The Power of Abundance and Mindset
Money Mindset

What’s your relationship to money? Have you ever really thought about it? I’m currently relearning how to think and conceptualize money, so think of this as an amateur athlete writing an article on how to get to the Olympics. I’m realizing how the idea of scarcity and lack has been wired into my subconscious, and that’s it’s all bullshit. I’m realizing how every fight I ever had with my ex-husband about money was about our different relationships with money, not the actual issue at hand. I’m realizing I never appreciated money as the energetic flow that it is. This may sound like an entitled statement, coming from a white woman, but there isn’t really a lack of earning potential when you are creative, driven, and grateful. Education helps but it’s not the whole story. Here’s a brief synopsis of how I realized I needed to boss up and let go of my fear of scarcity.

When my ex and I split in the midst of COVID-19, amid layoffs and skyrocketing unemployment, I was faced, for the first time ever, with the reality of relying on myself financially alone. I also had day-to-day toddler expenses that would no longer be provided for. Don’t get me wrong, I have (and had) it pretty good. My son’s dad supports his daycare and medical expenses 100%. I paid for the clothes, food, diapers, and endless amounts of toy cars that my son needed to survive when at my place. Through this new lens, I found myself craving more financial literacy to build a better life for myself and him. Suddenly I cared more about Roth IRAs and 401Ks than I ever had. I joined Facebook groups designed for professional women who were also single moms. I downloaded a few investment apps like Acorn and E-trade and even made a little money doing so. I learned about budgeting in real-time and realized how much I had to learn about money management at the ripe age of 35.

A friend recommended a book to me, Happy Money by Ken Honda which beautifully depicts how money comes and goes for all of us, but it is through appreciation of that flow that money serves us best. I began to practice abundance meditation and learn about how much is truly available to us all when we can learn to reprogram our beliefs and mindset about what is within reach. It is through understanding of how we got here that we can change where we are going. That was my game changer. Abundance as the key to how I would change my outlook on money.

I think I always feared money in a way. Or maybe I didn’t respect it. I remember my parents arguing when I was young about money and I grew up without an understanding of how to appreciate financial stability. We always had enough and being an only child, was admittedly, a bit spoiled. I thought money is what caused problems in people’s lives and the ‘mo money, mo problems’ music in the 1990s reaffirmed these unconscious belief patterns. In fairness to my parents, I think they tried, especially my mom, to balance it. She started me a savings account at age 11 and encouraged an allowance, which I quickly used on whatever was convenient. I started working at age 15 and spent my paychecks on clothes, make-up, and music.

When in college I borrowed to pay for school and believed in the mantra that education was worth every penny, no matter what the cost. I had an amazing collective educational experience of Vancouver BC, Switzerland, New York, and Seattle. I used my living expense money to fund a pilates education program which ultimately helped to lead me down my health care journey. But I was never frugal. Sometimes flagrant in my spending. I wasn’t alone. Millions of other students in United States borrow tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance their education, many of which graduate with degrees that don’t equate to an equitable earning potential.

Being a doctor, or any other professional that requires multiple years of post-graduate education – lawyer, veterinarian, dentist, chiropractor – typically comes with a hefty cost in student loan debt. I have dozens of friends and colleagues that feel confident they will die with their student loans before they can afford to pay them off. A bit grim, right? I obsessed about getting a residency position prior to getting my top pick. I stewed in fear about the hundreds of thousands of student loan debt I had chosen to borrow to fund my education. I almost gave up my current clinical career in favor of taking a job that I did not want, but offered the possibility of qualifying for public student loan forgiveness in 10 short years. I was afraid and lived accordingly. It’s possible a benefit to this scarcity mentality fueled my tenacity at work and pushed me to study, work, repeat early in my career. But I wasn’t happy.

Here’s where the story takes a turn. Everything that I have said in the paragraphs above points to the mindset of lack. I never believed that financial freedom was possible for me. Some days, I’m still trying to get there, but it’s better every day. The great thinkers of the world teach there is abundance to all that want it. The concept is that the universe provides for us what we need and want, but we first must let go of attachment to outcome and provide service in making our dreams come true.

What does this mean? We all need to start a philanthropic organization to afford the dream house we want or pay off our loans? No, but it does mean we have to stop looking at what we don’t have and be grateful for what we do. We can transform the (low vibrational) energy of lack into gratitude (higher vibrational energy). Abundance is a mindset. When you believe in the scarcity mentality, we allow for fear to be our driving force behind our actions, not service to ourselves and others. We can lean into the guidance of the universe and not resist it.

I now use a mint budget every month, am growing my 401K slowly but surely along with a small Roth IRA I have set up for myself. Not because I am fearful but because I have learned to better respect the money I earn. I also put a little money into an investment account through Acorns (investing app) every paycheck and I stay away from unnecessary splurges. I do enjoy time with friends, a weekend getaway, and eating out a couple of times per month.

I am so grateful for my education that allowed me to be in the career I have today. I often sit in my car before work and say a little prayer of gratitude that I get to touch people’s lives.

All this new age stuff to say, finding appreciation for how we make money and what we use that money for, is part of the process of learning to cultivate abundance.

Writer: Michelle Leary
Writer: Michelle Leary
December 9, 2021

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