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With So Many Worries Right Now, How Can This Moment Be Perfect?

With So Many Worries Right Now, How Can This Moment Be Perfect?

Money Expert: Karen McAllister

I just came out of a week-long retreat, practicing breathing in and out.

That’s it. It was that simple. I was noticing whether my breath was long or short. Each day my body calmed down, and my thoughts and emotions slowed down. This is the meditation system, called Anapanasati, taught by the Buddha, in which mindful breathing is used to develop both samadhi (a serene and concentrated mind) and vipassana (Insight).

As I practiced everything got quieter, my storylines became clearer. Some were neutral – what’s for lunch, or thinking of foods I like. Others were very heated – the anxiety of climate change and our community’s safety, as wildfires burn in our province. Some days it was hard to breathe in the cabin. Worries about my business, clients, revenue, an argument with my partner, a disagreement with a colleague.

My partner or colleague is not in my meditation cabin. I am having this imaginary conversation and going over the same dialogue repeatedly hoping to resolve it. It increases my heart rate, uses up my precious energy without resolving anything. 

Then I remember the breathing practice and bring the focus back to my breath. Bringing the mind back, putting down the storyline and coming back to the breath and body. 

Training The Mind To Be Present:

The more I remember, bringing the focus back, the weaker my storyline’s power over me.”

The more I remember, bringing the focus back, the weaker my storyline’s power over me. This remembering gets quicker as I practice. It is mind training. Just like consistent strength training at the gym tones muscles, I meditate to train my mind to eventually stay in the present moment all the time. 

That doesn’t mean I won’t have thoughts and feelings. They just want to have the power to take me away from being in the present moment. My mediation teacher constantly repeats “Karen, there is nothing wrong with this moment. This moment is perfect.”

“This moment is perfect? Are you crazy?  We have an unjust economy, wildfires burning all around the meditation center, and people are suffering from poverty, loneliness, and fear. What do you mean this moment is perfect?”

Worries About Your Moments In The Future:

“When you leave what is happening right now, and your mind is thinking about what happened yesterday, something it didn’t get, didn’t like, or worries about the future, then you are rejecting what you hear, see, touch and smell in this moment. You are in your head. You miss the birds’ song, the wind through the trees, that your ankles are swelling and need your attention. And you are missing what is needed right now. You are missing life.”

I go for my daily walk.

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.
Hearing the birds sing.
Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.
Experiencing joy.
Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.
Noticing a grizzly about 200 meters away.
Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.
Turning and walking away quickly.
Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.

Life is impermanent. It is certain that I will take my last breath, probably somewhere in the 2050s. I have eyes, ears, nose and body for another 30 years. When I use my senses to be engaged with this very moment, no matter how unpleasant, I give myself and others the gift of my life, my wisdom, my experience.

Transforming Our World From “Me Or You” To “Me And You”:

We are so used to operating in a world of scarcity and lack. Our relationship with money reflects this.”

We are having a hard time right now. The structures and systems of our human family are rooted in greed and fear, in a me or you worldview. It has assumptions like I can only win if you lose. We haven’t got enough, so we better look after me and mine. When I feel complete with that, I’ll look at others more unfortunate than me.  And that day never seems to come. 

We are so used to operating in a world of scarcity and lack. Our relationship with money reflects this. We are trained to repel the unpleasant and chase the pleasant. We are trained to be on the wheel of fear of missing out (FOMO), running on the belief that there is something wrong with us. Social media and mainstream culture encourage a distraction from being in the present. 

The futurist Buckminister Fuller, said in the 1980s that our structures and systems are rooted in a me OR you understanding of the world. He said it would take around 50 years for these institutions to crumble enough that they will need to be recreated, reborn, or redesigned in a new paradigm: a me AND you understanding of the world. A world where there is enough for everyone everywhere to have a productive and healthy life. Imagine.

Social media and mainstream culture encourage a distraction from being in the present.

The Moments Of The Me And You:

As we go from the me or you understanding, to the me and you, we need to get reacquainted with the practice of returning home to our body and senses. Only then can we look at the unconscious set of assumptions that are at the basis of how we organize ourselves, and of our storylines.

Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.
Noticing scarcity in my heart.
Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.
Calming the states of not feeling enough and not feeling valued.
Breathing in and breathing out, noticing if my breath is long or short, shallow or deep.
Calming the states of not feeling enough and not feeling valued.

Embodied Mindfulness:

If you would like to build a sustainable meditation practice that permeates your body, career, relationships and all other areas of your life, join me for the Embodied Mindfulness: Tools for Holistic Living (Online) course, starting September 11th. If you are interested in healing your relationship to money, there is a small group circle starting in September. There are four spots remaining. I take eight maximum for the money circle. It is small and intimate to create a healing space for your relationship with money. For further information, send me an email at [email protected]

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About the Author:

Karen has worked with over 100 clients, helping them untangle their money issues and to become more effective in their work because of it. To do this, Karen has studied financial issues extensively from both the practical, behavioral, and the emotional perspectives.

She has been certified by Deborah Price of the The Money Coaching Institute as a Certified Money Coach, a Couples Money Coach, and a Business Archetype Coach. She has studied with Lynne Twist from the Soul of Money Institute for two years on Mastering your Money and Transforming your Life, including studies in Lynne’s Fundraising from the Heart program. Checkout Karen’s site TheMindfulMoneyCoach. Or, you can email Karen directly at the TheMindfulMoneyCoach.