I started a little experiment a few years ago, when my husband and I made an unwise decision to renovate our entire home while I was pregnant. Probably not the best decision, but I learned a lot about my saving and spending habits, and in turn, my happiness. Here's the story.
First, we blew through our savings.
Needless to say, the renovations quickly ate up all of our cash flow and most of our savings. I became chronically anxious, fearful, and ungrounded. Although our decision to renovate was a joint one, it was my extreme sense of urgency that got us into the mess. My husband would have been completely content renovating slow and steady, but I, on the other hand, didn't understand this language. My entire life was spent rushing, hustling, and chasing. "All or nothing" was my motto and the faster the better was how I rolled.
I forced my way through two years of renovations and a whole lot of hustle to gather up the cash to fund the project. I became obsessed with cash flowing the project and avoiding a bank loan at all costs. My daily grind would consist of doing my dishes in the bathtub, taking care of my toddler, building my business, and frequently bawling my eyes out.
Then, I realized it cost me much more: my happiness.
Did I mention I was doing this while pregnant with my second son? I wanted my life to look pretty and polished no matter what the cost. I was happy to hustle and was good at it—until it cost me my happiness.
When my second son was born, we were still living in that house. It was still incomplete, but we finally had a kitchen! I was beyond in love with my second little man, but I was also overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, and guilt. As my son approached three months old, I became deeply curious about the impact this stored tension in my body had on my outer reality.
It was time for a change. An experiment.
I decided to spend a few years experimenting with my thinking and letting go of areas in my life that were no longer in harmony. As a mother, entrepreneur, wife, and mentor—I owed it to myself (and my clients!) to evolve to a higher state of consciousness and truth. During the next few years, I let go of many fears that were holding me back in my life. I later realized that these fears were also clogging the flow of financial bliss in my life. In my experience, the greater the inner stress and tension, the less financially healthy we are as well. What if I had it wrong this whole time? What if actually letting go of fear and tension was the key to thriving in health and in my bank account, and not the other way around? It was a terrifying thought to entertain.
The findings from my experiment were profound yet peaceful. Here are the truths I discovered from my experiment. Take it from someone who has been there and come out the other side.
1. Having a daily practice of clearing space creates significant positive momentum.
I have found that doing a little clearing daily helps create space in all areas of my life. Each day, I clear anything from the day that isn't serving me (this could include physical, mental, or emotional clutter). Often this clearing includes letting go of any heavy emotions that have hooked me during the day. There is a spaciousness in my life when I make clearing a daily practice. This practice keeps my mind fresh and my body clean. On a financial note, I have become much less prone to emotional spending and financial messiness. I keep my desk clean and my financial papers organized—daily!
2. Tension in my mind and body will show up in my finances.
I know this to be true. In my own life, I instantly feel tension in my body. When I allowed stress and tension to take over my life, I noticed my income stalled and my debt increased. I was more prone to emotionally spend, feel defeated by debt, and projected my stress on my husband. When creative space within the mind and body is clogged with tension, the flow of abundance decreases in my life.
The solution? Running, massages, body work, mini retreats, meditation, and yoga are my tension-releasing priorities in 2017. I'm also building a sauna in my home to help with my mind-body detoxing. I'm even tempted to open a yoga studio (for those reading my book—you'll learn more about that!).
3. Ego-based emotions will cost me more than happiness.
I still occasionally fall into this trap. Spending too much time on social media can trigger my "I'm not good enough" complex. Being mindful of how much time I spend plugged in is ultra important in my world. It's all too easy today to feel disconnected and ungrounded. The most effective way I've found to connect with yourself and the earth below your feet is to spend more time in nature.
As a rule of thumb, I constantly remind myself that ego-based thoughts (such as envy, frustration, anger, and fear) instantly slow the flow of abundance in my life. Letting my ego loose will cost me in the long run. The excess time, effort, and hustle required to create from that space is exhausting and costly. I now practice spending most of my time on activities that bring me joy and make my heart sing. Wouldn't you know—my money got happy as well!
4. Building wealth-worth is where to spend my time and energy.
I realized that one of the key reasons my net worth hit a wall was because I often settled and undervalued myself. My income caught up to the value I put on myself. If I wanted my income to continue to grow, I had to look within. I had to stop compromising so much and undervaluing my time and my gifts. How I talked to myself, valued myself, and treated myself had to evolve. I had to build up my wealth-worth. I did this by reviewing where new friendships, beliefs, and habits were necessary.
I used a mantra of "you deserve the best" on my computer screen to help me avoid settling for less than I deserved. I identified exactly what reality I intended to create and set clear boundaries for my life that I vowed to stick to. I stopped inauthentic people-pleasing and let go of a load of guilt I carried. As I incrementally made these changes, my cash flow started to rise and so did my net worth, almost instantly! I stopped settling and started to expect and command the best.
5. Where I leak energy, I leak money.
I spent days evaluating where I was giving away my power and where I was leaking energy in my life. What friends did I please out of fear of not being liked? Where in my life did I not speak my truth? What activities in my life were no longer aligned with truth? Were my days filled with activities that aligned with my most precious values? Once I got clear on my energy leaks, I got to work on plugging them up. This took extreme kindness, patience, and time but was so worth the journey. You just may fully breathe for the very first time when you do this exercise. Where you leak energy, you leak money. As you plug up your energy leaks, your body will be filled with inspiration and creativity like never before. You will plug into a personal power that is worthy of greatness (and the motivation to take action). This action will lead to a financial and personal upswing. Make your list today!
The greatest gift out of my experiment was that I created my very own program for holistic wealth creation. Consider it a recipe for mind-body money. The experiment gracefully came to a close when I let go and fully surrendered. My husband and I realized that we prioritized a pretty house over our most sacred values. We prioritized a pretty kitchen over well-being, inner peace, and freedom.
And then, after all that, we let everything go.
As soon as our home got close enough to completion to put on the market, we chose to fully surrender. In an effort to rebalance and recalibrate our lives, we committed to creating extreme space. We sold our house and our cars and decided to rent for the summer. We gave away furniture and anything that wasn't needed. We completely let go and surrendered. We chose time and health over everything else, and it felt magical. With the surrender came a surge in abundance and grace like never before. Within a few short months of surrendering, we stumbled upon our dream home, bought two new cars, and reloaded our savings account. This cannot be a coincidence. If you're interested in a holistic wealth makeover, join me for a BEAUTIFUL MONEY making experience.