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Articles -- Find the gift
"The universe always brings you exactly what you need in order to grow."
If you accepted that statement, how would it change your attitude towards challenges you may be facing?
Perhaps instead of moaning about difficulties and lamenting over losses, you would start to look for learning opportunities and new possibilities.
There are many different types of challenge. Sometimes you are faced with an involuntary change like losing your job or a partner leaving you. This may seem quite traumatic at first; but rather than grieving over the past, you can decide to focus on the future and ask "What is the opportunity? What are the possibilities now?"
With this attitude, you may start to explore completely new ways of approaching your career or relationships. You may decide to start your own company or do consulting work. In the area of relationships, you may join a reading club or cycling group to stimulate new friendships. The key is to look for the gift in the situation and be open to new possibilities.
Another type of challenge is when illness strikes. How can one find the gift in illness?
The first step is acceptance. This does not mean you don't see a doctor or look for a remedy. It means that in addition to that, you also remain open to any learning that it may offer, such as patience, optimism, tolerance, humility; and also gratitude for what you do have.
It may also be worth thinking about whether your illness may have been brought about by your thought patterns. It is well known that stress can cause a number of physical illnesses.
In her book "Heal Your Body", Louise L. Hay lists various illnesses, the thought patterns that may cause them and positive affirmations that might help to cure them. For example, she lists the probable cause for arthritis as "Feeling unloved, Criticism, resentment" and the suggested affirmation is, "I am love. I now choose to love and approve of myself. I see others with love." Even if these affirmations do not lead to an immediate cure, they can help you to achieve a more positive frame of mind and a happier emotional state.
In "The One Thing Holding You Back", Raphael Cushnir describes a technique to release blocked emotions (which also may affect one's health). This emotional connection method involves going into a relaxed state and focusing on how you are feeling. Don't judge, analyze or fight the feeling; just BE with it, with acceptance and compassion. Observe how the feeling changes as you remain with it. This technique allows blocked emotions to be fully felt and then they will dissipate naturally and be released.
By allowing every challenge to open you up to new possibilities and new ways of thinking, you will be able to turn a negative situation into an opportunity to discover, learn and grow.
In all situations in life, assume that your goal is to live in a state of joy, and every challenge is a wake-up-call to help you get back on track towards that goal. Whenever a challenge arises, welcome it and "find the gift."
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