Money as Medicine

Money as Medicine

Today I want to explore this while opening to an entirely different way of looking at both medicine and money.  I hope you’ll join me.

Medicine a definition

1. any substance or substances used in treating disease or illness; remedy.

2. the art or science of restoring or preserving health, as by means of drugs, surgical operations or appliances, or manipulations: often divided into medicine proper, surgery, and obstetrics.

3. the art or science of treating disease with drugs or curative substances.

4.(in Native American tradition) any object or practice regarded as having magical or sacred power.


Money can be curative, when used in appropriate ways.  I’ve seen this happen with clients who inherited money and suddenly had the freedom to leave an odious job to pursue a creative career.  Their depression lifted, creativity flowed and (because they were prepared) the money added buoyancy, opportunity, and color to their lives.

Money, like medicine, gives us choices, yet has to be artfully prescribed with the whole person in mind, not just the symptom of discomfort or pain.

I remember going to a fertility specialist at 39 years old.  I had this odd sensation when this doctor talked with me that he didn’t see me at all, but in fact saw only a uterus and two ovaries— as if they were detached from the rest of my body, and no connection existed with my emotional and spiritual selves.

This is akin to walking into a bank with a check for $100k.  They see your money through the lens of what cure they can offer you (a checking account, a CD, a money market account), and without considering your whole financial body, they offer their medicine. It’s no wonder that we have a distrust of either world— medical or financial!

The downside is that money, as medicine, can also do great harm— and can even completely destroy your life.  This happens when we confuse its power for something more substantive— when we want only to get high or remove pain, and ignore the dis-ease that lingers beneath the surface.  Whether swallowing a handful of pills or (un)consciously overspending to fill an aching loneliness, the results are often devastating.

I’ve seen people treat money with the same disdain they feel for the allopathic medical world— a blanket belief that the system is bad, therefore all medicine or all money is bad, discounting the entire range of possibilities rather than thoughtfully choosing what might work with an open mind.

money-as-medicineThere is another way to look at money as medicine.  In Native American traditions people possess personal medicine— objects or relationships in the natural world that are believed to be sacred to them— giving the person strength or clarity or the capacity to heal others.  Often a person’s medicine comes to them in a dream or while on a vision quest, though it can also originate from a powerful interaction with an animal or plant or element.  A sacred relationship is formed between the person and their medicine, respect is deep, and learning is constant.

I believe it’s possible to shift from seeing money as a cure-all or a quick-fix or addictive substance, to being personal medicine that teaches us to be in a sacred relationship with it, to listen deeply, and to rise into our personal best by embracing this relationship and becoming a willing student.

I wonder how you and I would feel if we held money in a sacred way in our hearts and in our wallets, fully aware of the power and possibility it brings.  Can you imagine this?  What would change for you?

Have you experienced a time when money was like medicine in any of these ways? Add your voice to the comments below…


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