As a proponent of living mindfully and with a desire to bring mindfulness into my daily life in terms of: communication, work, family life, friendship, abundance, skillfulness and simplicity I have been thinking about mindfulness and money. I’ll write about the motorcycle in a bit.
I grew up with parents who wanted me to “understand the value of a dollar” and to “work for what I got”. These messages have been deeply ingrained. As a result, I have worked hard and believed what I have should be a result of the work I performed, so I had difficulty accepting gifts, especially gifts of money.
That being said, I do desire material things. I like to live in a place that is visually pleasing, preferably near a pond and surrounded by hemlock trees. I like to dress in clothing that is made well and is flattering.
I like to drive my Subaru because I live where winter is long and snowy and driving a Subaru helps me to feel safe. But yesterday, while driving my Subaru, I saw what seemed to be so many Lexuses (Lexi?) and I had a deep desire to have one because as well as being safe when I drive, I like to drive a fast and powerful automobile.
Perhaps for you, it is a house by the ocean, a red Porsche convertible, traveling to exotic places, or a motorcycle you desire.
I love gourmet food and fine dining at restaurants with ambiance. I desire beauty in the form of art, crafts, music, film and dance so I indulge in going to museums, crafts fairs, concerts, movies and dance performances.
I enjoy being generous with my sons, my friends and family members. I am also aware that when I am with people who have more money than I do, I enjoy being treated to meals. I find I am more generous to some people than others. I wish I had more money to be more generous, especially with my sons.
I find, when it comes to being mindful about money I have more questions than answers. I have many questions:
- What does my upbringing have to do with the way I think about money?
- What does my upbringing have to do with the way I spend money?
- What does my upbringing have to do with the level of my generosity?
- Why do I give to some people and causes more easily and liberally than others?
- Why am I comfortable accepting gifts in certain situations and from certain people, and uncomfortable in other situations?
- How do I assign value to what I purchase?
- How does money fit in with living a life of simplicity?
- Why is it so difficult to talk about money?
- How does money fit with the way I feel about myself and others?
- How do I feel about family members who withhold money?
- What do I want to teach my children about money?
- Why do I feel that when people have “a lot of money” their lives are “easier”?
- Would I be happier if I had more money?
What I do not question, is the importance of being mindful when it comes to money. I do not question the importance I place on living simply even with my desire for material things. And I do not question the value I place on being generous no matter how much money I have.
What an outstanding article! If we were all as honest as you are with ourselves in relation to money the world would be better! I have found through my young life that money is the perfect petri dish, if you will, to study life because its so apparent it effects everyone! I have gotten a lot of help from spiritual practices and text. The bible states rich and poor have this is in common the Lord is the maker of them all! No matter how much cash we have we still must ask for forgiveness and that will never stop. What I have found is that everything was made by God and for God’s purpose. Where we go wrong is when we use anything for our own selfish needs and money happens to be the number 1 thing people abuse! Just listen to the present moment, people bash money and diss money all the time! (Poor money :( ) The best way to create more money is to be conscious of your habits around money. This can be harsh for most be within that brokenness comes freedom which is want we all want. As the late great M.C. Biggie Smalls said “Mo’ money, mo’ problems!” What he meant was we all want more money but its not the money we want its the freedom! Trust!