materially, emotionally and physically is the glue that holds people together and is a way to renew our love for one another, create lasting cherished memories, deepen relationships and create psychological health and happiness for ourselves!

The Giving Zone

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How to Use the Power of Giving To Make Your Professional and Personal Dreams Come True

By Bruce Painter

What actually got me started on this subject was the fact that as a child and young adult, I had a lot of difficulty and even suffered pain when it came to being able to give effectively. I gave too much to some people. This included giving too much time, too much effort, too much attention, etc. – and at times I resented the people to whom I had given. Sometimes I gave too little to others, and they were unhappy with me. Sometimes I gave people what they didn’t want, and then they became upset.

In other words, I did not have much “Giving Intelligence” – the ability to give others what they want, and, at the same time, to get what you want. Giving Intelligence also includes the ability to choose correctly to whom to give, knowing what to give, and also how much to give.

In consulting with people for over three decades, I have found that the majority of people have difficulty being able to give effectively.

Ask yourself these three questions:
  1. Do I give too much to others – my children, my family, and my friends – and then end up resenting them?

  2. When I resent them, do I then hold back on giving any more to them?

  3. Do I sometimes give people what they don’t want – or do people sometimes give me what I don’t want?

How you answer these and other questions helps indicate your degree of Giving Intelligence. Being intelligent is doing the most important things you can be doing in your life.

When you have highly developed Giving Intelligence, you do the most important things you can. You give others what they want and you also get what you want. This results in a happy life – with great relationships, a successful career, and financial prosperity.

Every moment of your life you are giving, or you are receiving. How well you give, and how well you receive, defines the quality of your life. As you increase your ability to intelligently give and receive freely, you will experience more and more pleasure and happiness in your life.

The process of giving is involved in virtually every human interaction. Without the process of giving, and its counterpart, the process of receiving, nearly everything would be at a standstill. The greatest changes in my life that have affected my success and happiness have had to do with greatly increasing the amount I have given of myself to others. This giving on my part has also most often had a dramatic positive effect on the people to whom I have given.

When I seriously increase how much I give of myself, my world changes to a much better world. I enter into what I call “The Giving Zone” – where life becomes joyful, loving, fun, successful, prosperous, and purposeful. I have used the word “Zone” because many of us have had winning experiences of “being in the zone.” This is the experience athletes hit when everything goes right in their game – a football player, for example, completes nine passes in a row.

“Being in the zone” can also describe the experience of a salesperson who, for example, makes 20 sales in a row and sets a company record. It can also describe the joy of a husband and wife who work to improve their relationship and fall as deeply in love as they were prior to their marriage.

Watch Oprah Winfrey at work as she fully pours her heart out to help transform the lives of the many people she touches. Her supreme ability and desire to give has been a large part of her success and has made her one of the most loved people in America. She lives “in the zone” and is clearly also in The Giving Zone. Mother Teresa was exemplary in her life of giving. She founded and nourished a vast organization of helpers and raised huge sums of money to help multitudes of people. She was certainly a permanent resident in The Giving Zone. Whether it is the superstar athlete who finds self-fulfillment through dedication to a charitable organization, or the business executive who is on a mission to market a product that improves the quality of our lives, the ability to give fully and freely is paramount to maximizing the quality and effectiveness of our lives.

Giving encompasses many areas of our lives, including giving to our family, our friends, our career, our hobbies, our religious organizations, our favorite charities, our pets, and our environment. My life was revolutionized from mediocrity, dreariness, and some selfishness to a heightened sense of accomplishment, happiness, and service. The quality of my marriage, friendships, and career improved. Life became a much more meaningful and exciting adventure.

I believe that when we greatly increase the amount we give, other important character traits will also improve dramatically. A few of these traits may include self-discipline, perseverance, enthusiasm, a hunger for knowledge, and love. For example, when we shift from focusing on ourselves to a passionate focus on a worthy cause, our individual self-discipline will be boosted because of that passionate focus. Another example is, when people shift their focus toward more giving to others, they automatically increase their connectedness to others. Their love and compassion for others also increases.

Because of my own experience and through observing the lives of others, I have come to the following conclusion: When people give passionately and unboundedly in the direction of a chosen purpose, the realization of that purpose will come into fruition at a greatly accelerated rate.

St Theresa's Prayer

Monday, April 07, 2008

I found this lovely prayer in my inbox the other day. And it occured to me that if I could "live" this prayer, all of my angst and uncertainty about giving and receiving would be totally and completely resolved. Enjoy!

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

~Saint Theresa's Prayer

The Art and Science of Giving

Sunday, April 06, 2008

An article on giving by Carmellita M. Brown


One subject most Success Coaches, Abundance Trainers, Holistic Metaphysicians, and Ontology Philosophers hate to mention is the subject of giving. Many feel they are met with total opposition and sometimes resentfulness. Rather than deal with this opposing energy, many in this field of study choose to avoid the subject entirely.

However, there are those of us who intuitively and scientifically know that it is a subject matter that must be addressed in order for all of us in our human experience to truly live abundantly and successfully. To that end, we must know that there is a Universal Law of Giving and Receiving and this is an important component in our power to increase or our power to prosper.

As such, more should be taught on the subject of giving. With more being taught on this subject, fewer people would be taken advantage of through psychological manipulations and more people would be compelled to give.

There is an art and science to giving. As a science giving allows us to receive. And to him, much is given; much is required which makes giving a principle not a privilege. Furthermore, as a science, giving allows the flow of abundance. When we give, we activate divine flow, so therefore, our needs and true desires are met through our giving.

As an art, giving is an inspirational act. When we give with inspiration, we become the vessel for spreading good and therefore good will follow us. Giving as an art breaks the bondage of doubt and frustration in our lives because we have broken doubt and frustration in the life of another in our giving.

What should one give? People should give goodness at every turn. The agent of our goodness could be time, kind words, knowledge, service, or money. But the key is to give something everyday and we will receive after its own kind. For example, when we give time, we find that we have more time to complete tasks and projects in our own lives. When we give kind words, we find that kind words come back to us. When we give knowledge through information, we find that our knowledge also increases. When we give money and service, well, we get more money and service in return.

So, it is in the best interest of all of us who want to live more fruitful and abundant lives to give at every opportunity. See giving as an opportunity and be inspired. After all it is the Universal Law of Giving and Receiving that says in every doctrine or religion: “Give and you will receive.”

Source: Ezine Articles

What's missing?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

So here we are with 16 or 17 days left of this project, and I'm having a really hard time with the whole concept that giving brings prosperity. I'm thinking that I don't really believe in it at all. What I have come to believe is that giving cannot be done without first receiving, that giving is a by-product of receiving, and that giving in and of itself will not make you rich.

That being said, I can't get over the feeling that something about this concept is eluding me. That there is some deeper truth that I'm not quite getting. I look at my parents and I see that they live that lifestyle. Their monthly support consists of gifts and love offerings from people who believe in them and what they do, from people who love them. And as it is given to them, they give it out. I've seen it over and over again. When they see a need, they immediately reach into their pockets to see what they can give - be it money, time, energy, prayer, or stuff.

And when they have a need - it gets met. So there is a reciprocity at work and I see it working, and I have benefited from it (being on the needy end more often than not). I can remember a trip we were on one summer when I was in High School. Every summer we drove here and there visiting the various churches and families who supported us. This particular trip we were on our way to some little place in Kansas, and our car broke down. We ended up in a flea bag motel, complete with mice and a dried condom under the bed. I still remember the look on my mom's face when she found the condom.

So, it's late at night, we have no money, we're in a crappy little motel room, in the middle of nowhere, and our car is broken. I was horribly annoyed that my parents would be so stupid as to get us into such a mess, and as usual, I was not keeping my mouth shut about it.

My mom turned to my dad, and said "So now what do we do?" And he said, "Well, I guess we'll just have to pray about it." Which they did. Right then and there. And I was rolling my eyes the whole time, wondering how I could have possibly ended up being related to such ridiculous people.

Next morning, guess what happens! My dad gets a call from a supporter in Kansas City, turns out he owns a car dealership and is going to give, yes that's right GIVE, us a brand new car. Not only that, but he's going to deliver it.

I may have shared this story when we were doing our "Praying for Prosperity" project. And I'm sharing it again now because it's also a story about giving and receiving. Don Kahan was in a position of giving, he wasn't broke, he wasn't giving us his personal car, he was the owner of the dealership. He was giving from a place of abundance. My parents were in a place of receiving. And they were comfortable receiving because the car wasn't really for "us," it was for God, so that they could do God's work. And they were in a place of peace about it too. Which I think is important.

So, why did that work for them? And why doesn't it seem to work for me? Or does it work for me, and I'm not noticing because I'm too busy rolling my eyes and being skeptical? What am I doing differently? What am I not doing? What's missing? Is there a fundamental truth that hasn't made itself clear. What do you guys think? What are you giving? What are you receiving? Is it working for you? When you read that story, what do you think?

Talk to me guys.

Giving and Debt

Friday, April 04, 2008

Here's a nice little article about giving and debt by April Borbon. It goes along with my belief that giving must be backed up with the wherewithall to give. You can't give what isn't yours, and if you give from a position of lack, or from a position of not having taken care of you first - it will just create problems. As always, I'm curious to read comments, ideas, opinions, and whatever you guys have to say on the subject.

In debt? Credit cards maxed out? Credit score circling the drain? So often when people have a lot of debt, no money and a poor credit rating they are thought of as living extravagantly. People think they must be doing all of the things that one isn't supposed to do with their money such as taking lavish vacations, wasting money on frivolous trinkets or shopping excessively for themselves. A strictly unscientific poll has exposed an explanation for this, and believe it or not, many of these people aren't indulging themselves. Let's call them "those who give too much."

These people indulge everyone except themselves and they make up a sizable population of those suffering from debt. Divorced dads who try to make up for their absence by spending money they don't have on their children. Women who take care of their shiftless boyfriends by paying their fines, child support and car payments, subconsciously knowing they will never recoup a cent. Parents who co-sign for cars, boats, motorcycles, even houses and businesses for their children and get stuck holding the financial bag. Sound familiar?

How do you know if you are one of those who give too much? Consider how you are feeling when you make your purchases. Are you buying out of guilt or so that someone will "love you more"? When looking at your debts, are the majority of the purchases made for someone else? Are people always around to take, take, take but never come around to give back? Do you have a queasy feeling when you are making a purchase or co-signing for a loan because you know you can't afford it, and whether you admit it or not, you know you probably will not be paid back?

Today it's time to stop all of that foolishness. First of all, buying out of guilt is a very temporary fix. If it was a permanent fix, you would have bought something out of guilt and that would have been it. Obviously, it didn't work because you need to keep buying to assuage your guilt. It's time to change tactics for a more permanent solution.

Next take a look at the person you are buying for. They may be cute, charming, charismatic or related but actions speak louder than words. If they often ask you to buy something for them and promise to pay you back but never do, there's your sign. If they are obviously financially irresponsible (late payments, creditors calling, repossessions, etc.), there's your other sign. Stop helping them dig themselves in deeper. Instead of helping, you are actually turning them into a financial cripple.

Finally, there's only three words for co-signing loans, don't do it. If a person needs a co-signer for a loan, they either aren't credit-worthy enough, don't have enough down payment and/or are living beyond their means. Better to teach them financial responsibility by suggesting alternatives to huge loans that they cannot afford.

Believe it or not, after (often stringent) resistance, setting yourself financially straight will pay off for everyone in the long run too. Being debt free and in charge of your life will actually cause others to respect you more. Banishing the guilt and doing what you can and nothing more will cause others to have to stand on their own two (financial) feet. They will also develop more self-esteem and learn financial responsibility, both of which are very good lessons. Finally, remember that if you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others. If you spend all of your money on wants for others, you will be unable to help out during a real crisis when your money is most needed.

Something we can all do today!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hi Guys!
Daniel has been asking for something "to do" and so, Daniel, this is for you:

I have so far made two loans to women in the developing world using a revolutionary new website called Kiva.

My 2nd Kiva Loan

I would like to encourage everyone to go to Kiva's website and lend to someone in the developing world who needs a loan for their business - like raising goats, selling vegetables at market or making bricks. As you can see in the above picture, each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and how they plan to use the loan so you know exactly how your money is being spent - and you get updates letting you know how the entrepreneur is doing. The best part is, when the entrepreneur pays back their loan you get your money back - and Kiva's loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.

The first loan I made has been repaid, so I recycled the money and this loan is to an entrepreneur named Thoun Yan in Cambodia. They still need another $275.00 to complete their loan request of $800.00 (you can loan as little as $25.00!). Help me get this entrepreneur off the ground by clicking on this link to make a loan to Thoun Yan. Or you can find someone else to support. We have an active link in our sidebar, I'm sure you've all seen it by now.

It's finally easy to actually do something about poverty - using Kiva I know exactly who my money is loaned to and what they're using it for. And most of all, I know that I'm helping them build a sustainable business that will provide income to feed, clothe, house and educate their family long after my loan is paid back.

Join me in changing the world - one loan at a time.

The Secret to Living is Giving

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

From John L. Masonwe have these thoughts on giving:

When it comes to giving, are you a person who will stop at nothing?

The secret to living is giving. One way to judge a person is by what they say. A better way is by what they do. The best way is by what they give. Charles Spurgeon said, "Feel for others - in your wallet." An Indian proverb says, "Good people, like clouds, receive only to give away." Whatever good happens in your life is not so you can keep it all to yourself. Part of it is intended to be given to others. I agree with E.V. Hill when he says, "Whatever God can get through you, He will get to you."

The book of Acts says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Giving is always the thermometer of our love for others. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die." If you have, give. If you lack, give.

Selfishness always ends in self-destruction. John Ruskin said, "When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package." Henry Drummond said, "There is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving." The test of generosity is not necessarily how much you give but how much you have left. Henry Thoreau said, "If you give money, spend yourself with it." What you give, lives.

Giving Too Much

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

For some of us, giving is not the issue. We give too much. Here is an article by Angela Neal-Barnett, Ph.D., an Ohio psychologist. who says “Pleasing became the one way of escaping punishment and getting ahead.”

We hyperhelpers are described by a slew of titles—people pleasers, compulsive caregivers, codependents, giveaholics. But a pleaser by any name still feels exhausted. On her list of dirtiest words, no is at the top. She wouldn’t call herself a doormat. By contrast, she’s often the achiever, the healer, the leader—the woman more comfortable granting favors than receiving them.


Why We Do It:

Experts agree that the reasons we fall so easily into this behavior are varied and complex. Among the most common:

To gain acknowledgment. In her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston declared the Black woman “the mule of the world”—strong, yes, but also the most displaced figure in this country’s racial hierarchy. “Often the way Black women counter the sense of invisibility and prove their credibility is to do more than their fair share of the work,” write Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D., in Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America (Perennial). We save the company, save our families, save the community. And then we forget that even a savior needs a spa day.

To comfort our inner child. Neal-Barnett and Wade agree that upbringing is often what separates overgivers from receivers. “Pleasers often parent when they’re young—perhaps because their primary caregiver is ill, on drugs or otherwise unavailable,” says Wade. “Whatever the reason, caregiving gives the child a chance to be close to the parent, to feel necessary and important. She grows up thinking that in order for people to be available to her, she has to take care of them.” Such is the case with Tanya, who was raised by her alcoholic mother. “Our relationships are a dance we use to resolve our unmet childhood needs,” adds Wade.

Renaye, 33, is married to a man she bottle-feeds and burps. “I’m his secretary, I run his errands. I stop what I’m doing to look up things on the Internet for him,” she says.

“Our relationship has always been about his happiness.” Even at work, this office manager is responsible for—surprise—pooper-scooping other people’s messes.

A look back to Renaye’s early days growing up yields a clue as to why: Not only was her mom an overgiver, but also her father was incarcerated for most of Renaye’s childhood. Upon his release, the couple divorced. “Because my dad wasn’t there, I always longed for a man’s presence,” Renaye says. “I wanted the love that my father never gave me.” What she signed up for instead was a lifelong community-service project. She admits that she’s as harried as her own single mother was 25 years ago. “Mom didn’t know how to say no,” Renaye says. “She worked overtime, went to ball games, social activities. Most nights she was exhausted. I’ve grown up to be just like her.”

To counter feelings of worthlessness. Beverly, 44, has finally identified the feelings that led her into a marriage in which she feels overwhelmed and undersupported. She and her husband of six years maintain separate bank accounts, with most of the household expenses paid from hers. Beverly also does most of the caregiving for his 11-year-old twins—sons he had with another woman during a break in their 15-year relationship. “When I was a girl, grown family members would say, ‘How come you aren’t as pretty as your sisters?’ To this day, it bothers me. I wanted to be loved by everyone so much that I did whatever I could to please.”

Robin Norwood, author of Women Who Love Too Much (Pocket Books), believes that childhood incidents like Beverly’s can be the germ of self-abasement. “Very few women who love too much have a conviction, at the core of their being, that they deserve to love and be loved simply because they exist. We work very hard at trying to appear to be good because we don’t believe we are.”

For Beverly, the costs of overgiving have been enormous. As full-time caretaker of her 83-year-old mother (who has had four strokes) and the parent to three children in addition to her husband’s two, she says, “I wake up stressed.” She has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and awaits the results of a screening for breast cancer. “I’m terrified,” says Beverly, whose sister is a breast-cancer survivor. “I’m crying inside. I have no one to talk to. I have never experienced a relationship in which I have been on the receiving end. My kids tell me, ‘Mom, you give too much. You have to stop.’ But this is just who I am.”

Taking Care of You

After a lifetime with automatic pilot set on yes, how do we even warm up our vocal chords to utter the word no? How do we retrain the misusing men, the preying bosses, the mooching friends, the demanding mothers, the financially needy relatives who’ve labeled us Bank of America? “You have to sit with the uncomfortable feelings that will initially come when you leave a partner who has been treating you badly—or when you stop going to your mother’s house every Sunday for dinner,” says Wade, who advises those of us trying to reform to seek help from a professional counselor. “To change a lifestyle. You have to do it a little at a time. Then you have to stand firm in your new choices.”

Neal-Barnett concurs and offers a script. “When someone makes a request of you, ask yourself:

  1. Do I really and truly want to do this?
  2. What are the benefits to me if I say yes—and how will I feel if I do?”

“We have to deal with others with firmness and with love. You might tell someone, ‘I know this might be difficult for you to understand, but I can’t be the kind of mother–employee–wife–friend that I want to be if I continue giving too much.’ And don’t wait until you’re so fed up that you’re screaming.” Talk to your husband, for instance, when the house is clean. Say, “I know I usually clean up after you, but I need to start letting you do it.” To begin, identify one task he can take on—like putting dishes in the dishwasher, suggests Neal-Barnett.

Sherry, 32, had one such conversation with a friend intent on picking through every detail of a recent divorce. “I didn’t want to listen for hours to all the reasons she hates her husband, but I felt suckered into it,” says Sherry. “At times I’ve had to say, ‘I can’t talk to you this week.”

I also found relief in a candid talk — not with a man a continent away, but with myself, the woman who offered up her power to win his love. I don’t have to woo another brother, earn another promotion or bail out another friend to be convinced of what was determined long before I even showed up on the planet: I have value. Inherently. No such certainty can ever be found in the eyes of another.

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