“Dear Money, I am often worried there is not enough of you. I don’t like to worry, hear it’s bad for your health, so I try not to think too much about you. It’s a little game I play: don’t look unless I absolutely have to. I suppose you could compare it to the game, “chicken.” I just tell myself the universe will provide, the universe will provide, the universe will provide, it always does.”
Last Saturday I took my son to the bookstore to pick out a book for English class (his awesome English teacher lets students choose what they want to read, knowing that following our passions is the best teacher of all). While he scoured the store, I grabbed a handful of titles that looked interesting and got comfy on a bench in the corner. This is seriously one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. The book I came home with, You are a Badass, by Jen Sincero. I almost didn’t buy it. At one time I wouldn’t have even looked at it. It was too close to my own writing. It would stir up this unkind voice that says: This has already been done. Better. Stop now and just go back to being average. It’s what you’re good at. Kind of greedy to want more, don’t you think?
This voice is why I practice mindfulness. Here is another reason:
I just hung up the phone with my brother. I thought he might be grumpy with me. He has been slow to return my texts. First I thought to call my mom and ask if she knew what was going on (Something I have done in the past that spreads fear and stirs up a bunch of stuff based on a made up stories and projections). I did not. I am growing. Instead I called my brother and asked, Are you grumpy with me? I’ve been asking for support lately. Is it too much? Does it feel like a burden? These are the stories I’ve been telling myself. My brother works for our family business. My investment in our family business pays my rent. So this relationship is tied to my relationship with money. My whole family is. Our history, our conditioning, our stories are all tied together. He said, No, not at all. In fact, I’ve been feeling bad about not getting back to you sooner. Terribly busy. Sorry. How can I help? I felt myself soften and tears well up in relief.
Back to the book I almost didn’t buy because 1. I don’t need it; I’ve got this and 2. I will start to compare myself to another writer on the same path and feel like a big loser.
I cut straight to the end of the book to the chapter titled, “Money, Your New Best Friend.” Sometimes you don’t need the whole book. One little jewel is worth all the time and money invested. Come to think of it, that one little jewel is what we get everytime we show up, when we are paying attention. Write a letter to money. That was her advice. Clear the air, get things out in the open, notice what stories you have about money. Create a new relationship with money. This is awesome—I love writing letters! I started promptly.
This works most of the time, but I’m seeing that it always keeps me a little on edge and surviving with just enough (vs thriving in abundance).
“Dear Money, I don’t like it when you leave my bank account. Paying bills gets me really grumpy because I worry you will leave me and not come back. This could happen any day now.”
“Dear Money, I don’t understand why you go to other people in such massive quantities and not me. Why don’t you like me? I am a good person. I am practical and responsible and not all greedy and stuff. I don’t need that much. (Ding ding ding. A bell goes off in my head with this one).”
“Dear Money, I grew up in a family where everything had to be equal. So, while I have a great appreciation for what you can do, I feel bad sometimes when I have more of you than others. And then I feel like I have to give a bunch of you away to make it okay that you are with me.”
“Dear Money, I feel like it’s wrong to want more of you. I really really want more of you.”
“Dear Money, the other day I imagined my car being jam-packed with you, and it brought a giddy smile to my lips. That smile was soon dampened by a feeling of fear. Others will want you. I might not be safe if you are with me. I need to protect you. I need to protect me. When I am alone, I don’t have to worry about that. I have more freedom. Freedom is what I value most.”
“Dear Money, sometimes writing to you makes me feel excited and the thrill of possibility and anticipation. Sometimes, like right now, it makes me feel sad. I don’t know how to get you. Some people are gifted in this way. I do not appear to be. I am great at working for free. I like to work for free. I feel free working for free (less expectation more appreciation). The flip side of this coin is that perhaps I don’t feel worthy of being paid for what I do. But that’s just not true. I know the value of a good teacher; the rest of our country just needs to catch up.”
“Dear Money, I am ready to love you and invite you into my life. To practice ease in our relationship and trust and let go of expectation. I can see that my beliefs about you are not based in truth or fact, but fear and conditioning.”
“Dear Money, I love you and I am so excited about all the amazing things we will create together.”
“Dear Money, you rock my world! I love playing with you. We have so much fun together. Thank you for tuition money for the kids’ school this year.”
Sunday at the park (another outing I was driving my kids to), there were feathers everywhere. Yes, I was walking near a duck pond, and yet it came to me that I have been finding feathers all over for weeks. I had this epiphany of abundance. In my first blog post I wrote the words, “and then she remembered she could fly.” The universe was speaking to me, I felt certain. I started collecting the ones that caught my fancy and thinking of feathers that day as each being $100,000. I collected thirteen of them. One point three million dollars. Not a bad start.
Do you know what’s fun and really scary right now? Sharing my process with you before it has become a reality. This would be a great share after I manifested $1.3 million, but before, well, I risk looking like a silly dreamer. I risk having to show you where and when I fall down. I risk, perhaps, the biggest risk (for me) of looking stupid.
Yes, I received tuition money for my kids’ school this year, one of the things I had been uneasy about. It was there all along; I just needed to get brave enough to look.
There is so much to explore here. Writing this made me aware of many of my limiting beliefs about money. I have more than a lot of folks. I should be thankful. Who am I to write about money troubles, as a white, middle-class, college educated woman? Somehow I don’t deserve my worry. How dare I want more than I have. This is I suspect a clue to the mystery of my money woes. You see, I always seem to skirt the line of just barely having enough to get by. Not too much and not too little. Always in the middle, a class system that I’ve been conditioned into I suspect.
This is a gift, this feeling broke. Again. It’s an opportunity to look closely at the stories and limiting beliefs I have around money. The ones that always lead me back to this exact same place. It’s time for a new story.
In the meantime, what’s up with your relationship with money? Write a letter to money, and then come back and share your discoveries.