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Pink Piranhas

June 26, 2009

Perhaps you’re sick of hearing about my money issues, since I already posted about them here and here. Or perhaps you, too, struggle with money in some way or another and actually find it helpful. I’m hoping the latter is true, because I can’t help but write about money again today!

Yesterday I was having one of those days. You know: those days. We all have days where we are particularly disheartened by the voices in our heads and what they’re telling us over and over and over again.

I was supposed to have two appointments yesterday, one at 9:30 am and one at 1:00 pm. I figured between them I’d write, blog, and work on ideas and other things related to my coaching practice. However, my morning appointment desperately needed to switch to an afternoon appointment, so we rescheduled for 4:30 pm. That change ended up completely changing my day, in more ways than one!

Because of the change, I told myself I’d relax in the morning and start work around 1:00, work through the afternoon, and end my work day with my 4:30 appointment. (Now that I’m self-employed I rarely work an eight-hour day, but I also rarely take a day off from things like writing and blogging, either.) However, I was simply unable to relax in the morning. I kept having nagging thoughts that told me I wasn’t doing enough. I should be doing more. I should be accomplishing more. If I did more I’d have more success right now. Do, do, do, do!

By the time my 1:00 appointment, which was a learning and sharing session, not an appointment with one of my own clients, rolled around, I was pretty grumpy. As you know, I try to coach myself when I’m feeling off, but sometimes I’m not successful! While on the call I shared my frustration and was coached by another coach and definitely saw some light at the end of the tunnel and how silly and painful my thought was.

The lovely Martha Beck was on this call, and talked about how thoughts aren’t real; they’re something we pick up and hold on to, but with time can learn to pick up and put down, especially if they’re painful. If they’re pleasant, than by all means we should hold on to them! She mentioned how me holding on to the thought that I wasn’t doing enough was like holding onto barbed-wire, it hurt! Her reminder that our thoughts aren’t real was so helpful to me.

Later in the call was when I had my best moment, though. Martha asked me if she could use a coaching tool called the “Money Metaphor Tool” on me, and of course I jumped at the chance! This tool is something I will use on my own clients in the future, but man, it was so helpful for me.

First she asked me to close my eyes and picture what money would be to me if it were a person, place, or thing. The image of tiny jumping, chomping, aggressive little money-fish with teeth, like piranhas, attacking me was what came to mind. I pictured them jumping out of a river towards me, standing on the bank, and I was shrinking away from them.

She talked to me about how I am definitely not going to draw money into my life if I feel that it’s aggressive and scary. Not to mention my other thoughts about money that surfaced yet again, such as “Good people shouldn’t desire money”, “I want to be enlightened and enlightened people shouldn’t want money”, and “The things money buys shouldn’t be important to me”. She instructed me to go through each and everyone of my painful thoughts and turn them around, which is something I will blog about after I actually complete the assignment!

Next she asked me if I could get to a place where I could picture the piranha with round teeth instead of scary, jagged teeth. I could! I actually started feeling a little bit better. Next she asked me if it was possible for me to think of the fish as being used for good, not as something scary. The suggestion she made was that maybe they could be in a pool along the river, being held to help feed a population of Aboriginal peoples or something. I agreed to that. Once I started to soften my feelings towards the pirahnas/money, I noticed they also changed color, from a muddy green to a nice pink and orange. And even more amazing, I noticed that I had started picturing myself actually in the pool with the fish swimming around me, instead of afraid of them up on the bank of the river.

I told all of this to Martha and she reminded me that money is just energy. It’s just another way to exchange energy, it’s not anything to be afraid of! If I have more money, it will does not mean that someone else will be without. If I am afraid of money and resist it, as I have for most of my life, it will stay away from me. I already have proof of that. As she was talking I was taking a peice of paper from my printer tray so I could sketch out an image of what I saw. Just as I was doing that Martha said, “you should draw your new image to remind you” and I told her I was doing just that! She said we were on the same wavelength.

I drew this picture:

Ahh, peaceful fish

Ahh, peaceful fish

It’s on 8.5×11 printer paper and I put it right above my computer! I actually feel much better and more peaceful now! When I think of money I just picture the fish, swimming around me, circling me. There is nothing to be afraid of.

So, how can this help you? What person, place, or thing would money be to you? Martha said when she first tried this exercise money was Prince Charming; she thought it would come in and sweep her off her feet and solve all her problems! Once you have a picture in your head (and go with the first thing that pops in, no matter how silly it seems), what is your relationship to that thing? What does it represent to you? If it’s scary or aggressive or far away or smothering you, what small changes can you make to the picture to improve your relationship to it?

One more time now: Money is just energy. Thoughts about it that are painful are just going to push it away from you. And thoughts only hurt you if you pick them up and keep holding onto them!

Be Joyful!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2009 12:26 pm

    HI Jen! I was on that call with Martha yesterday, and I was really feeling your pain. I wanted so badly to ask you to picture the fish as little fish without teeth that just stick to you! Little suction cup fish! How does that sound? Wouldn’t it be cool if money just stuck to you because it couldn’t help it! You were very brave yesterday and you helped all of us by being so transparent!

  2. jentrinque permalink*
    June 26, 2009 3:08 pm

    Hi Keisha, thank you for your support! I do love the idea of little suction cup fish sticking to me because they can’t help it and neither can money!

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