Psychology and Money

The “If I look, I can’t have” money belief

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If I look I can't have

“If I look at my accounts, it will scare me…and then I won’t be able to buy what I want…and if I look, I will see what I don’t have…is a common money belief.”

Ummm…this isn’t always the case. Beth looked and gasped, big gulpy gasp when she saw that she had a little over $100,000 in a retirement account she didn’t know she had. Liz gulped when she saw that unbeknownst to her, her checking account was overflowing with a cushion of about $10,000 prior to her getting paid that month.

Now, this isn’t always the case, where “the act of looking,” is like opening up a holiday gift present. It certainly wasn’t the case for me, when for the first time I opened myself to look at all $60,000 of our debt. A box of tissues helped me get through it all, along with being pissed that we were in this place…that put us into action mode.

I think the first time we “look,” especially when we haven’t looked in a long time, is scary. Our worst fears, catastrophic thoughts, and “holy shit, how am I going to make it,” fears surface. Our throats tighten, stomachs knot-up and hearts beat faster. Deep deep breaths and heart softening help greatly here.

Yet, in the looking…something beautiful happens. We begin to step into the space of clarity for ourselves and our money. This is the only space I know, where change begins, in this space of “looking.” It is in this space where we can begin to bring in the qualities of “compassion, kindness, and understanding.” These are the qualities that “slay” our scared dragon. If we can begin to be willing to release our shame, harsh judgement, and blame, we can open ourselves to coming into a sacred space with money.

I have witnessed hundreds if not thousands of clients now, come into a place of peace with money, by taking the first step of “looking.” What often follows is “wow, it’s not as bad as I thought it was,” or “I can do this,” or “I am ready to create and change this picture.”
And one of the biggest gifts in “looking,” is that we begin to release the story, “If I look, then I can’t have.” We begin to create a new story that might go something like this, “I’m looking, I’m strategizing, I’m creating, I got this money thing.”

I ask you dear reader, “what in your money life is pulling you to be looked at?” What are you willing to open your eyes to, softly? Let me know. I’d love to hear and be a witness for you on your journey.
Blessings xxxx, Denise

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Shining Light On Holiday Gift Giving Rules

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santaWe all got ’em, those often unwritten, unspoken, rules about how we are supposed to “do holiday gift giving.” These are the internal messages, aka mind chatter voices, that can rule us over the holiday season.

Some of them go like this:

“I have to spend the same amount on each person”

“A lot of little things are better than one big present”

“I need to match the gift I think they will be getting me”

“I have to buy everyone in the family, even cousins a gift, because it’s been done that way forever”

“Gifts can only come from high end stores”

“I have to purchase what was asked for”

When I was a little girl, the unspoken rule around holiday gifting was “one big present, three or more smaller ones,” for the immediate family. Money was mostly given to all other than the immediate family with the thought of “oh this will help them buy what they want.”

When I got married, my husband had a set of gift giving rules he lived by too. He tells me gift limits were “set,” per person, and it was OK to go over the limit set but not under the limit.

Over the holiday, it is good to get in touch with and shine some light on our internal gift giving rules. These rules often determine what we give, how much and to whom we give. We might even ask ourselves if these internal rules are something we want to modify, shift, or release. Consciously “re-designing” our internal rules can bring up conflicting emotions such as guilt, relief, inadequacy, and feelings of freedom. A re-design  of inner rules can also upset the chatter going on in our heads and we can bump up against believing we will be disapproved of if we do gift giving in a different way,  in a way that may better resonate with our values and bank account.

Here are some questions of inquiry to support you in finding your own way of gift giving:

~How much do I want to spend this year and how much can I spend without going into revolving credit card debt?

~What is my main focus this year with gifts? Do I want to give in the way of shared experiences or to give a material item?

~What are my internal unwritten unspoken gift giving rules?

~How are these rules honoring me? How are these rules hurting me?

~If my bank account doesn’t support the amount I want to spend in gift giving, how can I use my creativity to give?

~What emotional capacity do I have or what support do I need to do gift giving in a way that honors me while shifting my internal childhood rules?

 

Also, if you aren’t familiar with Gary Chapman’s work on the 5 languages of love, here is a link to a great quick test to explore what language of love you and yours most desire http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ and to allow this to be a part of your holiday expression of love.

WISHING YOU AND YOURS A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY!

Categories: Psychology and Money | 1 COMMENT

LOVING YOUR MONEY SHAME MONSTER

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shame monster copy 2We all have a money shame monster living inside of us. This is the monster that comes out to play when we get triggered about some aspect of our money lives that we prefer stay buried.

While the feeling of money shame is universal, the triggers for each of us are unique. Common triggers are:
Thoughts that compare ourselves in the here and now – to “where we should be in our money lives (and of course comparing ourselves to others)!” These thoughts usually make us feel small.

Thoughts about all the mistakes we made with money + where we would be now if we made different choices.

Feelings of inadequacy, lack of confidence + control with money…believing we “should know” things about money that weren’t taught to us.

Secrets we hold in dark cobwebbed corners (debt, bankruptcy, financial infidelity, under-earning, compulsive spending, being on food stamps, embezzlement are examples) believing if we told anyone about them, we wouldn’t be loved or approved of.

The Money Shame Monster’s job is to fiercely protect us from stepping into financial truth + transparency, for our monster fears it will be too painful to own what is. What this monster doesn’t know is the “truth will liberate us + help us to be more powerful in our lives.”

WAYS TO LOVE YOUR MONEY SHAME MONSTER (to death)

1. GET OUT YOUR FLASHLIGHT

Shine light into the dark corners of your money life. If it is uncomfortable for you to share what’s in those dark corners right now with others, be willing to tell yourself the truth + own your past. Rewrite your money story, it’s your pen + paper + story after all! This way, you begin to create a shift where you step into owning your past + it no longer owning you. And, your Money Shame Monster is light sensitive!

2. INFUSE INTRAVENOUS BAGS OF LOVE + COMPASSION INTO THE CELLS OF YOUR BEING

Feelings of shame activate stress hormones of cortisol + adrenaline. Feelings of Love + Compassion toward ourselves, activate hormones of oxytocin + dopamine. Love + compassion are anesthesia to the Money Shame Monster and gently allows our monster to sleep.

3. LIVE MORE MOMENTS IN A STATE OF GRATITUDE

When we appreciate + feel thanks in our hearts for the beauty, abundance and blessings that already exist in our lives, we are living in a space of light. We cannot live in this space at the same time we are living in darkness + negativity. Living more moments in the light of gratitude, will create a shift in your spirit over time. You might feel “lighter” and “more buoyant!”

4. FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR PAST MONEY MISTAKES

Bring the energy of forgiveness to your money life. Forgive yourself for all the things you did that brought you pain, regrets, shame + feelings of being less than. Sometimes, we judge ourselves harder than anyone else can judge us.  Let go of judgement, “should-a, would-a, could-a’s” and love yourself for who you are and who you are becoming. I have a statue of Quan-Yin in my office to help me remember to have compassion with myself.  I think the best lessons + learning come from things in our lives that didn’t go so well.

I find the best way to un-shame ourselves is to love ourselves fully…for who we were + what we did…for who we are now…and for who we are becoming!

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WHAT’S YOUR MONEY STORY

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WHAT’S YOUR MONEY STORY?

 

typewriterWe all have a money story that lives inside of us. If you aren’t sure of the money story inside of you, begin to notice what you tell yourself to be true about you + money in your life. Noticing your thoughts will clue you in to some of the beliefs you are holding to be true.

For example, some common money stories I hear when I first begin to work with clients are:

HAVING MONEY WILL CHANGE ME TO DARTH VADER

I NEVER HAVE ENOUGH MONEY

I NEED TO MARRY RICH TO HAVE MONEY

I’VE GOTTA WORK HARD TO EARN MONEY

I WILL LOSE THOSE I LOVE IF I AM RICH

You get the idea. So, here’s the thing. We all have a money story from our past + we just need to decide if we are going to carry it forward or to write a new story. Stories from our past are hand-me-down stories. They are stories we’ve been told, or experienced with the innocence of childhood eyes and ears, that we later internalized and now live out. You can tell if you are living out an old story from your past if:

  • you have the experience of “not enough” in your life
  • you live paycheck to paycheck without a safety net to fall back on
  • you feel “ick” about money, fear it, or don’t welcome it to be in the same room with you
  • you have repeated patterns with money that keep happening in your life (feast or famine, having + not having, in + out of debt over + over again, same old arguments)
  • one of your biggest fears is not having any money

I carried the story for years of  THERE’S NOT ENOUGH FOR ME, and re-created this story over + over again in my life…until the pain of it broke me open…and I surrendered…as did my husband…and we asked for help…so we could begin to create a story based in consciousness, with intention, a story that we would re-write together. It’s taken time to re-write our individual and our collective story. You can begin to do the same for yourself.

What MONEY STORY would you like to be true for yourself? Lets start there. Create your title. How about something like:

ENOUGH NOW & FOREVER MORE

I GOT MONEY HARMONY GOING ON HERE

SHARING MY OVERFLOWING BLESSINGS

Now lets take a look at your money behaviors. What behaviors need to be in place for you to begin to live your new money story? What thoughts would a person have who is living your new story? What actions would a person take who is living your new story?

The gift of a New Year is the opening into a new beginning, a fresh start. What intentions do you have for you + money this year? If you need some help in doing this exercise, I encourage you to purchase my book, EARN SAVE SPEND GIVE  4 things to do with your money and how to make it all work. There is an entire chapter on you + money that will fully support you in re-writing your money story!

 

 

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4 BIG REASONS TO CULTIVATE MONEY MINDFULNESS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

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MONEY MINDFULNESS & THE HOLIDAYS

The practice of mindfulness is about getting out of our head (where mind chatter lives) and dropping into our body, while having sensory awareness of what is going on inside of us. It is in part being an observer of ourselves. In this place of observation, we notice our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.

By using the breath (a few deep inhales and exhales), as a tool to relax into our body and become more aware, our mind chatter has less influence over us…because we are noticing the chatter rather than reacting to it. This simple act of dropping into bodily awareness has the ability to change the chemicals circulating in our bodies (reducing the stress hormones of adrenaline and cortisol), which in turn, helps change our perceptions and how we view life happenings.

For example, the act of noticing the present moment through our senses, slows down our perception of time. Slowing down time, opens us to an inner stillness and it is in this space of inner stillness, where creativity can come forth. Why is this helpful in a season of bustling busyness? Because we can create our own inner calm regardless of what is going on around us. We can see new options and solutions to perceived concerns. We can re-frame in this space. It is a space where we can regulate our emotions, which is very important during this holiday season.

So, why apply the concept of mindfulness to our money lives? Because we get MORE:

 JOY

Mindfulness can take us out of a “wanting state of mind,” and transport us to a “gratitude state of mind.” This shift can help us experience a feeling of “enough” in our lives. When we are fulfilled from the inside out, we spend less. We also experience more joy in this space!

PEACE & CALM

Mindfulness can get you in touch with your true needs this holiday season, which may be to relax more and decorate less (just projecting out my own stuff here)!

HONORING OF SPENDING INTENTIONS

Better decisions come from a place of mindfulness. With a few deep breaths, bringing us into increased self awareness, we may notice the inner chatter going on in our heads about holiday shopping. Rather than our inner chatter ruling our spending decisions, we can recalibrate, breath, and stay focused on the spending plan we have created for ourselves rather than doing emotional  or impulsive spending.

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS (based in loving kindness to yourself and your bank account)

What if you are in a bit of a money pickle this holiday season, possibly recovering from some unexpected expenses, stressed about not having enough money for gift giving. Dropping into mindfulness can help you access your creativity, which can support you giving in a way that feels right to your bank account and honoring of your current situation.

IMAGINE staying centered, grounded, calm, emotionally regulated, and connected to what is most important to you this holiday season…rather than being in a space of reacting to the busyness, bustling, shop til you drop exhaustion, and trying to create a holiday season of perfection!

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