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Finding Your Way In Rough Times

The Times-Acadiana's Weekly | February 2009

When Louise Lewis got laid off, her thoughts were frantic. “Oh my God, I don’t have a job,” she recalls in her book, No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You! (iUniverse). “I have a mortgage! With everyone getting laid off, where will I find a job?”

Sitting in the airport, waiting to go home from a business trip that ended with a pink slip, Lewis hung her head and felt herself falling. Then hands seemed to catch her while speaking these words, “You’re going to be OK, Louise. I’ll take care of you.”

Looking back, the Louisiana native calls being laid off, “being set free.”

“I immediately interpreted being set free from my job as something positive from which I could later benefit, rather than something negative that I would be challenged to overcome,” she writes in the book that resulted from her career interruption. In No Experts Needed, Lewis realizes she is meant to collect stories of what life means to people and includes chapters on different people she meets during her time “set free.” It’s an uplifting testimony of the unbroken spirit.

Finding your purpose

Best-selling author of 35 books, Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about finding a purpose in life in his DVD The Shift: Finding Your Life’s Purpose (Hay House). The movie features Dyer being interviewed by a film crew at a rustic resort on the Monterey Peninsula while fictional stories revolve around him, all interconnected and providing similar morals. So while Dyer explains how people, especially in the “afternoon” of their lives, are searching for spiritual meaning and explains how they can discover this, we watch others travel a similar road in a beautiful, captivating film. In the film, Dyer explains how people identify their lives by their jobs, their possessions and what people think of them.

“Before you know it, we begin to identify ourselves with the possessions we have,” Dyer explains. “The dilemma here is that if you are what you have, and things go away, then who you are also goes away in the process.”

This can be especially harmful during a recession when many people lose their jobs and find their identities missing.

“The real purpose of life is just to be happy, to enjoy your life, to get to a place where you’re not always trying to get to someplace else,” Dyer said. “People spend their lives struggling, trying to be someplace that they’re not. They never get to arrive.”

Both Lewis and Dyer speak of “spirit,” what many people call God, as a way of connecting to who we really are. Dyer suggests letting go of the “ego” and returning to one’s true nature. Dyer believes we all come from a source and that this source is everywhere. If we align to this source we will find what is missing in our lives and our true purpose, he said.

Lewis is originally from Houma, but moved to Southern California to work in marketing and advertising sales in the high-tech industry. She now spends her time writing and volunteering at a local children’s hospital. To read Lewis’s book free — her way of “giving back” — visit

Dyer’s first book, Your Erroneous Zones, spent 64 weeks on the New York Timesbestseller list after debuting in 1976. It has gone on to sell 35 million copies worldwide, followed by more than 30 books, 18 of which have been best sellers. He is now an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. For information on the DVD, visit

In other words …

Other books out now that deal with self-development, job loss and happiness include:

A Course in Happiness: Mastering the 3 Levels of Self-Understanding That Lead to True and Lasting Contentment by Dr. Mardi Horowitz (Tarcher/Penguin). Horowitz pioneered the diagnosis and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is the recipient of two MacArthur Fellowship awards.

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica (Viking/Penguin) discusses combining what we love with what we are good at for more meaningful careers, among much more.

Reprinted with permission