Manisha’s MoneyZen Blog

Is Your Financial Chi Blocked?

My friend Marla is turning 50 this year. As she approaches Menopause, this savvy fitness buff decided to explore acupuncture as a way to moderate her hormonal swings. When I learned that acupuncture is a practice that stems back to China’s Neolithic Age, (c. 8000-3500 BC), I was fascinated and asked Marla to teach me more.

First, Marla explained the role of Meridians. Simply put, Meridians are pathways in our bodies that life-energy (often called “Chi” or “Qi”) flows through. There are 20 overall Meridians. 12 of these Meridians are associated with specific bodily organs and the remaining 8 are considered “extraordinary vessels.” These 8 are the reservoirs of energy associated with our overarching “spiritual axis.” The goal of Acupuncture is to address any blockages in your Meridians, so that your Chi can flow more fluidly through your body and create spiritual harmony.

What do Acupuncture and Meridians have to do with making your financial life less stressful?

I’ve been talking about the left brain mechanics of personal finance for years. Over and over I am asked the same 20 basic financial questions. In response, I (along with many other money experts) give the same 20 core answers. Yet financial anxiety remains high around the country. I began to wonder: Could these 20 basic money questions correlate to the body’s 20 meridians?

The most common financial concerns I hear tend to fall into these 8 buckets: earn, save, spend, give, invest, protect, reflect, reconnect.

That led me ask whether these 8 financial buckets might correlate to the 8 extraordinary vessels.

Since starting this MoneyZen quest, I’ve been blown away by the heartfelt comments readers have shared. A common theme I’ve noticed is a desire for a more balanced relationship with money.

Is it possible that an imbalance in our financial meridians – and particularly within our 8 extraordinary (financial) vessels – keeps us from experiencing financial peace of mind?

In my own life, I’ve felt financial tension in different areas at different times. During the first 15 years of my corporate life, my Financial Chi was flowing strongly through the areas of earning, saving, investing, protecting, and reflecting. But I was blocked in spending and reconnecting. I needed to learn how to experience joy rather than just saving voraciously. I also needed to reconnect with my Self and loved ones rather than hiding in workaholism.

When I became an entrepreneur, my biggest block shifted to earning. I struggled with both wanting to help women AND earn a healthy living in exchange for my work. I questioned whether it was fair for me to earn a profit from my current work when I was already financially blessed thanks to my first career. (For more on this common blockage, read this delightful piece by my creative writing coach, Brooke Elise Axtell called “What Is A Woman Worth?”)

Gandhi famously advised us to be the change we desire to see in the world. When I apply this concept to receiving money for my work, I find the block around earning starts to clear up. I begin to feel connected to money from a very different place. For a brief moment, my focus shifts from guilt or fear to wanting to complete the energy loop – contributing value to others and naturally allowing financial reciprocity to flow back. I want to stand tall in this place, lead by example, and earn a healthy living in alignment with my values.

It is this feeling of financial completion that I wish for all of us. I want this especially for women, who have far too long a history of putting other-care ahead of self-care, blocking the natural exchange of financial energy.

What about you? Are there places where your Financial Chi is currently feeling blocked? If so, what small step can you take today to begin the unblocking process?

Comments

  1. Manisha, a great article!!!  Did you know that we often refer to Feng Shui as “acupuncture for the home!”  Removing those blocks in a different way!! 

  2. You are SO on to something here, and I am not saying this just because acupuncture changed my life too!  I think money is a symptom or result of everything we are, so it would make sense as you start to work on your Chi blockages that you may release money blockages.

  3. As one with a business and counseling background, I definitely agree with the connection between mind and body. The complete balance in life is paramount to  financial tranquility. As in Maslows hierarchy of needs, without a steady means of support, the higher more ethereal peace of mind is difficult to obtain. 

  4. It seems my financial chi has been blocked all of my working life! Despite the fact that I have a degree from U.C. Berkeley, my earnings have yet to reach the $50K mark – and I am now 45 years old! I read the “What is a Woman Worth” article and it really resonated with me. I can see where my sense of self worth is connected to my earning power. Until I elevate my worth, my earnings potential will not be elevated. WOW!

  5. This issue of earnings is such a multi-faceted one. Two great books on the topic you might enjoy are OVERCOMING UNDER-EARNING by Barbara Stanny & ASK FOR IT by Linda Babcock & Sara Laschever. As you continue along this journey to unblocking your “earnings chi” would love to hear what you find most effective… and whether unblocking the earnings area makes other areas like saving, investing, protecting, etc. flow more smoothly as well. And I’ll be sure to do the same as this is the part of my financial chi that is currently feeling the most blocked to me as well (much to my surprise!!)

  6. Nicolette – Wow, I didn’t know but that makes total sense… “acupuncture for the home”, what a perfect way to think about Feng Shui. And to Barbara’s point about complete balance as it relates to financial tranquility, my mind immediately went to the bagua mirror. Almost makes me wonder if there is a “mind, body, spirit” equivalent for personal finance –> i.e. a way to organize our financial thoughts that is much more in line with energy flow than the traditional left brain “save, invest, protect.” Something to ponder while sitting on the leopard rug :)

  7. I’ve heard it said that the way you do money is the way you do life!

  8. I love this post, Manisha. It gives us a lot to think about. I’m very savings oriented, but spending on myself always makes me cringe. I guess my block is similar to yours in that way. I’ll have to work on becoming the change I desire.

    Thanks, and keep them coming.

  9. Shawn – First, my apologies for calling you “Hanelse” all this time… today your first name popped up and I was mortified!
    It’s fascinating to me how these blockages can cause such pain (or at least a strong muting of pleasure). As you work towards opening yourself up to spending on yourself, I’d love to hear what you find helpful in terms of turning points. We recently had our house Feng Shui’d (a practice which our Feng Shui guru Nicollete Vajtay refers to as “accupuncture fo the home :)” and found that small tweaks to furniture placement, colors, etc had a HUGE effect on the net feel. Am curious to see as many of us start to tackle our financial blockages whether a similar pattern follows of “small tweaks” in actions / behaviors / attitudes have huge effects as well. Keep us posted on your progress!

  10. There’s nothing to apologize for. I always signed as hanelse. It’s habit. I changed it this  time because I linked it to my blog, Women’s Money Corner, which you are the inspiration for, I might add.

    You probably don’t remember, but I sent you an email a while ago telling you how you changed my view of women and money and a little about my difficult past. Anyway, I’m still working on things.

    Thanks for all your posts, and especially the concept of money zen.

    Best

  11. Ahhhh – it’s now coming back to me, had not put the pieces together before. Thank you for letting me know. Am so thrilled you are blogging & working on things. Moving forward from a difficult past is a bit like trying to take a step with fresh bubble gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe… it sure can take a while to break free :).
    Out of curiosity – if you feel comfortable answering, what about the concept of “MoneyZen” is striking you most? I’m really eager to learn as much as I can about what bits are the most helpful so I can continue to develop tools and pieces to further address those areas!

  12. Out of the money books, articles, and blogs I’ve read, I haven’t come across the concept of being at peace with it before you. Most are full of practical advice, which is important. It’s regimented, disciplined, and controlled. Your approach is completely different. It’s using what we already have inside rather than building something that feels foreign. I wish I could put it better. Organic, maybe. Natural? It feels more natural. Oh well, you get the gist.

  13. This is SUPER helpful information. Can’t thank you enough for sharing. I’ve been trying to get my head around how I can speak of financial peace in a way that also translates into useful action. I feared going so far off into woo-woo land that we’d all feel better on the surface but not really BE (figuratively speaking) in a better place financially. Your comment made a lightbulb go off in my head that by strip away behaviors or feelings that aren’t serving a positive purposes & finding a place of peace with what is, we open ourselves up to hear the handful of practical/tactical tips that will enable us to make the best of who & what we are right now. It’s sort of like using using an exfoliating brush on dry heels so that lotion can be more fully absorbed. Not replacing the heel – just using a few tools to make the most of what’s already there :).

  14. Hi Manisha,

    Someone just forwarded me this wonderful article — as a Feng Shui consultant I would definitely think there’s a connection between the 8 financial concerns you identify might correlate with the 8 sectors of the Bagua. I’d be very interested in exploring that with you if you’re interested…. :)

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About Manisha’s Money Zen Blog

This blog chronicles my quest to identify simple, joyful methods that we can all use to feel calmer and more balanced in our relationship to our money.

Despite the abundance of personal finance books, magazines, radio programs and TV shows that have exploded into our lives over the past two decades, most of us struggle to find financial sanity, security and serenity. Rather than help us eliminate money pain, all this information has left us feeling overwhelmed and confused. We need fresh wisdom to break out of the cycle of despair and create lives of abundance.

Here’s hoping these short pieces will help you craft a uniquely rich and rewarding life.

To Your MoneyZen,
– Manisha