Originally published in hardcover as Money Therapy, this new edition has been revised and repackaged to better address the prosperity market. Making, keeping, and enjoying money isn’t just about investments, salaries, inheritance, or dividends, according to professional investment advisor Deborah Price. It is also about the games we play around money and the "type" we are in our relationship to money. More often than not, the financial choices we make are unconscious and fear-based because, when it comes to money, most of us feel out of control. Money has an amazing hold on us; even saying that we don’t care about money is still defining ourselves around money. This book offers practical steps toward acknowledging the hold of money on our minds and emotions and then using those insights to create not only a better relationship to money but also the wealth and prosperity we desire.
|Publisher:||New World Library|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
Read an Excerpt
Unleashing Your True Potential for Prosperity and Fulfillment
By Deborah L. Price
New World LibraryCopyright © 2000 Deborah L. Price
All rights reserved.
the money game
Man must choose whether to be rich in things or in the freedom to use them. — Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society, 1971
During my seventeen-year career as a financial consultant and money coach, I have frequently observed the game people play with money. The primary objective of this game is to hide the deep layer of anxiety, fear, and shame we feel about money. Silently, we live with this discomfort, accepting it as our fate. We become skillful players at this game of hide-and-seek, but we forget that what we hide still lives within us. We become disconnected from our inner reality, making it difficult to understand our relationship with money and its meaning in our lives. Having relinquished our conscious awareness of our feelings about money, we have become the pawns in the money game and let money rule our every move.
Unconsciously, we accept that money is our greatest resource, but then we feel we have wasted, neglected, abused, avoided, or coveted it. Secretly, we feel guilty and ashamed and are unable to communicate these feelings to others. How did we, as a civilization, come to not only surrender our power to money but also to deny the control it has over our lives and well-being?
Many civilizations existed before us that never used a currency or even knew what money was. When money finally came into use, it began to shape history and our belief system in profound and lasting ways. Even centuries later, we do not fully understand how money affects our lives or how it shapes our world. Money's meaning continues to elude us. Today, because of the inconceivable power and emphasis we have given it, the money game dictates our daily lives. We make decisions based on our feelings of not having enough money, we change careers because we want more money, and many even marry or divorce because of money. Practically every major decision we make is somehow shaped or influenced by money. Yet rarely do we examine what we're truly seeking. Never before has humankind created a game so widely played that has no rule book, guidelines, or training. It is no wonder we hide. We don't even know the rules!
Some Essential Truths about Money
How did money become so powerful when, in fact, it consists of pieces of paper that only have value to the extent that we believe they do? We have not understood that money, quite literally, is worth nothing without our belief in it. We created it. We gave it value. We made it powerful. And then, as the money game grew, these pieces of paper became our greatest resource, a resource so valuable that many people unconsciously worship money above all else. Now, our greatest misfortune is that without money we feel that we are nothing.
Money is both mysterious and elusive. The more we are defined by it, struggle to get it, and greatly need it, the harder it is to obtain. One of the most amazing keys to having more money comes from universal spiritual law — the greatest of these laws being to surrender to what we cannot control.
We cannot and do not control money. Money is a commodity. Its value changes not only in relation to the economy but also in relation to our consciousness. We cannot control money, but by understanding it, we can obtain what we need. Money is not a part of us. We can never truly own it, because it isn't really ours. And to the extent that we maintain the illusion of money as our safety net, we will be prisoners of our own making. Money will own us if we let it.
Defining the Money Game
Our currency states the truth in four simple words printed across each bill: "In God We Trust." It might as well say, "In Money, Our God, We Trust." That would be more honest. That would let us off the hook by stating openly that money is what we truly believe in. Whether or not we are conscious of it, this truth is woven into the fabric of our existence. We have put our faith and trust in money. This is one of the unspoken rules of the money game. Few of us possess the insight to recognize this basic paradox. We have been programmed to believe in the material and the tangible. As a result, no matter how much money we have or how many possessions we accumulate, we do not experience fulfillment, and our endless search for substitutes to fill the void continues.
Looking deeper into the symbolism found on our dollar, we find many other subliminal messages. First, our money is green, a color that symbolizes growth and resources. On the front of the dollar is a picture of our founding father, symbolizing the patriarchal nature associated with money. In our society, money has a distinctly male energy and is equated with winning and success. The largest money game in the world, Wall Street, is still largely controlled by men, with women representing less than 12 percent of stock brokers. (This patriarchy, however, does not extend to having money. While stock markets are dominated by men, over half of this country's wealth belongs to women.)
In today's world, the Wall Street money game stands at the top of the hierarchy and is the game everyone wants to play. However, the deck is loaded and the stakes are high, since we don't have access to the rule book.
Money has even more hidden meanings. When you turn the dollar bill over, you find the two great American seals: the American eagle and the pyramid with its Latin motto. This more obscure seal is quite telling: inside it is a pyramid, consisting of thirteen stones, representing the original thirteen colonies. An "enlightened eye" stands at the top of the pyramid. The words above the all-seeing, all-knowing eye, annuit cptis, are taken from Virgil and mean "He, God has smiled on our endeavor." At the bottom of the pyramid are the words novus ordo seclorum, which translate as "the new order of the ages," also adapted from Virgil. For a country founded on the principle of separation of church and state, there certainly are plenty of references to God on our money!
All evidence suggests that money, God, and religion were intertwined from the beginning of civilization. So it is no small wonder that money has become such a powerful force. Beneath all the symbolism is another hidden message that cuts to the core of the money game: If you're good and you play by the rules, we, the gatekeepers, will show you the way to this powerful resource. In fact, the creation of the dollar was the birth of the first pyramid scheme, more popularly referred to as capitalism.
Money Unconsciousness As the Root of Our Pain
Capitalism and its underlying drive toward consumerism greatly influence the financial infrastructure of our lives and how we deal with money. Perhaps our need for money is as much about sustaining our way of life and the survival of capitalism as it is about feeding our own unconscious needs and desires.
Of this I am certain: Money plays far too great a role in our lives for us to remain unconscious of what it means to us as individuals. We must become aware of its impact on our lives and our choices. Continuing to play the money game and denying that we live in the thrall of money only perpetuates our fears and anxieties, chipping away at our souls. As stated by philosopher Jacob Needleman in his book, Money and the Meaning of Life: "Money enters so deeply into our personality and into our psychophysical organism that the personal exploration of money is necessary for the discovery of oneself, the discovery of those hidden parts of human nature ... that need to be in relationship to our consciousness."
Our lack of awareness about our relationship with money is undoubtedly at the root of much of our pain. It often saddens me to witness the shame people experience over money. In conversations with my clients, I have discovered that much of our money shame comes from feeling like we don't handle it well, that we're "bad" with money. Each of us needs to carefully reexamine the path we are taking toward fulfillment. Fulfillment is not about filling your life up with material possessions. I know the thrill of spending money can feel like an adrenalin-pumping, action ride at Disneyland, but when the ride is over, the rush is gone. This is the experience of pleasure, not fulfillment, and it wears off. The quick-fix approach to money will never cure us; it merely masks our deeper desire for meaning.
Searching for Meaning in the Material World
When I was twenty-nine years old, not long after my divorce, I started to experience an unfamiliar restlessness. Although my marriage had failed, I was in a new relationship that was loving and fulfilling. My business was beginning to take off. I was making more money than I'd ever made before. I was the master of my own destiny, and yet I felt oddly detached from my life. I remember saying to myself, Okay, you've done all this, now what?
Then one day, as I was driving to work, I suddenly made a left turn and found myself sitting in the parking lot of a Porsche dealership. I had never even thought of buying a Porsche. Stunned, I sat for a while in my old but perfectly fine Mercedes-Benz, wondering to myself, What in the hell am I doing here? I truly didn't know. Finally a salesman approached my car and asked if he could help me. I looked him directly in the eye and said, "Yes, I came to buy a Porsche, but I have to do it quickly because I've got to get back to my office." He chuckled, but said he'd do his best to accommodate my schedule.
Two hours later, I drove out of that dealership in a brand- new midnight blue 944 Porsche coupe, fully equipped. I couldn't really afford it, but that salesman just happened to be the owner of the dealership. After talking with me, he thought the car was just what I needed. So, he cosigned for it, telling me if I was ever late on one payment he would personally come and take it back.
How to Know What Is Real in Your Life
For a while that car brought me a great deal of pleasure. I felt successful. People thought I was successful. Some even thought I was rich. It was an enlightening experience. I was the same person I always was. All that had happened was that I purchased an expensive sports car, a status symbol (and one usually owned by men), but it changed my life. I was perceived and treated differently, and not always for the better. People were envious, and my car was vandalized several times. One time, someone carved their feelings about my car into its sides with a key. I also began to attract people who were more materialistic than I was comfortable with. The Porsche never really mattered much to me. It was a fun toy, but I didn't really identify with it. Getting the car did not cure my restlessness. It did, however, motivate me to work harder so that I could keep up with the payments.
My experience with that car forced me to look more closely at what I valued. I had everything I had ever wanted. My problem was, I didn't believe that it was real. Subconsciously, I was looking for some external way to make my success more tangible, and I manifested the car as proof. It did not work. It took a good therapist and doing my own spiritual work to finally learn what was real.
What I learned, and what I hope to impart to you, is that only one thing is real: your connection to Spirit, however you define it, and your faith in that Spirit. There is no other security. Without this connection, we will never feel that we are loved enough, that we have enough, that we are enough. Without this faith, we will not know true fulfillment, regardless of how much money we have or how many things we try to fill our lives with.
Understanding the Energy of Money
Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that money is bad, because it isn't. I happen to like money: I'm just not attached to it. I am conscious of the energy of money and its impact on our lives. Metaphorically, the energy of money is similar to the concept of electricity. While most of us do not understand exactly how electrical energy is created, we know it exists and that it flows magically through invisible currents that shape and surround the universe. However, even though it is always present and available, it only works for each of us personally when we turn on the switch. This single act of consciousness gives us access to this magical energy and this powerful resource in our lives.
Electricity is created by a magnetic field that has both a negative and positive charge, and this same field of energy exists with money. Money shapes and influences the world around us; it is a powerful resource. Money, too, has a magnetic field that responds to our particular "charge" around it and we are granted access to its current and flow through our conscious awareness and actions. Money magic is about teaching yourself how to turn on the switch! When you learn to use the energy of money consciously, you can create miracles in your life. Conversely, if you use the energy of money unconsciously, it can draw things into your life that you could not possibly anticipate or desire.
It took me a long time to reach this understanding. It is no accident that I wrote this book or that I'm a money coach and financial advisor. I have spent a great deal of my life learning about money. I have chased money, made money, married money, loved money, and hated money. I have experienced the thrill of having it all and the agony of losing it. Put simply, playing the money game can be quite costly. It is the ultimate game of "truth or consequences," in which we learn that without the truth, we are left to live in the shadow of self-deception latent with unknown consequences.
Why We Lose the Money Game
When it comes to money, most people lead imagined as opposed to real lives. We imagine what our lives will be when we're "rich." We imagine the great deeds we can do, the difference we can make. We imagine what we could have, buy, or become. We measure the possibility of our greatness according to the amount of wealth bestowed upon us. We fantasize instead of living and becoming what we desire. In the process, we have become disconnected from our innate power to manifest our own reality.
We have given our power away to money. In effect, we tell ourselves: "I can't do it on my own, it's too hard, I'm too tired. Here, you do it for me." We assume that if the money shows up in our lives, we can be and have what we imagine. If it doesn't, then we cannot. By living this way, we do not have to be responsible for what happens in our lives. After all, we were not in charge of our money. The money didn't show up; therefore, our hopes and dreams were lost in the shuffle.
At the other end of the money game spectrum is a different kind of player. These players have already "made it" and are considered "rich" by most standards. It matters not whether they earned the money, won it, inherited it, or stole it: the result is the same; they have money. We think that the end — lots of money — justifies the means. Most of us believe that having money will buy us freedom and unlimited options. This isn't true. In my experience, people with money suffer as much as those without; it is just a different kind of suffering, as evidenced by the hordes made rich in the last bull market who flocked to therapists to treat their "sudden wealth syndrome."
Having all the freedom and options in the world can be a terrible burden to even the most well-adjusted person, and this is even more true if you do not understand your relationship with money. Wealth does not suddenly make personal or psychological problems disappear. To the contrary, it often magnifies them. Having that much power can work against you — and the people in your life — if you're not careful how you use it. Unfortunately, since most of us still carry around a fair amount of unresolved emotional baggage, having money only adds to our load. Now, our baggage is heavier, because it has money in it, lots of money.
People with money play the money game in different ways. They don't have to imagine their lives the way others do. Instead, they feel a need to do something with their lives and with all that money. They have to watch over it, invest it wisely, give it away to the "right" causes, decide how to spend it, and use it to accumulate more. This process creates a tremendous cautiousness; you can't be too careful when you have money. You have to have your guard up, because suddenly it's hard to know whom you can trust. Even J. Paul Getty, one of the richest men in the world, once said, "I find having all this money a considerable burden."
Excerpted from Money Magic by Deborah L. Price. Copyright © 2000 Deborah L. Price. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
|Chapter 1.||The Money Game||1|
|Chapter 2.||Old Games||17|
|Chapter 3.||The Eight Money Types||33|
|Chapter 4.||Redefining Your True Net Worth||57|
|Chapter 5.||Building a Healthy Relationship with Money||71|
|Chapter 6.||Love and Power, Fear and Control||89|
|Chapter 7.||The Path to Fulfillment||111|
|Chapter 8.||The Alchemy of Faith||123|
|Chapter 9.||The Magician's Guide to Money||137|
|Chapter 10.||Where Do We Go from Here?||153|
|Resources and Recommended Reading||161|
|About the Author||163|