Monday, October 6, 2008

Wall Street Shoulds

Like every one else, I have been horrified these last few weeks, witnessing the stock market jump up and down, and up, and down, to today's lowest point since 2004. How does one remain Absolutely Should-less in such a market? Not easily, I tell ya.

It's easy to be "spiritual" and "feel good" when things are going well. But when the chips are down, (and they will be down for awhile), then that is the time for you and I to step up and do the inner work we are capable of. Marianne Williamson has spoken about our tendency to be "lazy" spiritual students at times. Jacob Glass points out how easy it is to get "distracted" from the truth we hold within by the disasters of this world. I agree with both, because images such as this tend to make me lazy and distracted:

So how does one remain Absolutely Should-less in light of these uncontrollable circumstances?
This is how I'm dealing with my should, "The Stock Market should stop falling."

How do you feel when you think, "The Stock Market should stop falling?"
I feel anxious, afraid, worried, annoyed.

Who is making a profit off your "Should?"
Certainly CNN is profiting from my need to obsess over this event, as well as Suze Orman, who I keep hoping will shed light and hope in this area. If I can't sleep, then Starbucks will profit from my fear, as well as my doctor, and the makers or whatever sleep meds he wants to prescribe. If I over eat when I'm worried, then Ben & Jerry's and the pizza place down the street will certainly profit from my "should."

What would one day be like without this "should?"
One day without this should would be very relaxing. I'd probably end up spending less money on coffee and food that I didn't need.

Who would you be without this "should?"
I would be someone whose happiness wasn't dependent on the poor decisions of Wall Street brokers. I would be someone who recognized that my peace and satisfaction is within me, and not contingent on the numbers I see on my computer screen, or the fluctuations in my bank account.

Replace It.
I would prefer that the Stock Market stops falling. I really hope things stabilize soon. But even if things get worse, I have a choice to be more happy, less stressed.

And with that, I feel better. It doesn't solve the problem, it does not absolve me of all my stress and worry. But it helps me to realize I have a choice in this matter. I can choose to make the falling points on wall street my God-like source of agony and stress. Or I can choose to seek happiness from different sources.

What other sources? The changing of leaves in New York City in autumn. The kids laughing on the subway. Seeing my partner's smile in the morning. THESE are the investments I'm going to be making the rest of the week.

What investments are you willing to focus on in order to have more peace this week?

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