This week along my path to achieving my dream of personal finance mastery, I had the remarkable experience of feeling….nothing.
Not a thing.
Feeling nothing is quite rare for me.
I’m a 12th house Cancer with Leo rising, and for the icing on the cake, my sun and moon are opposed.
Feelings, I’ve got a million of them, usually all at the same time.
The concept of feeling nothing at all – well, I can hardly relate.
Plus, after writing about those icky feelings in my last post, you would think that I would have a heightened awareness of all the icky feelings I was avoiding.
The first time it hit me that I was feeling nothing, I was driving through the next town over. I had an errand to run. That town happens to be home to my all-time favorite knitting store, and right down the street, one of my all-time favorite book stores. I finished my errand, and fleetingly the thought passed through my mind: “Hey. I could go look at yarn. Or books.”
But then I thought, “Nah, I think I’ll go home and just read one of the books I already have, or knit the thing I’m already knitting.”
And you know what? I felt nothing. No icky feelings. No feelings of deprivation or regret. No pride at my superhuman accomplishment of avoiding the yarn store and the book store.Â Nothing. Simple as that. I just took the right turn and headed back to Sonoma.
Did you guys see the Broadway musical A Chorus Line?
There’s a song in it called “Nothing.” In the song, the girl tells about being in a method acting class where the teacher keeps asking her how she feels. Knowing how she feels is supposed to improve her acting. In an effort to get her to feel something, he tells her to imagine that she’s on a bobsled speeding down a snowy hill. This does not work, because she is Puerto Rican, and there’s nothing in her Puerto Rican heritage that can relate to bobsleds. So, as you can deduce from the song title, when her teacher asks her how she feels, she feels…nothing. Does not compute!
That is the kind of nothing I felt all week. Suddenly there was no angst associated with uncomfortable feelings. In fact, it was as though I had never been in avoidance at all. Feelings came and went, and I didn’t avoid them by spending money. It was awesome and routine all at the same time.
I’m going on and on about this because it seems momentous to me. Last week I realized that my issues with money are really about not wanting to feel certain feelings. Spending money allowed me to avoid those feelings. This week, it appears, now that I realize the connection, Â I don’t feel so compelled to avoid the feelings. And it seems that avoiding my feelings was what was causing the problem.
Once I decided to separate my spending from my feelings, the feelings didn’t have so much power.
Does that make any sense? I just read that paragraph three times and I’m not sure it makes sense.
Mind you, I don’t consider this a permanent cure. One week does not a transformation make, after all; especially up against all the many years I have avoided my feelings by spending money. But I do consider it a quiet triumph. It’s as though I’d been struggling with my weight all my life, and nothing worked to change it, and then one day I woke up 30 pounds lighter. It’s hard to trust the suddenness of it.
But gosh, it sure does feel good.
Jayne Speich is a small business coach/consultant who writes, thinks, and coaches extensively on customer service, business finance, and ways to thrive in the new economy. She has an exciting new business venture with sister dreamerÂ Remy Gervais, calledÂ The Gazelle Goal. She is the owner ofÂ Onsys21 Dental, a coaching/consulting firm for dental practice owners. Plus, you can find her atÂ theselfreliantentrepreneur.com. Jayne’s post day is Saturday.