Every choice we make either enhances our power or depletes it. How we choose to spend our money becomes a transformative discipline upon which we can empower our lives, galvanize our dreams, and reach our potential.
The topic of money can be a trigger for even the most evolved beings especially given the right circumstances. We live in a world with a strong cultural belief that our worth is based on how much we have. It breeds fear, greed and negative self-worth. Money offers the illusion of validation and intimacy, motivating us to acquire as much as possible in addition to becoming obsessive about it. And in some cases, it can lead to financial trouble and a leak of personal power and self-esteem. Have you ever wanted something so much (new shoes, a car, a computer, etc) and after you finally attain it, you notice it doesn’t take long before you already have your mind set on the next must-have purchase? In this mindset, there’s an unconscious desire to feel “enough” through the fleeting satisfaction of external items or experiences, leaving an emptiness and a reminder of our “not enough-ness” because what we are truly seeking is a deeper, lasting satisfaction with ourselves and our creations.
We all have a desire to achieve ease and freedom around money, whether rich or poor. But if we slow down and begin to understand our personal story around money and what money really represents for us on a deeper level, our awareness can lead to deep healing, maturing, and set us on a positive life trajectory.
What is freedom? I love George Kinder’s definition from Seven Stages of Money Maturity : “It’s living under the conditions that allow us to truly be ourselves, where our souls can flourish. It is our birthright to be free and that path to freedom can be found and followed. Our personal responsibility in life is to discover the circumstances upon which this can occur and do the personal work necessary to create this.”
Money is a neutral tool to create a means of exchange. It’s a condensed version of value, power, and choice. It represents freedom however the presence of wealth doesn’t provide emotional solvency. It doesn’t necessarily correlate to virtues such as generosity, personal responsibility, and kindness. Inner freedom comes from developing a loving, intimate relationship with oneself and having a strong sense of self and self-worth. Our relationship with money is simply a reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves. The self-love we have, the less money (or anything external) will have a grip on us. Healing our issues with money is a game changer and can completely change the quality of our ives on a daily basis.
If you’re interested in beginning the self-discovery process around how you relate to money, what your values are and how you are creating your life, you can begin by thoughtfully answering these questions:
1.) What beliefs about money did you formulate from your childhood, including what your parents told you and how you were raised? Was there a particular event that happened that left a lasting impression on you about money?
2.) When you think about money, what are the prominent feelings that come up for you? Do you worry about money, and what do you tell yourself when you’re worrying?
3.) What does money represent for you? What do I really want to use my money for? If you think about what you really want to achieve in life, is your money flowing towards supporting your goals? If not, why not?
4.) Is there a pattern in the way you spend money that causes you suffering? If you’re aware of your spending patterns, it’s a great idea to begin a daily journal. As you go through your day, have a heightened sensitivity & awareness to your feelings as it relates to money. Try to identify what the feelings are that arise and see if there’s a pattern around these feelings. Gratitude and clarity or resentment and victimization are just some examples. Journal about it and keep tracking these feelings.
This is a process and it can take some time to understand your story fully, so be patient and compassionate with yourself as you come to terms with your awarenesses. Then you can take steps towards letting go, gaining practical financial knowledge and cultivating virtues around money. But I will leave that to another blog!
A few wonderful books I recommend on this topic are:
Seven Stages of Money Maturity by George Kinder
The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
The Energy of Money by Maria Nemeth
As always, sending love and blessings to your process…