How to Gain Gifts From Today's Challenging Times

This must go beyond the trite "when life gives you lemons, turn them into lemonade." It's about being resilient and truly empowered to choose your life rather than be a victim of circumstance and old tapes playing in your head. Beware of the R-word you amplify- by giving it more energy in what you digest, say, think. Try Renaissance, Renew, Reframe. Refrain from letting all this noise get you down and keep Rebooting over and over to be the prosperous winners in this "storm." Join me in singing, I fear not storms, for I have learned how to sail my ship. OK, I promise grounded reality along with my gushy optimism.

Many people are in or heading toward a transition- from job loss or similar circumstances. Whenever life throws us off course, it's also a chance to hit the pause button, reassess and reflect on what we truly want to create. Then we can move forward feeling even more "on course" or in sync with our best selves and meant-to-be success. At a New Thought church service, a man shares that he has just lost his job and the congregation applauds. Implicit in this seemingly odd response is a loving encouragement that this will somehow open up new doors for his destined prosperity.

Think back to the horror and pain from 9-11 that also led to a massive wake up call. People were saying things like, "I have a new perspective on what really matters." That tragedy spurred millions of people to stop and notice what was precious to them, re-evaluate priorities and seek to create a life with authentic meaning. This economic "crisis" can certainly be used to help us wake up and find more sustainable ways to be good stewards of our life energy- including money- for a world that works for everyone.

Multiply these more deeply chosen lives, and we have a grand opportunity to collectively create a more loving, fulfilling, harmonious planet.

Our point of view about what's happening is critical. With a job loss, one voice within understandably us whines, "Why is this happening to me?" Another voice in there (that you can cultivate) asks, "Hmm- what's the opportunity in this for me? How do I use this experience to help me grow? How might I take advantage of change for a fresh start?" Try on that perspective everything happens for a reason. Einstein liked to say that the fundamental question is "Is the universe friendly?"

I don't want to encourage simply candy-coating things-it's important to realistically see the crummy parts of transition and wake up call experiences and to acknowledge feelings of sadness, anger, frustration and fear. Of course, we are entitled to feel our feelings. Let's accept that as the initial human reaction with compassion.

Your next move is a crucial choice-do you want to remain stuck in pain or replaying the past or do you want to focus forward on what's possible and truly go for what you'd love to create? A great question can be "What's the best that could come out of this? We've all seen stories of laid off employees who found better careers and lifestyles because of the necessity to get thoughtful and resourceful about creating new livelihoods. I've seen the Passion Meets Profit Matrix process that I do with clients open up new livelihood possibilities many times over.

It's dangerous to over-simplify the complex nature of any life transition, so I offer the following suggestions with respect for your own unique process and encourage you to find relevant support and custom tailor your own steps to effectively managing your transition.

1. Acknowledge and clear your feelings. Let yourself feel what you feel and find a way to release some of the emotion- physical movement, writing, venting, Tarzan yelling- whatever. Talk with others for sake of letting this energy out of your system and making room for new good to come in. Don't keep rehashing the bad news story. Release it to clear out your pipes for the flow of prosperity to come in.

2. Reflect & Refocus. Take stock of what you still have and express gratitude. (I still have my ability to think, my talent for xyz, my aspirations for.... I'm grateful for relationships al.) Take long walks, bike ride or even an extra long hot shower and ask yourself some powerful questions, such as "How do I want to feel three months from now? What will it take to get there? What does my ideal typical week look like? What would I look forward to in a new job or career move? What could I do to fuel that? Who could help with that? Get curious- "What are the lessons to be gained from what happened? Thus, how am I wiser, stronger, more aware moving forward? What will I choose to do differently in the future?"

3. Choose. Entertain the notion that everything is a choice. There are no "have to's." No one has a gun to your head. Decide what you want to choose for the next chapter of your life. Simply choosing doesn't guarantee you'll get it, however, the power of your intentions makes a huge difference. Feeling like you are at choice is certainly better than feeling like everything is a should or that you have no say-so why not adopt this philosophy? Choosing what matters most and what you'll honor as authentic priorities are absolutely up to you.

4. Get into action. You could start with that vision of how you want to feel or whatever desired outcome three months from now. Work backwards from this goal until you find something small enough that you can do the next day. Pick that first step, find the right person(s) for encouragement and accountability support and keep going.

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