Cures for the Mid-Year Slump

By Veronica Mackey

 The year is nearly half over, and I am starting to feel my 2016 resolutions slip away.  Like most, I’m always “gung ho” about the new year.   But now, I’ve fallen into a slump.  There is a gnawing feeling inside that, despite my good intentions, my grand plans are rapidly unraveling.

Being Mentally Ready

It seems every New Year’s Eve folks wait for the magic of midnight.  Suddenly, when the clock strikes, we have whatever it takes to lose weight, find true love or go back to school.  Never mind, me might not have put any time into mental or practical preparation.  Like I said, it’s magic!

Is this why we fail to get what we say we want?  Are we not prepared enough?  Are we too unrealistic—trying to cram too much into 12 months?  According to StatisticBrain, only 8% of us are successful keeping resolutions.

Mental preparation helps us re-focus our attention on the here and now—the most powerful moment in life.  It requires noticing—really noticing—everything around you, and noticing yourself experiencing life.

Here’s an exercise to keep you focused and present.  Consciously pay attention to the warmth of the sun, indoor and outdoor sounds, or your own breathing.  Next, say aloud what you are experiencing:

“Today is a sunny day.  I see my neighbor’s children playing outside with their cute, brown puppy.”  You may feel silly or even bored, but keep going.  This exercise is designed to bring you back to the present—which is the only time you really have.

If you need to study for an exam, but 30 percent of you is focused on what you’re going to fix for dinner, 60 percent is worried about how to fix a problem at work, and 10 percent is replaying a hurtful comment your dad made when you were in high school, you are a “house divided against yourself.”  A house divided against itself will eventually implode.

Changing With Time

Holding onto rigid beliefs can cause us to try and force results.  We can be unforgiving of certain people or circumstances when things don’t happen when we think they should.

So, maybe it’s time for a new time table.  Who says your new year has to begin on January 1?  It’s perfectly okay to expand your deadline, pick another goal or take something off your to-do list altogether.  Sometimes it’s necessary to break our own rules about tradition.

My friend Pam paid me a visit last week to vent about her “Mother’s Day from Hell.”  First their only family car broke down on the way to the restaurant.  Then, while waiting for the tow truck, her 4-year old had an asthma attack and had to be rushed to the hospital.  Then her husband, who himself works at a hospital, got reprimanded for not showing up at work.  Seems there was a mix up in communication.  He thought his co-worker was going to take his shift, and the co-worker thought he was going to take the shift.  He almost lost his job.

Pam is the most motherly woman I know.  She literally lives for Mother’s Day.  And while the ruined dinner was not the end of the world, she’d been down in the dumps for 3 weeks.  Now, with $3,700 in unexpected car repairs and uncovered medical bills looming over her head, she was still trying to regroup.

“All I wanted was a nice dinner, just us and the kids,” she said.  “Last year, Tom was working and we didn’t get to celebrate at all.  And, for a minute, after the car broke down, I thought, who needs a car anyway.  Maybe, we can just take the bus or Uber and get back to fixing it later.  But with Tom working so far away, and me pregnant again, that’s just not possible.”

“Why don’t you re-celebrate?” I asked.  I hadn’t realized the full impact of my words when suddenly her face lit up.  “That’s a great idea!” she exclaimed.  She came up with an instant plan.  Tom will cook her favorite meal at home, the oldest child will help.  Everyone will dress up like they are going out to a fancy restaurant and she’ll wear a tiara.  They’ll set the table and use the best china. The kids will create new Mother’s Day cards and she’ll look surprised and thank them all over again.

“We need to do this to erase the bad memories,” she said.  “I won’t call what happened to us devastating, but I would have gone through the next 3 or 4 months with a bitter taste in my mouth—especially with the money we’re having to put out.”

For Pam, re-celebration offers closure.  It helps to emotionally compensate for the disappointment.  They are celebrating Mother’s Day on June 18—the day before Father’s Day.

Being Ready Before You’re Ready

Life doesn’t happen in a straight line.  Sometimes we have to do things whether we feel ready or not.  When this happens, get yourself up to speed with a good “talking to.” I took this same advice only yesterday.  Realizing that I have only 2 days left to deliver an unbelievable amount of work for a client who dumped it in my lap at the last moment—and I am nowhere near finishing—I said to myself:  “Listen here, sista-girl.  Nobody is going to get this party started without you.  You have to make this happen.  Now, what are you going to do and when are you going to do it?”

Almost immediately, I received the first step:  “Be still and know that I am God.”

 

 

 

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How to Be Gainfully Unemployed

By Veronica Mackey

“As you sit thinking, ‘If only I could find a job,’ some employer is, at that very moment thinking,

‘if only we could find the right person for this position…’”

–Eric Butterworth, Spiritual Economics

 Uncovering Job Sabotages

If you’re still struggling to find a decent-paying job, the problem may not be with the economy.

The New York Times said the job market, “according to Labor Department figures released in recent months, appears to be at its healthiest point since the boom of the late 1990s.”  The problem may lie within you.

 

We’re bombarded daily by negative reports.  For example, you may read in the newspaper that unemployment is highest among black people, women or people over 50.  If you fall into any of these categories (or worse, all of them), you’ll soon be thinking, “It’s going to take me forever to find a job because I’m black, a woman, and over 50.”

 

While competition in the job market is real, you have real power inside of you right now to get the job you want and deserve.  Here are ways to tap into your inner self and uncover sabotages that may be holding you back:

 

Afford yourself

Before we can begin to talk about finding a good job, we need to overcome two major culprits: time and money.  So many job seekers take the first thing that comes along because they need the money.  If you’re broke and unemployed, money is everything.  You want to, need to, must go to work.  Or do you?  Take an hour or so to review you finances before you answer this question.

 

There are some major things you can and should do now that will buy the time necessary to find the job you want.

 

First, gather up your assets.  How much money do you have in the bank?  Are you eligible for unemployment compensation?  Do you have investments?  Will you be getting severance pay?

If you have a side job or business, now is the time to put in more effort to increase your sales.

 

Next, put together a bare bones budget that covers survival needs only—rent or mortgage, phone, utilities, car note and food.  Right now, the name of the game is keeping a roof over your head, food on the table, electricity on and a car in your garage.  Work with creditors to reduce your credit cards payments temporarily.  If you have to let extra bills go for now, do it.  Don’t worry about your credit rating.  You can fix that later.

 

Next, figure out how to reduce your expenses.  Do you need to shop at a less expensive grocery store?  Can you cut back on entertainment?  I gave up cable TV for Roku, a streaming device that provides hundreds of channels.  I picked it up for about $80 at Best Buy.  No monthly payments, except the $10 a month I pay for Netflix.

 

You may have to swap out cable TV for health or life insurance previously provided by your employer.  Do not skip this coverage.  See what is available online.  The price will most likely beat what your employer may be offering you.  When I lost my job, I paid $200 a month under an extended health insurance plan.  Then I got smart.  I was a healthy woman who maybe saw a doctor 2-3 times a year, mainly for preventive care.  I found a comparable plan for $70 a month.

 

Flip the script

Most people approach job finding the wrong way.  They think they must do everything necessary to win approval of employers.  Hogwash!  The truth is, employers need you as much as you need them.  Why else would they spend so much time and money trying to find you?

 

When you set out to find work, don’t approach the job search from the stand point of need.  Use a positive mindset such as, “I don’t need a job.  I have talent to express, value to give.”  This mindset will bring confidence to the job interview.  The next time you interview, imagine that you are a hot celebrity, the “it” girl or guy, the flavor of the month.  The interviewer wants to know all about you.  You are not begging for a job.  You are the star in the spotlight.  Go ahead and shine!

 

Forgive

One thing will hold you back from success indefinitely—harboring resentment against past employers.  Because we live in a world of cause and effect, we get back what we send out.  If you’re holding on to anger about being unemployed, this anger will backfire.  Prospective employers pick up on this energy—even if you never mention your old boss—and it turns them off.

 

The cost of resentment is too high.  It is essential to forgive anyone and everyone that you feel treated you unfairly.  You may feel responsible for being fired or let go.  Just learn from that experience, move on and forgive yourself.

 

You may not want to forgive, or even know how.  But if you’ll consistently practice the following affirmation, you will gradually release negative emotions and attract your right position in life.  No one can keep your success from you except you.

 

I cast all resentment, guilt and anger on the God within me and I go free.  His unconditional love floods my mind with new hope and joy.  I no longer think of myself as unemployed, but “ready for work.”  I give thanks now for multiple offers, and the wisdom to make the right decision. 

 Act as if

You need to act as if you have a job—even when there isn’t the slightest sign of a job in sight.

 

Do what you would ordinarily do if you already had a job.  Get up early.  Pack a lunch.  Dress professionally even if you’re only going to the computer in your living room.  The point is to convince your subconscious mind that there is a job waiting for you; to change your mindset from being unemployed to being ready for work.

 

I gave this advice to my cousin.  He followed it to the letter and got an amazing job within 2  weeks.  Your results may take longer, but once you change your mindset, the job offers will start coming in.  Your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real or imagined.  Give it the orders you want and watch it go to work for you.

 

“Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” –Hebrews 11:1

 

 

Healing for the Walking Wounded

By Veronica Mackey

Every day, life presents opportunities for us to worry, fret or get angry.  The fast-paced world that we live in does not allow much time for us to catch our breath before the next offense occurs.

Our negative emotional reactions can wreak havoc in our bodies.  Every thought has a biochemical equivalent.  Our brains communicate directly with our bodies, and vice versa, through chemical messengers known as neuropeptides.  Deeply rooted emotions that are not dealt with will eventually show up as disease.

Take a look at how you spend your life.

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your mind-body connection.  When you look at your mind, body and emotions as a single unit, you can see more clearly how one part affects the other.

What are you thinking?  Are your thoughts fueling you or depleting your strength?  What do you need to embrace or let go of?  With God, all things are possible.  Still, our bodes limit us.  They tire, pick up viruses, and lust after things which aren’t always healthy.

 Dig a little deeper.

When you’re sick, it is human nature to find out what is wrong.  You may see a doctor, do research on the Internet, or compare notes with a friend who has similar symptoms.  But don’t stop there.  Ask yourself what is going on emotionally or spiritually.  A pain reliever can easily get rid of a headache, but if you want to get better—not just feel better—try to figure out why you’re feeling anxious or resentful in the first place.

Forgive.

Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling.  This is where most people get stuck.  They keep waiting for their negative feelings to subside, and they don’t feel they can forgive a person until that happens.  Wounds run deep, and we may not ever feel the same way about someone who has hurt us.  But that does not mean we are incapable of forgiving.  You have forgiven when you no longer talk about the offense.

“We delay the process of healing because we want someone to know how much we are hurting.  We pull the bandage off our wound.  And it cannot heal properly because we continually pull it off,” said Pastor Gregory Dickow of Gregory Dickow Ministries.  “If you just care about your feelings, you’ll talk about it.  If you care about your future, you’ll stop talking about it.”

The next time you are tempted to feed your emotional pain, ask yourself what it will cost you.  It could mean cancer, a heart attack, or worse.  Is it worth it?    Even if you think your abuser deserves to die, you deserve to live.