"The key to shifting from bailout to breakthrough is to see the current challenge as an evolutionary call to action - a step that, when taken, will lift your life to a whole new level!" ~ Me :)
There's so much going on in the world right now between the financial crisis on Wall Street, the ongoing war in Iraq, and a presidential election in full swing, that I thought I'd offer a perspective that might help you to weather this temporary storm.
Many years ago, while driving through my old neighborhood, I saw a sign on the front lawn of a church that read: "When all is breaking up, something new is breaking through." That day, I desperately needed those words. It felt like so many things were breaking up in my life -- my job, a significant relationship, my home, and so on. I felt vulnerable and afraid and I clung to that message for months. It gave me hope and helped me to shift my perspective from one of fear and dread to one of strength and optimism. When I look back on that period of my life now, I can see that something was indeed breaking through - a whole new level of authentic living that I couldn't see at the time.
In some ways, I believe that's what's happening to many of us right now. We're being challenged to evolve -- to rise up to a new level of authenticity that will not only serve us individually, but collectively as well. This means facing the truth about our lives, acknowledging what's working and what isn't, and having the courage to slowly and systematically make the changes that will allow us to live a more honest and soul-directed life.
When in the midst of an evolutionary shift, we can either go through the process kicking and screaming (something I've been known to do :), or we can bravely face reality, accept what is, and minimize our suffering by taking action to make the changes we know we need to make. For example, if the financial crisis is frightening you to the point of keeping you up at night, it might be a call to action -- a challenge to face the fact that you have more debt than you can handle. From this honest perspective, you can then make wise choices to get help from a debt counselor, to cut back on spending, or to create a debt elimination plan that will allow you to rest knowing that you're getting things under control.
When challenged to face the truth, here are three things that can help...
1. Take a deep breath. While this advice may seem simplistic, experience has taught me that the best response to any crisis is a clear, calm head. Most of us, when faced with fear, will make far better decisions when we allow ourselves to step back and regain a sense of equilibrium rather than react out of panic. Rather than respond to fear with a knee-jerk reaction like taking your money out of the bank and putting it under your mattress, for instance, take a deep breath and allow yourself to make decisions from a grounded and more balanced position.
2. Get the message. Years ago, my first coach, Thomas Leonard, offered me a way of looking at the world that I know has saved me from a whole lot of suffering. He said, "Cheryl, as the years go by, life will give you messages, if you ignore them, you'll then be handed a lesson, when you neglect to learn the lesson, you'll then be served a problem, and if you don't deal with the problem, you can expect to receive a full-blown crisis."
While Wall Street seems to have missed the message, lesson, and problem, only to be hit square in the face with a crisis, you don't have to follow suit. Stop right now and consider the following questions:
What message is your fear or stress attempting to give you?
In what ways do you need to be more honest with yourself? Where do you need to face the truth in your life?
What actions do you need to take to better care for yourself and your family?
3. Take action. Too many of us have to suffer long and hard in order to get fed up enough to finally make the changes we know we need to make. Put an end to the suffering with one simple action. If you're worried about money, for example, do one thing to improve your financial health today. Balance your checkbook, renegotiate your charge card payments, or ask an accountant for help in creating a new spending plan. I've found that action is the single, best remedy for treating fear. That and faith. Faith in knowing that when you do what you can and put your trust in a higher plan, ultimately you'll get that breakthrough you're waiting for.
Along with a deep breath, a willingness to face the truth, and action, training your mind to stay focused on thoughts that maintain a positive attitude will go a long way in helping you to create a positive outcome. Check out this week's "Take Action Challenge" for some wise advice from Louise Hay...
Take Action Challenge
In July, during our telegathering with Louise Hay, she shared her favorite affirmation and it seems perfect for this time. While you're taking the necessary actions to live more authentically, keep affirming:
"All is well. Everything is happening for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe."