This Labor Day continues to be difficult for many people, but there is good news to report since this time last year. Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of the Department of Labor, reported movement in the right direction from 3.5 years ago when 800.000 jobs were being lost each month. Here are the latest statistics:
- 4.5 million private sector jobs were created that did not exist 29 months ago;
- The manufacturing workforce is growing faster at the present time than it has at any time since 1989;
- The auto industry has added back 250,000 jobs that were lost in the recession;
- More veterans are returning home to find rewarding jobs in the civilian sector; and,
- Many workers that were laid off have been retrained to match their skills with current needs and are now holding new jobs in advanced manufacturing, information technology, and health care.
Whatever the root cause of this fragile economy, it is imperative that Americans learn to care for themselves as movement forward continues. One important component of dealing with these difficult economic times is being able to manage stress. Doc Childre, the founder of HeartMath, offers ten strategies for managing stress in his free booklet entitled “De-Stress Kit for the Changing Times.” Those ten tips include:
- Communicate and interact with others (don’t isolate and stuff your feelings).
- Reopen the heart feeling (don’t shut off compassion and kindness for others).
- Practice appreciation and gratitude.
- Decrease drama (don’t ruminate on negative thoughts such as blaming).
- Manage your reaction to the news (don’t focus on news stories that enhance your feelings of crisis).
- Pray or meditate (this can help change your perspective, as well as enhance your hormonal and immune systems).
- Practice breathing to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Get enough sleep.
- Get enough exercise.
- Reduce how often you compare the ways things are now to the way things used to be.
In keeping with Unity’s emphasis on prayer as a primary healing strategy and Doc Childre’s strategy of praying to manage stress, the following prayer for meaningful work by Marianne Williamson is offered from “Illuminata: Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage” for those American citizens facing challenges this Labor Day.
May I have meaningful work and meaningful activity in my life.
I desire to wake up each morning and feel that I am used on behalf of something glorious.
I want to feel, no matter what my work, that I dispense blessing, love, forgiveness, and kindness there to all I meet.
Help me to remember that You are the power.
May I not overglorify merchandizing or money or business.
May my work be Yours.
May my work be love.
Help me to remember that as I focus on the realm of heaven, everything else will take care of itself.
Help me to have faith to know the universe shall take care of me as I take care of it.
In this moment, I am willing to put aside all small and worthless values.
In this moment, I am willing to let go my attachment to money, popularity, power, prestige, the things of the world that I do not need.
For I know that they are all illusion, and except as they are sent by You, they lead me nowhere.
Thus shall I shine.
And as I shine and sparkle, I shall radiate a power in this world, not of this world, and people will not fail to notice.
For I shall be as a star in a darkened sky.
I shall go to sleep knowing that I did as I have come here to do.
I shall be repaid by gratitude, shining in the eyes of my brothers.
Please shine in my heart.
For residents of Columbus, Georgia, who seek a spiritual community that provides support during times of economic hardship, the following five Unity churches are within driving distance:
- Unity of Albany (GA) – approximately 75 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 11 a.m. on Sundays is 178 Hugh Road, Leesburg, GA. Phone: (229) 435-1001.
- Unity of Montgomery (AL) Spiritual Center – approximately 77 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 11 a.m. on Sundays is 1922 Walnut Street, Montgomery, AL 36106. Phone: (334) 263-1225.
- Unity Spiritual Life Center of Central Georgia – formerly Unity in the Heart of Georgia (Byron, GA) – approximately 78 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 11 a.m. on Sundays is 127 Peachtree Parkway #701, Byron, GA. Phone: (478) 737-7537.
- Unity South Atlanta Church (Jonesboro, GA) – approximately 84 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 10 a.m. on Sundays is 7541 Mt. Zion Boulevard, Jonesboro, GA. Phone: (404) 578-3033.
- Unity of Dothan (AL) – approximately 90 miles from Columbus, GA. Address for services at 11 a.m. on Sundays is 942 South Oates, Dothan, AL 36301. Phone: (334) 794-2840.
For those residents of Columbus, Georgia, who are unable to attend one of the five Unity churches above but are seeking spiritual support during an employment crisis, please call Silent Unity (a 24-hour prayer support ministry) at 800-669-7729 for immediate prayer support, enter your prayer request on-line (to access this feature click here), or send your prayer request via snail mail to Silent Unity at 1901 NW Blue Parkway, Unity Village, Missouri 64065. Silent Unity will continue to pray for your request for the next 30 days. No one seeking prayer support needs to be a member of Unity or be active in any Unity church to receive spiritual support.
Available on Amazon is the following text: “Illuminata: Thoughts, Prayers, Rites of Passage“ by Marianne Williamson ($10.08 in paperback; $16.47 in hardcover; $12.60 as an audio download).