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Mining for Gold

I want to talk about those times when everything seems to be stacked up against you. Nothing is going right and it’s just one thing after the next and you really feel so overwhelmed, you just want to quit.

I went through this in an intense way a few weekends ago, to the point of almost losing a friend in the process. She and I were like two different kinds of storms ready to collide.

It was my friend’s 50th birthday and you know how it is, especially for women around the 10-year marker. Because she is a very new friend, there were a lot of subtle hints around what she was needing that I missed completely. We both made some inaccurate assumptions which led to a perfect storm. We were both triggering each other and neither of us were communicating very well about it. On top of what was going on with me and my friend, there were other situations coming to a head that made me feel like I just wanted to run and hide. It all just kept piling up until the party. I think the party cracked the whole thing open and the storm seemed to begin to clear.

I woke up the next day with my mind in a fog from everything I had experienced. I knew I just needed to sort through the rubble to try to make some sense of it all. I felt beaten down and this is not typically how I wake up in the morning. I dragged myself upstairs and sat in front of my meditation altar and lit a candle.

And then something occurred to me! “Oh yeah! The universe is conspiring for me!” I know you hear me say this all the time, but when you are in it, and I know you know what I am talking about, my helpful tools were nowhere to be found. You know why? Because when you are in defense mode, you are functioning from your ego and the ego’s main tool is fear (which only leads you further into hell). If you want to get free, you need a miracle, which the Course in Miracles defines as a “shift in perception from fear to love”.

And so that thought, “the universe is conspiring for me” popped into my mind when my ego’s defenses were down and it opened my mind up for a miracle. I recognized it as an opportunity to turn this whole thing around and I sat up and started to get curious. I said to myself, “Okay Cath, somehow this is all happening for you. You know you live in a loving universe that is conspiring for you.”

So I broke out my notebook and started writing out the story of everything I had experienced over the course of two days. I made a long list of every interaction I could remember, everything that stood out in my mind.

I made a list of all of it, the whole mess of what was overwhelming me with emotion and confusion.

Then I stared at the list for a minute and I had a wonderful idea. I decided to take each line to see if I could discover how this was here for me, instead of how it was here to hurt me or throw me off my game. That is when the magic started happening.

It’s always a struggle to make that shift from, “it’s all stacked against me” to “how could this be here for me?” If you think about it, it’s a shift out of being a victim of your life into owning your life and feeling empowered.

I took each situation and started asking deeper questions like:

What is this trying to show me?

How is this here to help me?

What wisdom is trying to reveal itself to me?

Then my answers blew my mind wide open. Realizations came streaming in. I was mining for gold and I was actually finding it! There were so many nuggets! I was literally brought to tears of deep gratitude for how much was here for me. I had the thought, “Wow! I live in a universe that loves me so much, it was literally dumping bucket loads of gold on my head. It’s so excited for me to wake up, it took out all the stops and flooded me with opportunities to see the truth. It was like the Universe was saying, “Here! Check this out. Wham! How about this? Can’t you see? Don’t you understand?”

And no, I couldn’t see. I am merely human after all. I just felt like I was being attacked from all angles because I was only seeing from the eyes of fear, which narrows things down to the worst possible common denominator, ”It’s all out to get you.”

Breaking my mind open allowed me to see things differently. I could only see this loving energy of the universe as this giddy, overexcited child so excited for me to understand that it was giving me all it had, all at once.

So my friend, when everything seems to be lined up against you in your life, try to remember this powerful tool. Once there is a break in the madness, take some time to write the whole thing out. Line by line and ask the questions: What are you trying to teach me? What is the gift this is bringing to my life right now? If you can get out of the way and really consider the possibilities, you will be surprised. Believe it or not, even the worst of situations holds a gift for you inside of it. You just have to crack your mind open to see it.