It's been two years in two different cities and I've meditated near daily. The past two years between Brooklyn, N.Y. and Honolulu, HI, have been a miraculous, tumultuous, ultimately joyous unfolding of events and moments, expressions of creative genius; I can attest that meditation has been the true constant through it all. It's allowed me to attract dream opportunities, ideal love, live a pretty exciting life, and most importantly go day by day with an enduring sense of inner peace no matter what's going on outside. Russell Simmons and Kung-Fu movies would be my initial introduction into meditation, but my real journey would begin three years ago when I went to my O.G.'s house. He told me the movies were all about breathing and meditation, and how he'd used the material to build himself a small fortune and remain youthful even as he approached 70. Of course I was interested; this was exactly what I'd been searching for. Few people know what meditation is: going into the Silence of your own Being. It's been such a game changer in the overall quality of Life and buoyancy of Spirit I've enjoyed these past few years, and I'll share with you 5 steps to help you meditate like a boss, master your inner game, and dominate in the outside world around you.
1. Same Place
The mind has an interesting ability to condition itself to enter the meditative state with more and more ease as you do your practice in the same place and preferably at the same time. This is not to say that you will not reap the benefits of meditation if you lead a life that doesn't allow you to practice in the same place and same time, but it is a huge boon to your practice. Assume an attitude of gratitude, and open your mind to hear the Voice of Spirit speak to the Physical.
2. Spine Erect
Prior to my journey into meditation, I had been hit by a car while riding my bicycle, and doctors told me that I'd experience pain and discomfort in my neck and spine for the rest of my life. As sitting in meditation requires a straight spine, it took even more effort on my part, but boy what a reward. As I write this, I experience no pain, and I never will again. Sitting with the spine erect allows optimal energy flow throughout the body: "The sevenfold position is the most natural way to sit so that we place the physical organism in perfect correspondence with the living, moving force of Life itself throughout the Universe."
3. Control Breathing, Relax Muscles
Use your breathing to begin to relax the body. If there's tension, direct breath to the tense areas as you inhale, and release the tension from your body as you exhale. Flex the body so that it goes limp, and place your hands on your knees, enjoy the sensation of the electrical flow of energy through your body. If you do nothing else but sit still and focus on your breathing for a few minutes a day, you'll already be making leaps and bounds.
4. Relax, Watch Your Mind Movie, Then Take Control
Now let us do with the Mind what we have done with the Body. This is where most beginners get tripped up, but what's about to happen is natural. "...my mind is jumping about...it seems like a maddened monkey. It brings me all kinds of ideas. I think of something in the office, something at home, did I lock the garage door, I wonder what is going to happen, I am thinking of this, I am thinking of that; all kinds of ideas are passing rapidly and in medley and chaos through my mind." Worry not, just sit and watch: this is your mind's movie as all the ideas on the top layer of your mind swirl around and show you your thoughts. Enjoy the show; with stillness the rush of thoughts will slow down, and you'll be able to take the wheel and take control. As your practice continues you will feel more and more of the infinite inner stillness, the ocean of internal peace.
5. Enter the Realm of Miracles
Once swimming in the ocean of internal peace, the mind is now open to receive the divine energies of the Infinite Source. This is where you can introduce affirmations that reprogram the mind, ask for answers to seemingly impossible situations, attract the right people and circumstances. From the outside some may comment on how "lucky" you are, but you are well aware of the internal work you have put in that has the caused the gateways of the kingdom to pour forth all of its riches unto you.
*Bonus #1. Step 6. PRACTICE !
This can't be overstated. Consistency will increase results exponentially. There's no cheat codes to this, and no one else can do the work for you, but the benefits received far far outweigh the price paid.
*Bonus #2. A Cheat Code
Even still there are always things you can do to make getting started and staying consistent easier. Here is a video to a personal favorite guided meditation that I listen to often and has helped manifest miracle after miracle, blessing after blessing. It's a five minute quick meditation that will give a boost to your day whenever you take a little time to listen.
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.