Let’s talk money.
My money story once sounded like this:
My first memory as a child is of my dad entering our apartment and falling to his knees crying. I distinctly remember him wrapping his arms around my mom’s legs while my mother begged to know what happened. That was the day my father lost his job. It was the 70s. They were new immigrants from the Philippines. My dad got a job in the field of what would nowadays be called IT in an aeronautics company. It was the Canadian Dream come true. Then the recession hit.
From then, I watched my parents tirelessly work with the understanding that the Canadian dream was just a mirage; that adulthood consisted of long commutes, arguments over bills and watching others prosper; that money was not for enjoyment but rather for saving for rainy days, which occurred often.
I vowed to never be my parents and work to live rather than living to work. But the complete opposite has happened.
Now, I am 39 years old. I survived financial abuse from ex-partners. As a single mama and with an artist’s wage I climbed out of $25,000 worth of debt accrued after I allowed people to take advantage of me and cheat me, simply because I did not have the tools to draw boundaries with loved ones and stand up for myself. Just when I thought I was in the clear, I was fleeing emotional abuse, this time with my daughter, this time without a home. With the help of my family, I started a home daycare as a means to earn money while not paying for care of my own child. Things now are starting to look up.
Or are they? Despite having this safety net, and now the loving support (both financially and emotionally) of my amazing partner, there is always this underlying feeling of dread. My body contracts just at the thought of losing money. My jaw tightens. I sweat. I feel sick.
I know I’m not alone, most especially in the queer community, where many of us are too busy running for our lives let alone thinking about financial health. Scarcity is what many of us know best.
Enter Agnes Kowalski. I began watching her wealth manifestation videos on facebook and something clicked inside of me, most especially around her mediations on visualising wealth that we already have.
It felt silly at first giving myself five whole minutes in which I imagined cash. Cold, hard cash. My cash. Sitting under my bum. Stuffed into my sleeves. In my collar. In every pocket of every pair of pants, in every coat. I felt so fucking relaxed. It was like someone lit the biggest doobie for me then said “No babes. Sit down. Enjoy it. I’m gonna get you a tub of chocolate ice cream and a bag of chips so you can really chill. And when I get back, I’m gonna rub your shoulders.” That’s how relaxed I was.
I knew then I had to contact her for a session for both myself and to give advice for the lovely faithful readers of this column. She tells me to:
CLEAN UP HOUSE.
Agnes explains that the only way to accumulate wealth is to nurture the feelings you get from wealth, which is in my case calmness, relaxation, excitement for what’s to come. She does this with her clients through a series of exercises that both eliminate money blocks from one’s psyche then align one’s actions and thoughts towards wealth accumulation. Simple? No. This requires a shitload of work digging deep into my money story including some pretty heavy traumas. She asks me to write out both my father’s and my mother’s money story. I realise that this Hustle Dynamic was observed from my parents and has affected everything in my life and all of my choices leading me to here. I realise that these beliefs around money are learned and can be unlearned. I learn to acknowledge it, to be grateful for all the lessons learned and to move forward.
CHILL THE FUCK OUT.
Okay…maybe she said something more like “Your job right now is to stay out of panic mode.” She gets me to use Tapping, which is widely used to help people process negative emotions. In fact, this Tapping will be used throughout my process of growth, if not for a lifetime. One of my exercises involves writing down worse case scenarios, then Tapping it out. Then I write all the reasons why those scenarios will never happen, then Tapping it out. I begin to do Tapping like a mofo. I Tap when I open bills. I Tap when I have to take out my wallet. I Tap when rent is paid. And guess what? I chill the fuck out. I may have a bruised head and sore arms from Tapping up to two hours a day, but I am chill about money.
Generally, for the LGBTQ2S community, Agnes has the following advice:
*Get your hands on Margaret M. Lynch’s Tapping Into Wealth. Some libraries carry this book. This is $10,000 worth of coaching in an affordable and accessible read.
* Think of the things that wealth will bring, and nurture it within yourself. If you want money for security, you won’t get it. Instead, nurture security within yourself and the money will come.
*You can make money as you are. You don’t need to change. Changing who you are doesn’t generate money. Being you makes money.
*Show the universe you are ready to accept generosity. Think about how you receive in this world – be it a gift or compliments.
*Ask yourself how you want to earn the money you want. What are those details? Write them down. Keep Tapping.
*Do the work and get out of your comfort zone. This may mean doing courageous things you never thought of doing, reaching out to people you never thought would be willing to mentor you. Show the universe you are ready for change.
*Show gratitude. The universe has your back 100%.
So, now money story goes like this:
I am the survivor of many traumas including financial abuse. I am actively unlearning scarcity in my life and am saying yes to wealth. I am a queer brown woman and I believe I have abundance. I want my community to be in abundance too. I know I am the type of person who is generous and will use my wealth for the good of my family and those around me, especially if that means seeing more of my folks behind desks, speaking behind podiums and living in stable housing.
I am no longer a woman searching the couch for enough change to buy one dozen eggs but a woman who is counting each of the stars knowing I am entitled to stand underneath each one of them, proud and strong.
photo by Jah Grey