Conditions. Conditioning. Conduits.

by | Oct 7, 2020

Listen to an audio recording of this blog post.

In August we reviewed five stages of connection – from control to co-creativity. I said there was much to unpack in these ways of connecting and that we would return to our exploration. I’ve remained curious about connections, especially as they relate to money. Mastery in connecting is an essential skill, or way, as we welcome our unknown future.

Our conditioning creates strong barriers to healthier connections. This may be obvious. It may not be so obvious around money. But let’s play and go deeper. The more conditions we possess, the more our connections wield control. If we want to move toward genuine connection-collaborating, we decrease our conditions. If we want to play, consistently, in the big game of co-creation, we release our conditions altogether. 

The dictionary tells us that the word “condition” is derived from Latin, meaning: agree upon. A condition is a stipulation, or prerequisite, required before something can occur. The more conditions I bring to my connections, the more control I want over the relationship and the situation. 

As I type, I notice my torso narrowing and my breath shrinking. Isn’t that interesting? The more conditions you bring to your connections, the more control you want in the relationship and situation. Applying that idea to our connections with money, the more conditions we put on money, and how money should work, the more resistance we experience in money. 

For us to connect and thrive in a co-creative space with money, we need to un-tame our conditions.

Conditioning is a training process to behave in a certain way; to tame particular behaviors in one direction or another, to survive or thrive.  A period in our evolution required conditioning for our species to survive. Olympians and athletes train vigorously to strengthen their conditioning in a chosen sport. We benefit from conditioning to evolve and to strengthen our mind, body and spirit. 

Conditioning is not wrong, but we have overloaded on conditioning as a way of keeping control, jacketing an emotion (fear, anger, sadness), taming our unruly expressions rather than accessing an authentic heart connection. 

“Ten is when we learn to be good girls and real boys. 
Ten is when children begin to hide who they are in order to become what the world expects them to be. 
Right around ten is when we begin to internalize our formal training.”
~ Glennon Doyle, Untamed

Reliable sources to explore conditioning are:

  • families of origin 
  • ethnic groups
  • religious and spiritual communities
  • science
  • media and news

Pick an area and examine the rules and rituals. What conditions have become a part of your way? 

Now let’s look at money. We are absolutely conditioned to behave in certain “tamed” ways. 

In my thirty-plus years working with financial planning clients and my own money development, I have seen how money conditions are embedded in our bones, and how these conditions repeat for generations. We can start to see our own money conditioning by asking a question inspired by Glennon Doyle: 

What money training was formalized for you around the age of ten?

By ten I knew that my allowance was for saving and not spending. I was trained to know that I needed to work hard and save my pennies for a rainy day. If I worked hard, I would be rewarded. I was trained that it was very impolite to talk about money or any flavor of money. I was trained, too, that if I wanted to learn more that I would need to do it myself. I was trained that if I asked questions, there was a 50:50 chance I would get an answer. And in that 50%, the way I received an answer had a 25% chance of being friendly; but more often I felt like a burden. I was trained that money was not easy and felt complicated and stomach-wrenching. In money, there was control and competition, and very little cooperation, and no collaboration or co-creativity.

Does any of the above feel familiar to you?

Take a moment to consider your stories of conditioning around money. Your stories, and the stories of others, shape how we master connection.

What if we moved toward fewer conditions around money, away from control and toward collaboration?

What would it take to be free of conditions and living in co-creativity with money?

What would our shape look like and how would we feel connecting with money without conditions?

Welcome conduits.

I love the Latin and English roots of conduits, to bring together and to conduct, respectively. A conduit brings together, connects, without conditions, as an open source that allows flow of water, energy, power…. Wow. 

Conduits, by connecting one place or source or person or group to another, can remove conditions created through years, decades and generations of conditioning. And, even more amazing, our bodies can be the conduits. Through them we can release conditioning embedded in our DNA from relatives we have never met, or conditions we have created for ourselves. Even conditioning we hold about money can be released when we use somatic practices as a conduit. Choose this month’s practice or any previously offered practice to explore your body as a conduit.

I’m interested in a money world where our connections begin with basic cooperation, not control and competition. If you want that, too, and you have a lot of conditions that require you to feel safe by controlling and competing, especially around money, look at your conditioning and see where your conditions can soften.

If your center of gravity for connection is already in cooperation around money, and you commit to collaborative and co-creative connections, find an exemplar or two, people who exhibit the kind of co-creator you want to be. Imitate that person. Visualize yourself as this embodied being who exquisitely connects.

Co-creative folks are not only walking the walk and talking the talk, but listening, feeling, sensing, opening, restoring, rejoicing, joining… moving dynamically in a world asking for something beyond money behaviors reified from unconscious conditioning. Co-creative folks are conduits bringing together new ideas, opening to what’s possible, seeing deeply from many perspectives and holding impeccable conduct in these connections.

I believe our conditions and conditioning around money are ripe for change and we have the capacity to co-create with all of our wealth in a new way, better for all beings.

One more outbreath of connection… for pleasure and emphasis.

We are conditioned beings. That is so.
We can choose to examine our conditions.
We can each be conduits for co-creativity. I’m in. How about you?

Practicing as a conduit,


Be Moved to Practice

Our One-Minute Water Sit for October offers a reflection to explore the idea of being a conduit and the manifestation of the energy of life. Here we witness the reflection of the sun sparkling in the horizon on the ocean surface. Besides enjoying nature’s glory, imagine that this sparkling energy also resides inside your body for your enjoyment and consumption and generative action.

Wonder … what it would be like to have unceasing energy in this way?

Wonder … how easy it is for the sun and the ocean to co-create the shimmering light dance?

Wonder … what training has created conditions that no longer serve your desired way of connecting?

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