It’s taken me forty years to loosen the grip of an inherited scarcity mentality. To be fair, I wasn’t even aware it was an issue until about three years ago. Blind to an alternative way to live, I bought into the stories I was fed as a child that “money was tight” and no matter what anything cost, it was “too much” and no matter how much we had, it was “not enough.”
Growing up, we bargain hunted at K-Mart, coupon-clipped for groceries and bought our furniture at the thrift store. In my teens, I was taught to use conditioner as shaving cream because “it was cheaper and worked just as well” (although it didn’t). We watched broadcast TV from rabbit ears while my friends had cable or satellite. I was wholly conditioned to believe that at any moment we’d be out on the streets penniless and had to be scrupulous with all buying decisions.
In college, I naturally applied for financial aid. I felt the wind knocked out of me when I learned that not only did I not qualify, but that my stepfather’s income was eight-times the national average. You mean to tell me that we’re not poor?!
While one might think that would have started me on the road to an abundance mentality, the fact is that my belief structure wasn’t tied to any dollar amount or affluent circumstances. It was a feeling state of “never enough” that I bought into as reality.
My old habits and beliefs had forged deep grooves in my psyche. My impulse reaction to even the smallest of price tags was “That’s too expensive. I can’t afford that.” I maintained my bargain-hunting ways because I thought that was just common sense. Brand named items were a “waste of money” and not finishing a meal was a “waste of money.” Oh, and I heavily judged people for wasting.
When I began coaching, I learned to notice my thoughts and corresponding emotions. I suddenly became aware that I was creating my own reality with my beliefs. Everything money related felt icky. Spending money felt frivolous and I began to examine my thoughts behind that emotion. Now that I was aware, I could start to change my perspective.
There were three fundamental shifts that took place.
The first was embracing pronoia, which is the belief that the universe is conspiring in your favor. It’s the opposite of paranoia. Byron Katie taught me pronoia in Loving What Is. She writes, “nothing happens to you, and everything happens for you.”
The second was realizing that whether I was claiming bankruptcy and foreclosing on my home while unemployed or I was employed and had a million in assets (both circumstances have been true), I still had the same relationship with money. Regardless of my bank account, money was a source of fear, stress and anxiety. So if it wasn’t tied to circumstances, it’s tied to my beliefs. And only truth feels like freedom in my body. Knowing I will always have everything I need feels like truth in my body. I have, and will always be, provided for by the Universe.
The third was understanding that “my money” is not my money at all. It’s completely and utterly out of my control. It comes and goes for reasons that are not mine to comprehend.
Marketing has not provided clients, the universe (God) has. For example, I was sitting at a coffee shop with an old friend who was in town. As I got up to leave, a woman sitting at the table next to us interrupted, “I couldn’t help but overhear. You’re a life coach and I’m looking for a life coach. Can I have your card?” That’s God providing. And I have thousands (probably more) examples like this.
I’ve had money come from all kinds of random and unpredictable places since making this mental shift of giving and receiving fluidly…because at the end of the day, it’s the Universe that gives and takes no matter what I do. Reading Tosha Silver’s It’s Not Your Money made this come alive in my life. Her “Full Abundance Change Me Prayer” and “Prayer for Transforming Money” finally helped me release the exhausting struggle and lean into my own worthiness to receive.
And it is DELICIOUS and so much lighter than living in fear and lack.
If you are curious about how you can make the shift from scarcity to sufficiency, life coaching can help, and I’d be honored to work with you.