Money is a challenge. I am currently going thru a divorce (17-years of marriage) right now and my un-employed drug addict/alcoholic ex-husband wants to take me for most of what I'm worth. I have always been the major bread-winner and supported the man through 6 unsuccessful rehabs and to a point, I still am. The problems is further exacerbated by the fact that I like to throw money at my problems. I have been working on dealing with that issue.
So in my Work, I decided that I wouldn't just throw money at the issue. Now, that wouldn't be very magickal, would it? Also, I have been blessed with a resourceful circle of friends that are always willing to lend their expertise and help me. Empower me.. I say prayers for them on a regular basis because they never knew the isolated, angry and depressed battered woman I used to be. I still have my pride though and my knee-jerk reaction is to try to do everything myself. Currently working on that one also. REACHING OUT is one of the hardest things to re-learn when you've been abused so much that you don't believe you have a voice and you're accustomed to being a slave. Nor do I want to go the polar opposite and have everything handed to me on a silver platter.
So with my working with the goddess, I had to figure out what "austere" was. Then I got my epiphany on balance and proportions. What I took from that is to find your own personal center, balance and proportions.
I love math. I've been blessed with a head for numbers. It has always been a relaxing thing to me, numbers. I can usually find the numerical answer to something, whether it pleasant or not, through the whole methodical method of "doing math". As an engineer, I have also been taught the way to figure out the most cheapest and efficient way to design.
So in producing my magickal implements and "doing math", I realized that every tool had certain proportions to it. Wow, that cool! When, I threw the proportions into some scaling calculations, I also figured out what "austere" was. There are no emotional attachment to numbers. For example the #21 could be the length of your first-born, the age that you can drink or the number you're shooting for at blackjack. Irregardless, the number is still 21. And in working the design, you research the cheapest/readily available resource that fits specification and the easiest/most efficient way of production. Any good engineer will make the most with the resources at hand. I now have a better grip about what materials I will use in production of my tools, cheaper and more efficient with some help/expertise from my friends. I am austere when "doing the math" or working a design.
Isn't that what I'm supposed to do with magick? This was the "not thinking" that my friend was talking about. Don't put your emotional attachments or personal issues in the method and put your own hard work and resources into the work
As far as the whole debate over evangelism. My response to that issue is that shiny stainless steel is not always the best material for the design but sometimes it is appropriate.