Finding Peace in the Midst of Pain

Years ago, during a devastating crisis, I saw a quote that struck a nerve: “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” 

I felt the deep wisdom in those words. Yet I couldn’t figure out how to apply them to my life. Here I was, facing a crushing divorce from a compulsive liar, a million-dollar tax bill I couldn’t pay, and my parents refusing to help. Left alone to raise 3 young daughters, I was terrified.

Since that time, I’ve often wondered—Is it really possible to find peace in the midst of pain? The answer escaped me…

Until this week…when Katie Adler, a member of my online community, shared an article about Wabi Sabi.

Wabi Sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy, is all about finding peace and beauty in imperfection. And it offers a simple but practical formula for experiencing pain without suffering:

“Accept what is, stay in the present moment, and appreciate the simple, transient stages of life.” 

The Anxiety Cure (It’s Not What You’d Expect)

Money + Anxiety  go together like a fifth of vodka and a hangover. An inevitable outcome unless you’re really careful.

Whether you don’t have enough or simply don’t know enough; whether you’re overspending or underearning; whether the market’s plunging or your debt is mounting…anxiety is unavoidable.

If you’re feeling anxious because of your finances (or anything else), what are you supposed to do? Live with the angst?

No, claims The Wall Street Journal. Try Sighing! Yes, you read the right. Let me hear an “AHHHHHHHH.”

Savings Can Be Fun! (Who Knew????)

She had long avoided savings. Until she got an idea. What if the next time she did something scary, she rewarded herself by contributing a small amount to a saving account?

“Today I dealt with a confusing problem at work and got it resolved,” she explained in The Wealth Connection chat group, “So I just added a dollar to my savings!  It’s a great feeling. I’m having a lot of fun saving! “

The moral of this story:  Savings can actually be fun when you frame it as a reward.

Positive reinforcement—anything from patting yourself on the back to paying yourself a dollar—works for one simple fact. It feels good…which triggers the release of pleasurable chemicals like dopamine, encouraging your brain to keep repeating the behavior.

The Myth of “More”

I have always found myself yearning for more…more money, more success, more sales, more ­­­­______ (fill in the blank).

I proudly considered this constant yearning a healthy sign of a robust ambition. Until I began studying neuroscience and realized how truly unhealthy this kind of thinking actually is.

Here’s why. We literally sculpt our brain by what we dwell on. The more we think a thought or feel an emotion, the stronger that neuropathway becomes in our brain.

By constantly hungering for more, I was inadvertently telling my brain “I don’t have enough.” 

The more I repeated that thought, the stronger the “not enough” neuropathway grew, until I’d unconsciously do things that kept reinforcing my experience of ‘not enough.’

You Say You Want More Money, But…

If intentions are so powerful, why don’t they always pan out? What if you swear you want to make more money? Your intent is sincere, your desire is strong, but try as you might, your paycheck remains paltry.

If this is the case, it’s for this reason:

You get what you want, not what you ask for.

The distinction is critical.

We all have numerous intentions. Many we aren’t even aware of. You run into trouble when your expressed goals are at odds with your unconscious desires.

When a buried intention—say, to stay safe or be comfortable—is stronger than your spoken one—to be profitableyou’ll stop yourself at every turn.

If you’re not getting it, for whatever reason, chances are, unconsciously, you may not want it. This is why the inner work is so critical.

You must dig a little deeper to make sure that…

  • your declared intention is an authentic reflection of who you are and what you want
  • conflicting intentions aren’t inadvertently impeding your progress
  • your intent to profit doesn’t run counter to the way you were raised, the role you’ve assumed, or the beliefs you embrace.

Can you identify the intentions that are keeping you from getting what you say you want? Leave me a comment below.

Those Ticking Time Bombs

To most people, obstacles are like ticking time bombs, something to quickly defuse or preferably avoid altogether.

But for the financially successful, obstacles are doorways to healing, portals to prosperity. What seems to get in the way is the way to transformation.

Difficulties are not diversions from Greatness but evidence of dysfunctional patterns that must be corrected in order to follow your true calling.

Every challenge provides the chance to respond in a new way, as if your Soul is saying: “Choose again, not as you have in the past.”

Don’t Even Try…

We all have our internal critics. The part that tell us what we can’t possibly do. Mine insists, quite convincingly: “You can’t do that! You don’t have what it takes.”

Those voices may never shut up.  But just because you hear voices in your head, doesn’t mean you have to follow them.

As Vincent Van Gogh once said: “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you can not paint,’ by all means paint and the voice will be silenced.” 

Indeed, keep reminding yourself: “that’s not my voice.” It’s the voice of a parent, the culture, teachers, friends, something ‘out there.’ But it isn’t mine.

The “D” Word

I just set my intention for 2023: Mental Discipline. That means, I’m going to consciously and rigorously make sure my thoughts are positive, uplifting, and loving (especially to myself).

I proudly shared my intention with a few friends. Their reaction was less than positive.

“That’s awfully harsh,” one said.

“Doesn’t sound appealing to me,” said another.

I wasn’t surprised. Clearly, the word ‘discipline’ tripped them up.

An Eye-Opening Exercise

Who am I? It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries. A question asked by countless seekers.

Determining the answer to that question can be daunting. Many of us have spent a lifetime hiding our real self from others.

Consequently, we’ve lost touch with who we really are. We’re left with a distorted self-image, based on all sorts of unconscious decisions we made about ourselves and life, probably made when we were very young.

These decisions have nothing to do with reality. Yet we go through life acting on these erroneous conclusions as if they were indisputable truths.


Nothing gets in the way of financial success more than repressed anger.

In my experience, women in general hold a tremendous amount of unexpressed anger, though few realize it.

I certainly did but had no idea. Until a therapist pointed  out that I was carrying a lot of repressed rage, which was holding me hostage, making me unable to move forward.

As I worked on discharging my wrath, I had a revelation. Anger is simply energy. Repressed anger immobilizes. Released anger galvanizes.

When you find healthy ways to let go of resentment, you begin to notice a direct link between anger and power. Suppressing one inhibits expressing the other.

If you suspect you, too, may have some buried anger, I invite you to write an angry letter. Write it to your parents or ex-husband or maybe yourself. Write it by hand, not on a computer.

Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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