In a world that’s evolved to support digital currencies and self-made artists on platforms such as Etsy, you’d think that most of our money problems are gone by now. But as is true for many things, many of us haven’t learned how to balance money and spirituality – we are often picking one over the other. I’ve been doing this myself, in many ways, which is why I want to talk about the abundance mindset.
Let’s explore how you can experience more contentment on your journey back to self while embracing your wealth.
What does it mean to have an abundance mindset?
To explain the mindset of abundance, I’d like to first talk about the scarcity mindset. Here are some subtle examples from day-to-day life:
- Buffet systems where we eat more than our body needs;
- People rushing to get ahead in the line, on a plane where your seat is already booked;
- Buying “limited edition” items just because they’re not available to the masses or after a certain time, and not because you genuinely like the product.
In all the above examples, the mind lives in its most primal state – the survival mode. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s good to want to feel safe. But hyperactivity of the survival brain is a sign that we’re unable to see safety even when it’s here.
So what is the abundance mind thinking?
It’s not just about thinking “like the rich do”, but it is definitely about shifting our inner orientation to be able to recognize life’s gifts.
We may have never been modeled to think in this way that suggests abundance isn’t just about money. Sure, money is the means to many of the treasures and travels of the world. But through that money and the purchases you make, what are you truly trying to fulfill?
When you experience true abundance, you are no longer putting money on a pedestal because you begin to see that your desires are about something deeper. What could that something deeper be? I love the definition that Ashlynd shares in her podcast, which is “abundance is not only what you have, but your relationship to what you have, how you feel about what you have”.
So let’s start there. Let’s explore your relationship to what you have and why it might never feel good enough, by investigating some of the “blocks” you might be experiencing with money (and abundance).
Different Ways Your Relationship With Money Might Be Blocking Your Growth
Note that you may not relate to all the ways of thinking below, but if there are areas that stand out to you, focus on those as potential spaces to heal your relationship with money. And as a result, develop a more abundant mind.
#1 – You might think money is BAD.
Of course, nobody admits it. But we may have been rewired to believe this. How?
This will subconsciously appear in your behavior as feeling guilty every time you spend ‘too much’ on something that wasn’t essential. Or, being unable to charge a fair price to others for your services and giving discounts that aren’t true to your offering (something even more common in the spiritual space).
While growing up, many of us are taught to believe that wanting money is materialistic and shallow, and we begin to act out of that mindset. For example, you might hear your parents talk about the neighbor: yes, she has a lot of money but no brains.”
Or finding yourself repeatedly hearing beliefs like: “money can’t buy love“, “money doesn’t buy happiness“, etc.
For a child, that can be internalized as smart people don’t earn money. Or, if money can’t buy happiness, money and happiness don’t go together. Or in a similar fashion, money and love don’t go together, and so on.
A dear friend also shares her story to the same effect:
I personally have internalized the belief “money hurts”. Because when I was a child, my mother repeatedly cancelled my dance courses and I went deeply ashamed to the dancing teacher telling her that I would leave the course because we can’t pay it any more.
Up to today I prefer watching youtube dance videos than going to real workshops because I feel uncomfortable and guilty for spending money on it, instead of proud and grateful. In addition to that my mum applied for financial support for an excursion in school and I was the only one who needed to do this. I was also the only one who couldn’t go to the cinema or steak house with the other kids.
My mum always told me “We are different from the others. You can’t go because we don’t have money.” So money made me an outsider and I still associate it with the feeling of exclusion and pain. This is a strong pattern that blocks me nowadays in earning more money because I fear becoming an outsider because of envy, gold diggers etc.
However, the idea that money is bad for us for whatever reasons we’ve thought it to be is dated. It is also a winded-up interpretation of why spiritual seekers renounce their lifestyles and set up such stringent self-restraint parameters.
Money and all material pleasures are temporary in nature. They’re just as essential as we make them to be.
For instance, the recent turn in events because of the pandemic has taught us that we can still adapt and thrive with fewer parties, less shopping, and less traveling.
However, most people act throughout their lives on autopilot. In such cases, it’s easy for us to become too tunnel-visioned and look at the material world as our only reality.
At the end of the day, money is energy, just like the things you buy with that money. And energy is neutral. It’s what intention we apply to it that makes energy beneficial or counterintuitive to our growth.
Are you using that money to consciously take care of your needs? Or living on autopilot with some of the dated notions and potentially fueling the endless flame of wants (called vasanas, in Sanskrit)? Take a moment to see what comes up for as you reflect on the answers to these questions.
#2 – You Might Think It Requires Hard Work To Earn Something.
We’ve already established that just like everything else, money is energy. Many of us humans are willing to spend a lot of energy in the form of time and labor, but sometimes become unwilling to open up to receiving the energy back.
How? Here are some examples.
- You feel shy or say no to people when they give you a “gift”,
- Random acts of kindness towards you make you question “What did I do to deserve this”,
- Compliments make you awkward (but secretly happy),
- Relationships require a lot of hard work, and the easy ones are probably not going to last so you end up sabotaging them,
- You’re constantly putting in blood and sweat to make things work in your life.
Money is just one form of abundance. And just like money, at the receiving end, we often question whether we worked hard enough to really deserve something (or someone). This is a simple way to realize that we are imbalanced and have an unhealthy relationship with money.
If we keep questioning our efforts, we will automatically become workaholics, trying to overcompensate by putting in more energy than we allow to come our way.
As you do this, you end up working twice as hard as everyone and (usually) being low on time, low on satisfaction, and low on self-esteem. You are basically fighting against yourself, and blocking your own destiny.
So, ask yourself why you deserve so little, and what would happen if you really gave permission to live a more fulfilling and abundant life. You may consider questioning what happened as you were growing up that made you believe money requires hard work or that you need to “deserve” abundance. Was there a caretaker or loved one that modeled the idea of hustling to you?
If we can use our past as a mirror, it can help us access greater depths of financial and energetic freedom.
For me, a shocking revelation came through during a past life regression session, showing me where my fear of poverty was really coming from. In the same way, I encourage you to reflect on your money story through different healing modalities and really open your aperture to healing.
#3 – You Think Money Is The Deciding Factor For Success.
This is me. Or rather, it was. When this blog began to kick off after a few years, I started worrying more than I should have, about its success in the context of financial growth.
Ironically, I wasn’t driven by money to be doing any of this work, but for some reason, I was ingrained with the belief that I wasn’t successful if I wasn’t earning six or seven figures. Every day, I would show up at work, fearful and terrified that if I wasn’t “successful enough” soon, I would have to give up my passion and go back to my corporate job.
This did more harm than help me. Here’s a short video I where explain this block and transformation in more detail.
As the belief came to my awareness and I began questioning it, my goals became more aligned: impact versus income.
And I’ve noticed that in many people that I’ve worked with who are stuck with their money blocks, it is never really about the money. It’s about something deeper rooted, like success (in my case) or a sense of independence, etc.
Abundance means identifying the real reason you’re seeking money, and breathing into the ways life is already showing up for you right now. So, as a reflection question, you can ask yourself what other ways are you growing and receiving life’s gifts that may or may not be directly associated with money?
For me, some of these looked like –
- More and more people trust me with their stories,
- Amazing online mentors keep popping up and helping the blog grow with their awesome advice,
- Higher quality collaborations and more diverse opportunities,
- Getting more genuine feedback for the work I was doing,
- Noticing a momentum in my own growth, as I continue to push through my limiting beliefs about myself,
- Being able to serve a bigger demographic from around the world and learning from such a diverse group of people,
- And so on.
If we take this further to a spiritual level, the truth is that our souls cannot be satisfied with merely financial support. It is beyond the needs of the human body. At a deeper level, we also crave community, we crave love, and we crave the human touch in whatever we are doing.
So another reflection question arises here.
If all your monetary needs were taken care of, would you still be so fixated on money as a defining factor for success? Or would you be able to sit back and appreciate all the other signs of growth that have followed you?
The abundance mindset encourages us to look beyond the green bills and be grateful for every form of support that the Universe is sending to us. What are some of the ways in which the Universe has been cheering you on?
5 Practical Tips to Adopt The Abundance Mindset & Heal Your Relationship With Money
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Spirituality is not separate from money. The modern monk’s goal isn’t to live a frugal life, trying to immunize herself of the ‘maya jaal‘ (illusory trap). Rather to have intelligent self-control and to use these very materials to achieve deeper spiritual alignment.
Use money as a gateway to your inner and outer success, not as the end goal. Allow yourself to step back from societal notions, and look at the bigger picture. Focus on what truly fuels you and brings you joy. And share your deeper desires with me in the comments below so I can celebrate your aligned and authentic action with you!
Vasundhra is the Founder & Writer of My Spiritual Shenanigans. After seeing 11:11 on the clock one fateful night, her life turned around. Ever since, she has been blending modern psychology and ancient spirituality, to help herself and people around the world elevate the quality of their lives.
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