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January 2009 – A Year Begins; an Era Ends

***  Potentially disturbing material ***
This month I must begin with a warning that some may find the contents of this post disturbing, especially if you are an Obama fan like me.  If you do continue to read, I have suggested a few practical steps to help you prepare yourself for what may possibly be a turbulent moment.
The indications for January are that there is a possibility that something might interfere with Obama taking office as scheduled.  There is more information about the reasoning behind this in the MoodCompass excerpt below.  While we can all hope that everything goes as planned, and the transition takes place in a smooth fashion, there are some steps you can take to emotionally prepare yourself should a worst case scenario occur.
1) Sit quietly with a paper and pen handy.  Close your eyes, and imagine a worst case scenario.  Notice your feelings, your thoughts, and your concerns.  Remind yourself, as needed, that this is not happening now, and ground yourself.  If needed, open your eyes to remind yourself that all is well.
2) Think of those people you would want to connect with should such a thing occur.  Who would you want to support you?  Who would you expect to need you to support them?
3) Consider who you are today to be wiser and calmer than a you in the middle of a crisis.  Let this Wise Self write a note to the you that exists in mid January.  Let this Self say to you any words of wisdom that may help you at the time.  Write the names of those you would be calling, whether for your own support or for them.  Afterwards, ensure the phone numbers for your list is available and add them next to the names.
4) Continuing to dwell on negative possibilities is not helpful to anyone.  After completing the exercise, let it all go.  Put the paper away in a safe place.  Perhaps you will not need it afterall.  Continue to live each day to the fullest, and enjoy each moment of your now.
Below is an except from this month's MoodCompass:
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2008 was a difficult year. Many have been expressing relief at the coming of a new year with new possibilities, and hopefully a new direction. If January is any indication of what the coming year will be like, well, let’s just say this has been the most difficult issue we have ever put together.

Each month we recalibrate the cycles for the collective moods and perspectives that we study and put the charts together for the following month. Following that, the cycles are interpreted in the context of current events and anticipated near future events. As much as possible, all of the resulting social mood and market information is integrated into a likely scenario— a hypothesized “big picture.” This month, there is a known event, the inauguration of President Obama. However, the social mood and market outlook does not match what would be expected at a time of hope and celebration. The most likely scenario, as best as all the dots can be connected at this time, appears to be a worst case scenario.

The week of January 5th appears to be one of incredible optimism in the face of very negative current conditions. This could be a good case of Obama mania at its best. However, near the end of that week, or beginning of the following week this optimism abruptly collapses... Then, as Inauguration Day passes, US Society enters “panic mode” and anti-US sentiment around the world increases. Connecting those dots, what conclusions would you draw?

One way or another January marks the end and beginning of an era. It should mark the end of the Bush presidency and the beginning of a new one. Another possibility is that it does not. This would mark a new era as well. Let us all just hope that we got this one very wrong this time.

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http://anewstory.org/markets/Jan09_MoodCompass.pdf (current issue viewable by subscription only; reprinted with permission of A New Story Foundation)

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