For those on the spiritual path, we pride ourselves on being mindful in a myriad of ways. We eat organic food, follow plant-based diets and strive to live in environmental harmony with the planet. We exercise, practice yoga or tai chi and use natural healing modalities to keep our bodies in tip top shape. Many of us even meditate regularly to stay connected to Spirit and maintain inner peace.
But how many of us are conscious when it comes to earning, saving and spending our money? In our consumer-driven society that glorifies the rich, vilifies the poor, and encourages us to live beyond our means to quench an insatiable appetite for more, it can often be challenging to walk our spiritual talk.
Many seekers believe focusing on money is detrimental to developing higher spiritual qualities, as it ties us down to the material plane and lower-chakra values of ego survival, body consciousness and personal power. Others believe we should live like saints, some of whom took vows of poverty to grow closer to God. This may work for a monk living in a cave in the Himalayas, but for the average person living in the light of the real world, money is a practical and necessary tool.
The Soul of Money
Contrary to popular belief, money is not the root of all evil, but our attachment to it that distorts the divine plan. According to many spiritual paths, money is simply an expression of universal energy, like water. When we are aligned with the flow of the Universe, our money flows easily and effortlessly, creating an experience of abundance. When we are out of alignment, we experience lack and limitation. As such, spiritual and financial health are inextricably linked. As we become more aware of our divine nature as spiritual beings, we learn to move through life in greater balance and harmony with the world, including how we use money - a resource meant to be used for our highest good and the highest good of all living things.
In her bestselling book, the The Soul of Money, global activist and humanitarian fundraiser Lynn Twist argues that using money in a conscious way is essential to living a purposeful, fulfilled life. Through soul-searching exercises, Twist challenges readers to step back and deeply examine our attitudes and relationship toward money, includinghow we earn it, how we spend it, and how we give it away. This exercise can uncover surprising insight into our lives, our core human values, and what we believe about prosperity.
After traveling the world for over two decades to minimize poverty in third world countries, Twist found that one of the most damaging beliefs about money is the “scarcity myth”. Surprisingly, one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. is storage units. According to Twist, the scarcity myth tells us “there isn't enough", "more is better" and "that's just the way it is." This comes from our collective belief that all good things, including money, are a limited resource, and drives our need to accumulate and hoard unnecessary “abundance” - more than we actually need - which may eventually end up in storage.
For Twist, abundance thinking is merely the flip side of scarcity thinking. Whether we believe it or not, the truth is there are more than enough resources on our planet for each one of us to live happy, healthy and productive lives. By focusing on what we lack in the world, we’ve misallocated our global resources. As a solution, instead of striving for abundance, she suggests we focus instead on having enough. Enough reflects a simpler way of living, with a deeper faith in ourselves and the Universe to meet our needs. It also requires being grateful for what we already have. Instead, many of us fly past “enough” without even seeing it, always yearning for more as a proxy for happiness and self-worth.
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