Every season has its moods and flavors. Spring is a time of new optimism and in last month's letter, Planting Seeds of Spring, I wrote about planting seeds as a metaphor for possibilities.
April has its unique challenges and opportunities. With the usual focus on taxes, we are reminded of our relationship to money. We see our tax returns as scorecards for our financial health. In our society money equals power and security and there's a common belief that money makes the world go round. I like to think that its love that makes the world go round.
What we do with our time and what we think about defines who we are. Because of financial pressures we have increased demands on our time and less time to do what we really want. With so many people affected by today's economy and the struggle to make ends meet, thinking about ideals and values seems like a luxury. But this is precisely what we must do. If we don't reconnect with what gives our life meaning and purpose we will have nothing when the scorecard turns against us.
I do not underestimate the importance of money. Money is important, but more important is what we do and sacrifice to get it. If the pursuit of money and commerce is our main focus, we will lose sight of what our real work is on this planet and lose the ability to appreciate the little things life offers us. Until we shift our focus to consider what we need to sustain us on a soul level, we cannot begin to heal ourselves from this predicament. Only then will we find a way out.
"We make choices about how to take care of business, how to make sure we take care of our needs and the needs of our children. The question is whether or not we can let the song of our soul - our essential nature - guide those choices when fear is singing on our other ear. The question is which tune do we dance to, which piper do we pay." The Dance, Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
In our society our bank or commercial institution provides us access to either written or online statements that detail our financial health. I want to introduce you to a different type of bank, the Bank of Well-being. Negative thinking and stress drain the account. A life with no direction and purpose, or unfulfilling relationships also depletes the account. You get the idea. When you discover the negative influences on your account, you have an opportunity to stabilize it by feeding your soul. As we nourish our souls our accounts grow and become replenished.
Knowing what is important is the first step, but taking the time for these endeavors is even more important. For many years now that first step for me is the quiet time in my morning. I have noticed a direct correlation between the quality of my morning and the quality of my day. I have created a positive morning ritual that allows me the time to nourish my spirit before I think of anything worldly.