A Year of Extremes

roller-coaster

roller-coasterHere’s the next installment of “There Is No Bad Day”

Thanks in advance for your feedback…please be frank with me!  I’m not just looking for compliments, I realize that I may totally bore in some sections and I may need to scratch them entirely.  I want to hear the truth, so I can share truth better! Thank you for helping me with that….

 

Chapter 1 – A Year Of Extremes

From a bland, mediocre existence, to a thrilling flight through clouds of happy bliss, to an agonizing crawl through the valley of the shadow of death, the 2012 roller coaster of life did not disappoint!

As I rode high on easy happiness the first half of the year, I came to the strong conclusion that this is a truly amazing life.  Then that conclusion suffered severe testing and I questioned it many times.  But the theory withstood the test, and I have come to believe stronger than ever that it’s true.

Life was lukewarm in 2011 for me though.  In many ways I was just ‘getting by’.  Passionate about my family and my running hobby, but becoming bored out of my mind in my work.

In the early years, my real estate business excited me.  But now 5 years in, I found myself consistently telling people that it was boring. Going through the motions BIG TIME at work, getting it done because it had to be done, but constantly looking forward to the evening, or the weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought life was pretty good. Business was good and we had plenty of money. I had tons of awesome things to look forward to, and I was happy a lot of the time…mostly when I wasn’t at work though. I really enjoyed running and super fun adventures with my wife and three amazing children.  Life was pretty great in general.

But my life lacked the fulfillment, excitement, or thrill it had once had.  I was not in love with all of my life.  I felt disturbed and frustrated in work, and didn’t feel much closer to my goals than I had when I started.  I saw that I had been running on a Hamster wheel as hard as possible for five years and found myself near the same place I started.  So half of my life rocked!  But a huge part of it, my work, needed some serious help.

 

A Tipping Point

In November 2011 I got a sore throat that lasted for 4 weeks. In the 3rd week of annoying and relentless throat pain, after seeing  two doctors who found no solution, I had an experience that changed the way I viewed everything in my life.

One night during the usual stabbing pain each time I swallowed, I wondered, frustrated and annoyed, how I would get to sleep with the nuisance.  Then an idea popped into my head: “Next time it hurts, think of 5 or 10 things you’re grateful for.”

I did it, and felt an instant lift of my emotions. Then I swallowed and felt the intense pain in my throat again. So I thought of five or six more things I felt super grateful for.  This time, I began feeling happy as I thought of my amazing wife, my three children, and many other wonderful things in my life. Then I swallowed again. The pain was there, but I didn’t mind as much. I started to feel great and to really enjoy the feeling.  Feelings of stark contrast to the overwhelm, annoyance, and lethargy that I felt as I laid down.

How is this pain in my throat going to benefit me?

I had been asking that daily for 3 weeks.  I had come to believe that all adversity carries the seed of an equivalent advantage.  “Where is the advantage to this?” I continually asked.

And in that moment in bed that night, the truth of that principle planted itself deep within my core as I realized that as long as this pain was here, it would serve me.  I would make it a reminder to express gratitude in my thoughts. By deciding to use the pain in that way it would actually assist me in feeling immense joy emotionally.

 

Completely Empowered By The Pain

As I realized that, I felt extremely empowered and my emotions soared.  The next time I swallowed and felt the pain, my first thought was “Thank you for this sore throat!!” And I deeply meant it and it felt amazing to think it. I truly felt grateful for the experience with the pain right in that moment.  And I witnessed that I had learned an immensely valuable lesson that I could not have learned without that experience of pain.

I slept in peace that night, and I woke up on cloud nine the next day. I felt so excited about life all-of-a-sudden, and so empowered by what I could do with pain as a reminder, that I was totally OK if the sore throat stayed or went away. I now knew that either way, I would experience joy, and no amount of pain was going to stop me (at least I thought so at the time).

That moment in bed instilled in me the deep and personal knowledge that my circumstances do not dictate my happiness or joy.

I then knew on a deep internal level that there really is potential goodness in all things that show up in my life.  And that I can find it.  I then believed more firmly than ever that everything is conspiring for our benefit.

That day, life became truly amazing and a wonder to me. And every single day for over eight months afterward I woke up full of gratitude and excitement for life, absolutely thrilled to be alive.  Previously I had good days and bad days like most people.  And I really didn’t think there was anything I could do to fully control that.

That day everything changed…