Two Souls

Question to Deepak:

In your answer yesterday you wrote: "Pure consciousness is the non-physical source of all material creation, and that is what our soul is." I am really confused. I thought our soul was a compilation of our life’s experiences and memories, and that that was why there is sometimes a need for healing. Could you please explain where I have made a mistake.

Answer from Deepak:

The word

Why Kelley Did Not Cause the Financial Crisis — Diana Winston

Dear Kelley,

Thank you for your honesty. There hasn’t been much honesty out here these days as the election nears and the bailout finger-pointing proliferates.

I appreciate your willingness to look at your part. There were many Americans who took out home equity loans or got mortgages on larger homes that they couldn’t really afford. Certainly, greed and delusion were thick in the heady days of the so-called housing bubble. As mindful moms, learning to recognize and own our role in larger economic systems is key to self-forgiveness and acting with compassion and wisdom in the future.

But PLEASE, don’t confuse taking personal responsibility with systemic violence!

Yes, individuals played a role in this giant mess. But to say that "Wall Street had almost nothing to do with this" is na

day to day

i am astounded
in those moments where every thing seems like crap
you see a potential of good
you open up
and are flooded
you wish for the sameness of the past
only because it is familiar
but remember the newness of the now
and relish in its possibility.
so try to keep remembering the now
and sigh the sighs that bring the shoulders down
and know that tomorrow is a new day
an infinite number of ‘oh yes, i have another day
to make it good’
remember that we chose our battles, as well as our joys, long
before we experience them
choose wisely, and waste not your energy on futility
love, love, love
life is short, stop f*#king around

I Caused the Market Crisis

It’s okay if you hate me… I still want you to know I am responsible for the financial crisis.

Me and a few others like me, but let me explain.

By way of background, I should tell you I have an MBA in Finance from NYU and I worked on Wall Street for 20 years. I’d like to blame all of this on Dick Fuld, but the truth is the financial crisis did not start "out there." It did not start with the executives on Wall Street. The financial crisis started with me. And with you. And with some false assumptions that many (if not most) people bought into.

The financial crisis started with the assumption that the value of homes doesn’t decrease — at least not very much. It started with the assumption that your home is the biggest (and possibly best) investment you will ever make — encouraging people to buy ever bigger homes and leverage them as far as they could. The financial crisis started with the idea that banks could lend us money against the value we had "built up" in our homes. No one worried too much about the ability to repay loans because, it was assumed, if we only borrowed 75 or 80 percent of the market value of our home, there would still be plenty of room for the price to go down and the banks to recoup their loan money in the event the home buyer was unable to pay.

But there was a little glitch in these assumptions… They were wrong.

I don’t think anyone purposely started the financial crisis — I know it never even occurred to me I might play a part in such a thing. But I did.

It started when I lost my job and started my own business. I used my savings to pay start-up costs and my mortgage. Unfortunately, I had purchased my home at the top of the market — May 2005. I realized within a year that I wouldn’t be able to continue to pay both the start-up costs of my business and my mortgage for very long. However, I couldn’t actually afford to sell my house because I didn’t have the money to pay the bank and the transaction costs. So I made my second incorrect assumption — I thought the downturn in the housing market was temporary, that in time I would make more money, and at the very least, in a year or two, I would be able to sell my house for more money and pay off the loan.

So I took out a home equity line.

You can probably guess the end of the story, but I’ll give you a quick summary. The real estate market didn’t turn around. It got worse as people like me, and other people who probably shouldn’t have qualified for loans in the first place, became unable to pay. The banks started to foreclose and sell houses at auction — driving the prices of home down further. The more prices declined, the less people wanted to spend money — creating a softer economy. As a result, more people lost jobs and couldn’t pay mortgages. And there were even more foreclosures — driving down the prices of homes some more. Banks began to fail, more people lost jobs, more foreclosures… and so on. I think you’re probably starting to get the picture.

To their credit (pardon the pun), banks realized they were shooting themselves in the foot — the more homes they foreclosed on the more money they lost. So banks started trying to work out mortgages with people — but they were overwhelmed — they literally did not have enough people to handle all the work outs. Homes were automatically going to foreclosure faster than they could work out new loans.

Wall Street, in fact, had almost nothing to do with this. Wall Street has just been doing what Wall Street has always done — act as the market place for raising capital to fund businesses (and governments). Wall Street raises money to help businesses grow (it’s called stock, and it’s sold in the market that Wall Street creates), raises the money for local, state, and the federal governments to operate, build sewers systems, and create highways, tunnels and bridges. Wall Street raises money to build dams and other infrastructure, allowing countries to move from "third world" status to industrialized nations, and, yes, Wall Street and the banks created the market for mortgages to be made into securities and sold. That, by the way, happened in the early 1980s. Without the mortgage market, there wouldn’t have been the liquidity in the housing market that’s been there for the past 30 years.

Now most of the investment banks are gone and the mortgage market has effectively dried up. The banks that have money won’t even lend other banks money — much less individuals who want to buy a house. Everyone is afraid. Afraid they won’t get repaid, afraid the market will go down more, afraid they will be accused of making a mistake.

You can say the government shouldn’t bail out the financial system — but it’s not like the government hasn’t been involved. Ever heard of the FEDERAL Reserve? They make the decisions and set the policies that govern the entire banking system. Someone with significant resources has to stand up and say, "I believe in the fundamental soundness of our system." Who besides the government could do that? And who, by the way, is the government? Last I heard the government was "of the people, for the people, BY the people."

As mindful moms, we know what happens when people act from a place of fear. There is constriction, anxiety and, ultimately, failure. The boogeyman becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Isn’t that why we compliment and encourage our children? Because we know if we tell them they are incapable of doing anything — if we expect them to fail — that is exactly what they will do. The government, that is, me and you, has to step up to the plate and give our vote of confidence. We have to put liquidity back into the system. Maybe we don’t want to. Maybe it isn’t fair. But it has to be done.

And if you’ve ever considered taking a mortgage assuming you would be in the same economic circumstances you’re in now, if you ever believed the real estate market was a fairly stable market, if you’ve ever thought of your house as an investment, if you ever considered taking a home equity line to improve your home, or purchase goods with money you didn’t yet have, you bear part of the responsibility as well. There is no one villain in this story. Most of us contributed and most of us will have to be a part of the solution.

Written by Kelley McCabe, founder of emindful

Welcome to my tent in Intent!

I’m a teacher of The Path, honoring the FOUR YOGAS of knowledge/wisdom, love/devotion, self-control/meditation, and action/service.

I’m
especially fond of finding and sharing The Path in the stories around
us: literature, films, history, and the true-life experiences of
everyday people. To this end, I’m blogging on my homepage and creating free and low-cost E-Courses at my Ning site.

I have been a teacher for nearly 30 years, over 10 of those in Asia. I have been on pilgrimage in Japan, lived in a temple in China, and married a Filipina Vaishnava (the most spiritual experience of all).

Have a Nice Day?

Everyday I leave the house I battle with myself on what I am going to say when I leave my kids. Do I say, "Enjoy your day" "Have a good day" "Make it a great day"? I think those statements put so much unnecessary pressure on a child. Which adult really always has a "good" or "great" day? Why do we measure ourselves in terms of when the sun rises and sets?

Yesterday, I had a great day between when I woke up to around 3:30, then could have gone back to sleep. Today, I turned the question onto myself and thought would it would be like if my parents told me to "have a good day" today?

Today, I decided to choose a different exit with my children. I kissed them both on the head, told them I loved them and said, "I hope you have a good day." I think the word "hope" really says it all. It communicates that the game isn’t dependent upon one player, my kid(s). It says that the whole day doesn’t rest on one person’s shoulders, and that it is a combination of many people and things that will or will not effectively decide whether or not someone thinks she/he has had a good day or not.

Also, it says that if one does not have a good or great day, then there is always room for growth, and in most cases that way is up – in a positive direction. Hope also communicates support, that my children are not alone in their quest for a good day. After all, they’re only children, and are limited to what they can and can not do, emotionally and physically.

Sometimes as adults we forget that our child inside needs to feel the hope that we didn’t get in our youth. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that there are things (and people) which we can not change, yet have the courage to change the things (and ourselves) in the way we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Some of us choose to find that hope in God. Some of us choose to find that hope in ourselves. Others choose to find that hope in others. And, some of us just get through the day.

Today, I am going to make "hope" my deliberate choice, and accept that in my travels from sunrise to sunset, no matter what I face or who faces me, I will take one moment at a time, and accept any "hardship as the pathway to peace."

A Child’s Take on Love

I’m a firm believer that it’s the little things that make you happy. It’s not the major events — even having a child or getting married — they come with so much stress that the happiness part kind of gets overwhelmed in the enormity of it all.

I was just reading this wonderful post on Happy Healthy Hip Parenting featuring one of those sappy emails our relatives send us all the time. We all get them. Most of the time we smile, we delete, we move on. But sometimes just a few make us pause, reflect, and take a moment out of the day’s craziness.

Here’s a sampler….

What love means to a 4- to 8-year-old:

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4- to 8-year-olds, “What does love mean?”

Here are some of the responses that really made me smile.

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” Billy, Age 4

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is okay.”
Danny, Age 7

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”
Bobby, Age 7

Thanks to Sondra at Happy Hip Healthy Parenting for this gem!