Money Message Principle #14: Listen to Your Soul – Part One.

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.

Oliver took the workshop twice before his new money message became clear:

I am kind of a meat-and-potatoes guy. My friends say I’m pretty down-to-earth. I felt funny trying to come up with my “highest thoughts” about money and my soul. But,
I gave it a spin. Pretty soon some words came, so I wrote them down and I looked at them on paper: Money is energy and I am a diesel. As a farmer, I could relate to that. I shared it with my wife and went to bed.

I woke up in the middle of the night and I thought to myself, Money is energy and I am the sun. Then I immediately felt foolish. “Forget it Oliver,” I told myself. “Who are you trying to kid? Don’t even think of it.” And I went back to sleep.

When my wife woke up the morning, she turned to me and said, “Hey Oliver, you can say, ‘Money is energy and I am the sun’.”

I just about fell out of bed. I couldn’t believe it. She didn’t know that was the exact phrase that had come to me in the middle of the night. So, that became my new money message.  It felt audacious, really. When I said “Money is energy and I am the sun,” I thought I was the biggest fake.

I kept repeating it and putting it out where I could see it. I had to rearrange my cells a bit but I eventually came to fully believe my money message and live my life as if it were true.

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.

 

More next week – Money Message Principle #14: Listen to Your Soul – Part Two.

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Money Message Principle #13: 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.

Our blog next week – Money Message Principle #14: Listen to your Soul.

Money Message Principle #12: I Discover My New Money Message.

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 reading on, 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.

Continue the journey next week with Money Message Principle #13: You Don’t Have to Reinvent the Wheel

Money Message Principle #11: What’s a New Money Message?

In Part I, 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 selfconfidence, 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.

Next week more with Money Message Principle #12: I Discover My New Money Message.

Money Message Principle #10: Taking the Journey – Exercises for Discovering Your 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.

If you have read this far, you’ve already begun your journey. To recap and give you more structure to the process, I suggest you do the following exercises to help solidify your understanding of your own money baggage.

YOUR PERSONAL MONEY HISTORY.  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. These exercises will lead you to your money baggage.

YOUR PERSONAL MONEY BAGGAGE.  Write down your own personal money baggage. Don’t worry about whether you get it right or wrong. First consider the stories in this book, 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.

ASK SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU.  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.

WRITE, WRITE, WRITE.  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. Here is one man’s version of that process:

Money Baggage: I’m not good enough on my own. If I shine or speak up, I’ll get rejected, hurt, and overpowered. I can’t be myself and have money or success. I have to hide, lay low, do what you want me to do. Be responsible. I’m not supposed to talk about money. It’s a secret.

Condensed: I’m not good enough on my own. I can’t be myself and have money.

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 the first steps in creating the rest of your life in Money Message Principle #11: What’s a New Money Message?