An autumn of discontent is probably the last thing any of us want. However, many people are finding that the strains and consequences of the current global situation have hit home and are being felt directly on a personal level. This has certainly been a collective wake up call, and as hard as that is, it is an opportunity to allow a different way of thinking to take hold and transform perception of the particular situation.
So after a hard gulp or two, this is actually a time to start to breathe easier because you can let go of ideas and behavior that no longer serve you or your highest good. Like all good wake up calls, it’s a time to clear the internal clutter that we didn’t even realize was clogging up our lives. To better illustrate this, let me tell you about this couple living down in the Boston area who were impacted by a lay-off and then a significantly diminished income. This change in finances had become a catalyst for them to have to rethink their lifestyle. At first it was about sacrifice and fear but that transformed into creativity and reconnection to deeper values. In some aspects of their lives, they felt like weights were being lifted off of them. One example in particular, was letting go of having to maintain an expensive car—which was quite frankly, for the prestige. While financially they don’t have the burden of paying for the car anymore, more importantly, they are less imprisoned by the belief of having to “own something” in order to impress other people. In fact, upon reflection they both expressed feeling “ more complete as people” in coming to this realization. Feeling more complete with less stuff–coming from the pervasive mindset where building up the external to balance out any perceived lack of the internal may make that shift impossible without a crisis to urge us to evolve.
Sometimes sacrifices can feel good once we shift the focus off of what we will miss out on and instead place it on what will there now be room for in our lives. For example, maybe you have to shut your cable off. This might feel painful to say the least but with no TV coming in, what else can now move into your life? It’s going to be something good—although probably uncomfortable to think about until you experience it. Maybe you’ll now be hanging out more with friends or spending quiet time with your own ideas (creativity), not just digesting the barrage of stuff that can come at you from the media. Going through this process, you might even find that you can more easily connect into the experience of inner peace, irregardless of what is happening around you.
It takes cultivated awareness and self-compassion to apply this type of emotional and mental reframing to live in the upside of a challenging situation. The more you do just that, the more you strengthen your thinking process to travel along the path of optimism and fulfilled living. If you want to delve into this more deeply, I highly recommend anything related to the body of work by Byron Katie, which incidentally is called “ The Work”. To see it in action with real people, click here http://www.thework.com/video_future.asp and/or http://www.thework.com/video_money2.asp
Debra LeClair Psy.D. Is a life/executive coach, trainer and psychologist who helps those seeking career satisfaction, enhanced communication skills and improved team/individual performance. She owns Full Spectrum Wellness LLC, a holistic health and learning center www.fullspectrumwellness.com and co-owns Platinum Principle Training & Development, LLC, www.platinumprinciple.com, a company that specializes in teambuilding and leadership training for organizations.