Money Message Principle #2: Listen to Your Soul

Listening to and trusting in our soul is the most important work we have to do on earth. We were not born onto the earthly plane and then cut off from the source of life and guidance. This guidance lives in us and around us. The difficulty is that we have been conditioned away from listening to and trusting that voice deep inside us, which is the voice of our soul.

We live in a noisy world. As soon as we get up in the morning we are bombarded with opinions, others’ versions of reality. They come from everywhere—the media, our spouses and families, our fellow workers.

Part of this noise is our money baggage playing over and over in our minds. When we come to the point of wanting to create a new thought to build our life around, listening is the key. Listen to your soul. Ask your soul what are its highest thoughts about money? What is it telling you to do? What is your purpose here? How can you fully express what you want to do with your life?

Oprah Winfrey modeled this process beautifully when, in a Newsweek article, “How I Got There,” she posed these questions: “How do I accelerate my humanity? How do I use who I am on earth for a purpose that’s bigger than myself? How do I align the energy of my soul with my personality and use my personality to serve my soul?”

Now comes the delicate part. You have to listen for the answer. You might hear a lot of silence at first, but that’s because we are not yet tuned in to this new frequency of information. Keep listening.

Ask your soul what its highest purpose is for you. Contemplate the power of money to help make the world a better and more loving place. As words or images or feelings begin to come, write them down. This will form the nucleus of your new money message. You might start seeing yourself in a new work environment doing the work you have always dreamed of doing. You might see yourself volunteering, running for political office, pursuing a career in the arts, or quitting your job altogether and staying home with the kids. The ideas you have or the images that come to you might seem unrealistic or unattainable, but don’t discount them. Write down the words that seem to fit what these images stimulate in you.

Keep in mind that the soul doesn’t wear a wristwatch. So if you don’t get an answer at first, don’t worry; it might come to you hours or days later. It might be an incremental understanding or a sudden inspiration. You might find yourself in a conversation with someone who stimulates thoughts about a new money message. You might walk into a bookstore and find yourself pulling a book off the shelf that has your answer in it. You might have a dream that will stimulate an idea about your money message.

The key to discovering your money message is simply to listen and let the words arise on their own. It may not feel natural at first, but trust the process. It may take a while for your soul to realize that you are listening to it.

I want to make the point that your money message is not the opposite of your money baggage. You might have as your money baggage, I am inadequate. I never measure up. To simply revise your money baggage to its opposite—I am adequate, I always measure up—and have this be your money message won’t work. Opposites just reinforce each other. You would be bringing up your money baggage and making it stronger by trying to push it away.

Another reason you don’t want your money message to just be the opposite of your money baggage is that it probably wouldn’t be big or expansive enough. It wouldn’t fully encompass all the possibilities that could inspire you to new action.

Also, try not to use any words in your money message that unwittingly remind you of your money baggage. For example, if your money baggage is Rich people are mean, and your money message is I will be rich and give my gift to the world, the word “rich” may be subconsciously reminding you of your money baggage and reinforcing it. In this example, a better word to use might be “wealthy.” Subtle, but that’s how the subconscious works.

Lastly, don’t use the words no, not, or never in your money message. Don’t let any filtering or criticism or belief in scarcity come into play. You want your money message to be positive, inspiring, and free of limitations. It will help you chart a course and take you places your money baggage never could.

Notice that some of these examples don’t even have the word money in them. That’s fine. Just keep asking your soul its grandest vision of the role of money in your life and write down the words that come to you. Take time to let yourself hear your new money message. What would you like to create your most ideal life around? Don’t limit yourself. Let the words come—they will come, without fail—and write them down. This will become your new money message.

Remember, the aim of creating your money message is not to become rich. It is to create a phrase or sentence that cares for your soul. Your soul is a deeper part of you, a part of you that is always there. It is like your best friend who has patiently waited all these years to have a conversation with you. By listening to what your soul is calling you to do, you have the power to transform your life. To live a life consistent with your deepest calling and passions. To have your relationship to money empower what matters most to you in

As one person who took my workshop said, “Your money baggage is a loud voice coming through the radio keeping you from hearing your soul speak to you. Your money message allows you to turn down the volume on your money baggage—and maybe even change the station.”

Next week, we uncover Money Message Principle #3: Take Actions Consistent With Your New Money Message.

Money Message Principle #1: You Don’t Have to Reinvent the Wheel

You already know the process for transforming your life. The way you formed your money baggage and let it shape your life is the same way you’ll form a new money message and use it to create a new life—you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The difference is that in working with your new money message, the process is conscious rather than unconscious. If you take actions consistent with your new thought—your money message—your life will begin to conform to possibilities you never saw before.

A thought, consciously held and reinforced by repetition and conviction, is a potent thing. It’s the first part of the process of working with your new money message.

Norman Vincent Peale discusses the power of thought in his book Positive Imaging:
An image formed and held tenaciously in the conscious mind will pass presently, by a process of mental osmosis, into the unconscious mind. And when it is accepted firmly in the unconscious, the individual will strongly tend to have it, for then it has you. So powerful is the imaging effect on thought and performance that a long held visualization of an objective or goal can become determinative.

The next and even more important part of this process is to take actions consistent with our new money message. After creating our money message, the trick is to then apply it to our lives one step at a time. It is important to do this with the same level of conviction that we did with our money baggage, even when doubts arise. Recall that as children, and later as adults, we accepted our decisions about money as the Truth, capital T. We have to find that same level of belief and knowing for our money message to manifest and take full flower in our lives. To do so takes a kind of self-directed tenderness, an inward focus so that we become as impressionable to the messages of our soul as children are to the messages of adults.

The process begins with the creation of a new money message. Taking the time to find the right words will pay off. Ponder, revise, and fine-tune your new message until the message feels “just right.” It takes courage to reflect on your life, to revive old forgotten dreams, and to assess your adult values and hopes against a changing sense of self. But when you find your new money message you will know it—it will have a sense of rightness. It may be slightly scary, but will have a feeling of great potential and possibility.

Words alone will not bring the intended results, although they are a vital part of the process. Once you have found your new money message, the process continues by identifying what steps you can take to begin to recreate your life around this new way of thinking. Focusing on our new money message brings us out of the past and into the now. From a present unconstrained by the past, we can see a new future alive with possibilities. Once we begin to take actions in harmony with our new money message, this new future begins to manifest in the present.

The process is to move from thought to word to action the way you did with your money baggage, but this time with conscious intention aligned with your new money message. Then you begin to see the results of a life moving in accord with your soul’s calling.

See if you can articulate a money message for your life that comes from your soul. If you can’t find the right words yet, don’t worry. Your money message will come; just keep listening.

Tune in next week to discover Money Message Principal #2: Listen to Your Soul.

Discovering Your New Money Message (Part 2)

For more than thirty years I operated from a limiting belief system. My money baggage, You have to work hard to make money, and even if you do, you’ll never make enough, was an unconscious but powerful force that took control of my life. When I began to examine it and see the impact it had on my life, I was stunned. How could something as simple as one thought have such a pervasive influence on my entire life?

Yet it was true: my life was in perfect correlation with a thought I had thought and acted on—my money baggage—thousands of times. Just a thought—a powerful one, an unconscious one, a life-shaping one—but still, just a thought.

Then it dawned on me—I can change that thought. Since my life was in perfect correlation with my old thought—working hard and not having enough—what if I made up a new thought? What if my actions then correlated with that new thought? How would it alter my life? What would I do with a new thought directing me? The questions started coming fast and furious. Could it be possible to not work so hard? Did I dare to dream of having more than “enough”? And if I had more than enough, what would I do with my time and money? What difference would I make in the world? And could I finally have a sense of peace and tranquility with money?

I could feel my excitement building. What if my new thought was about abundance instead of limitation? Of making a difference in the world instead of just getting by? And what if my new thought had nothing to do with working hard—imagine!

I could barely comprehend the questions; much less picture what my life could be like. Up until that moment I had known no other way to live. I could feel that these questions were stirring something deep inside me. I was determined to live my life differently— to care for my soul. I didn’t know if it would work. But I felt a growing determination to live my life more consistently with my ultimate purpose, my soul’s calling. But how?

I began to deeply ponder what the new thought might be that would feel aligned with my deepest sense of self. What words might shape my life in new and exciting ways? What would be the thought, the one thought that would most deeply care for my soul? I worked on it for many days. I was quiet and listened to what my soul was saying. Each day I spent time gazing out the window across the vista to the mountains in the distance. I watched the wind move through the trees and let it calm me. I began to really hear what my soul was calling me to do.

Eventually these words came to me and I wrote them down: It is my birthright to have abundance in all areas of my life and I give generously from this abundance. It felt like it came from the deepest part of my being.

It called to me, yet it simultaneously felt very strange to even think this new, outrageous thought, much less entertain the idea of actually saying it out loud. And forget about telling anyone else—that was out of the question. How could this “poor farm girl” from Colorado be so audacious as to think her life could possibly be filled with abundance?

Yet when I said these words in my head, It is my birthright to have abundance in all areas of my life and I give generously from this abundance, I felt a wave of calm come over me. A feeling of relief—finally the grip of working hard was dissipating. The tension, the fear, the anxiety was dissolving. And in its place came excitement, a sense of freedom, and the slightest glimmer of new possibilities. I started to feel centered, at peace. At last I could see the faintest outline of a new life full of hope and contribution.

I began by taking new actions. I started to take baby steps in line with my new money message. At first I started going home at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. I noticed my business didn’t fall apart. What really needed to get done got done.

And then I began to ask myself what else I could do to live my life in accordance with this new money message. I continued to leave work at a reasonable hour. I made sure I had fun on weekends and spent time with my family. I hired other people to do some of the work for me. I began to make bigger and bigger contributions to causes I believed in.

Whenever I fell into my old automatic behavior about money, I would catch myself and then get my thinking and actions back on track with my new money message. It didn’t happen overnight. And my old thoughts—my fear-based thoughts—came back frequently. I had lived unconsciously inside of my money baggage for most of my life. It was going to take a bit of diligence, a few experiments, some risk, and a lot of faith to change that.

But over time, by persistently observing myself, I began to understand more and more deeply what was leading to different results in my life: it was that I was progressively taking actions consistent with my new money message.

Today, I work less than I ever have and my financial planning practice is successful beyond my wildest dreams. I work with a team of employees who are a joy to be around. I look forward to coming to work each day. I consider it a privilege to be in client meetings where we discuss their goals and dreams and how to achieve them financially.

My family and I take seven to eight weeks of vacation each year. I volunteer for organizations that are important to me and my family. We are blessed to be able to give money away to causes and charities we care deeply about.

The journey has been long and it is never over. I still struggle with my old money baggage from time to time, but the simple fact remains: my life changed when I changed my thought about money and then took actions aligned with this new thought.

I now know in the depths of my heart that I am doing what my soul is calling me to do—helping other people discover a new relationship to money, which influences all aspects of their lives and leads them to express what their soul is calling them to do.

These changes in my life all began with my willingness to take a look under the surface at my relationship with money and uncover the deep beliefs I held. By continuing to read this blog, you, too, will learn how to design a new life in accord with your own new money message and begin to care for your soul.

Discovering Your New Money Message

Over the course of the past couple months, we thoroughly explored the power that one erroneous, defining decision—our money baggage—had on the development and expression of who we are and the life we created. How, gradually, that decision determined our actions, and those actions became the core reality around which our world shaped itself.

A new money message is the antidote to money baggage. It is the process of generating and activating a new language inside ourselves. It is a conscious infusion of the soul’s desire, a focal point in the form of a statement that we allow to guide our choices for the rest of our lives. It all begins with our thoughts, which become our words, and then our actions.

The words we think and say to ourselves influence our lives profoundly. Our world conforms to these words. One of my friend’s daughters who is somewhat gifted in math uses her words and thoughts in a way that strongly influences her life. When asked what her favorite subject is, she replies, “I love math. I’m really good at it.” This response helps cultivate an attitude of curiosity and self-confidence, eagerness, and self-assuredness with regard to math. She approaches her homework and tests with the confidence that she can figure it out. Her actions are consistent with her deepest self, and her world gradually shapes itself to those actions.

Compare this to the woman who, as a child, was also good at math but who didn’t study for a test and failed it. When her teacher made a comment about the test being one that should be easy to pass, the student started doubting her math abilities, and gradually decided she just wasn’t good at math. Now, as an adult, she doesn’t balance her checkbook, freezes when it comes to reviewing loan documents, and procrastinates on paying her bills—all because her money baggage says she’s not good at math.

Our money baggage is about the past, and yet it defines our present circumstances and attitudes about money; it speaks in the language of fear and contraction. It comes from a forgotten place in childhood and has lodged itself in our subconscious.

Our new money message is about the world we will create; it speaks in the language of love and expansion. It is formed consciously in adulthood and will transform our subconscious and ultimately our outer life. It expresses itself from our soul.

When we create our money message we are generating and activating a new language inside ourselves. Our new money message is a fresh centering point. It is the energy that will shape and empower the rest of our lives.

Just as we formed a decision about money early on and then lived our lives in alignment with that decision, we can now create a new decision, a new thought—this time more consciously—and align our lives with it. If we take actions consistent with this new thought—our money message—our lives will never be the same.

Exercises for Discovering Your Own Money Baggage

Joseph Campbell’s landmark book The Hero with a Thousand Faces presents a compelling case: that at the heart of all world cultures lives one primary story—the journey of the Hero. The Hero journeys from the ordinary world to the underworld and then reemerges with a gift for mankind.

Similarly, on the journey to discover your money baggage, you must first go down into the underworld of your past to that which is unconscious. Then, when you emerge, you can form a more conscious and fulfilling relationship to money. It is a journey of heroic proportions, a sacred journey.

This journey takes us from our ordinary world, where money is a source of suffering, to an extraordinary world, where money is aligned with and empowers our soul’s calling. It is a journey from unconsciousness to consciousness, from fear to love, from artificial control to true inner power. It is Dorothy’s journey to Oz, leaving behind the bleak black-and-white world of Kansas and exploring a new world of color and adventure and potential, only this new world is real and you want to stay.

To decide to examine your life and become consciously aware of your pain in relation to money is to begin your soul’s journey. Because money infiltrates everything we do, it is a journey that involves the entirety of your being. When we begin the journey to transform our relationship to money, we begin to rethink everything in our lives.

The moment you decide to discover your money baggage is the moment you go from bobbing on the surface of the ocean to diving down to explore the depths. Those things that hold us back, all our fears and habitual responses to life, lurk below the surface. Healing is the process of bringing these patterns up to the surface and into the light.

First, explore your history with money by writing down your childhood thoughts and memories about money. Reflect upon your earliest experiences with money. In those memories you will find two things: a blueprint for the ways you have formed your current life, and the reasons behind the specific struggles you have regarding money. Then examine how you currently relate to money to see how thoroughly your early imprinting has defined your adult world. What this process reveals will lead you to your money baggage.

Next, write down your own personal money baggage. Don’t worry about whether you get it right or wrong. First consider the stories throughout this blog, do the exercise above, and then trust the process. Your money baggage will emerge, and when it does, write it down, and then look at it in relationship to the various areas of your life: Relationships, Family, Finances, and Work.

If you are having trouble determining your money baggage, ask your spouse, partner, or good friend what they think your money baggage is. You will be amazed how clearly others see you. Use this dialog to help you discover your money baggage and don’t be defensive. Be open to hearing what the other person has to say.

Journaling can be a great way to trigger memories. Some of you may need to write out your entire life story to get to your money baggage, or write about specific money memories in detail before you can distill this information down to one simple money baggage statement. It may be helpful to write a longer version that you can then condense. Condensing your statement will help you really capture the essence of your money baggage. You should express it in a child’s language, in the simplest words you can. There may be several threads—different variations on the theme that you come up with—but ultimately, there is one, maybe two core beliefs that you believe to be true. Distill these down to their simplest form.

You will know you have your money baggage if, when you say it out loud, it catches a bit in your throat. It can be embarrassing. It brings up emotions that have been deeply hidden. It might even make you feel a bit queasy.

Once you’ve done the work, you should have a pretty good idea of what your own bleak personal “Kansas” is. Do you think counting chickens comes before family or fun? Do you believe people who have money are like Miss Gulch? Does thinking about your money baggage make you feel like the cowardly lion? Are there flying monkeys keeping you up at night worrying about money?

On your journey, you should expect to encounter obstacles, fears, tests, and disappointments. This is the juicy and interesting work of discovering yourself. And it can be a little frightening. But keep going. When you start to see the emotional baggage you have been carrying, you are beginning to care for your soul.

By drawing back the curtain you have exposed your false belief for the imposter it is. Now you are ready to articulate your new money message. You have brought your money baggage to consciousness; now it’s time to set that burden down and create the rest of your life.

Next week, we learn how to create your New Money Message.