Written by Philip Watson
Money: a mirror for self-reflection
Like it or not, money is a big part of life in this post-postmodern 21st century. So much so that it can’t help but be a powerful mirror for how we see the world and ourselves.
Put differently: tell me how you view money and wealth and I’ll probably learn a lot about how you’re relating to yourself and to life.
An empowered approach
A relateful approach to wealth recognizes that in a very real sense we are co-creating our experience of abundance (or lack thereof). We distinguish abundance from dollars in your wallet. We’re always invited, just as in a relatefulness session, to “claim our experience,” meaning we can always choose to see ourselves as causative of our relationship with our financial circumstances.
And it asks us to see that, whatever our current experience of money and wealth, we are already loved completely by Life/Spirit/God/The Universe and therefore are never guilty of “falling short” or “getting it wrong,” no matter how much we might want to believe that’s the case. We try on the perspective that in every moment we have the option to make new choices, take more responsibility for our relationship to money, and take action in ways that are more aligned with a life of truth, goodness and beauty.
Shifting perspectives for a healthier relationship with money
One aspect of doing this “work” involves looking squarely at our relationship to money and finances. For many of us, this can mean facing some uncomfortable truths, maybe for the first time. Do I see money as the “root of all evil”? Am I addicted to thinking about my finances, obsessing over every expense and over how to increase my income? Or do I try to ignore money and finance entirely, naively “hoping for the best” even though I often find myself on the brink of penury?
Whatever our relationship to money, the key is to start by seeing it clearly, without problematizing it or making it wrong. And from this place of honest intimacy, we can begin to shift into ways of seeing and ways of being that feel healthier and like a more true expression of the abundant universe we find ourselves in and which we ultimately are.
We can also look at how money is never really an end in itself, but rather a means to a multiplicity of ends that are as unique as each one of us, and also rather universal. What is it that we believe we’ll obtain if we get more money? Security or power, respect or success, altruistic capacity or freedom? What does wealth mean to you, and what is it that you believe money will bring you? How are those things already showing up in your life, right now?
Seeing all the ways in which we are already wealthy
Another aspect of relateful wealth consciousness is relaxing into seeing all the ways in which we are already wealthy, regardless of our financial circumstances. Do you own a smartphone or a computer? You’re already wealthier in connectivity, processing power and access to information than the richest person in the world was just a few decades ago. Are you a relatefulness practitioner? You’re likely already experiencing a depth of intimacy and connection with others (often with “strangers” you’ve just met) that many people deeply long for (including many who are financially very well-off). Do you have access to clean running water, 24/7 electricity and know where your next meals are coming from? You’re more fortunate than several billion people in the world today.
Realizing the ultimate form of wealth
We also keep discovering how rich our relationships can be. When we dare to bring more truth and love into any connection we find that any interaction can be a treasure trove of presence, discovery and even co-awakening from the numbness of the mundane into the radiant miracle that each moment truly is. In this sense, every single relationship is always available for us to be more full and free together, to realize and express our always-already perfection and quirky uniqueness ever more vibrantly. We can come to see that our very existence, our “precious human birth” as the Buddhists like to put it, is in and of itself the ultimate form of wealth and abundance. The mere fact that we exist in this physical form, able to feel, think, love, lose, grow, transform, learn, teach, give, receive, serve and so much more, already means that we’ve hit the ultimate jackpot.
For more on money & wealth, check out Beyond Money, our self-paced online course:
Beyond Money Course
What does wealth mean for you?
"These experiences cause my universe to expand and be richer. I know more of myself when I see another who sees me and offers me a mirror to see myself."
"Being relateful is being with what's present in me, what's present in you, and what is here between us right now. It's a presence practice and an invitation to be with everything that arises, including any resistance to just that."
"Level Up literally changed my life."
"What blew me away the most about it is how… it inevitably goes into every part of my life."
"I’ve really matured as a person and have met tons of highly conscious-minded people!"
"I can’t remember a time in my life where I’ve been in such a challenging learning environment while being supported and cheered on along the way."
"...A paradigm that has shifted my entire life and the way I communicate and move through the world. It is a practice that I wish everyone would have."
"Being relateful is one of the most valuable and impactful emotional practices I've encountered. When I started in 2015, it seemed to be a possible solution to many of my social bottlenecks as a person with Asperger's Syndrome. Within a couple of months, I had a couple dozen skills and abilities that I did not have prior."
"Dying and birthing at a very high frequency. Embodied awakening in the context of a collective."
"This to me is a profound tool for introspection and personal development… and also a precious and beautiful practice in being awake to every moment.... and surrendering… and aliveness.... and more!"
"It’s a playground for embodied learning. A place to walk towards my deepest fears in good company, to take ownership for my shadows, and come into healthy relationship with everything, within and without. It’s a wondrous adventure, bringing me into deep humility and awe on a regular basis. It’s life condensed. It’s what i've been longing for, for a long time, and what I want to share with as many people as I can."
"I practice being more fully myself. I see myself more fully. I let what's arising in me be more fully okay, be it, allow it, share it… what's happening in me, what responses and reactions I'm having. I see and seek what I'm wanting, needing, yearning for. I see how my experience of the world shifts when I orient on my connection with specific people, with the whole group, when I orient on myself and my experience."
"I LOVE getting to immerse with people from all over the world. And them still in their all over the world-ness."
"A way of being my truest self, a way of deeply connecting to people, to life, to love. This teaches me and reminds me of my surrender to what is."
"At the simplest level, it is a meditation practice where the focus of my attention is on my experience of me, my expression of me, my experience of us, my expression of us, and my experience of you."
"A relational meditation where we get closer to who we really are in compassionate connection with self and others. It is a space where I am becoming kinder while learning to flex relational norms (i.e. becoming less "nice"). It is a process where the life that wants to be lived in each of us can find room to breathe and unfurl."
"A life practice, to become more present, more here, to develop my capacity to love and live fully, to share and co-create reality, make the unconscious conscious, find my essence and connect to the essence in others, and to embrace and appreciate the humanness in us all. And that is to me a practice of healing."