26th March, 2024

How Money Holds Us Back

With Agnes Otzelberger

Photo of Agnes Otzelberger

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On this episode

It’s easy to to find ourselves thinking that money holds the key to our happiness, security, and freedom. We can project our desires and aversions onto money, believing that once we have “enough”, we can finally get the life we want. But thinking like this often keeps us from truly living our lives; instead we’re stuck constantly chasing the next thing.

Money is a story we create, not something with inherent power. It’s a piece of paper; a digit in a computer we assign value to. But by disentangling our sense of self from our relationship with money, we can reclaim our personal agency and free up a lot of creative energy.

Even while recognising that everyone’s financial situations are different, dysfunctional money stories lead to a constant need to chase, where we’re forever stuck in a loop of wanting more but never feeling satisfied. But by untangling our sense of self-worth from our financial status, we can start to experience a life that flows more naturally, with and without the constraint of money.

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About the guests

Agnes Otzelberger photo

Reasons to listen

  • To learn how our narratives about money can influence our actions and happiness, and how changing these narratives can free up creative energy.
  • To understand how to disentangle our sense of self from our relationship with money, leading to a life that flows more naturally.
  • To discover how acknowledging that money has no inherent power can shift our perspectives and affect our personal and professional development.

Episode highlights


Our response to money


Money stories on a global level


Our individual money stories


The “lack-of-funding” problem within the NHS


The “time is money” story


Excavating your own money stories


Projections of money meaning


Selfishness and self-image


Healing unhelpful money stories


Tackling our projections head-on


Dealing with money conflicts


Money as an expression of appreciation


Every big change begins with a big lie


Agnes’ top tips

Episode transcript

[00:00:00] Rachel: What’s the last time you said to yourself, things would be so much easier if I just had a bit of money? Or you put off a big decision until you’ve decided you have enough money? It’s a trap we all fall into from time to time. That’s not to say that money doesn’t matter or that people who don’t earn enough just to have a bad relationship with it, but if we use money, As the way of valuing ourselves or the work we do, or the time we spend, we risk losing sight of our own intrinsic value.

[00:00:30] Today, I’m speaking to Agnes Otzelberger, a trainer and therapist who helps people untangle their sense of self from their relationship with money and break down those unhelpful money stories. So, if you find yourself losing sleep over money, this episode will give you some ideas you can put into action to help you mend your relationship with it, even if it’s not flowing as easily as it should.

[00:00:55] If you’re in a high stress, high stakes, still blank medicine, and you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, burning out or getting out are not your only options. I’m Dr. Rachel Morris, and welcome to You Are Not a Frog.

[00:01:12] Agnes: So I’m Agnes Otzelberger I’m a therapist and also a trainer. And I work, um, with change makers, people who have their hearts open to the world in various different ways, working in social, environmental, planetary causes, and who might feel burnt out or might feel stuck, disillusioned by what’s happening in the world, um, or what’s not happening in the world.

[00:01:31] Rachel: Great. It’s wonderful to have you back, Agnes. ‘Cause you were one of our first podcast guests, I think years ago, like 2019. 2020 when we first, uh, started the podcast. And Agnes did a very popular episode about, I think it was compassion fatigue, empathetic burnout. Uh, so if, if any of you’re interested in that and go and have a look and we’ll put the link in the show notes.

[00:01:51] But Agnes, you’ve come back today to talk to us. I mean, there’s so many different things you could talk to us about, but one thing that you’re particularly interested at the moment is, is what you call money work. Can you tell me what that is and, and how you became interested in it?

[00:02:05] Agnes: Yes. Yeah. So money work, at first sight might look like or sound like, um, something that’s to do with, um, managing your finances or how to, how to get rich, how to become wealthy. But actually what it is, it’s kind of like a, an approach to personal and also professional development and something that I’ve come to consider a really, really important part of the toolkit for change makers, for people who care about the world and about the work, the impact that the world, the work has in the world.

[00:02:31] And, and what it is it’s a, it is a really deep exploration of, of, of our personal individual, but also our collective relationship to money, and the way of exploring how this relationship impacts the way we show up in the worlds, the way we, um, envisage our lives, the way we envisage our goals as teams, as organizations, as sectors, and how the way we deal with money expresses something of the relationship we have with ourselves and with each other.

[00:02:57] Money has has a way of, of evoking a lot of responses in us. If you imagine, um, going for dinner with friends and having a really lovely night, and then the bill shows up, suddenly everybody starts acting a bit funny or a bit weird. Um, or you’re in a room, in a boardroom having a conversation about vision or about plans or strategy, and then the, the question of budgeting comes into the mix. Suddenly things will seem less straightforward, will become more complicated, and be more fraught. Or somebody dies and the family get together to, to discuss the inheritance. And suddenly people who, you know, normally get on more or less well in a family, suddenly all this conflict erupts, um, and becomes really intense.

[00:03:34] So money has a way of evoking a lot in us. It brings up all kinds of uncomfortable, often unwelcome feelings. It can also bring a lot of really positive feelings into our lives that we crave and need more of and want more of. But whether these feelings are positive or negative, there’s a lot of them. And that is a lot to do with the fact that a lot of what sort of resides in our relationship to money is quite kind of deep down in our unconscious, in our psyche, and is often to do with things that are quite taboo about ourselves and about our relationships.

[00:04:05] So looking at our relationship to money is actually a way of uncovering some of the things that we don’t often examine about ourselves, about our relationships with other people and with the world. It’s a very kind of direct route to some of the most taboo things. Um, and as such, it’s a really, for me and for the people who work with this like a really great accelerator in, in personal development, like almost like a sort of an a lift that you can take down to the, to the ground floor, um, of the unconscious to dig into some really deep stuff that would otherwise take a long, long time to ex excavate.

[00:04:38] Rachel: You are so right. ‘Cause when it comes to, to money, that’s, that’s my stuff, that’s my resources and, and it really gets to the, the heart of things. I mean, you know that lots of people express good opinions, express lots of empathy about things, express how important the cause is, and then you ask them to pay for it and then suddenly it’s all, all, actually no, no, I don’t want to do that. Actually shows deep down where your heart is really, where what you, what you really believe. You know, that, that phrase, I guess put your money where your mouth is isn’t, isn’t there for nothing, is it?

[00:05:10] And I think this is so relevant to, to wellbeing and performing well and to, to feeling better because a lot of the time setting the one-to-one coaching and the career development stuff we do, people really wanna make a change. And they want to, they want to feel better. They desperately want better relationships. They desperately want better work. But the one thing that stops them is money. And that always seems to be the excuse and the the reason to carry on doing something you don’t wanna do, or the reason to stop doing something actually you really want to do. And nobody really talks about it. Well, not many people. Yeah. Why? Why?

[00:05:47] Agnes: Yeah. So that, you know, it’s like this big secret, hiding in plain sight. It’s something that is simultaneously all we talk about in the world. We can say Money makes the world go round. There’s all these songs about it, all these books about it, all this conversation about it. Right now we have this, you know, this huge conversation here about the cost of living and, and the lack of money and so on. And at the same time it’s, it’s very, very exposing to talk about money. Um, and that’s why these kind of dinner table conversations when it comes to paying the bills, suddenly get so uncomfortable because suddenly this is showing something of myself. How I, How I show up with contributing or not to this bill, to this shared bill that we have on the table is gonna expose something quite deep of me and that can be really, really uncomfortable.

[00:06:29] And the person who developed this work on money that I, I work with is called Peter Koenig. He has been exploring people’s, you know, human’s relationship to money for about four decades now, I think. And I met him about 10 years ago. And he talks about something that he calls the, um, the normal regime versus the natural regime. And, and it’s basically a big kind of cultural story.

[00:06:51] And it’s this idea that, first of all, we need to get our heads around the fact that money in and of itself has no inherent quality. It’s a, it’s a story that we have collectively kind of developed as human beings, which is great, ’cause that’s one of our ama amazing skills as humans, is that we can create really powerful narratives that can shape reality, and that has enabled human civilization to, to develop in the way it has.

[00:07:16] But that also means that money isn’t the way we treat it often. We treat it as if it was some kind of like a force of nature, as Lind Twist says, but is actually got no more inherent power than the Kleenex as she wrote now. So it’s like, it’s a piece of paper, it’s a piece of metal, it’s a, a bunch of digits in a digital system, in a computer, but we project onto it something, and we project this story. Money means this, you know, if I, if I hold up this piece of paper and it’s just a piece of pulp from a tree, and then I write on it, you know, the bearer of this piece of paper is promised, I don’t know, 500 hours of X, you know, then suddenly this piece of paper becomes valuable. And it’s because we have this capacity to project the story.

[00:07:57] But also we’ve developed with that a story which Peter calls the normal regime whereby I have to, make money in order to be able to exist. So I have to produce and, and make a kind of economic contribution and make money and have money in order to be able to be in the world. And you, you can see that in language, in so many places, you know, in French they call it moyen d’existence,,which means a means of existence.

[00:08:22] Um, at the moment we we’re talking about the cost of living, you know, the cost of being alive. Um, there’s much, there’s a lot of other language around this. Um, if you look into the etymology of the word debt, um, it goes into kind very existential things as well.

[00:08:35] So there is this story that in order to exist we have to have money, whereas a much more natural way of being, which he calls the natural regime, is I exist with and without money. And that is a sort of a fundamental switch that we need to make in our thinking in order to approach this work. And there’s a lot of kind of unconscious programming that gets in the way of, of, of that story, of the I exist with and without money story. And that’s what this work helps us discover and, and process.

[00:09:03] Rachel: Gosh, there’s, there’s so much to unpick there. I do want to just cut a little bit to the chase and just ask you, why would we try and change these stories? If, if you can get free from these stories, what, what impact do you find that has on people? If we can really, truly get this, well, I won’t say right, ’cause there is no right and wrong, but if we can sort of get a more healthy way of looking at it, what does that then do for us?

[00:09:25] Agnes: So I think two things. Firstly, there are all these stories we have about, you know, I can be happy when I’ve got enough money. I can be secure, I can be free, I can be creative, I can do all the things I wanna do, live the way I want to live when there is enough money, um, when my salary has changed, when I’ve, when I’ve made partner, when I’ve sold my company. There’s always these kind of next things. And in a way we then live our lives, not living our lives because we, we keep getting stuck in that story where we always need more.

[00:09:52] That’s one story. Another story is that we, we often unconsciously push, push money away from us. So we actually mean we might want it, but at the same time, ’cause money has come to mean such negative things to us, uh, we keep pushing it away unconsciously. So we actually keep, you know, we, we fall into debt chronically or we, we end up constantly feeling this lack, as well that we push it away. Or we never feel quite comfortable with having it. So we always feel a bit guilty or, you know, ashamed of, of having, having resources or financial resources.

[00:10:23] So this work helps, first of all shed light on these stories, but then also change the stories importantly. And Peter Koenig says, you know, every change begins with a lie. In the beginning. It’s, if we’re gonna shift something fundamental, it’s gonna feel wrong. But that’s the point, because we’re really shifting a narrative.

[00:10:41] And secondly, what that does is it frees up a lot of energy, a lot of creative energy and agency in life. And that is because these money stories we have are so intertwined with our sense of self, ‘ cause as I said before, we project onto money, we project onto money what we, what we hate about ourselves, we project onto money what we desire so much, but can’t have. But these parts of us that we, that we split off and that we project onto money are actually still us, they’re still me, they’re still part of myself, but I’ve relegated them into some kind of deep down cabinet of myself. And I’ve, I’ve invested a lot of energy in keeping it there, a lot of psychic energy and, you know, suppressing my, my greed, suppressing my, my light, my power, whatever it is. Um, such that when I reintegrate this into my story of who I am, all that energy I’ve invested in not being, that can be freed up again for something else, and I get it back.

[00:11:38] So what we find with people who start doing this money work is that they, their kind of creative juices start flowing again, and things start to come into a more natural flow again, with and without money. And money. Money comes into more flow into their lives as well, which means it can come and go more freely very often.

[00:11:55] And I think this also has a collective relevance because, you know, when I talk about our relationship to money, I mean our personal stories, but also how that weaves a wider network and a wide, a wider web of, of the system that we live in right now. The inequality in that, in that system, all the suffering that we see. And if the parts of that system can become more conscious again of what’s been made unconscious and free up that energy, then I think we can also start to tell more positive stories and build more life sustaining systems collectively than we have been in the last, you know, few hundred years.

[00:12:28] Rachel: Yeah, it’s tough, isn’t it? As you were saying that, I was thinking, you know, how does this work for people where there is a real lack of money? And like, we talked about cost of living crisis and, uh, a lot of our listeners are predominantly in, in health and social care, but not all. And, um, not all paid that well if it, it, you know, if, if the truth be told, then I also had had a bit, a bit of a, a heated discussion with it, with the colleague the other day about NHS funding. ’cause we, we all know the NHS needs needs much more, you know, we just need investment, we need funding. Um, however, I don’t think that is the total answer to it. I think there’s a lot of system change that, that, that’s needed. But his idea was if we just put enough money in, we would all be okay. And a lot of us think if we just had enough money to do this, if we just got enough funding to run our surgery to run this, we would be okay.

[00:13:20] Agnes: Yeah. Well, I think the, the first step here is always to recognize it is, and it isn’t about money. Because again, the money in of itself isn’t doing anything. It doesn’t have any power. It doesn’t have inequalities. The money isn’t, isn’t at fault. What’s happening is, is what’s happening with money, it’s showing us something about the relationships we all have with each other and with ourselves and the systems we have built.

[00:13:43] And I think what I’m often seeing in these conversations and what I’ve experienced in my personal relationship to money as well, is that if I, if I see money as this entity that has its own qualities and I project onto the money that it’s, abusive, it’s inequitable, it’s injust, it’s, it’s all of these things, it’s greedy, um, or the, the system around it is, then I’m, I’m kind of disowning my personal, personal, I’m disowning my personal part in that, ’cause I’m, I’m putting it over there. But I’m also taking creative power away from, from us, from the humans, from the people involved and, and keeping it with the money.

[00:14:18] So when people say money is X, Y, and Z, I always wanna get in there and ask, okay, what is money? What are you saying it is? And then can we, can we re-own that? Can we take that agency back into ourselves and then have a different conversation? ‘Cause otherwise it becomes a way of just kind of, perpetuating the same story over and over again.

[00:14:36] And I think, you know, of course there are, as, as we know so well right now as well with what’s happening, there are people who have more time than others and more privilege than others to spend time even thinking about this. And I would also say, have more responsibility perhaps to spend time thinking about this and doing work on themselves. Because if you are, you know, working three jobs and raising three kids at the same time as a single parent, then of course you’re not gonna have the resources to, to dwell on, on your psychic inner life and, um, and do work on that. So I think it’s also a question of social responsibility, really. If I, if I have the resources to be thinking about this, to be talking about it, then can I examine my relationship to this more deeply?

[00:15:17] And then at the same time, I’ve also worked with people on this who really have very little and who’ve spent their whole lives in this position of lack, and for whom this work has been, has also been extremely liberating. Because in the society that we live in, not having. Financial resources can be incredibly shaming, stigmatizing, and trapping. And this rediscovering and re owning more of the creative power that we still have with and without money. Al always is useful for everyone, I think.

[00:15:47] Rachel: I heard about some research recently that said that people who are paid above average salaries actually spend more time doing things they don’t want to do. So we had this big illusion that, money buys you time and freedom of time. But actually often the more you are paid, the more respon, this is a bit of a, this, this is not go across the board, but the people in high earning jobs have a lot of responsibility and spend all their time working and have no freedom of time. Whereas, you know, I often think, oh I wish I could just, you know, clock in and out of a, of a, of a coffee shop and just serve coffees. ’cause then you get at start time and a finish time and you have all that free time. So it is a bit of illusion that that money buys you time, isn’t it?

[00:16:29] Agnes: Yeah. I think you, you hear people say that a lot, money is time, and also we often have this, this belief or illusion that if we have more, we will have more time or there will be more freedom. But actually what really ends up happening is if, if, if my freedom at my space in life is projected onto money, as in I’ve located it outside of myself and I’ve, I’ve projected it onto money over here, that no amount of money is going to make me free, because it’s always outside of me.

[00:16:57] And, and what often happens is people start to accumulate more is they need to protect it more because it becomes more precarious and there’s more to lose. And so there’s this kind of, this is part of the normal regime that I talked about earlier, this kind, kind of having to, um, make money in order to exist. Kind of that becomes accentuated.

[00:17:14] There’s something about breaking that cycle of that belief that something that I need is located outside of myself, and if I get more of it, then I’ll, I’ll be fine. You often see this with people who have certain financial goals and they say, okay, if I’ve come to this, if I’ve made this much, then I can slow down, retire, whatever it is. And then the number keeps, the number keeps growing. But with the growing wealth, the responsibilities and the, the outgoings keep growing, and the system that needs to be maintained in that way keeps growing. And then it becomes more and more impossible to step out.

[00:17:45] Rachel: So what you’re saying is we, we need to completely detach our happiness, our joy, our contentness, our performance, our mood from anything to do with money. We need to work out how we can manage ourselves, be happy, healthy, whole, with or without money. And money is just a, a resource and a tool that we use, which can help with stuff, but it’s not, it’s not the root of it.

[00:18:11] Agnes: Yeah, and there’s a really, there’s a really interesting paradox in this because of course we live in a world, right now, with the stories and systems that we’ve built where I do need cash to do certain things. Like if I need, if I need, um, a certain treatment. I mean, luckily in the UK we still have the NHS, but I’m thinking of the us you know.

[00:18:31] Rachel: Just

[00:18:31] Agnes: Yeah, just.

[00:18:32] Rachel: Hanging on by the skin of its teeth.

[00:18:34] Agnes: Yeah. But there is, there is that reality. And, and with this work, we almost have to think in two realities. And we have to hold this paradox that yes, I am free and I’m secure and I can be happy with and without money, and I can be healthy with and without money, and right now, at this point in time, I live in a system and in a story inside a story where if I want to buy, I, if I want to get Ibuprofen, I’m probably gonna have to go to go to the pharmacy and buy it, and then pick something very cheap here, which I could probably get from someone else.

[00:19:05] But just to say that we need to hold these paradoxes, so there is something about, you know, if you say we need to completely detach from this idea that we need money to be happy, there needs to be an inner truth that comes with that, that can reconcile that with, with the system that we’re still in right now.

[00:19:21] Rachel: And presumably a lot of your work is about helping people really find that, that inner truth for themselves, right? So tell us a little bit about, about what you do and how you do it.

[00:19:31] Agnes: So the first step in money work, and this can be done, you know, I do this one-to-one with people, and sometimes it’s in groups like we, we do this with teams or with, with groups of strangers coming together, the first part is kind of the, the excavation part. It’s like coming, it’s finding out the stories. And that can be done in different ways. And, you know, you can simply ask a rumor full of people the question, what is money? And they will give you all kinds of answers. And what, what always transpires if you fill a, a whiteboard full of answers is money is so many different things to people, and money is all these opposites to people.

[00:20:05] So money will say things like, people will say things like, money is freedom and money is a trap. Money is weakness, and money is power. Money is, um, to be generous and money is to be greedy. Lie, there is all these opposites that come together. And what then that then shows us when we look at this, this, you know, board full of answers together is money is kind of, not everything and nothing.

[00:20:28] But what we also really wanna get to, what is it for you and what response does it evoke in you? You know, so people have all these stories about how money has, what kinds of roles money has played in their lives. We ask things like, when, when do you remember first finding out about money? For children, it’s really fascinating that, um, one moment, you know, a kid is picking up a pebble from the street and nobody cares, and the next moment they’ve picked up a coin and everybody’s paying attention. And they go, whoa, what’s going on with this stuff? You know? And then maybe they’re made to feel excited and great about this piece of metal they’ve just picked up, or maybe they’re made to feel ashamed about picking up the piece of metal.

[00:21:02] Children will go into a shop and pick something off a shelf, and then suddenly, you know, there will be a slap on the hand and go, no, you can’t take that, we need to first go to this place and give this lady a piece of plastic, and then you can have it, and if you take it before you’re bad. So it, there’s all this early programming around it, and we, we collect and accumulate all these different things.

[00:21:20] So the first part of the process is finding out what these stories are, what is money for you? And I remember when I first started doing this, there was a lot of mixed stuff coming out. Uh, some positive things and some negative things. So I certainly had like many, many people this, this idea that money, you know, money means to be secure and to be safe and to have freedom and choice, um, but also that somehow it’s dirty and and bad and, and you know, that it makes me, if I ha if I take it, it’s, it makes me a bad person. So I had this really conflicted relationship with it.

[00:21:52] And then you can sort of start to see what people’s patterns might be. And there are, broadly speaking, three different types of patterns that we can observe. And the first one is if we’ve predominantly got positive projections onto money, so if I’m somebody for whom money means, as I said before, something like freedom, security, power in a positive sense, choice agency, whatever it might be, and if those, if those are predominant, then I am very likely somebody who needs to keep accumulating money. And so that’s gonna be reflected. Very likely in my bank balance in, in my, in my level of material wealth in some way.

[00:22:29] if I’m somebody who has predominantly negative projections onto money, I’m going to be unconsciously pushing the money away from me. Because if I, if the stuff that I projected outward, this negative stuff comes to me, I can’t keep it with me, so I have to push it away again. So if money means abuse, if money means injustice, if money means greed, if it, you know, all of these qualities that we don’t like, then very likely that’s going to be reflected in me never keeping money and always having to get rid of it in some way.

[00:22:59] And then many of us, and I would’ve really, you know, when I first discovered this, counted myself amongst them as well, are what Peter would call the washing machines, ’cause this is like cyclical motion, not because we’re money launderers, but because we, we launder it in a different way in the sense that it comes and goes. Um, because we have a, a rich mixture of positive and negative projections onto money. And then there’s this kind of ambivalent behavior with it where on the one hand I need it, but it’s kind of not really okay to want it, so I have to get rid of it again. And so it keeps coming towards me and moving away from me.

[00:23:31] And I just wanna put a little caveat in here and just say, I’m, you know, I’m also conscious of the fact that, you know, we come into the world into different levels of wealth or, or, or lack there of, of course, as well. You know, so I don’t wanna discount that. But this is more about our individual behaviors with money, our attitudes towards it. And, and these also, we often have inherited from our family systems and, and cultural backgrounds.

[00:23:53] So we, we wanna find out, you know, I, what, which type am I kind of thing, and are my projections positive or negative? And then once we know what kinds of projections we’re dealing with, that’s where the work begins where we, we, we reclaim, we re own the pieces that we’ve projected outward.

[00:24:10] Rachel: So when you say projecting outwards, you mean the, the thing, the labels that we’re putting on it, like freedom or greed or whatever.

[00:24:17] Agnes: Yeah. So what I’m talking about is, in a way is the sense of self or identity. Money work, in a way, you could also call it identity work. Because what it’s about is what do I see, what do I understand me to be? What’s part of me? And that includes, you know, what the culture wants of me, what my family wants me to be, and so on. So it’s also a collective thing.

[00:24:39] So to give you example of me personally, before I came across this money work, I had very much built my identity around the sense that I’m an altruist, I’m a caregiver, I’m a, a helper, a savior. You know, I was working in, in the humanitarian world. I was going off, quote unquote rescuing people and saving people. And my identity was very much built around this, this idea that I had to be a good person. And therefore things like, um, greed, things like power or, you know, that they, they were projected onto others, um, and onto money. So they couldn’t be parts of me because my sense of self had to be good and had to be this helper and altruist. And so all the parts of me that I had, that I was rejecting, had to be projected outwards.

[00:25:22] That’s something we humans do a lot of the time, and we project onto people, we project on, you know, we project till the cows come home, um, including onto money. And what Karl Jung is saying is when we project, it’s almost like we’re, we’re splitting our sense of self into one part that we are able to see and consciously hold and be, and another part that is still part of us, but that we’ve disowned. And my, my colleague, Nadia Tanchevski uses this wonderful metaphor of, of this, the psyche as a house, as a building. And we, it has these different rooms and there are some rooms that we’ve lovingly decorated and furnished and we hang out in them all the time and the doors are well oiled. And then there are these back, back rooms that we’ve, you know, either we’ve let them completely decay or we’ve put a big massive padlock on them and they’re all dusty and we never go there, but they’re still part of the house. So we’ve pretended they’re not parts of us, but they’re still parts of us.

[00:26:19] But the problem is because they’re unconscious, they’re still there, they’re doing their thing, but they’re acting it, they’re acting out. So if I have to be a really good person and I’m not allowed to be selfish as part of that, then my selfishness is gonna come out in sideways routes. So re-owning my capacity to be selfish helps me use my selfishness, which I’m aware I’ve got appropriately, and at times when it serves me or others in, in a way that is, is more conscious than when it’s getting acted out, you know?

[00:26:51] So somebody who isn’t conscious of their selfishness might, for example, that selfishness might show maybe you know, in ways that, that, that the person isn’t even conscious of. For example, when it comes to paying a dinner bill together or when it comes to the inheritance or you know, it, it’ll kind of come out.

[00:27:07] Rachel: And often comes out through money. Because money, it’s just there in black and white, isn’t it? It is. It’s pretty much the only thing in this life that if there’s, you know, five pound coins on the table, if one person’s got two, the other person’s got three. You know, it, it, it, it’s not a, we can all have the same amount. It, it is very much a, yeah. It, it just gets to the bottom of one’s, I guess, survival, selfish instinct.

[00:27:32] And as you’re saying that, yeah, it, it’s interesting to me because that selfishness and we, we all have it. And particularly in healthcare, we, we think we don’t, or we hope that we don’t ’cause we are caring for other people. But that selfishness then often comes out in, I think maybe defensiveness.

[00:27:48] I was, I was hearing from a, a friend the other day about, um, she was in a consultation with a healthcare professional. And, and all she wanted was a second opinion. But this, this doctor was incredibly defensive and very angry because he was being selfish, because he was threatened, he felt his knowledge was being threatened. And all she was asking was just, just another opinion. We all get things wrong. Um, but it came out that way.

[00:28:12] So selfishness. We are all selfish. We all want to self-protect. We are all worried about our own survival. That’s like the basic human need, isn’t it? Survival. And that’s what your amygdala does. So are you saying that often that selfishness we can either project onto our own attitude to money or project it onto what we think other people are doing it when they are, when they are spending money or or grabbing money themselves? So it can be either or. We protected onto ourselves and money and other people and money?

[00:28:39] Agnes: Yeah, we can often notice what we’ve projected onto others when we pay attention to what we feel really irritated by in other people, and what we feel really uncomfortable doing. So I noticed my projection of selfishness when I started to think about how do I feel asking for money? how do I feel taking money? how do I feel about people who take and ask shamelessly or seemingly shamelessly, you know? And, and they enraged me, you know, so there was clearly something there.

[00:29:07] So that, those are those kind of triggers from other people are real. We treat them in this work. We treat them as treasure troves. They’re really useful information. They’re the places we want to go for this work. And reclaiming the selfishness doesn’t mean I’m going to be limitlessly selfless person from now on. It just means that it’s no longer taboo, that I’m a human being because it’s, because it’s part of being human that we have. We also have selfishness as well as altruism, so I don’t have to wear my selfishness, like some kind of uncomfortable, weird thing. But it’s actually, yeah, it’s okay. Sometimes I want something for myself, and it’s, and it’s human and it’s okay, and it’s not gonna come out in these sideways ways.

[00:29:47] And the other thing I wanted to say is that, you know, thinking about the healthcare sector, what my experience was of the humanitarian world and what I imagine might be also at play in other professional collectives en engaged in helping others in the helping professions, is that this also comes out at an organizational and a systemic level. That, you know, if, if there’s a, if, if being selfish is taboo, if, if, if holding onto resources is taboo in some way, then it’s gonna, it’s gonna happen, it’ll show.

[00:30:16] And I was, you know, part of the work of so many organizations who were doing the very thing that they were railing against and fighting against, uh, in terms of their vision and purpose in the world were doing that. And we’ve, we’ve saw these scandals in the, in the mid 2000 tens, you know, the Oxfam scandal and then all these different scandals came out in the humanitarian world, and I think they were really good examples of the abuses and quote unquote pathologies that were in the system that were collectively taboo, but still there.

[00:30:45] Rachel: So if we’re thinking about money, so if I’m feeling guilty about spending money, then that means that I am sort of, I projected the idea about money, that to spend money on myself is selfish, whereas to give to others is very altruistic. Therefore, if I do spend money on myself, there’s this like niggling little feeling of this isn’t a very good thing that I’m doing, but I want to do anyway. So you’re then constantly in conflict with yourself. It’s, it’s, it’s quite an uncomfortable place to be.

[00:31:14] And I, I can certainly recognize that in myself. You know, I, I do like nice clothes and, and things like that. And then when I go and buy them there is that like, oh, well, how much would that have bought for somebody else? You know, there’s so many causes, there’s so many things that are, are, are need, that need funds, that need, that need money. And you can apply that to, to anything, you know. If you buy a house or a car or this or that or the other, there’s always other people that could, could do with it more.

[00:31:38] So how do you see these projections about money showing up for people in terms of their, their mental wellbeing and sort of resilience, even though I hate the word, haven’t quite found the right o other word for it. And how would you be looking to change that for people?

[00:31:53] Agnes: Well, I think what I see often in people is a form of prolonged and chronic stress about it in some way. So there’s, you know, we spoke before about this loss of energy and, and there’s this constant preoccupation that’s kind of blocking us in our relationships to others. It’s blocking us in our personal sense of wellbeing and our creativity.

[00:32:12] And I I also look at this through, through a nervous system lens. Um, I’m, I’m not, not a neuroscientist myself, and I, you know, there’s a lot of conversations I still want to have with, with neuroscientists about this, but my, my understanding of, of what I see happening in the money work is, is, is a resolution of, of a, some form of chronic stress, um, that’s constantly there. Because, you know, we were talking about these kind of survival instincts before, and, and, you know, I think right now is such a good example the last few years of, you know, what we could call the perma crisises, there’s this constant activation in our nervous systems.

[00:32:48] And on some level this kind of internal grating with our sense of self and the, the survival stresses that we experience within the money system that we’re in are a constant nervous system stress. And when we reclaim these pieces and when we can sort of internalize the idea that I’m selfish and it’s okay, I can be free with and without money, I can be safe and secure with and without money, I’m powerful and it’s great, like all of these different parts that we’ve split off and then reintegrate it, there’s something, this is essentially body work. We haven’t got there yet, so how this actually works, but we use these kinds of statements and they, they settle in our bodies in some way, and what happens physically is some form of relaxation. Something that has been holding tight, begins to let go. And, you know, breath and energy can flow in places where they haven’t before. And there’s just a sort of a, a, a relaxing, uh, relaxing into the flow of life that can happen a bit more.

[00:33:45] This doesn’t mean that overnight I’m going to suddenly clear on my debt or, uh, or I’m going to, um, get rid of my big wealth that I didn’t know what to do with. It’s, doesn’t mean that, but it, it means that I can, I can live more in flow and more in peace with myself and with the world and, and actually do more of what I need to be doing to be of service in the world, that includes to myself, with and without money.

[00:34:08] Rachel: So once people have come to you, you’ve uncovered these stories that they’re telling themselves about what, what money really means to them. How, how do you then go about helping them change those things? Or, or, or is, is even that what you try to do? What’s the, what’s the next step?

[00:34:22] Agnes: So the next step is this piece of, okay, is it a what, what, what is it that I’ve, you know, split off my sense of self? What is it that I’ve, I’ve stuck in the attic and hung a big padlock in front of? And the next step is basically, can we go there and, and open the door and let this, let this room be part of the house again? That’s kind of what we’re doing in this, in this step in the work.

[00:34:45] And the way that I work with that, or that Peter Koenig developed is through statements. So we use statements that will sound to the person speaking them out, like a big fat lie. And the more it sounds like a lie, the more on the money we are with it. And what happens next is that it kind of, you know, it’s, we, we get really, we get really curious about what’s happening in the body. ‘Cause this is essentially actually body work. So part of the work is to pay really curious, open-minded attention to my physical response to the statement.

[00:35:20] So I can give you an example. One of my, projections onto money was, um, something to do with independence and independence. So, eight years ago I was pregnant, and I really wrestled with this forthcoming financial dependence on my partner Tom. And it made me really uncomfortable to, yeah, to let go of my independence. And I was with, um, my friend Charlie Davies, who also does this work. And we, we kind of tried to work out what the projection was and often it helps to really find the character that kind of really embodies that projection. And it was some kind of like a lech, yeah, like a leach that sucks blood, like something, a really disgusting creature.

[00:35:59] And I remember this feeling of being a leach. It was just like, oh, it’s horrible. I can’t be a needy leach. That’s, you know, a dependent, needy, ugh. And it was real, it brought real disgust on in me. And what we did together was, okay, let’s try saying, I’m a leach. What does that feel like? And it brought all this disgust and I could feel all sorts of things, just, you know, contracting in my body.

[00:36:19] And through a few iterations, we got to the point where I could feel really great being a leach. It felt fantastic to be a leach. And when you think about a pregnant woman, you really want to be able to rely on support and to allow yourself to be given to, like that’s, you know, that’s, that’s what happens in, in so many places in nature as well.

[00:36:38] Yesterday I was watching a David Attenborough documentary with my 7-year-old on these hornbills, somewhere in the, in a tro tropical rainforest, where the female, you know, almost like tears herself inside a tree. For, for six weeks and, and closes the hole with some mud. It can’t get out. She’s in prison and she gets fed by the, by the male until the chicks have are fledging. And that’s okay. That’s, that’s perfectly normal. But for me, the human Agnes who had to be strong and independent, that was a horrible thought.

[00:37:07] So just relaxing into the idea that there is a part of me because I’m human, that can be leach like, or, you know, can be needy dependent, taking, was really useful. And, and something relaxed in me and I think it enabled me to have an easier time with the process of becoming a parent and becoming interdependent in, in the family in that way.

[00:37:26] Rachel: How did you get though from the, I hate leches, you know, I will leach to being really comfortable. You know what, what, what process did you use to get comfortable? Was it just literally repeating the statement all the time and, and, and thinking about the good bits of leeches? I mean, how, how did you get there?

[00:37:42] Agnes: Yeah, I, I love that we’re talking about Leche so specifically. It’s funny. You know, I mean, I’ve done this many times with people so I can, I’m kind of a bit practicing it. It is also sort of, it helps to have the core regulation of another human body with you who, who themselves feels okay being a leach, you know? So that’s, that’s really helpful. So there’s something about, especially initially doing this with others, and Peter often says, you know, you can’t help someone reclaim some, a projection that you haven’t reclaimed yourself or that you’re not okay with yourself. And I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m still toying with that, but I, I think there is something to this. Um, I think sometimes we do the work ourselves on the fly as well, on the go because we are never finished with this and there’s, there’s always more.

[00:38:25] But there’s something about just really settling into the place in myself where, you know, can I think of a situation where we would be really useful or really great to be really dependent and needy? And then can I say it again and say something like, I’m dependent and needy, or I’m a leach and, and it’s okay. And then again, I’m paying attention to my body and I’m just noticing what responses are there physically, what sensations do I have? And there might be a really strong, like kind of cramping response, or it might be something starting to relax a little bit. Or maybe I’m, maybe I’m, maybe I start laughing. Sometimes people, you know, have tears or they laugh or they find it really, yeah, they find it really funny. Or suddenly they find they can breathe a bit more. It’s just kind of, it’s a bit like a yoga session. It’s a bit like you’re sort of stretching into muscles that you haven’t really used very much, and you’re beginning to gently coax them and see is there a bit more space here? Okay. If there isn’t, it’s fine. We’re just hanging out here.

[00:39:18] And we’re also doing this kind of pendulum swing between really going into the detail now, but there’s, you know, we’ve been working with a negative projection, which is, is this part of the process, and then the other part is what’s the opposite of being needy? Like, what’s the bit that I’m really trying to be? What’s, what’s the more comfortable part of my identity here? And you know, clearly that for me that was the independence.

[00:39:40] And then I can also go into this idea of, okay, can I tell my body and myself, I am independent with and without money? And then again, I’m noticing what does that do in my body? And maybe my body recognizes that independence with and without money and goes, oh yeah, it’s here. Or maybe it’s going rarr, no, you know, there’s, maybe there’s resistance. Whichever it is, it’s fine. But we’re just curious. So we are doing these kind of backwards and forward swings a bit like a pendulum.

[00:40:05] And often when I’ve been on that slide and I come back and I try again with, I’m needy, and it’s okay, maybe I notice a slightly different feeling in my body again. and then I have a new part of myself in my toolkit, and now I can be needy. And it doesn’t mean that I’m not independent. That’s the beauty of it. I get to be both. ’cause I am both. ’cause I’m human.

[00:40:26] Rachel: I love that. And it reminds me a little bit of, um, Byron Katie’s The Work. One of our Regular podcast guests, Corrina Gordon-Barnes does a lot. You just sort of, like you said, you’re just trying to shift that idea a little bit. And, uh, the questions they ask us, sort of, where would I be without that idea? Or actually, what does that idea give you? You know, how, how, how, how is it, how is it helping you? So you’re just trying to shift the, you know, like you’re digging up a tree. You’re just loosening the roots of that, that deeply ingrained belief that you have.

[00:40:55] And yeah, I can, I can, I mean, I, I, I absolutely think, uh, just like you, like the idea of not being independent, of being a leach, just, just horrible, horrible. But then if you then can shift your metaphor, like you just gave us that wonderful, was it a bird or something in the, in the tree getting fed? That’s, that’s beautiful. And we all think we should be protecting our pregnant, pregnant people who, you know, who need protecting and nurturing because they’re protecting and nurturing the, the child within them, you know, et cetera, et cetera. So I can see how that works really well.

[00:41:26] What, what, what’s coming to my mind as a, as a question for you, Agnes, is what do you do when you are really conflicted and when it’s in a, in a work situation? Because in in healthcare at the moment, the NHS is in crisis, general practice is in massive crisis. And one of the problems is that you’ve got people who are partners, who are business owners who employ other people in the practice. Um, the nurses and the paramedics, the pharmacists, the reception team, but also employ other doctors. So they ask, you’ve got salaried doctors and you’ve got partners essentially doing the same job in terms of seeing patients. And the NA general practice is dependent on funding from, from the government, which there is not enough of. And so the partners are chronically not able to employ everybody that they need, chronically, you know, struggling to recruit, et cetera. You’ve got the salaried doctors who are working really, really hard because demand is overwhelming and there aren’t enough doctors.

[00:42:22] And so if I was a partner right now, I would be really stuck between wanting to earn a good, uh, you know, you, you take profit share, you take the profits outta the, the practice at, at the end of the year, wanting to treat my people really well, be a fantastic employer, not have anyone go off with stress and burnout, and also provide for my family well, get a decent income because I’ve, I’ve worked so hard and I’m also responsible for all these people in the practice, so I need to make ends meet.

[00:42:54] And so I think you’ve got this constant, not only pressure from demand, but you’ve got this sort of internal thing where people are feeling very resentful towards each other because either you’ve got so much responsibility and these people are just moaning about the amount they work and refusing to do stuff, so that makes you pissed off of your partner. But if you’re a salary doctor, you’re pissed off ’cause you’re just asked to do so much because of the lack of money around. And it all seems to be money is the problem. But I’m sure as you’re saying, it’s, it’s our attitude to money. But where would you even start to unpick something like that?

[00:43:25] Agnes: Yeah, I’ve, I’ve, you know, I’ve, I’ve been asked similar questions before and been in situations with, with groups, teams who have conflicts over money or, um, questions about how money is handled in, in the team, in the organization. And I think the first step is, you know, this, it brings us back to what we were saying in the beginning about money being like a secret, hiding in plain sight. It’s this, it’s this kind of weird combination of it’s all we talk about, but we are not really talking about it.

[00:43:52] And so what I would say is a, is an important first step is to, to get clear on, um, when we say money, what are we actually talking about? What does it mean to me in this situation? You know, being paid this much means you don’t respect me. I need more respect. It means, or maybe, you know, maybe asking for more means I’m greedy. There’s all these different stories that we have. And my experience of people doing this work on themselves isn’t necessarily that overnight everything resolves in this like really easy, beautiful way and everybody has all the money they thought they wanted before. But what happens is people get much more at ease talking about money. It can be brought out in the open in a different way, in a way that was impossible before because it’s so taboo and so difficult to talk about. And because it instantly brings all this reactivity and survival brain. People feel more in their, are more in their, in their social brain, talking about money. Doing this work there’s more relationship that’s possible, and more creativity as well. So suddenly different kinds of, you know, arrangements become possible where, you know, new solutions come, come onto the horizon. New relation, new possibility and relationships comes onto the horizon in ways that it hasn’t before.

[00:45:04] I think the reason things get so, you know, fraught like a Gordian knot knot is because we’re talking about it, but there’s also all this taboo, unconscious stuff that cannot be talked about, but is actually being simultaneously acted out in this conflict. And bringing more ease into that, into those negotiations, into those relationships is what this can do.

[00:45:23] Rachel: So you, you’re basically talking about each side, having much more understanding about the other side. And, and that’s what we teach isn’t, I mean, it’s really obvious when I think about it. When we teach communication and conflict and stuff like that, it’s like, ask questions, understand where the other person’s coming from. But we never ask questions about money. We always use it like, as a bargaining tool and as an accusation, you are not being fair to me, or you are not paying me what I’m worth, rather than let’s find out actually how much is there to go around and, and, and what’s going on and how do we share this out fairly, and what seems like a reason, you know?

[00:45:57] But then I guess as I’m saying that the, what seems like a reasonable amount, then that’s what we we’re actually assigning money to, to value a person or to value an a unit of work,

[00:46:09] Agnes: Yeah. And, and this process of projecting that I was talking about, that we do unconsciously, we can also do consciously. You know, once we know how it works, we can also decide to project something onto money and to tell a story, a certain story about money. So this is, this is also then about telling news stories about money, and more conscious ones that, you know, fill us with joy rather than with dread, for example, or make us, you know, telling a money story that fills, fills us with a sense of appreciation and love and excitement rather than, um, feeling de-energized and, you know, hard done by and resentful, for example.

[00:46:46] So of course we, you know, we, we live in a world of, you know, intense conflict injustice. There’s so much going on and it, you know, you’re talking about the kind of the bigger picture and the funding and the NHS. And I’m, I’m not one of those people who talk, you know, there’s this’s all sorts of stuff out there in the self-help world on money was like the law of attraction, and, you know, just think that, and suddenly you will be rich and this is really not what this is about. This is about human relationships to ourselves and to each other, and can we get better at them? And money is, is often where our worst quote unquote worst selves come out, and that’s because they are our shadow selves that we’ve designed. And if we can bring them back into the, into the picture and use them more consciously, then all of ourselves can be brought into those relationships in a more constructive way.

[00:47:34] Rachel: We are nearly out of time. Agnes, there’s a couple of things I want to ask you that the first one is, what more positive money stories have you found clients have come up with that that actually have you found really helpful? Because I always think sometimes it’s just, it was really helpful for me hearing that story about you and being a leach, ’cause I’m like, oh no, that’s great. I can transfer the leach thought to actually being that, that bird inside the tree being fed thought. Are there any recurrent positive stories that seems to be really helpful for people that you could share with us?

[00:48:02] Agnes: Well, a recurrent positive story that comes up for me in my relationships with other people around money often is, is love and appreciation. It’s really using money as a way to express appreciation, gratitude, respect, love, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s wanting to give someone something, not because I feel :guilty for having the money and I have to get rid of it and give it to you because otherwise I’m a bad person and blah, blah, but it’s actually, Hey, I really appreciate you and, and what you’ve done for me, or what, how you’re showing up in my life and here I’m giving this to you with a great feeling of love. You know, how do we feel? What feeling do we put into the, the transaction? Um, how do I feel when I receive money from people? Do I tell myself a story that, you know, the money appearing in my bank account of being put into my hands is disgusting or is like the only way I can feel good about myself? Or is it just a sort of a aha, I’m being, you know, I’m being appreciated, I’m being loved for example?

[00:48:57] What’s also coming to mind is, is, in terms of a sort of a different money story is is the story of someone of a group I once worked with where there was this organization who, you know, they were a charity and we did some money work together with Peter and, there was one person who had sponsored the whole thing. She had come across Peter, she wanted him to come and do this. We came and did this. Um, she paid for everybody who stayed in this really lush place in the mountains and she was the benefactor and that was her role in the organization. And she was constantly giving and she was really wealthy. She had all this, this money from her family.

[00:49:27] And what happened at the end of this workshop, one of her colleagues, not one of those wealthy people, got up and, um, gave her a 200 Euro note or 200 Swiss francs, I can’t remember, but, you know, gave, basically gave her this bill. And it was so unthinkable to, you know, why would you give money to this person who has it? But to her it meant the world that somebody said I give this to you because I love and appreciate you. And she had been, she’d spent her whole life being taken from and always questioning the relationships she had with people because she always felt like, you know, do they, do they love me or is it because of the money that they want to be with me? And there was something in that transaction that was so beautifully healing, this, this guy saying, I want to give this to you. And that was for me, such a beautiful moment of a different money story.

[00:50:14] Rachel: And I’m thinking, I think a lot of people listening to this podcast will feel that they are people that are always taken from, you know, whether it’s financially or whether it’s energy at work, or, you know, giving to their kids. Uh, maybe they’re supporting relatives or, or other members of their family financially. And, um, that’s really powerful, I guess, that, that I’m, I’m worthy to, to give money and to receive, receive money,

[00:50:37] Agnes: And to learn to receive and, and let it in.

[00:50:40] Rachel: That’s quite hard. Particularly if you are the, you know, you are the boss, you are always, you are responsible for the salaries of everybody, you’re responsible for that. And, you know, I think, I think we do struggle to receive.

[00:50:51] If someone was feeling really trapped in their circumstances because of money, and I’m thinking that people might have, you know, kids at private school, their partners in a practice, they’ve, they would desperately like to drop a few sessions, but they can’t financially, they need to attain the certain amount of earnings for the time being. How would you sort of start to help that person? Because they’re often, because they’re working so hard, not being able to attend to their own wellbeing, mindset, all, all that sort of thing.

[00:51:20] Agnes: I think I would probably start in the same way I would start with, with anyone really, which is to begin to look at the narratives that have built around money. We all have what we can would call like a personal money story. We all have a, a biography around money. So if we told our own life story through the lens of money, all these different threads would emerge. You know, money has shown up in my life in this way and in that way, and in that way and has meant this. And, and there’s always a link between that biography and what’s happening in the present. And, and take that as a starting point to see where are the places where things can be, you know, where, where, where the story can be told differently? And sometimes things that feel really impossible can begin to shift.

[00:52:01] Because every big change begins with a big lie. It feels impossible right now. And it feels completely untrue right now. For example, to say I’m free with and without money, or I’m greedy and it’s okay. It feels totally wrong. And that’s great because that’s the work. So it will feel impossible to start with.

[00:52:18] Rachel: And I’m just hearing some, slight objections in my head and I just wanna check this out. So by doing this work, I’m presuming that actually one becomes a more loving, more generous person who is of more service to other people. Or does that matter or not? Because the bit of me is going, oh, well actually, you know this all talk about money and getting, getting happy with it. What if it just makes us more, more selfish and more money grabbing and we don’t then give to other people? ‘Cause quite a big driver, let’s face it, of our giving is guilt, and realizing that we have so much and those people have, have so little

[00:52:53] Agnes: For Peter who came up with this, all of this work is ultimately about love. And that sounds very, you know, like that some people have different ki have different kinds of responses to that. But it’s, it’s about love and it’s about life. And, and for me it’s about sort of, I, what my experience of, of the impact it has is, I would call it life giving. There’s something about being in service to life and there’s something rebalancing about this work. And what we often forget when we talk about being in service or helping or, or love, is that we, we exclude ourselves from that equation. It’s, it’s almost like it’s me or the others.

[00:53:30] And again, I’ve performed this massive split. I’ve split myself off from, from the life that I’m trying to protect and preserve and give love to. And so there’s a, there’s a lot of paradoxes to hold in this work, I think. And what I see growing in people is in this work is a capacity to hold the paradoxes, but helping others and helping myself aren’t that different.

[00:53:50] We, we often operate from a story, from a collective story of separateness, of, you know, it’s me or you. It’s, it’s us versus nature. And actually we are, we are part of one breathing, living earth. And we, we ourselves are part of the life that we fight for as doctors, as therapists, as activists, as whoever, we ourselves a part of that. So if I treat myself badly in order so that I can help others, then I haven’t understood that.

[00:54:19] Rachel: And there’s a big savior complex in that as well, isn’t there? It’s like, I am better than you and I’m going to help you type thing. Or, or you know, the assumption that because I have all this wealth and money and you don’t, I must be much, much happier anyway, when often that’s not, that’s not the case, is it? As we know that money is a, a huge, can be a huge, huge trapping. Well, the thought, the things that we project onto money are a huge trap and we’ve, as we were talking about right at the beginning.

[00:54:45] There’s so much more to talk about this, Agnes, but, um, what three tips would you give to anybody who just wants to start off trying to shift some of these, these money stories that they’re telling themselves?

[00:54:57] Agnes: Well, first of all, I would recommends asking yourself the question, what does money mean to you? You know, take a piece of paper, write down money is dot, dot dot, and, and check the answers. What, what comes up? Money means this, money is that. Also interesting question, maybe people with money are, or people without money are.dot dot dot, interesting what comes up in response to that.

[00:55:19] A second thing that can be really helpful is to be really curious about yourself in relation to money with, in, with other people. So how do you react when you’re sitting in the restaurant and the bill comes, or what happens when you have a salary negotiation or, um, somebody wants to give you money for your birthday or, you know, what, what comes up for you? How does it make you feel? And in that, I would say also apart from our mental stories, the minds, you know, the mind answers, we also wanna be really curious about our bodies in this. Like what are the physical sensations that come up around money? Do you feel excited? Is there pressure somewhere? Do you, does it make you feel sick? Like what are the physiological responses to this?

[00:56:01] And then yeah, maybe see if, if, you know, with this understanding of, of the yourself as this house full of different rooms, which are the rooms that you are very happy living in, which are the rooms that you haven’t even looked at yet? And could you explore the possibility that that is also part of you? That quality. So, and I find it particularly, you know, rich to look at, um, people that trigger. So somebody, somebody’s behaving in a certain way that sends you into a flying rage, consistently. Have a look and see is there a grain of something in this person that you’ve designed that would be really helpful for you to re-own? It doesn’t mean that you’re gonna become that person by doing that, by the way, but that’s, that would be a tip as well.

[00:56:45] Rachel: If, If someone’s interested in this and wanted to find out more, where could they go?

[00:56:49] Agnes: I mean, they can, they can find me, um, on my, my website, um, which is, um, thegoodsjungle.org and also my, my therapy website, which I think you’ll be putting in the show notes. Um, but also I’m currently running or going to be rerunning, uh, a series of trainings on, on Money work with, um, an organization in Germany called Conscious U. They’ve developed a program called CU Money together with Peter Koenig, which I’ve, which I’ve started running as of last autumn, and it’s a 12 week, um, so called blended learning program, this online where people come together and it’s, you know, I think we have five or six meetings, um, as a group and then as a bit of peer to peer learning and also online learning. And I think it’s a really great program and a really great way of delving into these stories. And my experience of this work is that it’s very powerful in a group, um, in a collective ’cause we always experience more and learn more when there’s other people around as well, doing the work at the same time. So if people were curious about that, I would direct them to Conscious U’s website. And we also regularly run taster sessions where people can turn up and explore this with us.

[00:57:56] Rachel: Great. We’ll put all those links in the in in the show notes. Um, Agnes, thank you so much. That has just been so, so fascinating, and I just encourage people, if you wanna find out more, do check out Agnes’s website, get yourself on the course, you know, these things are always time well spent. You know, the more insight you can get into yourself and your thinking and your triggers, and I love that tip about look at people that send you into a blind rage and work out what it is and then that trigger you. And then get some therapy, talk to someone about it. Talk to a coach, a therapist, whatever. Uncover those things that, that are triggering you. ‘Cause when things are in the open, it just becomes really obvious. You get, oh, there, it’s again, there’s me being triggered by that and that and, um, all that stuff. So thank you so much. Really good. And we’ll have you back another time if that’s okay, Agnes.

[00:58:39] Agnes: Looking forward to it. Thanks, Rachel. Thanks for listening. Don’t forget, we provide a self coaching CPD workbook for every episode. You can sign up for it via the link in the show notes. And if this episode was helpful, then please share it with a friend. Get in touch with any comments or suggestions at hello@youarenotafrog.com. I love to hear from you. And finally, if you’re enjoying the podcast, please rate it and leave a review wherever you’re listening. It really helps. Bye for now.