Mindfulness and Independence: Observing FireworksWritten by Maya Talisman Frost
ďItís a free country,Ē they say. ďCelebrate our independence,Ē I hear.
Well, Iím all for having a party, but it strikes me that you donít have to be an American to appreciate freedom, and doing what Iím told isnít best way to exercise independence.
So, letís expand that notion of freedom just a bit, and look at how we can become more aware of fireworks that are lighting up our minds.
What sets off your mental fireworks? What ignites your personal bottle rockets?
Perhaps itís a simple pet peeve, like small handbag dogs, or Jello salad, or people who talk on their cell phones too loudly. Maybe you go ballistic when you hear a certain song. We often have extreme reactions to relatively minor things based on our own little stories about them.
Maybe you save your fireworks for big-ticket itemsóissues like war, poverty, health, and education.
In your head or in sky above, when those fireworks start exploding, youíve got two choices. You can either: 1) Hoot/holler, ooh/ahh, whistle/clap -or- 2) Watch quietly
What do YOU do?
Don't Be A Slave To Your ThingsWritten by Steve Gillman
Do you have things like a bicycle, jetski, or swimming pool that sit unused? Is it that you don't have time to use them because you have to work so much just to pay for them? Sometimes it seems like all things we own somehow own us.
The bad news is that it's often true. We have to arrange our lives around our things. You get a new truck that can go anywhere, but you're too busy working to go there. Someone is out fishing while you are putting in overtime to pay for your fishing boat. You use your large-screen television a lot, but does it sufficiently reduce debt-stress that came with it?
Break The Chains!
The good news is that there's a better way. Actually, there are three better ways. First, know what you really value. Second, use cash instead of debt. Third, learn how to look at costs and benefits.
Will you really enjoy that $2,000 mountain bicycle enough? Maybe. This isn't about right or wrong desires. It's a question of truly seeing your own values. Think back to things you've bought but not used, or not used enough. What truly enjoyable things could you do with that money if you had it now? You've got to be self aware and honest.