I received this email question from someone yesterday:
If I believe money is hard to come by, my mind will do everything it can to make that belief real. The mindâ€™s job is to protect what it believes. How can you change your beliefs about money when the mind is doing everything it can do to stop it?
On the face of it, this seems a good question and it may be one you can relate to, as money is an issue for many, especially right now, in this changing world.
Hereâ€™s what I would say.
In this question there is one false assumption that remains unquestioned. This is the assumption that there is something called â€˜mindâ€™ that is stopping you from getting what you want.
But what is this thing we call the mind? Where exactly is it located? In the head? In the brain? What does it look like? Can you actually prove it exists? Is it actually real?
You see, in truth, there is no definite answer to these questions. Yet the mind is bestowed with all manner of power and strength almost as if to say itâ€™s a separate entity that is controlling your actions and behaviour. But can the mind exist outside of your thoughts? Can it exist independently of you? Obviously it cannot.
In reality, that which we term the mind is simply a series of thoughts and beliefs we hold. What else is the mind, except an idea we have about it?
Ramana Maharshi, who attained liberation at the tender age of 16, said, â€œThe mind is nothing but the thought â€œI.â€ Thoughts arise because of the thinker. The thinker is the ego, which if sought will automatically vanish.â€
So why do we refer to our own thoughts, our own beliefs and ideas as if they have been imposed on us from a separate, independent force called the mind?
It is easier to think that we are not responsible for our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. It is easier to remain stuck in limiting patterns than to consider letting them go â€“ to consider sacking them once and for all. Believing we have a mind that is somehow stronger than us, lets us off the hook.
From my own personal evolutionary experiences and from seeing clients, I can safely say that the path of true transformation, whether weâ€™re talking money or any other kind of challenge, requires a stepping aside from the mind, from our beliefs, from our thoughts. Itâ€™s realizing youâ€™re the actor, not the character.
In terms of money, people often think of it as an external cause, something that is out of their control, and determined by their employer, the government, their family, or other external conditions. We use all sorts of excuses to remain poor or unfulfilled. But money is like anything else, it is an inner challenge, not outer. Money issues are not to do with money, they are to do with our thoughts about money. In the end, it all comes down to a thought. And contrary to what many people believe, I do not believe we can truly control our thoughts, we can only detach from the addiction of them. And funnily enough they do shift and alter as we do this, and become more wholesome.
I say to clients that it is harder to be happy than it is to be unhappy. But initially only. When we have developed enough self-awareness we will no longer be seduced by our own sabotage. The addiction will end. And I do mean addiction, and yes, addictions of all sorts â€“ money (greed), sexual, drug-related and others. For at the base of all external addictions, is an addiction to a feeling which is inevitably linked to a denial of a causatory pain. As we develop willingness to see our own emotional behaviour, the impacts on ourselves and others eventually brings us to our knees.
Thatâ€™s what happened to me. You see, I was an expert saboteuse (is that the right word, oh la la). I had great reasons why I was justified in my stress, in my financial dissatisfaction, in my anger, in my â€˜reasons whyâ€™. This let me off the hook. I had plenty of REASONS. I had a reason for everything! It was when I saw the impacts of these reasons, justifications and excuses, that I was greatly humbled, and remorseful for a time, and began to see what lay beyond these habits: happiness, creativity, freedom.
When we are willing to see how small we have been keeping ourselves, how we have sabotaged our greatness, how we have stifled our passions and longings, how we have taken the road most travelled because we didnâ€™t want to be different, how we have chosen aggression, arrogance, guilt and depression over joy, creativity and abundance…when we see how we do this constantly everyday to ourselves and to those around us, loved ones and strangers alike, then it is inevitable that an instantaneous shift takes place and we are never the same again.
This is what transformation is. It is self-healing, self-revelation, and ultimately self-liberation. For in truth we are Creators, not saboteurs.
So coming back to the above email I received, I would say it is about asking a different question. A good question is one that silences all other questions. For truth has few words. And the one I suggest here is:
Do you want to be RIGHT, or do you want to be FULFILLED?
Recently I wrote this down on a piece of paper at the end of a session for a client who had an answer to everything I said. It was the only thing that silenced the conversation. And you know, it really is the case that you cannot be both right, and be fulfilled…..But perhaps thatâ€™s for another Blog Post.
Fulfillment arises when we are able to offer our gifts and talents for the benefit of all. This is why some people who have tons of money are still not happy, still restless, still wanting something more. They havenâ€™t found their unique niche yet, their purpose. Everyone has one. And until we find it, weâ€™ll always be chasing after it.
And money? Donâ€™t worry about it, if you want to worry, worry only about manifesting your talents for the benefit of all. Then all comes right.