What is money? How much do you need to make you happy? How is your relationship with money?
Money is life energy. It is the life energy – our hours – we invest to have what we need and to pursue what we want.
Money is called ‘currency’ because it flows like a river, though sometimes a trickle rather than a torrent. How can we shape this current so we move towards ease and mastery in our lives?
Another way currents flow is electricity – maybe that is why money is such a hot topic and so many of us feel burned in our relationship with it. How can we get our earning, spending, investing, borrowing, giving and saving to all lead to a life we love?
Most of us spend a third of our lives on money. Don’t we deserve to have a clear and empowered relationship with the stuff free of fear, worry and confusion? We can have that – even in this economy – but we have to transform our relationship not just with money, but all life energy flows.
If you and I want to transform our relationship with money we need to take a look at how we spend not just our dollars, but our time and attention. We need to look at our consumption, not just the stuff we buy but the food we eat, the lotions and potions we buy to pursue health, the endless efforts to gain status and control. You can transform all these life energy flows – in fact, transforming one can empower you to transform them all. Imagine that.
Here’s the LIFE part. While money is life energy – it is just one way you transform what flows through your life into a life you love. Transforming your relationship with money happens as you relate your money life to your happiness life – your daily joys and your life purpose. Does my relationship with food make me happy? Does my relationship with time make me happy? What about love – is my love life a source of happiness – or a sink hole for life energy?
The tools for transforming your relationship with money also work for all areas of our lives such as food, health, relationships, love too. When people say ‘Your Money or Your Life changed my life’ they mean they are both liberated from money servitude and they are living a fulfilling life.
TRUE WEALTH: LIFE ENERGY
Step One to transforming your relationship with money, time, food and love is to be clear about what you really want to get out of and give to life. By what measure will you know you have enough? What makes you happy?
Step Two is to observe carefully how life energy flows for you, in daily transactions and in larger patterns – without judgment with an attitude of “no shame, no blame.”
Step Three is to see if Step One and Step Two match. Does the life energy I am spending buy me a happy, meaningful life? Is it feeding all of me, not just some of me?
How is your relationship with food? Does the food you eat satisfy you – not just your stomach but nourish your life?
Food is life energy. It’s the vitality of the earth and sun, transformed into food through much hard work. When you eat it your body transforms it into life energy you invest in work, play and love. Our relationship with food isn’t just strategies for controlling weight or health. It has to do with assumptions about size, health, beauty, nourishment, entitlement, attractiveness and more. You can have a clear empowered fulfilling relationship with food that comes through self-observation and inquiry rather than self-control and resistance to any aspect of how you are. Is how you’re eating actually filling you? Are you crazy about food – loving it and hating it and confused even about what and how much and when to eat? Is it in alignment with your goals and dreams?
How are you investing your time? Is it buying you a life you love?
Time itself is life energy, a resource that flows through our lives. In fact, it is our real “allowance”, what we have to spend between birth and death to do all the caring and creating and learning and producing that’s in us. We look for more, squander it, hoard it, give it away in all the wrong places, and we invest it in our hopes for a better future. The solution isn’t really about just the amount of time you have, but rather the quality of how you spend your time.
Annie Dillard says, “How we spend our days is, after all, how we spend out lives.”
How are you? Are you well? Do you have a healthy relationship with your body? How much vitality do you have?
Our vitality is the amount of life energy available to move us forward towards our goals, purposes, dreams and desires. Health, they say, is true wealth, because without it, your life energy is locked up in a daily struggle to survive. Vitality isn’t just the ticking clock of time but the amount of energy and passion we have to invest. Truly healthy people have what science calls an “internal locus of control” – they consult doctors and take pills and undergo treatments, but they never surrender responsibility for their health.
Vitality arises from listening to the body, not rejecting some aspect, accepting others and trying to get you to fit some model of health. It is even possible for people who are ill and dying to be vital and alive, and people who have nothing wrong with them to find life itself a burden.
The same transformational tools for observing, accepting and evaluating the flow of money apply to the flow of vital energy.
LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS
Are you in love with your life? Do you spend your love in ways that make you happy and lead you to a life you love? What is the life energy return of how you invest your love?
How you invest your love into your relationships, community and world work has everything to do with a happy life. Love, generosity, caring, respect and interest all flow naturally when you invest love wisely. Loving isn’t just having a mate or having sex. It is, as – it is actually loving your life. We invest love in things and people but it is really a “space” you cultivate of transparency and respect. It’s having a healthy, happy, nourishing relationship with life itself. Does this seem beyond possible, given all the daily challenges you face? Transforming your relationship with love isn’t about not having challenges. It’s about loving the challenges as ways to release the barriers to love. Practicing love in the face of wherever you are in your life is a springboard for liberation.