Professionally, Robert Matthews is a CPA who manages finances for people in the LA film community. Spiritually, after studying everything from Taoism and Kabbalah to Western medicine and psychotherapy, he attended and graduated from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, became a minister of the Church of Tzaddi, and is currently seven years into his training as a homeopath.
These are pretty weird credentials for a Tinseltown CPA, but they are spectacular for someone who has decided to teach us about the spiritual aspects of money.
What is really amazing about Robert's work is his take on why we never seem to rise above that yo-yo area which constitutes our comfort zone. He's written a book about this, titled Money Is Energy. It is set for publication this month (No. 12). ''I wrote it,'' he said, ''because I like to help other people move closer to their own monetary goals. I want this book to create the inner environment to let things open up inside, so a healing can take place. And there is nothing like this out there. I thought it was needed.''
After talking to Robert Matthews about his theories, we agree. There is nothing like this out there, and we need to hear him. So here we go.
The Energy of Money
Our readers know that the manifest universe is all made of energy. But in a more restricted sense, as Drunvalo speaks of it in his editorial, Money As a Flow of Energy, money is an underlying form, like prana or electricity. ''For example,'' Robert said, ''a man writes a computer program. He puts his energy into that program, and now he has it ready to sell. Another man is putting his energy into teaching second grade, and he receives money in exchange for that energy. If the teacher decides to purchase the software, then the result is that he gives the programmer what we call money dollar bills, francs, whatever. But what he is really doing is exchanging his energy for the programmer's energy.''
But there is a second sense in which money is energy, and it is in this second sense that Robert takes us on a flight of fancy and brings us back to earth with a practical way of allowing a greater flow of money in our lives.
Money Flows Like Water
We are all energy beings. When we receive a normal flow of money, which also is energy, then things go on as usual.
But Robert's core idea is this: When we receive money that our system is unprepared for too much, unexpected timing, whatever then depending on how our system is built and what issues we have, that new energy will add to the system and vibrate it. And that can be uncomfortable. It can be painful.
And if our system is vibrating at an uncomfortable rate and we want to become comfortable again, we have two options. Either we can allow the pain until the system learns to accommodate the additional energy. Or we can move the money out of the system.
In his book, Robert uses the analogy of a garden hose to amplify this concept. ''Imagine that our garden hose, which represents our energetic body, has some rocks and twigs and sand in it we'll call them blocks. As long as the water, our energy, is flowing smoothly, the blocks are not moving around much. But if an unexpected new surge of water happens, then this will dislodge the blocks and cause them to bounce around.''
In the human energy system, these ''bouncing blocks'' are the psychological blocks we have that cause discomfort and fear. ''We want to stop those feelings,'' Robert said, ''we want to stop the pain. So, using the hose analogy again, we put our hand around it and squeeze, trying to constrict the flow of water. Then the hose springs leaks, so the water starts to come out. In psychological terms, we contract, and money moves out of the system.''
The Case of the Prepaid Writer
Robert crystallized his ideas about what was going on with the money/energy system when a client he had, a screenwriter, received an unexpected advance. Robert said this man's story enabled him to see the pattern ''in vivid detail'':
Writers are paid in increments, not all at once, and my client we'll call him Harry was expecting to be paid for the first draft of a script. Instead, he received two checks. The second, of fifteen thousand dollars, was an advance on the next phase of the payment schedule. This is unheard of, but it happened.
Now, part of what I do with my clients is receive their paychecks and pay their bills for them. Harry had given me his credit cards, and we had been working together for a long time to reduce his debt. So when I called to tell him about the extra check, I was excited. We could pay off some more of his cards. I thought he would be happy. Instead, he was actually upset and angry. Wow, I thought, that's really strange.
A little over a month went by. Then, at one of our regular lunch meetings, Harry sat down and handed me a bunch of new credit card statements. He had gone out and gotten an extra fifteen thousand dollars in credit cards. And he'd already spent it!
I realized what had happened. He'd gotten a lot more money into his system than he could handle. That's why he'd been upset and angry on the phone. So he automatically went out and found a way to spend it all. He didn't even realize what he was doing.
This is what I'm talking about. If we receive more than we can deal with, we have to get rid of it.
It doesn't always happen by spending, Robert pointed out. ''Have you ever noticed how you might get a bonus, or come into some extra money, and suddenly the battery on your car dies, or the refrigerator breaks down, or your child needs new tennis shoes? And when this new expense happens, it's almost exactly the amount you got?''
Of course, creation goes both ways. When we manifest emergency funds, most writers on prosperity consciousness observe that ''God always provides and He is never late with our good.'' Robert believes differently.
''At the subconscious level, we know when money is on its way, so we create needing it for something,'' he said. ''Whether the need or the money comes first, it's the same process at work.''
Why We Create Lack
''We are all growing,'' Robert said, ''and we all have blocks. The natural flow of abundance through our lives is one of the easiest ways to trigger these blocks. When it comes, it starts to vibrate our energy system, and this gets uncomfortable. We create lack whenever we respond to this discomfort by contracting.''
As an example, Robert chose to describe his own history with money.
This comes from my way of doing things that I have had since I was about fifteen, of finding out what does work by first finding out all the things that don't work. Because I've already done all this stuff suppressing the pain through drugs, through alchohol, through sex I know what that pain feels like. And I know that those things don't work. And spending money doesn't work.
One time I remember I was making a little more money than before and I walked into a men's clothing store in Beverly Hills, feeling jittery, and I spent nearly five thousand dollars on things I didn't need. And when I came out, I felt calm. Another time, I purchased an espresso machine, a deluxe model with all kinds of little attachments. That only sounds crazy when you realize that I don't drink coffee. I had a whole garage full of stuff I'd bought that I hadn't even opened. That espresso machine is still sitting in my garage.
As my debt went up, I just got more credit cards. Then, to avoid bankruptcy, I got a loan to pay off the cards and lower my overall payment. Then, I ran all the cards back up again this time in half the time it had taken before.
The turning point happened when my father died. I was almost eighty thousand dollars in debt. Since I'd already tried debt consolidation and that didn't work, I thought of bankruptcy. But I realized that, energetically, bankruptcy would not work, either. If I tried to handle it that way, I would just recreate the same situation all over again.
Robert said the solution he found, the one that did work, and has continued to work, for himself and his clients, was extremely simple. Don't use the cards any more. Stop spending money. Just stop.
Five Steps to Healing Our Relationship with Money
There are four prerequisites to the exercise Robert suggests, and which we are about to give to you, for healing your relationship with money. And although the concepts behind them might require explanation to the normal run of a CPA's clients, they will be familiar to our readers. They are:
- Step One. Take full responsibility for everything in your life EVERYTHING!
- Step Two. Stop judging things as good or bad. Nothing is good or bad, it just is.
- Step Three. Be gentle with yourself and others.
- Step Four. Have fun and really enjoy whatever it is you are doing even if it's what you might call bad or negative.
Here is the Fifth Step: Breathe.
When you get that urge to spend money, stop! Don't do it. Instead, breathe.
Sound too simple? Again from his own life, Robert gives us an example of how this works.
For most of my life, when I would have a disappointing encounter with a female, I would have a sensation like a hand coming up and yanking at my heart. When spending money was not an issue, I would immediately hit the streets looking for drugs, or go have drinks with some friends, or use sex to deal with the pain.
Then some woman I had a date with called and broke it, and I started to get that feeling, so I decided, Okay, I'm just going to stay with the pain. I did this because I'd tried everything else, and nothing else had worked. I didn't know what else to do. I was tired of this pain, so I decided I was just going to sit there and breathe and see where it went.
So I lay down and started to breathe. And a voice inside said, It's going to get worse if you don't do something. And it did. It got worse. A part of me was feeling I was going to die if I didn't do something. But another part of me knew that I wasn't really going to die. So I found myself saying, over and over, I'm not gonna die, I'm not gonna die.
This went on for three or four hours. It kept getting worse and I kept breathing and saying, I'm not gonna die. I had decided I was just going to stay with that pain.
And then, all of a sudden, I noticed it wasn't getting any more painful. It had stopped getting worse. So I asked for more! And instead, it started to diminish. And it went away.
The next time I was disappointed by a female, the hand came up but it couldn't hold on. And the time after that, the hand came up and just dropped away.
''I had let the block that was released move completely through my energetic system. And that was that,'' Robert said. ''It was gone. It never came back.''
You Don't Have to Know Why
The key thing we need to really understand here is that it is not necessary to know the source of pain. ''It doesn't matter,'' Robert said. ''The body is self-correcting, self-healing. Pain is self-correcting. You just have to let the water flow through the hose, and allow the pain of the vibration and the pain of disloding the twigs to be there. Just allow it and let it be there. If you think it's going to get worse, then let it get worse. It's not going to kill you. When it starts to go away, invite it back.''
Robert said that he realizes most people are not going to sit down every single time they have the urge to splurge and deal with it by breathing it out. ''But even if you only do five deep breaths just at the point where you feel the impetus to spend money, even that will be an improvement,'' he said.
Of course, we all want to know what was actually behind this feeling of a hand reaching up and squeezing Robert's heart, and as it turns out, he did find this out. But it was two years later, when the problem itself was long gone.
''I was playing around with past-life regression, just because it was interesting, and I found myself in a Medieval lifetime. I was very young. My mother belonged to a witch coven, and although she was always mean to me, one night she decided to be really nice, and she wanted me to come with her to her meeting or whatever it is that witches do. And I was thinking, I like this, she's being nice to me. So I went with her. And the next thing I knew, they had tied me to a block of stone and my mother was cutting my chest crosswise with a knife. Then she reached in with her hand and grabbed my heart and squeezed it and took it out. I was the sacrifice that night.''
We are human, and we love stories, the more gruesome the better. But the point Robert really wanted to stress was that he didn't need to learn the cause to get rid of the block. He just had to be willing to sit with the pain and let it keep on getting worse, even inviting it to do that, until the force of the water the surge of energy that dislodged the rocks and twigs and sand finally pushed all that stuff through the garden hose and out. Until it was gone.
In this case, except for a couple little grains of sand that were easily washed away within a few days, it was then over. No years of therapy. No hypnotist. No drama. No group. No guided imagery. No chi kung, no beating pillows, no primal screaming. Just breathing and breathing and breathing and letting it happen.
Getting Out of Debt
Robert's book describes other things that can help us learn how to create what we want. One technique he advises that we start with is this.
First, make a playsheet headed with the date and the items listed below, leaving space between them to write your feelings and emotions about money:
- Money is:
- Money represents to me:
- Money makes me feel:
Then, on the other side of this playsheet, using colored crayons, draw your feelings about money. If you are doing this process with friends, you might want to share about the drawings.
Robert suggests that you do this writing-down and drawing process periodically, perhaps once a month, as you are using the Five Steps. That way, you can watch as your attitudes and feelings toward money gradually shift. This helps us to know that something is really happening. That way, it's easier to keep doing what we need to do to heal our relationship with money and allow abundance to flow.
How to Increase Our Financial Flow
What if it's not a question of debt? What if we would just like to increase our financial flow? Most of us wish that someone would tell us how to do this, but once again, what Robert has to say is not at all what we are expecting to hear.
''The ideal situation,'' he said, ''is just to live in the flow of the Earth. Everything is provided for. Birds don't make up resumes or look for jobs or buy condos. The reason we don't have abundance is that we push it away from ourselves. Abundance flows freely, as much as we could possibly want, just like water. We don't need to look for an outside cause. Abundance just is.''
Robert Matthews teaches workshops on how to create what you want, and is available for phone consultations. His book, Money Is Energy
, will be published No. 12. To find out more, visit his website at moneyisenergy.com
or email him at GoldnHealr@aol.com
comments, ideas, and suggestions.
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