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How Safe Do You Feel Around Money? - A Closer Look at Money and Your Nervous System


How Safe Do You Feel Around Money? - A Closer Look at Money and Your Nervous System by Lisa Jara for SOULACY Magazine


A sense of safety, and hence being open and receptive, is one of the main contributors to leading and living a happy, fulfilled, and easeful life. And I dare say, to making all the money that you want.


So why is it, that so many brilliant and intelligent business women give their best to do everything right – do the mindset work, speak their wealth affirmations, listen to pep talks, and read all the books about how to live a wealthy life – but still don’t allow themselves to receive the amount of money they desire?

Because money doesn’t feel safe to us. Because our nervous system freaks out.


There can be a visceral sense of danger when we think about money, because in our nervous system it’s tied to the ultimate question of life or death: There’s fear of not having enough money (and ultimately dying), fear of being judged for having money (hence being excluded from the tribe and dying), fear of somebody taking the money we have away from us (and dying).


And that fear creates a stress response in our body which keeps us from being open to receive.

 

The nervous system


First of all, I want to make clear that our nervous system is our best supporter. It takes care of our survival, day in and day out without rest, because that’s what a healthy nervous system does. It raises alarm and fires off as soon as it recognises something as a potential threat.


And our thoughts – and possible trauma – around money can trigger the nervous system big time.

It basically consists of two parts, the sympathetic nervous system for activation, and the parasympathetic nervous system for relaxation.


The sympathetic nervous system stimulates action in our body, which can be the simple act of waking up and getting out of bed in the morning, or the helpful stress when we experience a rush of adrenaline that excites us to get things done in our life and business. But its most important function is to get us out of dangerous situations by activating the “fight or flight” response, i.e., trying to defeat the threat or run away from it. In some situations, this response can also “freeze” or paralyse us in the hope that the threat will go away when we pretend to be dead or make us fawn, hoping that by deference the threat is appeased.


The parasympathetic nervous system is the sympathetic nervous system’s counterpart, stimulating a relaxation response in our body, which is needed after the action described above for our body to recuperate. A parasympathetic state allows our body to both “rest and digest” as well as “feed and breed.” It’s when we’ve come back to a place of safety and our body can start processing the food in our stomach, digesting the thoughts and emotions regarding the threatening situation, and regenerating on a cellular level.


When the nervous system is relaxed, we are calm and receptive and our field of vision is wide open, so we feel connected and spot opportunities that present themselves to us. But when the nervous system is on fire, we shut down, get tunnel vision, focus on [perceived] lack and miss opportunities.


Unfortunately, in today’s world with all the demands and stimuli around us, our sympathetic nervous system can be on fire pretty much all the time, concentrating on immediate survival without ever getting the necessary relaxation to regain energy. And our thoughts and trauma around money come on top of that, especially when we belong to a marginalised group or one who has been withheld from having money for the past centuries.

 

Our money stories


Money doesn’t feel safe for most of us.


It's tied to hard work and selfish old white dudes exploiting people. There's always someone who wants to take it from us – either people who want to rip us off or the government demanding all sorts of taxes.

Girls (and people socialised as girls) are told they aren’t good at maths when they’re in school, so later they think they aren’t good with money either.


Or maybe we’ve grown up seeing people around us struggle with money – in reality or simply in their own mind.


I’ve personally heard the story of “we don’t have enough money” so many times growing up that it’s deeply ingrained in my system like a mantra and I have to remind myself every day that I have enough money in the bank to cover my basic needs and more for at least a few months.


And the reason I call it a “story” is that my mum and I were never in real distress regarding money, to the point that I remember wondering as a child that if money was really so scarce in our life, how my mother could spend it so freely at the bar with her friends, when I tried to eat less, buy cheap, and produce less costs altogether.


I don’t blame her. My mum had grown up in a family who ran a shop and bakery after World War II and really struggled with money in the beginning, and she never recovered from this feeling of impending doom, the sword of Damocles hanging over her head – even though the objective circumstances we lived in were significantly different. She had a secure job she couldn’t be fired from, with a guaranteed salary and pension until death. But the felt sense of not having enough money was real for her, for her nervous system.


We all carry our own trauma around money, and so it’s no wonder it doesn’t feel safe for us. And as trauma lives in the body, we can do all the mindset and thought work we like, but if we don’t process the emotions around money and release the trauma on a physical and emotional level, we’re still not going to feel safe around money and invite it in with open arms.


And I haven’t even touched on the collective trauma our bodies hold, especially when living in a female or menstruating body. In Germany, it’s only 65 years that women are allowed to have their own bank account and manage their own money. And only 45 years that women are allowed to freely choose if and where they want to work. It's of course even worse for people of colour who have had to give their resources to white folks before giving to their own children.


All of this to say:


1.        The concept of having and handling money is still relatively new for more than half of the population on this planet, so we don’t actually have a lot of practice. We’re still often seen as the sex who “isn’t good with money” or “can’t be trusted with money” and perpetuate these stories by telling them to ourselves every day, in one way or another.


2.      Our bodies are deeply traumatised even if we ourselves haven’t experienced the traumatic events. They have been stored and passed on in our cells (transgenerational trauma).

And I say it’s time to change that: Let it end with us!

 

So if mindset work alone doesn’t lead to the results we want, what else can we do? How can we partner up with our nervous system, so we feel safe having and receiving money?

 

How to partner up with your nervous system to receive what you desire

 

1: Soothe your nervous system


Your nervous system is your best ally, and it’s the sign of a healthy nervous system to be on alert as soon as it perceives danger. So first of all, don’t beat yourself or your nervous system up for raising alarm whenever money is concerned.


It’s about finding ways to actually be in your body as much as you can – and not underestimating the little things. Feeling your feet on the ground. Caressing your arms. Taking a few deep breaths into your belly (diaphragmatic breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system and calms you down without having to “do” anything). And yes, self-pleasuring is also a great way to reconnect with your body :-).

Also, there’s a nerve called the vagus nerve that runs from the sides of your neck all the way down into your digestive tract and stimulating it, for example through massaging the sides of your neck or your belly, will activate an automatic relaxation response in your body. Feel free to reach out if you want some more specific practices.


Many of us (myself included) try to THINK our way to safety, but that’s simply not possible. Because the more we escape into our head and allow ourselves to be swept away by our thought spirals, the more disconnected we feel from our body and the world around us and the more unsafe we’ll feel in turn, because our nervous system gets triggered even more.


So it’s about creating a sense of safety in your body, because the more fully you can land in it and feel safe there, the safer you’ll feel to receive and hold what you desire to have in your life – whether that’s money, pleasure, physical well-being, or anything else.

 

2: Reframing unhelpful money thoughts


Yes, this is still mindset work, but the key here is to find new thoughts - which will become your new beliefs over time - that really FEEL good for you, that help your body relax, and that you can actually believe. Simply repeating sentences other people have set up (and which probably work really well for THEM) don’t necessarily take into account your whole belief system and experiences. It’s about finding accessible thoughts for you, that don’t set your nervous system on fire.


Take a moment to find an unhelpful belief you have about money and/or receiving money. Maybe even journal about everything that comes up for you when you think about receiving money. Notice when your body has a visceral reaction, contraction, pressure, a sinking feeling, etc. and try to trace the thought that causes this reaction.


When you’ve found it, brainstorm what alternative thought you could think about receiving money, that sparks a feeling of openness, maybe even joy or excitement. Let that become your affirmation and actively remember it when you feel your body contract.


Here’s an example:


Your current thought could be “I have to work hard for money,” creating a feeling of pressure, of reluctance, of defeat or hopelessness. In your brainstorm you could explore alternative thoughts like “It’s allowed to be easy,” or “I get paid well for doing work that I love.” Say these out loud and evaluate how they feel in your body. Does one land? If not, do you need to adjust the wording slightly to make it feel more “you?”


If none of these thoughts feel like you can believe them at this point, create a thought that feels believable to you. For example, “I can learn to make things easier for myself while getting paid,” or “I’m open to the possibility that money flows to me easily.” You’ll know when you’ve found “your” thought when your body starts to relax viscerally once you think of it.

 

3: Release trauma from your body


When you experience a situation that feels too much, too fast, and too soon for your system to cope with, and you don’t get the necessary support or have adverse surroundings that don’t see you in your pain and don’t allow you to process and release it, this shock gets stored in the body as trauma. So you have to take your body on board and address its visceral, cellular memory if you want to release on a deep level.


Luckily, there are many beautiful techniques to support you in that process, so you can try different methods to find the one that works best for you right now. A few examples are TRE ®, Trauma Release Exercise, which is a form of shaking your body to release and allow the body’s natural healing process to kick in, Inner Child Healing, to make sure your little one feels protected and held, and EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. The latter is also known as tapping, and can help you not only release the fears and trauma stored in your cells, but potentially start implanting your new, more helpful beliefs from point number 2 into your system, too.

 

4: Build a relationship with money


First of all: Realise it’s not the poor money’s fault! Similar to a knife, money is just a tool, which can be used for good or bad, depending on the intention.


Money is an energy of appreciation, nothing more, nothing less. It's about people showing you they're grateful for the change you will help/helped them make in their lives.


And receiving it means the other gets to feel good, too. Because receiving money isn't just about you. As humans we want to express our gratitude and appreciation - think of yourself, when you're grateful, you also want to give back, because that's satisfying to you - and in today's world and with clients living in other states or on other continents, using money as a transmitter of that energy is really convenient.

If we think of the tribes we used to live in, the wise Elders would get everything they needed to live like food and shelter in exchange for their services of sharing their wisdom. If you came over to my house, did the grocery shopping and cooked me a meal, I’d be the first to say “I’ll coach you for no money in exchange!” But when you live on the other side of the planet, that’s quite inconvenient, so I really appreciate you sending me your energetic contribution in the form of money – and hopefully get my husband to do the cooking for me ;-).


So, start building a heartfelt relationship with the money you already have in your life, and more is going to come your way. How do you treat the money in your wallet – do you hectically stuff it in after shopping, not caring whether it gets crumpled or not? Is your wallet overflowing with slips of paper barely leaving room for your money? What kind of home would you like to live in and how can you prepare that kind of home for your money?


And remember: Like any good relationship, it is going to need trust and honest communication and will build up over time.

 

5: Find examples of people with money that use it to make a positive contribution in this world.


Money gives us power and we’re not used to having and wielding it. We’ve seen people abuse it for their personal gains and we judge rich people.


Growing up, I saw so many negative examples of people with money in my life and in the media. People with tons of money, but hollow inside. People going on expensive vacations, but working 80 hours a week. People exploiting other people and the Earth to get more, more, more, not thinking about the consequences of their actions. These examples certainly didn’t soothe my nervous system that being rich was a good thing.


So I invite you to examine your thoughts about people with money. Many heart-centred, soulful entrepreneurs are afraid money will turn them into a “bad person,” into an uncaring a**hole. We still see too many of those examples around us, and our thoughts about them often trigger our nervous system.

But: Where attention goes, energy flows, so the more you concentrate on finding positive examples, the more of them you’ll see and the faster you’ll believe that you can make a bigger positive contribution the more money you have. Because money means having the freedom to make choices (self-agency) and the ability to re-distribute it to causes that you deeply believe in.


And, money is simply an amplifier of what’s already there. In many out there, it amplifies the fear they have of not being or having enough, so they become greedy. You’re a heart-centred person (I know, because you’re reading this magazine) and even though you have your fears, your motivation for your business isn’t driven by them, but by your love for the people and the planet. So you can trust that THAT is what’s going to be amplified. There’s love for the world in you, so you won’t lose the will to give and do good, just because you’ve more money. It will actually help you give even more!


With every positive example you’ll find, your nervous system can relax a bit more, because you realise you won’t turn into a “bad person,” just because you receive more money. Simply browse through this edition to find many rich individuals who deeply care.

 

A final note


Be aware that this is all playing out for your clients and customers as well.


Money might not seem safe for them either and investing in themselves even less so. Because especially as women, and even more as women of colour of or other oppressed groups, they have learned to not take up space, to give before they receive. So they might be telling themselves the story of “I don’t have money for this,” while spending hundreds on shopping or dinners at the restaurant or on their kids or pets, putting their own mental and emotional well-being last.


And you might have to remind them of that and of their own personal power. Because they always have a choice – to invest in themselves or decide not to. To buy a cheap “quick fix” or the real deal. Or to consume your free content until they’re ready and then decide to dive deeper.


When we feel in charge, our nervous system is at ease. And from a relaxed nervous system we make powerful choices that can change the course of the world!

 

And remember: The money you have or earn does NOT define your worth. Your worth is infinite. Always!



 

TLDR: Discover how your nervous system's response to money impacts your ability to receive wealth. Learn techniques to soothe your nervous system, reframe unhelpful money beliefs, release trauma, build a healthy relationship with money, and find positive financial role models for a more secure and abundant financial life.


 

Lisa Jara is a Menstrual Health Agent (of Change), a Womb Whisperer and Soul Midwife, leading a Quiet, yet powerful Revolution for sacred rebels who are ready to radically trust and follow their own body's cyclical wisdom, release trauma and internalised shame, and erode patriarchy from the inside out.

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