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Recently, Jeff Bridge published a book called “The Dude and the Zen Master.”  As I understand it, it’s conversations he had with Roshi Bernie Glassman about the ways “The Big Lebowski” movie espouses spiritual principles.

I haven’t read the book, but I’ve always held a notion that the character Jeff Bridges plays in the movie, that  of The Dude (a.k.a Jeff Lebowski)  is very Zen.  I haven’t given a lot of thought to the possibilities in the rest of the film. However,  I think Mr. Bridges said something about the character of Donny. I could see  Donny being a bit like Monkey Mind as he chattered on and asked meaningless questions. The Dude’s best friend, and bowling partner, Walter, was always saying, “Shut up, Donny.”  But I’m merely grasping at straws.

What I do know is The Dude.  As the movie begins, the Dude is in a grocery store.  It’s late and there aren’t a lot of people around.  He is dressed in his usual outfit of tan Bermuda shorts, a tee shirt and sandals.  He lives in LA, so he doesn’t need much else.  But he is in the grocery store in his bathrobe on top of the uniform.  Seems the Dude needed some cream for his favorite drink, the White Russian.  He was probably wearing his robe at home and just went out the way he was.

The Dude lives a simple life.  All he really needs is the fixings for his drink and a joint now and then.  He uses his sense of smell to make sure the cream hasn’t soured.  His apartment is sparsely furnished, except for the rug which “ties the room together.”

The quest of the movie is to replace the carpet the nihilists, actually looking for another Lebowski, ruined after peeing on it.  Prior to the urinating, two men had pushed the Dude’s head into a toilet, asking him where the money was.  He didn’t know and told them so.  When they persisted in the question, the Dude suggested that maybe it is down the toilet and he should take another look.

The truth is, the Dude doesn’t have much money.  But he has the money he needs.  Some things are more important.  His landlord came to the door one day asking for the rent, which the Dude didn’t have. The landlord brushed it off, but asked that the Dude come to the Landlord’s scheduled performance and give him notes.  Such the Dude is revered by others.

The Dude knows right from wrong.  He doesn’t like to hurt people and wants very much to help “that poor woman,” who is the object of much of the plot.  After being drugged by Jackie Treehorn, the man to whom money was owed, the Dude ended up at the police station and explained to the sheriff that “Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women!”  The Dude doesn’t approve.

He doesn’t usually get upset. “The Dude Abides,” they say.  When he does get upset, as the comings and goings of the plot evolve, Walter points out that he is being very “un Dude.”  By nature, the Dude is easy going, taking it light.

The Dude enjoys bowling with his friends, taking baths by candlelight and was the  author of the original Port Heron Statement – not the second version which compromised too much.

He is patient and lives in the moment.  He is willing to listen to others, even the “Big Lebowski” who offered him a proposal.  The Dude is tolerant of his kooky friends, even Donny, to a certain extent.  And he is quite comfortable saying the word “vagina.”  The Dude did not forget his promise to show up at the Landlord’s performance.

Plenty of White Russians, some pot now and again, and enough bowling, the Dude is a Happy Man.  Oh yeah, if he has the right rug to pull the room together, the Dude Abides.

Part III: Clearing the Path From the book, “The Energy of Money,” by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D.

This chapter teaches us how to observe and take apart our structures of knowing. “A structure of knowing is a mental model of how things work.” Maria tells us that it “ . . .organizes everything we know about the world.” In other words, our paradigms. What we know to be true about life. We need to learn to see what’s working for us and what isn’t. Those structures of knowing that are holding us back are stealing our energy. “Keep them past their time,” Maria adds, “and you experience stagnation. Dare to release them and you create the future.” As always, it’s about being aware.

How do you know when you have a structure of knowing that isn’t working for you? Usually when you are absolutely certain that what you think and feel is the only correct way, you’re probably stuck in a structure of knowing. Maria tells us, “when your body gets tight and your mind feels overheated,” you are in caught in a structure of knowing.

Use your Standards of Integrity and your Life’s Intentions as a yard stick to measure if what you’ve been telling yourself is relevant. The thoughts that swirl around your head and tell you it’s the only way can be valid, but not necessarily relevant. With Coach by the Lake, I’ve been using the Wheel of Life. How many areas of my Wheel of Life (the areas of my life that are important to me, like career, money, home, friends, etc.) will be affected? Recently I had to make a decision about whether to take a class or not. There were several valid reasons why I couldn’t do it. But, as my coach showed me, this class would fit in several places on my Wheel of Life. It will support my Life’s Intentions and keep with my Standard’s of Integrity. It is relevant. I promptly signed up.

Discovering these things can bring on confusion. Monkey Mind doesn’t like not knowing. But if you allow yourself to be with it, if you accept that state of confusion, and breathe through it, something amazing starts to happen. As you ponder the possibility of something else, you’re likely to enter the state of paradox. Maria defines paradox as “a self-canceling statement or thought that forces the mind into a sort of logical gridlock.” When that happens a new point of view has a chance to arise.

If you can be with these uncomfortable feelings for awhile, before you take action, you create space for miracles.

Miracles are interesting happenings. Something can start out as a miracle. Maria described watching someone ride a two-wheel bike when you were little. How amazing it seemed that they could keep themselves upright! But then you tried it, you did it and it became of your everyday life.

This, to me, sums it all up: “When you discern a miracle and interact with it, the scope of your structure of knowing expands to incorporate the event. If you keep stretching your structures of knowing, there will always be another miracle within reach.”

Now, let’s get to the exercises:

Exercise: Your Structures of Knowing Money
This is an interesting exercise. Some call it mind mapping. You take a big piece of paper and write money in the center of it. Then, draw lines from it and write any word or phrase that comes into your head when you think about money. I circle each one. The idea is to fill the piece of paper with everything you think, feel and say about Money. Your entire structure of knowing about money. Maria offers a few starters to get you going:

  • What it will take for me to have all the money I want.
  • What I know I am right about regarding money.
  • Why I want money.
  • What I must give up to have money.
  • What I think and feel about others who have lots of money.
  • How having more money will change my life or the lives of loved ones.
  • What I will be able to do with more money that I cannot do now.

When you’ve exhausted everything (she suggests giving it an hour’s time) you take colored pens and circle themes and repeated patterns. You are to keep this colorful representation close by and look at it for three days. Observe it, looking for any more patterns. Maria says you can use a red dot on those things that make you feel uncomfortable or uneasy and a blue dot on those things that make you feel good. Two weeks after doing this, Maria wants us to look for miracles around money – how we feel and what we know about it.

I can’t really share my mind map here. But I can say this: I have done work on my money structures of knowing, so most of my mind map was positive. I have had money before and I know all the wonderful things it can deliver. What keeps coming up for me though, is that you have to work hard to have money. I can’t seem to shake that for some reason . . . So that even when the path to money is good and fun, I have to make it hard to make it valid.

Exercise: Dismantling through Authentic Action.

Maria defines dismantling as taking off the cover. If you take the cover off, you can see things much better. She wants us to do something that is totally out of the realm of what we usually do.

1. For three days, resolve to pay for everything with cash.
2. Put all your credits cards in a place where you cannot easily get to them for one week.
3. The next three times you go grocery shopping, put 10 percent of what you just spent in the charity box at the checkout counter.
4. Tell someone you know and trust how much money you make each month.

Write about your experiences doing these things and your reactions. Do they create a shift in your experience of money? What new thoughts or feelings arise?

I don’t have any credit cards. And there just isn’t much to report on the money-making front just now. I don’t seem to have an issue about confessing that, anyway. I will try the grocery shopping donation and see what happens. Not really a big stretch for me. Maybe I can come up with a couple “out of the box” ideas I can use. I will ponder this.

Maria ends the chapter by encouraging us to have what the Buddhist’s call “beginner’s mind.” That fresh place where all the world is a miracle!

Next week is about the blessed art of forgiveness.

From the book, “The Energy of Money” by Maria Nemeth, Ph. D.

We all have Basic Assumptions about life. Dr. Nemeth defines it as: “a fundamental decision you make about life when you’re very young, a core conversation about yourself, others and how life is.”

These assumptions often come from Monkey Mind (that chatter in your head.) Dr. Nemeth says, “Trying to alter what your mind says forces you to dance with it, keep its rhythm, focus your attention on it.” It is just chatter that will always be there. The important thing is to realize that it’s just chatter and not the truth, not necessarily based on facts.

Dr. Nemeth wants us to observe it. She gives us a Monkey Mind Checklist to help identify it.
1. Being vague
2. Dealing with the past and future as if they’re the present (always was and always will be. . .)
3. Being defensive
4. Taking things personally
5. Feeling resigned
6. Making qualifying statements (If this, then maybe)
7. Making excuses
8. Using either/or thinking
9. Being paranoid
10. Fragmenting our personalities (part of me wants this)
11. Making comparisons
12. Rationalizing (Everyone else does it.)
13. Justifying your actions (I deserve it.)
14. Deflecting concerns with jokes
15. Being a martyr
16. Becoming petulant (cantankerous, cross or grouchy)
17. Being impulsive

You can recognize it by how you feel – “locked in place, adamant, tense, as though it’s a matter of survival to maintain your position.”

Monkey Mind doesn’t want us to change. It keeps us locked in repetitive, unhealthy (or at least not-moving forward) behaviors. “Think of the energy we use to explain why things are not so bad, or why we have to do what we do.” The awareness of what Monkey Mind is and that it is not you and doesn’t have to be believed, frees you to make other choices.

Exercise: Dancing with Monkey Mind
For 2 or 3 days notice when you engage in one of the symptoms of Monkey Mind from the Checklist above. Write down which one and if you said it out loud or in your head. This is a good practice for paying attention and can be very revealing – showing you that it is just chatter in your mind. If you lose your attention, forget to log, just return to it when you remember. Not remembering says something, too.

After the time is up, review what you’ve written.
1. Were most of the thoughts vocalized or kept inside your head?
2. Are there any themes? Dr. Nemeth calls it, “Medley of My Favorite Monkey Mind Conversations.”
3. How did your body feel when you were trapped in it? (Always a good indicator of whether you’re engaging in healthy or unhealthy thinking.)
4. Were you able to catch the thinking before it took off running? How did that feel?
5. Were there any special Monkey Mind contributions around money? What prompted them?

Dr. Nemeth says the goal of this exercise is to observe Monkey Mind. “When you see and tell the truth about the symptoms of Monkey Mind you exhibit they no longer have a hold on you.” I”m not sure I agree with that completely. But it sure can help to keep most of them from overtaking you.

Exercise: Peace with Honor
This is a mediation practice of 10 to 20 minutes a day. Dr. Nemeth suggests doing it every day for a week.
Sit comfortably, your back straight. Relax your body. I like this: “A soft tummy gives Monkey Mind less to hold onto.” Her technique is to “be like a wave.” Breathe in and imagine the ocean washing on the beach, as you breathe out, the wave recedes into the ocean. In and out. It’s just a matter of noticing our breathing. Focusing on it. Watch how your mind dances here and there. Dr Nemeth adds, “You may notice how hard it is to be attentive to life when you think that the chatter means something.” In the end who you are and what you do is so much more and more important than the Monkey Mind chatter in your head. “Even as adults we look through a scared child’s eyes every time we enter unfamiliar territory.”

She brings it down to Fight, Flight or Freeze, as our Basic Assumption about life. Dr. Nemeth suggest the one you really don’t like is probably the one that fits you. She describes them simply like this:
Freeze = I don’t know
Flight = Life is hard
Fight = People are jerks

She explains that Monkey Mind will take this assumption and twist it around so that you believe it completely. It becomes hard to see it because you are so immersed in it, like a fish in water.

Of course, we can operate from all three. Dr. Nemeth suggests that one of them is our core belief but that we may have tributaries that use the others. From them our decision are based, sometimes on irrelevant or erroneous information.

Exercise: Trials and Tributaries
Answer the following questions and for each talk of your thoughts and any feelings or emotions that come up and your body’s reactions.
1. You have just inherited one million dollars. A relative asks for a $50,000 unsecured loan.
I would want to know why this person wants the money and if they can be trusted to pay it back. Are they a relative that might have inherited the money instead of me? If so, why were they passed over?

2. Think of a time when you failed to complete something you promised you’d do. Be specific. Think of names, dates, and places. What are your reasons? What happened? Whose fault do you think it was? Where are your body sensations?
I could name many of them. I think my reasons are now (even if I wasn’t sure then) that I didn’t know how or I wasn’t sure I could do it right.

3. The past 10 years have shown an upsurge in the number of personal bankruptcies filed. In your opinion, what causes someone to go bankrupt?
I wonder what would cause a person to not pay bills if they had the money? I’d like to think that people get caught in this when their income level changes drastically. Perhaps if they have an addiction of some kind that makes them spend even when they don’t have the money, like gambling, for instance.

4. Think of a place, at work or in a personal relationship, where you know you are not operating within your Standards of Integrity. What has kept you from clearing this up?
I try to stay on top of this as much as I can. But I guess what would keep me from it is if I feared rejection.

5. You are about to stand up in front of a group of people you hardly know You are going to tell them precisely how much money you bring home to the penny each month. What thoughts come to mind as you contemplate doing this?
My first thought is: Why do they need to know. My emotions might be concern that they resent me if I make too much, or I would be embarrassed if it was too low.

6. You have been asked to give the year-end summary presentation to the president of your company. You have 2 hours to prepare. What did you just think as you read this? Note anything, even if it seem unrelated. Why would you fail to do this?
My first thought was I don’t know what needs to be summarized! Have I been working with this material for a year? Where can I find some quiet time to get this together before the presentation? I don’t see any reason why I would fail to do this. If I have to, I will.

7. You are being asked to compute your net worth. How hard would this be for you? Why? I’m not sure I’d know how to compute it.

8. You have just received a letter that your income taxes for the last two years will be audited. What do you think happened to cause this to occur? How will you handle the situation?
I have an accountant who would take care of all of this. If there was a problem, he would know what to do.

9. You are leave a book store with some purchases. (She said record store?) As you go through the security gate, the alarm sounds. A salesperson rushes toward you to stop you from leaving. What is your first thought? What would you do?
My first response is panic with a loud noise and someone running toward me. But I would quickly return to calm because I know I didn’t steal anything.

10. Name one dream you have had for some time that you have given up on. What is it? Be specific. When did you give up on this dream? What were the circumstances?
I once wanted to be in the music business. I gave it up because I realized I had no particular talent to offer. Writing felt so much better.

11. You bought a book on financial prosperity three months ago. You were excited at the time but haven’t read past the first three pages. What are your reasons? What’s keeping you from reading, and even putting into practice what the book suggests? Have you done this before? When? Tell the truth.
I usually read these books. But I guess I might back away if I felt I didn’t have enough money to fuss about.

12. You’ve been meaning to talk to your children (spouse, partner) about an issue involving money, but you haven’t done so yet.
What keeps you from doing this? What worries emerge as you think about this?

Can you find a distinct, declarative phrase in all this? Did you identify fight, flight or freeze assumptions? One more than others? How have these thoughts played out in your life? Ask a friend what they think about your behavior.

My statement might be: People may not like me based on my income. I’d say I’m a freezer, but it’s hard to know for sure.

All of this is just to get you to be more aware of how your assumptions and Monkey Mind effect your day to day life, especially around money.

Next Time: Part III: Clearing the Path. I can’t wait!

I have decided to work the Energy of Money course, by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D.  From her marvelous, 1997 book “The Energy of Money, A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment.”

The first chapter, “What is the Energy of Money?” doesn’t offer any exercises, but, like she does, I will give an overview of what this is all about.

We are beings of energy. Everything that flows around us is energy.  In this book Dr. Nemeth works with the energy of money, time, physical vitality, enjoyment, creativity and the support of friends.  The book teaches us to become conscious conduits of energy.  When you can direct the energy of money, you will be successful.  Dr. Nemeth defines success as “doing what you say you’re going to do, with ease.”  Flowing the energy of money makes it easier.

In creating these conduits, Dr. Nemeth takes us on a “hero’s journey.” I like that mythology.  It conjures up all kinds of visions.  Certainly it requires us to leave what’s been comfortable and safe and strike out on new adventures.  Dr Nemeth warns us that “. . .  the easy life includes the experience of discomfort.  It is when we try to avoid naturally occurring pain or discomfort that life becomes difficult.”  Alan Cohen adds, “Do not resist events that move you out of your comfort zone, especially when your comfort zone was not all that comfortable.”

Dr Nemeth tells us that what we contribute to the world is what makes us heroes.  Living out our deepest passions and dreams is really the best thing we can do for ourselves and everyone else.  “ . . . when we know that we are making a larger contribution, when we know that our personal goals are also helping our business succeed or when we know that being financially successful will also put our children through college, we are using the energy of money heroically.”

If our purpose in this enlightenment game is to become more awake, more aware, she goes onto ask, “What if waking up really means seeing how to conduct yourself powerfully in your everyday, regular life in the real world?” Makes sense.  It’s a whole different ball game to be spiritually enlightened on a mountain top where your entire existence is dedicated to it.  It’s quite another when you have children, a spouse, friends, work, shopping to do, events to attend, bills to pay . . .

In the book is an interesting map of the way energy works.  In the metaphysical reality energy is “undifferentiated.” As it becomes an idea it takes on more shape.  When you set an intention of how you want it to be, it becomes more congealed.  Then the energy must pass through into the physical reality to become a solid goal and manifest itself.

Dr. Nemeth talks at length about the problem spot she calls “Trouble at the Border.”  The energy of a new idea is vibrant and strong.  But when you actually get to making it happen, you get scared.  The doubts come up.  The fear encroaches.  Next thing you know you’ve talked yourself out of it. 

This chatter is referred to in Buddhist circles as “Monkey Mind.”  You can recognize Monkey Mind talk because it is incessant and does not support. The author says, “The energy cost is tremendous when we divert the time and attention that could be energizing our dreams into concerns of failure.” Dr Nemeth contends that successful people are those that don’t listen to Monkey Mind, but instead use that energy for other purposes.  They are able to push their dreams and visions through the Trouble at the Border and keep going until their ideas become reality. Successful people use their fears and doubts as guides, not as reasons to quit.

Dr Nemeth wants us to ground our goals and dreams in what she terms “Life Intentions.”  Like intending to be a successful author, a good parent, an adventurer, or physically fit . . . She calls them “. . . blueprints for what happens in physical reality.” She says the best way to feel good about our goals and energize them is to select goals that come out of these Life Intentions. She uses that delightful definition of goal as “an area or object toward which play is directed in order to score.” To be a successful author, a goal might be to publish a book.  To be an adventurer, our goal might be to take an eco-tour of Mexico.

The process begins, she says, with doing the work on ourselves in the metaphysical reality to clear the way and then taking what she refers to as  “Authentic Action” in the physical reality.  This Authentic Action is not busywork, but actions that move us closer to our goal.

Dr. Nemeth wants us to become conduits of the energy of money.  Whatever discomforts we feel can be re-channeled so we use our fears and unease to let us know what we need.  We can learn, as Libby Gill advises, to focus our energies toward what we want and away from what we don’t want.

Next week I’ll start working the exercises.

I did a review of this book back in June of 2009. “The Energy of Money,” by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D., is a extraordinarily good book on the subject of money and how your attitudes about it affect other areas of your life. Here is Exercise One: Your Money Autobiography.

In that review I said this is a powerful exercise which reveals much. Dr. Nemeth says, “The more you operate from being willing, rather than from the surface complaints and nattering of Monkey Mind, the more conscious you become, the greater the transformations you’ll have in your relationship with money and in your life.”

The things that are revealed in this exercise show us some of that nattering and where those surface complaints come from.  In following the programs in this book, you are asked to start a journal.  It helps to keep all the thinking and exercises in one place. Maria says this will take about 40 minutes, but you can do it in 10 minutes stints if you prefer.

It’s a story about your history with money.  “I first learned about money when I was . . . “ can start you off. The questions listed below are offered to guide you.  You don’t have to answer them all.  But Dr. Nemeth (like most teachers) advises that the questions which repel you the most are the ones you most need to delve into. To those who are reluctant to do this exercise she adds, “If you are willing, you will create real breathing room for yourself – space for miracles in your life regarding money.”  Sounds good to me.  As a practitioner of creating space these days, I can attest to the miracles that can come.  Marvelous things will flow in easily to those spaces you create.  I say, take a pen, sit down and do it.  It will be worth the time.

Here are the questions to help:

1.  What were your family’s financial circumstances when you were born?

2.  When did you first learn about money?  Was it from your father or your mother?  How old were you?  What were the circumstances?

3.  Did you have an allowance?  Did you have to work for it, or was it given to you even if you didn’t do chores to earn it? If you have children, does this affect how you handle allowances with them?

4.  When was the first time you bought something with money you had saved? Where were you? What did you buy?  Was it money you earned or money someone gave you?

5.  Do you remember your first paycheck?  How did you earn it?  How much was in it? What did you do with it?

6.  Do you remember ever losing money?  When was the earliest time?  What happened? Has this happened to your children?  How did you handle it?

7.  Did you dream of one day having a particular job or career?  Have you achieved this? Why or why not?  Was the amount of money you could earn a factor in your choice of careers?

8.  If your relationship with money were a personal relationship, how would you describe it?  Do you fear, love, hate, depend upon, feel possessive of, or feel generous with money?  Just write whatever comes to mind in this area.

9.  How do you relate to people who have more money than you? Less money?

10.  Do you recall your mother’s or fathers relationship with money? If you didn’t live with them, then pick people who were your primary care givers for this question.

11.  How did the above people’s relationship with money affect you?  Did they have expectations of you?  What were they?  Were there some aspects of money that were not discussed? Even though they were not discussed, you may have known what they were.  If you have children, do you have similar expectations of them? Do you treat them the same way you were treated? If you are a married or in a committed relationship, do these expectations affect your partner?

12.  Have you ever accomplished an important task or project regarding money? What was it?  What did you do that made you successful?

13.  Was there a time when you tried but did not accomplish a task or project regarding money? What was it?  What did you do that made you unsuccessful?

14.  Have you ever given or received gifts of money? If yes, how much? For what reason(s)? How did you feel about this?

15.  If you were to characterize your own brand of “money craziness” how would you describe it?

16.  Where do you want to see yourself ten years from now regarding money? How much in savings?  How much in investments? How much do you see yourself making ten years from now?

17.  Regarding money, for what do you want to be known? If people were to talk about you and your relationship with money. What would you want them to say?

18.  Are you afraid that money is not spiritual enough for you or that your spiritual path isn’t compatible with financial success?

19.  What do you spend money on?

20.  What do you not spend money on?

When you’re done, Dr. Nemeth suggests giving it a title that might sum it up.  Review it and see if there are any parallels with other parts of your life. Any repeating themes?  That’s always significant.  Were there things you’d like to tell everyone about?  Things you’d rather no one know? Think about which questions gave you trouble and see if you can figure out why.

This may reveal some stuff you’d rather not see. Have some compassion: we all have made mistakes with money.  Big, costly ones, too.  And most of us have a shaky, at best, history with money. But know that whatever you’re feeling it is a step toward healing and making space for more abundance in all areas of your life!

This is one of the best books on money I’ve read. It changed the way I look at money. The material is based on 12 Principles to help direct and use this powerful form of energy. Dr Nemeth shows us how our behavior effects money flow. That changing how we think, we can change how we relate to money. In her You and Money workshops, she defines success as “doing what you said you would do – with ease.”

It often helps me to get a feel for a book when I see how its laid out:

Part I: The Hero’s Purpose

Part II: Identify the Inner Blocks to Progress

Part III: Clearing the Path

Part IV: Staying the Course

In the first part we learn about willingness. “Learning to say yes to what is on our plate and realizing that everything we find in our lives today is here to wake us up.” She shows us how things like owning up to our mistakes helps us to open to more money.

Dr. Nemeth discusses what she refers to as “trouble at the border,” moving dreams from metaphysical reality to physical reality. Anyone who’s had great ideas that never went anywhere, knows all about that. She talks of the Buddhist concept of Money Mind, which is that constant chatter in our minds that keep us in doubt and worry.

The teaching she uses is based on the Coaching Model of Look, See, Tell the Truth and Take Authentic Action. She explains the difference between being honest and being truthful. One of my favorite exercises was her guidance in writing a Money Autobiography. She asks probing questions like what financial circumstances did you grow up in, when did you first learn about money, if your relationship with money were a personal relationship, how would you describe it? I found this quite revealing!

She also asks to list your Standards of Integrity. It took a little while to get this down, but it was freeing to have a structure in which to make decisions. She made the process easy and fun. She uses this adage to help: “Remember the old saying that you don’t like certain people because they have some traits that you dislike about yourself? What if the opposite were true as well, that you value traits in others that you also possess?” What a more positive (and fun) way to look at it.

There is a thorough explanation of Goals and how to set real ones based on what you truly want in life. She offers a delightful Webster’s definition of a goal as “an area or object toward play is directed in order to score.” She knows how to make it a game. It was through this book I made my first Treasure Map, which she describes as a “physical picture of your goal.” It was an extremely fun project that got me excited about my life.

In Part II, she walks us through identifying the behaviors that inhibit the flow of money, including a Busyholism Inventory to see if you a busyholic. “Your experience of an abundant life is the sum of your authentic choices minus the sum of your driven behavior.”

There is a lengthy discussion about the issue of Scarcity, which is often left out of most studies of money. It got me to look at my rationalizations in a whole new light. She teaches us how to live with the inevitable scarcity. “We reach the infinite through living fully in the finite.”

Dr. Nemeth gets us to really sit down and face how we feel about money, our choices about it, what we tell ourselves about it and when we’ve messed up. Her explanations of Monkey Mind are clear and eye-opening. Dealing with your assumptions about money is a huge step in freeing the energy of money.

In Part III, Dr. Nemeth helps us to change some of those assumptions. “Conscious observation is the key to going beyond your self-developed limits.” She gives us a beautiful description of forgiveness and its impact on our lives. There are several good exercises showing us how to let go of our ability to use what someone else has done as proof of who they are.

It’s not all about your mind. She also gives some practical financial advice about the actual flow of money and stopping leaks.

There are always obstacles along the way and in Section IV, Dr. Nemeth tells us how to deal with them. Like many, she suggests enlisting help from others for the journey. And finally, she tells us that nothing works better than gratitude and giving.

This is a revolutionary book that will change how you use money.

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