Good Shopping Karma

The best shopping karma of all: friends at my 2006 book signing at Davis Kidd

The best shopping karma of all: friends at my 2006 book signing at Davis Kidd

I went back into my archives and found this bit of wisdom. I always say that I have “good shopping karma” because I have always been able to find bargains and manifest just what I wanted or needed. I’m doing less shopping now because I’m working on applying my “good shopping karma” skills to creating a more sustainable life and career. Maybe some of these tips will inspire "good shopping karma" for you, too. 

Here are some of my “good shopping karma” rules: 
• Get to know the lay of the land. Cruise the entire store, not just one department, and perhaps other stores in the mall and big box stores. 
• Educate yourself so you’ll know a good value when you see one. Remember that experience is education, too. 
• Then watch the prices, look at the merchandise, keep an eye on what moves and what doesn’t move. 
• Have an idea of what you want, but also be open to surprises and different options. 
• Remember that the big box stores brag about their bargains, but often the full price department stores have better markdowns and take better care of their merchandise. 
• Full price stores have better bathrooms, too—and details like that count! Shopping in a classier atmosphere is easier on the nerves, so you can concentrate on finding a quality product instead of sifting through inferior leftovers. Comfort and atmosphere are really important. You can’t think straight when you need to go to the bathroom. 
• If you do go “junking” (Goodwill, cut rate stores, etc.) be mentally prepared for it. It takes a different mentality to sift through castoffs than to buy new. Bargain basements can be great—but like big box stores, highly overrated. 
• You save more by buying one first class item that suits you perfectly than buying several second class items just because they’re “cheap.” Cheap is usually not a bargain—unless you are an experienced shopper with good instincts. Look for value. 
• Bide your time and don’t be misled by early sales prices. 
• Hold off till the right deal comes, and the right outfit appears on your radar. 
• Don’t buy something you plan to diet into—it will hang in your closet forever. 
• If you feel tired or anxious or indifferent, don’t buy, because you’ll regret it. Go home and take a nap. 
• When the right price and product and timing come together, grab it. You’ll feel a rush of positive energy, the clothes will look good to you even in the fitting room mirror (where clothes always seem to look the worst). And it will feel right, as if you’re in the flow. 
• When the flow is happening, ride the wave and shop. When good shopping karma kicks in, enjoy it while it lasts. When it’s not happening or the energy lets down, go do something else. The wave has washed onto the beach, and the window of opportunity is gone. Another wave will come again when the weather is right. 
• Approach all shopping as a game, not a chore. If you’re playing a game, it’s okay to take risks and make mistakes and play. If it’s a chore, all you want to do is get it over with. Which means you’ll be too tired and cranky, so you’ll settle for something just to get the job done and get out of the store.
• Remember that even the big stuff is really small stuff in the cosmic scheme of things. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “There is no great or small to the One who knoweth all.” 
• When in doubt, ask for guidance and listen to your intuition.
• If you can’t get the deal you want, be willing to walk away. There will always be another day to shop.

Finally, whether it is shopping in stores or shopping for information on the Internet, know when it is time to stop shopping and to start working on your dreams. Shopping (or surfing the Net) can be a distraction. Walk out of the store, turn your computer off, and go take one baby step toward the fulfillment of your dreams. Be proactive on your own behalf and create something that someone else will want to buy or enjoy. 

Publishing resources: 

I have found some new resources for those of you who are writers and considering e-book self-publishing. 

The Book Doula
http://www.bookdoula.biz/
A doula (pronounced doo-luh) is an experienced professional who offers ongoing practical and emotional support to someone before, during, and after a birth. Dr. Liz Alexander offers her clients the same exemplary service as they conceive, grow, and birth their brainchild—a GOOD nonfiction book they can use to showcase their subject-matter expertise, boost business revenues, and future-proof their careers. She has a great blog and website that offers great insights on creating the book of your dreams. 
She says, “Don’t write the book for where you are. Write the book for where you want to be.” 

The Book Designer
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/
A great website and blog that offers help for publishers and authors who want to publish their own books and get to market with a great looking, properly constructed book, on time and on budget. The blog is written by Joel Friedlander, proprietor of Marin Bookworks in San Rafael, California. I check his blog on a regular basis.

Write It Forward
http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/
Bob Mayer is a NY Times Best-Selling multi-published author. This blog offers insight from a pro author who is now entering the e-book self-publishing world. Great entries that offer insight on the changes and challenges the publishing industry is going through right now.

Publishing Perspectives
http://publishingperspectives.com/
A great site for emerging trends in the book industry, especially the cutting edge changes and the e-book industry.

Additional blogs I check daily include: 

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/
The “poster boy” for indie and e-book publishing

http://www.idealog.com/blog/
Mike Shatzkin’s take on the book industry and e-books from a cutting edge industry viewpoint.

Abundance and Opening to the New

I will restore to you the years 
which the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you. 
And my people shall never again be put to shame. 
Joel 2:25-26 RSV

Take your business as it is, child, and praise Divine Love that there is a strong, wise way out of your dilemma.
Emma Curtis Hopkins

In these turbulent times, it’s easy to identify with the farmer whose crops have been consumed by a horde of hungry locusts. I remember the description by Laura Ingalls Wilder of the aftermath of locusts, how they arrived in a dark cloud and left destruction behind them. Right now people are still sowing the wind, reaping the whirlwind, as they allow irrational anger or fear-based thinking to rule their lives. But the troubles and difficulties of these times do not overwhelm or dismay God. 

There is a peace which passes understanding available, and there is a blessed way through the dark night of the soul. Whether it is a financial issue, a family affair, or a difficult decision that can no longer be postponed, the steadying Presence of God is always there for you, if you will release your frantic thinking and enter into grace. 

Catherine Ponder, in her book Open Your Mind to Prosperity, says that loss means destruction, and pictures of loss held in mind are destructive. But there is a Divine Restoration available, if you are willing to examine your beliefs about loss and recognize that the chaos and pain are part of the process of form changing into new form. She says, “A powerful way to overcome the thought of loss and its consequences, is to remind yourself of this great truth: There is no loss in Spirit. You cannot lose your good. When it seems you have lost your good, it is because your good has changed form! Remember that there can be no loss in any phase of nature. The elements of nature merely change their form. When your good seems to leave you—to fly out the window—let it go. That is good you have outgrown. Then watch for new good to come in the door!”

One way to open to the new good that wants to come into your life is to release your resistance to what is happening in this moment, especially if it is difficult or feels like a painful struggle. This moment is as it is because every choice you’ve made, everything that has been happening to you and around you, is the culmination of all the moments that have come before. The universe is as it is right in this moment, and when you resist this moment, you are resisting the entire universe. Accept people, situations, events, and conditions as they occur. Remember you are reacting not to the situation itself, but to the feelings you have about the situation. 

Drop your defensiveness and cease your struggle. Take a deep breath, accept what is, and then take responsibility for how you feel and how you choose to respond in THIS moment. Let go of your old stories. Get quiet. Open your mind and heart to allow a creative response to the situation to emerge. Every problem contains the seed of opportunity when you are willing to surrender your limited thinking and enter into the spacious potential of the Divine Presence within.

The past cannot be changed, but your perspective on what was happening can be. Mentally and emotionally you can choose to see that you were growing into greater understanding because of the difficulties, and that the wisdom you gained is making it possible for you to experience a greater good. Release all anxiety or condemnation about the past and embrace the fact that every event, situation, or person taught you valuable lessons about who you are and how compassion and forgiveness can create room in your heart for a new season of love, peace, and prosperity. 

Wisdom gained in difficult times can enrich your life forever. Those experiences prepared the way for a larger good to enter your life. Joseph told his brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20) Spiritual principle says that the past is not wasted or futile, for God was always there with you in it. And this moment is your opportunity to recognize that God is in this time and place, here for you. This moment holds the seeds of an expansive and wonderful future, if you are willing to be mindful, to believe and to act on that belief. 

One summer we had a terrible drought in Tennessee. Everything was hot and dry and miserable. The trees were hit by a double whammy that year, for there was an early spring blooming cut off by such a deep freeze it destroyed the first wave of leaves and the trees had to expend double their energy to create a second growth of green. It was strange to walk at Lake Radnor with the silence of dead leaves and the scent of dead vegetation instead of the usual flowering fragrance of spring. Then insult was added to injury when the second growth of leaves faced a dry summer with record-breaking heat. I wondered if the trees and plants would survive. Summer ended late, then winter finally brought rains, and the rains fell more plentifully than usual. 

The following spring there was a fierce and abandoned blooming, as if all the trees and plants were making up for lost time and flaunting their flowers in perfect abundance. I had never seen such lush blossoming on the black locust trees, which smell so sweet in spring. It was a good year for the dogwood, too. I may never see a spring so alive and amazing as the one that followed that terrible drought. 

Remember that a dry and scorched season in your life will not last forever, that spring will come once again in all its lush glory. Not the same as before, but a renewal of beauty in a new season. Nature teaches us about our own nature, our own potential for growth and evolution through the seasons. Catherine Ponder concludes, “Stop dwelling on apparent losses in your life, and start looking for the growth and gain that came through them. For every loss there has been a gain, so drop the loss and take the gain!” 

Know that every problem is an opportunity in disguise. Choose to stay alert and transform this moment to greater benefit. Remember that God is your partner, and as you connect to the peace and potential within, something new and beautiful can unfold, restoring the years the locust has eaten.

Quotes: 

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Albert Einstein

It is certain that you cannot believe in abundance while identifying yourself with lack. Forget the lack and think only of abundance. Control your mental reactions so that they automatically become affirmative.
Ernest Holmes

Your attention has result-getting power, so be careful what you give your attention to. Your attention is your faith.
Catherine Ponder

The courage to face the trials and bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience—that is the hero’s deed. 
Joseph Campbell

Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit.
Napoleon (at the end of his life)

Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick. The sage is not sick but is sick of sickness; this is the secret of health.
Tao Te Ching

Goodness needeth not to enter the soul, for it is there already, only it is unperceived. 
Theologica Germanica

Within me is the unborn possibility of limitless living; mine is the privilege of giving birth to it.
Eric Butterworth

God is hiding in the world and our task is to let the divine emerge from our deeds.
Abraham Joshua Heschel

No matter how qualified or deserving you are, you will never reach a better life until you can imagine it for yourself and allow yourself to have it. 
Richard Bach 

The basic principle of spiritual life is that our problems become the very place to discover wisdom and love.
Jack Kornfield

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
Mark Twain

Honor thy error as a hidden intention.
Brian Eno

Beware of the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.
Ben Okri

The basis of all healing is a change in belief.
Thomas Merton

The world fears a new experience more than it fears anything. Because a new experience displaces so many old experiences.
D. H. Lawrence

Every desire you have for betterment in life is some echo from that deep within which forevermore proclaims, “Behold, I make all things new.”
Ernest Holmes

It is our duty—as men and women—to behave as though limits to our ability do not exist. We are co-creators of the Universe.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

That was the moment when the change began. It had to begin inside before it could show on the outside, and the miracle that she’d dreamed of had taken place, not in an instant, but with a slow yet steady progress, like a seed germinating in the warm spring earth.
Elisabeth Ogilvie

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. 
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!
Fra Giovanni

With love, even the rocks will open. 
Hazrat Inayat Khan 

Affirmative prayer

I am one with the Creative Life Force that makes all things new. This is my season of Divine Restoration and I claim my good now. This is the beginning of my wonderful new life. The old life is now morphing into something fresh and new, exciting and prosperous, and a lot more fun! Debt and money issues are totally resolved and dissolved. I have more than enough finances, resources, time, and energy—to spare and to share. I enjoy vibrant health. I live in perfect peace and divine timing, and I have plenty of time, energy, and abundance. I am totally supported by the Universe and miracles are happening right now. The Universe delivers more than I could ever dream or imagine. Thank you, God, for these blessings and abundant manifestations. I am so happy that they are a reality in my life. 
And so it is. 

And after writing all that, I found the perfect poem to cap it off, and the perfect article to introduce you to Daniel Ladinsky, the poet/translator. Here is the link to his December 9, 2009 blog entry on Huffington Post (Maybe the Best Lay in Town Is a Poem): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-ladinsky/maybe-the-best-lay-in-tow_b_373872.html 

In this post he says, “Nature and art are sacred breasts we can feed on to grow. They are vital to our evolution. They offer a jailbreak or leave from the madness and demands we can get caught in. Of course love does that, too. Love dissolves boundaries and ultimately removes any contour that is not luminous.” That is the work I am aiming toward myself, for I am poet and singer and songwriter as well as writer of prose. Let this poem translated and transmuted from the words of Saint Catherine of Siena resonate in you like a bell. It is quoted from Ladinsky’s book (page 193), Love Poems from God:

THIS PLACE OF ABUNDANCE

We know nothing until we know everything.

I have no object to defend
for all is of equal value
to me.

I cannot lose anything in this
place of abundance
I found.

If something my heart cherishes
is taken away,

I just say, “Lord, what
happened?”

And a hundred more appear.



More inspiration online:

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Peter Drucker

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a model that makes the existing model obsolete.
Buckminster Fuller

Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.
Pablo Picasso

You must become a chaos before giving birth to a shining star.
Nietzsche

I have been involved in the publishing industry in one form or another most of my adult life. Now the form is changing in these transformational times. I spent the last twenty years writing marketing materials and creating special projects for book publishers, as well as building my career as an author (and songwriter/artist/singer). The bottom fell out of my copywriting business a year and a half ago. The bottom fell out of my author career last June. I have floundered and flailed over the last year, trying to find my way in this changed landscape. In the process, I discovered that the paradigm has shifted in publishing. The financial meltdown accelerated the change, but it’s been building for a long time. Because I went so deeply into debt and because the old model dropped me down hard, I was forced by sheer necessity to be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and possibilities I had never imagined. Now the dust is clearing, and I’m happy to share some of what I’ve discovered with you. 

In my search for the new model, I found heroes and role models who have led the way into this brave new world of digital publishing and online connection. I have already mentioned Chris Guillebeau many times. I so firmly believe in his work that I have signed up to be an affiliate (hence the link in my quick links section). I was part of the first group of his $100 Business Forum, and it has helped me tremendously. His partner in this venture was Pam Slim. She was so wonderful that I added her website to my bookmark bar (top of the top, an exclusive place on my computer) and I just bought her new Escape from Cubicle Nation in a Box at http://escapeworkshopinabox.com/
This is what she covers in this package:
• How to clearly define a life plan that looks and feels like a well-fitting shoe.
• How to choose a sticky business idea.
• How to find your people, who are interested in your product or service and have the money to pay you.
• How to identify a successful business model.
• How to choose which business to start.
This is what you’ll learn: 
• You will have a framework, structure and plan to make serious progress on your business.
• You will have a concrete, pragmatic way to work with your fears so you don’t feel overwhelmed or filled with anxiety.
• You will realize you are not alone, and will be inspired to finally take action on your dreams
• You will have greater confidence in your ability to provide for yourself and your family.
• You will know how to expand your circle of peers, mentors and teachers.
• You will have access to great resources and people to help you figure out exactly what you need along the way.
Pam’s inspiring website: http://www.escapefromcubiclenation.com/

And here are a few more resources especially for those who are trying to understand evolving new models for publishing.

Here is a must-watch video of Seth Godin on the permission marketing paradigm and how he “marketed” his books: 
http://toc.oreilly.com/2009/10/video-seth-godin-on-new-media.html 
This is why I released The Heart of Abundance as a free e-book. 

I’m a Facebook fan of Len Edgerly’s blog, who also writes The Kindle Chronicles blog
http://www.lenedgerly.com/ 
Check out his The Reading Edge podcasts, especially Len’s recent interview with Seth Godin. Marvelous resource reporting on the e-book revolution from many angles:
http://thereadingedge.com/ 

Another great website for publishing and the digital future
http://toc.oreilly.com/

Check out Smashwords.com (you can follow the quick link to The Heart of Abundance and it will take you there) and read Mark Coker’s blog. He also posts regularly on Huffington Post. He’s a true visionary, and that’s why I’m so happy to publish my e-books with his company. I’m also thrilled that Smashwords now offers ISBN numbers (publishing geeks will know what this means) and that Smashwords has not only set up strategic partnerships with retailers like Barnes & Noble, but will also be Apple iPad ready. If you’re considering publishing an e-book, check out Smashwords and learn about their services. Because I publish my text-only e-books with them, you can download my e-books in any format of your choice. Way cool.

More announcements about partners and online goodies will be coming soon. The Internet elves are busily working in computerland to bring you all special gifts of joy and love. And don’t forget to download your free copy of The Heart of Abundance now! 

Comments

  1. March 27, 2012 9:34 PM CDT

    Hi Candi,
    I stumbled onto your e book, The Heart of Abundance, by
    accident. My son got me a kindle for Christmas and I have been
    addicted ever since reading digital books and I am the last person
    who you would ever think could adapt to the digital world! I love
    what you write and feel I have found a kindred spirit in you.
    Keep writing!

    - Marsha Goff