A conscious relationship with money? What does that even mean? Let's delve a little deeper with the intention of leading you towards exactly that - a more conscious relationship with money. My invitation to you is to read this blog slowly (bookmark it, come back to it if need be), use a journal to examine some of your judgements and happy thoughts around money, find a great listening partner to support you or if you are within reach of me, attend one of my workshops for deeper work.
Relationship with money
Your journey with money may have taught you some hard lessons and also helped you create beautiful experiences (for example: a vacation with loved ones) that you value and cherish.
Your relationship with money may be confusing, obsessive, seductive, unconscious, turbulent, harmonious, conscious, balanced, invigorating, icky, energising or draining ( or another word I haven't added). Think about it for a few minutes...What is the dominant flavour present in your relationship to money? And also, more importantly, what would you like it to be?
The widely heard sentence ‘money is the root of all evil’ has not helped. This highly over simplified phrase has added to the confusion, taboos and demonization that already exists around money.
I will attempt to breakdown some of the key aspects which I hope will help you reflect on your own relationship with money.
Delving deeply into the concept of financial integrity was incredibly powerful and freeing for me. I discovered a new, refreshing way of looking at money, relating it to my life energy. I don't like 'time is money' because I found it kept me more bound to scarcity thinking. If unfamiliar with this concept of financial integrity, I invite you to read my comprehensive blog on this first here.
Get familiar with your shame gremlins
Get really acquainted with them…if you listen carefully, you will hear that your gremlins are driven by some shame and invite you to play small. They include some of the below:
I am not good with money
I don’t understand it ( pensions or investments) so I just avoid it all
I am not good at maths so therefore it follows I cannot be good with money
These money related shame gremlins need to be seen, empathised with and confronted with deep compassion. The voice of the gremlin is trying perhaps to keep you safe or stop you from making mistakes. Go through those thoughts again and repeat often, " I am telling myself....I am not good with money", etc. This helps differentiate the thought or belief from your identity. Notice if any shift happens after adding these four words before your belief.
“Shame is the gremlin who says, ‘Uh, uh. You're not good enough.’” - Brene Brown
Unfortunately, unconfronted gremlins also keep you away from being in your full power around money. Here, the word power is used to reference your abilities and resources to get your needs met, whilst at the same time respecting the needs of the other people you are engaged with. Power is usually associated with domination and control, this is not what I mean here.
Shame and guilt are very powerful; also often unconscious. Uncovering and freeing yourself of these core beliefs around money will help immensely. Its roots are often in the story of ‘I am not good enough’ or ‘I don’t deserve this’ which may have been holding you back from creating the life, freedom and earnings you want.
Working on core beliefs is deep work and you may need support with this; I found the work of Byron Katie and Robert Gonzales, NVC Academy trainer this highly useful in working with deep beliefs. I found the practise of Non violent communication also very useful in relating to my needs and feelings around money. Again, if you are within reach of me, I invite you to attend one of my workshops for deeper work.
What influenced your money story?
When I think of my influences around my own money story, I think of my childhood…my grandmother, my parents, my school, my first paid job, my first investment, my last job …little incidents that I remember associated with money…losing or earning it…all of this and more that influenced how I was conditioned to think about money.
Although I have had largely positive experiences, freeing myself of some of the conditioning has not been easy. Witnessing from a young age, my mother’s fears about money (her being a single parent) meant I absorbed some of this. I had to retrain my brain, some of the habitual patterns of thinking around money were draining me and I trained myself to think different.
I also lost some money in the stock market in my 20’s by investing in dot com funds- remember those?. Painful! It was a small tuition to pay to learn about my own greed and the importance of diversification. I had to forgive myself for these mistakes in order to really move towards what I wanted to create. Otherwise, the echo of past mistakes would most definitely hold me back.
I shared the above (although its a little personal) to spark thoughts about your own journey. I invite you to think of memories, people, phrases you heard that have influenced you so you can get to know your own money story intimately. They may include phrases like 'money doesn't grow on trees' or 'money comes from blood, sweat and tears' or 'money is evil', etc.
Be aware of the meaning you project onto the word money
Remember, money is really neutral. Money has no meaning on its own. If you stick a 5 pound note in your hand, and ask it what does it mean? Notice the answer that comes back…the meaning may depend on who is holding the money or what it is exchanged for. In the absence of context, it is hard to work out what the meaning of money is…and so learning how we project meaning is key to bringing some consciousness to your relationship with it.
Meaning and life purpose
This is related again to financial integrity. Are your needs for meaning and life purpose met with how you earn money? Are you in alignment with your deeper values? Ask yourself: Am I making a living or a dying? Money is simply something you exchange your life energy for and you want to be able to trade it with purpose and integrity.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog on a conscious relationship with money. If you are in London, do attend one of my workshops for deeper work. I would love for you to subscribe to my newsletter if you want more!