It is time to go beyond paying lip service to feminine principles and really put them into action. What stands between our sleep and our awakening is just a song away. Listen up, listen deep with your heart dear ones:
“In the distance a hum, the soft sound of people waking up: waking up to what is possible for the earth at this sensitive juncture, waking up to the call that is coming form our ancestors and from future generations, a call to awaken.”
~The Turning Tide Coalition
We are indoctrinated into learning; it is the western way after all, but truth is revealed when we undo, uncover, unveil and peel away the layers of misperceptions that obscure our experience of being and of life.
And so here is a layer of experience. Money. Money is still taboo. It might not feel that way but it still is. I wonder what this word evokes for you and if you are willing to share your thoughts. There are a set of assumptions that rule the way we let it control our lives, without our ever questioning its past, present and future as well as our relationship with it. Either way, revered or scorned, money remains an unconscious part of our lives until it is brought into the light of awareness and used for good.
I want to explore our ambivalence around money. Discuss the ways we feel about it. Bring up its history. Wash away its soul. Renew its purpose. Awaken its heart and in this way restore our sanity, our wholeness, our sacredness.
I read The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources by Lynne Twist in January, 2012 and I have been digesting her words of wisdom ever since. I applaud Lynne’s courage to highlight the opportunity that we have right now to awaken the heart of our relationship with money, not as a measure of who we are, because abundance and radiance can’t be measured by money; but as a conduit of a new vision of flow with the power to benefit all of creation.
There has been a great schism between money and soul. Lynne Twist’s book The Soul of Money is about healing that divide, about aligning heart with power, money with soul and feeding our hunger for meaningful lives once and for all.
But first, let’s talk about its shadow. Money is of the most misaligned aspects of contemporary life. Money seems to have lost its soul or did it ever have one? Its power could reach all, however, it stays only with a few.
“Money itself isn’t the issue. It is neutral. It’s the power we give it that gets our of control.”
Many of us have feared financial wealth because of its corrosive power throughout history. I have been aware of this dark side of money all my life. Yes, money is a conduit, a carrier of intention and purpose. It has been, however, often used as a measure of worth, success, goodness, ability and intelligence.
No doubt many feel repulsed by the shadow of money, for it
“has been used as an instrument of control and punishment, emotional escape or manipulation, or as a replacement for love.”
People have in the name of money and power
“killed for it, enslaved other people for it, and enslaved themselves to joyless lives in pursuit of it.”
What have we traded for money? Our souls? People sell their souls for money and sacrifice the most sacred of things, their spirit, their consciousness, their life force, even their mother Earth. Kill or rather die slowly for a false God. We tend to think that we are making a living but we are slowly dying inside, our souls withering like malnourished plants, tamed like caged birds with no song.
“The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we live.” – Norman Cousins
Hungry Ghost Syndrome
We can’t remain silent. We need to reveal the patterns that are screaming for healing. Our culture suffers from Hungry Ghost Syndrome. Never ever feeling satisfied. We have simply forgotten what nourishes us. We are confused. We are hungry Ghosts engaging in an unhealthy pursuit of money without really feeding our souls. The ultimate irony is that money can’t buy the things that our soul is hungry for. Our relationship with money exhausts itself trying to cover up, satisfy and quench our bottomless spiritual hunger, our hungry ghost syndrome.
There is this notion that financial poverty is the state we are to fear, despise, avoid at all cost, when it is in fact spiritual poverty the root of most of our problems. There is this unspeakable truth that Mother Theresa articulated so well when she counseled Lynn to love the rich for they too suffer greatly:
“There is no recognition of the trap that wealth so often is, and of the suffering of the wealthy: the loneliness, the isolation, the hardening of the heart, the hunger and the poverty of the soul can come with the burden of wealth.”
Expressions of fear
As a species, we are very unskilled at handling this human invention called money. What we often do in our pursuit of money is lust and chase after it, hoard it at the expense of starving our souls. Let’s call this grasping.
At the end of the other spectrum of experience, what we do in rejection of money is often hide from it, check out and ultimately disown our power. Let’s call this aversion.
Aversion and grasping both boil down to fear, extreme patterns taking a hold of our hearts and spirits. Unless we have healed the way we deal with money as the conduit for our values, ideals and passions, it is likely that we will experience money in unhealthy ways. A disconnect from love and power. Soul without money or money without soul.
There is a third way, when money no longer divides but unites, when it becomes aligned, infused with heart and soul, embracing our humanity and honoring and serving our deepest values, becoming
“more and more a way to express the longing and the fulfillment of soul.”
Dispelling the lies
“Our relationship with money is based in an unexamined and unquestioned set of assumptions that are lies.”
Money can become a conduit for our deepest aspirations and dreams. So how do we get there? In order to come back into alignment we need to dispel some of the lies corroding our sense of self and shine light on some of the truths illuminating the nature of the universe.
The lie of Scarcity. Some think that poverty is inevitable. The belief that there simply isn’t enough for all in this world. How do we go from not having enough to a culture of accumulation, waste and disregard for life escapes my mind. Lynne refers to our justification of poverty stemming from a belief in scarcity, lack and and overall feeling of not being enough. She refers to Adam Smith’s Modern Economics as a system based on greed and fears of scarcity.
The lie of More is Better. The result is a fear driven culture that feels that more is better and participates in a chasing game that ends up biting its own tail. The beliefs that dictate our experience of money seem to be ingrained in all other systems. Praise the Goddess, for the consumerist, competitive and elitist tenets of patriarchal culture are being dismantled before our eyes.
THE LIGHT – A CALL TO ALIGNMENT
Money has shown its darkest shadow already. It is now time for it to show its brightest light. We tend to forget that we belong to nature and that we too operate under the principles that govern all life. We are indeed slow to embrace new scientific discovery and even slower to accept spiritual laws that facilitate another model of life that allows for more flow. This new model of partnership, cooperation and collaboration comes alive when there is a free flow of giving and receiving that reaches all in the appreciation of everyones’ gifts.
These are the pillars or principles of a more feminine model rising based on natural law:
“Respected evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris notes that nature fosters collaboration and reciprocity. Competition in Nature exists, she says, but it has limits, and the true law of survival is ultimately cooperation.”
“There is a natural law of abundance which pervades the entire universe, but it will not flow through a doorway of belief in lack and limitation.” ~Paul Zaifer
The Achuar, indigenous people of Ecuador, live “ in the experience and expression of enough, of what I call sufficiency. Instead of seeking more, they treasure and steward thoughtfully what is already there. In fact, their efforts today are devoted to protecting what is there– the rain forest – as a resource for all of us…Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience. A context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough..We feel naturally called to share the resources that flow through our lives- our time, our money, our wisdom, our energy, at whatever level those resources flow – to serve our highest commitments. Our soul and money interests merge to create a rich, satisfying, and meaningful life.”
Your true wealth
You are made of heaven and earth, of soil and star dust, of flowers and sunshine, of water and wind. How can you experience your true wealth? Feel a wealth of resources and gifts flowing through you now, always.
Discover your treasures. Share your gifts. Your wealth are your gifts, but they are gifts only when you share them. Can’t find them? Look inside your heart:
I lived on the shady side of the
road and watched my neighbors’
gardens across the way reveling
in the sunshine.
I felt I was poor, and from door
To door went with my hunger.
The more they gave me from
their careless abundance the
more I became aware of my
Till one morning I awoke from my
sleep at the sudden opening of
my door, and you came
and asked for alms.
In despair I broke the lid of my
chest open and was startled into
finding my true wealth.
~ Tagore, Indian poet and mystic
And what if security wasn’t how much you got in the bank but how much you let flow through your heart, your life? Your gift is your offering to the world. Your work is love made visible. Mother Teresa saw herself as “God’s pencil” and stated: “the way to know me is to know my work. I am my work.”
Water like Flow
Let your true wealth flow in and out, free to nourish all soils of life. Money, like space, is a conduit for flow. Any unbalanced expression of energy creates friction, obstruction and hinders life’s movement. How can you experience money as a conduit, as sacred flow? By becoming aware of the choices that we make and their repercussions. By allowing our money to carry our richest intentions, desires and life sustaining dreams.
“Money is like water. It can be a conduit for commitment, a currency for love… Money flows through all our lives, sometimes like a gushing river, and sometimes like a trickle….It can carry guilt, shame and regret or rich blessings…When it is flowing, it can purify, cleanse, create growth, and nourish. But when it is blocked or held too long, it can grow stagnant and toxic to those withholding it or hoarding it….Stop the flow of money toward those people and products that demean life.”
Healing the split
We are healing the split within ourselves. We are healing the split between us when we realize:
“In the context of sufficiency, philanthropy and service become an expression of interconnectedness.”
An example of bridging the schism that separates us is this indigenous mythical story of the condor and the eagle, of the people of the north and the South coming together in reciprocity. In a system that has taken pride in devaluing one underneath the other, the time is ripe for a coming together, joining forces on equal ground. The prophecy says that when the scientific and intellectual people of the Eagle join the intuitive and heart based people of the Condor, it will be a time when:
“A new alloy consciousness will emerge that honors the Eagle people for the remarkable accomplishments of the mind, and honors the Condor people for the deep wisdom of the heart- and only together the crisis will be resolved and a sustainable future will emerge for all.”
More good news:
“Our struggle around money, and all the tension, fears, and excesses that go with it, has a parallel in nature. Evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris says that the caterpillar, at a certain point in its life cycle, becomes a voracious, over consumptive glutton consuming everything in sight and within reach. At this point in its evolution it can eat hundreds of times its own weight, and the more it consumes the more fat and sluggish it gets. At that same moment of developmental excess, inside the caterpillar the imaginal cells begin to stir. Imaginal cells are specialized cells, and in the minority, but when they connect with each other they become the genetic directors of the metamorphosis of the caterpillar. At some point in the caterpillar’s feeding, frenzy stage, the imaginal cells usher in the process in which the over-consumptive caterpillar becomes the nutritive soup out of which the imaginal cells create the miracle of the butterfly.”
A time of rebirth
I love Lynne’s approach to realigning our money with soul. I use a similar approach to realigning our spaces with soul in the lost art of soulful space making. Space, like money, can be used to imprison or liberate, contract or expand, impoverish or enrich our experience of life. Our intentions vibrate through all our creations. At the end, when we examine our longing to heal our relationship with money and space, what we are really expressing is our desire to heal ourselves.
We are the caterpillars of the world, birthing a new dream, re-dreaming the world. May love and awareness permeate all our creations imbued with the power to flow from heart to heart and may we experience and share our true wealth.
We are waking up as the imaginal cells ready to create a new dream of miraculous co-creation for the benefit of all life. To letting money become a true conduit for love. To making a living in a way that truly honors our spirit, our heart, our aliveness and the preservation of all that we hold sacred.
* all quotes by Lynne Twist from The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources, unless otherwise stated.