Let’s talk about money.
Why do some people have it while others don’t? Why are some people able to make
more and more and more of it while other people seem to struggle with holding on to
it long enough to ensure their basic survival? Money seems pretty complicated, but
here’s the secret:
Money is like love: when you don’t have it, it’s all you can think about.
Love and money are linked. They are two sides of the same coin, and that is the coin
of self-worth. When you begin to really know your worth, you will understand that
love and money come to you when you feel you deserve them! As long as you are
feeling small, you will be holding up a small tin cup under the golden tap of Life. When
you start remembering who you really are, and who made you, your container grows
proportionately. Having money is not about doing more, it is about knowing how to
receive all that Life is trying to give you.
Let’s back up here a moment. Some of us have had real struggles with poverty. Some
of us know the gnawing pangs of hunger, the hopeless frustration of low-income
housing, the vicious cycle of minimum wage jobs. Some of us have watched our
parents and siblings literally go without food so our bellies could be filled. And those
were hard times. But if you are reading this on a computer right now, chances are
somehow you have moved to the next level. Somehow, you held onto that firm thread
of hope that only extreme poverty breeds, and decided you will make it. You will relate
to some version of this story if your parents immigrated with few resources to a new
country. You will relate to this story if you have families or friends who have had to be
helped by government programs so they could make ends meet.
Poverty is not a small
thing. I get that. I have lived that.
But things are changing. Our parents, our teachers, our friends kept us on track so we
would “become something one day”. And here we are! Accountants, entrepreneurs,
artists, care-providers, teachers, mothers, mentors, and the list goes on. But if we don’t
actually face and heal those old beliefs about money, we can be bringing in six figures
and still feel broke. No matter how much we have, how nice our homes, our cars, our
children’s schools are, we will not be fulfilled. Worse, we will feel like it could all come
crashing down at any moment.
And it has! In the last five years, we have seen how missing two or three payments
means the bank takes back your home. We have seen people struggle as the debt starts to catch up, and felt the drowning overwhelm of never enough, never enough.
It’s time for a mind-shift! We have to change the way we see money, especially those
of us that come from poverty. Money is nothing but a symbol. How do I know this?
Because when I went to Australia, China, England, Pakistan, and tried to pay for food
with my Canadian dollar bill, it had no value! Our money only has value because we
say it does. The numbers in your bank account are only that: numbers! So why not add
a couple zeros? Here are four tips to help you reframe your thinking about money and
attract more abundance:
- Giving back is non-negotiable.
We must give back. Even if we are only making
a little bit of money, giving back sends the message that we have a little to spare.
And we always have a little to spare, even if it’s just a few dollars. Many faith
communities have formalized giving back into a tithe-type donation. Give back and
have it be blessed money – what a great idea! Give back to the community that
sustains you, the programs you benefit from, the organizations that stand for what
you believe in. Just test it for 40 days, and see the abundance start flowing back to
you in so many ways.
- Save with the same excitement you spend with.
We have built monuments to
spending around the word. Whether it’s the colorful local marketplaces of the East
or the mega-malls of the West, we seem to really enjoy this process of spending.
And while some don’t like shopping, given the chance to buy the newest electronic
gadget their eyes will light up like a kid in a candy store! If you can bring this same
excitement into saving (including investing), you will begin to relax into this money
game with ease and a sense of humour.
- Learn to receive.
Life is trying to give something to you every day. Whether it’s a
nugget of wisdom from the song on the radio, an unexpected call from a friend, or
the beauty of flowers blooming on the side of the road, life is generous. Once you
begin to notice, you will see how people around you are trying to give to you as
well. Many of us, especially those who like control, find it easier to give than receive.
Allow others to give to you, and your abundance multiplies!
- Turn jealousy into gratitude.
Jealousy is the poison that keeps us limited to a
certain income level. If you are envious of others, or have some negative beliefs
about affluent people, you will not feel comfortable inside yourself once you start
bringing home the big bucks! If you see someone who has what you want (happy
relationship, great job, beautiful home, the latest “toy”), bless them! Send them
your gratitude and admiration for showing you that it is possible. Wish for them
happiness in all areas of their lives. That is much better for your emotional and
spiritual health, and you become a person others feel comfortable being around
because they do not feel that prickly undercurrent of judgement.
I do believe there is such a thing as a free lunch. I also believe in karma.
If you treat people well, if you are generous, if you give of yourself whole heartedly, life
will respond to that. If you look for motives, keep tabs, and count every penny, life will
also respond to that. You are creating your bank account by the way you see the world,
the way you see people, and the way you see your Creator. Why would He/She that
created us hold anything back? That would be grounds for termination! No God(ess) of
mine is stingy or uncaring. So then it must be the choices WE have made that put us in
this bind. Time to find a way out.
Take the plunge of a new way of thinking about money today, and watch as the