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Understanding Your Relationship with Money: 04/01/2020

A spiritual awakening

These are unprecedented and powerful times that we live in amidst the worldwide pandemic. Some days I feel lucky to be living in some of the most transformational episodes humanity has ever seen. Other days I wonder when will it be over? I’m reminded of what my financial advisor says from time to time in our visits together, "Are we having fun yet?"

So much relevant to our financial world is happening so quickly. Uncertainty about jobs, the stock market, healthcare, and major shutdown of services we rely on for our everyday basic needs, among other unprecedented happenings. It’s anxiety producing, to say the least, when everything we know to be secure and safe begins to fall away, and losing the ground beneath our feet becomes the norm.

Financially, there is no easy answer or magic pill that will change everything overnight. On the news we hear about measures being taken which come with their own set of imperfections: the federal government passed a relief bill to stimulate our economy by infusing money into the system so many people (based on income) will benefit from receiving a check. Others will collect unemployment checks even though it generally takes four weeks before you actually see the money. There is an extension on filing taxes; no longer April 15, it’s now in July. The timeline for foreclosures and evictions has been extended.

One thing to remember is that you’re not in this alone. It’s happening to each of us, differently, but to each of us, whether you’re an employee, an owner of a business that’s closed, or retired. We’re all in this together – the whole world – although that may seem daunting, I find some comfort in it. I don’t feel so alone while isolating from each other, just knowing we’re all facing it.

Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author, teaches us to live in the present moment and says, “To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad.” This is a state of consciousness that requires a slower and more thoughtful approach. I believe this slower and more thoughtful approach is the gift in our current situation with “shelter-in-place” and “quarantine.”

You might be saying, “That’s all good in writing, but I don’t have work and can’t pay all of my bills due to the Coronavirus. How can I be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness in our current situation?” It requires doing something different than you’ve done before. You don’t need to have all the answers right now. Try living with the question for a while and have patience with everything that remains unsolved.

There’s a tendency to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or perhaps even paralyzed in knowing how to navigate to the next move. Instead, be still, breathe, and quiet the conscious mind so you can hear the murmurs of comfort and peace. Grace pours from internal intelligence. Meditation or sitting still, even for five minutes, calms the nervous system and coaxes the brain to slow down. A quick and easy method for meditating or sitting still to receive answers to your concerns is to focus your attention just behind the bridge of your nose, your third eye. Don’t worry so much about the thoughts coming and going; that’s natural. Just focus in that area and your thoughts will slow down.

Next, begin with a clear, specific intention of what you need. The more clarity your intention has, the more obvious your answer will be. Listen to yourself deeply. Be open to answers. Avoid thinking you didn’t receive an answer because it didn’t come in a form you expected. Simple messages come with ease and flow, just by allowing yourself to take another direction from your daily routine and allow the creativity to flow. Even the experience of pure boredom may have a message for you.

I find natural surroundings helpful to calm the mind and relax physical tension. In nature, there is no attachment to the outcome. Expectations and attachment often set you up for suffering. If you don’t like what’s happening, find a way to see the gift in the lesson to be learned. Is there a grand dose of acceptance or perhaps self-forgiveness needed?

Pema Chodron, spiritual teacher and author, also speaks to my heart. In her writing, she beautifully describes resistance to uncertainty and change.

“It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom – freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human.”

Whether we’re talking about the pandemic, not having enough money, or relationship issues (now that we’re sharing our personal space without a break!), it’s not easy to release the fear that comes when change threatens our values and level of comfort. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I willing to take the time to understand how change affects me?
  • How do I keep my faith in who I am and why I’m here?
  • How can I “re-member” (put back together) my power of inner intelligence?
  • How can I derive some comfort during these times of separation?
  • Do I trust my heart in knowing what’s best for me?
  • Where is my faith in knowing this too shall pass?
Spiritual awakening is strong now. Whatever that looks like for you, enter into it more fully and you will find your peace and strength. All will be well.

To learn more about your relationship with money, visit and take the complimentary “Money Type Quiz.” Only you will see the results. Or contact me at

Donna Colfer has worked in financial management since 1987. As a Financial Counselor and a Certified Money Coach, she blends her financial expertise with spiritual counseling in her private practice in Sonoma. A Valley resident since 1981, Donna and her husband, Randy, reside in Kenwood.

© 2020 Donna Colfer


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