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Mindful : October 2018
From The Art of Money by Bari Tessler © 2018. Excerpted with permission of Parallax Press. steward of that wealth. Maybe your parents lost all of their money in a stock market crash, which instilled a deep distrust in you from an early age. Becoming aware of this inherited belief and understanding where it comes from and how it affects you sets the stage for liberated transformation: You can choose a new path for your- self and your future. Perhaps your immigrant parents each worked three jobs, teaching you that your worth equals how hard you work; becom- ing aware of this belief may free you to enjoy a deeper sense of your own value, just for being who you are, even if you only work one job and never miss your annual vacation. If I have learned anything in my years as a financial therapist, it’s that we have the power to rewrite our money stories. We can sift through our histories and distinguish the facts from our subjective experience, interpretation, and the meaning we’ve made of them. Through awareness, understanding, and un-shaming, we can heal our money stories, reframe old beliefs, shift patterns, and create utterly new, delightfully meaningful beliefs and practices around money. We can’t expect to exterminate our reactions or emotions around money. But we can tone down the emotions and soften the triggers. We can catch our reactions, honor them, work with them, be loving and gentle with them, learn from them, and be more fully present. In this way, your relationship with money will deepen and evolve. ● This panoramic view of your past and present relationship with money is your money story. It’s the entirety of your relationship with money, from the tiny details to the major events. It’s as unique as your fingerprint and includes the whole shebang: the historical facts of your financial life; inherited patterns from your family of origin, lineage, and culture; how you take on or rebel against them and integrate your own beliefs and behaviors around money; and all the sensations and emo- tions that get stirred up in this terrain. When I introduce people to the concept of a money story, I tell them to start by looking at their current relationship to money—then go back to the past. First, center yourself with a Body Check-In (see page 48). Then, look at your current relationship to money: how you feel about earning, spending, saving, and so on. Once you feel current and aware, you can begin the next phase of the journey, into the past. You can gently explore memories and lovingly turn over rocks. Clear the cobwebs and shine lights. Perhaps you can push even further into the past, examining what messages you’ve received about money from your reli- gion, ancestral lineage, or culture. Once you’ve assessed your cur- rent relationship with money and your past history with it, you can make the crucial leap of connecting the dots between the two, noticing if you’re echoing spending patterns your mother taught you or rebelling against your grandparents’ strict beliefs about savings by splurging any chance you get. When we can clearly see the past and its influence on our present relationship with money, a whole new world of choice opens up for us. Perhaps you realize that the inheritance you received from your grandfather was created in ways you consider unethical—knowing this, you can choose how to be a conscious 4 GIVE YOURSELF A HUG Congratulations! Even if you answered just a few of these questions, you deser ve a huge pat on the back. How- ever you might be feeling at this point—energized, angry, grieving, or overwhelmed— please know this: You are brave, you are awesome, and you are making great prog- ress in your Money Initiation. Please take time for self- care and integration after this significant exploration. Dance, draw, paint, sleep, hike, play with the dog—do whatever you love to do, to honor your courage and let these insights seep in. October 2018 mindful 47 get real