In the beginning, our yoga mat is a place where we come with our wants and perceived needs — to be more flexible, less stressed, and to become more healthy. But the fulfillment of these wants and needs are not what keeps an experienced yogi coming back to the mat, rather it is the cultivation of inner peace, joy, harmony and balance that turns our yoga practice into a lifelong discipline. Fellow yogi, Brent Kessel has discovered that this same insight can be applied to they way we manage our money in his new book, It’s Not About the Money: Unlock Your Money Type to Achieve Spiritual and Financial Abundance.
Kessel is the cofounder of the investment firm Abacus Portfolios and is also a disciplined yoga student and meditator. He believes that the answers to our financial problems cannot be found in satisfying the wants, but rather in finding what is deeper and more internal about our relationships with money. After watching people in every income bracket struggle with money, Kessel began to examine how people are stuck in patterns of struggle in their financial lives. This examination led him to discover that the way to seek fortune and the way to find inner contentment are not two separate paths but a union of both guided from the inside out.
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This yogic approach to unifying our external desires and aligning with our internal work is a large step in easing the “wanting mind” that Kessel sites as a large contributor to the constant struggle with money. “The wanting mind can never have enough. It’s not necessarily just about money.” The key is to find balance, that all important quality of understanding both sides and happily inhabiting the middle ground that in yoga we call “sattva.”
How do you find this balance in the midst of chaos and struggle, want and desire? What yogic tools do you use to cultivate sattva in your financial life?