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Thin tethers and how to be free
paradigm-shift your reality
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Recently, I met someone interesting. Life-changing interesting. What does that mean? Well, when one’s perspective on life shifts, I imagine like moving from the position of Mercury viewing the sun to say Jupiter, you see things differently and they can’t be unseen. I can’t imagine wanting to, but sometimes people wish to go back. Not me.
This has to do with what my friend called Tethers. He told me he tries to live with a thin one. Again, what does that mean?
Well, tethers are what tie us to life here. They are not a bad thing. I have read of a silver cord that ties one’s soul to one’s body. That’s a good thing while you are here. I am told it helps your soul not to get lost while you are sleeping. I am also told that you don’t need it to find your way back if you decide to do some conscious exploring during your sleep time. (Clearly, as you can see, I have been told lots of things that have led me to desire my own personal experience, which I imagine is best for all of us in the end. And I was only consciously exploring once while sleeping and I was chased unceremoniously back into my body. I have no idea where that cord was, just that I made it and have never achieved conscious sleep-exploring since. But back to today…).
Tethers are simply things that tie us to the earth. Which is useful while we are here. Tethers can be houses, cars, insurance policies, bills that come due at certain times, a job you hold…those sorts of things. And depending on where you are in your life and relationships, you may have more or less of them. They may be thin or thick. For instance, if you have a family and children, you would have tethers structured around those things, just as they need to be.
This friend interested me because of the freedom in how he was living and crafting his life. I struggle with, or am leaning into trust lately. How do I trust life? How do I trust all is happening for me and not to me and actually feel that in my body? How do I trust that I will be OK and not run out of money (a huge lifelong fear for me that does not pay attention ever to my actual circumstances…fear is a funny thing).
And here I am in El Salvador. Something told me it was time for me to leave the US. This does not mean it is time for you to do so or that I am a prophetess foreseeing things. I don’t know what will happen there. I just know it was time for me to leave.
So I spent a tremendous amount of time and money obtaining a second passport for myself, and my immediate family in another country. Then I sold my house. Furnished. Except the new owner had her own belongings. So, I had an unexpectedly lovely time giving away my things. I watched my beloved sofa leave with a family who would love it and needed it. I gave away nightstands and rugs to the chef at a restaurant I enjoy who I found, lived in a tiny room below ground and took care of his aged mother and child recovering from cancer. I gave away things and I received. I received a lot in thinning my tether to my things, which I didn’t even know at the time I was doing.
This man I met recently is quite young, in his early thirties. And I am in El Salvador. This is Bitcoin country, as El Salvador is the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. I find this interesting.
A few days ago, I was looking to share a taxi to the city in order to attend a meeting an educational group I like here, Mi Premier Bitcoin, was hosting, and was looking for someone to share a taxi with me. Taxi’s are $40 each way and I was mixed on attending the event. I decided if I didn’t find anyone going, I would skip the meeting. I wasn’t going to pay $80 to attend (refer to my lifelong money issue referenced above).
I got a response on Telegram from someone interested in sharing the taxi. Later that day, I stood outside my hotel and watched a young, bronzed Greek-god surfer walk up with a smile. This was the beginning.
So, teachers come in many packages. Sometimes they are sages dressed in orange robes. Sometimes they are Eckhart Tolle. Sometimes they are someone in your family. And sometimes they are invisible beings that whisper and nudge you when you are least expecting. Sometimes they are a tree. Or a piece of trash even. I had one of those recently.
A lovely cacao-making, brown-eyed, deeply beautiful woman decided I needed a trip to a waterfall. On the way, she mentioned she had been sleeping in her car this past month and had just found a place to live. Cacao doesn’t always pay abundantly and she loved the energy of it. She was following her calling, to work with it as a heart-opening plant medicine. She said there were days she prepared it to sell, when she couldn’t lift her arms after grinding it. She told me there were times when she had no money, and trusted God. There was trash at the waterfall…and while I was judging it, two children picked up colorful bits of it and played with it happily in front of me. That is what I mean. A cacao teacher and colorful plastic trash and smiling children, all teaching me.
This young man was going to be a paradigm shifting teacher for me.
Here’s why, and why I am sharing this with you: Tethers are interesting things.
I learned he had a divine nudge to learn about Bitcoin years ago. Many years ago. If you are not familiar with it at all, just know that you could “mine” it on a computer early on for about $.50 a coin (this is what it cost to obtain). Today, it is trading around $27,000. It has been as high as the $60Ks. But most people, early on, who might have bought it or “mined” it, would have sold at some point. I mean, if you buy something for $.50 and it is suddenly worth $1,000 you would likely sell wouldn’t you? Or they would have lost it on an exchange that went belly up, as so many early things did.
This young man, named Don, unlike most people, studied it. He was not a computer scientist or developer, but felt divinely inspired to learn about it. He truly got a nudge from what he and I called “God” and he listened and learned. He plodded his way slowly through what is called The White Paper, a short, technical description that describes what Bitcoin is and how it works, written by a mysterious person, persons, or alien race called Satoshi Nakamoto. (Yes, it really is a bit like a spy movie).
And he learned what Bitcoin was and what it could do for the world. In this vision, Bitcoin can free people from tyranny, allow them to save money that does not lose value over time, and truly change the power structure of the world into something new. For him, it was a beautiful thing. When we talked, my sense was that we were discussing a pure frequency of money, uncorrupted by greed, power, or anything. A root chakra frequency of pure, simple energy.
People go on quests because something or someone tells them to do it but they aren't given a final destination. I remember as a child a voice told me I had to go on a "knowledge quest" before I'd start my life. Where? Who knows. Seeking what? Who knows. This might be the essence of the quasi-sacred books but learning is perpetual, or so we're told.—Don
Despite his early adoption, he chose to continue his life by attending a university where he obtained four degrees and became a lawyer in finance. He also spoke four languages and worked in China 60 hours a week in high finance, with investment bankers structuring deals.
Now, he was traveling, and had a home base in Switzerland.
I wondered why he did those things? I knew someone who bought and held Bitcoin so early, would not need to go to school or work at a regular job. But he chose 60 hour weeks for a while. My sense, after speaking with him over a few days, is he lives a divinely inspired life and he likes to help his friends and companies. So he does. And he travels.
He doesn’t own a house. He moved from China back to his home country of Australia and then to Switzerland where he rents an apartment. He doesn’t own a car because he doesn’t need one. He told me his shorts were 15 years old.
I told him I was finding my way, looking at property, telling myself I needed to buy a car here although for some reason, I am highly resistant to doing that, or even driving.
And we spoke of the energy of money. He was the first person I have met who felt it in a pure way, which was beautiful.
I know three people who have put almost all their assets into Bitcoin. Now, before you sputter and pick up the phone to call me, I want you to know this is not about Bitcoin. Really. I just don’t know how to tell this story without including it. It is about tethers. Simply that.
These people told me they felt free when they did this because their life became more simple. They were in control of their funds anywhere in the world. And they believed in Bitcoin, as something that could change the world for the better. So they were aligning with what they believed and trusting.
My friend has simplified his life like this and he told me he felt very free. Sure, he keeps enough cash (what Bitcoiners often refer to as fiat money) available to see him through the volatile price swings. What he told me in the end was that if the price of Bitcoin and Bitcoin itself did not survive, then the world would not be a place worth living in.
Again, this could go down a rabbit hole of fear into what Bitcoin is, what he meant, and ultimately feel scary to you. That is not my intention. What I am saying is that he felt the beauty of something, simplified his life to align with that, and trusts. He thinned his tether.
He advises companies and friends in investing. He structures deals in finance, helps them buy gold, art…all those things that wealthy people do to try to stay safe in their own way.
And he spoke to me of simplicity.
I am applying for residency here as I like this country based on where I have traveled this past year and previously. It feels the safest (seriously), the people are optimistic, and prices have not skyrocketed yet from a US ex-pat perspective. It is a land with money flowing in. Things are happening here which mostly feel good to me. Plus mangos and coconuts are everywhere and I figure if the world ends, at least I will go out with my coconut water, and that makes me a tiny bit happy.
I was told you need to stay in El Salvador eight months a year initially to obtain temporary residency.
After this discussion about tethering with my new angel-in-a-body, I met with my residency attorney.
She told me only six months per year were required to be in El Salvador and obtain temporary residency. I felt God smiling at me, gently offering both a new perspective and opportunity.
I talked to my friend about this. I had never considered not buying a house and a car. For sure, I am clear I do not desire to live in a hotel, however lovely, for years on end.
But right now, I am quite happy (most days…). I have found travel with uncertainty rather tiring. It is hard to haul my luggage around, to find places I like, or don’t, and stay for a few nights or a week and then look for the next place to go.
But over this year of travel, I have found places to rent that I do like, that I can stay in for a month or two. And I had the thought, that maybe, just maybe, I can try living thin.
For me, a thin tether is to stay in El Salvador six months and then stay other places I have been, that I like, where I can write, and do all the things I love. If I don’t buy a house here, or a car, that becomes much easier.
I am looking at property. There is beautiful land here, where you can hear the ocean waves. It takes boots-on-the-ground work to find it, and it is here. I am looking at two acres now, near the ocean. Somehow for me, owning a piece of land helps me feel more secure. I don’t have the courage (and some of you would say the stupidity, I know, and that is simply coming from care) to put all my assets into Bitcoin and cash.
How and what tethers you have, and how thick you want them to be, only you can know. This is not a post about what you should do. For sure it is not financial advice or in any way, intended to encourage you to purchase Bitcoin (for sure, please trust me on that). It is simply about choice. And how you and I may have more choice than it seems.
Ever since I have embraced the idea, that I do not have to buy a house and try to remake my life here in a United-States way again, I have felt a sense of ease. There is a small (tiny) cottage in Ireland in Balleyvaughn I can rent and if not, a B & B nearby with a great breakfast that rents long term to people. There is a retreat center in Costa Rica with a casita I love. I am going back for a workshop in January. Now I am reconsidering. Why not stay longer? I love it there. I rented for two months last year. I told myself for various reasons, Costa Rica is not the ideal place to set myself up with house, car and residency. But what if I don’t have to? What if I can have it all and spend time there, with my new friends, immersed in transformational energy, for a bit?
I can do that easily if I don’t have things I need to look after somewhere else. I can even go study and get certified in breath-work while I am there, which is something that has been nudging me.
This “thin tether” idea has opened up a new world of possibilities.
I wake up here in El Zonte, to the sound of the waves, in my ocean view room, including breakfast, that I rent for less than 2K/month. I look out my window through the glass door past my hammock and watch them pulse with the river and the tides outside my window. And I tell myself, I am not a loser, or lost, or alone at all. I am in a process of learning to be free in my own way, and to trust. To trust God, life, and where I am guided to be. I don’t have to do things the way I have been taught to believe. That way is to own a house. To diversify my assets into a 60/40 portfolio. To get a job and have a set and consistent income stream. To have friends. To fit into groups nicely and securely. And if I am lucky, to find a life partner who is Prince Charming, and never leaves me.
I don’t have to do any of those things. And life can be filled with so very much more for me.
It helps that Paypal froze my account recently for a few days. It helps that it was so hard to send money to my on-line Spanish teacher, Rogelio, from Nicaragua, who charges me $7.50/hr. It helps that he told me the fees to send money to him, from Paypal, his bank, etc…cut into his earnings by almost half.
It helps that I have seen people send $40 USD using the Lightning Network (which has to do with Bitcoin), for $.01…only one penny, pretty much instantly.
I wrote a letter to Paypal and they unfroze my account.
And I want to be free. With my energy, with my money, and with my spirit. A thin tether right now, is good for me. Whatever that means.
I had one of the most beautiful experiences of my life spending a few days with this young man. Now he is gone, traveling. And that too, was an opportunity for me.
Another way I have been in life is to cling. Or to look for security through people. An imaginary Prince Charming who never leaves me. What happens when Prince Charming is free and shows me that I am too?
For years, I have investigated personal inter-relating and connection through books, classes, and with friends. What is a good relationship? What does that mean? Do people actually have them: true connection without clinginess, that includes a sense of ease?
Like anything, I am sure now, it is different for everyone. And we all have our different Planet-view perspectives on this. No one is wrong.
For me, I have been re-thinking this as well. It was lovely to feel such a sense of connection and love with someone, and to continue to flow with my life. To have them leave, and realize that my happiness, security, and safety is for me to feel and flow with. I don’t mean I am alone. My friend was inspired, divinely inspired, to learn about Bitcoin, to learn finance, languages, to help people, and to flow and enjoy life fully-engaged. That inspiration came from somewhere. He is not alone. Neither am I. Neither are you.
I am simply saying that there may be more choices and paradigms than we think, and that is an exciting thing, a freeing thing, a flowing thing.
Jumping into the deep end blindfolded and trusting you'll figure something out or walking directly into the fire is where the magic can be worked on us. If we let it. —Don
There is no right answer to tethers. I asked my friend if he planned to have a family. He doesn’t know. But if he does, he pointed out, he will need more tethers, and that is fine. It is how it should be. It depends on your life and your circumstances.
I will end with one more thing.
When I first got divorced, I spent a number of weeks sleeping on the floor of his office apartment while I searched for a place to rent. At that time, he told me he never wanted to own a place again. He had owned beautiful homes, flipped houses, and had things. He said, all he wanted was to be able to call someone when the plumbing broke. He wanted simplicity.
Now I get it.
He was thin-tethering.
Becoming a Butterfly is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.