Monday, December 6, 2010

The Spirit of Money - Part 1

"Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master." ~ unknown author

Do you sabotage yourself financially by overspending, undersaving and not living within your means?
Do you feel stuck in a job that limits your ability to express yourself and stifles your freedom because you simply need the money to pay your bills?
Do you pursue money to keep up with the Jones' and maintain a certain appearance of status and wealth?
Do you want to support an aging or struggling family member or give back to your community, but find yourself unable because of your financial limitations?
Are you always in debt, playing catch-up, and barely making it paycheck to paycheck?
Are you living a hood rich lifestyle with lots of material things and no real assets or savings?
Do you think that you will never achieve financial freedom or wealth, as you perceive it, so therefore you might as well live it up now?

Are you dishonest with yourself about money, avoiding prudent money habits and ignoring your anxiety about it?

Do you chase money and find yourself never having enough no matter how much you make?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then like me, you would benefit from taking a deeper look at your perceptions about money and its role in your life.  For example, this might sound crazy to you, but I never believed that I was cut out to be wealthy (yeah, as if there is a wealthy gene and I didn't get it).  Honestly, it seemed like a lot of work and I didn't think that I was passionate enough about anything to work that hard. Based on this belief, my approach to money was to spend it when I got it because I never expected to be able to afford the things I wanted based on my own success or hard work.  I can't say that I consciously was aware of these beliefs at the time, but now I am quite aware.
Are you?  Are you aware of your emotional patterns with money?  Do you realize that you have the power to change those patterns and therefore change your life?
Today, take some time for reflection to be honest with yourself about your finances.  Ask yourself the questions above and answer them without fear or judgment.  Think about your first experiences with money and the messages you received from your environment growing up.  Are you clinging to old ideas that you know are false?  How have your beliefs and conditioning around money hindered you and caused suffering in your life? 
We hope that this soul searching and reality checking will help you 1) discover your patterns and let go of them  2) achieve clarity and sensibility and 3) learn how to create the life you want based on a deepened understanding of your purpose and the spirit of money in your life.
Please share your reflections with us in the comments and stay tuned for part two next week.


jessj said...

Interesting...for me, I have never EVER been fond of money. I've always viewed it as a necessary evil. I wasn't accustomed to living on a budget until my first job post-grad, because up until then my parents financed my life. I didn't rack up a whole bunch of debt, but I didn't have any credit either. I just now at the ripe age of 26 have bills in my name, and credit. To me, credit cards are just dangerous and so I don't have one (no not even for emergercies) and I always seem to do ok. Spending what you don't have seems illogical.

I never saw myself as being rich or wealthy or aiming for that. I strive to be successful, and if that comes with financial spoils, well then I plan to invest it in my children; education, travelling, extracurriculars, etc. The next thing would be retirement. My patterns now with money are, pay bills, and fun can be had when afforded. Perhaps, that's simplistic, but I'd just rather be broke than in debt. Lol, never a risk taker.

GG said...

Very interesting. I'm intrigued by all the different perspectives on money that I encounter as I talk to people. It seems that people's money habits tend to be tied to their overall disposition. For example, I have a friend whose parents always struggled with money, but she did not carry on this habit. By nature, she's very conservative and careful and she's this way with her money as well despite her environment growing up.

For me, I've always had this tendency to binge and purge. Not just with money but with everything. This theme just permeates my life, so naturally, it's spilled over into my finances.

As my view of money, success, and where those two intersect has changed over time, I'm thankful to reach a point where I've stopped defining myself by my financial status. For me, it's just like my old habit of negative thinking, it's not that I don't have the thoughts anymore but I just tune them out or play the positive thoughts louder in my head, if that makes sense. It's been a long road, but success to me is not longer about money, but about doing what I love with my heart and soul and giving what I was meant to give to the world. And I understand that by doing this, I will have all the abundance I need financially AND spiritually.

alwayzworking said...

Ouch Ouch Ouch...this hit home for me! I was hoping you had some tips to change my bad habits...maybe Part 2 will.

Great Blog by the way.

GG said...

@alwayzworking - stay tuned for part 2 on Monday :) Oh, and thanks for the kind words!

Marie said...

Great post...much to consider!

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