taking care of your money

How to Talk About Money + An Exercise for Loving Yourself

A few weeks ago, I had a Money Mindset Breakthrough Session with a client and she was in trouble.  Clinging to a cooler lid in a roiling sea of debt.  Desert island shrinking to her view as she drifted farther into the middle of the ocean.

It was bleak.  There were probably sharks.  Or giant squid.

Pardon the melodrama.

But I know how it feels to be caught in the undertow.

My story didn’t involve squid, but it did involve sleepless nights, a constant low-grade frustration and lots of complaining.

I’m not a financial adviser or a debt counselor, and if you’re in massive debt, that may be your first call before you call me.

But problems tend to stick around until they’re solved.

And if you don’t solve the underlying issues around fear, low self-worth and misguided mindset, you’ll keep swimming against the current and getting nowhere.

In my own story, I’d pay off one credit card only to max out another.  Or, worse, open one more.

Nordstrom’s almost ruined me.

I hated my job, so I’d work as little as possible to keep from going under completely.  I wouldn’t look at my bills, or my bank balances, so there were a lot of overdraft fees that made the bank happy.  And a little richer.

I’d overspend and tell myself I deserved it when I really felt like I didn’t deserve anything good and I hated myself with gusto.  It was a time of personal turmoil in my life and shopping was a coping mechanism.

It all made me feel so guilty.

Which just kept the problem alive and well.

A smack-down from the Universe.

You know how sometimes someone makes a random comment and it feels like the Universe just shook you by the shoulders and said, “Listen up, Sunshine!”

Back in the Nordstrom days, I had that experience.  I was finishing a yoga teacher training in Bellevue, Washington, and my teacher, Aadil Palkhivala, said to the group, “Quit complaining.  Never, ever complain.  About anything.”

So simple, but I felt like I’d been outed before I was ready.

I was a chronic complainer.

And, embarrassed as I was to admit it, if only to myself, I knew the Universe had singled me out and spoken through Aadil.

The Universe told me to cut it out.  Quit bitching.

If you’re revamping your money mindset, it’s so important to watch what you say about money.

What you say out loud is just a reflection of the unrelenting stream of thoughts that pass through your brain.  Thousands of them every day.

Since the circumstances of your life are your thoughts come true, what you say out loud only reinforces those circumstances.

So, watch what you say about money.

  • Talk about what you want, what you see is possible for you, your dreams and aspirations and vision for your ideal life.
  • Make a vision board if it helps to have a visual reminder of what you know is possible for you.  Look at it often.  My friend Stacey made one on PicMonkey and put it on her desktop.  She sees it every time she opens her computer.
  • Never, ever put yourself down for not having enough money or for not being more together financially.  Pull yourself up by focusing on what’s right in your life.

Speaking of focusing on what’s right, try this exercise.   It will help you learn to love yourself.


Make a list of 31 things that you love about yourself. 

Your curly hair.  Your creative spirit.  Your ability to make people laugh.

Choose one thing from your list to focus on each day for a month. 

Every time you catch yourself worrying about money or beating yourself up for any reason, focus on that one thing you love about yourself.

Savor it.  Feel the love for yourself.  Deeply appreciate who you are for a moment instead of hating on yourself.

Break the destructive pattern and choose to love and take care of yourself yourself.[/box](Thanks to Lynn Grabhorn and her book, Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting, for teaching me this exercise.)

This exercise will change your life.

Taking care of your finances will flow naturally out of taking care of yourself.

  • Change your story.   In vivid detail, tell your new story of abundance.  Practice telling it to people who support you and want the best for you.  (If you’re still looking for those people, tell it to  your dog.  Your dog wants the best for you.)  Focus on what you want, rather that what you don’t want.  Give the Universe new thoughts and statements to work with.
  • Don’t blame Nordstrom’s.   It isn’t their fault.  Or the fault of the economy, or my husband, or my parents.  The moment I took responsibility for my own situation was the moment my situation started to change.
  • And of course, quit complaining.  No more bitch sessions with friends over coffee.  No more automatically looking for what’s wrong with a situation.  Give it up, now.  Be a ray of sunshine in the world.  Good things are drawn to light.

I believe that choosing to quit complaining was my first step in shifting my own money mindset.

And it helped transform the whole experience I now have with money and my consciousness around money and wealth.

Watch what you say around money.

It’s listening.

Your turn, Sunshine!  What’s one thing you love about yourself that you plan to focus on today?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

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