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Photo: Sarah O'Leary

The other night a friend arrived from out of town and we sat around the kitchen table, empty plates pushed aside, refilling our wine glasses.

Inevitably the conversation turned to politics and world affairs. And just as inevitably I began ranting. Somehow we’d circled onto the subject of Wall Street bankers, foreclosures, and all those senior citizens now scrambling to eke enough money out of their pension check to stay in groceries for the month.

And then we got onto lobbying, and the way that lawmakers now vote based on the wishes of their corporate lobbyist buddies, rather than what they know to be right for their constituents.

“It’s greed!” I shouted. (I’m happy to report I did not pound my fist on the table, but I may as well have.)

“These fat cats just want more and more, and they don’t care who they screw in the process! It’s so disgusting – the more money they make, the more corrupt they become and the less they care about the rest of us.”

Everyone nodded in agreement.

A small percentage of super rich folks (now immortalized as the One Percent) are sitting back in their mansions, serving up caviar on their yachts, and flying around in their private planes, while the rest of humanity is wondering how to fund their retirement so they can live decently (at best), or struggling to find a cup of clean water and something to put in their belly (at worst.)

And those people with all that money – they just couldn’t give a damn. They just want more.

That settled, we babbled on, jumping from subject to subject as we continued to empty that wine bottle.

And then it struck me. The Aha! Moment.

What the hell did I just say? And how does that fit in with my affirmations about the free flow of money? As in Money flows into my life easily and effortlessly. Or, I am worthy of financial abundance.

Um, hello? All the affirmations and abundance meditations in the world aren’t going to do a damn thing when I continue to voice my long-held belief that people with a lot of money are blood-sucking jerks.

Now I don’t fully believe that last statement. That’s what’s weird. I’ve seen plenty of examples of people who enjoy financial prosperity and are good, honest people who use a substantial portion of that abundant cash to do good in the world.

But I voiced a much more deeply entrenched belief that night around the dinner table. It’s basically a version of the biblical admonition, money is the root of all evil.

Big subject I know. What is money anyway? Just a symbol, just a bit of paper, metal or plastic (or numbers on a computer nowadays) that we use to transact just about everything material in our lives.

But what is it really? Just energy.

But it’s some energy that has a pretty tight stranglehold on the human race.

I decided to have a little talk with money – and delve into what it means in my own life.

Hey there Money, how’s it going? Well, I guess it’s going pretty good – after all you are one of the most powerful forces in this world today.

So, you and I, we go way back with this kind of push/pull relationship. I know you don’t hate me completely. You always show up if I really need you, and you’ve never totally let me down. But you’ve remained pretty elusive, and I can’t say I’m confident in you as a true friend. I guess you can sense my ambivalent feelings about you. So you hold me at arm’s length.

I still don’t understand exactly how you work and how you transmute and transform yourself depending on where you are and who you’re with.

I think I’m beginning to see that you are actually quite sensitive and responsive – that you fulfill the expectations and beliefs that people place on you. And you do like to surprise people sometimes.

Maybe it’s not that you’re a fickle friend, just one that only wants to play where you’re honestly welcomed.

I’ve held some grudges I know. I want you to know that I’m letting those go. I realize now that you are not to blame for the way some people choose to use you. I’m getting it that you haven’t withheld your presence in my life out of spite.

Money, I’d just like to say that I now choose to welcome and accept you into to my life – to play, to dance, to collaborate with me on making good things happen in the world. Will you accept my invitation?

Last night, while reading up on a completely different topic I came across an insight that hit home. It had to do with those affirmations I mentioned earlier.

The common wisdom is that affirmations work when they are spoken in the present tense, as in “I am now physically fit.” There’s a dissonance for some people when they repeat such affirmations when they know the statement is not yet true. And so the affirmation doesn’t do anything at all.

This writer suggested using the word “choose” to put your affirmation in the present. “I choose to become fitter and fitter every day.” This way your honesty radar doesn’t start bleeping.

With this in mind, and since I understand that my own limiting beliefs are at the root of my personal blockages around money, I am rephrasing my affirmations and visualizations about prosperity.

“I choose to release my limiting beliefs about money.”

“I choose to invite prosperity and abundance into my life so that I can share it with others.”

“I choose to believe I am worthy of financial success.”

My challenge now is to remember.

When my mind moves into the familiar groove around lack and fear, or how too much money makes people lose their compassion, I will remember to replace those thoughts with my new chosen beliefs.

How does Money talk to you?