By now pretty much everybody has been affected in one way or another by the change in economic climate. Some people have been hit really hard, like Dave from Brighton, I described in the post below, who lost his job and was concerned that he wouldn’t have the money to pay for gifts for his family for Christmas. Or Maureen, who I met recently in Michigan, who’s husband lost his job along with their medical insurance. When she discovered she had a rare blood disease, it looked like it would inevitably drive them to bankruptcy. Others have been less drastically affected, perhaps had to just cut back on unnecessary luxuries.
The amazing thing about this shift in the economy, which I have discovered from my coaching clients, and from traveling and teaching, is how many of us take it personally. It’s not logical of course. But it’s a pandemic how easily we feel, “I did something wrong, it was my fault, I have failed.”
If you’ve noticed this happening for you, here are 5 simple tips to put things in perspective.
1) Write down your thoughts.
There is a hidden blessing in times like these. It is much easier to disengage from the mind when it’s in a negative phase than when it is in a positive one. A positive mind is great for creating things, “manifesting,” etc. A negative mind, on the other hand, is a much better springboard to freedom, freedom from the mind altogether. Keep a small notebook with you, one that will fit in your purse or pocket. If you notice yourself thinking or saying repeated beliefs about money, work or the economy write them down and then ask, is that true? Would everybody agree with that belief?
2) Share yourself.
If you are feeling like a failure, taking any of this personally, feeling out of control, find ways to share it with other people. Talk about it with your loved ones and your friends. I am a member of a wonderful men’s group where we meet regularly and talk about what is going on.
3) Be in nature.
It’s absurd that we even have the word “nature.” What does it mean? It only means the way the earth is before humans mess around with it. By and large activities created by humans cost money (movies, theme parks, Nascar racing, etc) while the natural world is free. Get out among trees, flowers, bird songs, and vast vistas. You will be reminded of an abundance that costs you nothing.
4) Give what you hope to receive.
It’s ironic that we actually feel much richer when we give stuff away than when we try and get things for ourselves. If things feel tight, find a way to be more generous and you will actually feel like you have more.
5) Relish silence.
However busy you may be, find gaps in your day to be silent and still. This could be meditation, it could mean walking in the forest, it could mean sitting on a bench in the park. As I mentioned already, times of misfortune are a very fertile soil for radically deepening into your own presence. If you create a small oasis during your day, grace will come to you.