The Intersection of Spirituality and Business

People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish desires and schemes that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For love of money is the root of all of evil and some having pursued its power, fall from faith and end in sorrow.

Saint Timothy
Money and Spirituality. Group Game, Russian House #1, Jenner, 20 June 2021

Affirmations are still new territory for me. I’ve been trying to incorporate them into my life for a few months now. I have a couple apps that will generate one randomly for you every day. Although I still find the ones I come up with myself to be the most beneficial, which is to be expected. Getting back to the apps though, there are all genres of affirmations to choose from. There are affirmations for love, health, positive energy, self care, inner peace, etc. These are all beautiful and exactly what I anticipate an affirmation to feel/sound like. The ones that stand apart for me are the “financial” or “monetary” affirmations. These ones leave a bad taste in my mouth.

I’ve been seeing a lot of these types of affirmations recently. I’ve also noticed the realm of manifesting being infiltrated by similar motivations. Far be it from me to tell anyone what to do in their own spiritual or self-healing journey, but in my opinion, these money focused affirmations and manifestation efforts are ill-suited to the overall energy of any spiritual movement. Self-love, self-care, healing, personal growth, even abundance do not have anything to do with property or possessions, monetary or otherwise. The journey of the soul is not concerned with such such trivial, worldly pursuits and interests.

The idea of money and, what I perceive as, the ego’s desire for monetary wealth clash horrendously with things like affirmations, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, etc. Yet as these practices become more and more popular, I see them being co-opted by capitalism, self-interest, and greed. I’ve heard many of the otherwise positive yogis, psychologists, life coaches, and so on that I follow attempt to justify their focus on and mild obsession with business and making money. There is a hint of defensiveness as they try to explain why they have every right to charge people for their advice and services and partner with toxic corporate advertisers. They even lay the groundwork to promote others doing the same thing.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with starting your own business or wanting to live comfortably in life. However, these things are separate from spirituality. Trying to intertwine these opposing energies is damaging to the pure, selfless, loving nature of the spiritual practice. If you want money because you believe it will afford you safety and peace, why not skip the middle man and focus on the safety, peace, and ease that you are truly seeking? Maybe these things will come to you in the form of greater income, but money itself should never be the goal.

When it comes to the purely business side of things, I’m not exactly sure what position I hold. I don’t expect yoga teachers or life coaches to work for free. They have to make a living somehow. Even so, it has always felt dirty to me to charge for my classes. Especially charging as much as my studio does. My goal when I became a yoga teacher was not to make money. It was to give back to my community by sharing the transformational gift of yoga with as many people as I could. I had always planned to get my certification and teach for free, whether in person or online. My teachers even addressed this urge during our training in order to discourage such behavior. They framed it as if I would be cheapening the entire industry and making it harder for other teachers to make a living, which was not my intention. I guess with this in mind, I don’t think it’s unethical to charge a reasonable amount in order to support yourself, but I draw the line when people start getting rich. At that point I do really feel as though you’re taking advantage of people in a particularly egregious way. It reminds me of those awful “for profit” ministries.

In an ideal world, I think all of these spiritual teachings and services would be purely donation based. Then, those that were able could give more, while still allowing the less fortunate to have access to these ancient healing methods. I don’t know how we could make this work in practice, but the energy of this idea feels more right to me. Otherwise, I am just reminded of those awful “for profit” ministries taking advantage of people who are desperate to improve their lives. Spirituality, like traditional religions, should not be about accumulating personal wealth. It is completely antithetical to the ideas and practices being taught. As I said, I don’t know what the answer is, nor do I pretend to. I just had to speak my mind about this issue and how much it concerns me. Let me know your thoughts on this. Sometimes I feel like the only one who finds it unsettling while it appears to become more and more prominent every day.

Financial psychologist: Why it's important to ask yourself this money  question now

5 thoughts on “The Intersection of Spirituality and Business

  1. Great post. It’s easy for financial stresses to take over and become a daily burden, and that has always annoyed me. To eat well, help others, travel a little, and maintain my house is all I ask, don’t need a bank balance with lots of digits…. In my life, there have been two people whose services have stood out in terms of providing healing help. One was an incredible, truly psychic woman who could read my troubled mind, and was able to give me perspective and calm me back to peace. The other was an acupuncturist who has always been able to heal various physical (and other) ailments. Both of these individuals charged me an almost ridiculously small fee for their services, it was not only their skills and abilities, but their pure intent that made them so effective, I am sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! Those people sound incredible and I’m happy they were able to help you. (: If you have to charge for spiritual/healing services it should be just as much as you need to. If you’re getting rich as a yogi, spiritual teacher, healer, etc. that seems suss to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been wrestling with the money issue in my mind for quite a number of years. Since I come from the typical conservative Christian background, the as you correctly called them “for profit” ministries made me extremely bitter towards even the idea and concept of money in general at one point. But then later I thought about how my poor lifestyle really contributes to me not being able to help those closest to me and beyond very much. As without money we don’t have the means to obtain enough adequate resources to help those who need to be helped, In a lot of contexts. So now I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the money itself per se that’s the issue. But the “love” of money that causes problems. To me It seems to be our intent and heart behind the money itself that seems to be the real issue.

    BUT despite all of that, I still personally believe that the concept of money could and idealistically should be done away with. As to me the value that we give to money in and of itself, in my opinion, is flawed. And it just causes WAY more harm than good. And in order for money to even have a chance of being abolished in our public consciousness, we must make the choice to go back to a more naturalist earth centric based life. To me it seems our perspectives, priorities, and hearts have to change in such a drastic way in order for something like that to become even possible to begin with in the first place. So until then in my mind, I’m going to have to learn to navigate the money issue in a similar way as you described it, always putting it last. As that’s where it belongs in weighing our priorities of what’s most important in life and our inner wellbeing. Learning to live within our needs, without neglecting our wants and desires too, BUT, not letting our desires go too far or consume us either. In short, learning contentment.

    It seems to me the donation model you described is the best option at this point. At least for me anyhow. The key to that model being the most efficient and effective means of providing a valuable service is when you said this,

    “Then, those that were able could give more, while still allowing the less fortunate to have access to these ancient healing methods.”

    That’s what makes the model particularly a great concept for me too. It also puts a roadblock on the temptations of the “get rich quick schemes”. This model in particular runs based off of the natural cycle of the give-take principle. Just like the natural relationship that we should have with the earth. And the give and take in the donation model is done without the means of force as well. Which is just another plus for me personally.

    This is such a great conversation and take on this issue. Thank you so very much! Let’s keep shining that beauty out here in this crazy world! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love everything you said. In a world where money is necessary to live it is definitely all about balance. Money is not evil in itself and we are able to do good with it too. For affirmations particularly I think it’s completely off the mark to try to manifest money. If you truly want to money to provide comfort or help others, focus your energy on those intentions, not the money. Thanks so much for reading. It means a lot. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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