By Diane Przymus
Is Money Important?
Whether you consciously desire to attract more money or are adamant that you don’t like or need money, thinking about money can occupy a lot of space in your head. Unless you are living off the grid or immersed in a barter economy, money is a part of our daily experience.
Our relationship with money is vital – our perception of having or not having enough of money affects our sense of safety, security and outlook for our lives. It can have power over our mental, emotional and physical well-being especially if our interactions with it remain in our unconscious minds.These unconscious expectations commonly limit what we consider possible for ourselves.
I remember the exact moment when I broke free of a limited belief that I couldn’t afford to travel. I was 18 years old and listening with envy as my dear friend Aisha described her backpacking trip through Europe. In the background of my mind, I heard the familiar self talk, “you could never afford such a trip,” and instead of believing that, I got curious. I asked her how much money I would need to do the same. She estimated $2-3K and my heart sang. I could actually save that money from my waitressing and nannying jobs in no time.
My whole body came alive with the realization that I could fulfill my dream to travel! Within a year, I was on an airplane to Guatemala where I spent two months studying Spanish.This was the beginning of a decade of amazing travel in different countries all over the world.
What is rich? What is poor?
Growing up, I often felt like the poor kid being raised by parents who were struggling to provide a middle class lifestyle in the midst of a wealthy community. When I travelled abroad and saw people living in one room huts with dirt floors without water or electricity, I realized how privileged and wealthy I had actually been relative to many people throughout the world. At the same time, the people I encountered were so joyful and rich in spirit that many of the “wealthy” people I knew seemed poor in comparison. My experience abroad turned my definitions of rich and poor upside down.
We attract evidence to support what we think and believe
For a long time I took comfort in the belief that people who did not focus on money were more authentic, deep, and spiritual. I tended to attract friends in college and beyond who shared a similar experience of limited finances coupled with a sincere desire to change the world – mostly activists, artists, healers, etc. We shared a similar worldview with an underlying rejection of materialism.
The wealthy people I encountered seemed superficial and self absorbed. When I began studying coaching, I was exposed to other coaches’ trainings around money that began opening me up to new ways of thinking. Over time I began to see money as energy and as support for transforming the world. I realized that there were many wealthy people who were deep, authentic, compassionate and really creating massive change on the planet. People like Oprah, who has been instrumental in elevating our awareness of healing, spirituality and consciousness. Her level of influence would not have been possible without the platform she built and the bigger game she was willing to play. I knew I needed to heal and rewrite my money story if I was going to be able to have the impact I desired.
Can I have a lot of money and live according to my values?
Money is not a primary motivator for me, however, I have found that operating from an abundance mindset is essential to creating a life of beauty, adventure and experience. I found ways to live an adventurous life without a lot of money during my single years. At one point, I spent 10 months bicycling through Mexico and Central America.
Naturally the amount of money I desired to make or attract grew with the size of my family. My desire to have plenty of money grew stronger when I had children. Like any parent, I want the best for them. As a mother, it feels painful if I perceive that I cannot afford the experiences I want to provide for my family. It is hard to be present with my children if I am consumed by financial pressure. It is difficult to be generous in the world and support projects and initiatives I believe in if I am scrambling to cover our expenses.
Rewriting my money story has become essential to living a satisfying life. I also realize it does not come down to the hard facts of how much money I have in the bank, rather it is my perception of choice and opportunity that determines my experience. One can have very little actual money but feel prosperous and free.
Rewrite your money story: Live a life of your design
Whether you desire voluntary simplicity, luxury, or something in between, creating a healthy relationship with money will make this possible. The foundation of a new relationship with money requires a trust in the abundance of money and resources in the Universe. Our current economy is fueled by a collective belief in scarcity of resources. We have strong cultural conditioning around this, yet if we simply look around, we can see incredible abundance everywhere: nature, sunlight, oceans, air…as well as all of the unseen and invisible realms.
Allowing ourselves to ponder the unseen potential for a moment gives us a taste of the infinite possibilities that exist for us. Just as the most celebrated innovations and discoveries have come from the unknown, so can the value we wish to bring to the world. If we consider money as an expression of gratitude for the value one has received, there is an abundance of money to be made. We only need to look for new ways to bring value.
As Tony Robbins says:
“Only way to become wealthy, and stay wealthy, is to find a way to do more for others than anyone else is doing in an area that people really value.”
Likewise, we can uplift our money interactions by connecting to gratitude and appreciation every time we pay for something. I like to take a second to feel the gratitude as I hand over my credit card or cash both for what I am receiving and also for the fact that I have the money to purchase it. Before we adopted a monetary system for the exchange of valued goods, gratitude and appreciation were likely encountered naturally as tangible goods were traded. Consider looking at money like this:
- Money is a form of appreciation and gratitude
- There is an abundance of money available to you
- You attract money by working on your inner game which allows you to play a bigger outer game offering more value to the world – work smarter not harder.
- Your expectations, beliefs and emotions about money determine your wealth setpoint
- Your wealth setpoint can be increased by upgrading your beliefs, adjusting your focus and behavior and consistently embodying the vibrational state you would have if you had plenty of money- relaxed, open, peaceful etc.