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June 5, 2019

Grow Your Own Money Tree: Create your own growth-oriented money story

Grow Your Own Money Tree

Create your own thriving relationship with money by creating a growth-oriented money story.

Money doesn’t grow on trees,” she said, snapping her purse shut.

But what if money does grow on trees?

When we think, “money doesn’t grow on trees,” we disempower ourselves. We focus on helpless scarcity-anxiety. And while this negative bias can feel comfortably familiar, if you want to enjoy a productive relationship with money, you must write your own healthy money story.  

What if, after a moment of appreciation for the comfort our disempowerment-mindset provides us, we investigate growth?

If money does grow on trees, what questions must you consider in order to grow your own thriving money tree?

How to Grow Your Own Money Tree

First, ask yourself why you want to grow a money tree. For shelter? For feeding your family? For fun? For medicine? For enticing a mate? Do you want a money tree to provide abundant fruit fast, or one that takes longer to produce a rarer crop? The better you understand this, the more you will understand your priorities.

Now: what tree do you want to grow?  Within that, what tree can you grow? What is aligned with your true self?  Every climate and every soil has a handful of trees suited to it, and not every tree grows in every climate.

We cannot be everyone to everybody. We must do only our own work.

What Is True For You

So, what is true for you?

Take stock of what inspires you, what your dominant traits are, and what your non-dominant traits are.  These are the terrain for your money tree. They shape how your tree grows, and, ultimately, what fruit it produces.

The more you understand what your resources are, the better they nurture your tree, and the more clearly you will understand what trees will thrive for you.  

Preparing

Next, how many trees do you want to grow?  A single tree or a whole orchard?  Choosing an orchard requires additional up-front resources.  What are those resources? Do you have enough or will you need more to get started?  If you need more resources, where and how are you going to get them? Will it take a village to raise your money orchard, or just a few trusted assistants?

You will redefine along the way, but it helps to survey your terrain beforehand.

Great, so you’ve chosen the tree you want, and the initial investment you want to make.  Now, how do you help your money tree grow?

Planting

How are you planting your baby tree?  Are you planting a seed, or a sapling?  Visualise what’s true for you, then investigate what you have to do to make that tree thrive.  

If you’re planting a seed, you have to plant it when the time is right. Is this the right time to be planting this seed?  Do you need to wait? If so, how will you know when it’s the right season?

You also have to plant the seed at the right depth and give it the right amount of personal space. Does it need additional food, or protection from the elements, or support to make up for something not naturally occurring in your environment?

What are these resources?

If you’re planting a sapling, handle it tenderly.  Massage the sapling’s roots, before planting the sapling, and pack the dirt around the sapling in a gentle yet supportive way.  Different trees like having different amounts of their root ball covered. Different trees also like different temperatures, amounts of water, soils, acidity, air, bacteria, light, minerals, and neighbours.

Learn what your money tree enjoys, and then give it to it.

Tending

What does your money tree need?

How much shelter does your tree need? How much freedom?  Does your money tree need a lot of watering (or emotional attention), or does it thrive with hands-off time?  

Trees, like people, need light and shadow to thrive: what is your tree’s unique balance?  Does this balance change over time?

If you handle trees with love, affectionately tending them and fondly communicating with them, the trees are more likely to thrive and grow tall and strong and fruitful.  

What happens if you seek the company of people who are growing their own healthy money trees? What can you learn from each others’ experiences?

Your Tree Is Unique

Different money trees have different timelines to maturity.  A money oak has a different life cycle than a money bamboo.  If you plant a sequoia and wonder why it isn’t showering you with cherries in its first summer…then you need to remind yourself what the nature of your tree is and what kinds of fruits it can provide.

Different trees have different hardinesses.  What helps one may not help another. And they are susceptible to different challenges. Pests, mold, parasites…what are some challenges you can expect to handle, given the money tree you have chosen to grow?  Thinking through what might arise, and gathering resources to deal with those challenges before they happen, helps you grapple with them on the chance that they do happen.

Challenges might come along that you didn’t expect. This is part of growing trees.

Right Action

Farming is the tangible magic of investing real-world effort into turning your visions into results. Successful farmers align action with the flow of life.  Tend your growing money tree by listening, learning its character every day, and acting in harmony with the seasons and the elements. Learn when to rest, respond to emergencies, change gears, adjust to what is, and understand what is and what is not under our control.  Handle your controllable responsibilities with love, and practice being present with unchangeable situations. (Learning which is which is not always easy.) If you can do something about something, you should do it. If there’s nothing you can do, then, accept that you care, accept that this experience is not something you can control, and practice living with that.

Equanimity does not mean not caring: it means being present with reality.

Then go plant another money tree, if necessary.

Your money tree might not behave like other members of its species, even in similar growing conditions. This is because trees are alive and unique.

You will constantly adjust your approach, as you grow with your growing tree.  Surprises happen. It’s your job to have some principles about tree-growing in place before you start, then practice handling continual evolution.

Enjoying

Congratulations! Your money tree has produced its first harvest!  

Appreciate the fruits of this joint process! Celebrate, share, and look forward to the next harvest.

Enjoy.

Money Tree Meditation

Get comfortable, close your eyes, ground, and tune in to your breath. When you feel the sparkles of the day settling into ease, get curious with yourself. Imagine yourself lazily strolling through a field. Nothing special to do. You’re so lazy, you might even be humming a favourite song, or chewing a piece of grass. Or not. It’s your field.

Presently you come upon exactly the money tree that you considered while reading this article. Except now you have the time to really look at it and experience it fully. Now is the time for curiosity. Really look at this money tree of yours and take the time to get to know it. Also listen to it, feel it, and smell it. If appropriate, taste it. Ask yourself specific questions about your money tree and answer them in specific language. For example, does your money tree have leaves? (Instead of just answering, “yes,” tell yourself, “yes, my tree has leaves.”) What kind of leaves? What colour are the leaves? Are all of them that colour or are some of them different? What texture are the leaves? Are they growing? Are some of them buds? Are they moving? Are they getting all the right nutrients?

Does anyone live in your money tree?

This is your tree. These are your questions. These are your answers. Take all the time you want.

What do you want to do with your tree? Do you want to climb your tree? Do you want to taste its fruit if it has fruit? Do you want to hug your tree? How is your tree doing, anyway? Does it have bugs or mildew or wilty leaves, or is it looking healthy? Can you investigate its roots underground?

As you investigate your tree and your relationship with your tree, allow yourself to see yourself at different parts of the tree-growing process. Do you water your tree with a watering can, or do you wait for the rains? How often do the rains come, and how do you handle them? If you chose to grow your tree from a seed, can you “remember” how it felt to hold the seed in your hand? When you plant the seed, do you get dirt under your fingernails? What does the dirt smell like? How do you feel after a session of spending time with your money tree?

Hang out with your money tree, curiously asking these questions, knowing that all answers are the right answers. Hang out with your investigation of what it feels like to be the person helping this money tree grow. Then when you feel complete, give yourself a little closure, pause for a silent moment, paying attention to your breath, and then come back to the everyday world. Pat yourself on the back, because somewhere in this meditation, your subconscious told your conscience information that will help you get where you’re going in your most authentic and sustainable way.

Write down what you noticed.

Now go live your best life.

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