Monday, August 24, 2015

What To Do When the Dow Jones Drops 1,000 Points

                                                         Photo by Troy Tolley

Billions of people all over the world may be in a sense of panic and fear.  
Here is how not to be one of them. 

Step 1: I know your first reaction may be to call your broker or 401K manager.  Even if you could get through, stop.  Take several deep breaths.  Remember that any action you take while in a sense of panic and fear will not be the best ones.  With each exhale, ask for any negative feelings to leave your body. With each inhale, ask for clarity and support.    When you start feeling calmer and more centered, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Remember that this event is not about you and your 401K. It is about an economic shift of global proportions.    Realize that you are not alone. We will almost all feel the effects of any major correction in the world markets. But because so many are being affected, this creates an opportunity and a momentum for humanity to band together in an energized and more empowered way. It creates the impetus to correct a number of the abuses of the current economic system, including the shrinking middle class, the fiat money system, cutting of programs for the poor and the widening gap between the rich and the poor.  

Step 3: Remember that the world did just fine before there was a stock market.  Local commerce does not need a stock market.  People will still eat, work and have shelter. People will buy and sell goods.  Local economies will thrive. Nature will still provide food, air, water and sunlight.  

Step 4: You already have more than enough. Try this exercise:  Walk around the interior of your home and take quiet stock of what you have.  Do you really need everything?  Is there something you could sell?  How much of your “stuff” could you do without and still be you?

Step 5:  Get to know your neighbors.  What skills and resources are right there in your neighborhood?  What unique skills could you offer to exchange for something you need?  Organizations such as hOurworld have provided free software to neighborhoods, towns, and regions all over the world to create their own “time banks” in which people offer a service to someone else in the exchange.  You can “bank” you hours and “spend them” to receive a service you need.  hOurworld exchanges include healthcare, child care, yard work, home repair, elder care and more. Check to see if there is a time bank or community currency program near you.

Step 6: Remember that major global events like this are offering you a clear spiritual choice. I like to use the metaphor of a hurricane.  At the center of the storm it is calm and still.  But get swept into the cetrifugal force of the outer bands, and you are subject to a great deal of chaos and turmoil. What spiritual practices keep you in a place of peace where you can hear your deepest wisdom for what to do?  Who are you interacting with – people who make you feel calm, grounded and secure, or those who make you feel insecure and scared?  You choose which world you want to live in. Will it be one of thoughtful action, sharing, unity and peace or one of impulsive action where the primary methods of relating to others is one of separation, hoarding, violence, “weaponing up” and panic?

Step 7: Seek out people and groups that support you in building real resilience and security in your life.  Carefully select groups that avoid fear tactics, blaming and separation. Instead look for groups whose gathering point is one of mutual support, authenticity, kindness, sharing and thriving. Bow out of conversations that center on negativity, pessimism and fear.  Find those who can share an optimistic viewpoint, one based on the reality that we each are enough and have enough.  

Step 8:  I tried this practice years go and it really did work.  Once a day for a week, either when you get out of bed or just before you go to sleep, keep a gratitude journal.  Give yourself a set time, say 2 – 5 minutes to write down everything you are grateful for from the last 24 hours.  It may be challenging at first, but as you move through the week, you will start noticing more and more. Take a silent walk in nature and ask it to show you abundance, beauty, resilience.  I guarantee it will.  Journal what you found.

Step 9: As we move beyond the first shock wave, people will be taking stock of what this situation can teach us about living better lives.   See this as an opportunity to determine what in the “economy” is real and what is speculation-based.  What is local, personal, reliable, healthy, responsible?  What is driven by forces that operate well beyond your control, often in secret or in complex ways well beyond your understanding? Consider moving your resources in the future to building more tangible and local assets. There are many organizations that specialize in microlending and socially responsible lending.  Realize that you cannot separate the businesses from the people who run them.  Know who is in charge of the companies you invest in and what their values are.

Step 10: Reach out and do something nice for someone today. I know this may seem counterintuitive when you are feeling financial loss, but giving really does put you in touch with the flow of abundance.  Even if what you share is something small like a smile or kind words, or something larger, like a “pay it forward” gesture, it will remind you that the world isn’t that bleak and harsh after all. We have one another, and that is the basis of most of the happiness in our lives. Love, friendship, kindness and peace aren’t part of the economy.  They cannot crash.  They are “baked in” to life, something you yourself can cultivate and receive no matter what.       

Laurie McCammon is a planetary change agent, blogger, facilitator and author of Enough!How to Liberate Yourself and Remake the World with Just One Word, published  by Conari Press, out  April 1, 2016.  You can contact Laurie with comments at, Like LaurieMcCammon on Facebook or follow her on Twitter at @EnoughMessage

Laurie writes another monthly blog, Wisdom From the Circle, sharing the themes that arise in her women's circle each month.