Money – What if you always have enough?
This is the question I’ve been thinking about since my recent hypnotherapy session around my relationship with money.
What even is money? It’s little pieces of paper, coins, that collectively we’ve assigned as symbolic of value. The paper it’s printed on isn’t of value, it’s the energy we’ve ascribed to it.
I’m thinking quite a bit about symbols today. I’ve spent several days working on sketches for the first significant piece of art I’ve made in years, and I’ve decided to take the ‘all in’ approach to returning to visual art by doing a mural on a 30x7ft wall on the roof of the villa where I live. I moved to Bali four months ago, and making this daydream into reality has brought my belief in the power of imagination back in a big way. Maybe my daydreams simply won’t fit in a sketchbook. I needed a large enough space for it to flow outwards.
Dreams I used to have about using art and creativity to support my location independent lifestyle are rising back up. I work for a research company right now, and I live comfortably on my income, and my job assisting clients in designing research projects is intuitive and easy. I’m grateful, and in that sense, I wonder why I even am wishing for more. But, the urge to create has never been one I could suppress. So I’m exploring, I’m playing, and I’m now wondering ‘what else can I do’.
Financially, I’m set. I have more in savings than I have since I started traveling, and most of the time my monthly income exceeds my expenses enough where I am able to easily enjoy luxuries like regular surf lessons, yoga passes, good wine, and the occasional international trip. I have a fair amount of resources to spend on joy, and enough money to share a lovely home, a backyard full of flower trees and coconuts, a pool, a third story rooftop perfect for yoga. Each year since I started traveling, I’ve figured out how to earn a little more, and set some aside, and each year, my life has gotten more abundant. I started out this journey taking time off work in the US to travel, doing work exchanges or teaching English for near poverty wages to be able to secure lodging and meals, so I’ve evolved my life outside of the country significantly.
My basic needs are taken care of, but lately I dream of the next level. I have friends all over the world, and I’d like enough fluid cash to never have to put off seeing any of them or have to choose between which friend to catch up with because of the expense of plane tickets limits me to one trip per month. And, as much as I am proud to have evolved my remote income, I dream of the prosperity that exists with that job existing doing something that is more uniquely Jenny shaped.
I want to make art. Share art. Lead creativity based workshops, that guide others to their inner creativity. I want to live and breathe creativity, and have financial prosperity, and locational freedom. I’ve poked holes in my broke backpacker myth by traveling and earning, now I want to poke holes in the starving artist myth I acquired somewhere along the way by doing all three.
During hypnotherapy, I talk about my fears and money blocks. I’m meeting with Diana, a Bali based therapist who does her sessions remotely. She’s the perfect therapist, in the sense that she’s poked holes in the idea that therapy can only exist in an office. It seems fitting to chat with someone who’s shifting paradigms around her own practice, as I attempt to shift my internal ones about money, travel, and art.
During our session, we talk a bit about my goals, the beliefs that are creating resistance, and then she guides me down a hypnosis based journey to related childhood memories. The moments that come up show me how my first memories of money got associated with the desire to buy delightful treats but being urged to be responsible, and fear of running out of money if I enjoyed having it or played too much. I chat with my child self about this whole, money isn’t related to fun & it will run out, idea, and we decide to replace it. I feel less afraid as I book my pricey plane ticket back to California to see my family, and starting feeling curious about finding ways to generate money doing joyful things.
I feel less afraid. I sit down with all of the numbers I’ve been avoiding, take a closer look at where my money is going on a daily and monthly basis, my potential to save, my goals, and how I can line them up. It feels more than doable, it seems inevitable that I will get where I’d like to be. It seems easy.
I’m on my rooftop, sketching, and believing in my ability to have prosperity, creativity, and location independence. I feel open and unafraid, and in that space, art based business ideas just flow in. Ideas that my ‘you need to do hard, boring work to earn a living’ myth had been blocking rise to my consciousness. I’m lit up.
I take a break from art to go to the ATM & grocery, and I feel so alive. As I ride my bike, the world is colors, and I have a paintbrush. I stand in the line at the ATM smiling…
And then, it eats my card. I watch the screen flash, “card retained”, and stare at the card slot, and the place where I’d expected my money to be- also empty.
Uh-oh. This is my last working ATM card. It’s Friday night. The bank that owns the ATM is closed. My passport is at my immigration agent until Monday as well, so wiring myself money to Western Union is not an option.
I have 300K rupiah in my wallet, the equivalent of 20USD. It’s Bali, I can get by on that, but it’s not going to be a good weekend. I head to the grocery, and do the kind of shopping I did as a broke college students- eggs, noodles, a loaf of bread. I glance sadly at the red wine and dark chocolate that I’d planned to enjoy while I sketched.
It feels like such a bad sign. Seeeeee, if you do art, you’ll be broke like this again, my fear based self computes. I remember my budget as an art teacher in the US, how I’d had to skip dinners out with friends, never had a savings account for travel or vacations, how any small car repair or unexpected expense felt back then. I carefully add up the food items in my basket, tell myself, ‘if you do art, this will be your reality again’. I feel myself drop from the sky of possibility to a heavy place.
I come home, and see my art supplies scattered across my space, gather them with sad frustration, grab my sketchbook and some paper scraps I’ve sloppily stacked in the corner. I pull out a flier from a painting workshop I’d considered attending, ready to throw it in the trash. Two 100K rupiah notes fall out of the sketchbook where I’d tucked it.
I’m surprised, but not wowed. This will help me get to Monday, I think, feeling a tiny bit less panicked. I open the sketchpad, to put the flier back in. Another 200K is tucked between the pages!
By the time I find another 100K in my pencil case, I’m starting to feel like my art supplies are raining money. I’m baffled. I’d bought the sketchpad in Thailand months ago. Where was this money coming from? Why am I just now finding, right when I needed it?
I think of my conversation with Diana, What if you always have enough?
Later that evening, tucked in the same folder where I keep the passport copy and my banking information, I find an even more significant gift of prosperity from my creative past self. Folded in half, in the back of a pocket, I find a document from the year I worked as a volunteer for Americorp, the first time I would teach art to youth. It’s the form required to claim an education grant I’d earned. $5,550 sitting in an account, waiting to be used towards a course at any university in the US. I think of the design course I’ve been auditing, debating on whether the cost of getting the certificate is worth it. I think of another course I’d wanted to take, on photo editing.
So now, just hours after watching my access to money swallowed by an ATM, being sure I’d be a starving artist, my wallet is full. And I have several thousand dollars to fund the courses to move me towards creative goals. I’m nearly in tears. My highest truth is so obvious in this moment…
I always have enough.