I was deep in a visualization about my relationship to money, and what I discovered astounded me.
Using a metaphor of my ‘money chamber’, I went down into the ‘room’ where I could explore what my relationship to money meant to my subconscious.
What I found there was an elderly man with glasses, sitting at an old oak desk. He was bald and he had a face striped with worry and diligence. His glasses were magnifying, like those used for looking close-up. The room was like a dim basement chamber. He had money and coins around him, and he was surprised to see me.
At the moment I saw him I realized that he was the good steward I had elected to take care of my money decisions. He had helped me to be a responsible and sensible young woman about money. I realized he was exactly what I had needed when I appointed him.
You see, when I was around 11 years old, I made a mistake. And it had cost me my mother’s love, I thought. I guess I have been entrepreneurial ever since I realized that I could earn my own money and have it to spend, instead of being confined to my mother’s relentless answer ‘no we can’t afford it’. During that time I would make a craft (like woven or crocheted potholders) and then go door-to-door and sell them for a dollar. Next, I saved up $25 and bought a greeting card sales kit from the direct sales ads in the back of my cartoon magazines and went around selling boxes of greeting cards to the elderly ladies in the neighborhood. They were kind to me and welcomed the brief company of a cheerful and very focused young girl.
Finally I decided to open my own restaurant. My sister was a talented artist. She is a professional portrait artist and has been a graphic designer (she designed my ankle tatoo of hibiscus flowers way back in the 80’s). My mother was away working for the day, and we were bored. So I enrolled my sister in designing and illustrating my menu, and creating a sandwich board to put outside. We named it the Red Dragon. Mind you, I was 11 years old and this restaurant was in our garage with a hot plate. We hand-copied the menus with prices and invited all the kids we knew in our neighborhood. We opened the door and cooked and served up all the food I could find in the fridge, pantry and cupboards. It was a total success! We earned $15 (this was in 1972) and had happy customers too. We tidied up and waited for our mom to come home. But before she did, I had this great idea to take the money to the corner store. When we got there, we didn’t realize that $15 could buy us so many more candies and chips than we had ever bought before. I remember sitting on the curb eating the last of the corn chips and drinking chocolate milk; an unlikely combination, but I savoured it because it was my earnings.
When my mother got home, she went to the pantry to begin making dinner. I remember watching her head swing back and forth, up and down as she asked “where is all the food?” We were so excited to tell her about our venture. We showed her the menus and the branded sandwich board. “Alright” she said, “so where’s the money?” as she held out her hand. Gulp.
We had spent every bit of our profits at that corner store, and then gorged on them.
My mother was raising us by herself. She was the sole income and worked full time to support us. This was near the end of a 3 year period where she had bought us a house and tried her best to manage a mortgage. It hadn’t been going well. I would say in hindsight that those seemed to be the worst 3 financial years of her life. I had no idea of the cares and worries in the world of money, except that we didn’t have any. I also hadn’t learned about profits versus costs. That $15 probably started out as $50 worth of groceries. So much for my entrepreneurial experiences. She sent us to bed without dinner (because the cupboards were empty and there was no more money to buy any until the next paycheck). She was very angry; more than I had ever seen her towards me. I cried myself to sleep and knew I had upset her.
I became very responsible about money. I became aware of my spending and wanted to please my employers wherever I worked. This incident seemed to crush my entrepreneurial spirit, but only for a while. I made some negative decisions about myself and my self trust was guarded. I was a harsh judge of myself after that, being very driven and not satisfied, nor resting on any success I achieved. I would have to say I became better at money than I would have otherwise, even though this incident did some damage to my self esteem because of the conclusions I made and the self-blame I began.
Fast forward 4 decades and although I knew I still had limitations because of that event, I found that I manifested almost anything except more than enough money. It came and went, whether I spent it or saved it. There was always something else to pay or spend on. When I realized that I had no freedom or joy when I spent money, and I had no celebration when I was responsible and disciplined about not spending, I knew it was from this incident. I needed to look at it. First, I hired NLP coach Wayne Donnelly, and in his phone session he worked with me to give me an alternate ending – what I would have done differently, knowing what I learned from it. I knew that I would have still done everything the same, except spend all the money. I would have spent a little and taken the rest home. This exercise freed and validated a part of me, and I began to enjoy both the experience of spending and ‘not spending’.
So later, when I worked through the money relationship visualization, it surprised me to find that ‘stingy’ old man in there. No, wait, he wasn’t stingy. He was my steward of money. He was responsible, diligent, watchful and very helpful. He was just what I had needed. I thanked him. I blessed him. I invited him to have a rest now, and sit back.
I invited more light into that chamber. I added a glass window looking out into green pastures. I invited a new spirit into the room. Delightfully, a gorgeous fairy girl showed up. She had a ring of flowers in her hair and she danced around the chamber. She put a ring of flowers on my steward’s head as he watched her in wonder.
She brought light and laughter into that dark room. I decided to leave them both there together, and that was a good place to start. I added a shop front and made the chamber into a bookstore, with a line of happy customers out the door and over the green hills.
It was lovely and useful to acknowledge and accept myself and balance my relationship to money with full awareness of the lessons and blessings. I highly recommend the visualization. You may find the insights you need to design some new beliefs around money, like I did.