I can’t afford that.
Often means I couldn’t possibly have that. Money holds us – it gives us things. If we haven’t had that kind of holding – if we can’t receive – we’ll continue the pattern with money using anxiety and affordability as reasons to push away what is possible for us.
This is a really tricky subject.
Financial inequality on our planet is nauseating. So many lack the basics while so many have far more than we need.
And yet so many of us who have so much feel that we do not.
That’s what I want to address in this post and in my upcoming workshop.
I created the course to give ourselves a chance to breathe and feel a little bit of what there is to feel around money. And to place ourselves and our feelings in the context of our lives. And come to understand ourselves in relationship to money in a different way.
And there has been so much interest.
And relatively few sign-ups.
It could be the way I have described it. But there has been so much interest.
And it could be many other things.
But my gut says. This topic’s a bit hot.
It’s scary to face money.
It rules us. Defines success for us.
There are few people in our culture who don’t measure themselves by some sort of financial yardstick.
And just as our relationships are driven by unconscious feelings, feelings about money create financial patterns.
So many people feel they don’t know enough. Or don’t have enough.
And the result is a power imbalance between people who have and those who don’t. People who understand and those who don’t.
Money is one of the arenas in which our family drama plays itself out.
It’s an energetic experience that is bound to bear resemblances to the rest of your life.
I believe in looking at our feelings around money because otherwise money holds us back.
Sometimes money actually does hold us back. It is a container and sometimes a desperately limiting factor.
And many times people with many gifts to share hold themselves back because of their beliefs around money.
This is the work I believe in. Work that frees us from anxiety that has been misplaced onto money.
Paradoxically I think our anxiety about money contributes to inequality. If we feel like we don’t have enough how can we give our time or our money?
If we feel like we don’t have enough how can we open our hearts to others whose needs surpass our own?
When we are not lacking for food or shelter or health care and yet we feel poor we are constricted. We feel constricted, less than, underemployed, under-living perhaps. And we don’t bring our gifts to the world fully. The gift of our life force, our creativity, our love, our time and yes our money. When we feel we don’t have money or time we direct our life force towards those things and miss what the world is asking from us.
We are responsible for ourselves.
So the work of healing financial anxiety is really important.
It’s important for the quality of our lives.
For our feeling of alignment with purpose.
For our ability to address what is unjust or violent in our world.
This is really hard work. I resist it too. And I have difficulty finding practitioners who can really work in this area. It’s so taboo. It’s so scary. There is so much riding on it.
For many people money is a much greater taboo than sex.
In fact our whole culture rides on us not looking at how we feel about money.
Because if I don’t have enough I will:
Feel “less than” if I don’t have the best of everything (and this is an ongoing slippery slope – always relative).
Feel envious of others who have more than I do.
Ignore those with real needs in favour of my own anxieties.
Live smaller than I could.
Hoard rather than share.
Stay working within a defined system.
And this keeps the machine running. Playing according to the rules, working towards moving targets, over-stressed, feeling less than great about ourselves.
And when this is happening we aren’t seeing clearly, speaking strongly, drawing a line in the sand against injustice.
So this is why I do this work around money.
I want to hold you. I want to help you feel into the ways in which you have not been held and I want to be there for you as you explore this.
I have developed some powerful ways of supporting people as they look into these questions. The container will be strong, boundaries tight, and everything welcome.
And when we come up for air, let’s see how you feel about the investment in yourself you are anxious about or the financial bad habit or whatever it is that is plaguing you.
If you’re not in Toronto – sign up here to be alerted to an online version of this course.
And if you’re in Toronto – join us – details here.
And if you don’t want to or can’t join here is my suggestion. Ask yourself why and work with the reason like a poem. I don’t mean this moralistically. I mean that the question “Why would I not do this work?” Is worth asking. Not my particular workshop necessarily. But the work of bringing freedom to yourself which is the work of bringing freedom to all of us.
If each of us brings a little room into our hearts on this subject this morning the ripple effects will be palpable.
Perhaps you are OK. Perhaps you can be held. Perhaps you don’t have to solve it immediately. Perhaps you have enough. Perhaps you are enough.
I spent 15 years in capital markets before becoming a therapist. I am a Chartered Financial Analyst and have a Master’s in Computational Finance. So the issues around money are something I have been thinking about for many years. It seems to be part of my path to do this investigation for myself and with others.