In my last blog, we explored the practice of Inversion – a process for turning things on their head, that opens up new perspectives and new ways to approach challenges. It is a reasonably light-hearted and fun approach and I acknowledged that during times of great challenge and upheaval, it might not feel like the best option.
In today’s blog, as promised, I want to give you some tools for dealing with events and circumstances that feel more challenging. In the first instance, I want to remind you that it’s not your fault. Bad things happen, it is part of the human experience.
And when challenging things first arise, we need to be able to acknowledge how bad it really feels and we need to take time to absorb the impact. There are no rules about how long that takes, there is no perfect time frame for “getting over” or “moving on”. So one of the first things you can do is simply to have genuine compassion for yourself that this is happening and that you are finding it so challenging.
In this context, you don’t want to downplay the challenge either. In Ireland at least we have a cultural tendency to say ‘it could be worse, there are people worse off’. And while that may well be the case, you don’t want to diminish or dismiss what you may be feeling. What we resist persists. So allow it to be as it is and be gentle with yourself. You can read more on how to be compassionate to yourself at such times in this blog on self love.
So what I’m going to say next is a bit nuanced and may feel contradictory. Yes, you want to be able to acknowledge and own how badly you are feeling. And at the same time, in the immortal words of one of my great mentors, ‘You don’t want to pitch a tent there’. You don’t want to stay stuck in the pain or in resistance to that pain. You have to move through it. And yes, you may be catapulted back into it again, perhaps multiple times. In those moments, you have compassion for where you are at and then you move through it again.
If you are feeling very challenged by something in your life right now, my recent blog on the theme of surrender may provide some additional support.
As we work through our challenging experiences, over time, we come to realise that these challenges and our processing of them, have had some value for us in terms of how we have grown as a result. When these challenges have been very painful, it’s doubtful that we ever feel particularly grateful for them per se. But often times when we have had some time and space to develop our perspective, we develop an appreciation for the learning and where they took us.
One perspective that helps with this, is the one Napoleon Hill gifted to us:
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache, carries within it the seed of equal or greater benefit.”
No matter how bad or challenging or unpreferred a situation is, by Spiritual law there is always within it a seed of equal or greater benefit. You know this! You’ve most likely grown up with sayings like ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and ‘it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good’. You just don’t always know or remember the power of knowing this.
I invite you to revisit these words often – Every adversity… – not just some adversities. All adversities contain this seed. This is true for you and for me and for everyone else. You want to claim that good for yourself, every time.
And the benefit is equal or greater to the adversity itself. Again, when you are in times of greatest challenge, you want to claim for yourself that the good will be of equal benefit or even greater. In the darkest of moments, the promise of the good is actually at its greatest.
The opportunity that is always available to us is to find and nurture that seed of equal or greater benefit. And that’s up to you. You have free will. You get to decide when, whether and how you use this insight. Just know the Truth: that the good has to be there and that it is available to you.
If you have something very difficult going on in your life currently, especially if is very new in your life, you most likely can’t see a silver lining or a seed of good at the moment. That’s ok. The first step then is to adopt a willingness for it to be found.
Michael Beckwith, a spiritual teacher in the USA, says that in these moments our job is to open up to the possibilities of the seed of good revealing itself to us:
“There is good that I may not be aware of right now. Let me stay open to that good revealing itself to me.“
Give it time and allow the good to make itself known. When you do identify that seed of good, take time to nurture it. We know from the natural world that all seeds have the potential to grow, but not all of them make it. They need to be nurtured and protected and fed. Give your seeds the nurturing they need to cause you to flourish.
To help you in this process I want to share with you a couple of affirmations and activations to support the good to arise:
Adopting these perspectives as a response to challenges in your life is a total game changer. I invite you to explore them and allow them to prove themselves to you. Let me know how you get on or reach out if you’d like some additional support.
Would you love an immersive opportunity to do a deep dive on the fundamentals of transformation and how to develop the mindset and strategy to create and live a life you love? I’m delighted to announce the Vision Workshop Live is taking place in Cork on 14 & 15 October 2023. Early bird tickets are available here now!