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Understanding Your Relationship with Money: 08/15/2018

Feeling successful in any circumstance

On the way to my office, I had time to return a birthday gift that didn’t fit my husband. Walking up to the cash register in the men’s department, a pretty young woman greeted me with a big smile. I explained my reason for the return and handed her the receipt. She whispered in a breathy tone, “No problem, I’ll take care of it.” She called her manager for assistance who came over with a key to approve the process. They spoke pleasantly with each other in retail lingo as the young woman responded, again in a whispering tone, how the cash register was older than she was; they both smiled.

By this time, I’m trying to figure out the reason for her whispering. I thought she was either sick or she had been at a concert with a lot of screaming. As the manager finished and walked away, I said jokingly, “So were you at a concert recently?” She replied, “No, I have allergies.” I asked what she was allergic to and how long the symptoms lasted. Wanting to help in some way, I suggested she see a naturopathic doctor. I know nothing about allergies, except that most of my friends have them, but the loss of her voice just seemed extreme.

After we talked a few minutes, her breathing was slightly labored and audible as she whispered, “I’m sorry, it’s not allergies, I was born with a rare condition that affected my vocal cords. When people ask it’s just easier to tell them I have allergies.” In hearing the truth, my heart sank and suddenly I felt as if I ran into a wall to find her a solution. I was taken by her apparent trust in me.

Her condition, or my perception of her condition, left her almost voiceless in contrast with how naturally beautiful she is. Her almost black hair was smooth with a wave that fell well beyond her shoulders. Her eyes were the same color, similar to marbles, they were so shiny with light and happiness flowing from them. She was captivating and confident; not an ounce of hiding or “playing small.” After all, she was accustomed to her condition. I’m the one who was thrown a curveball. All sorts of thoughts rushed in; for a moment I was at a loss for words.

Then I asked if growing up she had trouble with other kids giving her a hard time, but that didn’t seem to be a problem. She explained she was a tomboy and played a lot of sports. She was used to taking care of herself competently. She said, “In my family, there are a lot of big personalities, so I’ve learned how to be with that. My friends at college nicknamed me ‘whispers.’”

She continued enthusiastically and whispered where she was going to college and that she was home for the summer working. She’s majoring in theater and minoring in film and television. She’s a costume designer and a make-up artist and works with many producers who love her work. Two, in particular, are giving her opportunities to further her career in film. I was so glad to hear she was doing so well, and as a 20-year-old, realized how much her positive and creative energy naturally attracts success.

The time spent with her went quickly. I looked at my watch and needed to say my good-byes. We thanked each other for taking the time to engage in such a meaningful conversation. Walking away I felt a little sadness thinking that I may never see her again.

I feel so blessed whenever I meet someone who inspires me down to my bones…as she did. She gave me a gift that afternoon. She shared her passion and how she moves through life giving her best. She doesn’t allow what she cannot change to become the obstacle to maintaining her passion. It carries over into everything she does and affects everyone she meets. Customers love her, producers love her, and that may go a long way toward her success.

When we look at our relationship with money, one aspect to being and feeling successful is having a positive attitude. A positive attitude includes having faith in what you’re doing, patience for right timing, and gratitude for what’s working. The opposite of having a positive attitude is the habit of negative thinking. An example of negative thinking is telling yourself all the reasons why something won’t work, “if only I had done this or that,” or “why should I bother, nothing I do ever turns out anyway,” and “I don’t have what it takes to be successful.”

When you make a conscious effort to focus on what is working in your life, you’ll open to the creative energy that’s always present. You’ll be less constricted and more receptive, and more useful energy will come your way. More success is possible.

When I witness a person who is passionately living her or his purpose, maintaining a positive attitude, I experience not only their happiness and success, but in a way, my own. The feeling of happiness and success is passed forward. It can be intoxicating and unforgettable. I will not forget my experience with a young woman in a department store who did just that: passed forward her light and happiness to me. Who inspires you to feel successful?

Learn more about your relationship with money: visit and take the complimentary “Money Type Quiz.” Only you see the results. Or contact me at

To learn more about your relationship with money, visit and take the complimentary “Money Type Quiz.” Only you will see the results. Or contact me at

Donna Colfer has worked in financial management since 1987. As a Financial Counselor and a Certified Money Coach, she blends her financial expertise with spiritual counseling in her private practice in Sonoma. A Valley resident since 1981, Donna and her husband, Randy, reside in Kenwood.

© 2020 Donna Colfer


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