Denise’s Blog

Money Insights, Wisdom, and More

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!

Categories: Psychology and Money | 0 COMMENTS

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!

 

 

Categories: Psychology and Money | 0 COMMENTS

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!

Categories: Psychology and Money | 0 COMMENTS

HOW TO “TONE DOWN” MONEY CONVERSATIONS

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chickenHiResI work with a lot of couples, helping them navigate the waters of money, marriage, and the mix of ours and mine. A large piece of our work together is getting both partners on the same financial page, with a united vision for how they want to move forward. This is the easy part.

The more challenging part has to do with the “stuff” (we all have our stuff) that comes up between couples that side tracks them from staying on track with their united vision. One of the pieces of stuff that comes up that needs to be addressed is TONE. Voice tone that is! It is one of the biggest “blind spots” couples live in…which is how they are coming across to one another…how what they say verbally might not be matching what they are saying with their body language (which voice tone is a part of) and we all know the body is the truth teller of how we feel, right?

Tone can create connection or derail a conversation in seconds. My husband and I know this firsthand! It took us weeks and months of practice before we came to our money meetings relaxed and left relaxed. It is the same for many of my clients.

Talking about money is stressful when there is a dance of snarling, blaming, projection, activation of unconscious emotional triggers and looping communication dances (the ones that go round and round and never end with a good result) that live in the problem instead of the solution. Whew!

HOW TO TONE DOWN FOR INCREASED CONNECTION

Here are some pointers my husband and I practice to keep our TONE OF VOICE in check, so we BOTH experience money meetings that are fun and productive!

(1) Speak without constricting your voice. Constriction can occur when we are in an agitated or frustrated feeling state. If you feel agitated, take deep breaths to relax yourself.

  • Practice a deeper pitch to your voice (that sexy deep voice pitch), slow your pace, take pauses, breathe, breathe again
  • Think about what a “friendly tone” sounds like to you and practice that tone in your money meetings
  • Soften your voice volume
  • Relax your upper body…this will make your voice sound more gentle and pleasant. Do shoulder rolls, neck rotations and allow your belly to soften

(2) Smile at your partner rather than remaining tensed up in the jaw area

(3) Drink water to keep your throat area hydrated and to flush through feelings

(4) Be mindful of the words you place emphasis on…for example:

  • “What do you see as a solution to help us stay on track this month?”
  • “What do you see as a solution to help us stay on track this month?”

(5) Get out of “parent | child” communication dynamics and shift to an “adult | adult” communication dynamic. Check out this article to better help you with this shift.

(6) Record yourself with your smart phone and listen to how you sound. Honestly evaluate yourself. Do you sound bossy? Critical? Loving? Friendly?

(7) Attitude comes out in voice tone. Do a body check and feeling check. If you feel defended and upset, take deep breaths until you create a more positive feeling state in your body. Taking deep breaths brings more oxygen to our cells and helps decrease the stress hormone of cortisol in our bodies.

(8) Gather your breath from your belly area before you speak rather than from your throat or nasal cavity.

 

What other ideas do you have on how to be in check with your TONE! It really does matter!

Categories: Couples and Money | 0 COMMENTS

TRACKING: A VISUAL TRUTH TELLING TOOL

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trackI am asking for a virtual hand raise right now. Raise your hand if you know how much you weigh. Keep your hand raised if you know your shoe size. Keep that hand up strong if you know the size of your jeans. OK, keep that hand up if you know your cholesterol number. And, wave those hands all over the place if you know the money available to you in your checking account. Wave hands like crazy if you know the number of money you need to earn each month to make your life work! I often do this exercise in groups where I am a guest speaker and hands start to go down around the cholesterol number and hardly any hands are left waving when I ask about the available balances in bank accounts.

An area of opportunity for all of us, especially women, is to know our numbers in all areas of our lives. Why? Because knowing our numbers empowers us. Our “knowing” allows us to make better decisions for ourselves and our family, whether those decisions are about what foods are best for our bodies or how much money we need to make our lives work. When we stand in our place of “knowing,” we have the power to change our lives and those numbers. Through changing some of our money behaviors, we can make the numbers go up, down, or stay the same, customizing our lifestyle choices with our unique money number to make life work.

A beginning way to get to know how much money will make our lives work, is to begin tracking the flow of money that moves through our lives daily. This means tracking all of our expenses and our income.  Tracking can become a ritual that helps us to step into clarity about our cash flow as well help us examine what values we are funding through our cash flow.

Since 1992, I’ve been tracking my expenses and income and I can’t tell you how valuable this has been to me. This level of detail has helped me to look at expenses in very refined ways, bringing reflection to my spending behaviors…allowing me to dig deep into what tracking tells me that my eyes and brain would rather NOT look at. Tracking is a way of visual truth telling.

Not only is tracking a way of visual truth telling, our nervous system feels more relaxed and grounded when we track. Why? We feel more in control, regardless of our financial situation. There is something wonderful about looking at “what is,” as a first step in launching ourselves into a new money vision.

 

TOP TEN REASONS TO TRACK YOUR CASH FLOW:

1. Connection to your flow

2. Visual truth telling

3. A feeling of grounded-ness and sense of control

4. You will reach your financial goals faster

5. You will spend less b/c your brain can no longer trick your eyes about what they are seeing

6. Easily see where you leak money

7. Evaluate if the expense is worth the time it took to earn the money to purchase it

8. Analyze spending triggers

9. Can make you creatively and legally think about ways to earn more money

10. You owe it to yourself to be empowered and be in charge of your money life…knowing helps you step into your birthright of abundance!

 

NOW GO TRACK! XXXX

P.S. When I track…because the act of tracking can be boring at times…bring sensory delight to this activity. Light a candle, play your favorite music, have refreshing lemon water at your side, give yourself a non-monetary reward after you track your numbers!

Categories: Practical Tools and Tips | 2 COMMENTS