Transforming Troubles

Treasures in the Darkness 

Treasures in the Darkness 

t is a secret which every intellectual man quickly learns, that, beyond the energy of his possessed and conscious intellect, he is capable of a new energy (as of an intellect doubled on itself), by abandonment to the nature of things; that, beside his privacy of power as an individual man, there is a great public power, on which he can draw, by unlocking, at all risks, his human doors, and suffering the ethereal tides to roll and circulate through him: then he is caught up into the life of the Universe, his speech is thunder, his thought is law, and his words are universally intelligible as the plants and animals.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When troubles come, we have a choice—to let troubles destroy us or transform us. A diamond is just a piece of coal that has undergone extreme pressure. When we are handed a lump of coal in the form of trouble, it’s an opportunity to see how Spirit can transform it into spiritual treasure. Dark ugly things can become jewels reflecting the light of eternity, if we are willing to plunge into the darkness with God and discover the hidden treasure.

The losses may seem overwhelming, but the love and life at the center of your being are more powerful than any sorrow or darkness. The still small voice at the center of your heart is a candle in the dark. Focus on the light and it will grow. Do not betray the life and love in your heart for a darker vision of what life holds. Step toward the light, toward those who love you, and say yes to your own life. Say yes to possibilities that cannot yet be imagined in a sad and depressed state.

God is with you in every season of your life. When the storms of sorrow tear your world apart, Divine comfort is there for you. The Presence walks with you in times of discouragement, waits with you for the perfect timing, and comforts you when sorrow weighs your heart to the ground. This is not a time when logic has anything to offer. This is a time when all explanations fall away, and only deep can speak to deep, Spirit to spirit.

In the darkness, out of sight, the pressures and problems can create the lovely jewel of a quiet spirit, a strengthened character, and a wiser heart. One day you will see—whether in this life or in the shining, glorious crowning glory you will behold in the next life. Remember that there are treasures to be discovered in the darkness and that troubles can be transformed into glorious victories if we can walk though them in trust and faith. Grace will carry you through in ways you cannot yet imagine. Trust.

( excerpt from The Translucent Heart by Candy Paull)

This is what I have learned: With the sorrow, there is grace. When we come close to those things that break us down, we touch those things that also break us open. And in that breaking open, we uncover our true nature.
Wayne Muller

The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.
Joanna Macy

In all those dark moments, O God, grant that I may understand that it is you who is painfully parting the fibers of my being in order to penetrate to the very marrow of my substance.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservations.
Elton Trueblood

You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
Psalm 56:8 (NKJV)

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Albert Camus

Abundance and Opening to the New

I will restore to you the years 
which the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you. 
And my people shall never again be put to shame. 
Joel 2:25-26 RSV

Take your business as it is, child, and praise Divine Love that there is a strong, wise way out of your dilemma.
Emma Curtis Hopkins

In these turbulent times, it’s easy to identify with the farmer whose crops have been consumed by a horde of hungry locusts. I remember the description by Laura Ingalls Wilder of the aftermath of locusts, how they arrived in a dark cloud and left destruction behind them. Right now people are still sowing the wind, reaping the whirlwind, as they allow irrational anger or fear-based thinking to rule their lives. But the troubles and difficulties of these times do not overwhelm or dismay God. 

There is a peace which passes understanding available, and there is a blessed way through the dark night of the soul. Whether it is a financial issue, a family affair, or a difficult decision that can no longer be postponed, the steadying Presence of God is always there for you, if you will release your frantic thinking and enter into grace. 

Catherine Ponder, in her book Open Your Mind to Prosperity, says that loss means destruction, and pictures of loss held in mind are destructive. But there is a Divine Restoration available, if you are willing to examine your beliefs about loss and recognize that the chaos and pain are part of the process of form changing into new form. She says, “A powerful way to overcome the thought of loss and its consequences, is to remind yourself of this great truth: There is no loss in Spirit. You cannot lose your good. When it seems you have lost your good, it is because your good has changed form! Remember that there can be no loss in any phase of nature. The elements of nature merely change their form. When your good seems to leave you—to fly out the window—let it go. That is good you have outgrown. Then watch for new good to come in the door!”

One way to open to the new good that wants to come into your life is to release your resistance to what is happening in this moment, especially if it is difficult or feels like a painful struggle. This moment is as it is because every choice you’ve made, everything that has been happening to you and around you, is the culmination of all the moments that have come before. The universe is as it is right in this moment, and when you resist this moment, you are resisting the entire universe. Accept people, situations, events, and conditions as they occur. Remember you are reacting not to the situation itself, but to the feelings you have about the situation. 

Drop your defensiveness and cease your struggle. Take a deep breath, accept what is, and then take responsibility for how you feel and how you choose to respond in THIS moment. Let go of your old stories. Get quiet. Open your mind and heart to allow a creative response to the situation to emerge. Every problem contains the seed of opportunity when you are willing to surrender your limited thinking and enter into the spacious potential of the Divine Presence within.

The past cannot be changed, but your perspective on what was happening can be. Mentally and emotionally you can choose to see that you were growing into greater understanding because of the difficulties, and that the wisdom you gained is making it possible for you to experience a greater good. Release all anxiety or condemnation about the past and embrace the fact that every event, situation, or person taught you valuable lessons about who you are and how compassion and forgiveness can create room in your heart for a new season of love, peace, and prosperity. 

Wisdom gained in difficult times can enrich your life forever. Those experiences prepared the way for a larger good to enter your life. Joseph told his brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20) Spiritual principle says that the past is not wasted or futile, for God was always there with you in it. And this moment is your opportunity to recognize that God is in this time and place, here for you. This moment holds the seeds of an expansive and wonderful future, if you are willing to be mindful, to believe and to act on that belief. 

One summer we had a terrible drought in Tennessee. Everything was hot and dry and miserable. The trees were hit by a double whammy that year, for there was an early spring blooming cut off by such a deep freeze it destroyed the first wave of leaves and the trees had to expend double their energy to create a second growth of green. It was strange to walk at Lake Radnor with the silence of dead leaves and the scent of dead vegetation instead of the usual flowering fragrance of spring. Then insult was added to injury when the second growth of leaves faced a dry summer with record-breaking heat. I wondered if the trees and plants would survive. Summer ended late, then winter finally brought rains, and the rains fell more plentifully than usual. 

The following spring there was a fierce and abandoned blooming, as if all the trees and plants were making up for lost time and flaunting their flowers in perfect abundance. I had never seen such lush blossoming on the black locust trees, which smell so sweet in spring. It was a good year for the dogwood, too. I may never see a spring so alive and amazing as the one that followed that terrible drought. 

Remember that a dry and scorched season in your life will not last forever, that spring will come once again in all its lush glory. Not the same as before, but a renewal of beauty in a new season. Nature teaches us about our own nature, our own potential for growth and evolution through the seasons. Catherine Ponder concludes, “Stop dwelling on apparent losses in your life, and start looking for the growth and gain that came through them. For every loss there has been a gain, so drop the loss and take the gain!” 

Know that every problem is an opportunity in disguise. Choose to stay alert and transform this moment to greater benefit. Remember that God is your partner, and as you connect to the peace and potential within, something new and beautiful can unfold, restoring the years the locust has eaten.

Quotes: 

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Albert Einstein

It is certain that you cannot believe in abundance while identifying yourself with lack. Forget the lack and think only of abundance. Control your mental reactions so that they automatically become affirmative.
Ernest Holmes

Your attention has result-getting power, so be careful what you give your attention to. Your attention is your faith.
Catherine Ponder

The courage to face the trials and bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience—that is the hero’s deed. 
Joseph Campbell

Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit.
Napoleon (at the end of his life)

Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick. The sage is not sick but is sick of sickness; this is the secret of health.
Tao Te Ching

Goodness needeth not to enter the soul, for it is there already, only it is unperceived. 
Theologica Germanica

Within me is the unborn possibility of limitless living; mine is the privilege of giving birth to it.
Eric Butterworth

God is hiding in the world and our task is to let the divine emerge from our deeds.
Abraham Joshua Heschel

No matter how qualified or deserving you are, you will never reach a better life until you can imagine it for yourself and allow yourself to have it. 
Richard Bach 

The basic principle of spiritual life is that our problems become the very place to discover wisdom and love.
Jack Kornfield

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
Mark Twain

Honor thy error as a hidden intention.
Brian Eno

Beware of the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.
Ben Okri

The basis of all healing is a change in belief.
Thomas Merton

The world fears a new experience more than it fears anything. Because a new experience displaces so many old experiences.
D. H. Lawrence

Every desire you have for betterment in life is some echo from that deep within which forevermore proclaims, “Behold, I make all things new.”
Ernest Holmes

It is our duty—as men and women—to behave as though limits to our ability do not exist. We are co-creators of the Universe.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

That was the moment when the change began. It had to begin inside before it could show on the outside, and the miracle that she’d dreamed of had taken place, not in an instant, but with a slow yet steady progress, like a seed germinating in the warm spring earth.
Elisabeth Ogilvie

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. 
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!
Fra Giovanni

With love, even the rocks will open. 
Hazrat Inayat Khan 

Affirmative prayer

I am one with the Creative Life Force that makes all things new. This is my season of Divine Restoration and I claim my good now. This is the beginning of my wonderful new life. The old life is now morphing into something fresh and new, exciting and prosperous, and a lot more fun! Debt and money issues are totally resolved and dissolved. I have more than enough finances, resources, time, and energy—to spare and to share. I enjoy vibrant health. I live in perfect peace and divine timing, and I have plenty of time, energy, and abundance. I am totally supported by the Universe and miracles are happening right now. The Universe delivers more than I could ever dream or imagine. Thank you, God, for these blessings and abundant manifestations. I am so happy that they are a reality in my life. 
And so it is. 

And after writing all that, I found the perfect poem to cap it off, and the perfect article to introduce you to Daniel Ladinsky, the poet/translator. Here is the link to his December 9, 2009 blog entry on Huffington Post (Maybe the Best Lay in Town Is a Poem): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-ladinsky/maybe-the-best-lay-in-tow_b_373872.html 

In this post he says, “Nature and art are sacred breasts we can feed on to grow. They are vital to our evolution. They offer a jailbreak or leave from the madness and demands we can get caught in. Of course love does that, too. Love dissolves boundaries and ultimately removes any contour that is not luminous.” That is the work I am aiming toward myself, for I am poet and singer and songwriter as well as writer of prose. Let this poem translated and transmuted from the words of Saint Catherine of Siena resonate in you like a bell. It is quoted from Ladinsky’s book (page 193), Love Poems from God:

THIS PLACE OF ABUNDANCE

We know nothing until we know everything.

I have no object to defend
for all is of equal value
to me.

I cannot lose anything in this
place of abundance
I found.

If something my heart cherishes
is taken away,

I just say, “Lord, what
happened?”

And a hundred more appear.



More inspiration online:

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Peter Drucker

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a model that makes the existing model obsolete.
Buckminster Fuller

Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.
Pablo Picasso

You must become a chaos before giving birth to a shining star.
Nietzsche

I have been involved in the publishing industry in one form or another most of my adult life. Now the form is changing in these transformational times. I spent the last twenty years writing marketing materials and creating special projects for book publishers, as well as building my career as an author (and songwriter/artist/singer). The bottom fell out of my copywriting business a year and a half ago. The bottom fell out of my author career last June. I have floundered and flailed over the last year, trying to find my way in this changed landscape. In the process, I discovered that the paradigm has shifted in publishing. The financial meltdown accelerated the change, but it’s been building for a long time. Because I went so deeply into debt and because the old model dropped me down hard, I was forced by sheer necessity to be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and possibilities I had never imagined. Now the dust is clearing, and I’m happy to share some of what I’ve discovered with you. 

In my search for the new model, I found heroes and role models who have led the way into this brave new world of digital publishing and online connection. I have already mentioned Chris Guillebeau many times. I so firmly believe in his work that I have signed up to be an affiliate (hence the link in my quick links section). I was part of the first group of his $100 Business Forum, and it has helped me tremendously. His partner in this venture was Pam Slim. She was so wonderful that I added her website to my bookmark bar (top of the top, an exclusive place on my computer) and I just bought her new Escape from Cubicle Nation in a Box at http://escapeworkshopinabox.com/
This is what she covers in this package:
• How to clearly define a life plan that looks and feels like a well-fitting shoe.
• How to choose a sticky business idea.
• How to find your people, who are interested in your product or service and have the money to pay you.
• How to identify a successful business model.
• How to choose which business to start.
This is what you’ll learn: 
• You will have a framework, structure and plan to make serious progress on your business.
• You will have a concrete, pragmatic way to work with your fears so you don’t feel overwhelmed or filled with anxiety.
• You will realize you are not alone, and will be inspired to finally take action on your dreams
• You will have greater confidence in your ability to provide for yourself and your family.
• You will know how to expand your circle of peers, mentors and teachers.
• You will have access to great resources and people to help you figure out exactly what you need along the way.
Pam’s inspiring website: http://www.escapefromcubiclenation.com/

And here are a few more resources especially for those who are trying to understand evolving new models for publishing.

Here is a must-watch video of Seth Godin on the permission marketing paradigm and how he “marketed” his books: 
http://toc.oreilly.com/2009/10/video-seth-godin-on-new-media.html 
This is why I released The Heart of Abundance as a free e-book. 

I’m a Facebook fan of Len Edgerly’s blog, who also writes The Kindle Chronicles blog
http://www.lenedgerly.com/ 
Check out his The Reading Edge podcasts, especially Len’s recent interview with Seth Godin. Marvelous resource reporting on the e-book revolution from many angles:
http://thereadingedge.com/ 

Another great website for publishing and the digital future
http://toc.oreilly.com/

Check out Smashwords.com (you can follow the quick link to The Heart of Abundance and it will take you there) and read Mark Coker’s blog. He also posts regularly on Huffington Post. He’s a true visionary, and that’s why I’m so happy to publish my e-books with his company. I’m also thrilled that Smashwords now offers ISBN numbers (publishing geeks will know what this means) and that Smashwords has not only set up strategic partnerships with retailers like Barnes & Noble, but will also be Apple iPad ready. If you’re considering publishing an e-book, check out Smashwords and learn about their services. Because I publish my text-only e-books with them, you can download my e-books in any format of your choice. Way cool.

More announcements about partners and online goodies will be coming soon. The Internet elves are busily working in computerland to bring you all special gifts of joy and love. And don’t forget to download your free copy of The Heart of Abundance now! 

Comments

  1. March 27, 2012 9:34 PM CDT

    Hi Candi,
    I stumbled onto your e book, The Heart of Abundance, by
    accident. My son got me a kindle for Christmas and I have been
    addicted ever since reading digital books and I am the last person
    who you would ever think could adapt to the digital world! I love
    what you write and feel I have found a kindred spirit in you.
    Keep writing!

    - Marsha Goff

     

Meditation as Medicine


To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem.
To meditate means to observe.
Your smile proves it.
It proves that you are being gentle with yourself,
that the sun of awareness is shining in you,
that you have control of your situation.
You are yourself,
and you have acquired some peace.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

It is our nature to harmonize with the natural rhythms of the universe, yet we have for the most part forgotten how to do this. In a world in crisis, it is vitally important to regain this lost art, and to attune our lives to the silent pulse that lies beneath all forms and manifestations. To develop a quality of listening presence in our lives, we must begin by stilling the disjointed judgments and chatter of our minds, calming our emotions so we are free to move from conventional thinking into our deeper, more intuitive perceptions. We can choose to move beyond the time-bound limitations of a stressed-out lifestyle to enter into the timeless and eternal. Meditation is one way to help us do this. 

Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh calls meditation medicine, and I find it is so with me. I may come to meditation thinking I'm fairly calm, but soon realize how much tension and inner pain I am carrying. I learn that my life has great potential be sweet and sane, if I recognize the sweetness and sanity in the present moment. I also see that I carry pain and fear, telling myself mental stories about past disappointments or future dread. Meditation is a safe place to stop, listen, and become fully present, teaching my monkey mind to let go of its chatter and settle into peace and awareness. Sitting in meditation acts like medicine, calming my mind, centering me in my body, placing me in the sacred abundance of the here and now. 

My time of meditation reminds me that becoming conscious doesn't necessarily change the conditions (at least at the beginning) but it can help me be more able to bless whatever comes, whether I consider it "good" or "bad." In meditation we let go of defining “good” or “bad” and simply observe what “is.” This is a radical acceptance that removes resistance to change, allowing a deeper perspective to emerge.

Sometimes change feels like a death, for it is always death to the small self/ego to be out of control and unable to predict what is going to happen. Yet if the larger life, the better self, is to be known and appreciated in my life, then I will sometimes feel as if I am less in control of the situation/person/my own reactions. Releasing judgment and control allows openness where I can receive the nourishment of the Presence of God, which teaches me that this moment, here and now, just as I am, is good. Doing this also helps me open to new possibilities, wider perspectives, and fresh ways of being one with life. 

Openness and receptivity create a space for something new to enter. You'd think I would embrace this. Instead I feel ambivalent. A time of mindful meditation helps me observe the ambivalence and remove myself from the judgments of good/bad. It creates space for even a small seed of insight, the merest seedling that breaks through into the sunlight of a passionate life. All that stillness and observing creates room in me for passion, awareness, awakening.

As I practice meditation, I feel less need for talking or explanations. I’m finding that I don’t want to talk away the energy that is working like yeast of transformation within. Change is happening, but not in any way that can be fully described to others. I’m tapping into a source of inner power I’ve only tasted before. I’m also consciously choosing to replace the fear thoughts with faith thoughts, sometimes calmly, sometimes in spite of the emotional turbulence as the old ego way attempts to gain ascendancy over me again.

Change that others can see is beginning to appear in subtle ways. I have had unexpected compliments from others that tell me I’m glowing like a woman in love, or have become beautiful as my energy has shifted. If I’m in love, it is with life lived from the quiet center of my being. If I have brighter and more beautiful energy, it is because I’m connecting to an inner power and peace. I used to think something “big” had to happen: a giant career leap, a thrilling romance, a sudden change of fortune. Now I’m learning that the silent pulse of a deeper change takes place before any dramatic outer changes occur. I sense that inner changes are preparing me, moving me into the expanded consciousness that makes all other change possible. 

I am quietly, peacefully surrendered right now, doing the hidden work that no eye can see. I’m no one special, no longer needing to be in front of people performing and proving how amazing and wonderful I am (or wish I was). Now I’m just being, watching the seasons breathe around me, feeling life stirring deep within, but not knowing how it will unfold. It is enough that I am in this place of peace, rooted in the inner Source. I sit on my meditation cushion, quietly allowing the medicine of mindfulness to work its mystery in me. 

Quotes

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Your work really begins when you release the struggle.
To let go of struggle initiates a change of vibration within you.
This change puts you in touch with the flow of Life Itself,
which is essentially what you are. 
To cultivate your awareness of this flow is your real work.
— Swami Chetanananananda

There are unknown forces within nature; when we give ourselves wholly to her, without reserve, she leads them to us; she shows us those forms which our watching eyes do not see, which our intelligence does not understand or suspect.
— Auguste Rodin

The ancient Hebrews saw their beginnings moving ahead of them carrying them along, with their future following behind, also moving at the same time. One could in this sense feel both the past and the future actively part of one’s life and, in a state of intense meditation, unite all moments in one. For the person who could access it, the power of creation could be brought into the present.
— Neil Douglas-Klotz

There are beautiful and wild forces within us.
— Saint Francis of Assisi 

Listen, my children, with the ear of your heart.
— Saint Benedict

Absolute unmixed attention is prayer.
— Simone Weil

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
— Max Planck

To reach cosmic understanding, it is necessary to unite our feeling with that infinite feeling that penetrates everything.
— Rabindranath Tagore

The extraordinary thing is that the insight of the heart is the magic that unleashes talents and potentialities within people that have been blocked as a result of their suffering.
— Pir Vilayet Inayat Khan

All nature is alive, awake, and aware with the divine presence,
and everything in life responds to the song of the heart. 
— Ernest Holmes 

True spirituality is not religion—it is a state of being. 
— Mary Hession 

There is only one time when it is essential to awaken.
That time is now. 
— Buddha

Keep practicing, even when you seem to be getting nowhere.
— George Leonard

We must make choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.
—Thomas Merton

I see life in terms of transformation:
matter being transformed into life, life into consciousness,
consciousness into Divine Experience.
— Bede Griffiths

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves
slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future.
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.
—Thich Nhat Hanh

Affirmative prayer

I am deeply connected with the Infinite Mind in this sacred moment. This Infinite Power is within me and I now choose to nurture the God-given gifts which wait like seeds within my heart. I dare to dream a larger dream for my life, because my dreams come from God. I have the power to create great abundance. I now claim that power, sense it growing and expanding within. I know that this power is the Life Force wishing to express itself through me. I welcome this living, loving energy into my life and know that I am being transformed in this moment. I choose to nurture this seed of faith within and to cultivate spiritual fruit in my life. Before I prayed, God has already answered, and I rejoice in the flow of energy, passion, goodness, and joy that overflows in my heart. I thank God for this clean, clear, fresh awareness. I now sense that being leads to doing, that presence and practice lead to effortless transformation. 

Sources of inspiration you might enjoy 

I began practicing regular group meditation at the Nashville Mindfulness Center late last year. It has become a lifeline during stressful and challenging days. The practice of meditation offers a way to integrate mindfulness with other spiritual practices and traditions. I find that meditating with an experienced leader and group is helping me go more deeply into practice than I could on my own. 

The Nashville Mindfulness Center] (NMC) is a Buddhist meditation center located in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in March 2006 by ordained Tiếp Hiện (Order of Interbeing) member Skip Ewing, the NMC is dedicated to the practice of mindful meditation in the tradition of Zen master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Thich Nhat Hanh. 

http://www.nashvillemindfulness.org/NMC/i_am_home.html

One of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, Thich Nhat Hanh (called Thây by his students) has led an extraordinary life. A Vietnamese Buddhist monk, a poet, a scholar, and a peace activist, his lifelong efforts to generate peace and reconciliation moved Martin Luther King, Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. His community of practice in France is usually referred to as the Plum Village Sangha. For more about the work of Thich Nhat Hanh visit the Plum Village website.

http://www.plumvillage.org/

I also attend Nashville Center for Spiritual Living and have been taking classes there for many years. Though I have often called myself a Lutheteryfourpalian (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Four Square, Episcopalian) I now draw from the richness of many spiritual traditions, discovering a common thread in the kaleidoscope of images, cultures, and language of different faiths. I have not thrown the Christ Child out with the bathwater, but I have learned to see Christ in the faces of those whose beliefs differ from mine. NCSL offers a safe place to explore spiritual questions while honoring all paths to God. 

http://www.rsn.org/
http://www.rsintl.org/
http://www.unitedcentersforspiritualliving.org/

Creative Responses in Chaotic Times

You must become a chaos before giving birth to a shining star.
Friedrich Nietzsche

If you are like me, you may be seeing old life patterns fall apart and fall away. Sometimes the loss feels overwhelming. But lately I’ve begun to see that the chaos is actually a birthing process. These birth pangs are painful and can feel frightening. I choose to believe they are part of a new life I’ve been gestating for a long time. 

There is a divine wisdom and timing at work in all of our lives. Today’s crisis can be an opportunity for great healing and rebuilding in our lives. It is a chance to take another look at our limited thinking and toxic choices. It is also a season for preparing the space for something new and better to enter our lives. It is up to us to decide if we will choose to view our troubles and losses from a higher perspective. 

Human troubles cannot trump spiritual realities. We all carry within us inner greatness and potential. It is our birthright as human beings in God’s complex creation. We are called to be co-creators with God. There is a deep wisdom and flow of energy working in, through, and for us as grace unfolding. Times of stress and crisis can be great catalysts for growth, forcing us to make needed changes. 

The older I get the more I realize that all things must change and there is no holding back the tides of change. I can either resist change or allow the change to transform my life in positive ways. It is my choice. When I resist change I lose the fight every time. Change comes whether I want it to or not. It is easier for God to move me into healing and hope when I am flexible and open. I can move with the flow of change and see where it leads. 

These times of crisis and turmoil can feel overwhelming. But a choice to see this from a higher perspective opens the door to new and better ways of approaching our lives. Sometimes it takes a shake-up to wake us up. We can be willing to release that which no longer serves us and open our minds to new ideas. We can learn to see our troubles less as problems to be solved and more as challenges calling us to grow and evolve. 

It is amazing how a even a tragedy or “fall from grace” can be the door to something wonderful that could never have been if our hearts had not been opened by loss. It is the nature of the Universe to be for us, not against us. Sometimes this is difficult to see in troubled times. One of the strange paradoxes Jesus talked about was that you would have to “lose your life to save it.” We’ve all been losing our lives lately, but the demolition and chaos are the beginnings of the birth of stars, “saving” us in ways that have the potential to create greater joy and healing and abundance for the whole earth.

Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.
Pablo Picasso

The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.
Henry Miller

Like water, the sage should wait for the moment to ripen and be right; water, you know, never fights. It flows around.
Tao Te Ching


Affirmation: As I open to change I see all the pieces of my life move into new and happier and more prosperous patterns of grace. I trust that these crises I am experiencing are actually the birth pangs of the new life, creating abundance and joy in unexpected and wonderful ways.

I was thrilled to hear from Diana Wimber, a friend who has walked through deep waters in the past year. She and her husband are celebrating a special anniversary. She says, "Today is Paul’s one-year anniversary since his surgery. In all the CT scans and endoscopies since his surgery they’ve not found any evidence of disease. We are so thankful to God, because though Paul had great doctors, we know WHO is preserving his life." May they celebrate many more years of health, happiness, and prosperity together!
 

Comments

  1. March 23, 2009 10:58 PM CDT Edit

    I am so grateful to Candy that the wisdom she has gained is shared with others. While going through a personal "crisis" aka opportunity to embrace change I happened upon The Art of Encouragement. I was inspired to buy it. For the following 30 days it became a life-line. Candy gave me a most-needed hug although she is a thousand miles away. I recently lent The Art of Encouragement to a friend who was in need of it. When I handed to her I knew I would purchase another copy. That is what I was doing tonight--looking where I could buy it. And I found this blog--it is manna from heaven. I am ready and excited to utilize the affirmation recommended here. May the healing continue. Thanks for blessing me (and now my friend) Candy.

    - FeelingResurrected

  2. March 28, 2009 11:46 AM CDT

    Candy, this is beautiful. Thank you. I am blessed by your words. Reading them I feel as if I'm in your presence and I feel such Grace. Namaste

    - www.LeisaHammett.Com