Thursday, June 4, 2009

Spirituality & Money

“What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do.
When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us,
doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us.”
- Julia Cameron (author and filmmaker)

How is money spiritual?

If you're asking that question, then chances are, you've had some ideas about money in your life that weren't benefiting you. I know I did. I grew up in a religious household where giving money to the church was considered very spiritual, but having lots of money was a different story. If I had nickel for every time I heard "Blessed are the poor" during my years of Catholic school, I would have graduated high school a millionaire! My parents spoke with disdain of others who had lots of money as if the act of being wealthy meant they were automatically corrupt. If you've heard the phrase "Money is the root of all evil," then you know what I'm talking about.

Money is money. At present, it is the accepted form of currency for obtaining goods and services you need or desire. Awhile back, it was chickens and goats, today it's money. Maybe back then it was said that chickens were the root of all evil but I doubt it. I think the key is keeping your life in line with your values, and I don't believe if you do this that abundance of money is any different than abundance of love or health (and you usually don't see people criticized for having too much health or love). For instance, if I value friends and family, then having money allows me to focus on these things even more (e.g. staying home with the kids, flying to visit relatives, take family vacations, etc.) Winning the lotto would not make me suddenly think, "You know, I've always wanted to try being a meth addict and now I can do that. Yeah!" If you are stable in your values, then money is another way to foster growth and yes, I absolutely believe this can be quite spiritual. A great book on this top is Money and the Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

There is a quote that says, "Don't tell me what your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are." I love this because it's true. I looked at what I bought today - lunch for my kids and airline tickets to take my son to visit my family - and felt really good about the purchases (despite the cost of flying these days). Okay, I also bought a Peppermint Patty just for me, but the quote is still true, because I do value chocolate!

You Get More When You Give More
As most of you know who follow the blog, I'm a huge believer in the law of attraction, which basically means that the life you have around you now is your own creation and it is created by the power of your thoughts. If you don't like how your life looks, then change your thinking and this applies to money too. For instance, people who always complain about debt and focus on how many bills they have tend to always have a reason to complain. "The rich get richer" is this same principle in the opposite direction. In my coaching practice, I've heard, "Well, of course I could do [insert desired goal] if only I had the money." NO! This is negative thinking and pushes you even further from your goal. If you take steps toward whatever your desired goal is (and that goal is in line with your personal values), the money will come.

This power of intention - the intention to manifest money - is amplified when you give it away. You are telling the universe that you have plenty and know you will receive more - and the universe responds to you. If you let it flow out, it flows back in. Conversely, if you hold onto money so tightly out of fear that no more will come, the universe responds to that as well and it won't come. I have friends of various religious beliefs who give to their churches and other friends who give to different charitable organizations, so again, do what is in line with your own values. I'm not saying to give more than you can - such as not paying your rent or mortgage in order to make a donation, but most people can do a small amount. Or give something valuable that isn't monetary such as clothes, furniture, etc. Give your old baby items to a mother that is just starting out, give your old computer to a school that needs it, etc. Give your time - time is one of the most valuable things there is. Volunteer. Get creative with being generous.

When my husband and I first finished graduate school with several hundred thousand dollars in student loans between us, he would watch me write my little $15 and $20 checks to charities and say, "What are you doing? Do you know how much we owe?" I would always remind him that we had food on the table and clothes in our closet and therefore had plenty. The checks we write are bigger now, but the underlying values are exactly the same. As the CFO of the household, I still have times when I feel like things are tight. When my son ended up needing new glasses last week, my first thought was, "oh great, $300, just what we need right now." I immediately caught myself having a negative thought and got online right then and there to donate money to one of my favorite charities. I told the universe that I had plenty. I then visualized random checks coming in the mail (another one of my intention experiments mentioned in a prior post), and told my husband to watch for them. This was Thursday and we have gotten 3 checks in the mail in the last 5 days (2 of them were completely random and 1 was expected at some point but we weren't sure exactly when it would come). Not huge checks - but still, checks that more than covered the eyeglasses!

So, try this: Write down your top 3 values (health, spirituality, family, career, travel, learning, etc.) Is the life you are currently living in line with those values? If not, reassess. If so, good for you. Practice telling the universe how grateful you are for all the abundance you have (in all areas, not just money) and watch the universe respond by giving you more. Until next time...


Anonymous said...

Grrrreat post.
My money faucet is on now!
... and that is new.
My whole adult life (only about a decade now) I have been a PRO at saving money and proud of it. The fact that I am a female made my pride in it even greater. I flaunt that I HATE shopping and that I can keep a twenty dollar bill in my wallet for days.. weeks.. I flaunt that in my last job I worked there for three years and every day I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead of buying lunch.
However, in the past year I've noticed that perhaps my talent for holding onto money is less significant than my ability for acquiring the money to begin with ... this is a notion that had not occured to me until I read an excerpt from the very book you mention. In fact, I believe that's where I got the phrase "my money faucet is on?"
So now, I buy lunch occassionally. I do not hesitate to buy something I need, or even want. I even paid for a cab ride when it was raining and walking was compromised -- that was something I would NEVER have done in my past urban lifestyle.
... and do you know what? It's working in a mysterious and unexpected way -- much like you describe.
When I first started this new mindset (Part of which includes charitable giving like you mention) I got clear indications that the universe is responding. Indications that really impressed my fiancé.
THE DAY AFTER I made the decision to "turn my money faucet on" I had to run several errands. I won't get into the specifics because it would make this comment very long, but long story short: on a day of spending money to run errands, I actually ended up earning a few hundred dollars. One way was a service I paid for ended up getting screwed up by an employee (while I was off running errands) and when I returned to the store to pick up my serviced merchandise they handed me $60 cash because of this screw-up. I didn't even know about any screw up and did not ask for my money back. In reality, the service was not screwed up, it was simply that the employee lost some important paperwork that meant I had to get it replaced for a few dollars (not $60!). So, I left that store happy, but that was not the end of my day of errands because later on I accidentally encountered someone who I barely knew and she had heard about one of my paintings and she wanted to buy it. She then proceeded to hand me a few hundred dollars to purchase it (I only spent a few bucks to paint the thing).
At the beginning of my errands I would never have guessed that I would earn money and certainly not in those seemingly accidental ways. I simply made a pact with my self that "my money faucet is on."
Go figure.

p.s. I still hate shopping.

Kristi said...

I LOVE that you went on errands expecting to spend money, and ended up making money - nothing is accidental.:)