How to Get What You Really Want

By Jennie Hastings
[Mindful Money]

The title of this column is Mindful Money, but it’s not really about the money. Let me explain.
Money is not the goal. Money is only the means to the goal, whatever that goal might be for you. I do not think many of us are yearning to spend quality time with hundred-dollar bills. Money by itself will not necessarily bring us more happiness or fulfillment. It is what we choose to do with our money that ultimately improves our lives.
I am sure you know someone who has plenty of money and yet does not seem very happy. Why do you think this is? I think it is because they made money their goal without stopping to consider what truly lights them up. Perhaps they let their desire for money come between them and important people in their life, or they let work block them from getting to know themselves better. Sometimes, when money is the only goal, people get caught in a thought cycle in which they can never have enough, and the constant worry and striving takes its toll.

What is your ultimate goal?
It takes a mindful person to be mindful about money. Being mindful about money does not mean you have a whole lot of it (although you certainly could). It means you know yourself and your money well enough to have a harmonious relationship with it. It means you manage your money, instead of the other way around.
The next step in our journey is to discover what it is we truly want. In order to make good money decisions, we need to have an idea of where we are trying to go. What is the ultimate goal?
When I think about my ultimate goal, I immediately see myself in an evergreen forest, the sun filtering through the trees. I think of having the time to be present for the people I love. I think of beautiful plates of delicious food. I feel how nice it would be if money was not the first thing I think of when contemplating my next move.
What this means to me is that my time is more important to me than things. I will not have to accumulate a lot of money to buy and maintain things in my life. It also tells me that I want to work less than average, so I need to be well compensated for my work hours. It also makes me realize I need to have a financial cushion so my choices are not limited by money; I can make decisions based on who I am and what feels right to me.

Try this exercise: feeling inventory
This leads me to the next Mindful Money exercise. Because we are massage therapists and bodyworkers, this might be easy for us. What I want us to do is take a feeling inventory of the expenses in our lives. To do this, open your bank account online and take a look at all the debits you see there. For each one, notice what that money paid for, take a deep round of breath, and notice how you feel in your body. Can you smile and feel gratitude for what that money bought you? Or do you feel contracted and anxious?
Listen to the signals your body is giving you. Take note of the expenses that do not feel good to you. For me, I noticed I am not comfortable with how much I am spending on my vehicle and insurance. It is too much and does not make sense based on the goals I shared above. While I can feel gratitude for the car itself, the expense associated with it makes me feel misaligned.
This exercise gives us more insight into ourselves while cultivating a mindful relationship with our money. It helps us connect our values to our money in a tangible way. This brings up another way we can shape our thoughts and words to create more confidence in our financial lives.
I am referring to the phrase, “I can’t afford it.” This is a disempowering phrase that all too often leaves us coming up short. It reveals a “lacking” mentality, and that negative mind-set strengthens each time we say it.
Going forward, whenever you decide against something because of its cost, instead of saying, “I can’t afford it,” say, “I don’t value that enough.” Because this is what is really going on. If it was really important, and if it had enough value, you would find a way to acquire it.
Getting what you really want is the only reason to spend time cultivating your relationship with money. In order to harness the power of money to your benefit, you need to know where you want to go with it. Taking the time to do some self-inquiry about your true values will help you become more mindful about your money, leading you closer to where you want to be with your goals.

Jennie Hastings, LMT, BCTMB, has studied money in the therapeutic process from every angle: as a client, patient, and practitioner. From the very beginning of her bodywork career, she received business training and coaching. Now she helps other massage therapists break through limiting beliefs about money with private and group coaching. She can be reached at