Money. Money. Money!
Well, what a topic to explore, isn’t it?
Ever thought about it?
I’ve been exploring it for a while now and I haven’t had the feeling I got very far, until recently. Well, maybe not far, but at least a little step into it.
My ideas about money last week:
It’s useful as a means of exchange.
It’s not actually real, just a game we agree on.
I don’t need much of it for myself, but to give away or use it, it would be nice.
Its absence kills many good ideas and projects.
It can cause people and relationships to shift in seconds.
I will only get it for doing tasks and work that I wouldn’t do without being paid – i.e. stuff I don’t like doing. (Stuff I like doing, I’d do for free)
Other ideas, I know it is in some philosophies and traditions connected to creativity and power, to recreation. I know it’s something people put a lot of value on and that helps them to get an idea of how ‘well’ they’re doing in the game of society.
On Wednesday this week our Knowmads Sevilla team received a workshop by a guy called Charlie Davies. (www.charlesdavies.com)
What I take from this workshop (except that the guy is not actually nuts… -) is this:
Money is an empty medium. It doesn’t actually do anything. It doesn’t create problems, kills ideas, makes people change, is good or bad. It is just an ideal medium to project all kinds of things on them. It is also (my idea, not his) a symbol for value, so we put on it what we connect with value. Good, bad, beautiful, ugly.
But in any case, it is not about the money. It is not the money that is something. The money is a piece of paper on which we put aspects of ourselves.
You’ll say, of course, that’s clear.
Now, ‘Exploring our relationship with money is the most powerful spiritual tool we have as human kind’ (supposedly a quote by Peter Koenig, but can’t find it anywhere)
I put on this money bill all these parts of myself that I don’t want to be. Or can’t be. Or can’t accept to be. I have all my self-value, loath, hate, fear, control, anxiety right there, in my wallet. I can stop looking for it already. It’s not actually that I have to look somewhere for it, I know where it is. What disturbs me about the money, is me. Is what disturbs me about me.
To become whole, to become myself, it is time to reclaim these parts that I put in money (as well as in other things).
Charlie gave us a little phrase: ‘ I am x, with or without the money, and I love it’. When I believe that money is power, then I can give it a try to say ‘I am power, with or without the money, and I love it’. And as I say it, I notice how a certain resistance comes up in me, ‘no, I’m not power’. And a certain relief when that tension releases as I pay attention to it. Maybe the thought pattern that I am not power releases with it?
As I told a friend, Kristin, about the workshop, I told her about my question: ‘How can we use money as an effective tool of interaction, if so many negative stories are attached to it?’ and explained that for me money was mainly something I would get for doing work when I didn’t actually want to do it. I would not be motivated to do it, except if I would get paid for it. If a friend asked me to do something for him or her, of course I would just do it. The idea of charging for money doesn’t come up for it, because I actually enjoyed doing it. I believe actually many people see money that way.
She listened to it, found it really interesting and put some thought into it. Though, she has misunderstood me completely, thought I had said that I would never charge somebody I don’t know for work I can do for them, but would instead receive money if I did something for a friend that I actually enjoyed doing. This thought (understandably) confused her a bit and made her think.
So the next day she told me how this phrase had really made her think and told it back to me.
Now I am here.
Money, what if money was a token of appreciation and gratitude? If, after I have a really nice talk with you, you decide to hand me 20€ because you enjoyed talking with me? Or if I ask a friend to help me something and he asks me what I would be happy to give him?
Difficult, isn’t it? In my brain, it immediately activates the feeling of scarcity, of tension. No, no, that’s not how it works. You don’t pay somebody for something easy, something that’s fun. You also don’t ask a good friend for a little favour.
What if you received money not for something that ‘costs’ you something, effort, energy, but because I appreciate you as a person and want to support you in living an easy life? Else, if I receive money for something that has taken something from me, time, effort, energy, and I receive money for it, it still feels hollow. It’s not an equivalent to life energy. But it’s a support for life energy.
Not quite ready yet, the thought – but it’s interesting, isn’t it?
What’s your thoughts about money?