Preparing for Autumn


As I was sitting at my favorite café reading my newspaper, the Italian owner shared with me that he was going to Italy for the first time in two years to celebrate his 40th birthday. I had just been reading of how the economic earthquake on Wall Street had started to reverberate in Europe. I asked him to report back when he returns on what the political climate is there and how they feel about us.

But he already knew.

He launched into a rant about what a super power America once was and now we are seen as lacking leadership and judgment. I know that since Bush was elected, we have steadily lost credibility with our European allies so this is no revelation, but perhaps there is another way to look at this.

Consistent with my LifeQuake™ philosophy – inside chaos lies the possibility of emerging a new system or structure – I speculate:

What happens here, so goes the world in some fashion. Imagine if we did have a financial LifeQuake™ here and used it as an opportunity to make life a bit more simple…

What if people figured out that eating high calorie low nutrition fast food was not the way to go as a steady diet, given the cumulative cost? What if we spent more time with our family at home watching a DVD instead of blowing $60 for a movie at the mall? And mostly, what if we discovered that what we need versus what we want is to focus more on giving than getting? Sounds utopian, right?

But, if it is true that the American value system has permeated European culture, than maybe what it means to be the leader of the free world is to step out of greed and show the world that we can best be represented by someone who doesn’t have 12 houses and whose skin color is more representative of most of the world. No matter who becomes President of the United States in November, we are going into difficult economic times.

So, let’s lead by example and use the metaphor of Autumn to shed the dead leaves in our own lives and get back to what is essential. True, winter is coming, but if we sow the seeds of the original values this country was built on – equality for all, freedom, and humanitarianism – Spring in a few years could be a garden where flowers occupying the same soil are blooming in many different colors!

I urge each of you that is experiencing the economic crisis to, instead, experience a LifeQuake™. Wake up and smell the opportunity! For more tips, visit my website at or email me at

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