Last night I attended an online workshop called Mindset for Wealth facilitated by a friend of mine, Kimberley Uzzel.
It got me thinking about how at this time of year, Christmas, our money mindset can affect our outlook on life. Here’s what I mean.
Currently in the UK there are many messages in the media about price rises and issues with the UK economy. We are hearing daily about prices in the shops going up. There are issues because of lorry driver shortages, Brexit, Covid, shortage of CO2 for packaging. We've got problems with deliveries, so there's lack of choice in the shops. Which is causing a sense of further scarcity. The price of petrol has been rising. The price of electricity and gas continues to increase. Many companies are collapsing because they can no longer compete.
The cost of living has risen considerably.
Meanwhile, salaries have stagnated or decreased in real terms. Many people have been either made redundant as companies have ceased trading due to Covid or Brexit or a combination of both. Others are unemployed for other reasons. The government has stopped the support offered to businesses through the furlough scheme and the £20 top-up to those on Universal Credit has now stopped.
All this and we not even at the most expensive time of the year.
Christmas falls at the coldest time. The time when we are all indoors more. Needing to use more fuel to heat our homes and businesses. Winter when we are more likely to use vehicles to travel as it is too dangerous, cold, or dark to walk. Christmas time where we traditionally buy presents, extra food, travel to see relatives.
So, it could look really bleak.
Much of what is happening in the UK economy is out of our control. We can’t reduce the scarcity of stock or drivers. We can’t reduce the price of food or fuel. Moaning about it will focus us on the negatives and reduce our energy.
What we can do though, is accept that things aren't great and look to see how we might mindfully look after our families’ wellbeing the best we can. Just being a little bit more conscious of how we spend, we can make a big difference, not just to our own pocket, but to our sense of integrity.
Let me explain.
Did you know that the word commerce originally meant social dealings between people? It was the exchange of ideas, opinions, and sentiments. It is also where the words commune, commonality, connexion, and community come from. But it is used to describe a different type of exchange more frequently these days. Commerce is the supply, trade, or distribution of commodities now. It used to be social.
And now it's about business.
John Lewis recently released their Christmas TV advertisement for this year. It signifies the start of ‘silly season’. The time of year people start to buy gifts for others that they can’t afford, don’t want, and will never use. This is Christmas. The biggest commercial season of the year, for most businesses, has started.
Over the Christmas season businesses use commercials to increase business trading profits. It is estimated that £7.9 Billion will be spent in the UK alone on advertising in the last quarter of 2021.
Most commercials, adverts, use emotion to hook potential customers. They use a commercial to connect and exchange a common sentiment. Taking John Lewis for example, they stated that they wanted to capture ‘a moment of hope, reconnection and friendship’. You can tell from this they are hoping to capitalise on the sense of disconnection felt by many over the last 20 months of the pandemic.
This is therefore a prime example of commercialism. The definition of which is, the excessive emphasis on profit, over and above any other values. Looking to increase the stores profits, above the consideration of how using such imagery and sentimentality can negatively affect some individuals. Of course, John Lewis are not alone in this. Thousands of businesses do this. But I find it distasteful when it is dressed up to look like they care. It is inauthentic.
So how to deal with these aspects of modern life?
I think most people understand them for what they are. But if you are in anyway uncertain, maybe try viewing the commercials at Christmas like the lights on the tree. It is your choice how eye catching the display is in your home. You may choose to put them up, but you still have the choice whether to turn them on.
What do you think? Meditation has a lot of benefit in helping ease worry and anxieties. Here is a guide on how you can start a regular meditation practice. Come and give it a try.
Let me know. Let's be interested to hear.