To start out my daily pilgrimage, I am going to spend 20 minutes just writing about "What does money mean to me?" I am going to write with a pen in a notebook and allow myself to just write non-stop about whatever comes up as I answer this question. This is where I am going to let the gunk out - all the stuff that lies below the surface, below the positive affirmations, below what I want to experience with money. It is what needs to come up to be revealed and released. It is actually the stuff that has been driving my relationship and experience with money. It's the stuff that I have tried to deny, heal, pretend is not there and get involved with the next project, business, venture, only to have it come right back to this stuff. The unconscious, somewhat conscious feelings and beliefs that I hold and honestly, really believe, about money. This will not all get included here in the blog, but will help to clear the lines so that I can write here!
Then I am going to practice some meditations and clearing exercises to release and clear the stuff that comes up.
Say a prayer to come into right relationship with money and to experience that Money is Love.
Practice "shringing" 108 times and also other practices to call in the energies of abundance and prosperity. I learned about shringing, and some of these other practices from Barbara Wilder's book, Money is Love, and she describes it as "an ancient mantra to the Hindu Goddess, Lakshmi. As the embodiment of abundance, Lakshmi represents all the Mother Earth has to offer." I actually have a mala bead necklace with 108 mala beads from a dear friend, Karyn, who owns Bali Mala, www.wearpeace.com.
I am not especially connected with the Hindu gods and goddesses except for Lakshmi so I am happy to call her in through shringing. I am also open to other suggestions for calling in other deities from other faiths and cultures, especially associated with the British Isles and northern Europe. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
And then write here. The writing will be where I am baring all to myself about my daily experiences, challenges, breakthroughs, awarenesses, triggers - this will be the heart and soul of my journey with money. I can feel very alone and often very ashamed in my relationship with money and wonder, actually berate myself as a 54-year old woman who still does not have it together around money. Yet, in my more open moments, I know that I cannot be the only one. Too many people around the globe struggle with money, making ends meet, being stuck in jobs that they tolerate or actually do not even enjoy, putting on hold their real dreams until that day when they have enough money or time or both, and being actually bound in their relationship with money. So, I am taking this journey not only for myself, but for all people who want to be free of the shame, worry, and feeling hostage to money, and live a life of freedom, abundance, prosperity, creativity, authenticity, expansion and joy!
Intense, right? Yet somehow, out of my experience of growing up in the wealthiest area of Cincinnati, Ohio, that is the essence of the experience I grew up with. We lived in a very small rented house in the middle of Indian Hill, a very wealthy area where most people did not have less than an acre of land. Our house, while small and with only one bathroom, was in the middle of 16 acres with the most beautiful barn in the world, an old orchard, a dilapidated greenhouse, a stream, and also a 26-room mansion on the other side of the driveway. Wow. I had the perfect playground right outside my door! Yet, somehow in the midst of all this, I got that I wasn't one of them, wasn't good enough and never would be. Truthfully, I wouldn't want to be "one of them" - not if this is how they see and treat other human beings, yet what I took away from this is that I would never belong - there or anywhere.
I became consciously aware of my experience of money as a mean bully about 5 years ago, and I have worked with this, and done much inner work to release, clear, "break up with" this horrible Money Monster that I hold in my mind and belief system. I worked with the concept of money as a person through a system called Financial Alchemy and even became a certified Financial Alchemy coach back in 2008. So while I have gotten away from it at times, I feel as though I have been on a rope that only lets me go so far, and then I am yanked back into this nasty, abusive relationship all over again. I have felt hostage and prisoner to this dynamic. At times, I can feel so hopeless and despairing and I just want to give up, and go live in a hole, and give up, give away all of my creativity and ideas for what I want to do with my life and how I want to use my gifts.
[To be totally transparent here, I want you to know that I am married, and I do have a husband who makes good money and enough to support our family of four children. I am so grateful and blessed to be in this situation. Thank you, Steve. Yet, while this does provide me with being taken care of financially, it does not give me the empowerment I deeply want to experience within myself. I am totally dependent on my husband for my financial support and stability. A blessing, yes, most definitely. And now it is time, as my children grow up, for me to become a sustainable income earner in my own right, as my own right. I deeply desire to experience financial empowerment and freedom from within and without. I want the experience of financial abundance and prosperity in my life and work, in full contribution of my gifts and service.]
What triggered this pilgrimage is that last week, Steve and I were meeting with our financial coach and advisor. It was our first meeting after my return from walking and being in England for a month. I had paid for much of this trip out of my own earnings, but there was about $1000 debt on the credit card for my portion of my airplane ticket, bed and breakfast's, car rental, petrol, train travel, etc. I had paid off other portions of the expenses, knew exactly what I owed and for what, and so had rationalized these extra expenses, and was feeling quite good about the whole thing. Then, I was confronted by exactly how I was going to pay it off, and then to add to the challenge I was already feeling, it was suggested (again) that I check out "Underearners Anonymous" and use some of the tools that they offer. What I heard and experienced in that moment was that "You're not good enough. You do not earn enough. You are incapable of earning enough. You have great ideas, but no follow through. We can't count on you. You are out of integrity. You're worthless. You will never earn enough, be enough, have enough."
I left that meeting in shock, and hurt and anger. I was totally triggered. I didn't speak to Steve - or anyone for that matter, for three days. I pulled way in to myself, isolated myself, devised my escape plans. Thank god I took a walk, and pulled weeds in my garden. I also attended an in-person UA (Underearners Anonymous) meeting in Denver that afternoon. I drove down without telling anyone where I was going or what I was doing. I was so humiliated, ashamed, hurt, and angry. I also attended a phone session on the Saturday night when I was home alone, because of course I cancelled all my plans to join anyone to do anything. I was in it - the hurt, pain, shame, blame - full on. Yet, somehow, even in the midst of this, I did attend these meetings, I did take a walk and I did spend time in the garden.
I slowly started to speak with Steve again on Monday, letting little bits out about attending these meetings. I picked up and read Barbara Wilder's Money is Love. I got to teach Nordic Pole Walking on Tuesday morning, working with these amazing seniors, teaching them how to use the sticks and getting to witness them bring walking back into their lives. I loved it. I had a moment to get out of myself and step into contribution and joy.
Out of all this, I realized that I have been trying to figure out how to live without money…really. I so hate how money makes me feel about myself, and my life, and what I am capable and not capable of. I feel like such a worthless victim. That's weird - as I typed worthless, I mistyped and wore came out and I read it as "whore". Is that it? Do I feel like a whore around money? Carolyn Myss says that we all have the "prosititute" as one of our core inner archetypes. Have I been unwilling to connect with her and explore who she is and what her price is? Hmmm. A topic for another day on the Journey with Money.
So rather than explore this, or rise up to Money, and become empowered, I had been putting all of my energy into how to get rid of it. How could we/I live without money so that this didn't have to be an issue and a challenge in my life? I was putting so much energy into living without money - whether through ascension, wishful thinking, whatever, that it was taking me away from being here, in the third dimension. I was back to hovering. I wasn't able to fully engage here, on this Earth plane, with my family and other people I love, doing the work that I love.
What if there was another option? Especially given that it would be like moving a whole mountain range by myself to get rid of money. What if there was another possibility that I hadn't considered?
And then I read Money is Love.
In reading Money is Love, I realized that like me, Money has been cut off from its roots. It has lost its connection to who and what it truly is and its spiritual roots, and has become a monster and taken on the worst of all of our thoughts, beliefs and fears around being enslaved, imprisoned, limited, and controlled. Yet I actually began to imagine and wonder, what if Money is Love? What becomes possible then? For me? For the world? For everyone wherever they live? Whatever their external circumstances?
What if Money truly is Love -- just like all of us?
And this is the question that then led to the impulse, invitation, command to talk a journey with Money. What if through journeying together, one step after another, we can both come back and reconnect with our roots, and align with and embody the essence of who we are as Love, and experience each other as Love?
What's possible then?