Is Your Financial Chi Blocked?
My friend Marla is turning 50 this year. As she approaches Menopause, this savvy fitness buff decided to explore acupuncture as a way to moderate her hormonal swings. When I learned that acupuncture is a practice that stems back to China's Neolithic Age, (c. 8000-3500 BC), I was fascinated and asked Marla to teach me more. First, Marla explained the role of Meridians. Simply put, Meridians are pathways in our bodies that life-energy (often called "Chi" or "Qi") flows through. There are 20 overall Meridians. 12 of these Meridians are associated with specific bodily organs and the remaining 8 are considered "extraordinary vessels." These 8 are the reservoirs of energy associated with our overarching "spiritual axis." The goal of Acupuncture is to address any blockages in your Meridians, so that your Chi can flow more fluidly through your body and create spiritual harmony. What do Acupuncture and Meridians have to do with making your financial life less stressful? I've been talking about the left brain mechanics of personal finance for years. Over and over I am asked the same 20 basic financial questions. In response, I (along with many other money experts) give the same 20 core answers. Yet financial anxiety remains high around the country. I began to wonder: Could these 20 basic money questions correlate to the body's 20 meridians? The most common financial concerns I hear tend to fall into these 8 buckets: earn, save, spend, give, invest, protect, reflect, reconnect. That led me ask whether these 8 financial buckets might correlate to the 8 extraordinary vessels. Since starting this MoneyZen quest, I've been blown away by the heartfelt comments readers have shared. A common theme I've noticed is a desire for a more balanced relationship with money. Is it possible that an imbalance in our financial meridians - and particularly within our 8 extraordinary (financial) vessels - keeps us from experiencing financial peace of mind? In my own life, I've felt financial tension in different areas at different times. During the first 15 years of my corporate life, my Financial Chi was flowing strongly through the areas of earning, saving, investing, protecting, and reflecting. But I was blocked in spending and reconnecting. I needed to learn how to experience joy rather than just saving voraciously. I also needed to reconnect with my Self and loved ones rather than hiding in workaholism. When I became an entrepreneur, my biggest block shifted to earning. I struggled with both wanting to help women AND earn a healthy living in exchange for my work. I questioned whether it was fair for me to earn a profit from my current work when I was already financially blessed thanks to my first career. (For more on this common blockage, read this delightful piece by my creative writing coach, Brooke Elise Axtell called "What Is A Woman Worth?") Gandhi famously advised us to be the change we desire to see in the world. When I apply this concept to receiving money for my work, I find the block around earning starts to clear up. I begin to feel connected to money from a very different place. For a brief moment, my focus shifts from guilt or fear to wanting to complete the energy loop - contributing value to others and naturally allowing financial reciprocity to flow back. I want to stand tall in this place, lead by example, and earn a healthy living in alignment with my values. It is this feeling of financial completion that I wish for all of us. I want this especially for women, who have far too long a history of putting other-care ahead of self-care, blocking the natural exchange of financial energy. What about you? Are there places where your Financial Chi is currently feeling blocked? If so, what small step can you take today to begin the unblocking process? [This post originally appeared at ManishaThakor.com.] Want to join the journey to MoneyZen? You can follow personal finance expert & author, Manisha Thakor, on Twitter at@ManishaThakoror sign up to get her MoneyZen email updates delivered right to your inboxby clicking here.