Three of My Favorite Money Rituals

written by Bari Tessler February 23, 2022
My Three Favorite Money Rituals

Dear Money Adventurer,

Ritual is a fundamental part of being human. Throughout history, we have raised our voices in song, in prayer, and celebration. We have gathered together to dance and mourn, to rejoice in love and life, in new beginnings, and journeys come to an end. Our rituals connect us to our families, culture, values, beliefs, and ourselves.

I love ritual, especially the personal rituals that we self-create for our own healing. 

And most especially those rituals we self-create for money healing! 

Ritual is a personal practice, a tool that can help you change the energy, intention, and relationship to something that needs shifting.

As you explore your personal Money Story and begin consciously crafting your relationship with money, ritual helps you weave together the wisdom, insights, and desires you uncover along the way, empowering you to integrate them into your life.

For some of you, this idea of ritual may seem silly, outlandish, or old-fashioned. You might question how productive or meaningful it could really be. Or perhaps the concept is overwhelming, you wouldn’t know where to start, but still, you’re curious…

If you hear a whisper that there’s something for you here, I encourage you to listen, experiment, and read on. 

If you’re not entirely sure how you feel about ritual, but you’re open to learning more, I am honored and excited to share with you.

If you are someone that swoons at the very thought, sight, or smell of ritual, you’re in the perfect place. 

Because I wrote this for you.

What is ritual?

The beautiful thing is, ritual can be incredibly simple, accessible, personal, meaningful, and seriously productive. In this context, a ritual is simply a ceremony used to mark change.

Transition. Death and birth, metaphorical or literal. Initiation.

These are powerful invitations into healing ritual. When you create and craft your own ritual, it can look, smell, taste, sound, and feel however you want it to. It is yours to claim, to define, to bring to life.

A journey of discovery, healing, and growth

I first stumbled upon ritual early in my 20s when I was grieving the loss of a boyfriend, a deep love of mine who took his life at a very young age. I spent the next year earnestly seeking healing, I awake late into the night, night after aching, endless night, blasting music, and dancing by candlelight. I felt a profound knowing, an awareness from the deepest place, that I needed to ritualize myself towards wholeness and dance myself back into life again. Without knowing exactly what I was doing, I created an altar of mementos and the space to express myself and heal.

Years later, I dove deeper into the realms of ritual. I led grief groups and movement groups while studying Somatic Psychology at Naropa University (1994-1998),  eventually writing my Master’s Thesis on supporting young women transitioning into womanhood through authentic movement and self-created ritual. 

Through my personal journey and years of professional work, ritual has proven to be a gateway to healing, growth, and celebration. Here we find support to travel the liminal spaces and forge a bridge between the story we have lived and the new chapters we’re inspired to write.

In the context of my money work, I consider ritual a crucial ingredient in the Money Healing phase. Here we delve deeply into the emotional, historical, and psychological territory of our money relationship. We move through our money shame, giving it a seat next to us – perhaps a back seat, perhaps. We listen and apply massive doses of forgiveness, love, and compassion. The goal is to offer understanding and healing to our money story so that we are able to love ourselves towards change, and move into some of the more practical aspects of money work.

A money ritual can be as simple as lighting candles, playing music, and having a weekly money date with yourself or your honey.

A money ritual might look like throwing a party to celebrate with all your friends when you pay off your car or student loan. 

A money ritual might take a more creative form, like writing a stream of consciousness about your money journey or painting, singing, or dancing to embody and express your money emotions.

Your money ritual can be intimately personal, steeped in significance and meaning, joyfully lighthearted and playful, quietly still, or anything in between. Maybe you want to take time to prepare for your rituals, luxuriating in a decadent bath and dressing in your very best before you begin. Perhaps you would like to choose a song or reading to help you step into this sacred space, or perhaps you would like to set a clear intention, or say a little prayer before you begin. 

The rituals we choose for ourselves are profoundly powerful. One member of the Art of Money community shared that they begin their own rituals with a body check-in to ground themselves as they get started. Then they address any challenging emotions or resistance that they noticed during their body check-in as if they were a small child. Greeting that shame, anxiety, or mental block, they thank it, and gently remind those difficult feelings that it is safe to do this work. And they make a point of closing every ritual with a reward or celebration to honor the work.  

This practice is for you, so steep your favorite soothing tea, light a fragrant candle, bring your crystals, drum, or dancing shoes. Put on music that makes you feel grounded and connected, and curl up with your journal and favorite pen to write a letter to your old friend, money. What do you want to say? How do you want to feel? Set yourself free to create a sacred practice that belongs to you.  

Money Healing rituals are one of my favorite ways to love yourself into transformation with grace and compassion, instead of trying to shame, bully, or yelling yourself into change. I encourage all of my students to consider creating a Healing Ritual to ease, expedite, and deepen this process – it is truly one of the most potent tools in our money healing journey! 

Forgiveness and Completion are the most powerful rituals we can practice in our money healing journey. They support us in forgiving and releasing the past, honoring the completion of one chapter of our lives, allowing us to shed old layers, to step fully into the next chapter, and a new financial identity. 

Now that we’ve set the scene, allow me to gently guide and encourage you through creating your own personal money healing rituals.

There are always two sides to forgiveness – the letting go and the moving forward. We let go of old beliefs about money and choose what new beliefs we want to carry forward into the future. 

Money Healing Ritual #1 – Forgiveness Ritual / The Gift of Forgiveness: 

Ritual calls us to come with an attitude of gentle, compassionate curiosity — this doesn’t need to be overly serious — unless that feels right to you.  Consider the main chapters, big events, important people, and emotionally significant experiences of your financial life, as we just explored them. Use the following questions to start creating your list of people and events you want to forgive and let go.

Who or what are you angry with or resentful toward? How long have you felt this way toward them?

What resentments or grievances are you holding against yourself? How long have you felt this way?

What, or who, do you feel ready to forgive?

If you’re not ready to forgive someone (or yourself), why not?

Have compassion for your past decisions and behaviours. After all: What’s the point in trying to update your financial life if you are very aggressive and critical of yourself the whole time?

It might take some time for you to find your rhythm with these questions. As you progress through them, you may find yourself building momentum. You may also find yourself realizing or remembering additional pieces to forgive over the coming days or weeks ahead. Remember, this is a process. Go at your own pace. Be patient. Be gentle with yourself.

Money Healing Ritual #2 – Completion Ritual / The Gift of Completion: 

When we release our old, stagnant beliefs about money, we have room in our hearts to create happier, healthier beliefs of our choosing.

Start where you are. Take this opportunity to identify any beliefs around money that you’re ready to release now. 

What old beliefs are you ready to let go of?

Give yourself some time and space here to make a list of the beliefs you are ready to surrender, then thank each one for the ways it served you or kept you safe in the past … and let it go. If it feels good to you, identify a new, more supportive belief to take its place. 

Is there a more loving, more compassionate belief that feels more aligned and supportive for you now?

What emotions are coming up for you as you move through this ritual process? 

What baby step could you take next to honor yourself, your feelings, and the intentions you’ve set here?

As you make progress releasing old beliefs, you may find that more and more ideas come bounding into your awareness. It might happen as soon as you start listing things or it may take more time to process. There is no rush, no need to hurry, you can revisit this list any time you feel moved to.

Your timing is the only “right” timing here. 

Take a deep breath.

There is no “finish line.”

This journey is constantly unfolding.

You are exactly where you need to be.

Money Healing Ritual #3 – Celebration:

This money journey is ongoing — so we must celebrate every success and every lesson learned along the way. Too often, in journeys of personal growth, we jump from one accomplishment to climbing that next mountain without taking a breath in between. We need to make time to celebrate our successes, so we can integrate them and appreciate the goodness in our lives. Celebration is invigorating, it reinspires and propels us forward. Here we celebrate every baby step and brave leap along the way, weaving a new narrative, beginning a new chapter in our Money Story.

What have you accomplished in your money relationship? What inner, emotional shifts or insights have you had? What external, practical steps have you taken?

What shifts have occurred, big or small? What clarity, healing, peace, or intimacy have you experienced? Where have you gotten brave, and done, or said, or tried?

The biggest shifts are often quiet. Subtle. Inner. Like deeper self-trust and compassion. Finally forgiving our parents and letting go of old hurts and resentments. Claiming our value. Feeling more at home and at peace with our bodies and our lives. 

No matter where you are in your money journey right now, I hope that you have found something here that inspires you to create your own Money Healing Ritual.

Please remember that it can look and feel like whatever encourages, honors, and empowers you. It might be a short, sweet, and simple ritual or more robust, nuanced, and complex – all that matters is that it feels right and good and true to you. 

So, listen in for a moment, see what touches your heart and calls your name, and take one next step towards it…

And please, please be patient, be gentle, be compassionate with yourself. This is deep, intimate, heart-full work you are doing here. 

It is my honor and my joy to share this brave, bold, beautiful path with you.

P.S. The Art of Money Workbook is coming June 7!

Pre-order your copy now.

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