Just like there’s no corner of life that isn’t affected by oxygen, it may well be that no aspect of life is unaffected by money. True: in deep meditation, we don’t think about money, we don’t spend it, and we don’t want it. But lately, I’ve been realizing that my own spiritual bent has made me blind to a truth I’ve perhaps wanted to deny: this world really does operate on the basis of exchange, and the instrument of exchange most frequently used is money. If you want help getting over anxiety about money, first you need to understand your relationship to it.
Money is always there in our lives, in the background, like the bass line in a rock song. There’s always someone trying to sell us something, or we need something that requires money to obtain. We need money for food, for shelter, for comfort. We need more money to protect our health, to educate ourselves, to care for others. There’s our personal history with money that we carry everywhere we go, the financial legacy that our ancestors passed down to us, the attitudes our parents implanted in us, the spiritual ideas about money that we adopted. These attitudes are always with us, as is the background tape telling us to be sure we’ll have enough for the next thing.
The desire for money is primal, just as is the desire chipmunks have for hording acorns. This is why so many loving siblings end up enemies when an inheritance is at stake. This is why so many otherwise compatible spouses end up hating each other. They don’t understand that the urge to have money and to horde is instinctual both in themselves and in their loved ones, akin to a survival need, and any loss of control of money feels like being deprived of food.
Many of us deny that money matters as much as it does. Either that, or we resort to magical thinking about money—“if I have the right attitude, the money will come.” Goodness knows, there are enough books and movies out there reinforcing this belief. Because we don’t know how to think about money, because it’s uncomfortable, we throw our hands up in the air and say, “the universe will provide.” It’s the same attitude we bring to the subject of death, leaving the timing and method of our death in the hands of the universe but hoping there’s some magic involved in beating the odds, if only we stay positive. Money feels mysterious to us, like death, shadowy and transient, something we don’t talk about. (I do believe there’s truth to the idea that attitude affects both prosperity and lifespan, but creating wealth is about more than thinking positive.)
I’ve been taking a Tapas Acupressure course on healing in relation to money and I’ve been amazed personally at how much there is to heal. I believe that most of us have issues to clear around money—whether those issues involve debt or earnings, having too little or too much, having shame around past mistakes, anger at having been ripped off, guilt at having exploited others, or fear about what may come. And I think the first step in healing these issues is to bring them out of the basement of your consciousness and into the light. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can clear it using TAT or another similar practice.
To begin to get clear on your own money issues, ask yourself these three questions and write your answers down:
- What about money am I not dealing with in my life?
- What is unfinished in my relationship with money or earning it?
- Where am I angry or ashamed or afraid in relation to money or earning it?
Dr. Hiyaguha Cohen is a certified Tapas Acupressure practitioner and life coach. She offers coaching by Skype and telephone worldwide, as well as in-person Hawaii counseling. Contact her at Hiyaguha@thelifechangecoach.com.