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The Caterpillar Story

There’s a story about two caterpillars who spy a butterfly overhead. One turns to the other and says “You’ll never get me up in one of those things.”

Have you ever felt like that caterpillar?  Part of you may want to fly. But another part clearly doesn’t.

That’s precisely what’s going on whenever you feel stuck—you’re experiencing an internal conflict. Part wants to. Part doesn’t.

The trick to getting unstuck isn’t by denying or fighting your resistance. What you ignore, you empower. What you resist, persists.

I speak from experience. After my divorce, I tried hard to learn about money. I’d pick up a book, attend a class, only to fog up, glaze over, give up. Until one day, a therapist challenged me.

“I really want to get smart about money,” I told him, my voice tight with desperation.

He looked me straight in the eye and said, “No you don’t. You may say you want to get smart, but you really don’t.”

I couldn’t argue. In that moment, I met the part of me that desperately wanted to stay ignorant.  The part that was terrified of angering her parents, losing everything, and most of all, afraid no man would love a financially savvy woman.

I spent months getting to know this part—her fears, concerns, early family messages and cultural conditioning.

I also kept repeating positive statements in an effort to fortify the other part. I AM smart about money. I AM excited to learn. I AM a great role model for my kids. I AM attracting a man who loves a powerful woman.

I now realize I was literally reprogramming my brain.  Instead of dwelling on what scared me, I focused on what I wished to create, how I desired to feel…even if it seemed impossible.  As science has proven, what flows through the mind, wires the brain.

Slowly the fog lifted. I actually began enjoying the learning process, seeing results, relishing how powerful I felt. And that hasn’t changed in over 40 years.

If you aren’t getting what you say you want, what do you think you’re afraid of? Leave me a comment below.

Comments & Feedback

  • Susan Coleman

    Thank you Barbara. I always so love your blogs. In fact, it is you more than anyone who has inspired the format of my new blog Women, Negotiation and Collaborative Power My ‘resistance’ re money is that, while I would like to be earning more, I am grossed out by our cultures patriarchal reverence for being the financial king on top of the mound. Billionaires are killing us and our planet, and most of them seem kind of sociopathically cut off from their impact on our democratic systems, not to mention their carbon footprint. So, how can women do this differently, manifesting abundance but not greed. Sending love and best to you, Susan

    • barbara huson

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Susan. I always love hearing from you. I understand your resentment at the uber wealthy. I absolutely believe we women will do it differently. But what’s more important–YOU can do it differently! You can earn more and then use it for good, for helping those in need, for supporting causes you’re passionate about. It doesn’t make sense to deprive yourself because of what others are doing wrong. As Abe Lincoln said: “If you want to help poor people, don’t be one!”

  • Lisa

    Usually, I get what I say I want, but sometimes I give up on the idea of wanting something, because I’m afraid of sacrificing something important to get it.

    I have a deadline at 4pm, Sunday. I have to give up aqua aerobics and it’s killing me! I wanted to wish everyone happy holidays and thank them for the fun, crazy times this year. We’ve all unexpectedly become very friendly with each other. I love when unexpected things like this happen and I love paying my respects to people at the end of the year. 😔

  • barbara huson

    I get it Lisa…it can be really hard to give something up. That’s wonderful you have such a great group of fellow aerobic swimmers. And sadly, you have a deadline. Hope you meet your deadline and your next acqua class is fabulous and fun and you can wish them happy belated new year!

  • Lisa


    That’s a much better way to reframe it! I’m not missing out on anything important, I’m just postponing it until new years.

    I had to also postpone my holiday hair cut until a week after new years and I could see one of friends sailing past my place from my window while I was sitting in my ratty tatty PJ’s working on my paper. It was a little bit of a Saturday detention type of feeling. 😞

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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