The Moment After - An Opportunity for Magic.

There is a moment after really bad news - I mean earth shattering and turn-your-world-upside-down news - a moment in which a door opens offering an opportunity for magic.

I 'm not speaking of the moment you hear the news and are in shock, nor the next when you refuse for a moment to believe it and try to wish it away or see it as something it's not.  Definitely not the moments you spend feeling cheated and  bitterly blame God or someone else for your misfortune.  I mean the moment when all of the structure and pretense in your life has been shattered and there is no illusion to cloud your view.

Right after denial and blame comes a moment of potential magic.  A moment when denial no longer works and you see things the way that they truly are.  A moment to see the difference between true limitations  and the self imposed limits we put on ourselves because of fear and our false beliefs.  A moment in which you realize that your choices and decisions have brought you to this point, but that you have always had the freedom to change your beliefs and your life.  When you see there are so many doors of opportunity and that you hold the keys to all of the doors. When all of your assumptions are gone and you stand naked in the world of possibility and see that you are stronger and more powerful than you ever thought possible.

Most of the time we ignore the opportunity to start new and the moment of magic is lost.  We feel that we have too much invested in the old way.  It's like walking into a restaurant, not liking what we see on the menu, but staying because we're already there.  We try to piece and patch back together our old life - a life with the same limitations and pretenses we had before, but not quite the we curse at the holes and long for the missing pieces.

I do believe that life's challenges truly are an opportunity to learn and grow.  None of us want them, not consciously.  We think we want an easy life where everything goes smoothly, but that won't happen and that's not life - that is fantasy.  Real life is challenge, learning, and growth.  Tragedy or seemingly insurmountable problems are an opportunity for growth.

Of course we don't have to have tragedy in our lives to have an opportunity for magic.  Every moment could be like this.   As a matter of fact if you look deeply and are willing to question your choices and your reality every day then you are less likely to have dramatic challenges.  If we are truly aware of our thoughts and actions and the reasons behind them, we don't need a traumatic event in order to change our lives.  Every moment is an opportunity of choice, a chance to change anything and everything about our lives.  Are you willing to look really hard at your limiting beliefs, the rules you've created or chosen to follow, the excuses you give, and to quit bitterly blaming someone else for all of your misfortunes?  Are you willing to get up from the table, to say "I've changed my mind" and look for a better restaurant - one with a menu more suited to your taste?  If so an opportunity for magic awaits you.

I challenge each of you to begin by taking just an hour or two of your time to really look at your life and ask yourself why?  For every aspect of your life-  why?  Is it what you choose?  If not why?  Please don't accept the pitiful excuses your mind will give.  "I'm already here, I might as well stay" is never a good reason for staying anywhere. Life is short.  Keep asking and keep looking at the answers.  When you feel particularly vulnerable and fearful then you're making progress - the walls are weakening - the world is about to open to you.

Just keep asking and looking deeply.

Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living


  1. I tend to get folks around me angry when I "get up from the restaurant", but I usually do it anyway, unless I'm just too worn down by the situation.

  2. I've thought of this a lot lately, with my own situation. I've come to realize that the seemingly insurmountable challenges I went through over the winter and spring, were actually a tremendous gift. The worst experiences have the ability to transform us, and to guide us toward making changes in our lives--changes that are even more amazing than whatever plans we had in the first place.

    Love the restaurant analogy--I suppose that, in my case, I left a poorly maintained McDonald's, in favor of a ma and pa establishment serving homemade tamales. ;-)

  3. Uh Dan, you are touching upon a really interesting topic. Problem is that the majority of people never take responsibility of their own lives. People are much more likely to complain and be sad about their situation instead of changing their situation.

    I was talking to one of my friends about the same topic. He is caught in the financial crisis having more loans than value in his house. He kept complaining about his situation saying that he couldn't do anything about it and he was basically waiting for a miracle to happen.

    I told him a story and asked him a question: Imagine you woke up tomorrow completely blind. You couldn't see anything. You wouldn't be able to do your job or ever do sports again. I continued saying: "Now I tell you that if you go outside and ring 10.000 doorbells asking for 1$ you would get you sight back - Would you do it?" He confirmed and nodded.

    I asked him the same question: "Now I tell you that if you go outside and ring 10.000 doorbells asking for 1$ you would get out of debt - Would you do it?" This time he refused.

    Having this conversation made me realize something: We ONLY do something about our situation if the feeling of being in debt is worse than the feeling of ringing doorbells. People usually don't see this aspect because they are too busy making excuses for everything.

    My 50 cents :-)

    Anders Hasselstrøm
    Motivational speaker and blogger