Reflections

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  1. Malag

    I’d say they all do if I have a willingness to let them. It’s mostly how I relate to them than what they are. The magnitude of the challenge can influence the extent of the growth. But again only if I am receptive. It’s probably something like the growth mindset that I’m getting at although I’m not a fan of the term. 

    3 years ago
  2. Mica

    Leaving difficult situations has given me the freedom to adapt and grow.

    3 years ago
  3. s
    sb

    Illness, for sure. Knowing that I had to give up or choose to go on and make the best of it. I chose to try to find positives and it has definitely shown me I could be much more adaptable and resilient than I thought, which has helped me in all other aspects by giving me the confidence to face challenges. I accidentally became executive head of three schools (didn’t step back quick enough!) and, again, was surprised by my resilience in the face of the toughest situation I had ever lived through. In the end I had to resign, leaving with no notice, as the stress nearly led to a nervous breakdown – but I had seen the schools through the worst period and lasted longer than any head in the previous 8 years! So I still feel proud of what I did, despite the way it ended.
    Through these and other experiences, large and small, I have learnt to go with the flow, remain positive, adapt and make the best of things – and Covid/lockdown has shown how far I have come with this – and, by being adaptable, I have found it so much easier than those who have just lamented what is lost.
    Obviously I am not perfect and have many examples where I could have done better, but I constantly surprise myself – not just with what I can do, but with what humans can survive – and survive cheerfully!

    3 years ago
    1. Mica

      Congrats, sb

      3 years ago
  4. Don Jones

    When I took the decision to renew my life purpose and live simply. The hooks of modern living are many and hold fast. At times (perhaps often) it has been painful and frustrating. But persistence is paying rewards beyond what I imagined.

    3 years ago
  5. C
    Clare

    My chaotic childhood has prepared me to take things as it comes. I never knew what I would come home to. So anxiety and fear has always been prevalent but so hasn’t resilience. I know that I can face and handle whatever happens. When my beautiful husband of 28 years passed suddenly, I knew I had a responsibility to our employees and their families. So I steeled myself and just put one foot in front of the other and saw the business through til I was able responsibly let it go. I’m your girl in the midst of emergency it’s the in between that has me anxious about the next shoe to drop. But I’m a work in progress and I’m really trying to embrace just being present and grateful for my incalculable blessings.

    3 years ago
  6. Hot Sauce

    My struggles with anxiety and depression have helped me to develop resilience during difficult times. I’ve learned to see hope for the future where it is difficult and have learned to be appreciative of the good days I have.

    3 years ago
  7. Antoinette

    Divorce, illness and having to on disability have made me adapt. I appreciate today’s quote because it says the universe wants us to be- be the light and love . Lately letting go of all of the labels I had for self is helping me become free. I’m grateful for all of these challenges because they have brought me where I am today.

    3 years ago
  8. Maeve

    All my many, many residential moves in the Boston area in the past 30 years certainly have strengthened my capacity to adapt to different places for sure! Although this adaptation has made me feel rootless.

    “Growing in the face of challenges”? I immediately think of my students and young people I have taught over the years. They are the ones who challenge me to grow in a way I can take in and accept much more readily than being challenged by adults. That brings out my resistance! But then I think of the teachers and staff I work with, especially now during the past year of the pandemic. Their determination, cheerfulness and let’s-get-on-with-it attitude has pulled me along to grow. Not the least in being able to teach little kids via Zoom!

    3 years ago
  9. expati

    My mom’s admonition: “If something is not working, try something else.” I try to stay aware and abide by that. My most current challenge is how I express myself about covid. I take a view that is not mainstream and come upon censorship and cancel culture. The best I can do is not take it personally. Often I try to rise to a higher level that is more inclusive. I think covid is a strong spiritual/personal growth stimulus for a lot of us.

    3 years ago
    1. Mica

      I copied this to my gratefulness doc
      My mom’s admonition: “If something is not working, try something else.”
      Thanks, expati
      wishing you health

      3 years ago
      1. expati

        Einstein had a similar expression, something like: “Doing the same thing over and over when it does not work is insanity.”

        3 years ago
    2. Maeve

      Yes, I think that about the pandemic as well.

      3 years ago
  10. Pollyanna Gladwell

    All of them!

    In the words of the Dalai Lama (although I have also heard it being attributed to Alan Watts) : “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”

    I have also read it as: “ If you lose…”, but I think “when” is more realistic as loss is inevitable in many (Most?) aspects of life – but hopefully not financial investments! I’m aware that there may be some who have the Midas Touch and have never made a bad one, but it has not been my experience, so I can’t share on that unfortunately!

    Loss, and gratitude for loss, builds resilience. And resilience is not a static personal characteristic. It can ebb and flow, and sometimes I require many tools and hard work to re-establish equilibrium. But when it returns, the peace and joy is overwhelming.

    Having been a regular poster on this site for almost a year, my input dried up for various reasons… spiritual, physical, emotional, and other challenges that rained down and required my attention. But I have nevertheless remained a reader for the inspiration I receive from all the contributors and the reminder to be grateful for all I have been given, all I have lost and all that remains. Thank you all.🙏

    Blessings to all.

    3 years ago
    1. Michele

      Welcome back again:)

      3 years ago
      1. Pollyanna Gladwell

        Thank you, Michele. I really appreciate your message🙏💚

        3 years ago
    2. Holly in Ohio

      I love it when you post, Pollyanna. 🙂

      3 years ago
      1. Pollyanna Gladwell

        Thank you Holly and so do I! It feels so good.🙏💚

        3 years ago
  11. Toni

    Well, my coop is less than satisfactory so I reached out to an old friend to help me see what’s out there. Now that covid is somewhat under control and I’ve spent most of my time at home I don’t want to adapt to settling for crumbs when I can sit at the table of something new. Covid, isolation, dealing with challenges from the board an property managers have strengthened me to grow and venture out once more into the deep. Change is good. I feel ready. I have support and if it be the will of God to move on so be it. I need to be in a healthier environment so I can thrive. More sunlight, more space, near Whole foods a better quality of life etc. I’m just putting it out there and will see what happens. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

    3 years ago
    1. Holly in Ohio

      I’m glad you gave us an update, Toni, as to what is happening with you. I hope you can find a better living situation. That would be so nice.

      3 years ago
      1. Toni

        Thank you Holly, my old friend Brenda is coming to see my place Tues. or Sat. It’s a start!

        3 years ago
    2. Mica

      Good luck, Toni – I was happy to move into a condo community with 992 units, so a lot can happen without affecting me too much. On the other hand, I did make one costly mistake and am being careful not to repeat that! [saying yes to a little electrical work before getting permission…]

      3 years ago
      1. Toni

        Thank you Mica, I too want to go forward learning from past mistakes. I am a little anxious but hopeful that at least I got the ball rolling and will take it step by step. I already started looking for what kind of furniture I want but that puts the cart before the horse so I will keep in step which what I’m doing now and that is getting rid of what I don’t want to take with me.

        3 years ago
  12. SK

    The experiences that spoke to me that I was needed, could make all the difference; and would have to use all my God given talents, gifts and skills. It would seem that my life experiences have always been about being the “dolphin”- the one that comes along side and does not leave. I have been there for my friends, my parents in their winter years, my brother and sister-in-law in their declining years and health issues; been there for those in loss. I have lived into my name “helper of mankind” with grace and ease, never questioning what I was to do in that moment. It’s all eventually been a good thing. I understand where I stand and belong in the unoverse.

    3 years ago
    1. Javier Visionquest

      I believe I can live into this metaphor and I’ll quote you here when my witches refer to me as “Dolphin Dean”, as they’re apt to do: The “dolphin”- the one that comes along side and does not leave.

      3 years ago
  13. Ed Schulte

    EVERY experience, no matter challenging or non-challanging , be it so-called “good or bad” contributes to the “BE” in “Word of the Day”

    In the bigger scheme of things the universe is not asking us to do something, the universe is asking us to BE something. And that’s a whole different thing.

    LUCILLE CLIFTON

    3 years ago
    1. Carol

      It’s when I can say “I am” and need no predicate adjective or a noun to describe myself that I grow. In his book, “A Path With Heart,” Jack Kornfield suggests asking oneself, “What do I know for sure, anyway?” Ramm Dass said, “BE here Now..” Richard Rohr says, “God is Being.” I have no need to BE something but I definitely strive to BE.

      3 years ago
      1. Ed Schulte

        “I AM that I AM” said Joshua Emmanuel ( “first person singular, present tense” just to name drop Tolle here )

        And he meant that as EVERY human being …..His words as quoted BUT BADLY distorted by religious authorities … “why has thou forsake me”

        was , when correctly interpreted in Aramaic,

        “Why hast thou forsaken me IN THEM” ….

        “the omission of two words ( with all “good” intentions of course 🙁 ) has successfully delayed the return to “BE” for 2000 years and continues until the truth of BE is “lived”

        Be Well Be PresentEdS

        3 years ago
        1. Carol

          Ed, Thought you and others might enjoy reading this translation of the Lord’s Prayer:

          Translation of the Lord’s Prayer from Aramaic by Neil Douglas-Klotz

          Abwoon d’bwashmaya
          O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos/ you create all that moves in light.

          Nethqadash shmakh
          Focus your light within us–make it useful: as the rays of a beacon show the way.

          Teytey malkuthakh
          Create your reign of unity now–through our firey hearts and willing hands.

          Nehwey sebyanach aykanna d’bwashmaya aph b’arha.
          Your one desire then acts with ours, as in all light, so in all forms.

          Habwlan lachma d’sunqanan yaomana.
          Grant what we need each day in bread and insight:
          subsistence for the call of growing life.

          Washboqlan khaubayn (wakhtahayn)
          aykana daph khnan shbwoqan l’khayyabayn.
          Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
          as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.

          Wela tahlan l’nesyuna
          Don’t let us enter forgetfulness

          Ela patzan min bisha.
          But free us from unripeness

          Metol dilakhie malkutha wahayla wateshbukhta l’ahlam almin.
          From you is born all ruling will, the power and the life to do,
          the song that beautifies all, from age to age it renews.

          Ameyn.
          Truly–power to these statements–
          may they be the source from which all my actions grow.

          3 years ago
          1. Ed Schulte

            Yes and Thanks for sharing.

            Because of the pandemic it has allowed I and fellow Essenes around the world to explore such translations such as this…many from the Nag Hamaddi library….Gospel of Thomas for example ……so key points of importance

            “O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos……clearly recognizes the Logos and Holy Spirit as on equal as origin ( iow no big gray haired judgmental father as in the Judea -christian tradition )

            “you create all that moves in light.”……yes “light” therefore “sound” …this somehow got reduced to “name” …but how can the inflate BE-ing-ness be confined to a name? again …simplification with good intentions but….

            “Focus your light within us”……this is a new take but I don’t disagree ….it was expressed also ……”manifesting yourself in yourself ……so this fits very well

            “‘through our firey hearts and willing hand”……yes this resonates beautifully with Essene exercises which use this principles implied in these words …..key here is Visualization ….NOT just the repeating of “words” by route

            “as in all light, so in all forms.”….again solidly stays with “light” as the key vehicle of “mind-light” as the conveyor creating all forms …all that is in manifested Universe

            “in bread and insight” ….this is a gem of the kicker when it comes to FINALLY convincing the “prison guards” that the “bread” does not refer to the one you can buy at any bakery! …”Bread” is Mind-Vitality – Light which relates directly to “insight”by way of the already brought in (above) petition “Focus your light within us”.

            I could go on and on…..and it probably obvious now that I have strong opinions about my disposed of relationship with the Roman Catholic teaching of my youth ( no disrespect to Br Dave intended )

            But, with the intension of pointing to the various aspect implied in this translation and connecting it to the importance of “Visualization” in any prayer action ( not just the reciting words) …below is a typical exercise Essenes do……one a week is enough

            Start:

            Create in your etheric hands, from the etheric vitality in the air. a large white candle.

            Feel how each finger grasps a different part of the candle. With kinetic ether move your etheric hand along the candle. Note how it feels in your hands: its cool waxiness and solidity.

            In your heart there burns a fire, an everlasting fire of love, kindness and compassion. Light the candle with this fire from your heart.

            Study the flame. Do you notice that around the base of the burning wick it is a little darker? Around and above this darker patch the flame is brighter, starting as orange and turning golden-yellow as it crowns.

            If you are envious, anxious or angry the flame will sputter and flare. Calm it by relaxing your thoughts and emotions. Pass each desire, thought and emotion [feelings of being offended] through the flame and clean your heart and mind:

            First see all your mis-guided thoughts, prejudices and judgments stream from your head and pass through the flame. Next allow any bitterness, envy and poisonous dissatisfaction to leave your heart and be purified by the flame.

            And finally release into the flame all the anger and hatred which has been stored in your solar plexus.(see page D156?) These elementals, such a burden on your consciousness, will either be dis-energized by the fire and sent to the cosmic consciousness. Or, be cleansed and returned to you.

            Your present -day personality has been purified by the fame. See the flame steady, tall and straight.

            It is VERY still now. The light is clear and the colour bright.

            When the flame is perfectly still, and you feel centered and cleansed. thank the Logos.
            Return the flame to your heart and slowly dissolve the candle.

            This cleansing exercise should be practiced once a week, preferably on Sundays, to burn off all petty thoughts and emotions.

            3 years ago
  14. Holly in Ohio

    I don’t feel like going into a list of negative childhood experiences today, but I do clearly remember a day when (still a child) I realized that two paths were being offered to me, not in the world, for I had at the time no power to change that, but in my head, and the choice would dictate what kind of life followed. I could either stick with blame, feeling sorry for myself, and anger, or, I could accept responsibility for myself and my choices, and consciously CHOOSE positive thoughts, actions, and real (not false) love.

    I shudder to think what life might have been like, had I chosen the other path. On occasion I meet people who took the other path or perhaps never realized they had a choice, and they seem very mired in their habits. It is remarkable what the power of decision has, even when the circumstances and facts remain the same. Decision is like a tiller on a boat, the reins on a horse, or the steering wheel on a car.

    Following that first decision I turned to music, art, reading, learning, writing, friendships. The positive experiences of these things helped me to balance my life. I was able in my youth to avoid choosing unhealthy relationships, because the choices I made of who I was gave me a value system, and I valued myself.

    I would say it was less the experiences in my life, and more the decisions made in how to interpret and give meaning to those experiences, that helped me to adapt and grow. I CHOSE not to be helpless, not to think myself helpless, even at a point in my life where there was almost nothing I could control about my circumstances. We don’t control the sea, but we do control the tiller.

    3 years ago
    1. Mica

      Wow, you were a wise child, Holly in Ohio!

      3 years ago
      1. Holly in Ohio

        Oh my gosh. Thank you.

        3 years ago
  15. k'Care-Reena

    WHAT EXPERIENCES IN YOUR LIFE HAVE STRENGTHENED YOUR CAPACITY TO ADAPT AND GROW IN THE FACE OF CHALLENGES?

    I was afraid to catch a panic attack and feel anxious. With all that tension and attention I put into NOT CATCHING AN ATTACK I focused more and more on it to the point thinking of avoiding it will begin an attack. I comprehend that our brain is one of the MOST POWERFUL TOOLS and the more focus I put into it the more anxious I became. I noticed my environment at the time was a big TRIGGER & increased the stress I put on myself SO….I LEFT.
    Now I am proud to say I have had panic attacks on my own and have been able to pinpoint what gets my nerves going…my stomach issues. I have Gastritis & IBS which cause extreme discomfort and pain, this pain develops into anxiety for me. I have SUCCESSFUL managed a panic attack without having to fully remove myself from the situation. I KNOW NOW LIFE IS ABOUT LIVING it is not about the DO’S and DON’TS of life. We make mistakes and keep going, life isn’t about having all the money but having the experience and support to keep going while being your BEST SELF.

    3 years ago
  16. Michele

    My divorce and the ending of my last relationship made me adapt and grow in the face of challenges that were extremely difficult. Also, quitting my last job before I found another one – ended up being the right decision for me.

    3 years ago
    1. Mica

      Congrats, Michele – I’m glad you fared well in quitting your job. Divorce can be a great liberator, can’t it?

      3 years ago
      1. Michele

        It was so liberating I switched teams! lol

        3 years ago
  17. DeVonna

    So many… I guess my many moves as a child would be chief among them. When you move every year you are always thrust into the role of “new kid”. I had to be able to talk to strangers and adjust to always being the outsider. It was hard as I went through it but it taught me to think on my feet.

    3 years ago
  18. Beth Mary

    This pandemic and the shut-down has strengthened my capacity to adapt, as we have all had to adapt. Although I am often isolated at home but I know we are all on this journey, so this doesn’t make me feel alone. I have turned inwards for inner strength and have developed a deeper and more profound faith. I am also going through a very difficult family situation. I have become stronger as I go through this challenge on my spiritual journey, this has deepened my spiritual life and compassion.

    3 years ago
  19. devy

    I’ve experienced many challenges throughout my life that have psychologically affected me. anxiety and depression have been part of my life due to my experiences. I am finally learning to look at those experiences, admit how I really feel about them and learn how to use tools to confront and deal with them. I am learning the life is made of good and bad experiences and that they both bring life lessons and growth. I still struggle at times with my anxiety and depression, but at least I am making progress. Perhaps , as with alcoholism ( something that I’ve overcome), they be a lifelong part of my life. I try to look at trying to welcome each day as a new beginning, a new start in my life journey.

    3 years ago
    1. Holly in Ohio

      You are most definitely undergoing positive transformation! I’ve only known you a short while, under quite limited exposure, and I can see remarkable “progress.” It’s quite a testimony to the person you are. 🙂

      3 years ago
    2. Pilgrim

      Progress … such a wonderful and affirming word/experience!

      3 years ago
  20. Howie Geib

    Loss. Whether voluntary, making choices that meant giving up something(s) or a change in circumstance that removed them. Loved ones, homes, friends, careers, physical abilities, many things I cared for and valued. The losses were hard to bear, and sometimes devastating consequences followed. And yet, the point was to accept the loss. The core theme of it all has been the art of relinquishment. To the extent I have been able to develop the ability to turn it over has provided a return. A strengthening. What has been brought to bear is faith.

    3 years ago
    1. O.Christina

      Thank you very much, dear Howie. You brought into words what has been one of the most difficult and painful challenges I had to face and to integrate, too. Not to lose faith has been supported a lot here by all our dear friends and being in this all together is deeply and gratefully appreciated. Thanks again, dear friend, for your precious contributions.

      3 years ago
  21. sunnypatti48317

    I have had challenging experiences just like everyone else, and I have come to know that finding the courage to face those challenges always leads to me becoming a better person. From the people who have challenged me to the incidents that have hurt me physically, I have managed to heal and grow from each of them. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, and those reasons usually tend to some inner growth and resilience of some kind.

    3 years ago
  22. Kevin

    It’s the simple fact that, like most people, I have had to recognize, then accept, and then work my way through an assortment of life’s challenges as they come, that has helped me to grow and face new challenges with a sense of certainty and determination.

    3 years ago
  23. Dusty Su

    I just made a several pages-long report of all the traumas I have experienced throughout my life for my psychiatrist. It surprised me the amount and depth of the traumas, especially when placed chronologically in one place. I realized how much resilience and incredible ability to overcome and reframe my challenges into bridges of understanding I have been gifted and worked for. I am grateful, very grateful that I am not defined by the trauma but redefine it into tools for well-being and compassion.

    3 years ago
    1. Beth Mary

      May you be healed and be comforted along your journey of healing and well-being. We can indeed let go of trauma and not let it define us nor overcome us. Thank you for sharing.

      3 years ago
      1. Dusty Su

        Thank you. Long worked through, though there are layers. They are bridges of understanding and compassion for others, said not glibly at all. Cheers Beth…xx

        3 years ago
        1. Holly in Ohio

          “… that I am not defined by the trauma but redefine it into tools for well-being and compassion.” I feel the same way, Dusty Su. I have felt each difficult experience has within it a precious gift, but only if we look for the gift. I guess that is what you see as “tools,” …yes, I see that… makes sense. You have obviously done a fabulous job of healing and reframing difficult experiences. You don’t wear your traumas “on your sleeve,” and I would not have known if you had not shared. What I see of you is your love and peace and wisdom… that is what you radiate!

          3 years ago
          1. Dusty Su

            Thank you, Holly. I appreciate your kind and obviously very sincere words. Yes, agree only if we look for the gifts, will acknowledge the pain, work through it, reframe it, and use it as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. The pain can be tools of understanding yourself, your ability for resilience, as well as being non-judgemental of others in their trauma and then lovingly sitting with them as you (myself in this case) have had needed to be understood, seen, supported.
            Bless you, dear heart xx

            3 years ago

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