Exchange is something we practice everyday, whether it's exchanging money at a store for good, exchanging hugs and kisses with the ones we love, exchanging phone numbers with old and new friends. What is behind that exchange? Is it pure love, maybe sometimes dread, hope, or faith. The only way to expand into our greatest vision of ourselves and open our hearts to the abundance of love available to us is through relationship with others, we are not islands, we can not do it alone, we must practice through our relationships.
A few months ago I began blessing every monetary exchange - every check, every dollar, every credit transaction - before I handed it over or mailed it out. I allowed my heart to well up with joy and gratitude, thankful for having the money to spend and grateful to whomever the money was going to for the blessings their service provided whether they were bills, incidentals, or charitable. I didn't realize until I started doing this how different it felt to practice grateful exchange from how I had done it in the past. Most of my spending was done in a state of dread which cultivated and expanded an already present fear around not having enough. That's when retail therapy would set in, I "owed it to myself," to spend some money on things I wanted. It was my moment of permission, not gratitude, but a self-indulgent fleeting pleasure to spend. That's when I would tell myself, "see you do have enough!" Yet when the bills arrived the guilt set in.
Practicing grateful exchange with money helped me off the fear/guilt merry-go-round. Exchange can be applied to everything. How do you think Jesus turned the water into wine? I one particular study, there's a book but I can't remember the author's name. He blessed water and looked at it under a microscope, then he cursed it and looked again, he also said different words like "dragonfly" and "peace." The results are stunning. He has a book with all the pictures. If anyone can remember his name please let me know. It also works on food (say your grace!) and plants (they love classical music, remember this from the 1970's?)