A scary money story is all in the mind: trust, safety, joy, creativity, service is here now

Oh chuckle.
A thought popped in around money (again); it’s lack, scarcity, limits, and how I was wrong and should have planned or been more aware….
Dang, that whole thought system is very persistent, isn’t it?
I decided to sit down and inquire, in writing, even though part of my mind said “you’ve done this before already”.
The circumstance?
This new rental house, formerly owned by my first husband and father of my children who died last June, is now up for rent. My kids are keeping it, and my son has moved into the basement apartment with separate entrance and his own cool parking spot.
Excitedly, we posted the photos of the brand new paint, gorgeous blue deck, cleaned fireplaces, pretty bathroom, brand new soothing gray carpet, even some new beautiful light fixtures. The place is shining.
Signs up, learning about landlord life, and I have put a lot of time and support into helping my son and daughter take this on–my son especially really loved the idea of moving into his own basement apartment and out of his college town.
We analyzed the prices of other homes, picked something appealing in the middle to low-ish by comparison, and….
Well, a handful of lovely people have inquired. Two people even applied to move in.
And then they found out the basement apartment is occupied.
I felt a little dumb. Lightbulb went on.
This is a shared home situation. Everyone lives in the same 4 big walls, even if they never see one another. There’s shared laundry between two units. The big, beautiful upstairs has this one not-as-attractive point.
My mind burst forth with images of recognizing this less-than-perfect issue of sharing a house, that the rent needs to be LOWER in price than you might normally think.
Internal thoughts: I did it wrong. I should have thought that through better. Now we’ve “wasted” two weeks and need to re-list. I have to change all the postings I’ve done–(can I remember all the places I posted)? It’s not as manageable for my son as expected. It’s going to be too much for him. Did we make a mistake? It’s not a good deal.
I sat with the inquiry, noticing when something unexpected happens with money where more is required than imagined….there’s fear.
What’s a deeper inquiry? I asked myself.
I’m believing this is dangerous, that there’s a threat. I’m believing in mistakes. I’m believing in suffering around support. I’m believing in “not enough”, or that soon there won’t be. I’m believing in lack of freedom.
Is any of that true? Seriously?
Is it better to have and keep money, get only what I expect, not ever have any surprises, or assume that if it doesn’t go as I thought it means a mistake has been made or it’s not a good deal?
REALLY? Do I want to keep believing this autopilot go-to thought when it comes to money that I can tell isn’t even true?
How do I react when I believe in danger of not having enough, later in the future (or my son or family not having enough)? How do I react when I believe it’s not a good deal anymore.
Afraid. Self-critical.
There’s the criticism zapping in again. “I” must be doing something wrong. “I” have to fix this ASAP.
When I believe the thought, it really, really matters what money is doing. It matters in that moment more than anything (I think).
It’s important enough to drop everything else (including my own peace) and focus on what to do to handle the situation well (change all the listings, lower the rent we’re asking, make a decision, worry).
So who would I be WITHOUT THIS BELIEF?
It’s immediate. But I’m also deeply committed to spending more time here in question four.
Who or what would I be? What would I notice? What is happening?
Here I am being, without my ideas about money coming and going and how it should behave, or that more is better than less. How does this feel? What is it like to sit here, without this ridiculous and stressful and worrisome belief?
If money were a romantic partner, I’d be instantly out of love with it with this recent discovery about the rent. I was criticizing it, ruminating, angry, pissy, panicking, considering myself abandoned (again), upset with me, upset with it.
Is that unconditional love?
Uh, No.
Did I ever love or appreciate the flow of money in the first place? Am I so self-concerned and all-about-me I’m willing to throw peace out the window in pursuit of “fixing” or “making” money do what I want it to do or provide what I expect it to provide?
Talk about Control Central. Ego. Tight Fisted-ness. Insecurity.
Without the belief that money needs to be any different than it is being in this specific situation….I notice how secure I am.
I’m breathing, I’m here, I’m slightly amused, there’s no disaster.
Without the belief that money needs to be a certain way, it really doesn’t matter. I’m open. I relax.
Turning the thought around:
There is no problem here with money. There is no good deal or bad deal that ultimately matters to my life in any way. No disaster has occurred. No threat has entered my world. I’m breathing, sitting, noticing silence, watching images and pictures. There is no need for any money on any level in this precise moment now.
Turning it around on the local level, the little personal story level, the whole experience is full of learning, giving a home a big dose of TLC, offering a beautiful place to other people (what a tremendous service), aligning the price, doing this fun project with my young adult kids. This is a dance with the unfolding of an offering. I feel involved, making a difference, joyful with my kids, like a big grown up.
On the wide open impersonal level, there is just no problem here whatsoever.
Except for a thought….NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. There was insight, more data coming in.
What if this was the absolutely perfect time and way it should all unfold? Not a moment sooner or later for each piece in this process of a project coming to life?
It gives me this amazing moment to do The Work again on a persistent fear of lack, not-enoughness, and sit quietly in question four.
Who would I be without the possibility of Not Enough?
Totally trying new things, amazed at creativity and possibility that’s happened with this house renting thing. Watching things come one day at a time, not too fast or too much. No planning or hand-wringing about the future needed, or regrets in the past.
Turning the thought around again: My thinking is a problem, in this situation (not money). My own thinking is threatening me (about the future especially), my thinking was a good deal, then became not a good deal. I haven’t been loving with my thinking, especially when it comes to money doing its dance.
…Begin to notice the laws of generosity, the laws of letting money go out fearlessly and come back fearlessly. You don’t ever need more money than you have. When you understand this, you begin to realize that you already have all the security you wanted money to give you in the first place. It’s a lot easier to make money from this position. ~ Byron Katie
Noticing this moment and how wonderful it is, how full and incredible….and what a gift.
Nothing more required.
If you’d like to sit in inquiry on beliefs that are especially persistent stress-inducers….then retreat is an amazing place to do The Work.
I find every retreat, the time spent allows the clarity to rise up.
We’re honoring our thinking, staying present, using the mind to wonder who we’d be without our thought, finding turnarounds, imagining living them. No distractions or avoiding.
Spring Retreat has room and it’s only a month away! Book a room if you like (two king size bedrooms left) and stay onsite. Everything supported so you can do your work. 
Much love,
Other upcoming events:
  • Spring Retreat in The Work May 15-19, 2019. Meditate, Inquire, Dance, Walk, Silence, Sharing. Register here.
  • Eating Peace Process Online Brand New Version. Same principles, delivered better. Lifetime access. May 1-August 15, 2019
  • April 14th half-day retreat at my cottage
  • June 27th East West Books evening 7-9 pm.
  • June 12-16, 2019 Breitenbush Retreat with Tom Compton
  • Summer Camp for The Mind Online Inquiry
  • Divorce Is Hell 8 week course Aug 18-October 13, 2019 Sundays 11 am PT/ 7 pm UK with Nadine Ferris France
  • Year of Inquiry begins Sept 8, 2019–a whole year of monthly topics in The Work, and sharing inquiry together


2 Replies to “A scary money story is all in the mind: trust, safety, joy, creativity, service is here now”

  1. What an illuminating (and extremely timely) post. Synchronicity in action no less. It’s so compelling that the issue is money and not the mercurial thinking about it! Thank you for pointing that out so beautifully.

    Best wishes


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