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trader psychology

I found God…

8 July, 2010

For my birthday Emma enrolled me on an evening workshop “How to fill the God-shaped hole”. As I completed the pre-workshop homework I realised I had kept my God-shaped hole firmly shut with an agnostic, if not atheist, belief for the majority of my life.

Even though my parents introduced me to Catholicism while inspiring me to sing in the choir and school doggedly demonstrated God’s magnificence with prayer and hymn each morning, I was not inspired. I didn’t feel a need for God.

I joined Van’s Supertrader program in October 2009 and on reviewing the Peak Performance Course I became especially interested in the chapter on Logical Levels of Belief.

Van explains Gregory Bateson’s observation that human thinking is organised into six logical levels of belief. How the deeper beliefs support the shallower beliefs and how if we evolve/create deep beliefs at spiritual and identity levels then our less helpful beliefs at the levels of value, capability, behaviour and environment may change with little need to address the whys and wherefores. This concept fascinated me.

I had been working on my psychology since 1999 (CBT, Landmark Forum, NLP Practitioner) and wondered whether if I began a rethink of my deepest beliefs maybe I could fashion permanent and meaningful change.

E   n   v   i   r   o   n   m   e   n   t

B   e   h   a   v   i   o   u   r   s

C  a  p  a  b  I  l  i  t  i  e  s

V    a    l    u    e    s

I  d  e  n  t  i  t  y

S p i r i t u a l

This guy has other thoughts on logical levels…

As a brief description of Bateson’s model, imagine this pyramid structure shows many cans on top to maybe five or ten cans at the base. This could then be analogous to the number of beliefs we hold at each level – many environmental beliefs and very few spiritual beliefs. Within this model beliefs behave like a pile of stacked cans. If you pull/change one from the top not much happens (little psychological development). If you pull/change one from the bottom everything above is bound to shift (possible paradigm shifts in psychological development). This sounded very exciting to me…

Then some synchronicity showed up. A very old friend called to ask about trading for a living and within two minutes of me telling him about my new found quest he had dropped the trading chat and suggested that we meet.

Over dinner he revealed a little told fact about himself. Over the course of 27 years enquiry he had achieved a high level of spiritual awakening. He experienced life in The Now and had meditated to places where awareness was consciousness was awareness. He guided me to the teachings of Adyashanti and suggested I began a daily meditation practice. Adyashanti I found fascinating and very down to earth. You could learn a lot from his free audio and video clips. Meditation I found more challenging and I will reveal how I started to overcame the chatter in my head here.

A year has passed since my interest was piqued and my spiritual enquiry has taken a few interesting routes. Van’s Peak 202 and 203 courses plus Libby’s Adams’s 28 Day Transformational Coaching have informed my journey and I have found gems within:

A Stroke of Insight – Jill Bolte

This video from TED pretty much sums up who we really are in 20 mins

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing – Jed McKenna

An interesting and thought provoking read and quite funny too, which is not a particularly common feature in books on Enlightenment.

I Am That – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Maharaj is a very famous Vedantic master. He has a unique brilliance for distilling extraordinary profundity into a few words and metaphors.

So what has spiritual enquiry and a set of spiritual beliefs given me so far.

I am awareness

I am not my body, or the chatter in my mind, or the tiredness in my eyes. I am the awareness of all this and more. I am spirit. Knowing who I really am has given me a lot of confidence in my connection to everyone and The Universe.

We are all God. We are somehow connected in spirit. We are one.

I now see the beauty (God) in everyone and my continual judgments (chatter in my mind) of others is slowly fading away. I am more forgiving.

The Universe is expanding and evolving and we are part of its greater plan

I have more patience. Whatever we are being/doing is perfect for right this moment. Trading losses, trading profits, systems working, systems not are all part of the plan for the evolution of The Universe. This belief allows me to want an outcome and not become attached to it.

The closer I live in The Now the closer I am to loving the world and me

The more I concentrate on one thing at a time, be it playing with my son, Romilly, being with Emma or trading the markets, the more I am experiencing life/reality for what it is, rather than what I hoped or am hoping it to be. The more I am loving Now the more Now loves me.

By listening to God I am guided to ‘do’ what is best for me and The Universe

I have found the dialogue between me and my Internal Guidance to be both enlightening and comforting. Instead of running around with a big list of ToDo’s I have a very manageable list of objectives/tasks that are all in alignment. I know this because I have consulted my a higher intelligence while in meditation and by the synchronicity that has come along to guide the decisions I make regarding these objectives.

An easy to try on belief for all denominations could be:

The synchronicity in my life is a guide to where to place my attention

When some synchronicity shows up in my life I pay attention to it (I used to marvel and then forget it) and use it as a signal that I am onto something and it just needs a little more attention to help me on my path.

Where’s the synchronicity in your life? Could it be pointing you towards a God-shaped hole?

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In the not too distant future I will go into detail as to how I use my higher self or Internal Guidance to inform my life and my trading decisions.

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