Can Your Medicine Chest Teach You How to Be Wealthy? - Christine Kane

The shower tiles in our bathroom started falling off.  Our home was built in the 70’s – and though most of it had gotten a major remodel before we moved in, the bathrooms had remained the same. Mustard tile and cheap fixtures… the works.

So, the bathroom remodel was my project.

I hired a contractor and began choosing gorgeous new tile.  Then I moved to the sink and the fixtures. I was stunned at the prices of these things. And don’t even get me started on the medicine cabinets!

For a brief moment, I thought about skimping and getting cheaper stuff.  I told myself to settle, to just deal with it. After all, I’d made it this far without nice bathroom fixtures. And besides, wouldn’t Suze Orman be proud of me for making the cheap choice?

But I went ahead and paid the extra money and got the exact fixtures I wanted.

And here’s the thing Suze Orman will never ever tell you about:

Sometimes wealth is more than just saving money. Sometimes it’s about teaching yourself what wealth feels like.

All my life, I had lived in apartments, artist’s pads, old fixer-upper houses. I had never once experienced what it’s like to open a really nice medicine chest every single day.

The medicine cabinets in the old places where I’d lived would rattle like little tin boxes.  Some of them were so rusted you could barely get the doors open. When you looked inside, there were scratches, stains and scum. Then you’d rattle the door closed again.

That rattling medicine cabinet was an old paradigm.  I knew it well. I could’ve spent the rest of my life there.

My new medicine cabinet opens quietly. It is beautiful inside.  It closes with a soft “thunk.”  I experience luxury every time I open and close it. I feel wealthy. I have made a paradigm shift. And since I remodeled the bathroom, I have attracted more and more wealth.

Sounds stupid, doesn’t it?

Well, I hear you.  I was almost embarrassed to write this story!

And yet, there is some inexplicable connection between upleveling to new paradigms and creating changes in your environment.  Even small changes.

Think of how many times in one day you open your medicine cabinet – to grab the toothpaste, the moisturizer, or a Q-Tip. You might come to understand how a seemingly small activity can make a big impression.

Now, I am not telling you to go run up your credit cards just so you can have a nicer bathroom. But I am saying that making choices to live beautifully is a part of creating new paradigms.  If you are surrounded by things in your environment that hold the energy of all the old paradigms you’ve ever experienced, then it might be hard to get the new message across to your subconscious.

What kinds of changes – even small changes – can help you get that message across?

  • Peggy

    I like quality paper napkins. I have some from Holland and some colorful birthday ones (Cavalini I think) and I set my drink on, next to my computer. It is simple and it makes me happy.

  • sema

    your post inspired me to make an affirmation card “I am worth it “to remind myself to affirm abundance by my actions.
    thank you

  • jess

    I completely agree! It’s what you send out to the Universe… the Universe will provide according to your vibing. I am currently in the market for a new car and I told my husband that it’s such a shame that most second hand cars don’t come in bio-diesel engines yet (well, not the car I want). And he asked me why I am aiming for “just” a second hand car. So now I have the same struggle… aren’t we all supposed to live more frugal in “these times” (like the mdeia now calls it, and we all know instantly know what they mean by that)? Isn’t it irresponsible to want a brand new car and run up my loans? Or should I just vibrate so high and EXPECT it from the Universe. Ask and it is given. Sounds nice, if my beliefs weren’t so damn limiting at times.

    So now I try to practice this “I’m worth it” vibration with smaller things. Like getting the more expensive shampoo, just because I want to. Or buying the $5 organic cauliflower, instead of the $1.99 generic one. It’s painful to see how my heart and mind are in conflict. I think I’ll wait with the car purchase a little longer, until both are aligned!

  • Jennifer

    I am so with you on this bathroom redo! I moved into a house 17 years ago and the master bath needed to be redone then. Of course, that didn’t happen until a year ago. And I went all out with tile, marble, cabinetry, and fixtures and I love it! I spent more than I probably should have but don’t regret a single penny. After 17 years of living in a 60 year old bathroom, why not?! Suzy Orman would do the same, I’m sure!! And I feel very wealthy when I am there!

  • Mindful Mimi

    I am SOOOO with you. I come from a very modest family where every penny was turned over 10 times before it was spent (yes 10 times). And I followed that kind of lifestyle for a while – because I did not have much money. But as time went by, I started getting things that were just above what my dad would approve of. Then a little more and a little more again. We live in a big house now which we just extended and remodeled. We just ordered a new kitchen too 🙂
    It is not about the house or kitchen in its material state. It is about being surrounded by nice and beautiful things. By living in a space you created yourself, you chose yourself. To hell with Suze Orman for today 🙂

  • Pat D.

    I have *never* regretted spending top dollar on things I really like. Never. And, I totally know what you mean by your story.

  • Kathy

    As someone who recently remodeled the entire house – using up every bit of cash we had and more – I am right on board with this post. It all feels so good now. We feel wealthy. And we are attracting more wealth as well after having made our paradigm shift. Thanks for sharing this post and a picture of your amazing bathroom!! In our home, our master bathroom is my favorite room in the house and we too picked exactly the tile and fixtures that made us happy.

  • cara

    I LOVE love love your bathroom, especially the sinks and faucets. So cool. And I love and totally agree with this post. I think it goes to the power of positive thinking and intentions. Believing that your life is one of abundance and money will be there when you need it. Which is not to say that the reckless spending and debt of many people in years past is ok, either. But some purchases are investments, and fine bathroom fixtures have a big pay-off when you sell your house.
    We just put in an in-ground pool this year, in the middle of this recession. But we had used our above-ground for ten years and it was shot. And this was an investment in our family time, our quality of life, our economical vacations in our own backyard. So we did it right, with upgrades and extras that we will enjoy for years to come and in little bits every day. And it is a reminder that there is abundance in our lives and we have much to be thankful for.

  • Tre ~

    On so many levels….Do ya’ll know YES! magazine? Their recent issue had an article in it about living small…100sq ft small….but living large..story’s about a gal who has what looks like a playhouse on a gorgeous piece of land she gardens and harvests fresh fruits/veggies in Washington area..but beyond that…tis her preference to feel less cluttered. but the’s soo well maintained and posh for her standards/taste.
    I have often wanted to live ‘small’ but large. Spending my resources on what matters most is what’s important to me. I’m not exactly where I want to be but I invested a buttload into a new reliable macbookpro….and a my iphone..b/c technology is vital to me. functioning technology. I know in moments my whole life will reflect what I value.
    It’s less to me that the ‘stuff’ represents wealth and more that I walk around knowing I don’t have to lack on any level for the good I’m doing. And whether that makes us remodel our spaces or overhaul our lives, it’s vital to be certain nothing is tolerating lack of any kind (she says as she sits in a pair of sweats that hav epaint stains all over them and are clearly becoming unthreaded as she types…BUT there’s a sweet memory therein 🙂 )….Here’s to comprehending how invaluable you are….we all are..and walkin’ around with that conviction. 🙂

  • Sue

    LOVE this!! Reminds me of when we got a new fridge..though much less glamorous, it was new and the color I wanted and mostly NOT the old one. My family laughed at me b/c everytime I opened its door for about a week I made a sound like angels were singing.

    It just felt that good. 🙂

  • Christine Kane

    Thanks all! I LOVE reading everyone’s similar experiences with this idea. Marg in Mirror – Glad to hear that suze is expanding her approach!

  • Giulietta Nardone

    Hi Christine,

    Your new bathroom must be gorgeous!

    Good post for shifting paradigms. I’ve been working hard to rid myself of the lowest price cost mentality. It’s an emotional drain on my time and my soul … Thx G.

  • Gayle

    I greatly appreciated this post.

  • Paula

    While painting in Ireland, I fell in “lust” with the hand knit Irish wool sweaters. They were well worth their expensive (to me) price, but it took a couple of walks through the store wrestling my poor artist mindset before I flashed the bankcard. And no way were they going to fit in my suitcase or carry on bag, so I even had them shipped – a first time luxury for me.
    Those two sweaters are a warm reminder of that trip and each time I put one on, it covers me with that “successful artist traveling in Europe” glow!

  • Catherine Cantieri, Sorted

    This post, like so many of yours, resonated with me. My mom is very much of the “make do” school of thought, while I tend to take your perspective on things. Helping her organize her office a couple of months ago was an exercise in frustration. I could envision an elegant, functional system that used wall space to its fullest and made the most of her valuable desk real estate. But she insisted that no money be spent (even my own money, which I would have been happy to donate to the cause) and that she only needed to sort out a few file drawers. So we did that, and she seems happy with it, but it’s nothing like what I knew we could do.

    I almost never tell her of the purchasing decisions I’ve made based on abundance principles, because her response to that has been that I don’t “need” the things I’ve bought and am not making smart decisions. It’s probably a generational disconnect, but it makes me sad to think that she doesn’t think she deserves exactly what she wants.

    Sorry to ramble; that post clearly struck a nerve. Thanks, Christine!

  • Glad

    I husband and I are beginning to “fix up to sell” our house. I have been out of work for a while, but we know we have about a year left until he gets reassigned to a new duty station.

    I’ve been reluctant to do anything because of the situation with the economy and the housing market.

    Thanks for reminding me that in order for the universe to “hear” my intention, I must “be, do and have.”

  • Lynne

    This is such a seemingly simple yet so profound reminder… Thank you, Christine, for reminding me how important it is to value yourself enough to make good, choice-ful decision such as this. You are a constant source of inspiration for me to shift my thinking — even (perhaps especially!) in small ways — and notice the big differences. Thank you!

  • Sandy

    Thank you for this. I told the boy the other day that I was no longer going to buy cheap stuff. The same type of stuff that Betty was talking about. Stuff that doesn’t last and just ends up as clutter.

    We are going to buy to last, not to last right now. It will be a lighter load on the environment as well as make us happy, and both of these two things are becoming increasingly important to me.

    I will definitely have to look into organic undies next!

  • Marg in Mirror, AB

    Actually, Christine, I’ve seen Suze recently on a couple of shows, and she *would* tell you to do what you did — to get the *best you could afford*. Why? Because of the psychological benefit — as you demonstrate — and because quality *lasts*. It’s a good investment! Years ago, I gave up skimping on yarn and fabric. If I’m going to make something by hand, it’s going to be the best I can make it, with the best materials and tools I can afford. 🙂

    Thanks, too, for the recent conference call. I, too, made copious notes. I am in a building place in my new artistic endeavours, moving toward building a body of work. Your calls and e-mails give me focus and encouragement. Thanks for what you do!

  • Betty

    I’ve always tended to skimp on clothing. The result is a shabby-looking wardrobe. So this year I pledged to set aside *at least* X amount each month for clothes. And I started buying better quality items and accessorizing more. Sometimes I have to save for a couple of months to buy what I want, but I feel so much more confident when I wear my new clothes. The only thing I’ve had to give up for them are all the little odds and ends I used to purchase mindlessly–you know, the things that turn into clutter shortly after you buy them.

  • creativevoyage

    I feel the same way about cheap scarves – I had an exquisite hand dyed silk velvet no which I paid over a weeks wages for wore for 10 years – it eventually got stolen. I’ve replaced it but only after sourcing the same high quality fabric and making it myself.

    By the way I listened to your recent call and it was fabulous. I made copious notes.

  • Anna

    Thank you for the reminder…you know how caught up in the wealth mindset stuff!

  • Eden

    This is such an interesting post! I think it’s true too. I think there are times when I talk myself out of something due to a limit I may impose that something just shouldn’t cost that much…..but then I go around and spend more money on little things trying to duplicate the product I ruled out. I think I need to remember that I can waste money trying to avoid purchasing the one item that really spoke to me, that I talked myself out of.

  • Tracy

    This was a timely post for me, too. My husband and I have been debating the update of various things in the house, but have held off because he is pursuing a switch in jobs and we don’t know where that job will be or when we might move. We have been in the “we may move in 6 months” mode for years now and I finally decided that for however long those “6 months” last, I will live them with a nice bathroom and not sitting on a ratty couch. I bought beautiful new fixtures for the bath last weekend. They have been on my vision board for the last year! Next stop, new underwear 🙂

  • Amanda

    mmmmmm….perfect timing for me too. We’ve been living and working overseas, came back to our birth country 7 months ago and has been living in my parent’s house ever since, waiting for the contract to expire with the tenants in our house…the past 3 weeks i’ve been feeling feelings I felt when I was in school/growing up… Usually i’m all love and compassion, whether others (especially my parents/siblings) are kind to me or not… the compassion is gone! I’m angry… etc…(rolling my eyes)… But this post was the aha for me…cause i’ve been trying to figure out why i’m like this (so out of my norm! and i just want to fight with my family! so not me…) and I just realised living in my parents house for the last couple of months just triggered all the things I never told them or my siblings….

    I created a haven for myself and my husband in our home…and i love love love our home….it is the best medicine cabinet there is for sale… and i miss it! I miss my medicine cabinet… only another month…

    Thanks Christine… powerful message as always xx

  • amypalko

    I recently submitted my phd thesis. I’d been working on it for 4yrs and just after I started it, we moved into our current home. It was smaller than our last house, so the bedroom had to double up as a study. By the end of the 4yrs, I had books piled so high on the window shelf that I couldn’t see outside any more. I had loose paper entirely covering a corner of the floor (I’m ashamed to admit it was about 2feet deep), and overstuffed folders clogging the bookshelf. The week after submitting, I cleared out all of that stuff and created a sacred space with plants, candles, incence, crystals, family photos etc. I cannot articulate just what a difference this has made to my life. While your paradigm shift (this time) was one related to wealth, mine was most definitely related to spirit. I’m going to work on the wealth one next!
    Thanks for the great post, Christine. I always love visiting here!

  • Tina Mammoser

    Perfect timing for this one. I’m moving into a new studio next month and have been pondering shelving. I’ve printed pics of the cubed Ikea dream shelves I’ve always wanted and put them in my Vision book.

    Now I’m going to get them. They aren’t that expensive. And for once I’ll have lovely clean white shelving, with enough space, that doesn’t fall apart or ‘make do’ in the studio. 🙂 (there’s even a snazzy desk that attaches so I might treat myself to that too)

  • Antonella

    thank you for remembering me to settle for the best (that doesn’t necessarily means the most extravagant or luxurious but what feels right for me)
    until now i had a pattern of not choosing the best in relationships, work, wealth.
    i now intend to choose the best and attract more of it every day
    in these days it’s personal growth seminars and yoga

  • Gabrielle

    UNDERWEAR, yes panties. I remember going through the same thought process several years ago when I was about 30. It was that time to get some new undies and I was going to do the same thing as I did as a teen, college student, and 20-something….I was going to get whatever was on sale. My old way of thinking (my old under-garment paradigm) chose the cheapies because 1. i ain’t got no money 2. nobody sees them (well, except my fella and me) so what does it matter.

    But not that day at the mall, something in my thinking change. I thought “I want/deserve nice freaking undies. Ones that are comfy, soft, will last more than ten washes, in colors I like, and that fit me. These items worn and washed so much, I need QUALITY. I deserve QUALITY!”

    fast forward to 2009…My newest addition to this paradigm shift about my intimates is…buying organic. 🙂

    (boy, i never thought i’d share that story. Christine, you triggered somethin’. lol

    • Tiffany

      I can so relate. 🙂 New underwear can make you feel like a new person! And also buying a new bra. I mean a high quality bra that you actually went to Victoria’s Secret to be fitted for. I am still yet to do this…I keep thinking about it. I think it’s time that i do. 🙂