How I Shifted My Limiting Beliefs Around Money

It’s clawing at me.

 I can feel it battering at anything in its way, as it progresses with what I have determined is malicious intent, towards my conscious mind.

My instinct is to fight it, to keep it from taking shape or even its first breath into my consciousness and so we wrestle.

My body feels heavy, restless and tense as it gears up for a fucking war, against the power and persistence of this thing coming at me. I’m bracing against the mental wounds, I am so sure this intangible thing in my head will bring forth.

My breaths are coming in faster, sharper and I can’t seem to get enough oxygen.

  Where has all the air gone?

My heart is beating much faster, pumping hot blood to my limbs as if I’m actually about to go up against a physical opponent and although I’m sitting still in a chair, I feel so stressed out.

The meditation I had just learnt yesterday on how to let go and relieve frustration is not working. My mind won’t settle and it feels wrong to be sitting and relaxing, when inside my body is restless and chaotic.

 My mind and body are ready to fight.

I’m not sure what this thought is, but I know it’s no normal one. I know it’s one that can change my life if I let it and I’m not at all certain I want that- for better or worse.

So I fight.

I fight, wrestle and shove at my own mind. Yell at my own thoughts and damn near give myself an aneurysm, because the repercussions of this battle leaves me weak, stressed out and vulnerable.

Just like that, I feel lost and stuck in what feels like blistering, enveloping turmoil.

Other thoughts come to the fore. Thoughts I had been pretty sure I had defeated previously, but like those old cartoon villains, they are back again, strengthened from my vulnerabilities as I fight back the subconscious thought.

These thoughts, the ones about money, my health and my future are circling me like birds of prey, waiting for my defenses to be down just enough for them to spring and snap their beaks at me, ready to claw and gouge at me.

Sitting in the chair in the living room, I realize that stillness will in no way help me. I need to marshal my thoughts and get them back in order. I need to move.

I take my laptop and search for a workout video; one that will require me to stretch, concentrate on my breathing ,and distract me enough from my thoughts, because I’ll have to be super focused on what I’m doing.

This is one of the reasons I like Pilates. I can’t zone out like I would with  yoga or with weights, no I need to be present and aware of my breathing and my hand placements and I need to concentrate on not folding over like a collapsed house of cards with I’m planking.

For the first few minutes, it’s touch-and-go. We’re in the warm-up section and it’s all about breathing and getting the body ready, but it’s enough of a mindful moment that my thoughts try –quite forcefully- to harangue my attention and it totally messes up by breathing as I push them away.

I take a huge breath, give a massive mental shove to my thoughts and refocus on my breathing. It’s getting better. For the next 30 minutes, I work and exhaust my body, feeling better and better as I stretch, plank and work my legs.

It’s just me, the burning in my body and the instructor.

It ends with me a heaving, sweaty, gulping mess, splayed across a blue mat on the floor, thinking only of water and food. The thought vultures have retreated for now, but I sense they are not far, just a tad less intense.

Grabbing my water bottle, I take much needed sips of the chilled liquid, ready now after the exercise and after the needed explosion of serotonin to face a few of my thoughts and resolve them.

The workout was challenging to say the least and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna feel it all day and tomorrow, but my ability to complete it makes me feel empowered!

 I feel healthier, stronger and more flexible. I feel good, ready and confident.

I sit on the mat and I allow my body to relax- it’s legit asking for it right now – feeling more in the mood to hear my thoughts, and  engage with them.

***

Sitting up on the mat, I allow my gaze to soften around me, not focusing on one single thing, nor are my eyes moving to take in everything; rather, I just let in what is already in front of me. I take a huge deep breath, holding it in and then slowly allowing it to whoosh out of me, while my muscles soften.

I’m not ready for a full, deep meditation so I decide to use the teachings and principles I’d learnt in mediation in this specific exercise. It’s one of the ways that I can look at my thoughts and feelings without becoming overwhelmed or overly detached.

My breathing deepens and I’m paying attention to how my lungs expand on inhale and my muscles soften, my body dropping deeper into the mat on exhale.

The thoughts are right there, but they are less of a howling and more of an incessant chirping. I imagine that these thoughts are in single file and that they are in fact quarters that I can flip into the ocean when I want.

I think about my money relationship and how my life can be so easily summed up as ‘stuck’. I gently observe the thoughts and the associated feelings arising from them realising that in all of this, it’s one thing that gnaws at the edges of my mind and soul:  I feel cast-aside.

In this moment, I feel unloved, chaotic, manic, ashamed and lost. I feel unsupported and undesirable and as my mind delves further into these thoughts, I know it’s time to take a deep breath and refocus on the tangible signs of me being alive and well- my breathing.

My right hand gently touches my chest and my heart beats strongly-if a tad too forcefully- against the palm, while my chest rises and falls with each breath.

I’m alright.

 I close my eyes and remind myself that I’m safe. I’m alive and I’m open to seeing things differently.

Leaning into the thoughts again, I understand their veracity and recognize my concern and yearning to change all of that. I acknowledge that I want better and more and that I’m upset I haven’t achieved it yet , along with the fact that I’m looking for a scapegoat to unleash this cocktail of dark emotions upon so I feel better.

And that’s when it hits me.

In this moment, I’m afraid. These thoughts are here to both show me how I feel and am thinking about the situation and if I let them, amplify my fears.

Gently, I ask myself how I want to feel right now, reminding that however that is, it’s ok and there is no judgment this time.

A big, deliberate breath is taken and I feel the urge to confront these thoughts better. I want to journal, but make a decision to talk it out instead, and allow myself to hear and express the thoughts verbally.

I remind myself and my thoughts that this is a safe space, and that there is no judgments or recriminations, we are here to be healthier and reconnect.

Taking a deep breath, I close my eyes gently on the long exhale and allow myself to take on the mantle of loving observer to my own thoughts.

***

As soon as I’m settled and I have made space in my own mind, I ask myself the question that I think is  at the  heart of my stress and frustrations. It’s easier for me I find to ask myself questions as I would a friend or family member.

“What do you think about money?”

I think on this question, feeling a rush of emotions rise up to the surface before I utter aloud, “I think money is stressful! I think it comes to me too slowly, it’s never enough and I don’t feel like I can trust or rely on it.”

How do you wish money would be for you?

“I wish it would be easy, simple; abundantly replenishing and I got to receive it daily. I wish I could sell things and be a multimillionaire and I’d never have trouble with or around money again.”

Which thought felt better?

“The one where money was easy and simple felt freeing, but I also know it’s not possible.”

How is that?

I take a moment to gear up for the painful truth I’m about to say out loud, knowing it’s one of the more vicious and persistent thoughts and experiences that plague me. Still I press on. I need to understand what is happening in my own mind and resolve it so I can grow.

“Because every time I’ve tried to make money on my own I’ve failed. It’s either too little with a lot of work that stresses me out or its fun, but then I have to work for someone else and there is always some long wait before I can access the money.

And then I have never made anything truly substantial when I try to do for myself. It’s almost as if money hates me and I’m exhausted just thinking about the pain, trauma and stress of never having enough and never knowing if I ever will”.

I take a deep breath, feeling those familiar emotions of fear, disappointment, failure and shame all mix together into a bitter lance and stab me in the heart. I wonder in that moment if I’ll ever actually be good enough. If there will be a time when I create something so amazing everyone wants it, but history tells me it’s vastly unlikely.

The thought comes to me that my relationship with money is toxic. If money was my partner I’d have left it high and dry a long time ago.

My body jack-knifes up with a jolt and my eyes fly open.

 ‘My relationship…with…money!’

It hits me with the force of a huge wave, knocking me back to slump against the cushions of the sofa, this thought. My relationship with money is toxic, because I think and believe with ever gaining vigor that money is stressful.  And by George has it been!

It has been so very stressful, complicated and triggered my fears and trust issues. It’s been wonderful fuel for bolstering my State of Being into the ugly and unrelenting land of Fear.  I don’t trust money and in turn, money doesn’t trust me.

I think back to what I had heard Business and Money Coach, Amanda Frances say once, “The Universe will never over-ride your free will. It will always give you what you are an energetic match for!”

And just like that, the thought I’d been battling against from my subconscious forces itself forward and blooms into exploding fireworks: “I need a better relationship with wealth and my own worthiness of enjoying my life”.

“This whole time, I’ve been an energetic match for stress because energy reflects energy. I’ve been so focused on what isn’t happening that I moved from an observer just noticing I wasn’t making money to encouraging the thought and emotions so much I became a stalwart enforcer”.

My heart rate spikes as I think over my thoughts around money, how uncomfortable I am, how I never feel as if I’m good enough to make it- forget about the way I’d like to make it- and how I’ve always used my low bank account as incentive for why I couldn’t have or do things.

The gasp that leaves my mouth could rival those of seasoned thriller actresses as the mirror of my energy finally shows me the reflection in a way I can understand.

I’ve focused on all the ways money stresses me out so prolifically, it’s all that can be reflected to me. I want to change that.

I want to change the way I think about money, interact with money and the limiting beliefs I have around money. Afterall, I actually want to have, hold and enjoy money, in ever increasing abundance and frequency.

***

If I had a friend whom I consistently nitpicked at and pointed out all the ways it was failing me, or wasn’t a good friend to me, no matter how it came through to me, or wanted to support me and did in its own way, would I still expect that person to remain my friend honestly?

If I was never showing any good will and believed deeply that it was nothing but trouble, then we wouldn’t be friends, now would we?

Neither of us would feel comfortable or seen by the other and our relationship would end spectacularly as distrust and stress took over.

It hits me this is the same way I’ve been acting with money and still somehow was very upset when it wasn’t coming. I made money a stressful, uncomfortable and complicated thing.

A villain.

My thoughts around money had turned hostile; focusing on the way it would for sure disappoint me, even when it showed up. Rather than embracing money and showing it the appreciation I hold for all other things in my life, thereby creating a safe and comfy place for it to flow towards me with confidence, I’d created a fiery pit of doom, daring it to enter.

It was time I changed that and allowed myself to befriend money and wealth. It was time I forgave both myself and my perception of how money had wronged me.  It was time I allowed myself to see things differently- especially since knowing I was the one energetically blocking it to begin with.

With that jolt of realization, the last dregs of that meditative feeling slowly drag off of me like so much gossamer as my mind sharpens and I see the truth in my own thoughts.

Today, I decide is the day I truly work to be better and to curb my bad attitude around money first and then around the other desires I want to enjoy, but have been inadvertently blocking entry into my life.

Settling myself more fully onto the couch, my knees are drawn up to my chest as I take a deep, calming breath and prepare to speak into the quiet, empty house.

“I think of you as stressful, complicated and unfair, Money and I have severe trust issues around you. These last few years when you came so spotty, so wishy-washy for me and with so much stress and fear around you, I began to distrust you and believed that no matter what, you would be something I had to have, but wasn’t sure I wanted.

Too much wealth triggers me, because I think it will trigger other people and my bank will not believe I can achieve it as a legal income, which further causes me stress when I think of you. Too little causes me so much shame and anxiety, especially now that I need to support and provide for myself and my Mom more than ever.

 When I couldn’t get any of my books sold, nor the few affiliates I tried, I felt useless, stuck, unworthy and so terrified, yet over time those feelings became more familiar and I adjusted to them. I blamed you for those feelings, believing you hated me and had abandoned me. I expected for you, Money to not come. I expected for you to forsake me. I still have trust issues, where you and I are concerned as a team, but … I am willing to see you differently,” I say, expressing my truths aloud.

I learnt recently that it is important to be honest about how I feel and to honor my desires. I learnt it is ok to start where I’m comfortable and allow myself to grow from there.

 I learnt all these things when it came to the way I viewed my health and decided to love my body as is, and now, I’m applying these same truths to money and wealth.

Speaking that truth aloud makes me feel free, empowered and relieved.

I had been beating down on myself for being afraid of too high numbers and was blaming myself pretty hardcore for not manifesting and attracting more cash or validation, which resulted in me almost slipping headlong into a severe creative rut and emotional despondency as worthlessness spread like a pandemic within me.

It’s an awful habit that I hadn’t even realized I had fallen back into: self castigation, when really, as I’m noticing right now, it was never needed. The truth and choosing to love the fuck out of myself feels better, my mind feels clear and I know I’m much healthier for it. It feels as if I’ve unburdened myself and now I actually can see things differently and grow to be better.

Taking a few deep breaths, I center myself to remember how I felt those times I did receive money, regardless of what came before or after.  I choose to only relive the money reception and the feelings it allowed within me.

***

For the finale of this post, where I break down my meditative process and how I shifted my mindset around money, subscribe to the Ash Files.

You can also read more exclusive works as they drop monthly here.

Ashlee’s Stories: The Last Straw

On a whim, Ashlee allowed the Instagram stories of the people she followed to cycle through, idly watching their motivational quotes, memes, and some of their activities as they slid by. It was a harmless activity, something that fed her need to be distracted.

Then Bam!

Disaster struck and she was hit hard as her eyes collided with a young face, happily and boldly peering out at her.

The young woman was smiling in the filter edited photo, her pretty face blissfully unconcerned about the damage she was doing to Ashlee.

As unexpected as it was to see this face she should not recognize, she reasoned that it really had only been a matter of time before he would want to let the world know how lucky he was. It makes Alee’s brain go off the rails and her once shattered heart, fractures a little.

The camel that was her shaky recovery collapses against the plushness of her pillows, under the weight of this last straw. The unexpected blow hurt, but it hurt for none of the reasons others would have found acceptable.

These photos of her smiling face denoted that life really was not black and white, that villains did have good luck and luxurious comfort and that victims could stay drowning in pain for years, climbing the slipperiest and most treacherous of hills – Mount Inner Healing.

Flopping back on the bed, Ashlee allowed the phone to fall from her hands, and started laughing.

Of course this would be the thing to push me closer to the edge.

Of course this would be the pathetic thing to bring all my failures to the fore.

The truth of it was that she didn’t care about their budding relationship, if she was brutally honest she had never cared about the relationship, only how it had broken the trust and respect he and Ashlee had shared.

Only how the more she unwittingly got slapped in the face with how time chose to pass, seemingly having no qualms in leaving her behind, even as she tried with all her might to move faster and faster. And got nowhere.

Her tired brown eyes, stared up at the ceiling, glazed over as her thoughts broke free and began to rampage.

In an attempt to avoid dealing with them, she left her room and turned on Netflix on the Smart TV in the living room.  The characters moved, said their lines, tried to emote and her thoughts could not have cared less.

They would not be silenced, nor pushed aside. She could feel them tugging at her physically, thrumming at her heart. Could feel them mowing down her good mood, devouring it like so much ice cream on a hot day.

Sighing, she turned off the television with a frustrated push of a red button, pulled herself up off the couch and mindlessly sought refuge outside of the house.  She chucked her reading glasses and mobile on the dining room table as she passed by, in search of her flip-flops.

Before she knew it, she was outside, being ignored by her cats as they converged on the steps, ready to start aimlessly walking. Walking always calmed her when her thoughts became too loud and too much for her to handle.

The sky a vast expanse of midnight blues, with scattered twinkling diamonds and wispy, cotton ball shaped clouds, called to her.

They urged her to stop running, to breathe in the chill air, sit on the wall of the house’s patio and give in. So she did.

She allowed her thoughts the freedom they were battling for and flinched as they scorched her.

“You are a failure,” it zipped around like the cars in Fast and Furious movies around her head in loops. Suddenly the lines of her palms were supremely interesting. She could not even feel the cold of the stone she sat upon, even as it sank into her thighs. “Today proved that everything you do sucks. You have failed at life,”.

Idly, Ashlee wondered what it would feel like to simply cut her wrists and watch the red spill over and out, taking the thoughts with them. She felt like crying, she was sure her eyes wanted to vent as well, but they did not. They simply settled for aching.

“You have nothing. You’re unhappy and you have nothing. You failed.”

She took a deep breath and made herself keep going, made herself look at the sky and the constellations. Allowed the imagery of them mocking her to fill her vision. Allowed herself to wonder why she was the only one being punished and how she could be better in the future.

The thoughts were right, she had to concede that, she had failed in what she wanted for herself. Her store had sold a grand total of unimaginably zero items. She had zero real love interests, her friends circle was about to take another cut and she lived with her parents.

She had no prospects no matter where she looked. She had no money, no means of making money that she could truly say she enjoyed, and even if she did find something not terrible,  the money earned would take at least 2 months before she could spend any of it; she was exhausted.

She thought back to the young woman’s photo on her ex’s social media and felt crushed. It felt as if he was winning in the break-up race and while that thought pissed her off, it also added more fuel to her pity party. Added more fuel to her deep loneliness and worry that she would remain stuck forever.

“Sometimes, I just want someone to hold me. To want to hold me and keep me safe and not try to touch my nipples while that’s happening,” she whispered to the wind.

In the dark corner of the garden, a toad shifted surreptitiously. It was high on the opposite side of the fence, poised as if to dive into the garbage pile there.

“Bet you never have to worry about failing as a toad, eh, Mr. Amphibian,” at the sound of her voice, the toad froze, scarcely breathed, waited for her to go away. She remained, watching him pretend to blend into the dark, “Wonder if you know how to human right…wonder if you can tell me…”

She stayed outside for a while, listening to the neighbourhood settling down and then made her way back inside, where she took a nice hot shower and continued to contemplate her life.

“ It’s not that I wish him or them bad, it’s that it has been two happy years for them and I wish I could say the same for myself,” she muttered as she lathered the yellow soap in her hands into creamy white suds.

“It’s that I feel as if I fell off-track and no matter how much I try to get back on and feel the rhythm, I just can’t seem to,” she began to lather her body, allowing the soap to cleanse her of her grime, the stress and frustrations of the day and hopefully if she scrubbed hard enough, the dark thoughts as well.

The warm water sluiced down her body, punishing in its intensity, steam rising and while it stung, it also felt so good as it shooed the retreating suds away. The more she focused on the water, the clearer her mind became and she felt strong enough to finally push back a little against the swelling, dark tide in her mind before it could truly pierce her heart.

“So what that I’m failing? So what that nothing has worked out even remotely in the direction I had been praying it does. I’m still here. I can still do this. I can mope and I can wait and cry and then I can clear my head and get right back on to trying again,” she said stepping out of the shower and walking to her bedroom, fluffy towel wrapped securely around her voluptuous body.

“I’m a work in progress and yeah, so right now everything feels off. That means that I can heal it, make it better and open myself to new things. I want to be happy. I want to be ready for Alpha and my abundance. It’s taking longer than I thought, but I can still keep going.”

She stood infront of her full length mirror after closing her bedroom door and flicked the towel from her body. Under the intense scrutiny of her own eyes, she looked at her body. It was imperfect and barely symmetrical, yet it was healthy, the smooth skin glowing, the muscles underneath beginning to tone and flex.

She was a work in progress and healing sometimes meant crying, raging and moping, but it also meant that after you stormed, you got back up and rebuilt.

“I am beautiful. I can do this and I’m strong enough to take it one minute at a time,”

She fell onto her bed and stared at the ceiling, letting the wind dry her skin and the first tear to slide down to her nose.


You made it to the end! Wooot!

Subscribe to Ashlee’s Patreon ‘The Ash Files’ to be the very first to read, receive and offer feedback on her newest works. Subscribe here.