martha dawson

errant inspiration

the extraordinary lives in the ordinary

releasing my romance with poverty

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin

I am on the hunt for the hidden beliefs that are holding me in a repeating cycle of poverty.

What you believe you perceive.

Years ago when I was first introduced to the concept that ALL the beliefs I had adopted since birth, nevermind any that I might have carried in from another lifetime, were actually the determining factors of what type of life I was living now…..well, let’s just say I became immediately overwhelmed and craved a rather large amount of coconut cake.

After the initial shock (both mental and sugar) started to recede, like any other spiritual seeker with an obsession for self-improvement, I rolled up my sleeves, assumed my best superhero pose, and vowed to clean up the mess and uncover the real me. I ventured a peek into my subconscious.


What I could see gave me pause. I was staring into a bubbling stew of contradictory bits of information that swirled in endless patterns overwhelming the compass of my temporal mind.
Brain fog set in. Where to begin? How to begin? Is this real?

Want proof?

Does this sound familiar?

You are standing in front of your open refrigerator trying to decide what to have for dinner when you become aware there is a battle raging inside your brain:

I can’t eat that because it has too many calories.
I can’t eat that again because I had it for lunch.
I can’t eat that and that together because that doesn’t qualify as a proper meal.
I can’t eat that for dinner because that should only be eaten at breakfast.
I can’t eat that because they said it’s bad for you. (That was 10 years ago, and they have changed their mind several times since then.)
Blah, blah, blah.

You begin to feel like you are trying to navigate a minefield and end up eating something that doesn’t satisfy your mind, body, or spirit and is regularly served up with a heaping side of guilt.

Now multiply those beliefs you have about food by the beliefs you have about family, relationships, work, gender roles, race, climate change, politics, beauty, spirituality, success, naps, being a proper grown-up, what to wear, who you are, etc., etc., etc.

YIKES! No wonder we don’t want to look.

It’s not just the metaphysical community that talks about our beliefs shaping our lives. Scientists have been studying the unconscious mind, and they conclude that about 95% of our daily activities are done on autopilot. (If you want to know more, check out the documentary The Automatic Brain which can be streamed on Amazon.) OK, I am comforted by the thought that I don’t have to consciously think about each breath I take or regulate my heartbeat, but I am horrified that my brain is predetermining the way I perceive and interact with the world based solely on information I have acquired in the past (old beliefs). That means I am unconsciously repeating the past! Which brings me back to my quest to release myself from this repeating cycle of poverty.

In my search I have uncovered some of the more obvious sources of my financial poverty addiction. Such as, the fact that money was rarely spoken about while I was growing up. It was considered guache. Which meant the whole money thing was a big mystery to me and felt tainted in some way. It also seemed to be attached to power and getting your needs met. I have complicated relationships with both those issues. Being raised by two wounded beings, a narcissist and a paedophile, who demanded their needs be met or else they would withhold love, made me acutely aware that I wanted to be a “good” person who made others feel good, but with a priority of meeting other people needs first, I didn’t have enough energy, self-worth or self-knowledge to even know what my needs were, never mind take care of them. This led to the squirrelly belief that if my needs were met someone else would go without, and I couldn’t bear that! Newsflash! I have been living a life of self-deprivation based on beliefs such as love must be earned, there is not enough time, energy or money to go around, and money makes people greedy and selfish.

I have had some success with releasing those particular beliefs, but it is obvious there is more to be rooted out because the poverty cycle persists. But where to look? The clues lie in childhood, but memories can be elusive and are often inaccurate or incomplete.

Then the universe gave me a poke. I have always been an avid reader and many of my childhood memories are linked to my experiences with books. So I began taking a look at the type of books I enjoyed reading as a child to see if there were any clues to some of the more elusive beliefs I was hiding inside. I found I was always mesmerised by stories of orphans that were so good that strangers loved them and made them family. I devoured books where everyday life was laced with magic, and my reading diet was rounded out with tales of children going off to have adventures on their own. I could easily recognise some of the beliefs I have held in these themes.

Amongst these stories there was nestled a real prize. It was my favourite fairytale.  I read it countless times throughout childhood and even adolescence. I thought it was so beautiful. About 6 months ago I reread it for the first time in almost 45 years, and I was stunned. The tale I was so bewitched by as a child is a dark, brutal, misogynistic, highly moralistic tale of self-betrayal.

Any guesses as to what it might be?

The Little Mermaid! 
Not the sugared-up Disney version, but the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen.
Here is a summary of that story:

    • The Little Mermaid falls in love with a man she rescues from drowning even though they haven’t even exchanged one word between them.
    • As she obsessively thinks only about him, she becomes dissatisfied with who she is.
    • She wants to be like him so he will love her above all else in the world and give her an immortal soul. Merpeople in this story don’t rate souls. They just become seafoam.
    • She agrees to give up her voice by having her tongue cut out by a witch as payment for receiving  legs that will give her excruciating pain with every graceful step she takes. This leaves her with only her looks to get the job done before he marries anyone else or she immediately becomes the before mentioned seafoam.
    • She drinks the potion, the prince finds her, treats her like a beloved pet letting her sleep on a velvet cushion outside his bedroom door and marries another woman he mistakenly believes is the one who saved his life.
    • In an eleventh hour Hail Mary move, the mermaid’s sisters sell their hair to the witch for a magic knife. If she kills the prince before the sun comes up she can return to the merworld. She refuses, and just before she turns into seafoam, a group known as the Daughters of the Air swoops her up and announces she is the lucky winner of a chance to win an immortal soul by doing 300 years of good deeds for humans.

I thought this was beautiful?!? That is one hell of toxic story of self-destruction. I’ve hit the mother lode of toxic beliefs that my child-self innocently adopted as a solution to earning the love of our parents and gave birth to my self-deprivation. I also recognise that it was more difficult to uncover the flaws in this plan because it was further cemented into place by the accepted mores of our culture about what it means to be a good person. No wonder I have had trouble allowing abundance into my life.

If you cannot hear the sound of the genuine in you, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls. – Howard Thurman

Thankfully my 14 year old self has recently provided the awareness for releasing this sticky crap. Remember the teachings she gifted:

Love is not earned.
Worthiness is not earned.
Taking care of myself is important.
It’s my job to be the real me.
Nothing of value requires the betrayal of Self.

It’s all there, the antidote to Little Mermaid-itis. A map for an evolving empath to step into her own power and be what she came here to be. Thank you, Little Martha!

Each day I find ways to embody those truths. I revel in discovering what makes my heart sing, listening to the messages my body sends, feeling my emotions, and inviting my Soul Aspect to be the mistress of this being she has designed to travel about in.

I am learning to open my heart to abundance in all its many forms, including money.

I am grateful that one of the things that makes my heart sing is my work. When I connect with other Soul Energies and channel their messages in readings and learning experiences, I feel whole and at peace. There is no striving, no sense of time, no friction, no attachment to outcomes, no separateness. Just being. There is an elegant balance of energies. That is my sign that I am in alignment with my divine blueprint.

Your Soul knows your stories, and it knows your truth. Isn’t time to hear what it has to say?

In uncovering your weakness you discover your strength.

Come hear your Soul’s wisdom and release yourself from your old stories.

Love and Light,

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