“writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. we are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. it's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. you can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
- anne lamott

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Soul of Money

"Money, this place where we often feel the most conflicted and uncertain, the least well and whole--is a place and a path to discover our wholeness."

"Money is like an iron ring we put through our nose. It is now leading us around wherever it wants. We just forgot that we are the ones who designed it."
-Mark Kinney

"Once we began to align our money decisions with those deeper core values and our highest commitments, we experienced a dramatic shift... Regardless of their financial resources, when they connected with their generosity and commitment, they were moved to express themselves in a similar way. We realized that while we couldn't change the culture of money, we could see it more clearly. We could make more conscious choices about how we related to circumstances.

"In the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."
-Frederick Buechner

"We rarely think of the independence movement led by Gandhi as something that someone had to fund, but somebody paid for everything."

"The people who gave money from shock or guilt were appeasing their guilt, and in the process they were also becoming enablers, unwittingly supporting this brutal industry... The beggars' needs were deep and real, but the money gained did nothing to break the cycle of poverty....
Here was a great man, Ramkrishna, who used his industry and wealth in so many ways to break the grip of poverty in his county, stepping blindly and without comment over those on the ground before him... In order to maintain his vision, purpose, and position in that society, he had to develop a kind of blindness in his everyday encounter with the overwhelming poverty on the streets."

"Open your compassion [to the rich and wealthy] and include them. This is an important part of your life's work. Do not shut them out. They also are your work." -Mother Teresa to Lynne Twist

"Wealth is no protection from human suffering."

"Fundraising became for me an arena in which I was able to create an opportunity for people to engage in their greatness."

"[When viewed from the perspective of sufficiency,] our relationship with money ceases to be an expression of fear and becomes an expression of exciting possibility.

"Can we recognize that better comes from not more, but in deepening our experience of what's already there?... It is a fundamental law of nature, that there is enough and it is finite. Its finiteness is no threat; it creates a more accurate relationship that commands respect, reverence, and managing those resources with the knowledge that they are precious and in ways that do the most good for the most people. ... The [environmental] quest for sustainability may be more accurate located in recognizing and affirming that we do have what we need--not that it's disappearing and that we have to save it...but that we have what we need and therefore must make a difference with it.
This way of seeing....teaches us how to be stewards of money rather than gatherers of money. It teaches us how to bring quality and intelligence to our use of financial resources in ways that reflect our inner wealth rather than the flamboyant display of the accumulation of outer riches."

"Hands full, but hearts fearful and unfilled... Let go of trying to get more of what we don't really need."

"Money is a current, a carrier, a conduit for our intentions. Money carries the imprimatur of our soul."

"Now, I ain't got no checkbook and I ain't got no credit cards. To me, money is a lot like water. For some folks it rushes through their life like a raging river. Money comes through my life like a little trickle. But I want to pass it on in a way that does the most good for the most folks. I see that as my right and my responsibility. It's also my joy. I have fifty dollars in my purse that I earned from doing a white woman's wash and I want to give it to you." -Getrude

"I realized that Getrude's fifty dollars felt more valuable to me and ultimately would do more to end hunger than the check for an amount one thousand times more."

"When money is flowing, it can purify, cleanse, create growth, and nourish. But when it is blocked or held too long, it can grow stagnant and toxic to those withholding or hoarding it. Like water, money is a carrier. Grounded in sufficiency, money's movement in and out of our life feels natural. We can see that flow as healthy and true, and allow that movement instead of being anxious about it or hoarding. In sufficiency..we can experience fulfillment in directing the flow."

"Mother Teresa never kept and cash reserves."

"Be known for what you allocate, not what you accumulate."
"Money is useful when it is moving and flowing, contributed and shared, directed and invested in that which is life affirming."

"When we see money as something that flows through our lives and through the world, we realize that it doesn't really belong to anyone; or we could say it belongs to everyone and the opportunity we have is to allow this resource, just like water, to move through the world in a way that nurtures the most people, and the highest purpose."

"If you want a clear picture of your priorities in life, who you are and what you care about, look at your checkbook."

"Can you remember the joy of saving money for something you really wanted?....With that conscious commitment, every time you passed up on the chance to spend your money on something else, any regret was most likely outweighed by the excitement of your commitment and the satisfaction of growing that much closer to achieving it. Most of us  think that freedom means to keep our options open, stay loose and available, and often that strategy does give you a little space temporarily. Eventually, though, keeping your options endlessly open becomes its own prison. You can never choose. You can never fall in love. You can never marry. You can never take the job. You can never really discover your destiny because you are afraid to commit fully. If you look back on the experience of freedom in your life chances are that it wasn't when you were measuring the options against one another, or making sure you weren't getting stuck with a decision. It was when you were fully expressed, playing full out. It was when you chose fully and completely, when you knew you were in the place you were meant to be in, when perhaps you even felt a sense of destiny. That's when we're free and self-expressed, and joyful or at peace with circumstances--when we choose them."

"You don't have to change careers, revolutionize your business, or pack up your family and move away from anything or to anything to take a stand."

"It was so surprising that money, this very thing I had used and seen others use to perpetuate accumulation, depletion, and making myself important with art and wine and stuff, ended up being the same instrument I eventually used to express my love for people and my affirmation of life, and to share my deepest dreams. Once that instrument, or vehicle called money, was in alignment with my soul, that was when the prosperity, joy, and sufficiency started to flourish. It wasn't in the money, but in its use as an instrument of soul."

Money is like water. It can be a conduit for commitment, a currency of love.
Money moving in the direction of our highest commitments nourishes our world and ourselves.
What you appreciate appreciates.
When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.
Collaboration creates prosperity.
True abundance flows from enough; never from more.
Money carries our intention. If we use it with integrity, then it carries integrity forward.
Know the flow--take responsibility for the way your money moves in the world.
Let your soul inform your money and your money express  your soul.
Access your assets--not only money but also your own character and capabilities, your relationships and other nonmoney resources.

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