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A B M P m e m b e r s e a r n F R E E C E a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e b y r e a d i n g M a s s a g e & B o d y w o r k m a g a z i n e 29 Some of us might spend years, even decades, postponing taking full responsibility for our financial lives. Every time the issue rears its head, we push dealing with it to the future and continue with our unconscious money habits. Each month finds us a little deeper in debt, ignoring the penalty fees or the unpaid tax bill, and telling ourselves that one day some kind of miracle will arrive and everything will be taken care of. CALL TO ACTION If this sounds familiar to you, I have a call to action I hope you can hear: it is time to be your own hero. What does being your own financial hero look like? We often think of heroes as arriving from the heavens and fixing everything in one fell swoop. But we are massage therapists and bodyworkers. If anybody knows that true healing usually comes not in quick fixes but in slow, steady steps toward progress, it is us. So being your own financial hero does not mean you fix everything overnight. On the contrary, being your own financial hero means you commit to taking the small steps toward money mindfulness we have been covering in this column. You can begin by becoming more conscious of your income and spending by opening your bank account online every day and noticing what is coming in and what is going out. As you work with this practice, you will begin to notice that some of the things you spend your money on feel good, and some feel not so good. This is where value comes in. As you begin to recognize what you value and what you do not value, your spending habits will begin to shift. From this place of consciousness you will gain the strength to look at what is truly necessary to live your life, and what is actually draining you. You will gain a realistic perspective on what it takes to live your life fully and begin looking for ways to support it financially. It is much easier to ask for a raise, or increase your rates, when you are coming from a place of realistic understanding rather than from feelings. THE GREATEST OBSTACLE I think most of you will find, as I have found, that the greatest obstacle to money mindfulness is not money, but yourself. If I am nervous, anxious, or fearful about taking responsibility for anything, it will plague me to no end. As soon as I take a deep breath, ask someone to hold my hand if necessary, and face whatever it is that is causing my fear, it quickly loses its power over me. With money, I realized that it was an energy I was avoiding, and one I assumed had negative properties; and as soon as I learned to embrace it, respect it, even love it, it began to be attracted to me and love me back. So don't wait for a hero to come and save you. Don't wait to win the lottery or for your app to be bought by Google before you start taking the small steps needed to become more conscious of your money. Learning to become mindful of money is necessary no matter how much money you have, and good money habits developed now will pay off for the rest of your life. Jennie Hastings, LMT, BCTMB, has studied money in the therapeutic process from every angle: as a client, patient, and practitioner. She is the author of The Inspired Massage Therapist (Massage Blossom Books, 2012). Hastings believes having a career in massage and bodywork means having infinite possibilities, and she is always exploring new ways to evolve her practice. You can find more from her at Money Mantra You do not have to become your own money hero and fix all your finances at once. The most important first step is your willingness to be your own savior. Say to yourself, "From this day forward, I take charge of my own financial future. I am no longer waiting for anyone else to fix things for me. I will do what I can, with what I have, to be mindful of my money and make decisions that support what I value most in life." I promise this kind of willingness, accompanied by small actions, will never let you down.

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