In a Nutshell: Financial decisions are often framed as a tug of war between the head and the heart. But by paying attention to how the whole body expresses feelings around money, advisors can guide clients past their fears and towards a fulfilling sense of sufficiency and inner knowing.
.Gayle Colman and I discuss:
- Gayle’s early history with the life planning movement (I express life planning through ROL Advisor) and how it changed her approach to the advisor-client relationship.
- How Gayle connects the body and money to form what she calls Somatic Finance®.
- The importance of how you show up to your clients that goes beyond anything you may say to them.
- The three personas we all orient ourselves around when we’re dealing with money (Academic (Head), Capitalist (Belly), Philanthropist (Heart)) and the strengths and weaknesses of each.
- How intuition factors into decision-making that goes beyond facts and figures.
- How to identify and address our physical reaction to fear.
- Can emotions be classified as “good” or “bad”?
- Integrating a “body practice” into your wellness routine and your work.
- The myth of money having “right answers.”
- Enough versus abundance versus sufficiency.
- My evolving relationship with money.
Resources Related to This Episode
- Somatic Finance
- The Body of Money by Gayle Colman
- How to Transform Your Client’s Relationship to Money My conversation with “The Soul of Money” author Lynne Twist
- Blog post on Decoding Your Emotions to Drive Top Level Performance
Quotes From Gayle Colman
Behavioral finance and the psychology of money emerged as important new fields of study in the mid – 1990s, and both try to understand the emotional side of money. How do our feelings affect our money decisions? But, and this troubles me, both fields exclusively use the application of cognitive intelligence to try to understand why money is so fraught and painful. These fields use the capacity for knowledge to solve the problem of relying on knowledge alone to understand money. Talk about irony! You cannot reconcile behavioral and psychological issues with knowledge alone. These practices don’t simplify, clarify, or resolve problems of greed, fear, helplessness, or confusion around money; they create the emotional equivalent of more dust bunnies. Cognitive fields of study do not make people freer.
You can get by in life with just your head and belly, being smart and feeling secure. But if you want to be fully alive in your whole human experience and the experience for all beings, open your heart. You’ll find it is on fire, giving energy to all of life.
Sufficiency is the ability to abide no matter what comes up. It’s knowing, in your body, that you are okay. No matter what, you are okay. It’s also okay if you can’t believe that such sufficiency exists, particularly around money. That disbelief rises in part because sufficiency is only known in the body, not a concept.
You can see that while the rational mind arrives at one reasonable financial choice based on metrics, the nonlinear mind, connected to all of our experiences, and the experiences of our ancestors, offers myriad answers in the complex soup of life. Somatic markers are part of our birth family lineage. They do not disappear. They evolve as we evolve. And they evolve positively when we bring them consciously into partnership with our body.
The joy of embodiment and bringing body wisdom into our way with money is that we learn to trust our body. Yes, I am most interested in our clients trusting in their own innate wisdom, held in their body rather than anything or anyone outside, including me. Because when we are able to trust our interior, trust becomes available to us in an extraordinary way, always right here.
Our body is the ultimate tool, technology, process, and vehicle for our money stuff and reliable relationship. You need nothing except the interior of your skin to access the intelligence you seek.
When it comes to money and building healthy practices, we need to expand our view. Money does not have any right answers. Many possibilities exist for money to meet a personal aspiration, and this is one reason our money relationship is plagued with difficulty. Furthermore, it is no surprise that when we grasp the myth of a right answer, those who like to provide “right” answers no longer hold power over you. ( Now maybe a few financial professionals are annoyed.)
Somatic Finance is not a path to a specific result. It is a ginormous invitation to develop and to integrate growth using the wisdom of a precious untapped resource (our body) and the challenges of money in the process.