After four months of searching for work and and over 200 applications sent, I have a position at St. Jude Medical. I sat down this morning at our dining room table and looked into the backyard. The sun streaming through the trees and the patio lattice looked - felt - different. I sensed that now that an undercurrent of unease had subsided I could fully enjoy resting my eyes on the peaceful surroundings. This got me thinking about a book that has long been sitting on my bookshelf that I decided to pull out - "Eastern Body, Western Mind" by Anodea Judith. I was particularly interested in re-thinking the first chakra. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a chakra, I invite you to take a crash course here.
The first chakra is related to survival. Symptoms of excess in the first chakra are sluggishness, monotony, obesity, hoarding, materialism and greed. Deficiency symptoms are frequent fear, lack of discipline, restlessness and being underweight.
I have noticed that while employed I had the symptoms of sluggishness, monotony, and obesity. Once I no longer was employed, deficiencies such as unease (frequent fear) and restlessness began to emerge and the excesses began to diminish. I have lost weight, and have been at the gym at least 3 times a week every day for the last 3 months. Life does not feel monotonous and my sluggishness is dissipating.
So my undercurrent of unease and worry due to dwindling funds, and fear of losing our home if I were unable to find a job in 2009 appears to have created a deficiency in my first chakra, and while I was employed, it seems that excesses manifested themselves. My goal is to remain balanced in the first chakra now that stability and tranquility has returned to our financial lives.
Here are some ways I think I can help maintain balance in my first chakra:
- Do exceedingly well at work to ensure I solidify my value to the company
- Remain stress free - keep things in perspective, "it's just a job"
- Modify my workout schedule to Fri, Sat, Sun mornings to keep my current lifting cycle progressing
- Take a vacation every day. Whether that is listening to music, reading, a glass of wine, the steam room at the gym, a massage or whatever - do something every day to relieve stress, and keep yourself from getting wound up.
- Take a healthy lunch to work. Eat smaller portions and "better" in general
- Stay off the roads during traffic hours
- Focus on building a 1 year emergency fund. I had 6 months, but that was not enough to keep from worrying.
- Maintain a home emergency kit, with 72 hours worth of water, food, etc.
- Ensure all my insurance plans are sufficiently protecting us
- Gradually, and methodically reduce expenditures in daily "normal" living so that if a bad time hits again, we will be better prepared to adjust.