NAVIGATION SKILLS FOR FINANCIALLY TURBULENT TIMES
FINANCIALLY TURBULENT TIMES
We are in financially turbulent times. Turbulence is energy that stirs up the pot of life. It’s the stuff that creates drama, crisis, discomfort and fear. When things aren’t working in our financial lives, some level of turbulence is present.
Checking accounts bounce, credit card debt increases, savings accounts vaporize, worry occupies large amounts of our brain space, our thinking shifts to survival, our mind-set becomes one of “lack,” and money just isn’t working the way we want it to in our lives. These are all signs of financial turbulence.
Long periods of turbulence aren’t good for the body, mind, spirit or bank account. So, when turbulence hits, it’s best to invite the lessons in it’s trying to bring and take action to return to a more stable, peaceful place.
The spiritual energy of turbulence is a positive force in the change process. It is the energy that blows out stagnation. It is the “breath the Universe” uses to get our attention to bring light to areas of life that aren’t working so well.
If we embrace this energy, we invite in re-newed clarity, focus and grounding. We then raise ourselves to a higher level of well-being and this is how we evolve to our highest potential through the gift of turbulence.
Most of us are experiencing some form of financial turbulence in our lives today from the aftermath of the 2008 economic downturn. Some have lost their homes and/or household income has been drastically cut from job loss or illness. Companies are requiring employees take some form of mandatory time off to make it through these challenging times.
If your job and income have not been effected, consider yourself blessed. You are still experiencing higher costs at the grocery store and gas pumps. Expenses are going up disproportionately to income coming in. This too creates financial turbulence.
NAVIGATION STRATEGIES FOR FINANCIALLY TURBULENT TIMES
Financial “Hunkering Down” Skills
In order to move through the aftermath of these financially turbulent times, we need to get back to basics. Getting back to basic means practicing “hunkering down” skills.
Examples of hunkering down skills are: reducing expenses, maximizing resources and not leveraging ourselves with debt. It means using our house for shelter and not an ATM machine. It means a return to saving money before spending money.
In our home, we are practicing hunkering down skills too. We recently revisited the difference between a “need” and a “want.” We are using the definition that a “need” is something we would still pay for when income isn’t coming in.
Our grocery bill was creeping up and we needed to shave off $250 a month. So we came up with a plan to purchase most groceries at Costco in bulk (one shopping trip a month) and to supplement with quality produce at our local market weekly. So far, it’s working. Less trips to the grocery store save us money and time! Nice!
We carry out twice a month instead of twice a week. This is a substantial cost savings of $300. Yeah!
We also re-evaluated all of our insurances with our broker to make sure our coverage is adequate and cost effective. This was a savings of over $1000 a year.
Besides consciously managing income and expenses, emotional and spiritual skill sets are needed as well to navigate rocky waters.
Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Anchoring Techniques
Anchoring techniques are really about finding ways to return to our center of calm in turbulent times.
Physical movement is an anchoring technique. Movement releases anxiety in the body and turns “on” our internal pharmacy of endorphins that make us feel better. Movement gets our blood circulating and clears out the cobwebs in our thinking. It gifts us with a more expansive perspective and better solution finding ideas.
Having a trust in an energy bigger than ourselves can help stabilize our inner chemistry. Some people believe in God, Source, a Higher Power, the Divine or their own Highest Level of Being. When I am in the middle of a crisis in my own life, I try to see the blessing and lessons from the crisis. This isn’t always easy and I sometimes don’t like the lessons. I find comfort in creating a belief system that supports me however. You can create a belief system that supports you too, even if you don’t believe in a higher life energy.
You can repeat phrases or words to yourself that comfort your heart and soul. You can say these out loud or silently to yourself. One of my favorite phrases I use as a screen saver is, “When Nothing is for Sure, Anything is Possible.” Hope anchors me. What words do you use to soothe yourself?
Mental imagery is yet another powerful anchoring technique. When a worried thought appears, discipline yourself to pop it out of your head and replace it with a soothing image of your choosing.
A final way I navigate through turbulence, is I am very aware of people, places and things in my life that energize me as well as what drains me. I am conscious of my choices today, more so than ever, on what supports and feeds me emotionally. This means that I also release and “let go” of what doesn’t work. This isn’t always easy. Sometimes, my people pleasing part gets in the way of what is really best for me.