But this is not totally new; it is just that we haven’t seen things this hard for quite some time. But our ancestors and maybe even our parents or grandparents remember when things were not rosy and everyone had to pull together in order to survive. What is different now is that it seems our sense of separation and competition has grown. We don’t have the sense of community that we once did. Perhaps that's what this is partly about, perhaps we need to remember that we are all connected, that we are all one, and that we all have to work together to make it through this.
We have grown into a society that prizes the individual. We talk about our personal exploits and accomplishments. A getting ahead-being number one-you deserve it-mentality pervades our culture. We look at Wall Street and are astonished at the greed and corruption, but it doesn’t take too much of a glance in the mirror to realize that we all suffer from materialism, egoism, and consumerism.
This is not a sermon, it is a confession—I have too much. We are currently experiencing an ‘economic downturn’ and are selling our home. Not one home, mind you, but two. One, of course, is very small and is dedicated to spiritual ministry, but nonetheless it costs money to keep it up. After losing one of our major sources of income, we have come to the conclusion that downsizing is an idea whose time has come.
Now, please don’t feel sorry for me. Sympathy is one of the greatest means to locking someone into a victim status. What we all need during times of economic readjustment is encouragement that we can do it. Yes, we can. We can do with less. We have the inner spiritual resources to depend more upon Source and less upon our stuff.
I’m taking this opportunity to focus on becoming debt-free versus encumbered. What an opportunity! In fact, we all have an opportunity to learn to do life in a new and different way. In America we have more wealth and possibility than just about anywhere else in the world and yet I hear more whining and complaining and a victim’s attitude than just about anywhere else.
When are we going to get off our collective pity pot and make the adjustments necessary to live a Spirit-filled, meaningful life? I’m hoping that my current difficulties will propel me in that direction. I’m hoping the same thing for you as well.
So, for me, the tools to surviving difficult times are simple and are as follows:
1. Make time for a spiritual practice of some kind every day—no exception.
2. Practice gratitude for all of the blessings that cross my path each day.
3. Do something for someone else daily.
4. Give something away to someone in need every week.
5. Do with less. Less is more.
6. Embrace change.
7. Identify with my higher self, not my material self, ego self, or status self.
8. Sing, dance, and laugh.
9. Spend time in nature.
10. Remember why I am here.
May we each be blessed as we learn to walk a new path.