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Redefining Wealth – what does it mean to you?

“Wealth isn’t something to hold onto, it’s something that flows through us.”

It was the one phrase that the trainer shared during a 4-day course that landed for me so clearly.

In today’s society, if you were to take a poll of how most people would define wealth, it would most likely align with the more traditional definition of wealth: “a great quantity or store of money, valuable possessions, property, or other riches.” In my line of work, the term “wealth accumulation” arises often, as many financial professionals are focused on how much money can be put aside for retirement.

I understand in this day and age that we can no longer solely rely on the government for financial resources in retirement (i.e. social security, etc.), and that we get to actively participate in proactive money management and strengthening our own financial foundations. This is indeed important.

However, for me the definition of wealth far outweighs how much money you have in the bank or the things that we buy. It goes beyond our net worth and what we physically have in our lives. As the trainer indicated, wealth isn’t something we hold onto, it’s something that we create in every aspects of our lives (financial or otherwise) that flows through us.

An alternate definition of wealth that I found was: “an abundance or profusion of anything; plentiful amount.” For me, the most important word in that definition is “anything.” Wealth can indeed be about money, and it can also be about other things as well.

When I think about what wealth is to me, it’s so many things…

  • Wealth is a consistent feeling of joy in my life.
  • Wealth is an inner knowing that I’m living my purpose and I’m actively moving toward the best version of myself.
  • Wealth is the joy of a child’s smile and laughter in a moment of innocence and exuberance.
  • Wealth is the feeling I get from supporting others – financially, emotionally, or spiritually.
  • Wealth is a conversation with a friend where I’m really and truly present and listening.
  • Wealth is being in service to others.
  • Wealth is being a witness to the growth of others, and seeing them take a leap in their life despite fear.
  • Wealth is having a home that is safe, comfortable, and warm.
  • Wealth is living my life with my heart wide open, despite the potential for being hurt.
  • Wealth is the simplicity of time with my family and other loved ones.

As the trainer said this past weekend, wealth really does flow through us in so many ways when we stop to think about it. And as with wealth, I believe that money gets to flow in and out. When the primary definition of wealth is one that implies accumulation and a static balance of net worth, the energy of money is altered – it’s less flow and more slowed down (if not completely stopped).

So what does wealth mean to you? What are the ways that wealth flows through your life? Are there new and exciting ways for you to see wealth beyond your bank statements?

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Facing Your Financial Fears

Just the other day, one of life’s lovely ironies came and sat in my lap. Want to know what it was?

I came down with a pretty decent case of what I like to affectionately call the “financial grungies.” Pretty ironic given that I teach money management and proactive finances for a living, right?

So what are the “financial grungies” exactly? For me this time, it felt like not wanting to honestly take a look at something related to my finances (more about that below), a knot in my stomach, a racing mind, and my blood felt like it was coursing through my veins at an extra-quick pace. Oh, and all of that was wrapped up in a nice big bow of FEAR and SCARCITY. Yuck, yuck, yuck. It was so clear that financial fear had come to pay me an unwelcome visit.

Yup, the teacher and healer got to use her own tools to heal herself. Gotta love it.
And here’s what I reminded myself of when I got to diagnosing the situation at hand and whipping out my financial toolbox:

  • BREATHE! This may be the most important suggestion I’ll make in this entire article. Living in the knot-in-your-stomach-blood-coursing sense of panic won’t ever serve you, since it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to think or operate from a clear space. So this is exactly what I did when I felt the fear kick in – I stopped what I was doing (or should I say what I was pretending to try to do….and I was doing it very ineffectively I might add), and I moved to the nearest chair and started to breathe deeply, in and out. The sense of panic and fear within me slowly died down after a few minutes.
  • Raise your vibration – Breathing normally is only really the starting point and it’s intended to try to restore you back to an equilibrium point (and out of the “grungies”). Once you’re feeling somewhat stable, you’ll want to do something to jump start your energy again – think of it like a car battery where you want to give yourself an electric charge. Depending on what gets you going, you’ll have a different way of raising your energy. Some people dance or exercise, yet for me I find it soothing to listen to a guided meditation that’s specifically wired to reset my brain waves. When I did this the other day, on the other side of 15 minutes I was already feeling much better and was ready to take on the next step. This step is important and the intention is to put you in a positive frame of mind before you move forward to see what’s at the root of the financial fear you’re feeling.
  • Get clear on what gets to be handled – I’ve said for years that financial clarity leads to choice, which leads to the ability to contribute in a bigger way, which results in a higher sense of connectedness. Without clarity, you’re often left feeling disconnected (from yourself and from others) which only enhances the sense of fear in the current situation. For me, I knew that over the last few months I had been investing quite a bit of money into my business and myself (as the business owner). After breathing and meditating, I got clear that the task ahead of me was to update my list of business investments. I knew that the investments I made were wise ones (and ones I would make over and over again), and so I knew it was time to briefly summarize the dollar value of those investments.
  • Break down the task (or tasks) to small, manageable steps – In my example, the tasks to be completed were relatively simple in the sense that it involved consulting transactions and balances on various bank and credit card statements. In your case, it might be a bit more complex, in which case you’ll want to think first about the end result you want. From there, think about the first step you would take, then the second, then the third, etc., continuing until you have a solid flow of steps mapped out to get you the end result you desire. As examples, if your task is to work on getting out of debt you’ll want to understand the total amount of debt you have along with interest rates and minimum payments. If your task is to be saving more money, you’ll want to get clear on what you want to save for and how much you want to save.
  • Take one step (and repeat until complete) – It’s as simple as it sounds – take your first step as soon as humanly possible to build positive momentum and start shaking off those grungies once and for all. I know that the minute I sat down at my computer and started a brand new business investment summary that I instantly felt much better…and it only got better from there!

The outcome of taking each of these steps is that you are able to accept the situation as it is, and in a grounded way work through whatever financial challenge is contributing to the fear at hand. As a bonus step, it may also support you to confide in someone you trust what it is that you’re working through (both the fear and the steps you’re committed to taking), so that they can hold you accountable to the steps that you want to take as well as support you in moving through the fear in whatever way they are able to.

In the end, the lesson here is that no matter how proactive you try to be (and I’m very proactive!), sometimes financial fear secretly slips into the picture without you even realizing it. And if you ignore the fear, you may end up significantly altering your road to financial freedom by inadvertently sabotaging your financial plan.

So don’t let financial fear hold you back from standing fully in your power – begin clearing away the fear and start healing and transforming your relationship with money today!

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A Spiritual Perspective: Money as a Divine Tool

“To have a balanced relationship with money, you need to respect its energy.”

This quote was recently in a book I was reading, and when I read it I almost cried out in joy. “YES…EXACTLY!!!” I thought to myself.

If you’re a private client or someone who knows me well, you know that this quote articulates one of the most important spiritual financial principles that I teach. When you show money that you respect it, it will show up in ways you could have never imagined to support you in complete and total abundance. In contrast, if you don’t respect your money, then your financial life generally speaking feels stressful and overwhelming.

In fact, there are 3 key spiritual financial principles that I believe and that I incorporate into my work that demonstrate money’s place as a divine tool that will show up to support you in your life:

  1. The energy of money is meant to flow…in and out — In today’s society there is a significant focus on accumulating money for retirement later on in life. And while I am in agreement that having money set aside is a good idea and allows for financial stability, there is a delicate distinction where accumulation begins to feel a bit like hoarding and where the energy of money feels stilted, stale and stuck. Every individual (and couple and business owner) needs to find the balance for themselves that feels good to support financial stability (short term and long term) while giving generously and allowing the energy of their money to move in and out of their life. In my experience, life is too short to wait until retirement or later in life to enjoy it. Find the balance for yourself that allows you to use money as a resource here and now while also setting some money aside for future opportunities and needs.
  2. Manage your money purposefully and wisely and be rewarded — If I’m being honest, this may be my favorite spiritual financial principle because it’s a place where everyone can start right away – managing the money that they already have access to! Stewarding and managing money wisely signals to the Universe that we’re ready for more abundance, and so paying attention to and learning about proactive money management systems and techniques is a critical part of the equation for financial freedom. As a mentor of mine once shared in a story that illustrates this point well…if you took a 5-year old out for an 1-scoop ice cream cone and he dropped it on the ground by accident, would you then turn around and buy him a 2-scoop ice cream cone when he asked for it? Of course not because he had trouble handling the 1-scoop cone as it was! The same is true with money — if you’re struggling to handle what you have right now, why would the Universe give you any more?
  3. We can all attract more money into our lives — If I’m completely honest, this was the hardest principle for me to fully believe in for myself until I had the pleasure of experiencing it over and over (and over) again. Many people (including me several years ago) think that there is a limited amount of money to be divided up and used by everyone in this world. Would it surprise you to learn that by simply making a strong and intentional commitment and taking action in the direction of our dreams that we can attract more money into our lives in a way that doesn’t mean that others have any less money? This one may be hard to swallow and really understand at first, but all I can say is that the power of intention is an amazing resource that is available for all of us to tap in to…and we don’t use this resource nearly often enough, or we use it and then give up on our intentions when it feels like something we want (i.e. money) isn’t happening fast enough.

So, at this point, you’re likely saying one of these three things to yourself after reading this article: 1) “what the heck is she talking about, this makes no sense — she’s crazy”; 2) “this is new, but I’m open to it”; or 3) “this makes complete and total sense and I’m on board.” And no matter where you are on this spectrum, all I ask is that you consider these new thoughts that I’m presenting. Several years ago I thought that effectively managing your money was all about using spreadsheets to make sure your expenses were less than your income. Now I know from the results that my clients have and my own life that the actual science of money management is only the beginning of the formula for financial freedom.

At the end of the day, financial freedom and financial independence aren’t necessarily just about what your bank account looks like in the future, it’s also about freedom from the fear of money and trusting that if you respect money that Universal forces will respect you back and you will be provided for with the right opportunities to support you and the life of your dreams!

Money is truly a divine tool…if we allow it to be.

Image courtesy of chanpipat /

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