Thursday, October 18, 2012

Now You See It, Now You Don't

Here is a technique that I use to help myself stay conscious of what I am doing. I have direct deposit for one of my clients so on payday I go online and make sure my paycheck was deposited. As soon as I see the amount is there, I transfer what I don’t need into savings. Now you see it, now you don’t.

This helps me to stick to my budget. And helps me to be conscious every time I spend money. I have noticed with some of my clients that out of necessity we pay more attention when money is tighter. So why not use this technique even on weeks when we may not have to. 

This is a chance for me to mention a paradoxical concept I came across that continues to inspire and fascinate me… Employing constraints in your life, can engender freedom.

Learning Happens
I first got this concept from Edward Yu. A good friend and my personal trainer. He kicked my butt on a daily basis. And our early trainings ended up becoming the grist for his book: The Art of Slowing Down. What he would use to trick me out of my less-than conscious habits. Is what he called "constraints". 

“Walk on the 2nd metatarsal,” “Walk on the heal,” "Walk on the toes," "Now walk normally." These guidelines helped me feel how my body was moving. I was learning proper alignment and what it felt like from the inside-out. We would incorporate Tai Chi slowing down to improve our speed by creating more efficient, effective running. 

Edward would suggest various constraints while we warmed up and did our running workouts to focus us, his students, in class and break us of our bad habits. By maintaining the constraints you move out of the habitual movement and awaken new neural pathways in the brain. 

The problem is we can fall easily into our habit posture and running form. The body (and mind) go automatically to the path of least resistance and we need mental and physical reminders to prop us out of this less than conscious state.

Rules to Find Freedom
With home and business budgets constraints achieve the same powerful affect. They wake us up out of our habits and keep us in alignment with our goals. 

With home budgets we slow down what is happening so we can gather the info we need to make better decisions and have the alignment to be more efficient and effective. We invite constraints into our daily life on what we are spending so we can save more and achieve our dreams. Though they seem like pain at first these constraints allow greater freedom and range of motion in our life.

When we overspend and have nothing in savings for emergency, when crisis hits we are much more stressed and vulnerable in the situation. Which would you rather have the constraints of a budget that enables you to save or the constraints of 29.99% APR breathing down your neck because you burned thru your cash and had to use credit?

Whether you use keep the balance in your spending account intentionally low or checking your budget before you leave the house can be helpful constraints to release the weight of worry about money. We can find freedom in surrendering to the budget that we have developed and trust that with this greater awareness and courage to follow our action plan we will arrive to a sound place with our money.

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