I completed reading the book, The Soul of Money, by Lynne Twist. I highly recommend this book. As a fundraiser for The Hunger Project, she’s worked with people all over the world including indigenous tribes and financially wealthy individuals. She challenges the ideas we’ve invented around money which include there isn’t enough (fear based), more is better (also fear based), and that’s just the way it is (a limiting belief). All three weave in and out of one another creating a cocoon that often cuts people off from their souls, their deeper commitments. Fear thinking often creates a paralyzing impact on actions, choices, or possibilities. At times we literally contract our bodies, which causes the clutch, the cling, or the blocking posture of a defensive football player.
Neuroscience informs us that our brains, during times of stress (which includes persistent fear thinking), release cortisol, which takes a toll on our hearts and bodies. I encourage you to watch Melissa Hughes Ph.D.’s videos and read her book, Happy Hour with Einstein to learn more valuable content. We now know that fear-based thinking has a negative impact on the quality of our lives. Scarcity thinking is not good for us.
Lynne Twist offers an alternative paradigm of sufficiency –there is enough, that money is like water, that we can make heartfelt, soulful choices regarding money. When there’s a trickle, a flow, or a flood, we have the power to choose where the money will go. Our growing self-awareness and deepening wisdom can create a shift in how we relate to money, to one another.
I believe we have a clutter challenge that stems from fears that fall in those same containers of 1) Not Enough 2) More is Better 3) That’s Just the Way it is. We wouldn’t clutch so tightly to belongings if we really knew we’d be okay, enough, even liberated, without these items we don’t use, love, or need any longer. Trust takes courage. Letting go requires bravery that overrides all these fears, the “what ifs,” the “One day I might need those sweaters I haven’t worn in five years!”
Softening into a place of trusting yourself and life enough to walk some unused belongings out of your office, storage unit, garage, attic, or basement can bring a sense of freedom. Even as your mind may scurry around with all those concerns, there’s a part of you knowing you have the strength, the wisdom, and the time to take these actions. You are not your belongings. Your value does not reside in the unused objects.
The richness of your life will not be measured by the number of things you own or the amount of money you accumulate.
How you live, love, and laugh with others, the ways you take time to connect in meaningful ways to the beauty of nature, to beloved ones, your neighbors or a complete stranger, how you give of your gifts, talents, and belongings in love and service can all add depth and breadth to your life. Those qualities of your character you cultivate over time such as compassion, kindness, integrity, vulnerability, honesty, humility, and grace can create an inner fulfillment and liberation that the world of money and things cannot ever touch.