Updated: Jan 17
Our relationship with money and our personal finances in today’s world can encourage a feeling of envy over others, attachment to the thing itself, avoidance of discussion, and even fear. But let’s say we all started approaching the way we feel about our finances with the same mindfulness we bring to the yoga mat?
While on the mat, recall that feeling when you are allowing the hard stuff that you’ve been burying for a while to finally emerge from within you? That is your chance to realign with who you really are. Apply that same approach towards your feelings about money. Having financial knowledge is not something we are born with, and it is something very few of us have been taught, so it’s okay to fear the concept and it’s understandable why you feel the need to avoid the mere topic of it.
So, I encourage you to begin becoming more mindful about your money, your habits, and how you choose to spread your energy, just how you would during your practice. And what will happen to all those feelings of discomfort? You’ll still feel them, not as much over time and with experience, but I encourage you to breathe through it.
I encourage you to take this step to develop a healthier, more balanced relationship with your habits and finances. You do this by learning how to talk about money in the first place, just how we are told to talk about our mental health—it is vital. Many people across Canada, and other parts of the world, blame money for their own misfortune. They avoid approaching the subject and they neglect their own relationship with money—kind of like how the most difficult asanas to do are the ones we try to put off the most.
Instead of looking at your finances as this big, scary monster, look at it more as your teacher. If you engage and approach it as you would approach your mat—with consciousness and intention—the knowledge you would gain can never be taken away from you. That is power.
You’re probably wondering how on earth a bank statement or an investment report can be as impactful as a yoga instructor. Well, they can tell you your patterns and habits, whether good or bad. Just like your teacher reminding you to not over-extend, facing your $8-a-day Starbucks run or your weekly outings to Winners can help you spot areas that aren’t going to help you going forward.
People behave in ways that they believe will ultimately protect them from harm and suffering, which sounds fair and relatively innocent, right? It’s only when we are honest with ourselves about what kind of suffering we’re trying to avoid that we get a different outcome.
For the sake of being more practical, getting organized when it comes to your finances is one way to stop avoiding your finances altogether. The person best suited to send you off is Claire Kinsella Holtje, a former Wall Street broker and now yoga and meditation teacher, who said “It [being organized] can quiet some of that citta vrtti—or mind chatter—that can pop up when you’re trying to meditate, and it can help you put an end to old, unhelpful mantras that you repeat unconsciously. Think of it this way: As far as I know, nobody’s going to attain samadhi (or a state of union with the divine) if they’re worried about their finances.”