Marielle Higler

Marielle Higler

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Our true wealth

Once the Money Whisperer, always the Money Whisperer. As I moved to another continent 10 years ago, my angle on money hasn’t changed. It rather expanded, influenced by different circumstances.

Through my oil painting group I met Butterfly Art Project, (BAP) , an NGO in a nearby township called Vrygrond.  They provide art therapy for primary school children in an after-school program, called Heart for Art

They also gather 5, 6, and 7 year old children from the neighbourhood who should be in school, but they are not, for a myriad of reasons: no birth certificate, no money, parents absent for different reasons.

Four mornings a week these Lovebugs, as the group is called, come into a nurturing, fun environment, where they make friends with their peers, do art in all kinds of forms and mediums, sing songs, play games, have breakfast and lunch and little by little they learn to behave in a group, all with Kindergarten and primary school in mind.

As you can imagine, these children come with trauma, fear, and above all without the material safety and emotional wisdom that our parents passed on to us and we to our children, almost without a second thought.

If you don’t receive that in the formative years, if your parents don’t have it to give to you because they never received it, if the community you live in is struggling, if you don’t eat or sleep adequately, where would you find the motivation or the role model to lift yourself out of those surroundings?

I ended up taking a course in community art facilitation with BAP and received my certificate. All for free, funded by donors to the organization. The one payback was 24 hours volunteering in a setting with young children at risk.

I had an organization in mind, but because it was more than a two-hour drive away, I abandoned that idea and decided to volunteer at BAP itself, with the LoveBugs.

My old notions of discipline, obedience, and logic don’t always apply here, or better said: almost never.  I had to learn about children with trauma, children with alcohol and/or drug syndrome, children growing up neglected, physically and emotionally: a life changing, humbling experience.

We are so fortunate, even if we have our own obstacles and challenges to deal with. We have our upbringing, education, work experience, family, a safe place to live, food in our tummy, our networks, and our own grounding to help us overcome adversity and to support us.

How much value do you put on your upbringing, your ancestors and the wisdom they brought forward? How about all your hard work and efforts to get ahead, successful or not? And the support and love of your family and friends?

We are so trained to only count our money and earthly possessions that we forget about the intrinsic elements that make us uniquely who we are.

A large part of our lives is ruled by money and how we manage it. But don’t forget, the sum of us is much more than a fistful of money.

I spent more than a year volunteering in the morning program with the LoveBugs, and will go back as soon as Covid (or the lack thereof) allows me. I can’t wait. I miss the little rascals.

These children are just like any other children: funny, naughty, brilliantly devious, ingenious, creative, loving, and full of energy.

All I want for them is a fair start and a fair chance to live a life in human dignity. I want them to feel appreciated just the way they are. I want them in a safe place to experiment and experience art, color, creativity, friends, and the joy of learning.

Covid with all its restrictions and lockdowns has caused whole industry sectors in all of South Africa to close down, some for good.  So many parents have lost their income, so many more children in need, waiting for the helping hand.

BAP is running a Crowdfunding campaign this Sunday and Monday.

I, as one of their ambassadors invite you to my personal  donor page, if you want to help these children in the coming year.

I will talk much more about these children and the process I am in as well, in the coming year.


Posted: December 1, 2021
Topics: Couples and Money, Events/News, Grey power, Money and you
Comments: Leave one

Our body divine

Earlier this week we visited the Body World Vital exhibition here in Cape Town.

The technical expertise is mind-bugling. The creative vision and the love for the human body and mind are palpable. I walked away with a deep feeling of respect for the intricacies of my body and mind; the awesomeness of being; the infallible cooperation between all organs and processes without my acute, daily interference; the power to heal itself and to adjust to my surroundings.

I am ashamed of how I have treated my body in the past: as a given, as a pain sometimes, limiting me, not pretty enough, getting older with more work to keep doing what I have been doing for years.

Each one of us is a miracle!!

What genius invented us? Who had the first thought of us? I know the rest can be awarded to evolution, but that first thought had already all the possibilities within.

We are limitless, genial, and with tremendous potential to be kind, smart, deep, generous, and above all careful and respectful with ourselves and each other.

Go well!





Posted: September 9, 2016
Topics: Reflexions, Spiritual legacies
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Healthy Sense of Self

From my book shelves

I met Antoinetta Vogels in 1997 in Ithaca NY and we’ve been friends ever since.

For years she suffered from insomnia, but didn’t believe in medication as a cure. After some time and many sleepless nights she figured out that maybe there was something in the back of her mind, her subconscious, that wanted her attention. Because she instinctively pushed those thoughts away during the awake hours, they  waited till nighttime and kept her awake to get her attention then. And they did. Through a long, assiduous process she developed the Healthy Sense of Self Theory:

the most important relationship in life, no matter if we’re rich or poor, smart or not, black or blue, is the relationship with our Self, with who we are deep down inside, with who we were borne to be.

It sounds so simple and for some of us it is, but not so for everybody. In her book Healthy Sense of Self, How To Be True To Yourself and Make Your World a Better Place!  she describes and makes us aware of the many instances our choices can become opportunities for personal growth.

Personal growth usually means looking at ourselves in the mirror and realizing what is going on before we can make the necessary changes to adjust our direction. Sometimes it means we have to let go of old behaviors and notions that have served us at some point, but have lost their desired effect. Maybe we have outgrown them or maybe the world around us has changed and has proved them invalid and/or obsolete.  These changes are often the bottleneck in the whole process. They force us to step outside our comfort zone which makes us feel vulnerable. Our first reaction is to shy away from the whole idea.

I love this book and the Theory behind it because in many ways it runs parallel with the Money Whispering process. If we make money decisions without our core mission in mind, we get lost in spending money on superficial matters and fleeting thrills.

Just for fun write down all your expenditures today, or this week if you feel ambitious, and in a calm moment analyse them and ask yourself which one served your most inner purpose. Add up how much you could have saved in one day or one week and weigh that against the joy you received from spending your money the way you did.

Awareness and personal growth is what this book is all about: creating more self-confidence and self-respect, becoming aware of what works for you, finding your unique flow and going with it. Once you sense your Self, your money will fall into step with you.

Go well!

The Money Whisperer




Posted: August 26, 2016
Topics: From my book shelves, Master life plan, Money and you, Money Whispers, Shopping
Comments: Leave one

New inspiration from old friends

I’ve always loved reading and over the decades I gathered my own little library, filled with books I thought were worth their money.

I love the feel of them, their weight (although I couldn’t live without my kindle) and the constant reminder of the wisdom, adventures, pains and victories of their main characters as they stood silently on the shelf.

When the move to South Africa came up, I decided to let go of 99% of my collection: a tough decision but necessary. I had read them, they had their influence on me, and they taught me what they had to teach; now it was someone else’s turn to enjoy them. I took only a box or two of books that really had a life changing effect on me, plus all my art books. I may miss the ones left behind, but they are not forgotten.

Three years ago we moved from the big home (five bedrooms) to our much smaller, three-bedroom, cosy cottage-like home. We love it. We had to shed the bigger furniture and other items that fill a large home. The books were stacked in closets, not seen, or heard, or used.

We had to do some renovations to the house and garden and as final part of that process we built some floating shelves in the TV room for our CD’s and my books. Yesterday I took them all out of hiding. It felt like a reunion with old friends. I realized I made good choices. These remnants of my collection are at the core of who I am right now, of what I stand for, and the stage in life I’m working on right now. That third stage is all about sharing wisdom that was gathered over half a century, often the hard way, fed and balanced by the wisdom of others who went before me.

Seeing these old friends renewed my interest and inspired me to share their beauty and wisdom. I can’t let that all go to waste on a shelf or in a closet.

Topics will range from the beauty of colour pencil art and trompe l’oeil, aging wisely, writing autobiography, religions, your Self, literature, great painters, fun facts about the Dutch and typical South African trivia, children, enneagrams, Inca’s, nature, light, good books, natural medicine, and of course money and our relationship with it. After all, we’re not only money. There are so many facets that shape our lives.

Go well!

The Money Whisperer




Posted: August 4, 2016
Topics: long term planning, Money and you, Reflexions, Shopping, Uncategorized
Comments: Leave one

Peace in my money house

I have felt quite intimidated over the last few months by events and circumstances beyond my control. I think the feelings of powerlessness, frustration, anger and sadness overwhelmed and paralyzed me to a point.

Allow me to name a few:

The beautiful, promising teenager raped and murdered right around the corner in our beautiful, peaceful dog park/forest. Her life gone, her family changed forever. How hopeless the life of the killers. The disabled people who found pleasure and relief on and with the horses lost the stretch of  land on Brommersvlei they have used for years. Nothing we could do about it.

If I cast the nets out farther:

Migrants flooding Europe; people staying behind in the Middle East facing war, oppression, and crippling poverty; politicians bringing out feelings of hatred, intolerance, violence; greedy governments on all continents; capitalism and its shenanigans to funnel more money in less pockets; the Economy; the job market or the lack thereof; the hydro frackers – knowingly jeopardizing nature and human lives under false pretenses. Elections worldwide, more greed, blind to the real issues at hand and the opportunities to make a difference; the Press on all continents forgetting their true mission.

Power, fame, vanity: too much of a load on the shoulders of mankind. And every day we receive updates on all these topics, every hour, on the hour,  in urgent, hyped up voices, battering us and rubbing in those feelings of impotence, frustration, and sadness. At least that is how I feel it.

I lose all these battles, every day. Never a win. And yet, it’s given to me right now to enjoy my life and carry forward and share my little bit of wisdom, on these pages mostly related to money and what it can do to us, both good and bad.

So, here goes:

The only way I manage to live life in the middle of all this turmoil is by blocking out what is beyond my powers. It brings me back to the very core: my cocoon, me.

The only place where we have the power to do things our way is in that little cocoon: in our very own life, up close and personal.

But we’re not alone there: we share that cocoon with our money. It plays a huge role in what that cocoon looks and feels like.

More reason to have a good look at our money and make it behave!! Money should not be a liability; it’s supposed to support us, make us safe, protect us, and buffer us against outside perils.

That is not the privilege of the rich but of all of us, as long as we have a few nickels to rub together, from a pay check, Social Security, alimony, or even pocket money.

I know this much:

It is within my power to achieve peace in my financial house. Underneath the money madness is strength, relief, safety, protection, and peace.  Don’t let it slip through your fingers because you’re distracted by outside events beyond your control.

Go well!



Posted: April 14, 2016
Topics: Events/News, long term planning, Master life plan, Money and you, Money Whispers, Reflexions, Uncategorized
Comments: Show all 6 | Add yours

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