I’ll bet the “M” word gets your attention and maybe sets your heart racing a little…or even a lot. I know it can do that to me.
Money has always been a rather sensitive area for me and a book I read recently let me know I am among good company in that respect. “The Soul of Money” by Lynne Twist led me to examine all of my largely automatic and deeply embedded thoughts, feelings and reactions regarding money. The author’s approach to the subject gave me a fresh understanding of the past, present, and possible future of money on personal and global levels.
Ms. Twist says that, by looking at our own financial “story” and the ways our beliefs have limited and constricted our relationship with money, we can re-conceptualize money. She relates stories of real people to illustrate her points. One of the stories that had an impact on me centered on the Achuar people in the Amazonian rain forest who had lived without money for thousands of years. Can you imagine that? It was hard for me to digest the idea, but doing so opened the doors to new ways of looking at money’s role in my life.
“Money is like an iron ring we put through our nose. It is now leading us around wherever it wants. We just forgot that we are the ones who designed it.”
Let’s peel back thousands of years of conditioning and assumptions and consider some very basic observations:
- Money is not a product of nature. It doesn’t grow on trees. Pennies don’t rain from heaven.
- Money is a human invention, an inanimate object that has taken many forms in the 2500-3500 years it has been around.
- Money was invented to facilitate the sharing of goods and services.
Money still facilitates the exchange of good and services, but somewhere along the way, the power we gave money overtook its original role. Now, instead of relating to money as a tool we created and control, we see it as a force of nature. This stuff called money, which has no more inherent power than a tissue, is the single most controlling force in our lives.
We are raised to believe the 3 Myths of Scarcity:
There is not enough.
More is better.
That’s just the way it is.
Ms. Twist proposes that instead, we look at money as a flow, like water, rather than a static amount of something we need to accumulate. “Money is a current, a carrier, a conduit for our intentions.” We all stand in the flow of money and have the opportunity to direct it.
Can you, will you…
…align the acquisition and allocation of financial resources with your most deeply held values?
…shift from an economy of fear, consumption, and scarcity, to an economy of sufficiency, sustainability, and generosity?
…generate an expanding flow of resources toward the affirmation of life and the common good?
If you’d like to find out more about the book, “The Soul of Money,” Lynne Twist or The Soul of Money Institute, visit LynneTwist.com.