Truly, I am so rarely at a loss for words, but this is what I know the subject of money to do to me. Over the last years, I’ve gone on such a journey, cliche but true, through the realms of how women “like me” should approach finances, from overworking myself in a corner office to stack it high, to walking away in protest, starting my own company, watching that stop suddenly through COVID as my unpaid domestic work became full time and now, creating my own household where I’m sole earner. At times where I’ve felt the most powerlessness over finances, I’ve had an awakening that all I can control is my relationship with money and how I talk about it. This ended up being what I needed to change my mindset around earning, spending and saving to a much more loving tone that continues to provide for me. Easeful money management falls under learning how to self-parent for me these days.
I’m so grateful to The Money Witch, Jessie Karnatz, for how she’s changed this for me through her writing. It’s a dream to have her here! I hope you love this New Year reflection on finances, written especially for us, by The Money Witch.
Welcome to Gregorian new year, a point in the wheel of the year that we have collectively embraced as our clean slate moment. Renewal is an emotional necessity, as an antidote to lives filled with shame, guilt, and overwhelm. Remembering that we are worthy of redemption is healing in and of itself. The sensation of newness creates an opportunity for each of us to realign and refocus our intentions towards that which we want to invest our precious life force. A life centered in more intention and less reaction will bring us closer and closer to happiness.
The marketing industry has surely gotten the memo that January is the time of year we are collectively most interested in individual change. Unfortunately, so much of the messaging at this time of year preys on our insecurities, our feelings of inadequacy, and our frustration at our inability to squeeze ourselves into the narrow set of classifications that would get us the affirmation, validation, and approval we deeply desire. The hottest topics this time of year are our bodies and our money, specifically how we need to do better with both. Surely many of us feel dissatisfaction with the state of our body or our money. How much of your particular dissatisfaction is rooted in external judgment rather than a misalignment with your integrity I will leave to you to discern, as you are the expert. I will just offer a gentle reminder that change based in your personal authentic values will be more precious and sacred than change based in a desire to conform to societal expectation, regardless of how cloaked in “concern” and “wellness” that conformity is.
Whether we’re talking about our bodies or our money, the general cultural consensus seems to be that our problem is that we’re just not TRYING hard enough. We lack the willpower. In the case of money, maybe we’ve tried but we still feel confused and overwhelmed. It’s then suggested that perhaps we’re just not cut out for this. We are filled with guilt and shame at this inference. We internalize it- perhaps we’re just “bad with money” or “bad with numbers”- undisciplined, not smart enough, missing some inborn gene that computes and calculates without panicking, missing some mythical childhood moment where our well-adjusted parents would pass down the secret mysteries of financial literacy and how to hack it in these capitalist streets. As an Intuitive Financial Coach I have to tell you, I have heard these words from clients that were raised on all parts of the class spectrum. The belief is that there’s something wrong with us, and we hold it as a secret shame.
My belief is something different, and I invite you to start this year considering it with me: your finances do not need more willpower, they need more love. Let’s stop trying harder and start trying in a more loving way. I reject the idea that what we need to better ourselves financially is more will power, discipline, and self control. Instead, to build ourselves up financially we need engagement, intimacy, presence, support, connection, multidimensionality, integration, and LOVE. Our money lives must hold respect for both the ancient and the visionary future- everything about who we are, how we got here as individuals and as economies, and everything that we hope for ourselves, our families, our communities, and humanity.
A lot of resources for improving your finances tell you to get out of your feelings and focus on literacy. While financial literacy is super valuable and important, a lot of us have a whole web of thoughts and feelings and experiences that need to be faced and healed with gentleness and kindness before we will feel comfortable accessing those spaces. Many financial resources are written for those who are already comfortable in a feeling of success and are culturally inaccessible, potentially triggering, and definitely based in Capitalism, colonialism, and white delusions of grandeur.
So let’s forget about willpower, and love ourselves and our money into a better, more easeful, more peaceful relationship with money this year! Beyond financial literacy, when we’re making moves towards greater financial self-care we need….
- financial self-esteem (building pride in your financial choices)
- financial intimacy (holding your finances closer)
- financial maturity (inner child work)
- financial abundance (healing our scarcity wounds)
- financial authority (permission to do it your way)
- and financial joy (it doesn’t have to be drudgery)!
The real key here is that just like our kids, our friends, our partners, and our pets, what our money really needs us to do is just SHOW UP. Not show up perfectly, not show up with all the answers, and certainly not to cagily procrastinate the meeting because we haven’t finished a task we had agreed to. Just show up and be close with your money this year. Get to know it better, without the pressure to perform. Build trust with yourself by not shying away from the numbers, the feelings, or the conversations. Build slowly through lower stakes wins. When you feel overwhelmed, write down your questions and feelings instead of checking out straight away. Do some journaling about the feelings that arise. If it’s hard to talk about money with your partner or in your household, get some help from a coach. Do yourself the favor of figuring out what you’re personally feeling and why before you enter those conversations. If you’re the “doesn’t want to deal with money” person in your relationship, start doing your own work to figure out why and how you can show up in a more empowered way. If you’re solo and doing good but deep down you know there’s some moves you need to be making, take the time to understand what the source of the avoidance is before just putting the tasks on your yearly to-do list and yet again ignoring them. Validate your feelings! Different from enabling inaction based on emotion, moving closer to your feelings will actually help you unlock the ability to act. Give yourself some financial love this year, I promise it will change everything about how you do money.
Jessie Susannah Karnatz, aka the Money Witch, brings capitalism-critical, shame-free education to healers, hustlers, and creatives in order to catalyze change in their financial lives. She believes healing our finances will bring blessing to our lives, our lineages, and our communities. She offers education, Money Magic products, and Intuitive Financial Coaching online and in the Bay Area (unceded Ohlone land) and does it all with impeccable business lady style.
Jessie Susannah is the founder and head witch at Money Coven, an online web of magical beings who are healing their relationship with money, showing up for their financial self care, and becoming powerful stewards to their resources.
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