Grow Your Own Money Tree
Create your own thriving relationship with money by creating a growth-oriented money story.
“Money doesn’t grow on trees,” she said, snapping her purse shut.
We’ve all heard that saying so many times we assume it’s true.
But what if it’s just one story?
What if money does grow on trees?
When we think, “money doesn’t grow on trees,” we assume a mindset of disempowered scarcity-anxiety. We focus on helplessness, like money is just something that exists in the world and isn’t influenced by our own actions. We focus on deprivation. While a negative bias can feel comfortably familiar, and embracing our scarcity-focussed shadow side is essential to growth, if you truly want to enjoy a prosperous new relationship with money, you need to choose between staying in your mental comfort zone and writing your own new money story.
What if, after a moment of heartfelt appreciation for our scarcity-anxiety-based mindset of disempowerment and the comfortable familiarity it provides us, we investigate a growth-oriented approach?
If this new story is true, what kinds of questions do you have to ask yourself?
Your answers will tell you your own, unique money story, and your own, unique way of moving forward into an integrated, healthy future. The more specifically you think the questions through and the more specifically you answer them, the more powerful tools you will have at your disposal to move forward into a prosperous new life.
If money does grow on trees, then what do you need to think through in order to grow your own money tree?
How to Grow Your Own Money Tree
First, ask yourself why you want to grow a money tree. Does your money tree give you shelter when you’re old? Does it feed your family with its fruit? Does it provide a branch to hang a swing from for fun? Does its bark make medicine to treat illness? Does it make pretty flowers to entice a mate? Does it provide low-hanging fruit fast, or do you want a money tree that takes longer to mature and then produces a rarer but higher-value crop? Exactly what do you want to do with your money tree? The better you understand this, the more you will know about what kind of tree to grow, and the more you will understand what your priorities are.
Now: what do you want to grow? And within that, what can you grow? What is aligned with your true self? Think through what kind of tree is an authentic choice for the environment you have to offer. Every climate and every soil has a handful of trees especially well suited to it. Not every tree will grow in every climate. If you want to grow a palm tree outdoors in Norway, the palm probably will not thrive. However, if you grow an apple tree in Germany, your chances of an abundant harvest are greater. We cannot be everyone to everybody; we must do only our own work.
What Is True For You
So, what is true for you?
In order to figure this out, you have to take honest stock of what inspires you, what your dominant sides are, and what your non-dominant sides are. These are the terrain in which you will plant your money tree. These aspects shape how your money tree grows, and, ultimately, what fruit it produces.
The more you tell yourself the truth about what these resources are, the better they nurture your tree, and the more clearly you will understand what trees would thrive for you. The more you lie to yourself, or aren’t aware of what your true tools are, the less useful they are in your quest to grow your money tree.
Next, how many trees do you want to grow? Do you want to grow a single tree or do you want to grow a whole orchard? Choosing to grow an orchard means you need to understand what additional resources are required, and what additional help you will need. If you want to plant an orchard, you will need to invest more resources up-front than if you plant a single tree, so consider: what are those resources? Do you have enough of them already or will you need more to get started? If you need more, where are you going to get them? How are you going to get them? Will it take a village to raise your money orchard? Will it take a few trusted assistants? You can continually redefine along the way, but it helps to survey both your map and your terrain beforehand.
Great, so you’ve chosen what kind of tree you want to grow, and how big of an investment you want to make. You have chosen a tree that is likely to prosper in the environment you provide. Now, how do you help it grow?
What do you have to take into consideration when you’re planting your tree? You will fine-tune your answers as you go along and as you learn about your tree by its own growth process, but you need to start with a general sense of what is required.
How do you see yourself planting your baby tree? Are you planting a seed, or a sapling? Visualise what’s true for you and then investigate what you have to do in order to make that answer thrive.
If you see yourself planting a seed, take into consideration what farmers think through when planting seeds. For instance, you can’t plant them at just any old time. You have to plant them when the time is right. Is this the right time for you to be planting this seed? Or do you need to wait for the right season? If so, how will you know when it is the right season? — You also have to plant the seed at the right depth and give it the right amount of personal space. Does it need additional food, or protection from the elements, or artificial support to make up for something not naturally occurring in the environment you’re providing? If so, what are these things? How are you going to provide them for your money tree seed?
If you see yourself planting a sapling, think about the gentleness with which you have to handle the sapling. You need to tenderly massage its roots, working them open with your fingers before planting the sapling in the ground, and you need to pack the dirt around the sapling in a way that is supportive but not suffocating. Different trees like having different amounts of their root ball covered. Different trees like different temperatures, amounts of water, soils, acidity, air, bacteria, light, minerals, and neighbours.
What does your money tree need?
How much shelter does your money tree need, and how much freedom? Does your money tree need a lot of watering (emotional attention), or does it thrive best with well-considered hands-off time?
Most trees, like most people, need a balance of light and shadow in order to thrive: what is your tree’s unique balance? Does this balance change over time? What other specialists do you need to seek out in order to help your tree grow?
How you handle your tree matters too. If you handle literal trees with love, caring for them with tenderness and talking to them with affection, the trees are far more likely to thrive under your care (they also love Bach). The same is true for your money tree. If you connect emotionally with your money tree and invest your love into helping it grow, your money tree will have the best possible chance at growing tall and strong and fruitful.
Your Tree Is Unique
Different money trees have different timelines to maturity. A money oak has a different life cycle than a money bamboo, and will provide you with a different experience. If you plant a sequoia and wonder why it isn’t showering you with tart cherries in its first summer…it is not that your money tree is insufficient. It is that you need to step back and remind yourself what the nature of your tree is and what kinds of fruits it can realistically provide.
Different trees have different hardinesses and fragilities. What helps one may not help another. And they are susceptible to different challenges. Pests, mold, parasites…what are some challenges you can realistically expect to handle, given the money tree you have chosen to grow? Thinking through what might come up, and gathering resources to deal with those challenges before they happen, helps you grapple with them on the chance that they do happen.
There are also challenges that might come along that you didn’t expect. This is part of growing trees.
Farming is real-world magic, a tangible practice of investing real-world daily effort into turning your visions into real-world results. Farmers have learned that the best way to do this is to align right action with the cyclical flow of life. Tending your growing money tree is about listening to its needs, getting to know its character every day, and acting in harmony with the seasons and the elements. It’s about knowing when it’s time to rest, responding to emergencies, changing gears on an as-needed basis, adjusting to what is, and understanding what is and what is not under our control. Being a good money tree steward means doing everything we can to handle our controllable responsibilities with love, and it also means being present with uncontrollable situations we can’t change. And it means learning which is which. If you can do something about something, you should do it, and if there’s nothing you can do, it is time to whip out your Buddhist equanimity. Accept that you care, accept that this aspect of this experience is not something you can control, and practice living with that.
Then go plant another money tree, if necessary.
You will notice that your own tree might not behave at all like other members of its own species, even if given similar growing conditions. This is because trees are alive and unique. You will constantly be adjusting your approach, as you listen to your growing money tree and grow with it. Surprises happen all the time. It’s your job to have some basic principles about tree-growing in place before you start, and then learn how to handle constant real-world evolution.
And what about the time when your money tree finally produces its first harvest?
Appreciate the fruits of this joint process! Harvest them, enjoy them, appreciate them, and look forward to the next harvest.
It’s all part of the process.
Money Tree Meditation
Get comfortable, close your eyes, ground, and tune in to your breath. When you feel the sparkles of the day settling into ease, get curious with yourself. Imagine yourself lazily strolling through a field. Nothing special to do. You’re so lazy, you might even be humming a favourite song, or chewing a piece of grass. Or not. It’s your field.
Presently you come upon exactly the money tree that you considered while reading this article. Except now you have the time to really look at it and experience it fully. Now is the time for curiosity. Really look at this money tree of yours and take the time to get to know it. Also listen to it, feel it, and smell it. If appropriate, taste it. Ask yourself specific questions about your money tree and answer them in specific language. For example, does your money tree have leaves? (Instead of just answering, “yes,” tell yourself, “yes, my tree has leaves.”) What kind of leaves? What colour are the leaves? Are all of them that colour or are some of them different? What texture are the leaves? Are they growing? Are some of them buds? Are they moving? Are they getting all the right nutrients?
Does anyone live in your money tree?
This is your tree. These are your questions. These are your answers. Take all the time you want.
What do you want to do with your tree? Do you want to climb your tree? Do you want to taste its fruit if it has fruit? Do you want to hug your tree? How is your tree doing, anyway? Does it have bugs or mildew or wilty leaves, or is it looking healthy? Can you investigate its roots underground?
As you investigate your tree and your relationship with your tree, allow yourself to see yourself at different parts of the tree-growing process. Do you water your tree with a watering can, or do you wait for the rains? How often do the rains come, and how do you handle them? If you chose to grow your tree from a seed, can you “remember” how it felt to hold the seed in your hand? When you plant the seed, do you get dirt under your fingernails? What does the dirt smell like? How do you feel after a session of spending time with your money tree?
Hang out with your money tree, curiously asking these questions, knowing that all answers are the right answers. Hang out with your investigation of what it feels like to be the person helping this money tree grow. Then when you feel complete, give yourself a little closure, pause for a silent moment, paying attention to your breath, and then come back to the everyday world. Pat yourself on the back, because somewhere in this meditation, your subconscious told your conscience information that will help you get where you’re going in your most authentic and sustainable way.
Write down what you noticed.
Now go live your best life.