By Anupama Bhattacharya April 2001 Only if you save money will you have the seed capital to start an enterprise of your own, to make lots of money. American financial planner J. Grady Cash points out the seven mistakes people make along with the relevant cures Spiritual matarialism In India, spirituality has often been associated with renunciation, hardship and suffering. But most spiritual leaders of today are trying to correct that image. Pranic healing Master Choa Kok Suiis one of them. He argues that we can work towards spiritual growth and be successful at the same time. He is himself a personification of this ideal. A spiritual teacher, he travels constantly, conducting meditation retreats and workshops. At the same time, he is a successful businessman and runs several companies in Manila, Philippines. Choa Kok Sui has coined a term, ‘spiritual materialism‘, which he uses to describe a life where we work towards material success but in accordance with spiritual principles. According to him, instead of money being bad, it is the improper attitude towards money that is the root of evil. Money itself is nothing but energy, a means to ensure that our lives are comfortable, so we can then devote time to develop ourselves spiritually. Folk wisdom everywhere has expressions like: ”You cannot meditate/contemplate God on an empty stomach!”The very meditation and healing techniques we learn for spiritual growth hold the key to material abundance. For example, part of pranic healing’s Meditation on Twin Hearts involves activating certain chakras to receive divine energy. At the same time, the meditation also includes sending positive energy to the earth, all living beings, to our homes, families, businesses and anything or anyone else that requires it. This transmission of energy can be likened to an investment. When done regularly, the returns are enormous. As Choa Kok Sui says: ”Nature is an echo—what you give comes back to you.” The returns are not only confined to spiritual growth, but can be channeled into good health, happiness, success, prosperity and abundance. 1. Impulsive Buying: Have you ever returned from a shopping trip to find that you have spent more than you planned or bought an item you had no intention of buying? These little mistakes can add up. Solution: a. Leave the physical presence of the item. b. Compare prices in three locations. c. Follow a checklist. d. Carry only enough to make planned purchases. e. Make a list of desired purchases. f. Spend by choice. 2. Fanatical Shopping: They are the people who will drive across town to save a few pennies! Fanatical Shoppers see the spending decision as a battle. Solution: a. Make it a game instead of war. b.Value your time and energy. c. Consider needs and value. d. Keep a healthy perspective. 3. Passive Buying: When it comes to buying, the Passive Buyer is, well, passive. They often dislike shopping and will procrastinate until the eventual purchase costs more. The biggest problem for passive buyers is their tendency to get talked into buying items they don’t need or can’t afford. Solution: a. Ask questions. b. Don’t get intimidated. c. Don’t procrastinate. 4. Avoidance Shopping: Avoidance Shopping results from the ‘fight or flight‘ syndrome. It’s natural behavior that man shares with animals. But avoiding problems by shopping only makes them worse. Solution: a. Face the underlying stressor. b. Substitute with healthy coping behaviors. 5. Esteem Buying: Esteem Buying is common among teens, who simply must have the latest jeans or sneakers. In a materialistic society, these purchases help teens feel they ‘belong‘ to their peer group. In adults, expensive possessions such as cars serve as a visible sign of success. Solution: Ask yourself the following questions before Esteem Buying, and don’t rationalize the answers to suit your desire: a. What will you really lose if you don’t buy the item-prestige or feeling good? b. Can an existing or less expensive item meet the same need? c. Will your purchase create financial or family problems? d. Which needed purchase would you willingly drop from your budget for this item? 6. Overdone Buying: Overdone Buying is a habit, hobby or activity pursued excessively to the point of causing financial problems. Solution: a. Recognize and admit the problem. b. Consider professional counselors and support groups for addictive habits. c. Avoid triggers. d. Replace negative addictions with positive ones. 7. Hot Potato Buying: This progresses through two distinct stages-a period of worried indecision followed by impulsive action, like juggling and then dropping a hot potato. Solution: a. Put the potato down! If a traumatic event accompanied the spending decision, allow your life to return to a normal routine before acting. b. While waiting, use the time to educate yourself. c. Use a checklist to avoid impulsive decisions. D. Don‘t overlook small decisions.
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