Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lessons of Life's Recession....

Everybody knows that we are in one of the worst recessions since the 1980s, with 8% of Americans out of work, and 13% of African Americans without jobs. Not to mention those of us who are losing homes, businesses, having hours cut at work, or just having to stretch our funds even further than usual. It seems like every time you turn on the tv, it's more bad news. But through it all, even though times are very tough, I think some profound life lessons are being learned. Unfortunately, that aspect isn't being given as much attention in the media as statistics, finance-related suicides, etc.
Recently Iyanla Vanzant spoke at this year's annual State of the Black Union (I wish I could find a youtube clip of this, but there isn't one) and spoke some very powerful words about her own experience. In a talk about finance, she bravely told the audience that she herself had recently lost her home to foreclosure. She went on to say that although the experience was painful, it lead her to take a look at her life, and see areas "where I was wobbly and wishy-washy, and needed more strength". She also said that this experience made her much more appreciative of all that she did have. She focused on being thankful for her beautiful grandchildren, a healthy body and mind.
Her words really got me thinking about what lessons I've learned from these times. For me personally, I've always done everything fast. I was all for instant gratification, whether it was a job, a painting, or a move I was making. Everything was now. And if things didn't happen fast enough, I was on to the next thing. Abundance of resources and opportunities made this possible. It also meant I was able to take a lot of opportunities for granted and not see anything through to the end. So the lesson I was forced to learn was to SLOW DOWN. Everything that used to open up for me rapidly now moves at a snail's pace. I had to learn to let go and breathe, and be still and grounded within myself and wait for things to unfold. And within that time and space, I've begun to appreciate all I've overlooked. I've begun to put more time and effort into what I do. And when I'm frustrated and things just will not move, I've learned to appreciate all the little things that will: Brand new spring blossoms, baby calves learning to stand, turtles sunning themselves on a rock down in the creek. I'm beginning to connect more with what's real and true on this earth.

What I have learned is...
1. That my health is my wealth.
2. Living simple is not just about de-cluttering the home, but also the mind first.
3. It is time to be super resourceful and creative in how money is made.
4. It is testing my confidence as I have found out that I am attached to material concepts/ideas that have been driving me, but which are also harmful to who I am. I need to completely unattached to material in order to re-evaluate and move forward.
5. My family are a huge support, I appreciate that SO much now.
6. More than ever, I need to break out of any limitations that I have placed on my Self. Think BIGger!

So what I'd like to know from all of you is, have these tough economic times taught you any life lessons? Revealed a strength? Changed the way you look at things?


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