Every 6 months, with my clients and Sametuary circle, we do a negative money memory purge.
We write down all our negative memories, big or small, associated with money. We write it on paper. Then we burn it!
The first time, I wrote a dozen negative money memories. It felt yucky. I couldn't think of more. So I sat for a 15min meditation. By end of day, I had barfed out 148 negative money memories!!!
Six months later, I did it again, but I could only come up with 62 memories. Even if I wracked my brain, I couldn't remember what the other 86 items were...
THE MAGIC IS IN THE FIRE
The third time I repeated this exercise, there were 36 negative memories.
The fourth time, there were 25 and the fifth time, there were 18.
When we consciously and intentionally purge our dis-empowering money memories, we let the paper carry the weight of our burden.
When we consciously and intentionally let go of the past by burning it, it incinerates to ashes and leaves us. The big ones will require a few rounds of burning. But the hope and the truth is that eventually, the past doesn't come back. It's good and dead.
Proof that Lessons Take Time
I've kept gratitude journals since 1999 and I stumbled upon my list of 36 negative money memories in one of them. I was horrified! I hadn't burnt it?!?
I ran to burn it, but no. 29 caught my eye: "Last minute flight to dad funeral $3,200. F*cking airlines have no compassion."
At the time, my flights to 16 countries (20 flight segments) cost only $5,200 and this one flight to my dad's funeral was $3,200. The contrast felt like my world was ending because:
- It actually had. My dad's life just ended.
- It meant that 62% of my flights would have to be cancelled to allocate to funeral flight (again, note the iron-clad scarcity conditioning of "there is a tiny pie, and once eaten there is no more, ever again."
About 10 months later, my travel insurance covered $1,600 of the funeral flight, after much, much, much, much, much paper work, back and forth, and me fighting for what's rightfully due. Time helped me see that everything works out in the end. Or at least, partially works out.
It made me wonder, "What else did these negative (and often scarring or traumatic) money memories lead to, if given plenty of time?"
Lessons 1-8 from Purging 36 Negative Money Memories
Here's my list of 36 negative money memories, with:
- What that incident / scar / trauma eventually lead me to
- The time between the incident and my realization of its value. I use "We only needed" to indicate time because there are two dancers in this tango:
- the lesson that needed its own time to gestate and be ready
- AND the "me" that needed my own time to gestate and be ready to receive it.
Negative Memory no. 1
Parents fighting, yelling on boulevard over Disney World tickets. We never got to go.
IT LEAD TO • Me working my own ass off to take myself to 104 countries on my own dime
We only needed • 24 years + 7 months
Negative Memory No. 2
Daily 2.5 hour commute to school for 10 years b/c we couldn't afford to live closer to downtown
IT LEAD TO • Realizing the value of not being raised a princess. Being a low-maintenance, unmaterialistic gal has gifted me such ease traveling though different countries and through life.
We only needed • 19 years + 10 months
Negative Memory No. 3
Paid lame-ass wages by X for a website on a "friends and family" rate
IT LEAD TO • Knowing when to pick my battles and preserving this relationship, which lead to 2 of my dearest relationships to date!
We only needed • 2 years + 4 months
Negative Memory No. 4
Massive time / money / energy drain moving family from East to West coast. Single-handedly, back-achingly, soul crushingly packed 71 boxes.
It lead to • Having filled my quota of filial piety and giving myself full permission to move to Rwanda to do humanitarian work because my heart wanted it. This move launched my career!
We only needed • 7 months
Negative Memory No. 5
Envious of X whose parent bought him jewelry, bike, condo, whatever he wanted
It lead to • Witnessing X wandering aimlessly from low-paying job to low-paying job, kissing people's asses. Realizing the potency and joy of having created my own success with my own two hands.
We only needed • 17 years + 3 months
Negative Memory No. 6
So jealous of X who travelled all over the world on parents' credit card
It lead to • (No answer yet. Still kinda jealous...)
We only needed • ? years and ? months
Negative Memory No. 7
Moving in with X because both starved for love and wanted to save $
IT LEAD TO • Experiencing the truest form of betrayal, both another betraying me and me betraying myself. You're not enlightened until you've experienced betrayal. A badge of honor, call it.
We only needed • 1 year + 2 months
Negative Memory No. 8
Wishing I was only child, so little $ we had could send me to gifted program
It lead to • Dropping to my knees, grateful that I have two brothers, who stepped up to the plate to sort out dad's funeral (because I was 13,000 km away, to support mom and to make clearing out dad's things fun (music + bubble tea + hilarious stories of dad's hypocrisy)
We only needed • 14 years + 8 months