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Alan Cohen

October 13th, 2008

Alan Cohen on the Economy

An ancient Chinese blessing wishes recipients, “May you live in interesting  times.” Well, we now have the answer to that prayer. Actually, all times are  interesting, just in different ways.

During the last week and month the economy seems to be at the top of most  people’s list of urgent issues to think and talk about. Today the U.S.  government is issuing a new policy to deal with the economic upsets of late.  Below are some suggestions on how to get to a better feeling place about the  economy, and generate practical results for yourself and others.

Here is my six-point plan. I am not an economist, and frankly I don’t  understand all of the complexities of the current market. I do, however,  understand the relationship between thought, belief, feeling, attitude,  expectation, identity, and practical prosperity. So here is my six-point plan,  which will surely work if you apply it:

  1. Vision. A visionary sees and remembers the Big Picture  in the face of current appearances to the contrary. The Big Picture of life  is utter abundance. There are vast resources, economic and otherwise, for  those who recognize and claim them. A visionary thrives under all  conditions. There are always people who do well in difficult economic times,  as well as those who flounder in prosperous times. It is not the economy at  large that determines your well being; it is the consciousness you hold in  relation to it. So you have the power to create a prosperous personal  economy – and as you do, you will uplift the economy at large. The two  greatest achievements of the twentieth century — the Golden Gate Bridge and  the Empire State Building — were funded and built at the height of the  great depression. Some individuals with a broad perspective were not limited  by the prevalent beliefs of the masses. There are, and will be, people who  prosper now and in the near future. I know people whose businesses are  booming now. So can yours, and by your example you can manifest abundance  that will inspire others and help them in material ways.
  2. Trust. When human affairs appear to falter, the hand of  the divine becomes very real and practical. A Higher Power is currently  running the universe far more intelligently and successfully than even the  best economists. The more you stay connected to that Higher Power, the  richer will be your inner peace and your ability to make healthy, productive  decisions.In a Greek myth, the King of Crete sent Theseus through the labyrinth to  kill or be killed by the dreaded monster Minotaur. The king’s daughter  Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and gave him a thread that he let unwind  on his way into the labyrinth, which guided him out once he slayed the  monster. Whenever you feel trapped or lost in the labyrinth of worldly life,  your strongest move is to take hold of the thread of your connection to  Spirit, hold firm to it, and let it lead you back to well-being. One of Dr.  Wayne Dyer’s books is entitled, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every  Problem, and no advice could be more appropriate than the economic situation  we face at the moment.
  3. Reframe. The Chinese written symbol for “crisis” is a  combination of two other symbols: “Danger” and “Opportunity.” Yes, there is  a danger in our current position. And yes, there is an opportunity. Perhaps  we are receiving a wake-up call to live within our means rather than  leverage ourselves and our institutions beyond a healthy level. Or we are  being invited to recognize that money does not make us rich, or its  temporary absence of restriction make us poor. Perhaps this situation will  influence the upcoming election in a way that will help us in the long run.  Maybe there is a natural balancing occurring that will make our economy  stronger. I cannot say exactly how this crisis will serve, but I do know  that whenever I have faced and handled the experience of crisis in my  personal life, I have been moved to make decisions that have made improved  my world. A Course in Miracles tells us that “All change is good,” and this  should be no exception.
  4. Reset Priorities. In an episode of the popular  television series, Fantasy Island, called, “The Luckiest Man in the World,”  a gambler achieved his fantasy to create an unstoppable winning streak. True  to form, Mr. Roark arranged for the man’s young son to visit him at the same  time. When the gambler became hypnotized by winning, he distanced himself  from his son, and the boy was about to leave him. Finally the father  realized he is the luckiest man in the world — not for his gambling  winnings, but for his family. When money seems tight, we have a window of  insight to recognize how rich we are, no matter how much we have in the  bank. If many of us use this time to grow closer to our families, homes,  nature, activities that truly bring us joy, ourselves, and our Higher Power,  this upheaval will have served us well.
  5. Circulate. Keep moving your energy, financially and  otherwise. The brilliant metaphysician Florence Scovel Shinn noted, “All  disease is due to congestion and all healing is due to circulation.” This  dynamic applies impeccably to an economic congestion. When people are afraid  to spend money, there is less money in circulation; then people grow afraid  to spend, and the cycle goes on. The dynamics shift when consumers act not  from a sense of lack or fear, but from abundance and faith. So now would be  a great time to spend your money. When you do, you affirm that you have  enough and you keep the circulation moving — not just from you, but to you.  If you don’t have money to spend, or would rather not, then circulate your  energy in other ways. Express your creativity, volunteer, paint, play music,  journal, and do anything to move energy rather than let it stagnate.  (Pressing buttons on the remote control to watch talking heads discuss the  economy does not qualify as circulating energy.)
  6. Milk Every Moment. It would be easy to think that you  will be able to relax and enjoy your life as soon as the current crisis is  averted or offset. But that’s the carrot at the end of the stick — the one  that you never get to bite. Either life is rewarding now, or it never will  be. From the sense of the ego, or small self, if it’s not the economy you  have to wait to handle, it’s something else. So now would be perfect  opportunity to practice enjoying your day, regardless of what money is  doing. Stop and chat with the clerk in the supermarket, play with your kids,  call someone you love, walk in the park, or tinker with your hobby. This is  the moment you’ve been waiting for — don’t miss it!

Everything will work out. It always does. Be of good cheer. Be uplifted and  be an uplifter, and your contribution to the economy, financial and spiritual,  will be paramount.

Quotes  and Affirmations

(Sources with known authors acknowledged; other source unknown)

The tide always comes back in.
— Norman Vincent Peale

Every dollar I spend enriches the economy, blesses everyone it touches, and  returns to me multiplied.

The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.
— Psalm 23

I am an abundant being, living in an abundant universe that is capable,  willing, and glad to meet all of my needs and the needs of everyone.

I am rich in many, many ways. I always have been, and always will be.

It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
— Luke 12:32

God does not owe, and as a Child of God, created in God’s image and  likeness, neither do I.

Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.”  Look what happens with a love like that; it lights the whole sky.
— Hafiz

My cup runneth over.
— Psalm 23

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love,  and of a sound mind.
— Timothy 1:7

Abundance is right where I stand.

You can afford to be generous because you have access to an unlimited  supply.

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there.

Thank God for what you have, and you will always have everything you want.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
— Peter Drucker

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