I am a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. The Universe doesn’t make mistakes. Unfortunately, it often takes time for these seeds to bloom. To live mindfully means to be aware of this truth and to look for the guidance or seeds of wisdom in all of life’s experiences.
I have personally experienced enough adversity (failed relationships, addictions, injuries, etc.), which hindsight has proven to be blessings in disguise, that I now trust in this Universal Law. The trick is to have patience and certainty for the seeds that have yet to bloom. This is my definition of faith.
In my book, I Am God in Disguise, So Are You, I’ve interviewed some courageous people who are great examples of this law at work in the world. Some of their stories include battling cancer, growing up in foster homes, and financial disaster. Without fail, they have all said these challenging experiences have led them to discover hidden treasures. My friend Fanny actually said, “In hindsight, cancer was my friend, forcing me to make changes in my life that I was unable to do on my own.”
The School of Life can be brutal! Like any school, the longer we ignore our lessons, the more difficult the tests become. Trust me, I know. I was one of the stubborn ones. The definition of crazy is someone who repeats the same behavior over and over expecting different results. To be mindful simply means being aware that we are always being guided by a force greater than ourselves.
I’m optimistic in these turbulent times. There is a power at work in the Universe that often reveals itself during our most challenging times. Natural disasters are often good examples of this phenomenon at work. During these times of collective pain, humanity rises to the occasion. I lived in Houston for many years and have witnessed several hurricanes and floods. People come together for a common good — young, old, rich, poor, black, white, it doesn’t matter. And when the rescue boat pulls up to your house, they don’t ask who you voted for! This is baked into our DNA. Unfortunately, it often takes these highly emotional states to activate this primal reaction.
I feel like our current political climate is similar to one of these storms. I believe this “Trump Era” will prove to be a blessing in disguise. We have somehow become very complacent, comfortable in our discomfort. Our country was in need of a wake-up call. The collective pain we are now experiencing is causing people to organize and engage in the political process like never before. True democracy requires everyone to be involved. Again, this is baked into our DNA! I am confident people will come together for a common good.
How does this philosophy hold up during a pandemic? Everything happens for a reason. Really? Yes! I do believe we will come out of this crisis better than ever. I can think of a few immediate benefits I have experienced this past month:
• The virus has helped dissolve the illusion of separation between us. We are all ONE! The virus knows no borders.
• We have been forced to reset. As a society, we have been bragging for too long about our ability to multitask. This temporary isolation gives us time to be still, self-reflective and mindful.
• We have been taking a lot for granted. This crisis has made me more aware and grateful for things I rarely ever thought about. We are now longing for simple personal interactions with family, friends or neighbors. We might start to recognize the often “invisible people” in service industries who help keep this country running (bus drivers, food industry workers, delivery drivers, garbage collectors, etc.).
• New heroes are revealed every day. We’ve all developed a deeper appreciation for healthcare workers.
• The planet is quickly healing during this momentary pause. This should give us hope for what is possible in the future if we have responsible leadership.
Again, in every adversity lie seeds of wisdom. Unfortunately, it often takes some time for these seeds to bloom. Coming together as a global community could be a hidden treasure.