Real Life Experiences in Tithing

June 3, 2010

In yesterday’s post I articulated my recent revelations about tithing and the HUGE 180 degree mental shift that happened for me when I embraced Edwene Gaines’ views on tithing.  I felt it necessary to lay that foundation in order to give you both my ‘old’ and ‘new’ views on this topic.  Now that we have that out of the way, I’d like to metaphorically take you “Behind the Music” and share my personal experiences with tithing over the last 30 days.  Disclaimer: Results are based on the individual.  My experience may not look anything like yours!

When I first came across this new perspective on tithing in late April, I knew immediately that it was a spiritual practice I wanted in my life.  I could see that the focus on gratitude, spiritual connection and abundance would support the vision of how I want to show up in the world each day and keep it top of mind.  It was a must-do in my mind.  Now there was just the small matter of convincing the hubby.  Surprisingly, this was much easier than expected (have I mentioned how much I ADORE my husband?)  He listened to the recording as well, asked me questions about why I wanted to do it and then gave me his blessing.  So we were agreed – I was going to give away 10% of all the money that came in through my coaching business.

Me and Money

Money and I have a twisted relationship that goes back through the years.  My desire to have money is rooted in a deep need for security.  My greatest fear has always been finding myself in a career or health situation and not being able to get out of it.  Consequently, I have saved like a maniac since I was 10.  My family even called me cheap at times.  And I was actually proud of it, because I had cash in the bank.  But it never felt like enough, even though I knew I was always doing financially better than the majority of people my age.  Yup, despite what seemed like plenty, I was stuck in a scarcity mindset.  And I knew it had to change.

Getting married brought more security, but I still attached too much of my identity to how much money I made.  The elusive question of “what is enough?” always hung out in the air, just out of reach.  I didn’t want to do this my whole life, so I started learning about different mindsets on prosperity consciousness.  And that’s when Edwene showed up…thank you Universe!

What Changed for Me

One of the immediate shifts I noticed when I mentally committed to tithing was that I found it much easier to receive money.  In my line of work, clients often pay me in person at the beginning of the month.  It always surprised me to find how difficult it was to receive those checks.  I would quickly whisk it away and stick it in my purse, blushing bright red.  Not anymore.  First off, the guilt attached to receiving the money disappeared.  In fact, I started to get excited about days I would get paid because I knew that meant I had to get a tithe out.  It also changed how I received the money.  I noticed that during the exchange I looked them straight in the eye and openly received not only the money, but their gratitude for the valuable service I was providing.  It was the coolest damn thing, I tell you.

Now if that wasn’t big enough in itself, I also started attracting more money than I ever had before.  In fact, $1100 more dollars of business came in during May!  And that’s after 10 months of the EXACT same amount coming in.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Edwene encourages getting out your tithes right away, because if you don’t it sends the message that you’re not ready to receive more.  So I was all about receiving the money and sending it on its way to do more good in the world.  Simply, it’s about cultivating a flow of money in your life, not a blockage.  That way you can trust that whenever you have a need, the flow will always be great enough to provide (thereby eliminating the need to worry about what is enough).

In order to determine who was to receive my tithe, I’d always go into meditation and ask the question, “Who is to receive my tithe this time?”  The answer has always come to me within moments and I just go with that first intuitive hit I get.

Then it’s time to gift the tithe, which I’ve come to view as a sacred ritual.  This is actually my favorite part, as it’s long been a joy of mine to acknowledge the people who have made an impact on my life.  I still believe that the act of delivering the “why” behind the tithe (via words) is the most critical part, but the transfer of the money seems to make it more formalized somehow.

My Tithing Ritual

In *MY* tithing ritual, I do the following:

  1. I begin by stating that one of my spiritual practices is tithing and that today I’m there to honor them with a tithe.
  2. I explain what my practice is all about (most of the stuff in yesterday’s blog post) and emphasize that I really need them to accept this, no matter how awkward it may feel.
  3. I then go into explaining exactly how they fed me spiritual food (again, see yesterday’s post for an explanation) and express my deep gratitude for the way in which they impacted me.
  4. I end by handing them the money and letting them know that there are no constraints on the spending of it.  They do not have to tell me what they did with it.  It does not have to go back to charity.  And it most definitely cannot be used to take the two of us out to dinner or something like that (refer to the part yesterday about where I said I can’t receive a benefit in return).
  5. I then leave a quiet space for them to receive it and respond if they’d like.

I have tithed two times thus far and both were equally satisfying spiritual experiences for me.  Truly, sacred is the best word to describe this exchange.  My recipients responded in far different ways.  As you can imagine, this is an incredibly intimate moment that often overwhelms the receiver.  For that reason, the responses can be quite varied.  I had one receiver that sobbed throughout the entire exchange and seemed a bit in shock.  The other receiver giggled uncontrollably and kept staring at the money (and even trying to put it back in my hands).  I have no doubt that each exchange in my future will be both sacred and unique.

I know that this won’t resonate for all of you, but for those that it hits a chord with, I’m happy to get you more resources to help determine if you want to bring this into your life as well.  A few options:

This practice is radically changing my mindset around money.  I’d love to hear from those who are currently practicing or those who feel inspired to take it on.  I hope it changes your life as well!  Sarah

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  1. Allie says:

    Sarah, this is incredibly interesting. Please send me the recordings, if you wouldn’t mind. Now that J and I have stable income (for the first time in our lives), it seems like an appropriate time to mull some of this over. Thank you for sharing what is a pretty intimate experience!

  2. minnesotagal says:

    I’m on it Allie!

  3. Anastasia M. Ashman says:

    Sarah — great stuff! I especially liked the fact that giving money as a spiritual practice has helped you receive money without guilt. BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT to heal your relationship with money — and important for entrepreneurs in general. Thanks for sharing!

  4. elise says:

    i am intrigued and i must read/listen. thank you for sharing this.

  5. minnesotagal says:

    I will send it Elise…

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