Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Turning MySpace into Mom's space - iMediaConnection.com

They're powerful, outspoken, and know how to band together to make brands sit up and take notice of their needs. Find out how and why you should seek the approval of moms for your next campaign.

Excerpt From Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth"...

- Taken from the chapter, "The Discovery of Inner Space"

If you are not spending all of your waking life in discontent, worry, anxiety, depression, despair, or consumed by other negative states; if you are able to enjoy simple things like listening to the sound of the rain or the wind; if you can see the beauty of clouds moving across the sky or be alone at times without feeling lonely or needing the mental stimulus of entertainment; if you find yourself treating a complete stranger with heartfelt kindness without wanting anything from him or her... it means that a space has opened up, no matter how briefly, in the otherwise incessant stream of thinking that is the human mind. When this happens, there is a sense of well-being, of alive peace, even though it may be subtle. The intensity will vary from a perhaps barely noticeable background sense of contentment to what the ancient sages of India called ananda - the bliss of Being. Because you have been conditioned to pay attention only to form, you are probably not aware of it except indirectly. For example, there is a common element in the ability to see beauty, to appreciate simple things, to enjoy your own company, or to relate to other people with loving kindness. This common element is a sense of contentment, peace, and aliveness that is the invisible background without which these experiences would not be possible.

Whenever there is beauty, kindness, the recognition of the goodness of simple things in your life, look for the background to that experience within yourself. But don't look for it as if you were looking for something. You cannot pin it down and say, "Now I have it," or grasp it mentally and define it in some way. It is like the cloudless sky. It has no form. It is space; it is stillness, the sweetness of Being and infinitely more than these words, which are only pointers. When you are able to sense it directly within yourself, it deepens. So when you appreciate something simple - a sound, a sight, a touch - when you see beauty, when you feel loving kindness toward another, sense the inner spaciousness that is the source and background to that experience.

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I enjoyed reading this book, although it was challenging to get through at times. This particular section resonated with me. It is like the old saying, "Stop and smell the roses" but put in a more eloquent, elaborate way. Reading it over again, it compelled me to take a few deep cleansing breaths and I almost felt my stress and anxiety slip away.

Eckhart Tolle, is it possible to meditate on the dust bunnies that have taken up residence under the couch and find beauty and harmony in their existence without feeling annoyance and dread about having to bring out the Swiffer?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Unemployed Life

When I was working, I always resented it and hated the obligation, the driving, the juggling and always being tired. I felt like I never had enough time with the girls and I could never keep the house clean. I always felt like my social life was lacking and I was torn in all directions.

Now that I've been laid off for 3 months now, however, I am complaining that I hate to clean, I am tired of being at home, I've spent too much time with the girls, etc. I don't like the uncertainty of the future. I don't like not having a job or prospects. I don't like feeling unsettled and in a holding pattern. I really should be embracing this lull in my life. It's refreshing, right? I can read all kinds of books for pleasure, I can nap, meal plan, wear whatever the hell I want to, be flexible and spontaneous with my schedule, get lots of fresh air, catch up with friends frequently, surf the internet as much as I want, answer to (almost) no one...what more can I ask for?

I physically and mentally feel exhausted though on most days. Uninspired and discouraged. I check every website under the sun for new job postings and apply to everything that even remotely matches. I have only had 2 phone interviews and 1 actual interview - which all amounted to nothing. Every day slips by without any phone calls or emails with any interest. I doubt myself, skills, experience, social network, and ultimately my purpose in life.

Yes, I have 2 girls to take care of, and yes, that may be a full time job in itself. However, I have always worked. I do enjoy contributing to the social fabric of life (however puny that may be.) I like having structure and adult interaction in my day. I like bringing home a paycheck and saving for the future. I like challenging my mind and learning new things from other people and work.

I also have a freelance copywriting business, but times are tight and there's no business right now. And the last time I posted earnings for a project I worked on, the unemployment office got completely confused and held up my claim until one of their staff members could contact me to sort it all out - which ended up being over 2 weeks!

I know I shouldn't take it so personally; everyone is laid off these days. It's just a blip on the radar and it's not forever. I will find a job eventually. Most days, I don't really believe that though. It is weighing on me. Certainly, I pray about it and try to lean on God to help me sort it out and lead me, but that isn't always easy for me. Is He listening to me or does he want me to be a stay-at-home mom for heaven's sake?!

When you're laid off, you can't spend excess money for fear you will become bankrupt. I try to avoid shopping, eating out, entertainment, vacations, anything that normal working people find joy in. Annoying! I've always been frugal, but I now I am trying to be even more miserly. Eeks. What is the 'Law of Abundance'/'Law of Attraction'? - there is more than enough in the universe. Positive affirmations, creative visualization, give generously, trust God, positive vibrations, yada yada yada. I learn all these things but it never sinks in; I never practice any of this useful knowledge I love to soak up. You really want me to wake up early in the morning before everyone else and meditate and tap into my spirituality?! Seems way too hard. I may just be that desperate though to make some lifestyle changes so I stop feeling like a slug every day.