Monthly Archives: December 2008

Service with Joy, not Martyrdom

“When you choose to serve — whether it’s your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood — you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That’s why it’s called the American dream.” Barack Obama, as cited by Craig Newmark on the Huffington Post

Yesterday’s post, “No More Martyrs,” really touched some nerves. Continue reading

No More Money Martyrs!

I used to love the annual showing of the Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In spite of the schmaltz, it’s got a lot going for it: great chemistry between Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed as George and Mary Bailey; an ethical man who refuses to be bought off and a gutsy wife who sees his gifts under his grouchiness; a town that comes together when the hero is in trouble, for starters.

But this year I got so mad I turned off the TV half way through the movie. There was just no way I could watch one more time a premise that without one person, a whole town will go to hell. Continue reading

Reality vs. Vision

What if There’s a Huge Gap Between Current Reality
and Visions of a Richer Future?

Without vision we perish; guided by vision and effective action, we can thrive. To create a vision that works, to paraphrase Einstein, we need a different kind of thinking than that which created the challenge.

The gap between current reality and vision can cause tension, especially when we’re tired, overly busy, or unable right now to see clearly either current reality or a new vision. But tension, Robert Fritz taught, can be structured so it becomes part of the creative process. Continue reading

Disavowing Poverty

Disavowing Poverty Vows

You may never have taken formal, witnessed poverty vows as my husband John did at the age of 19 while he was in a Roman Catholic religious order, but it’s highly likely that you’ve taken some vows of poverty, intentional or otherwise.

Religious poverty vows are prayed over, even blessed. They aren’t a commitment to being homeless, starving or dressing in rags. They are a vow to simplicity, and an everyday willingness not to be attached to money or the things it could buy. The intent is to free members of any concerns about earning, saving or investing money (unless they are taking on financial roles on behalf of the community) so they are free to focus fully on spiritual life. Continue reading

Affirmative Prayer

Affirmative Prayer for Financial and Other Challenges

Affirmative prayer is a powerful tool for reversing the effect of many bad attitudes and decisions about money. Unlike the “God, fix it for me” type of prayer, affirmative prayer combines a statement of faith with a commitment to partner with God or Source or whatever other name we use for the mystery of life, death and what becomes before and after.

Here are some of my favorite affirmative prayers regarding money: Continue reading

From Panic to Calm about Money and Work

How Can You Turn Panic and Fear
Into Calm and Effective Money Response?

The futility of panic as a financial strategy should be pretty obvious from the economic news since at least summer of 2008. Panic in the stock market breeds panic in the job market and the credit market and in the minds and hearts of the people everywhere, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

Through a body-based therapy called bioenergetics, I learned years ago how the body typically acts in panic. The chest collapses. Eyes close, and intuition or inner sight is shut down. Arms flail helplessly, leading to exhaustion. Or they dangle uselessly, putting out the message, “I am helpless. Someone must rescue me.” Continue reading

Invitation to a Challenge

How Much Could You Improve Your Relationship with Money
If You Loved and Tended Your Money Relationship Every Day for 30 Days?

Have you ever dreamed of flourishing financially, no matter what happens in the economy?

Does it matter that you flourish with integrity in all its meanings–whole, honest, naturally ethical, true to your own values and in harmony with the rest of the world?

Do you want to meet all financial challenges–from emergencies to long-range planning–with wisdom, not panic?

If these questions speak to you, then I invite you to join a 30-day money challenge:

  • Every day for 30 days, set aside 10-30 minutes to discover how you can earn, save, invest and share your money with more integrity, purpose and joy.
  • Every day, act more from your deepest guidance about money.
  • Every day, take small steps to anchor your personal economy in money sanity, money harmony, and money consciousness.
  • Every day, share a portion of your increase with others in a way that empowers them to create money sanity, harmony and consciousness.

At the end of this challenge, I hope we’ll all have a richer relationship with money, measured in spiritual, emotional and financial terms. I believe that participating in this challenge can support us in creating an economy that works better for all.

This 30-day challenge was birthed during a meditation at the November 2008 meeting of the Spirit and Work Resource Center at Unity of Berkeley in Berkeley, California. A few of us have now begun meditating and/or dialoguing about money every day. I’ve started this blog to share my thoughts about money for 30 days, as often as I can. Sometimes colleagues and friends will add their thoughts.

Your comments are welcome here with some simple caveats: no direct requests for money or a job; no stock tips, specific job leads or network marketing opportunity; and no putting down of another’s thoughts. Do speak from your heart and your own experience.

Feel free to join in the challenge at any time, maybe starting with the oldest post and working your way forward. Take as long as you wish to work with each post, and feel free to bring your friends into the dialogue.

What will happen to this blog after the 30 days? I don’t know yet. But I do know that taking on any challenge is a lot easier and more satisfying when people take it on together. That includes common dialogue, sharing tips or inspiration, and encouraging each other to do the things that we can only do ourselves.

Your action today and every day of this challenge, if you so choose: Spend some time alone, thinking and praying about your relationship to money. In your journal, note your insights and understandings. If you receive guidance, write it down. As you discern what is right for you, follow that guidance until you are clearly called to go in another direction.

Talk with other people who are interested in exploring their relationship to money. And start reading, listening to and watching wise people. Here are some recent words from Bill Moyers:

“[Our] self-correcting faculty, even in the darkest hours, is the best thing we have going for us. That and the knowledge that nothing we face in the months ahead is more than was asked of our parents and grandparents in war and depression.

“This giant of a country is bleeding badly from savage self-inflicted wounds, but what happens next is still our story to write. We can be thankful for that.”

Finally, be sure to bless your money journey every day. Here’s my blessing for this moment:

May everything I do to earn, save, spend or invest money be done for the highest, deepest and broadest good. May I always be grateful for the gifts of learning and growing, even when times are tough.

Come back real soon with your own insights and inspiration,

Pat McHenry Sullivan

p.s. To comment, click on the word “comment” below.