Today, I want to talk about money.
So I used to be the kind of person who avoided my financial situation as much as I possibly could. I would spend blindy, have 0 tracking/management systems in place for my bills and expenses, only check my bank account balance when the anxiety was so overwhelming that I couldn’t avoid it any longer, I used credit cards, and never, and I mean NEVER reviewed my bank activity. I didn’t want to see it, because I carried so much shame about my lack of control over the whole damn thing, and because I didn’t have control over it, it controlled me. I actually can’t even believe how I made it this far with that level of financial negligence. (THANK YOU UNIVERSE).
I have been choosing, very slowly, to become more mindful of my financial health. It started with making a simple spreadsheet of all my bills so that I can actually see how much I owe every month (I literally didn’t do this until age 30). Then I started tracking all of my income, so that I can see what kind of abundance I’m bringing in, to the penny. Every month I add my earnings to my spreadsheet so I can see how things are developing from one month to the next. That feels really good. Then I started tracking my business related expenses and plugging that into the spreadsheet so that I can deduct it come tax time. I then started checking my bank account frequently, and reviewing my activity for the week. I added “due dates” to my bills spreadsheet so I know exactly when to expect what to come out, and to make sure I have what I need to stay above water. Then I got really bold and started checking my bank account every morning before I got out of bed. Just to know, today I have X amount of dollars. Cool. No mysteries, no stressin’ if this swipe of the ol’ debit card is going to overdraft me or not.
And yo, just to be clear, this growing level of attention and awareness to my finances didn’t happen in a week or even a month. This was about a year-long process. Which included falling off the wagon, and getting back up on it, many a times over.
And, each of these steps was met with a great deal of resistance. Especially the initial ones. For people who don’t have money shame and financial shadows, it may be hard to relate to this. But for those of you who have struggled with financial demons, who cringe at the mere thought of scrolling through your bank activity, I want to let you know that each baby step toward more financial awareness is a big step toward more overall health, freedom, and opportunity. Because wearing the blindfold is like this dull, nagging hurt, that doesn’t go away and manifests as stagnation and fear and resistance in other areas of life. But when we face the shit that scares us, we heal ourselves of those constant aches, and free ourselves to live our lives in HELL YEAH fashion.
Also, every time I put a little bit more attention and energy into my money matters, I receive a money miracle. For example, yesterday morning I spent a couple hours tending to, organizing, and spreadsheeting my finances, and within the same time frame, I received an email from the IRS saying that I get a refund on something that I wasn’t expecting a refund for, and two new requests for client sessions.
Where our attention goes, energy flows.
That’s just how it goes!
This money stuff is a means to its own end, AND it’s a wonderful metaphor for anything that we are keeping repressed in the dark. When we can courageously take a look at the shit, and take one little baby action step at a time to self-correct, then we are freeing ourselves of all that nagging, anxious space that that thing is taking up -- making us so much more available to being present, grateful, healthy, abundant and kind.
And just a reminder, the only way to heal the shadow stuff is to love ourselves through it. Is it going to be scary? yes. And can we be scared, and loving to ourselves at the same time?
Sometimes this stuff is too terrifying to face alone! Mine certainly was. I had to consult with a lot of different people that I trusted about their money systems before I could tackle my own. I needed help, and I had to get myself to a real humble place in order to ask for it. And boy was that the best thing I could have done for myself.
Because now, we have a healthy relationship. Me and my money are homies. Which means it has way more of a chance to grow and flourish because it’s getting loved up on a regular basis.
And, I might fall off the wagon again. And when/if that happens, I’ll dust myself off, get back on, knowing that I’m one mistake closer to the life of my dreams.
K, that’s my two cents for the day. (pun intended).
May we all have the courage to love ourselves through the scary stuff.