Understanding Money & AbundanceProsperity depends more on wanting what you have than having what you want. ~Geoffrey F. Abert
Any sense of physical security I have felt from the time that I was 18 onward, has, for the most part, been a direct reflection of how much I have in my bank account. It’s always an arbitrary number that I shoot for, an amount that I believe will completely cover anything unexpected with plenty of room left over.
However, for a money hoarder like me, this sense of security is always superficial and never long lasting. It’s leaning heavily on something physical to mask a festering internal issue.
Much like one might inherit a certain eye or hair color, I believe that my money issues are ingrained in my family line, spanning through generations of outwardly negative spending habits to equally damaging behaviors like my own.
In fact, if we really stop to reflect on our own relationship with money, we can learn multitudes about how we show up in the world, what we believe our worth is and how much we respect ourselves.
Regardless of how the behaviors play out, many center around one common theme: fear.
I’m afraid that I will never have enough to live comfortably; that if I do achieve financial success, I will lose it all; that I will never be able to reach a place of financial freedom while doing what I love; that if I allow money to flow out, it will never come back in.
While there are different types of baggage we carry that can make everyday life difficult, I know that my feelings and attitude towards money is something that affects almost everything I do.
I select the food I eat in a restaurant based solely off the price, I avoid making essential repairs to my car in order to avoid the expense and I pass up invitations to go on trips because I choose saving over treating myself.
Quite simply, I allow money to interfere in my attempts to be fully present in the moment, and I tend to overlook what money actually is — a sense of currency, spiritual and physical, that is suppose to flow in and out of our experience.
As I left my chiropractors office this morning, my body calm and suddenly free from the stress and strains of everyday life, I noticed my mind wandering to the cost of the visit itself.
Then I stopped.
The amount in my bank account had diminished, but I had something monumental in exchange for it — hips and knees that were no longer aching and a miraculously tension-free neck. What I received in return was more important than the money I had handed over for it.
No matter what negative or positive connotations society has placed on money, in many ways it is simply something that can bring to light our issues and serve as a path towards greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Here are a few ways I’ve attempted to get to the root of my relationship with money.
#1 – Explore Family Beliefs Towards Money
Words, especially those that are repeated over and over, have a way of shaping who we are and what we believe. If you grew up hearing “money doesn’t grow on trees,” or “you know we can’t afford that,” chances are you have a sense that no matter how much is there it’s never enough.
Or maybe for you it was a lack of words that formed your ideas and beliefs surrounding money — if you grew up in a family that didn’t directly address money issues because it was a taboo subject, you might not feel comfortable reaching out for help when you need it.
When I dove into my first relationship where money was something we shared, it helped immensely to take both of our upbringings surrounding money into account. While he was more prone to spend and I was more prone to save, I was at least able to understand why that was and address any issues from that place.
#2 – Notice Spending Patterns
Notice spending patterns in your spending habits, then take money out of the equation.
Often times we address money issues using strictly superficial means — attempting to make more money to cover expenses, trying to budget better, working to curb shopping trips, etc. All of these are important, but most money issues that show up in our lives are actually symptoms of a bigger problem.
I know that I wrestle with an intense fear of the unknown and control issues on a regular basis, thus the reason why I pinch pennies to the extreme and struggle with panic attacks when unexpected expenses arise.
Others might spend money in an attempt to squelch emotions that they don’t want to or don’t know how to work through.
These are problems that need to be addressed first, and most likely the money issues will begin to diminish as a result.
#3 – Determine Your Definition of Abundance
Abundance for many conjures us visions of dollars and cents, lottery tickets and overflowing bank accounts. If that’s the place you are operating from, the chances of you feeling abundant in your life are greatly diminished.
I believe that our feelings about our financial life are a direct reflection of the abundance we are feeling in other areas of our life. When I tap into the abundance I have in my personal relationships, for instance, I notice a lightening of the tension I feel around the amount of money I have.
Noticing other areas where you are abundant and expressing gratitude on a regular basis actually puts you in a place where you are open to ushering in more monetary wealth.
#4 – Being Fully Present Now
Take stock of your ability to be fully present in the now.
The majority of money anxiety I feel can be blamed on one thing — future-oriented thinking.
The truth is, if I were to be fully focused on this moment I would know that I am completely taken care of and everything is fine. All of the worry comes from the fire of “what-if’s” that I seem to be attempting to extinguish every couple of minutes.
Are you fully present in this moment? Are you able to distinguish what actually is from your mind’s rendition of what could be? This could be at the root of many of your money worries and relationship mishaps.
How about you? What money patterns and beliefs are you observing in your life?