Have you ever had that sudden panic at the supermarket checkout that you've forgotten your purse? Or worse, you realise once you've started bagging up your items that you don't have quite enough cash to pay the bill?
What feelings does that bring up in you? Fear? Guilt? Remorse? Something stronger?
A few months ago I got "caught short" at a petrol station and instead of leaping into a panic, I simply put on my big girl panties and went about sorting it out, calmly and patiently.
It's certainly happened to me in the past, both in my dreams and in reality. I've come away feeling angry, frustrated and disappointed in myself, ultimately deeming myself a failure. But a few months ago I got "caught short" at a petrol station and instead of leaping into a panic, I simply put on my big girl panties and went about sorting it out, calmly and patiently. Even though:
- It "wasn't my fault" - the bank had made an error and couldn't fix it immediately.
- I was on my way to pick my kids up from school, and this made me late - and I couldn't phone to let them know.
- A queue of customers gathered behind me, tutting and shaking their heads.
- I was also feeling ill that day and the extra attention made me physically uncomfortable.
I was genuinely fascinated by the responses of those around me. The checkout girl was flustered, embarrassed, grumpy and at a loss what to do with me. Many of the customers waiting were impatient, scornful and fairly unsympathetic, even when I stepped aside to let them go first.
Clearly, I was an inconvenience that day, and I was genuinely apologetic for it, to everyone involved. However, it did remind me forcefully that in this society we still equate the quantity of ready cash/expendable income with status, and those without it are often considered third-class citizens.
- Let the situation demoralise me completely.
- Come away feeling panicked, stressed and reactive, taking my highly charged state out upon the world at large.
- Used this as (further) evidence that I am an irresponsible, inconsiderate and totally inept adult member of society.
Here are 3 reasons I chose not to think this way and to simply let go:
1. You can't hold on forever
Money is transitory. It comes and goes. Try as you might, you can't keep hold of it, and that's a good thing. It teaches us not to be attached.
I've enjoyed both extreme poverty and financial abundance at various times in my life. I've gradually made my peace with the fact that money is transitory. It comes and goes. Try as you might, you can't keep hold of it, and that's a good thing. It teaches us not to be attached.
And yet what that often leads to in our society is grasping. We lust after money, or the material things money can buy us. And yes, even the downright essential things like shelter, food and clothing. Free yourself and stop grasping... let go!
2. Scarcity mindset leads to constriction
I'll bet you £50 you're all tensed up in several places, across your chest in particular, your jaw and brow. You might even be struggling to breathe properly.
If you think there is "never enough" then you automatically create constriction in your body, energy and in your openness to abundance. If you believe you are poor, you will always believe that even if you win the lottery. Because fundamentally, nothing is ever enough.
Next time you feel poverty-stricken, sit and pay attention to what's going through your mind, watch the thoughts, take note of the commentary, what kind of words are you using, what kind of feelings are you playing upon? And notice how your body is reacting, physically. I'll bet you £50 you're all tensed up in several places, across your chest in particular, your jaw and brow. You might even be struggling to breathe properly.
Now imagine feeling comfortably wealthy and take the same attention to the sensations in your body. Can you carry this feeling back to your present situation? How does this change things?
3. All you need is right here
When you start to actually look closely at your "books" and track the incomings in particular, you realise that you are, in fact, living in huge abundance.
If you are emotionally dependent upon money (or anything for that matter) then you will never have true resilience in your life. You will be constantly swayed by the ups and downs, always in fear of what might come next, and ultimately unable to enjoy what you have right now.
Often we are far, far richer than we think - both financially and in other areas of our lives. When you start to actually look closely at your "books" and track the incomings in particular - all of it, not simply your monthly wage - you realise that you are, in fact, living in huge abundance.
Usually the numbers aren't even significant. It's really down to how much you value what you already have. Try changing your daily (or hourly) mantra from "I don't have enough" to "All I need is right here" and see what starts to change for you, emotionally and physically.
Choosing to let go of our limiting money beliefs ultimately empowers our own expansive resilience and moreover, encourages us to share that with others. Isn't that something worth loosening your grip for?