Home - Denise Hughes Author Speaker Money Coach

Denise's Blog

Money Insights, Wisdom, and More


One recent Saturday, I visited a local coastal town’s (Bonny Doon) ecological reserve. I was on a docent lead hike with botanist, Linda. Linda opened our hike by saying, “we are going to begin our hike through an area where the fires seered the land about 5 years ago. Everyone here thought the fires devastated the land, which it did…but it also did something else. The fires opened this area to new growth. Ancient seeds started to sprout, new plant species came forth. The heat from the fire burst open the lupine and cyprus seeds, so this reserve now boasts they are one of the worlds largest population of Cyprus. None of these new plant species would have taken root if it hadn’t been for the fire and its heat.”

As in nature, so in life. Sometimes, we initially experience the financial fires of life as losses. Job loss, illness, disability, death of a spouse, and divorce, are common financial and emotional fires.

Elizabeth Lesser, author of the book, Broken Open, tells us that our losses can break us down and change us, in “making us a little more cynical or scared or unable to cope.” We can allow the experience of our losses to build mental scar tissue. This scar tissue embodies the qualities of restriction, pain, effort and keeps us living in a “woe is me” dynamic. Over time, it takes lots of energy to live with scar tissue. We get worn out.

However, breaking down, isn’t the only option. Elizabeth says, “There is this other possibility that after the breaking, we can open up more into who we are supposed to be, in the way that a flower breaks out of the confines of a bud into its full blossoming.”


Just like the lupine required the intense heat from the fire to bloom, the heat from our external experiences can be the catalyst in opening us to internal changes that sprout new growth. When we open from loss, we embody the qualities of freshness, elasticity, beauty, authenticity, simplicity and wisdom.

It doesn’t just have to be the extreme of a fire that causes us to open. Some people open themselves when they “act” on insights from divine “ah-hah” moments. Have you ever had an “ah hah” moment where (out of the blue) you received an idea or answer to something that helped you to flow and live in more open-ness in your life?

Others open themselves by paying attention to states of energy and discerning states of flow (open) from states of effort (constriction). Living in flow is like living in a state of magic. It reminds me of the childhood song of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. We are in flow when life is effortless, merry and just plain feels right.

In my financial life, I regularly examine where I am experiencing states of flow and states of effort. I give thanks to areas that are flowing and surrender to states of effort until they too begin to take on that quality of “flow.”

Judith Orloff, MD, is an energy psychiatrist. She tells us there are signs when we are pushing against an opening. These signs are: cycles of frustration, irritation, uphill battle, fixated on the same issue over and over again, strain, drain, feeling of heaviness.

Financially, where are you pushing against an opening? Lots of effort and heaviness come with credit card debt, living a larger lifestyle that what our energy supports, not earning our worth, being attached to a “woe is me” attitude, and living in a state of vagueness (yes, vagueness stops flow) about how money flows in our lives (expense and income).

As a financial consultant, I am always examining my own issues with money. I have under-earning behaviors to stay on top of. Right now, I am pushing against an opening with how to better package and offer my services. I bump up against my own mental scar tissue and the mental adhesions that keep me tied to a certain way of thinking.

“When we open ourselves to the energy of flow we make room for life force to dance.” This is a guiding light quote for me, by Judith Orloff.


So, I have a couple of questions for you.

(1)  Where financially are you pushing against an opening?

(2)  What shifts can you make to open your particular situation to more flow?

(3)  What is keeping you from acting on creating this opening right now?

If these questions are too personal to respond to in this blog, just think about them privately. I would love to hear about how you move into the space of “opening” and what your experience is in that space.

4 thoughts on “OPENINGS”

  1. What a lovely way to think about things, Denise. It is so true that we often have to come up against stuff to “open” ourselves and design something different. Whenever I think about “flow” I remember a canoe float I took down the DesChutes River in OR, where all I had to do was to sit quietly and notice. I didn’t have to paddle; only to occasionally steer the canoe into the flow of the current. I think that is true of living our lives as well; we have to notice so that we can steer into the current, all the while trusting in the rightness of that flow.

  2. Denise, this is so fabulous. I love how nature can serve as a mirror for us, illuminating valuable life principles for us. I use art making the same way. My entire creative journey started with an ah-hah moment that led to my career in the arts with, at the time, no formal art training!

    In my career I have stayed open by accepting challenges for which I was not totally “qualified”. It required me to open up to my intuition, expect miracles (often the exact people I needed to help would appear), etc. Also, thank you for the Judith Orloff quote. So true. So wise. Thank you! Whitney

  3. Lovely and so true. For me, I think of the rough spots of life as containing the alchemical seeds for transcendence and transformation. So, when I am awake enough to notice that I am not in flow, not feeling open, there’s a part of me that is thrilled, because I know i have just found something that will open me to Truth if I will just make the time to release whatever tension and resistance has me stuck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

< Back to Blog