I’ve been exploring the charged topic of MONEY over the last year. Unpacking unhelpful beliefs and conditioning in the areas of wealth and abundance has become an important part of practice for me, inspired from the experiences of uncertainty during the pandemic.
Some of the questions I’ve been asking include:
- Does how I spend my money align with my values?
- Do my banks protect the Earth or support fossil fuels?
- Do my investments support companies who believe in regeneration and protection of all people?
Needless to say, finances can be an overwhelming area to dive into alone. Where to begin? When going through this pandemic time with loss of clients and work, uncertain income sources and a shifting global landscape, space arose to start unpacking the answers to these questions.
I needed some help and with the supportive and informative resilient and regenerative wealth coaching sessions with Laura, I began to understand capital and wealth in a new way and to develop a healthier relationship with money. I’m appreciative of her time to share more about her approach below.
What is resilient and regenerative wealth coaching?
Many of us are beginning to contemplate the growing limitations of money to solve our problems and meet our needs in the face of climate change and growing social upheaval. On top of that more and more people are realizing they don’t identify with the harmful and extractive practices of our current capitalist system that produces so much of that financial wealth.
Yet financial capital is only one form of capital that’s accessible to us. In my coaching, which is strongly influenced by permaculture*, I emphasize the multiple forms of capital (more on those later), which offer us ways of building wealth that are regenerative and promote personal as well as planetary resilience.
Not only will these investments save us money in the long run and help us better navigate the societal and climate challenges that await us, many of them provide other forms of capital and resources we can sell or barter if needed.
What I truly LOVE about these wealth building strategies is that they help extricate us from our corporate and consumer driven society and move us closer to our own creativity and resourcefulness, connection (to people and planet), and joy!!!
And when we do focus on increasing our financial capital we explore regenerative opportunities to earn, spend, invest, and manage our money that solve our major societal and environmental challenges instead of causing them.
*permaculture – a design science that looks to nature’s closed loop, no waste, abundance based system as the model
What from your own life led you to specializing in these services?
The permaculture design course I completed in 2009 introduced me to a much broader and more socially conscious perception of wealth. That led me to start exploring what I could do with the savings I had already accumulated in an employer based retirement account. The investment options available to me through that account were pretty conventional and largely limited to investing in companies that I didn’t want to support like commercial banks with predatory lending practices, companies that package their products in single use plastics, or the fossil fuels industry. Even the socially responsible mutual funds didn’t align with what I had learned about building wealth through permaculture.
I began researching and learning about investing opportunities outside the stock market that were far more socially conscious. I also started thinking about how to apply the principles and tools of permaculture to designing my finances and future. As I delved into the richness of this more holistic approach to lifestyle design, personal finance, and even retirement planning I realized that this would be helpful and of interest to others as well.
What’s one thing people can start doing right now to begin the journey of aligning their values with their money?
One of the easiest steps people can take in this direction is to (re)consider where they are banking. Most people don’t give much thought to what happens to their money once they deposit it into a financial institution. Turns out it doesn’t just “sleep” in your account. All banks put your money to work earning more money for them. Unfortunately, the major commercial banks direct your money in ways that are harmful to people and planet. Often that means your money is supporting fossil fuels, destroying habitats, or hurting communities, which is probably not what you want.
Fortunately, there are socially responsible banks and other financial institutions that ensure that the money deposited there gets repurposed and invested in socially and environmentally conscious ways. I go into much greater detail about what I refer to as impact banking in this post.
What’s the biggest block you see people have around money, and how do you recommend people move through this?
People get stuck believing money is the only form of wealth. Permaculture (although this concept is not original to permaculture) shows us that there are multiple forms of capital. One form of capital is social capital which includes our friends, family, peers and social networks. We tap this form of capital when we borrow a ladder from a neighbor or get a job through a contact. Another form of capital is material capital. That includes our homes, cars, laptops, shovels, and other physical objects in our lives. I go into much more detail about these forms of capital here.
When we slow down to think more deeply about this we realize we only really want money as a means to access the things we want and need,. i.e. the other forms of capital. Once we are aware of these additional forms of capital we begin to recognize that they surround us and can start to contemplate how we can tap into them to meet our needs, generate income and save money. Plus, it is these other forms of capital that provide our quality of life.
How can people get in touch with you?
My website is RichandResilientLiving.com. I share lots of articles and resources there to teach people a more holistic way of building wealth that honors people, planet, and profit. You can email me at Laura@RichandResilientLiving.com and connect with me on Instagram @rich_resilient.