Brianna's office desk with a red chair, an acoustic guitar, and several plants

CLEAN: What 2019 Taught Me About Money

Before I move fully into 2020, I gotta share with you the biggest lesson I learned in 2019.

My word for the year was CLEAN.

I wanted to clean up physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally.

CLEAN became my goal amidst many boxes & much clutter mess, two weeks after I’d moved in with my boyfriend.

Last year, we completely refinished our back room from a storage space into a beautiful home office. We deep cleaned our whole house and transitioned a second room & our garage from storage space into FUNctional for living. We cleaned up the yard & maintained the outdoors… The best part is that we built cleaner habits & ways of communicating with each other to help us maintain this progress moving forward.

Our finished office was wallpapered storage space this time last year.

It’s worth noting that I significantly cleaned up my relationships with other people last year, too.

Quite a few friendships fell off the map. I cut way down on social media, unfollowing people & leaving groups that weren’t meshing with me. I became a minimalist when it came to hiring outside professionals, leaning more deeply into my own creative, supportive, strategic work (especially Conscious Wholeness).

I’m *so happy & proud* of the progress I made in 2019 focused on CLEAN.

The area of my life that got cleaned up the most was one I least expected – my relationship with MONEY.

I anticipated 2019 being a year of “cleaning up” financially… especially refining my financial systems & the way money flows through my life.

Instead, I got put through the wringer with my money mindset. This year forced me to become way more consistent and intentional about appreciating & allocating the funds in my life.

I thought I was pretty well set after working my money-mindset over my first few self-employed years.

I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen: getting your relationship with money & your plans for allocating your money straightened out is an important first step when you’re branching out on your own.

I thought that cleaning up other areas of my life in 2019 would allow my already-improved relationship with money to flourish, without realizing how much I was still getting in my own way.

I was still looking for a savior financially, rather than taking full responsibility for my own financial health.

My bank account & my ability to buy stuff were still directly related to my personal worth in my mind.

I was still stuck in old beliefs rooted in scarcity, competition, and general not-enoughness when it comes to money.

I was worshipping money over things that matter so much more, and for completely misguided reasons.

It’s no wonder how I ended up here. In a capitalist America, competition, consumerism, and scarcity thinking have been conditioned in me since I was a baby, sitting next to a TV playing commercials.

In 2019, despite every effort I took to grow my business & otherwise make more money, I was stalled out.

I consistently struggled to find the money for gas, groceries, other necessities, and my credit card bills. Investing in myself & my business, buying gifts & giving back, and making purchases for things like creativity or self-care seemed impossible.

It was incredibly frustrating.

Speaking from a completely privileged perspective, this past year was my lowest of low when it comes to money.

I’d seen Conscious Wholeness open things up financially for just about everyone who’s participated, so I started asking… “why isn’t this working for ME? What’s wrong with me?”

Throughout the first half of 2019, I was in a low place.

Looking back I see how this experience will help me in the long run. Living it, I felt ashamed about my financial state for quite some time.

It was hard in other ways than financially. One of the most difficult elements was my inability to help other people & continue growing myself in this work I love the way I wanted to. I often felt like I wasn’t providing anything to the world and it was really hard to feel valuable.

I was still leaning into Conscious Wholeness, reminding myself that everything *IS* working, feeling so grateful for my beautiful relationship with myself & my partner and all the support & abundance around me.

But, that question was all too quick to come back… “Where the hell is all my money?”

I was downright desperate & frantic trying to get help, implement strategies, & learn from experts to take control of my situation.

Eventually, I recognized that my decisions were still being made from a place of fear & scarcity. That wasn’t helping.

So, in the middle of the year, I leaned even deeper into my own process, including Conscious Wholeness around money.

I started being really intentional about the decisions I was making & the conversations I was having around money. My mind opened & I became way more creative with what I already have. I got honest about the truth of my experience & welcomed support from the people around me.

I received these flowers from a debt collector I spoke with while unable to pay credit card bills. I received the tomato cages in the background from a lifelong friend & amazing life coach Karen Poole, who likely had no idea what a lifesaver she was at the time.

I sought support & relationships with people whose relationships with money are ones I admire and started reading the books they recommended & following their advice. (Extra special shoutout to Hilarie Mae here. Your support, guidance, and friendship has become a magical, empowering, & inspirational lifeline for me).

This book came at exactly the right moment. I adored the conversation about “sufficiency” in our resources and loved how well this concept dovetails with Conscious Wholeness.

It became clear that the desires I had, all the reasons I wanted money – travel, adventure, deeper connection & more time to spend with my loved ones, material desires, etc. – were already manifesting in my life even when my numbers weren’t improving.

The view from my flight leaving Ireland in August 2019.
A moment from a blissful first evening in the Adirondacks, right as the leaves there were starting to turn.

Ultimately, I realized that money is indeed 100% necessary in my life – for certain professional goals & the impact I intend to have. That being said, money is not all that important in the ways I previously thought.

Money is not responsible for my happiness, my health, my worth as a person, the quality of my relationships, or my safety here on Earth.

All of that is 100% inside of ME, whether there’s money in my pocket or not.

Turns out, I love being resourceful. I love appreciating and using what I already have, considering that ENOUGH, rather than buying something new at every impulse.

I’m so much happier being intentional with my money, spending it in ways that affirm my life & my values. I enjoy spending thoughtfully, in ways that spread my love to people & causes I care about.

Am I excited & eager to have more & more money to play with? Absolutely.

Did I already feel like I was doing these things before this year? YEP.

And, 2019 brought my financial awareness to a whole new level.

This year showed me, without a doubt, that I can have a completely full life that’s not reliant on money.

That sort of life – a life that feels satisfying, impactful, & fulfilling regardless of my bank account – is what I’ve been building in the second half of 2019.

(I’ve been talking openly about this journey all along in my free group The Cocoon).

I’m moving forward into 2020 with an even deeper understanding that my safety, my worth, my belonging in society has ZERO to do with the money I make. Those things have everything to do with who I am, what I’m here to provide, and how much I’m willing to BE that person day after day.

I’m remembering that everyone has something incredibly valuable to provide, regardless of how much money they have.

Everyone has enough resources inside of themselves & in their environment to do whatever their heart calls them to do.

We still need other people. Support, conversation, and collaboration are totally necessary. We need to join our resources together rather than trying to do everything ourselves.

That being said, we bring so much more to the table when we’ve done the work to build our independence, love, safety, freedom, and worth from inside of ourselves first. This year, I remembered that those things have absolutely zero to do with money.

Dependence on money is a choice, whether we’re consciously making that choice or not.

When we judge ourselves & other people on the basis of money alone, we limit what we’ll be able to accomplish.

It’s time to detach from the false money idol & reconnect with what really matters.

We can re-connect with money for what it is – a powerful resource, one of many resources we can use to create cool stuff while we walk this earth.

Family, love, growth, purpose, creativity, collaboration… And more. Those are the things that really matter.

I love money & where I see our relationship going.

I haven’t totally figured it out yet.

The more I learn, though, the more I realize how few people actually DO have money “figured out” – whether they’re aware, upfront & honest about that or not.

Another thing I’ve remembered this year – when someone claims to know all there is to know about a topic, beware.

The majority of people I interact with have unhelpful stories & their own reasons to feel bad about money.

We feel bad because we don’t have enough of it. The money we have is there at the expense of our relationships, happiness, and who-we-really-are as people. We’ve created all these stifling rules & limitations around the way we grow & spend our money.

So many reasons to feel crappy and uncomfortable, about something we deal with every single day.

So many of us live our lives feeling like we never had enough when the opposite is true. We ALWAYS have enough, and that’s always been true. We always have enough to take the very next step we need to take, so we can do the most amazing things.

Cheers to 2020 becoming our most abundant year yet.

Practicing Conscious Wholeness is one way to bring money back into a beneficial place in your life.

I know it because I’ve done it. I’m head over heels in love with my resources when I seem to have less than ever.

I’m so grateful to be entering into 2020 firmly footed in this knowing. Now, knowing my money isn’t my power, I’m prepared to use my money powerfully in the years to come.

Thank you for reading. <3

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