How The I Love Money Exercise Changes How You Experience MoneyMar 09, 2023
Welcome to the I love money exercise.
The love of money is a touchy subject for many of us. I know it is for me. I can feel it in my body even as I write this. My chest becomes heavy, and I sense my mind starting to think about all the possible arguments that could come up for saying the three simple words “I love money” that have such profound meaning and implications for our personal relationship with money.
As a Therapy Informed Financial Planner™, I know that a topic as big as the love of money is not one to take lightly and profoundly impacts our lives with money and others.
In a recent client meeting, the love of money came up. Below is a paraphrased and shortened version of what happened during that extraordinary client meeting.
The Meeting Begins:
Internal dialogue and feelings: I am excited to see my client. We seemed to have a good meeting last time, and my body feels open to what is to come.
External dialogue: Hi, good to see you today. What would you like to talk about?
Well, actually, I wanted to share that I recently was at a presentation by a female entrepreneur, and she said I love money. Something in the way she said that stirred something in me. I really liked it, but I can’t figure out why?
Internal dialogue and feelings: Oh, that's interesting, and a bit of a pit in my stomach takes place.
External presentation: Tell me more about that and what was interesting about that.
She seemed unapologetic about loving money. It was genuine and authentic. Not greedy or something like that.
Internal dialogue and feelings: We need to go here. What will happen? I am super curious. The pit in my stomach grows a bit.
External dialogue: I would like to invite you to say those words for yourself
Well, I really thought it was interesting, and I would like the idea of loving money, and it could be really helpful for me.
Internal dialogue: She just missed saying I love money for herself. The pit in my stomach is still there. My knowing self says stay with it. This is part of the process.
External dialogue: I hear you. Can you say “I love money” for yourself? Perhaps try it as an experiment.
I love money. Wow, that is interesting, it doesn’t feel wholly true for me, but I think I could move in that direction.
Internal dialogue: Relief, the body relaxes, Sees her body move with a slight discomfort around saying I love money, and there is an openness to explore.
External dialogue: What is that like for you? What do you notice in your body?
The next hour unfolds beautifully as we talk about her experiences with money and more connections with what is happening in her body, clothing, her mother, wealth, with completing starting assessments and financial planning software for Therapy Informed Financial Planning.
The Two Paths of Love of Money
The love of money and lessons about loving money are not new. Instead, they are ancient. One of the more common references is “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10. I trust that the other world religions have similar imperatives. At the same time, money can be seen as an ultimate good in a capitalistic society.
As humans, what are we supposed to do when we receive such conflicting messages about the nature of humanity and money? For so many of us, including me, it left me in an absolute psychological bind for a long time.
A few questions that swirled in my mind and drove inaction on my journey with money were.
Am I supposed to love money or not love money?
Am I a good or bad person for loving money?
Now I know and continue to remind myself that these are unnecessary polarizations and, black and white thinking, creating a nearly impossible money and life bind.
What is the way out of this bind?
And, Gray Thinking/Emotions/Sensations
Using AND thinking and finding the gray spaces allows for a deeper, fuller, and richer understanding of navigating the love of money. It leaves us the freedom to explore the entire territory of loving money.
There are two main paths to loving money, and we have all traveled both to varying degrees in our lives with money. Most of us would like to spend as much time as possible on path one and need help developing and returning to path one when we find ourselves on path two.
Path One- Joy, Abudnace, Care, Thoughtfulness, Play and Creativity, Security, Warmth, Clear head, Open Chest, Soft Belly, Relationship fostering and deepening, Relational Interdependence, etc., when it comes to money.
Path Two - Fear, Anger, Shame, Grandiosity, Greed, Insecurity, Heat or Cold in our body, sick stomach, tight shoulders, collapsed chest, Relationship cut off and trapping, etc., when it comes to money.
Doing Your Own, I Love of Money Exercise
I invite you to become curious and self-compassionate as you enter and try this exercise. What you read below will vary from what you read above with my client.
Please notice and let different thoughts, emotions, feelings, and body sensations flow. While some will be intense, non will last forever, even if it seems that way. Our bodies and minds are developed to help us re-regulate and co-regulate.
If any of these prompts become too intense, overwhelming, or shutting down, please pass on to the next one. Offer self-compassion and return to the prompt later.
Start from where you are and say the words - I love money.
Now stand as you do naturally and say - I love money.
Next roll your shoulders open and say - I love money.
Next sit on the floor crossed-legged and say - I love money.
Now lay on the floor and say - I love money.
Lastly, find a body position where you feel comfortable and say - I love money.
Time for Integration:
What have you noticed about yourself while doing this exercise?
What thoughts arose?
What emotions did you notice?
What body sensations did you experience?
What relational memories came up?
The Journey To Loving Money on Path One
We are all somewhere on the symbolic path of being able to love money. While we will compare ourselves to others' journeys, we can return to reflecting on our journey of fostering a love of money that works well for us and other people in our lives that is full of love and authenticity.
I invite you to consider and have your intimate partner also try this exercise. They two have their thoughts, feelings, and body associations with the love of money.
If you want to explore your love of money while working on your financial planning, I would love to talk with you on a free 30-minute discovery call.
Please use this link to schedule a time for us to talk.
Inviting you to a path one love of money,
MBA, MA, MS, CFP®, CFT-I™, LMFT
P.S. if you love podcasts, check out The Healthy Love and Money Podcast
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