Some time ago, I started putting serious energy into manifesting money. (By manifest, I mean using metaphysical concepts to generate money in my life). Soon after, I found Slade Roberson’s “The Money Shift” and felt that it was what I needed to move forward. Backing up my intuitive feeling, I saw my synchronistic number three times in the sales pitch for the book.
“The Money Shift” is a no-frills self help book that outlines a simple plan. Essentially, in the space of a month you journal about money every day, tackling a single limiting belief each day, as well as endeavouring to connect with the concept of Money as if she was a person and writing down your dialogue. To help with this, I charged a coin with intention and used it as a focus when trying to communicate with Money.
Slade insisted that it would be better to time this according to the phases of the moon, starting at new moon and ending two days after the next new moon. Although I don’t know enough about the metaphysics of this to be sure, I sort of feel like I might have done better to ignore that piece of advice, as I had to wait three weeks to start and lost some of the fired-up feeling I had had at the beginning. A lot of the time I did my daily exercises in a somewhat uninspired way, because I “had to”, but in spite of everything I think I made real progress. I get now that my relationship with Money is something that requires real work and care, and I suspect I will have more “alive”-feeling journalling sessions in the future with this in mind.
To start, I asked myself what my representation of Money looked like. I had a vision of an explosive, violent madman with a knife. When I tried to ask him questions, he first told me to fuck off, and then stabbed me repeatedly. (Luckily this happened in the safety of my mind’s eye, or I would not be typing this today).
As directed by Slade I “fired” this version of Money and looked for a divine version of Money who would have only my best interests in mind. Inspired, perhaps, a bit by Slade’s own experiences, Money appeared to me as a romantic partner. She was beautiful, long haired, golden and slender. I don’t really have preferred body types, so I was curious why she appeared so thin (not unnaturally thin, but the sort of thin that’s only common in movies). Her answer was that it helped me psychologically to understand that she was not a threat. Indeed, she radiated gentleness and tenderness.
Within my first few sessions, I soon came to the big insight that if I really understand my relationship with Money to be similar to a relationship with a person, I would be an abusive partner. I’m, I think, about as far from abusive as you can get in my human relationships, but perhaps when you think something isn’t “real” you feel it’s okay to let your frustrations out on it. Towards money I was distant, cold, angry, withholding of attention and care, rough, and neglectful.
With this insight I’ve endeavoured to become a better partner to Money. I want to pay her more attention. I want to appreciate her more. I want to look her in the eyes. I want to not take her for granted. I want to care for her.
In less metaphorical terms this might mean actually being present while engaging in monetary transations rather than feeling like I’m tossing the money away; really thinking about money and budgeting, keeping track of finances and having a plan rather than hoping things will just work out; feeling thankful for the things money brings me, including things like food and shelter; and appreciating money’s “gifts” (the things I want but don’t strictly need) rather than trying to forget about the money I’m spending on them.
My second big insight came somewhere in the middle of the month-long process.
I was walking down the street when I had a thought, “I wish money would just leave me alone!”. Since I was in the groove of self reflection on this topic, I managed to observe this thought and think about what a strange thought it was. If we see our relationship with Money like a relationship with a person, then her answer would be simple – “OK, you want me to leave you alone, so I’ll leave you alone!”. Even without doing that, it doesn’t take much to see what a harmful thought this was.
The thing is, I wanted not to have more money exactly, but for me to be able to completely forget about money. I saw money as a problem and I wanted my problem to go away. I dreamed of a world without money, where goods and services are distributed directly based on the principle “from those of the greatest ability to those of the greatest need”. (I still like that vision, but do understand that we don’t live in that world and won’t do so for some centuries yet). Money, in my head, was the enemy.
I began to see how wrong I was. It took me some time, but I worked out that for me, money had become a sort of battle against oppression. I suspect it started with my parents suggesting that if I didn’t do what they thought best for me I’d end up on the streets as an adult. I saw that (rightly) as an attempt to control me, and somehow, from that, all of money became a struggle against someone trying to control me – my parents, or later a conspiracy-theory elite trying to enslave the masses.
It took some work to convince myself that no one is forcing me to earn money and that I do it entirely for reasons of self kindness. Earning money is not a defeat in a battle. There is no battle.
I realised that until then, every way I’ve obtained money had to have something about it that made it different – something that let me feel like I was beating the system, that I wasn’t giving in. I taught English freelance when most people were teaching through agencies. I started this blog rather than become a journalist. I got social benefits rather than get a job. I considered a cleaning job because then I could listen to audio material while working and it wouldn’t be “wasted time”. I always needed to feel somehow superior while doing these things, and the superiority concealed an intense vulnerability. I couldn’t just accept a normal job and let it be.
Steve Pavlina had influenced me once with his “10 Reasons You Should Never Get A Job“. I won’t give my power away and say he messed me up – I was already messed up. I was just looking for excuses to think that way. But for what it’s worth, I latched onto what he said and hoped to become “different” to the norm. I still understand that entrepreneurship is probably the best way for me, ultimately, but I don’t believe that I should never, ever have a job. The thought of having a simple “whatever” job like shop assistant now sounds a lot more comfortable than it ever did. If I find I need to do it, I will do it.
And even thinking about entrepreneurship or becoming a freelance therapist feels somehow more comfortable and “right” to me. Before, doing such a thing was still not really about earning money; it was about winning a point in this internal battle, about showing off that I was free and couldn’t be dominated. I failed because I couldn’t win in a battle against myself. Now, I have much gentler reasons to want to do these things, and I expect them to be much more likely to succeed.
The third big insight I’ve had relates to my calling as a lightworker. Though I rarely use that word, especially not outside of my blog, I recognise that I am that – a person dedicated to doing the most good for the world possible within her lifespan.
I’ve often thought about how much money it is ethical to keep for oneself, rather than give away. If things were rather simple, you could say that you should only give yourself the bare minimum and give the rest to those people who live on a single dollar a day or less. Getting icecream in a café would be enough money for them to have food for a week. How could you justify such an expense?
Most people, of course, would think about this and say, “Well, I see what you’re saying, but I’m just not giving up my icecream. End of story.” They would rather give up their principles than accept discomfort. They probably eat meat too despite finding videos of animal slaughter unbearable to watch.
I don’t say this to be smug, but I try very, very hard to live up to what I think is right. This has led to me taking a long term view, having the idea to build a life where I can help the maximum number of people (and animals) possible.
I’ve thought about the icecream problem a lot. However, I came back to this again while journalling about money. I realised that I never imagined myself really having money – I imagined giving it all away as soon as I had more than enough for survival. This was hardly helping my motivation to work hard to improve my finances.
Examining closer, I realised: The more I give to myself, the more I can give to others. I need to nourish myself in all ways to be an effective lightworker. If I’m happy, secure, comfortable and joyful, I am well placed to access inspiration, to grow, and to radiate positive energy, as well as to do whatever activity I’m doing to make the world a better place. And I suspect that the impact which will truly last and ripple out into the world won’t be the money I donated, but the way my soul touched other souls. Money is amazing and helps open up opportunities to to develop, but I have the ability to transform people in much more powerful ways.
I also considered this. If I never allow myself to envision having money for my own good rather than the good of others, I may never have the motivation to earn it. (Philanthropy is not my primary calling). If I never earn it, I will never give it to others. So spending money I have earned for myself, on myself, is not taking money away from anyone. I created value by working, used money to exchange that value and obtain what I wanted, and so I added to the world and did not take away.
And ultimately my passion is to do this so I’ll be empowered to help others, so even “selfish” spending is not selfish.
I can have the damn icecream. And much, much more.
I am not done with this self work, but I feel like I discovered two major blocks that were basically paralysing my efforts to earn money, which I am now mostly free of. I also discovered the way I treat Money poorly, and see that I have more work to do to become a good partner for her. I suspect this will be my focus from now on.
I didn’t become a millionaire. I did find out during this time that my book Welcome Home, Wanderer is selling rather better than I expected; I earned abut 40€ from it last month. Besides that, I had an amusing incident at one point when I talked with my partner about getting a proper barbecue. I had been using a single-use barbecue in a park at that point. Soon after saying this, the charged coin I had been using as a focus for my journalling jumped into my hand, surprising me for a moment. In mundane terms, I somehow tipped my handbag in a way that caused the clip on the coin to come undone and the coin to fall into my hand, face side up. Despite not literally breaking the known laws of physics, it was an improbable moment and the coin felt strangely alive then. Soon after I found a perfectly functional barbecue that had been left next to the bins as we were leaving the park. I think from stating my intention to manifesting what I wanted there had been a space of five or ten minutes.
Another time, I found a 5 cent coin and remembered to appreciate it despite its smallness, understanding it as a gift from my darling Money. Later on, I needed exactly that 5c coin for a vending machine (it would accept no other) and I experienced a considerable improvement in my wellbeing from this coin that I might have otherwise dismissed as worthless.
I didn’t win the lottery, my material situation hasn’t significantly changed so far, but still, I’ve had a couple of magical experiences showing I’m on the right track, and I’ve done the gritty work which will ensure future success. So without being a poster child (yet) for the manifesting community, I can confidently recommend Slade Roberson’s The Money Shift.