Finding Flow in Finances

Ever thought about finding your flow with finances? Many people struggle to feel comfortable about money. I see all types in my practice – those with lots of money who feel they ignored things that were important in order to get it, and those without money who are desperate to meet basic needs and survive. Those who grew up wealthy only to shun it today because money doesn’t buy happiness or those who grew up begging determined to have as much of it as they can. Whatever your money story making peace with finances breeds a great deal of safety and security in our emotional lives.

Money is often a difficult subject to self-evaluate. Often we are harboring stories from our history we do not even know we carry. They were handed to us through family lore, familiar surroundings (housing, location, work options), and the continued focus on what we know to be our truth. Without the exposure to other options we often repeat patterns we witnessed in our earliest relationships – often without reference for the way others experience financial abundance or lack there of.

If you heard the constant ring of “we can’t afford” or “there is never enough” or “money is the root of all evil” or “hard work is all that is worth anything” you most likely embraced those messages as absolute truth. Then we took those “truth” messages and created a life around them without even realizing they were the paradigm creating your focus. If this is you, you might want to consider learning that money is not the root of all evil and working to death is not the end all be all.

On the other hand, some of us weren’t handed the messages about lack and hard work, instead we were taught that money is always there. It may be how we solve emotional problems – ie. I’m sad, I shop. I’m happy, I shop. I am feeling jealous, I shop. I’m bored, I shop – or how our family “loved” us. Yet we may have never been taught financial literacy, despite having enough money. As a result we feel comfortable and easily fill want, but feel inadequate when it comes to cultivating money and feel helpless in creating it. Thus we feel like we always have to be “taken care of” and we are weak. If this is you, consider learning how to budget, invest, and work with a coach or therapist to learn just how strong you really are.

We might feel worthless and lacking purpose because we have not learned how to find pride in making something happen and meeting challenges that enhance our communities. Instead, we may have remained segregated by our wealth and isolated from finding deeper meaning that comes from experiencing struggle. This might feel like we aren’t participating in life rather just consuming and using up what others produce. You don’t have to become desolate and poor – that doesn’t help the collective either, however you may want to find ways to understand the hardships other go through and really get to know those who are impacted by lack. Then find a way you can find and accomplish challenges. Enjoy the pride that comes with working hard and creating something from scratch.

And for some of us … none of the above applies. You got great financial training, learned the value of money as energy to be traded, and feel confident and able in ability to manage it. Help the rest of us by communicating healthy messages and teaching others the skills you have.

No matter where you are on the spectrum of comfort with money. It’s time to learn how to find your flow with it. In the end, it is just energy to be transferred, anyway.

Healthy Finances

Your financial health has a big impact on your physical and emotional health. Finances have been in the news a lot to say the least. Where do you stand with yours? Are you financially healthy?  Could you be more comfortable dealing with money? Does it bring up ideas of love, shame, guilt? What does it represent and mean in your life?Last night I went to an author’s discussion at a local bookstore on the book Emotional Currency by Dr. Kate Levinson. I have been reading and working through this book over the last month. Her basic idea is that money is not just a rational logical tool we use objectively. She states money has so many different meanings and we must understand our emotional ties to money before we’ll be able to logically and rationally deal with it.

For me working through the book took my associations with money from ick, greedy, ugly, and a variety of other negative words to much more positive and open words. This change surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to find the peace I did with money in just a month. I am curious to see how this work continues to play out in my life. Although, the sub title of this book is A woman’s guide to building a healthy relationship with money, men at the lecture said it was helpful for them, as well, and I can see why.

Another important point Dr. Levinson makes is that we need to have healthy dialog about money. Many of us, especially women, have been disenfranchised from the discussion and management of money. She says this is a huge part of our discomfort in dealing with it. For many money is, and I don’t know anyone for whom it isn’t in my personal life, a loaded word.

Whether you pick up this book (and I get no kickbacks from this posting/book) or another – pick up something and start looking closely at your emotional ties to money. How does it control, direct, consume, allow, help, hurt your life? What keeps you from using money wisely? What does money represent to you? Who did you learn your money behaviors from? These are some of the questions and paths you’ll explore as you work through Emotional Currency.

As we learn more about the interconnections of the brain, body, and behaviors it makes sense (no pun intended) that we ought to cultivate a healthy relationship to money. Begin your positive money path today.