Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Sweet Peace #31: Making Peace with Money

Art or accident on the streets near UCSB?

"So today I propose a challenge for you and for me:
receive all compliments without questioning them,
analyzing them, or negating them.
Simply accept it, and know that you deserve it."

-- Lori Deschene, aka TinyBuddha

There was no early indication that this Sweet Peace journey
would have anything to do with money.
It was all about sugar, food, body … period.
However, can you possibly pull one thread 
and not unravel the rest?   

   I’m not having money problems so why is this coming up? I’m accustomed to balancing money with wants and needs. My current living situation is affordable and stable. My needs are few and my wants are manageable. Why is there something niggling at me to look at my relationship with money when I have enough?

   While my growing up years were spartan, I never went hungry and always had shoes and clothing. Our house was tiny but our garden was big. We lived in a small town where life was simple so I didn’t know about the luxuries I was missing.

All of this thinking about money has been triggered by the near-completion of Gratitude Mojo, a gratitude workbook/journal based on ancient wisdom and recent neuroscience studies. It has been my main focus, and joy, over the past year of working with a very wise long-time friend and brilliant coach/consultant.

Now we’ve reached the Rubicon, a shallow river in Italy which metaphorically means a point of no return, a moment which divides the past from a future possibility. Like many, if not most, artists and writers, painters and poets, I love the creative stage and shudder at the thought of wading into the maelstrom of marketing.

There must be a thousand or more books written about this stage, and I’ve read dozens or more. I could probably write a book about this obstacle … but, then, I probably couldn’t market it once it was written. Call it fear of rejection or even fear of success, there is something, a barrier of some sort, that holds us back.

Having spent a lot of time studying and thinking about mindsets, I decided to approach this issue from that perspective and wrote: 

Mindset about Money (OLD) - I can only make money by doing things I don’t really want to do. I have to sacrifice my time in exchange for money. Asking people for money is an unfair balance since I’m not worthy of their money. Money corrupts.

Mindset about Money (New) - I create things that I believe will help people and, therefore, they deserve a fair exchange: my service/product for their money. I love what I do AND I am worthy of receiving money for the value I create.

My joy is being a scout, an igniter, creating and finding resources which pave the way for others to be happier and more fulfilled, more joyful. It is a gift for me to share what I find and create. It is also a gift to others to allow them to share what they have in return, which could be money or might be something they have created. This is a voluntary exchange, I am not forcing anyone to buy something they don’t want or need.

Money is a representation of energy, neither bad nor good, simply the form of exchange. As long as I give value, I should be honored to receive someone else’s energy in exchange. I am worthy. I can accept money in exchange for my creative efforts willingly, gratefully, graciously.

I believe the Tiny Buddha quote is appropriate for money as well as compliments. I can simply accept money and know that I created something of value and, therefore, deserve it.

Excuse me for a minute, I’m going to go stick my toe in the Rubicon and see what happens.