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To Hell with Money

Last Monday and Tuesday us lucky Knowmads had the first two days of the Workshop “To Hell with Money” from Charlie Davies. On Friday we’ll have the last day.

On Monday we spent most time on getting in the right frame of mind. We moved around the room to experience what different positions in relation to each other did with our interaction or emotions. Facing each other, not facing each other, scattered around the room, in a tight circle, sitting or standing. Charlie kept saying he didn’t feel happy enough to start the workshop, but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) phrase what it was that made him unhappy! There were some awkward silences, we discussed what values are needed to be really present in a workshop, we changed rooms to try that out, we talked about his stand up inspiration talk, experimented with Formal Consensus for decision-making, and finally, in the last hour of the workshop day we were getting somewhere regarding money. Still it was, at least for me, an interesting day. Charlie was right in not starting the workshop, because we were not actively involved enough to grasp what he wants us to understand about money and everything that is attached to it.

Charlie made a comparison: money is like a mirror. There are two ways to look at a mirror, you can look in it and see yourself or you can look at the mirror and see an object that reflects the world. With a mirror every person that looks into it knows they only see a reflection, not a real other person (unlike cats…). When people look in money, they see a void, project all their sensations onto it and think it’s true.

“I cannot quit my job to start my own business, because I don’t have sufficient financial means to survive the first year. I have a mortgage!”

This person is projecting his fear of starting something new onto money and blaming the money for not being able to start, instead of thinking about what makes him crave security.

Money is a currency, it has a flow and in every meaning that is given to it there are two sides. A light side and a shadow side. If someone says it means love, it also means hate. If someone says it means protection, it also means uncertainty. We explored this subject on Tuesday during a 45 minute presentation that took most of the day because it sparked so much discussion!

In the afternoon we switched rooms again and we tried to fit as many of us as possible on the couch to sing along with karaoke Christmas Carols (and cheesy Christmas songs like Wham!’s Last Christmas…). Charlie got to finish his 45 minute talk there on the couch.

I personally tried to find an answer to my ‘burning question about money’ (we had to think of it before the workshop). Why don’t I have any problem with spending money, loaning it to others and getting what I think I deserve; but as soon as someone tries to give me more than what I think I deserve (which always is an equal share to what others get, even if  I ‘did more’) I get in trouble with myself?

Charlie picked those last words to create a statement I had to speak out loud and really mean.

“I get in trouble and I love it!”

Before I said it I didn’t suspect it would have any impact. But it did… The second I spoke the sentence my midsection crunched and I literally doubled over. I actually had a physical reaction to a sentence I spoke myself!! It hit home that somewhere in my past I must have linked getting more money (appreciation) than others by others, to getting in trouble for it. Ridiculous! It feels liberating to have this realization, now I’m aware of it, I can work on it.

I’m very much looking forward to the 3rd day of the workshop, thanks Charlie!!

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