Four Astrological Tips For Managing Change This WeekWhat an in between time this week is! We all should be roaring to go now that Labor Day is behind us and yet … the ambition, drive, and even vision is still blurry…Here’s why:Several planets are moving out of retro. I offer you here some direction on the highest mastery in this transitional time through these four tips:1) The moon is waning, time for completion of projects. Wait until after next Sunday to initiate new ones.2) Although Mars and Mercury are now direct, they are still moving very slowly. Mars ordinarily moves a degree in a day and a half. It will take a week for it to move one degree.Mercury usually moves about 14 degrees in a week and it moved ten this week so it is slowly gaining momentum.3) Saturn, the taskmaster (sometimes inner slave driver in us) which has been retrograde for five months, stations direct on Thursday. Saturn will move a half of one degree by Sep 30. Saturn rules the father, authority figures, responsibility, being an adult, and the career domain. It also rules what we have brought in as karmic restriction from previous lives that has us compelled to work hard at something or where we are inhibited or insecure. For example, people who have Saturn in their money house usually have money because they work very hard at attaining it, but never feel that they have enough. I have seen Saturn in the house of writing and communication in the charts of famous authors who never thought that what they had written was good enough or that they had done enough drafts.Although Saturn will take a little while to gain its oomph, “the planet that rules where we need to be disciplined” will at least no longer be retrograde. What that means is you will feel a little more drive I predict after September 10 when it can get some help from Mars ( the assertive part of us) that will finally leave Capricorn next week and moves into the air sign of Aquarius. Saturn is in its own sign of Capricorn for another two years and three months. This is the time to career redirect or refine your life purpose if you are going to thrive in the next economic correction. When Saturn moves into the next sign of Aquarius, the universe and Saturn will not let you lie to yourself about your purpose here without paying a big price so I advise getting started now so you don’t incur a LifeQuake later. Two years goes by fast.4) Use the new moon on Sunday after 11:00 AM PDT to set your intention for the month. With the new moon in Virgo, I would suggest looking at a place in your life that needs more critical analysis. Where can you reassign that noisy nag the egoic mind, (also called your inner critic), a job that doesn’t hurt your self esteem? Clean out a few closets and get ready for a change of seasons or edit something you’ve written to completion and then send it out or begin incorporating more warming foods with the seasonal change.Another way to use the part of you that is both Virgo and Capricorn is to note where you are fearful or inhibited. Everyone has Virgo ruling somewhere in their horoscope. Further, this is the house placement for the new moon this month in your personal chart. It could be in the area of how you parent, how you take care of your home, how you show up as a partner or friend, and how to spiritually parent yourself so that the inner critic doesn’t have to do the job so severely.Verbalizing intentions give them much more power and verbalizing them in a group consciousness even more power. When you go deep into either a guided or individual meditation, access where the energy in your body is blocked, bring light into that area for healing, go to the Higher Self for direction and THEN take action, this is Saturn at its best, the very nature of Spiritual Adulthood. I will sharing tools for this in the program launching Sunday eve.We have a few slots left in our Activating Miracles on the Monthly New Moon Series still open for anyone ready to melt those old Saturn patterns into monthly breakthroughs that will build on one another into the new year of 2019 and our next Solar Eclipse on Jan 6. Contact me to register: 310-890-6832.We will be clearing Saturn blockages in this program through the healings that Daniela and I will be activating in each person during these programs. In esoteric astrology, it has been said that the rings around Saturn reflect the inner barriers we come into this life with, based on past life actions.Traditionally, one had to work hard to clear the karmic debt brought in by Saturn. Case in point, I have a client who is a very big star in the acting world and has the planet of luck, Jupiter in his career house, but he has Saturn in the house of family and he has had to support his family since he was a teenage actor, including both his parents. I have been working with him on his beliefs mentally, emotionally, and physically through reprogramming his ancestral DNA. If you clear the beliefs, you clear the karma. I am very excited to share this spiritual technology with the group that is gathering for the New Moon.I invite you to join us if you feel at all pulled. There will be recordings to replay after for those who can’t make it in real time. Call now – 310-890-6832 to register.So, in summary, formulate new goals after Sunday’s new moon but allow your Higher Self to guide the visioning process in the dream time now. For those registered or drawn to register for this new program on Sunday evening, pay attention to your dreams as we build the energy toward Sunday’s new moon.Beginning five days before each new moon, is a period called the dark of the moon. If you can, refrain from having any surgical procedures during this time or as I mentioned above, launching any new projects.Completion is the operative word, mindful completion. You will feel more energy next week but with 6 planets in earth signs, the call is to move forward with grounded mindfulness and patience with all the people around you who aren’t moving very fast, either.It is all about intention, baby. Set your intention before sleep for the acceleration you want to see happen and then find like minded people to share them with, out loud. Pay attention to how it feels in your body when you declare out loud what you want to achieve this month.I am also offering a career/life purpose coaching package for new clients who prefer personal attention that is 20% off and amounts to 3 sessions at no cost, only until September 30.Happy Virgo New Moon!With great love and affection,Dr. Toni
Ask the LifeQuake Doctor/Sep-Oct Counselor Magazine
Dear Dr. Toni:
I am not an addict so this may not be your typical letter asking for advice. My wife, however, is a newly licensed psychotherapist who carries this magazine in her office.
To give you a little back story: she went back to school when our kids got into high school and then was an intern for two years and now is a full fledged therapist in her first office. Our kids are away at college. I am a businessman. There is a 10 years age difference between us. Not only is she in private practice, but she also is a political activist for children’s rights.
I have had a very successful career but at age 60 but am wanting to gear down more and possibly retire in two years. We can well afford it. My wife on the other hand, is ready to go big in her career. I have been having disturbing dreams in which I find out she isn’t a therapist but has become a famous actress or is being pursued by men closer to her age or younger. I also have had dreams about being naked in public and feeling uncomfortable.
I trust my wife. She has given me no reason not to trust her but I have become increasingly insecure lately. Sometimes she makes plans that don’t involve me with her girlfriends on the weekend and doesn’t consult me first and it bothers me. She has always been very independent, even as a housewife and mother when our kids were young but I did feel she needed me more then.
I don’t know if I should talk to her about this or work it out myself. I don’t want her to think of me as being unmanly or hung up on aging and I don’t know, quite frankly, what she can do about it anyway.
What do you think, doc? Should I talk to her about this?
Confused in Newport
Part of having a truly intimate relationship involves sharing your vulnerability. Your dream about being naked in public and feeling uncomfortable indicates that your persona is changing. You are being called by your soul to be more transparent and it feels scary. I would encourage you to first sit with this vulnerability without trying to change it at all. Breathe into it and allow it to feel safe with you, unjudged. Notice if it shifts. As you become more comfortable with your “emotional nakedness”, bring her into your awareness. Call upon your higher self (the full potential you) and ask this part to speak non-verbally to your wife about your fears. Notice how she responds in your mind’s eye. How does that feel now on a scale of 1-10, 10 being strongest?
If your anxiety has dissipated to a 3 or less, then it is time to share your process with your wife.
When a couple becomes empty nesters, it is time to redefine the contract you have had and update it. As your wife is becoming more visible in the community and thus having greater commitments, there is an opportunity for you to explore personal development of your own. I recommend getting the catalogue for Esalen in Big Sur, California and The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. As you become less of the hunter/provider, workshops could provide opportunities for inner exploration. As you grow, you have something to bring back to your relationship to share that in some ways is a part of her world too since she is professionally going into the world of psycho-spiritual growth.
I would also recommend that you think about a trip that would be an adventure or spiritual quest of some kind that you do solo. All of these experiences not only will evolve you but also provide the material for juicy conversations when you return to one another that maybe your business life did not. Having the economic freedom you now have can allow you to take on your bucket list while still staying connected to your spouse.
Given that she is a therapist and not an actress (lol), she will most likely find your curiosity and enthusiasm for your newly created life very attractive. All people are attracted to people who have lives that turn them on.
There is a great Act 3 waiting for you and opportunity for you both to grow as you shed the roles of Mom and Dad as a predominant theme in relating to one another. In my work as a career coach, I love working with people who are entering what I call Act 3 – the final 1/3 (hopefully) in their lives. Most babyboomers do not want to retire in their 60’s, but like the Millenials want their lives to have meaningful purpose. Keep the dialogue between you open as you both make this transition and I see great things ahead for your marriage and your individual paths.
Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist, author of The LifeQuake Phenomenonand a well known consultant/expert on career repurposing as part of recovery in the addiction field.
If you have a question for The LifeQuake Doctor, you can write to her through: email@example.com by calling 310-890-6832. She works by phone and SKYPE in private practice. Her website is http://www.thelifequakedoctor.com
Dear Dr. Toni:
I don’t know what to do about my younger sister. She is a recovering alcoholic so alcohol is not the issue right now. She neglected her teeth and now is facing $40,000 in dental bills as well as significant bone loss in her upper and lower jaw. This is not a person who comes from lower economic circumstances. She has a very successful but young company (three years old) but became maniacal in getting it launched.
It was more important to get her product into Bergdorf’s than it was to take care of her health. She has lost a significant amount of weight and has become obsessed with talking about all her regrets at having neglected herself. She also goes over and over the graphic details of the distortions in her face now. She blames me for referring her to the old dentist whom she feels should have warned her. The latest is that she believes that one of her friend’s may have put a curse on her. This friend supposedly has kept voo doo dolls. Hard to believe of a woman who is part of Hollywood’s elite but, who knows?
I suggested therapy. I’ve suggested workshops. I suggested just plain forgiving herself and moving on and she refuses to do that. She isn’t going to meetings either. She has told me she just wants to die. She tells me she can’t be the face of a product that’s brand involves beauty. I don’t know what to do. I have threatened her that I will get a psychiatric hospital involved and 5150 her.
What do you suggest? Should she be hospitalized given that she refuses to see a doctor and take medication? I am worried sick about her. Your thoughts?
By the way, I love your column. I read it at my shrink’s office and was just curious about another professional opinion.
My heart goes out to you. Let’s talk about you first. It sounds like you have offered your sister many options. It also sounds like she is not interested in helping herself. She wants to blame you and others. What emotions are kicking up in you out of this drama with your sister? Take a moment. Breathe through your mouth down into your body. Think about your sister and then find where the emotion is triggered in your body.
Keep surrendering into the feeling through your breath. Ask your body to show you the youngest version of you that first had this feeling. Now, what is under that feeling? For example, under the feeling that you might lose your sister might be a fear of being alone. You don’t mention if you have other siblings or a partner. Another feeling that might emerge is that you were put in charge of this sibling when you were younger. Even if your parents are dead, unconsciously you might feel you are still responsible for her if they instructed you to always take care of her. It might be useful to work with your therapist on the contract you may have made regarding her.
Lastly, I would suggest that you go to Alanon. By getting a sponsor, you will have someone you can reach out to every day right now.
To answer your question about a 5150: Once you put her in the system, you will not have any control over what happens to her. It is a crap shoot as to who the attending staff will be and what drugs they choose to give her. Also, unless she is actively suicidal; has told you specifically how she would kill herself and/or when, a mere wanting to die because of her condition will probably not hold water. It will also be on her medical records. This is a great example of how sobriety does not guarantee that the addict will show up for their health and well being. Workaholism can replace alcohol as a the next addiction.
Go to Alanon and work with the emotions that she is triggering in you. The more at peace you are with whatever choices she makes, the less attention she is getting for her response to her medical and dental condition. The more you hold her in your mind as whole just the way she is and that you are not responsible for her decisions anymore, now that you both are adults, the greater the possibility she will help herself. In Alanon, this is called radical acceptance.
I hope this is helpful. At this time of year, the holidays trigger so much unfinished business with our families. However, if we get past Madison Avenue’s messages that everyone else is having a Hallmark moment with their families, “Christmas and Hanukah Neurosis” can be a time to heal the past if you step back and clean up your own side of the street. Consult your own therapist if she becomes actively suicidal as to the next step.
Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist, author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon and a well known consultant/expert on career repurposing as part of recovery in the addiction field.
Dr. Toni has been the advice columnist for Counselor Magazine for over 7 years. If you have a question for The LifeQuake Doctor, you can write to her through: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 310-890-6832. She also works by phone and SKYPE in private practice. Her coaching website is http://www.thelifequakedoctor.com
After six years with Vision Magazine, this is my last column of Ask the LifeQuake Doctor here. I will continue to publish in Counselor Magazine and you will be able to find my latest columns at my website: http:://www.lifequake.net.
I have enjoyed answering all your questions and serving Vision Magazine with this column. May all your deepest hopes and dreams manifest in the most perfect way.
Greetings Dr. Toni,
I am taking you up on the offer (hopefully it is not too late) to write in and ask for assistance/direction/ideas for my challenge. I will try to keep it short.
Birth date: 10/17/ 73, time: 10:30 AM, place:—–
I think this may be one you’re getting a lot lately. I’m 39 and have spent about 15 years in a structured and/or corporate work environment. Despite always knowing this was not how I wanted to spend my days, the stability and growing income kept me there. Along the way, I came into the study of Kundalini Yoga and eventually became a teacher of the practice.
I love teaching the yoga. Separately, much of my corporate work has been in technical writing. I started out loving this but have gotten bored of it and am no longer challenged. I took another position in Aug. 2011 within the company where I started as a tech writer (the new position being that of reliability engineer) and it did not turn out to be a good fit. I have been looking for another job since the summer. I’m looking at tech writing jobs because this is what I know and am good at, but the idea of starting another job doing the same thing brings no enjoyment or anticipation with it.
Being fed up (I have been with the company itself since May 2008), I resigned from my company–with no other job lined up–at the beginning of March (however in an attempt to keep me on and for which I am very flattered and appreciative, they offered to find another position for me). I accepted in an effort to “buy time” while I continue looking for another position. I just no longer know what to do. I have been on three interviews for tech writing that have not worked out. I need a solid income and do not feel that the yoga teaching can do it, and am at a loss for how next to proceed.
Do I just stay where I am (it sure seems this latest company is trying hard, both energetically and career-wise to keep me), or look to make a change? And, if I do aim for change, what do I look for? I am a very introspective and philosophical person, and I have spent a lot of time trying to see the bigger picture in all of this, but I have truly hit a wall in terms of how I next proceed in this lifetime and within the reality that I am living.
Thank you for your time and any insight and suggestions you might have.
You are a born teacher. In fact, teaching yoga is a great fit for you. Your lesson is to make it on your own financially so it may be time to stop getting a paycheck. Since they really want to keep you, is there any way you could present them with a wellness program where you do yoga and a stress management program on nutrition and meditation and worked as a technical writer for them part time?
Your astrological chart shows that you really are being called to find the vocation that makes your heart sing. Another possibility that I see is to keep your job for the moment and start looking for a financial partner to back you in getting your own yoga studio going. You have luck in the house of partners. You also have luck in the career arena so whatever you truly are passionate about could work out very well. Since you are a writer, perhaps doing part time editing jobs might supplement your income. There are websites like Elance.com and others where a writer can be a gun for hire.
You could definitely make this happen if you are open to many possibilities, some of which I outlined here.
In the words of Joseph Campbell,
“To find your own way is to follow your bliss. This involves analysis, watching yourself and seeing where real deep bliss is — not the quick little excitement, but the real deep, life-filling bliss. When you follow your bliss… doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.”
Dr. Toni Galardi is a professional speaker, psychotherapist, career coach, and the author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval. She can be reached at 310-890-6832 or through her website: http://www.lifequake.net
Many great writers have spoken and written about the challenges of choosing to become a writer as a vocational path. Making a comfortable living at it is practically like winning the lotto. Further, when you’ve been doing something else as a career that you were academically trained for and was able to support yourself doing, it really seems illogical. Then if you add in a bad economy, choosing to be an artist without a patron or parents to support you, there are those who would say (like my aging parents) that as a career choice, it borders on psychotic.
The writer Marilyn Ferguson ( whose seminal work The Aquarian Conspiracy may have jump started The Human Potential Movement in the 70’s) once told me while I was interviewing her for my book many years ago, ” A writer writes because they cannot not do it.” I held onto those words through the years of many rejections of my book proposals to New York publishers. When I finally decided to just write the book, I realized I now had the freedom to write the book that was in me not the one that could be marketable, and it was liberating!
I kept my day job as a therapist part time and lived very simply. When it came time to edit the book, I knew I needed an editor to help me who could give it a major hair cut without losing the unique style that was my own. The good news bad news about that was that she told me we had to cut about 70 pages of material. She told me it would be like “killing my proverbial babies”. Very soon into the process I realized I had to let go of my practice for awhile to do this project with full commitment.
Two weeks after I made that decision and we had begun, Wall Street quaked and the reality of the country’s economic crisis really hit. I continued, encouraged that my book would come out at the perfect time. In the ensuing nine months I have spent a staggering amount of money on editing, self publishing, and PR for this book. As I turned my attention back to my private practice,it too was not so easy to restimulate. It is growing, but slowly. Is the book a bestseller yet? No, far from it.
I now have to invest in internet marketing and am in a learning curve about social communities, SEO’s, guest blogging, etc The point is I may never make a lucrative living as a writer and it has been costly and time consuming and in spite of all that, I have no regrets about embarking on this journey. In the past three years of writing consistently, I have become a writer not just an author and there is no way to put a dollar value on the emotional satisfaction of learning a new skill in mid life.
I took a week off and did no blogging, newsletter, article writing of any kind.I needed to refill the well but surprisingly, I felt a little guilty and more importantly, I missed it. Along the way of my quest to get this message of LifeQuake (that you can thrive in the midst of career transition, tough economic times and a life in total chaos) I got something for myself, a deep intimate relationship with my own words and the muse “from who knows where” who inspires me. What grace!
Dr. Toni Galardi is the author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive (not just survive) in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval. She is also a licensed psychotherapist, public speaker, and advice columnist. She can be reached through her website, http://www. LifeQuake.net or her office 310-712-2600.
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.
“Ask The LifeQuake Doctor” – Vision Magazine
June 2009 issue
Dear Dr. Toni:
I have an upper management job in a great company and am experiencing “survivor guilt”. So many of my friends have been laid off from their jobs. I get several calls a month or week asking for referrals for jobs or introductions to others — from friends, friends of friends, or former colleagues who may be desperately searching for work and are relying heavily on networking. But each person has only so much political capital to expend: When is ok to say no? How do you say no? When should you help? What kind of help is easy to provide, and what should you consider more carefully? How far should you go to help?
We are living in desperate times. According to the Bloomberg News last week, it is predicted that the third and fourth quarter of this year things could worsen. I believe that a positive function of a time like this is to bring us together. Americans reached out to help each other during the Great Depression and yet when we were in an economic boom during the 1950’s the black list became a guise for anti-semitism and prejudices of many kinds. People got scape-goated if they had an independent feeling about how the country was being run. I don’t think the focus at this juncture is to look at your political capital. The key is to use discernment as to whom to refer to whom.
Here are some tips:
1) Say no when you have history with the person asking for help as having put your reputation at risk in the past. ie., Poor work habits that led to them getting fired from a job you used your contacts for them to get.
2) Say no when they are asking you to refer them for something you know they are not qualified to apply for. Once again, using your resources judiciously.
3) Say no when, what they are asking for help on, will be in direct competition with a request you need to make of your contact in assisting you in your own career transition.
4) Say no if whom they want you to connect them with is not someone you have a close enough relationship with to justify making a recommendation and have it hold any weight. In other words, don’t pretend to know people intimately that you don’t really know and set up disappointment for someone desperate for work.
When it feels right to say no, do it directly, but with compassion.
If someone is calling you and are in desperate straights and have a family to support, and they are well qualified, do whatever you can to help them. Connecting people with each other always serves in the long run. If you put good karma out into the world, it will always come back to support you at a different time. In my book, The LifeQuake Phenomenon I write a whole chapter on the benefits psychologically, physically, and financially of acting altruistically as a matter of course. We are being called in these times to expand our resources to help one another, not to contract and hold on tightly to what we have. Generosity is its own reward. The key question is not what is strategically best but what does your gut wisdom tell you about whom to connect to whom.
Dear Dr. Toni:
I lost my job a few months ago and am going through what feels like a major transformation. Now that my old career identity is over, I notice that I don’t feel connected to my old friends. I also can’t afford the same social expenses they can. I am afraid to let go of these relationships because they are the only friends I have right now. How do I handle saying good-bye to people I don’t feel connected to anymore?
Dazed and Confused in Los Angeles
Dear D and C:
First of all, congratulations! I am not saying this cavalierly. It is important to mark this event with a celebration so you don’t spin out into fear. As your old identity is falling away, your old life is going to feel alien. There is new life forming, it’s just still underground in your psyche. That feeling of being in the desert is a powerful transition into fuller self expression and it takes courage to be naked and alone, so to speak. However, we are never left with a void for very long once we make authentic choices. Begin to explore going to social functions that are free of charge or have a nominal fee. Peruse the Los Angeles Times or Whole Life Times for events. Volunteer part time while you are job searching. People who volunteer their time may be the like-minded individuals you are seeking.
Be patient. I call this time in my book, “The Cosmic Barbecue”. Your ego may experience some discomfort when you are in between lives. It may be that you are being called to be in more internal exploration that you didn’t have time for while working in a career. I have lots of free articles on my blog that can also support a time a transition: http://www.LifeQuake.net/blog
Spend time in quiet every day and ask your inner wisdom to show you what your next step is. Once your career re-crystallizes, this time for befriending yourself you may never have the luxury for again.
Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist, public speaker, and the author of her new book: The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive (not just survive) in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval. Dr. Galardi is forming an eight week group this summer for those wanting to get unstuck from old habits. For those seeking private consultation, she can be reached at 310.712.2600. To submit questions for “Ask the LifeQuake™ Doctor”, contact Dr. Toni Galardi through DrToni@LifeQuake.net (no period after the Dr).
A journalist for The Los Angeles Times recently asked me if I thought volunteering for a non-profit organization could help a person in career transition or career burnout. I replied without hesitation, yes! Now there are the obvious ways it can help: networking at high ticket charity events, brownie points on your resume’ so you can substantiate just what you did with your time this year while you’re out of work, and if you’re just getting out of school or the mommy track, well, giving it away for free may be your only option to getting work experience for a beginning resume’.
However, in my new book, The LifeQuake Phenomenon ( written prophetically before Wall Street quaked) I spend an entire chapter ( in fact, it’s the last chapter) extolling the benefits of altruism. Lest you think that volunteerism is just a good career move or humanitarianism in general, demonstrates self sacrifice, consider this:
1) Becoming an agent of change for the world’s greater good will elevate your self esteem rather you get a job or are viewed as the next Mother Teresa or not. A study was done with depressed college students who were put to work volunteering for six weeks. At the end of six weeks they took the same self inventory as they had at the beginning of the study. 75% reported a marked increase in their mood and attitude about life.
2) There are health benefits. Your immune system gets stronger through volunteer work. They measured T cells in HIV survivors before and after caring for home bound AIDS victims and T cells went way up.
3) The context you hold your life in will change. For example, after you’ve gotten over a bad cold or complaining about your aches and pains, visit a children’s oncology ward. Trust me, you’ll thank your body for how good it has been to you. Angry that you can’t eat lunch out like you did when you were making great money? Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
4) There are always people less fortunate than ourselves and volunteering can keep your self confidence up as well as change your value system while you are negotiating the white waters of career change.
5) Volunteering can improve your relationships. Generosity is infectious. The more generous you are with your heart to those in need, the more open to your loved ones needs you can become.
The way to make the most of your volunteer experience is to make sure it fits with what you really enjoy doing, that you don’t over commit yourself and feel burdened and resentful, and you have the attitude that you are getting back more than you are giving. If you really give 100% of yourself while you are there, you will receive a glowing recommendation from your supervisor and will get the greatest health benefit from feeling like you are making a difference not just using it as a strategy for resume building.
Dr. Toni Galardi is a psychotherapist, public speaker, and author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon. She can be reached through her website, http:www.LifeQuake.net or by calling her office at 310-712-2600.
Conventional wisdom and the media would have you believe that if you have a job, thank your lucky stars and don’t even think about leaving it. In previous blogs, I have been giving stress management techniques for handling a crisis driven workplace and they will work to get you calmer and perhaps even help you to turn within instead of to the office muffins or donuts.
But, when we are not learning anymore, challenged anymore by our current career and there is no lateral move to take within the company, what does one do? Here are some tips:
1) The first key to a successful career transition that manifests from your heart instead of your old mental pictures is to strengthen the muscle of intuition. The first step in building this muscle begins with what you put in your mouth. Food or liquid that has caffeine or sugar will accelerate adrenal function. Our adrenals stimulate the nervous system to go into a fight or flight response. In other words – anxiety or other fear based emotions. Consuming food that balances your blood sugar such as protein and complex carbohydrates will also balance brain function. I cannot say enough about the need to get at least 800 mg of magnesium into your body every day. It is magnesium not calcium in milk that is calming. We are a magnesium deprived nation. The kind of magnesium you take is also important. For example, Magnesium glycinate is absorbed by the body more easily than magnesium oxide which can cause loose bowels if taken in high quantities.
2) 30-40 minutes of some kind of exercise that works the whole body: walking, jogging, yoga, a dance class, etc will get your endorphins going and also release stress that would prevent you from hearing the wise voice inside.
3) Notice your feelings as you go about your day. What job responsibilities, life events, and people give you energy or passion? Write it down for three weeks. These are the clues to what is emerging as your new life purpose.
4) Discipline yourself to sleep 7-8 hours a night. Turn off the tv, don’t read books, magazines, or newspapers that stimulate your mind right before bed. The more rested you are, the more apt you will be to feel confident about making a career change and the more access to your intuition you will have to come up with out of the box ideas for how to proceed with less conventional strategies. Also, when you get adequate REM sleep between 3-5 AM you are more apt to remember your dreams. Setting an intention before sleep to show you in your dreams, a creative solution, can bring you ideas you never considered. Many great inventors got their AHA! moment in a dream.
5) In your down time at night, instead of watching television to relax from a frustrating day, reach out to social communities like Facebook and Twitter with a research intention and let people know what you are looking for.
6) Consider starting a business from home while you still have a job. Begin to notice what products are missing in the marketplace and think in an entrepreneurial fashion. Ordinary people have come up with simple ideas that made them a fortune without a business background.
7) Volunteer. Do your research on companies or non profit organizations who court the kind of patrons that you want to network with. By volunteering for charity events or giving even 5 hours a week of your time to a cause you believe in could turn an avocation into a new vocation.
8) To go back to the beginning of this article, another strategy for building intuition and emotional stability in a time of change is to spend 15 minutes a day in stillness. If you can quiet your emotions, in a state of calm, ask the question, what is the highest next step I should take to create more fulfillment in my career? The answer may lie in staying in your present work but reinventing it in some way. And it may mean taking a risk and following your heart. Just remember, it is only the next step, not the five year plan you have to implement.
Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist, career coach, columnist, public speaker, and author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon. She can be contacted through her website, http:www.LifeQuake.net or her office at 310-712-2600.