I’m going through some big changes in my life on many fronts, from my career changing, moving into a new home, going through a recent break-up, to a loved one being sick. Some days I feel okay about it all, like I can handle it and that it’s leading me to someplace really, really good even if it doesn’t always feel that way. Other days I feel like I’m drowning and am full of anxiety, I sometimes even feel depressed and helpless. How can I ride out this time of great transition without going crazy??
Oh do I feel for you. While I believe that all change is for the better, even the tough kind and even if the evidence of that takes awhile to show itself, I can appreciate the difficulty of the state you’re in while going through it. I happen to be in a time of great flux as well, and have my “I’m going crazy” moments. While I won’t get into and make it about me, I will tell you that you’re not alone, and offer you some guidance in the form of how I am navigating it all.
First and foremost, don’t do it alone. Surround yourself with every person who has ever said “Anything I can do?” or “Let me know if you need anything at all, I’m here for you.” Take them up on it. And if you’re short on those kinds of people in your life, hire someone: a coach, a therapist, etc. Or you can reach out to someone on the CWG Helping Outreach team (www.cwghelpingoutreach.com), a team of volunteer Spiritual Helpers who can listen and help you make sense of things. Also, if you haven’t yet read Neale’s book “When Everything Changes, Change Everything” please grab a copy and dive in. I will also say that if you think you are clinically depressed, please just stop reading here and go get that help; the following guidance doesn’t really apply in that case.
Now, for the hands on, do it right now advice. I follow one major rule of thumb when navigating change, and although it is incredibly simple (in theory, not necessarily in application), it is hands down the most effective tool I have come across for navigating such times, as well as life in general. When you are feeling down, tired, overwhelmed, hopeless, upset, depressed, etc., do not, I repeat DO NOT think of anything important or make important decisions from that place. Wait until you feel better, even a little bit better, and believe me, you will. You’ve already identified that you have days/moments where you feel okay or good about things and trust that everything is unfolding the way it needs to. Those are the times to give those big topics of change your attention, from that better-feeling place that is also known as a “higher vibrating” place.
You see, it is when we are feeling good and vibrating high that we have access to the answers, ideas, resources, inspiration and clarity that we need to help us live more in the flow of life versus trying to swim against the current. It’s when we are feeling like crap and try to act from that place that we are swimming against the current because, put simply, we don’t have access to all of those things I just listed. We are clouded, confused, can’t seem to see more than an inch or two in front of our faces, and everything looks worse than it really is. Sound familiar?
So that’s it in a nutshell. Avoid the heck out of your reality when you’re feeling down, discipline yourself to simply not give it your attention with the awareness that if you do, you are not accessing truth. Distract yourself in the meantime with things that help you to feel a tiny bit better until you feel good enough to give it your attention again, even if that looks like taking a nap, crying it out, going for a walk, or watching a movie while eating ice cream (one of my favorites, by the way, though I wouldn’t recommend making this one your go-to move unless you have an extremely high metabolism).
You can accept that this period of transition will be challenging, you will have ups and you will have downs. During the downs, give yourself a break. During the ups, milk it for all it’s worth. You will find yourself on the other side of this, better for it, a higher version of Who You Really Are, and I can sense that you already know that, Marion. Go ahead and trust that.
(Nova Wightman is a CWG Life Coach, as well as the owner and operator of Go Within Life Coaching, www.gowithincoaching.com, specializing in helping individuals blend their spirituality with their humanity in a way that makes life more enjoyable, easy, and fulfilling. She can be reached at Nova@theglobalconversation.com. )
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An additional resource: The CWG Helping Outreach offers spiritual assistance from a team of non-professional/volunteer Spiritual Helpers responding to every post from readers within 24 hours or less. Nothing on the CCN site should be construed or is intended to take the place of or be in any way similar to professional therapeutic or counseling services. The site functions with the gracious willing assistance of lay persons without credentials or experience in the helping professions. What these volunteers possess is an awareness of the theology of Conversations with God. It is from this context that they offer insight, suggestions, and spiritual support during moments of unbidden, unexpected, or unwelcome change on the journey of life.
Is the Pope right? Is it time for the whole world to take stock of who we are as a people, what we set as our priorities, how we determine our most important values, and when enough is enough of consumerism and the seemingly endless push for Bigger/Better/More?
Or is Pope Francis the one who needs to take stock, and stop filling the air with his criticisms of humanity’s behaviors and tendencies?
U.S. talk show host Rush Limbaugh appears to think the latter. Reacting to the Pontiff’s latest news-making statements criticizing certain aspects of today’s capitalism, Mr. Limbaugh described the Pope’s observations as “pure Marxism.”
What has the radio host upset is the widely-reported document written by the head of the Roman Catholic Church that “poses a fierce challenge to the status quo,” in the words of a Jesuit priest and author, Father James Martin, as quoted in a CNN news story.
Released on Nov. 26, the document has received worldwide attention — as it was intended to, having been composed by Pope Francis explicitly for distribution to all of the Catholic faithful and all official members of the church family in every parish and diocese across the planet. It also has received worldwide acclaim from politically liberal Catholics everywhere, and not so nice responses from those of a more conservative bent.
“How can it be,” the Pope asked in the document, “that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
Last May the Pontiff received global news coverage when he said that in recent times the Catholic Church has grown too “obsessed” (to use his own word) with being ecclesiastically correct (my words for the spiritual version of being “politically correct”), focusing on social issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and contraception, while refusing to look at, much less battle against, the idea of so-called trickle-down economics and the world of inequality it produces.
So who is right? Has the Pope gone too far? Or is the Holy Father simply “telling it like it is” to a global horde not used to being so publicly scolded for its behaviors?
The communication — officially known in Latin as Evangelli Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) — is a 95-page sweeping call for reform within the Roman Catholic Church regarding its mission and method of outreach, but it contained some sharp comments about the larger world outside the church and its economic inequalities.
The “idolatry of money” has created “inequality that spawns violence,” and could, the Pope warned, produce a “new tyranny.” Francis also had some harsh words for those “trickle-down economics” — a phrase most contemporarily associated with the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who preferred to use the words “supply-side economics” to describe a system of tax cuts and other monetary perks to businesses, on the theory that the economic benefit would trickle down to people at the lower end of the economic scale.
The press began to call this idea “Reaganomics,” though the economic model has not been limited in its application to the United States. The Pope made it very clear he believes the idea “expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.”
“Meanwhile,” he added, “the excluded are still waiting.”
“Sad” and “unbelievable” is how Mr. Limbaugh described the Pope’s comments. “It’s sad because this Pope makes it very clear he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth,” the conservative talk show host declared.
Is Mr. Limbaugh right? Is what the Pope is saying “pure Marxism?” Does a policy of “trickle-down economics” create disparity and huge gaps between the rich and the poor, or do the benefits experienced by the rich indeed trickle down to the poor?
According to Lauren McCauley, staff writer for the website Common Deams, the answer to the second part of that question is no.
Ms. McCauley wrote a report published on that website last April in which she said, “The great wealth divide in the United States has only become more exacerbated since the recession, as national policies have buoyed only the wealthiest Americans while the remainder have been left adrift.”
Her report, headlined Wealthy Thrive and Poorest Dive as Surge in US Inequality Continues, said that according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data published by the Pew Research Center, since the economy officially emerged from the recession in mid-2009, “the wealthiest 7 percent of households saw soaring gains of an estimated $5.6 trillion, while the remaining 93 percent—111 million households—saw their overall wealth fall by an estimated $0.6 trillion.”
“It has been a very good recovery for those at the upper end of the wealth distribution,” Ms. McCauley quoted Mr. Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center and co-author of the report, as saying. “But,” Mr. Taylor added, “there has been no recovery for the lower 93, which is nearly everybody.”
Indeed, statistics easily available show that over 20% of U.S. income now goes to the richest 1% of Americans. That figure was just 7% in 1980.
Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of American Wars: Illusions and Realities (Clarity Press). Mr. Buchheit has compiled these statistics:
Based on 1980 dollars and IRS data, this is how U.S. income has been redistributed since that time:
- Incomes for the top 1% have gone from $148,000 to $450,000
- Incomes for the next 9% have gone from $46,000 to $50,000
- Incomes for the next 40% have gone from $17,500 to $15,000
- Incomes for the bottom 50% have gone from $5,400 to $3,750
So there you have it. Mr. Limbaugh may find the comments by Pope Francis regarding trickle-down economics “unbelievable,” but are they? Or is what Pope Francis has called the world out on something that the wealthiest people simply don’t want to believe?
What do you believe…? Your comments and observations are invited below.
Recently, there was a stabbing in a high school cafeteria in Texas.
Because of a shoulder bump…really? Was that really the cause? Maybe for them it was, but I am looking for a different discussion here. I’m looking for the discussion that looks for cause, because I believe it is only from that discussion we can truly move into doing something about what we discover.
Have you ever paid attention to the young people in your world? Yes, you may say, you love your children. But do you really look at any others?
It is my observation that the young people in my neighborhood are virtual ghosts to adults. We do not look them in the eye. We do not speak to them. What we will do is automatically think ill of them. The Black and Hispanic kids are gang members, of course. All are lazy and up to no good.
And it does appear to be somewhat true. There is escalating violence and declining test scores and climbing dropout rates. But are these young people at cause or are they a symptom? Are they the fallout?
IT IS EASIER TO BUILD STRONG CHILDREN THAN TO REPAIR BROKEN MEN ~ Frederick Douglass
I believe they are the fallout. I believe what they do is the result of buying into “things” as the definition of success. I believe they are the symptom of looking outside of ourselves for happiness…so far outside of ourselves that we leave our children at home, while we go in search of something to fill that empty place within us.
Why do we feel so empty, that who we are isn’t enough? How did we get taught this?
I believe it is because we are also taught to look for God outside of ourselves. Our parents are told, through our religions, our cultures, advertising and more, that perfection, happiness, wholeness, Divinity, lies anywhere except within ourselves…and they continue the cycle by passing it down to their children. They don’t know any better. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t question it…it’s a matter of “Faith,” one of the things that mere mortals will never understand, that mortals should never understand because we are so sinful, don’t question…or you will find yourself separated from that God you are already separated from forever.
But there is an uneasiness growing, isn’t there? More and more you see even the strictest of religious persons conflicted in their beliefs. Men like former Vice-President Dick Cheney, who believes in the moral imperative for war, now believes that his lesbian daughter is still lovable, and good. Life and real people in our lives are putting reality in conflict with what we have been told about being separate from God and contradicting what the rules of God are…and the love of real people is winning out.
Could the reason the love of real people is winning out is because it is as God always intended? Could it be that the vision of the bloodied bodies of hatred of all kinds is breaking our hearts? Are we seeing that if it can break our hearts, it is quite likely not what God wants…and just might be offensive to Her?
How do we change this cycle? How do we stop our young people from doing things like stab another to death in a cafeteria? I believe it is quite simple.
Look at them. Talk to them. Engage them fully in your life. Be there for them. Don’t expect others to entertain them for you…play a game with them, take a walk with them, talk to them, listen to them.
It seems futile to me to expect children to spend their first years being ignored, and being treated as not yet fully worthy because they are not 18, or 21, and yet, at that magic numbered age they are somehow expected to know how to fully engage in society. A teenager is told they should act more adult, and have adult consequences for their actions…but are treated like children in the very next breath. This world exhibits over and over again how little they value children, enslaving them, beating them, indoctrinating them, putting guns in their hands, starving them and more…yet we still claim that the future lies in their hands, and they are our hope. How can this possibly be?
Our hope, does, indeed, lay with our children, but we must first give them hope. All any of us desires in this life is to be seen. It is where we put context to our self image. Yet we have ghosts wandering our streets looking for someone to see them, because their parents won’t. I don’t see these parents as bad parents, by the way. I do see them as not knowing a better way. Maybe we can all teach each other a better way? In the total scheme of things, aren’t we all just children looking for guidance and inspiration?
(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of, and Spiritual Helper at, the global website at www.cwghelpingoutreach.com She may be contacted at: Therese@TheGlobalConversation.com.)
The website Independent Catholic News recently posted this summary of remarks by Pope Francis on the subject of death:
During his general audience in a freezing cold St Peter’s Square today, Pope Francis spoke about the way our Christian faith helps us understand death and brings us the hope of Resurrection. If we remain close to God in our lives, especially in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable, he said, “we need not fear death but rather welcome it as the door to heaven and to the joy of eternal life.”
A summary of Pope Francis’ words, read for English-speaking pilgrims, follows below.
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the Creed, we now reflect on “the resurrection of the body”. Christian faith illumines the mystery of death and brings the hope of the resurrection.
Death challenges all of us: apart from belief in God and a vision of life as something greater than earthly existence, death appears as wholly tragic; we misunderstand it, fear and deny it. Yet human beings were made for something greater; we yearn for the infinite, the eternal. Christ’s resurrection not only offers us the certainty of life beyond death, it also shows us the true meaning of death.
We die as we live: if our lives were lived in loving union with God, we will be able to abandon ourselves serenely and confidently into his hands at the moment of our death. Our Lord frequently tells us to be watchful, knowing that our life in this world is a preparation for the life to come. If we remain close to him, especially through charity to the poor and solidarity with those in need, we need not fear death, but rather welcome it as the door to heaven and to the joy of eternal life.
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including those from England, the Philippines and the United States. Upon you and your families I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!
Source: Vatican Radio
Did you know that there is a new book that identifies the 25 most important messages of the 9-installment Conversations with God series? It then offers practical suggestions on how to apply each message in every day life. Powerful and inspirational reading. To see the first seven chapters and hear a one chapter sample of the audio book, click here.
(This is Part III of an extended series on being part of the change, rather than simply observing the change, that is occurring on our planet right now.)
I want you to consider the possibility that your arrival here on the earth at this time is no accident. Nor is it a coincidence. Nor is it happenstance or chance. You are here, now, on purpose. And you are ready, now, to live your life on purpose. You are choosing now for it to be purposeful—or you would not be reading this book.
You are PART OF THE CHANGE, and you know exactly what that means, what that is going to call on you to be, do, and have, and what it is going to mean to the planet—to our children and to our children’s children.
Now you are merely looking for two things: collaboration and collective direction. You want people with whom you can collaborate, because you know very well that this is not the time to try to “go it alone,” and you want to see all of us move in the same direction, so that we don’t spin our wheels and waste our energy and produce nothing at all of any substance.
So, you have come here. Here, among other places. Using this, among other resources. And it is good that you have done so, for many others are now doing so as well. Before this is over, they may number in the thousands. Indeed, I expect that they will.
So here we are together, you and I. Here we are, with all the others. And so let us look together at what we can do, now, in a practical way, to experience ourselves, to manifest ourselves, as Part of the Change.
Here are some ideas that I have on the subject. Here are ten things that I think we can be, do, and have in order to become the change we wish to see:
- Announce ourselves to each other
- Agree with ourselves about each other
- Align ourselves with each other
- Stop separating ourselves from God
- Begin living the truths we say we believe
- Commit to being known, commit to being free
- Commit to being a leader and forget the outcome
- Deal with disappointment and redefine failure
- Get real, get practical, get going
- Never take no for an answer
All of this is easy. All of this is doable. And all of this is focused on producing a single outcome:
CHANGING HUMANITY’S IDEA ABOUT ITSELF.
That is the goal. That is the intention. That is the achievable outcome.
The first of December. ‘Tis the season for college and high school realizing that they might just survive first semester. As this is truly a great accomplishment, I congratulate all of you for bringing more light and awareness into the world.
But, with the end of the term, and the beginning of another, it’s time for a moment of reflection. To see where you are at, and where you desire to be.
So now, looking back at your first semester, think to yourself:
“Do I like what I see in my life???”
If the answer is NO, then be comforted by one thought alone:
You, right now, completely have the ability to change that answer to a YES.
On some level, whether it be the conscious, sub-conscious, or unconscious, you have manifested everything that has come into your life. Your friends, your ‘enemies’; everything has come directly to you from your highest intentions of who you are. Whatever you are “seeing” in your life right now, is something that you have chosen. Since this is a choice, you possess the ability to change your choices, and change your reality. Impossible? Not with the Law of Attraction.
In the New Age Movement, the Law of Attraction is a very simple statement with an incredibly powerful message: like energies attract like energies. Proven scientifically through the incredible capacity of the brain’s neurological systems, it has been found that energies surrounding thoughts, emotions, and actions can mirror and intensify itself over time. If you devote enough energy on a certain topic, object, or state of mind, it will be created in your direct reality.
In the most causal sense, the Law of Attraction is putting a mirror of yourself to the world. If you are sending out negative energy into the world, then that is exactly what you will receive back.
So…what is manifested inwardly is also manifested outwardly. If you don’t like what you see on the outside, start to look at inwards at what YOU are sending out to the world. If you demonstrate hate-driven or fear-driven thoughts and behavior, then you are going to attract even more hate-driven and fear-driven behavior into your life.
As the Law of Attraction does not only apply to thoughts, but also to people, the same message still applies: positive thoughts bring positive people. For whatever type of people you wish to bring into your life, you must BE that person internally. If you desire to attract ambitious and motivated people in your life, you must first BE that ambitious and motivated person. If you desire to attract easy-going and fun-loving people in your life, you must first BE that easy-going and fun-loving person. Because once you feel it, everyone else will too. Simple as that.
With the end of the first semester and the beginning of second semester, we will all soon be getting new schedules and new perspectives. If you do want to see “something new” and “something better”, then, with the Law of Attraction, you CAN choose to make it happen. To attract that state, be IN that state. People WILL notice that energy, and they WILL be attracted to you. If you like your life, others will too. And then the whole world is just that much better next semester.
(Lauren Rourk is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation and attends Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. She can be contacted at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)