Naughty Or Nice, For You?
At first, I took that as a personal insult, and started to think about how I could be MORE harder-hitting. Then the personal work I’ve done kicked in, and I realized…wait a second, so many of us (myself included) have always been hard-hitting with ourselves, and it didn’t get us the results we wanted! That’s not my vibe.
Then I went through a phase of judging how wrong she was to make that choice, and how it would be more courageous of her to not require a “hard-hitting” person to deal with her finances. My inner Jiminy Cricket asked me, how did I know what was best for her. Fine, she knows best. Peace out.
I put it out here as food for thought, mainly. Some people want the “kind/supportive/soft” approach. Others want to be perhaps intimidated a bit in to accountability. (Lord knows I used to make that choice in my dating life! But I digress!)
Something else I realized, though, is that there is a difference between “hard-hitting” in a truthful/ constructively demanding way, and someone who gets away with being mean because it’s hard for the recipient to speak up for themselves. (Or however that semi-abusive dynamic develops.) I personally don’t think dealing with money has to be strict, shaming/blaming, or fear-inducing. Others may disagree, and that’s the beauty of being in the Crayola box of the human race together.
In my experience, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when it comes to your interactions with financial professionals:
~Do I feel included in the decisions and interactions about my money?
~Do I feel comfortable asking questions when I don’t understand something?
~Do I feel respected and seen in this working relationship?
~Is there something I’m wanting that I’m not getting, that I haven’t yet asked for?
I know that interactions about money can be brutally challenging. They can dredge up bad memories and fears of the future. Quite the potent cocktail. However, I believe the Divine, whatever it is and however it works, leads us to opportunities to heal and grow. That’s my best guess about what it is I’m doing on Earth. Healing and growing.
Truly, nobody else knows better than you (deep down in your heart of hearts, at least) what style of financial professional is right for you. If you want someone who is strict, or leaves their personal life out of, that’s awesome. Run with that and get every benefit out of it. And if you would like someone who is kind and competent at the same time, know that it’s possible to find that. Money geeks like me can at least on occasion have feelings, too. : )
Dharma and Money
I cherish this talk by Diana Winston, which is available from the treasure chest of Dharmaseed.org. (“Dharma” basically means “the way” or “the path”, if that is a new word to you.) Here is a short version of Winston’s bio: Diana Winston is a mindfulness teacher at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, an author, and a mindful mom.
Around the 8:00 minute mark, quoting the Buddha…
“Balanced Livelihood means…Knowing his income and expenses, the householder leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly. Knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, and not his expenses in excess of his income.”
I think it’s neat that:
a) Money has been around in some form for many many years. That means people have done research for us in advance.
b) Winston acknowledges how taboo the topic of money is within many spiritual fellowships. (Which is true of people in general, spiritual fellowships being comprised of people.)
c) She talks about people habitually associating poverty with virtue. (Oh yeh, I am still finding the roots of that in my system.)
d) I had never heard the quote she shares in her talk, “It took millions of rupees to keep Ghandi in poverty”. Woahhh. Thank you, Money. Sorry we’re mean to you at times, Money. You can really help people change the world for the better, Money.
e) The quote from the Buddha above is the same type of advice I’ve benefitted from by Dave Ramsey, who has the tagline, “We give the same advice your grandmother gave you about money, but we keep our teeth in”. heehee This tells me that there is a lineage, and a sustainability about caring for my finances and firing Instant Gratification as my north star of financial decisions. From Buddha to Wise Grandma to Current Teachers to Me and You