As the writers on this blog have acknowledged, our reasons for working part-time are numerous. Many part-time employees are parents who wish to have more time to devote to their families. Others work part-time because they want the flexibility to pursue other interests. And many work part-time simply because they’ve yet to find ideal full-time employment.
For much of my working life, I have been a part-time employee, a practice that I continue to this day (though I am no longer employed by anyone but myself!). And at one time or another, every one of the above reasons for working part-time has been true for me.
But so much working part-time has not been without its drawbacks. I’ve frequently had to disregard criticisms and negative judgments from friends and family, and even their friends and families, about my work styles and preferences.
Because of this, I’ve had to learn how to keep my personal values at the forefront of my consciousness. For so very often my values have been at odds with those of the popular culture with its emphasis on material acquisition and wealth.
The flip side of learning to deal with negative judgments of my choices is that I have had far more opportunities than my fully employed peers to learn about myself, to enhance my self-understanding and self-awareness, to learn about my purpose here on earth.
And I have learned to let my insights and understanding of what is best for me guide me in my work decisions, even when those decisions have been difficult for those around me to comprehend.
In learning to be true to myself, I have acquired a set of tools that help me to maintain my focus on living a life that is optimal for me. These tools help to keep me connected to my internal compass, so that I am always living life as I choose, and not in a way that greedy and aggressive marketers, or even well-meaning friends and family, suggest I ought to be living.
These tools also help me to overcome any negative internal messages I may have about whatever situation I find myself in (because I am human, after all, and am thus at times susceptible to the harsh criticisms of others).
I offer these tools here for those of you who perhaps struggle to stay connected to your own true north, or who are interested in enhancing your own personal toolbox of resources for achieving the success you desire and living the life of your dreams. I hope you will find them as helpful as I have.
My favorite tools
I also continue to meditate because in addition to enjoying the moments of profound inner peace that my practice brings, today I know just how beneficial meditation is for my brain. Recent studies have shown that meditation changes the brain in many positive ways that are too numerous to recount here.
But when a nurse recently told me that at age 50 I have the blood pressure of a 20-year-old, I said a little prayer of gratitude for my meditation practice.
One of the interesting things I’ve enjoyed from my years of journal writing is the opportunity to discover things about myself that I hadn’t consciously known. Recently, I learned that the reason for this has, once again, to do with the brain. Completing journal-writing exercises can help to connect the two sides of the brain and can bring to consciousness thoughts, ideas, and beliefs that may otherwise remain in the dark.
My journal is also the place where I store my ideas, which can occur to me at any time of day or night. I try to keep some type of journal with me at all times, and I make sure to have one by my bed. That way I never have to worry about forgetting some exciting brainstorm that wakes me up in the middle of the night.
So I make sure I schedule, schedule, schedule. My calendar keeps me on track, getting me where I need to be. I used to prefer a paper calendar, because I could easily see my weeks and months at a glance, and I could change appointments as needed to accommodate life’s frequent surprises.
But these days I’m experimenting with the calendar on my iPad, though I’m still not sure I love it. And forget the calendar on my smart phone. It’s way too small to be of use. I like seeing my weeks and months at a single glance!
But until I learned meridian tapping, freeing myself of unpleasant emotional reactions seemed like an impossibility, something I could barely comprehend.
Meridian tapping is sometimes referred to as self-applied acupuncture because it is done by using the same meridians that are accessed in traditional acupuncture. But tapping doesn’t involve needles or any in-depth understanding of how the meridian system works. In fact, the most common form of meridian tapping uses the same set of 9 points on the face, hands and torso, no matter what ailment is being addressed.
I learned about meridian tapping the last time I sought help to end the cycles of anxiety and depression I was prone to, cycles that none of my other tools seemed to permanently effect. To my great surprise and delight, the tapping worked. The cycles ended.
I continue to practice meridian tapping because of what I now know about the brain and the effect that tapping has on it.
Negative emotions generally come from one of two places. They are either a product of our evolution (the human brain has evolved to produce stress hormones whenever it perceives something it deems dangerous, or life threatening, and these hormones cause, among other things, negative feelings to arise) or they are the result of conditioning that has occurred in early life.
For instance, if you grew up in a home where your parents worked full-time, you may have internalized a belief that you would grow up to do the same. If you choose, instead, to work part-time, you may experience feelings of stress and anxiety, or perhaps self-doubt or even loathing, for which you have difficulty understanding.
In other words, you may have a self-limiting belief that says you are only living a worthy life if you are working full-time!
Meridian tapping frees you of this self-limiting belief, and the related negative emotions, by rewiring the brain. It works by breaking the connection between the self-limiting belief and the emotional reaction.
Meridian tapping has been shown to be effective for many conditions, including stress, weight loss, fears and phobias, even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It has even helped people who suffer from chronic pain.
So there you have it—my four favorite tools for living a life that is true to my heart’s deepest desires, and enjoying every minute of it. I’ll hope you’ll give these tools a try. I think you’ll find they can help you to enhance any area of your life that isn’t feeling right to you.