“HOW TO LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE THIS NEW YEAR: 2015 VERSION” in this week’s issue of the MANILA MAIL (Dec. 31, 2014-January 6, 2015, page A7)

Pilipinasblitz Forever
A column by Bles Carmona

For the week of Dec. 31, 2014-January 6, 2015

HOW TO LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE THIS NEW YEAR: 2015 VERSION

Happy New Year to all of us! Isang Maligaya at Masaganang Bagong Taon po sa inyo! Blessings and light!

Please allow me to share a listicle – by now you know what a listicle is, right? – that I wrote for the online how-to website called eHow.com way back in 2007. I actually based my article on something that I read in the Science of Mind Magazine (www.scienceofmind.org) around that time. When we talk about a New Year-themed article, it may come to assume an element of timelessness since a new year will always be coming and going. Therefore, with some minor tweaks here and there, here’s how to let your light shine this New Year, the 2015 iteration!
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The New Year is upon us and it calls upon us to renew ourselves. Come New Year’s Day, with the fireworks and pretty lights sparkling all around you, why don’t you let your inner light glow, too? Should you be struggling to balance yourself on solid ground at this time of the year, here are eight things to help you regain your footing and let your light shine forth!

1. Your situation is temporary. Know that if you don’t like where you are now, then it’s just a place you were meant to go through.

2. Giving thanks is important. Give thanks. Light expands with gratitude. Giving thanks draws positive energy and light into your life, pushing out the darkness and replacing it with power to manifest your dreams and heighten your awareness of life.

3. Make room for positive thoughts. Give the light your hurtful memories, including any victimhood weighing you down. Since light is magnetic, it pulls everything you give it out of the darkness and towards itself. As these negative thoughts dissolve, watch as space is cleared in your mind for more positive thoughts to now occupy, since nature abhors a vacuum. See those positive thoughts take root and grow!

4. Be an encourager. Offer encouragement to others. Your consciousness of the light inside you not only sensitizes you to your own need for encouragement but also makes you aware that others need support, too. Ask yourself, “Who needs a helping hand today?” The Talmud Baba Batra states: “One who gives a coin to a poor person is rewarded with six blessings, but one who encourages that person with words is rewarded with seven blessings.”

5. Forgiveness is powerful. Forgive someone this New Year. The late Nelson Mandela, when asked why he forgave his jailers in Robben Island who kept him prisoner for 27 years, said, “When I walked out of the gate, I know that if I continued to hate these people, I’d still be in prison.” Furthermore, forgive yourself above all.

6. Nurture yourself. Self-care honors the self and sparks illumination. How are you holding yourself in right regard this season? Are you resting enough, laughing enough, smiling at yourself enough? When we give ourselves the gift of care, we can then and only then fulfill our higher purpose here on earth.

7. See beyond appearances. Watch your steps daily and always try to see the great Light in everyone else.

8. Cultivate your Inner Light. Your New Year’s gift to yourself must be to intentionally affirm that it is the Universal Light in you that magnifies the greatest possibilities. As you do, you will function from faith and act from consciousness.

Know that you are the outlet of the Universe’s protection, provision, and power. The powers of peace, truth, and love are within you! This New Year, let the splendor of your light shine forth and light the path before you!
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So what’s in store for all of us in 2015? Some financial astrologers are painting a dire picture of the collapse of the dollar, the rise of virtual currencies like Bitcoin, and the re-emergence of gold as the means of economic exchange. Some metaphysical readers, able to tap into the fifth dimension and the Akashic records, say that 2015 is a year of success, definitely much better than 2014 had been. If you ask the victims of Yolanda/Haiyan from two years ago, they may tell you that it’s just more of the same: government inefficiency, lack of livelihood, the basic lack of shelter and food. So you say to yourself: “The forecast for 2015 really depends on who I ask.”

If we were to ask from various sources, then why don’t we try asking for guidance from Tarot cards, the fairies, and the angels? But first, let’s get something from the Devotional Study Bible (NIV) to start things off. Revelation 21:5 states: ‘He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”’ What a wonderful promise from God, and we don’t even have to wait for the Apocalypse to claim it for our lives and our planet right now.

Now let me draw three cards at random from my Rider-Waite Tarot deck. I picked the Queen of Wands, Two of Cups, and The Chariot. The year 2015 may very well be the year of women (i.e., Queen) with big ideas (Wands=Air=the realm of thoughts) and they will have enough power to implement their projects intended to restore nurture and peace the world over. The Two of Cups denotes a partnership between the masculine and feminine forces within each of us and among groups of people. Thinking laterally, spotting patterns and trends, and interpersonal intelligence will be highly valued. The Chariot is about leaning towards a more conservative direction. It’s the Cancerian card, the focus of which will be the home and family. There is a possibility that old-fashioned family values will clash with avant-garde thinking about the nature of relationships, but it is equally possible that these contrasting values will harmonize. Now here’s an oracle from the Fairies who guard Nature: “Feeling Safe – Any feelings of danger or vulnerability are healing, and they’re replaced with the certain knowledge that you are safe and protected right now.” Affirm this: I am safe. I am secure. I am completely protected at all times. Finally, here’s an oracle from the Angels: “Divine Timing – Pay attention to doors that are opening and shutting for you right now. Walk through doors that open, and learn from the doors that shut.” (Source: Doreen Virtue, Ph.D.’s Healing with the Fairies and the Angels Oracle Cards)

With all these food for thought, I take my leave now and allow you to gather your own faculties and to ask for strength for another year ahead. Remember, let your light shine forth this 2015! Happy New Year!
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blessingsandlight725@gmail.com

“A LISTICLE: THE 10 BEST JOBS FOR INTROVERTS” in this week’s issue of the MANILA MAIL (Dec. 17-23, 2014; page A7)

Pilipinasblitz Forever
A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of Dec. 17-23, 2014

A LISTICLE: THE 10 BEST JOBS FOR INTROVERTS

First of all: what is as listicle? Apparently, a listicle is an article featuring a list of some sort, like: “6 Ways You Can Tell That’s He’s Not Into You” or “7 Things Not to Say to Someone Who’s Grieving,” and then elaborating on each numbered item in some detail. Why not join the bandwagon and come up with a listicle of our own?

Through serendipity – I was looking for something in my room and found something else instead – I found this list that I manually copied from “My Majors Transfer Guide Magazine,” Spring 2014 edition. The magazine was on a table near the Career and Transfer Center on the second floor of Bldg. 700 of Chabot College. The title of the article that caught my eye was: “10 Growing Jobs for Introverts.” To take a look at the article again, I used the search engine called http://www.goodsearch.com which donates 1 cent to the charity or cause of your choice each time you search for anything. For instance, I am supporting the University of Metaphysical Sciences-Wisdom of the Heart Church (www.umsonline.org) because I have met its founder, Dr. Christine Breese, at the 2008 New Living Expo in San Francisco, and I will never forget her kindness, empathy, and generosity toward me. I hope to study at UMS someday. It’s a distance learning facility so I can learn at my own pace.

Now let’s go back to our list. I actually have a couple of them, one dated 2013 and the other one is as I have described above. I am personally interested in these lists since, believe it or not, I am classified as an Introvert myself by no less than the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. My MBTI Interpretive Report pegs me as an ISFJ: Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, and Judging. This basically means that I tend to relate easily to the inner world of ideas and impressions; I am interested in what the five senses show me and what exists in the present; I tend to base decisions on values and people-centered concerns; and I tend to like to have things decided so my life is likely to be planned and orderly. The Myers-Briggs is a common corporate and academic tool to classify people into 16 different types depending on 8 factors: extraversion (E) or introversion (I); sensing (S) or intuition (N); thinking (T) or feeling (F); judging (J) or perceiving (P). You can use Goodsearch to look for “free Myers-Briggs tests” that you can take, and one of these can be found at http://www.humanmetrics.com.

How can we tell if someone is an introvert? Are you energized by a crowd of people, as in a party, or would you rather skip the festivities and retire to your room with a good book? Suppose that you attended the party. Can you go on and on until the wee hours on adrenaline in the exciting company of your friends or do you find that you crave alone time afterwards to breathe and regroup? Does the prospect of interacting with others face-to-face on a daily basis make you enthusiastic or anxious? You might be an introvert. Now this is not necessarily a negative thing. We all have our place in the world and true enough, there are actually lucrative careers for those of us who are not that hot about the human interaction thing.

The 10 best jobs for introverts, according to the Sept. 18, 2013 issue of http://www.businessnewsdaily.com are: 1. Translator 2. Market research analyst 3. Lab technician 4. Long-haul truck driver 5. Computer programmer 6. Accountant 7. Technical writer 8. Graphic designer 9. Medical records technician 10. Paralegal. I just want to give you a general feel of what was out there in terms of “jobs for introverts” last year.

Now let’s go to the more recent list in “My Majors Transfer Guide Magazine (Spring 2014)” because the article includes the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, http://www.bls.gov) Annual Median Salary and projected growth within that field by 2020. Another source for this list is CBSnews.com that featured the listicle authored by Suzanne Lucas for “MoneyWatch” in March of this year. A company called CareerCast was the one that chose careers for this lineup. So here they are: the “Ten Growing Jobs for Introverts.” Please note that this list is alphabetical, not according to annual median salary or job growth rank. We will do that analysis later.

1. Animal care and service worker – Some people prefer to care for and interact with animals rather than socialize with people. If so, this option is for them. BLS Annual Median Salary: $19,970 (caretakers)/$25,270 (trainers); Projected Growth by 2020: 15 percent
2. Archivist – This is an ideal job for someone who appreciates history and has a knack for organization. BLS Annual Median Salary: $47,340; Projected Growth by 2020: 11 percent
3. Astronomer – This is perfect for someone who wants to study the stars or work with satellites. BLS Annual Median Salary: $96,460; Projected Growth by 2020: 10%
4. Court reporter – Believe it or not, you also need to hone your listening skills for this one, aside from transcribing court proceedings with your stenotype machine. BLS Annual Median Salary: $48,160; Projected Growth by 2020: 10 percent
5. Film/video editor – This job allows the introvert to be “quietly creative,” as listicle author Lucas puts it, while putting together film and TV projects. BLS Annual Median Salary: $51,300; Projected Growth by 2020: 3 percent
6. Financial clerk – This job fascinates someone who wants to crunch numbers and keep financial records organized. BLS Median Salary: $46,920; Projected Growth by 2020: 17 percent
7. Geoscientist – This is an ideal job for the introvert with a yen for the outdoors. Study rocks and minerals in the field or in the lab. BLS Median Salary: $90,890; Projected Growth by 2020: 16 percent
8. Industrial machine repairer – This entails working with heavy duty machinery in a factory or a construction site. BLS Median Salary: $46,920; Projected Growth by 2020: 17 percent
9. Medical records technician – Another one for the organized introvert, this involves keeping files in an orderly fashion. BLS Annual Median Salary: $34,160; Projected Growth by 2020: 22 percent
10. Social media manager – This is actually a promising job for introverts since it allows them to interact with others without having to go face-to-face. BLS Annual Median Salary: $54,170; Projected Growth by 2020: 12 percent

Therefore, in terms of the BLS Annual Median Salary, the top 3 jobs are: astronomer ($ 96,460), geoscientist ($90,890), and social media manager ($54,170). However, at least for the first two, you’d need a specialized college degree for an entry-level position and you must really be interested in either astronomy or earth science. In terms of projected growth by year 2020, which means the percentage of demand for these jobs, the top 3 are: medical records technician (22%), industrial machine repairer (17%), and geoscientist (16%).

According to CareerCast, introverts overcome their nature just enough to land them a stable job with a routine and minimal exposure to new people. They may prefer a steady, quiet job to the prospect of career advancement. They tend not to seek promotions that require travel or meeting with new people. The thing here is that if a new job opening comes up, their fears may prevent them from taking on a new challenge that will increase their knowledge and skills and broaden their horizons. For most of the jobs on the list, it’s the intersection of new technology and stable career paths offered by these options that make young, shy professionals gravitate towards them.

Truly, there’s nothing wrong if you have identified yourself as an introvert. Welcome to the club, I say. What’s important is that you and I find a comfortable niche in the work world where advancement is not as crucial as contentment and peace of mind. “Ora et labora” – prayer and work – will still prove to be the salvation of us all in this work-oriented yet spiritual society.

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Find advisor Blesilda44 at KEEN.com, 1-800-ASK-KEEN (1-800-275-5336), extension 05226567 either by phone or chat: Mon-Fri 7-10 pm, Sat-Sun 7-11 pm Pacific. I speak English, Tagalog, and some Spanish. For personal readings (fee required), email me here: blessingsandlight725@gmail.com