In childhood I recall winning £500 on the premium bonds. I recall my father telling me to watch myself with the boys now, I had money, and they would be after that and not me. I must have been under ten years old when I absorbed that belief, as my father left the family before I was eleven. I remember my mother struggled for money in those years that followed. There was no Child Support Agency and my father set up home with another woman in Germany and forgot about his first family. Eventually my mother needed to borrow the £500 to support the family.
I recall I didn’t ask to go on school activities that cost money, and I was happy to get hand me downs from other peoples kids. My sister always asked for branded clothing, and I recall feeling annoyed that she didn’t make do or go for something affordable. She was in the popular crowd at school, they all had brands on. I was a source of amusement for my cheap attire to my sister and her friends, but this wouldn’t influence my spending.
My mother called me ‘money bags’ as a teenager, as I would always be counting my money up saved from my paper round. I was counting it as I needed to trade pound coins for a fiver note as soon as possible. Fivers were easier to hide from my sister who regularly picked the lock on my bedroom door to steal my money or things she could gift or sell. She never found the fivers stuck on the back of my NKOTB posters.
My father came back into my life in my twenties when I had just about joined the Army. He began the pattern of asking for money as he knew how much I earnt being ex-Army himself. He said would pay me back but didn’t. He even conned me out of hundreds using a convenient car sale which really knocked my faith in family, specifically not being safe from attack if I had money. It would have been thousands but thankfully I listened to my instincts that something underhand was playing out. I left my friends wedding early and got back to the scene to stop most of it playing out. Ironic perhaps he would warn me of boys being after my money (not me) and yet it was only he who acted this out.
He justified his behaviour to my sister, telling her that when I was 20 he gave me half of his Army pension for a year. She wondered why she was never given any of this money. This money was mine ‘to do with what I wanted’ as long as I agreed to ‘not ask any questions if it stopped suddenly’. I accepted these terms from my father and then gave it to my mother to make up for all those years struggling when he left. According to his version of events, I was meant to have saved it for him to take back later as it was always his money.
My father never took money from my sister. If she gave him money, he paid her back. She hardly had any money and had a challenging set of life circumstances. I wondered if I had no money, would my father have a good relationship with me like he did with her. I became financially challenged after my marriage ended in my twenties, and the answer with my father was (of course) no. I dont seem to have been able to get back on my feet financially since then. This may of course be linked to external influences such as ‘austerity measures’ rather than it all be my responsibility. I will also add, that people will attack you for not having money too. So my reality became that it is not ‘safe’ either way.
To summarise my oldest beliefs, if I have money I wont have geniune relationships with people. When I receive money, I feel guilt that I have it and ‘they’ don’t. Money always comes with an agenda, hidden or otherwise.
During a ‘healing taster’ afternoon at Furzedown farm, I found myself booked in with Charlotte Gush, a shamanic practitioner based here in Weymouth [website link]. I asked about my block on money and how to shift it. Charlotte asked, ‘Do you go with the flow of life?‘. ‘Yes, BUT not when it comes to money’. ‘That’s really a no then. If there is any block to the flow of life, then you don’t go with it’. I smiled. She was right. I was trying to control my money situation (and with good reason, but did those reasons still exist?). If I could let go of the control and go with the flow that would be my answer. How do I go about that, and am I safe to?
Charlotte recommended I read a book. A book about going with the flow. Rather than chasing money [or anything for that matter] i.e. ‘trying to control’ the book suggests giving the responsibility back to Source/Devine Beloved/God [insert your prefered word]. Trust that all your needs will always be met in amazing ways. Be open to giving and receiving. Realising we are one and connected to all that is.
You may win the lottery if its part of your life experience, but not winning is not because you didnt have a vision board up or you somehow messed up your intentions. If your path is set to win lottery, you will. If its set to something else, which may include a number of undesirable circumstances to get you to achieve your real life purpose then this will happen. Its not about accepting fate over free will, its about being connected to the flow.
I put the exercises into practice and I got into the flow. Three days later a friend offered me a no-interest loan, no agenda. I took this opportunity with gratitude. I applied for (yet another) job and got an interview the next day and started work the following week. The last job I managed to get lasted three days and three months later I haven’t been paid and have just had to report them to ACAS. Money is starting to come in …and the exact amount hasn’t gone immediately back out (which was my usual pattern). This time last year, my sister gifted me money for several Christmasses she had missed. I had just had my MOT and subsequent bill for an old car, so felt relief that I could breath with this gift and maybe celebrate Christmas. Then I parked two miles up the road from the garage to talk with her on the phone, and my car wouldn’t start. The cost of the car battery was pretty much the cost of her gift. Its quite funny, but not hilarious. Coincidentally, being in gratitude is one of the exercises in the book and something I have been embracing along with those on our photo challenge. The more grateful I am, the more I seem to get into the flow. Has this been the case for those in the challenge?
I pose this question to each and every one of our volunteers. For December’s catch up I invite them all to look back at their original descriptions of themselves and see if they would change anything? Can they rewrite their new profile accordingly? To look back at their last six months and see if being in gratitude has helped with their lives at all? With the flow? With their perspective? Have they really managed to embrace the concept of gratitude or still find their mind leans towards negative bias (which is scientifically proven, that we remember negative experiences for survival purposes)?
At this point, I am also going to see who is still willing to continue to complete the year and who would like to leave at the six month point? For those who are leaving at this point, would you like to write anything else to our readers about this journey? How would you like to celebrate your six months of being in gratitude with our readers? Your own blog? A slideshow of all your photos? Both?