I have an increasingly warm and loving relationship with money. But it’s been a long journey. Having gone through business failure, bankruptcy, humiliations, hardships and long stretches of duress, it took a lot of conscious application of my training as a clinical hypnotherapist to break free of limiting patterns. (Emphasis on a lot and conscious application.)
There’s lots of advice out there for financial growth, investment and even recovery. But not a lot that addresses the emotional, mental and spiritual dimension of healing from financial trauma. Me being me, I’ve found that a combination of research, rigour and ritual was the right mix for deep and lasting healing.
Money is a funny thing. I love it, want it, respect it, and appreciate it, but I don’t love the influence it often has.
Much like parenting, I believe the fundamental imperatives that must overlight a healthy relationship with money are bonding and boundaries. Like, love what money can provide in terms of stability and options, but also understand that our relationship to money requires healthy limits to thrive.
As a hypnotherapist, I know the currency symbol, whether dollar, pound, euro or krona, is a uniquely powerful symbol for the subconscious mind. It carries everything with it whether you value it or not: security, power, status, freedom, independence, comfort, social responsibility, pleasure, expression – all of it.
All that can quickly become a tangled mess when you consider our collective responsibility for stewardship of the planet. My desire to help bring more healing to the world can quickly run into conflict with wealth accumulation. This is where so much of the fluffy New Age Law of Attraction stuff breaks down for me. It’s over-simplified and skips to outcomes; it sidesteps a thorough exploration of complex structures.
Your relationship with money can only become simple after you’ve excavated the complexity.
Often, we excavate the complexity by growing through hell first. The upside is that facing devastating loss (or potential loss) and really having your back against the wall is a strong motivator to change!
There are three essential aspects to becoming cultivating a conscious relationship with money.
What follows below is the synthesis and result of my own journey through the three steps.
1) Surfacing beliefs
Along with hypnotherapy, I did a lot of reading, listening to audio and watching videos to disentangle the story of my money web. When it comes to money, it’s important to uncover our subconscious beliefs and re-program the stuck ones within the context of higher truths or principles which place you in the greater context of all beings.
If I could narrow it all down to one resource that cost little and covered the most ground, I’d say it was the book, The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of Enough, by Julia Cameron.
Here I’m talking about careful restoration of the principles that will guide how you shape your new relationship with money.
To reconstruct my financial life after total collapse, I took the opportunity to re-make my money situation from the ground up according to my belief in sustainability, social justice and environmental responsibility. You will refine your own guiding principles with teacher that you’re drawn to, but if you’re on this page, chances are pretty good that you really care about the planet, too.
If you’re interested in learning more from my teachers, I highly recommend you watch everything you can by Nicole Foss, (a.k.a. Stoneleigh). She’s a polymath and all-round lovely person who will make your mind explode with her intellectual brilliance. Watch her explain global markets and bubbles in this 6 minute video to finally understand what it all means for you personally. If you ever get the chance to see her speak in person, drop everything and go! Then invite her back to your place to drink wine and let her give you the best advice, about pretty much anything ever.
If you want to understand even more about how this all happened but want the intellectually lighter version, watch The Crash Course videos by Peak Prosperity (Chris Martenson).
Inspired by Stoneligh’s post How To Build A Lifeboat, (widely popular among peak oil and sustainability experts), here are my personal money principles:
- Hold no debt (for me, this means renting and allowing the landlord to assume the risk of longterm investment erosion).
- Keep cash on hand. Lots.
- The banking system is for convenience, not security. Use sparingly.
- Having control of my food supply and ample reserves means my loved ones will never be hungry, therefore my community is more secure.
- Embracing community makes my family more resilient. Being a generous helper gives me a better chance of receiving help if I need it in the future.
- Be worth more to your employer or clients than you’re getting paid for.
- Health is a primary form of security and wealth.
- Wealth only comes from the earth. Nothing – nothing – else is true wealth. Wealth is only created by extracting a resource or adding value to it. Everything else is just a story we tell ourselves and we all know that every story eventually ends.
- As my grandma used to say, “Don’t be so stupid.” You can’t have unlimited anything on a finite planet. Call bullshit on anybody who throws around the word “unlimited” as though that actually exists in the physical dimension.
- Money is wonderful when used in wonderful ways by wonderful people. Like, for instance, parents who surprise their kids with extra large freezees on hot days. Wonderful.
Some people will be uncomfortable with these principles. Many will strongly disagree with some points, particularly the renting vs owning thing. That’s fine – so long as you’re clear on your own principles.
For me, when I come at money from a climate change/environmental emergencies/economic vulnerability perspective, it really changes the entire game.
Remember, these are just what makes me happy. If you watch my Facebook or Instagram feed, you’ll see I have pretty simple pleasures. My hope is you’ll embark on your own journey and become conscious of why you think, feel, and act the way you do, and whether that feels in alignment with your soul.
To heal our relationship with money, we need both clear understanding and consistent application of the metaphysics of money. For this step, I recommend Lynn Twist’s book, The Soul of Money.
“You can’t reach prosperity and abundance through the doorway of “More” – it will only produce a sense of lack.”
Get a sense of Lynn here in this 10 minute video. Actually, watch everything with her. You’ll feel filled up with warmth.
By connecting the dots between these influencers and applying what I know about the subconscious mind, I developed a practice with my money that keeps me conscious and in a state of empowerment. I weave my practice into my day and revisit it every night in my journal.
The strongest influence over human behaviour is homeostasis. In other words, the greatest predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. So in order to improve your relationship with money you have to replace past beliefs, patterns and behaviours with new ones. The way to do that is to do a little bit at a time, at the right time.
There are multiple “right time” opportunities throughout the day. You can learn about my approach in detail in my True Prosperity course.