It is incredibly common in the field of spirituality for people to think that money is diametrically opposed to a spiritual life. I’ve had many people tell me that I should not charge money for my spiritual work because that somehow makes the spiritual nature of what I do illegitimate. I’ve also worked with many clients and students who struggled with money because they were afraid that focusing their attention on the realm of money would somehow impede their spiritual growth. I am here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, a strong financial basis can actually greatly improve the speed at which you progress spiritually.
That’s right, money can actually make you a MORE spiritual person!
Money & Spirituality: Really?
I know, this goes against so much of what we’ve been taught about money and spirituality. We live in a world that is convinced that the tangible physical world is somehow in opposition to the realm of the spiritual and to the growth of our souls. To claim that not only is money not detrimental to our spiritual growth but that it can actually be of benefit to our spiritual progression is almost unheard of!
But really, who does it benefit for you to think that money is anti-spiritual?
It benefits the people in power, in this case, the people who have religious power. If you convince people that having money is morally wrong and that they should give their money to spiritual institutions than what you end up with is a population of people who struggle financially, who have no time or freedom because of the struggle, and who are therefore spiritually reliance on these external religious institutions to provide them with the connection to God that we are all looking for. Framing money as the root of spiritual corruption only serves to create a population of people who are externally dependent for their spiritual fulfillment.
And even if you’re not someone who follows a major religion, Western society is steeped in these moral ideas. You can’t escape them just because you don’t go to church.
When spiritual people begin to prioritize the health and well-being of their financial lives, they do not become spiritually bankrupt. Instead, what they become is more free to pursue the growth of their soul and their connection with God or the universe. In my last post, we talked about how money is leverage. Money is one of the primary ways that we are able to create change in our lives. One of those changes that we can create is to make space in our lives, to create more time for us to devote to the things that truly matter to us both spiritually and otherwise.
Why Money Is So Important Spiritually
This brings us to the crux of the matter. In Fourth Way teachings, one of the foundational laws meant to guide the seeker toward enlightenment is the practice of the Good Householder.
Fourth Way was specifically developed as a path to spiritual enlightenment that was meant for normal people. It did not require you to become a monk, to take a vow of celibacy, or to give up all of your worldly possessions. Instead, it provided a path to spiritual connection that was attainable while living a normal life. This idea of the good householder essentially teaches that in order to live a truly spiritual life, a person must have a level of discipline and dedication to get their house in order. This applied to things like community and relationships but also to matters of finance and responsibility.
Essentially, if you could not master yourself enough to create a life of well-being and stability, you would not be able to progress spiritually.
By learning to master the self in the realms of money, relationship, responsibility, and community you not only developed the necessary mental and emotional skills to progress further on the spiritual path but also created a life with room to spare. With this time and space in your life, you are more able to devote yourself to whatever forms of spiritual practice that call to you. Whether that be having more time for meditation, more mental space to read and learn and gain knowledge, or better relationships within your community to have deeper philosophical and spiritual conversations, the principle of the good householder is a foundation that makes a spiritual life possible.
Does this mean that you have to become excessively wealthy and focus entirely on money? Of course not. There is a correct amount of money and achievement for everyone. Some people require a simpler life while others find greater fulfillment and freedom in a life of more abundance. Only you know what is correct for yourself but if you are feeling like something is not quite right in your household, financially or otherwise, it can only benefit your spiritual practice to shore up your foundations and create more stability in this area. It will free your mind from excess worry and create more space and time in your life for you to devote to the things that matter most to you.
How To Make Money A Spiritual Practice
i\If money matters so much to living a spiritual life, then there must be some way to work directly with our finances both spiritually and practically to create this foundation. The steps below are an excellent way to begin practicing the spiritual path of the good householder for yourself.
1. Look at your mental and emotional relationship with money
Start by digging into your mental and emotional relationship with money. We start here because if we jump straight into more practical steps, it’s likely to stir up a lot of resistance and that could very easily knock you off track entirely.
How do you feel about money?
What do you believe about money?
Do you feel good about your money?
Do you feel shame about your money?
Do you avoid looking at your money?
Does the idea of paying attention to your finances give you anxiety?
Do you feel guilty about having or making money?
Do you feel like you don’t deserve money?
This can be an ongoing process so don’t expect to have all of the answers all at once. Healing and growing is a continuous journey so it’s okay if you don’t uncover the deepest core truths of your relationship with money right at. The important thing is to build a level of awareness around what’s happening for you mentally and emotionally in this area. If you like, this is a perfectly appropriate time to do belief work and start to shift any resistance or discomfort that you’re feeling around money.
I would also suggest returning to this step frequently. Anytime you start to feel weird around your money, anytime you notice yourself avoiding your finances, anytime you notice a bit of guilt or shame around your money, anytime you feel weird talking about or thinking about money, go back to this root and look at how you are feeling and thinking about money as a whole. I often just do this as a stream-of-consciousness journaling exercise. You don’t have to do anything structured, you can even just write out a list of bullet points of how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking to gain clarity around what’s happening for you in the arena of money. Awareness is the root of all spiritual and personal growth so please do not underestimate the power of simply being able to admit to yourself how you really feel.
2. Next, look at the reality of your finances
Now, I’m going to have you do the hard step and actually look your finances in the face. I want you to collect all of your financial information in one place so that you can look at it. You can simply write it all out on a piece of paper, you can make a spreadsheet, or you can even use a budgeting app. Use whatever works best for you but get everything in one place.
You want to know how much income you’re bringing in, how much you pay in bills every month, how much you have on credit cards, whether or not you have any loans, look at your credit score, do you have any late payments, is there any excessive spending, get it all down in one place so that you can just look at it and no with complete certainty where you stand with your money.
For some of you, this will be no problem, many of you will have this information already collected in one place and if that’s the case, then well done!
If this is new to you or if you feel particularly resistant to doing this, you stand to gain the most by being truly honest with yourself about your financial situation. You cannot create a good stable household for yourself if you are ignorant of the reality of your situation. Knowledge is power. When you know exactly where you stand, then you are able to make decisions that are appropriate for the situation you are in, whether that situation is good or bad. Giving yourself this level of stability and certainty around where you are financially allows you to educate yourself about the necessary steps to improve your situation and gives you the confidence in the devotion to your own well-being that is necessary to propel you into the life of financial stability and freedom that we all desire.
Give yourself the gift of true clarity.
3. Find a way to improve your relationship with money that FEELS GOOD
Now that we have gotten super clear about where you stand financially both emotionally and practically, you can begin to make choices to improve your relationship with money. I want you to find actions to take that feel good, that feel right to you. Whether that is pursuing financial education, paying down those credit cards and loans, increasing your income, or working primarily on your emotions and mindset around money. Any and all of these actions can be transformative for your financial life.
What feels manageable for you today?
What would help you to build a level of confidence so that you can create some momentum in this area of your life?
Are there any small issues that you can tackle easily so that you no longer have to think about them?
I want you to get really practical here. It’s nice to daydream about being able to double your income overnight but that does not in any way improve your financial situation here and now. If having more income is your goal, that’s fantastic but you need to find practical steps to take toward that goal.
4. Use shadow work to heal your relationship with money so that you can flourish, physically and spiritually
Finally, in exactly the same way that working with your money helps to improve your spiritual life, you can use your spiritual practice to improve your financial life. There are so many amazing practices and techniques available to help you clear blocks, release trauma, and rewrite limiting beliefs so that you can attract more money and a healthier financial situation naturally. Everything from journaling and belief work, which we’ve already discussed, to breath work, medicine journeys, therapy, and somatic healing can help you begin to shift your relationship to money and the energy that you hold in your body.
You can think of your energetic body as a kind of container, the more space you can create within this container through healing work, the more space you have to allow money into your life. There are many, many ways to expand your energetic container in this way so feel free to experiment and try whatever practices resonate with you.
Your journey with money can be one that is rooted in spiritual principles, both to bring you greater abundance and to create more freedom for your spiritual explorations.