Book Review: The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist

This is the time of year when we focus on giving and gratitude. While I don’t believe either should really be relegated to one season, especially when it comes to our money, I do like taking this time to really think on these themes. I recently finished The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Life by Lynne Twist and found it the perfect resource to meditate on these ideas. Lynne Twist is a recognized global visionary who has worked with people of all income levels and is committed to ending poverty and hunger. Her thoughts in this book are a beautiful exploration of being intentional and in alignment with your money. Here are four takeaways I enjoyed from this book, that you might too! 

Scarcity vs. Sufficiency

One of the key tenets of this book is Lynne Twist’s definitions of sufficiency and scarcity mindsets. She posits that,

“Scarcity speaks in terms of never enough, emptiness, fear, mistrust, envy, greed, hoarding, competition, fragmentation, separateness, judgment, striving, entitlement, control, busy, survival, outer riches…Sufficiency speaks in terms of gratitude, fulfillment, love, trust, respect, contributing, faith, compassion, integration, wholeness, commitment, acceptance, partnership, responsibility, resilience, and inner riches.”

This quote offers some excellent perspective for self-examination. How frequently are we acting from a place of scarcity or sufficiency?

Lynne also discusses how the assumed scarcity that our monetary system and culture are both built on reinforces inequality of all kinds. She explains how when we accept scarcity, we also accept that some will not have enough, and that perhaps they don’t have enough because they are “less than.” She explains,

“When we believe that more is better, and equate having more with being more—more smart or more able—then people on the short end of that resource stick are assumed to be less smart, less able, even less valuable, as human beings. We feel we have permission to discount them. When we believe that’s just the way things are, then we assume a posture of helplessness. We believe that a problem is unsolvable. We accept that in our human family neither the resource-rich members nor the resource-poor members have enough money, enough food, or enough intelligence or resourcefulness to generate lasting solutions.”

Working from a place of sufficiency can help us transcend that place of helplessness and accepting inequality.

Sufficiency Opens Up Energy

The author also remarks on how, when we let go of scarcity and stop going after things we don’t really want or need, this “frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.” She also remarks, “when people [a]re able to align their money with their deepest, most soulful interests and commitments, their relationship with money bec[omes] a place where profound and lasting transformation c[an] occur.” This reminds me of the concept I come back to often; knowing your money why. It’s so important to align your finances with that which is truly important and valuable to you!

Our Conversations Are Our Reality

If you look at the first quote I pulled about scarcity versus sufficiency, you’ll notice Lynne says “Scarcity speaks…”. In her book, she makes a point to discuss how our words and thoughts are connected, and work together to create the conditions we find ourselves in. Take a look at how sufficiency speaks. What if your conversations centered around gratitude and possibility? Surely sticking with that can have a positive effect. Imagine approaching your money with that attitude!

On the whole, this book is inspiring and eloquently written. Lynne Twist does a great job articulating a philosophy that I hold dear in my practice at At Peace With Money. She emphasizes how important it is to align with our true values, claim our power, and work to create transformation, for ourselves and others.

If you enjoyed this article, check out my other book recommendations! I’ve got a great collection of my faves that can help you explore your relationship with money.

☮

Angela

 

 

7 Financial Tips for Business Owners During COVID-19

Following the recent restrictions on gatherings, businesses that are allowed to be open, and all other health concerns and restrictions, your business may be caught in the wake of COVID-19. You are not alone. There are many business owners in similar positions to yours. While I don’t have a silver bullet for ending this pandemic (unfortunately) I do have a couple ideas of how you and your business can move through this turbulent time.

Be Proactive With Creditors and Landlords

For many people, rent and mortgage payments are due on the first of April, coming up in ten days. You may also have other bills, such as credit cards or debt payments coming up soon. If you are at all concerned about your ability to make these payments, I encourage you to get in touch with your creditors and/or landlords. Politely but firmly explain your situation to them and ask if you can work something out, like a reduced payment or a refined payment schedule. Because so many people are in a similar place, you may garner their sympathy and receive some assistance.

Cull Your Expenses

Now is the time to really go through your personal and business expenses with a fine-tooth comb. Cancel any subscriptions or memberships that aren’t vital. If you’re in California or Illinois, for example, then you’re probably not going to the gym or yoga studio anytime soon. Review your business’s spending needs and nix anything unnecessary or now irrelevant.

Get Creative With Your Services

Think about ways you can adapt your business to the current times. Maybe it’s time to ramp up your online store and start doing local delivery. Many yoga teachers and entertainers are starting to offer their services online. Brainstorm and get creative.

Check Available Resources

Every community has different resources available to those struggling with expenses due to COVID-19. Here in California, you can refer to the information provided by the Employment Development Department to see if you qualify for aid. Also check local nonprofits and other resources. Many communities are creating volunteer networks and community funds to protect the most vulnerable in the community. If you are seriously at risk, consider seeking these out. Otherwise, consider contributing to them, either monetarily or with volunteer time.

Lean On Your Money Team

This is a time when those on your money team can really come in handy. Reach out to your financial confidants, your bookkeeper, financial coach, etc. and start strategizing on how you can fortify your business during these tough times. Don’t make these decisions alone; remember that you have allies.

Mindset Matters

Although the virus is seriously threatening, those most at risk are the elderly and the immunocompromised. It’s important to remember that we are taking all of these measures in the name of collective care, to protect those of us who are most vulnerable. I encourage you to remember this and to avoid self-victimizing, panicking, or hoarding. Holding onto a mindset of courage and generosity will do wonders in this time, for your own mental health and everyone around you.

File Your Taxes On-Time!

You may have heard that the IRS has officially extended the deadline to pay taxes to July 15, 2020. While this is great news for business owners, it’s important to remember that you still need to file your taxes by April 15th. If you are unable to meet this deadline, you can request a six-month extension for filing. You can check out the IRS site for more info. EDIT: The deadline to file has also been extended!

I hope these ideas bring you some sense of hope and agency in unpredictable times.

☮

Angela

Three Steps to Financial Clarity

3 Steps to Financial Clarity: At Peace With Money

As the holidays set in and the mad rush of preparation begins to slow, you might find yourself with a little time to reflect on your year. Why not take the opportunity to reflect on your finances? Your money, much like all the other pieces of your life, deserves your attention, thought, and critical eye. This exercise is meant to lead you to financial clarity. By completing it, you’ll gain a better understanding of what you want from your money, and how to get there.

Step 1: Define Your Destination

What’s your destination with your money? What are you planning to do with it? Is there something you’re saving up for? You might have vague plans, a well-defined roadmap, or nothing at all. This is the step where you can dream and imagine that destination. If you already have one in mind, check in and make sure it’s where you want to go. Make sure you investigate any current money goals you might have to make sure they really align with your desires. If you don’t have any goals, think of some you might like to adopt!

Step 2: Drop Your Pin

Pinpoint your current location. In other words, figure out where you are now financially.  It’s time to get clear and honest about what you have, what you owe and where your money is going each month. Use this step as an opportunity to total up your expenses and debts and track your recent income. Leave no bill unturned! If you want further instructions on this step, I recommend checking out my article on creating a spending plan, specifically the section on analyzing your expenses. 

Step 3: Plan Your Journey

3 Steps to Financial Clarity: At Peace With MoneyNow that you know where you are and where you’re going, it’s time to figure out how you’ll get there. This is the step where strategy comes in. Based on all the information you’ve already looked at during Step 2, you should be able to determine what will help you get to your destination. Whether that’s saving more money, paying yourself first, cutting out certain expenses, increasing your income, or a whole host of other ideas, identify your moves and decide when you’re going to make them. 

This process may take you a little while to complete, but it will ultimately bring you to a place of much greater clarity when it comes to your finances. This exercise can be applied to personal finances but it can also be applied to your business finances. I hope this season of reflection serves you well.

If you need any assistance looking through your finances, I’m happy to help you reach a place of clarity. Schedule a call with me!

Angela