Sacred Finances (Are you in right relationship with your money?)

Let's talk about money!

...did you just cringe? A year ago, I probably would have. Or at least given a reluctant sigh.

However, over the past year, I've been diving deep into my relationship with money, the financial side of my business, learning to love profit margins and paying myself a salary. Since practicing some very specific things over the past year, I have noticed a very significant change in my finances:

So far in 2018, I have grossed an equivalent income to the entire year of 2017, and I have netted almost triple what I netted by the end of last year.

I feel like I can't overemphasize this. Let me say it a different way. So far, in 4 months, I have grossed the SAME amount of money and netted almost 3X the amount of money as I did during 12 months last year. This means I'm on track to triple my income.

Why am I sharing all of this? After all, talking about money is generally taboo. However, I have a few very specific reasons for speaking so openly about a crunchy topic:

  1. I believe that the more we avoid discussing something uncomfortable, the more power we give it. Every time we avoid talking about money, we become more afraid of it. Therefore, by bringing it out into the open, we can become more comfortable with it.
  2. Healers and people working in the spiritual/personal development field especially tend to have wounds around money. "I don't deserve to be paid for what comes naturally to me." "How is it fair for me to charge someone to help them?" "My teacher didn't charge for healing work so neither should I." Sound familiar? All of these block us from owning our prosperity.
  3. Finally, if there is anything that I did to help myself that might support you on your path, I want to share that with you! It is my mission to empower other people through my own life and choices. If some of these tools, techniques and resources might be helpful, I want you to have them.

In no particular order, here are some of the things that I have done in the past year to come into right relationship with money: (All of this is to the best of my memory... honestly, there's a lot of this that has been happening over the past few years in my internal work.)

  • I consciously claimed that I wasn't happy with my current financial situation. (This might seem too obvious, but it's an important step. If we're settled into complacency, or a belief that we're "getting along okay," nothing will change.)
  • I talked to money. I treated it like an entity with a unique consciousness, had conversations with it, wrote letters to it, and got to know it as a specific frequency, rather than an abstract.
  • I took $3500 in hundreds out of the bank and meditated with a stack of cash. I held it in my hands, went through the stack and thanked every bill, set them out on an altar and acknowledged them every day for a month (read more about that here).
  • I journaled about money. A LOT. I wrote about my beliefs around money, my relationship to receiving, my understanding of my own worthiness, and my place in the global economy.
  • I moved to a new space that enables me to comfortably work from home. I now have a gorgeous office that is a 20-second commute.
  • I made a living prosperity altar. I asked the tree outside my office window to be my "Prosperitree." I placed crystals around the base, hung a beautiful bird (squirrel) feeder to bring traffic to the Prosperitree, and I water it regularly with prayers and nutrients.
  • I listened to Fredric Lehrman's Prosperity Consciousness. Repeatedly.
  • I quit my part-time job as a substitute high school teacher and tutor. This job was barely bringing in any money, but I kept it around as a subconscious safety net. As long as I had it on the side, it meant that I had a fallback in case my business wasn't thriving (read more about that here).
  • I released parts of my work and my offerings that were no longer lighting me up. It meant "leaving money on the table," but it also meant disengaging with old energies to make room for the new.
  • I got very clear about who I wanted to serve and how I wanted to do that. This also meant "leaving money on the table," but it also meant that the clients who I did choose to take on were far more aligned with my work and my practice.
  • I started looking at the longevity of my business, and building in practices that would allow me to do less, but be more effective in what I was producing.
  • I got over my fear of selling people into my work by practicing it a bajillion times.
  • I started working with a new mentor who has a healthy relationship with business.
  • I started tracking and paying attention to all the nitty-gritty financial parts of my business, rather than just the big picture of income/expenses.
  • I read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. Repeatedly.
  • I shifted from my bank to a credit union. This served to work with a financial institution that was way more in alignment with my values, but also enabled me to actually practice the techniques in Profit First and Prosperity Consciousness.
  • I practiced seeing my business as the thing that would fuel and fund my lifestyle, rather than my life fueling and funding my business.
  • I started honoring the actual value of my time, and asking for that level of compensation.
  • I started budgeting for travel, for self-care and for financial independence.
  • I got really good at being uncomfortable. ***This process started way more than a year ago, but it has served me so much in my financial work that it deserves a place on this list. The better you can get at being okay with being uncomfortable, the easier it will be for you to sort through your finances.

My best advice to you (if you want to come into better relationship with your finances) is to steel yourself, sit down and actually start looking at this stuff. Looking at your financial situation won't make it any worse, I promise! But it WILL help you feel more empowered to actually know what's going on with your money.

Here are some of my favorite exercises I did that I invite you to practice:

  • Talk to money. There is no particular quantity required for this. Get a dollar bill out of your wallet and hold a conversation with it. Ask it questions.
  • Journal prompt: "What beliefs do I have about money? What does that say about me? How do I want to feel about money?"
  • Make a prosperity altar. It can be a living altar like mine (a tree or plant that feels especially abundant), or an interior altar of your choosing.

Here's to our prosperity!

Personal Accountability in the Face of Tragedy

Dedicated to Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra Hart

This article contains no links, offers or promotions. I want to focus on two things only:

  1. Honoring the murdered Hart children
  2. Personal accountability

(If you are unfamiliar with the tragedy of the Hart family, please read here and here.)

I am holding myself accountable.

When I learned about the tragic death of the Hart family, I assumed it was an accident. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel or had somehow lost control of the car.

I knew of the Hart family largely through the periphery of my community. I spoke with Sarah once, chatted with Abigail and Hannah about their costumes and never again personally interacted with any of them.

I fell for the carefully curated image they presented. I saw what I thought was a group of happy, healthy kiddos running around, freely connecting with community and sharing their love. I saw the photos when they popped up on my feed, and never thought twice that anything might be amiss.

When I heard about the death of these children, I thought it must have been a horrible mistake. As more articles described the charges, the abuse and details of the scene, I felt taken aback that this tragedy was looking less and less like an accident.

I am challenging myself to say anything about this topic at all, because I'm not directly involved, I barely knew the family and I generally dislike engaging with Facebook as a conversation platform (*note: I originally published most of this article as a Facebook post).

...but despite all of that, I was unknowingly complicit in condoning not only the terrible abuse of these children, but of white supremacy, white bias, and participating in the suppression of people of color.

By not saying anything, I would be letting myself off the hook, in a way. But that's not how I roll.

I'm hesitant to make this about me, because the world knows we don't need more of that, but that's really my best place to start. If I don't hold myself accountable, who will? If I don't challenge my own subconscious ideas and background narrative, who will? If I don't address my underlying beliefs about privilege and racial justice, who will?

If I don't ask myself how I indirectly participated in the murder of six children who were members of my community, who will?

Most of my work focuses on the micro: how can I support people as individuals? How can I help every human I meet to feel more empowered, healthy, aligned and present in their heart?

I hesitated to share this article because this is a very macro-topic of social justice, but when I ask myself how I can show up and serve more fully, I can approach it from a micro- point of view.

If you would like to join me, please see below for three invitations.

Invitation #1: A prayer for Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra Hart

We call upon and invoke the presence of our own Innocent Hearts, Archangels and Ascended Masters, guides and teachers of Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra, to please be present for this highest of healings for them, for their highest and greatest good. Please support their process of transition. We ask that their karma may be cleared of all abuse, fear, trauma, pain and suffering incurred in this lifetime and in all their lifetimes. Please help them to integrate the lessons of their lives and their deaths, so they do not need to repeat this pattern again. We ask that they receive support in shifting their soul patterns to align with health, happiness, vitality, joy, expansion, ease and love. Please help them move through the veil with ease and grace, knowing that they are loved, supported, held, Divinely protected and guided. Please let them release all that which does not serve them, and receive exactly that which they need on every level--physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, throughout all dimensions and throughout all space and time--so that they may be completely whole and healed. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the blessings.

We offer our deepest love to Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra. We are so sorry for the traumas that you endured during this lifetime. Please forgive us. Thank you. We love you.

Invitation #2: A prayer for Jennifer and Sarah Hart

We call upon and invoke the presence of our own Innocent Hearts, Archangels and Ascended Masters, guides and teachers of Jennifer and Sarah, to please be present for this highest of healings for them, for their highest and greatest good. Please support their process of transition. We ask that they receive the support that they need in order to move through the Realm of Suffering Souls. Please help them to align with forgiveness, compassion, grace and love. We ask that their karma may be cleared of all patterns of abuse, violence, trauma, pain and suffering incurred and perpetrated in this lifetime and in all their lifetimes. Please support them in integrating the lessons of their lives and their deaths, so that they do not need to repeat this pattern again. Please let them release all that which does not serve them, and receive exactly that which they need on every level--physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, throughout all dimensions and throughout all space and time--so that they may be completely whole and healed. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the blessings.

Invitation #3: Journal and Meditation Prompts

It is only by asking ourselves the challenging questions that we can push our edges and grow. I firmly believe that system-level change begins with the individual--meaning that our personal patterns and belief systems directly translate to the patterns and systems present on the societal and global level. If we wish to change the system, we must look at the core beliefs of the people in the system: change happens from the bottom up, not the other way around.

If we live in a society that condones white supremacy, white bias and child abuse, we must investigate each of our core, underlying beliefs. This is where it can get a bit challenging. Looking at something in ourselves that is surrounded by emotional charge, societal conditioning and so much tension and judgement can make anyone shy away. But if we never look at it, it will never change. So we must look at it.

The good news is, you do not have to share your journal with anyone! (I do, but that's me. I have a higher threshold for personal discomfort than most people.) Your innermost thoughts and beliefs can stay on the page--that blank paper is your refuge.

That being said, please take this as an opportunity to be honest with yourself. You might uncover something you don't like--some hidden belief or bias, something that maybe you wish you didn't know about yourself. This is the risk we run whenever we do personal work! And yet, it is also the reward. When we shine a light on our deepest shadows, it can feel profoundly uncomfortable. Please know that you are safe, it is okay for you to look at these parts of yourself and that overall, you will be more empowered as a result.

Let's start with the self:

What are my beliefs about my own racial identity? What does that say about me? How do I want to feel about my racial identity?

Now let's zoom out a bit:

What are my beliefs about other people of the same racial identity as me? What are my beliefs about people of other racial identities?

Let's bring us all together:

How do I consciously AND subconsciously relate to people who are the same racial identity as me? How do I consciously AND subconsciously relate to people of other racial identities?

What next?

How do I want to show up in the world in the context of my own racial identity? How do I want to relate to people of other racial identities?

This is by no means a comprehensive guide. I absolutely do not claim to be an expert on racial justice. However, I am an expert on personal work and investigation, and this is the best I have to offer: a place to start.

If you're interested in more, check out this resource that a friend sent my way: SHETalks WETalk: Race Talks for Women.

The Door of Initiation

How do we interact with our initiatory experiences?

Many times, until we learn to recognize them, we don't recognize our initiatory experiences until well after the fact. We perceive them as struggles, losses, challenges and opportunities, yet it is usually not until after we have passed through the "door" that we realize the true significance of crossing the threshold.

A lot of the people I work with come to me after they have experienced an awakening initiation: they have stepped through some sort of doorway (sometimes consciously, sometimes not) and now find themselves in unfamiliar territory where the world is not the same... and neither are they.

These doorways of initiation and awakening appear in all forms: job opportunities, death of a loved one, relocation, kids growing up, new people appearing in our lives, financial losses or failed careers, or even just waking up in a different reality.

How we interact with our initiatory experiences usually depends on whether or not we're aware that we are currently crossing a life-altering threshold. Sometimes it takes everything we have to choose to step through that doorway, and sometimes it feels as though we are dragged through it, kicking and screaming.

I have found myself in both of these positions: taking a breath to center myself, then deliberately crossing a threshold into a new way of being--sometimes with excitement, sometimes trepidation, usually both--and also, I have cried, howled in pain and clawed tooth and nail to try to get back through certain doors of initiations in the Shadow.

I feel inspired to share these thoughts today because we've all been here. And we will all be here again. Every single one of us has felt the squeeze, the uncertainty, the discomfort and growing pains associated with an initiatory experience. Learning to recognize them makes it easier to approach with purpose and resolve, rather than dread.

What would it feel like if you knew that your current experience was an initiation in disguise? How would you interact with it then?

Journal prompt:

"What door is appearing to me now? How do I feel about stepping through it? How have I interacted with my past initiatory experiences? How can I claim and recognize them in the future?"

Don't overthink it, just write and see what happens!

Do I Trust Myself?

I had the most beautiful session yesterday with a client whom I have known for many years. We delved into some deep soul contract work (the subject of December's master class, in case you missed it! See below). As a part of this journey into her soul contract, we examined the idea of who we are in terms of trust.

How do we relate to the idea of trust and truth? How do we trust ourselves? How does that inform our identity, our I AM? In turn, how does that affect the way we live and the choices we make?

It can be easy to trust ourselves when things are going well. But the true test of our ability to ground in and fully surrender to radical self-trust comes when it feels like we have no idea what the heck we're doing. In those moments, we have the opportunity to pause, remember who we truly are, and say, "Yes!" to ourselves and our innate wisdom.

As I reflect on some of my major life events of 2017, I see plenty of places where I was able to drop into deep self-trust.

...and I also see some areas where it took me longer than I would have liked to get to that place, or where I didn't trust myself and my innate wisdom because I wanted something else to happen. In these moments, I ended up wishing I had just listened to that whisper at the core of my being that always tells me the truth.

All of these moments are important. I have learned just as much (more, actually) from those times of hesitancy and resistance as I have from my "easy" wins. As long as we can do so without punishing ourselves or spiraling into guilt, shame or blame, reviewing those times when we didn't fully trust ourselves can provide a tremendous opportunity to alter our patterns of behavior.

The more we can surrender into radical trust of our truest nature, the freer we will be to put it into action and show up the way we want to in the world. Here's to a 2018 full of opportunities to trust ourselves even more!

Journal Prompts:

As we head into the final days of 2017, I invite you to examine your relationship with trust--particularly how you trust yourself (or not):

When is it easy for me to trust myself?
When do I find it challenging?
What are the differences in those circumstances?
What does it take for me to bridge the gap?