Summer Camp For The Mind, an immersion in The Work via telesessions Monday through Friday, begins July 5th or July 6th (depending on the day and time that works best for you). We kick off on July 5th or July 6th with a 3-hour blitz Intro to Summer Camp.
During these two long intro sessions, everyone will hear about how to join our private slack forum, everyone receives guidance to fill out a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet, and we’ll begin to question stressful thoughts. These first two longer sessions are recorded so people who miss these Intros can catch up.
Summer Camp is offered by donation (see suggested range when you visit the summer camp page). To read about it and sign up by July 3rd, visit HERE. All details with how to attend the calls will be sent out by midnight July 3rd Pacific Time.
Meanwhile, last week I was contemplating the incredible journey on money, and how for me personally it all got extra weird and difficult and the MOST hard when a significant relationship came to an end.
We all know the pain and suffering involved in relationships when they undergo big changes.
People often feel unlovable, like something failed in the relationship, if it goes other than the way we prefer.
And recently through the beautiful work of several different inquirers I had the privilege of sitting with, I remembered how surprisingly strong stress is about MONEY in the middle of a relationship.
Or at the end of one.
Or, OK, at the beginning of one too.
Dating, going on trips, sharing expenses, paying the bills in the home (who’s doing it, who’s home is it), purchases, needs, bank accounts getting split, people dividing everything and going their separate ways, people freaking out if they think they won’t have enough money in the future.
Money touches us everywhere. It’s a part of relationship, it seems.
We trade it for things we desire, need, support, use.
And any moment there’s something uncomfortable with money going on….so good for inquiry.
Today, I focus on the troubles that can appear where the relationship is changing. Called break-up. Ending. Completion.
And the money. Wanting half the possessions or the equivalent. Breaking things into even piles.
Some people are so frightened of these images about money being scarce because of the changes in a relationship, they see themselves living on the street in the future pushing a shopping cart. The fear is so massive, they’ll choose to NOT leave a relationship, because the picture in the mind of no money is worse than the discomfort of the current relationship.
Which means….money is actually more important than the relationship itself, if you get into that fearful state. If it weren’t for the money, you’d might not like what’s going on, but you’d feel far more at ease.
It’s like “What’s happening in the relationship breaks my heart, but I can get through that, as long as I know I’ll have enough money.”
I saw this in myself. Almost divorced. Stayed with kids and worked part time at home for over a decade. No real career. No personal savings. No health insurance.
I remember sitting on my old brown leather couch from the 1960s that used to have a matching partner in the elegant living room of my childhood, wondering how it got to this, that my life was so dramatically downsized from anything I had once known.
From a huge grand and exquisite house built in 1924 in Seattle where I grew up. And now, sitting in a tiny cottage built in 1940 for vacations in the far north end of the city.
I felt so sorry for myself.
A voice kept coming in; “You have nothing. Nothing. Look at you. You should have planned. You should have gone to medical school like you briefly imagined. You’re pathetic.”
Over the following few years, I would walk in my neighborhood and almost cry sometimes looking at the massive homes on Lake Washington only 200 yards from where I lived, all lined up with docks, boats, manicured yards, and windows looking at Mount Rainier.
“I don’t have that. I have NOTHING.”
Let’s take a look.
You can do this if you believe you will have nothing LATER, even if you don’t have nothing yet. Those pictures of you having nothing in the future are so stressful, right?
Those pictures are so threatening, we react to them and feel frightened NOW, even though we actually do have enough to eat, water to drink, we have a roof, we even have a car or a bicycle, clothing, a flushing toilet, a toaster, table and chairs.
But anyway. Who cares about all that.
“I have nothing” by comparison to those other people, or that other person.
Is it true?
Now, I know the word “nothing” is dramatic. We can see we have something. Maybe even quite a lot. But this BY COMPARISON thing.
Ahhhh, there’s the rub.
So much less, that’s what I have. Sooooooo much less.
Is this absolutely true?
How do you react when you believe this is true that you have so much less money than “x” or “y” (picture those happy people, or your former mate doing fabulous things, or your neighbors laughing on their boat)?
My mind jumps around at who to blame. Him. Her. Family. Them. The government. Their business. That country. The law. This neighborhood. My ancestors.
Furious. Replaying what she did, what he did. Seeing me with LESS. Grrrrrrr.
Maybe you react with fighting words, anger, resentment. Harsh words. Or maybe you go the other way into apathy, despair, sinking non-action, curling up in a tight ball with shame or self-pity.
Flashing pictures of this rough future you’re going to have. Flashing pictures of not having enough in the past and how this will be repeated. Flashing pictures of scenes from movies, or friends you knew, who lost money.
A feeling of unworthiness about yourself. (Notice the word, also used when something can’t be traded for money).
So who would you be without the belief they have so much more than you, or you have nothing?
What if you really just couldn’t do the comparing for a moment? No reference for looking at two things and deciding you come out below the other, or with less.
Who would you really be, without believing in the danger of No Money? What if money didn’t mean survival, security, or peace?
Because, I notice it doesn’t guarantee any of those things. At all.
Without the belief, way back when I had almost no money sitting in my little cottage, I caught a glimpse of a quiet pulsing silence. It was just a moment in time, during a long life. That moment of little money was the same as any moment if there had been a lot of money. A couch, me sitting still, no hunger, no thirst, able to lie down wherever I was and rest if I needed to.
Noticing that to call the place I lived “mine” was not even true. Everything temporary. Everything changing. The fanciness of the furniture might be greater where I sit one day, or the rug on the floor….but this is the same body, living on planet earth. The environment constantly changes. Mind comes along for the ride, commenting on everything it sees.
Without the thought of comparison, I’m present with what’s happening right now. Noticing I’m fine.
Money is doing what it does. It comes, it goes. It moves in and out of my wallet. It’s busy living it’s life. And I’m here, completely and totally 100% fine. There is no threat, except in the pictures in my thinking. There is no threat, except my vision of what I think it means when something in the environment is “worth” a lot, or I can trade this pile of green paper for something else I think is important.
None of it really is, in the long run.
Turning the thought around: I have more than they do. I have everything I need. I have enough–just the right amount, in fact, for supporting my own evolution. In my thinking, I have less than them. But only in my thinking.
How is this just as true, or truer?
Oh, it’s soooo much truer for me.
Examples: I love noticing how kind and sharing the human race is. I received furniture from the friend of a friend who was giving everything away. Beautiful little unique pieces of furniture, for my little cottage. I didn’t have so much space to clean. Vacuuming took 15 minutes. I could talk with my daughter as we both lay on our beds in our own rooms (small little hallway dividing us). I had a fridge full of delicious food all kept cold (unlike people 100 years ago).
I had incredible appreciation (notice the fine word, again also used in the financial world) for everything around me. For life, for silence. For Not Needing lots of stuff.
I could read for entertainment, instead of thinking I needed to go to Paris. I watched movies from the library. I wondered about the mind and my thinking–which was (and still is) the ultimate most fascinating thing of all, and the thing I was most wanting to relax.
My greatest desire, actually, was peace. Which is probably everyone’s greatest desire. If you asked me to trade all the money I ever had for peace, or keep all the money I ever had and leave peace out of it….I’d take peace.
I’m no dummy.
I want a free mind, a mind at ease. I wanted a mind ready to be in the presence of anything that showed up in this physical world. Including a moment of noticing someone else’s material wealth or my lack of it.
I wanted to notice the wealth I had of life, what was possible, not what was impossible.
I wanted to notice the thing that’s all-and-forever lasting, the thing that’s been with me every step of the way throughout my life, no matter how much money or success I’ve had (according to society).
THAT thing is priceless, shining like a diamond. The greatest treasure I could ever have.
I sit in the streets with the homeless.
My clothes stained with the wine
From the vineyards the saints tend.
Light has painted all acts the same color.
So I sit around and laugh all day with my friends.
At night if I feel a divine loneliness
I tear the doors off Love’s mansion
And wrestle God onto the floor.
He becomes so pleased with Hafiz and says
‘Our hearts should do this more.’
My terror about money offered me the wrestling match or two or three of a lifetime.
Turns out, my heart met the heart of reality, in the middle of every match….and I realized everything was painted the same color.
It didn’t matter how much, what was more, what was lost, what was found, what was less when it came to money and possessions and safety.
Safety was somewhere other than money. I keep remembering this over and over again whenever I do The Work on money.
Every time I do The Work on money, life says “our hearts should do this more often!”
Thank you money for being such a “problem”. Ha ha!
It was actually only a thought about money that was the problem. Not money itself.
Just to make sure….just a moment ago while writing here, I checked in on money, support, security, wealth, richness, and success by asking “Is everything OK right now? Do I have enough money? Is there abundance all around, everywhere I see?”
Yep. Still true.