The Spirituality of MoneyNov 05, 2020
“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life” -Buddha
When I first heard the term ‘spirituality’ as a youngster, I thought of astrology. I imagined hippies, incense, crystals, gurus, tarot cards, energy healing, and psychic readings. Thankfully, I didn’t let these prejudices sway me from investigating further. Because while spirituality is a broad term that encompasses the things mentioned plus far more, I was shocked to find that at its core, spirituality is about our belief systems. It is how our emotions and thoughts, specifically the repetitive thoughts we think which then become beliefs, shape our perception of reality. Understanding how this works can change your life.
In this way it seems that spirituality, psychology, and philosophy form a kind of Venn diagram. While each has its fringes, they are more alike than different. Each share a common trait at their center, which is the hypothesis that to understand the self is all there is to do in this life. That you can change the world around you by changing your perception of it. Since a very young age when it came to money, I was interested in changing my financial reality. I grew up poor, but my mother always taught me to keep an open mind. I’ll never forget the day she brought home a book which changed my life forever. It was my first taste of the spirituality of money; the first understanding that my thoughts were in control of the world around me.
What is fascinating to me, besides of course the journey that my life has taken because of this realization, is the divergence between spirituality and money in the modern world. What I mean is that within spiritual communities, the goal is not riches but inner peace. It is detachment from the physical world to focus on the inner work of ending our suffering. Even though many spiritual seekers are looking to find the secret of manifestation and shaping their lives as they see fit, it is almost taboo or frowned upon to talk about money. As if enlightenment is the ultimate goal and using the wisdom for financial gain is like Superman robbing a bank. It is condemned by so many spiritual people, but in the back of their minds everyone secretly or openly would love to change their money situation. Buddhist monasteries will still take your donation.
On the other side, in the financial world which I have worked in for over a decade now, there is an understanding that psychology and the way you think about money is important, but it's treated like a red-headed step child. The money-minded know it’s important, but it never takes center stage and is constantly overshadowed by the rules of how money works, if it is talked about at all. Finance people are concerned with strategy and using the mind to solve the problem of money. They believe that if they know the best strategies, they can change their money situation and their lives along with it. However, they get lost in the idea that fixing their financial situation will bring them lasting happiness, joy, and freedom, even though it doesn’t. They can’t see that those things are inner states of being that are not controlled by outer circumstances. Therefore, I meet and work with so many rich people who are depressed, addicted to substances, or workaholics who still believe that more money will solve all their problems. They believe that if they reach a certain dollar amount, they will win the game and their internal suffering will end by magic.
There is of course a middle way, which is how it all began. The first book that put thought itself on center stage, as well as gave an explosive amount of momentum to mainstream spirituality, started the self-help, self-development, and personal empowerment movement, was a book about money. Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was the book I read which changed my life so drastically, but it was also the Genesis of awareness to beliefs controlling reality. To this day, this book still sells more copies than any other book ever written on money and personal growth. It is my opinion that if it began this way, then money and spirituality can find their way home and happily married again.
“Whatever the mind of man conceive and believe, it can achieve” -Napoleon Hill
The Question that Unmakes the World
There is a question that everyone comes to eventually, regardless if your goal is to become enlightened or a billionaire. Many people express it in different ways, but life always presents this question to you in the way you are most receptive to hearing it. It is what is known as the moment of awakening. I doubt you have found me and would be reading these words if the question hadn’t already come to you by now, but if this is the first time hearing it then let me welcome you. Trust me when I say that everything will always be alright.
The question is, do you believe every thought you think? Is the mind chatter and every perception about the world you have, along with every imagined scenario running in your head, true?
If you believe all your thoughts, then you have identified with them and are subject to their will. Make no mistake that they have a will of their own that might not be aligned with yours. I’ll never forget when I realized I was thinking; it was while reading. There was this ‘Aha!’ moment and I said internally “holy shit, you mean this voice in my head has something to do with my life?” This is why it is called an awakening; because it feels as if you woke up from a daydream. You come back to the present moment and are suddenly aware that you are aware. Then there is a type of birth, the thoughts come back from this break but now there is an awareness along with them. This new awareness is the key to everything.
Realize deeply that the people in our society who believe every thought they think are placed into a padded cell for life. If you suddenly had a thought that you were the second coming of Jesus Christ and believed it, and then verbalized it, there is a list of prescription medications and a psychiatric ward in your future. So you either have become a master of keeping these beliefs to yourself in fear of a sanitarium, or you simply don’t believe every thought that pops into your head.
Now comes the fun part that will fundamentally unravel your reality if you want it to. The next question is, if you don’t believe every thought that you think, why not? Which thoughts do you deem worthy of keeping and which ones get discarded? What is your process for doing this? What is your filtration system? If you don’t know or have never thought about this before, then welcome to the world of spirituality, psychology, and philosophy.
If you don’t believe all of your thoughts, why would you choose to believe the ones that say you can’t live the life of your dreams? Why aren’t the beliefs that say you are unworthy, not good enough, or don’t deserve what your heart desires bullshit? Why are you keeping any belief that limits you? If you don’t have a way to find false beliefs and unravel them, then you are in the right place. This is the work of a financial shaman. If you already have a system for testing your beliefs and seeing which ones are true and that you want to keep, and which ones are false that you want to let go of, have you run your beliefs about money through this system yet?
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know “ -Pema Chodron
Anyway, this is an awareness game, so the idea is when I tell you to, I want you to write down the first thing that comes to mind. When I say GO, you need to write whatever pops into your head.
I want you to imagine that you have been given a great gift. The gift is whatever you choose it to be, but for this game let’s say its money. This gift is a wish granted for any amount of money you want. As much as your heart and imagination can dream up, whatever amount that you want will be given to you. Go ahead and dream…. got it? Now, be ready to write when I say GO. Keep the dream amount of money in your mind, close your eyes for a bit if you would like to imagine the amount and what it will do for you. Imagine the feeling of having it in your life, of using this gift how you see fit. Got it? Now ask yourself, why don’t I deserve it? Write down the first thing that comes to mind and don’t stop writing until it is all out of you; GO.
What did you write down? Was it something like, “I can’t have that amount of money because I haven’t earned it?” Or, “that kind of money will never come to me, it’s a pipe dream, a fantasy.” Or, “The only way that would happen is if I won the lottery, money just doesn’t show up in my life like that, I have to work hard for money!” Whatever you wrote down, does it seem real? What you wrote down is not the reason large sums of money won’t come; it is the belief that what you wrote is true that blocks it from coming to you.
What popped into your head about what you deserve is a false belief; it is no more real than thinking you are the second coming of Christ. How are you reacting right now? Are you angry, frustrated, mad at me, calling bullshit? Are you shocked, curious, waiting for the punchline, or silently still? Reactions are great awareness tools to how strongly the belief has a hold of you and is resistant to change. Believing that unquestioned thought you wrote down feels safe, but questioning it seems so scary doesn’t it? To challenge what you wrote down would mean you are much bigger than you give yourself credit for. It would shake the foundation of who you are or rather who you believe you are. The reality is it is much safer to challenge your thinking than to believe it.
If you put an ant on a piece of paper and use a black marker to draw a circle around it, the ant will be trapped. It sees the circle as a barrier to its freedom. It is limited only by its perception and its reaction to that imagined cage. Now you see the circle you are in -- a prison of the mind-created daydream. The reality is that you have no limits, and you deserve all the abundance in this world, and then some.
I am on a journey to show others how to reclaim their freedom. Money is as good a doorway as any to this new world, not one that can be bought but one that can be bloomed.
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see” -Alexandra K. Trenfor
My Unconditional Love To You No Matter What You Choose. We Are Different Waves Of The Same Ocean, Different Parts Of The Same Whole. Good Journey My Friends