Our relationship to money and finance related decisions can be a source of well-being and self-discovery.
The starting viewpoint of Mindful Finance is that you are fundamentally wakeful and already have everything you need to change your financial story into whatever you want it to be.
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 and growth.
Unlocking the potential for well-being and self-discovery through your financial life starts with cultivating mindfulness. Mindfulness can be described as an open awareness of the present moment that is non-judgmental. Another way it has been described is the ability to know what’s happening in your head without getting carried away by it.
We have all experienced moments of mindfulness in our lives. It is a naturally occurring state of mind that we find ourselves in from time to time when we are particularly present with the current moment in our life. These mindful moments are often short and come and go, seemingly randomly. The challenge is to stabilize the mindful state. This is trainable.
Through meditation and other mindfulness practices the mindful state is more accessible. Training the mind to tilt towards mindfulness leads to more open, aware, nonjudgmental experiences, which last longer.
With the aspiration for mindfulness as the starting point, we then add in financial matters. Relating to your finances in the container of mindfulness allows you to access your innate wisdom through heightened awareness of your mental and physical experiences as you relate to your money. Non-judgmentally bringing your physical reactions, feelings, and emotions to the forefront provides you with a lot more information than is usually available in financial decision making.
With this basis in mindfulness the Mindful Finance approach can be applied. There are three qualities that form the base of the approach – pragmatism, a sense of humor, and worthiness.
As Mindful Finance becomes more imbued in your life three fruition qualities come to bear – confidence, cheerfulness, and generosity. These qualities are both engaged intentionally and arise naturally on an ongoing basis.
Mindful Finance Base Quality 1: Pragmatism
Being pragmatic, dealing with things in a direct and practical manner, is very realistic. This is a good starting attitude for making financial decisions. This pragmatism can be a bit daunting at first because it may feel like it is going to bring up “bad news” or require painful life changes. This fear can cause complacency and mental avoidance tactics. Sense of humor and worthiness are the antidotes to this inertia
Mindful Finance Base Quality 2: Sense of Humor
Cultivating a sense of humor, and appreciating genuinely humorous moments brings relaxation. Easing tension and dialing back the intensity of relating to money matters allows you to access more of your mental resources and leads to better outcomes.
Mindful Finance Base Quality 3: Worthiness
Typically we are all our own harshest critic. In our financial lives we often feel isolated, embarrassed, and unique in the ways we are messed up with regard to money. In reality, everyone experiences stress and other painful or neurotic states of mind arising from money matters in their life. Growing and confirming your own self-worth is empowering and relieving in regard to financial matters. It is good to feel in touch with the fact that fundamentally there is nothing wrong with you.
As you continue to tend your mindfulness practice and bring that into all aspects of your financial life the fruition qualities of confidence, cheerfulness, and generosity become more accessible.
Mindful Finance Fruition Quality 1: Confidence
Taking a pragmatic approach with money leads to a clearer understanding of the financial aspects of your life and how they fit together. Once engaged in this way, a workability to the situation can be seen and it is easier to know what actions you want to take. Accomplishing some level of clarity and direction feels good. The result of this activity is greater confidence.
Mindful Finance Fruition Quality 2: Cheerfulness
Experiences with money are often polarized. Either the experience is one that is euphoric and energizing or it’s demoralizing and depressing. Balance is not easy to come by, or maintain. When we approach money matters with a sense of humor we are more able to recognize the impermanence of the situation. This knowledge that any situation we find ourselves in will change leads to equilibrium. When the highs and lows are tempered there is a familiarity and a path to life, which feels less threatening. This allows for the cheerfulness that comes from an informed outlook to arise.
Mindful Finance Fruition Quality 3: Generosity
Touching in with our own worthiness allows us to feel okay about ourselves. We recognize our experiences in others. We also recognize that others have challenges we may not have. From this place we want to offer others the support they need, monetary or otherwise. We also feel resourced and wholesome which allows us to imagine and do the things that will bring us fulfillment, giving our best self to the world.
In summary, the personal path of Mindful Finance starts with developing a relationship with the experience of mindfulness. Bringing that mindfulness into our financial situations and decision making processes makes all our resources available to us. This allows for the application and experience of the base Mindful Finance qualities: pragmatism, sense of humor, and worthiness. From there the fruition Mindful Finance qualities are able to be worked with and can spontaneously come into our lives. These fruition qualities are confidence, cheerfulness, and generosity.
Sol is president of Highlander Financial. He has over 20 years of experience in financial markets and managing businesses.