I've recently been going through another layer of healing around money, and it has been absolutely profound.
When you become an entrepreneur after being employed for your entire adult life - one of the most impactful changes is that suddenly every penny is up to you in this very direct way.
When I was sitting in my cubicle or office for 12 years in my many jobs in consulting, HR, communications and advertising, I could have had a bad week, a slow week, a frankly kind of lazy week. Nevertheless, my paycheck would arrive just as it had on the weeks I kicked ass at my job.
As an entrepreneur, suddenly, you need to plan for financial consistency and build it into your business. No one will do it for you. You could make zero dollars or all the dollars. It's all directed by your energy, your drive, your plan and your execution.
And if you have any mindset or energetic hangups about money - which most of us do - your business suddenly becomes an opportunity for personal development at a level few people ever experience in their lifetimes. It pushes you against every insecurity and every doubt within you - with an urgency to take action.
Healing happens in cycles which build on each other. I see them as a spiral - each raising you higher in your consciousness and lessons in this lifetime.
I started my business in 2014 and since then there have been numerous cycles of recognizing cycles of scarcity mindset, healing fears of owning the worth of my work, and integrating shadow beliefs about how much I can earn.
Below are the lies I'm now shattering, integrating, and healing. They're not about wealth and riches. They actually go to the core of how I've thought about who I am and my worth.
Lie 1: Money = Being Able to Be Who I Am
I grew up in a deeply loving, yet very overprotective home in a conservative society in the Dominican Republic. I've always had an independent, creative and free spirit - so needless to say - many pieces of my circumstances were not a match for me.
At age 19, my family and I moved to the U.S., and I arrived initially as a student under a dependent visa where I wasn't allowed to work. I lived at home and went to university and led a social and personal life that was more of a parallel to many high school sophomores than a young adult woman. It impacted how I showed up, who I chose as friends, what I thought was possible, and not to mention what I was physically allowed to do, and the experiences I got to live. There were no feasible rebellion options to these circumstances that would keep me on track with my education, keep me in the country legally, and keep a respectful relationship with my family (trust me, I tried repeatedly).
My ticket out? Money. This was explained to me very clearly. The moment you can pay your bills, that's when you can do what you want. No level of demonstrated maturity or responsibility would do. You can make your own money? That day, you can do whatever you want.
By age 21, I started grad school on a student visa and was able to go out of state and get a job at the University. And for the first time in my life, I got to experience independence. This was not only a physical independence. This was an independence of thought, of spirit, of choices.
My soul was free. And money had given me that.
Lie 2: Money = Being a Good Mom
Fast forward ten years and I am sitting in my dream apartment in Brooklyn, holding the most amazing little baby boy in my arms as I realize that I'm about to go through a divorce. My husband of 7 years was walking out the door and money was about to become more important than it had ever been.
As a single mom in NYC with a 1-yr old - keeping my job and negotiating higher salaries would now not just be nice, but it would be essential.
Up until that point, in all my job & financial worst-case scenarios I had someone else in the home I could rely on. There was another working adult in the home and we could figure things out together. That was now gone, and there was a baby to take care of.
Alone, I could have chosen to end up couch-surfing and having odd jobs in random places. But I had a son depending on me. I needed to make money to be a good mom. I needed to be there in this way for him.
My ability to keep a roof over our heads became my primary function. And I subconsciously associated it immediately with my worth and value as a mother.
I remember being let go from a job in 2013, and sitting on the floor of my hotel room in NYC calling my then boyfriend bawling in desperation because I felt like a "terrible mom" for having let this happen.
Three years later when I would become an entrepreneur, one of my greatest motivations was to spend more time with my son. I was thrilled at the possibility of picking him up at school, spending our afternoons together and being more present with my favorite little person.
Making money continued to have the same importance and now even more urgency, as I pitched, negotiated, and demonstrated the worth of every penny I earned as a business owner.
There is a unique struggle associated with single motherhood that places the weight of the world squarely on your shoulders. You are it. There's nowhere else to turn.
This pressure has messed with my perspective. It was always there in the background reminding me "You better make this work. This is how you prove you're worthy as a mother. This is your number one job."
Today's Healing: Releasing the Heaviness and Embracing Abundance Play
I am realizing twenty years later that I have put an unbelievably heavy weight on money.
These lies blinded me to my inherent worth. They blinded me to the support I had in my life.
They added a heaviness to the sense of urgency I felt about business ventures succeeding.
They added pressure to possibilities whose energy could have been more open and trusting.
They prevented me from energetically easing into and trusting things to work - because the consequences of things not working were far too horrible, and did not only impact me.
Money is a tool, a source of of opportunity to sustain myself and my family, own beautiful things that I love, secure our future, support causes I believe in and make an impact to create the kind of world I believe in.
That's what money is. That's all it is.
In removing this weight, I release and embrace that free spirit in the play and exchange of money and call that in deeply in my ceremony, business planning and everyday life.
And so it is.