I had the privilege of interviewing Michele Paiva for the upcoming Book Tour promoting her new book How To Heal Financial Anxiety. She is a very interesting lady and I know you will agree. Be sure to check out the exclusive offer from Michele at the bottom of the post.
About the Author
Michele Paiva is a licensed psychotherapist with 30 years of experience, and a sought-after expert in trauma, neuromarketing, and finance therapy by the media. She’s been featured in Oprah magazine, Vogue, Forbes, The Washington Post, USA Today, and speaker at the American Marketing Association, several universities, and many organizations. She holds post-graduate certificates from Harvard Medical School as well as Wharton Business School. She is a real estate and biotech investor as well as an angel investor. She lives with her husband and visits with her adult children and grandchild often. Neurodivergent herself, she feels passionate about and is an advocate for self-value and equality within diversity. She was initiated by His Holiness the Dali Lama in 2013 and Buddhism is at the foundation of her work.
Are you tired of feeling stressed over money?
Do you feel financially humiliated instead of confidently happy?
Have you had an abuser or narcissist in your past that stole your joy and your sense of security?
When your finances suffer, your entire life suffers from your health and relationships to education and opportunities. Planning for the future seems pointless when you are drowning in debt.
Your habits, patterns of thought, and behaviors, including your money and mind connection, are often handed down through generations and neuroplastic changes in the brain due to childhood stress and trauma. Then, there are social stigmas also causing negative neuroplastic changes.
It is not your fault!
The good news is that all of this can be cleared up fairly easily with targeted actions and awareness.
No more feeling stressed over money or your life, it’s time to be fiscally-fearless and emotionally free.
What you will receive:
✓ A deeply therapeutic experience for your feelings and finances
✓Over 60 neuroscience-based activities to explore
✓ A complimentary downloadable pdf workbook to take you through the year
✓ A weekly support group that is email-based, to sustain your financial healing process so you never feel alone.
✓ Invites to discounted and complimentary workshops and events, including facilitator training and certification.
Why Buddhism for the foundation of your work?
Thank you for asking! The short answer is that Buddhism and science go hand in hand. Buddhism is often thought to be the foundation of psychology in many ways, Psychology means the study of the soul or mind, which is exactly what Buddhism asks of us, in practice.
The long answer is, for me personally, growing up and living an adult Christian and Jewish life, which I still honor, I found that the teachings of Buddhism deeply moved me and I found it to be inclusive rather than exclusive, which spoke to me. Meaning, you can still practice Christianity and practice Buddhism, as Buddhism does not require you to give up any part of yourself. Buddhism is a practice that is both a lifestyle and/or a religion. One need not believe anything specifically nor does one need to be devout in any way, when in your own personal practice. This allows for flexibility and healing, as in therapy, “meeting you where you are”.
My mother and often my father enjoyed learning about Buddhism. In my teens, my mother was even more interested in Buddhism, and we had a beautiful jade buddha in the kitchen which represented happiness, joy, and prosperity. The presence was not nor is it ever, to worship, it was to remember to be self-aware and bring oneself to peaceful thoughts.
I wanted to be able to bring that to my clients in subtle ways. In fact, my book and website use a jade-teal color to give homage to that memory and (my) energetic intention to anyone who visits.
I keep it as a foundation of my work because I’ve seen and experienced its transformative potential. I do not expect or even wish my clients or readers to alter any of their beliefs, I only enjoy sharing some lessons that I’ve learned that I feel will help them; tweaked to fit the design of the solution I feel will offer support.
What are neuroplastic changes?
The brain reorganizes itself quite often and we are learning more and more about it. It was once thought that only in early development are we creating the “wiring” for adulthood but now we know that trauma changes the brain, chronic negativity, viewing negative behaviors such as one might see in social networking, or experiencing physical or mental struggles, to name a few. However, we also know now that learning changes the brain, positive feedback, affirmation, love, and relearning our sense of self.
An example of neuroplastic change would be being “bad” at direction because you simply do not need to be great at finding your way around. However, almost every seasoned NYC Cab driver would be considered very good at direction because they need to not only find their way around but manage last-minute traffic, being cut-off, construction, and so on. They have minds that have slowly reorganized and thus, even out of NYC, they tend to be location-savvy.
Maybe another example more relatable might be if someone is a good cook or horrific in the kitchen. Cooking is beyond following a recipe, it involves understanding how to use the utensils, understanding heating elements, and having a general passion or interest in creating a meal. Those who lack any of those elements might struggle more but after time, the “learning” is multi-faceted and they reorganize their mind to be more naturally adept at cooking. Or, you will be like me and have the fire company at your home at least once every few years, and be the source of countless jokes within the family for lousy cooking skills. On a personal note, I did take a vegan cooking course a few years ago and enjoyed it and now am the go-to vegan cook for a lot of my friends and family! That being said, it’s hard to screw up Tofu. Anything you do to it is an improvement, haha!
What type of social stigmas create financial anxiety?
So. Many. Stigmas.
One thing is that people often connect what they have to who they are. Meaning, they feel their self-value on some level, connects to their net worth. We all know that this is not the case intellectually but many of us would feel embarrassed riding around in what might be considered a jalopy of car or wearing dated and faded clothing. The stigmas go deeper.
Most people can easily discuss sexual problems like painful intercourse or the feeling of betrayal of a cheating spouse. However, ask those same people if they have savings, and they clam up or begin making nervous excuses because they feel that question is meant to critique them.
We grow up to “be” something. A question often asked if a child is “what do you want to “be” when you grow up. Or a teen might be asked “what do you want to “do”?” A new job? The questions are “What do you “do” for a living, and in that moment you might feel that they are silently figuring out your pay scale.
Some people are. I knew a woman once who watched children who were doing so because she was watching her own young children. She was a former teacher. One time she said to me, “I can’t believe these people can afford me. They are this strange blue-collar royalty”. First, talk about jealousy and insecurity, right? Second, what parasitic, living-in-a-bubble attitude. So yes, sometimes the fear of stigma is real because not everyone is emotionally mature and we should not care about what those limited mentality people think.
There are stigmas about food stamps for example, and yet I think the percentage is something like one in every ten Americans receives some form of nutrition support.
There are stigmas about gender and money. Men who are gay, bisexual, or openly transgender females, get paid almost 30% less on the dollar, especially if they are a person of color than their hetero-white male counterparts.
Millennials have stigmas as well as being lazy, bad with money, and irresponsible when in truth, that is not the case.
Stigmas are a mark of disgrace and this shame can etch away at someone’s health and wellness, not only their bank accounts. The problem is, the more they feel the stigmas and shame, the more they might try to spend or feel unworthy of saving because they begin to believe the discriminatory assumptions and outright displays.
One big issue is that some people were taught to not ask for help, and feel a money struggle means that they are weak, unsuccessful, and unworthy. This is a common theme. They suffer in silence and continue to feel overwhelmed and isolated. Most people do not even notice that they have an issue because they are just doing what everyone in their family or friendship circle seems to be doing.
I could go on and on but I’ll have to pay you for a therapy session if I vent anymore.
Tell me about the workshops you teach.
There are a few. My main focus is a mentorship that is personalized to the client. They work through a series of exercises that I have found through the years to be incredibly beneficial without “tearing off the scab” that protects their emotions. This one is personalized in that they fill out an intake and we have one phone call and support email communication after that, for the remainder of the month, with homework and feedback.
The other is the course to go with the book, which is a support resource to deepen one’s connection to healing financial anxiety and can be a stand-alone.
I am beginning a course on narcissistic tactics and strategies for recovery soon as well, as many narcissists abuse people’s money and their minds (and hearts, souls, etc). My background is trauma therapy and I blended business and trauma for my style of finance therapy.
I have to ask how you came to meet his Holiness the Dali Lama?
With misfortune, I did not meet him personally as in a handshake; in 2013, there was an initiation at the Beacon and I was thankful to have been able to register. He did a group initiation, and it was incredible to see him and hear him speak. I can honestly say that it was a highlight of my life. While I did get initiated by the Dalai Lama, I am actually in the Thich Nhat Hanh, Order of Interbeing, and run an online Sangha for Plum Village.
No doubt you read many periodicals but what do you read for fun?
Ohhh this is a biggie.. I love reading books by Maya Angelou and Alice Walker, both of who I did meet briefly when they spoke locally at Cheyney University. And yes, I did cry from sheer overwhelm in meeting them. I also enjoy the haiku of Sonia Sanchez, who I studied with one summer fairly recently and she is my other ‘life highlight” to have experienced. Aside from that, I love reading about ancient civilizations and theories like Fingerprints of the Gods. I’m also a fan of magazines like Town and Country and Vogue, as I love their highlights of creative people. A few other favorites: Flow and Creativity (two different books) by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and The Moral Animal by Robert Wright.
One book I read over and over is Enchanted April, and also enjoy the movie of the same name.
If anyone loves fiction, that one is about a group of four very different women, coming together to find love and find themselves through a series of conflict resolution-focused experiences.
One of my other favorites of all time – The Secret Garden and, Grimms Fairy Tales!
There’s so many… soooo mannnnnyyyyy. I feel like I’d have to live 500 lifetimes to read everything that’s on my wishlist.. can you relate?
What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
That they are not broke or emotionally broken; it’s all the trauma, social stigmas and stress clouding them from seeing the potential within them. There is truth under their trauma.
How can readers get in touch with you?
To find out more about the great exclusive discount Michele is offering click here
I had the greatest time talking with Michele and I know you will enjoy her book as well as learn how to get a handle on your financial anxiety by tackling the bad habits you have when it comes to money.