“To bow to the fact of our life’s sorrows and betrayals is to accept them;
and from this deep gesture we discover that all life is workable.
As we learn to bow, we discover that the heart holds more
freedom and compassion than we could imagine.”

― Jack Kornfield

 

It’s easy to get knocked off balance from time to time – it happens to us all (myself very much included). Perhaps you’re dealing with this now – or perhaps you can think of a time when you have. And, as certain as death and taxes, you will inevitably be thrown off kilter again. How often this occurs, and how far back we fall, however, has little to do with the specific challenges and has everything to do with you.

When we’re not grounded, and not centered into our own core, it can be very easy to be rocked or swayed by the goings on around us – both the good and the bad. Life can feel like it’s happening TO us, and not FOR us, and we can even begin to take on the role of a victim.

The key to staying in your center, to not be the little boat thrashed amidst a large ocean, is to understand that in any situation, both the problem and the solution is you.

Perhaps this sounds a bit heavy! But trust me, this is an absolute gift. It’s an issue of perspective. While we cannot typically control our environment, or the unexpected events that occur in our lives, we can manage how we perceive them.

Must we consider a painful, challenging or outright unpleasant situation a “bad” one? Or can we take in the experience, as we would any other – feel it fully, allow it to process, and understand that even this is leading toward something better? Altering your perspective allows you to to empower yourself and amass an ability handle anything – literally, anything – that life throws your way.

We face many challenges, endure heartbreaks, and survive painful experiences in our lives, which often turn out to be our greatest teachers. In hindsight, even the most heart-wrenching places I have been in have taught me crucial life lessons that not only make me who I am today, but have equipped me with the skills needed to conduct the work I do now. Without these experiences and lessons behind me, my entire life would likely be very different, in ways I can only begin to imagine.

When facing a difficult situation, or a problem, understand that the problem is you, as is the solution. You hold the key to fixing it. You may not be able to “fix” the situation in a physical, external sense, but you always hold the power to change how you see it. By understanding this principle, you empower yourself to take responsibility for your own life and your own experience, and can stay true to your core through life’s bumps and hurdles, with an inherent knowing that any situation can come into your life for your own good, if you allow it to be this way.

You can fix your problems FOR yourself if you can change how you see it.

This is true even for the mundane issues in life, for problems at work, in relationships or with finances.

So, how? How do we allow space for these shifts, how do we allow light to come in during the darkest moments?

One of the biggest tools for me has been a very simple mantra. In moments when you feel dis-empowered, in a position of difficulty or even in a bad mood, repeat:

“I am willing to see this differently.”

This beautiful (and powerful) phrase opens up space within to experience a shift in perspective. By simply being willing to see the situation differently, you allow the opportunity for creative solutions to enter into your awareness, or to perhaps realize that what you had thought of as a problem isn’t necessarily a problem at all.

When we can accept our outer experience as it stands in this moment, but know that we have great power to alter our internal experience, we blast down the walls around us and can access a great level of freedom difficult to achieve otherwise. Hardships suddenly do not look so hard and when life doesn’t go quite as planned (and, let’s be real here, when does it ever?), we can rest assured that the universe has a bigger and better plan in mind for us.

We don’t have to grasp so hard at the pieces; we can let go and allow life to flow.

I invite you to bring this mantra into your life, particularly during the difficult moments.

I always love hearing from you, so please feel free to drop me a line and let me know how it goes!

Lots of love,
Ashley

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