Two things have collided in my mind since I last wrote you a proper update. One is the way we engage with the world is directly related to how we feel. The other is how money is such a perfect example of exactly that.
Since I felt sad about the inequality in Cambodia, we’ve wandered through Laos, and then onwards to Vietnam. Three days enthusiastically exploring Hanoi through the thick pollution and smog, left me with a cold I haven’t been able to kick since, that’s given me plenty of time to think. My friend Tara Bliss recently wrote a beautiful article on re-writing your money story, that further inspired my thoughts.
It all started with a conversation. My friend asked me:
How have you been able to travel around South East Asia for the past 6 months?
She wanted to know how it was financially feasible.
I told her that I had saved over $18,000, so I knew that I could. Also, I was working on the road.
I know what it feels like, when you really badly want to do something, but it feels like money is the only thing that’s holding you back. I think I felt that way, most of my life. I was so tired of money dictating what I could and couldn’t do with my life.
Until 2 years ago, when I started to change my money story. And I recognised that it wasn’t money that dictated my life. But the power I was giving it, and the powerlessness I offered myself, in a cowardly attempt to not take responsibility for my role as powerful money attractor and distributor.
I exceedingly want to find myself in a space of knowing — at a cellular level — that I am supposed to have everything I want.
Living in a culture and amongst people who steadfastly proclaim that life is filled with financial lack and shortcoming is no easy feat.
I want to — without fear or resistance — be strong enough to openly receive the spectacularly large sums of money that I am calling in to my life, and have the courageous groundedness to use them to do good in this world. Because generosity is one of my strongest yearnings, and you can’t give, what you don’t have.
These desires mean that I have had to re-create my relationship with money from one based on fear, overwhelm and avoidance, to one based on love, respect and embrace. This is an ever-evolving journey for me.
Here are 4 ways I’ve changed my relationship with money, that have allowed me to abundantly support myself, and travel the world.
1. Most of us are scared of money, avoid it and let it control our lives. When we take our power back, take responsibility and wield money with love and attention, everything changes.
I grew up in a very traditional European household, believing that money is something that men control and manage. I was never given any tools to handle money. I spent what I earned, and that was it. It wasn’t until I started my own business, that I had to face up to the fact that money was something I was going to have to deal with. And it was scary.
The very first step I took was to create several savings accounts with special names: Self-love, Business-love, Home-Sweet-Home, and Travel and I put 10-20% of my earnings in those accounts every month. It started off at 10% and as I earned more I made it 20%. I lived off what was left. Once I decided to own my role as a money-maker and actually managed my finances and looked it every day, we started to become friends, and it flowed into my life more easily.
2. Saving money is a spiritual and self-love practice.
We are sold by lots of new-age material that we should “treat” ourselves and buy things even if we don’t have the money in our accounts, and to trust that the money is there. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a backup cushion to support you. Living week to week is not a healthy solution. I’ve been there, I know what kind of stress that puts on the nervous system, and it is not good. Make saving a priority: for self-love, for your future, for expansion. It will serve you well.
And make room for magic: make plans to do those things that are potentially out of budget and ask and trust the universe to come meet you by bringing the money for the experiences your way. It works and it’s amazing (without dipping into your savings). I didn’t have any savings at all when I first met my handsome love. He taught me to treat my income more wisely. I used to “gift” myself all the time: expensive meals, clothes, things that made me feel good. And now, while I still do that, I do it more aware of what is balance for me. I put a lot more emphasis on savings than I used to.
I used to just be like “Oh, the money will come” and it always does but it feels so good when you hold some of it close to support you in a longer-term vision. It took me a while to understand that and put it into practice.
3. Clean up your “desirability” bs.
You deserve everything. Whatever you want, you deserve it. It’s yours. There’s not room for questioning your self-worth if you want to be an empowered money-maker. It’s something I’m learning and it’s taking some time. Most of my life I was fed all sorts of stories and limited beliefs like: People with money are powerful and evil; Money brings out the worst in people; You only get money if you work really, really back-breakingly hard (or if you’ve tricked someone out of it). Concepts like those make money seem like the bad guy: definitely something you wouldn’t want to trust or have a relationship with! And that’s just some of them. My mum had some serious issues around money, if you can’t already tell! And it’s taking some time to identify and release those imbedded beliefs. I’m getting pretty close to being clear of them, which is really exciting.
4. Become really good at saying “yes” and receiving.
Most of us are great at asking, but awful at receiving. This needs to change because if the money comes but your doors aren’t open: your loss. The place to start is with small things: gratefully receive all compliments, gifts, offers for help, support, kindness. Receiving is a muscle that needs to be worked. Use it so you can make space for what you want. I teach a lot on receiving in my manifesting course. In it I share a story about how I was offered $1,000 when I really needed it, and I said “no” because it didn’t arrive in the way that I thought it should. Isn’t that crazy?!! I have definitely learned my lesson since, yet I still have to practice saying yes and receiving.
I’m always working on my money story and it’s exciting when I see the changes being reflected in my ability to earn, attract and give away more money. Money seems to be a hot topic right now, which means we are all changing, expanding and growing in this area which is so important for women right now.
And that sounds like very good news to me.
Photo: Eyes of Love Photography