“Money Money Money Money, MONEY – Some people got to have it …..- Some people really need it…Almighty Dollar! So goes the catchy theme song from “The Apprentice.” If you’ve listened to the lyrics, they accurately describe some common beliefs we have about money.
Money by definition is: “A medium of exchange that facilitates trade.” Oh, if only it were that simple. The reality is –and for variety of reasons– money is a big issue in most people’s lives. These days it is the topic of conversation.
Financial fears and insecurity can have a domino effect and seriously impact our relationships. It is a fact that money is a major cause of more emotional problems than most any other issue. How important is money? Zig Ziglar put it this way: “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”
Let’s be clear about one thing: Of course we need money. In order to feed, clothe and shelter ourselves and our family, we need that paper stuff as an exchange. I mean really–just try giving your mortgage company your husband’s valuable collection of circa 1935 Krueger beer cans in exchange for you monthly mortgage payment— see if that makes their day.
Most of us earn money by getting a job. Maybe we’re lucky enough to have a career. We exchange our talents and time for money that we again exchange for the things we need and want in life. Everyone seems to accept this arrangement. It’s after the ‘needs’–the food, clothing and shelter part that many of us seem to lose perspective and question ourselves. It’s the extras in life that we believe will bring us happiness that seems to create the great divide. Happiness to one person is being able to afford piano lessons for their child. For another person- it’s taking a vacation to Disney World. Did you just judge one statement as being more worthy than the other? That’s ok, it’s a normal reaction.
Our perceptions fuel not only our desires they also have a very interesting way of showing up as our reality. Here’s an example based on a true story:
My friend has a very solid and well paying position with a TV company in Manhattan. She’s been with the company for approx 20 years, earns a good living and yet it seems she is almost always on the brink of bankruptcy. One day we were having a discussion about her lack of funds. I asked her if I could do a brief coaching session with her. She said “sure.” I asked her to go back to her childhood and recall her first memory having to do with money. She said she remembers feeling as if she didn’t have as much as her friends. I encouraged her to go on. She said she did have a memory at age 6 or 7 and wondering why her mother never took care to dress her very well and in fact many of her clothes were quite ragged. Anything else? I queried. Yes…yes, she replied: “When I was a teenager, I told my mom that I wanted a college education so I could be wealthy.” Her mother’s response was: “Oh really? So you can become a stuck up snob like your aunt Helen?” After this sharing, my friend was silent for a moment. When she spoke she was filled with emotion. “I never remembered that conversation until just now. It’s no wonder I am never financially solvent- because if I am, I will fulfill my mother’s prophesy.”
Now maybe you don’t have a memory as strikingly obvious as my friends. Maybe the messages you received were much more subtle… then again maybe they weren’t. My point is that growing up we’ve all received messages about money. Many of these messages have taken up residence and are living and flourishing just below our subconscious…. and they’re not moving out until we give them the eviction notice.
One quick way to know how you feel about money is to notice your current financial situation. If you are experiencing lack or concern, my guess is that you have some money issues that are living rent free in your head.
I’m a believer in the Law of Attraction from a deeply spiritual and holistic point of view. I believe there is enough for everyone, despite appearances to the contrary. And, I believe that the Universe is always communicating with us, showing us what our beliefs are and what we need to know. The question is: are we listening? If you are constantly in debt, if money seems to come to you in lump sums and goes out the same way, if you have a money pattern that is set on repeat and you blame it on: your lack of education, your lousy job, the economy, the person you’re with, the mailman or the dog, then maybe you’re not listening to the Universe.
We need to understand our beliefs in order to develop a conscious and abundant relationship with money. There appears to be a great disparity between the haves and have not’s (although Bernie Madoff has somewhat leveled the playing field) and it is all too easy to believe that there is a limited amount of money to go around.
The following questions may help you determine your FEQ (Financial Emotional Intelligence)
1) Without thinking, quickly finish this statement: “Money is_________________
2) Are you involved or in charge of your personal finances or do you become “unconscious” when it comes to discussions about money?
3) Write down some common expressions that first come to mind about money. (Ex: “We may not be rich, but at least we’re honest!”-“Poor as a church mouse,” “Filthy rich, etc.)
4) Going back to your childhood, what are your earliest memories about money?
5) What beliefs about money do you remember hearing from:
6) Do you envy wealthy people?
7) Do you think if you have financial abundance, this somehow deprives others of having money?
8) Do you blame the economy, anything or anyone else for your lack of money?
9) Do you think it is more noble or spiritual to be poor?
After completing this brief questionnaire, ask yourself the following questions:
1) Did any of my answers to the questions surprise me?
2) Did I carefully consider my answer to question number 8?
3) Do I now recognize any patterns in my life that reflect the beliefs or patterns of my parents?
4) Did I experience an “aha” moment about my money consciousness?
5) Am I now inspired to be more proactive or to explore in depth my money consciousness?
Remember, the nature of all of life is to create. The universe was ‘created’ and thereafter gave rise to one creation after another and it hasn’t stopped yet. Life is flowing–not static. It could be an empire, a piece of artwork, a business plan, a story, a baby, a song, a career or a theme park. You get the idea. Understand that it is natural to get enjoyment from what I call our co-creations. What seems to get us into trouble is our attachment to what we’ve created! We also need to understand our beliefs in order to develop a conscious relationship with money and to co create a life of financial abundance Awareness of our perceptions is the first step in creating a different reality than the one we are currently experiencing. The second step is the understanding that we can change our perceptions and the third step is taking action- as Nike says: “just do it!”