Thursday, May 10, 2007


Abundance is a popular buzz word now but it doesn't mean I have a good relationship with it, or until previously, any idea how to 'get' it. I've tried feng shui, affirmations, budgeting, saving, harassing my husband, working more, etc. I think I simply maintain to the best of my ability and pray that checks don't bounce (they do anyway) and that we can eat. Not the most abundant way to live, I realize.

Eating raw food seems to have prompted me to shift in these subtle ways, and recently I feel a lot different about my relationship with money and abundance. My habits aren't reflecting it, which is the frustrating part, but I am now aware of them and I am interested in observing and changing the patterns to align better with my life. Eating raw foods creates a higher vibration in my body and I am getting tired of watching myself do things and act in ways that don't feel right anymore.

When I went to therapy on Tuesday, I didn't know what I wanted to talk about. Lots of things were in need of examination but nothing stood out. So I asked myself what was on my mind a lot and lo and behold, it's money! I went in and said that I wanted to talk about the role money plays in my life and how to have a better relationship with it. It was one of the best sessions I've had (and that's a lot of sessions!). I was pretty charged to begin with, having had a money talk with Josh days prior. It was "another talk about money" and even though I was feeling more comfortable talking about it, I still didn't feel really positively connected to money. And of course, by now I know that there is no way for money or abundance to feel comfortable in my life if I always have bad associations with it.

My therapist and I talked about how I give money for services (completely disempowered, if I give it at all), how I sense the energy of money (cold, like an empty hallway, grey), what it feels like to interact with it (a Tasmanian devil, wreaking havoc on all who encounter it), and what I WANT it to be like. Wowee!

I want money to feel like a solid piece of beautiful wood, smooth to the touch, valuable, and worthy of exchange. I want it to be taupe yellow or rust-colored orange. I want money to feel like a member of my family. Not up in my face, but always supportive and present in my life, encouraging me to pursue my dreams. I want to offer money with my full integrity. I want to look people in the eye, give them hard-earned money, and feel great about the exchange.

There was something sad and pitiful about how I dealt with money in the past. I felt like I was clutching onto it like it was my last dollar EVERY time I paid a bill, wrote a check or gave a dollar to someone selling Real Change. I would balance the purchase or donation against a list of questions, mostly about worth and sacrifice. "We can't afford that" would roll off the tongue too easily. Everything was about dollar signs, no matter what. Getting money was a burden because I knew that I would immediately have to give it away to someone or something. I was not enjoying any abundance. We had short-term (read: For Fun Times) savings, but even that felt like a drag when I weighed every option, shopped endlessly for the best deal, and went over and over whether it was a "good use" of money.

I also discovered that even though I believe that self-care is the most important, it somehow wasn't worth spending "good" money on. I always wanted to qualify for low-income so I could pay low on the sliding scale, and not overdo my scant budget. I created a special kind of energy around myself, which involved a lot of examining and defining and scrutinizing. Was my self-care important at this time? Did I deserve (or sometimes, did they deserve) to get this item? Was it "necessary" or could I live "without" for a while longer? <--This question is good for simplicity programs and lifestyles, no doubt, but it can be a double-edged sword when there is a mentality of living without=being a better (righteous?) person. My sacrifices had me feeling superior! Yikes.

My therapist and I role played how I give money at the end of our session. It was a little thing, but I was nervous each week about how awkward it was to hand over my check. Did I look her in the eye? Did I look at the check as I was giving it to her? Did I subtly slip it onto her desk while I was leaving? Each session I was basically plagued by this interaction. I did both of us a disservice when I didn't see the check I was writing as an equal exchange of energy. I earned this money at work, so that I could take care of myself and here was someone who valued me and my personal work and provided me with a safe, comfortable space in which to grow. That was so valuable! And I was treating it like it wasn't any more valuable than any other thing.

From these beliefs, feelings, and interactions with money, I could easily see how I dealt with my energy, or energy in general. I didn't see energy as the exchange it is. I knew it was, but I didn't ACT that way. I undercharged for services, took additional work just to have an extra buck (I think I ate very similarly--whatever was available to fill my belly, I'd eat), tried to hold onto my energy for as long as possible and only gave what I was obligated to give or the least necessary. No wonder! My interactions with people in general are somewhat stilted, I attract very similar folks, and I regularly don't feel a constant flow of energy in my life. "What's in it for me? Will this inconvenience me? Do I have enough energy for the likes of YOU?"

I believed that I only had so much energy (very limiting since I tended to believe most infinite intangibles were finite: love, energy, gratitude, etc). Instead of seeking more, I sought to keep what I had and I would only work on getting more, if I was incredibly depleted (sick, lonely, depressed). Then I would try getting it with this downer, pathetic, and overall unattractive energy. "See, I'm so sick and exhausted, will you give me some energy?" Asking in this way meant that the other person shouldn't expect to get anything in return since I had none to give back. Talk about an energetic vampire!

When I did give energy, it was willy-nilly. I gave too much, to the wrong people (those who did not intentionally and consciously ask for it), and never asked for any in return. A sure-fire way to deplete myself! I thought that by virtue alone, I would be rewarded. This is nice thinking, but the Universe likes direct requests. I know that I like when people ask me for EXACTLY what they want from me. That way, there is no confusion or soured expectations or disappointment. If I can't give them what they want, then I say so, without guilt. Above the table.

When I encountered other people I felt protective. Not because they had a history of taking my energy, but probably because I had a history of giving it away to the point of deficit. As a kid I felt that it was my duty to simply serve others endlessly, without caring about my own needs. That habit is dying hard, for sure.

After my therapy session I felt so much better! Just talking about my past patterns, perspectives, and beliefs about money let me get them out so I could examine them, one at time, and let go of the ones that didn't serve me.

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