The Soul of Money.
Two years ago, the well-known, 78-year-old Christian mystic Richard Rohr who’s written 50 books decided to make the pilgrimage to Baja because one of his idols was leading an MEA workshop.
That thought leader, Lynne Twist, had written the bestselling “The Soul of Money” that Richard believes was one of the best books ever written on the potential upside of our relationship with money (here’s my book review of “The Soul of Money”).
Richard is convinced that money and soul are united on a deep level. He writes,
"There is un río profundo, a river beneath the river. The upper stream has always been money in all its forms, beginning with trading and bartering. The deeper stream is the spiritual meaning such exchanges must have for our lives. Money and soul have never been separate in our unconscious because they are both about human exchanges, and therefore, divine exchange, too. From my perspective, when money and soul are separated, religion is the major loser. Without a vision of wholeness that puts money in its soulful place, religion 'sells out.' Religion allowed itself to lose the only ground on which awe and transcendence stand—the foundation of totally gratuitous and 'amazing grace.'"
To spend a week with Richard and Lynne was one of my greatest highlights since launching MEA nearly six years ago. They talked about the spiritual practice of seeing money as a currency of making a difference in the world, but also that money can be both a restorer of freedom and a thief as well. The key is to shift to a growth mindset on money, not in a Tony Robbins kind of way (growing the amount of our money), but in applying Carol Dweck’s principles of a growth mindset - learning and improving our relationship with money while being more conscious about this relationship. How we spend our money (and our time) says a lot about our values. Money carries our intention. If we use it with integrity, then it carries integrity forward.
Lynne goes on to write,
“Money is not a product of nature. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Pennies don’t rain from heaven. Money is an invention; a distinctly human invention. It is a total fabrication of our genius...From the beginning, money was invented to facilitate the sharing and exchanging of goods and services among individuals and groups of people. Money still facilitates the sharing of goods and services, but somewhere along the way the power we gave money outstripped its original utilitarian role. Now, rather than relating to money as a tool we created and control, we have come to relate to money as if it is a fact of nature, a force to be reckoned with. This stuff called money, mass-produced tokens or paper bills with no more inherent power than a notepad or a Kleenex, has become the single most controlling force in our lives.”
One of my favorite MEA practices is to ask the question, “Imagine you have a lifelong relationship with money - which you do - and therefore you go to relationship counseling with money to find insight and peace. What would Money say about you in therapy and what would you say about Money?”
If you have a complicated relationship with money and want to improve it, I highly recommend you enroll for Lynne’s “The Soul of Money” workshop, perfectly timed right after Thanksgiving this year, November 27-December 2, in Baja. It might change your life and will likely change your relationship with money.