The title of the session listed in an e-mail the day before startled me. I would have never – in a millions years – put those two concepts together. Dirty money and mystical transformation? There was no way to make a reservation, so I just showed up. Early. Early enough to meet the presenter alone and make a deep connection ... over turtles, a symbol that adopted me a long time ago, no less.
Jenefer noticed I was wearing one and said they represent an old soul. I told her I was attracted to them after collecting stories of people's experiences of the Divine and believing a mere paper was not the proper container for something so precious. The idea of a "turtlebox" [ www.turtleboxstories.com ] jumped into my heart and head. Later a friend informed me they symbolize the meeting of heaven (the domed shell) and earth (the belly) – the perfect place, besides my heart, for these sacred stories.
"So you just asked people to talk about those experiences?" Jenefer asked almost in disbelief. "Yeah," I responded, "although it was within a spiritual context." I have not thought about them in such a long time, but it was such an amazing venture – to actually sit with others while they explained their dance with Spirit. I told Jenefer I'd like to be able to walk into a room of strangers and ask the same question. She said she desires to get to the deep stuff quickly, too. No small talk for us. We went right to turtles.
Another person joined us and we had a cozy group. My heart almost leapt out when Jenefer explained there is a bridge between spirituality and money. "What the heck?" I could hear myself thinking. "How's that?"
First off, she asked me to take my wallet out of my purse. I played along. She said it was "pretty." I hadn't the nerve to confess that I had only recently purchased it, the first that wasn't a gift or strictly utilitarian. The purpose of the exercise was to show that money should be respected and honored. That, yes, it was a tool, but not an evil one as I had described my love-hate experience with it. She said to carry more cash than you think you should and you will feel its abundance. I balked when she said how much she carried as well as what she paid for her favorite purse years ago. The day before, Lily, my youngest, had been watching Let's Make a Deal, and I detest game shows [especially game shows centered around money], but she convinced me to watch. I could not understand the pregnant woman obsessed with the $500 purse she was offered. She wouldn't trade it for anything. "Just think what all you could do with $500," I thought.
At financial alchemy, however, I gave it another thought. I would never let myself spend that kind of money because ... well, I assumed I was not worth it. Yep, Jenefer said our views of money are extremely tied to our self worth. I am beginning to see how right she is.
We had two pages of "messages" to read through and hone in on those that spoke to us. I resonated with most all of the spiritual messages, but a couple others stuck out:
1) I want to change the frequency, or the vibration that I may be sending out to the world and the universe.
2) I want to move beyond my survival needs, into my spiritual yearnings.
3) I want to be free of the judgment that I throw toward people who have a lot.
Number one scared me because of its truth. I know my spiritual and creative vibrations reflect the true me, but others, especially those money-related, do not. I have been living in scarcity mode, fearing there will not be enough. "Fear," Jenefer says, "is a faith issue, not financial." I agree.
Number two is the bridge she spoke of earlier. It is a tool I must understand and can employ in a positive spirit. Somehow I have imprinted in my mind and body that living a pure spiritual life involves deprivation, sacrifice and suffering. I've gotten good at those. Think it's time for me to step on that damn bridge and cross it.
Number three I did not initially understand. I know I am an extremely tolerant person when it comes to the have-nots. But the haves have little place in my world. "Envy and jealousy," Jenefer says, "are your GPS. You can't see it [in others] unless you have it [yourself]." Compassionate me jealous? No way. Maybe yes way. I had read my feelings more as disdain, not realizing they tie into that notion of deprivation and suffering.
The Universe, Jenefer said, wants us to thrive AND prosper. What a radically freeing and delicious notion!
I have been restricting myself, fighting money, when I need to open to its abundance. Quoting from Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, Jenefer said one quality of the rich is they know how to receive, not just give.
Fighting myself, now that seems to be a common thread. I had a dream recently about being pursued by thugs and an awful one in particular. I was running to a high spot away from the urban area and its violence when a stray and powerful tornado touched down in the city and destroyed everything, bringing stunning silence. The message I received was to replace violence with silence ... maybe abundance as well. Thanks to Jenefer, I can see that piece now and continue working on completing the puzzle of my wholeness.
• How do I feel about money?
• Can I give AND receive?
• Are there inherited attitudes or patterns I can or should shed?
• How can I incorporate the practice of gratitude and abundance into the way I interact with money?
• Can I tell myself I AM worth it?
I have locked myself
up in my own monastery
thriving in some areas,
depriving myself in others
thinking this is what
when, in truth,
I need to just be myself
fully, wholly and with
... and some extra
cash in my wallet
Jenefer Annenberg is a life-empowered catalyst and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org