Hale and Hearty Wisdom with Jennifer Hale
The following is an excerpt from Class # 53 with the incomparable Jennifer Hale. Students can access the recording in the archive. Those that aren’t yet in Steve’s Teaching Series, there’s a 50% off your first month special – which you can access here.
On Change and Being Flexible
Steve: We often talk about the need to be flexible and to be able to constantly adapt in this business. How has work changed for you in a positive way during this time and do you think that that’s going to affect you moving forward?
Jennifer Hale: Change is the one constant we all live with, yet our very identity can be threatened by change. This brings up the concept of attachment, because if you know yourself to be a particular thing, if you identify with that, then you’re attached to certain outcomes because they hold up that identity.
You got to let it all go. To show up and practice saying “Yes!” to what’s in front of you.
We’re going through massive changes that none of us could have ever predicted, and our identities are all being shaken up. I for one was expecting myself to be the same, and I was getting crankier and unhappier as a result! I realized I needed to let it go and have complete grace for myself. Some days I couldn’t get up, cause I was so exhausted. I’d ask myself “Why am I so exhausted?”.
I’ve since stopped asking why. I’ve shifted my “why?” over to what our beautiful peer Julie Nathanson talks about – curiosity. Instead of saying “Why?”, I say “What is it about?” For me that meant “What is it about slowing down that I find so threatening?” The answer? Nothing, just my own judgment.
There’s a Shaman I’ve had the privilege of working with who has a great saying: “Everything always has been, is now, and always will be just fine”.
I stay in that place and I’ve taken positive steps to surround myself with people who think that way. I don’t allow for conversation that is anything other than that.
Steve: Can you talk a little bit about the importance of having a healthy relationship with money and how you go about achieving it?
Jennifer Hale: Okay, so there’s a couple things that I find foundational.
Number 1: Take away all your judgment that you have about money, and about yourself and your relation to it. That’s a bigger ask than you think!
Just start to notice where you have opinions, where you judge yourself as being not enough, or your desires to be too much, or what other people have as being wrong.
Number 2: Take money on as a friend. If you talked about your friends the way you talk about money, would you have any friends?
Money is like the universe, it’s simply reflecting you. It’s an incredibly powerful mirror – not a mirror that’s there to shame you.
So what are your opinions and judgments about money, what are all the places you go to?
Maybe you have an issue being compensated for what you naturally do that you’re good at. I invite you to look at the way you’re devaluing yourself, because you are blocking the flow. You’ve put a rock in the river and the waters can’t get to you. It’s going to flow around in little trickles but it’s not going to flow to you.
People get embarrassed about how much money it takes them to have a life they enjoy. It is what it is. Don’t worry about it!
Then there’s the basics like budgets; money in, money out. When you create a budget, just get your basics down. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is great for this. The first level is Survival, then it moves up the scale to Belonging, Creativity, etc.
Start with Survival. What does it take for you to have food, shelter, a phone, staying warm, etc. What’s that going to cost you? Then move up the scale to creative activities and fun. Where do you want to have a little fun – and not be ashamed about it?
There’s so much shame around money, and shame is one of the lowest vibes in the world.
I’m always tweeting the hashtag #takeitback, and by that I mean “take yourself back”. So yes, get yourself a budget, which will help you with a plan.
Get some knowledge as well, ie: how does money work? There’re some basic things I would tell you. It’s not just what you make, it’s what you keep. Earned income is taxed at a higher rate than passive income, which is income from investment. However, if you’re going to invest, it should be in something you enjoy.
Steve: What do you do to find balance? What brings you back to a place of peace when things get chaotic?
Jennifer Hale: Sometimes I just have an awesome cry and I don’t judge it! Sometimes it’s sleep. My father had the greatest saying, he was so wise. Whenever I got bent out of shape about something he’d say “You know sometimes just a good night’s sleep and a meal is all you need”.
Then of course gratitude, but I don’t mean gratitude like platitude. I mean relentless, fierce, unwavering, vicious gratitude!
I took a course recently and learned a great new practice involving gratitude for the body. We learned to look ourselves in the eye in the mirror, and to look at our body and to be grateful for it.
We so often get up and say “I wish this wasn’t” or “I wish I wasn’t”. So take one part of your body – your skin or your stomach or whatever bugs you. Spend just a few days with that part and every morning say “Thank you” for it. I do that all the time now! I’m like “Dang, thank you, liver, thank you, pancreas!” Gratitude makes all the difference.
When I hit the skids, I don’t judge myself. It happened today! I felt myself being threatened and feeling diminished by someone else, and I thought “Okay”, I know enough to know nothing is personal. I realized that the feeling I was having was my own doing. That I did it to myself, that other person is just mirroring me back to me!
“Oh ok, so this is my new yarn ball to untangle”. That’s what I thought. I didn’t judge myself! So balance is also about surrender and grace and kindness for yourself.
Movement is also really important for me. I love being outside as well. It reminds me of what matters. I go outside, and I look around. It’s like that Sheryl Crow lyric: “It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you got” sitting in there. I’m all about that.
On “Making It”
Once you get “here” where Steve and I are in our careers, you’ll realize there is no “here”. We’re ALL always changing and evolving!
I’ve become more aware of what’s happening on the planet and therefore there’s some work that I just can’t do. There are commercials I won’t do. I was in a session a couple weeks ago for a pharmaceutical. I got two lines in and I literally said “I can’t do this, I cannot do this. I’m not your person because I hate this product so much, and I can’t”.
Yes I need to make sure to keep my money flow where I need it to be, but it also needs to be in a way that I’m comfortable with, because that matters too. I trust that money is going to show up, and I also trust in “following your bliss” ie: the Law of Attraction. You DO still have to get up on your feet – you’ve got to do something. I allow myself to do things that I feel aligned with regardless of whether I can see money at the end of it. That to me is the essence of “making it”.
To get more insights from Jennifer Hale – including her wonderful music and podcast “The Art of Money” check out www.jenniferhale.com