The media is scaring the heck out of people and some of that is good. We’ve been needing to get out of denial and wake up to the fact that we’ve been overextending ourselves financially in this country. However, what I’ve been seeing in my practice is a paralysis and an increase in addictive behaviors to numb out from the overwhelming fear people have that the entire country is going belly up. So I am here TO BRING THE GOOD NEWS!!!!
1) Getting rid of the clutter. The big buzz word right now is CHANGE. But for most of us that translates as LOSS. Take an inventory of everything in your surroundings that is de-funct and obsolete.
To be successful now you have to create small changes where you can see improvement immediately. To get in the spirit of change you have to get rid of the dead-weight. There is no room to move into new if you are surrounded by stuff that is not life giving. What is old and useless? Take inventory of what is de-functional. For chicks it is the closet, your wardrobe, expiration labels on foods and medicine in the pantry, and the garage. Then move to your desk at home and at the office.
Now go on to your habits. What habits are dead-weight for you? What about people?
2) Make a list of all the things you fear are going to happen to you in your economic LifeQuake. Now one by one, say each of them out loud. Notice where you feel the anxiety in your body: is it in your throat, your gut, or your heart? Breathe into that place. Keep breathing there until it releases.
3) Now, ask yourself what is one thing I could do today that would simplify my life and put more money in my hands? Cut your cell phone expenses, shop at thrift stores. Have a garage sale. Take your lunch to the office. Buy some used free weights and get rid of your gym membership, etc.
4) Make a list of five changes you will initiate that will kick off Spring as a true breath of fresh air.
Dear Dr. Toni:
I have been an international educational consultant for nine years. As you can imagine, in the last few months, many industries have been adversely affected by the economy. The university that funds us has dropped our program. At first, I wasn’t worried. I am 65 years old and I have a very impressive and diversified portfolio. I figured this was a sign that I should begin looking at retirement. That was until last week. I lost a couple hundred thousand dollars when “Wall Street quaked,” as they said. I am now dazed and confused as to what to do. Who is going to hire someone at my age now that I have to keep working?
First of all, my heart goes out to you. This last month has been devastating for many people. Before you can receive any intuitive guidance on your next step, I would encourage you to do some bodywork. Treat yourself to a massage. While he/she is working on you, think about the recent events and allow yourself to breathe into the place or places where there is pain and trauma around your financial losses. As you keep breathing and focusing on the body parts where there is pain, now envision a pink or green light entering into those places. Keep opening and receiving until you experience peace. Now ask to be shown a new way of looking at your circumstances so that you are no longer resisting what already is. The new perception may come right away or as a revelation when you are going about your day. Allow yourself to experience a miracle out of this seeming crisis. Perhaps your soul did not want you to retire. Perhaps there is a new vocation waiting for you. You just may need to slow down enough to see what synchronicities are trying to guide you to Act Three of your “life play.”
One of my clients who was also a consultant had a similar situation occur. She was laid off from her corporate job and had to go to traffic school on a speeding ticket. Throughout the day at traffic school, her comments clearly displayed her excellent communication skills and great sense of humor. Having mentioned her forced retirement, the owner of the school approached her to consider becoming a traffic school instructor. Through our work together, she promised herself she would look at all “divine coincidences” as a sign and not reject anything because it didn’t fit her picture.
This client had been a theater producer at one time and remembered a phrase from show business that says, “you have to play New Haven before you’re ready for Broadway.” For years she had been told she should become a public speaker. She realized that although working as a traffic school instructor was not going to adequately cover her bills, it was still giving her the practice she needed to hone her public speaking skills to become, as she calls herself, “a spiritual lounge act.”
So Georgina, when crisis hits and your ego wants to scream, This is terrible! You’re going to end up a bag lady! hold the intention that inside this experience lies something amazing for you. Train your mind to look for the gifts that this experience holds.
Dear Dr. Toni:
I was laid off from my job last month and I am a single parent with two children. Christmas is coming and I feel like a failure because not only have I not been able to find another job but there is very little money I can spare for Christmas. What do I tell my kids? Christmas is a time for giving and I have very little to give them.
Distraught in Santa Monica
I’m sure it is cold comfort to know that many people are in the same boat you’re in this Christmas but consider this: If Christmas is about giving, why not teach your children what the true spirit of giving is all about? I would recommend that you do some research and see where you and your kids could be allowed to come in and volunteer your time. Miracles get created when we become expansive. You don’t mention what your skills are or what you were doing professionally in your work but sometimes a door becomes closed like your last job, so that another can open. We cant’ see opportunity though if we collapse into fear. Stepping into an altruistic spirit and extending yourself to those less fortunate will expand your awareness and your gratitude for what you do have. In that expanded state, what I call divine coincidences can occur. Through volunteering your time, you may meet someone who provides a career opportunity or simply by feeling so good from giving your time, you attract a professional opening from another direction.
Studies have shown that humanitarianism not only lifts depression but it increases T cells. This of course strengthens the immune system. Well, can you think of any time of year when we could more use help to our immune system? Between the sugar consumption, the stress of traffic and trying to shop economically, it is no wonder that flues and colds proliferate. So, checkout the Los Angeles Mission, the Sunlight Mission that is in Santa Monica, volunteer services at hospitals that have pediatric wings and The Salvation Army. This is a great time of year to clean out closets and donate toys, clothes, and anything else that is accumulating dust and not being used. St. Vincent De Paul, Salvation Army, The Red Cross all take donations. You can make this a fun project if you take your kids with you to make the donations. One of my clients was complaining about the accumulation of toys they had in the garage. I suggested he go through them with their four – year old son and let him be a part of the process. Initially, he rejected the idea, saying that his son wouldn’t part with even the things he wasn’t playing with anymore. I suggested that maybe he had underestimated him. As it turned out, not only did the boy give his dad a bunch of his toys, he wanted to go with him and meet the kids they were giving the stuff to!
Another way to create a few extra dollars for Christmas is a garage sale. One man’s trash is another man treasure! And you might find amazing buys by going to thrift stores and consignment shops for Christmas gifts yourself. While we are on the subject of gift giving, another creative idea might be for you to suggest to your children that they think of something they want that you can’t buy that is more like a service you could each do for one another. Then create a coupon book. For example, Mom will make your favorite meal, you can have 5 extra hours of television or computer game time. If you can’t afford to take the whole family to the movies anymore, rent a couple DVD’s and make gourmet popcorn with different seasonings tailored to each kids palate. I would definitely suggest renting “It’s A Wonderful Life” this year. Get out the board games and play together instead of sitting in front of your respective computers in separate rooms.
Teach your kids how to cook or bake holiday treats as gifts for friends. There is an opportunity for you to spend more time together during this time. A dear friend of mine lost her home in a divorce and she and her two kids had to share a two – bedroom apartment and she swears they grew much closer over the three years they were there.
I would offer to all of you my readers to challenge yourself to make this holiday season the one you remember having felt the greatest spirit running through your heart and out into the world! We have so much to be thankful for.
To submit questions for Ask the LifeQuake™ Doctor, contact Dr. Toni Galardi through DrToni@LifeQuake.net (no period after the Dr). For those seeking private consultation, Dr. Toni can be reached at 310-712-2600, 619-819-6400 or through her website, www.LifeQuake.net.
Dr. Galardi was recently invited on Fox News 5 in San Diego to discuss her suggestions for surviving a LifeQuake™. Below is footage from the interview:
The recent events at Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns have dangerously mirrored the historic market crash of 1929. The economy is in a sad state and it’s no secret: the dollar continues to suffer overseas while Americans keep their wallets tight domestically, real estate continues to plummet and the unemployment rate is affecting all strata of Americans. Loaded words like bankruptcy and financial crisis have been thrown around by the media. Keeping optimistic and viewing this unstable time as an opportunity for positive transformation is a challenge for most.
Dr. Toni Galardi, aka “The LifeQuake™ Doctor,” has developed seven steps for preparing for and adapting to economic loss and, ultimately, using this as an opportunity for evolutionary change in your life. You can also learn more by visiting the LifeQuake™ website at www.LifeQuake.net.
1) Mastering the first stage of a LifeQuake™ requires developing the power of observation. Greed blinds people from seeing when a bull market is beginning its decline.
Developing keen observation allows you to anticipate when the tide is turning in the market.
2) Take an inventory of what is now ‘DEFUNCTIONAL’ and get rid of it. What aspects of your life are you spending money on that are no longer life giving?
3) Detach. What are you holding on to that could bring loss or crisis to your life? Let go of unneeded things before you are forced to.
4) After your life has gone through the radical change you feared, there is an opportunity to examine what security means to you. What beliefs do you hold about yourself that are being challenged by economic loss?
5) Design the new blueprint. We need to design our psyche so we have emotional retrofitting that helps us adapt to the rapid changes of 21st century. Create a lifestyle that has simplicity in both good and bad times.
6) Develop a fertile mind that views an economic LifeQuake™ the way a farmer looks at seasons. Before you go to sleep at night, come up with three things from that day that you are gaining out of the crisis you are in. This trains the mind to cultivate opportunity inside every loss. The cow manure of your life really can be fertilizer for manifesting a future harvest after the winter cycle.
7) Give back. Altruism pays off in the economic long term. It has been shown through numerous studies that charitable giving increases your immunity and overall health. The best way to pull out of an economic slump is to give of yourself. It actually feels good to do your part to make the world a better place and executing a practice of giving creates an expansion that draws positive thing to you.