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