I’m fed up with feeling like a victim in this economy. Can you relate? I’m fed up with the roller coaster of emotions and the dire news reports. I’m fed up with worrying about money. I’m fed up with not being able to sleep. But over the past day or two, I’ve turned a corner. The President said something really interesting in his speech on Tuesday: “The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure.”
While so many of us are not responsible for the recession, it seems we all need to take responsibility for the recovery. The idea being that if we can become internally empowered by our own passion, frustration, and determination, we will heal the economy much faster. When we are externally empowered, we depend on the media, a boss, outside influences to bring us security and safety. And we are all learning that’s a very vulnerable place to be.
But you can’t just wake up one morning and free yourself of dependence on the outside world. According to the yogis*, there’s a 4 step plan to becoming truly internally empowered:
1. EMOTIONAL MATURITY
“Life is not about the meaning. It’s about the feeling.” Joseph Campbell
This means instead of developing sophisticated opinions, develop capacity for feelings and an ability to stay true to your feelings. We’ve got enough mentally “intelligent” people debating on CNN about what’s right and wrong in the economy. What we really need going forward are people who can “feel.” We need people who can “feel” others’ pain and help them rise up. We need people who can “feel” greater love and form deeper bonds in times when other resources are scarce. We need people who can “feel” their anger and not bury it in deep inside waiting for it to violently explode…but rather make sense of it and express it in a more productive way.
“You cannot have goals, if you do not know what to say ‘no’ to.” -Robin Sharma
This means the ability to say “no” to the outside world thus enabling a clearer path to inner discovery. In these challenging times, the individual who’s able to become a stronger character with a deeper sense of their truth will be the individual who thrives. Such an individual needs to be able to say “no” to watching too much stressful news. He needs to be able to say “no” to the friend who makes him feel like crap everytime they hang out. He needs to be able to say “no” to that which does not serve his greater good.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Einstein
According to Carolyn Myss, when undergoing a shift toward internal empowerment, narcissism can be a positive thing. To take on a new image, a battle-“heartened” look, is a reminder that we best apply a new attitude and new energy to these changing times. Whether it’s long hair, braids, a beard, a soul patch, hippie clothes, all black, eyeliner. Let your style make a statement: “I am stronger than my problems!”
“The sword will always be defeated by the spirit.” Napolean
The previous steps lead to this final one. The world yields to one with inner strength. Going forward, if you wish to become powerful rather than diminished by a shrinking economy, develop this inner strength which some refer to as spirit. In this new economy, a truly powerful person will be an evolved person with the capacity to feel emotions, to reject stress as unproductive, to cultivate their own sense of style and truth, and to live from a place of freedom rather than fear.
Playlist from 2-27-09
Lean on Me Bill Withers
Killing me Softly The Fugees
King Without a Crown Matisyahu
Lay Down Sally Eric Clapton
The Late Greats Wilco
Lately The Helio Sequence
Don’t Worry, Be Happy Bobby McFerrin
Kaya Bob Marley & The Wailers
King of the Road (Single Version) Roger Miller
Make a Killing Aimee Mann
Kimberly Austin Porno for Pyros
Sexual Healing Ben Harper
Latika’s Theme AR Rahman & Suzanne
Kothbiro Ayub Ogada
*inspired by Carolyn Myss, ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT