Making Friends with The Numbers
I love how any practice I incorporate into my life eventually weaves its way into my art practice. Getting clear about my numbers and my money has been no exception.
Historically, numbers and I have not been friends. They scare me. Math was always the hardest subject for me. I hated to see my test scores in school even when I was mostly excelling. I didn’t want to look at the balances of my bank accounts.
3 years ago I made a commitment to have a better relationship to money and to numbers. I took a mindful money course with an amazing finance coach for women, Chanda Jones. She taught me to create a spending plan that tied my spending and earning to my values. I created an excel sheet with categories and places to record all my spending and earnings. Suddenly, the numbers made sense because I knew what my values were: community, connection, fun, support, safety. I already looked at my life as a set of values.
For 3 years, I have taken on the arduous task of recording my spending and my earning. With that a little bit of attention and lots of healing my earnings expanded as have my spending and my savings. I have more of all the things I value: creativity, security, connection, and community. Often, because I’m paying closer attention, I begin to notice the things I value showing up outside of my spending plan. Like I feel more connected to my friends and I have more time to have fun. The numbers always lead me back to where I’ve been, where I am, and where I want to go.
A good example is the next iteration of The Takeout Window. I’m looking at my spending plan for April and I am really clear I should not shoulder the $500 worth of material costs like I did last time (where I’ve been). This is a community effort and as the facilitator I need to be clear with the entire community, who has cheered me on with enthusiasm to repeat the event, what it costs us. Today I am sending out an email with requests to my neighbors for either materials or money. I have the exact numbers from last time and estimates for this time. This will be a community funded effort (this is where I am).
This level of clarity means I get to create more of what I want to see in the world: shared responsibility & resources, connection to my community, and asking for support.
Numbers are still scary but we’re friends now. Getting clear about the numbers shows me how to be courageous in a very important relationship, my relationship to money.
Here are some of the beautiful things I get to co-create this coming month as part of my path:
April 9, Eat, See, Breathe: A one-hour workshop with Chef Maggie on bringing attention & seeing the extraordinary in our everyday experiences.
5-6 pm California College of the Arts Gallery- 5241 College Ave, Oakland, CA
April 13, Zeida Flores Artisanal Tamale Making Workshop: Learn how to make a traditional family recipe for Mexican tamales.
3-7 pm (spaces limited, must Paypal payment to reserve your spot),
The Playground Cooperative-6149 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA
May 4, The Takeout Widow, a pop-up takeout window with food provided by the Poirier neighbors
10 am-7 pm, The Playground Cooperative-6149 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA