Do we even know how often we’re talking about money, especially when we aren’t? It plays such a big role in our lives, in so many aspects, and yet most of us tend to brush it away in every conversation.
This is one of our greatest challenges. To be able to share a clear perspective and overview, to have a shared agreement on our ways when dealing with money, when speaking of money, or building a set of commitments to define a direction, we need to tackle our deepest fears and frustrations at the same time we want to see money’s true form and state, in order to heal and make better decisions on everything we do.
We’re about to dive deeper into this topic for it’s such a big part of our life’s work, and I’m proposing we do it here, together. Feel free to observe, to share, or to let your thoughts and questions jump into the conversation.
Here follows some questions and a few pages of A room of one’s own*, for us to warm up:
- What was the most unraveling learning you had about money so far, and in what context/phase?
- What were the greatest things money did for you?
- What is your biggest worry involving money?
- How would you like to live with money?
👉 Please respond to each question considering all the proposed scales/lenses: individual, family, team, community, world.
* Virginia Woolf went everywhere in her A room of one’s own. In the following pages I’m sharing with you, she went in and out of scale and time, sharing a thorough portrait of money and one’s conditioning.
“No force in the world can take from me my five hundred pounds. Food, house and clothing are mine forever.”
It was while she was explaining how she got to that room of her own, how by having enough money — a steady income without having to sweat for it, nor spend capacity on anything that would distract her from what she really wanted to do — she was able to transform her “fear and bitterness”, first into “pity and tolerance”, and later, into “freedom to think of things in themselves”.
“Freedom to think of things in themselves”. This is what I fight for everyday in everything I do, and it involves both design and money, everywhere I look — I thought. Those were the perfect words to describe a dearest precious treasure of mine. But how much does it cost? And how much does it cost not to invest on it?
A room of one’s own, Virginia Woolf (1929), p.32/33
Free ebook: http://seas3.elte.hu/coursematerial/PikliNatalia/Virginia_Woolf_-_A_Room_of_Ones_Own.pdf
Categorie(s): Non-Fiction, Literary essay, Social science, Feminism & Feminist Theory
“My aunt, Mary Beton, I must tell you, died by a fall from her horse when she was riding out to take the air in Bombay. The news of my legacy reached me one night about the same time that the act was passed that gave votes to women. A solicitor’s letter fell into the post-box and when I opened it I found that she had left me five hundred pounds a year forever. Of the two—the vote and the money—the money, I own, seemed infinitely the more important. Before that I had made my living by cadging odd jobs from newspapers, by reporting a donkey show here or a wedding there; I had earned a few pounds by addressing envelopes, reading to old ladies, making artificial flowers, teaching the alphabet to small children in a kindergarten.
Such were the chief occupations that were open to women before 1918. I need not, I am afraid, describe in any detail the hardness of the work, for you know perhaps women who have done it; nor the difficulty of living on the money when it was earned, for you may have tried. But what still remains with me as a worse infliction than either was the poison of fear and bitterness which those days bred in me. To begin with, always to be doing work that one did not wish to do, and to do it like a slave, flattering and fawning, not always necessarily perhaps, but it seemed necessary and the stakes were too great to run risks; and then the thought of that one gift which it was death to hide—a small one but dear to the possessor—perishing and with it my self, my soul,—all this became like a rust eating away the bloom of the spring, destroying the tree at its heart.
However, as I say, my aunt died; and whenever I change a ten shilling note a little of that rust and corrosion is rubbed off, fear and bitterness go. Indeed, I thought, slipping the silver into my purse, it is remarkable, remembering the bitterness of those days, what a change of temper a fixed income will bring about. No force in the world can take from me my five hundred pounds. Food, house and clothing are mine forever. Therefore not merely do effort and labour cease, but also hatred and bitterness. I need not hate any man; he cannot hurt me. I need not flatter any man; he has nothing to give me. So imperceptibly I found myself adopting a new attitude towards the other half of the human race. It was absurd to blame any class or any sex, as a whole. Great bodies of people are never responsible for what they do. They are driven by instincts which are not within their control. They too, the patriarchs, the professors, had endless difficulties, terrible drawbacks to contend with. Their education had been in some ways as faulty as my own. It had bred in them defects as great. True, they had money and power, but only at the cost of harbouring in their breasts an eagle, a vulture, forever tearing the liver out and plucking at the lungs—the instinct for possession, the rage for acquisition which drives them to desire other people’s fields and goods perpetually; to make frontiers and flags; battleships and poison gas; to offer up their own lives and their children’s lives. Walk through the Admiralty Arch (I had reached that monument), or any other avenue given up to trophies and cannon, and reflect upon the kind of glory celebrated there. Or watch in the spring sunshine the stockbroker and the great barrister going indoors to make money and more money and more money when it is a fact that five hundred pounds a year will keep one alive in the sunshine. These are unpleasant instincts to harbour, I reflected. They are bred of the conditions of life; of the lack of civilization, I thought, looking at the statue of the Duke of Cambridge, and in particular at the feathers in his cocked hat, with a fixity that they have scarcely ever received before. And, as I realized these drawbacks, by degrees fear and bitterness modified themselves into pity and toleration; and then in a year or two, pity and toleration went, and the greatest release of all came, which is freedom to think of things in themselves. That building, for example, do I like it or not? Is that picture beautiful or not? Is that in my opinion a good book or a bad? Indeed my aunt’s legacy unveiled the sky to me, and substituted for the large and imposing figure of a gentleman, which Milton recommended for my perpetual adoration, a view of the open sky.”