Money is a difficult topic for a lot of people, and for a variety of reasons. It can either have positive or negative associations depending on the mindset that we cultivate around money. And where does this mindset about money come from? Generally it’s something that we’ve carried with us throughout our entire lives. Our initial impressions about money started when we were kids – our family either had money or they didn’t. Our relationship with money was formed during these impressionable years.
Some people associate money with a sense of lack. In these instances, money was hard to come by in their lives, and seemed to be the cause of unhappiness. If there wasn’t enough money to pay the rent or put food on the table, of course there could be a connection to sacrifice, debt, shame and fear. But even people WITH money can have negative attachments to it. For some, it’s associated with greediness, excess and jealousy. They need to buy things to be happy, or feel the need to have more than their peers. Other people are stingy with their money, constantly trying to hoard it and being terrified of losing it. After witnessing these examples, it’s no wonder that some people can begin to shun money and consider it the root of evil. And there are certainly plenty of examples of corporate greed and money hungry people with power to perpetuate these notions. So what’s the alternative?
On the flip side, money can be connected with a sense of freedom, empowerment and opportunity. In these cases, people see money as a tool for achieving their life’s dreams and goals. Making money isn’t the goal, but rather the means to creating a life of abundance. These people generally have an abundance mindset, where they are constantly grateful for everything that they have (big and small) and tend to also be generous. These people have positive associations with money and never worry about it, regardless of how much of it they have. It’s all in their mindset.
So one really simple way to start creating a healthier attitude about money is to detach from the notion that it’s connected to happiness. You certainly don’t need money to be happy. Take a look at your life and take stock in all the blessings that surround you. Be grateful for what you have, even if it doesn’t seem like much. Instead of thinking of money as your enemy, start thinking of money as your sidekick that follows you around in life. We all need money to purchase things – food, clothes, shelter, etc. Accept that it’s part of life and choose to embrace it instead of fighting against it.
One thing that is really important is to discover what our personal story is about money. Do you feel like you never have enough? Is your sense of worth attached to the number in your bank account? Do you feel dread or worry every month when your bills come due? If so, it’s time to let that go… these negative thought patterns about money only perpetuate more of the same coming into your life. If you want to get a different result, then it’s time to change your attitude about money.
Start by feeling grateful for all your bills… I know that sounds crazy, but they represent the conveniences that you HAVE in life. Your rent/mortgage gives you a roof over your head – amazing! Your car payment represents that you have a way of getting from point A to point B – wonderful! When your credit card comes due, look at all the charges separately… be grateful for that delicious lunch you had at the restaurant… be grateful for that yoga class you went to… be grateful for your phone bill that allows you to connect with the world. These are all incredible things that we have, so say THANK YOU! The more you can practice gratitude for the things that money provides, the healthier your relationship with money becomes.
Another valuable practice is to get really clear on what your current financial situation is. Ignoring it certainly doesn’t make it go away. The way to create a positive shift in your financial situation is to embrace whatever it is. Start by figuring out how much your current lifestyle costs.
Over the course of a month, write down all of your expenses and put them into categories. This will help you figure out a budget and how much your lifestyle costs. Then you can compare that to the amount of income you bring in. If there’s excess money, that can go into savings. If there’s a gap, don’t worry! Figuring out how much of a gap there is will allow you to set some goals about how much more money you need to make. This gives you something to work towards, which is really valuable. And remember, you can earn between $600-$800 per month for each new corporate yoga client you bring on board. That can start adding up fast and help you close that gap.
What it really comes down to is recognizing that money is simply a way to support yourself doing the things that you enjoy in life. Decide what kind of lifestyle you want to have and how much it will cost. Figure out some goals, and take a lot of pride in your decision to embrace your current situation while also working toward something new. Set the intention of where you want to be, and then detach yourself from the results. Do the work, and the rest will fall into place.