Hey Open

Thanks again for the warm welcome - and for the video which really adds a dimension to what I was saying in my piece.

It's been asked so many times before, but I love this (in the video): 'Let me ask you this. How does one person turn adversity into the very reason they succeed and another turn that same adversity into a ball and chain? Why do some run toward chaos and others retreat? How can one person transform a loss now into a win later? And another person view that same defeat as the end?'

If we are able to stand there 'in the flames' in that adversity and give ourselves permission to fully feel (not shrinking away from the heat, but knowing that what those flames are burning away we'll be better off without anyway) then, in the calm that comes when we meet any situation in alignment and surrender, we can find the opportunity in that moment. There may be an action we need to perform; there may be some words we need to say, an aspect of ourselves we need to reclaim, or it may be simply to feel deeper and allow our being to expand.

While writing this just now, a life-changing experience that happened when I was at uni in my twenties popped up, which I'd like to share with you. I was on a rope, half way up a rock-face in Wales, sheer drop beneath me, and above me a large overhang, that I couldn't see around. I'd never been rock climbing before - I'd just jumped at the opportunity when my landlord had suggested I come out with him (he was at the other end of the rope!)

Anyway, it was at this point that the emotion hit. I quickly assessed my situation, couldn't see a way out, my head panicked and my body quickly followed suit (pins and needles in my hands and legs and shortness of breath). My landlord, was was called Doss, yelled down at me, 'Come on, Tonya. You can do this!' But I knew that I wouldn't do this by doing it at Doss' timing. I told him that I'd come up in my own good time. And I just allowed myself to hang on that rope, fully feel the fear (and anger with Doss, for bringing me up there, if truth be told) and in that moment came the surrender. I surrendered fully and completely, into a state where I no longer minded what happened - whether I fell to the ground many feet below, or found the strength to make it up the rockface.

I lost all track of time in that moment - I don't know how long I hung there on that rope, but I remember there being a moment - and it wouldn't have happened without the deep surrender, I don't think - when I got an inner nudge, a gentle inner prompting, 'It's time now - just climb!'

And without much effort at all, I almost glided over the overhang - my muscles had by now recovered from their jelly-like state of earlier and was soon at the top, on my back, laughing and sobbing up to the blue skies above.

My moment of crisis had turned into a powerful opportunity to see the fear for what it was - opposing consciousness, you might say. And once I'd looked that in the face, I could surrender into the situation and be shown the way through. Magic!

The question above (posed in the video) also reminds me of a dear friend of mine, Dan Eley, who I've written a book, Buddha in a Wheelchair, about (you can find it here). He was paralysed in a diving accident while volunteering out in Colombia and instead of giving in, he founded a worldwide charity getting education to underprivileged kids. And went through a radical awakening in the process.

There's ALWAYS an opportunity in adversity. Infact, I'd say there's always a GIFT in adversity. We just need to be open to it and seize it when we see it. And you know what? As we use those 'seeing opportunity in adversity muscles', guess what, they become stronger! And as we become stronger, benevolence can help us, reach us, inspire us, easier. And our path becomes so much smoother, faster, lighter...

Well, enough from me, already! If anyone would like that free breakthrough session, here's the link (as you may have noticed it didn't come out in the original draft of my story, above). With all love and blessings and looking forward to connecting with you at some point in the future.