Be the lightLately, I’ve been blogging about my experiences at The Martha Beck Meet & Greet in Pismo Beach, CA.  At the same time, I’ve been doing some of my own work, and I had a personal breakthrough.  I’m really excited by this shift, and I’m anxious to share it with you.  I plan to return to the Meet & Greet series after this.

I was working with a Coaching Buddy, the gifted Jeannine Gury, and she helped me take a deep look at a very tough subject that is complex and challenging for many, myself included.  M-O-N-E-Y!

Yeah, I get coached, too.  You know why?  Because it helps me.

In regards to money, I’ve been stuck between two conflicting thoughts.  One belief is that it is a vice to desire money.  The other belief is that I need money to provide for my family, to sustain and grow my business, and, in general, to survive.  So, I’m telling myself I can’t survive without money; but at the same time, I’m greedy for wanting money.  Sticky, stinky thinking.

Now, I’ve heard some people suggest looking at money as something other than currency.  They talk about money just being innocuous bits of paper and metal.  They recommend thinking about money as just another form of energy.  I’ve been pretty quick to dismiss this kind of argument.  It’s exactly those bits of paper and metal that pay my monthly bills, and my positive energy doesn’t put food on the table.  But, I also see now that my quick dismissal enabled me to avoid challenging my beliefs about money.

So, working with Jeannine, challenge and question is exactly what we did.

We took things one step at a time, neither one of us knowing exactly where each step would lead until the next step naturally emerged.  First, we examined my value system and stated it for clarity: To love and be loved; to connect and share; to value and be valued; and to be peaceful, mindful, and true.  Since starting on this wonderful journey toward living my right life, I’ve come to realize that I previously lived from a place of scarcity, and I made decisions driven by fear.  What I valued was the same, but instead of celebrating all that I had, I spent my time worried about losing it all and not having it in my future.  By being desperate and needy, I was actually pushing away that which I valued the most.

I now strive to see that what I value is abundantly available to me.  My work and mindfulness has been to be open and accepting of all that is out there; open to receive instead of desperate to hang on to.  A major step I’ve taken on my road has been to acknowledge my need for love, acceptance, connection, and sense of value.  By openly accepting these needs, I have gained freedom through truth; it is from a firm, grounded place that I can state that I need these qualities in my life to gain my most full, joyful, whole-hearted self.  Another huge realization for me is that I have to give it to get it.  Here’s the thing—I have a choice.  I can either wait until some wonderful, generous soul bestows love and value to me, or I can determinedly show up and put myself out there to connect, share, value, and love.  Seeing as I’ve learned that I only have control over how I think and what I do, giving it to get it is my strategy for success.

So, where does that leave me in regards to money?  Well, Jeannine helped me see that my view of money was still living in “Old Ray” mode: worried about losing it and not having it in my future.  We discussed how I was now okay with saying “I need to be loved to be my ultimate self,” but I still wasn’t comfortable with acknowledging that I need money to be my ultimate self.

Jeannine challenged me to look at money in a different way.  (You know, exactly that which I had often resisted before.  But, now I was ready to go there.)  I could see money as a representation for value.  I’ve been making choices based on fear that, through money, people would show me that who I am and what I offer had no value.  That is not living toward my whole-hearted life.  When I re-frame money as just a representation of value, I now see payment for my coaching as a thank you for the help and progress that my client feels; I see the cost of services as acknowledgement of a job well-done with a wonderful attitude that brightens someone’s world; I look at the money exchanged for a gallon of milk as appreciation for the farmer caring for the farm and cows, the clerk who stocked the shelf, and the cashier who is waiting on me.  I have value, and my work has value; by doing my work I help others discover more value in their lives.  When they value what we’ve done together, I am able to get my message out and help even more people.

This isn’t a revolutionary idea.  It seems pretty simple.  It may seem really obvious to you.  But, keeping mindful of this new perspective throughout my day has caused a lovely shift in my life.  Again.

With Jeannine, I summarized my take-away in this way: I now see more of my essential self, and I try to be mindful of that fundamental truth, that essence, that is me and who I want to be.  Those values of Love, Acceptance, Connection, and Value all seem different colors of that essential essence.  I now see money as another color in that palette.  Elegantly simple, powerful, and helpful.  To me.

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