Tao of Losing Money
There are few things in life as stress producing as losing money. Even losing relatively small amounts of our hard earned money can send those atavistic surges of rage straight up the hypothalamus. Consider an event like when you return to your cars and find a $35.00 parking ticket. If you are like most of us, the heart rate will rise and thoughts of all the things that could have done with that money will flood the brain.. all the bills we could have put that money towards, the nice dinner we could have bought, the new CDs we could have bought.
How about the fact that, according to intoxicated.com, "if you bought $1000 of Nortel Stock, the worth now would be around $72.00. If you bought $1000 worth of Budweiser (the actual beer, not the stock), one year ago and drank all the beer and traded in the cans for the nickel deposit, you would have $79.00!" Amongst all the certainties of life, like death, taxes, sex with the ex, is the fact that there will be times in life where money that we don't want to spend will get sucked into the big deep pit of unwanted loss. Since we cant control the flow of money into this pit, the only thing we can control is how we react to monetary loss. There are three general reactions.
we can live in a state of stress producing mental resistance, which is perhaps
the most common approach. Option two is as John Belushi advised his fellow fraternity
brothers in "Animal House", "My advice to you is to start drinking
heavily" as intoxicated.com suggests
in the case of the Nortel stock drop. By far the healthiest approach lies behind
door number three; that is to work with the Tao of Losing Money.
TheTao of Losing Money does not necessarily mean becoming a complete non-materialist giving away all your belongs in order to join an ashram. Nor is a "head in the clouds" philosophy that assumes that
money grows on trees. What it is a practical state of mind that helps us accept those inevitable gusts in life which blows sometimes small, sometimes large amounts of cash from whatever fruits are growing in
our money tree.
Yoga, Zen, and Taoism all teach us to control our minds so we dont create resistance to what is. The classic Taoist analogy of unpleasant experience in life is that of a tree in a heavy wind. When life kicks up a breeze that blows our money away, we have a choice. We can allow our minds to be rigid and unbending like an oak and been prone to snapping. Or we can be like a willow, flowing and bending with the heavy winds.
The Tao or the Way
Now I am sure the more pragmatic of us may think, "but I work hard for my money, I am not going to just sit back and watch it disappear." Nobody likes seeing money slipping through their finger tips. Given the undeniable fact that money will be sucked from our firmly clenched finger tips on an almost daily basis, if we really want to be healthy and happy we should develop a framework that will help us develop the
mindset of the supple willow in the wind.
As Depak Chopra points out in his Book, the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Currency actually is derived from the Latin word "currere" meaning "to flow" or "to run". If we try and hold on to it too tightly, it will surely evade us. Or at least the cost for hoarding will be paid in sickness, stress and poor personal relationships.
Now I admit,
being the descendant of many a hot-blooded Irishman, the "staying calm
while losing money gene" is a little recessive in my family. One of the
best menatl tools to help me flow with the Tao of Losing Money is the Buddhist
loss of money is such a hard thing to