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March 2010

Andrea de Michaelis, Publisher
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Andrea's Blog

Hello and wlecome to the March 2010 issue of Horizons Magazine. Remember when you were a kid and the newspaper would come, and dad would take the front page, mom would take the lifestyle section and the kids would get the comics first? We'd all sit at breakfast and Dad would fuss at the news headlines, and mom would comment about what she was reading, to lighten the mood. As kids, we'd just be reading the comics and not paying attention to much of anything either of them said, lost in our own little world of Dennis the Menace, Peanuts, and Calvin and Hobbes.

For the kids, Sunday morning was for reading the Sunday funnies (in color!) and thinking of what fun things could be done with a day off. For Dad, Sunday morning was for catching up on the bad news of the week all at one time. What he read in the paper determined what his mood was going to be all day. After reading the Sunday paper, we kids were ready to play and have fun while Daddy was bummed out and disheartened over the state of the the world. Not a vibrational match for a fun day. Or a fun life.

I'm not saying it's all about fun, and I did not have a tormented childhood. I grew up in a working class family with my father a carpenter and my mother a phone clerk, both employed full time while we were growing up. Our dad was a slow reader, having only a 6th grade education, and that added to his frustration when reading the news - having to take time to figure out what the words were, then what they meant. He always woke up in a happy mood, but it went downhill fast after reading the headlines.

We didn't grow up knowing that what we think about and read about and vibrate in harmony with is what we would attract into our life. We didn't know that if we focused on something cranky at the beginning of each day, we would see the whole day through a cranky filter, and attract more to be cranky about. We just grew up knowing that we wanted to do what felt good and do what made us happy. Like reading the comics on Sunday morning. It put us in a good mood for the day. It added to the fun we had. Seeing the fun the cartoon characters were having made us imagine ourselves in their place, having the fun with them, doing the things they could do.

Again I'm not saying it's all about fun, but it kinda is. It's about vibrating in a place that helps us attract more of what we want to attract. We vibrate in a place when we think about it, when we ponder it, when we daydream and imagine scenarios about it.

Reading the Sunday funnies was the first time I imagined I could be more than I was. I'd read Brenda Starr and imagine myself going off on her adventures. Growing up, I wanted to be either Brenda Starr or Della Street. It was kind of like crime fighting, because I'd get to bring truths to light through what I reported, or I'd get to help justice be done behind the scenes. I guess in retrospect, I did become both Della Street and Brenda Starr through my career as a criminal defense paralegal and now as a writer and publisher.

I'm teaching my 80 year old aunt to use the computer so she can go online and expand her world outside her sitting room. I've made a cheatsheet of topic headings (cooking, crafting, genealogy) on a sticky note at her monitor, as well as bookmarked for her some of her favorite places to visit online. I love when she comes out excited about what this friend or that said in a forum, or some exciting new something she saw online. What I don't love is when she comes out quiet and timid and somber, because she got distracted by some news headlines that disturbed her and she can't get it out of her mind. At 80 years old, she has never tried to train her mind to stay focused, so it does not come easily to her. She has to be reminded to go back and look for the good, so that her worried mind can settle down and remember that all really is well.

Why would she choose to read the bad when the good is bookmarked and sticky noted for her??? Why would she continue to read the headlines when she knows it is just upsetting to her, and something she regrets later when she's worried all night long?

I'm the kind of person that gets totally engrossed in whatever I am doing, and I know it helps me to have sticky notes or a list telling me what it is I want to stay focused on. Like during final layout week, when I get wrapped up reading what my Facebook friends are doing. It helps me to see the sticky note that says "finish downloading all email ads and return calls". That gets me back to work when I stray. Even I sometimes need to be reminded to go back and look for the good. Read the news or read the funnies? It's your choice.


IT'S TAX SEASON! Keep Your Dollar Karma Clean
by Being Honest on Your Taxes

Some would say cash is hard to come by these days. So it's not unusual to see barter arrangements between taxpayers. You've probably even done a little of this yourself: No money actually changes hands, so it's almost as if the transaction didn't happen, right? Not exactly. The fair market value of goods and services that you receive in exchange for those you provide must be included as income on your tax return even though you don't receive payment in a traditional way. If you're not sure how to start bartering, consider a barter exchange. A barter exchange is an organization with members that contract with each other to jointly barter for credits. Since they are strictly regulated by the IRS, you'll receive a form 1099-B from the exchange indicating the amount of income to be reported.

On the other hand, if the IRS finds out you've been doing a substantial amount of work under the table, they will audit you so fast it will make your head spin. I know people who barter goods and services, and they don't keep track of it. Many of these same people also work under the table, earning unreported income. I'm not judging their choice of what to do with their life, however, when they complain about income being slow and blaming it on the economy, I can't let them get away with that. I have to remind them that it's all related, and that they play a part in attracting what they experience. If they are working under the table because they think Uncle Sam takes too big a cut, that is poverty conciousness and that is fearful thinking. If you are receiving disability income yet work several off the record jobs, you are holding yourself back from the greater good you could be attracting, if you didn't have that lie hanging over your head.

And it's only a lie because the IRS has a rule against it, and you don't want to mess with the IRS. Period. It's much easier to upgrade your belief, and learn to be glad to comply, than it is to constantly be looking over your shoulder, dreading the consquences of being caught. With tax season coming up, keep your income/dollar karma clean by being honest on your tax return. Don't be creative, keep it simple. If you feel you must work under the table, consider the message you're sending the Universe. You don't want to vibrate there.

In the 80's, before I moved up to Melbourne, FL from Miami, I worked as an independent contractor for several attorneys, meaning they would give me 1099's at the end of the year and I'd file my own taxes. A few years, some 1099's came late and I didn't want to take time to amend my return and refile, so I didn't. That happened several years in a row. It wasn't a giant amount, just a few thousand dollars. But by the time the IRS caught up with me years later, the penalties and interest had skyrocketed what I owed into such a big mess I had to call in my mom to help bail me out with a loan. And she read me the riot act. I was 30. It took me 7 years to pay her back. I was glad I got that lesson early.

So now, when friends let me know they are working under the table and staying off the grid and being low profile - what is this? a sleuth drama? - I tell them, clean up your act. Start right now doing everything the right way. Know that without having to look over your shoulder and worry, you have just removed about 80% of your resistance regarding the topic of dollars and income, and the Universe will begin to abundantly deliver to you.

You're the only one holding back your good. The economy has nothing to do with it. Just you and how much resistance you have, consciously or unconsciously, to everything going on around you. Everything, because it's all related.

It's just something to keep in mind. See what Abraham-Hicks has to say on Thriving In The New World Economy at the website http://lawofattractioninteraction.com/Thriving-in-a-new-world-economy.php

Last month I watched the Real Housewives of Orange County and Episode 12, entitled You Can Dish It But You Can't Take It, has Housewife Lynne Curtin and her husband Frank discussing the eviction notice they just got served. I see this show as often as I can and I always liked Lynne since she's so easy going. But boy, not in this episode!

The previous show ended with a sheriff's deputy handing Lynne's daughter Raquel an eviction notice at the front door. This week, the segment begins with Lynne walking into an outdoor public park where she confronts Frank at a picnic table and asks about the eviction notice. Lynne is really pissed. WTF is going on? Why is this happening to us? She has clearly rehearsed some things she is going to say to Frank (and the camera) and, no matter how Frank responds, she's going to have her say.

When asked how did we get evicted? Frank, whose construction business apparently screeched to a halt some time ago, said there were other issues, other monies that were owed that he needed to pay on time. The big issue seems to be there was a deposit owed on the Laguna Beach home they rented when they downsized, that he wasn't able to pay on time. Hence the eviction notice.

"A deposit??!!??" Lynne blows up at Frank. "You lied to me. You told me that was why this place was such a good deal, because there was no deposit." Frank tells the camera, "I didn't tell anyone the money was owed." Well, we figured that out by now, since last season had Lynne and Raquel going in for cosmetic surgery, and since the beginning Lynne has been known as a compulsive shopper. She jokes and calls herself a sports shopper and spoils daughters Raquel and Alexa with lavish gifts.

Frank might have saved himself a lot of aggravation (and joint marital debt) by fessing up years ago. I completely understand how a man in the construction business, historically a cash flow business, would simply think any day now the market will bounce back and we'll be in gravy once again and I'll get everything paid off. The construction market has never not been good.

Here's a man who wanted to provide for his wife and daughters to make them happy, and suddenly his income changed and he thought it would swing back before it became a problem. He wanted to keep any 'bad news' from his family as long as he could. After all, if his business began booming again, there would be no problem and no reason for them to have known about it in the first place, right?

During the eviction conversation, Lynne immediately brings up that she was feeling good about things, she had cosmetic surgery done, and she left it to Frank to take care of it and he didn't do that. Frank told her, "we need to be on the same page and start saving money." Lynne replied, "You're not going to victimize me. I'm your wife and you don't even care about me and I can't handle it." WTF?

Frank said. "You live in a little microcosm and it's not even real and you don't know what's really going on." Lynne said, "I just want to know the truth." Frank replied, "You don't want to hear the truth." End of picnic bench segment.

Later in the show, after lunch at a 5 star restaurant where Lynne told the other housewives about the eviction notice, they all go shopping and Lynne as usual is charging purchases and joking about it. She is so wrapped up in the shopping and filming that she apparently forgets she is now supposed to be saving money.

So, if you found yourself in Frank's position, would you have done as he did, hide the truth and bear the burden alone? Is that the kindest thing to do for your family? Or is it wiser to let everyone know everything involved in the running of the family?

Even if you're going to designate yourself as sole breadwinner, it's simply good basic financial training to let everyone know what everything costs. To let them know how much manpower on Dad's part is expended to buy Lynne's facelift, Raquel's nose job or her $1200 purse. To let them count the available hours in a month and figure how many of Dad's waking hours must be spent working to get all the bills paid every month. And to figure into that how many hours he will have left to spend time and enjoy the family he is working himself to the bone to support.

I'm not saying the sole breadwinner needs to constantly rail on about every penny all the time, I'm just saying it is good financial training to let your children grow up knowing how much things cost and how many manpower hours go into the creating of the dollars to pay for it all. You're doing them a real disservice if you do not prepare them.

If Raquel had to buy her own purse with her own money earned from working her own job, I guarantee she would not have spent $1200 on it, as her mother did. She would have had some basic training in dollar management, which would over the years save her lots of money. Money she can spend on fun doings, rather than simply having a closet full of items with the tags still on them to show for all her hard work.

Of course, more valuable would be an understanding of law of attraction, but learning some basic financial skills is a step in the right direction. Your finances, get a grip on them before they get a grip on you.

Enjoy our offering this month. Hari Om
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