In my last post, I mentioned that I’ve been reading Courtney Carver’s book “Soulful Simplicity.” In this book, she talks about how yoga has changed her life. Specifically, she shares seven “lessons from the mat” that inform all areas of her life from work to relationships. In my opinion, all seven also apply to how we approach our money.
7 Money Lessons from The Yoga Mat
Note that Carver doesn’t necessarily speak to the financial lessons here. However, she talks about debt and simplifying finances throughout the book. I’ve applied what she writes in this section of the book specifically to how we can think about and use money in our lives.
1. Thoughts Limit Actions
When we think that we can’t do a yoga pose, we can’t. When we allow ourselves to try it, we often surprise ourselves. Carver writes, “We dismiss opportunities every day by telling ourselves we can’t do it. We give in to fear.” Let’s do that less. Let’s think big and see what follows. Let’s believe we can get out of debt, start a successful business, retire early, etc.
2. Our Abilities Differ Daily
Sometimes you get to a yoga class and you can easily do every pose. Other days, you’re just not in that same space. Your mind and/or body can’t quite get there. It’s okay. In yoga, you can always adjust a pose to your current ability. Don’t force yourself to try to “do it all” every day. Set strong goals and plan with your money and your career. However, accept that you’ll have days when you need rest or you need to do just a little less.
Okay, this one isn’t specifically about money. However, learning to take deep breaths regularly throughout the day is good for all of us. It’s okay just to breathe in, breathe out, be present, and let the rest go. For that breath, don’t worry about money!
4. “There Is a Place Between Ease and Strain”
Carver explains that in yoga, if you’re too tense, you can’t get still and you fall out of the pose, but if you’re too loose, then you wobble, and you fall out of the pose as well. But there’s “a magical place between ease and strain called steadiness.”
Oh, I love this one. I think it applies to so many aspects of our life, including our finances. We don’t need to work constantly at the expense of living life just to earn more money. But we do need to put in effort towards improving our financial situation. We’re constantly working towards the balance, towards the steadiness. And there is a place where we can find it.
5. “Action Kills Fear.”
This actually goes back to the first point, right? If your thoughts limit your actions, then what can you do? You can work to change your thoughts. However, another route is just to jump straight into the action. Just do it. Just try, even though you’re scared. So, invest a little bit of money to learn how investing works. File the business license application that you’ve been putting off. Take a small step towards a financial dream. Carver believes that “fear is okay and action will always shut it down.”
6. “Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Mat”
Seriously, it doesn’t matter what or how anyone else is doing financially. Focus on yourself. Don’t worry about anyone else.
7. “Outward Actions Are Directly Connected to Internal Reactions”
This kind of sums up a lot of the other points. Take the action and the feelings will follow. Exhale and let go. Don’t compare your mat to someone else’s.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer who loves to live a balanced life. She appreciates a good work-life balance. She enjoys balance in her relationships and has worked hard to learn how to balance her finances to allow for a balanced life overall. Although she’s only blonde some of the time, she’s always striving for total balance. She’s excited to share what she’s learned with you and to discover more together along the way. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com.