The Yoga of Money: Part 2

The secrecy around money is what confounds me. This dire need to protect our financial facts, the creation of a cultural taboo–it leaves me feeling like money has been…fetishized? Can I say that here?

In the pursuit of transparency and the integration of the “shadow” sides of myself (including those that are obsessively vain and those with warts on their noses), I just want to scream! Instead, let me point out an interesting blog I came across today called ManvsDebt. Selling point: Adam Baker, blog creator, divulges every transaction and deposit in his and his wife’s shared account. Every transaction. To the cent.

Really? Really?? On the internet? That was my first thought. Second thought: Fuck yeah!

I don’t want to judge you for your purchases and your income, your rental property and your latte habit. Your excessive magazine subscriptions or your student loan. But how can I find the place of compassion if there’s no clarity around our true financial picture? I first chose to share my money story here for this reason.

Since September, I’ve gained a regular paycheck and dealt with the temptation to drain it every other week. I’ve also set up a savings plan for a career training I want to take in 2011, and doubled my monthly IRA contribution. I bought myself gifts and took myself out for breakfast. I returned items I realized I didn’t really need after all and decided to wait on a large purchase rather than buying on impulse. I talked openly with a new friend about my money fears.  I shared with my co-workers my thousand dollar mistakes and applied for a couple part-time jobs.

The yoga comes in the practice. The not-giving-up-or-giving in. Not straining for things to be different but riding the wave as it crests knowing I’m headed for shore. I’ll get there, eventually.

In the meantime, I have small goals. Manageable chunks.

This week Jay, the yoga intern, taught me how to properly perform arm balances.  I was able to do parts of poses I thought would take me many many months of practice. I haven’t yet been able to complete a handstand on my own so Jay gave me some prep work to practice doing in the meantime.  I feel confident that this is an appropriate level of challenge and as I improve, I’ll steadily move towards the full pose expression. It’s clearly the same with my money. First its about knowing that change is possible. Hearing Jay’s own story inspired in me the possibility that I could really tackle this daunting pose. Handstand is the pose people talk about in hushed voices…anyway… When I practice the foundational pieces – the pose alignment, the being upside down, the core strength – I know it’s similar to the small changes I’m make in my financial “practice” – tracking my expenses, setting up automatic savings, etc.  I know I’m in the right place when I feel challenged by the changes and proud of my accomplishments. At the same time, positively anticipating the next stage…

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