Would you believe I just made a deal to write a new book – on food?
What does food have to do with money? Everything, really, because both “feed” us what we need to survive, though money is one step removed and buys more than a full belly.
Also our relationship with food and our relationship with money have so much in common – cultural assumptions, personal psychology, trying to fill spiritual needs materially, capacity for conscious choice. It is no wonder I’ve turned my attention to a book on transforming our relationship with life energy of the food sort. It is called BLESSING THE HANDS THAT FEED US. You can read the blog about the experiment that inspired me to write this book.
Have you given some thought to your relationship with food. Are you a foodie? Slow food. Organic food. Local food. Grow your own food. Are you a Vegetarian? Vegan? Omnivore? Do you shop farmers markets or Costco, and why? Is your food bible a cookbook or a diet book or a policy book (like Stuffed or Starved or Omnivore’s Dilemma)?
Are you a food fanatic – full of certainty about the right way to eat? If this is the case, please hold your comments – there are other blogs where you can offer your views. But if you, like me, are simply curious about the hands that feed you and the food you eat (more…)
A friend loaned me her parent’s budget books, one from 1940, one from 1974. They are a generation apart and reflect both simpler times and the evolution of our relationship with money to the confusing or even desperate situation we are in today.
Joe Dominguez was born two years before the first book, and raised with those values of thrift and savings. Most months this family saved 10%-20% of their income. “If you know how to spend less than you earn, you have the key to success” is the quote from Ben Franklin at the top of one page. By 1974 the family spent at or more than their income 5 months of the year, but their savings rate was still nearly 5%. Until this Recession spooked us into saving again (and we are being shamed for doing so – spend! Is still the economy’s message), our savings rate was negative, and most households carried debt.
Joe used to say it was pitiful that we needed to teach the idea that if you spend less than you earn you develop savings that can eventually allow you to stop working for money. “Ben Franklin would be rolling over in his grave” was his frequent head shaking comment when people would call his ideas radical.
Here are some pages from these budget books.
Can we go back to simpler times? I think we have no choice but to learn from what generations before knew – though we’ll do so in our liberated and interconnected and computer mediated style. I also think this is good news.
Not only will more of us be financially secure, more will be empowered by managing their lives with thrift.
We’ll relearn what was called “home production” (remember shop and Home Ec) because we’ll realize how much less exposure to a fickle economy we have when we can do for ourselves. “It is not so hard to earn money as to spend it wisely” the Budget Book reminds us. “Men (sic) know not how great a revenue Economy is” Franklin is quoted on another page. (I just have to comment … The book is called “Housewife’s Daily Recording Expense Book” but men are credited with thrift. We have come a long way, baby.)
The categories themselves say a lot about life then – and perhaps in the future. There is no Walmart or Safeway. There are the butcher, the baker, the milkman, the green grocer.
The savings included Thrift Clubs. Putting away a bit each month.
Operating Expenses included ice! And the tailor. That would be a growth industry of the future.
So in all, we can meditate on these pictures as a way to meditate on balance and security in our lives. And then, as we suggest in Your Money or Your Life in our quaint way, track, categorize and evaluate out expenses… and save save save for with Climate Change there may be more rainy days in our future.
Everyone says this Journey to the Heart of Brazil tucked right between Thanksgiving and Christmas is amazing – even Brazilians. You can come, but you need to decide now. You need 6-8 weeks to get your passports, tickets and visas.
Given the economy, some people who wanted to come now can’t, so we still have openings! Normally I’m a pillar of prudence, but for this trip I recommend releasing some resource for truly a trip of a lifetime. I have been transformed – softened, opened, loved, enlightened – through my visits to Brazil. She is a teacher and lover. I return home so satisfied that friends asked to come with me. Friends, this is the trip I made for you!
Our tour guides, the Aoka team, say it’s a breakthrough trip in their already lush, educational eco-tours. We are combining visits to ecological preserves with meeting with courageous and innovative social change leaders with a deep spiritual dive with Susan Andrews, American born, Brazilian souled beloved spiritual teacher.
We’ll be tourists with time at the beach, on a cruise around Ilha Bela and seeing the sites in Paraty and Rio. We’ll also be learners – every day packed with encounters with people and nature and issues so that we’ll be inspired and disturbed and motivated to change. Every day, too, our group will circle up to share our days and insights so that we are a community of learners, not just a bunch of tourists. The trip will be life-changing, I promise.
We have pared down costs as far as we can. If you can’t afford the minimum cost, please be in touch with Daniel Contrucci <email@example.com>.
If you’ve been thinking about this – now is the time to decide. I really hope you will come. I want to share “my” Brazil with you. You have a week to take the plunge.
A story on NPR this morning on the growing gap between the wealthy and the rest of us in the United States, equaled only by the gap in the 1920′s.
The 400 people on Forbes magazine’s list of the richest Americans saw their combined net worth climb 8 percent this year. The good news for the wealthy comes as the poverty rate has reached a 15-year high and unemployment remains stuck near 10 percent.
“They” say the recession ended last August. This says we are headed deeper into an economic Bermuda Triangle. What do you think? What data makes sense to you? What choices are you making – that you are willing to tell blog readers?
She said, “And what is the footprint of flying folks to this event and how does the cost fit with YMOYL? Seems you’ve come a long way Vicki… All the best and I won’t be joining you on this one.“
Here’s my answer – and it may help you decide if you are wavering. We need at least 10 people by October 15 to make it a go. We’re not there yet, and the deadline is fast approaching. (more…)
I’ve been on the Kathleen Show several times and just now they chose to rebroadcast. Here’s the link they sent me:
I recall the interviews – Kathleen was one of the best prepared and most personal – really digging in to the ideas.