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The Inner Work of Wealth

I was newly divorced, raising 3 daughters, when I got tax bills for over $1m. My ex was responsible, but he left the country…leaving me with very little in the bank.  My father refused to lend me the money. I was angry & terrified, but had no choice. I had to get smart about money. 

I tried going to classes, reading books, but nothing made sense. I felt immobilized. Nowhere in those books or classes could I find a solution for my paralysis.

So I took matters in my own hands. I stopped focusing on the practical mechanics of money and started plumbing the deepest recesses of my psyche. Writing in my journal proved profoundly revealing. But most of all, it was freeing.

I became aware of a familiar voice that kept telling me how stupid I was. Instead of ignoring it, letting it hold sway, as I usually did, I began a dialogue with that voice, asking it where it came from and what it wanted.

I remembered my father telling me, often and in no uncertain terms, that managing money was a man’s job. So of course, I was terrified that if I tried to take charge, I’d botch things up badly. I’d make mistakes, blow it all.

My inability to understand money was actually an act of self-protection.

 “If we seek something we’re afraid of, attainment of it won’t be what you really want,” A Course in Miracles warned me.

Deep down I didn’t want to get smart. I didn’t want to take charge. I did not want to risk losing everything.

But once I understood my unconscious assumption (women are incapable of managing money) and its source (my father), I was able to discredit it. My paralysis disappeared. Learning about finances actually came quite easily.

The financial industry eschews the Inner Work of Wealth as “touchy feely.”   But I’m here to tell you, financial success doesn’t come from what you do as much as it comes from how you think. 

Or as author Clark Moustakas put it “When a person acts without knowledge of what (she) thinks, feels, needs or wants, (she) does not yet have the option of choosing to act differently.” 

Until I was aware of my false beliefs, I was virtually unable to act differently.

What false beliefs about money are holding you back? Leave me a comment below.

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Comments & Feedback

  • E. Greenberg

    Just uncovered this one the other day: “work=suffering.” No wonder I struggle with earning!!!

  • Andrea

    The false beliefs about money that I have are ‘money causes pain and there’s never enough’. I grew up in a family (extended also) where the topic of money or lack of it was the reason for constant yelling, arguing, manipulation and seeming hatred that occurred between my mother and father, mother and her parents, mother and her brother and wife. My family was one huge argument and jealousy would arise any time it seemed someone had more money than someone else. It’s as if they were trying to claw their way out of a hole and would drag each other back down into their hell of lack. It was terrible. I was afraid to ask for anything and shoved all of my desires far, far down and tried to not exist. I did not want to add to their pain or be the source of more yelling or taking something away from my brothers or my mother by needing money for anything. My father controlled all the money and it appeared by what my mother constantly claimed that, ‘he never gives me enough money to buy the groceries.’
    It’s so hard to go back to feel how I felt then. Poor little sweet thing I was. Always trying to make things easier for my depressed/OCD/alcoholic mother. I would try to help with housework but I never did it well enough and I would get yelled at and my mom would be disgusted. I would pick bouquets of wildflowers for her from our field and even that gesture could not get a smile out of her. She worked like a dog cleaning, cooking, gardening, ironing-my god she used to iron my dad’s t-shirts! It was impossible to tell if anything brought her joy. My brothers and I could not touch anything in the house for fear of the wrath of my mother for ‘who made this mess!’
    I started babysitting when I was 10! (the mom was in the house giving flute lessons, I played with her 4 kids so she wasn’t interrupted). I babysat almost every night until I was a senior in high school. I bought all my own clothes and a ’10 speed bicycle’ for $200 when I was 12 or 13.
    When I was 17 my dad announced that he would not pay for college and that he’d gotten me to the age of 18 and that was it. The rest of my life was up to me. That was a shock. I was the first person in my family on the college track. How was I going to pay for it on my own? I was crushed by this announcement and my world and aspirations shrank once again. I did successfully put myself through undergrad and later graduate school without any help from my parents. I did accrue some debt that I chipped away at for many years and is now paid off, with help from my now ex-husband.
    I’m realizing now a large part of why I married my ex was because he earned a good living, never quibbled about money or spending. He was very generous and bought me extravagant gifts from the time he met me. I’m sure I felt, ‘Wow! I am worth spending money on’, contrary to my experience with my family.
    I see now that marrying him allowed me to ignore my money issues and fears for 20 more years because he took care of everything money in our family. I never worried or took responsibility for our finances. He was a portfolio manager into short calls and his language talking about our money situation was way over my head. I would feel stupid. I would try and try to be involved but could never understand things the way explained them.
    Then the divorce came and I knew I would be receiving a large amount of money from the settlement. Money I would have to manage and hopefully grow! I started doing research online and found Barbara’s website. Her story is incredible. I am a smart strong woman I know I can get in a prosperous place with my attitude about money. I have read Barbara’s book, ‘Sacred Success’ and ebook of how to pick a financial advisor. I am so grateful for this information. I am sure I need to really work through my childhood experiences and beliefs around money if I am truly going to have confidence to make my money grow. I want to do this. I don’t want to be like many lottery winners who blow all their money and end up in the same situation as they started before the lottery money.
    Sounds like I need to sign up for one of Barbara’s courses to work through the emotionally held beliefs that are causing me to be afraid of taking over control of my money. I don’t want to be responsible for the financial decisions until I am sure I can make the money grow by making good decisions about investments.

    I am in life transition from being a mom and physical therapist to wanting to be an artist and produce my own work. I need to be off from a full time job to make this happen. I have never been unemployed in my life for longer than a couple of weeks since I was 10!! I am terrified! I have to confront the fact that a large part of my self worth is based on how much money I make. I feel I am only valuable if I am working hard and making money. That is a value I learned in childhood. If you are not working hard and making money you are a burden!. There it is! I am a burden. I am only valuable if I am working hard at making money no matter if I like the job or not. It’s all about the work and suffering in order to be worth anything. Things cannot come easily or do a job that makes my heart sing.

    I have wanted to make art since I was in my early 20’s. I was bored by art in elementary school. In high school, art was for the kids who didn’t do well in college prep classes and I did, so that wasn’t for me. I found in college my ‘tribe’ were creative, philosophical alternative thinking art and music students.
    I am now allowing myself to pursue the avenues that ‘light me up’. It is so exciting. I’m trying to remove the need to have everything be a solid, certain money maker. I have to OK with the possibility that my art won’t sell. I know in my heart it will 🙂 but that is not the reason I want to do this. It is because of love that I want to make this career change. It’s incredibly hard to allow myself to simply follow my heart and have faith that all will be well for me. I have to do this and do it now. I can’t let other people’s fears dissuade me.

    OK well that was way more soul searching and info than you all probably wanted. Thanks for listening and thank you Barbara for sharing your incredible and inspiring story. Women can rock with money!! including me!

    • Sylvia

      Thanks for sharing your story, Andrea. I was riveted! We have more than a few things in common and it’s always refreshing and curious to read someone’s story in a way that elucidates one’s own. I’d love to see your artwork. Keep dreaming big!

  • Brona Malone

    I have to work hard for money.
    The people who give me money can’t afford to give me money ( I am seeing them through my eyes of lack!)
    Receiving money brings guilt ( ties into the above belief and both come from childhood)
    I’m not worthy to receive.
    Success = burn out.. . I dont want to burn out ( = I don’t want success)

    LOVE Sacred Success Barbara x

    • Kat

      You’ve just verbalised what I was thinking Brona!

      From childhood there was always lack of money (single Mum), and everything got spent as soon as it came in. Other people or credit somehow always financed the nice things (guilt), and I’ve continued in this cycle up to now, 35.
      I’ve never saved anything more than $1000.
      I had my own business but felt bad charging what I needed to charge as my clients also had no money. Ended up in major financial failure and huge debt.
      Then had baby. Now working 3 days a week, the pay from it just goes on paying my debts and childcare. Comes in and goes straight out.
      My husband is good with money and has always had to support and funded me, though I’m well educated and very independent. It does my head in.
      I just can’t seem to break the cycle.

      In my mind I totally see wealth and adudance for myself in the future but there is a disconnect between me now and that vision. There is no lack no but pure because of the family I married into, I really want to be a contributor though. Argh!

  • Regena Ozeryansky

    For a long time, I thought I didn’t “need much.” In fact for a long time, I wanted to proove it to myself, as a Yogi Realtor, it’s been a fun conflicting experience;) I’m being ficicious actually….helping others aquire more as I continued downsizing, mind tweak for sure. I was conflicted with wanting more but “not wanting” more. So I convinced myself I didn’t need more, and truthfully I dont, I’m a simple person. However, I am very aware that having nothing helps nobody. There’s nothing sexy or even righteous about not being able to help others. I’ve come to believe over many years of questioning including living on an Ashram, that be having more doesn’t harm others. In fact, when I share what I have with others for the sake of sharing, that in itself is very spiritual and important act of enlightment, at least to me it is. I cannot help others when can’t help myself. Looking forward to shifting my experience even more thru this community and learning more about wealth and how to think differently to attract more of it. Thank you all for helping make that possible & to Barbara for this platform and education.

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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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