Money is always a fascinating topic to talk about mainly because of all the different anxieties and experiences that each person has with money. Despite the unique tales and journeys with money it seems that , for most people money elicits one particular emotion more than other emotions: stress.
Maria Nemeth offers her unique approach to money anxieties in her book The Energy of Money addresses a broad range of concerns and anxieties regarding money . While there were some points in the book that I did not agree with, I did find a lot of value in some of the concepts that Nemeth presented in her book.
One the more fascinating parallels, for me, that Nemeth drew was how one treats his or her money is the same way that person treats other aspects of his or her life (ranging from health to personal characteristics). The beauty of these parallels were that they were logical, plausible leaps going from behavior habits regarding from money to real life and yet these bad habits that she pointed can have a significant impact on a person. For example, through her questions I found an interesting contradiction within my own beliefs.
As someone who never feels like he has enough money (paralleled to not ever having enough time) I also have a tendency to waste money as well (paralleled to wasting time). This sort of interesting parallel of how I treat money and how it reflects other aspects of my life really illustrated a problem that I often have. Often times I feel like I do not have enough time and yet I end up wasting time on a frivolous activity. To remedy this I should start keeping better track of everything but I should also, as she suggests, calm my “monkey mind.”
What is a “monkey mind?” This term is a buddhist concept (frequently referenced in the Writing Success Program) of a part of our mind that is cynical and doubtful as a survival mechanism. This part of our mind was useful when we were primitive creatures and needed that part of the mind to detect danger but now it mainly serves to cause us great anxiety. I found this to be another one of the more important concepts not only in its application to money but in its application to the rest of life as well.
Money wise calming the monkey mind is important as it is always a healthy decision not to add undue stress or burden upon yourself. It is, however, important that if you are not content with the money that you are earning right now to take the proper steps toward realizing your goals instead of putting aside such feelings. At WSP we also encourage you to temporarily ignore your monkey mind when writing!
There are however parts of the piece that I am a little skeptical. This might be my own bias but I think people should really be hesitant when applying really abstract ideas to something as concrete as money.
While I do agree with Nemeth that how people deal with money is usually how they deal with everything else, I get lost when she delves into her argument about going from physical to metaphysical reality (and undifferentiated energy). I enjoy the fact that she encourages taking steps and going through a process to achieve goals (instead of the typical quick solution that books often falsely sell to other people) but I disagree with her broad theoretical approach. I think life and goals ought to have more structure than that.
Overall I thought that the piece was very well written and enjoyed the fact that it challenged me to really reflect upon myself and some of the habits that I have. While I had mixed feelings about the concepts presented I still do believe that she has the right idea and perhaps her methodology was simply not suited for me but will be suited for other people.
If you have time you should definitely check out The Energy of Money and decide for yourself what you think of it!