Money Myths with the Teachable Spirit

» Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 in teachable spirit | 0 comments

Money Myths with the Teachable Spirit

We make the mistake of putting money in the center because we live in a culture that values money highly. We need to defang our view of money because we have hurts and wounds around money, and suffering around insufficiency. It is not so much a function of less or more; the wealthiest people have the most upset. They cannot sleep because there are so many things that could go up or down. Individuals born into families of wealth feel uncomfortable with it. The vicious cycle of wealth creates just as much suffering as the vicious cycle of poverty. —Lynne Twist, Fundraising from the Heart workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 2014

How did the myths surrounding money get created?
What are the three pervasive myths regarding money?
How do these lies have a grip on our lives?

Instructors of Ingrid Education Centre receiving their certificate of completion for the 24 hour professional development workshop I facilitated for them in Nairobi, Kenya, February 2013.

Instructors of Ingrid Education Centre receiving their certificate of completion for the 24 hour professional development workshop I facilitated for them in Nairobi, Kenya, February 2013.

Recently, the teachable spirit attended a Fundraising from the Heart workshop featuring Lynne Twist, author of the book, Soul of Money. Lynne’s philosophy resonated with me more than any other approach to money I have encountered. I traveled to the Upaya Center in Santa Fe via Albuquerque, New Mexico, to broaden my understanding of the subject. The following information is taken from my notes at that workshop.

Lynne states that the lies around money are severe. They are cultural and not individual, but we have individually internalized them. We have turned money into something more important than it is. It is cultural rather than personal, but we apply it individually and personalize it. For most people, there are fears, upsets, wounds, harsh lectures, business deals gone wrong, people still owing money to each other, and a general angst around money.

Most people feel automatically wrong about money.

Buddha said, “The source of all suffering is a lie.”

We forget that we invented money.

Teaching math to the students of Ingrid with chalk, chalkboard, and a single textbook, Nairobi, Kenya, January, 2013.

Where money is a scarce resource, teaching math to the students of Ingrid happens with chalk, chalkboard, and a single textbook, Nairobi, Kenya, January, 2013.

About 4500 years ago is when money was formalized, created as a structure for facilitating resources in the community, an equitable way of sharing. Prior to that, if the cobbler and the pig farmer did not want each other’s product, there was no trade. The cobbler would have to trade with the corn farmer to get corn to give to the pig farmer. Trading was complicated. The creation of money was supposedly for an easier and more equitable life.

In the meantime, society has become infatuated with the tool, putting money on the throne. Now we use it to control and marginalize. The game is rigged by loaning money into existence, with interest tacked on by the Federal Reserve, which is privately owned, meaning there is less money circulating than is owed. Money became the center. Money is given more power and significance than human life.

Originally uploaded by cohdra at morguefile.com.

Originally uploaded by cohdra at morguefile.com.

It is part of the way our culture is oriented towards money that we are now complicit with these parameters and we suffer unnecessarily. We have made money more important than God. We are lying in our relationship with money. Our terminology has changed. Once we were citizens; now we are consumers, targeted by the way we spend money.

No matter what we do with money, we always feel wrong.

Scarcity reigns supreme in a money culture. We have an unexamined and unconscious set of beliefs, a conditioned way of seeing life, like wearing sunglasses a long time. This idea comes before thinking, not after deliberating.

Money Myth #1: There is not enough.

At Ingrid, there is not enough books, so when the children receive them, they are extremely grateful, October 2013: Lilian has been an instructor with Ingrid since its inception.

At Ingrid, there is not enough books, so when the children receive them, they are extremely grateful, October 2013.

This is an unconscious, unexamined concept, a way of seeing the world through a lens. There’s not enough to go around AND someone somewhere will always be left out. If you really believe that then it gives you an unholy permission to accumulate more than you need even at the expense of leaving someone out. THEN we define ourselves by our tribe to extract from the poor what we need. It is extremely dangerous when we perceive the world in this way because the progression of thought is:

There is not enough →
we are not enough →
it is not enough →
I am not enough.

This progression of thought creates depression and mental instability.

Money Myth #2: More is better.

Ingrid Education Centre's first 8th grade class posing with their parents, guardians, and teachers, March 2014.

More is better perhaps only in education; Ingrid Education Centre‘s first 8th grade class posing with their parents, guardians, and teachers, Nairobi, Kenya, March 2014.

More of everything is insanity. For example, there is a growing industry called storage, which is growing faster than the car industry. We have villages for our stuff; we are building houses for our stuff, but not for the homeless.

Again, this is not the teachable spirit, but a cultural lie; an unconscious unexamined assumption. Culturally, we are ashamed, but do not know how to disengage from it. We receive 30,000 messages a day to buy something accompanied by the message that we are not okay unless we acquire more.

Money Myth #3: That’s just the way that it is.

IEC purchased books and food with money raised by Natasha during the FOKUK contest, July 2014.

Ingrid Education Centre is attempting to change “just the way it is” for the children of Kayole and Matopeni on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, July 2014.

This is the worst myth because it holds/binds the other two in place. It is the source of depression, obesity, and other mental ailments. We are caught in a culture where these three toxic money myths are part of the unconscious fabric of our lives.

Where are you hooked by these money myths?

The teachable spirit has the opportunity to step back and see how these lies have a grip on our lives and not allow them to have their pervasive power. We can extract ourselves from the money myths by remembering that there is enough, more is not necessarily better, and reflecting on whether something truly is the way it is, or whether we have power to create change in that circumstance. Examining our set of beliefs about money, raising our consciousness, and creating real value with our spending habits, helps the teachable spirit to move in a direction that centers on the truth.

The children of Ingrid are grateful for the opportunity of attending school, Nairobi, Kenya, January 2013.

The children of Ingrid are grateful for the opportunity of attending school, Nairobi, Kenya, January 2013.

Ingrid Education Centre provides a school for 200 children in the under resourced area of Kayole and Matopeni on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Create value with your money today by assisting the founder, Douglas Monene, and the teachers of Ingrid through contributing $15.00 a month or $180.00 a year, provideing all the clothes, books, and food needed for one boy or girl to attend school. Contact Douglas Monene, founder of Ingrid Education Centre via email: douglasmonene@gmail.com to learn how to sponsor one of the children who attend Ingrid.

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