We were standing at the crosswalk, my friend and I, when she told me that someday she wanted to ball hard.
"I want to have the means to support the people I love and to buy new equipment for work and to live in a house with a giant projector so I can host bad ass movie nights. "
I nodded my head and echoed her sentiment.
We'd made it to the other side of the street, and were just turning the corner, when she referenced an acquanitance who had recently pissed her off with his oblivious disregard for other people's needs.
"I bet he's just a fucking rich kid," she said. "Selfish and unaware."
Now this caught my attention. It mirrored a demon I know well. It spoke to the way I desire abundance, yet associate abundance with a lack of humanity.
I believe it to be a sticky, largely unconscious problem. I have a hundred of my own judgments around craving financial prosperity. I have judgments even as I'm writing this blog.
A small voice in me is crying out, "You have NO right to speak about the desire for wealth. By most of the world's standards - you are wealthy. You have a community safety net. You would never end up homeless. You have a roof over your head and a full refrigerator. You have never felt lack for any of these things. You don't get to talk about money and you don't get to bemoan the lack of it and you don't get to manifest more of it."
Yet a larger part of me - the part I'm trying to claim with this writing - knows that feeling guilty for the impulse to enrich my well being does jack shit to help people in need. All it does is fill up useful space inside of me where clarity and intention and power could live. All it does is paralyze me with the weight of shame.
And then I stop facing things.
Like people in greater need.
Because facing people in greater need mirrors what I am not in great need of. And that triggers my shame. And my shame summons the wealth demon. And the wealth demon is a scary, seething beast.
I was sitting on a stoop with another friend of mine. This friend lives in Brazil and does not have a bank account. At different points in her life she has also not had food when she was hungry. It was only recently that she owned her first refrigerator.
I was busy expressing my web of guilty feelings - like how I hated knowing that when I went home I would have access to things she didn't. She cut me off mid-sentence and told me lovingly, yet firmly, that she didn't want my guilt.
"Your guilt doesn't change my poverty," she said. "I want you to be prosperous and do good things with your prosperity, just like I want me to be prosperous and I want to do good things with my prosperity. Stop pretending you don't want that."
I think about her words when I feel like I should hide my secret longing to ball hard.
I don't want to hide it.
I want to manifest it and I want to do good things with it.
I want to enrich my well being and the well being of people I love and the well being of people I've never met. I want to recreate my divisive relationship with money. I want to discard the ridiculous belief that being spiritually in tune and abundant-as-fuck are somehow mutually exclusive. I want to stop associating money with evil. Money, as my wise mama says, can be a means of loving distribution. I'll add that money can also be a means of oppression. Therefore, this human created resource called money, has a tremendous amount of power and power is not inherently wrong.
It's about how we use our power.
It's about what we use it for.
I want to plug into that power and use it as fuel for freedom, equality and well being. I want everyone to have the opportunity to plug into that power and channel it towards a more equitable and conscious reality. I want to join a clan of Money Warriors who are willing to tackle the wealth demon and shake off the paralysis of guilt.
It's time for wealth and heart to form a partnership.
It's time for money to express our humanity instead of oppress it.
It's time to ball. Hard.
I am a Portland, Oregon based writer, filmmaker and choreographer. I believe stories activate the code of empathy, dissolve the grip of isolation, voice our animal truths and hunt our human treasures.