“It’s been driving me insane that so many entrepreneurials out there, the ‘self help gurus’ aren’t meeting many of us head-on with a serious, scary challenge we are facing: the economy…”
~ me. In Part I of this wild ride we’re on
I hit a nerve recently with my post, The Collapse of Your Economy. I know this because many of you both here and privately made that clear.
Yeah, but where do we go from here, you ask?
Oh, my, have I got plans for YOU. Not to mention a handy-dandy map + tons of power tools in my saddlebag of tricks. Better pack it up, ’cause we’re not hanging out in these trenches for long! First, though, you and I need to have a Serious Talk. (Don’t worry; I brought chocolate.)
This topic of ‘financial hardship,’ as you may imagine is near and dear to me. I hope you took away from the previous manifesto that I’m tenacious and optimistic – I don’t give up easy, and I don’t want you to, either. So let’s put on our Big Kid chaps and dig deep. I’m going to throw it down on the table right now: oh hell yes, there are a lot of us having serious money issues. Yes, there are more than enough challenges to go around between job loss, unstable markets, bankruptcy (I know a lawyer who can’t take on any more for months due to case overload), mortgage fraud, crunch time with the bills, ___(handy-dandy space to insert your issue here)____ and what not.
But what we’re going to be talking about around here is not just about money, because that’s only a symptom of what’s really cookin’ over the campfire.
What we’re really talking about is how to have an unshakable soul in unstable times.
Intense and lingering hardship from monetary battles are a fact of life in nearly every culture historically (need I list them? I didn’t think so), but so is conflict, challenge + change. Everyone has a version of their ‘elephant’ in the living room. It’s how you rise up and look ‘em in the eye that matters. For many of us, money is our ticket to ride on the Struggle Bus right now, but for some it’s family, or work, or health, or… you get the idea.
So if you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet that you’re not just wanting some kind words and pithy quotes (though that’s helpful and certainly, you will find that here also), you’re looking for ENCOURAGEMENT. You’re not willing to sit down and wait for life to happen to you. No, you’re looking for ACTION to create the shift and change you need. You’re looking to take what has been handed to you and transform it. (That’s makin’ lemonade outta lemons, for those of you paying attention.)
While many of us may be having serious financial challenges and the stress that comes with it, here’s the Deeper Truth of what’s at hand and what’s at stake: Change. That’s what you and I are learning to live with on a daily basis. Not just run of the mill everyday change, but rapid, hard-core change in a very modern, post-industrial-society-on-the-verge-of a-new-world kind of way, with stressors and control issues unlike we’ve ever known (or were designed for, but now I’m getting ahead of myself). And Change is at stake here because if you cannot embrace Change and roll with it, you get knocked down and stuck between a rock and a hard place. And usually, that’s exactly where you don’t want to be when sh*t hits the fan.
I’m not trying to belittle what so many of you –and I – are going through, don’t get me wrong. (I’m also not into smoke and mirrors; stick around and you’ll find I’m pretty straight forward.) By calling money issues symptoms of something greater and by labeling that greater issue Change I’m attempting to help elevate your view from beyond the mud and sludge of the trenches we’re in. Because when you’re in the trenches, it gets pretty darn easy to get trapped into a negative mindset, constantly peaking over the berm of said trenches to see what’s coming at you next, constantly thinking about what you’re doing wrong, constantly judging and criticizing everything you do and everything that happens to you, constantly wondering when help will arrive… In other words, you are fixated on trying to find a way to control the situation.
So when these two are sparring with one another, Control and Change, and their shoving each other all over the place like bullies in the schoolyard … what do you need most? How are you going to save the day? Who you gonna call?
I’ll give you a hint: the origins of this word traces it’s roots to another time and place in our history, and it’s all about heart. When it seems like everything is falling apart, when it feels like life is pullin’ the rug out from under you every damn time you finally get up, when the storms are bearing down and there’s nary a lean-to in site, you need to conjure up your inner Clint Eastwood.
That’s right – you need Courage, my friend.
So here’s the essence of what we’re talking about: Courage. Change. Control. (In the world of spaghetti Westerns, this would be The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.)
Just like me, I bet you have all kinds of pre-conceived ideas around these partners in crime, the Three Amigos. Let’s turn them upside down and shake those pockets out.
There’s so much to discuss around these dudes, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. So we’re going to ease into the saddle here. Remember when we talked before about being pummeled by lemons? And how I’ve mentioned a few times now that people need some on-the-ground ACTION to help them focus and come to center, to have some tools before they can even think about makin’ lemonade?
First off, the most crucial necessity in trying times, when the Three Amigos are coming to town, is how you take care of you. So we’re going to look at what it takes and what it means to nurture you, because that is how we can rise to the challenge that the Three Amigos are bringing to your destiny’s high noon. When times get hard, when you are crouched down in the trenches dodging those lemons … it’s really easy to go into survival mode and stop giving lovin’ to the one who needs it most: You.
This is Not Good. This is a Very Bad Idea. Because this is the time, more then ever, when daily self-care is vital to your well-being and success in any endeavor.
Serious note about self-lovin’: I am firmly invested in the perspective of self-care as crucial to a life lived from your Highest Potential, because I’ve learned it myself the hard way (heck, still am learning!). And I constantly see people that I know and work with who not only ignore this Truth, but will actually fight it – or worse, sabotage it. When you don’t take care of yourself during times of intense and chronic challenge + change, it’s like showing up for the showdown with no ammo, no horse, and no Wingman (Clint would be hangin’ his head in shame!).
So let’s look at how we gather our power + vitality to address challenge + change.
The information for each of these topics is vast in and of itself; I’m going to be diving into each of them with more details, books, insights, vendors, etc., so check back weekly for links and articles. Education is power, my friends!
For now, let’s consider the bullet points (pun fully intended, no matter how lame). And don’t give me any lip about how these are the boring basics. If you were already doing all this, then you wouldn’t be here, dude. You’d be a Superhero hanging out with the Honey Badger. If you’re looking for a smooth and easy blue pill ala The Matrix, go along on your merry way. I’m not here to wave my magic wand (though I’m damn handy and rather dangerous in fantastically awesome ways with one) and make it all better for you. I’m here to help EMPOWER you in this world, which You are responsible for creating. Roll up your sleeves and pull on your spurs, we’ve got work to do, my friend!
Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.
Coming up next: What’s In Your Tool Box for Self-Lovin’, and Naming Your Core 4 (or: how we’re going to soar out of the trenches!)