Lately, I’ve been hearing Hawayo Takata’s voice in my ear. She always said, “Reiki brings us health, success, happiness, and long life.” When she talked about these qualities, her voice held a wonderful lightness and wisdom. Part of the “success” she was talking about certainly had to do with money.

But how do you find or maintain a light heart in the midst of dramatic economic change—change that may be affecting you very personally?

You may have struggled with money all your life—how to earn it, how to manage it, how to work with your feelings about it—so the present situation isn’t making things any easier. Although people talk about money as energy (which is undeniable!), it’s also a basic fact that money is physical and only has use and meaning in the physical world. At the moment of our death, money will be of no help to us at all. Seeking money to provide meaning in life is a dead end.

We know we can get pretty stuck around money—and relationships, and health, and other things, too. You can feel undeserving, guilty, greedy, fearful, mystified, or resentful, to name a few. But all of these emotions are not actually about money, they are about what you’ve been taught, assumptions you’ve made, beliefs, patterns and habits. Money is neutral. When you step back and look at your attitudes about money, you have an opportunity to see what’s driving you—where you’re out of balance.

It is never about money. It’s about love and thus about fear and lack of connection with Source, however you define that. It’s not a question of whether I value myself, of “how much am I worth,” or what I deserve. And it is certainly not a measure of spiritual attainment.

As a friend of mine says: Money is not a measure of your worth, it’s an opportunity for reflection. It gives you information that is unique to you and your situation. It’s not there to judge you or measure your value. I find this insight very helpful and tricky and subtle. Your needs and longings deeply affect your relationship with money because they are your core challenges and aspirations.

Reiki teaches us that the deeper our connection with life energy, with Source, the more we will move into right relationship with money, family, friends, ourselves—everything. When we turn to Source to fill our deepest needs, our hearts and minds can remain happy no matter the external. Our minds can be free of worry and fear—just for today.

I’m sure this was the source of the lightness I heard in Hawayo Takata’s voice.