The Kenwood Press
: 10/15/2013

When is “enough” enough?

Donna Colfer

When mired in constant overwhelm, working to keep up with bills and family commitments piled high, thoughts like taking a day off, more rest, or even a vacation seem out of reach. Staying in this over-driven money pattern can cause unconscious suffering that leads to unhealthy, chronic symptoms in the body. Doctors can’t solve these problems with another bunch of pills.

For many people, this condition isn’t always easy to change. They think if they slow down, the proverbial treadmill will fall apart. They fear they’ll go broke. Not true. I’ve always been intrigued by Deepak Chopra’s wisdom, paraphrased here: “The less you do the more you’ll achieve.”

Sam is in his late fifties, a devoted husband with two grown children. He’s worked for 25 years as an architect and has done well for himself financially but doesn’t feel content or financially secure. He doesn’t feel he has saved enough for his retirement, which is on the horizon. Sam’s the type of guy who’s generous with his time and money, compassionate to others, and generally makes wise decisions. His work style is consistent and hardworking; he never takes breaks and always eats his lunch driving to his next destination. On the job, he’s a perfectionist with high expectations of himself and others, and he works on Saturdays and most Sundays, contributing to his exhaustion and suffering. He rarely finds time for friends and has become impatient when people come to visit. His only peace is at home with his wife, and watching television, which is his way of shutting down.

Leading a life of “doing” not balanced with “being” is a self-sacrificing one. This is the cycle of a workaholic living an unfulfilled life. It becomes an unconscious pattern leading to resentment: “I’m so tired…when is it going to be my turn?” Physically it’s impossible to continue this pattern without consequences. Sam has developed chronic stomach aches, migraines, and problems with his equilibrium.

One of my favorite rides as a child was the tilt-a-whirl. But if you stayed on it too long you’d experience some of these same conditions. Sam has clearly stayed on this “ride” too long.

The archetype I’ve just described is an over-driven Warrior who has moved into the Martyr and Tyrant money types. Financially speaking, Martyrs do more for others than they do for themselves, forming an unconscious attachment to their suffering. They tend to be perfectionists with high expectations of themselves and others. They are repeatedly disappointed when others fail to measure up to their expectations. It’s not uncommon to experience insomnia as well. The goal for the Martyr is to be in control, to control others, AND be the wounded, needy child. Staying in this archetype long enough results in a tired, resentful, crabby individual, and leads right into the Tyrant money type.

Tyrants may have everything they need or desire but never feel complete, comfortable, or at peace. In spite of their apparent success, they’re fearful. They rarely feel any sense of fulfillment: a “chronic not-enoughness.”

Before reaching this stage, consider the key to healing for the Martyr money type: find the balance between over-giving and receiving by taking the time for more self-care. There must be time to replenish and regenerate the body, mind, and spirit.

Sam created better boundaries within his work schedule by saying “no” to working weekends. He takes at least a 15, if not a 30 minute break every day to eat his lunch in a quiet place. To help with his upset stomach and migraines, he schedules a massage every two weeks and has also changed his diet. His symptoms have decreased dramatically. He and his wife now enjoy long walks and take a yoga class together on Saturday mornings. Sam came to an understanding that money doesn’t truly buy safety, love, or happiness, and from there he started to develop a sense of faith and purpose beyond making money; he has gratitude for all that is working in his life: a loving wife, family, friends, and supportive community.

Ask yourself: Have you taken care of yourself? Where do you need support, self-nurturing, and self-love? How can you quiet your mind and feed your heart so you don’t feel so afraid?

What money topics interest you? Email me and I’ll do my best to address your topic here (no names!) and give you resources to help.

To learn more about your relationship with money, visit and take the complimentary “Money Type Quiz.” Only you will see the results. Or contact me at

Donna Colfer has worked in financial management since 1987. As a Financial Counsellor and a Certified Money Coach, she blends her financial expertise with spiritual counselling in her private practice in Sonoma. A Valley resident for 32 years, Donna and her husband Randy reside in Kenwood.

© 2013 Donna Colfer