When RAISING CLARITY was at the Body Mind Spirit Festival a few weeks ago, I gave a workshop on peace with money. At the end, one participant asked how to balance freedom and money. She said she had so much more time now than when she was employed, yet she had more money stress. Here is how to stop struggling to balance money & freedom.
The first step: awareness. Are you struggling with this balancing act we’re talking about? Pay attention to cultural messages you have received that say “you can’t have it all.”
Break Down the Cultural Messages
The message, “you can’t have it all,” means you can’t have enough money to do your thing and be free. Our culture tells us this struggle is normal and you have to struggle.
Bulls–t. I have built my whole life balancing money with freedom. My whole career I have singlehandedly invented*–RAISING CLARITY–gives the lie to the struggle, and helps others give the lie to that struggle.
We can have it all.
Refuse to Struggle
This just means exactly what it says: take the option of struggling out. It’s a choice. Refuse it. Stop struggling to balance money & freedom.
When struggling is gone, what is left?
What is Freedom?
Freedom is time, at least in this equation. When the struggle to balance money & freedom is refused, there is still the need to balance your desire and need for money with your desire and need for freedom of how to spend your time.
Stop Selling Your Time Away, Then Buying it Back
Remember that all your time belongs to you. Thinking otherwise is part of this same cultural hoax about struggling to balance money & freedom.
Reclaim in your mind all your time. Then you will start to see all the ways you trade it away, especially for money. When you follow that trail, you will also see then how you buy back “convenience,” you buy into “multitasking” (which quite simply does not exist at a neurocognitive level), you buy prestige, privilege, “timesaving devices” (don’t get me started), and security.
Rethink Your Choices
If you like what you see by doing the exercise in blue in that last paragraph, congratulations! You are officially not struggling to balance money & freedom!
If you don’t like what you see, make changes. Save more money, exchange less time for less money, raise what you charge, ask for a higher salary, reuse what you have, cooperate on major purchases with others, move to an intentional community…what are your ideas? Share them with us! And ask if you want advice on doing any of these things. You just might earn a free half-hour of coaching or consulting if your question results in a blog post.
Balance ≠ Struggle
Life is a journey. It’s not a struggle unless you enjoy the journey of struggle. Some do! (I did until recently). Balancing things is to me a normal part of life’s journey. So we can learn the balance that makes us each comfortable. Each person’s balancing point will be distinct to them. I consider it a worthwhile thing, learning to balance money & freedom (time). I would even say I consider it exciting and one of my favorite parts of my journey. I’m just so totally done with struggle, however.
Some of this is reframing: from seeing yourself as struggling to seeing yourself as learning to balance. Reframing is learning to see differently and tell a different story that makes different sense of the same things–which then (trust me) changes the things in the story. It’s one of the coolest things humans can do. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s a power of mind and heart that we have.
But it’s not all reframing. It’s also behaving differently, changing your action, noticing when you have gone back to struggling, and remembering what you want to be different, then enacting that. No struggle. Just remembering and doing it right–“right” as you define it.
*With notable inspiration and certification in moneycoaching from the Moneycoaching Institute & inspiration and information from the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training/Grassroots Fundraising Journal.