Episode 23 — Live by Your Values and the Beauty of Enoughness — With Guest Lynne Twist
How do your values flow through your everyday life?
Today, Lynne Twist joins Danielle Howard for an eye-opening episode on the power of integrating your values and intentions into all areas of your life.
A recognized global visionary who works to alleviate poverty, end world hunger, and support social justice and environmental sustainability, Lynne shares how she finds deeper fulfillment by living her life according to her values, not monetary things.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- About Lynne’s life-changing meeting with Mother Teresa
- How Lynne’s story shaped the trajectory of Danielle’s work
- What it means to live in the beauty of enoughness during retirement
- How to prepare the future generation through continuity
- And more!
Join Lynne and Danielle now for a moving episode on how we can re-center our lives through our intentions and values.
[00:00:02] Welcome to the Wealth Done Differently Retirement Podcast. Danielle Howard a certified financial planner shares insight into the financial tools techniques and temperaments needed to make the most of your retirement dollars and relationships. Danielle bridges the gap between Wall Street and Main Street bringing complex financial topics down to earth. Danielle will educate and inspire you as you define and refine your version of prosperity.
[00:00:35] Hello and welcome to Wealth Done Differently Retirement with Danielle Howard a Certified Financial Planner. I could not be more excited today. The podcast today we have a special guest and her name is Lynne Twist. And I’m going to give you a little bit of background about Lynne before I bring the ladies on. This is just absolutely amazing to me. So for more than 40 years Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty. Ending World Hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability. From working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta to the refugee camps in Ethiopia and the threatened rainforest of the Amazon as well as guiding the philanthropy of some of the world’s wealthiest families. Lynne’s on the ground work has brought her a deep understanding of people’s relationship with money. Her breadth of knowledge and experience has led her to profound insights about the social tapestry of the world and the historical landscape of the times we are currently living in. Good morning ladies how are you.
[00:01:34] Good morning Aric. Morning. Good morning to all of you. Wonderful yeah.
[00:01:40] Lynne reading this is just absolutely amazing. And I know that you’re also an acclaimed author I am going to let Danielle speak to that in a moment but I want to thank you so much for being here because I am really excited about the content of this podcast and what we’re going to be talking about today.
[00:01:54] Thank you.
[00:01:55] It’s my honor and delight to be here. and Danielle thank you so much for bringing her on. I know that you know a lot about what she’s done and I want to hand it over to you. Can you talk a little bit about the book that she’s written and kind of some of the work she’s done.
[00:02:10] I don’t know how the sole of money ended up in my hands but it changed the course of my business practice and my personal relationship with money. you know alongside the twenty four hundred verses in Scripture that talk about how money can be used as its weaves its way in and through our lives.
[00:02:34] Lynne’s book The Soul of Money was just incredibly impactful on me. She shares many many stories and the three truths about money that we need to combat with the three lies of money. This book has now been translated into nine languages the Korean Chinese Vietnamese French Spanish German Japanese Bulgarian and Portuguese.
[00:03:01] I am just amazed at the impact that not only her words but her work is having all over the world.
[00:03:11] And I’d like to start today Lynne would you share.
[00:03:15] Yes we’re talking about the idea of hospice saying retirement as it has become known that is supposed to draw this line in the sand and sail off into the sunset dressed in white linen with a cocktail in your hand you know pulling money out of various resources and you brought the idea when we met. I brought you to Aspen this summer for a lead with love conference to talk about the relationship people have with money and you talked about the idea of hospicing retirement and it was it was incredibly powerful and I was hoping today we could maybe start with one of your stories that you share in the soul of money with your time with Mother Teresa and and the couple that you encountered did you did you share that story with us and maybe how that planted some of the seeds in your movement and in hospicing retirement.
[00:04:23] Oh gosh. OK thank you.
[00:04:25] Thank you Danielle thank you so much for having me on this podcast and I hope I can. Let me say I’ll address the question rather than answer it because the experience I had with Mother Teresa and the couple who interrupted are very holy meeting change the course of my life quite dramatically in all kinds of ways. And I’ll just give you my my condensed version because I could do. Take take a couple hours to Tell that story. So I was working very very devotedly you could say almost in a way that was passionate beyond what you could imagine on ending world hunger.
[00:05:10] And was that takes you to India if you’re going to end world hunger. You spend a lot of time in Africa all of sub-Saharan Africa and India.
[00:05:17] Those are Indian subcontinent where where we had a lot of operations for the Hunger Project lots of work that we’re doing there and I was raised as a Catholic and always thought I’d love to just be in the same room or presence or world with Mother Teresa and I had a friend in India. Her name was Indira Koitra.
[00:05:37] When I shared with her how much I love Mother Teresa and admired her she said well I know Mother Teresa I can arrange a meeting and I just kind of was stunned.
[00:05:46] And then two years later really back and forth to India many times in between I contacted Indira in Delhi and just to say hello and she said Well you know it’s so funny you’re calling me Mother Teresa’s here in Delhi at her orphanage for little girls. I’ll see if I can arrange a meeting tonight. And she did. She arranged a meeting for 7:00 pm so I did everything I could to get myself spiritually and emotionally ready for meeting one of the great icons of our time. And when I arrived at the area in Old Delhi where Mother Teresa’s orphanage was one of many in the world there was.
[00:06:26] A courtyard and then there was two steps leading up to a doorway of modest doorway with the sign of Mother Teresa over its the Missionaries of Charity with the famous blue and white sari a picture of a nun blue and white sari that they all wear. And so as I was approaching the door there is a there was a crumpled piece of newspaper on the step and I not trash picker upper everywhere I go and that’s a big project.
[00:06:54] in India, I could tell you. And I picked up this hill to get it was trash and inside there was a tiny tiny tiny baby girl. It was the smallest human being I’ve ever seen in my life. She was the same size as my hand. She was obviously very very premature. She was still breathing and she was alive and she was in this crumpled up piece of paper and newspaper that I thought was trash. So that was my first shocking encounter with Mother Teresa’s world.
[00:07:25] And I took this little tiny tiny human being and wrapped my shawl around her and then walked into this orphanage and there were 39 cribs iron cribs with three or four little baby girls in each crib. And then just like gymnastic mats on the floor with many more babies that were babies babies babies babies babies all little girls except for one boy. And the nun who opened the door. I handed her this tiny tiny little baby and I said this was on the doorstep. And she rushed the baby into another room and said Mother Teresa’s not here. I know you have a meeting with her but she’s gone to the to the jailhouse to bail out some young beautiful prostitutes who you know who lost their way and hoping that they can come here and help us with the children maybe while you’re waiting for her you could help us yourself so I said of course. So she gave me an apron and I lined up along a sink once a line of sinks with other volunteers and beautiful nuns.
[00:08:28] And it was an assembly line of washing bathing these little tiny beautiful baby girls.
[00:08:35] Most of them deformed with a missing finger or they were blind. They had been given up because they were not perfect and often in India it’s just a perfect little girl is given out because boys at that time were much more valuable.
[00:08:48] So I’m washing these little babies in this sort of assembly line in the nuns are singing and I was in absolute and total bliss I must say even though I wasn’t meeting with Mother Teresa I realized I was meeting with Mother Teresa that this she often said I am my work and this was my meeting with her. This exquisite work and I must say it’s hard to believe that there were I did not hear a baby cry.
[00:09:13] Now that seems impossible probably isn’t even totally valid. But I do not remember ever hearing a baby cry. And there were dozens and dozens and dozens of babies. But it was so beautiful. And then there was this moment where someone tapping and shouldering said she’s here who they meant and I put my left my apron down and walked to a long skinny Hall and it wasn’t really a meeting room was a hallway and there was a wooden table with two chairs and I sat down and one of the chairs as instructed. And then I looked down this long dark hall and here comes a Labrador retriever an old old a little bit crippled dog with a kind of a greybeard and beat this was her her dog and behind the Labrador her dog was Mother Teresa also bent over with gnarly feet in her sandals.
[00:10:08] She was so small so tiny that when I stood up and walked toward her I towered over her so I immediately knelt and when I knelt down and kissed her hands and held her hands I was the same height she was and she put her hands on my head and said Bless you my child and then took my hand and led me over to this table with the wooden chairs around it or next to it and we began a kind of encounter that was the most holy loving exquisite experience of humanity of love of God. And I was in tears the whole time I don’t remember anything that we said were just holding hands and I was just moved beyond belief. And in a space of absolute unconditional love. And then there was a loud tussling sound behind me. Loud voices kind of angry voices. And and and and an aroma a very very strong perfume. And these two very large Indian people barged into our sacred meeting and the man was a Sikh Sikhs wear big turbans on their head and they have usually very heavy beards and he was a stout man very large very big very tall very wide and he had a big Topaz in the middle and his turban. And I remember this he had this huge belly with a kind of brocade kurta which is the Indian dress over his big belly and he had a ring on every single finger including his thumb very garish over opulent overdressed overweight overbearing man and his supposed wife who was also very very large she was wearing a very opulent sari she had diamonds in her nose and a diamond going from her nose all the way to her ear a kind of a chain of diamonds and she was overweight overbearing over dressed over made up over perfume. They were over everything and they were loud and bold and bossy and rude and obviously super rich and they came barging into my meeting with Mother Teresa and said to mother we didn’t get the picture you promised and they didn’t say hello or anything you just said we didn’t get the picture you promised with the kind of angry voice.
[00:12:46] And Mother Teresa came to her feet and the woman handed me an Instamatic camera this is back in 19 I know 80 something a little Instamatic camera and then they pulled Mother Teresa between them and on the other side of this pretty narrow hallway and gave me the instamatic camera.
[00:13:06] And this woman said take the pictures. There was no greeting no warmth nothing just cold order. Take a picture. So I took a picture of Mother Teresa in between these two monstrous people little tiny Mother Teresa. And then the woman did what I consider to be almost in this Onix so horrible I can’t even tell you about her practically.
[00:13:29] She put her her hand underneath mother Teresa chin. Mother Teresa was very by then osteoporosis had her very very bent over and her head was bowed and she put her hand underneath underneath Mother Teresa’s chin.
[00:13:42] She said Chin Up Mother we want to see your face as you went and kind of forced Mother Teresa’s chin up and told me to take another picture. And I did. And and then they stormed away. They didn’t say thank you. They grabbed the camera and they left and my blood was boiling. I hated these people and I really really it was just like I was infuriated. How could they treat her that way. How could they be so rude. And I sat down and we should get sat down. We continued our meeting and she was fine. But I was not and my blood was boiling and I was tense my body was all knotted up. And then Mother Teresa completed the Meeting and gave me a scapular medal and blessed all the people in my family. And then I left. And after hugging her and thanking her and walking through the place where the babies were saying goodbye to all the nuns that had I been with and got in the car and on my way back to my hotel in New Delhi it was about an hour drive and I had to actually calm down. I was so upset my body was just shaking with anger at these people.
[00:14:53] By the time I got to my hotel I was calm enough to realise that for Mother Teresa everyone is Christ she screams she saw Christ in every face and she saw Christ in those people she was not angry with them she was not upset with them I was and she was fine with them and then I sat in my hotel room is crying and I wrote her a letter and I said I received the greatest teaching of all. Mother Teresa that I’ve ever had in my life. When you were so generous and kind to the people who were so rude to you and she wrote me back and she said the most amazing thing she said Lynne you are naturally drawn to the underserved to the underprivileged to the needy to the marginalised to the left out. You will always serve them but your circle of compassion needs to expand to the wealthy to the entitled to the rude to the arrogant. And she said the vicious cycle of wealth can be as painful and as intractable and as a winding and as horrific as the vicious cycle of poverty and it’s your Dharma to help people of great wealth to find their soul to find their centre to find ways to soften and open their heart again because their heart is hardened and they are in a vicious cycle that you can never understand but you need to include expand awaken your circle of compassion to include the very wealthy and it was from then on that I realised as a fundraiser which I was at that time and still am that I had become that I had a bigotry a prejudice you might say reverse prejudice from what some of us are all working on.
[00:17:01] I shut those people out and not anymore.
[00:17:04] Now I see how important it is to deal with the burden the blindness the vicious cycle of wealth and to see Christ in those people too.
[00:17:21] Ok I have tears coming down the same way I did when I read that in your book and that profoundly that story profoundly changed my practice as a certified financial planner and as a life planner you know the goal of probably 95 percent of investment managers is to help people build more and more wealth. And that story so shaped the trajectory of my work and impacted me to say it is so much more than just building up bigger barns and having more. And you talk about enough and you talk about living in the beauty of our enoughness every day and as I have continued to look at where I have been placed in the roaring fork valley of Colorado with Aspen at one side and Vail at the other end and the clients have had opportunities to walk alongside and looking at what money means to them and knowing that it is a flow of their intention and that money can be used as a tool throughout your life and our financial services world and the media you know tells people that it’s about getting to that retirement line in the sand. And so as you look at you know hospice ing retirement the idea that it isn’t about stepping over that line in the sand and you are you are walking the walk.
[00:19:11] You are completely engaged in the world you are bringing your unique skill sets and your story to the table to share with people and you continue to be vulnerable in your work.
[00:19:28] And I see you as such a inspiration on what it means to truly flourish in life.
[00:19:37] In your second in your second half and I aspire to do that myself. What what words of wisdom can you speak to our listeners on you know heading into that second half of life and how to grab a hold of living it to the fullest.
[00:19:59] Oh gosh. Thank you for that. That kind assessment of me I’m not sure that I can live up to what you just said about me anyway.
[00:20:11] Well I’m not I’m not someone who will ever quote retire. In other words stop working. So that’s just not a goal that I have. I think it’s a wonderful goal for other people and it’s just not one for me because I’m a what I call a pro activist not an activist but a pro activist an activist for not against. And that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in unraveling that which stands between us and the world we want. But I’m not against it. I’m interested in hospices It’s natural unfolding and disintegration because that which is unsustainable is dying and structures and systems that no longer service are falling away in society and civilization.
[00:20:59] And if we hospice them they’ll die more gracefully they served us you know certain ways of the economic system. You know old old outmoded kinds of education or governance these things that are that are no longer working they’re dying they’re natural death. We don’t need to attack them or kill them. We need to hospice them so they gracefully let go out while we midwife the structures and systems that we now know will serve us. And now that we understand our relationship with each other and the planet and at a new level. But that’s also true in one’s life. It’s true in this civilization which we’re living. But I think it’s also true in your life that you start not being so interested in things that when you were younger really captured your attention and even became you know your agenda. And to let those things fall away naturally to to younger people to your children or grandchildren or the people who work with you who are at a different stage of life and not try to hang on to things that are no longer yours. That’s the process I’m in. Pachamama Alliance the organization that my husband and I founded. We’re in a process that some people probably would name it succession but we don’t call it that.
[00:22:18] We don’t want to try to find somebody who will replace us because we’re not going away but rather we call it continuity continuity and continuation and making this phase of our life as the kind of wisdom keepers of the Pachamama Alliance and wisdom keepers of our family to actually recognize that we want to ensure the continuation or the continuity of the values resourcefulness the ethics that we have held dear but allow that to be expressed in ways that are more fitting for the generations that follow that are more appropriate to the new and unfolding story that we’re living in.
[00:23:04] And so with with your own financial resources and I know that’s really how you work with people. I think it’s true with that too. If we’re all about amassing enough because we’re terrified we’re going to run out then we were so self absorbed and so self focused that the flow that we’ve enjoyed perhaps or the flow that we now enjoy in our life of resources that flow to us and flow through us that they get kind of caught there is a wonderful metaphor that brother David Stempel Ross uses and he talks about the sea of Galilee and how the sea of Galilee is this beautiful beautiful body of water. That is fed by the wonderful river that the river Jordan and it has birds flowers and fish flourishing and it’s it’s it’s just a gorgeous gorgeous body of water.
[00:24:02] But then there’s that same river jordan feeds the sea another sea that has no fish and no vegetation and has no life and that sea is called the Dead Sea. And it’s the difference between these two bodies of water is the Sea of Galilee gives what it receives it passes it on the Dead Sea does not. There is no outflow to the Dead Sea.
[00:24:28] And I think when we’re in our later years philanthropy and continuing to allow the flow of the ethics and moral compass that we live with and the what we care about to be even if it’s small an important part of what we are continuing or that continuity that we care about. I think that’s really really really important particularly in the in the final chapters of one’s life because it is your relationship with a long term future of life and we are the you could say in that in the large continuum in the long game we have ancestors that we that we are the fruit of a blossom on that lineage we are alive now and the people who follow us will be the next fruit and the blossom of that lineage. And we want to be responsible for completing things that you don’t want to be passed on inappropriate habits addictions. Anything that’s been abusive in a family lineage. But we do want to pass on the ethics the grace the the beauty the the clarity the wisdom that is ours to pass on. So this is a time of discernment of discernment and money is is the energy that we can use to express or actually use as a conduit a current for our expression our love.
[00:26:10] That’s why it’s called a currency, currency. And I see that as when you’re talking about what things do we need to hospice with things do we need to end and looking out what your vision of your legacy and moving forward.
[00:26:26] So how do you use your money whether it is to you know invest in companies that you believe in that are serving the world that have good corporate cultures or understanding how money is coming into your life and you use it wisely for the purposes and the intentions. Not only is it about full philanthropic work but to me it’s you know we can take it in so many different more more directions in truly understanding in this fall’s season of life how to best use the resources that are coming into you and how to decide how much is enough for your own personal lifestyle or liquidity. And how do you want to educate the next generation on whether it’s your values or how you want to be philanthropic or to use that flow of this currency to continue the good stories to build on the good stories to build on your wins.
[00:27:37] And again what you talk to is as hospice hospice ing letting letting things die that need to die that are no longer serving us.
[00:27:47] I personally feel that the traditional idea of retirement needs to be hospice that it is dying because people are living longer and they have so much opportunity to continue to share their gifts their skills their passions their time with the world with the wisdom that they gleaned over the years. And how do they use the financial resources wisely and what’s what’s changing around that so I so appreciate you know your stories your vision your stepping in to your authenticity and your truths to live that out again. I think it’s such an inspiration for so many.
[00:28:35] And I I hope we can have another conversation in another time. And we got our time limited today. Is there any yet just as we wrap this up.
[00:28:47] Any additional pieces that you would want to share with our listeners or how they can get a hold of you. I know your Web site has several different webinars and courses that people can take on how to have healthy relationships with money. Can you share how people can get a hold of your team whether it’s the Pachamama instead of Pachamama Alliance or the Soul of Money Institute.
[00:29:15] Yes I’ll just say Pachamama.org Pachamama that means Mother Earth Pachamama.org is the work we do with the indigenous peoples of the Sacred Headwaters of the Amazon and then conscious community people all over the world for the sustainability of life itself.
[00:29:36] And that’s there’s a whole world there courses all over the world 88 countries on bringing forth an environmentally sustainable spiritual feeling socially just human presence on this planet which is the mission of Watching mama lions and then the Soul of Money Institute you can go to Soul of Money dot org or Lynnetwist.com and there’s all kinds of wonderful juicy things there too. And then I also work with the Nobel Women Peace Prize laureates the women who won the Nobel Peace Prize and that’s Nobel Women’s Initiative Nobel Women’s Initiative.
[00:30:13] So those are my kind of three main ways to conduct unity but want to say one other thing there is such an important aspect of elderhood.
[00:30:23] Now I think because of the information age there is so much information and so much knowledge available at the fingertips of every living human being now like never before as we all know and it’s kind of doubling every seems like every minute. But doubling up every year or two years and so people who are actually wisdom keepers like people like you Danielle and myself who are who lived for decades are our presence in the world is more important than ever. Wisdom needs to be brought forth to balance the enormous power of knowledge and information so people in our stage of life have never been more important to a healthy civilization and we’re not smarter than our anything even younger people. It’s a peer relationship now that’s probably the first time in history I can barely turn on my television without my grandkids. But they lack the depth of soul and wisdom that I know they must have to be able to deal with the onslaught of information that’s available to them as they engage in the digital world and everything else that’s coming their way artificial intelligence augmented reality. So we have a really important role and we can retire from that. Right.
[00:31:47] Ever very excited about that aspect of it. That’s my my inspiration. First it was my my kids.
[00:31:55] And now it’s it’s the grandkids and to see how fast the world is changing and that we have such a vital role in it. It is a it is a calling. And I thank you so much for our time again I hope we can do it again. I know our paths are going to cross again soon and people can reach out to me. Www.wealthbydesign4u.com to continue this conversation on how to you know look at your financial life to have a good relationship with monies so you can experience and fulfill your your place and your calling in life.
[00:32:40] Thank you so much for your time today Lynne. I am truly honored to have you. And this has been wonderful.
[00:32:47] Thank you Danielle. I love talking to you. Anytime anytime. As much as possible. Lovely lovely. OK thank you Aric.
[00:32:58] I will tell you this. I am so glad I didn’t have to talk earlier because when you have a lump in your throat your throat tightens and it’s really hard to talk. I mean that was absolutely beautiful an amazing story. And I kind of want to end on one thing here. A quote comes to mind as you were talking about not being a succession plan. And I know Danielle also subscribes to this work beyond her right is not her work. She’s doing what she’s supposed to be doing and she’s equipping people for the next generation and the next generation and beyond. And for you to say that it really brought to mind something that we talked a little bit about before the podcast and that’s the my wife and I used to work at BoysTown and Father Edward Flanagan was the gentleman that founded Boys Town back in 1917. And his quote fits exactly the mindset that I hear from you and Danielle on a consistent basis. And the quote is the work will continue you see whether I am there or not because it is God’s work not mine. And he died in 1948 and Boystown is alive and well today and I know that your organization will be alive and well in 100 years and 150 200 years because the mindset that you have and the impact that you’re making is it crosses time. Because it’s not your work. And I appreciate that about you and thank you so much for being a guest on Danielle’s podcast today. Daniel you picked a winner. I’ll tell you what a great podcast.
[00:34:24] No doubt. Thank you. All right. All right Lynne Well we will talk soon and have a amazing timing. You are getting ready to head back down to the rain forest.
[00:34:34] Enjoy your time with grandkids and all that spring brings to fruition for you all.
[00:34:41] All right. Thank you so much.
[00:34:43] And for me Lynne thank you so much. And for everybody listening today thank you for listening to the wealth done differently retirement podcast with Danielle Howard. If you have not subscribe to the podcast yet please click to subscribe now button below. That way when Danielle comes out with a new podcast it will show up directly on your listening device. This makes it much easier to share these podcasts with your friends and family. Again thanks for listening today for everyone at Wealth Done Differently retirement. This is Aric Johnson reminding you to live your best day every day. And we’ll see you next time.
[00:35:11] Thank you for listening to the Wealth Done Differently Retirement Podcast click the subscribe button below to be notified when new episodes become available. The information covered and posted represents the views and opinions of the guest and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Wealth by Design LLC. The content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional investing advice. Always seek the advice of your financial adviser or other qualified service provider with any questions you may have regarding your investment planning. Danielle Howard, Certified Financial Planner is an investment adviser representative of Cambridge Investment Research Advisors a registered investment adviser. Securities offered through Cambridge investment research Inc. A broker dealer member FINRA SIPC Cambridge and wealth by design LLC are not affiliated.