Welcome to Week 2 of Overcoming Financial Stress.
This week we will be focusing on the patterns, beliefs and emotions that we hold about money and the effects that financial stress has on our energetic being.
Grab your journal and a comfy chair.
Your Money Patterns
What patterns does your use of money follow?
Are you a person that always finds themselves at the edge of your financial bandwidth?
Do you feel guilty spending money so you deny yourself the things and experiences that you enjoy?
You don’t get any money unless you work really REALLY hard for it so you never feel as though you can take any time off?
In your journal, write out all of the money patterns that you can think of.
Now ask yourself, what did you have to believe for that pattern to be a reality?
What fear lies underneath that belief?
My personal money pattern has been that no matter how much money I earned, I would always spend it right to the limit and often beyond.
The belief that I held was that I couldn’t hold onto money.
The fear that lay underneath that belief was that money would be taken away from me so I’d better spend it quickly before it was taken away.
Now choose a different belief and a different pattern of behaviour.
I now choose the money pattern of always having more than twice the amount of money coming in than I choose to spend.
The belief I hold is that I am an excellent money manager. Money loves me and it wants to stay with me. I have the ability to hold on to as much money as I choose to and nobody is going to take it away.
So here’s the thing, the money pattern that you currently have comes with evidence of its reality. So in order to change the pattern you need to find new evidence to support the new pattern that you’re now choosing for yourself.
So we now need to look for the evidence of your new pattern and your new belief.
Firstly, look back in your past and identify the times that your new pattern has already been supported with evidence.
You probably didn’t notice it at the time because you were focused on finding evidence of your old pattern, but I almost guarantee that evidence of your new pattern has also been shown to you.
Next DECIDE to find evidence that supports your new beliefs. Once you decide, your Reticular Activating System with search on your behalf and point out all of the ways you are already being supported in this new belief.
So to recap:
1 – Identify your patterns
2 – Identify the belief that supported that pattern
3 – Identify the fear that lies beneath the belief
4 – Decide upon a new pattern and a new belief
5 – Look for evidence that supports the new pattern and belief.
Now go back to the 6 areas of life we spoke about in the Pre-Work, and investigate how these patterns are also showing up in the other areas of your life too.
The way we think and speak about money is very important to the amount of money we are able to receive and also the emotions we feel throughout our day.
When we’re brought up with people telling us that “money is really hard to come to by” we will put obstacles in our way that will ensure that money really is hard to come by. And when we say things like “I can’t afford…” we’re actually instructing our brain to find ways to prove that right which means that we’re likely to always find ourselves unable to afford the things that we would like.
Our brain’s main job is to prove our beliefs correct. As I mentioned before, it is always looking for evidence of what you are thinking.
Therefore, let’s be really mindful of the language that we use when we speak about money and ourselves. We go more into the way we speak about ourselves next week.
As you know, the thoughts you have in your head affect the emotions that you have in your body. But when we are in high-stress, the emotions we hold in our body take charge and affect the thoughts that we have.
So let’s change our thoughts and emotions when it comes to money so we are constantly living from a place of gratitude and abundance rather than fear and scarcity.
How do you feel when you get a tax bill or credit card statement?
We are conditioned to groan and moan at receiving these things, but why?
A high tax bill shows you the evidence that you’ve earned a high amount of money. So instead of bemoaning the bill, show active appreciation for this measure of the financial wealth that you’ve received.
When your credit card statement comes through, go down the list of your purchases and take yourself back in time to when you made that purchase.
Feel yourself enjoying the meal, being grateful for the Uber that’s taking you home, or laughing at the movie that you went to see. If you come to an item that you can’t associate with a feeling of appreciation, make a note to never make a similar purchase again. Truly appreciate the fact that you were able to do and have these things and somebody somewhere allowed you to borrow the money against your future wealth.
That’s all that debt is, it’s borrowing money from your future self, and you wouldn’t be able to have the debt without your future self being able to pay it back.
Society has some very mixed-messages about debt. Some debt is seen as perfectly acceptable, such as a mortgage, whilst other debt is seen as in a negative light, such as credit card debt and bank overdrafts, but all debt is merely borrowing against your future wealth.
I strongly advise you to never get into more debt that you can comfortably make the monthly repayments on but I encourage you to explore your personal views on debt and keep asking yourself Why you believe that particular story about it until you’re sure that your views are your own.
Clearing debt as quickly as possible is always a good thing because you are no longer paying interest on the loan, (and we’ll go into this in Week 4) but feeling shame or guilt at borrowing against your future wealth will ensure that you stay exactly where you are, paying the minimum each month as your brain will be looking for more ways to make you feel guilt and shame about your debt.
Your energy and brain don’t understand whether things are positive or negative, it just feels the high emotion connected with a certain thing, so if you have high emotion connected to the word “debt” it will enhance and increase that thing. Likewise, if you have high emotion around receiving a particular amount of money it will find ways of bringing the possibilities of receiving that amount.
However, if you’re consciously saying that you want $10,000 but subconsciously saying that “rich people are evil” this mixed message will keep canceling itself out and you won’t get the money or peace of mind you ask for because you are constantly in a state of dissonance.
Manifestation works on the emotional energy you emit therefore we need to disconnect the negative emotions you feel around money so you’re able to reprogram positive emotions in their place.
Last week we explored the rules and values that you were brought up with and investigated who you learned these rules about money from and whether these rules had benefited the lives of the people who had taught them to you. You also had the opportunity to decide upon your own rules for money.
As you read through the list of your new rules again, how do they make you feel this week? Are there any tweaks you can make to them that helps you to feel them in your body and truly embrace and accept them on all levels?
As you go through your day, really watch your language and thoughts and if you find that you’re slipping back into the programming of other people’s stories, remind yourself that you choose to no longer believe that story and retell yourself the new story.
You need to do this every single time your brain tells you the story that you choose to let go off.
If an unwanted thought pops into my head the first thing I say, either out loud or silently, is Clear and Delete. And then I tell myself the new story that I’m choosing to believe. The more you do this the less you’ll find that you need to do this because your brain will learn through repetition.
Let’s talk about Money Shame.
Brené Brown describes shame as spending a nice time with your friends and loved ones and hearing them all talking badly about you as soon you leave the room. That feeling of never being able to walk back in the room with them again.
So when we feel shame around our money situation, whatever that may be, what ignites that intense feeling?
How would your feelings around money be different if you didn’t equate the amount of money in your bank account with your value as a human being?
If you’ve ever felt that you couldn’t afford the groceries on the belt, the retreat in Bali or the air fare and hotel costs of your friends destination wedding, did you feel embarrassed and somehow “less than” the person you were before you heard about the retreat, wedding etc?
What story did you tell yourself that your inability to pay meant about you?
How did people react towards you when that happened?
If you’re on the other end of the financial spectrum, how have people reacted towards you once the became aware of your financial situation?
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve offered financial assistance to somebody and they’ve felt embarrassed at your offer? How did their reaction towards your offer change your relationship or make you feel about yourself?
During the pre-work you were asked to anonymously declare your financial situation. How did you feel about ticking your relevant box?
Did you feel ashamed that you weren’t ticking boxes with higher amounts or did you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable for ticking higher amount boxes?
In your journal, really dig deeply into the feelings that are being brought up as you went through that exercise and read this.
What power are you allowing money to hold over your personal feelings about yourself and your worth?
We’ll be going in to this more next week, but for now be as honest as you can with yourself WITHOUT JUDGEMENT.
Years ago I was in the situation where I didn’t own any credit cards and I only had cash. I went to the supermarket and filled my basket and when I got to the cashier I discovered that I had more in my trolly that I could pay for in my wallet.
The immediate reaction to this was to feel embarrassed because there was a long line of people building up behind me, the cashier had started rolling her eyes and huffing, and we now had to go through and delete some of the shopping so I could afford to pay for it.
As I went through all the groceries taking things back out of the bags, with things piling up because there’s not a lot of room on that side of the belt, I could feel myself getting flustered as I imagined more and more people staring at me. I started handing items back to the cashier who had by now called a supervisor to help take the returned items away, and eventually I was able to pay for the items that were left, pack them all up very quickly and I almost ran out of the shop.
I remember thinking how awful it was that I couldn’t afford to pay. But then I thought, well if I had known how much I was spending and how much I had in my wallet I could’ve avoided that particular situation.
We have been conditioned to feel ashamed and embarrassed about situations like this but but our ability to take control lies in our perception of the situation.
Yes, not being able to pay for the groceries on the belt in an inconvenience, it takes time to sort out and it’s a frustration for the cashier because they will have to do something that they don’t presumably do very often.
So instead of believing that the other customers were looking down on me, I could have chosen to believe that they were short on time and just wanted to get through the till and get on with their day. Their reaction had nothing to do with me personally or my financial situation, it was all about them and their lack of patience.
The cashier was huffy because she was nervous about doing a new task, which is why she called the supervisor, and again her reaction had nothing to do with me personally.
Every story you tell yourself about somebody else’s reaction to you, is completely made up. You have no idea how that person is feeling or the stories that they are telling themselves about the situation you’re in.
9 times out of 10, the stories they are running through their heads have THEM at the centre, not you.
Here’s another example from my real life.
When I lived in Paris, France I didn’t have very many friends at all. I had a 1 year old daughter and I really felt like I needed some friends around me so I invited a couple that we were very close to, to come to stay for a holiday.
I knew that they were both in very low paying jobs and they frequently complained that they didn’t have any money so I invited them to stay for a week, all expenses paid, they wouldn’t have to pay for a thing.
They both got very uncomfortable at my invitation. Turned it down point blank. And our relationship was never the same afterwards. Even after explaining why I had invited them, the reaction from them was the same.
I have no idea what story they told themselves but I’m guessing it wasn’t the one that said, “our friend really needs a friend right now” and instead went something along the lines of “who does she think she is, we’re not a fucking charity case.”
Do I feel wrong for inviting them in the way that I did. NO. My invitation came from a place of love and their perception of it was completely out of my control.
As I said before, perception is key.
So, as you journal, I would like you to explore all the different stories you could make up about any situation that you have been through or could go through and choose a story that you’d actually enjoy believing.
I advise you to organise your journal around this subject under the following headings:
What Meaning I attributed at the time:
The Possible Meanings that could be attributed:
The Meaning I choose now:
The energetic effects of stress
We, and everything else in the Universe are made up of atoms. At an atom’s core, you will find a swirling vortex of energy surrounded by infinitely small energy vortices called quarks and photons. An atom has no physical structure, therefore we have no physical structure. A car, a table, a tree, everything is made up of vibrating energy and the only reason that we see and feel these things as solid objects are because they are vibrating at such a level that they appear solid. Think of watching a movie which is made up of around 24 frames a second. We are actually seeing 24 individual still pictures a second but we don’t see the gaps between them and we don’t notice the image changing, instead, we see the movie as one moving image.
If you were to take out all the empty space of all the atoms that make up the entire human race you would find that you could fit our collective mass into a container the size of a sugar cube. This means that we, like the atoms that we consist of, are made up of invisible energy, not tangible matter.
In the area of quantum field theory, this means that we and everything else exists in an energetic field and we are all connected to everything else in that field.
It also means that at a cellular level, we are more energy than matter.
All of the organs and tissues in our body are formed of this energy and holds information about how the systems of the body, made up of these organs and tissues, functions as a result of the field of information that the energy holds. This field of information is what gives order and rhythm to the matter of our bodies.
The universe follows a rhythm and our bodies, and as we are part of the universe, follow a consistent natural rhythm too. From the beat of our heart to the beat of our digestive tract, we are rhythmical beings that follow a flow.
For instance, if a group of women lives together, over a few months all of the women will start to menstruate at the same time because we will sync with each others rhythm because there is an order and a rhythm to the universe.
When we suffer from chronic stress we lower the vibrational frequency of the energy within our body which means that we fall out of sync with our natural rhythms which depletes the energy of the body.
The long term effects of this are that as the energy leaves our cells we are now more matter than energy which means that we’re more open to the laws of matter than the laws of energy. What this means is that our body is now open to the laws of thermodynamics and entropy and can no longer repair itself as it does when it follows the laws of energy.
To combat this, we need to activate the energy centers of the body, often referred to as the Chakras, and rebalance them to allow the energy to flow as it was designed to do.
There are 7 energy centers of the body and each is responsible for a different area of emotional and physical well-being.
The Root Chakra / 1st energy center is responsible for our foundations – it’s found at the base of our spine in our sexual glands and regulates the organs found in that location. Generally speaking, it’s this chakra that equates to the first two layers in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – food, water, shelter, safety, and security. In modern times this is the center for financial strength.
The Sacral Chakra / 2nd energy center is responsible for our digestion and also our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences. It’s found in our lower abdomen about two inches below the navel. This energy center addresses a sense of well-being, pleasure, and sexuality.
The Solar Plexus Chakra / 3rd energy center is our adrenal center. It is responsible for our ability to be dominant and confident and in control of our lives. It’s located in the upper abdomen and addresses issues such as self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem. When we’re living in a state of high stress and fight or flight, we’re using huge amounts of energy that leaves us feeling depleted so we become a shrunken energy field.
The Heart Chakra / 4th energy center is located in the heart area behind our breast bone and is responsible for our ability to love, others and ourselves, and to enjoy life and inner peace.
The Throat Chakra / 5th energy center, located in the base of the throat, affects our ability to communicate clearly and honestly.
The Third Eye Chakra / 6th energy center is responsible for our ability to visualize and see the bigger picture. It is located in the middle of our forehead between our eyebrows. This energy center addresses our imagination, wisdom, intuition and the ability to think clearly and make decisions.
The Crown Chakra / 7th energy center affects our ability to fully connect with the Universal Energy Field, known by some as Spirit or God. It is located at the very top of our head and forms the connection to spirituality and pure bliss.
If we constantly live in a state of high stress, the energy is quickly depleted from each of these energy centers which means that they lose their ability to heal themselves and the organs and emotional issues connected with them as they are no longer acting as energy and they are now acting as matter.
By opening our chakras and allowing the energy to flow through as it should, and by changing the information that we’re sending to the energy centers from fear and stress to love and appreciation, we can re-energise and rebalance those energy centres so we can live in our natural rhythmical state instead of the unbalanced, incohesive, destructive state that we are currently experiencing.
Find the space and time to do this meditation daily for at least 30 days.