First things first. Thank you so much for being involved in The Art of Personal Change series. In this part of the series, I discuss money in the context of getting the change we want in life. It is a big one.
The money construct is something that permeates much of our daily dialogue and energy in life. Whether we make it explicit or not. And unless we put it under greater inspection, we may miss out on one of the biggest opportunities to get lasting change in life, and to have a lasting sense of satisfaction with life.
Picture for example, going into a cafe with a friend …
A waitress or waiter then gives you a menu and asks you, “Anything to drink?” Most people might order a coffee or tea. Some might stick with water. After the waiter gives you the drink, you start to peruse the menu for what you would like. Just before finalizing your decision, you might ask yourself, “How much does this cost?” Perhaps you might change your mind on what to order based on the cost. Or not.
But this is just one way to start noticing how much our relationship with money governs so much of our daily decisions. And as you take the time to think about it, you will realize how much money governs the way you live your life too.
Often when I facilitate change for people, money comes up as a topic of conversation. People tell me things from; “I want this … but I need more money”, “When I have more money … then I’ll make a change”, and “I just don’t want to worry about the money anymore …” These are the more explicit thoughts. But more often, the discussion about money is such an uneasy one, that clients don’t even want to talk about it too long (if all), because of the underlying feeling of shame about the whole matter.
The money conversation is always there whether we like it or not. Even when we deny it is, reject its relevance, or despise its existence–we are intricately tied to the construct.
Because Money is a proxy for our Rapport with Life.
It is a proxy for our relationship with Life, and all that life entails; people, places, things, and all abstractions worthy of the human spirit. By the nature of our more human and immortal motives, money represents a pathway to fulfil that which is yet to be, and that which we individually want to bring into existence. For self, others, and the human family.
By nature of our critter brain, money represents a pathway to preserve that which has been survived, and to hinder all that is considered a threat to safety and belonging. If you have read my previous post on Why Being Human Can Be So Annoying, you will understand the ways in which we experience conflict with life, by the very nature of our human neurology. And how limiting and traumatic experiences we survive in our early years, become the same conditions which continued survival depends.
Therefore, repeating experiences of “yucky-ness” continue to repeat themselves as we enter our adult years. And without respectful attention and revision of these, the human being in question will go through their entire life never having it be any different. It’ll feel like groundhog day. Only with different; actors, actresses, and sets. This tends to be horrid for morale.
But I won’t spend much time on this. I’ll leave you to re-view previous posts in the series to re-grasp the basic premise of the change work I share. So, back to the topic of money. The ways in which money manifests in people’s lives, and the experiences they have of money itself, comes in a myriad of shapes and forms.
For one, those who have plenty of it and experience dissatisfaction, have an accute capacity to attain and retain money at all costs-with a hindered flow. You may know people like this. Typically, you will find them in a high-paying profession, working long hours, and being very focused on the numbers. Often, they are superbly adrenalized, and can’t stop working and making more money. It is automated. Their struggle is to switch off and just enjoy all they have.
Their relationship with money is about gain and control.
Comparatively, those who have plenty of money and experience satisfaction, have an acute capacity to attain, retain what is appropriate, and have it flowing in support of their experience of Life. You will find people like this in business and life too. They are comfortable with having lots of wealth, and they are strongly driven to put their money to fund ventures (creative, commercial, social, spiritual) they believe in … and from the heart. They keep what is appropriate, and continue to invest and snowball their financial gains in other wonderful ways. Some refer to them as philanthropists, which by the way, is ancient Greek for “The Love of Man-Kind.”
Their relationship with money is about keeping things in motion and in flow.
What I have illustrated are extremes. And neither are right or wrong. Every individual has a very specific relationship with money. Just like no one person mirrors someone elses relationship with their spouse. It is the same with money. There are people with lots of it who suffer, there are people who have lots of money and enjoy their life. There are people who have little of it and enjoy life, and there are people who have little money and suffer.
But what I have observed, is people who have true and lasting satisfaction in their relationship with all that life entails, often do not experience a lack of money. Money becomes a team member, who can, in its own way, contribute appropriately as they explore life with amazement and curiosity. Money then, is a companion on the human being’s precious artform called Life.
The wanting for more money, is a reaching for wanting more Rapport with Life. Therefore the journey with money becomes a lesson about building more Rapport with Life and all it entails. If you give life the “Fuck you”, money will respond with a “fuck you too.” And vice versa, if you give money the “Fuck you!”, then life will give you the “Fuck You!” too.
The healthiest relationship with money, is therefore a healthy relationship with Life. That means, when we are often wanting more money in our lives, it is more useful to cast our attention to how we can build more Rapport with Life; our own life, the lives of others, and the greater Life itself.
A Rapport with All that is, is commensurate to the power, variety, and heart of the human spirit. That is, to receive and embrace what has been pre-selected (as in fate, it is no longer available for us to adjust), to acknowledge the existence and necessity of money, to recognize that money is with you but does not define you (it is separate, yet belongs to Life), to choose and re-choose the ways in which you can use money in accordance with the right to take one’s own actions and have one’s consequences (the right to learn), and to Love and Be Loved … period.
The latter parts of the equation are matters of destiny (derived from destination), which is something we have say over.
Life will never run out of experiences for a human to have and select from. So money too, is abundant in what it can offer. A healthy relationship with life, is a healthy relationship with money. One that invites greater possibilities as we grow, develop, and experience the life we want and choose.
Experience is always in perpetuity.
It is natural then, for money to flow, grow, and exponentiate. Just as Life spews forth more life inevitably, so too does money. While money has a relative measure in the way we exchange things material and abstract with otherrs–it has no limit.
As a proxy, a variable, it will take on the energy of “What You Would Like …” When we cast our attention on what we want, Life mirrors that to us. When we cast our attention on what we don’t, Life mirrors that. Money will do the same.
The Rome of all our inquiry as always, is …
What Would You Like?