Dear Lynne, it is a great pleasure to have this real conversation with you, in the #EpicTalk series. I really appreciate your time and willingness to answer a few questions, especially since I know what a busy agenda you have.
Gáspár György: First of all, I would like to say that The Soul of Money had such a strong effect on me. It’s been more than 5 years since I read the English version and my relationship with money has changed significantly ever since. It is absolutely remarkable how this book can reach our basic beliefs and how, if we are open-minded, it can truly change us. Now we have the Romanian translation of the book and I would like to ask you – How has your relationship with money changed over the years and how would you describe your relationship with money today?
Lynne Twist: I am much more conscious and aware of the power of money in my life and in our culture. I have the great privilege of working with some families of immense wealth and have been able to clear up family feuds, deep wounds, abandonment issues, addiction challenges, and profound misunderstandings in some of these families. I have seen that the money, rather than resolving these issues, often has amplified them. Once people re-center in their own humanity, and put the seduction of excess resources aside, they remember who they are.
Gáspár György: Ever since I read the English version, fascinated by the complexity and meaning of the ideas described by you, I started to recommend the book to friends, relatives and, of course, clients in my therapy practice. The reaction of many of them was initially of curiosity, but their faces changed when they heard the title of the book. How did you choose the title and what was your intention regarding the impact it will have on the reader?
Lynne Twist: The title of the book came to me in a conversation with a dear friend and mentor, Wink Franklin. I realized that we have separated our soul from money and everything material. Money does not have a soul, but we do, and we can bring our soul to money and imbue it with heart and meaning and send it into the world.
Gáspár György: The book points out, among other things, the three most toxic myths of scarcity, which limit our possibilities. I had real moments of insight realizing how much they controlled me, without even being aware of that. And I believe very much, just as you write, that over time I have given so much power to money. How can we regain our power in relation to money and how can we restore peace in our souls and in our most important relationships?
Lynne Twist: When we put our humanity and love for each other as well as love for life in the center of our attention and at the heart of our being, money can be a beautiful expression of our highest commitments. When money is at the center, we often lose our way. Peace in our soul is our natural state, and we can always return home when we release our addiction to more.
Gáspár György: I admit that even today, it is not easy for me to talk about money. Especially when my mind anticipates that it will be a difficult conversation and I will experience emotions of fear, shame or embarrassment. However, I know how important it is not to avoid this subject, to normalize it and to tolerate our emotions. An acquaintance told me that it was much easier for her to talk to her friends about sex or death than about money. What advice do you have for people who haven’t read the book yet, but who feel a great need to change their relationship to money?
Lynne Twist: Please read the book!
Gáspár György: In what way was the book welcomed by readers who believe that the accumulation of money is the primary goal? Those who feel that they have no responsibility towards those who earn less?
Lynne Twist: It was a revelation for many people who had become obsessed with more and more and more money, they were able to step off the treadmill and become present to the distinctions of sufficiency, appreciation, gratitude, and generosity.
Gáspár György: You say in the book that „sufficiency is to claim the power of things that already exist“. And God, how meaningful these words are in my inner world. They are like a mantra that deserves to be repeated, as often as possible, to get out of the trap of indigestion and consumerism. In what way could we cultivate a mentality based on self-sufficiency and abundance for children and adolescents? How can we create a legacy based on enough?
Lynne Twist: We can stand in the power of sufficiency and enough-ness ourselves, as parents. Children will mirror the mindset and worldview they are raised in. Expressing and modelling gratefulness and generosity creates a field or ecosystem of high self-esteem and the joy of contribution. Your children are the legacy of how you lived, not what you leave.
Gáspár György: What does true wealth mean to you and what did you learn from Mother Teresa about caring for tomorrow?
Lynne Twist: True wealth is available to everyone through recognizing the „well of being“ that we all have access to in our lives. The word wealth comes from wellbeing and that is the wealth that everyone ultimately wants. Mother Teresa taught me that every human being is a treasure and she saw Christ in every face. She was not engaged so much with tomorrow rather, she was fully present with the beauty and preciousness of today.
Gáspár György: Both in the book and in your many YouTube speeches (which I listened to with a pencil in my hand), you admit that you are asking for money and that you have come to do this very well. Of course, you talk about your role as an activist and fundraiser. What motivates you on this path and in how is it related to your childhood or the psycho-relational legacy gained from your family and previous generations?
Lynne Twist: My mother was a very generous and active player in the causes of her time. She was naturally generous and cared very deeply about the world and particularly social justice and freedom. My father was a musician and heard music in every voice and found harmony and beauty in the world through the creative arts. I was raised in a tsunami of love.
Gáspár György: A brand-new concept for my mind. One that I honestly admit was foreign to me before I read it to you is related to the „green credit card“. Namely, that we take more from the earth than he can produce. In financial terms, we live on the debt of an environmentally friendly credit card that we will never be able to pay. What exactly do these ecological debts mean, and how does this place a burden on future generations?
Lynne Twist: We have the opportunity now and the generations that follow to restore and regenerate all the key ecosystems of this planet. We also have the opportunity to regenerate what it means to be human and how to relate more authentically to the community of life. That is the work of the next seven generations and we are in it together.
Gáspár György: This is the last question, although I had so much more to ask you. But because I don’t want to deprive readers of the pleasure of reading the book, by disclosing too much in advance, I would like to end this interview with the question – What does a healthy relationship with money look like and what does it mean to align our money and soul?
Lynne Twist: A healthy relationship with money is one where your relationships with people, the community, the Earth, and future generations is at the center of your life. Money then becomes a currency or a current of your care and love for all the above. In that way, money is a blessed addition to the many ways you can express your love of life.
Gáspár György: Thank you and infinite gratitude for everything you do and for this book that has the power to change lives!