The Soul of Money

Here's how to square your daily financial decisions with your desire to do good.

BY: Lynne Twist with Teresa Barker

 

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People with little or no money are just as capable of directing the flow of money and resources in meaningful ways as those with much more money. Purely in the act of taking a stand, they create the clearing and the context for conversation that invites others to step forward and be heard. I know that in my own life there have been times when I thought I didn't have enough of something to take even the first step toward making a difference in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes the "something" was money. Sometimes it was time, and sometimes it was the willingness to believe that I, myself, could have an effect.

Most of us think that freedom means to keep our options open, stay loose and available, and often that strategy does give you a little space temporarily. Eventually, though, keeping your options endlessly open becomes its own prison. You can never choose. You can never fall in love. You can never marry. You can never take the job. You can never really discover your destiny because you are afraid to commit fully.

If you look back on the experience of freedom in your life chances are that it wasn't when you were measuring the options against one another, or making sure you weren't getting stuck with a decision. It was when you were fully expressed, playing full out. It was when you chose fully and completely, when you knew you were in the place you were meant to be in, when perhaps you even felt a sense of destiny. That's when we're free and self-expressed, and joyful or at peace with circumstances-when we choose them. We bring that freedom to our relationship with money when we center ourselves in sufficiency, choose to appreciate the resources that are there, feel their flow through our life, and use them to make a difference.

This experience of aligning our money and soul is available to us every day in even the smallest or most mundane transactions with money, or other choices we make in daily life that lessen money's grip on us.

You don't have to change careers, revolutionize your business, or pack up your family and move away from anything or to anything to take a stand. You express your stand in the way your earn money, choosing work consistent with your values. You express your stand in the way you use money to provide food, clothing, shelter, or education for your family. It can be in the money you use to support others in your community or beyond, through food depositories, or shelters for battered women, troubled children, or homeless people. It can be in the money you use to empower your own creativity and self-expression, or otherwise nurture yourself through classes, books, or music. It can be in the money you pay for the products you buy, supporting the companies that produce them. It may be money you contribute to local, national, and global causes that inspire you, and the opportunity you offer others to do the same. If you are an employee, it can be the money you invest in the resources to make your workplace an expression of integrity, where employees and management have what they need to express their excellence.

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