Managing Money Angst
We all have money problems.
In fact, the more money we have, the more complex and subtle our problems get. But these days, with an uncertain economy, changing technological landscape, and increasing depression and anxiety, money is on everyone’s mind. The first thing we all sacrifice is our own wellness, and we call that being responsible or having a good work ethic, thinking that somehow we’ll accomplish more faster. The opposite is true. All we’re accomplishing here is practicing being unhappy, practicing waiting to feel good later. But in order to successfully accomplish anything, we need to feel good first.
How can we do that when our bank account is getting low, bills and rent are due, and we don’t know when our next check is coming?
First, we must remember that money is not an object, it is an energy. Money is simply an I.O.U., a medium of exchange. Don’t mistake accumulating money for cultivating abundance. Abundance is a state of mind that must be developed in every moment. We develop abundance by consistently focusing our attention on whatever blessings are present, and giving thanks for them. Then, abundance and true fullness are felt based on how you react to circumstances and are not defined by them. That’s why some of the poorest fishermen are the happiest people in the world, and the richest billionaires the saddest.
Second, we must remember that your life’s abundance is generated from an infinite source: the cosmos, God, whatever you want to call it. Think of all the meals you’ve ever eaten, all the water you’ve ever drank, and you barely made a dent. It makes no difference to the universe whether it gives you ten dollars or ten million dollars; both are paltry sums next to infinity. If you believe money is not an object but an energy, then you’ll know that energy can flow unpredictably in a way objects cannot. Knowing this, you can free yourself of the fear of lack, which clouds everything you do.
Third, we have to back up our internal abundance practice with external action: that is to say, generosity. Quite simply, we have to put our money where our mouth is. Do we genuinely believe that money is an energy that can flow to us abundantly, or are we just pretending? Are you really grateful for whatever abundance is already present, or are you faking it? Prove it by sharing the abundance you already have.
To break it down: the next time you feel anxious about not having enough money, give away some money. Five dollars, a dollar, a quarter even. Give it to someone who needs change, buy someone a drink, or treat someone to lunch, etc. Joyfully share your wealth knowing that you’re also depositing that money into your karmic bank account.