…..more practical spirituality

 

Start a prayer /intentions list

As you can probably tell I’m a real big fan of praying.  I don’t just believe that it works. I absolutely know it works. But on this particular issue of having a prayer or intentions list you don’t have to believe in prayer to make it work. The purpose of this is for you to pray for or pass along positive intentions to specific people. It is a form of giving. After all, you are a person who wants to receive; so in order to receive, you are going to have to give and this is one of the ways of doing it.  It is great to begin this list with people whom you care for, maybe close members of your family or friends. However, it is also a great value to pray for or pass along good intentions to people you don’t know. You might even want to put people on this list that you perceive as your “enemies.” Even praying for people who society deems as “evil” reaps a positive benefit for you.  So, start a list today.  It certainly doesn’t hurt to have this prayer list posted at home so the whole family can see.  Encouraging them to add people’s names to the list merely increases the positive return.  It is a great habit for everyone to get into, and it is easy.

Prayer

I don’t claim to be an authority on prayer, although I do it a lot. Regarding changing jobs, there are two things about prayer I might enlighten you about; and then you can take it from there. First of all, I’m reminded about the story of the fellow that prayed every night to win the lottery. He got down on his knees and every night he asked God to help him win the lottery. This went on for a number of months and every night he got on his knees and said, “Dear God, please, please, please, let me win the lottery!  I deserve to win the lottery… please, please, let me win the lottery!”  After a number of months, his plea became even more passionate. Finally, one night when he is reciting his prayer, a roll of thunder came out of the sky and a booming voice said “You first have to buy a ticket!” The point of the story is that simple praying without doing all the necessary things that it takes to get a job isn’t going to help your prayers be successful. Without massive amounts of activity, the kind that I am recommending in this course – all the prayer in the world isn’t going to help you.

Prayer: Without action is useless – (with apologies) St. Paul

The second thing about prayer that I find essential and successful is to pray for guidance in the process, not necessarily for a specific outcome. Praying specifically for a good job or a certain job doesn’t seem to be as effective as praying for spiritual guidance and help in the process of finding a job. There is a slight difference in praying for the process as opposed to praying for a result. If praying for a result, say a particular job, and the job does not come about for one reason or another it’s too easy to believe that prayer failed. Contrarily, if you pray for help and guidance in the process of finding a job, the effects seem to be more real.

God grant me the serenity to except the things I cannot change, the courage to change things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

…Thy will be done

Meditation

 If you are not a practice meditator… start. Along with prayer, but different, it’s one of the most mystical things you can do. Unfortunately, it takes a very short time to learn meditation, but a very long time to really experience its effects. Having said that, most people will get a lot out of meditation in the very beginning.

I’ve been meditating since the early 70’s… every day. It calms the emotions, focuses the mind, and alleviates tension and simply balances just about everything mental, emotional and spiritual. Its greatest value in a job search is that it helps center all of the challenges one experiences.

The long-term value of meditation is that it quiets the ego. And when you come down to it, one of the most foundational aspects of looking for a job is dealing with the highs and lows that the ego experiences.

Volunteer

This is a tremendous way to get “out of yourself” and really help other people. Now, I’m not recommending that you volunteer while you should be interviewing. However, there are plenty of opportunities in the evening or on weekends to volunteer. There are hundreds of volunteer organizations that help people who really need assistance. You need to be doing this. Help people who cannot help themselves. Find any kind a volunteer organization that might take advantage of your skills and volunteer. This is a form of giving and asking nothing in return: serve food at the soup kitchens, build homes for Habitat for Humanity, visit old people in hospitals, children in hospitals, etc. If you’re not a joiner or can’t fit volunteering into your schedule, you (just yourself) can organize to do things like pick up trash on the street, clean up your alley, or mow and trim the lawn of an old person in your neighborhood.

Seek peace

Your life is going to be stressful enough just looking for a job. As I mentioned in one of the previous chapters, I would recommend staying away from newspapers (other than to look at the classified ads), negative people, violent movies, television for the most part, etc. I recommended in a previous session to seek solitude and quiet especially in the morning; but throughout the day doesn’t hurt, either. Seeking peace and solitude also allows you to really focus intensely on all the activities it takes to find a job.

“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light,

and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.”

-Mohandas Gandhi

Let go

You know all that stuff that you cleaned out – Your trash, attic, closet, office, car, etc? Well, give it all away! In fact, anything you can give away to someone who probably needs it more than you is a way to build spiritual credit. Streamline your life and give away what you don’t need.  Learning to give anonymously is truly a great experience. The “feel-good” you get in giving even a modest gift, without anyone knowing who you are, is tremendously gratifying. I personally have $5 gift certificates to one of the fast food chains in the console of my car.  When a street person at an intersection asks me for a hand out when I have stopped, I will give them a $5 gift certificate. It is a really good feeling and it only cost $5. It’s also very instructive to my children.

….more next week

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