"Happiness requires problems" ~ H. L. Hollingworth

She must have thought I had gone a bit batty when I smiled like the Cheshire Cat and congratulated her for the painful relationship problem for which she had come to me for spiritual mentoring. I told her she could actually celebrate her problem because there was power hidden in that problem. Perhaps I should explain. I know it may sound odd, but one of the things I like best about my job is that when people tell me about the problems they are going through, often, I can use their problem as a launching pad to help them blast out of the problem and into the orbit of the solution. Years ago I came to the realization that my job is not to fix or remedy people’s problems, but rather to assist each person is seeing just how amazingly creative and powerful they are. When they can re-frame their perspective of the problem and begin to see it as a demonstration of their ability to use (or perhaps misuse) their creative power, they can then choose to use that same power to recreate something else. The only catch is, they need to take ownership of the problem first—it’s called waking up and being fully conscious. The challenge is that it may well require them to release the role of victim, because victims are powerless.

This is not to say that we are always the initiating cause of our own problems, but make no mistake about it, we are always the decision maker when it comes to how we react (or respond) to them. Therein lies our true point of power as well as our defining moment. The moment we accept ownership of the problem we have stepped out of that problem and into the solution. This is also when the infinite Knower within is instinctively called forward to assist in manifesting the proper resolution of the problem, whether we are guided to do it ourselves, or with the aid of professionals…we do it consciously! We will discover that when we are conscious that we are the only decision maker in our lives, it takes the wind right out of the sails of most every problem.

It’s that holy instant when we cease reacting and start responding, when we consciously stop allowing problems to make our decisions for us that we are lifted to a whole new perspective where we see things quite differently -- as stepping stones, not obstacles -- as opportunities to grow and evolve, rather than stumbling blocks. As Lee Iacocca wrote, “We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.” Is it possible to see every problem as an opportunity? It’s not only possible, it’s mandatory if we are to truly be the captain of our own vessel through this marvelous journey called life. So, welcome the problems you come across today with optimism and see each one as another opportunity to claim your natural birthright as the powerful creative Being you have come here to be.

As a mindfulness practice, consider what problem may loom on your horizon today that you can use as a launching pad to lift you out of the problem and into the orbit of a new solution. It will require you to be awake and to live consciously today, being proactive with the next problem that arises on your path, and the one after that as well. Make a decision, even before the next problem shows up (and eventually it will if you are alive) that you will perceive it as another stepping-stone to empowerment and a life worth living. In the face of every problem, breathe and say to it: “Thank you for being in my life. You are a testimony to my creative power…now watch me transform you into a blessing!”


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