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The Soul of Money

--by Lynne Twist (May 14, 2007)


There comes a point where having more than we need becomes a burden. We are overcompensated, overstuffed, swimming in the excess, looking for satisfaction in more or different. We live in a world where the prevailing belief is in scarcity. We donít believe we have enough time, enough energy, enough love, and we are all pretty certain we donít have enough money. Those beliefs drive us to over-consume, over-spend, over-eat, always thinking we still need more. We also buy into the myths that thereís not enough to go around, more is definitely better and the resignation of "thatís just the way it is." [...]

We become burdened by our excess; it clutters our thinking and our lives as we become attached to our possessions and identify who we are by what we have. In the practice of sufficiency, we experience wealth in the action of sharing, giving, allocating, distributing and nourishing the projects, people and purpose that we believe in and care about with the resources that flow to us and through us. Accumulation in moderation -- saving money and buying things we need -- is part of responsible approach to personal finances. But when "holdings" hold us back from using money in meaningful ways, then money becomes an end in itself and an obstacle to well being. Money is only useful when it is moving and flowing, contributed and shared, directed and invested in that which is life affirming. [...]

We can begin by turning our attention to making a conscious effort to use our money with life-affirming purpose, to nurture those people, organizations, projects and products that represent our most soulful interests. And we can stop the flow of money toward those that debilitate or demean life, or drag us down. We can be more financially generous with organizations and individuals doing good work that we want to support. Some of us may devote ourselves to public service or become advocates for socially responsible public spending on health, education, safety and government. The mindset of scarcity and the longing for "more" will begin to lose its grip when we begin to make different choices. We each have the power to arrange life to take a stand with our money and our life. Every moment of every day we can bring this consciousness to our choices about our money, our time and our talents to take a stand for what we believe in.

--Lynne Twist, from an Interview on her book, "The Soul of Money"


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13 Previous Reflections:

 
On Sep 26, 2007 Rajee Seetharam wrote:
Money's flow is God's blessings.

On Aug 6, 2007 roshan wrote:
no comments

On May 26, 2007 braulio 111 wrote:
money is currency. from the word current.it must flow. lynne twist expressed it beautifully.

On May 16, 2007 Patrice White wrote:
I forwarding you positive information that will elevate you. It will give you perspective from on a enlightening note... Michelle

On May 15, 2007 Jan2008 wrote:
I have come to believe that we have too much. We get too much but yet think that we need more. We do not learn to appreciate the things we do have. When we pass on, we can't take it with us. We accumulate a lot of stuff. Half of what we get we never use or we have so much that we forget about some of what we have and never or rarely use or wear. A simple things are far better. We are so consumed with having stuff that we forget the common touch with our fellow beings.

On May 15, 2007 Michelle wrote:
This passage seems directed most aptly to those who have some stability. As a young college grad, who has been living at or under the poverty line for two years, my literal lack of money impacts my life daily. I still make choices to give more than I think I can whether with capital, time, or love. None of us can afford to be mentally impoverised, and really that is a frightening mental state. Nevertheless, when I look around at my fellow young college graduates who are faring poorly, I think there really is an economic problem here that merits observation. Some of us are struggling more, and not just because of our desire to consume, or our "money-centric" attitudes. Ms. Twist's comments are interesting, if not comprehensive, but seem aimed at those who are doing okay financially.

On May 15, 2007 Ramanand Kowta wrote:
It's no coincidence that money is also called ' CURRENCY ' !- It has to be flowing, changing hands and not STATIC- in banks and vaults of the rich minority( 20%) who own 80 % of the cash ! If they gave away 'even a drop' it would make 'an ocean'of a difference to the large, toiling masses!
The 'green plant' alone 'produces' FOOD for all life forms- while the 'industrial plant'can only 'transform'this FOOD- the basis of all economic and livelihood activities- and money is the only means\currency to procure FOOD first and then the other basic necessities!

On May 15, 2007 Stalin wrote:
MONEY is not everything, but true its IMPORTANT.



On May 15, 2007 shweta wrote:
raised in closed community of the rich and elite class of overseas asians. (arranged)married at 19, living a luxurious life. life is beautiful when it comes to materialistic needs, i have all that money can buy, but along comes with it is the pressure to be a certain class of person and live in a certain way.money buys material but for it's status we sell our freedom.

On May 14, 2007 Jay wrote:
Simplicity is freedom, complexity is bondage--whether applied to our "cluttered thinking" about money or our inability to clear our garage. In a nation where compulsive cluttering is moving steadily toward a pandemic condition--money to buy has become the holy grail of 'do-it-yourself' therapy. Enough money will fix it--and then you don't have to deal with feelings, emotions or behavior--just take the money and buy more stuff to fill up the hole.

On May 14, 2007 Conrad wrote:

I feel like I am enslaving myself because I don't give as much as I think I should. I feel liberated because I haven't bought a new suit in 25 years. I bought a used suit 3 years ago. I never bought a new car until I was age 72, a Prius which I traded for a Corolla when the Prius odometer read 1800 miles. Except for my shoes and most of my underwear, most of my clothes are used from garage sales, rummage sales and secondhand clothing stores, and I feel liberated about that. I actually get a high when I am giving as I should. When I am feeling unliberated and bound, I find it useful to ask myself, "Who binds me?Ē Xiaoshanís statement: "Where did all my questions go?" (from last week) made me think that Xiaoshan had much gratitude because he knew there was nothing to question, and his question of (where did all his questions go?) was stimulating and inspirational. When one is not a separate self, there is no one to question, and as Xiaoshan knows, there is nothing to know, noth  See full.

I feel like I am enslaving myself because I don't give as much as I think I should. I feel liberated because I haven't bought a new suit in 25 years. I bought a used suit 3 years ago. I never bought a new car until I was age 72, a Prius which I traded for a Corolla when the Prius odometer read 1800 miles. Except for my shoes and most of my underwear, most of my clothes are used from garage sales, rummage sales and secondhand clothing stores, and I feel liberated about that. I actually get a high when I am giving as I should. When I am feeling unliberated and bound, I find it useful to ask myself, "Who binds me?Ē Xiaoshanís statement: "Where did all my questions go?" (from last week) made me think that Xiaoshan had much gratitude because he knew there was nothing to question, and his question of (where did all his questions go?) was stimulating and inspirational. When one is not a separate self, there is no one to question, and as Xiaoshan knows, there is nothing to know, nothing to attain and nothing to realize.. Thank you Xiaoshan and Viral for sharing. You have my gratitude.

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On May 14, 2007 Xiaoshan wrote:
I get up in the morning, because I need to go to work. I need to go to work, because I need my paychecks. I need my paychecks, because I need to put food on the table and a roof above our heads. I need to put food on the table and roof on our heads, because my family cannot go on without them... After all, isn't it the relationship that I have with money? What's more?

On May 13, 2007 TOW Team wrote:
Some possible points of reflection:

* What is your own relationship to money?
* How do you keep connected to the soul of money?
* Have you had any experiences in which your way of relating to money is either restrictive or liberating?