Tag: self-care

Overcome Your Financial Fears

Published in: Blog |

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves:
‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

— Marianne Williamson

Learning to Receive With an Open Heart

Published in: Blog |

As women, we are often encouraged to believe that “it is better to give than to receive” gifts both material and abstract. And yet, “until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart,” states professor, speaker and writer Brené Brown in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection.

Brown explores how receiving — a kind word, a heartfelt gesture, a thoughtful gift or simply someone’s time and attention — can challenge and overwhelm many of us. We feel compelled to give back immediately rather than relish what we’ve been given; clearly, many of us have work to do when it comes to becoming more comfortable with receiving.

We at The Humphreys Group have worked with clients and sought input from others on the subject of giving, and examined various ways to become better at receiving. We consider this work as important as any financial strategy — it’s a “holistic life investment” that can also contribute to our overall balance and security, now and over the long term.

In addition to Brown’s thoughts, we appreciate this helpful advice and the following thought-provoking observations about receiving from writer Karen Mead:

  • Receiving takes practice. Most of us are taught lessons about giving from an early age, but we must also be open to learning the value of receiving gifts from others, with grace and without guilt.
  • Receiving involves vulnerability. As Brown has also noted, vulnerability is often viewed as a weakness rather than a strength. But if we are to fully enjoy what it is to receive, we must strive to become comfortable with our vulnerability; doing so allows others to give us something of their time, talents or treasures — enriching our lives and experiences.
  • Receiving can “quench our needs” for connection, validation and attention, just as much as the act of giving can (or sometimes more!). If we find ourselves struggling in our attempts to “give with gladness,” we should consider how receiving gifts with joy and gratitude contributes to spreading happiness into others’ lives and provides others with a purpose. In this way, being able to receive gracefully — free of judgement of ourselves or others — becomes its own gift.

“In the long run, we can’t stay emotionally healthy without accepting gifts, both concrete and intangible. Refusing to receive leaves us chronically empty, prone to addiction, obsession, codependency or an eternal psychological hunger that’s never quite satisfied. The healthy alternative is to stop merely closing down and learn to receive wisely,” states the life coach and author Martha Beck. We couldn’t agree more.

Contact The Humphreys Group to discuss how we can help develop a practice of balanced giving and receiving that’s right for you.

Give Yourself the Power of Reinvention

Published in: Blog |

Reinvention

There is always the possibility

of reinvention

sometimes born of longing

sometimes offered faintly,

like birdsong in your ear

sometimes —

born of pain.

Life is long for a reason.

So that every chapter swells

with a new chapter of us,

so there is time to change

the meaning of your name

to everyone around you,

and especially

to you.

When the name that once meant

tired girl comes to mean

she who rose again,

– then

art begins.

I met a woman

whose house burned down

and in the ashes

she found the blaze of her self.

Now it roars

still angry, sometimes uncontrolled,

always a blinding light.

If you see her on the street,

bow to her courage.

Stare back into her flickering animal eyes,

and know, she is fighting a fight.

– Tara Sophia Mohr

Are Your Giving Efforts Aligned with Your Values?

Published in: Blog |

It’s no secret: women still grapple with societal norms that encourage us to give generously throughout our lives — of our time, our attention, our counsel, our experience, our leadership and even our physical labor. When we begin to develop financial plans, this emphasis on being generous with our innate resources can cause the idea of sharing our hard-earned monetary resources to feel like a challenge.

However, several studies indicate individuals can feel happier and more engaged with their financial management practices when those practices align with their values, and include “giving with gladness” to causes, organizations and other outlets that matter to them.

The idea of “giving with gladness” is not new, nor is it limited to money. We at The Humphreys Group offer support to clients who want to incorporate giving into their overall long-term financial plans by guiding them to assess how or what they can give when it comes to:

  • Their time
  • Their talents
  • Their treasure

We also recommend that our clients reflect on lessons they’ve learned throughout their lives about the practice of giving to help them examine how they might incorporate giving into their present and future. Some questions we ask them to consider:

  • How have you benefited in the past from another person, organization or cause giving you their time, talent or treasure?
  • How have you benefited in the past from giving your time, talent or treasure to another person, organization or cause?
  • What positive lessons have you learned — in childhood, at home, at school, at work, among friends, from your community — about giving time, talent or treasure?
  • How could these lessons influence you to “give with gladness” now and in the future?

That said, we realize not all giving is done with the spirit of gladness or generosity. Sometimes, our experience with giving has been tinged with guilt, obligation, need or anger. The result? We fear that if we give too much, our financial foundations can become shaky. If we give for the wrong reasons, our relationships with those in our financial landscape may become clouded with resentment, neediness, expectation or disappointment.

To bolster a sense of gladness in giving, we help clients analyze occasions when giving may have prompted stress:

  • Did my giving come with strings attached?
  • How did giving without gladness impact me and those around me?
  • How did I cope with the challenging aspects of giving?
  • What financial strategies can I develop so that I do not experience worry when giving?

At The Humphreys Group, we believe that success at “giving with gladness” lies in each individual developing a plan to share their time, talents or treasures in ways that align with their values and fit within their capacities and abilities. That means taking the time to explore the different dimensions of past giving experiences and learning how those experiences have affected their outlook on and approach to giving. Contact The Humphreys Group’s advisors to talk about developing a giving strategy we all can be glad about.

Living in Gratitude

Published in: Blog |

Messenger

My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —

equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

 

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me

keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

 

which is mostly standing still and learning to be

astonished.

The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

 

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart

and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

that we live forever.

 

– Mary Oliver

4 Misperceptions About Life in Retirement

Published in: Blog, Retirement |

As many people live longer and healthier lives, we’re witnessing a move from traditional, “sit-back-and-relax” attitudes about retirement, toward “use-it-or-lose-it” approaches. What accounts for this significant shift in how we plan to live our later years? Cyn Meyer, senior wellness coach and founder of Second Wind Movement, explains that many of us are thinking differently about retirement due in large part to what we are learning about the physical, mental and social aspects of aging.

This more nuanced mindset is especially valuable for women, who often feel more satisfied as the weight of various personal and professional responsibilities lessens with age — and who, researchers note, are emotionally and socially well-equipped to handle the challenges of aging.

Meyer explores four misperceptions about aging and retirement, and in doing so encourages people to think deeply and broadly about their later years:

Retirement years are meant for rest and relaxation. While true to a point, Meyer cites research that demonstrates people in their 50s and older are continuing their educations, beginning new personal relationships and reshaping themselves professionally. Looks like retirement is also a time to get up and go — in a new direction!

Depression, loneliness, anxiety and dementia are unavoidable during the retirement years. Meyer acknowledges multiple instances of inevitable physical decline linked to aging, including: eye trouble, hearing loss, diminishing mobility and balance, declining mental stamina and increased fragility due to lower bone/muscle mass. And yet, she also points out that assessing and increasing our social, professional and educational interactions and involvements as we move toward retirement may help offset potential emotional or mental challenges for individuals later in life.

Retirement puts an end to learning opportunities. Hobbies, skills and high-level thinking about complex issues all help keep the brain healthy, engaged and flourishing. Meyer highlights research that details how people build neural pathways and forge new connections in their brains throughout their lives. In dispelling this misperception about aging, Meyer also encourages people to understand that learning is a key aspect of staying holistically fit in retirement.

We have little control over most aging factors. Healthy environments, lifestyles and daily behaviors — elements individuals can control — help balance influences from factors we can’t control such as genetics, pre-existing medical conditions and the “normal” limitations that come with aging, according to Meyer. She stresses that retired individuals should develop good habits and steady routines as they approach retirement to help ensure they are able to continue to achieve their goals and dreams for years to come.

We are living longer, healthier lives, and research supports a new outlook on retirement in the 21st century. While we all will experience physical, emotional and mental changes with age, individuals — and women, in particular — can take steps to get the most out of their post-work years by remaining physically active, mentally stimulated and socially and emotionally engaged.

Contact The Humphreys Group to discuss what’s important for you to experience and accomplish in your retirement years, and to learn how we can provide financial planning support for your 21st-century retirement mindset.

Building your Resilience Muscles – in Life and Finances

Published in: Blog |

By the time we reach middle age, most of us have tapped into some form of resilience to withstand times in our personal and professional lives that have put us on edge: job changes, health scares, divorce, death and financial struggles among them. While conversations often focus on how we can bolster our Emotional resilience – our feelings about how we handle the pressures of difficulties we face – it’s important to remember that resilience comes in additional forms. Advisors at The Humphreys Group suggest paying attention to these other resiliencies and nurturing them to better manage adversities that may arise with age:

  • Physical: your body needs to be able to maintain healthy functions, and to recover quickly and fully when beset by illness. Make sure you’re not skimping on sleep, downtime or exercise that includes an emphasis on breathing (proper breathing techniques help relieve illness-triggering stress).
  • Spiritual: as you’ve gone through life no doubt you’ve developed a set of core beliefs and principles that provide you with courage and inspiration in everything you do. Stay true to what supports your sense of purpose and direction; use meditation techniques to help you focus; reserve time for rituals and traditions that are important to you, and reflect on the values and behaviors that guide you toward living your best professional and personal life.
  • Social: appreciate the strength community connections provide, especially during stressful times. Create space in your life to develop connections with local organizations and neighbors. Share stories and work together on a project that betters your community. Draw support from the people you’ve made connections with when you’re tested in work or at home. Be prepared to return that support when someone in your community needs it.
  • Vocational: not only does this mean you understand your professional strengths and talents, it also means being open to new possibilities when it comes to work and developing the not-as-strong aspects of your professional skill set. Take classes, engage in networking, have the courage to ask for the challenging project, seek mentoring opportunities or consider taking your professional life in a fresh direction.
  • Financial: plan for known developments and withstand the unexpected ones by developing a fiscal strategy that grows and changes as your life does. This way you are prepared to meet monetary challenges and ultimately enjoy the effort you’ve put into working hard, maintaining your health, living according to your principles and engaging with your community.

Next, make sure to practice these general behaviors that add strength to each of these resiliencies:

Hone a sense of optimism. Work to stay positive despite setbacks and surround yourself with people who offer positive reinforcement as you go through a difficult time.

Take charge of your personal and professional story. Reframe challenges in your work or life as a learning experiences, or as chances to do things differently than you would have expected from yourself. It takes practice to develop a mindset that views setbacks as opportunities to grow but doing so can reduce stress and help you find the positive in what at first may seem a negative situation.

Give yourself a break. The reality is that life and work can be rocky roads to travel; there are many aspects of our jobs and lives that we can’t control and must try our best not to take personally. So when faced with challenges shift your thinking from “What did I do wrong?” and “What should I have done differently?” Consider how you’ve come through adversity in the past, give yourself credit for your strength and resolve to keep moving forward.

Share what you’ve learned. Look around for ways to offer support and share lessons you’ve learned during times and after experiences that have demanded a lot from you. Being able to express gratitude and an ongoing sense of purpose after trying phases of your work or personal life offer you the chance to continue building an engaged and meaningful support system.

The Humphreys Group realizes there are many ways to build and flex your resiliency muscles. While we can recommend strategies that make the most of each “muscle,” our expertise lies in honing your financial resilience. Our advisors offer support that helps you assess your income, savings, insurance and financial plans, understand your long-term strategies and make educated investment decisions to ensure fiscal security as you age. Don’t sweat this workout as we help you bounce back from setbacks and strengthen how you make smart financial decisions.