5 Tips To Save Your Relationship With Money (pun intended)
If you’re like me, you grew up with the notion that more money is good and less money is bad. Perhaps that’s still the case. In fact, the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ labels associated with money have the potential to spark fear… fear of not having enough, fear of not being secure, and other existential fears. These seemingly entrenched fears result in a loss of our personal power and a newfound dependency on objects outside of ourselves as a means for peace. Not only did I grow up adopting most of the Western culture’s beliefs around money, but I also felt like I never had enough. I was raised in a middle class family living in an upper class neighborhood in New Jersey. Enough said. I don’t blame my upbringing, for it is my responsibility to develop a new healthy relationship with greens, just like I have with kale. Oh wait, different greens. After traveling the world and studying yoga and meditation, my perspective of money has shifted and continues to evolve on a daily basis. I now have no fear around money, and I’d like to share with you some of the tools that supported me in shedding a layer of my being that no longer served me.
5. Money is not real.
Perhaps I should have saved this for number one. Bear with me. Money is a concept. In reality, it is paper, or better yet, some numbers on a computer screen. Intrinsically, money has no value. I do not need that paper in order to breathe or live. It is not warmth, it is not love, it is not shelter, it is not food. It is something that mankind created as a means of trade. It is simply an idea. This may be difficult to grasp, and that’s okay. Contemplate this fact deeply in your own time. We are the only living creatures on the planet that need money in order to live well. No other species administers the use of money exchange and they get along just fine. It is a belief. If I believe a paper bill equals money, then it becomes real. But at the innermost core of truth, there is no such thing as money.
4. Money is energy.
So if money is not real, but I believe that a paper bill equals a dollar, then I have believed it into existence. Basically, if you live in society, then you believe in money. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s necessary… unless you want to go live in a forest. In that case, bye. So if I am buying into the illusion of money in order to sustain my life, then what is its purpose? Money is simply an energy exchange. If I want to buy a new car, a lot of energy went into inventing and building the vehicle. It is only appropriate to offer monetary exchange for such function and genius. When I focus on money as an exchange of energy, I feel more conscious and confident around my spending choices. I do not want to give my energy (money) to things I don’t need, things that are not worth it, things that don’t bring me lasting pleasure, etc. I also am more open to invest in objects and activities that I receive energy from, such as massage, travel, and healthy food. As the saying goes, ‘You get what you give’.
3. Money is new each day.
Like my most recent version of myself, many people carry their beliefs (and their bank accounts) with them day after day. When we operate based on the past, we string the past along and that becomes our present. Have you ever noticed that some days you feel like you have enough money and other days you’re struggling to make rent? Isn’t it an interesting flow? And it is just that, a flow! It is never the same, yet it is consistent. It is a paradox. Such as life, money is always changing and it is important to be present to money each day. When we are present each day, we are likely better equipped to budget accordingly for the day and feel more at peace. Only the mind thinks in large quantities over time, but reality happens moment to moment. I like to plan big and balance that out with being in the here now.
2. Money does not equal happiness.
Despite the cliche, this statement is true and worth exploring. I have witnessed more depressed people swimming in cash and more peaceful people in robes than I would have previously thought possible. My profession consists of educating people (who tend to have more than enough money) on how to live a happy healthy life. They pay for it. Happiness can not be measured by the amount of money we accumulate but rather by how connected we are to our hearts and to other people. Buying a new item I don’t really need may feel great for a short while, but eventually that will fade and I will be craving something else new. It can be an addictive and catastrophic cycle. What if we can ‘renew’ our own feeling of richness and wealth from within?
1. Nothing is secure.
I believe one of the main reasons so much emphasis is placed on money is related to the belief that money provides a feeling of being ‘safe’ or ‘secure’. Of course this makes sense. Money affords us a house to live in, food to eat, clothing, etc. Those things make many of us feel safe and comfortable. As a meditator, the fact that none of these material objects are permanent or invulnerable has become increasingly clear to me. A fire can destroy a house in an instant. A business can implode; you can get fired from your job. Our own physical bodies are temporary. This is life. And it is perfect. The illusion that life is meant to be stable and secure is just as much a concept and an idea as money itself. Instead of this leading to anguish, I invite you to take refuge in the fact that we live in an incredible, mystical universe whose wisdom extends lightyears beyond our conscious minds. I love looking to nature for inspiration. There is a cycle of birth, destruction, and death in nature yet all of it seems harmonious and very much connected. There is simply joy. A bird chirping. The sun shining. Leaves falling. And that joy is everlasting.