Opportunity in the Economic Crisis

11 03 2009
Credit: Circles of Blessing by Ishara de Garis

Credit: Ishara de Garis

If you’re like me, this economic crisis is playing havoc with your confidence and has you wondering if you are on the right path in life. The good news? We have the opportunity in every moment to rebirth ourselves…to start anew and become new. I’m awake late on my birthday (the 10th) and reflecting. What do I need to give birth to?

I feel I have been carrying for a very long time a new life that is ready to push through into existence and yet it hesitates, stays put, and grows ever larger within me in the form of discontent, frustration, a gnawing, and at times a sense of futility.

I’m reminded of the quote from Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

Indeed. The world needs all of our talents, our love, our kindness, our peacefulness, our being positive, our giving, and our caring toward others. We are in crisis all over the world and if you think about it, it is wonderful.

Wonderful? Yes. We are being called to stop being greedy, to be humble, to be grateful for what we have, to let go of the fear that is gripping the financial markets and employers, to care for our fellow man, and to realize that everything we do has a ripple effect all over the world…we are all interconnected.

 So here we are in this wonderful chaos…the Chinese symbol for chaos means danger and opportunity. Do we as a country and we as individuals sit frozen in fear of pending danger and gloom or do we seize this incredible moment as opportunity? How do we let go of the fear? How do we move into opportunity?

We do it by refusing to accept that things are “bad” and hopeless. All of the negative talking heads such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter want our country to fail and they spew vitriol and hatred. We cannot afford to listen to these people. They are poisoning our airwaves and the very air we breathe. We must rise up and give birth to a new vision for ourselves, our country, and our world. Even if things look hopeless, we must see with fresh eyes.

Really wake up. Look at the beauty around you. Look into the eyes of your child and see the wonder there. Consider all the people throughout the world…including the ever increasing numbers in the U.S. who are refugees, homeless, have nothing, and live in constant danger and fear. These are our brothers and sisters and they need us to be “…powerful beyond measure.” See what is, but see it through the eyes of a beautiful being that is being rebirthed and awakened to a new way of living and being in the world.

Will you join me in releasing all that is holding ourselves back and in embracing and welcoming into the world our rebirthed selves and nation?

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to you. May we remember that every moment is an opportunity to celebrate our birth anew.

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A Cost of the Financial Meltdown: Refugees in America

27 02 2009

Middle class U.S. citizens are living in tent cities after losing their homes because of the economic crisis. Lisa Ling did a special report about this for the Oprah show yesterday. It is painful to see homeless people, but even more painful to see people who had jobs and were living a middle class existence now living in a tent. About 1200 people live in tent cities in Sacramento, where Lisa visited, and these communities are popping up all over the country. Homeless shelters are filled to capacity.

In her report, Lisa featured people such as 47-year-old Tammy, who has been living in a tent city for a little less than a year. Her husband was a tilesetter and lost his job. They then lost their home, their car, and everything they had. Tammy can’t find work in her profession as a cashier although she and her husband are both trying to find a job. They eat food that people throw out. She most misses having a shower and a bathroom – a place to do her makeup and hair. She said “I miss looking like a girl. I miss smelling like a girl.” You can see the pain and sense of shame in her face as she talks. 

Another person Lisa interviewed is Jim, a widower and father of five who has lived in the tent city for four months. He lost his construction job after work tapered off. He said that living in a tent “…is like learning to live all over again.” He too mentions the lack of a shower and bathroom and also the absence of a stove and refrigerator. He looks for work 3 – 4 days a week…when he can afford to do so. He has no car and no money and relies on public transit for transportation. He showed Lisa his tent, which includes a fire pit and bottles of water. To get water, he has to walk three miles roundtrip.

I’ve written posts on Iraqi refugees and the large number of refugees overseas, but I had no idea that homeless Americans are living in tents in camps that look very much like those that Iraqi or Darfur refugees live in. It is wonderful that our country is sending money overseas to help displaced people in other countries; we have people who need help in our own country.

If you want to know more about homelessness or find out how you can help, check out the Homelessness section of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development web page.

Here’s a short video that BBC showed last year on a tent city outside of Los Angeles.





Take a Moment

25 11 2008

sunsetIn the midst of the economic meltdown, fear, and uncertainty, take a time out. Breathe deeply. Realize that you have this moment, no matter what else happens and you can handle and be present in this moment.

Think of something you have to be grateful for – a hot cup of coffee, a job, a beautiful view from your patio, a loving partner, children who are doing well, your health. Focus on what you have to be grateful for and remember that what you focus on expands. All that chaos that swirls around you is just stuff.

You do not have to contribute to the chaos and fear. Breathe. Focus on what you want in your life. Smile. Relax. It’s all good.





Dear George Bush and Henry Paulson

14 11 2008

Bush and Paulson have misled the American public about the bailout and continue to do so. The market declined from 13,058 on May 2nd to 10,825 on September 24th, the day McCain suspended his campaign to rush back due to the emergency in Washington. Why was there all of a sudden THAT WEEK an emergency? The market was the same as it had been since July. CLICK HERE to continue reading