A recess from recession worries

I am self-employed and find myself distracted from work by my worries about the possibility of a major recession. I read newspapers and check the Internet every day to see what the predictions are. I’m in a line of work that will fail miserably during a recession and I have no one to depend on financially except myself. I’ve run up a lot of bills starting my business. I have also counted on money that didn’t come and went on shopping sprees that are now creating huge problems for me financially. Do you think there will be a recession?

If you are willing, there could be a recession of your fears about a recession. That doesn’t mean the economy will snap back to a position that you find more comfortable. It means that you resist distracting yourself from your business by worrying about something you can’t control. Why not focus on investing healthy mental and emotional energies into your business? Are you more afraid of success than you are of failure?

I’m no economist, but it appears that there is recession in the technology sector of the U.S. economy which was, by all accounts, rather bloated. I think tech companies are just cutting fatty foods and committing to a high fiber diet. However, I have read some international news sources that suggest a worldwide recession is possible. What does that mean? Nothing, yet. It’s just a thought. If it disturbs you, it’s an indication that you need to be in economic recovery. Do the basics: eliminate credit card debt, have three to six months salary in a savings account that you don’t touch, establish a savings account for emergencies (a sale at Nordstrom doesn’t qualify) and see a certified financial planner. If you find yourself resisting, examine your beliefs about money. Debt counseling and education can help. The three best books I’ve found are: Nine Steps To Financial Freedom by Suze Orman; Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Retire Early and Live The Life You Want Now by John F. Wasik. Get them at the library.

My 35-year-old brother is an alcoholic and has been through several rehab and extended, live-in sobriety programs over the last four years, most of them run by the Salvation Army. He is amenable to a mental health evaluation, but has virtually no money. Is there a low-cost program for those with limited resources in the Sacramento area where he can get evaluated and get some counseling and even medication if necessary?

Several possibilities exist, including the nonprofit organization The Effort, which offers sliding-scale outpatient services with links to mental health clinics. Trisha Stanionis, executive director, says your problem is one they encounter often. “In today’s treatment climate, we are discovering more and more people have mental health treatment needs. Once people have entered treatment and committed to a life of recovery, if they have a need for mental health services and can’t find easy and affordable access, it’s a barrier to recovery.” Perhaps we can all add these folks to our prayers this week.

Thank you to Dr. John Williams of Kaiser Hospital and others who called to point out an error in my column, “Living with herpes” (4/5/01). The words “not true” were supposed to follow the sentence, “Herpes is believed to be contagious only when external symptoms are present,” but I edited them out accidentally. Huge mistake. My apologies.

Meditation of the Week

The new cosmologists call it the “All Nourishing Abyss.” It’s been my home for the last few weeks, following several deaths in my life. Now the stillness settles inside me and I prepare to wait. Light always returns. Are you patient enough to receive it? Do you run away from yourself to seek in sermons and books that which attempts to gestate inside you?