Most people attend a money seminar with the overt or covert hope that they will somehow learn to acquire more money.
The goal of my seminar work however is different. It is to offer a way for people to research and discover aspects of their relationship to money and hence themselves in a depth they may not yet have encountered. And then to make adjustments as they find appropriate, or according to specific goals. The adjustments have usually to do with bringing the way they relate and handle money into line with where they are on their life path. As each person has a different life path, the approach is precise and specific to each, even if financial situations of different people often appear similar. In the end some people may find themselves making more money, others less, others again the same amount. The quantity however becomes less important, the focus is on invoking knowledge which will eventually increase a person's satisfaction independent of the quantities; and also increase competence to deal/live with a larger variety of financial situations with greater ease and relaxation.
Many people nowadays see themselves on a "spiritual path", involved in a multitude of disciplines related to mind, body, spirit; through this benefitting from higher levels of satisfaction and general health. Often however this activity is restricted to their private sphere and there is a feeling that something is still missing, a feeling which tends to be accentuated in the workplace, handling money, while earning their living or dealing with business partners. Intensifying the spiritual discipline or bringing it into the workplace can however widen this dichotomy rather than resolving it.
Though it may sound surprising - because it is not the obvious place to look for it - the money work in this seminar can offer the resolution and turn out for some to be very "spiritual work". This is so because in our relation to money - and the socialised taboo that it has become - can be lodged and hidden some of the most unrevealed (to us) parts of our inner selves.
The seminar works by first using money itself to help discover and reveal these parts. In a way this has nothing to do with money. Money is simply used as a diagnostic tool. However, in reclaiming precisely these hitherto unconscious parts to ourselves we not only become more whole and free; the step reverses the process and translates quite directly (over varying time intervals according to situation/person) back into our relation to money and financial circumstances. This is a natural, organic - and also beautiful - process.
How the seminar looks in practice is two days of so-called "process-oriented" dialogue, often interspersed with practical exercises with money that participants are asked to bring. By process-oriented is meant that there are no preset learning or time blocks, instead the process is led to follow the individual and group needs as they emerge. Generally speaking there is at least as much knowledge and learning transferred between the participants themselves as there is between seminar leader and group. Some themes emerge however with regularity, such as "more money", questions on investment, on debt, on inheritance, inability to spend, spending too much, questions about the financial system, rich and poor ..and much more. While each theme is raised in a context which is specific to a particular individual's circumstances, they are almost always of universal interest. There is usually a level of intensity from start to finish, because of the nature of the subject, but also a lot of room for humour!
Similar or parallel to the way individuals relate to money is the way in which organisations and society as a whole relate to it; and there is an intricate web of interaction between actions at these different levels. It belongs to this seminar to also provide factual information as needed about such matters as the workings of the larger financial system and alternative financial systems, investments, pensions etc. This in the context of enabling participants to position themselves within the larger system(s); and then make better informed decisions and choices.
People also often ask whether women and men deal with money differently? There may be some surface tendencies and behaviours that are gender specific and these aspects and the myths on competence/incompetence of men/women with money (which are myths i.e. do not hold up) can also be looked at in the seminar. But the majority of the learning takes place on a level which is not gender specific.
Peter Koenig, Zürich, October 2000