Knowing Our Money Story

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We very often look back on our lives and see events which were life-changing for us. For me – and I know I am not alone in this – it’s not just events which have changed my life,  words have also done this for me.

When I first read a quote by Carl J Jung,  “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”, I knew I had read something which moved me.  I didn’t realise until much later on just how profound that effect was.  Even though I had no real idea what he meant, to make my unconscious conscious became my mission.  It remains my mission.

The curiosity which this awoke in me has brought me to conscious business and the Conscious Business Declaration. 

This, in turn, has made me question what role money plays in our lives and in our businesses.  I now believe that, borrowing heavily from C.J. Jung,  until we make our unconscious money story conscious it will drive our lives and our businesses in ways we cannot know and we will call it luck, fortune, mis-fortune, other people, karma, fate.  We’ll call it anything really that does not put the responsibility for our decisions squarely at our own door.

What I mean by ‘story’ is the way we perceive our lives and what has happened to us which has formed how we present ourselves to the world. The story we have around money in particular can be very complex. There are so many influences which we are not aware of and we take on unconsciously, adding them to the pot as we go along. For example, we are influenced by

·       The family environment we grow up in – how much comfort we experience and how well our basic needs of food, shelter and security are met, or not.

·       The coherence or conflict amongst the adults in our lives around money

·       The messages we get either directly (we can’t afford that, money doesn’t grow on trees, work hard to earn money, easy come easy go, money flows with ease) and indirectly (I’m not worth that, I get rewarded for good/bad behaviour, other people are more/less worthy, it’s easier for others to earn money, I am of value in and to the world)

·       Even where we are in our family ‘pecking order’ – the first to get new things or always dressed in ‘hand-me-downs’.

Our money story is not unlike an iceberg. We can see a certain aspect of it through our day-to-day lives but the bulk of it is hidden beneath the surface.

So, how do we see the underwater part of the iceberg?  How do make our unconscious money story conscious?

The first step is to decide to take radical responsibility for getting to know it.  Nothing less will do. 

It is not easy to become conscious of what is driving us.  Anyone who has done any shadow work or ‘getting to know myself’ work will have an edge here and may have developed practices which will help.  Expanding these to take in our money story is a good step.

The beauty though of wanting to do this work is that we don’t have to try very hard to find situations where this particular aspect of ourselves is in full view.  Money tends to touch so much of our lives that we are not very far away from it.  In fact, sometimes our circumstances are such that money is all we can think about.  It may be we are dealing with it at a survival level.  It may be that we think we are dealing with it at a survival level but really, we are safe and sufficiently provided for.

Money provides us with a mirror into our unconscious world.

Look at the language you use to describe money.  Money is good,  money is bad, money is the root of all evil, money drives people to do nasty things, money can save us all, money gives me security, without money, I am nothing.  I am not worthy of earning money.  I know I am successful when I have earned £xxx,xxx. 

Spending some time just thinking about money and how it makes you feel is a pretty quick way to start to know your money story. You can usually feel it in your body when you stop and check in with how you are feeling.

Observe yourself in situations which involve money in some form or other.  If this is too hard, observe others.

Go window-shopping and see how you feel, how you respond to what is for sale, how you judge others, how you judge yourself.  Are you distainful, aloof, envious, calm?

Look at your behaviour around your own finances.  Are you clear and aware of your financial situation or is it an area that brings you stress and anxiety every time you think about it?

Don’t be too surprised if you feel cross, anxious or confused about what is coming up.  Our money stories are complex and touch on some very sensitive nerves.  In our current society, money is so closely linked to our survival and our sense of worth that it is practically a taboo subject. It is shorthand for where we fit in society.

Yet there are benefits to grappling with the complexities which are thrown up in this exploration.  As you unpack your money story you can start to take control of one area of your life which will have a profound effect on your relationships.  This is a powerful journey and there are many ways to travel it. 

Choosing to take responsibility for your money story and to do the necessary work is a great step forward on the journey. Working with Conscious Finance, you can

develop practices for uncovering your money story

create a vision for how you can handle your finances consciously

expand your understanding of what true money actually  is

align your purpose and your finances so that you are in flow 

find peace and harmony in your life as you reveal your inner values and they become your North Star.  

This can be as an individual and within organisations as our money story is not something we leave behind when we go out into the world. Money work within organisations is an as yet under-developed but powerful medium for conscious leadership and for creating flourishing businesses which create prosperity for all.

If you want to explore this further,  drop me an email at info@consciousfinance.co.uk and let’s explore together. 

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