The Portable Blessings Ledger
A WAY TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR FINANCES AND BRING MEANING & HEART TO YOUR DEALINGS WITH MONEY
By NAOMI ROSE
What if every time your hands, mind, and heart touched money, something wonderful happened? The Portable Blessings Ledger helps you bring your heart and finances together in an immediate, hands-on way — and reap the benefits and blessings that accrue.
“The Portable Blessings Ledger turns our relationship with money upside-down! This financial roadmap guides you to a place where money is the vessel that illuminates your inner wisdom, brings peace to your home and family, and expresses your deepest values in the world. What a gift!”— Hal Brill, President, Natural Investment Services; co-author, Investing with Your Values
From the Money and the Inner Life series in the Rose Press Collection: Most of us learn that money is something outside us, and that how much of it we have depends on such factors as luck, hard work, constant attention to getting it, and so on. But our inner life — our connection with, or separation from, our deep nature — is the real key to having what we need, and to trusting life to support us totally. Keeping a Portable Blessings Ledger can help you come into this place.
$19.95 USD / Ebook (PDF) / 127 pages
The Portable Blessings Ledger
LETS YOU BRING TOGETHER
(1) THE RECORD-KEEPING PART OF YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE
WITH (2) THE BLESSINGS-FINDING AND -SOWING PART OF YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE —
A marriage made in heaven, and realized on earth.
As you begin to bring your present-moment awareness and willingness to see blessings in any financial transaction (or even how you think about money in your mind and feelings), your consciousness expands to include much more abundance than you may have thought possible before. Money, of course. But also how you feel when you greet the clerk when making a purchase; how you view a client or customer; the light of a winter sky as you move out into the world to buy and sell, etc.
At the very same time, this Ledger enables you get keep exacting records of your expenses and income — records you can use for bookkeeping and taxes, as well as your business and personal life. Plus, as you write down the stories that show themselves in the process, (as happens with writing) the narrative arc of your life comes into focus and moves you towards your next chapter.
Keep your own Portable Blessings Ledger, and watch your blessings grow
The premise of this unique and timely book is that if you approach every financial transaction with a willingness to discover the blessings connected with them (both those that come towards you and those that come from you), they’ll appear.
The promise is that if you keep this Ledger, the process will transform your life . . . your finances . . . your heart . . . your community . . . and your planet.
The benefits include a no-stress way to record every financial transaction down to the penny, and how your transactions reveal — and help to heal — your deep inner life. (Good for your record-keeping, budgeting, taxes, and emotional and spiritual well-being, too.) And let’s not forget the benefit of practice in spontaneous, no-fault writing!
The format of The Portable Blessings Ledger enables you to keep track of everything you make and spend, down to the penny. You are given simple guides for painless and precise record-keeping, as well as forms for Spending, Income, Musings, Celebrations, and Assessments (Financial & Life-Story) — and the stories that unfold in the process that connect your relationship with money to your deeper inner being.
THE PORTABLE BLESSINGS LEDGER LETS YOU DO ALL THE NUTS-AND-BOLTS OF RECORD-KEEPING —
Budget, keep accurate records for taxes and personal/business assessment, and learn where your money goes — and why.
AND BY OPENING YOU TO YOUR INNER LIFE, THE LEDGER INFLUENCES WHAT THEN HAPPENS IN YOUR OUTER LIFE —
Writing down the stories that show themselves through your monetary transactions shows you important, surprisingly positive truths about yourself and the world — and makes them even more possible.
Enhancing your writing ability happens as a natural consequence of recording your stories. Writing them down in your Ledger as close to their moment of happening as possible gives you no-fault practice in writing, and even helps you discover more about your spontaneous writing style.
All this connects you to the blessings that you get to have and to give through the vehicle of money.
— All this, simply because you are present to yourself whenever money comes into the picture.
Just $19.95 to start funding your own stories of abundance (and help you keep track of your finances to the penny — painlessly!) For your money, you get 127 pages of inspiring suggestions, easy-to-fill-in forms, illuminating examples, and — best of all — a way to begin funding your true abundance and self-directed financial competence. $19.95 USD / Ebook (PDF) / 127 pages
WHAT YOU’LL GET IN THIS BOOK:
THE PORTABLE BLESSINGS LEDGER includes forms for you to use to bring record-keeping together with a consciousness of blessings. It also includes the author’s stories from her own Ledger, to open the door to what’s possible for you.
Introduction: “This is a book for you to use. It’s designed to help you keep track of your expenses, income, and even thoughts/desires/worries about money in a way that will bring consciousness to the experience, and in that way connect you with yourself. . . .”
Part 1: Tools for the Journey: The Premise and the Format / What to Put in Your Forms / (Blank) Forms for Your Use (Spending Forms; Income Forms; Musings Form; Celebrations Form; Assessment Forms, Financial & Life-Story)
Part 2: Grounding Yourself in the Blessings of Keeping the Ledger: Benefits of Keeping a Portable Blessings Ledger / About Blessings (The Circumstances That Tend to Bring About Blessings — (1) Asking for What You Need, and (2) Following Your Heart’s Desire) / How Keeping a Blessings Ledger Can Help You to Be in Community / Blessings and Income (“The pain and angst around ‘Where will I get more money? I don't have enough money!’ is really an inside job — and so is the remedy. . . .”)
Part 3: Glimpses of Your Story through My Story: Spending Forms (#1, “By Hand”; #2, “The Kindness of Strangers”; “Providing Everything, Everything Is Provided”; #4, “There’s No End to the Blessings”) / Income Forms (#1, “Walking on Cloud 9”; #2, Just Being Who You Are”) / Musings Forms (#1, “What Is ‘Enough’ Money?”; #2, The Fruits of Listening”; #3, “Compassionate Organization”) / Celebrations (“Signing a contract to sing in a lyric opera chorus”) / Assessments, Financial & Life-Story
Part 4: Additional Forms to Play With: Including “Create Your Own Forms”
AN ENTRY FROM THE AUTHOR’S OWN PORTABLE BLESSINGS LEDGER:
SPENDING FORM: THE STORY UNFOLDS — “Pleni sunt coeli et terra. . . .”
Music is so close to my heart. Singing was a secret desire for most of my life. Bach is one of my most-beloved composers. And I actually sang his B-Minor Mass in two choruses (albeit decades apart) — one in high school, and one years later. And yet the habit of stopping myself from spending money on what made my heart “sing” was so strong in me that I kept myself from having the nourishing experiences with music that I craved. Finally, becoming painfully conscious of this persistent conditioning, I broke through and bought myself a ticket to a performance of the B-Minor Mass by the American Bach Soloists — the cheapest ticket, of course!
And then a blessing happened. And then another one compounded it, in case I needed proof that following your heart’s desire leads somewhere wonderful. The following is taken from my Portable Blessings Ledger spending entry, summer, several years ago.
I had found out that the American Bach Soloists in San Francisco was going to perform the B minor Mass. I love that piece; I have sung it twice in choruses — “Pleni sunt coeli et terra, Gloria Eus” [“Heaven and earth are filled with God’s glory”), I can still remember how it goes. When I saw the flier in the mail, I really wanted to go. But as much as something pulled me forward towards doing it, an equal and opposite force pulled me back. I found it very difficult to give myself permission to spend the money on myself for something I wanted so much. I could have easily spent the same amount on, say, food, or paying a bill without a second thought. And yet to give myself just what I wanted was really challenging. I kept putting it off.
And then one day, the pressure of not doing it just became too great. “Okay!” I finally decided, and went online and bought the cheapest ticket (about $35). In a few days, the ticket arrived in the mail. I took it out of the envelope and held it in my hand, and marveled at it, an ordinary paper ticket. I began to look forward to the experience.
A few days later, I got a phone call from the American Bach Soloists. “Is this Naomi Rose?” a friendly woman’s voice asked. “Yes,” I said, wondering what was up. Were they overbooked? Sold out? Were they going to ask me to wait until the next time they performed the B Minor Mass?
But no, nothing like that. “We’re so sorry,” the woman said, “but we made a mistake with the ticket we sent you — that section is actually being remodeled and it’s not finished. We’ll need to send you a different ticket, and give you a different seat. Would you mind terribly? And,” she inserted quickly, before I could even assent, “don’t worry about it being a more expensive seat. We’ll cover that. And thank you so much for being willing!”
I got off the phone in a bemused, delighted state. I had finally let myself buy a ticket, the cheapest; and now, I had been given a twice-as-expensive seat, which they would cover. And I’d been thanked for not minding the exchange that was so clearly in my favor!
But that’s not the end of the story: On the day of the concert, I drove to San Francisco, parked, and entered the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where the concert would be held. I showed my upgraded ticket to the woman ushering, and she led me to my upgraded seat. But — someone was sitting in it! He showed the usher his ticket; it was the same as mine.
The orchestra was warming up, that wonderful confection of instrumental notes and phrases that precede the performance proper. “Look, I do have this ticket,” I showed the usher. “What should I do?" Hurriedly, because the performance time was almost upon us, she led me back to the front of the hall where I’d first come in. I followed her to the long registration table, and as hastily as I could explained to the nearest person sitting behind it, “I was mailed this ticket, but someone else is in the seat. . . .” And without a word, the woman plucked a ticket from the splayed-out fan before her and simply handed it to me.
The usher motioned to me to follow her again, quickly. I trailed her to where she stood in the aisle, motioning me to sit down. I obeyed, and sat. I was sitting just three rows from the stage, on the left side of the hall!
The concert was magnificent. My heart opened to the music as if I had been singing it myself. I was close enough to see the singers’ expressions, the shape of their mouths as the notes poured forth, the light in their eyes. It was as exalting as the music itself: Pleni sunt coeli et terra, Gloria. . . .
I never got to find out the value of that final seat, but I'm guessing at least three times what I paid when I finally had the courage to buy the cheapest ticket in the first place. At least $100.
This is a situation where the facts (i.e., $35 paid) don’t really reveal the meaning of the underlying story, and the blessing inherent in this transaction. Was this “twice-bumped-up” ticket just a random fluke? Or was it somehow mysteriously connected to my following through on my heart’s desire, even though (or because?) at first it was so hard to give myself permission to go to this concert, and in order to do it I had to move through my old conditioning not to give myself anything but the most minimal necessities? It took consciousness and the courage to break a "rule" that had, indeed, ruled me for a very long time. Had I not been keeping this Portable Blessings Ledger, I’m not sure I would have been able to empower myself to buy the ticket. But I was, and I did, and the blessings had to be connected to my decision to break with such an entrenched self-deprivation mentality. Oh, it was glorious — the concert, and the being upgraded. Pleni sunt coeli et terra, indeed!
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK, Author’s Illustration
SPENDING FORM (Long Form):
Date: Wednesday, May 19th
Transaction #: 1
Items purchased: Food
Where purchased: Berkeley Bowl Supermarket
Appeal: (a) weekly shopping, and (b) party supplies
How paid for: Personal check
Amount spent: $214.48
AND THE STORY UNFOLDS . . .
Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary celebration, and I am standing at the check-out counter, an abundance of food ranged on the conveyor belt slowly moving towards the cashier. With excitement and a little guilt at the sheer plenitude of what I have gathered up here, I note the 3 packages of chicken thighs, the pound of long-grain brown rice, the oblong of French bread, the package of unsalted butter, 2 full plumped-up plastic bags filled with greens for salad, 2 kinds of salad dressing, 3 kinds of juices, ripe red tomatoes spilling over inside the plastic bag, a handful of Japanese eggplants, a bottle of sparkling cider, baking supplies for a cake, and much, much more.
The cashier, a young woman, smiles at me and rings up my purchases. I watch each item appear on the computer screen, totalling up to an increasing amount. Each item is not so much, individually; but as I watch them add up, I begin to realize that I am about to spend more than twice what I usually spend on weekly shopping. “But we’re having guests,” I think. “It’s a celebration.” Still, as I take out my checkbook and start to write the check, guilt sets in, a low-level panic.
I take a breath, remember that the purpose of this expense is shared joy. And things brighten up again.
As I’m writing the date on the check, I remember that I wanted to buy today’s paper. Someone I know has a book that’s been reviewed. I look in my purse, but don’t have any change.
“Could I write this for 25 cents over?” I ask the cashier.
“I’m sorry,” she says, actually looking sorry. “We can’t give change with checks—”
But before she can finish her sentence, the young man bagging my groceries at the end of the counter looks up and smiles. “I’ll give you 25 cents,” he offers, with a full-tilt sunny smile.
I know his face from the last 15 years I’ve shopped here. I even know his name. It’s Rick. Rick digs into his pocket for a quarter, his smile undisturbed.
“Oh!” I cry, deeply moved by his offer. I know it’s only a quarter, but I’ve just spent more money on food than he probably makes in half a week of work. Something in me is primed to protest, “No, no, please!” But I don’t succumb to it. His gift is genuine, and larger by far than the amount he is giving me. Though Rick may not be thinking in terms of “money and compassion,” his putting them together lifts my spirit well beyond the cash value.
I thank him gratefully, and watch him bag my ten bags of food into two carts. I’m offered the help of an employee to wheel the second cart to my car. I can’t say, “No thanks, I can manage,” because I can’t. I have to receive.
I push one cart forward, and a young woman employee gets behind the second cart, smiles, and starts to push it toward the sliding doors.
But then a voice from behind me calls out. “Wait! Your quarter!” Rick runs after me, puts the quarter in my hand. I’d left it behind on the counter. The offer itself had provided so many dividends, I’d forgotten the thing itself.
Blessings in Balance: Good food. Choices. Kindness. Not alone.
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
Date: Thursday, April 7th
Transaction #: 2
Source of Income: Book Development client, Patricia S.
Conditions: I had already worked with her husband on his book, so she knew of my work in terms of him. But when she saw my ad, she realized that she could enlist me to help her write her own book.
Satisfaction level: Incredibly high
Amount received: $113.00
AND THE STORY UNFOLDS
Patricia is one of the great treasures in my work, both in allowing me to help develop her book and in continually reminding me that everything is part of the journey. She reads me the short pieces of writing she has been able to carve time for ~ a triumph, considering her very young child. I listen to her read the writing she has wrested away from sleep, her voice low and evoking forests, rivers, a city in Illinois I have never been to before now. My head is as clear as I can make it so that I am of good use to her, my imagination traveling with her through the lakes and trees, the woundings and callings of her childhood and beyond.
“Thank you for receiving this,” she says to me at reading’s end, lifting her eyes up from her laptop computer, taking in my deep listening, and handing me a check.
“Thank you,” I answer, almost speechless, exalted by the beauty of her search, her recording, her gifts; realizing that serving the deep Self is the greatest privilege.
Blessings in balance: As they say, “I get paid to do this?” In truth, if I had to, I would pay her to help her birth this difficult and exquisite story that reveals so much of me to myself, as well.
A READER’S NOTE OF GRATITUDE:
"This is a remarkable achievement. You’ve found a way to bring the inside outside, and relate it to money, in a way that brings into the world the mirror that was missing.
“We never learned how to be present with ourselves through our finances. The Portable Blessings Ledger should be everywhere, including taught in schools. You’ve pioneered something we can all use.— Doreen Hamilton, author, Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice (Naomi Rose, Book Developer)
AN APPRECIATOR OF THE PBL SHARES WITH HER COMMUNITY:
"Dear Friends and Family,
"Yesterday I received a book, The Portable Blessings Ledger, which I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who has need to 'keep track of your finances and bring meaning and heart to your dealings with money.'
"So I simply share this information should you feel inclined to investigate this further. I read most of this and begin today to use it. I am very thankful and excited!
"Why am I using this ledger? One, I want to know better how I use my money. And I want to have a relationship with money that reflects a secure sense rather than fear or 'less.' I want to understand better why I have been so afraid of money and its use, and I do believe that so much of life, if not all of one's life, is lived from the inside out rather than the outside in.
"I believe from what I have read so far, that both the inside and the outside will be integrated into a whole as I use this ledger and my honest, truthful heart.
"With great love to you."
— Mary Martin
GET YOURSELF A PORTABLE BLESSINGS LEDGER, AND WATCH THE BLESSINGS (AND FINANCIAL CLARITY) ACCRUE!
YOU CAN EVEN TURN YOUR RECEIPTS INTO MEMORABLE, TRANSFORMATIVE RECORDS
I had a very sweet experience at a gas station one day. Wanting to preserve it, I jotted down some key words and a sketch on the receipt. You can do this kind of thing too, once your Portable Blessings Ledger has shown you how and why. Here’s what happened:
I was standing at the counter of the store behind the gas station, along with some other people. When it was my turn, I asked the cashier for $4 of gas — really, to get some cash back; I already had an almost full tank.
One of the men on line, overhearing me, took a $5 bill from his wallet, leaned forward, smiled broadly, and held cash out to the cashier. “It’s for her,” he said, meaning me, in the most musical accent. “Use this for her.” I realized he must have thought I was down to my last $4. (At one point years before, this would have been too true.) The kindness of this gesture charmed me.
But I quickly assured him, “No, no, really, I have money. $4 of gas is honestly all I need. But thank you!” The wattage of my smile, genuine as it was, could not match the brightness level of his.
As he returned the money to his wallet, he told me, “I’m from Mozambique.” Ah! That explained his musical voice. But did it explain why he had done what he had done? “Is this how things are done there?” I asked him, suddenly hungry for that kind of culture. He beamed and nodded. “We care about people,” he said. I felt far wealthier than when I first had come in.
Soon after, to preserve this choice moment, I made a few notations on the printed receipt, and did a quick sketch of the man from Mozambique. That way, I would remember the blessing, its context, and its unique atmosphere, as well as how much I had spent, when, why, and where.
The receipt is below (preceded by the more legible translation that follows):
“The blessing of the man from Mozambique who gave the cashier $5 for me when I asked for $4 worth of gas. (I wanted mostly to get cash for my meeting with ____ tomorrow at ____, because I didn’t want to run out of gas on the freeway. I had an almost full tank of gas.)
“I told him this. He beamed, and insisted that I take the money until I explained the situation to him. “Are people like that in Mozambique?” I asked him. “We care about people,” he said. His smiles were filling the space. “It’s good you’re here, I told him. “We need you.”
ORDER YOUR LEDGER NOW
The Portable Blessings Ledger: A Way to Keep Track of Your Finances, and Bring Meaning & Heart to Your Dealings with Money, by Naomi Rose.
Ebook (PDF), $19.95, 127 pages
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Naomi Rose is the creator of "Writing from the Deeper Self," and a book developer residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. She wrote The Portable Blessings Ledger from a personal need to not only manage money, but connect it to her inner, spiritual life. And to be able to associate the columns of figures on her Excel spreadsheet with the live, human experiences connected with those figures.
She is a former Board member of her longtime credit union, and the Treasurer of the local branch of her spiritual community.
This is her website, and the services and products she offers are meant for your nourishment and the encouragement of your flowering.
“The book is very nonjudgmental. You're only asked to observe yourself.
"This allowed me to actually use it and notice what's going on in my finances and inside me. The beauty and care and loving nature surrounding this book opened my heart to the mystery of money, and its ebb and flow. It is always surprising to see how much goes out, with so little remembrance; and how lovely the gratitude always is, when the flow returns to our shores, supporting and sustaining us. ”
— Risala Mary Laird, Book Arts Educator, Artist, Spiritual Teacher
"This is a remarkable achievement. You've found a way to bring the inside outside, and relate it to money, in a way that brings into the world the mirror that was missing.
"We never learned how to be present with ourselves through our finances. The Portable Blessings Ledger should be everywhere, including taught in schools. You've pioneered something we can all use.”
— Doreen Hamilton, author, Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice (Note: Naomi Rose, Book Developer)
“The Portable Blessings Ledger turns our relationship with money upside-down!
"This financial roadmap guides you to a place where money is the vessel that illuminates your inner wisdom, brings peace to your home and family, and expresses your deepest values in the world. What a gift!"
— Hal Brill, President, Natural Investment Services; co-author, Investing with Your Values
“I am so touched by how The Portable Blessings Ledger is all put together.
"It has lifted up my own standard and has inspired me to find a way to balance my life and to write from a much deeper and more heartfelt place. I feel very grateful to connect with your generosity of spirit.”
— Shelley Klammer, author, Collage for Self-Discovery