Checklist: Why You May Be Ethical with Money Yet Still Feel Queasy

Checklist: Why You May Be Ethical with Money Yet Still Feel Queasy

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Checklist: Why You May Be Ethical with Money Yet Still Feel Queasy: Even if you’ve worked hard to have an ethical relationship with money, you may still feel queasy about it when you get close to your “edge” with money. Let our checklist help you identify where your “edge” is and how to become peaceful as well as ethical.  Abyss image by Alexas_Fotos.

Checklist: Why You May Be Ethical with Money Yet Still Feel Queasy

Being Ethical with Money ≠ Being Peaceful with Money = Being Queasy

Being ethical with money is not enough: you have to be in alignment with money inside yourself in order to feel peaceful about it. It’s strange that you can be ethical yet not feel peaceful with money. Yet you’ll notice it’s true if you observe your own thought, beliefs, and actions around money. Many’s the time you’ve done the right thing with money yet you still felt queasy and awful about it.

Integrity is Head + Heart + Gut Agreement

To be in alignment inside yourself means there’s agreement among your head, heart, and gut. Your gut gives you the quickest read when you are out of alignment. That’s why I use nausea, queasiness, wanting to throw up so freely as an indicator of alignment. You can tell right away how your gut feels about just about anything if you’re paying attention to your body signs at all. But don’t skip to the end right away (where I talk about the gut). I want you to understand how all three parts of you talk to each other–the gut just talking the loudest.

So below you’ll find the simple three-part checklist I use with myself in making money decisions. I start with head first because the head is where most of us live when it comes to money.

1. Ethical is Head Agreement

Let’s assume you did the right thing with money. For example, you gave away money to a cause you believed in. You paid someone what their work was worth. You charged someone what your work was worth. And still, you felt like throwing up. You decidedly do not feel peaceful, even though you know you behaved ethically. At least your mind is at ease: your rational thoughts about money and your actions with it are in alignment.

2. Heart Agreement is Not Necessarily Head Agreement

Here’s the deal: even when you behave ethically with money, you may have a whole bunch of negative feelings that linger afterward. You may feel you paid too much, charged too much or gave away too much. This feeling doesn’t make it true by your mind’s rational standards. But it does mean your heart is out of alignment with your head. Your feelings in this case run counter to and may even contradict your rational thoughts about money.

Have you noticed this? You may firmly and clearly believe it is right to charge $___ per hour for your services but when you charge that much, you feel scared. Or you know that the market for a haircut means your haircutter is not gouging you yet you feel angry about the cost of the haircut. Or you donated just what you had set aside to  your favorite nonprofit, but a sadness arose when you sent off the check rather than satisfaction. (You might even have felt both sad and satisfied!)

These are observations I have made in myself and heard from others. We will blog in more detail about the reasons they happen in the future. For now, I want to encourage you to observe your own rational thoughts and feelings–without needing them to agree. I want to create and offer you the space to notice and talk about them here in comments to this blog post, and even with me as your coach.

3. Gut Agreement: The Bottom Line

Your gut may not be extremely refined about it, but it speaks loud and clear. Let’s assume you took ethical action with money. You know that all that means is you did what you rationally thought was right. Now let’s assume that your heart agreed. But you are listening to your gut, and your gut’s still not happy. You feel queasy in fact. What is up?

For me, what’s up is deep resistance to releasing or accepting money. My first guess would be that the resistance arose in response to something when you were small and not in charge of the money in your world. But you know, if it makes you want to throw up, pay attention!

Fear, anger, or sadness are heart-level feelings.

Terror, rage, and grief are gut-level emotions.

The gut does not lie if we listen to it. Terror especially can arise easily and commonly around money when we are small, and continue when we are grown even when we behave with money in ways we know are rationally correct and believe in our hearts are right.

Peaceful is Heart + Gut + Head Agreement

Let me say: do not suddenly let your gut make all your money decisions just because “the gut does not lie”! A terrified gut is a very poor financial advisor. It can lead you to overspend addictively or to  hoard. Both may make a terrified gut feel “safe”!

Likewise, a sad heart is a poor financial advisor. And you know what? A self-righteously correct mind is also a dreadful financial advisor.

I believe agreement among head, heart, and gut is what makes us peaceful with money.

  • Pingback:How I Practice Reparations for Peaceful, Ethical Money Flow - RAISING CLARITY
    Posted at 11:16h, 15 June Reply

    […] described in this post’s checklist, being ethical with money is not the same as being peaceful with money. Being ethical = “head […]

  • Mattie
    Posted at 20:33h, 27 April Reply

    I wonder sometimes about the choice to involve money in an interaction. There are times when I do something for someone, a friend or otherwise, without expecting any money in return. There are also times when I expect the same people to pay me for my time. How to tell when to involve money at all?

    • Beth
      Posted at 13:53h, 28 April Reply

      Ooooh, what an awesome question. Mattie, thank you for being so juicy with this one! I’m going to assume it’s meant truly to engage over several comments back and forth, so I’d like to start with a question to help open up our discussion: What current indicators do _you_ use to tell when to involve money? And I guess a second question’s timely: Are you happy with them? I’ll assume not perfectly happy, or you wouldn’t be questioning them. Feel free to share any body signals or other signals you sometimes get that make you feel “queasy.” Thank you!

      All: I want you to know a bit of Mattie’s achievements and wisdom. Here’s his website:

      • Mattie
        Posted at 16:12h, 28 April Reply

        Some considerations for me include:

        Would I be more likely to do this, potentially better and more often, if I get paid for it? Alternatively, if I don’t get paid to do this, will I do it less often, at lower quality?
        Doing this for free adds a +1 to the pool of favors in the universe. Am I confident someone will actually benefit from it? Am I confident I’ll eventually benefit from it?
        What do I want, if not money? Acknowledgement, return of favor, companionship, learning…? Am I getting that? Am I asking for it?
        Are others getting paid for similar work? Does my getting paid or not have an impact on their orientation to their livelihood or their volunteering?

        I can feel myself physically leaning toward things I want to do, things that pass this test. As a pretty neutral recent example, earlier this month I cleaned my friend’s gutters “for fun”. I had energy to do it, enjoyed putting on my gloves and moving the ladder around, responded to obstacles by troubleshooting / problem-solving. This is the type of work I do for about half my money, yet in this case I enjoyed doing it for free. Then she fed me lunch, and all is well!

        • Beth
          Posted at 13:13h, 01 May Reply

          Mattie, what I’m not hearing is why you are questioning yourself. It sounds like all is well, yet you are questioning. One thing I might ask someone else is, do you need more money? With you, I’d bet the answer is “no,” and all is genuinely well with the way you do things–and all you need do is trust yourself.

          With someone else, they might be shooting themselves in the foot as it were by continuing to give away services they normally get paid for or could easily get paid for. I would suspect avoidance of money, which has a whole different feeling to it.

          I’m offering these open-ended thoughts for your response so we can keep discussing; if you don’t respond, I’ll know…all is well.

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