“…realize in your daily life that ‘matter’ is merely an aggregation of protons and electrons subject entirely to the control of Mind; that your environment, your success, your happiness, are all of your own making . . . . All wealth depends upon a clear understanding of the fact that mind- thought - is the only creator. The great business of life is thinking. Control your thoughts and you control circumstance.” ~ Robert Collier
You have complete control of your thoughts and actions, right? Easier said than understood or taken on as a positive challenge when hard times happen sometimes.
We never exactly know what might “push us over the edge.” But what we can do is strengthen our minds, spirit and resilience to whatever life might bring our way, so that when “it” happens, because “it will,” we are better prepared to take it on.
Case in point, the sad story of two brothers in Lingonier, PA, a small town of 1,700 over the last month. Graham Colonial Motors, a car dealership owned by three generations of the Graham family was the site of death and destruction after a year of down sales and business. Last month, owner Gregory Graham died of a heart attack, his body found alongside the cars he apparently set on fire in the parking lot of his family’s financially battered dealership. Over the past weekend, his younger brother, Randolph, 51 was found dead at the wheel of his car, an apparent suicide.
Some form of this story will be told in many cities around this country and the world from now on, until there is some balance to world-wide economic and financial crash, slash and burn.
Don’t Be a Victim — What to Do When Crisis Strikes A crisis can constitute anything that pushes our buttons to the extent of extreme stress, urgency to act and fear. Serious crises, like illnesses, deaths and now our economic fiasco, interfere with our ability to function.
Here are 10 Steps to Get Back in and Stay in Charge of Your Life, emotions and thoughts.
1. Tell yourself the truth earlier than later, when it’s too late. It’s easy to lie to ourselves. “Oh, it’ll get better soon.” “It’s not that bad, yet.” The truth is, if the ship’s going down, you need to jump! That’s the truth!
2. Face facts and evaluate. If the ship is going down, or close to it, face the facts and evaluate what you can realistically do about your current situation. This means, don’t put your head in the sand, but don’t be so over-zealous that you’re not being realistic about your situation either.
3. Don’t ignore it too long. Like a toothache, don’t keep “putting off” dealing with your situation until it’s even worse - and you have to lose the tooth all together.
4. Devise a plan and take action. With your truth, facts, evaluation and timing in hand, devise a plan for what needs to get done and how you will do it. Then, do it.
5. Dump ego and pride - ask for help. Ask family, friends, professionals in the financial fields, your bank, etc. This is not a good time for ego and pride to get in your way.
6. Ask for help on all levels. It is highly recommended to see a counselor or spiritual advisor in hard times. Our minds can go wild with fear and doom, missing all signals and opportunities, open doors and windows for creative change. Join a support group, or start one!
7. Get creative. Open your mind to seeing your situation from a new angle. Last week I saw a report on the news about a lawyer who was downsized. As he stayed home with his small child he realized that there was a lot to learn about being a stay-at-home-dad. He took all of his thoughts and ideas and put them into a book. He is now a brand new author. The book comes out this summer!
8. Stop. Breathe. Listen. If you haven’t been doing inner mental, emotional and spiritual “training and exercises” before today, this is a good time to start.
Sit down. Be still. Be grateful. Meditate: Yes, hard to do when the mind is reeling with fear like mosquitoes by the lake in summer!, but also like the lake, it can be smooth and quiet. Keep returning your thoughts, even for seconds at a time throughout the day, to that calm lake of emotions within.
Be grateful: Thoughts and feelings of gratitude lift the spirit and research shows these same thoughts and feelings held as much as possible throughout your day (no matter what else is happening) do change your energy towards flow and openness, both needed to replace fear and shutting down. Write out your gratitude list every morning and night and read it during the day to remind you that there are good things happening too.
Breathe: deep, long breaths that clear out thoughts and lungs and get oxygen back into your brain and body to think better.
9. Be happy. There may not seem to be anything to jump up and down about in a crisis, but if you really stop to look and observe, there are plenty of little things, that are really big things in disguise, that can bring a smile to your face and your body. Yes, smile with your whole body as often as possible, releasing healthy adrenaline, hormones and the chemistry in your brain to make you literally feel better, keep you well, relax your body and mind and open you up to opportunities and ideas that might have gone unnoticed. Like your gratitude list, write down all the little things you can be happy about throughout the day: Your child’s laughter that makes you laugh; your pet’s cuteness and loyalty; friends and family who are funny and fun to be with, etc. Laugh at yourself too. We are all funny!
10. Be angry. Yes, be angry. Be sad, depressed, resentful, bitter and hate. Feel your feelings, then let them all go, start back at #1 and keep stepping into your day, your issue, your crisis, your debt, your fears anew. That’s what life and being human is all about. And, keep stepping into your life until it all changes once more.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” ~ Helen Keller