Are we in a recession?
A recession typically means two quarters of a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) decline, and yup we’ve already had that happen.
So, why hasn’t anyone announced that we’re officially in a recession?
Well, the job market and spending are still holding up the rest of the economy.
However, most economists say that the Recession is inevitable, that 2023 is when it’s going to happen.
You’re probably saying to yourself why are you telling me this, Katy?
I’m not usually one for doom and gloom.
I like to see my glass of champagne half full.
However, the economy is like the moon and like life.
There are cycles.
And we’re just in the waning cycle of the moon.
We’ve gone through a lot of crises in the last two years.
It still does.
I reminded myself first of my favorite Bible verse from Matthew 6:25-26:
25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
As a freelance TV producer, I went through cycles of working for a few months or a few years, and then a month or so of not working. I was fortunate to work most of the time, however, when I wasn’t working, I wasn’t worried about it. Instead, I filled my time with doing stuff I wanted to do - dance classes, wandering around Los Angeles like a tourist, and going to happy hours with cheap drinks and food.
When my friends and former co-workers would ask me how I didn’t worry, I had to say it was because of the Bible verse above. It’s been my mantra, of sorts.
I’ve always had a deeply held belief that God will take care of me and my needs. That I will always have enough.
I also believe that the “more than enough” part is up to us.
In that blog post, I also shared a spiritual message from a Hopi Native, which I’ll paraphrase with some key points. (You can go to that other blog post to read the whole thing.)
“This moment humanity is going through can be seen as a portal and as a hole. The decision to fall into the hole or go through the portal is up to you....
"If (they) consume the news 24 hours a day...nervous all the time, with pessimism, they will fall into the hole. But if you take this opportunity to look at yourself...take care of yourself and others, you will cross the portal….When you are taking care of one, you are taking care of everything else….You were prepared to go through this crisis….Don’t feel guilty about being happy during this difficult time..It is through joy that one resists….For now, this is what you can do: serenity in the storm. Calm down and pray. Everyday. ...And sing, dance, resist through art, joy, faith and love.”
So, the key to both the Bible verse and the Hopi spiritual writing is this – do what you can to calm down your nervous system and to get into that higher vibration. I’ve said this a lot: we cannot create when we’re in survival mode.
We cannot create art when we’re in survival mode.
We cannot create love when we’re in survival mode.
We cannot create a job when we’re in survival mode.
We cannot create the next evolution of ourselves when we’re in survival mode.
So, how do you get out of survival mode?
Well, first it’s about calming down your nervous system. For me, it’s meditation, taking a bath or even a shower, getting into nature, moving my body either through yoga or dance.
Next it’s making sure your basic needs are met – food, water, shelter, warmth and rest. Remember this is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
If you have the basic needs met, then you can get to the next level and the next level.
In this moment, I want you to sit, say a prayer, and to be truly grateful for what basic needs are met. For me, I am so grateful to own my beautiful home, to have filtered and clean water to drink, and to have access to fresh, organic food (and the sometimes not so healthy pizza deliveries).
I remind myself that I’m in abundance.
If you’re reading this blog post on your phone or computer, I want to remind you that you have more than a lot of people in this world.
Now, if you don’t have your basic needs met, please find ways to do so.
Get on unemployment, disability, “food stamps”, Medicaid, subsidized housing programs or any other government assisted programs out there. There is no shame in any of it. It’s only a detriment to you, if you don’t ask for help.
The show, Undercover Billionaire, comes to mind here.
The show’s premise is to drop off a “Billionaire” in a place where they don’t know anyone, give them $100, and see if they not only can survive but really thrive and make a lot of money. If you want to get into the mind of a Billionaire, this is an interesting show. It’s all about connecting with others, to get the help you need. They cannot do it alone, which is a reminder that we cannot either.
Next, I want you to use what a lot of rich people use – which is leverage. What resources do you have currently?
For many of us, it’s our credit cards.
I know. I’m a money coach, and I’m advocating that you use your credit cards.
I’m not advocating that you rack up a $100,000 of credit card debt and have no way to pay it off. However, sometimes, credit cards can make the difference for a few months, while you get back on your feet.
I just want you to find ways to expand your world, rather than contract it.
To get out of survival mode, we must be able to find any tiny ways of expanding our resources.
Otherwise, our minds will continue to keep shrinking down because its main job is to protect us, and a way our minds think it can protect us, is making sure we’re going into a shell, keeping ourselves small and tight (with our money, love, and emotions).
It’s a fallacy, but that’s what our minds do. We become 5 year olds who believe that if the monster can’t see us, then we’re safe.
Instead, I want you to act as if you encounter a bear in the wild, and it's staring you down. Instead of running away or hiding, you must actually get BIGGER.
This is what I want you to do with money. How can you expand what you have?
Can you take on a side hustle, make a little bit more money during this time?
Can you call up your landlord, your car insurance, or anything else to get your rent, insurance or whatever else reduced?
Can you negotiate a trade with someone, so that you can get what you want and not have to pay money for it?
Now, all of this expansion also has to do with our mindset.
How can you show yourself that you’re not just surviving?
Now this may seem counterintuitive, but I want you to do something that feels luxurious to you.
And it does not have to involve spending money.
Instead, it can be a bath with luxurious essential oils.
It can be like in the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, walking down 5th Avenue, at sunrise, eating a croissant or other delicious pastry, and window shopping.
Time is luxurious to me, so going to the beach or even sitting in my backyard with a good book feels luxurious to me.
What would you also consider a “treat?”
Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, and host of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast, talks about how healthy treats actually helps us with creating good habits.
To me it’s the same thing.
When it comes to getting out of crisis or survival mode, it’s important to give ourselves a luxurious treat, whatever that means to you.
It could also be an indulgent piece of dark chocolate. I just want you to savor that tiny piece, so that it does feel indulgent, rather than just mindlessly eating a pint of ice cream (which I’ve definitely been guilty of!).
Finally, this is for all of you who are nervous about your investments going down. I see it. The stock market is down about 20-24% this year. My portfolio has dropped about $50,000, and yet, I want to remind you that throughout the history of the stock market, even in the worst crises, the market has bounced back. Not in a year but in about three years, those who keep their investments rather than sell recuperate even stronger and higher than before.
I also want to remind you that you’re doing great. Even if you don’t feel like you are doing well, you are. We are ALL going through these cycles. I reminded members of the Financial Freedom for Creatives Club last week that growth is not linear. Instead it's a spiral. Sometimes, it feels like we're going backwards or spinning around in a circle, and it could be that moment when we actually truly break through.
Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself, if you’ve beaten yourself up, or told yourself…"I’m doing it again. I'm back in debt." I want you to forgive yourself because there may be a very good reason why you’ve taken on the debt.
I want you to get conscious about why you took on the debt in the first place and celebrate that you consciously chose to use the debt as a tool, rather than unconsciously spending.
No matter what your circumstances are with money, you are doing great, my friend.
You really are.
You are safe.
And you are so loved.
With so much Love & Gratitude,
P.S. For more ways you can get out of survival mode, sign up for my newsletters by subscribing below. Also, you can take my quiz (below) to understand what is your money personality and how to make your finances work for your type!