My Story, or How I Learned The 11 Money Principles
“Reversing Falls” is the name of the place where I began a 2 year sailing sabbatical with my husband. It’s where Canada’s St. John’s river flows into the Bay of Fundy then out into the Atlantic ocean. The waters of this “change point” are quite turbulent. However one time during the daylight, the tide comes in, creating a 10 to 15 minute calm, and that’s when you can sail your vessel through. In fact, you must navigate this challenging passage at that opportunity in order to leave the tranquil river and sail the ocean. And so we began our true adventure…”Reversing Falls”, the imagery, symbolism and even the language of it is a perfect way to begin my story…Reverse the fall and what do you get? You get UP!
One such “Reversing Falls” crossroads in my life brought me Money Principle Two. (Money Principle One would take much longer to learn.)
At 23, I was unexpectedly divorced and deeply in debt due to my former spouse’s anger. While it would be clear to me only later, as it turns out, money is just stored energy. It responds very quickly to the consciousness around it.
It seemed the only choice I had was to return to my hometown to gather myself and resources and figure out what was next for me. While I had my psychology degree and had worked as a counselor, it didn’t seem right for me to continue that line of work while dealing with my own emotional baggage. So I fell back on the skills I used as a worked my way through my bachelors of science, running accounts receivable or accounts payable for large companies. I found myself temping for Kelly Girls. Money Principle Three, that emotions are energy in motion and can guide you to what’s next, began to become clear.
In the background was my family history. One side of my family scraped by on meager social security checks, while the other side lived large, having sold a company for multi, multi millions. I witnessed both sides having extreme money anxiety and losing sleep over it…how much they had or didn’t have. I loved them all. But seeing the extreme differences, I wondered about the truth of money and how it works. In time, Money Principle Seven became clear.
Seeking answers, I began a 12 step practice. A man named Peter approached me after a meeting. He needed help in his office, and offered to pay me twice what I was making at my temp job. I jumped at the chance.
Peter was a very successful programmer, in business for himself. But he couldn’t sleep at night. His financial records were a mess, and he’d not filed taxes in seven years. His computers were usually in pieces on the floor when I arrived. He took great care of his clients, but poor care of himself. Money Principle Six began to make itself known: First things first…and believe it or not, You are always first.
Peter taught me more complex computer skills, including how to re-assemble the computers and use accounting software. He’d even write custom code for things I needed to do.
Meanwhile, I drew on everything I knew about counseling, organizing, and finances to guide Peter through the process of getting his affairs in order, eventually resolving his tax issues. Peter began to experience peace of mind about his finances, and his behaviors changed. For one, he quit hiding things from himself. Money Principle Four began to dawn on me — that it is possible to shift our energy in our relationship with money.
Peter was overjoyed. He encouraged me tremendously, seeing something in me that I didn’t yet see in myself. His girlfriend noticed a change in him and his relationship with money, and asked me to help her with her finances as well. From that point until today, every client I’ve served has come to me through personal referral. This is Money Principle Eleven in action.
In those days I called my practice Sunflower Services. It was similar to what I do today, with a bit more of a “Girl Friday” aspect. When I moved to Austin, I sold that business for more money than I’d ever made in my life. It was just 4 years since I’d needed to return to my mother’s house. I’d found the key to my right livelihood and was certain it had to do with helping others align their values, lifestyle, and money. It was my introduction to Money Principle One: Veriditas exists, it is an abundance beyond my own imagination and it is always accessible.
I began the MBA program at Texas State University, to build a solid structure from the knowledge base I already had about business, to combine it with the spiritual and emotional aspects of money management. Money Principle Eight became clear: Keeping the numbers is tending the soil of your financial garden. Spreadsheets tell your story.
While going to school, I continued to serve my clients as a financial coach and organizer, guiding each one to aligning their thoughts, feelings and actions to live in integrity and use their cash flow to support it. Without fail I saw that when those things were in alignment, miracles happen. That was Money Principle Five.
At first I called my practice Alternative Money Management, because it wasn’t just about the numbers, it was about the spiritual thread underlying them. Later I worked under the banner of Lifestyle Money Management as I saw that it’s about how you live with your money rather than how much money you have. Money Principle Nine was to live within your means one month at a time. If you do this, your net worth will grow.
“I experience tremendous joy while teaching people money skills and spiritual lessons to enrich their financial lives.”
Everything was on target for me. I was in my last semester of the MBA program and making the same money that I would have as a licensed therapist. But it would take another “Reversing Falls” to find the true core of my practice. My father was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer. He had just weeks to live. I dropped everything to be with him. Money Principle Ten came into focus. My income was fine, and I wanted my Balance Sheet to be in alignment, too. The relationship with my father had more value to me at that moment than the advantages that an MBA degree as an achievement would give me.
The Christmas before, a friend had taken me to hear a concert by the Hilde Girls. They sang the music of the 12th century nun, mystic, healer and composer, Hildegard Von Bingen. It was a life-altering experience. If you’ve ever heard Hildegard’s music, you may understand.
I joined Hilde Girls as soon as I could. The song we learned that session was “Veriditas.” The concept of Veriditas touched me more deeply than I could have imagined. I found myself singing Hildegard’s music to my dad as he transitioned from this life to the next. Through that experience, I realized my calling is to bring Veriditas to people and their money.
Today, I work with a handful of clients at a time, from all over the United States. Most are small business owners, creatives, and other entrepreneurs. Several are in business with their life partner. It is enormously gratifying to guide each of them to create the life they want by helping them align their money with their personal values and goals, and see tangible results in their cash flows. There are so many wonderful stories from this work, including the man who moved to his ideal city and met the love of his life, the couple who eliminated the financial friction they’d had since since they met in high school and sent two children to college, the artist who left the corporate world and now makes and sells art full-time.
I’m married to a wonderful man with two wonderful kids for whom I’m happy to be a “bonus mom.” We enjoy sailing, art, music, traveling, and adventures of both the spiritual and physical worlds. We lived for two years on our boat, Gypsy Sol. I sang on and produced Gospel Gals, a sustainable gifting project for Hospice Austin. I continue to be inspired by Hildegard Von Bingen. My next creative project is an app which will put the peace of Hildegard’s music in your pocket.