S**t happens: What to do when it does

Right now, the number one thing people are asking me about is: Powerlessness.

I don’t know if it’s the unending news reports about the flagging economy, the crazy weather, the time of year, the wars overseas (though I suspect all of this plays into it.) I have noticed, though, that people ‘feel’ energetically, more stressed out – like balloons deflating, losing power.

Losing a job, a home, a way of life, is no fun – and it can leave you feeling powerless. Yet, the truth is, this may be the most powerful you’ve been in a long time.

Before the sudden change, you were likely coasting along, comfortably going to work each day – same breakfast, same commute, same chat around the water cooler every Monday morning. Most people live this way. It’s familiar – a well-worn groove.

But now. Pow.

Nowhere to be – nothing to do. Big changes wake us up. Make us take a good long look at our lives. We will have many choices to make but the first – and perhaps, most important, one is this:

How will you meet this?

Will you use it to take you down the drain of worry and self-recrimination? Will you use it to reinforce your belief that the world is out to get you? Will you sit, seething with resentment or rage that you were treated this way? Or will you use it as a learning experience?

Will you use it to confirm what you’ve always suspected: Life is great for everyone else but you. Or will you watch your own behavior, thoughts and feelings; observe how you’re reacting and thinking and learn from that?

It’s up to you.

Here are my suggestions:

1) Build a layoff proof identity

by cultivating a sense of who you are when all identifying roles and masks are swept away. Tap into the power source that can never be taken from you – your connection to the Divine source of all things, all power. I do that by talking with the angels, praying, asking for the help that I need. Sometimes, the help that I ask for is spiritual: Help me to feel safe, to feel hopeful, to not lose my way. Other times, the help that I ask for is practical: Bring me a job that I love, bring me to the places and people who will uplift and engage the gifts I have to bring. Doesn’t matter what you ask for. But do ask. The angels want to help you – even if you don’t believe in them at all.

2) Cultivate flexibility

– your best asset in a world of ups and downs. Even when the economy is stable, life will always find a way to toss you a curve ball. Become expert at shifting; reading the energy of each new situation you find yourself in and in entrepreneur-ing your way up and out. Every knows someone who, no matter what happens, always seems to land on their feet. What makes that person different from those of us who struggle and suffer our way through a crisis? Resilience – a combination of optimism about the future and faith in themselves. When the going gets tough, they remind themselves: I will get through this – I always get through. (Cultivate this mantra.)

3) Avoid seeing yourself as ‘caught in the collective”

– what I mean is, avoid identifying with ‘the economy,’ ‘the ad business,’ ‘women’… or any other group. Be the YOU you uniquely are, and that way, when any group takes a hit, you’re insulated and safe. You are so much more than your job, your title, your credentials. You are a complex and beautiful collection of energies, skills, interests and abilities. Climb out of the box you’ve stuffed yourself into and see what shape you take when you live in alignment with YOUR values, YOUR economy, YOUR eco-system.

Let the world see more of that – more of you. I promise that, when you do, you have the resources and ingenuity to get through anything.

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  • Cherry Woodburn

    The Collective – #ItsABully Great comment to your insightful post. I hadn’t thought of the concept of getting caught in the collective, but it’s so true. I’ve seen people do that; I probably have.
    THanks so much for your suggestions and for providing me a new way of looking at the collective/generalizations/stereotypes.

    • Amy


  • ourladybeth

    I love this post! As I generally have issues with “The Collective”, I particularly like #3 but all three are great jumping off points.

    • Amy

      Thanks, Beth – I think most of us have trouble with “The Collective.” #ItsABully

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