On the surface, I didn’t have money problems. I grew up with material stability; I enjoy a steady pay-check coming in from my government job; I save for big purchases, travel often, and manage to keep a little aside for retirement every month. I live within my means and have virtually no debt. Underneath this seemingly perfect picture, unseen to anyone else, lay paralyzing fears, a tendency towards being miserly, and insecurity that encouraged me to give away my voice and my power in many areas of life.
One day a few years ago, I accompanied a close friend to a wealth workshop with an intuitive energy healer. Never before had I felt and sat with the fear, insecurity, and shame around money before. It was an eight-hour workshop, and distraction was simply not possible. As soon as I got home, I knew I had to look at my relationship with wealth and money in the deepest place within me. I scribbled the words: Wealth is a Vibe on a piece of paper; it was said during the workshop and resonated with me. I placed it on my dresser, where my eyes would fall upon it frequently.
At the time, I held the belief that money and spirituality were opposite in many ways. After all, money was the root of evil, greed, and power struggle in the world; hardly spiritual. This very belief system, I later realized, was part of what kept me disempowered and in avoidance for years– not only with wealth but in many other areas of life.
In the Yoga/Ayurveda system, ‘Wealth’ sits in the root chakra. Humans need a strong, stable, balanced root for the entire body system and life force energy to flow well. Fear destabilizes the root and induces a sense that survival is being threatened.
Fear & Money
As far back as I can remember, I had hated banks and would avoid going to them as much as possible. Though I wasn’t aware of this at the time, I often felt ill-equipped, even stupid, when I had to speak to the teller. The visceral discomfort one normally feels in a dentist’s chair was something I felt in the bank, in economics class, and during any family conversation around world finance events.
As I became more conscious of my prosperity vibration and my relationship with money, I grew used to facing my fears bit by bit. I decided to dive in and take a course with an investment coach. I remember an incident where the coach explained the importance of calculating Compound Interest (CI) to evaluate investment options.
I could not do it.
I sat paralyzed.
A childhood memory came up – I was in a grade 2 math class, presumably learning CI when I got the answer wrong and was beaten by the teacher (a common occurrence where I grew up).
As the seemingly unending tears flowed, the memory unfroze, and for the first time in my entire life, I actually understood what CI was and how helpful it actually is.
There were hundreds of moments like this – family patterns around fears, panic, and “not-enoughness” when someone offered information that was new to me and the terror of losing everything, with no one else to blame.
That is the scary part of wealth being a vibration because, for me, it was my vibration, which in turn manifested into the physical. The enormity of being the creator of my own vibration was overwhelming at times because there would be no one else to blame for what happened. But I was fortunate and had a lot of support, so I pushed through.
We all know fear in some area of life. My work was to accept how I felt and endeavour to find why with as much of an open heart as possible. The more I did that, the more I was able to trust my own ability to face and then more through whatever block I had.
Looking back now, I realize I was learning about wealth, but I was also learning courage.
How to Learn
I had been out of school for years, so one of the surprising blocks I had with wealth was figuring out how to learn in alignment with who I was. As a child, school was a struggle. In university, I had more freedom, and I loved the social aspect, but I still never enjoyed the study. The insecurities I discovered within me, around wealth, also existed around learning, in general – fear of trying because I might fail, harsh self-judgment, and being obsessed with grades or outcomes.
We often feel alone when we are scared, anxious, or overwhelmed. This is programming that disconnects us from our multi-dimensional being that knows Overflow, Expansion, and Evolution of the Self.
While learning about global economic cycles was not fun or interesting for me, I did discover how to learn in a way that embraced who I was. I couldn’t bring myself to read books on money or the economy, so I found videos, stories, and perspectives narrated by someone whose voice I resonated with. I excitedly watched all the episodes of Mike Maloney’s Hidden Secrets of Money for this reason. Whether I agreed or disagreed with certain parts of it was not relevant. What was relevant was that I received a baseline of new information from where I could research and explore whatever I wanted to.
These are truly exceptional times because no matter who you are and how you learn, there is a way, a path, a modality that’s just right for you!
I now know that I learn experientially – through engagement, stories, and play.
Solids & Liquids
I am an alchemist – cauldrons and candles, tea-pots and tarot, crescent moons and candles are a usual part of my day. So, I had to take the wealth concepts I was learning and convert them into language that I already knew. I understood wealth as something that requires solids (accumulation) and liquids (flow). The solids provide long-term security, collateral, and a safety net during uncertain times. The liquids could involve anything that could be perceived as risky, shorter-term, that flowed in and out. Having too much of one would cause an imbalance, not only physically in terms of wealth made/lost but also emotionally.
What counts as solid and liquid is perhaps different for different people, depending on who they are and how they live. A house, for example, for one person, could be long-term term security if they owned it (solid), yet for another person who is more interested in flipping homes, it may be more fluid (liquid).
My analogy ended there, or so I thought, because I couldn’t figure out how to find and align investment options.
Then, I was given the horrifying homework of mapping out my values and dreams over the next 10 years and costing it out. Horrifying because it meant actually sitting down and getting real and practical with myself about my dreams – an oxymoron. I had never before been asked to dream, be free, explore and then cost out those dreams. Getting to the truth of my authentic values was not easy either because we often tell ourselves things that are not our essential truths. I resisted and procrastinated, but eventually, when I did get over the block, I got to see in the writing of my own hand where my values lay. The average day is filled with so many moments that invite us into self-intimacy – where we behold a more complete, more true, more authentic picture of ourselves.
This was one such moment.
I understood where so many of my behaviours around expenses, saving, and buying came from through this one homework assignment. It also gave me a deeper sense of what I needed to feel safe and secure in order to play and explore more.
And suddenly, my solid/liquid analogy made sense again!
Based on my interests, my values, and what was happening around me at the time, I played with different ideas of accumulation (my solids – physical precious metals, real-estate, growing food) and flow (my liquids – mining stocks, cryptocurrencies, sharing with others).
While working with solids is more tangible and comforting, working with liquids required the exploration of risks and where my boundaries lay. Entering cryptos was an important decision for me because I needed play and money to work together within safe boundaries in an area that is volatile. I think back to when BTC (bitcoin) would crash the day after I made a buy. The dread, panic, and fear of my own ruin were dramatic and real. Now, I know that the price in US dollars is not a true indicator of prosperity in a time of systemic collapse. I’m also more secure in my choices because I have a solid base – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. All the ups and downs in various markets have given me the practice I require to move through the anxieties and fears with more grace and trust.
Balance is so important with alchemy. As with cooking, you need the temperature and the ingredients just right. Too much or too little seriously alters the outcome away from the intention. Balance in a world where everything, including ourselves, changes is a whole other feat. It takes patience, courage and compassion every step of the way.
Money and Spirituality
My father is a religious man, and in our household, we were taught to honour the Goddess in her many forms. While I rejected all aspects of religion as an adult, the next step on my wealth journey came surprisingly in a dream in the form of the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. She is visually depicted in a variety of ways, but the way I beheld the image was with many gold bars and coins sitting on the ground in front of her, but also flowing – coming and going. There was rain and grains of all sorts, both partially being collected and the rest falling away. I usually don’t remember smells in my dreams, but in this case, it was floral and more aromatic than flowers are in reality. When I awoke and sat with this imagery and fragrance, the missing pieces revealed themselves – Wealth is larger than I had imagined. It includes flow, giving, receiving, sharing as well as the spirit of generosity and reciprocity, things I hadn’t yet considered. It also became clear that it wasn’t just about me, and I had to get very clear on why I was walking this path and how it is going to be in service to Creation.
While the dream itself was surprising and pleasant, the heaviness of all these unconsidered pieces weighed on me. I took to sitting with my value system, beyond money, and find out what truly mattered to me, which was followed by evaluating if my dollars and cents went towards my values or against them. I remember the discomfort when I realized that I thought I was good at saving money, only to find that my emotionally driven shopping trips added up through the year.
When we learn to meditate, we learn to observe our thoughts, detach from them, and release them. This is a greatly helpful practice with money as well to start. It is often that we judge ourselves or others around spending or saving habits or choices in consuming. So we choose to lovingly observe our thoughts, beliefs, actions, and outcomes to find where we’re in (or out) of alignment with our values, our dreams, and ourselves.
When I think back to the image of the Goddess that appeared in my dream, my rational mind would ask: ‘where was all this rain, rice, and coin coming from anyway?’ I would try to make this about salary, passive income, or a second job. But this question actually pointed to my struggle with receiving and being in reciprocity and the fears behind it. For example, I associated receiving money or gifts with ‘strings being attached’ and rejected the obligation that I felt.
Realizing something about yourself is sometimes half the journey; the other half includes the awareness, action, and choice of being who you were, or who you want to be.
With the image, I also wondered why rain and grain (natural elements) appeared along with gold bars and coins (mined and refined). The universe is a loving a generous place, and answers to multi-layered questions do not overwhelm us all at once.
When the answer did finally come, it was more of a realization. I realized how much I value aspects of the natural world as a direct indicator of wealth – both my personal wealth and that of my community and nation. It was why, even though I have physical money, it never felt enough, because I dwell in a system that artificially created wealth tiers as a control and division mechanism in society.
Part of why the financial reset doesn’t scare me as much anymore is because it has never represented my actual values – a world where prosperity is a celebrated birthright; where wealth means money, community, abundance, opportunity, biodiversity, creativity, and allowance; where the health and wealth of the rivers, land, and people are what makes you and I prosperous people. This may sound like a magical impossible place, so far away from the digital coffers of federal governments. But, it exists for me in a real way.
I used to think money and spirituality were poles apart, but I no longer hold that belief. Eventually, I even learned to have fun with the learning process. I would weave in things I enjoyed, like energy clearings, unhooking family and ancestral patterns, and doing tarot card spreads for myself when things got really hard. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was integrating my relationship with wealth into my day and my life. Isn’t that what spirituality also teaches us? Integration.
One thing I was clear about right from the start was that I didn’t want money-related things to become my life. I didn’t want to be a trader of any kind, and I certainly didn’t want to spend hours researching, reviewing blogs and articles, or theorizing the ups and downs of markets (stock or cryptos). It simply wasn’t my interest.
I did envy people who could do this, though. The people who would see a news clipping of a drought in Brazil and have reasonably good foresight on the cost of corn in the months to come, empowering them to adjust their investments with incredible ease.
It is an amazing skill, one I do not possess. But I know people who do. They have taught me the way of Mastery, as they rarely panic. Their choices come from responding, not reaction. They are fully engaged with their wealth but also seem to be detached from the traditional outcomes of success and money-making.
Knowing these people and many others I met along the way are also part of why I actually feel wealthy now. Because I’m not doing this alone. My old habit was never to speak about money for fear I would get swayed or judged by another person. My new practice is to listen with an open mind and heart, holding the responsibility of my actions where it belongs – with me.
At this point, I certainly do not have Mastery over my wealth. What I do have is inspiration around me and knowing within that I can learn, leverage, and integrate so that if I lose things tomorrow, I will be more than okay. And if I gain things, I will also be okay.
Being a monetarily rich person surrounded by poverty doesn’t make me feel wealthy.
Neither does inhaling morning smog.
While this didn’t come as a total surprise to me, I hadn’t realized the extent of their depth.
It is said that life is a gift, yet I have treated many aspects of life as a commodity – money, education, land, water, even my loved ones. It is this systemic training of commodification that I endeavour now to unhook from.
As we all return to ourselves, there is an opportunity for us to behold the items in our day as the gifts that they are – be it a snack-time sugar cookie, a gram of gold, or the morning symphony of birds. When we accept this invitation, moment to moment, I believe we open to generosity, receiving, and reciprocity in a bigger, more powerful way than we have before, not just as individuals but as a collective.
This way of dreaming allows me to soar beyond the resets and collapses that are a part of our reality, just for a few moments in the day. It offers me the perspective, ensuring that my actions, thoughts, and words are in alignment with the world I want to create, the world I want to be a part of.
As I press into the new creative possibilities of living in honour of our gifts and abilities and what we enjoy around us, both natural and human-created, I love to imagine how wealth, commerce, and livelihoods will generate economies of reciprocity, generosity, and abundance, because this is the language, the vibration of our world, our universe, and our spirits.
– Excerpt from Robin Wall Kimmer’s Braiding Sweetgrass:
“Skywoman bent and spread the mud with her hands across the shell of Turtle. Moved by the extraordinary gifts of all the animals, she sang in thanksgiving and then began to dance, her feet caressing the Earth. The Land grew and grew as she danced her thanks, from the dab of mud on Turtle’s back, until the whole Earth was made. Not by Skywoman alone, but from the alchemy of all the animals’ gifts coupled with her deep gratitude.Together, they formed what we know today as Turtle Island (present day North America).”