Several years back I was in Hawaii after a conference with the afternoon to myself and decided to lounge around and read. I chose a spot on a cliff overlooking the ocean with palm trees surrounding me. I read until the sun went down and I couldn’t see the words anymore. I sat for some time looking at the sunset, and a canopy of stars began to appear. I was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of my puniness in relation to the universe. Here I was, leading a workshop to help people transform their relationship to money and connect with a larger, deeper meaning to their lives, and I felt like a speck of dust in the grand scheme of the cosmos. Who did I think I was anyway? Surrounded by this immense beauty and peace, I wallowed in thoughts of my insignificance.
Somewhere amidst my wallowing I realized I had dropped back into my money baggage mentality, so I counteracted it by remembering my money message. As I went back and forth between both of them, I realized it was impossible for me to think about my money baggage and my money message simultaneously. I had to choose one or the other. So which would it be? Would I choose a money baggage thought or a money message thought? What kind of music did I want to hear, the dirge of my money baggage or the peaceful sonata of my money message?
It’s been said that it is functionally impossible to hold two thoughts in your conscious mind at the same time. To demonstrate, try this. Close your eyes and imagine the face of your best friend . . . Then imagine a paper clip . . . Switch back and forth between the two images . . . Now try to think of them both at the same time. You can’t do it. You can almost do it, but what is really happening, almost imperceptibly, is that there is a switching going on in the microsecond between the two thoughts. You can only think one thought at a time. This is particularly true when you are trying to hold something more complex than a single image in your mind. With a statement as emotionally charged as your money baggage or as visionary as your new money message, you have to choose. Your mind has to settle on one or the other.
It is truly about choice. Are you thinking your money baggage or your money message? It’s your call. Our tendency, which we will be susceptible to for the rest of our lives, is to fall back into the money baggage thoughts habitually. But the work is about awareness—becoming more aware of our thoughts and picking the ones that serve our soul, not the ones that support our habits and fears.
This is where the transformation of your life takes a leap forward—by choosing a money message thought instead of a money baggage thought. By doing this as often as you can, moment by moment, over and over, your life will begin to change.
If you find yourself sitting at your desk frustrated and upset because you hate your job, realize you are immersed in your money baggage. At that moment, think about your money message instead, and then take some action aligned with manifesting the kind of job that would nurture your soul.
If you are an artist bemoaning the fact that you do not have money, unearth your money baggage and see if your thoughts are arising from a conditioned belief. Choose instead your money message and see if it doesn’t suggest to you a more expansive way to be an artist in the world supporting yourself.
You can make a choice in the moment between your money baggage and your money message. If, for example, you avoid paying your bills, it’s likely that your money baggage is at work. So consciously replace your money baggage with your new money message and realize that paying your bills can be an act of self-love. It is taking care of yourself and your responsibilities so you can spend time dreaming of a new future. This is better than worrying and avoiding the bills.
You can only think one thought at a time. To the extent you focus your thoughts on your money message instead of your money baggage, your life will change and never again be the same.
Next week, we discuss Money Message Principle #5: Change Takes Time and Persistence.