Inside of each of us are stories about money. These memories are about more than just numbers. Your worth and security are intimately intertwined with how you earn, spend, give, and save money. These tales define success, status, and our very identity.
Revealing our intimate money stories takes courage.
In this unique episode of “Money-Wise Women,” you will hear the live recording of my personal story of money and work, as told to 400 people at the Hearth Storytelling evening in Ashland, Oregon, in March. I share some of my most intimate, uncomfortable moments with money.
You will hear about the first time I felt excluded for not having enough money when I was in 4th grade. I then share uncomfortable experiences at the markets in Guatemala, where nothing had a price tag—a conversation determined the value of their goods. I saw both the richness of culture and the suffering of economic extraction, in a country where so many live on so little money.
I returned to America and landed a job as executive assistant to the vice president at the Bank of Jackson Hole, in the richest county in America. When I was hired, I had no inkling of the massive fraud that had just been exposed at “my” bank. The CEO had embezzled $1.5 million from the bank over the previous ten years, and one of my first duties was to copy the fraudulent documents that led to his indictment. I was alone in the copy room with his lies for hours. I saw inside the mind of a white-collar criminal and became fascinated with money as one layer of the complex motivators that influence people’s behavior.
I then finished my college degree in international economics and began leading workshops with women to shift their relationship with money.
It was in 2009 that I said yes to the hardest job I’ve ever done—being a mother. Caring for children is physically and emotionally demanding. There was no overtime pay at the break of dawn for caring for my babies. Yet these labors of love, caring for our young and elderly, are the foundation of our wellbeing. I feel wealthy as I plant peas and laugh with neighbors, as I share and care and welcome friends as family. Last Thanksgiving, we hosted 30 people to a feast, make merry, and play. I felt wealthy—not because of monetary exchange or measurement but because of the relationships that I have in my life. Because feasting with friends feeds my soul.
Truly, we are wealthy beyond measure.
This is what I have experienced at the Offers and Needs Market that I’ve facilitated through the Post Growth Institute. When people turn to each other in their times of need, we realize that there is plenty. When we share personal stories, we create a deep sense of belonging and mutual meaning. Evocative storytelling is at the heart of regenerative leadership.
In this program you will also hear about my five favorite episodes that illuminate the power of storytelling: