Debt feels overwhelming – it feels out of control – and the fact that a big organisation or authority is quite often in charge really throws people off. I think one of the biggest obstacles is understanding that they don’t own you. They can take your stuff, but they don’t own your soul (cue Braveheart: ‘they cannae take my freedom!) They DO NOT own your power unless you hand it over to them. You have the capacity to negotiate whatever payment works for you, as small as it may seem. Don’t worry if it looks like it will take you 400 years to pay off the debt, because what you can do right now is the most important thing. Life has a way of shifting, constantly, and in six months from now, you may be in a completely different position (or mindset!) and find a way to double or triple the payments you make. This is rooted in huge fear. Let go of all the potential outcomes and focus on what small action you can take right now.
Is debt reduction just a matter of earning more and reducing living expenses, such as moving in with a roommate instead of renting an apt on your own?
That can be part of it, and the more people learn to think outside the box, the better. We don’t always have to own everything – there are so many ways to accept things into your life without the need to own them. Take for instance the housing issue – why not try housesitting? There are numerous international agencies that advertise house sits of different lengths (some for years at a time!). The idea is that you live in someone’s house and look after it for them while they’re away, sometimes taking care of pets and some gardening while you’re at it. What do you get? A free place to stay, utilities paid, etc. There are also a number of websites and groups which are based on the idea of being money-free (by choice). They tell stories of people who’ve lived outside of the current monetary system by offering work or other exchanges for goods, services and housing. There are ways that exist to cut expenses down, and it can be as simple as taking the word ‘buy’ out of your vocabulary. Instead of, ‘oh I need to buy new clothes,’ what about, ‘oh, I need new clothes.’ That opens up a channel for things to show up for you in an entirely different way (maybe a friend donates clothes to you, maybe you have a clothing swap in your local school gym, maybe you find a great second-hand shop that takes your old clothes on consignment or in exchange for some new ones… etc).
Is frugal behavior aligned with the abundance mindset? Why or why not?
Strangely, frugal behaviour can limit your potential for accepting abundance, because by being overly careful or stingy, you are moving from the assumption that there is not enough. As I mentioned above, thinking of alternatives to monetary exchange can help keep the flow of abundance moving. Also, ensure that what you are giving in the world holds real value for you. If you’re working in a job you really hate, the energy you give out at that job is that you are simply there for a paycheque, and the value you’re providing is limited. As you align more fully with what you have in the world that is of real value, you give it easily, lovingly and freely, and things begin to flow back to you in the same way. This ties in with knowing what your debt story is – once you know what it is, you can begin to rewrite it.
Do you plan further ebooks on this topic? What else are you planning to offer in your coaching practice?
It’s possible I’ll write more, depending on the questions that arise form this one. I’ve designed a program where people can work through their debt stories with me for a really low cost – a sliding scale starting at $5 per session. It’s designed to help those who are in debt pinpoint and rewrite their stories and move into a more abundant mindset.