We live in a time in history in which wealth has taken on a new collective meaning. There are more wealthy people than ever before, and in the collective imagination, we have a newly created vision of a standard of living that we consider our birthright. Credit cards, mortgages, and car loans mean we can experience ourselves as being well-off without it necessarily being based in reality. Whole countries live off debt and fake money. It’s all very confusing when there are still large areas of the world dealing with famine and disease on a scale that is unheard of in what is termed the ”developed” world.
The inequality and illusory nature of wealth are not the only reasons to be wary of its seductions. Even if you thought you were well-off, chances are that whatever wealth you thought you possessed has diminished in recent times. The upheaval in the world’s financial markets has made it only too clear that worshipping at the altar of materialism is a risky business.
So how do we navigate this treacherous territory at a time when material greed and expectation have reached heights that Socrates probably never even imagined? At a time in which global finances are in such rapid flux that no one can predict what will happen next?
First of all, stay close to yourself. Listen to your dreams and imaginings, and your inner promptings. Take yourself seriously. The soul will not lead you in the wrong direction if you pay attention. Learn to distinguish between the inner soul voice and the conditioned fantasy voice, and pay close attention to how manifestation functions for you.
The following are some questions that will help you work through your thoughts about money. Write these in your journal, and take some time to meditate on and write about each one.
- Where does your money tend to come from? Do you get funds from your family, from your spouse, from hard work, from throwing big parties, from creating works of art?
- How does money come to you? Does it come in sudden wind-falls or in regular paychecks? Does it come happily or unhappily?
- What are your open gates for receiving money, and where do you think you might be closed? Visualize the gates through which money comes to you and see why some are closed. Find out what it would take to open them.
- How does stuff come to you? Is it different from how money comes to you? (Sometimes people have a knack for attracting things over money because they have a negative belief about money itself.)
- Look for where life is easy for you and see if that lesson can be applied to the realms that are more difficult. For example, if you have easy, plentiful friendships with women, think about working in a field in which women will be your clients or customers.
- Examine your family of origin issues. Every family has its trips about money. What did you learn about money as a child? If money was lacking, what concepts has that imparted to your thinking? If you were born into a family that had money and that you have inherited, accept this as your fate and use the money to further your soul dream, which will often be philanthropic and/or socially responsible.
- Look at where you disrespect money and waste it, and clean up your act. Look at your ethics and see if you feel entirely comfortable with all your choices.
- Add up how much money you spend a year in interest and see what you can do to turn that negative into a positive by earning the money before you spend it.
Gratitude practice is useful in clarifying our relationship with money. Think about all the financial help you have received in your life and give thanks for it. Gratitude blocks can often arise around money because it can be such a charged issue, bringing up issues of entitlement in particular.
If you feel you don’t have as much money as you need, look at what useful function the lack of money might serve for you spiritually. For example, if you tend to be scattered in your thoughts and actions, a lack of money might serve to focus you on what is really necessary. Imagine having all the money you think you need and see how you feel. Within that you may find clues to why you might be blocking yourself from being wealthier.
Practice respect for but also detachment from money. The gods and goddesses of money seem to like us to pay close attention but to also be relaxed. (That applies to just about everything, though, doesn’t it?)
Give space in your perceptions for the possibility that everything right now is absolutely perfect – that the restrictions you experience on the material level are actually part of the divine plan of your soul for your ultimate fulfillment. Do this while vowing to free yourself of karmic restrictions brought about by erroneous thoughts and actions regarding money, work, and material anxiety.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lara Owen, author of Growing You Inner Light: A Guide to Independent Spiritual Practice (Copyright © 2009 by Lara Owen), has trained with spiritual teachers all over the world and has made a lifelong study of spiritual practice in several traditions.