Have you experienced anxiety, confusion or doubt in relation to money and your financial life? Cheers, welcome to the club!
Money brings up confusing emotions, and it’s often more taboo than sex. We know ignoring this essential aspect of modern life can’t be a recipe for long-term wellness, but it is very common to associate pain and difficulty with our finances. At Highlander, we believe it is possible to flip the script on this part of our lives and discover how to grow, thrive, and even have fun through our relationship to money.
Mindful Finance tools provide a discovery process to uncover the innate wisdom about money that’s already inside you. Tapping into the intelligence of your body and mind provides you with all the information you need to turn your financial life into a source of personal strength, rather than a place of confusion and doubt. This transformation of experience is not a one-and-done realization. Rather it is a shift in approach that can be facilitated by applying the simple Mindful Finance technique called “Breathe, Feel, Speak.”
Most of us take the approach of trying to avoid having to think about our personal financial lives. However, money is so deeply intertwined with all our activities and relationships that it is always lurking there, ready to spring out of whatever cage we’ve tried to lock it in.
You can’t lock up the atmosphere, and the atmosphere of life in the modern world is deeply infused with money matters.
When these money matters become unavoidable, we typically try to make an intellectual plan to deal with them. Trying to apply linear thinking, logic, math, and bookish learning has gotten most of us to where we are today with regard to money. For a few people, this approach has produced a healthy, grounded, and insightful relationship to the role of money in their lives. However, for most people, this method has not provided the ideal relationship with money. In fact, this approach may confirm some unhelpful stories people have about themselves in relation to money matters. Two main themes come up in these unhelpful stories:
- A lack of knowledge about money, and
- An inability to change the situation.
There are as many different circumstances as there are people. However, the money pain-points can usually be traced back to a perceived deficit in learning on the subject, and/or feeling stuck. These often manifest as a confusion about what to do, fear, shame, and hopelessness.
The Mindful Finance goal is to defuse the habitual pattern of trying to think our way through our money-related issues, and to emphasize a way to feel our way through them.
To many people this sounds crazy. It seems counterintuitive that in order to figure out how to have less suffering around money we actually need to stop trying to think through the problem. Nevertheless, the wisdom of Mindful Finance takes this view.
We have grown accustomed to turning off, or ignoring our personal experience when working with money matters. As such, we have cut off the most readily available source of reliable information that we have about the situation. This information does not require us to be more learned than we are right now, and shows us how to take action for change.
The Mindful Finance technique to gain access to our money problem-solving capacity is called: Breathe, Feel, Speak. This technique has 3 steps:
- Breathe – Take a moment or more to focus on your breath. Like in meditation, simply breathe evenly and relax your thinking process. This helps to normalize and regulate your mind and body. It also creates a little bit of space in your mind, which allows for step two to be successful.
- Feel – With the mental space provided by step one, you can have more awareness of your feelings. Feelings in this case are both physical and mental. You may feel tight in your stomach and chest. You may feel excited. Or, you may feel a number of different sensations and emotions all at once. There is no right or wrong way to feel. You can be gentle and non-judgmental in allowing whatever you feel to be acknowledged.
- Speak – With the awareness of your feelings from step two, you can now tell yourself and others what you are feeling in the situation. This step requires bravery to undertake. The key here is to bring forth what you are feeling, without any need to interpret it or make sense of it. The awareness and conversations that arise from this step will guide you to the answers you seek with regard to your money-related suffering.
In short, the Breathe, Feel, Speak technique is a simple (but not necessarily easy!) way to tap in to the intelligence you already have, which will help you to work through the money-related pain points in your life.
We hope that you will use this technique in meetings with us, purchasing decisions, conversations with loved ones and other situations where money matters come to the forefront. Our wish is that it will help bring you success and happiness.
Sol is president of Highlander Financial. He has over 20 years of experience in financial markets and managing businesses.