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Mindful : February 2019
e can take any area or habit in our lives, fill it up with intention- ality, awareness, and compassionate disci- pline, and reap deep rewards. When we take the time to love and replenish ourselves, we reconnect with our true nature and return to the world more capable of sharing our gifts. What if you could turn your “money stuff ” into a decadent self-care prac- tice? What if all that money drudgery could feel every bit as luxurious as that bubble bath (or whatever your version of that is)? What if you actu- ally looked forward to your money practice because it made you so much happier, more alive, and mindful? What if it was founded in and rein- forced your most cherished values? A self-care practice is something you do consciously, with intention, on a regular basis, to support and grow yourself. It’s a healthy habit that, over time, provides a cumula- tive benefit. 1 It’s something you do over and over again (and ideally get better at, over time). A true money practice is ongoing and consistent. Let’s say you decide to check your account balances once a week, on Monday evenings. At first, things might feel awkward and shaky. But if you’re consistent, this resis- tance and awkwardness will dissipate. Over time, your nervous system will relax into the reassuring repetition. If you keep showing up to your practice, you will get better and better at it. 2 It’s supportive and nur turing. The benefits may be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, or some combination thereof. A regular money practice will do wonders for your financial world. By tracking your income, spending, and savings, you can wield more conscious control over this area of your life and align it ever more closely with your values. But the benefits don’t stop there. Engaging with your money regularly can help you bolster your self-esteem, deepen your sense of safety, and strengthen your intimate relationships. 3 The best self-care practices connect us ever more deeply to ourselves, to each other, and to our spirituality. Our practices mirror back to us who we are, how we’ve grown, and who we’re becoming. If you bring love and full awareness to your money practice, it will always bring you back to the present moment. If you do the same money practice over and over again, it will mirror back to you how you have grown and changed, over time. You may under- stand yourself better and better, and show up to your relationships with more peace of mind and playfulness. There are a few elements we can incorporate into our money practice to make it the most successful, fulfill- ing, and transformative as possible: Find the right amount of time to put into it. Not too much, not too little, not too hot, not too cold, but just right. In a money practice, you need to find the right amount of time and effort to devote to this area of your life so you enjoy the benefits without feeling neglectful, obsessive, or over- worked. Honor rhythms and cycles. When you begin a money practice, you may have buckets of enthusiasm, and devote an hour each day to it, only to find that, a few months later, you’re craving a break. There may be phases in your life or periods in your year (like tax time) where it needs more attention and love from you. Allow your money practice to ebb and flow: This is all normal, wonderful, and part of the process. Experiment and fine-tune. Think- ing you have to practice perfectly can keep you from practicing at all. Please take this pressure off your- self and give yourself permission to experiment. You might begin tracking your expenses on beautiful, creatively designed spreadsheets you make yourself, only to decide six months later that you want to switch to an online tracking system. Rest assured, you are allowed (and even encour- aged) to shift your tools and practices over time, as feels right to you. Welcome guidance. Please don’t beat up on yourself for not knowing how to do everything perfectly on Day 1 (or even Day 101). If you find yourself overwhelmed and in over your head, please take a breath, take a pause, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember to insert body check-ins liberally and go as slowly as you need to, engaging with things in small, manageable chunks, with plenty of breaks to integrate and calm down. w 60 mindful February 2019 get real