Archive for June, 2011

I remember the good ole days when if I wanted to change jobs, I just found the one I wanted, applied and like magic started the next week.  These days, times are very different, very different indeed.  Finding a decent job, is almost like winning the lottery.   I wonder though, can there be some good in this chaos?

I am from Michigan and our state was the first to feel the burdens of our national crisis or were we the start of it?  Home of the car industry had some major consequences when it crumbled.  People were losing their jobs left and right and I was one of them.  No, I didn’t work for the car industry, but when things started collapsing it was like a snowball effect and it kept rollin’. I worked for a telecommunications company for 10 years before they closed their doors.  It took me a year to find a job paying half what I was making at my original job doing mindless work.  That job lasted 1 ½ years before getting laid off again; company shut down.  At this point I was frustrated. A lot of my family and friends were going through the same thing.  Times were tough. I did little jobs here and there even factory work where I came home drenched in oil and dirt, but you do what you have to do.  I then opted for waitressing in the evening and a part-time; short-term secretarial job during the day and tried to pick up some college courses here and there. My life turned upside down.  I truly felt like I had taken many steps backward.  Going from a 50k, supervisor job to a waitress making less than 15k.  Talk about a humbling experience.  I became depressed.  I felt unworthy; eventually alienated myself from my friends and family.

Then the day had come, the day that changed my life forever.  I was working at the restaurant and was serving dinner to a good-looking couple.  They were talking about their worldly travels and couldn’t wait to take another trip to Europe.  Hmmm…this got me thinking, how could I travel and see the world? I always admired those people that had time and money to travel around the world experiencing different cultures.  It was on the top of my “to do” list.  I had a little savings and knew that time wasn’t a factor; it had to be much better than what I was doing now and who knows what could come of it. I still had faith and hope that my life could change for the better.  So, I decided to really give my life a shake and see what treasures I could find along the way.  I gave myself a year to prepare; to save and sell all of my possession.  Yes, I did and it worked out perfectly.   Looking back during that time, I am amazed at how I struggled after losing my job at the telecommunications company.  Constantly fighting…fighting to survive.  But after making that decision to travel, I couldn’t believe at how “easy” it was to make it happen. It was like God was saying, “Ahhhhh…yes, you have finally found your way child”.  It was almost effortless.

I remember the day handing over my keys to my apartment (the one I loved so…) and giving my keys to the new owner of my car.  I was keyless which was a very strange feeling.  I felt a huge sense of freedom and exhilaration.  I felt like a bird taking off; soaring through the sky –not a care or worry in the air only enjoying the wind beneath my wings.

My plan was to stay in Oslo, Norway (I knew a friend that lived in Oslo) and do some studying for six months and travel throughout Europe while there.  After six months, I had NO plan, I was going to play it by ear and see where the universe would take me.  Oh the freedom of it.  And oh…what treasures I found in Norway.  I took trips through the fjords and ate Norwegian cuisine with fabulous Norwegians.  I travelled to Sweden enjoying a beautiful spiritual retreat that was much needed. I made a stop in London to do some sightseeing, watched “The Lion King” at Lyceum Theater and adored that everybody called me ‘luv”.  Ahhh…the life.

My six-month journey was coming to an end and I had to start to think about my future.  I almost felt panic-sticken at the thought of going back to Michigan which was at an all time high unemployment rate of 17 percent.  I couldn’t do it. So, I searched and searched and came across teaching English to Foreigners.  What a grand idea! I love teaching and was lovin’ this travel thing…so, off I went to Prague, Czech Republic, for five weeks to take a course on teaching English to Foreigners. Prague was a delight.  One of the most amazing cities I have ever been.  The historical treasures in this city were awe inspiring.  My five week course led me an opportunity to teach English in South Korea for one-year. Off to Asia I go! My life had completely turned around. Within seven months, I had travelled to five different countries; trekked the Norwegian fjords, studied in Prague, watched a lovely play in London and dined on the floor eating rice with chopsticks and drinking soju with Koreans.  Who would of thunk it? A few years before that, travelling to Europe for a two-week vacation seemed like an unreachable goal.

My experience in South Korea made me realize how much I loved teaching and gave me the desire to get my teaching credential to become a teacher in the States.   I met my littleheart in Korea (will save that story for another day) and viola, I am now living in San Diego working towards my teaching credential.

I wonder if the telecommunications company didn’t close it doors….where would I be today?

If you are going through the unemployment cycle of hell.  I feel your pain.  But, maybe, just maybe…there is something you are supposed to be doing different?  If you are frustrated and having a hard time with finding a job– think of other possibilities (you obviously have time to think so why not make it productive thinking :-)) such as;

  • Have you ever had a burning desire to do something totally different? Maybe now is the time to take some risks.  Take time to do some research on what you need to do to make it happen.
  • Are you secretly happy that you are no longer working for the boss that never appreciated you anyway?  Why not become your own boss?
  • Are you feeling lost on your path?  Try going to the library and reading up on books that have always interested you—the library is FREE!
  • Are you feeling unworthy and scared to death?  This is the time to utilize those community resources that are available.  The internet is a great tool to do some research on what might be available to you during your time of need. Make sure you have a good support system and use them for mental support!  Surround yourself with people that are positive, uplifting and inspiring.  If you don’t have these people in your life; go to the library and read inspirational books that will inspire you.  Connect with your faith.
  • Think outside the box…what you are doing isn’t working for you; get creative.
  • Feeling helpless?  Help others by volunteering.  It is also a great way to network!

Now, I am not saying to sell all your possession and leave the country for a year and half.  I am saying, maybe what you are doing isn’t working so you need to change up! Take a risk, do something different and see what treasures come to you; losing your job might be the best thing that ever happened to you.


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Treasure Your Health

My family has a history of health problems.  My brother was diagnosed with cancer a week before his 30th birthday and has been cancer free for about four years now. My mother has a multitude of health issues; back problems, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.  Watching my family go through the burden of these issues, I decided this was the year to make sure I am doing all that I can to be healthy.  So, I took everything up a notch and added more organic foods into my already healthy regimen and also got rid of the “junk” I put on my body and opted for organic lotions and creams.  With a big huge thanks to my boyfriend, Steve, who is very passionate about organic, all-natural products and has educated me on such. While changing up my routine; I also took my fitness up a notch and have been working towards my goal weight.  My doctor’s appointment was A-Ok and brings me a smile and a sigh of relief.

So, I have been feeling like I am right on track!  Until….yes, there is an “until”, a few days ago while exercising I pulled my back out.  I am always a stickler on good form and have done this particular exercise a thousand times (speed squats), so didn’t understand why I suddenly felt a very sharp pain run through my left buttock up to the middle of my back.  ZAP! This almost took me to my knees.  I screamed in pain. My boyfriend comes running towards me with worry and compassion.  That was that.  In that second of shooting pain, I have now become highly dependent on my boyfriend. I can barely walk and the simplest things have become the biggest chore.  I am not comfortable in any position. Making the bed, doing the dishes and just basic picking things up take time and patience.  I’m wobbling around like a little, old lady holding onto a cane.

Oh how I miss thee healthy body. Interesting when we have health, we don’t really notice it, and when we don’t have it, we long and long for it.  I have decided now is the time to add “health” to my “what am I thankful for” list during my daily meditations or am I too late?

When hit with a setback such as this; I often take time (or rather have time) to self analyze. I ask myself questions such as; what brought me to this point?  What could I have done differently?  What can I do now?  Am I doing all I can do to heal?  How is my internal dialog?  Is there a lot of self pity or are my thoughts on recovering and allowing the moment to be.  What does the universe want me to know?  Now that is a huge question that is pretty thought provoking.  What do you mean, what does the universe want me to know?  I believe when something of this nature happens, that we have neglected to listen to the universe.  In order to get our attention, things like this can happen.

In my case, I have had back pain for over 10 years now.  It is a constant pain, after going to a chiropractor for a year…and no relief, I decided it was probably something that I had to live with until my recent ZAP!  No more. I will take this ZAP as an indication that I should probably act like a fierce lion hunting for prey in my attack to regain a healthy back. Or maybe right now, a turtle with an intention of a lion.  In any case, the ZAP has me fierce with determination to attain a strong, healthy back.  Ignoring my constant pain has led me to this god-for-saken moment; pun intended. 🙂  As I hear God whisper in my ear; “I have given you 10 years child…and you have ignored me”.  Hmmm….

Are you ignoring anything?  Are you healthy?  If so, do you appreciate your health?  If not, what are you doing to get healthy?

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