When women are empowered with money, they become “difference makers.” They transform not only their own lives but also those of their children, their families, and their communities at large. In her new book, Money, Manifestation & Miracles: A Guide to Transforming Women’s Relationships with Money, award-winning leadership and coaching executive Meriflor Toneatto empowers women to extend their limits so they can create the life of their dreams. We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book.

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To gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of money, we need to move beyond the dictionary definition of it as “a measure of value or a means of payment.” This deeper comprehension will give you a new perspective on money, which will help you pave the way toward your desired reality. In my work over the past twenty years, I have discovered some essential truths about money, both for myself and for my clients.

The first essential truth is that money is a uniquely human creation; it does not exist in nature or in the animal kingdom. The first form of money was used as early as 3000 BCE. And from that time on, humankind has conferred value and power on money. Yet money as an object has no value. It may as well be the artificial currency we use when we play Monopoly. The meaning we assign to money is what gives it such prominence, power, and emotional value in our lives. Money has become its own force.

The second essential truth is that money is an exchange of energy. We expend energy through our work in exchange for money, another form of energy. In turn, the money enables us to use it in various ways, from acquiring the basic necessities of life to enhancing the quality of our lives and the lives of others. We can also use money to facilitate achieving our goals and dreams.

The third essential truth is that money is a form of love. The most powerful force in the Universe is love. It magnifies all the positive qualities of life, such as kindness, faith, hope, generosity, joy, well-being, patience, forgiveness, compassion, peace, courage, happiness, friendship, and more. Therefore, connecting money with love opens up tremendous possibilities for joy because you are the source of all your prosperity and wealth.

Money is a tool you can use to take care of yourself and others by showing your love, nurturing, and appreciation. As women, we feel gratified when we can share what we have and help those in need. A tremendous positive domino effect occurs when women are empowered with money. They can help their families and communities while contributing to the economy at the same time. Having said that, it is also essential that as women we give in a way that is balanced, so that we avoid overgiving and sacrificing ourselves.

You can also use money to care for yourself and demonstrate self-love. A key way to do this is to maintain the mind-set that prosperity begins with you. Feeling good about yourself and what you have in your life is crucial. Self-love is the entryway to being your best and most powerful self. It is a deep appreciation of who you are right now. It is not about loving yourself at some future date when you earn a higher income, or lose weight, or have more confidence, or find the right partner, or have more money in the bank, or meet any other conditions that you may place on yourself in order to feel worthy. Self-love includes accepting each and every part of you. Yes, every part, all the good — your talents, strengths, beauty, wisdom, and many more qualities — as well as the not-so-good, those imperfections and faults we all possess. When you are committed to loving yourself, a positive flow occurs. You will be happier and will make better choices, attracting the right circumstances for prosperity and abundance.

The fourth essential truth is that money is a catalyst for your personal growth. As entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn once said, “After you become a millionaire, you can give all of your money away because what’s important is not the million dollars; what’s important is the person you have become in the process of becoming a millionaire.” Mastering money and abundance is a wonderful journey of personal and spiritual growth — you can become the best and highest version of yourself in the process. And once you understand the concept of wealth creation, you essentially hold the keys to abundance, regardless of the state of the economy. This means that you can become your most powerful self and be in full control of creating the prosperity you desire. Money is not just a means to buy material possessions; it is a tool for vitality and growth. Understanding this can help you let go of residual anxiety, guilt, or fear you might have regarding money.

The fifth essential truth is that money is part of your spiritual purpose. I have found that many women who are soulful often feel conflicted about generating more money in their business or career. They often say, “It’s not about the money. I just want to help lots of people.” Does this ring true for you? On the one hand, this sentiment is admirable, while on the other, it is a misconception. In fact, here is the irony of this situation: It is far more difficult to reach people when you have no money. You have an opportunity to help many more people and can do more good in the world when you have money, which provides you with the practical means to do so.

Even Mother Teresa, who lived very simply and was a champion for the poor, the dying, and the unborn, once stated, “It takes a checkbook to change the world.” This is a key secret understood by the masters of wealth and success who use money as a powerful force for good.

The truth is, the more money you earn, the more you can help others, be of service, make a bigger impact, and fulfill your soul’s purpose. In other words, let your prosperity reflect the good you contribute to the world. Poverty is not a spiritual or higher state of being, nor does suffering exalt the soul. Money is often required to accomplish your life’s work.

Money is part of your spiritual purpose, and you can use it to help you fully express yourself through your life’s work, and to realize your full potential and higher purpose. Since you have a big mission, money is the tool that will help you accomplish your important work in the world — including transforming lives.

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Meriflor Toneatto is the author of Money, Manifestation & Miracles. As the CEO and founder of Power With Soul, she specializes in helping ambitious women entrepreneurs, professionals, and leaders reach financial prosperity and success while fulfilling their social promise to the world. Her work has been featured internationally in media outlets like Yahoo! Finance, The Washington Post, International Business Times, The Los Angeles Times, and more. Visit her online at www.meriflor.co.

Excerpted from the book Money, Manifestation & Miracles. Copyright ©2018 by Meriflor Toneatto. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

Originally published at newworldlibrary.com