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Financial Freak

How can I not freak out in uncertain economic times?

By Brent Kessel

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Brent Kessel's response:

Your reaction is normal. The sage Vyasa's commentary on the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali states, "In every creature there is a desire for self-welfare." But when economic times are bad, remember that everything that arises in the world of form is impermanent. The impermanence of our economic well-being—which, for many of us, is synonymous with "survival"—can, of course, create a sense of freak-out. But such fears are rarely based on a present-moment experience of lack. The mind's tendency is to extrapolate today's minor disturbance into something much larger and more threatening tomorrow.

Experienced yoga practitioners are not necessarily immune; I have seen many a yogi and wise sage lose their cool when it comes to the possibility of financial loss, even if they are masters of equanimity in arduous asana or meditation practices. But if we know where to look, yoga gives us many tools that we can call on in times of distress.

Brent Kessel cofounded Abacus Portfolios, a sustainable investing firm, and wrote the book It's Not About the Money.
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Reader Comments

Ivy

Yes, this certainly came at the right time for me. I've been struggling financially and although I am OK for now, I'm scared. Thanks for the blessing of this coming to me now!

Rebekah

That article definitely came at the right time...my husband lost his job about a month ago and we are at the point now of not being able to pay rent and a number of other bills, because he hasn't been able to find work and my job only provides enough income for half the bills. I go back and forth between freaking out and trying to breath and stay focused and figuring out a way to make ends meet. Yoga is a lifesaver....don't know how I would cope without it.

sboral

Thank you I needed to hear that!

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