Monthly Web Columns

LIFE 101


By Coach Cary Bayer

“If you’re not doing God’s work find another employer.”
—Phil Laut Author, Money is my Friend

The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps a monthly tab on the unemployment rate.  This number—approximately 4.1 percent in March of 2018—gives a thumbnail look at just how many people are not working in our nation.  This index treats people as statistics, and it measures the financial cost to them for not having a regular paycheck.  What this quantitative measurement fails to measure, however, is the qualitative statistic that I call under-employment.  There is no way yet that I’m aware of to measure how the 96 percent of the working population suffer for being under-employed.
So what, you ask, is under-employment?  If a musical composer in Woodstock, New York—and I know plenty of them—is working as a handyman or a contractor instead of as a composer, he’s under-employed.  He’s using a circular saw instead of a piano.  As a result, he’s giving society a wooden bookcase that he makes with his hands instead of the song or the musical that he’s writing in his head in the very limited spare time that contracting affords him.  He’s not giving society his best.  The loss is to him and to us. 
He suffers emotionally, and we suffer for getting less than what he’s here to
give us. 
Actresses in Hollywood who are waiting tables are not giving the world their best.  There may be a Meryl Streep among them.  Instead of giving a possible Academy Award-winning performance in a movie, she’s bringing customers today’s blue plate special in diners or mustard-crusted branzino in bistros.
Writers in New York who are working as proofreaders in law firms may lack the time or energy to write the next Death of
a Salesman or Catcher in the Rye after a long day or night of catching typos on counter-suits against employees complaining of harassment.  I’ve known many of each of these people in my time.
This isn’t a new phenomenon. 
Paul Gaugain worked as a stockbroker.  Walt Whitman toiled in the Patent office.  Dracula creator Bram Stoker was a theater manager.  T.S. Eliot worked at Lloyds Bank in London while writing The Wasteland. Wallace Stevens was an insurance attorney for the Hartford.   William Carlos Williams was a medical doctor.  Kurt Vonnegut managed a Saab dealership in Cape Cod.  Philip Glass drove a cab and did plumbing.   Composer Charles Ives co-founded Ives & Myrick Insurance. 
Jeff Koons was a commodities broker on Wall Street.  But it’s a phenomenon that it would be great to put out to retirement.
Colleges and universities train people for jobs, and in many cases they do this in a terrific manner—at least many of them do.  We need a steady stream of new engineers, computer scientists, and medical doctors.  And the MITs, Stanfords, and Yale Medical Schools of the world are there to train such people for such employment.  What we really need, in addition, are entrepreneurial schools that train composers to make a living as composers, actors to provide for themselves as actors, writers who write successfully for a living so that they can also write checks for their mortgages that won’t bounce.
There are institutions like the Juilliard School in New York City to train creative people for the arts.  There’s the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco to train actors, among such reputable centers.  But because actors, writers, singers, and dancers are filled with creative ideas they often aren’t very good at marketing these ideas, and so these training centers need to simultaneously train their charges in basic business and marketing skills, as well, so they can work professionally in the arts and not be hyphenates like the actresses-waitresses and composer-carpenters discussed above.
Woodstock, New York, where I have lived for nearly 30 years, is a town filled with hyphenates.  It has long attracted artists of all stripes, but because artists—and healers and spiritual folk, as well—are right-brained oriented, they’re not usually strong in the left-brained talents of doing business.  What we really need, therefore, are Entrepreneurial Institutions that focus on creative people.  This would enable millions of gifted people to be sharing the talents they’ve been given and be fully supporting themselves in the process.  This would lower the Under-Employment Index significantly, make them so much happier, give the society we live in the very best they have to offer, and put a smile on the face of the Great Spirit that has gifted all of these people so lovingly.


Emotional and Spiritual Skills for Success-  #4 in the Love Yourself,
Lose the Weight series

by Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D.

Have you ever used your weight as an excuse not to participate more fully in life, not to have a relationship, to avoid sex in the relationship you’re in, not to look for a new job? Are you willing to let go of your excuses? They are just a way of not loving yourself.

Mirror work- talking to yourself while looking in the mirror – is a powerful technique for learning to love yourself as you are making changes in any area. Look into your eyes and say to yourself, “I’m done with excuses. My weight is not the issue. I am willing to participate in life regardless of my weight.” Notice how you feel. Then tell yourself “I love and accept you just the way you are. I support you in all your new habits. You have been doing the best you can. It’s OK. I support you in making positive changes.”
Then tell yourself anything else that is important for you to know/hear.  You are claiming the wonderful being that you are. If you feel a lot of emotion coming up as you do the mirror work, that’s OK!  

It’s important to become aware of emotional triggers for overeating or making choices you know aren’t healthy. Almost everyone uses food to deal with emotional issues at some time or other. It’s how often you do this that determines if it’s a problem.

Starting now, every time you eat (especially outside of meal times), ask yourself first, What am I feeling right now? Can I resolve this feeling without eating? Take some deep breaths and acknowledge that you want to eat, “Yes, I want to eat now, but I can wait out this impulse for 10 seconds. I am willing to feel my feelings and deal with them.”

Here is an exercise to help you develop more awareness around emotions and eating.

Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and relax your body. Keep doing some deep breaths until you feel relaxed. Now, as though you are an observer of your own life, go back over the last two weeks and notice your eating patterns: when you ate, what you ate, where you were, and who was with you. Don’t judge or criticize, simply notice. When you ate for emotional reasons, what was going on?.......

Now go back even farther in time, letting your mind go to the time you first began overeating…. How old were you? What was going on for you? What feelings were you suppressing?  Accept that this was your way of coping at that time. Feel compassion and love for yourself. Go to another situation where you overate….. What emotions were you feeling then? Find a few others………… Then imagine you are looking at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself, “I understand more now. I truly do love and accept you just the way you are.”

Bring your awareness back to the present moment. Take some deep breaths and stretch. Open your eyes.

If you found a connection between feeling stressed and eating, here are some easy ways to deal with that. Stress increases your metabolism and so you feel fatigued. This can prompt you to want to eat something like a candy bar for fast energy. Ultimately, this leads to more fatigue because your blood sugar plunges after spiking. First, as much as possible plan your meals so you eat on a schedule. Eat low fat, high protein meals to keep your blood sugar balanced. Second, have some healthy snacks available, like protein bars or veggies and a low fat dip. In other words, prepare ahead of time. Third, practice deep breathing exercises to help you reduce stress.

Learning to handle your emotions effectively is truly an ongoing process. If you started eating emotionally and gaining weight as a child, then talking to your Inner Child can really be healing.

 If you gained a lot of weight after some traumatic event in your life, you may need professional help in dealing with it. Look for a therapist who offers a spiritual approach as part of their therapy. In the US, you can find them advertising in spiritual newsletters. Or ask some friends for a referral. Affirm that you are guided to any resource you need to create a healthy relationship with food. 

A spiritual course, A Course in Miracles, says, “Guilt holds the behavior.” So if you are feeling guilty (or ashamed or embarrassed or even angry at yourself) for gaining weight and not losing it, it’s time to let go of the guilt and any other emotions associated with your weight. True, easier said than done. Begin with “I am willing to let go of the emotions that have kept me stuck.”

For some people, prayer is a potent force for changing behavior. Asking Spirit, God, the angels, or ascended masters to assist you in your desire for changes takes the burden off you “doing it all yourself.”

Are you willing to forgive yourself? At the highest spiritual level, there is no need for forgiveness, but in our human selves it is another piece of the foundation for permanent change. And sometimes that change can occur very quickly when you stop feeling guilty, forgive yourself, and love yourself right where you are at the moment.  Be kind to yourself. You are worth loving!

--Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D. studied personally with Louise Hay and, with husband Rick Nichols, is authorized to lead Heal Your Life® training programs in Louise’s philosophy. She is also the author of Ordering from the Cosmic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations. and