Many years ago, during my senior year of high school, I took part in a musical exchange student program for three weeks in Germany. My host family was wonderful to me, I had a marvelous time and overall it was a great experience (one I repeated when I spent my last semester of college in England. The food was better in Germany.)
Anyways, one thing I noticed on food labels was, instead of the word “calories” with which I was familiar, the label read “energy.” Huh. That actually put things in much better perspective, as in, “This will give me 300 units of energy for (whatever).” It was easy to understand if you were consuming too much, as you instinctively knew you didn’t need that much energy to sit in class but walking to and from school would require more energy, so eat accordingly.
Calories can be confusing, especially when you factor in the variations of a person’s metabolism. Plus, we consume calories for many reasons, not all because we need “energy.”
Money is similar to calories, and certainly losing weight and getting out of debt have many, many similarities in that you have to consciously commit to undoing what you’ve already done, and then pace yourself going forward in a way that is healthy and sustainable.
Money confuses or eludes many of us.
It comes in and goes out.
“I don’t know where it all goes,” they say. “I earn a lot of money but I seem to spend it all.”
Conversely “I don’t know how we did it with the kids,” and “I don’t make much but I seem to manage.”
It’s not unlike those people who can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. (Did you ever notice that people like that are always busy doing something? Yeah, their metabolism plays a big role in that miraculous weight management.)
Women and holistic health practitioners (in general) have a notoriously difficult time valuing their work, and this, of course, affects their finances and they’re typically under a lot of stress as a result. They’re not taking in enough energy to do their work, like financial anorexia.
Maybe because taking money feels greedy, and all they want to do is help. But being the giver all the time and not the receiver creates an imbalance and, if not checked, can result in terrible resentment towards family members, friends, and clients not to mention a negative cash flow. It’s also not fair to the recipient to foster this imbalance and not give him/her/them the opportunity to contribute towards your financial health and well-being.
If you start to think of money as a form of energy, as the unit of exchange as it is, you can stop feeling so weird about accepting it. You can give and receive it, not blocking it out of your life nor hoarding it. Keep the energy flowing.
Do you know why a handshake is significant? Because you are offering/giving your hand and receiving the other person’s hand. They are offering/giving their hand and receiving your hand. It’s a divine and balanced exchange of energy.
Did you ever shake someone’s hand and their shake was either too weak or too strong?
It bothered you because of the imbalance in the energy; either they weren’t offering enough or giving too much.
The sun produces energy and we don’t feel a bit dysfunctional about getting some (but not too much) sunshine, in fact it’s good for us.
We breathe in and out – receiving and releasing that energy – and don’t think about it at all except during exercise, yoga or meditation: All things that remind us of the importance of our breath.
Sun = energy.
Breath = energy
Calories = energy.
Money = energy.
I’m getting a good vibration…
If you’d like to trade some of your energy for some of mine, check out my book Living Inspired and Financially Empowered available locally in WNY and online through Barnes and Noble.
Food label photo from www.rr-magazine.com. Photo of hands courtesy of Clip Art
I love the analogy.
Thanks John, I frequently use food analogies with money (I have a post about Asset Allocation – it just means “recipe”). There’s a good book, forget the author, titled “Does This Portfolio Make My Assets Look Fat?”. Good stuff.