First Step… Start!

Easier said than done for me this time.



Start again, another first step. (with self-doubting thoughts…)

Too many stops. Again Colleen, really?

As I sat to share my thoughts on money mindfulness, I found myself procrastinating and to be honest struggling with getting the words on the page.

What’s creating this sense of resistance to completing this blog?  I mean you know what you want to share and the tips you know can support others… what’s holding you back?

The voice in my head. Honestly, it started to create stress and a bad day too often. There were moments I was going to just quit.

Pick another topic and move on, for goodness sake you need to get this done. Avoid the bad day… it will just be easier!

But no. 

Not this time Colleen, come one… you got this.

… share your money mindfulness tips from the heart,

… share your thoughts with transparency and let them see the perspective from which your money mindfulness tips come from,

… show yourself you have healed and are continuing to grow in areas that have been uncomfortable in the past.


Good news, I settled into my mindfulness practice, took a long run… well not really… I went for a long walk, and spent some time in the sauna! Presto… clarity.

So… if you don’t procrastinate in reading further if the idea of money matters doesn’t stop you from continuing, please let me know what you think of my view on money mindfulness, personal finances, and mindfulness practices. 

Financial Statistics – You are not alone.

According to a recent study by Capital One and The Decision Lab, 77% of Americans stated they have feelings of stress about their financial situation.

Can you relate?

Stop for a moment, close your eyes, and ask yourself what comes up when you think about personal finances and money issues…

  • Am I one of the 77%
  • Do I have enough money?
  • Do I make the best money decisions?
  • Do I have a solid retirement plan?
  • Are my monthly expenses in check with my income?
  • Was that big purchase the right one?
  • Do my money fears include the idea of the lack of money?

I can relate. I share this statistic because knowing you are not alone in any situation can help you feel more hopeful, and even inspire us to make a change.  

Good news…

You are your best guide for all your financial goals and all decisions about you in life for that matter. Of course, financial professionals are critical as you make short and long-term goals, but listen and feel into what you are hearing from yourself as you consider the above questions.

Oh and … Be honest with yourself.

Effective Way?

“Let’s put our credit cards in a container of water and freeze it!”

This was the strategy a girlfriend and I decided to deploy the summer of our college junior year. It was the first step toward spending less and minimizing going further into credit card debt.

Let’s be honest our personal finances and spending habits were far from under any sort of control and this lack of money mindfulness created many years of financial stress.

I mean we didn’t have much money, to begin with, and the little bit we did have in our bank account was mostly spent on impulse purchases, and typically taking on MORE credit card debt.

The minimum payment is $10, Colleen you can handle that and you can start working on the balance payments next month. Or the next… or the next… or … the next…

Let’s just say it wasn’t any “next month”… it was years before mindfulness and awareness stepped in. And I was in a deep rabbit hole of financial stress and drained savings account before I turned on my own internal financial psychologist.

So, in that present moment, we filled the container and dropped our credit cards in.

Voila… financial success, problem solved. Frivolous spending habits and poor money habits frozen. 

I have to say it did work… for a few days. Then Saturday night … a lot of people were going out for beer and wings and… yep we pulled the frozen block from the freezer and began chipping at the ice block to free our bank account.

An unsustainable solution that did not support the creation of our most successful personal finances.

Why, because the problem wasn’t about spending money or money at all. 

It was rooted in the financial situation and my own journey that only a few short years prior had my mom and me heading to grocery stores and diving into their dumpsters and pulling out dented cans and day-old bread. 

Read the whole story here. It’s just my story… everyone has their own and people’s lives are different with varying personal finances, money fears, money worries, and money spending habits.  Each with our own journey.

I now see that beer and wing Saturday night as fear of missing out and feelings of financial stress.

Enough about college impulse purchases and mindless spending. Although I do think the example applies to many real financial pain points. How does it resonate with you?


Most of us aren’t trained on how to use, manage, appreciate, circulate or save money.  Rather we develop a relationship with money based on what we see our families or those around us do while growing up. 

Not surprisingly, as this is the same way we develop relationships with friends and loved ones.

We watch. We learn. We do. Repeat.

Money Mindfulness Next Steps

Apparently, I am not alone.  I don’t know this because people around me talk openly about their money management or monthly expenses… no way… that would be too shameful and taboo in our society. 

Rather according to Deepak Chopra “Americans are stressed and anxious about money of late.” 

“Some 52% of U.S. adults are under more financial stress than a year ago.” That is according to a CNBC + Acorns “Invest in You” survey conducted by Momentive.

“A lot of people are fed up, they’re frustrated, depressed, they’re stressed,” again thanks to Deepak for his dedication to all aspects of wellbeing.

But not all is lost… as you are your best financial coach starting with a few subtle shifts, financial planning, and mindfulness techniques, you can create financial success in your life. 

(Yes, being mindful and regular meditation practice, can help you create better financial choices. Go here for a grounding meditation)


Get in Charge of Your Finances

I don’t have, and you don’t need, years of research or formal training on money management to practice money mindfulness and achieve your long-term money goals. 

Although I will say my years of real-life experience showed me what a lack of money mindfulness can do. 


Does anyone else feel this?

(Congrats to all of us who have turned money shame into better financial decisions. I wish this for everyone.)

Money is energy, a means of circulating, and my deep money fears and money worries and freezing credit cards and “freezing” my money thoughts, only created a gripping, a shame, which lead to a long road to learning that money mindfulness is the first step in developing a healthy financial success.

Most of us aren’t trained on how to use, manage, appreciate, circulate or save money.  Rather we develop a relationship with money based on what we see our families or those around us do while growing up. 

Not surprisingly, as this is the same way we develop relationships with friends and loved ones.

We watch. We learn. We do. Repeat.

Be Your Own Financial Coach

Money is a resource like the water we use to bathe, the air we use to breathe, the food we use to nourish ourselves, the love we use to connect…

Just like not being mindful about the food we eat can create poor health and unwanted weight this same philosophy is true of money. Not being mindful of our money and spending means we lack clarity and control.

Money mindfulness is paying full attention to your personal finances.

Money is a resource and energy. Circulate it! R.E.S.P.E.C.T. it! (Cue Aretha!)

The saying is “where our attention goes energy flows”… isn’t that right?  So, attention and awareness – not “freezing” your money fears – is a key part of money mindfulness.

Knowing and honoring that we need an emergency fund, being focused on intentional spending, and having a retirement plan… take awareness and clear intentions.  They require us to place our energy on what we are hoping to achieve.

This clarity and healing about money led me to greater money mindfulness practices.

I didn’t say it was easy… I’m just saying I created it and you can too… contact me if you want greater details.

They are the same practices I use to create harmony in other areas of my life.


How to Practice Money Mindfulness

I believe the most subtle shifts create the greatest impact in our lives. (Click here for the 11 subtle shifts blog.) Taking the first step, even trying one money mindfulness practice, toward money mindfulness will lead to lifestyle changes that stick around forever.

So, try these money mindfulness steps for 5 days to ease financial stress.


  1. Track Your Money.

Write down each dollar you spend and be honest about where it goes. This created a huge ah-ha moment for me.  Tracking is an effective way to build awareness that changes impulse buying and wasted dollars into money in an emergency fund. (Track your daily food intake and exercise and you will have a similar ah-ha!) 

It is difficult for most of us to see what we are spending until we see it side by side.  This was the most powerful step in money mindfulness (and eating) for me.


  1. Categorize and Get Curious.

As a result of tracking you can answer the questions: Where are the majority of my dollars going? Can I see any spending patterns? 

I am not asking you to change anything here or “fix” anything… rather NOTICE. Sure, notice the patterns and flow of your money… and NOTICE what feelings, thoughts, or desires to “freeze” come up for you.

Are any historical “We watch. We learn. We do. Repeat.” experiences coming up? Awareness of this alone can help create a shift in mindfulness and feelings about money.  

Go easy with yourself as you go deeper into these steps – if it has taken years to get here it may take more time than you think to shift into new spending habits.


  1. Be Honest.

Now that you have a clear view of where your money goes, where your spending creates patterns, and how it makes you feel… be honest with yourself.  I know you cannot predict all things and there can be challenging money realities … and yet you can make changes that move you closer to your financial goals.

Ignoring the patterns and not taking action to shift will only add to feelings of stress and money worries. 

Being honest with yourself and committing to better financial decisions or small steps to break patterns that are not getting you closer to your money goals can create better money habits. 

If there is someone you can share your money mindfulness actions with do that!  Accountability can help keep you on track and is empowering.


  1. Practice Meditate and Affirmations.

Regular meditation and affirmation practices serve you in all areas of your life. They are tools for creating greater awareness and allow you to be more in the present moment.

When we take the time to practice we gain clarity in our thoughts and emotions, and release the attachment to stories and limiting beliefs. Invest your emotional spending on yourself and trust even a little bit of practice will take you a long way!

If you are still reading likely you have heard the voice inside you saying “I need to make a change”, “my spending habits are creating money fears that I need help with” or “how will I get my personal finances in order”… or something else like that. 

I honor the journey and process you are in and respect you for wanting to make a change.

That’s brave!

“Freezing” and ignoring the need for your emergency fund or retirement plan to just appear next month…  or… the… next… month… is not realistic and will not generate the personal finances you deserve

I hope this blog, albeit delayed by my own self-doubts, will encourage you to make even one subtle shift.  If you too bump into self-doubt or feel overwhelmed, I encourage you to get support in achieving your goals.  

As there is no shame in searching out a doctor when you are ill, there is no shame in engaging with a coach to help you achieve your financial goals.

A life coach can support you in meeting your goals, as well as, remove limiting beliefs, step into your strength, and empower and co-create with you a plan to chip away at that ice block of things not serving you. 

I would be honored to support you. Contact me here.

YES YOU CAN heal your relationship with money, and create an open and curious mindset about money and being mindful!