Today I want to start by telling you a personal story.
Back when I was new to horse riding, I didn’t yet understand horses very well. And whenever I’d get assigned Dixie for my class, I’d groan and roll my eyes because getting her always left me with one very specific problem.
Dixie was known as ‘that uncatchable bitch’.
Surly, not specifically fond of people, and prone to bite, she had no interest in coming in for lessons.
Whenever you got close enough to touch her, she’d run off.
So, I devised this elaborate plan where I’d get up nice and close to her, give her a bit of a scratch and a treat, pretend I was just strolling by and not really look directly at her, get her to think that it was worthwhile to stick around.
I’d toss the rope around her neck and get the halter on her before she could think twice about it.
Why am I telling you about my less-than-mediocre horse-handling skills?
Because I think there are a lot of people who treat money like I treated Dixie. Worrying that if you look your money in the eyes – acknowledge its existence – it’ll bolt and run away from you.
And so, you hide your desire for money behind this casual attitude.
Like “Oh, I don’t really care about money” because you’re scared of wanting it too much.
And you start doing this strange dance, these odd little rituals, around money, like:
- you won’t look at the number in your bank account because you just don’t want to know,
- you won’t make a budget because you’re scared that if you make that budget you’ll find out that you don’t have enough money for everything you want,
- you don’t talk about money with other people OR you power through any money conversations like a Jesus lizard running on water just so you can get it over with,
- or you may have outsourced dealing with money to your partner so you won’t have to look at expenses or pay bills.
And your own perception of how you feel about money gets really muddled.
Just thinking about setting specific financial goals gives you the heebie-jeebies, because you’d much rather just ask the universe to send you “some more money” than spook it away by setting actual goals (i.e. looking it directly in the eye).
This is why you’re getting vague results with money right now.
I emphasise this a lot: intention matters. Focus matters.
The desire for money, or thinking about the things you can buy with more money, doesn’t make you a bad person.
Having more money in your life can create a lot of good.
It can support small businesses in your local area: just think of all the bakeries, art galleries, bespoke candle makers, dance schools, family-owned restaurants and football clubs you can support!
You having more money means you can hire people to make your life easier (wouldn’t you love to have a cleaner?) and buy services to make your life run more smoothly (one of my personal favourites was putting our off-season tyres in a tyre hotel so that we could stop lugging them in and out of the basement twice a year).
You can buy better education for your children, or pay for the education of a child on the other side of the planet – giving them the opportunity to make a life of financial independence for themselves.
You can fund conservation and research, and help shift the politics of your country by contributing to political campaigns and lobbying for good laws that need the support.
Money is the tool that allows you to create the change you want to see in the world.
This is why you, me and everyone else, need to step up and embrace money as a tool. And I know this can be difficult because we all have varying and very complex feelings around money.
So, today let’s take a look at what you currently think and feel whenever you’ve got money on your mind.
What thoughts and emotions rise up in you when you think about your bank account?
Does it make you feel good? Or is it more of a negative vibe? Maybe you try not to think about it because you feel like that number’s always too little.
This is your chance to let it all out on paper. So, don’t hold back.
Use these writing prompts and write out the answers:
- What thoughts and feelings come up for me when I think of money?
- What does money mean to me?
And remember: this is for your eyes only. So, don’t be shy, this isn’t about judging your thoughts and feelings – it’s about cutting through those layers of unconscious conditioning.