By CHRISTINA RAI WHEELWRIGHT
Money. You hate it, but you love it. You want it, but you don’t have it. It dogs you and it haunts you. What can you do about it?
First, you have to be clear about your relationship to money. Is it your master or is it your servant? Do you permit it to flow in your life or do you hang onto every penny? Is it a tool or a burden? How you answer these questions can give you a clue as to how you interact with money and how it affects you moment to moment.
Is it your master or your servant?
The basis for most exchange in the current social order is money. If you want to have something, you will probably need to gather a certain amount of cash or credit to procure it. It is common to work for the paycheque so that once it arrives, you can run off to the market and buy your stuff. This cycle of want/get can lead to a master/slave relationship. You are the slave who is constantly toiling to amass the master: money. The illusion is that the want part of the cycle may somehow be eliminated if a sufficient amount of money is made and used to fill that want. The reality is that the want is a bucket with a hole in it and no amount of fill will ever result in capacity. Once you understand that, you can begin to evaluate the wants and determine if they are worth the fill.
Today, there are a variety of life philosophies that emphasize the concept of minimalism as a sane approach to being alive. The idea of travelling light is gaining popularity, but in no way is it a new concept. Many of the world’s great spiritual traditions incorporate the ideals of a light step and a light hand into their moral codes. On an individual level, you can ask yourself how light your touch is when it comes to accumulation. This will go a long way to determining whether money is the master in your life.
On the highest of levels, this is all about refining your values so they reflect a spiritual approach to being, rather than a material one. Money then shifts into the position of the servant and you are able to direct it with authority into things and projects that are worth your effort, rather than constantly chasing it around in the pursuit of things and projects that are not. As you walk lightly on the surface of this earth, you are less likely to cause chaos in your wake.
The question, then, when considering this, is: What do I want the canvass of my life to look like? Something beautiful and meaningful or just a bunch of random strokes of the brush? Examine your wants and reduce them to a manageable amount so you live lightly and easily as you journey through your life.
Do you permit money to flow in your life?
Here is an image to consider when thinking about money and flow. Picture a fast-flowing river on its way to the sea. The waters of the river are clear and crisp and full of life. Now imagine a deep, dark, stagnant pool hidden away in some deep wood. Yes, it contains a large quantity of water, but it stinks and nothing alive can be found in it. Would you rather take a dip in the fresh, clean river or the stinky stagnant pool? Money is like that. The more that it is allowed to flow easily, the more opportunity and life will surround you. But sitting on a large amount of money that is not being used is like taking a dip in that stagnant pool.
And yet, allowing money to flow is not simple or easy in today’s society. You must, to a certain extent, live according to the guidelines that have been established by creating a so-called savings account and plan for the future. However, you can implement the idea of flow or constant movement of resources in a variety of ways. One such way could be around the idea of gratuity. Do not think of the tip you leave as something you are losing, Rather, think of it as something that is perpetuating a wheel of return. Your tip goes to someone who will in turn give their tip to someone who in turn will give their tip to someone, and so on. The money that is left is a symbol of a promise that a cycle of return is being created.
On a metaphysical level, giving yields the promise of receiving. Even the Christ said, at Luke 6: 38 (NIV), “Give and it will be given to you.” The key, of course, is that the giving must be genuine, so don’t leave tips thinking you are banking your generosity. Rather, cultivate a true spirit of giving knowing you are both a benefactor and a recipient all at the same time. Be unattached to the outcome in all things. The more you initiate flow, the more you will see money returning to you unbidden.
Many spiritual traditions have incorporated the act of tithing into their creeds. Tithing is, simply said, a formalized process of tipping. The reality is, however, that you do not have to make a rule out of it. Consider the concept. Examine the nature of your own real life. Is it something you can incorporate? Only you can answer that question, and you are the one who can set the parameters for yourself. Tithe in principle, not in rote. A simple and easy method to incorporate the principle of tithing into your life is to choose one thing that is meaningful to you and then to give to that thing, either with money and resources or with energy and time. Either method will suffice, and the cycle of return will be initiated. This really works, by the way.
Giving that comes from a whole heart is like taking a dip in the fast-flowing waters of a river. Keep money moving in your life. The question then is: How can I give more, take less and still retain a balance in my resources?
Is money a tool or a burden for you?
When you understand that money is something that must be used and not something that is a load on your back, you will begin to change the nature of your relationship with it. A tool is an item that must be implemented to be of any value. You can amass all sorts of tools, but if you never use them, what good are they? When you can view money as merely a tool, a means to an end, you will be truly setting yourself free. Do not lug your tool-kit around attached to your back. Get those tools out, keep them honed and oiled, and use them.
There is a saying that asserts that “To make money, you need money.” This is just another way of expressing that money must be used, not stored. When money is used in this way, natural flow is initiated. Flow and movement is the key to a vital and refreshing existence. Once you understand this principle of implementation, the burden of money lessens. Rather than carrying your money, you are being carried by your money. Staggering under a load is hard. Standing on top of a large mountain is exhilarating.
Use your resources to advance your core values. Money in the service of right principle is a powerful force for good. Once you are clear about your values, decisions for spending become easy. Choices about how and where to direct your money are simple. As Liza Minnelli sings in the Broadway musical Cabaret, “Money makes the world go around.” The reality is, however, that it is not money that makes the world go around but, rather, what it represents in our lives: value. That is what makes the world go around. Set your values and then make your money work for them in an active and dynamic way.
Money is a necessary and useful thing. We need it and it’s not bad to want it if we are clear about what we are going to do with it once we get it. Making your desire work for you in a positive way is the goal. Maintain an open and flowing relationship with your money. Use it, don’t hoard it. If it starts getting too heavy, find useful items or projects you can sink it into. The bottom line is that money is merely representative of energy, your energy. Refine your energy body, ensure it is aligned to the highest good and watch that thing called money multiply in your life.
Christina Rai Wheelwright has studied with shamans, both locally and internationally. She is also an evolutionary astrologer, writer and energy worker trained in reflexology and craniosacral therapy. Visit Christina’s website at christinarai.com