The Loneliness Epidemic
Have your heard of this and do you think it’s a real thing today?
Here’s a theory I have. I believe it is a real thing and it’s scarey as heck. We are more disconnected than ever before but more disconnected from ourselves. Even though we have multiple ways of connecting, quicker, easier to just about anywhere in the world. But here’s the problem.

We don’t share authentically..and We have not caught up to the speed of technology yet.

Think back to when we use to take a picture. Typically it was a fancy thing and we had to go to a studio and have out portrait taken by a professional. We got all dressed up. Or your picture might of been taken by someone at a party, a special event. Then you had to wait for the pictures to be developed and once they came back to you. You went through them and would only showcase the good ones. 
Well we do the samething today, and we only show the good ones. Back in the day, we were living socially more open, we socialized more in person and stayed close to family etc.We knew what was going on, and what was happening in the neighbourhood.

Today this is not the case, we barely know our next door neigbours, Today we keep our doors locked and windows dark. Our families are not living near us at all and we only share time with them online or for special occasions.

I think this is why we have more crimes, more homelessness and on and on it goes. We care more in a way, and we have more ways of reaching out but less connections that are real.

We miss the perfect person behind the perfection we see everywhere. 
This is may even be why seeing a homeless person is difficult..we don’t know how to handle it and know that it could be us. They just couldn’t keep the mask up like the rest of us.

Do you feel like you’re downing in debt and can’t catch your breath? Has this been going on for a long time? Are you life lines being cut off? Do you fear homelessness? It seems most of us are living on the edge and just one paycheck away from being on the streets. It can happen to just about anybody.

I take this topic very seriously and I know there’s no quick fix but I know there is a fix. This is why I create Renovate-Your Life in the first place. To not only give hope and a pray but to help set up yourself for who you really want to become. We are not our circumstances, that is what happens to us when are striving to become a better version of us. Life is not all roses, and happy times, no, life is not a fairy tale. We need the balance to help remind us which direction we need to be going in. Life is working for us not against us.

Sometimes hanging on is all we can do but you have to be hanging onto something that is worth it. You my dear are worth it.

We have become a world in search of something but get distracted by what someone else wants me to see. This is why so many are lost. I say look up, look up to the light, look up to the eyes that are looking at you. See the smile from that one person who truely loves you. You matter and losing money is not the end of the world, it’s just an ending in a chapter of book that has many more chapters. Notice the things that money cannot buy. Start by looking in the mirror and see the mirror you are.

What really is money?
Money is just a tool and it magnifies who you really are.
I believe this to be true and it makes me completely understand why not many are actually happy with the amount they have. It completely makes sense that not many are rich. It’s as if we really know this to be true but complain about it as much as we can.

The more money you have the more you are exposed.
Not many of us really want to be too exposed. And this could also be the reason why even more complain and point out the flaws of those who do have money.

Do you really want more money? Are you ready to be exposed as much as you are wishing for? We are the ones who actually give it it’s power. Without use it is meaningless.
Think about it, what makes it grow are zero’s which are empty.

We only spend our money on how we see ourselves. Another way of putting this is what we “Pay” our attention onto. We are spending our attention like it doesn’t matter.
Take an inventory of your life. What would you like to change? Are you happy where you are? Do you spend your attention with intention or are you doing so in a fog?
Look at your life seriously, how much longer can you keep going on like this?
What’s your money really saying about you?

As I shared last week in Steps 8 and 9, we found more money. All too often we stay stuck in fear and forget that we have other options. And debt is one of those examples that cripples us in fear and we do nothing other than worry. Which stresses us out, put strains on our work, and can damage relationships that can last a lifetime.
I wanted to shine a light on some new ways we can add value to our lives and to show you where the money is.

Picking up extra shifts at work is one of the first things, if you have a job if not get your ass out there and get one. Are you able to do something part time on top of your regular employment?

I love this exercise:
Take 15 minutes to do this.
Make a list of all the things you’re good at.
All the things you love to do.
Anything you have talent in.
I mean Everything. This includes walking, if you can.
Look at that list, give yourself a pat on the back. There’s more than you thought.
Now from this list, what can do right away to make more money?

What can you can do in your community that will bring you more money? Every little bit helps.
Is there something that you already have that you can use to actually make you more money? Like a sewing machine; where you can sew for other people? Do you have a kitchen; maybe you could cook for others. Use what you have.
Get out and see where you can be useful. Is there a local community center near that you ask.

Here are some more ideas:
Sell what you do not need or use. Clothing, electronics, furniture. You can sell online or in person.
Have a yard sale and sell the belongings you have that you don’t use.
Downsize your home into something that fits your current income. Why are you keeping a home you cannot afford? Coming home to a place that causes you stress isn’t worth it.
Get rid of the big car, you can find one without payments.

When shopping check out your local thrift store only if there’s something you need. Or see if you can get it for free. Maybe someone is getting rid of that thing you say you need.
When grocery shopping try to do so in bulk. Price match and use coupons when available.
You can even share with a friend – this is where you buy the bigger bulk items and split it as the stores sometimes sell them at a lower price.
Get creative in the kitchen, learn new recipes. Host or go to a pot-luck dinner where everyone brings something to share. Share recipes with others. Get the family involved. Let someone help.
Reuse when at all possible, stop using dishes that you just throw away. Stop using the dishwasher.
Did you know that in some areas your electricity costs more during peak hours. Do your laundry in the off peak hours. And hang up your clothes if at all possible.
Turn down your heat if you’re paying for it. Put on a sweater and an extra blanket at night when sleeping.
Do a clothing swap if you need to change your wardrobe, this is great for business attire and kids clothes if they don’t wreck them first. Purchasing kids clothes is great to do at a thrift store, they’ll grow out of it so quickly anyways.
Maybe you can find someone to trade with. If you need some help with repairs, or if you have extra of something trade with someone else in your community.
Ask if around, if you need something chances are someone may be wanting to get rid of the very thing you need.

We’ve all come through difficult times. And money is one of those things we are still learning about. They teach us how to count when we are in school but nothing about money. Having money issues is the leading cause for relationship issues, health issues, and so on. You are not your circumstances, you are the result of some choices you made along the way and those choices can be changed. You can come out of this and on the other side is a brighter side to life. Taking control over your money and finding more of it is just one way to help you along your journey.

Oh and don’t forget to check the sofa…

Here are 10 steps to get you out of debt and on the right track towards your dreams

Step 1
write down the amount you made last year and subtract the what you have today in the bank account. Take a look at that number. You have to know the truth.

Step 2
Print off the last 3 months of your banking transactions.

Step 3
Write down all the income you’ve brought in and add them up.

Step 4
a) hi-light all the restaurants you spent money on.
b) hi-light in a different colour all the food you spent money on. * this is ONLY grocery money *
c) hi-light in a different colour necessities (ie: toilet paper, shampoo, tissues, feminine products)
d) hi-light in a different colour auto payments that come out every month
e) Add up each colour for each month and divide by 3 – this is your average.
Do you spend more than you make?

Step 5
Outstanding debt never makes anyone feel good.
a) Make a list of all the outstanding debt you have.
b) in one column write out the amount owing
c) second column write out the monthly payments
d) third column write down the interest rates

I know this may seem overwhelming but don’t give up. With everything in life those things that need change first need us to change and we need to adjust and that can be uncomfortable.
Life is not suppose to be comfortable.
First thing is to really look at this and see exactly what it is you’re dealing with. And know this, once you look at it, you don’t ever have to be there again. Everything you do is a choice and how you spend you money is just another choice.

Step 6
This is the Plan
Add up all of your outstanding debt. You want to be sure you’re making all your minimum payments and then the extra money you’re working for will go towards the amount that is the smallest.
Then once you have this one paid off, celebrate without spending money. Then the money you are putting towards it will then be going to the next outstanding debt. This is called snowballing your debt.

Contact the companies and tell them your plan and when you will be making your payments. You want to be working with them. You may negotiate for a lower amount depending on how much you owe and for how long it’s been. Sometimes this works but not always. They may want a lump sum so be prepared.
Call all the auto payments including your credit card and see about lowering your interest rate.

Step 7
Cut the FAT (Frivolous Actions Taken) This is where we need to trim up. Cancel anything you do not really need. Television, cell phones, cars etc. Anything that you do not really need. Get rid of it.

Step 8
Find More Money
This is where you are going find more money. Now if you’ve cut as much as possible and you’re still short then you have to increase your income.
Can you pick up extra shifts at work? Can you do a part time job on the side? Is there papers that need to be delivered in your area.
Here’s where the money is:
Take 15 minutes to do this.
Make a list of all the things you’re good at.
All the things you love to do.
Anything you have talent in.
I mean Everything. This includes walking, if you can.
Look at that list, give yourself a pat on the back. There’s more than you thought.

Step 9
Let’s find even more money.
Here’s some ideas:
Sell what you do not need or use. Clothing, electronics, furniture. You can sell online or in person.
Have a yard sale and sell the belongings you have that you don’t use.
Downsize your home into something that fits your current income.
Get rid of the big car, you can find one without payments. Sell it.
When shopping check out your local thrift store only if there’s something you need.
When grocery shopping try to do so in bulk. Price match and use coupons when available.

Step 10
You have a clear vision about what’s real when it comes to your money.
Now I am going to add one more here.
You also need an Emergency Fund!
I am serious. I’m sure your eyes just got really big and doubt crept back in. But hear me out. This is your own personal cushion and the just in case. This comes before you pay off your debts. You make your regular minimum payments but you put the extra you make into an Emergency Fund. At least until it gets to $1000.00. After you pay off your debt then your Emergency Fund should be 6 months worth of your expenses. Now that number’s a lot bigger.
This is ONLY for EMERGENCIES . Think about it, if your car needs repair and you need your car to get to work, what do you do?
You need to have the Fund and get it quickly.
You know the amounts, everything is written down and all payments are visible and set up to paid on time and for the correct amounts. You have additional sources of revenue coming and you have let go of things that were holding you back.








This month we are talking all things money. Where does it really go and how in the hell do we get more of? What is a budget and how to put things together. Also we’ll talk about the tough stuff. How do get out of debt and is filing for bankruptcy the only option. What happens after you do file.

It’s a new year and what better time than now to get your life back in order. Or is this really going to be the first time you will finally tell your money what to do instead of it just disappearing.
Too often we don’t know what our money is doing or where it goes. We just hold our breath until the next paycheck. But with employments options these days there’s nothing really secure even about that. Our jobs are not as secure as they use to be and things move pretty fast.

I have had plenty of money, saving, an emergency fund, investments and debt free but I have also been down and out where I was on government assistance and living off of hope and fear. Not able to purchase any gifts for Christmas. I’ve had to return items back to the bank because I wasn’t able to make my payments.

As with most things in life that seem to be embarrassing, we hide. We think we are the only one who is going through it. We think our problems will last forever, and then when we do get something good coming our way we feel fear that it may not last. It’s true nothing lasts forever but we can look in the right direction, we can set ourselves to succeed. We can set ourselves up to thrive and when we do fall down, learn from it and not allow it to destroy you. You don’t have to start all over, but you do have to start right from where you are.

Don’t be hard on yourself, together we can help one another. You are never alone. Money is important but there are more important things in life too.

Rest In Peace is the saying when someone dies and leaves this human form…but what about when we are alive? Why do we wait until we die to actually rest?

Are we ever able to rest in peace?

This morning I began writing a piece about this because I have been searching and searching for a place that would be quiet enough so I could find some peace. But I cannot turn off the noise that is running around in my head like a kid in a panic over who knows what.

Here we go I believe and know this to be true, that we are to rest in the darkness. Why? Because you cannot always live in the light, if you did you would end up being burned or simply just dry out. You need the darkness to rest. But this is what ends up happening instead. We get scared and try to get out and or avoid it and be worried about the darkness. This could be a situation that is bothering you. A thought you are having that is causing you stress, sadness etc.

Instead we should just rest.

At night in the dark what do we do? We are to rest while we sleep.

Whoa… wait a minute is what this RIP really means?? We see it on head stones in cemeteries and use it as an expression to someone who has died. But what if we we are to Rest in Peace even when we are alive.

A plant needs to rest and will do so when it’s dark . All things need to rest.

We have compliantly lost what that means and even how to do it. Meaning we have been taught how to do so.

During a stormy time in your life when things seem dark – you should be resting in peace. Perhaps sit calmly and just breathe, trust, believe there’s a purpose and you will come out of it. You’ll come through it  into the light. But we end up getting stuck trying to fight the darkness, racing to solve the puzzle first, to get a ahead to consume all we can.

We have forgotten to rest. Stop resisting what is right now. Live in the light, that is where our attention should be. Stop giving the darkness all your attention. All this darkness we have all around us is demanding for us to stop and rest. It’s getting louder and louder and yet we don’t listen, we don’t understand what is really happening.. what it really means . It’s only going to get  bigger and louder until we have no choice but to rest because we’ll be so broken. Think about it when someone breaks down or even breaks a bone..what happens?

They are to rest.

We will get so beat up and feel so broken that there will be nothing left. We will then be searching for a darker space to hide so we can finally rest.

Picture a hurt and wounded animal they’ll wander off and hide in the shadows to rest and heal.

All this wisdom we’ve learned from all these years and have passed down and we’ve missed this one.

Wow!
But hey we’ve created this magic paper to chase we call money. And how it can control people.
That’s helpful to who??

May you Rest in Peace because resting in any other way is not really resting.

I would have to say that this is why there’s a world calling for meditation and prayer. It’s a way for people to know and to experience what resting in peace really means.

What if the RIP we read on tombstones are really a message from the other side…

Why do we keep rushing time?

I know it may seem like an odd question but really most people complain the most about other than the weather probably. And these are clearly two things we have zero control over. Why do we keep putting this type of pressure onto ourselves?

Most people can’t even sleep Sunday nights due to the fact that they have to get up the next morning and go to work. I was one of these people myself. I would toss and turn all night. Stay up late because of something I believed I wanted to watch on television but honestly I had probably seen the show more than once already. I was trying to some how put in time. Then monday would roll along and my dreaded work week would begin.

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I was never allowed to ask questions as a kid. Money was a huge problem in our home growing up. So I paid close attention to everything and to everyone.

I believe this has followed with me into my life as an adult. Money if brought up was always going to be an argument or disagreement or just a full out fight. I never wanted to fight or see anyone else hurt. Hence why I’ve avoided the subject and discussions about money. And possibly even why I don’t have a lot of it around me, to avoid any and all conflict and pain. Money is just a tool and it only magnifies what you are already.