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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 35 Then, I learned how difficult it is to have everything. Sure, some people seemed capable of doing it all. But then my massage clients would come lie down on my table and, as their bodies relaxed, they often would begin talking about how much stress they were experiencing. I noticed that a lot of "successful" people were quite unhappy. I thought back to my parents' lives while I was growing up—my mom especially. I remembered how the only way she could read a book was to get up in the middle of the night. She never took a nap, or got a massage, or went to yoga. She worked taking care of my brother, sister, and me; she was a teacher; and she ran our household. Going back to school to get her master's degree meant forgoing many hours of sleep. She was a real-life superwoman, but did that mean I would have to be? And still I proceeded down the path of acquiring things that would make me look successful in the eyes of the world; things that would make my dad proud of me. My focus on what other people thought of me and my life began to cause a lot of pain. I was doing things not because they were authentic for me, but because I felt I needed to keep up with expectations. Now, I have realized that success does not have one definition. Sure, there is the traditional version of success, the "American Dream" we all know by heart. But many people are finding success on their own terms, living their lives in a way that makes them feel alive and connected, regardless of the way it looks from the outside. What does it mean to find success on your own terms? It all comes down to values. Identifying and upholding your values are the foundations of money mindfulness. What is important to you? If having time to spend with family, or on your spiritual practice, or in nature is one of your top values, that is the way to measure your success. When you look at your bank account and it's not where the experts tell you it should be, you can ask yourself, "How much time did I spend doing what I truly value?" Of course, we all need our basic necessities to be covered. We need a safe place to live, healthy food to eat, and fulfilling work. But if these things are covered, what else do we need? This is the question we all get to answer for ourselves. For some people, the answer will be a material object. For other people, it will be an experience, like the time to develop an idea, a project, or a relationship. As we begin to understand ourselves better, we shift our focus to our internal state. We notice what actually makes us happy and can begin pursuing that instead of pursuing the expectations that were given to us by our conditioning. I have come to understand my measurement of success to be feeling happy and fulfilled. When I feel happy and fulfilled, it does not matter where I live, what kind of vehicle I drive, or how I'm dressed. I value simplicity, connection, nature, and spirit, and my life and finances reflect that. I also honor other definitions of success. I love seeing people full of joy and excitement because they have found what fills them up and makes them happy. Sometimes what we value is based in financial success. Money is a currency, like love or energy. Sometimes, it is exactly what is needed to move us toward what we value. But not always. Success is not objective; it is subjective. Finding our own definition of success means becoming aware of what we value. Often, this means rinsing years of conditioned thinking from our minds. It is easy to get confused about what we truly value and what we think we should value. Peace and happiness lie in being able to discern between the two. 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 Identifying and upholding your values are the foundations of money mindfulness.

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