The practice of yoga is designed to offer a space to contemplate and observe our lives in a nonjudgment way that encourages transformation if that is desired. The idea of nonjudgmental observation of the ways you handle and ‘deal with’ money can also lead to transformation, if you let it and if you want it.
The question I often ask my clients is, “Do you really want to change? Is it worth it to you to go about the inner work to see why you keep choosing the financial storms you live in or are you just fooling yourself into thinking you want to change?”
I know, I know. You’re wondering if I have lost my rocker (as my mom would say) and gone off the deep end (also what my mom would say) into another world all together, but stay with me here. Remember that one of my objectives is always to get you to think differently and if thinking the way you have been thinking about money has brought you pain and suffering, perhaps thinking in a different way may bring some relief.
The first thing to know, and own, is that we are all in charge of making everything up and we choose, either consciously or subconsciously, the exact path we experience in life.
The challenge is that we often don’t realize we’ve chosen something until we’re almost ‘there’ and then we realize we don’t WANT to go ‘there.’
Ask yourself this question, “In terms of my current financial situation, how much of it am I making mean something that isn’t serving me physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally? How much of what I am living could be changed instantaneously simply by choosing a new meaning?”
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you are in debt, whether a little or a lot.
Let’s say that you make the fact that you have that debt mean something about you as a person; you’re not good with money, you’re not responsible, you’re not as good as your friends who have no debt (you might be very surprised to find out that most adults DO have some debt), you’ll never be secure in your future, and on and on and on. Daily, you let what you make money MEAN about you erode your self-esteem, your self-worth, weigh heavy on your mind, cause you health problems because of the stress you’re putting yourself under.
Let’s say, however, that while you’re getting yourself out of debt and learning the financial skills you want to know to do money differently, you decide NOT to make the fact that you’re in debt mean all of those things that you interpret as stressful and NOT to let the debt make you feel less than the amazing human being you are? Could you now move forward with a clearer mind, be more open to information and opportunities, sleep better, take better care of your body, etc.? I submit that you could.
Here’s a little financial yoga to help you transform your current stressful experience with money (if that’s what you’re experiencing) into one that is a little more joyful, appreciative and supportive.
Right now (well, right after you read through these instructions), sit for 10 minutes. Get a timer if you have to but sit for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and imagine sitting in a circle and outside of that circle is the debt, or whatever other financial challenge you are interpreting in a way that isn’t serving you. (For me it was a house I couldn’t afford to keep in Arizona last year so I chose to let it go and not make it mean anything about me as a human being.)
See the debt, or situation, as separate from you, which it is, and begin to realize that it can’t physically affect you or hurt you or touch you, unless you choose for it to do so.
This does NOT mean that you don’t take whatever situation seriously or act responsibly. But, once you remove the stress and make it stop meaning something that it is not, you can then take the necessary steps to mitigate the situation. It also means that while you’re fixing the situation, you’re not letting the situation harm you any longer. You can even repeat one of these affirmations:
I am not my debt. I am independent of the amount of money I owe to others.
The simple fact is, we don’t have debtors prison any longer (not sure if this is a good thing), we are only human and as human being we do tend toward doing things right now (read this amazing article to see why: WhyJohnnyCan’tSaveForRetirement) and I do believe that even though we’re the ones who USE the credit cards, it has been made too easy for us when most adults never received the proper education or the ability to say NO to buying things now and hopefully paying for them later.
The point is to begin seeing that money doesn’t have to define you. Period. You are you. The debt is the debt. It’s up to you to keep them separate and figure out how to improve your financial situation with the grace and peace that is inside each of us to utilize.
Just something to think about.