Meditation for a mindful recovery… July 04th, 2010

It is not the day I celebrate elaborately; I can’t afford it. The much talked about ‘recovery’ and the chance of a new ‘market dip’ concerns me. Living in Los Angeles hides the reality of struggles in the suburbs; Sunset-strip overdevelopment licensed by West Hollywood politicians – bribed by corporations – and Santa Monica beaches are bustling; although, I do see the many empty storefronts for rent and wonder about this pretense of ‘normality’ – sorry, recovery.

My real-estate friend has encouraged and promoted a turned-around housing market over the last few months. He proclaims that this is a clear sign the US economy struggles have passed, and sales are back on track, even busier than before. However, banks act hesitant in lending, and the statistics indicate that borrowing has become restricted only to individuals with credit scores in the high seven hundred…

Europe, a leading statistical perspective of a mirror effect that awaits us in the USofA, has rejected Obama’s invitation to infuse more money into our struggling productivity divisions, and most European leaders have actually initiated drastic budget cuts in their own government sectors, causing protest and uproar throughout the EU. The global power nations are re-enforcing loans to be paid and demanding help. We all owe each other intricate contracts that each party contests; no money is available to anyone below a few super-rich…

I smile about the double-dip comments or overly-positive sellers encouraging to buy their goods: They still use the same jargon from the over-inflated market calls of the past. Hard times do bring good ideas: This is the time for creativity, simplicity, and a great chance to concentrate on building a solid future from the bottom up. I foresee a difficult future for all the slackers and anyone holding on to the notion that we have ‘survived’ the recent recession; usually, a dip is followed by a dip…

The question we should ask is simple: How can we help each other. To start finger-pointing or pretend non est factum is wasting time that should be invested in turning your positive perceptions into future-oriented productivity. I find myself recently encouraging friends to revisit their creative passion, to re-invent their business, to adjust wisely to this economic reality, true to the meaning of recovery.

Newly fascinated with bicycle riding, after joining the ALC in 2009, I am convinced that the biking business is the next big green fashion move in the US. Eating healthy, cooking at home, and re-using products will be a new standard; we have spoiled ourselves and need to stop this “throwaway” lifestyle. Friends come closer together when things are tough; texting sweet messages or sexting endearing pictures during dinner gatherings (inside joke). Sharing foods in groups, laughter is healing. Make sure we greet, hug, say something positive when parting. The past solitude of bandwidth-relation-ship has reached a pathetic level of distancing.  I see solitude amongst family members. Humanity is low when TV-radiating your brain for hours but never looking into the eyes of another human being in good and bad.

Regardless, if this economy is going to be tough or stagnant; We all need to come closer together and help each other. Lower the sensitivity level; work it out. Go outside, pick up an old hobby, wander in the mountains, occupy your mind with beautiful visuals, assist a stranger, share a dream, write a letter or a postcard, volunteer one day a month for a charity, smile at your co-workers… Reject anyone trying to talk you down; actually, offer them a hug!

To try and to fail might be better than the regret never having tried. Within that spirit, I have to accept that people in the Gulf region are standing knee-deep in oil-infested waters praying to their God that this all must end: At least they try… I reckon you pick yourself a hobby with a better chance of success… It’s okay to ‘believe’ strongly, but besides the oil they carry out on their pant leg and shoes, their spirits do little to clean up that mess. Re-invention is the word of the season: Try something new.

To my many supporters that have generously donated to my AIDS Lifecycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles last month; Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This experience was humbling, beautiful, challenging, and, foremost, fun. Next year, I am pulling together a Swiss team and will be knocking on your doors again soon.

TCMChef Raphael

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