Your Meaningful Money Makeover

Creative Writing AssignmentSo, did you do the exercise If Money Was a Person, Who Would Money Be? Or did you turn it into Shelf-Help?

Shelf-Help is when you buy a Self-Help book, scan through it -- or even read it in its entirety -- think it's brilliant for about five minutes, and then put it on the shelf without actually implementing it. It sits there staring at you, reminding you that you now possess the tools to change something about your life, but for a variety of reasons, you still haven't got around to implementing the Action Steps it advises. The guilt you feel for NOT using it to help yourself feeds a sense of externalized resentment. Pretty soon, the Self-Help has become Shelf-Help, and you have to hate it and distance yourself from it -- avoid it.

The worst part about it is that you know deep down this doesn't work.

You probably DID consider Who Money has been in your world, Who Money should be… You thought about it once, when you read my article, or you even followed through and actually engaged in the exercise more fully -- maybe you already wrote it down somewhere -- but did the buck stop there?

The Personification of Money is a critical spiritual exercise, for a few reasons:

  • You interact with Money as deeply and as often as any living person you know
  • You believe in Money as much or more than you do your God, your Guardian Angels, your Spirit Guides (at least, you certainly behave as if you do -- you think about Money everyday; do you think about your spirit everyday?)
  • No abstract concept has a greater tangible effect on your life
  • Many of the techniques required to personify and talk to Money come from the same head space that you must employ to communicate with your spirit guides
  • Money / Abundance is one of the oldest, most enduring relationships you have
  • Your relationship with Money is most likely to remain dysfunctional, because you don't treat it as a relationship that can be improved upon

Our relationships with Money and how we manifest Abundance is the most accessible and universal spiritual communication I have observed. I'm turning this into a tag for other bloggers because it doesn't matter what your belief system is, it doesn't matter what your level of "psychic ability" is, it doesn't matter what you blog about, what your career is, or how you define yourself -- it doesn't even matter if you just want to Pretend this relationship -- the enthusiasm that Shift Your Spirits readers have shown for Morgana's concept of Financial Alchemy is awesome!

You can't afford for this eye-opening Money Makeover to become Shelf-Help.

You can't have a great first-date with your new, improved, more desirable personification of Money, and then go back to speed-dialing the old asshole Money you've been living with all these years. Did Morgana's concept (shared via my article) introduce you to the perfect financial Partner, but then you just went back to the abusive, co-dependent, dysfunctional relationship you're used to?

Okay, I'll go first, and then I'll lay out the assignment -- and a list of the other bloggers I'm tagging -- at the end of this post.

Slade's Money Makeover I started a diary to solidify my commitment to changing my relationship with Money. I call the journal Hornets to Honey Bees -- How I Married New Money

Old Money Profile Old Money for me was a ripped, handsome, well-dressed, attractive dude who looked great on the outside -- expensive haircut -- one of those dickwads who may or may not be deserving of a nomination to the People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive List -- he was vain, cold, arrogant, self-important, sadistic, selfish, and completely devoid of affection.

I might compare him to the main character in Bret Easton Ellis' novel American Psycho - he worked out all the time, he was obsessed with his appearance, with projecting the image of perfection. He wore designer clothing, and was an absolute snob about material things -- the more expensive, the more valuable.

He valued Things, not people. He was nice to people in order to manipulate them. He came first.

Clearly, the guy was unlikeable, but he brainwashed me for most of my life. He constantly nagged me to be more like him. He disparaged the things I loved to do that didn't have a quantifiable income stream attached to them. He browbeat me, constantly reminded me that I was inferior to him.

He said things to me like "You're going to wear THAT? Why are you wasting time on THAT? You're never going to get anywhere doing THAT! Why are you talking to THAT person? Do you want to be a nobody? You'll never be rich; priests aren't rich. Spiritual people suffer. Ugly people are ignored. Weak people are walked on. Artists starve."

And always, behind these messages, the lie that He was my answer. He would save me. He was my only hope. If I did what he said, my life would improve.

Total passive aggressive -- he liked to convince me that I was "lucky" to have him. That he only wanted what was best for me. He nagged me because he cared. He wanted to see me better myself. He hated to see me suffer.

What would I do without him? How would I survive? If I left him, I would be out on the street, homeless.

Without him, I was nothing.

Deep down, I hated him. I knew he wasn't good for me, but I believed the poison he was feeding me; I was addicted to his mindset, I envied him, I was afraid of what he was capable of, I walked on egg-shells around him.

I tried not to make him angry at me, but mostly, I ignored him.

I avoided him as long as I could, and then when I DID have to talk to him, it was all apologies and martyrdom. I could never figure out which was worse -- trying to do what he said and keep him happy all the time, or suffer the intermittent consequences of his violent outbursts?

If I didn't let him in, he'd eventually kick the door down and there would be SCENES -- he'd wave NSF notices and bounced checks in my face and tell me what a fucking IDIOT I was…

My parents, and everyone around me, seemed to have a similar relationship with him -- only some people were able to kiss his ass, and they were rewarded for doing so. Everyone seemed to either go along with him, or suffer the consequences of defying him. He was a tyrant. He was powerful, he yanked everyone's chains. You were either with him or against him. You were either in his pockets, in his good graces, or on his shit list and out in the cold.

And if Money didn't favor you, it was your own damn fault.

Lack and fear are control tactics, lies about self-worth, the basis for slavery and power-over others, the Haves and the Have-Nots System was created by one group, but perpetuated by all.

New Money Profile I knew (spiritually) that God is love, that Abundance is everywhere, that the Universe has enough for everything in it. As I started to envision a personification of Money who reflected this type of benevolent leadership or representation, I discovered -- not surprisingly -- that the Money I WANTED to be with greatly resembled my idea of the perfect partner.

Morgana's original epiphany began when she observed this connection -- that there is a parallel between Marriage and Money -- that people who engage in dysfunctional, co-dependent relationships tend to exhibit the same behavior patterns -- that the kinds of challenges and repercussions they experience in their Love Lives are almost identical to the cycles and struggles they go round and round in their Financial Lives.

As Morgana shared the dialogue between her and Money, I couldn't help but note the similarity to a screenplay -- her conversations with Money were almost identical to cliched scenes from a soap opera -- the lines were the same as pleading with a lover, and I imagined how easy it would be to replace the name "Money" with "Honey" -- a term of endearment you might use in place of your partner's name, in arguments or happier contexts.

So as I wrote out my personal dramas in screenplay format, and when I spoke to Money, I called him Honey.

My friend Pam, years and years ago, told me she named her perception of God "Honey" because of the apiary/ spirit metaphor that exists between Bee Keeping and the Human Soul. "God's the Honey; I'm the Bee." She said the name Honey evoked warmth, nurturing, sweetness, harvest, natural forces, gold, etc...

I call God "God" for reasons I won't go into here and now, but the name Honey was perfect for my personification of Abundance, and it made the creative dialogue familiar and believable.

My Honey is someone who has everything he could ever need, materially -- he lacks for nothing. Because of this, he has no fear of want. He is SO wealthy, that he has transcended the worry and anxiety of NEEDING anything. He is free to focus on what he WANTS. His material existence is totally and infinitely taken care of, and so he is entirely ambitious about matters of the soul.

He is not searching for his next meal, he is looking for joy. His challenge is to find all the things that material wealth CAN'T buy.

How does my self-esteem hold up in the face of this kind of partner? If he doesn't NEED anything from me, if there's nothing I can give him that he can't give himself, then why would he want to be with me?

What does he GET from me that can't be browbeaten out of me, ordered, or bought?

Most importantly, what do I have to GIVE him that no one else can?

I envision my conversations with him to take place at a kitchen table at his farm. He lives on a ranch, an Adirondack-style log cabin mansion that is absolutely obscenely gorgeous -- but it's not intimidating, so much as it is wonderfully, opulently comfortable. When we are together, we talk over a table that has anything on it I could ever want to eat. I am not required to pretend to be someone I'm not.

He could wear anything he wants to in the world, but he dresses like a lumberjack, a blue-collar worker -- he wears flannel shirts and jeans. He is handsome, but without vanity. He is attractive because he laughs with his eyes, and because he doesn't talk nearly so much as he listens to me.

He doesn't care what I look like, he does not judge me, he wants to sit and talk to me for all the right reasons.

And when I ask him "What do you want of me? Why do you want to be with me and share all the abundance that you have? What can I possibly bring to you that no one else can?"

He tells me "I want your Stories. I want your Words. I want the Passion of your Spirit, I want to hear your Wisdom, I want to listen to your infectious Wonder. It brings me Joy to witness you articulating your Own Joy. That is the thing that no one else can offer me. That is the priceless thing without a price tag. You are the only source of it."

When I tell him I need Wealth and ask him what I should do to achieve Meaningful Wealth -- in all its forms -- his answer is always the same:

He tells me to Write, from the heart, the stories only I can, as I am here, right now.

He is right. My magic is in my words. The wealth I receive as a result of sharing my words is multidimensional -- beyond my greatest intentions.

So, I asked my Guides, my Guardian Angels, and Mother Mary for a Spiritual Restraining Order against the Old Money, who I now think of as a Hornet or a Wasp, the dark twin of the Honey Bee.

The Hornet is not allowed to come near me -- I do not wish to speak with him, ever again, for any reason, without exception. I have totally divorced him. I consider him to be a dangerous stalker who I have willfully chosen to break free from.

And like all restraining orders, they don't work if you answer the phone when your attacker calls, if you go back to him and continue to participate in the co-dependent unhealthy relationship. The Courts can't protect you if you breakdown, if you relax your resolve, if you back-slide and revert to old familiar patterns -- you can't hear him unless you let him in to whisper his lies. And you can never be rid of his poison until you refuse it and disown it.

The Hornet is DEAD to me. I'd have to be insane to continue a relationship with him, now that I have met his replacement. I've married a new money, and we're on our Honeymoon.

Where do these blog tags START?

Writing Your Intentions

Someone has to plant them -- start them -- right? I love a writing assignment, I usually find the restrictions liberating, but I've only managed to fulfill the recent tagging exercises by totally deforming the rules of the game. I was one of those 8 year olds that liked to elaborate the rules of Monopoly to a ridiculous extreme. In my family, part of the fun of a board game was spontaneous adaptation. It's amazing the way that kids play -- they turn House & Office -- the opposite of adult desire or fun -- into creative performance art.

My present lifestyle and my aspirations toward a willful, inventive sense of spirituality have grown into a love-affair with my homespun brand of chaos magic. In my rich inner landscape (that's what we say when crazy is too disparaging -- when eccentric feels over-used, self-indulgent, and increasingly-impotent -- when eclectic sounds like the only, obvious, inevitable label consciousness would ever agree to…) I tend a forest of creative kudzu, a mountain of vines, a blissful jungle. It's abundant and ripe for the scavenger hunts of motivational blogging and personal memoir -- bring it on, I say, tag me!

But I love starting things. I've got a bad case of Birth Order Entitlement -- I'm the oldest among the siblings and cousins who made up my earliest creative community. Now I have these grown-up writing peers to play with.

Here's Your Assignment: I want to hear about YOUR Money Makeover.

Read about Morgana's Exercise and consider the following in your story:

  • Who's the Old Money?
  • Who's the New Money?
  • What's THE one thing -- the overarching Message -- your New Money advises you to do to invite Meaningful Abundance into your life?

Writing it down will help you to manifest the change you wish to see.

If you already have a blog, consider yourself TAGGED with this writing assignment.

  • Write a post about your Money Makeover
  • link back to this post
  • You might also leave a comment here letting us know where to find your Money Makeover article

If you don't have a blog of your own, but you want to participate, well, here's another good reason to start one. You can go to Blogger.com or Myspace.com or Wordpress.com or Vox.com and start one for free, right now, in five minutes.

A few other options for participation: Simply leave the results of your Money Makeover here in the Comments. OR If you have a really good one and feel it's a little long for a Comment, but you'd like to share it, contact me about running your story here, on Shift Your Spirits, as a Guest Blogger. OR If you feel that the post would stray too far off-topic for your own blog, Contact me about sharing your Money Makeover as a Guest Blogger, here on Shift Your Spirits.

If you're reading this -- period -- consider yourself tagged. My tags are not exclusive -- they are open to anyone who wants to participate -- take this tag and run with it. Go forth and tag others.

You're IT: To get the ball rolling, I'm going to name a few bloggers whose Money Makeovers I'd definitely like to read:

Seek Wisdom - Practice Love

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