The Calm of Money
The lion sleeps tonight
Published 11/2021 MMR Magazine. Authored by Jaimie Blackman
Do you remember these lyrics? “In the Village, the peaceful village the lion sleeps tonight.” Depending on your age, you may have first heard the song in Disney’s movie The Lion King, or if you are older heard it from the doo-wop vocal group called the Tokens. Others recorded the song including Pete Seeger. But you may have not known that the origin of this tune dates back to the thirties written by a South African singer and a migrant worker named Solomon Linda. Thanks to technology, the song as originally sung by Mr. Linda, can be listened to on YouTube. His soundtrack is raw and authentic, and it’s all there. Listening to the track, actually gave me chills.
The original translation of the Zulu lyrics is “Every morning you bring us good luck. You’re a lion mama!”
In the village, the peaceful village the lion sleeps tonight. Does that mean if the villagers weren’t peaceful, and weren’t quiet, the lion would be awake causing havoc?
How about we use the “village” as a metaphor for your own inner harmony, your own inner peace. Perhaps the villagers instinctively knew that their inner peace and inner harmony would transfer to the lion in kind. The villagers were not in fear. They were not in survival mode. They were calm. It’s almost as if they accepted the Lion’s presence. That was the experience, and this is the power of calm, fully accepting what is in the present moment.
So here’s my question to you. Has stress helped you overcome your money problems? If the answer is yes, ask yourself what was the cost to your physical, spiritual, and emotional health?
If the answer is no, how about you try a new filter to experience your financial life. Pass your financial life through a circuitry of calm. How? By being consciously connected to the area in your body that is always calm. For many of us, this area is located near your heart.
Try this now. Just breathe. Inhale and hold, then exhale. Be aware of each breath. That’s it. Notice how the mental activity begins to shift. My wife and I listen to Panache Desai’s (panachedesai.com) call to calm mindfulness mediation on most mornings where he teaches (free) many of these concepts which I have embraced. All I can say is from our personal experience, we have seen a real shift in our relationship to money stress, and every other form of stress for that matter.
Using the breath as a path to inner harmony is an ancient wisdom. It stems from many traditions like Buddhist mediation, Oigong, and Christian monastic practices. Studies have shown that breathing practices can significantly improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress-related medical conditions.
There are tangible benefits a quieter and present mind has for a business owner.
- Improved listening skills. There are only two ways to improve your listening skills. First, you have to hear the other person. For us rockers, as we age hearing loss is a problem. The second way is to quiet the mind. If you are taking a day trip while a customer or team member is talking to you, that’s a problem.
- More joy. It’s easy to blame others for our stress. Try to slip a quick breath in before you react. Just a pause before the emotions hijack your mind. Just try it.
- Be the best version of yourself. Let’s face it. There are times we don’t like ourselves very much. And there are times when we are in the “flow.” Everything is happening with ease. We are happy. We are present. We love this version of our self. In the present moment is where the magic resides.
Don’t believe me. Just try this with your significant other. Next time you’re discussing money follow the breath. This immediately moves you from survival mode, from scarcity to calm and abundance. Please, just try it.
My buddy Richard Wolf, author of In Tune Music As The Bridge To Mindfulness wrote, Striking the balance between calm relaxation and energetic attention in the body and mind can be compared to tuning a stringed instrument. If the strings are too loose, they will not have the necessary tonality. If they are tuned too tightly, they will break.
I mean what choice do we really have? After all these years, you are kind of stuck with yourself. You might as well learn how to live with yourself with peace and calm instead of dissonance and stress. It’s time to tune up. Just breathe.