At every stage of life — from birth to death — it is vitally important to have a balanced life for health and happiness. Most of us, including me, were not born into such an atmosphere and had no model for it. The most difficult challenge for all of us is creating and maintaining balance in our personal lives, in the midst of an ever-changing world. A healthy, balanced life is not easy to achieve, but I know that it’s possible because I work on it everyday for myself and for my patients.
I am a gynecologist, not a psychologist, priestess, or financial planner — but I’ve written this to include the components of mind, body, soul, and finances because my approach to health differs from that of the average American physician. My background in Haiti and my life experiences give me a holistic perspective on health that takes into account the physical, plus the mental, spiritual, and financial realms. As a holistic healer, I believe that all of these components should be attended to individually, but also acknowledged as inextricably intertwined. All four aspects must be kept equally in balance for a healthy life.
[Here,] I explain that our financial health is directly connected to our overall health. [My intention] is to debunk the many misconceptions about our relationship with money, not to teach you expert financial planning — I’m not a financial planner. But [having had] considerable experiences with patients in my private practice, [as well as with] friends and relatives, I feel compelled to include the influence of money on our health. It is one of those four important “legs”: mind, body, soul, and money. We must control our financial health in order for our “table” of optimum health not to wobble.
Much of life revolves around money: earning money, learning how to spend money, saving, and giving. I have learned that how one feels about money has nothing to do with how much you have. And how much money we make has nothing to do with how much we save. America is one of the few countries where anyone who works hard and has the ability to save can become the millionaire next door.
Our relationship with money is twofold: earning it and spending it. Earnings are related to our educational capacity, as well as our lifestyle needs. When our earnings exceed our basic costs of living, we are able to save.
Our environment also reflects our relationship with money. My paternal grandmother raised me because my single mother was poor. Although grandma also struggled, she taught me invaluable lessons about frugality. She was adamant that “we do not eat the turkey today and the feathers tomorrow.” We learned to live with each day’s allotment. She taught us the difference between “needs and wants.” Needs are things we must have to live decently, such as a secure home, food, and money for basic necessities. Everything else should be considered wants.
According to WonderGroup, an agency that conducts in-depth research for corporations, about two-thirds of children