Morning, friends!

I write this newsletter following another Sunday afternoon spent cooking. Doubly blissful, because it was a cookbook club evening and the famed, viral work of Alison Roman—aka the chef behind The Stew—was on the menu.

[P.S., If you're unfamiliar with the concept of a cookbook club, I'll explain: you choose a cookbook, you cook, and you eat with friends. It's great because you only have to cook one thing but you get to eat all the things. If you aren't sold yet, I'm not sure I can help you. Props to Catherine Andrews for introducing me to this revolutionary event.]
Photo credit: Alicia Griffin
OK enough about food, we're back at it for the third and final week of discussion around money and mindfulness. I'm excited to share a few more concepts, exercises and techniques that have been top of mind for me lately. Just as before, marinate on them (heh), and see what might strike your fancy.


Asteya 💬

This word, which translates roughly to “truthfulness,” refers to being truthful in one's thought, speech and action. In Yoga, Satya is one of five yamas, a virtuous restraint from falsehood and distortion of reality in one's expressions and actions. And within this context, I see Asteya as having a lot to do with getting honest both with yourself about what it is you want out of your life, as well as getting honest with the communities you're surrounded by—whether that's your partner, your family, friends, employers, etc. 

Asteya can be about transparency both in financials (e.g., how Buffer lists employees salaries openly) as well as vision (e.g., sitting down with your partner and figuring out how you'll be contributing to expenses and what you want to use your money on, which not everyone does).

They recently touched on this and the idea of non-attachment at a seminar at work. I wrote this down: "Your salary is not your self worth. Look at it objectively as if you are advocating for a client, except you are the client. Remove yourself, and therefore self-judgment from the equation."

Homework: Satya in practice 🤑

Your challenge here is to have the kind of conversation about money that you have been avoiding with someone you love, a friend or a trusted colleague.  Perhaps that means you sit down with your partner and pour through your budgets together. Perhaps it means you grab coffee with a friend, share your salaries, your goals, your aspirations, and vow to hold each other accountable to making bold and courageous steps in your career.

Make sure that you examine your motives for these conversations in advance. Is it to increase transparency to help empower yourself with information? Or is it boost your own ego? Is it to find a way to make the other person feel guilty, or is it so you can be the most supportive partner you can be?

🌱 Money is not the "root of all evil" 👿

People can get very squeamish about money in the spiritual world. Rather than the word money, you might see a studio use the word Dāna, which roughly translates to generosity or charity. I think this is because it feels more appropriate, less capitalist, more about the spirit of service and giving. There's nothing wrong with any of that, but in an industry that struggles immensely with ego-driven, criminal figures like for example, Bikram Choudhury, it does beg the question: does demonizing money give it exactly the power we intend to strip from it with a mindset like, "money is the root of all evil"?

My hot take: money is only worth what I choose to do with it. It isn't the root of all evil, nor good. It's more like a car, and I get to decide where to drive it. Getting too hung up about the specifics around my bank account and how it compares to this person or that statistic is a bit like caring that my car is red instead blue, before figuring out what exit I'm supposed to be turning off on next.

📖 Journaling & Visualization Prompt

The idea of this prompt is to de-mystify some of your core values as they stand today. I tried this exercise at the invitation of one of my trainers recently and found it pretty freaking revelatory. You can do this in your Notes app if you don't have paper and pen handy.

First, consider the question, "What would you do if you won a million dollars (after taxes)?" So one million cold hard smackers in hand. Write all of this down, and get as detailed as possible. Where would you go? What would you do? What could you build or learn or try? With who? Now, pause. Visualize yourself doing this thing, and living this life. What emotions come up? What do you embody through this visual?

Next question, consider the following: "What would you do if you had only 6 months to live?" This is not as fun of a question to answer, I know. It's sad but just put yourself there. Able-bodied and vital but only for six months. What do you do? Who do you spend your time with? Where will you go? Just like before, close your eyes and imagine all of it.

Did anything come up? Did any of it feel like the kind of future you're hoping to make? If so, now comes the hard part. Can you practice each day committing to that vision with the decisions that you make? Financially, in your relationships, and beyond.

Personal example: Each day I bring my lunch to work, I can choose to feel a small sense of affirmation in something totally unrelated: my love of travel. It is not a passive choice, it's an intentional one, one that opens up my ability to do something I love. Daily inconveniences of life with roommates become daily commitments to the future home I wish to build—one that will have extra rooms where friends and strangers about to become friends from around the world can stay when they come to visit.

Do I always succeed at this? Hell no. I get insecure about being almost 31 with roommates. I get jealous of people's Cava bowls at work. I want that Harissa, dammit. But I try to bring it back. What am I building? With this reframing, my "sacrifices" don't feel like sacrifices, they feel like making the life I want to live—and it's a darn good life.

Reading & loving 💖

Speaking of radical transparency, I loved this piece from Aminatou Sow on how much money she makes ($300K/year) and what she does with it. Also digging this entire series from The Cut because I think it's undoing years of money talk existing in the shadows largely to the detriment of woman and POC. This particular piece came out after my recent newsletter that echoes many of its points, and I feel validated AF. 

Tunes 🎵

As a point of reminder and transparency, I don't monetize currently on this newsletter. I don't have enough subscribers for that anyhow, lol. But I do make a flat, small rate per song review I give to emerging artists, through a site called Playlist Push where I'm a curator. That's why I say, if you want to support this thing and give me props, all you have to do is listen to this playlist.
If you like reading this newsletter and find it some form of joy, you can support it is by forwarding it to a friend. Appreciate you 🙏

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