Being A Material Girl – Not I


By Diane Gold

Being a material girl – not I. Some may say it’s because I don’t have a security blanket to fall back on that I say this and that if I did, I would think differently. But, this is how I see it.


Being A Material Girl Is Not My StyleWhen Madonna’s song, Material Girl, came out, I was already living in a nice sized cedar house with enough land to add lush landscaping, a tennis court and a swimming pool. I had a great husband who provided for me famously, had a one month old and offered music education and music therapy to wonderful students.

I am the first to say it’s great to have a big house, my own laundry room and someone who lives in to do my laundry, rather than a shared laundry room 10 feet outside my apartment,  that I share with 8 very respectful fellow apartment dwellers to which I travel with my vegan baby wipes to clean off each laundry machine before use.

I enjoyed being able to choose mostly specimen trees rather than listen to the standard recommendations of my NY landscapers to pick one or two fancy trees as a point of focus. My land, my money, I figured. Now, the trees I planted are 30 years old, I have 2 children, my husband has passed and I live in an apartment.

I’m the first to say it’s not difficult to use an exorbitant allowance for art, toys, home improvements, collectibles, instruments, food, trinkets. I’m leaving out boutique clothing since my husband used to pick out our clothes.


If you know me well, I am famous for saying,

“Money is not important until you need it and don’t have enough.”

I think it’s important for each of us to be productive in this world, to provide some new strategy, concept, philosophy, path or inspiration for others. Or maybe I think that because that is how I’m able to live. I like simple clothing, living down the block from the ocean, working on my own terms, I love my children and cherish any time I can see them or speak with them. I love my tai chi, fitness and meditation teaching, the coaching I do, the writing I do. Other work I do is ethical, part-time, kind of fun and allows me the supreme privilege of working on my own, when I want, where I want, at what I want.


Things I Do Not Have

Let’s go back to being materialistic. Here are the things I do not have, physically: a tennis court, a pool, a large residence, a fancy car, a pretty bicycle, a lot of extra spending money, an airplane, a piano. The plane would be nice so I could visit the kids whenever. And my late ex-, who is with me in a big way, could not be any closer if I had more money.


Things I Have That Nourish My SpiritNow let’s look at the things I have that nourish my spirit: my kids; my late ex- in my heart; friends; an adequate supply of organic/vegan/non-genetically modified food and super foods; a friendly and tropical place to live that is so close to the ocean I can smell the salt; knowledge of movement so I can move my organs around; knowledge of meditation and martial arts so I can rejuvenate myself and others continually; a lifetime of memories upon which I can soak up and enjoy as long as I have my memory; a great amount of health and happiness; health insurance; opportunities to dance, read, philosophize, create, listen to and play music and converse; my freedom.

Within This Freedom, I Get To Facilitate OthersWhen my good friend said to me, you are living in a tiny apartment and don’t have money for extra goodies; it led me to consider the material girl aspect. Although I have to plan when I go on vacation or the size of my car or residence; I have freedom with which to be creative and in which to experience my life. Within this freedom, I get to facilitate others. How cool is that!



Can We Say That We Are Free?Can we say that we are free? When I had a big house with 2 living rooms, each with 25 foot skylights, was I free? Or did I have the burden of knowing my husband had to work massive hours in order to pay for the affluent lifestyle? And the burden of knowing my personal salary did not match my lifestyle.

When I taught music in school, was I a slave to the job? People refer to the teacher’s 6-7 hour work schedule as not being a real job and always mention that we have summers off. We need the summers to cultivate back the energy we have used during the school year; the responsibility we have to be in attendance for the students is big (especially when special needs kids depend on us so), and we often use home time to develop lesson plans for our classes.

What if we are CEOs, are we not always re-purposing infrastructure?; always cultivating the next best company to absorb?; having the responsibility of managing thousands of employees? Being in charge may seem luxurious, but we are also, in some way, responsible for the lower spectrum of our employees who live their lives in poverty. Is this not being a slave to the job?

There are lots of CEOs and teachers who are content to focus on the positive influence they have over many lives. This is great. Yet, the positions themselves are part of a hierarchical system where our employment destiny is controlled by a master, outside ourselves, similar to the way of the slave. Not a way that I like to live.


Chase The Money

Can we say that we are free? When I had a big house with 2 living rooms, each with 25 foot skylights, was I free? Or did I have the burden of knowing my husband had to work massive hours in order to pay for the affluent lifestyle? And the burden of knowing my personal salary did not match my lifestyle.


 The Path Of Simplicity And FreedomWhen we decide on the path of simplicity and freedom where we can be creative on our own time without being enslaved, we do take on the independent role, outside the hierarchical system, to get our money. When we choose this freedom path, we tend to live within our means, even when we make a lot of money, and the frills and baubles are more important than the freedom.

Being a material girl – not I, but I would love to know about you.


Hublot Classic Fusion Haute Joaillerie1)   EVALUATE by making a quick list of what you have and what you don’t have, based on you and no one else. (Meaning, if you don’t have a dog but would never want a dog, leave it out. If you don’t have a Hublot Classic Fusion Haute Joaillerie but having a one million dollar watch is not important to your life, leave it out.)

2)   DECIDE whether you prefer the material life which means money and being a slave to it or a life of freedom and simplicity which can afford you riches and money.

Create A New Money Strategy That Facilitates Your Immediate Freedom3)   ACT upon your decision, whether you love money or the simple life, by taking an extra 30 to 60 minutes per day to create a new money strategy that facilitates your immediate freedom.


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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition, peaceful conflict resolution and habit replacement.

Aside from the family and friends in her life, she appreciates her freedom. She says,

“Material objects are fun. They can even be exhilarating. But most of them aren’t necessary. Of course, to be able to build a hospital, a school, supply musical instruments for children’s programs are all wonderful things to be able to do.

“But, to live a life of freedom is the right way for me. This freedom life does not mean I am not helping others. It does not mean I am living only for me. It does mean my work is not maneuvered by others and cannot be taken away by merger or acquisition.

“If I touch someone through my writing, I’m ecstatic. If I help someone through my coaching, that what it’s all about. If someone learns something through my interviews, that’s good. These don’t require, as George Carlin would have said, ‘more stuff.’ My lifestyle actually requires less stuff.

“I am fortunate in so many ways because I am simplifying my life. I am grateful for my good fortune, which doesn’t mean being a material girl. But, that’s just my way of doing it, and, so far, it works for me.

“Finally, let us all take good care of ourselves because we are so worth it!”Border ff99cc

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