[:en]Healing My Relationship With Money[:]

[:en]I had always had enough money — that wasn’t the issue.

Growing up in a middle class family, there was always enough. And as an adult, I worked as a recruiter at a hedge fund and had done very well with investments in cryptocurrency.

Yet, for some reason I felt a sense of tightness around money.

I was always wanting to make more, fearful of losing what I had, always thinking three steps ahead and carefully calculating financial decisions.

I thought I was being smart and strategic, yet in reality, it didn’t always feel good.

In short, there wasn’t enough flow, freedom, or generosity in my relationship to money.

I thought I had the whole money thing pretty well figured out, but my curiosity or intuition felt otherwise, and I found myself taking Money Coaching with Karen McAllister.

As we got into the work together, I came to realize how much tightness, fear and greed I had internalized around money.

As an American, a big goal of mine was to amass as much wealth as I could as quickly as possible so I could retire early. Yet through working with Karen I saw that this was an expression of an unhealthy view of and relationship with work — imagining that work is necessarily drudgery and inherently cannot be fulfilling.

She showed me how much of this tightness around money was inherited from my culture, from my family, from the environments I found myself in, and people I surrounded myself with.

In a real way, this tightness and compulsion to accumulate was an expression of a hyper-capitalist culture and I came to viscerally realize the suffering inherent within this view.

And it turned out that a huge part of the antidote was generosity — give it away, give it away, give it away. Giving away not just money, but interest, attention, kindness, and acts of service, all of this contributing to a virtuous cycle of benefiting others and benefiting myself by loosening up this inner tightness and helping me step into greater ease and flow, not just around money but in all aspects of life.

Yet the generosity didn’t stop there. I started exploring alternative career paths, looking for something fulfilling that would directly benefit others and allow me to express generosity through my work.

And as a result of this exploration, I made the decision to go back to school to study Traditional Chinese Medicine.

If not for money coaching, I wouldn’t have realized how I was holding myself back with my internalized tightness around money and wouldn’t have made the leap to start on a new career path more aligned with my personal vision.

Above all, I discovered the freedom in stepping out of my cultural narrative and giving to something beyond myself.

by Devon Streich[:]

What can we do to prepare future generations to handle wealth through inheritance?

Recently, a young woman, in her 30s, came to me looking for help to prepare for some changes that were going to happen in her life. She was about to receive a big inheritance and she wanted to be prepared psychologically for that to happen. 

She said “I know my patterns. I have been getting some pre-inheritance from my Dad over the years. When I have this money coming in from my dad, I have to figure out what to do. And I end up feeling stuck from realizing my potential and my skills. My education and my background don’t show up in my income.”

“I get stressed when I think of receiving a bigger inheritance. And I get really anxious thinking about a bunch of problems I will cause for myself when it comes to that money. And I am not sure why. I cannot put my finger on it.”

Because her family has more than enough money, she recognized that she developed an innocent kind of child’s entitlement growing up. Every time a pre-inheritance arrived in her bank account from her Dad, she named the emotional tension it brought up. She would feel like she needed to act or do something in case she was going to be cut off from the inheritance. This resulted in her being frivolous with the pre-inheritance. She was buying things she didn’t need and spending lavishly. And then she would feel wrong about how she spent the money, especially because of her privilege and the ever-real gap between the haves and have-nots.

She would feel like she was imprisoned by the inheritance. A sense of being too taken care of by her family financially meant that she would leave her body and zone out for weeks after the money arrived. And at the same time, a deep desire to want to be cut off from her family financially to free herself of the golden handcuffs. She would daydream of being disinherited, and independent. “I was happier when I didn’t have any money”, she reminisced.

I am writing this article today to address those of you born between 1944 and 1964.  If you are part of that generation you may be thinking about how to pass your accumulated wealth to the next generation. I invite you to think deeply about how you can also prepare yourself psychologically to give away your wealth in a way that doesn’t cause stress and anxiety to the younger generation. How can you help them to be open and receive well this money you built up? 

After all, it is your money. You have earned it. They have not. When you earn your own money, there is confidence in yourself that comes with that, and you cannot pass that confidence on. In my experience receiving an inheritance, money that they have not earned tends to shut down the person’s life energy. It’s an unintended consequence. The inheritor can become paralyzed and stuck in reaching their potential. However, if this inheritance is sensitively and thoughtfully transferred the outcome can be very different.

Forbes writes “Baby Boomers, are expected to transfer $30 trillion in wealth to younger generations over the next many years. This jaw-dropping amount has led many journalists and financial experts to refer to the gradual event as the “great wealth transfer. At no prior time in the history of America has such a vast amount of wealth moved through the hands of generations.” 

Are we preparing the way for inheriting generations and beneficiaries to handle this large up-levelling of wealth?

Well no, not really. According to a 2018 study by The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) Institute, only 11% of Millennials showed a “relatively high” level of financial literacy, with another 28% of the group displaying a “very low” literacy rate in finances. Gen-Xers are suffering also, showing struggles with spending and saving habits.

Personally, I think it is not only about encouraging the younger generations to improve their financial literacy but also about learning how you and they are built around money emotionally and psychologically. 

I often see money as a mirror. From my own experience in this work, I have seen that our relationship with money in our families tends to display the hidden hurts and unresolved issues passed down over generations. Money is a nexus that is the doorway to greater integration and healing of our family dynamics.

How can you and your adult children navigate this journey of wealth transfer with ease and awareness? How can you help them to avoid creating obstacles or roadblocks? How can you proactively help to ease through this transition rather than be bumpy at each stage?

It’s an interesting time in our history, with no standard operating procedure to guide us. But it presents us with a wonderful opportunity to rewrite our own money narratives and create a more positive impact for our heirs. I invite you to do your own work around money and be an inspiring role model for future generations. And I wish you lots of love, support and happiness as you navigate this journey. 

If you ever would like to chat with me about this, reach out to me at [email protected]

Taking the baby steps necessary to transform inherited financial fears

A well-dressed, articulate, confident lady called Leticia, South-East Asian by heritage, sat down in my office and began. 

“Growing up feeling plagued by financial woes, I learned to feel like I never had enough or never knew enough about money. On the exterior, I am in a fairly well-off position. I’m working a decent-paying job, contributing to a retirement fund, and renting out a property. And yet, I go about my daily life with dread that one day, something will happen that will cause my delicate balance of working and paying the bills to collapse like a fragile house of cards.” 

She paused before continuing, “for as long as I could remember, I have struggled with budgeting and financial planning. I have taken courses, talked to financial planners, and used countless budgeting apps. But I always found myself in the same position – never feeling like I had enough money and dreading the day that I could lose everything due to unforeseen circumstances. And yet, I couldn’t help but feel that my insecurities were all due to my own actions. Budgeting wasn’t so hard, so why couldn’t I maintain one? And so, after countless failed budgets and lack of savings, a core belief of helplessness around money was settling in.” 

Leticia was not the first client I’ve met who feels this way, many of my past and future clients have these beliefs. “Perhaps we could explore your feelings of not having enough and fear of loss before getting more financial education and using other budgeting apps?”, I said. Leticia looked relieved, suspicious and hesitant. She wanted to surrender to the process with me but didn’t believe that our work together would amount to much. I felt like I was the door at the end of the corridor.

After a few months of working together, Leticia understood that her financial struggles stemmed from a number of factors that influenced her beliefs and actions around money. Challenges around money weighed heavy on her and travelled deep to her emotional core wounds. One challenging aspect of our work together was her coming to understand the importance of taking responsibility for her finances and not her brothers or other family members. 

A lot of Leticia’s issues came from her Mum and Dad being forced to leave their home country, due to war. The struggle for survival was still very present for her and her family. Her family’s focus was on making as much money as possible. To stay safe at all costs. It was not focused on following their desire and purpose and having resources support this. 

They were behaving as if they were still on the run in their adopted land. And the belief was money is the thing that will save you. The pain came out in different ways in different family members, and Leticia took on the role of being the connector and mother of the family. Holding the space for everyone and protecting her younger siblings. They were still psychologically and emotionally fleeing. 

Her unprocessed pain turned into a constant fear and obsession with not having enough money. And the fear that it would be taken from her at any moment. The immune system was always in a state of fight and flight. The unprocessed pain got stuck in her body and turned into perceived and relentless fears projected onto money and not feeling she will be supported. 

All of these insecurities lay hidden in her life, shaping her thoughts and behaviours in the present day. She struggled with this for years, not acknowledging the pain she experienced and projected onto money, and subsequently avoided dealing with it. It was all so overwhelming. Her need to predict and control everything in her life was incompatible with the uncertainty around her finances. Life is full of curveballs that we can’t prepare for.

She slowly learned that financial difficulties can happen to anyone. It wasn’t a reflection of her. She learned to understand that her pain and fear have nothing to do with money. She was willing to start taking baby steps towards looking at her inherited fear and calling it what it really was.

Leticia stumbled and worked her way through addressing the core wounds of her family inheritance. And I held space for her when the struggles were overwhelming and jumped for joy when she made big strides in managing her fears around money.  

Today Leticia is a woman transformed, still stylish and well-spoken but now her confidence extends to her relationship with money. “Getting support to tackle these challenges projected onto money head-on was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Light has been shed on my ability to help myself and has given me the confidence to finally address this long-standing core hurts. I continue to improve my money habits, but for the first time, I understand it is not about the money.”

I leave you with a thought. Money is a reflection. It is not a judgement. It is a friend that holds your wounds until you are ready to start healing. And that readiness is a beautiful gift that one receives with all the little baby steps taken and people who have helped you on the way. 

You are more than welcome to take a baby step with me by taking the complimentary money quiz and complimentary 30-minute consultation anytime. 

Journeying into the depths of money and spirituality with Mindful Money Coaching

By Jenai Lieu

Growing up feeling plagued by financial woes, I learned to feel like I never had enough or never knew enough about money. On the exterior, I am in a fairly well-off position. I’m working a decent-paying job, contributing to a retirement fund, and renting out a property. And yet, I go about my daily life with dread that one day, something will happen that will cause my delicate balance of working and paying the bills to collapse like a fragile house of cards. Never did I think that one day I could get support from someone like Karen, from Mindful Money Coaching, who not only had the knowledge and skill to help me unravel these core beliefs, but the understanding and empathy to walk me through my fears.

For as long as I could remember, I have struggled with budgeting and financial planning. I have taken courses, talked to financial planners, and used countless budgeting apps. But I always found myself in the same position – never feeling like I had enough money and dreading the day that I could lose everything due to unforeseen circumstances. And yet, I couldn’t help but feel that my insecurities were all due to my own actions. Budgeting wasn’t so hard, so why couldn’t I maintain one? And so, after countless failed budgets and lack of savings, a core belief of helplessness around money was settling in. 

It wasn’t until I talked to Karen did I realize that I was not acknowledging a fundamental issue regarding money. An initial exploration needed to happen before getting the financial education and before using budgeting apps. And that was asking myself, ‘What is my relationship with money?’ And so, my journey of money coaching with Karen began.

Money coaching ended up being more than what I had imagined. Karen helped me realize that my financial struggles stemmed from a number of factors that influenced my beliefs and actions around my finances. Challenges around money weighed heavy on me and traveled deep to my emotional core wounds. She pointed out how this shows up in my life. I couldn’t recall the last time I discussed my salary or amount of debt with a friend or a family member. And I felt deep shame around my feelings of insecurity and incompetency around money. It’s a wonder how I could ever find space to explore my financial issues and make any positive changes around money!


Something notable that Karen highlighted was the importance of taking responsibility for our finances even if we didn’t cause those issues to begin with. All of these insecurities lay hidden in my life, stemming from childhood circumstances, yet they still shaped my thoughts and behaviors in the present day. I struggled with this for years, not acknowledging the pain I experienced around money, and subsequently avoided dealing with it. It was all so overwhelming, and my need to predict and control everything in my life just couldn’t deal with the uncertainty around my finances. 

But life is full of curveballs that we can’t prepare for. I slowly learned that financial difficulties can happen to anyone, and I learned that it doesn’t represent my character. Karen validated my struggles, and was patient working with me as I stumbled and worked my way through addressing them. She held space for me when the struggles were overwhelming, and she was my cheerleader when big strides were made in managing my fears around money. 

Getting support to tackle these money challenges head on was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Working with Karen has helped shed light on my ability to help myself and has given me the confidence to finally address these long-standing core hurts. Today, I continue to improve my money habits, but for the first time, I don’t feel alone in this. I know I have the support and expertise of someone who understands and is looking out for my needs. 

With so many worries right now, how can this moment be perfect?

I just came out of a week-long retreat, practising breathing in and out. That’s it. It was that simple. I was noticing whether my breath was long or short. Each day my body calmed down, and my thoughts and emotions slowed down. This is the meditation system, called Anapanasati, taught by the Buddha, in which mindful breathing is used to develop both samadhi (a serene and concentrated mind) and vipassana (Insight).

As I practised everything got quieter, my storylines became clearer. Some were neutral – what’s for lunch, or thinking of foods I like. Others were very heated – the anxiety of climate change and our community’s safety, as wildfires burn in our province. Some days it was hard to breathe in the cabin. Worries about my business, clients, revenue, an argument with my partner, a disagreement with a colleague. 

My partner or colleague is not in my meditation cabin. I am having this imaginary conversation and going over the same dialogue repeatedly hoping to resolve it. It increases my heart rate, uses up my precious energy without resolving anything. 

Then I remember the breathing practice and bring the focus back to my breath. Bringing the mind back, putting down the storyline and coming back to the breath and body. 

Training the mind to be present

The more I remember, bringing the focus back, the weaker my storyline’s power over me. This remembering gets quicker as I practise. It is mind training. Just like consistent strength training at the gym tones muscles, I meditate to train my mind to eventually stay in the present moment all the time. 

That doesn’t mean I won’t have thoughts, and feelings. They just won’t to have the power to take me away from being in the present moment. My mediation teacher constantly repeats “Karen, there is nothing wrong with this moment. This moment is perfect.”

“This moment is perfect? Are you crazy?  We have an unjust economy, wildfires burning all around the meditation center, and people are suffering from poverty, loneliness and fear. What do you mean this moment is perfect?”

“When you leave what is happening right now, and your mind is thinking about what happened yesterday, something it didn’t get, didn’t like, or worries about the future, then you are rejecting what you hear, see, touch and smell in this moment. You are in your head. You miss the birds’ song, the wind through the trees, that your ankles are swelling and need your attention. You are missing what is needed right now. You are missing life.”

I go for my daily walk. 

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep. 

Hearing the birds sing. 

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep. 

Experiencing joy. 

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep. 

Noticing a grizzly about 200 meters away. 

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep. 

Turning and walking away quickly. 

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.

Life is impermanent. It is certain that I will take my last breath, probably somewhere in the 2050s. I have eyes, ears, nose and body for another 30 years. When I use my senses to be engaged with this very moment, no matter how unpleasant, I give myself and others the gift of my life, my wisdom, my experience.

Transforming our world from “me or you” to “me and you”

We are having a hard time right now. The structures and systems of our human family are rooted in greed and fear, in a me or you worldview. It has assumptions like I can only win if you lose. We haven’t got enough, so we better look after me and mine. When I feel complete with that, I’ll look at others more unfortunate than me.  And that day never seems to come. 

We are so used to operating in a world of scarcity and lack. Our relationship with money reflects this. We are trained to repel the unpleasant and chase the pleasant. We are trained to be on the wheel of fear of missing out (FOMO), running on the belief that there is something wrong with us.  Social media and mainstream culture encourage distraction from being in the present. 

The futurist Buckminister Fuller, said in the 1980s that our structures and systems are rooted in a me OR you understanding of the world. He said it would take around 50 years for these institutions to crumble enough that they will need to be recreated, reborn, or redesigned in a new paradigm: a me AND you understanding of the world. A world where there is enough for everyone everywhere to have a productive and healthy life. Imagine. 

As we go from the me or you understanding, to the me and you, we need to get reacquainted with the practice of returning home to our body and senses. Only then can we look at the unconscious set of assumptions that are at the basis of how we organise ourselves, and of our storylines.

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.

Noticing scarcity in my heart. 

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.

Calming the states of not feeling enough and not feeling valued.

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.

Calming the states of not feeling enough and not feeling valued.

If you would like to build a sustainable meditation practice that permeates your body, career, relationships and all other areas of your life, join me for the Embodied Mindfulness: Tools for Holistic Living (Online) course, starting September 11th.   If you are interested in healing your relationship to money, there is a small group circle starting in September. There are 4 spots remaining. I take 8 maximum for the money circle. It is small and intimate to create a healing space for your relationship with money. For further information, send me an email at [email protected].


How Wealth Complicates Our Relationships With People We Want To Help

People are far more open about their sex lives than their money lives. This is according to my meditation teachers Acariya Doug Duncan and Cata Sensei. And money can be as much a source of relationship dysfunction as sex can.

Feeling Uncared For By The People I Wanted To Help:

“ I try saying something, and people get upset with me.“

Ciara, a woman in her 50s with beautiful white hair, and black-rimmed glasses, leaned into the webcam. She told me, “My family has money. And I have been successful in my life around resources too. I feel deeply grateful by the amount of privilege I have been born into. And I have always had a calling to use that privilege to provide funds where they are needed.”

Her face changed. It took on a sad look, hurt and confused.

“And I have felt uncared for, even ostracised by the very people and organizations that I wanted to help. I have come away from conversations feeling like I have done something wrong for having money. My experience is that people feel awkward around me. Either putting me on a pedestal or staying far away. Either way, it is a distance. As the relationships continue, I end up feeling taken advantage of or rejected. I have tried bringing it up, and I feel like I have said the wrong thing. It feels like I am inside of a framework of thinking which is unhealthy and unconscious and I don’t know what it is. And I try saying something, and people get upset with me, or dismiss me.”


Well, Where Do I Start?

For Ciara, other people’s discomfort is a reflection of their relationship with money. Her hurt feelings and attempts to discuss the issue have put her into a repeated pattern where money has become a divisive wedge in her relationships.

Lynne Twist, a mentor of mine speaks of a way of seeing that we don’t even realize we have around money. An unconscious, unexamined set of assumptions that are at the base of the way we  organize ourselves. These beliefs become the tone of the conversations we have with ourselves. Lynne calls it the mindset of scarcity. There is not enough time, money, hours in the day, volunteers, donors, participants for a workshop to run, not enough this, not enough that. The consumer culture produces this environment of thinking, its continued existence depends on it.

Everyone is going to have a different reactive pattern to the consumer culture and to how money is used.

And in the spiritual, transformational world, the world Ciara wants to be of service to, money represents a path down to the underworld of greed, the world of the tyrant, the world of the narcissist. A path to dishonoring your authentic self. There is a subtle rejection of anything to do with money. A belief that if we allow the money in, that it will change things for the worst. Well, there are millions of examples where this has happened.

Internal Money And False Beliefs:

Joni Mitchell sings so beautifully about it:

“They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

They took all the trees
Put ’em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see ’em”

So, my friend Ciara perhaps meets the financially dissociated part of the spiritual community, the non-profit, the artist, the transformational change agent by simply showing up with wealth. She meets the internal money conflicts and false beliefs which keeps the wheel of staying poor and struggling with getting money, donors, funding, participants, clients and so on. With the additional pressures that COVID has put on that sector, it is more important than ever that we address our unhealthy mindset with regard to money.

Build Bridges To Overcome Gaps With People:

“Doing the internal money work will help to bring clarity and confidence to how you approach money for yourself, your business, or nonprofit.“

My meditation teachers would always say to me, where there is resistance, lean into it. So, if you find living in the material world difficult and challenging, or if you over-identify with your interior world and may even despise those who live in the material world, lean in and imagine what it is like for them, as a person of wealth. What are their worries, their challenges having the responsibility to steward that money well? If the organizations and people that Ciara supports saw things from her perspective it could go a long way to improving relationships.

With COVID, many people are earning less while some already rich are even wealthier than before. Many small business owners, nonprofits, and service industries have been hit hard. The normal available government funding may not be available as much as before. It has already been declining before COVID. If you have internal assumptions around scarcity, or a belief that money is evil, the behaviors from these mindsets will only get stronger in this environment.

Doing the internal money work will help to bring clarity and confidence to how you approach money for yourself, your business, or nonprofit. It will help you to have those conversations with people with money to build bridges to overcome the gaps that stand in the way of wealth being directed between those that have it and those who need it.



Finally, if you are interested in doing some work around healing the split between money and spirituality and learning to direct and attract financial resources in full awareness, I invite you to join me online for Money & Spirituality course, starting April 3rd at 10am MT / noon EST for 6 weeks.

Whether you feel that you have more money than you need or not enough, you may benefit from exploring your relationship with money. I invite you also to learn about the 8 money archetypes  – as a way for you to understand where the root of your suffering may lie.

Preparing for your 80 year old self with kindness and love

Maybe you are not receiving any government assistance right now and your income has decreased. Perhaps you feel COVID has done a number on your resources. Or you are not covering basic expenses, your credit cards are maxed out and your debt plan has gone out the window.

Whatever situation you are in, it’s uncomfortable. You might feel like the ground is being pulled from beneath your life as you knew it. And in some ways, the old life, as we knew it, has gone. And there is grief to be acknowledged and allowed. 

As women get older, we tend to get more fearful, because we may realize we are 

not prepared for retirement. Maybe some of us feel we don’t have enough. Many women 

report talking about the bag lady syndrome feelings of, “Oh, my god. What’s going to 

happen to me?” The pandemic might be serving to feed this view of not enoughness for you right now. 

Hre are a few tips to help with your bag lady fears around not having enough as our money lives and livelihoods are struggling with this new normal:

  1. Women who are aging and coming into greater maturity and wisdom have the capacity to unpack what’s really going on inside of us. Ask yourself what are the stories you tell yourself about you and your relationship with money?What are the assumptions behind the fear of being a bag lady? I don’t deserve money in my life? I can’t bring in enough? I am not good at the money thing? Nobody will hire the older woman? 

What is your narrative? Sit down with your friend and have this conversation. Get it all out on the table, ladies.

I had the honour of working with a mature female client recently. For our time together she wanted me to provide the space where she could download what was not permitted to say inside or outside the family system about the money culture she was brought up in. There was a huge yearning to be seen and heard. She came from a wealthy background where money was used to buy love and control others. And women were not allowed into the rooms of power and money. She learned to be a kept woman and a caretaker. It was never talked about at home and there were so many unspoken rules about it. This upbringing would certainly create some bag lady fears if you are taught that your financial independence is dependent on others, that another will rescue you. There is always more coming was her family’s mantra. 

The narrative prevented her from owning her true entrepreneurial spirit, and she felt herself withdrawing from the family, but not understanding why . Through our work together she came to name that she was withdrawing from her family  to honour her authenticity. She realised that she couldn’t have love and acceptance from her family and be authentic to herself. The family’s money system unconsciously didn’t allow it, and didn’t look like the system was going to change any time soon. The change was going to have to come from her own transformational work. It was through seeing this, naming it that she was liberated to fully embrace her dream of setting up her own business. Her insight gave her the confidence not to follow the script from her family’s money culture. It no longer had as much power over her. She didn’t have to pay the price of belonging at the expense of her own potential. She could love them as they are and start building her own business, standing in the knowledge of her own power. She had disentangled alot of the tangle in her 50s. 

What’s your narrative that you inherited that is causing you to self-sabotage your potential and growth around money and right livelihood? What is the learned inherited thinking that is not serving you?

  1. When you get to see these partial views or assumptions, feel them in the body. Give the emotive states and body sensations their air time. The body doesn’t lie. The truth is there. Allow them their voice. 
  2. We managed to get this far. There must be parts of us that are highly capable, and that all we need to do is configure a way of living our lives that really serves us in the long run. Maybe it’s time to do your vision board again.
  3. We naturally become less attached to things, and having-less, and be much more interested in what we can create in terms of purpose, and right livelihood. What can you start to sell and let go off? 
  4. Create an advisory board for your 85 year old self. This might be a financial planner, your bank manager, a money coach, your therapist and a lawyer. You don’t have to do this alone. We are all going to get old and die. Have fun imagining the right advisory board for you and how that would manifest for you.
  5. Create an advanced care plan for your 85 year old self.  I live at a meditation center called Clear Sky center in British Columbia. I am one of the founding members here. All the staff onsite were invited to do a self-advanced care plan under the guidance of a death and dying counsellor, who also helps to get your affairs in order. It took us a year to do it with so many extended timelines, because it brought up so many uncomfortable questions about wealth, money and death. The fruit of the process was greater trust and intimacy among the team. Perhaps find a death and dying counsellor who is a right fit for you, who could help you with preparing for that. It is one of the quickest ways of clearing up what is not serving you anymore and getting clear about what is important. 

Women as we tend to get older have that deep commitment to the exploration of the inner 

world. As we seek through faith, trust, balance and spiritual practice, we understand and transform whatever doesn’t serve us any longer, we step into greater alignment, and greater balance. I invite you to integrate money and power in this exploration.

If you resonated with this article and would like to chat with me, just drop me a line. You are also more than welcome to take the money quiz and we can have a conversation about money together over zoom. 

Putting Out These Fires

I woke up on Saturday to wildfire smoke out my front window. It was thick and heavy and we couldn’t leave our residence. I live about 1500km from the California wildfires in the interior of British Columbia. My eyes are sore, my throat itchy, and a headache has been sitting in my head hammering away since the smoke landed. It feels like the whole continent is suffering the pain and the effects. We are all so interdependent, I thought.

I live at a meditation center and work as a meditation teacher and money coach. And we sit as a community every morning and evening together, holding all the people affected by the wildfires in our hearts.

My spiritual side is devoting my practice to all those suffering from the fires raging through the Western US, while my money coach side contemplates a healthier political and economic system that places more value on nature and people than on money. I hope for a day where we can return to being treated more like citizens and less like consumers.

Perhaps the current fire situation is an outer manifestation of an inner imbalance in the human race.

My spiritual lineage is Buddhist, and fire is a central metaphor of Buddhism, usually as a negative quality of mind or consciousness. Putting out these fires is the goal of Buddhist practice. Maybe, perhaps, the planet is actually helping us with this.

In his early teachings, the Buddha identified “three poisons,” or three negative qualities of the mind that cause most of the problems in the world. The three poisons are: greed (​raga​, also translated as lust), hatred (​dvesha​, or anger), and delusion (​moha​, or ignorance).

From my work with clients and organizations in their relationship with money, these negative qualities of the mind seem to come up in our sessions again and again.

We tend to fill up our houses with things we don’t need, spending more time accumulating and less time letting this go. We take more than we need, desperately seeking meaning in our greed and overconsumption.

Lynn Twist from the Soul of Money Institute speaks to an unconscious assumption that many people carry that we don’t know we have, which is measuring our self-worth by how much we have in our bank account. Gosh, think of the suffering of trying to keep up with the Joneses here.

There is so much opportunity to be angry with what our governments are doing or not doing, or the great number of inequality in wealth distribution. According to a study from Harvard University, most of the wealth in the US is held by the top 20% of the population. This unequal

distribution of wealth particularly affects people of color, including black and indigenous communities. There is a lot to be angry about.

I find it scandalous that a few billionaires have used their money to dominate the US elections and changed the American political system to meet their agenda at the expense of freedom, democracy and clarity.

The arising of these feelings in today’s climate is justified. But the more courageous work is to recognize how our own greed, hatred, and delusion around our relationship with money contributes to the harm in the world. And learning to manage our feelings can help us to make better decisions around using money as a work for love.

In Buddhism, the three poisons are opposed by three positive attitudes essential to liberation from our dissatisfaction and suffering: generosity (​dana​), lovingkindness (​maitri​, Pali: m​ etta​), and wisdom (​prajna​). Buddhist practice is about recognizing these positives for positives and growing them and recognizing the poisons for the poisons and letting them go.

So, what are your thoughts around this man-made resource called money? What mental attitudes have you projected onto your relationship with money? What thoughts give rise to generosity? What is it to be generous?
What thoughts give rise to using money for love, not greed?

What thoughts give rise to using money wisely, not coming from a place of ignorance or fear?

Personally, I feel we have a lot of trauma around money. And I believe we can heal from it, which can lead to improved relationships with others, more compassion, openness, appreciation for life, spiritual growth, personal strength, and a renewed sense of possibilities in the world.

I’d like to end with the fire metaphor again. The word nirvana is derived from the extinguishing of fire. Sariputra, one of the Buddha’s chief disciples, was once asked, “What is nirvana?” He answered, “The destruction of greed, the destruction of anger, the destruction of delusion—this is nirvana.” What would our planet, our connection with each other, look like if we cleared up our shame, our unconscious assumptions, around money as a human species?

May this article inspire you to initiate a journey towards healing your relationship with money.

What unconscious beliefs and patterns around money are keeping you stuck?

Discover how unconscious beliefs and patterns around money are keeping you stuck personally and financially.

Mindful Money Coach Karen McAllister shares her insights at the Body, Soul & Spirit Expo in Calgary, Alberta.

By Karen McAllister. April  29, 2018 | 5 p.m. MT

I had a great weekend in Calgary. It was a pleasure sharing my insights around creating an empowered relationship with .


We hear again and again that money can’t make you happy. But maybe it can after all.