Clear Blue Skies
A few months ago I wrote a piece called Earth Life School. In it I was asking you to look at challenging circumstances from a different perspective, one in which life is about service to others and learning. Maybe even viewing life as deeper spiritual endeavour. All nice warm words of course, but what if something unpleasant and unexpected actually did happened to you, do all these nice warm words still carry any weight or meaning then? What do you do, and how do you react when, out of nowhere, some brown stuff really does hit the fan in your life?
On 10th of November Joanne, my business partner, and close friend of over fifteen years, was diagnosed with breast cancer. To say that this threw a wrench into her and her family’s life, is flimsy understatement. What meaning do the words “Circumstances do not matter, only state of being matters” carry then? Well through the tears, I can still say that they mean exactly what they say. In that previous article, I also said that how you deal with challenges in life acts as an example to others, and that going through a challenge, as an example, is one of the highest forms of service to others that there is. Everything does happen for a reason, we might need to see the whole unfolding of events to understand that reason, and we might not ever fully understand it either.
Joanne is one of the smartest, and emotionally intelligent people that I know too. She has been a rock of stability in my life, whilst we have grown this business together. Everything creative that we do has come from her, and the feedback I get from delegates on the training is that their customer experience through Joanne is outstanding. And that only begins to scratch the surface of who she is a person.
What I say to people on trainings, what I say in these short blogs, what I say to Joanne, and what I say to myself, are the same things. I am not parroting catchy ‘New Age’ phrases about positive thinking and taking control over your life because I think that is what people want to hear. What I talk about is the way that I believe existence works. As we uncover more about how reality functions we can appreciate better the context of our experiences. That still doesn’t mean that we won’t face challenges in life, or that we won’t feel pain, physical and emotional.
Emotions we feel in life come from what we believe to be true. If I believe that everyone on the roads should drive with the same degree courtesy and patience that I think I do, then I am likely feel a little anger when some idiot cuts me up. But if instead I believe that everyone can make mistakes when driving (including myself), and that it is acceptable that not everyone does share similar standards of courtesy and patience, then when someone cuts me up on the road I won’t experience the same anger. Explore this in your life, when you are feeling an emotion check what is it that needs to be true for you to feel this emotion. See what comes up and then honestly examine that belief.
Finally do not invalidate adversity either, there are positives and gifts that can be found there, if we choose to look for them. I have perhaps mentioned before the triple amputee Mark Ormrod who has attended our trainings. There is a short interview with him on our You Tube channel. Mark trod on an IED in Afghanistan, causing the loss of both legs above the knee and his right arm above the elbow. He was the first British serviceman to survive this level of trauma. As you can imagine the event and the moments that followed where challenging in the extreme. Mark says that his rehabilitation afterwards was very tough. But now he is a motivational speaker, acting as an inspiration to military personal, business people, and school children alike. And this year he medalled in the Invictus Games. Mark says that because of what happened to him he is now able to do things in his life that he otherwise would not have been able to do.
“True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow, that’s what courage is.” Norman Schwarzkof