“Your task is not to seek for money, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” With apologies to Rumi
To recap briefly – a small band of intrepid, fledgling neuroeconomists have agreed to attend online weekly sessions for a year while together we explore Money Relationships and the Brain. At this report we’re half way through the year. In case you’re wondering, as far as I know none of us has become a multi-millionaire thus far.
But what have we become? I will first speak for myself, and then offer a number of anonymous insights from various members of the group.
The first and probably the most disconcerting thing I’ve become is aware of just how unconscious I truly am when it comes to money. And I’ve run a number of successful businesses for more than 50 years! But just because I might be reasonably good at managing expenses and income doesn’t mean that when it comes to money I don’t have … issues. Triggers and blind spots and unskillful impulses. So that’s a growing edge.
Another thing I’ve become aware of is just how much money implicitly factors into many of the daily decisions I make without any overt awareness on my part. Often I find myself striking an unconscious balance between fear and greed or desire. A simple example: I go over to the Goose Grocery and stroll the aisles. Rather than paying attention to what I might actually be hungry for, I’m constantly scanning the shelves for what’s on sale.
Mon – ey, It’s a Crime
As far as what participants have taken away thus far from six months of meeting together, here are a few selected and edited perspectives …
I really like how I feel when I pay attention while giving money to things I value, in this case, your money work in the world. Tithing seems to work the way you and the research suggest it does – beneficially. The amount of the tithe seems irrelevant. It’s the intention behind it that is paramount.
I was really struck by the Yiddish proverb, “With money in your pocket, you are wise, and you are handsome, and you sing well, too.” It reminded me of the impact of social proof and self-confidence that can come with money and affluence…and I liked the way it made me laugh at that idea at the same time. We are so much more than how much money we generate; even some homeless people can sing quite well.
I appreciate that our explorations hold space for both content and process. I notice I’m thankful for the structure/format, and the relative looseness of the structure, too. I can utilize the group as a way to make myself more accountable, or not; it’s on me and not an expectation. It’s a place to connect with something that matters to each of us, and a place where all of us are learning together. You also listen well.:-) It’s a joy to notice the way you listen to each of us, to be listened to, and truly heard. I appreciate that you share your own process, too.
I have learned that fear of not having money, fear of spending money and fear of losing money reinforce the illusion of scarcity and stop momentum in my life; that trying not to spend money only invites a feeling of helplessness and fear. Relaxing, enjoying and being in the moment allows me to hear and feel the helplessness and fear, and in response develop a greater opening in my life for money energy to flow through – a stream that will become a babbling brook, a rocking river that leads to the vastness and depths of the ocean of financial energy that is always there when needed, always flowing. It’s a process that seems to be leading to an increasingly deepening trust in life.
Finally, a number of people realized that our weekly group is the only place in their lives where they can talk openly and honestly explore what’s really true for them about money.