In recent articles, I ‘ve written about the benefits of volunteerism as part of your life when you are in career transition so I won’t repeat myself here by talking about how giving back keeps you grounded and of purpose in a time of such uncertainty. So here are five tips for how to make this time “in between lives” a time of grace when the temptation is to feel like you are spiraling down into a professional no man’s land.
1) Whatever your normal exercise routine has been, put in its place for three weeks a practice of 20 minutes of walking in the morning and 20 minutes at night. Getting the blood moving into your brain and connecting your mind and body will keep your body agile and grounded when you can often feel a bit spaced out from the lack of structure. This in turn makes your brain agile.
2) Watch your caffeine and sugar consumption. The more alkaline your diet is with the help of leafy greens and a multi mineral vitamin, the less stress your brain will be under and the more creative you will be to entertain out of the box career strategies. I know I have spoken about this before but it bears repeating. Caffeine, sugar, and too much stress and worry create acid in the body. An acidic body is the perfect breeding ground for cancer.
3) Make a practice of taking 15 minutes a day to look at something you have judged about yourself. What is the strength of that trait? For one person, it might be their anger. How can you use your anger as a positive quality to create a new life purpose? Perhaps that might be to become a crusader of some cause or advocate. I know of a man who left his job at the height of his Wall Street success to take a position in an NPO with an 85% pay cut. He used his type A personality to get funding for a charity he believed in. For another person, it was that she’s an empathy, extremely sensitive and found working in a corporate environment very taxing so she started doing massage on the side and eventually left her job when she was able to support herself as a massage therapist. The key is to look at what you might have thought of as a weakness as the very core of your gifts to others.
4) On this same note, with compassion and gentleness, make a list of habits that are not serving you or allowing your highest potential to be expressed. Commit to changing just one at a time. As you master one, you will feel empowered to go on. When we are in the throws of a busy career, we don’t have time to look at ourselves and retool for creating better functioning. Here is the time to make changes that will benefit you when you are back in the workplace.
5) Before you get out of bed, count your blessings, as many as you can think of. Then ask yourself, how you could bring a piece of heaven into your limbo state today. If it means taking a walk in nature, do it. If there is a flavor of something that is heavenly, eat it with complete presence not as an intention of numbing out discontent or fear. Imagine a ray of light pouring like rain into the top of your head streaming down to the tips of your toes.
The time “in between” has been written about by shamans and sages. Many experience it as their time in the desert but even the desert when it gets enough rain, becomes covered in blooms in the Spring. Spring will come and you will be ready from the inside out.
Dr. Toni Galardi is a liciensed psychotherapist, public speaker, columnist, and author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive not Just Survive in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval. Dr. Galardi is doing an eight week group for those wishing to move into their best and highest potential. call 310-712-2600 to register. limited seating.