Beliefnet
Your Charmed Life

These are strange times and for a great many people, very difficult ones. But we’re all connected and, however severely or marginally this economic season has impacted your life, we owe it to one another to come through graciously, generously, and with an eye on healing both our economy and our world.

1. Don’t borrow trouble. Jesus said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Translation: you’ve got enough on your plate right this minute. Don’t go to what awful thing might happen if this or that might transpire.

2. Take things a day at a time. This is how alcoholics and addicts recover in 12 Step programs, and it’s how we’ll all get through what’s going on now. If you have a place to sleep, and food, and love, and a functioning brain that can put you in touch with creative ideas, you have all anybody needs. Live this day. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

3. Somehow, some way: get yourself some joy today. If things are really bad for you, you may feel that joy is inappropriate. Or if things are good for you, you may feel that joy is inappropriate since they’re bad for other people. Joy is never inappropriate. This is why people eat pie after funerals. It’s to tell the universe that even—and perhaps especially—in times of pain and loss, Dutch apple and coconut creme have a role to play. So make merry at least a little bit. 

4. Act as if everything was already taken care of. Now, obviously, if you’re out of work or your circumstances are otherwise very different than they were six months ago, you’re not going to be whistling a happy tune as if you had no serious action to take. Even so, each one of us needs to approach life as if everything were okay, as if we’re okay. Take the action that’s necessary, but know deep down inside that no matter what, you are being taken care of.

5. Listen to the little voice and follow those inclinations. “You could put an ad on craigslist for teaching French.” … “Check with your old bank — I think you left some money in there.” … “Go back to that job site, even though you were just there yesterday.” These are the kinds of inner nudges our intuition (i.e., internal tuition, internal instruction) gives us that we’re likely to blow off. Don’t. God and guardian angels and your grandma Ruth who died when you were eleven are trying to help you out. Let them.

6. Elevate your elegance. Use the nice dishes. Light a candle. Put on some music you absolutely love. Wear your good clothes, even if you think that where you’re going isn’t all that “good.” Like attracts like. Prosperity and opportunity and helpful people are drawn to you when your life looks as if that’s what you’re expecting.

7. Support the ma and pa. When you have to buy something, buy it from a shop owned by individuals if you can. If you’re going out to eat, how about the little Italian place or the little Chinese place run by a family instead of a corporation? The corporates will survive—a couple of down quarters, sure; some closed locations, okay, that’s too bad—but they’ll make it. Without you and me and people like us, however, the little Italian place and the little Chinese place may not.  Be part of their support team.

8. Find ways to help. Food bank contributions are down: if you have food to spare, get over there with a bag of it. Charities are in trouble: help if you can. People are afraid: help them be less afraid by staying out of fear yourself.

9. Be nice to your money. Maybe your paper worth is much diminished because of the stock market fall, but your self-worth is as strong as it ever was. Be nice to your bottom line, whatever it is. Know where it is. Is it safe? Is it earning you the best it can at the present time? Even the cash in your wallet deserves respect and care. Face the green side toward you so you can see “In God We Trust” every time you spend a buck or one of those 20’s from the ATM. Keep your cash neat and unwrinkled. Send it out with love and receive more with gratitude.

WritingDownYourSoulpc150.gif10.  Focus on your spiritual life. Of course you have to pay attention to your regular life and do what needs doing, but when your first priority is your inner life, you put yourself in a position to draw on divine ideas that will enrich your quotidian affairs as much as the state of your soul. Pray and meditate. Talk to God. Write to God. (Janet Conner’s Writing Down Your Soul is a great help here.) Read spiritual books and holy Books. Hang out with people who keep their souls polished to a shine.  It doesn’t cost anything and the payout is enormous.

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