Our financial lives can reflect our higher ideals and the positive transformation we’d like to see in the world. But what can we actually do to bring these goals to bear on our daily decisions?
Our sixth Mindful Finance Podcast articulates a three-step path we can follow to realize our lofty intentions through practical actions.
In this short 9-minute episode, you’ll discover:
- How intertwining our ideals and our finances makes investing more enjoyable
- How breathing, feeling and talking are the building blocks of sound decision-making
- How Mindful Finance changes the experience of money and shifts how you engage with your world
- How these techniques are free, simple and always available
You can subscribe to this podcast in iTunes by clicking here, or you can listen to Episode 6 below…
Episode 6 Transcript:
Sol Halpern: In this episode, we are going to review some of the points from our previous podcasts, so that we can settle those into our minds and reaffirm them, and then we’re going to move forward with looking at how to accomplish this goal of mindful finance, which is to join matters related to finance with matters related to personal experience.
Jesse Grimes: Bringing mindfulness and finance together can be a real positive force in our life and in society as a whole, so we’ve spent some real time talking about the power of mindfulness and its far-reaching benefits, and how it can really change our experience. It can bring us into the present moment and help us to just simply be present with whatever’s going on, joy, pain, excitement, sadness– whatever that might be. We then really started talking about this notion of mindful finance, and it’s our strong belief that by joining mindfulness and finance together, it really can change our experience of not just money, but it can really change how we’re engaging with our world. Our whole goal at Highlander is to be of real benefit to our clients, to bring them really excellent investment solutions that are in line with their own personal return on investment, and also to be a real advocate for our clients, to really create an environment by which they can become truly empowered, and they can work day to day with their finances, their wealth, in a way that is engaging and exciting to them. Sol and I would like to share with you a technique that we find incredibly helpful, that has come from our mindfulness background. The technique here is really looking at a particular situation or goal from three perspectives, and those three perspectives are view, practice, and action. So the view, again, is that big goal: What’s that ultimate goal we’re looking for? In this case, the goal is bringing our wisdom of personal experience into our financial life. The practice is actually the meat and potatoes. How are we making it work? What is the journey actually looking like? And then the action is, what can tangibly be done to move forward? So, in a sense, we’re really looking at the steps we’re going to take to get us to this big goal. And so we’re going to share with you, now, the view, practice, and action that we find very helpful in moving towards this big goal of bringing our personal experience and our financial experience together.
Sol Halpern: So let’s jump in with the view. The view here is that our financial lives can be a source of empowerment and sanity. And by “sanity,” by definition, what we mean here is just the condition of having a healthy mind. Making decisions based on reason and good judgment. And we believe that relating to finances in a way that is surrounded by this container of mindfulness is a great path to accessing our higher ideals, our higher goals in life. When we examine, in a space of clarity, what we want and what we’re feeling, and we use the intelligence that comes from all of the messages that we have as a human being– from our feelings, our emotions, our physical experiences– and relating to those as messages that are useful for us in making our financial decisions, then we get our goals and our ideals and our finances all intertwined and working in the same direction, and that feels great. That’s empowering. That takes us to where we want to be with our financial lives.
Jesse Grimes: So now let’s turn our attention to practice. The practice in this context is actually mixing mindfulness and finance. Mindfulness practices create a very fertile space in which we can engage with our financial matters. And we’ve talked at length about the benefits we feel arise when you actually engage your financial matters, your financial situations, in this container of mindfulness. By doing that, it really encourages good outcomes. And that’s not to say that everything is going to turn out exactly the way you want it, but a good outcome in this situation really is about feeling connected and empowered by our finances. It’s about coming back to the present moment and making solid decisions based on accurate information that we get by being in the present moment. We’re able to actually engage genuinely with whatever is arising, and not from a place of distraction, not from a place of storyline. And by “storyline,” I really mean something that’s not, maybe, really going on. We may be feeling guilty. We may be feeling afraid. We may be feeling reckless. We may be feeling stingy. We may be feeling ashamed. And we start to get into those emotions, and those emotions take us away from what’s actually going on in our financial reality. And so here, by mixing mindfulness and finance, we’re making these decisions from a place of greater information, greater insight, greater awareness about what’s actually going on for us, and with that comes some real empowerment.
Sol Halpern: We’ve come from the view, which is that our financial lives can be a source of empowerment. We’ve moved into the practice, which is to mix mindfulness with our financial lives. And now we’re going to the action, and in this action phase, there are three steps that you can take in a meeting, in a conversation with a loved one, in your own approach to your finances, to bring this mindfulness into your experience, and to take advantage of all of the positive opportunities that it can give you. So step one is breathe– simply breathe; step two is feel; and step three is talk. So breathe, feel, talk, in that order. And here’s what those mean. Step one, breathe: Actually take a deep breath, or three or four. What you do when you do that is you create a little bit of space in the situation, so that your mind relaxes and you feel not as caught up in whatever else is going on at the moment. So that’s step one. Breathe. Once you’ve done that, notice how you feel. Notice what you’re feeling. So this is step two. Feel. And here, in step two, it’s very important to not have a judgment or an idea about what you should be feeling. Simply notice what you’re feeling. That may be a physical experience, or that could be an emotional state, or any other thing that you happen to be feeling at that moment. And once you’ve done that– once you’ve taken a moment to breathe, created a little bit of space– then paid attention and noticed what it is you’re feeling, we can go to the step three, which is to talk. And what this means is, find a way to express what your experience is in that moment, because that information that you’re getting from your body and your mind is the valuable tool, the valuable gold, that you need to help you make good financial decisions. And this is a big leap, in a sense, because it’s possible that it will require you to vocalize something that you normally think you shouldn’t vocalize in that situation. It’s a practice, in the sense that sometimes it’ll work amazingly well and have the results that you imagined; other times, it won’t. But the encouragement here it to just not worry about exactly what results you’re hoping to get from that, and just trust that if you’re being genuine and you’ve connected with a bit of spaciousness and what you’re actually feeling, that what you’re saying has validity and will be helpful, in the long run, to being able to make good financial decisions. At any given point in time, this technique is available to you. See what happens. You could enjoy it. Remember to be gentle to yourself and to others in this process. So to sum things up here, by taking this view, again, that our financial lives can be a source of empowerment; adding in the practice, which is mixing mindfulness with finance; and then using the three-step action phase of breathing, feeling, and talking, we give ourselves a compass to guide us through our financial lives. And it’s profoundly different to walk a path with this compass to guide our choices, even if we don’t know exactly where they’re going to take us, than it is to blindly choose a direction at each crossroad we face.
Jesse Grimes: That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you so much for joining us. If you’ve listened to the previous podcasts, it’s clear we’re on a real journey together, and that’s been excellent. We want you to know that we would love to hear from you. We are here as a resource to you as you explore these topics on your own, so please don’t hesitate to contact us, to keep this conversation and exploration going. You can reach us at highlanderwealth.com or at mindful-finance.com. We really encourage you to use what you’ve gotten out of these podcasts to help inform your thinkings and your dealings with your financial life. We hope it brings great success.
Sol is president of Highlander Financial. He has over 20 years of experience in financial markets and managing businesses.