by Laura Martin, MSW
Our relationship to money can be difficult
We inherit our relationship to money from our family, culture, and our experiences. Our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors about money might be a mishmash of contradiction: “A penny saved is a penny earned” vs “You get what you pay for” vs “You only live once!” We might be making financial decisions based on our unconscious adherence to slogans like these, and finding that there’s no way to make a decision without violating some seemingly ironclad rule about money that your grandmother often repeated.
Our relationship to money + our partner’s relationship
It can be complicated enough to deal with our own money issues, but when we are in relationships, the complexity can be doubled. Multiply all the cultural and family influences, the unique experiences and meanings, and it can be hard to know what is going on. We may not have a shared comfort level with money, or a shared vocabulary to talk about it. Sometimes just finding time to have a calm discussion about money can be difficult.
What can the Buddha tell you about your money?
The historical Siddhartha Gotama, who became known as the Buddha, lived his early years in both excessive luxury and ascetic poverty. He realized that there had to be a Middle Way; not too much, not too little. While he and his monks followed their own special rules (basically not touching money), he also taught “householders” — people with jobs and relationships and families and belongings — how best to navigate the world of money and the Middle Way. These teachings extend into an array of mindfulness practices that can help when things feel panicky or hopeless.
Want to learn more, and apply some of these ideas in a supportive, non-judgemental environment, so that you can make some substantive changes in your relationship to money? Check out Laura's upcoming series Mindfulness and Money , which starts April 25. Two for one special OR discount for singles!
Written by teachers at unfold studios and guest authors.