Podcast #5: Does Money Spark Joy?

succulent after the rain

Our fifth podcast offers a series of questions designed to inspire deeper contemplation of your Investment Self.

Too often, we cut off pieces of our personal experience from our financial lives. Mindful Finance shows us that powerful intelligence is available to us when we take the time to notice.

In this short 8-minute episode, you’ll discover:

  • The value of curiosity and creativity in the investment sphere
  • How your first thought is often your best thought
  • How mindfulness allows hidden information to be accessed
  • How the simple act of noticing can spur profound change

You can subscribe to this podcast in iTunes by clicking here, or you can listen to Episode 5 below…

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Episode 5 Transcript:

Jesse Grimes: Welcome, everybody, to the Mindful Finance Podcast. We’re delighted to have you joining us today. My name is Jesse Grimes.

Sol Halpern: And I’m Sol Halpern. We’re from Highlander, a mindful finance company. In this podcast we’re going to be going through some practical exercises that will give you a tangible feeling for what we mean when we say mindful finance is joining money matters and matters of personal experience.

Jesse Grimes: The practical exercise that we’re gonna explore in today’s podcast are a series of questions. Before we jump into these practical exercises we want to set a container that helps us to dive into those exercises in a mindful and genuine way. One of the simplest ways to do that or one of the more straight forward ways to do that is to come back to that meditation practice that we shared with you previously. It can be very difficult to be in the present moment. We get away from ourselves, we get drawn into so many different things, so many different storylines and this whole idea of mindfulness– this idea of meditation– is giving us a way that we can actually come back to the present moment. We can actually feel our body in the present moment. We can acknowledge whatever thoughts are arising in the present moment. And so that’s what we shared with this meditation practice. We talked about having a good posture, whether you’re sitting on a cushion on the floor or whether you’re sitting on the cushion on the chair. Again, coming back to just bringing your attention to your body, noticing what’s coming up in your body, what feelings, what sensations. After we’ve brought our attention there we can start to bring our attention to just what’s going on in our mind: Where are our thoughts going? What are we thinking about? What are we becoming pre-occupied with? And as we notice that pre-occupation we can actually bring our mind back to our breath. We come back to the breath, which is occurring in that present moment. We can label our thoughts, come back to the present moment, come back to that breath. And just touch that. And as we drift off again we can come back to our breath, back to that present moment, and the whole while we’re doing that in a non-judgmental way. It doesn’t really matter that we’re drifting off. It doesn’t really matter what’s causing us to do that or where we’re going. We always have the option, we always have the possibility of coming back to the present. What we’re gonna engage in now is a series of questions that we feel will help you get a better sense of your investment self, get a better sense of the emotional underpinnings that you have around money, that you have around finance, that you have around wealth. We’re gonna read one question after another and, so, our thought here is that you could pause after each question to either write down your answer or to contemplate your answer.

Sol Halpern: Go ahead and do what feels best to you and most useful to you. If you’re sitting down and you have a pen and paper go ahead and write down your answers. If you’re driving or if you’re walking or if you’re running, just answer them in your mind. See what happens.

Jesse Grimes: To lay some ground rules we would ask that you be simple with your responses, that there is a quality of creativity and curiosity. There’s a sense of “first thought, best thought”. You don’t have to get to the perfect answer here. It’s really about what does this question trigger in you and what comes up and just noticing that, that that is that helpful information that Sol has talked a lot about in previous episodes. So, let’s jump in.

Jesse Grimes: Bring to mind your personal finances. Describe the feelings that arise in your body as they occur. Bring to mind your personal finances. Describe the feelings that arise in your body as they occur.

Sol Halpern: Create a quick list of words that you associate with money. Contemplate afterwards. Create a quick list of words that you associate with money. Contemplate afterwards.

Jesse Grimes: If my finances were a type of weather they would be..? If my finances were a type of weather they would be..?

Sol Halpern: What do you enjoy about money? What do you enjoy about money?

Jesse Grimes: In regards to finances and money I admire people who can..? In regards to finances and money I admire people who can..?

Sol Halpern: One thing that I can only tell myself about my relationship to money or my financial life is..? One thing that I can only tell myself about my relationship to money or my financial life is..?

Jesse Grimes: How do your finances affect your sense of self worth? How do your finances affect your sense of self worth?

Sol Halpern: Is money related to happiness and joy? Is money related to happiness and joy?

Jesse Grimes: Great. So those were the questions. Clearly, this is just a small number of questions and we would encourage you to come up with your own questions, to come up with your own contemplations.

Sol Halpern: Engaging with questions like these in the context of mindfulness which has clarity and space and creativity and non-judgmental view all brought into it can be extremely valuable in terms of getting to know our selves and getting to know our investment selves more specifically in this case. And what that does is it gives us information that we otherwise weren’t accessing because we were cutting off pieces of our experience from our financial lives.

Jesse Grimes: I recall we did this exercise with a client and what came out was the client had a real realization just how nervous they were about their finances. And it’s not like this magically made their anxiety or nervousness go away. But the very fact that they were able to see that there was some nervousness there was really valuable information for them and it did start to open the door for them to relate with that nervousness and that anxiety and that money in a new way, in a fresh way. And that’s really helpful.

Sol Halpern: In a lot of cases with clients working with these questions what we’ve found is that the answers are not surprising to them. They’re things that they already knew, but that they hadn’t placed into this kind of context and hadn’t had the opportunity to acknowledge before. And just acknowledging them in a non-judgmental space is extremely helpful.

Jesse Grimes: So we hope this has given a little window into yourselves actually, that you’ve captured some glimpse, some bit of information, some bit of meaningful information, about how you engage with your own investment self, your own financial self. And we encourage you to continue to be creative. And explore how you feel around these topics and to actually take a moment in the container of mindfulness to just see what arises as you set these little sparks in motion.

Sol Halpern: If you’ve had our ideal experience what maybe would’ve happened during this process you would’ve felt all of these aspects of information and aspects of emotional intelligence, we could say– or whatever we want to call it– were more available to you around your finances than they had been before.

Jesse Grimes: Thank you so much for joining Sol and I today for our mindful finance podcast. As we talked about, today there’s so much that can be learned through mindful reflection. And in the next podcast we’re gonna explore what to do with the things that we have discovered through that reflection.

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As Seen In

“Relating to our personal finances can be very destabilizing. Feelings of peace and confidence are often masked by obsession, uncertainty or fear. Most people have developed strong, habitual patterns with respect to their financial lives, including taxes. Mindfulness cuts through these patterns and can allow us to see money matters more clearly, and accomplish positive change.”

Solomon Halpern

New York Times logo for quote
The New York Times

“Mindfulness allows our personal experiences, narratives, and emotions to become valuable tools rather than distractions to our financial planning.”

Solomon Halpern

Mindful Magazine M logo

“There seems to be a lack of synchronicity, a separation from the financial self.”

Solomon Halpern

Wall St Daily