Recently I have been working with this fantastic group of women around their relationship to money. We have laughed together, cried together and sometimes just sat in the powerful silence that follows the “ah-ha” moment of “I get it. I’m not alone”. It’s been quite a transformative process- not only have we turned to the awareness of what money has represented in our lives, but I, as a practitioner, have seen my work of Inner Economics unfold right before my eyes.
Yesterday one of the women was working with her Fool archetype. This money type feels frustrated by material constraints and is restless and undisciplined as a result. It is afraid of being bored and so its sets out to conquer the world (but is easily distracted). The fool has all the enthusiasm of a warrior but because it doesn’t pay attention to details or neglects to slow down to implement them, it’s dreams often do not materialize (and then money is to blame). In other words the fool’s energy gets wasted. Money comes in and out of its life like a hot potato and when it finally looks around, there is not much to show.
Digging a little deeper into this woman’s fool we began to discover her underlying restlessness. When it came down to “managing” money and creating financial detail she just couldn’t sit still. So she wanted to prove to the world that she would never be boxed in by material limitations and so proceeded to be “big” in her spending patterns. The result: anxiety, disorganization and the denial of what she really wanted in her life- to fully step into her sense of worth. Her restlessness was her inability to feel authentically big and worthy and it got translated into a constant outflow of money to prove the world wrong.
I suggested that instead of giving this restlessness life by spending outward (i.e false expenditure), she do the opposite- keep the restlessness in. Her eyes grew wide, both in disbelief and in terror. So I continued.
I suggested she make a restlessness chair- a place where she could sit and be with this sensation that had her exhaling more than she was inhaling (and as a result keeping her out of breath). I proposed that it be a warm, and cozy place, somewhere that felt safe and inviting, where she could just be. Once there her task was to sit in and let herself be consumed by the restlessness, fully. By being completely present and open to this energy, it would hand over a key- a key of awareness into what she was trying to cover up and not fully feel.
So, in light of "walking my talk", I tried this this morning while nursing my daughter. It was much harder than I initially thought! I saw my own restless energy like a fleeting snake. I couldn’t quite pin it down. It felt elusive, slithery and almost unreal. I found it easier to open my eyes and focus on my nursing baby or on the withering flowers in front of me that needed to be tossed. Anything but staying with the restlessness I feared! I chuckled, closed my eyes and tried again.
The second time I stayed with my restlessness a little bit longer. The snake began to settle down. It found its root in my 1st chakra, and with alert eyes it finally stayed still and sat on the ground. I felt my breath deepen. My attention moved to the walls of tension that I carry inside. I knew these walls well; I’ve carried them for quite some time. I knew they covered up an authentic way of living where I trusted that I could fully be me. I yearned for a life where these walls were no longer needed all the time and where I could walk in the world knowing how to be more open, vulnerable and free. It sometimes felt just too scary and so the walls remained and I felt blocked inside.
But there I sat and I let my restlessness take shape. The snake perked up and lunged for the kill. It sunk its teeth into the base of the wall and started to shake. The walls shook fiercely, feeling the pulsing vibrations up through its bricks. Oh I see! I exclaimed inside, my restlessness is power; it’s vitality. If I face the intensity of being with and breathing in, it will give me what I most dream- it will help me be free.
I emerged from the experience smiling. I had just experienced a paradox in life- what we fear most often is our best friend. We just had to walk through the fire to “know” it. In its restlessness the fool holds a certain magic- it has what it takes to break us into new ground. When we see pass the false illusion of the jester and choose to feel big instead of trying to prove it to the world, we can let our power root into the ground (and then magic begins!)