How to Be Mindful When Filing Your Taxes

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Meditation for Real Life

“Relating to our personal finances can be very destabilizing. Feelings of peace and confidence are often masked by obsession, uncertainty or fear. Most people have developed strong, habitual patterns with respect to their financial lives, including taxes. Mindfulness cuts through these patterns and can allow us to see money matters more clearly, and accomplish positive change.” – Sol Halpern, president of Highlander, a mindfulness-based investment advisory firm.

Approach the process of gathering the documents you need to prepare your taxes as an opportunity rather than a chore.

With each document, take a moment to go beyond the numbers. Reflect on the aspect of your life that it represents.

Don’t just notice what you think. Also pay attention to how you feel about that part of your financial self.

When your tax return is finalized, consider the complexity of society. Though we may resent paying taxes, remember that they provide for things like schools and roads that make us a community.

Check in with your thoughts and emotions with regard to your society. Resist the urge to form opinions or figure anything out. Simply feel the texture of your relationship to your society.

Consider some specific aspects of your society that your taxes support. Choose some for which you are grateful, and some that you would change if you could.

Speak or write down an aspiration or wish.

Sign your tax return with a sense of offering to support your aspiration or wish.