Learn the four pillars to manifesting a meaningful & magical relationship with money
This powerful but little book on money mindfulness will enlighten you to the four pillars to manifesting a magical relationship with money.
Mind & Body Financial Coaching & Personal Development
||London, United Kingdom
||7 publishers interested
Following several years working in the finance industry across Europe, including CitiBank, Ernst Young and The London Stock Exchange,Lavinia started Butterfly Wealth Creation, a holistic personal finance and financial empowerment consultancy.
She has been featured in PRIDE Magazine, The Observer & The Sunday People's Take It Easy magazine. As well as nominated for a national ‘Women Inspiring Women Award’ and listed as one of the top 50 business women to follow on Twitter by Birds on the Blog.
The Lost Innocence of Money
Innocence and money are not two words normally associated with each other but in the quest to create a mindful relationship with money, much less a ‘mindfulness’ one - and there is a difference between the two; - one has to look at them both: money and innocence.
Money, the origins of it and the evolution of it into fiat currency, as well as the management of it and growing of it isn’t something that is taught at schools. Perhaps at private schools it is or those taking Economics at A’Level or above, there will be an introduction to it but for the most part, the general public only understand money as something that ‘other’ people have a lot of; something that you have to go out to work for and earn; something that you spend; and if there is enough left over at the end of the month, something you save and/or invest.
To the everyday person money is not something that you have a relationship with, but something you do things with, be it - spend it, save it, earn it, win it, invest it or even lose it! I could also write, ‘enjoy it’ but we don’t really enjoy money; perhaps in earning it we do, but in reality we enjoy what we can and do, do with it.
Because there is an acute lack of understanding amongst the general public of what money is, how it works and how to make it work for us, people give their financial power away to those who understand money and complicated financial terms, better than they do.
With the advent of the internet and advancement of “money creation” by financial institutions and technologies we have seen this abdication of personal fiscal responsibility and wellbeing, time and time again. It can be as simple as not checking one’s current interest rates, staying loyal to a bank that is not loyal to you, not checking the APR of your financial agreements, not knowing what your financial rights are; not asking pertinent questions to your IFA (Independent Financial Advisor) / Bank Manager / Tax adviser/ Wealth Manager.
Robert Kiyosaki, author of the New York Times bestseller “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” writes “Without financial education, your money flows to those who profit most from your financial ignorance.“
Recent examples of this have been the Payment Protection Insurance Policy scandal; The Libor scandal; Mortgage Endowments scandal; Equitable Life; Maxwell Pension Scandal; BHS Pension scandal and most recently the global financial crisis created by the packaging and reselling of toxic debt.
Our general lack of understanding has, and continues, to create a sense of shame, pain, guilt and disempowerment around money. So much so, it can and has led to debt, death, suicide, poverty, low self-esteem and on-going internal conflict and torment with and around money.
It is for this reason that strategies are needed to negate these feelings and instead create a sense of ease, peace and acceptance around money and wealth creation. This can only be achieved through a person’s openness and willingness to learn, understand, be aware and ability to implement - aka take action.
As touched upon, applying the art of mindfulness is one strategy and is what this book is about but just as important, we need to go back to the beginning in order to 1. Know your money story and 2. Get an understanding of what money and wealth is, the difference between the two and how money works, so that you can contextualise your relationship with money and get a sense of peace and abundance with and around it.
So, When Did Money Lose Its Innocence For You?
This question always throws my clients and audience off as it is a question that has never been asked of them before. A question they have never had to ponder on, because in doing so it throws up a number of emotions, including confusion.
Confusion, as the mind tracks back to formative years and tries to remember when they first learnt about money and, more importantly, its power in their lives.
It is confusing because it takes the subject of money from a place of thinking about it in a non-emotional way - linear and practical - to an emotional and non- linear way.
George Kinder, founder of The Kinder Institute writes ‘Innocence represents the beliefs, thoughts, stories, attitudes, and assumptions about money we will hold on to no matter how much harm they cause us and those around us.”
When the question of ‘when did money lose its innocence for you?’ Is asked and then answered some of the statements that come up are:
• When the money I worked for/earned/won was taking to help with a household bill.
• When I realised that my family was poorer than everybody else.
• When my mum stopped giving me pocket money because my father left!
• When I had to walk with shame down a store aisle to return an item because my grandmother did not have enough money for the treat I wanted.
• Overhearing that there was never enough money for something or another that I wanted and thus feeling like a burden.
• When watching my mother shop her unhappiness away and my father throw money at me rather than spending time with me.
These memories never go away and the more they are confirmed and validated by the actions of the adults around us whilst growing up, they become embed in our subconscious, and detrimentally, without us realising, we create thoughts, feelings, then beliefs, habits and patterns around these experiences and memories.
Think about it, when you were born you had no sense of anything other than being hungry, wanting warmth and clean clothes. Not what money is; where it comes from; and how it affects our life. We learn these things from society and from our environment.
Julia came from a strong line of Anglo-Irish pub owners, so was around the boisterous and social gaiety of pub life. Her parents generally did a good trade but there were times when it wasn’t so good.
She was born in the early 1970s in the South East of London near Peckham. From the outside looking in she had a nice life – the latest gear: toys and clothes; annual family holidays to Spain and parents who loved her and her younger brother. But behind closed doors there was a lot of control.
Control from her father to her mother – what she should wear, say and do to keep the punters entertained. Control on how she should conduct herself as the daughter of a publican –i.e who she could talk to and hang out with; and control over the spending of the money brought in by the pub.
Julia knew this because from the age of 14 she would help her mother manage the book s after which her father would then spend with no accountability or explanation to her mother, even if it left then at a deficit – which was often the case, and the deadening words repeatedly stated by her father to her mother “women, they are no good with money!”
This confused her because here she was with her mother doing the books, something she knew her father could never do. When she asked her mother about it, her mother gave her a hard look that made her know that it was not a subject up for discussion. This was just how it was.
It was in this moment that Julia started to associate money with control, fear and power and it made her quite controlling over her own weekly allowance and how she spent it. Instead she would mostly save it as it gave her a sense of control and power of ownership; something her mother did not seem to have.
Until one day she found her little savings of about £30 gone!
She went to her mother with this heavy feeling in the pit of her stomach to find out where it had gone. Her mother, without looking her in the eye, told her to speak to her father about it. So she did, and he told her in his typically flippant manner that it was his money and he did not know why he was giving it to her if she was not going to spend it. “Money is supposed to be spent not saved”, he said, and then adding ‘And anyway women are no good with money’.
In that moment, whatever innocence Julia associated with money dissipated. The reality was, however, it was Julia’s father who was no good with money because he had taken her to pay off debt.
After that incident Julia stopped saving her weekly allowance and stopped helping her mother out with the books.
The ramifications of that incident had a long and detrimental effect with her relationship with money, self and relationships with others. Some of these effects will be touched up on during the course of this chapter.
So what practical steps can you take to confront your money story and loss of innocence with money? Well the first thing you need to do is to acknowledge it. Acknowledge your money story. And a great exercise to help you do this is to write a financial autobiography.
It is an exercise used by many financial coaches which allows you to express your feelings and thoughts around money and your story with it in a purposeful way. It keeps you in the moment and focuses your attention on the objective at hand, even though you are reviewing memories from the past.
Your financial autobiography does not have to be long, for example reams of pages like a book, but a few paragraphs written freely and without inhibition or judgement. This is an exercise of awareness, forgiveness, self-love and letting go.
So, here are 3 things to aware of when doing this exercise:
1. There is no right or wrong! Your feelings, thoughts and memories are your own! Be true to them and be open and honest enough to learn from them!
2. Be candid with your writing!
3. Don’t over think this! Allow your words to flow. No one will be testing your spelling or grammar.
Here are 3 questions to get you started:
1. What is your earliest memory of money?
2. Were you ever anxious about money? If yes, why?
3. What did your parents/Guardian tell you about money as well as SHOW you about money via their actions?
You may be surprised by what comes up for you and how it has helped to form limiting beliefs around who you are and who you believe you can be. Many times, and most definitely in regards to our success journey, we subconsciously get in our own way and impose unnecessary rules and regulations in our lives that stops us from being the best that we can be, right now, right here…today!
So, now we have touched on point 1. Your money story, let’s touch on point 2. Getting an understanding of what money and wealth is; the difference between the two and how money works.
Parts of this question we will delve into in more details during the course of this book, but for the moment we are going to look at in in the context of power.
The famous entrepreneur Henry Ford writes “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
A few paragraphs back I touched on the subject of money and power, so let’s talk about this. Does money have power? Does having money give you power? I would say no! Money is not power and money does not give you power. What it gives us is influence and influence, in and of itself, is power.
Think about it: When a wealthy family loses its wealth it does not mean they lose their contacts or the influence their name carries.
Respect, character and connections go a long way in this world and if those things are associated with lots of money then the perception is that you are worth something and have value irrelevant of what is in your bank account.
So what happens when you are not born from money or don’t have a lot of money? Does that make you unworthy and not valuable? Or for whatever reason you fall into a world of debt?
For some the answer is yes! They feel they have no worth or value and this demeaning and unsettling thought is what most people think and feel when they have no money, lose it and/or are not keeping up with economic expectations from society….i.e the joneses.
When in actuality wealth is something that comes from within. We are wealth…we are wealthy and abundant beings, and by attaching that notion, that truth, to material things and what others think of you or expect from you, is an individual’s downfall!
Ultimately, wealth is not from what we have in our pockets but what we hold in our heart and mind.
To conclude, most of us have a deep and buried memory of when we lost our sense of innocence around money, and because we are not taught about money, what it is, how it works, as we mature into adults we become innocent about money again but in a delusional, disempowered and naïve way, which – as touched upon before, creates confusion, misunderstanding and a sense of negative emotions around money and self.
And it is this, in effect, that can create a subconscious distance between you and money, i.e. you can attract it but you can’t keep it or you earn it but you can’t manage it or move pass a certain income amount; points which will be expounded upon in later chapters.
In the meantime, using mindfulness and alternative holistic practices such as mediation and positive affirmations, mantras, so on and so forth, one can start to heal your money past and help you to start standing in your “financial” power, so that you can have more, do more and be more.
On the next page is an affirmation that reads “Each day I take focused action to create an abundant and practical relationship with my money and finances” and to which you can colour in.
Colouring in the page will not only give you the time to ponder and mediate on the affirmation but focus and quiet your mind to the present allowing you to be open to a new and positive way of being around money.