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Mindfulness of Thoughts: Nurturing Inner Awareness

Updated: Apr 7

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This year I opened with a challenge for us all to get more mindful about our wallets-our savings, investing, and spending habits. From then to now, we have been weaving together the tapestry of how mindfulness and our ability to apply its principles allow us to live in harmony with our values and thus unlocking the solutions to our challenges both emotionally and financially. In our last two articles, we have explored two dimensions of experience that are related to our theme of mindful money management: the body and feeling tones. This article we will explore a third fundamental aspect of our inner landscapes that play a key role in mindful money management-our thinking.

Our Thoughts Have Power

I don't think I have to tell you that thoughts have power. Many of us have heard some rendition of this adage our entire lives. It never ceases to amaze me how something so invisible to our naked eye has the ability to shape and reshape our realities. Our thoughts lead to feelings which in turn lead to decisions and actions. How we go about understanding and navigating our world has much to do with the thoughts we have and the lens we filter our perceptions and experiences through based on those thoughts. The downside is that we take our thoughts at face value especially when these thoughts lean more negative about ourselves or others around us. We spend so much time thinking, there is always some sort of running commentary inside our minds. Because of this, it is of no surprise that we mistake our thoughts for reality and our reality may be drastically different from the reality of those closest to us. Let me demonstrate briefly.

What Would You Think?

Okay maybe it isn't but for the purposes of this exercise I need you to say it is. Okay? Alright. Now. It is 11:59pm on your birthday. Your best friend has not reached out and said anything. No call. No text. No DM. No Amazon delivery. Nothing. You see from their social media that they have been posting various parts of the day. How would you feel about this? What kind of thoughts enter your mind? It is now 12:02am the day after your birthday. They totally missed your birthday. Let me know in the comment section: How would you react?

Thoughts are not Facts

Most of the time, our thoughts are just happening without our awareness. Our general mood, past experiences, and recurring thoughts create a lens through which we perceive and react to different situations in our lives. Including the fictional scenario above. There are a number of thoughts and scenarios you could have come up with in your mind as to why your friend neglected to reach out to you. However, none of those thoughts necessarily represent the facts of the matter. And many of us have a tendency to take any negative judgement of self or others as absolute reality while we tend to dismiss more neutral or positive evaluations of self or others. Our trouble is exacerbated when we become unaware of when our thinking has spiraled into negative judgments, self-criticism, anger, worry, suspicion, mistrust, and any other emotion that robs us of peace of mind. This is why it is so important for each of us to recognize that thoughts aren't reality. Thoughts are not facts.

Mindfulness Meditation and Our Thoughts

As mentioned earlier, most of the time our thoughts are just happening without our awareness. It is the nature of our minds to be busy in this way. Mindfulness meditation is different. I used to think that to meditate meant that my mind had to be completely blank. I would then get frustrated when I would try to meditate and find myself thinking rather than "clearing my mind." I had to learn not to battle my mind in this way. And now I encourage you of the same. You cannot force yourself into inner silence. It is the nature of our minds to think. Thinking during meditation doesn't mean you are doing it wrong. In fact, realizing that you are thinking provides an opportunity for learning and growth. It is only by having thoughts during our meditative practice can we truly begin to notice the difference between wise thinking and getting lost in negative, distressing thought. Mindfulness meditation is clear awareness of thinking and that thoughts are just that-thoughts not fact.

As mentioned at the outset of this article, we began this year with the theme "New Year, New Wallet." We have been driving home the point that money management is more than just spreadsheets and account balances. If it were that simple, we wouldn't all be so stressed about money. Mindfulness is an amazing tool to help us balance ourselves emotionally and financially. Just as mindfulness and meditation encourage observing thoughts without attachment, we can apply this principle to our financial mindset. By cultivating mindfulness through practices like meditation, we can gain insight into our financial thoughts and behaviors. This heightened awareness allows us to observe our money-related thoughts without being consumed by them, leading to a more balanced relationship with our finances. Through this process, we develop emotional resilience and enhance our overall well-being, fostering healthier financial habits and decision-making. But please remember. Wherever you are on this wellness journey, do not worry about getting it perfect; just get it going. Until next time. Happy reading!

Affiliate Links to Follow:

The window to sign up for Ally Bank has ended. I want to both thank and congratulate all of you who signed up! However, the window of opportunity still remains for SoFi. Sign up for a new SoFi Checking and Savings account today and be rewarded with an additional $25 bonus compliments of SoFi. You can then take that $25 bonus and use it towards week 25 of the 52-Week Money Challenge. Or have you decided to skip savings and jump right into the world of investing through a SoFi Invest account? Whether you choose to save or invest each week, please share your journey in the comment section below. We'd love to hear from you.

"Your thoughts are like the artist's brush. They create a personal picture of the reality you live in." ~Sydney Banks


Here at EnvisionCo Blog, we try to keep ads to a minimum making our blog entirely reader-supported. We may feature links on this site for additional informational purposes. From time to time, we may feature other links which are affiliate links (and these will be clearly marked). When you click through an affiliate link on our site and sign up for a service or finalize a purchase, we may earn affiliate commissions. This is of course at no additional cost to you. However, if you like what you see and would like to make a donation to help us keep ads to a minimum, we would greatly appreciate it! Nothing fancy. We accept the price of a cup coffee with as much gratitude as we would the price of a tank of gas!


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