Saturday, March 25th 2017
Jun
2009
13

Six to-do’s when you feel the economy’s pain

Stock market forces might be causing a “correction,” but a larger “force” is at work. It seeks more than a correction. It seeks an evolution

istock_000004140088xsmall.jpgBY DAVID RICKEY — The media is full of polls that reflect what everyone already knows: Americans are clinically depressed by the depressed state of the economy, and their own investments.

People are losing their jobs across the board, as layoffs seep beyond the real estate and financial sectors and into the upper echelons of the high-tech workforce. Try borrowing money for a house, or even a car. Actually, don’t bother.

Fear, we all know, begets fear. So much of this economic “crisis” is based on perceptions, even illusions. And yet there are very real effects stemming from these illusions.

wallstreet0722.jpgOne of the most frustrating things about this “crisis” is that it is entirely out of our control. We feel helpless because, in many ways, we are helpless. Our insecurity mounts. We might even feel guilty if, say, our family investments sank on our watch.

So first, stand back a bit. If your stocks imploded, remind yourself that you made your investments out of reasoned goals. In short, you weren’t behaving recklessly. Remind yourself, too, that you are not alone: Millions of people are hurting, and many more are far worse off than you.

It is precisely times like these when we are called to embrace a spiritual state of mind. It is a shift in perception that removes us from helplessness.

Consider what’s really going on here. The world of form — that is, our daily experience of things like tables, chairs, cars, people, newspapers and bank accounts  — is demonstrating to us the futility of trusting the world of form.

We are now experiencing how our perceptions shape the world around us: our collective fears and insecurities actually manifest a reality that is fearful and insecure.

People talk of greed as the cause, but what is greed except the over-valuation of accumulated things? We generate “wealth” simply by assigning a perceived value to certain things, be it shares in a company, barrels of oil, or ounces of gold.

The “value” of gold is especially telling. I like to say that if the streets of heaven were paved with gold, gold would have the same value as asphalt.

So one approach is to revalue what we value. Another Soul’s Code contributor pointed this out nicely when she suggested the lesson here is to place a higher value on relationships, and caring for each other.

What we need is a shift in consciousness. Until we realize that the only “thing” of value is the One Life — the consciousness that is the fundamental fabric of the universe, and is manifested in all the separated forms — we as unconscious “individuals” will continue to create cycles of abundance and scarcity, conflicts between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” and the “need-to-have-mores.”

It is not at all easy to make this shift of consciousness. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Breathe.
  2. The present situation can be experienced as a property of the universe that seers over the centuries have called wisdom. Here, wisdom is giving us an opportunity to step back from our fears. This summons courage, a certain faith and trust.
  3. Allow another deep breath and feel the energy within you. Even your anxiety can be a hint of that aliveness.
  4. Jesus suggested we consider the lilies of the field. If possible, look out a window and see nature for what it is, without the intervention of thought. Let the myriad manifestations of life all around you saturate your awareness.
  5. Can you detect a wisdom that created, and sustains, all that? Keep breathing and feel the connection of the life expressed in your body and the life that is all around you. Wisdom created you. Can you trust that Wisdom to sustain you, as well? Reflect on all it has created through you and countless others who are experiencing this same teaching now.
  6. Most of all, find patience. The shift in consciousness most often comes slowly, too.

We hear about market forces bringing about a “correction.” There is a bigger “force” seeking not just “correction,” but evolution.

Evolution happens in small increments. But it does happen, and you play a role in the evolution of this life we inhabit together.

The pain of the present situation is like growing pains, caused by expanding beyond the limits of our mind’s ability to comprehend a larger picture.

Keep remembering to breathe. Give yourself the experience of that slight spaciousness which can allow courage, trust, and wisdom to flower within you.

When each of us learn to play joyfully with the manifestations of forms, without grasping any form too tightly as “mine”, then we can find happiness.

When we learn that gold has no more value than a flower, that both can be appreciated in their own right, then there will be true delight in things simply as creations “for the fun of it.”

There will be less grasping. There will be plenty to go around, because there already is plenty.

If this spoke to you, here are five similar articles.

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14 Comments on “Six to-do’s when you feel the economy’s pain”

  1. Thank you David. I printed this out and read it first thing this morning. I have been focused intensely on the wild gyrations in the stock market. I recently lost my job and was counting on selling some stocks to keep paying the bills. Now I will be selling a lot more at a time when I wish I had money to invest. Will I survive? Of course. And with your reminders and suggestions i pray i will emerge a stronger and healthier person because of it.

  2. David,

    How right on time your writing is... I've been listening to my father, who is in Pennsylvania, just worry so much over what the market is doing. And I've felt pretty powerless to say, "It's okay, Dad, it's just your retirement." You reminded me of one of my favorite passages from a book called, "Illusions" by Richard Bach.

    "The other creatures laughed and said, 'Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!'

    "But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

    "Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

    "And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, 'See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!'

    "And the one carried in the current said, 'I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.'

    It reminded me that the only real freedom we have sometimes is letting go.

    SueAnn

  3. Excellent way to get perspective on an extremely volatile situation that is probably causing us most of us to lose sleep, worrying about our financial futures and the futured of family and frineds, so we eat and drink too much - when what we really need is some time to breathe deeply in and out and absorb what is in this article.

  4. Very insightful article on how to get perspective on life when faced with huge amounts of uncertainty. I worked on Wall Street for some of the largest institutions. This rings true. That's why I left.

  5. Thank you for your advice. It is the *only* advice for all who share the same boat now, whether we are spiritual, secular -- or, gulp, Republican :) I kid my conservative friends!

    The interesting paradox for me here is how the motivational speakers, leadership coaches, public-speaking tutors have a shard of something: fear and anxiety can "work" in the world of form.

    I was taken downtown for 300K the last time this happened (2000-2001), and never did "growth" stocks or derivatives again or since. It wasn't so much paralysis as disinterest. I plugged into a different energy, to borrow Caroline Myss' meme. It's an accident of that energy that I happened to stay in cash and have not personally been hit by the 30% decline in the S&P.

    This convulsion in the most trusted and liquid market in the world will be debated, and noted in history books, for the rest of this century.

    Trusting your words . . . I *can* see and enjoy the "play" in form represented by the dramas of numbers in headlines and reactions in us all.

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