Excerpt from The Practical Visionary:
A New World Guide to Spiritual Growth and Social Change
Spiritual Approaches to Financial Crisis
© 2010 by Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson
In the midst of financial crisis, personal and/or collective, how can you change your consciousness and weather the storm? How can you attract or protect financial resources and be prepared for any future upheavals? Here are some spiritual approaches that are always important but especially needed in times of crisis:
Deepen your trust in a Higher Power and in your higher purpose. Putting God or Spirit first is the best insurance policy—the ultimate safety net. Prioritize what’s essential in your life. You’ll attract the resources you need to fulfill your soul’s purpose and make your contribution to a better world. Meditate to calm your subconscious fears, invoke creative solutions, and make wiser financial decisions.
Stay present in the moment. Not even the best financial experts know what will happen to the economy in the future, so the best approach is to stay aware and awake in the present so that you can be flexible and respond as needed. When fears of the future arise, focus your intention in the present and allow your intuition to guide you.
Focus on emerging opportunities. Be alert to new doors opening as old ones close. Crisis can sometimes bring wonderful surprises and much needed changes that are blessings in disguise.
Be practical, and do your financial homework before investing in or buying anything of significant value. Don’t believe everything you see or hear. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Despite all the corruption and deceptions coming to light recently, there’s still more corruption in the system that has not been exposed. So it’s important to research everything as thoroughly as you can, using alternative as well as mainstream sources.
Invest some of your resources in the New World. Find quality companies that are ahead of the curve in honoring the triple bottom line—people, planet, and profit—as they’ll do better in the long run. Keep a very diversified portfolio so that all of your eggs aren’t in one basket.
Welcome change, and embrace it. Explore where you may be stuck in old patterns—physically, emotionally, mentally—in relation to money, and release these patterns through conscious awareness and choice. Invoke your spiritual will to help release the old patterns and strengthen more positive patterns.
Practice detachment from personal comfort, and release the need to be in control at all times. Be flexible and flowing so that you can adapt to any personal or collective upheavals that might emerge. The world is undergoing rapid change right now. Let go of needing any particular outcomes for yourself personally.
Transform anger into forgiveness. Acknowledge any strong feelings catalyzed by recent crises, such as anger toward greedy or dishonest bankers, corrupt government regulators or anyone who contributed to your financial problems. Then work on releasing anger at your mistakes and the mistakes of others and embrace forgiveness.
Uncover and explore the deeper fears behind your worries. Honestly face what you most fear—poverty, bankruptcy, etc.—and understand what fear can teach you. Is there any rational basis to your fear that you need to face squarely? Keep a larger perspective so that fear doesn’t overwhelm you.
Appreciate the many wonderful things you already have. Avoid focusing on your impoverishment and what you lack, and give thanks for what you have—the many blessings in your life, such as family, friends and good health.
Simplify your lifestyle to reduce your spending. Do you really need all of that stuff? The planet could certainly use some lightening up and reduction of energy use. Go deeper and explore what quality or experience you are trying to satisfy with a material product, and discover a new way to draw this quality into your life.
Develop practical self-sufficiency. It’s empowering to know how to grow food in your backyard garden, collect rainwater from roofs and create independent sources of water and heat. In this way, you know you can survive any problems without the systems you usually depend on.
Be a producer, rather than a consumer, of energy. Like the sun, your soul is a creative generator of energy. Your ego, on the other hand, often seems like an endless, hungry, black hole needing to be filled. Invoke your soul, and get juiced up so that you can give energy to others.
Create community and networks of mutual support. Good relationships help you get through all kinds of problems and bring you new, creative solutions. Overcome isolation through connection with others, which will help you attract what you need.
Be generous to others as an act of confidence in an abundant universe. There are always others in greater need than you, and what you give from your heart will return to you a hundred fold—it’s true! When you help others, you experience a “helper’s high” that is spiritually more satisfying than any material reward.
Although you might feel fearful about facing tough economic times, in reality the economy isn’t a monolithic entity. It’s a financial climate influenced by our collective consciousness, as Eric Butterworth noted in his brilliant Spiritual Economics. So work on transforming any negative attitudes about money and appreciate money as simply a flow of energy and life force. Donate and/or invest in the New World as a vote for a positive future for yourself and for humanity.
Corinne McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson are co-authors of Spiritual Politics (Foreword by the Dalai Lama), Builders of the Dawn, and The Practical Visionary, from which this article is excerpted. They are co-founders of The Center for Visionary Leadership in CA, and co-founders of Sirius, a spiritual and ecological community in MA. Corinne coordinated a national task force for President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development. Gordon was the Founding Director of the Social Investment Forum and of CERES, The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies. They both are Fellows of The World Business Academy and The Findhorn Foundation. To contact the authors: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.thepracticalvisionary.org; www.visionarylead.org.