The Root: On Money, Wealth & Worth

Part of the wonderful “A Painted Conversation: Community Mural Project” just completed in San Ignacio

One of the greatest things about my yoga practice is that is has reconnected me with my body in a very real, visceral way. It’s also reconnected me with my Reiki practice. As a Reiki Master and practitioner, I have studied the chakras for many years, and have gained a pretty strong understanding of what they are and how they function. Doing yoga every day is helping me to experience the story of my body, and to notice the ongoing shifts and changes. Each day of my practice is different, and I really see how my thoughts and feelings affect me on the physical and energetic levels – where there is tightness, stuckness, fluidity.

I have been consciously working with my root chakra, which is about the experience of the body in a physical, material sense – connection to the earth, survival, security and stability. Yoga has been incredibly grounding, providing an opportunity for me to get into the physical experience of being in my body, here and now. It has also made me aware of how I hold onto certain ideas related to the themes of the root chakra, particularly around money.

Ugh. Money. It’s such a thing.

So much of my identity as an adult has been wrapped up in money – how I earn it, how I keep it (or don’t), and what it means to have it. As I am not yet a legal resident of Belize, I am dealing with the challenges and limitations around work authorization. I am incredibly fortunate to have a partner who can financially support both of us through his work. And, I sometimes struggle with what it means for me to not be making money. It’s bringing up a lot of questions – What do I have to contribute? What is the value of my work? Who am I when I am not earning a paycheck? After so many years of being financially independent, it feels strange and uncomfortable to not have my own means.

On a good day, I am able to have faith that with time the work I am doing and the relationships I am building will lead to having a regular income. On a bad day, the shit drives me crazy.

Look, I know I have value even when I am not being paid for what I do. And I have been doing some pretty cool things that I haven’t been paid for. I also know that this period of not earning doesn’t erase my whole adulthood of working hard and supporting myself. Still, I can’t help but feel that the part of my life that felt stable for so long – the root – is out of balance.

For now, I am trusting that the balance will be restored. That I am doing my best. That not making money doesn’t make me less of who I am. Living in Belize has given me a wealth of experience that is impossible to quantify in dollars. Having a better quality of life, being close to nature, making art – these are priceless. I worked my ass off to get here. In spite of not having a stable income, I recognize the value that I bring through my work and experience, and I am able to see the impact of that. And so I keep moving forward, and keep working on the next thing.

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5 thoughts on “The Root: On Money, Wealth & Worth

  1. Thank you for sharing. I relate completely. The issue of earning power (in monetary terms) is so connected to self-worth. why? there are other forms of earning powers, and I really wish society would value those as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It fills me with sadness that even for those of us who know that there are far more worthy things than money, questions like this haunt us daily: “What do I have to contribute? What is the value of my work?” Even work that should have value beyond the monetary seems to get pegged down to an economic worth. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective.

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