3.12 | Shedding Shame About Money
Welcome to Devotional Anarchy, a podcast about intimate embodied leadership that is radically human, honest AF and thereby inherently disruptive to systems of disempowerment and disconnection. I am Isha Vela, trauma psychologist certified somatic intimacy Alchemist, wealth wizard shadow doula love anarchist intuitive channel and sovereign business coach. You’re here because you know intimate self connection is the source of everything you want to create in life. And that building safety and trust in your own body is what allows you to fully own and steward your energy and your relationships. Get ready to explore attachments, sexuality, spirituality, self expression and sovereignty and other relational themes from a trauma responsive somatic energetic lens. The conversations and tools shared in this podcast are designed to offer permission to create the abundant life, love and business that lights your soul on fire.
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Hello, and welcome to my second of three expert classes on intimacy, money, trauma and the nervous system. And I’m doing this all I’m offering these these free expert classes as part of my new offer wealth, which is a three month one on one container for spiritual entrepreneurs wanting to heal their money beliefs, they’re wanting to shift into their next level of wealth embodiment and start making more money in your business, right. And what’s included is six somatic coaching calls where we dismantle your internalized beliefs around money and start unblocking your blessings using my five pillar process of nervous system capacitation and resilience. As part of it, we also do a free 90 minute financial needs analysis where we like establish your like, what are your monthly expenses, what are your assets, what’s your retirement need, right really getting some of those goals set up. And you’re also going to get a 90 minute free comprehensive financial strategy session where based on your financial needs analysis, we create a roadmap to some of those goals that you want to hit. And of course, you get my mini course flex, which is the five pillars of nervous system capacitation and resilience, so that you can continue practicing opening up your system to receiving more to calibrating your system to more and more abundance. And of course, you can get those last three that I mentioned for free, just go to my website and access the course, you can click on the Google Form in the show notes or on my IG to get on my calendar for the comprehensive strategy, financial needs analysis kind of thing. So
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you’re gonna get clear
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the exact number you need to make per month in order to hit all your goals and dreams, you’re gonna get up close and personal with your numbers and learn how to maximize your potential so you can feel confident stewarding your cash and making financial decisions in your business, you’re gonna learn what’s required to capacitate and regulate your system in order to be able to receive the income goals that you set for yourself, and you’re gonna heal your money wounds that are blocking you from that big next leap in your business so that you can get out there and start stacking bills, frankly, right. So your investment for this is 1800 Painful, or 600 a month for three months. And I also set up a payment plan for 300 a month for six months, so very accessible. And in this episode, I’m going to dive into the shame that we often have around money around having it around not having it around being in debt, not being financially literate, how we spend money, all the things, right. So I’m going to share a very specific part of my money story. And then I’m going to offer you five principles with which you can uncouple your worth and your identity from money, right? Because oftentimes, our identity is so it’s over coupled, right? There’s like ways that our egos our identities are tied into money, that doesn’t make any sense. It’s just part of the conditioning that we’ve experienced. So for a very long time, I felt a lot of shame around my financial situation. I felt shame about lots of things about me. And one of them was my financial situation. And as I’ve shared on other episodes, and in some of my social media posts in my marriage, I went through a lot of boom and bust cycles with money. I would go from like getting paid a decent amount and feeling like oh, I have some money and then like three days or four days later, I would be like on empty and I’d be like what the hell just happened right? And my ex and I were living month
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to month, and we couldn’t seem to get out of that cycle in order to get ahead and realize some of the life goals that we had. And there were lots of moments where I would like, for example, like go to somebody’s house, and I would look around their place. And I would wonder, like, what was wrong? Like, what’s wrong with me? That I can’t just seem to have like a normal life like some other people do.
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Other people have comfortable homes and nice things, why? Why can’t die. And
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we, you know, my ex and I, we even had some shaming experiences with accountants and financial professionals that we’d hired to help us get organized around our money so that we could stop those boom and bust cycles. And we were talked down to,
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you know, I felt like, you know, they were making stories about me or about us, that we absorbed, unfortunately.
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And they didn’t get into the nitty gritty of the of the type of financial literacy that we needed. Like, they assumed we knew things that we didn’t. And we didn’t want to admit that we didn’t know there was a lot of things we didn’t understand that we didn’t know. And we didn’t want to, like, let people know how little we knew, basically. So there were also some circumstantial things that contributed to me not being where I wanted to be at a specific time in my life, like, you know, like, in my 20s, I was just kind of like, you know, gypsy mode, I’m exploring my life exploring myself living abroad. I didn’t go back to school about six years after I graduated from my bachelor’s degree, I completed my PhD in 2009, when I was in my 2000, yeah, 2009 When I was in my mid 30s. And that’s when I started working, like real jobs and getting paid real salary. So I got like a later start. And prior to that, I was like, like, you know, I lived on a student’s salary prior to that I was working nonprofit jobs. So I was working at restaurants, you know, so I didn’t really have that, that time that some people have
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to, to really build up, you know, earning savings to start investing. And I mean, I even if I would have had the money, I wouldn’t have known what to do with it, that wouldn’t have been my priority, because that’s not where my head was at. So
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this feeling of something being wrong, or feeling different from other people because of money was accentuated when I entered my somatic program. And if you know my story, you know that what got me into my Cymatics program was chronic illness was like a pretty big, physical energetic breakdown. And,
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like, I came into the program, pretty much like on my hands and knees being like, I need help, right.
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And this, like, you know, a significant percentage of the folks who become students at at the institute where I learned at,
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have money are middle class.
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Maybe they come from money, maybe they, you know, they just had like specific opportunities.
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You know, they just have the amount of money that you would require to live a relatively comfortable life. And these are not folks that I would have met, had I not been involved in that program. So it was pretty much like a little bit of a culture shock to be around people who were so economically socioeconomically different from me. So it brought up a lot of shame about where I came from, because, you know, I grew up in Puerto Rico around a lot of poverty. And even though my family wasn’t poor, I felt poor in comparison to the people at the institute because my cultural frames of reference and life experiences were just so different. My way of seeing the world was just so like, so, so different, like so divergent from from how I assumed that I believe, they saw the world
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and, and to be honest, like being around people who had more money, who enjoyed money, and were comfortable around money, and didn’t feel like shame around money up leveled my expectations for myself and what was possible for me, so it kind of like, it kind of shook me in a good way. And one of the most powerful processes I participated in was when someone in my cohort was bragging about how much money they made. They weren’t like bragging on purpose. They were just kind of like,
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unintentionally bragging, which made it even more infuriating because they weren’t like it wasn’t intentional as part of a process. It was just kind of like
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I assume everybody has this money. And of course, I got to do this and of course, and I was just like, infuriated. So this particular class, funnily enough, was about pride and willfulness. And at some point, as you know, my classmate was speaking, I sit up on my chair, I literally stood up on my chair. And I claimed my pride, I was like, Yeah, I am better than you. Because, like, you are bragging about how much money you make. But I’m not wasteful, like you are, I am so resourceful with my money, I can squeeze out $1, I can see the dollar out of 15 cents. And as soon as those words came out of my mouth, I just stopped. And I sort of saw it, I knew that I had so much pride, over coupled with having less, with making less having less pride with being resourceful, doing a lot with a little. And of course, there are wonderful advantages to doing a lot with a little right, like, it is part of my gift. But in that moment, I recognized how that was holding me back how that like, like, my attachment to that identity, was totally holding me back. So it was a huge wake up call for me. And I began to look and examine, I began to look into and examine my jealousy and resentment, as a as part of my shedding of shame around my cultural identity, and my money identity in order to have a healthier relationship with money. So this is sort of the shadow work that I was doing is looking at my jealousy and resentment, like
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if I feel jealous, like and again, not making any feelings wrong.
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But if I’m jealous, I’m making an assumption that I can’t have I envy what somebody else has. I covet what somebody else has. And I’m assuming at the same time that I can’t have it, because I wouldn’t be jealous if I assumed that I could attain that there would just be a matter of me going and getting it. But because that was assuming that I couldn’t have it. That’s where the jealousy that’s where those sort of the scarcity kicked in, right. So
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at some point, when my somatic work started to take off, and my my business began to make more money, I realized that I had sort of surpassed my mother’s income, I already had sort of jumped in educational bracket, I had surpassed my family’s education, my family of origin, I mean, and that did contribute to like feelings of separation. And so now here, I was also jumping off a financial
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bracket, I guess. And even though it didn’t show it externally, in terms of like, my lifestyle, it’s definitely didn’t show on my lifestyle. But I was starting to get kind of like, oh, yeah, I could, I could make more money like this is totally fine. So after my divorce, and during the first year of the pandemic, I made over six figures, I made more money than I had ever made in my life. And I had, I had a nice stack, and I had nowhere to go with it, literally nowhere to go.
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But I knew that the way I was working wasn’t sustainable to me. So I it’s not that I wasn’t happy with the work I that I was doing. I just didn’t want to. I didn’t like the system I was working in right then there’s insurance system, it was awful to begin with. And it was even worse during COVID. So in 2020, I retired myself, and I wanted more quality of life. So I decided I was going to work less and make more. But what I didn’t realize that was going to happen was that I was going to work less and make a lot less, especially that first year transitioning into coaching. So yes, I made a lot less in 2021. And I did a lot of internal work around being someone who was educated, like over educated, but wasn’t bringing in any money or wasn’t bringing in the money that I was expected to make at that level of education. So that felt shameful to me in moments that I couldn’t figure out how to sell consistently my very valuable services. So the tendency I’ve observed in myself and in other people.
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The tendency in these in these situations is to again, ask what’s wrong with me that I can’t make consistent sales? What’s wrong with me that I can’t make money? I’m so educated, what’s wrong with me? Right? And that, asking that question itself is shame inducing. Right? That’s always a question that’s going to lead you right back to shame. So what I focused on instead that year was to continue showing up for my business in ways that felt joyful. Following my intuitive guidance, centering the practice that connected me to my
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aliveness just like, just pleasure, right? And intuition and, you know, getting a lot of support. In particular, I send it the practice centered the practice of like recognizing and allowing in the abundance that was available to me in every single moment. And that was something that was as simple as you know, when eating my breakfast, I would appreciate I would feel the appreciation of the nutrient density of the food, I felt the pleasure of the taste, I experienced the appreciation of the people in the land that had cared for that food and grown the crops, it was a whole thing. It was a whole experience, right. And I felt especially appreciative of the relationships in my life, because COVID and because of some personal challenges that was navigating, and business wise, I nurtured relationships, regardless of monetary exchange. So even if I knew I wasn’t gonna get paid for something, I still was like, Yeah, let’s do an exchange, or let’s, you know, I will, I will hold space for you, right. And then sometimes a person would send me something sometimes not right. But it felt really reciprocal and beautiful. And it wasn’t really about the money, it was about the connection.
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So because it was about connection, I felt really full, I felt rich, like, I felt rich, primarily because I was so well loved in relationships, and feeling full. That feeling of fullness is actually what helped me uncouple the feelings of scarcity from money, like helped me separate scarcity from my money story, because the truth was, that I was happier in 21 that I had ever been prior in my life. And this helped me see
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that even though I was never someone who equated money with happiness, I really had such a high level of joy, in contrast to the money that was dwindling from my savings. Like it was so like, those two experiences were so desperate, right, like, money was dwindling in my savings. And yet, I was so so incredibly joyful. And it helped me realize that scarcity isn’t about fucking money at all. Right? I want to acknowledge again, like I say all the time, like, there are socio political realities to money, money does buy us food, it does, like cover our expenses, it does provide a roof over our heads. I’m talking about the internal scarcity, right, that we feel that isn’t tied to actual physical survival.
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So that type of scarcity isn’t tied to money at all. It’s like this internal feeling of unfulfillment that I was over coupling or that I was that I was making about money, but that wasn’t actually about money.
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by separating the two,
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I like by realizing that they were two different things, I uncoupled my inherent worth, from my net worth. And, you know, I had grown up around people who were poor, right, and maybe in in material resources, but that were internally so wealthy, were just happy people were, you know, provided for in lots of different ways. And so it wasn’t a huge stretch for me, to separate, inherent worth from from net worth or financial worth. But it was something that was very important to me to reconnect to, after having lived in the United States for over 25 years. And having been like, fed this programming, like over and over and over and over again about money meaning something about you. So the uncoupling piece was important to name because we we really underestimate I had underestimated the power of how culture dictates our identity, as it relates to money.
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You know, because culturally, our worth is over coupled with how much or how little we have, it automatically activates shame, right? When you hear yourself saying that something is wrong, you are wrong, or you’re feeling like a bad person for not making enough money for not having enough for making so much for having so much or maybe having so much debt. That’s a sign that there’s a shame based story in there somewhere. If you’re making yourself wrong for not being financially literate, for not knowing something that nobody’s taught you.
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You know, would you make yourself wrong
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wrong for not knowing how to install a new motor in your car, if that’s something that nobody’s ever taught to you that nobody’s ever taught, you know, you wouldn’t make yourself wrong, you would be like, I just haven’t learned that shit yet. But we make ourselves wrong by not knowing.
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Like, by not having financial literacy, and we’re not, we’re not taught that, in fact, we’re we’re taught to be to have these really corrupt beliefs about money, or we’re taught to be financially literate by by not by not having people teach us. So
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you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t be mad at yourself for you would make yourself wrong for not knowing how to install a motor into a new car, or just sell a new motor into a car if nobody’s ever taught you that.
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But it’s because of the load the meaningly plays on money. This is why there’s so many aspects of our identity that are over coupled and identified with it. And a lot of the people that I see now for a financial needs analysis, feel shame around how little money they’re making, or how much debt they have.
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And some people who grow up in families who have a lot of money also feel shame, because people’s perceptions and projections of the wealthy.
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You know, they see wealthy people as corrupt greedy as having acquired their money through shady means. Just like, you know, recently, the people who were trapped in that, I don’t know, Titanic submarine thing, like there was just a lot of judgment going around. And,
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you know, we have a lot of judgment about people who spend money a certain way, like, there’s a lot of judgment and where there’s judgment,
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I know that there’s need and that’s where sort of the money beliefs come in. So
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to complete this episode, I want to guide you through five principles, you can use to uncouple your identity,
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and worth from money. So the first is, you were born into the money system, you didn’t create it.
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When you feel shame around your debt, and how little money you have, or how much money you have, right? You’re blaming yourself for something that you didn’t create. It doesn’t mean you don’t have power within the system, or that you don’t have responsibility, but you are taking on more responsibility for the systemic problem, then what is actually yours, right.
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The second principle is money is something you can have a relationship to, and you can make that relationship be one of mutual respect and appreciation. So you decide what your relationship with money is going to be like, right, you are the CO creator. So in the same way that you don’t have to follow codependent norms of relationship, you can also choose how you want your relationship with money to feel you can decide what that quality is going to be like, you can decide to have a polyamorous relationship with money, which I’m going to get into the next episode.
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Yeah, or you can have like, you can have a healthy relationship with money, you can decide that you’re gonna have a conscious relationship with money.
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So the third principle is that money doesn’t mean anything about you. It has no bearing on who you are, or who you are not. It really doesn’t mean anything. Money is a concept. It’s an idea. It’s a printed piece of paper. Somebody decided that, you know, this bill
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is worth this much like we all this is just an money as an agreement. It’s an agreement. And you can decide whether you want to agree with those concepts and ideas or whether you don’t.
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The fourth principle is Don’t compare yourself with people who have different amounts of money than you and create a story about them. So when you look at other people who have money, and you say to yourself, well, that must be nice. You are creating a story about how they acquired that money. And when you do that, it is acting as a gnat. You are you are naturally repelling money from you.
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Our culture and meaning. Now, I’m going to be honest with you like white American culture, like your standard, dominant culture makes stories around poor people around and around rich people make stories about how they acquire their money, who they are as people, right? We like to make stories about people. But as long as you’re doing that you’re also making stories about yourself. So if you can remove the story, what do you have left? What is remaining? A human being right? There’s like there has to be a healthy separation between the person and the story you’re creating around them and I want you to
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Uh, if you are creating stories around who people are based on the money that they have or don’t have, how are you also doing that to yourself.
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So the fifth and last principle is, recognize and appreciate how money takes care of you.
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So when, when we do I like intimacy healing work, when we do attachment work, part of the work is recognizing is clearly seeing how money has taken care of you, or how how a particular person may be a parent, maybe.
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Maybe a partner has actually taken care of you because we tend to look at what’s missing. Well, they haven’t done this or this or that, or my parents didn’t like love me enough, or they didn’t give me enough attention. Well, can we also look at what they did, right? Can we also see how they showed up in ways that were that felt really good. So in doing the same thing with money,
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you like you want to be supporting your relationship by really recognizing and appreciating how money has taken care of you? In one particular moment in my money healing journey, and it’s a lifelong journey, I just want to say that I had to turn around
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and ask for forgiveness from money for having, like, for me, having neglected to see how money had been taking care of me all along. Even at as I had been living month to month, I always had enough. And always enough money showed up for me to pay the bills and keep a roof over my head and feed myself. Right, we often don’t recognize the love and care that is there that is available.
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When we are able to do that, though, we naturally feel more abundant. Instead of looking at where something isn’t where the where the support isn’t when we’re where we’re not receiving, can we see where we are actually receiving where we are being supported, where we are being fed, and loved and, and cared for. So that’s a way to heal intimacy wounds and attachment wounds, and you can do it with your money, too.
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All right, we’re ending here. And I hope this is helpful. And I’m so excited to get into the next episode where we’re going to talk about on colonizing money. All right. Until next time, bye. Thank you for listening to today’s episode. Remember to hit the subscribe button to get notified of new episodes dropping on the new and full moons of each month. And if you haven’t already, leave us a five star review on iTunes to make sure that everyone who needs this transmission receives it. Until the next episode, I’m sending you fierce fierce love