Hello dear you,
You may recall that several weeks ago, the Silicon Valley Bank closing came to light late on a Friday. Over the weekend, news media went to town. I happened to be visiting a dear friend, also a financial planner, and we stayed abreast of the dialogue and events unfolding.
One part of the story you probably already know. The federal government (FDIC and treasury) stepped in to satisfy the consumer deposits. But something else also happened during this money upheaval, a familiar experience and pattern:
In many ways, we live on a continuum of apparent opposites. Right/Left. Conservative/Liberal. Static/Movement. Masculine/Feminine. Yin/Yang. Light/Dark.
Money polarities show up when we interact with money. What do they look like?
- Head in the sand/Glued to the news.
- I’m ignorant about money/I need to know everything about money.
- This has nothing to do with me. /This is exactly like what happened before.
(To be clear, neither polarity is good or bad. Each situation asks for discernment to take appropriate action. I do, however, believe our actions exist in moral landscape of “right” and “wrong.” Right is kind, generous, conscious, and filled with love. Wrong is mean, greedy, unconscious, and filled with hate.)
How did you respond to the SVB failure? Can you remember? Is the event so long ago your memory has faded? Or did it cause such a ruckus that you took action to rearrange your cash deposits in bank accounts?
With light-hearted curiosity, ask: how did I respond?
Curiosity is how we become better attuned to a situation and our control (or lack of control) over it, more discerning in personal truth, and clearer in our decision-making.
Let’s use the SVB failure as an example.
The news shocked me.
I paused, settled my reaction with breath, and began seeking factual clarity reading, listening, and sorting through the news. While I did not have personal risk in SVB deposits, the ripple effect from the failure could have affected my financial assets, those of my clients, and those in the world. Aware of a potential negative ripple effect, I chose to write a bulletin to help clear up the fear and opinion-based rhetoric that generated confusion, doubt, uncertainty and yes, more fear.
Notice my movement on the continuum.
I began in shock, closed off, similar to I don’t want to know. Then, attuning to my body, I aligned myself with current reality. I acknowledged my truth.
These actions softened and opened me toward the middle of the money polarity. I gathered information with curiosity by releasing my initial fear, which moved to broader care and concern and action to communicate.
(Again, clarity: Polarities are rarely linear. For most of us, they behave more like a spiral, more fluid, more forgiving, more spacious, unless we are fixed in our view at one end of the continuum without curiosity.)
In your next money event or decision, intentionally name the money polarities. Give attention to these end points and other points of view between them. Let the possibilities make their point and be heard. Notice your body response to hearing, reflecting on and genuinely receiving the polarities and various ways of seeing. Allow your somatic intelligence to be a part of your next action.
This money practice honors our natural human way of being – that moves, curves, changes, and evolves. Money never stays static.
Inviting our fluid spiral,
P.S. I have exciting news to share. Woot! Woot! The Body of Money is now available in book, Kindle, and audio form! If you have been waiting for a preferred version, click HERE to get your copy!
Tiny Body Practice
“We all feel that the opposite of our own highest principle must be purely destructive, deadly, and evil.
We refuse to endow it with any positive life-force; hence, we avoid and fear it.”
~ C.G. Jung
One way to play with polarities, is with our senses. In this Tiny practice we will pay attention to our bodily sensory experience when we bring to mind opposites. You can use visualization or memory to support your practice. Move from one polarity to another, sensing our direct experience for a few breaths, then move to the next polarity.
- Begin in a seated posture, comfortable upright and relaxed.
- Notice the contact of your feet to the floor and your bottom on your chair.
- Feel your stability of being here and held by the floor, by the earth.
- With each breath, allow your shoulders to drop, tension to relax, your body to soften.
- If comfortable, lower your gaze or close your eyes to bring your attention inside your body.
- Follow your breath and allow the inhalation and exhalation to lengthen.
- Bring to mind the sensation of heavy. Allow heavy to saturate your body and feel the dense sensations of heavy for three slow breaths.
- Bring to mind the sensation of light. Allow light to saturate your body and feel the airiness of light for three slow breaths.
- Notice the swift movement from one way to another.
- Bring to mind the sensation of heat. Allow heat to saturate your body and feel the sweat of heat for three slow breaths.
- Bring to mind the sensation of cold. Allow cold to saturate your body and feel the icy cold for three slow breaths.
- Again, notice the swift movement from one way to another.
- Bring to mind the sensation of sour. Allow sour to saturate your taste with the tartness of a lemon for three slow breaths.
- Bring to mind the sensation of sweet. Allow sweetness to saturate your taste with the sweetness of maple syrup for three slow breaths.
- Bringing this practice to a close, recognize the fluidity of our senses from one polarity to another. Appreciate the easy rhythm of moving from one perspective to another.
Thank you for your practice!
At the end of practice, capture your learnings imagining all the ways you engage polarities during your day. Pay attention during your day to the polarities you experience and what happens.
At the end of your day, reflect or journal on your polarity experiences with these questions:
- How did I enjoy (or not enjoy) polarities during my day.
- Were there particular topics or situations that caused me more joy or more distress?
- What am I discovering about opposites?