Money: from Distressing to De-stressing
Hello Dr. Rosie,
It feels nice to read these articles as I feel I’m not alone in pursuing dreams that are different from what I earlier set out for. Here’s my question: How can handling money be shifted from a distressing situation to a de-stressing one?
From Dr. Rosie:
Thanks for your presence and your questions. You bring so much to this column with your sharing of what’s unfolding for you.
The easiest way to shift handling money from distressing to de-stressing is to shift how you think about money and then create new actions in alignment with these new thoughts. Here are some examples of what many of us think in regard to money:Money is hard to come by; You have to work really hard for money; Money is the root of all evil; I can’t have money if I’m spiritual; People who have money are unkind – I don’t want to be like them; If I make more money than my dad it will make him look bad; As a woman, having money will make me independent and men don’t like independent women, so I don’t want to make money. These are just a small sample of what goes through our minds when we think about money. All of these statements are distressing, and none of them are true – we just made them up!
Now, with these thoughts come particular actions that support these thoughts. Actions are not just a doing, but can also be a thinking or a feeling or a body response. If I believe that money is hard to come by, I’m going to feel defeated, stressed and worry that I’ll never be able to work hard enough to make enough. If I judge all rich people to be selfish and unkind and I don’t want to be like them, I’m going to do things to sabotage having money. So, for each of the thoughts, beliefs and judgments we have about money we have a set of actions, feelings and thoughts that we use to support them. Change what you think and your actions will change effortlessly. That is De-stessing!
One more thing: If you are used to looking for and finding how your beliefs are true in the world, you have to change what you are looking for. A lot of people are making a lot of money. Some people make money effortlessly. Rich people are often philanthropists and aren’t selfish at all, and there are millions of women who are self-sufficient, independent and enjoy a wonderful relationship with their partners. Notice where you put your attention and focus on what you want to see as true. It’s a wonderful experience to make true what you believe!
All of this is not new! It’s very easy to enter into this as a practice and it can be very challenging to continue because of our thinking that it should all change instantly! You see? My thinking that it should change instantly is going to set up some expectations and I’m going to start anticipating the money rolling in. And, if it doesn’t, then what am I going to think? I’ll probably begin thinking: I’m not good enough; I’m not doing it right; There’s something wrong with me, etc. With this thinking, then, I start feeling frustrated, depressed, sad, hopeless, anxious, angry, etc. Then, I’m right back where I started.
About three month ago I started a 30 Days to Prosperity program. In the very first day I got the biggest lesson of the whole process. As I was setting up my little workbook I started getting excited about having such incredible abundance raining down upon me. It was fun to think about it and to feel the relief of having all the money I could possible want and all the freedom money could buy me. Then, this little voice came in and said “What if that money doesn’t come raining down? What if not one darn thing changes; then what? This thought became distressing and I found myself wanting to stop the program right there and then. But, I realized that it was really important for me to answer that question: What if the money doesn’t come? What do I have it mean about me if it doesn’t happen? Sitting with my fear and sadness the answer came. The belief underlying so much of my way of being in this world is this: If the money doesn’t come, that means God really doesn’t love me. And, if that’s really true, what am I going to do with that?
Here I am a spiritual teacher and coach, someone who has been on a spiritual path for at least 30 years. I never knew that this little thought was way down inside of me. It has kept me in a constant state of fear and from allowing myself an abundance of prosperity. If I never try to making a lot of money I never have to find out what’s true. So, as good as I am at the work I do, and as much money as I do make, I came to find out that I’m still holding back so I don’t have to find out if God really loves me. How distressing is that?
As grown up as I am, I know that I am loved by God and the Universe. That’s what’s true for me! So, I can now become mindful and start noticing all the ways I hold back or sabotage myself from having financial abundance rain down on me, and, I can let go of my worry about whether I’m loved by God – this is a something I made up when I was just a kid. It doesn’t make sense to keep following this belief as a grown-up.
So, Usha, begin by listing all the things you believe about money, all the thoughts, expectations, assumptions and judgments you have. All of them!!! Then write down all of the actions to take based on your thoughts. Notice which ones work in your favor and are actually de-stressing and which ones are distressing. Decide for yourself which ones you will practice more often and which ones you will let go of – just as a practice. Just notice what shows up – just like I did. Be with yourself – with your feeling and thoughts in a compassionate way. Notice when you want to judge yourself or others, than ask if this supports being de-stressed or distressed? You have the power to choose!
I have written a whole chapter about this in Self-Empowerment 101, with an exercise that will take you through this process, thoroughly. With or without the book, though you have to be willing to practice creating positive thoughts about money and then create actions and strategies to support them.
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