Q. I am a 36 year old working mom and lost my job about six months ago when the company I was working for filed for bankruptcy. Unemployment insurance is not available because I was considered an independent contractor. My husband’s salery is not enough to meet all our financial obligations. It feels like we are in a free fall. Each month without my income, we go deeper into debt and our emergency savings are rapidly depleting. For the first time in my life I am late on bills and am receiving collection calls. I feel nervous all the time and can’t seem to get focused. I have started to take sleeping pills and find myself waking up in the morning more tired then when I went to sleep the night before. Advice?
A. For most people, almost without exception, suddenly losing ones job is a profoundly destabilizing event and is so emotionally charged it literally fills your body with stress and anxiety. A condition that can often lead to depression. There can also be feelings of guilt that you have let the ones you love down. Compound all of this with unrelenting collection calls from strangers, whose primary objective is to make your life miserable and you can feel like your whole life is falling apart. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you don’t have to be the victim to your fears. But first, you must believe there is always the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Why should you believe this? Because there always is and there always will be. It’s simply how the Universe operates. But for now, until you reach that light, there are things you can do right now that will stop all this madness. It’s called meditation.
Finding Your Rhythm – Protecting Your Emotional Reserves
When you meditate you will remember that there is a rhythm to life and that this rytham is bigger and stronger then you. So instead of fighting it, which will only exhaust your precious emotional reserves, learn to go with it, indeed, surrender to it and let yourself become the rytham. I know this may sound a little esoteric, yet this is what practicing meditation is all about.
You might think taking up meditation is a way of escaping reality. You might be saying to yourself, “…are you kidding, this is no time to relax, I’m in crisis mode here, I need to find a new job now before we lose everything!” This is a common response to life-changing financial trouble, but in fact, just the opposite is true. When you meditate you replace the madness your going through with sanity.
Emotional Well Being
If you don’t take care of your emotional well being now, you will likely be facing a much more difficult time finding that new job. Prospective employers can sense anxiety and desperation – no matter how good you think you are at hiding it. How you feel about yourself and your situation will come through in your job interviews. And lets face it, who wants to hire a nervous wreck?
Peaks And Valleys
So how does one deal with life’s peaks and valleys? Through quiet acceptance. Joy and sorrow, like life’s peaks and valleys, are merely opposite sides of the same coin. True, life does bring us hard times, but it also brings us easy times. You cannot have one without the other. The trick is to drop this notion that one day, when you have everything you need to be happy, you will have finally arrived and you will no longer suffer through life’s troubles. Sorry, but that is not life. That is just a program we keep running through our head. The program is based on the belief that if we could only get that big house, be a bit thinner, drive the right car, marry the right guy, we will finally find that happiness we have worked so hard to achieve.
Giving Up Fearful Thoughts
In truth, happiness does not exist until you let go believing that you need to be happy in order to be, well, happy. It sounds paradoxical because it is paradoxical. This way of thinking turns us into the proverbial cat that spends her life chasing her own tail. The first step out of this nutty self-defeating endless loop is to get yourself out of your head and stop letting your fearful thoughts control your emotions. Meditation will help you do just that.
Meditation liberates you from thoughts, so that you can experience who you really are. And who is that person you might ask? You. Who is this real you? It is the witness of your thoughts. Meditation teaches you that you are not your thoughts, you only think you are. Until, of course you experience the state of no thoughts. When you begin meditation, you practice the art of watching yourself watching your thoughts. In time, you will realize, there really is an inner self that dwells deep within you. It is a place of peace because it is a place of no thoughts. It is perfect stillness. It is the present moment acknowledging itself as the present moment.
Practice Makes Perfect
As your meditation practice grows you will realize that the present moment is the only moment that counts, because it is the only moment that actually exists. Most people spend their whole life living for a future that never comes and then blaming themselves for not getting there because of a past that never really existed except in our thoughts.
Recognizing The Present Moment
Have you ever experienced a time that was not the present moment? Of course not! What we think of the past is what we think, not what we actually experienced. That is because experience only belongs to the present moment. Everything else is just thoughts about a past present moment. And thoughts, when they are allowed to run wild, which they do, will dominate how you feel in the present moment. The problem is, we are not in control of our thoughts. Have you ever wondered why we are unable to think the thoughts we wish to think? If you don’t believe me, try not thinking about a white elephant? Won’t happen. This is why we must learn to control our thoughts and the first step is learn how to turn our thoughts off. This is the beginning of self-mastery. This is what meditation ultimately teaches us. When we do this we will experience a great deal of freedom.
Immediate Benefits Of Meditation
- You gain a new perspective on life
- You learn how to release stress
- You gain focus in your life
- You increase your awareness
- You don’t react you learn to choose
- You eliminate negative emotions
- You bring peace into your life
When you are able to bring these qualities into your life, you will be in the flow and you will soon find that job you have been searching for and it might even come with a raise!