Tag Archives: poor

Paul Tudor Jones on a Higher Purpose Towards A More Collective Goodwill

paul_highAs one of the highest earning hedge fund managers of his generation and the founder of the highly successful Robin Hood Foundation, Paul Tudor Jones is no stranger to success but it is his faith and passion for enhancing the conscious mind that have made him a true maverick. In fact, he attributes much of his success as a businessman and a philanthropist to his spirituality.

As a person of deep faith and spirituality, Jones feels strongly about the connection between the health and wellbeing of the mind and the health of a person as a whole. As a philanthropist, he has a passion for giving back. Paul Tudor Jones and his wife Sonia have been able to combine these two passions by introducing the contemplative sciences more fully to the religious studies department at the University of Virginia.

The model that Paul Tudor Jones has provided at UVA is a great example of the ways in which giving back to the community can and should focus on more than just one aspect of the human experience. As an alumnus of the University of Virginia, Paul Tudor Jones first set out to introduce yoga to the UVA community and ended up creating something much larger.

“We found this enormous thirst, this unquenched thirst for anything that can help people better themselves,” say Jones in his interview with Deepak Chopra. “Not just physically through something like yoga or tai chi but also mentally through meditation and a variety of other mind-body techniques that help people become better individuals mentally, spiritually, emotionally and then tap into the larger collective good.”

Paul Tudor Jones believes that being able to look beyond everyday life to a higher purpose, will lead not only to personal growth but will result in a more peaceful and just society overall. When individuals are given the time for self-reflection, they have the ability to connect more positively with their fellow man and the world around them. He embodies this in his charitable work, like that done by the Robin Hood Foundation. The idea behind the Robin Hood Foundation was to create a successful charitable organization that was enhanced by interaction with the free market. Using sound investment techniques, Paul Tudor Jones has made the Robin Hood Foundation a leader in the fight against poverty in New York City.

The Robin Hood Foundation is an example from Paul Tudor Jones’s own life of how self-reflection and an understanding of the conscious mind can lead to “more collective goodwill” in today’s society.

What is your higher purpose?

You can watch the entire interview with Paul Tudor Jones here.

VOD: Is Russell Brand an Anarchist or Just Smarter Than We Give Him Credit For?

Russell Brand has been known to rustle more than a few feathers for speaking his mind. He gets a bad wrap for his crude sense of stage humor or the details of his short-lived marriage to Katy Perry ending up in the tabloids. He doesn’t mind telling off reporters when they slack in asking thoughtful and researched questions and he’s all about sharing his enlightening experiences with yoga and meditation. But would you peg him for a political scholar?

He just finished a week as guest editor at New Statesman despite having never voted in his life. In a recent interview on the BBC’s Newsnight, Russell shared his disdain for the current political system and how it favors the rich hierarchy. He spends a large amount of time defending his position of not voting as his way of refusing to comply with a system that clearly doesn’t benefit the lower classes. Having grown up poor, Russell explains that’s why a lot of poor youth don’t vote – their apathy comes from growing up in a system that clearly doesn’t cater to their needs. Newsnight host bawks at Brand, saying he has no right to complain about a system that he doesn’t put a voice into – and Russell argues back that it seems pointless to voice an opinion in a system that doesn’t work. It seems like revolutionary talk, but the further he explains the more you realize it actually makes sense. Is voter apathy a sign of youth laziness or a call for political overhaul? Does it make Russell irresponsible for promoting these tactics or is he on to something?

Even if you don’t agree with Russell’s political sense, you should also check out this interview where he explains that every person is just a different physical representation of God – or the ordering force of the universe. You’ll see it sounds pretty similar to this Deepak Chopra interview. And you probably thought he was just a comedian with crazy hair.

Way to go Russell.

A Blessed Life: Practicing Gratitude in the Face of Robbery

I Dedicate You My Heart !If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep at night, you are richer than 75% of the world.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the one million who will not survive this week due to illness.

If you have money in the bank, any money at all, money in your wallet, spare change in a dish some place in your life, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. 92% of people don’t even have that.

(All three quotes above are from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and his presentation on Gratitude.)

One time a couple of years ago, I left money in the console of my car. I deal mostly in cash. I had skipped going to the bank and left a wad of ones and fives in my console to the tune of hundreds of dollars. Not smart, I know. At the time, I was pregnant, and I was also raising my eight year old boy. This meant, when I exited the car each afternoon, I had many elements to manage — book bags, yoga bags, grocery bags, etc.

One night I absentmindedly left my doors unlocked. When my son and I got in the car the next morning to hustle to school, I realized my car had been broken into, the console had been raided and my wad of cash was gone. I was very bummed. I was irritated with the perpetrator and myself for leaving the money there in the first place. I grouched and grumbled and was so animated, that my son began to cry. He was concerned, anxious, and scared. Recognizing this, I started to pull it together. That’s when it hit me: the thief had not only taken my hard earned yoga money, he/she had also stolen all my spare change. I had no idea how much that even totaled. It was certainly not something I even noticed. So the thought occurred to me: Maybe the thief needed the money more than I did. I mean, maybe not too of course. But maybe, given that they stole every last penny, maybe they did.

Right then, I turned it around. I released my anger and my frustration. I wished the thief best of luck and love. And I started to comfort my son, while also simultaneously pledging not to leave money in the console again. And of course, to this day, my son double checks to make sure I have locked the doors each evening.

According to Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, treasuring our divinity means being in a constant state of appreciation. Dyer professes that it is in this state that we train ourselves to look for things to be joyful about, happy about and grateful for. When I am steeped in gratitude, life seems so much simpler. I am not overwhelmed with things I wish were different. I am not viewing the world from a lens of lack. I am not drowning in self-pity or sorrow. I am abundantly aware of the blessings in my life. I am full of… I am just full. It’s such a delightful way of being. I offer you this humbly. Gratitude. It’s a practice worth engaging. It’s the practice of looking for the beauty around you at all times. It’s so fulfilling and enriching. Give it a try.

photo by: Joe Fakih Gomez

How to Find Happiness, Even When You’re Broke

Finance - Woman holding dollar bills pointing at copyspace

How do you define rich?

People often equate more money with more happiness, higher status, or increased security. Losing a job or not getting an expected promotion leaves many in a state of despair and weighed down by a feeling of lack.

A recent study found that how we define wealth is often dependent on our age, income, and occupation. Where we live in the world and our socioeconomic status can play a large part in how we define wealth and happiness.

Here in America we live in a society that perpetuates the more-is-better mentality. When we lose what we have or can’t maintain a certain standard of living, we tend to feel inadequate.

Analyzing our personal motives for the job we’re in, the path we’re pursuing, the things we buy, and the things we want can prove very revealing.

Are we trying to present a certain image, live up to a certain societal standard, or accumulate as much financial security as possible? How much money would it take to make us happy, secure, or content?

The bigger question is less why we put so much importance on having money and more What would we do if we lost it all?

It may be a hypothetical question to many of us, but for a large portion of the population it’s become a reality.

Homelessness and unemployment are realities affecting many. Losing a job is one of the major causes of depression and increases the risk for suicide.

Unemployment is a major challenge. It often requires changes in lifestyle, expectations, and rips off a label we’ve identified with for years.

This breaking down of what we have or what we know is an opportunity to break through.

There is now an empty space or void where there once was a job or a title. How we choose to fill that space mentally, physically, and energetically can make the difference between a happy or discontent state of being.

Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Victor Frankl revealed the importance of finding meaning in life in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. His experience as an inmate in a concentration camp proved to be more than just an exercise in finding meaning in loss. His experience was one of finding meaning in an unimaginably horrific situation.

There is sobering truth in his famous quote:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

The freedom he offers is dependent on responsibility. Taking responsibility for one’s own attitude and outlook.

To that end, when we look at our losses or life changes as beginnings, as opportunities, and find nuggets of meaning in the smallest details of life, we find the search becomes less external and more internal.

As Frankl says, “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Contentment is an internal state. It is not dependent on what we have or don’t have. While what we have can affect our superficial level of happiness, true contentment stems from a deeper state of acceptance, gratitude, and acknowledgement of our true value.

When I start to feel discontent or dissatisfied with what I have or superior or inferior to another human being, I bring myself back to reality by what I call the Emergency Room Equalizer.

When someone is taken to an emergency room in a life-or-death situation, no one asks for their job title or pay stub. Their clothes don’t matter, their money doesn’t matter, their education doesn’t matter.

The only thing that matters is their life. Keeping them alive.

We are all in an emergency room of sorts. We’ve got 80 or 90 years to live, and that’s not long. There is nothing more valuable than our lives and nothing more equalizing.

True prosperity comes from appreciating the quality of our life more than striving for quantity in our life. Most of us have our health, our families, and many years ahead of us. All of us have the breath in our lungs and the clothes on our back.

When we choose to find the meaning and see the value in our lives, we find that even when we are poor, we are rich. We can live full and fulfilling lives with very little.

Even if we haven’t lost our jobs, when we make efforts to simplify our lives we often find more contentment, less distraction, and a deeper sense of well-being.

Practices that bring us back to the home of our bodies and the true essence of who we are, such as yoga and meditation, are powerful tools for stepping into our present circumstances with an open mind. Below I share a link to author Shakti Gawain’s discussion on Creating True Prosperity, hosted on the conscious media platform of Gaiam TV, where she highlights the distinction between inner and outer prosperity.

A sense of contentment with what we have often opens the door to finding joy in the simplest aspects of life, regardless of how much or how little we have.

When we’re faced with limited resources, difficult circumstances, or the loss of a job, may we echo the words of American artist Henry Miller:

“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.”

*****


418_CreatingTrueProsperityClick here to watch Creating True Prosperity

If money is the key to prosperity then material possession is the currency. Many people see prosperity as the acquisition of security, status, and wealth, which seem to equal admiration, freedom, and leisure. But money doesn’t always work the way that we think.

We sometimes forget that having a lot more doesn’t necessarily mean we struggle less. True prosperity comes from realizing and engaging what matters in life, not from accumulating things or building walls or images around us. Join Shakti Gawain in this fascinating and enlightening weigh-in between inner prosperity and material prosperity.

You can get hundreds of yoga and meditation videos for free by starting a 10-Day trial with GaiamTV:

 

How do you find happiness, even in the wake of financial hardship? Please share your comments below.

 

The Amazing Generosity of America

Perhaps you imagined that the people on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder would be pinching every last penny to make ends meet.

If so, you’re surprisingly wrong. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, the poorer you are in the United States, the larger the percentage of your income you’re inclined to give to charity. So inclined, in fact, that you often end up giving more than your pocketbook can really handle.

The research, conducted in 2007, found that the poorest 20 percent among us give more than they have in the budget, amounting to an average of 4.3 percent of their income. We’re talking about people who don’t have much to spare: the poorest fifth’s average income was $10,531 that year. (And since the poor don’t earn enough to make itemizing deductions worthwhile, their donations are effectively non-tax-deductible.) The richest 20 percent, on the other hand, donated an average of only 2.1 percent of what they made. Their incomes? Oh, a piddly $158,388, on average.

To put it in stark terms: in 2007, the richest one-fifth brought in 15 times the income of the poorest one-fifth, but only donated about 8 times what the poorest people did.

As Stephen Colbert would say, let’s give “a tip of the hat” to the lowest-earning among us for their incredible generosity, and “a wag of the finger” to our richest citizens for failing to open their wallets a little wider.

By Katherine Gustafson of Tonic. For more latest news on good news, visit Tonic.com.

Everything Depends on Us: The Disillusion of Giving with Expectation

Giving in the hope of receiving isn’t giving, it’s lending; and when you lend you’re at great risk of not being paid back. 

 More than 25 years ago I had a painful and frustrating experience which made me understand that only when you give to others unconditionally and without expectations do you really receive. Otherwise, all you’ll receive is disillusion.  

 Tomaticas was a girl who I rescued from a Bogotá sewer and who quickly stopped taking drugs and became a sweet, studious child as well as a great companion. I felt like the happiest man in the world to see how she had escaped from the claws of vice and become an exemplary child. She was my favourite and I spoilt her rotten. 

 After 3 years in the Children of the Andes Foundation, she met the supposed love of her life who led her once more to drugs, the street and the world of darkness. Shortly after she was left lame by a fight and her life became a hell once more.  

 I spent a long time looking for her, until one day I found her in a decrepit Bogotá street where large numbers of destitute people lived. She was in such a lamentable state that I hardly recognised her. I was totally stunned; I couldn’t believe nor except what I was seeing. That she wanted to stay there even though I offered to take her with me caused me great pain; I felt frustrated and powerless. I didn’t understand how it was possible that she preferred to stay in that horrible place, and with tears in my eyes turned and walked away, carrying a deep sadness and an empty space in my heart.   

 This lesson from life made me understand that I couldn’t expect anything from anyone. That the only person who could change her destiny was Tomaticas, if she chose correctly. I understood that all I could do was to hold out a friendly hand to whoever wanted to take it, and give a bit of light, love and peace while they were at my side. From that day on I’ve given up on making conditions and having expectations even of my own biological children Esteban and Alejandra.  

 We must learn to leave everything in the hands of God, but to act as if everything depended on us.

 

God’s Dictionary: Abundance

                                    Abundance

ab– = from
+
-unda = wave

          Let’s wade right into it, shall we? Money. We’ve all heard spiritual people talk about abundance issues or prosperity issues, and what they’re really talking about—what we’re all really talking about—is money. I learned the lesson of abundance the hard way —by being broke for a long time. Being broke, as movie mogul Mike Todd has said, is different from being poor; poor is a permanent state of mental affairs and broke is only temporary. How did I learn to be abundant? From the word itself.

          Abundance happens in waves. It’s cyclical. There are times when I have less (and some etymologists think the Middle English was habundance from the verb to have) and times when I have more. The secret to the waves is giving, totally unrelated to whether I have less or more.

          Abundance is an inner feeling of belonging in the cycle, of being part of something larger, something limitless. The easiest way to generate more is to give whatever you have. It doesn’t matter if it’s one dollar to a homeless person or clothes you haven’t worn to a local charity! When you’re feeling broke, give, and you’ll remember that you do belong to the cycle of abundance. Ask: How can I give to start the waves of abundance flowing my way today?

Infinition:
        

    I belong to the cycle of infinite abundance in the universe. As I give, the waves which before seemed to be ebbing, now begin to flow like the tides of all the oceans.

 

reprinted from God’s Dictionary (Tarcher/Putnam 2002)

Find more divine definitions as Dr. Corso’s blog God’s Dictionary

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