I am always astounded by the things that start happening in my life when I teach The Artists Way Book Study Groups how to integrate EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) into their creative process. The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron is a classic book for anyone who wants to open themself up to prosperity, deliberate living and a loving relationship with themselves. If I had unlimited funds I would place this book in the hands of every 12 year old on the planet as part of their journey to adult life. It’s not about art – but rather the art of living and creating a life you love.
I have been running into many professionals in transition lately. People who have recently lost jobs due to layoff, downsizing or economic decline. These people come from fields as diverse as IT, manufacturing, HR and retail. One phrase that keeps coming up in these conversations is “I need to reinvent myself for this new economy, but I don’t know where to turn.” I would love to just blurt out, “Read The Artist’ Way!”, but somehow I don’t think most of them are ready yet. They are shut down and need some tender loving care to feel safe enough to explore the positive possibilities. There are lots of employed people who are scared and shutting down too. You can help them.
How do we encourage and assist people who are shutting down? Perhaps you are the one shutting down? Each of the points below can be offered as self-care OR as a formula for assisting others in your life who need help moving on.
1. Accept them for where they are. See them as significant and worthy of attention.
2. Listen to them without judgment. Let them share their story. Ask questions to bring them out.
3. Ask about what they love. This will open up even the quietest ones.
4.Urge them to use this transition time to do things that make them feel great like hobbies, art, reading, physical fitness or outdoor activities. Give them recognition for the healthy support systems and activities they may already may have in place.
5. Introduce them to your networks. Invite them to attend networking or social events you are already involved in. Keep them in circulation. You can also invite them to join you for online networks like Facebook and Linkedin. Every connection offers potential.
6. Offer them discounts, extras or sliding scale rates on your services. If there was ever somebody needing a break, it is someone between jobs.
7. Encourage them to ask for discounts with other vendors too. Sometimes all it takes is to ask.
8. Help them see what’s going well in their lives beyond unemployment (or fear) and remind them to experience true gratitude.
9. Provide resources and recommend good books. Links to inspirational stuff like this video by Ken Robinson on TedTalks are excellent.
10. Repeat from the list above as needed. That’s what compassionate people do.
Feel free to share The Artists Way too and invite them to read and discuss the book with you.