Wellness: Financial Health
If you’re like me, you spent half your adult life running away from the topic of money, while still being an active consumer of it. By the time I went to grad school 6 years ago, I was a financially illiterate millennial signing on for 120 thousand dollars’ worth of student loans, with no required training. When I realized what I had gotten myself into, three years later, my response was, “What the hell, [insert grad school]?! Why would you give someone so much borrowed money without making sure they understand the details of debt repayment?!”
It triggered a meltdown in the metro, so afraid that I would get stuck in a poverty trap. I was born poor but had (very triumphantly) scaled the ladder to the Middle Class. I didn’t want to be poor, again. I was afraid of it, of the limitations I felt were inherent to it.
My boyfriend, now fiancé, was with me at the time and, luckily, he had no clue why I was afraid. Normally, this would frustrate me, but this time it was helpful to have someone around who wasn’t scared of what I was scared of. His attitude, light and loving, was, “don’t worry about it! It’s not a big deal! We’ll get through this together.”
The next day, I realized I had to change my thoughts if I wanted to overcome this fear.
I woke up with a realization that a part of me felt disgusted by money. A huge “a-ha” followed: If I felt disgusted by something, of course I would do my best to avoid it, even subconsciously. Then, an impulse followed. I knew what disgusted me about money, in that moment, was how “non-spiritual” I had thought it was, so a thought popped into my head to say, “money is divine” over and over in my mind for about an hour. It felt good right away and within an hour, I no longer felt gripped by fear of poverty.
Within a few hours, a check came in from the IRS, which felt like one of those “signs from God/universe/heaven/life/everything.” It felt like confirmation that I was on the right path, and I knew then that my life and my perception of money would never be the same.
Things changed very quickly for me after that.
Less than a year later, I had doubled my income. Having that much money, though, came with its own set of lessons. Turns out I had no idea how to manage that amount of money. So I hired a money coach to help me confront my behavior and ideas around money. Great idea, it turned out.
The learning I’ve experienced since that meltdown three years ago has been life-changing.
I no longer feel I have to justify my wanting wealth and abundance, no longer feel disgusted by it. I now feel inspired by it and happy to discuss it. I no longer buy into the idea that money automatically brings bad things. I’ve met too many wonderful, rich people who have done great things with their wealth – for me and for so many – to know that money, just like anything else, is just what the wielder makes it. And I intend to make it big, good, and fun – for me and for lots of others.
If you’re interested in going down this journey, too, and letting go of any pain or resistance you have towards money, try these:
- Read books or articles on the topic that call to you. There are so many great authors on the topic that range from the practical to the spiritual. Google is a great gift, use it! Some recommendations: “The 100 dollar Start Up”, “I Will Teach You to be Rich”, and “Secrets of The Millionaire Mindset.”
- Consider getting a money coach, even for a short period of time. They’re like Life Coaches who focus specifically on money. My coach was from The Money Coaching Institute.
- Let yourself reflect on what role money has played in your life and what role you would like it to play. Let yourself dream big. Know that the more you have, the more you can give to your community (and to yourself! The happier and more fulfilled you are, the more happiness you can give out, too!)
- Challenge those ideas that don’t feel good. Truth ultimately makes one feel light, even if it’s challenging to hear, at first. So if you have thoughts that, after years, still don’t feel good – they’re not the truth! And part of you knows it!
“Money makes people evil” (“wait. What about all these philanthropists that are using their wealth to create solutions for the masses? And those cool bosses that are giving so much to their employees?”).
“Money doesn’t grow on trees” (“Wait. That insinuates that getting money has to be hard. Goddamn it, I don’t want to have to suffer all my life to just live… wait… what about those people who seem to have it so easy and make so much money! They’re so “ugh”!! Wait… what if, instead of hating on them, I could learn from them? Because I want it to be easy, too! But it’s not easy for me! But… what if it could be? By learning how they think? And what they do? What if?”)
That last thought process is an actual representation of a multi-year conversation I had with myself. J Now I’m past the hating and am well into happily learning. It’s changing my life.
You deserve the best. Go out and get it.