Luna Jaffe is a professional with vision and smarts…money smarts. Luna is a psychotherapist, visual artist, Certified Financial Planner™ and the author of two books; Wild Money: A Creative Journey to Financial Wisdom and Wild Money Financial Field Guide and Journal. Through her work and no doubt in her personal life, she passionately promotes the idea that learning about money can be practical and fun, deeply meaningful and free of shame, and best of all, beautiful. I liked her immediately.
DM: What inspired you to write these books?
LJ: I’ve been an entrepreneur for the past 25 years and I never understood money or how to run a business. I realized that I had to make some dramatic life changes so I ventured into the unknown world of finance. It was one of those “face the beast or it will eat you alive” experiences. What I figured out was that I was able to learn and understand financial planning concepts; that I enjoyed sharing what I was learning with other women; and that my artistic background gave me the tools I needed to create new stories and metaphors about money. Over the past decade I’ve searched extensively for books about money that spoke to me and found nothing remotely close, so I started to examine the possibilities. The journey led to me writing about a new way of exploring our relationship with money throughout the lifespan.
DM: What can mental health providers learn about their relationship with money from reading your books?
LJ: Money themes are woven throughout many of the conversations held in the sacred container of therapy. Money is dynamic, complex, and rich with clues to what we value, yet I’ve noticed that many mental health providers don’t have tools to help their clients gain a deeper awareness of how money works for them. It could be because many providers have not done the work themselves and may experience inner conflict about money matters including receiving, saving, investing, and spending. What I offer is a creative way to work through that process that is grounded in psycho therapeutic roots; is stimulating and relatable by use of visuals and narrative; and allows the reader to find a way that works for them.
DM: Your right about that. Your books look beautiful and fun; not exactly what automatically comes to mind when it comes to finances or books about finance. When I first glanced through them I had visions of gum drops, jolly ranchers, childhood storybooks and Judy Blume and I’m not sure how those happy thoughts fit in with the topic of money, but I felt excited about reading on. What made you take that route?
LJ: I was trained in art and sand play therapy. I’ve seen the incredible power that comes forth when we loosen our grip on verbal language and sink deeply into the reservoir of images that live inside of us. A very magical thing happens when a person imagines what their relationship with money looks like and when they have the freedom to trust the images that come into their mind. What tends to happen is that images take shape and a path appears which leads you to the place you’ve always desired; a place where you and money are in a healthy and sacred relationship.
DM: Well in that case I’m glad that I had sugary sweet thoughts of innocence. What’s an important thing for us to know about this journey?
LJ: I believe that you can learn about money and that you can use your innate and creative soulful spirit as an asset rather than a liability. You can build your knowledge of financial terms and take a seat at the table feeling confident enough to ask good questions. Lastly and most importantly, the key to your healing this tender sacred relationship with money is inside of you, right now.
Luna has a M.A. in Depth Psychology and teaches about the Wild Money™ process.