What role does money play in your life?
If you are like most people, money probably plays a very central role in your life. We can never seem to get enough of it – and isn’t it funny how quickly it comes and goes?
I recently spoke to my friend Davide De Angelis who is doing some amazing work with his latest product – an incredible range of Tarot products based on the life and work of David Bowie.
I invited Davide to write a few words for my readers outlining his journey and how he got here. This is what Davide had to say – hold tight for an amazing ride:-
There was a time when most of my waking hours were being shaped by a lack of money. At one point things became very grim indeed.
One day as my wife Esther and I sat scowling at each other, me clutching a court summons for unpaid tax and Esther brandishing a final demand from the electricity company, a vocal purging of dramatic proportions ensued: unspoken truths, secrets, buried anger and deep resentments flooded to the surface like an erupting volcano.
We had tried everything – borrowed money from family and friends, sold some old family jewellery and even researched some free tax tools.
This is Shamanic Territory
The very real prospect of losing the roof over our heads, and the months of threats, final demands and petty humiliations around money had stripped us down to the bare metal.
Finally there was nothing covering up the energies and stories that were really shaping our lives.
In many ways this is shamanic territory because we get to look behind the curtain of falsehoods obscuring what we don’t want anyone – not even ourselves – to see. And in that super-present moment there is only a desire to pull down the curtain of falsehoods, to get honest, to throw anything that isn’t honest into the purifying flame of truth.
We literally escape the gravitational pull of what we have taken to be our self.
We Avoid it like the Plague
The business of getting honest about money (or anything else for that matter) is difficult and dirty work – that’s why we avoid it like the plague. But it’s the work that sets us free and opens new vistas.
The trick – if there is one – is to know that from inside our own fixed ideas about life we can’t even imagine what those new horizons might be. Those ideas need to collapse and it’s the ‘temporary’ discomfort and inconvenience that actually scares us.
It still makes me cry thinking of that day.
Two human beings with nothing left to cover their raw nerves, their vulnerability. It makes me cry because in the midst of a pit of despair, I discovered the unexpected presence of love.
I think we were more beautiful in that moment than I could have imagined possible, and out of the blue as the tears streamed down our faces I saw it.
I saw that once we let go of the lies holding a story about who we are together, we can get down to the real business of cherishing each other, loving each other.
Money is a Powerful Mirror
Money is a powerful mirror that reflects the tons of beliefs we mysteriously seem to be filled with.
Most of us are so full of conditioned reactions and old beliefs that there is no room for anything new to be entertained. The energy of Money reflects back the stories and countless meanings we have given to the circumstances we find ourselves in.
I repeat – it reflects back the stories and countless meanings we have given to the circumstances we find ourselves in. It’s worth giving this statement some consideration.
Money will Systematically Reveal all of our Deepest Fears
If we allow it to do its work, and pay attention instead of running away, the energy of money will systematically reveal all of our deepest fears about life: mainly that life is not safe and that there is something fundamentally wrong with us.
Importantly, it does its work regardless of how much or how little money you have.
A compulsion to accumulate money – far more than is needed – reveals the fear lurking beneath the surface in the same way that struggling for money does.
Most of us carry the belief that having more money will solve our problems and are surprised – shocked even – when we discover that the same old nagging worries about life are still present, even when we have more money!
Money – or perhaps more accurately our ‘idea’ of money gives us all an opportunity to examine what’s actually true for us.
In other words, money always presents an opportunity to know who we are in a remarkably intimate way; that is if we are open to this.
When we are able to see the F.E.A.R (false evidence appearing real) that has so shaped our lives, we are presented with the possibility of living with greater and greater freedom.
The Key is to Live a Life Where You Are Really Present
I remember hearing a saying, ‘We see the world through our beliefs not our eyes’.
This statement is something remarkable because it contains the key to living a life where you are really present to what’s actually going on.
I believe that ultimately this is compassion: you see that all the ideas and judgements that you have about yourself and others are simply not true – can never actually be true – and you become present to the flow of ‘finding out’ and discovering.
You are open to life in all its myriad shapes and forms. You no longer believe the stories your mind conjures up.
Part of the Healing Process
Strangely enough, in the way that flu symptoms are the healing mechanisms of the body and not directly created by the virus, the threats, final demands, petty humiliations and the court summons turned out to be part of the healing process.
They exist to show us what kind of life we’re creating by not knowing who we are and what’s true beyond our false beliefs.
I had said this very thing many, many times on workshops and in coaching sessions and yet on that day it was the first time I totally understood the principle.
The energy of money we see playing out in the world, its connection to forcing things and its connection to control and survival, is a symptom of us not knowing who we are on a massive scale.
We are taught to suppress symptoms and in so doing interfere with the healing process. A symptom is a sign that something is trying to heal: can you imagine what happens when we hold this distinction up to all the things that we think of as problems?
Not Knowing Who We Are is The Virus of Our Time
Not knowing who we are is the virus of our time and all the problems or symptoms we encounter such as spiralling debt, addictions, abusive relationships and poor health, are signs that we need to stop and ask the question:-
Who am I?
We assume the answer at the risk of our aliveness. We need to ask the question ‘Who am I’ as our eyes open in the morning, with a desire to really know, and let the answers we discover give birth to us.
I believe that we all want to be generous and loving, no matter how we may otherwise behave. Bringing this question to life is the activating principle. It’s certainly not a new question. In fact every experience is asking it. It is so present that we completely miss it.
This is Living Meditation
If you’ve never genuinely asked yourself this question, then I invite you to begin the process now. This is living meditation, the answer will arrive, no need to go searching.
What is your relationship with money inviting you to question?
What old beliefs (that were most likely not even yours in the first place) is your relationship with money inviting you to question and see past?
The Way Forward For You From Today
I guarantee that money is not what you think it is and it will help you see that you are not who you think you are. Look at your relationship with money and let it become your ally instead of the enemy.
The by-product of this enquiry is an ever-growing feeling of abundance.
I wish you all abundance and prosperity on your journey.
Your friend – Davide De Angelis
Money doesn’t bring happiness, but it certainly helps.
It’s funny, though, that people prioritize it over things that actually *do* bring happiness.
Whether or not you have enough money, if you spend a few weeks just intentionally living on a quarter or a half of what you usually do, and really enforcing it, will teach you a lot about yourself.
And by having a self imposed limit it will help ensure you have more than just excuses as justification.
Good point Rob – it’s amazing what we discover when we start to explore.
Always amazes me how synchronicities appear. Today I am dropping off a large check at a lawyer’s office for back property taxes to avoid foreclosure. Also cleaning up a lot of other loose ends in my life today. With the foreclosure notice I also looked deeply into my life and how I’ve been looking at money. Right now I’m feeling as though I’ve been given a second chance to start fresh and with a new perspective. I know I feel a lot freer without this financial burden weighing me down.
One thing I’ve learned is that being in “survival mode” with finances is not only stressful and oppressive; it also kills inspiration, creativity and the ability to live life passionately. Life isn’t able to flow.
Thank you Tania for sharing. Great to hear that you are moving into a new phase where your creativity and inspiration can flow. It’s funny (ironically) how long we can stay in survival mode and then suddenly it simply becomes too oppressive as you rightly say…. We are then compelled into a new way of seeing life – something fresh can emerge.
Wishing you a truly inspiring time ahead.
Love it! and I have signed up…
I was raised with the story that I may have abundant money *or* love, but not both..being heart led, I tend to choose Love..however, one can see how this pattern blocks abundance in general..by just my thought..a thought I may release/transform..I may have abundance in general, no label on it, just open my heart and tap into flow..:)
Yes great point… a simple thought can block the flow of abundance. It’s really cool that you have seen this and are present to how it happens.
Wishing you the flow of abundance.
Hi Arvind. I teach my kids that money is important in have a decent life today, but not above and beyond everything. Treat it with respect, work hard for it but always give priority to family, friends and persuit of your passions. Money often follows if you don’t chase it at every cost.
Hello Marya, good to see you here again.
So true – money is important but not above and beyond everything – it’s important to get our priorities right. But at the same time, money does have a value and gives us a lot of freedom and flexibility.
I remember this quote from Marianne Williamson – something about following your heart and the Maserati will come when it’s supposed to!
I grew up in a pretty poor family where a lot of fights broke out due to money problems. So I think my psychology was made to believe it’s always important to have financial security and that money is scarce. Even when I was pretty well off relatively, I still worried all the time. But over the years, I’ve learned to let go by recognizing that I can survive with little or no money and that even in the worse cases, I would still get by.
Bobby, that’s a healthy attitude – knowing that you will survive no matter what and not living your life around money.
So many families grow up with disputes and money problems. It’s important to have the self-awareness that you now have and to know just what’s molded your money beliefs today.
Hi Arvind, and thanks, Davide,
I just was reading Courtney’s blog and your guest post there about your Porsche. Realized I hadn’t visited in awhile.
I say money is damn nice. It can kind of buy freedom if you use it right. And I agree with the quote that it can be really powerful; most of us have lots of money “buttons”!
All the best to both of you with your new launches!
Hi Patti, good to see you here again:-)
Money is of course damn nice – and we could all do with much more of it!
Thanks for all your good wishes, Patti. And the same to you.
Great post on a sensitive topic.
Money or the lack of is often one of the greatest fears that people have..
Thank Mads – money sure is a sensitive topic:)
How right you are, and how great to discover this blog. Being short of money (after a previous business went into a challenging period) was the spur that I needed to focus on what I really want to do with my life.
Having spent 20 years working away at something which made me lots of money but left me dissatisfied and exhausted, I now know where I would rather be. I wish to be able to stand tall, at least sure that I have given my dreams a shot. How else would one want to be when one leaves this world?
It is interesting that my old career left me penniless at the end, but much wiser!
Will, good luck with standing tall and fulfilling all your dreams:-)