I spent the last three days reading my new (soon to release!) book aloud. I was holed up in the Outpost Studio in San Francisco, recording the audio version of the book—and I must tell you, it’s a beautiful and strange experience to read the sentences of your own story into empty air for hours on end.
But as I read the words out loud, I was struck by simple threads woven throughout my book that I hadn’t even noticed before. They came to a new life through being spoken, and the root of all of them was empowerment. I was reminded that we—all of us—live from an empowered place of choices.
At every turn and at every fork, we get to choose how we respond to the circumstances present. And the first choice of many is noticing the choices we have. And then, we must take responsibility for those choices.
Things happen (the good, the bad, the ugly), and you rarely have control, although you may think at times you are in control; that’s the illusion of the ego mind. What you do have control over is how you choose to be in your life: Will you live with a mood dictated by life’s situations, or will you look upon your current situation with peaceful curiosity and an open mind? Will you ask, “Why has this shown up for me? What am I to learn? How can I make the most of this fertile ground of growth?”
Sometimes, it is our most devastating circumstances that reveal our depth and awaken us in mindfulness. And, by God, mindfulness feels very attuned and very alive!
At a recent retreat I spoke to a woman whose brother had committed a crime that brought deep shame to her family. After a time of listening to her story and feeling her pain, it was clear that her brother had a soul contract to be a teacher for all of them. The unimaginable grief they endured actually assisted them in making fresh choices—sending them on a powerful healing journey that inevitably opened them to a new way of life.
That’s what can happen when your perfect life shatters. But you have to choose to heal. You have to be open to rebirthing a new life.
And even if it’s not the deep valleys of pain that you’re facing today, there’s still a choice. (There’s always a choice.) Perhaps life is just humming along for you. In the mundane everyday “stuff,” your choice is to live consciously awake, to choose joy.
No matter your circumstances, you have the agency to decide to be completely immersed in gratitude for the wonder of your experience and to be a guiding light for others.
These are the thoughts that came to my mind as I spoke them into an empty studio. It was a powerful time where empowerment reigned, and I’m so excited to share with you my new book From Heartbreak to Wholeness: The Hero’s Journey to Joy. (It releases in just about eight weeks!)
People might feel this is a book about loss. But it’s not.
It’s a book about empowerment, about the choices we have—and how to live our most vibrant lives and become the best versions of ourselves—no matter what happens.