...to be a rags to riches story, a succinct success story, a bright and shiny ‘before and after’ story.
[...a story is usually used to sell, to motivate, to inspire… they delight our imagination, AND they can have unintended consequences. Hopes are heightened, the let-down hard. Inducing shame, self-doubt, and despair. Because what we don’t see clearly is the messy BETWEEN]
The external is always a reflection of the internal. And the internal is messy. Overlapping. Unclear. And complex.
The real story moves forward, then back a bit, then around in a circle, or spiral of repetition - trying to gain clarity, understanding and solid ground.
It will move forward again - often with wind in its sails, relief for the full-bellied breath. The slow and steady exhale.
Inevitably, however, there will be more circling, seemingly backward steps, but this time seeing a perspective that brings a deeper truth. Deeper fulfillment. And deeper meaning.
Trusting the process is the most profound surrender. Committing to getting back up - one foot in front of the next - THIS is the work.
I want it to be easy for you - this journey to heal a fractured part of your life, be it your relationship to MONEY or something else entirely.
I have walked this path myself, and beside hundreds of clients. I have never seen the path be easy, or be a straight line. And perhaps that is the perfect beauty of it. We are living, learning, and finding new depths of ourselves, and allowing a new part of us to emerge as the old way decays.
Perhaps it is a version of the hero’s journey. For some the journey has a theme - often it is one of three: health, relationships, money (work/power), or a combination of the three.
I celebrate incredible successes with my clients: buying homes, doubling income, increasing their assets (saved and invested), eliminating their debt, and having the delight of opening up to the possibilities that couldn’t be seen under the cloud of confusion that used to be there.
But - it is crucial that I communicate to everyone: it isn’t a straight line. It is a winding, infuriating, deeply healing journey.
And it is liberation.
Whatever healing path you are currently on - be it your relationship to money, or something else - know that you are exactly where you need to be. Your timing is YOUR timing. Measure your steps to your journey, not another’s.
Do not let shame blind the beauty that is the process itself. I wouldn’t trade a second of my journey - I only want to be by your side as you walk yours, lifting those blinders, warning you of the upcoming ledge, encouraging you when you feel despair. Making it that much smoother, that much less lonely, and most importantly - that much faster.
Because you WILL find yourself within the vision you hold - and it will be as sweet as you hope. But it will take the time that it takes. It will not be easy in the way we may want it to be - it also doesn’t have to be excruciating!
It will be filled with diligence, patience, attention, guidance, and self-compassion. These are qualities of growth - EARNED, not passed out to everyone who starts the race. (for the record, there is absolutely no race)
Your relationship with money is no different than your relationship with anything else - befriend the process of discovering who it is, who YOU are in relation to it. Realize the journey will be long, winding, and have unexpected surprises - sink into it not being easy, and it may just feel easy after all.
And when you ‘arrive’, you may find that it was a ‘false peak’, that there is another journey calling to you. But this time, you have the skills to scale the tallest peaks and enjoy the view.
On our recent vacation, I finally read WILD by Cheryl Strayed. I have backpacked a fair amount - in highschool trekking across 100+ miles of the Sierras in 5 days (just before the PCT was complete in 1993). I learned so much about myself - false peaks, switchbacks, and what it really takes to put one foot in front of the other - to work with your mind as you encounter its manipulative ways.
Here is to YOUR journey of 5 or 5,000 steps - we are not the same as when we begin.
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Photo by Ashley Batz