Headlines week of August 24th 2015
-China’s Stocks Slump
-Market Rattles Investors
– 5.8% drop in S&P 500
– Is 2008 near -50% collapse repeating?
We cannot control the day to day swings of the market. We can control how we respond. Sometimes we need to lower the noise of the media which can lead to hysteria and poor financial decisions. I originally posted this interview this past April. I thought given the last few days of the stunning drop in global stock markets, we can all benefit from taking a deep breadth.
Ayurveda— A Pathway to Clarifying Your Values and Making better Financial Decisions.
“Money touches almost every aspect of living: work, leisure time, creative activities, home, family, and spiritual pursuits. Everything we do and dream of is affected by our relationship with this powerful form of energy.” —Dr. Maria Nemeth, The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment
When I meet with people to talk about their finances, the conversation always revolves around the question—“What matters most to you?” This is not a simple question, because to really know what matters most to you, you must first know who you are. The more someone knows who they are, the more they understand their personal values, and the more their personal values—rather than negative emotions—can then fuel their financial decisions.
When I sat down to talk with ayurvedic therapist Verite Williams, I asked her how ayurvedic therapy could influence one’s financial life. “Ayurveda can be a pathway to clarifying your values,” says Verite. “Ayurveda is a holistic approach, connecting mind, body and soul. As you practice being silent, you will become more comfortable and take on a more relaxed outlook on life regarding money, your career, your family, and other relationships.”
I was speaking to a dear friend recently about my own meditation practice. While he recognized the physical and emotional benefits of meditation he said he was terrified of silence. I listened to that statement, but didn’t quite catch it. For 42 years, my wife and I have been practicing meditation, and hardly ever miss it, because we love the silence. We look forward to our quiet time. For Iris and I, it is the silence that fuels our activity, and like brushing our teeth every morning, we wouldn’t think of missing it.
Ultimately, meditation and practices like ayurveda can bring mindfulness and peace into our difficult money decisions. Most financial decisions are made by the right side of the brain, the emotional side, not the intellect. People may justify their decisions by their intellect, but the decisions themselves are made from the emotions, be they fear, greed, worry, or anxiety. Ayurveda and other meditative techniques, can help people return to their source and make decisions based on a clear understanding of who they are and what matters most to them, rather than be influenced by fickle emotions.
For beginners, Verite gives a practical tip for connecting with yourself. She advises sitting in stillness for two minutes every day. This can be done in the morning, after lunch, or in the evening. “Don’t worry about how you’re sitting or on clearing your mind or whether or not you should keep your eyes open or close them. It doesn’t matter. Just find a quiet place to sit and get comfortable.” Bring this little ritual into your everyday life and commit yourself to simply connecting to and experiencing the present. With practice, it will become a gateway to more clarity and peace. So when you’re making financial decisions you’ll be attuned to the deeper you, rather than the superficial fears and emotions that steer us off-course.