Be Your Own Hero

By Jennie Hastings
[Mindful Money]

The Mindful Money journey is about becoming aware of how money is linked to our life energy and learning how to use that energy consciously.
It is about learning to direct our financial resources toward things we truly value and not waste them on things that are not aligned with our lives. It is about being willing to face our fears of not having or being enough, and learning how to make peace with the material world from a place of self-knowledge and love. It is about realizing that it is not important how much money we have, but how we feel about our lives—that numbers are arbitrary and peace of mind and contentment indicate success.
It is not usually easy to take responsibility for our financial lives. We must push through layers of thought and emotion we inherited, and face dark places within ourselves filled with doubt and fear. Because of these challenges in facing the reality of our financial situations, it is easy to put it off in the hope that someone else will save us. Maybe we are hoping we will marry rich, or perhaps we are waiting to inherit something. Maybe we have our hopes pinned on the book we are still thinking about writing to become a bestseller.
Some of us might spend years, even decades, postponing taking full responsibility for our financial lives. Every time the issue rears its head, we push dealing with it to the future and continue with our unconscious money habits. Each month finds us a little deeper in debt, ignoring the penalty fees or the unpaid tax bill, and telling ourselves that one day some kind of miracle will arrive and everything will be taken care of.

Call to Action
If this sounds familiar to you, I have a call to action I hope you can hear: it is time to be your own hero.     
What does being your own financial hero look like? We often think of heroes as arriving from the heavens and fixing everything in one fell swoop. But we are massage therapists and bodyworkers. If anybody knows that true healing usually comes not in quick fixes but in slow, steady steps toward progress, it is us. So being your own financial hero does not mean you fix everything overnight.
On the contrary, being your own financial hero means you commit to taking the small steps toward money mindfulness we have been covering in this column. You can begin by becoming more conscious of your income and spending by opening your bank account online every day and noticing what is coming in and what is going out. As you work with this practice, you will begin to notice that some of the things you spend your money on feel good, and some feel not so good. This is where value comes in. As you begin to recognize what you value and what you do not value, your spending habits will begin to shift.
From this place of consciousness you will gain the strength to look at what is truly necessary to live your life, and what is actually draining you. You will gain a realistic perspective on what it takes to live your life fully and begin looking for ways to support it financially. It is much easier to ask for a raise, or increase your rates, when you are coming from a place of realistic understanding rather than from feelings.

The Greatest Obstacle
I think most of you will find, as I have found, that the greatest obstacle to money mindfulness is not money, but yourself. If I am nervous, anxious, or fearful about taking responsibility for anything, it will plague me to no end. As soon as I take a deep breath, ask someone to hold my hand if necessary, and face whatever it is that is causing my fear, it quickly loses its power over me. With money, I realized that it was an energy I was avoiding, and one I assumed had negative properties; and as soon as I learned to embrace it, respect it, even love it, it began to be attracted to me and love me back.
So don’t wait for a hero to come and save you. Don’t wait to win the lottery or for your app to be bought by Google before you start taking the small steps needed to become more conscious of your money. Learning to become mindful of money is necessary no matter how much money you have, and good money habits developed now will pay off for the rest of your life.

Jennie Hastings, LMT, BCTMB, has studied money in the therapeutic process from every angle: as a client, patient, and practitioner. She is the author of The Inspired Massage Therapist (Massage Blossom Books, 2012). Hastings believes having a career in massage and bodywork means having infinite possibilities, and she is always exploring new ways to evolve her practice. You can find more from her at