Money. What is your relationship like with it?
Lovingly open, fearful, indifferent, shameful, anger-inducing, regretful, joyful or carefree? Is money like an elusive lover, somewhere slightly out of reach or a faithful, loving support? What’s your perception of this divine relationship?
Getting up close and intimate with money has been something that I was an expert at avoiding.
I justified this to myself for a long time by ‘not being a materialistic person’ and I have spent money predominantly on non-physical items such as education, experiences and travel.
However, these beliefs are not serving me or one of my greatest values – freedom.
I set an intention to address this during 2013 but as we drew close to the end of the year, I realised that I’d still partly had my head in the sand. I’ve read lots of books on the topic but ignored the part where I need to implement everything. Anything.
I’ve experimented with all sorts of tools to dissolve blocks to this energy and whilst helpful, there are no shortcuts to taking responsibility and inspired action. See some of these here. This was been a frustrating time on many levels, with a sense of ‘lack’ and ‘being stuck’, which can only be resolved by me. I have been exhausted by beliefs, which are not supporting the life I know is available – should I make myself fully present and available.
Something needed to change – and that something had to be my approach to this inevitable relationship, which can be as flowing or fraught as I allow it to be. It’s about taking responsibility and taking care of me. It’s another vital aspect of self-love, by actively nurturing this energy that we use in our current paradigm.
With a certain nervousness I embarked on the Moneylove course with the gorgeous Kate Northrup, author of “Money: A Love Story” with the last remaining balance in my Paypal account. Immediately I had the guilty thought ‘wow this is irresponsible, you’ve got no money for this’. Just as quickly, another voice said “It’s time to make this a priority.”
I bought this great book a few months ago and started reading it with good intentions. Kate has a down-to-earth, conversational tone and I find her very relatable. When it comes to discussing our relationship with money, this pushes some big buttons for most people in one way or another and Kate raises these subjects in a safe and non-judgemental way. She also repeatedly mentions making management of your money…fun! When I got to the section about owning your money story (one of the exercises) I stopped reading. I had to go back to it a few times… I found myself tuning out – another great sign of resistance.
Avoidance and denial are old friends. However, it was time to put on the big girl panties. I cranked up the volume on the Money Love playlist on Spotify by Kate, and set up a free account on Pocket Book . The US equivalent is Mint.
Was it daunting to see my bank account and credit card transactions on one screen together?
Yes but I also felt a sense of relief. One thing that I found incredibly humbling is the depth of courage and vulnerability shared by the participants in the Moneylove course. Sharing their personal stories of financial struggle, childhood patterns, relationship with debt and coping mechanisms has been an eye-opener. As we all hold up the mirror to each other, we realise that everyone’s vulnerabilities are our own. We’re all in this together. As we take a deep breath and make a different choice to empower ourselves, this benefits everyone in our lives. Don’t underestimate the ripple effect your actions can have on others.
So I pose these questions to you that I’ve asked myself:
If you avoid having a relationship with money then how can you attract it?
If you are unavailable to your money then money will be unavailable for you.
How do you feel when you repeat the word money?
Where do you feel it and what do you feel?
What does it bring to the surface?
What small step can you take now to show your money some love?
One thing I know for sure: How we relate to money is a magnifier of how we value ourselves.
This has become much more apparent to me in ways that I have noticed I have not been valuing my time and skills. Not ideal when trying to run your own business and wondering if you are kidding yourself if this is more like an expensive hobby.
Small suggestions that Kate made like buying yourself a wallet that you really love (doesn’t have to be expensive) and looking at bills in another way as “Blessings Already Received” and sending gratitude to whatever amount you have in your bank account, even if it’s a minus figure. She recommends logging into your account online, looking at the actual figures to defuse any emotion around it. This clarity frees up a lot of energy, especially if we are used to being in avoidance or denial. It’s been surprising to me how effective this small practice is.
An interesting question to ask: can I consider that taking care of my money is just another form of self-love and taking care of me?
If there’s an unwillingness to do so, then what’s that about?
If you want to have a healthier and more loving relationship with your money moving forward, then I highly recommend the book and also signing up to get Kate’s weekly ‘Financial Freedom Friday‘ short videos. It’s like listening to a friend who is trying to help you out and share what has worked for her.
I am keen to move beyond these self-imposed limitations and if not now, when?
One beautiful benefit that I’ve noticed so far is that I no longer have any charge when I log in to my bank account and look at the number there.
My self-worth, and also yours, have no correlation with a number in a bank account.
We are inherently valuable and worthy, just because we exist. No other reason necessary.
If you can relate to any of this, I would love to hear your thoughts and what tools you have found helpful for managing your money and debt. Please share in the comments below so that we can all benefit.