Monday, October 13, 2008
Many people are finding themselves filled with anxiety as their financial portfolios crumble. But the good news is that there is something much greater than these financial challenges -- there is an awareness that exists beyond the ups and downs of this world. Tapping into that awareness allows you to navigate the decisions of your life while remaining happy and calm in spirit.
Here are some tips to help you get centered in your higher awareness:
- Take slow deep breaths to calm your mind and nervous system. Breath in to the count of 3, hold for the count of 3, breathe out to the count of 3, and pause to the count of 3, and feel free to adjust this practice to whatever pace is most comfortable for you, with the focus on allowing your breath to move more deeply and slowly.
- During the day, as you walk, think a walking affirmation timed with your steps. You can start with, “I am happy, I am healthy, I am wealthy, I am blessed,” and compose your own personalized statements to bathe your mind in positive thoughts and words. You can also align positive words with your slow breathing exercise.
- Remember death - not in a fearful way, but with a recognition of that which is inevitable. Remembering death helps you to appreciate life. Whatever you may have lost in the stock market is just practice for the day that you will leave this whole world behind to enter a greater realm of experience. Be grateful for what you have, and that gratitude will help to outshine the darkness of doubt and fear.
- Don't listen to Suze Orman telling you (on CNN this past week) that you're going to have to live in your car and wait in bread lines. That's the same fear-mongering approach that helped create this crisis -- see this article for more on this topic.
- Have faith. If you're Christian, remember and write down Bible verses that give you greater faith that the hand of God is upon you and that He will take care of you as He does the lilies in the field. Each religion gives solace for difficult times - find whatever of these helps to soothe your mind and heart. Take refuge in the wisdom of ancient or modern sages. If you're “spiritual but not religious,” you can still have faith in the rightness of the universe and know that whatever you are going through is your destiny, your karma. We all have crosses to bear in our lives, and with them comes our power to choose to experience them with faith and happiness.
- Play gentle music that soothes your spirit and uplifts your heart and soul. Playing gentle music before you go to sleep will help to quiet the buzzing vibrations that keep you thinking and worrying. One example of good music to play before going to sleep is the "Eternal Om" recording that comes on the music CD in the back of each Spirituality For Dummies book, which you can also play online (for free) at http://www.spiritual-happiness.com/sfdcd.html.
- As you prepare to sleep at night, bring your focus into the present moment. In the present moment, everything is fine. You still have a bed to sleep in; you still have so much more than so many who live on this very same planet. Focus your attention on the sensation of lying in bed. Use whatever blankets and pillows help you to feel comfortable. Intentionally let go of the events of today and the concerns about tomorrow. Be like a child again. Your only job is to let go of yourself. Sleep in heavenly peace. . .
- Before you go to sleep, ask your subconscious mind to give you whatever dreams will help to heal your concerns and bring you peace of mind, whether you remember the dreams consciously or not. A lot of personal empowerment and healing can come from having the right dreams, and you can easily communicate with your own subconscious mind like a prayer, asking it to help you to survive and thrive through this and any other crisis.
- Instead of watching the scary news before going to sleep, take care of yourself with a cup of warm chamomile tea and some peaceful silence, as you read even a paragraph or two from a favorite uplifting positive book to guide you into a peaceful, sound sleep.
- Don't let fear or greed make you vulnerable to phishing schemes that steal your identity, free trial offers that end up costing you hundreds of dollars in hidden fees., or Nigerian princes who want to send you millions of dollars.
- Okay, you've been budgeting and denying yourself all kinds of unnecessary luxuries, but you just have an uncontrollable itch to shop. Here's one alternative. Take ten dollars plus change and go to your local 99 cent store. Get back into your childhood mentality of being able to go to the store and shop for simple but fun things, and take a good time to walk through the store feeling abundant with your ten dollar budget, with which you can purchase ten items.
- Use this financial downturn as an opportunity to clarify your priorities and simplify your life. Contemplate what is most important to you and fund that. Identify what is least important, and let it go. Everything in the middle can be decided on an individual basis. Do you really need to have that cell phone? If family vacations are a priority, are there less expensive ways to go? What are you paying for that you could do without? Do your kids really need those ballet lessons they don't really enjoy? Find simple and inexpensive ways to entertain yourself and your family. Playing a board game together can be every bit as fun as going to a movie, and a whole lot less expensive. With this kind of disernment, even when the stock market funds go back up, you'll have taken the very important step of considering what is most important in your life.