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Creative Spiritual Women

How to Self-Evolve Through Problems, Challenges, Difficulties or Devastation:

Illustration Friday: Grow

“We do not encourage unnecessary starkness. Enjoy life while you are learning. All of the elements of your Self are created for the expression of Divine Love.” -Alan Cohen, The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

I’m so peaceful when I’m meditating. Often, I’ll feel a profound and encompassing peace that re-sets and re-energizes my spirit the way a good night’s sleep resets my body.

For perhaps an hour, I’ll be on the floating cloud of calm joyfulness. My emotional sea has nary a ripple. All is truly right with the world.

Then someone calls.

Or an email filters through my inbox.

Or I meet with someone (or a group of someones).

Often, because I make it a habit to stay present and peaceful, my encounters are of the best kind. I meet with amazing men and women who are actually changing the world with their actions. I meet with grounded, peaceful souls who teach me more with their examples than I could ever learn from a book.

But sometimes? The person on the other end of the phone, email, or table is not in a good mood.

Or I miscommunicate with my husband.

Or I stub my toe. Or I burn dinner. Or I forget to run an errand. Somehow, I fail.

And that incredible, encompassing peace is gone.

We all have a million little things (it’s always the littlest things) that will set us off, dethrone our peace, and wreak havoc on our emotions.

Sometimes I fantasize about living in a world where I don’t encounter anything like that.

Perhaps I live in a cottage in the woods, with a brook running by, where I write and draw and read to my heart’s content while the birds chirp happily outside my windows.

Or I’m living on the coast of a Greek island, with the emerald sea as my front lawn, the sea gulls swooping and playing overhead while I take long walks in the sand at sunset.

In reality, that cottage has it’s own challenges. Bugs? Check. Rainstorms, thigh-high snow, frozen pipes, perhaps…

The Greek island? Tiny language barrier. Add hurricanes, sand in places sand should never be, etc…. you get the point.

As long as we’re having this earthly experience, we’re experiencing difficulties, problems, logistical nightmares, annoyances, devastations.

Our lives are not stark, emotionless, and problem-free. However, it is entirely possible to choose how we respond to problems. Our job is not to live without problems. Our job is to consciously evolve so we are no longer experiencing the same problems at the same level.

“Apparently difficult experiences can be reinterpreted as precise openings for self-evolution…. Since I have committed to “go the whole way” in this lifetime, I choose to interpret everything that happens to me as an opportunity for self-evolution. I tell myself that if I did not need to learn from a particular experience I would not be given it. With this understanding, I prefer to face a painful experience now rather than later, because if I face it fully now, I will learn the lesson and not have to deal with it at some future point.” -Barbara Marx Hubbard, Emergence

How to Self-Evolve Through Problems, Challenges, Difficulties or Devastation:

  1. Recognize when you’re meeting resistance. Often, when I’m not fully present, my autopilot is dealing with the little crises that pop up and I do not fully acknowledge them or honor their place in my life. If I fully recognize something isn’t going smoothly, I can begin the process of learning from it and moving above it.
  2. Thank the emotions that come as a result of that problem or challenge. Emotions let us know what’s going on inside. They’re little gauges that tell us when something isn’t right- or something is wonderful. When I appreciate my anger, frustration, anxiety, and pain for what they really are- warning signs that something needs fixed- I lessen their hold on me and am able to be more fully present with the problem.
  3. Thank the problem. Yes, a stubbed toe means something. Perhaps I was rushing through my day. Burned dinner is a great indication my body is cooking but my mind is somewhere else. Even devastating events have profound, positive effects on us if we’ll only set aside our ego long enough to acknowledge them.
  4. Invite your wisest self to help you solve the problem. We all have that wise inner voice to tap into. Whether you call it intuition, God, Higher Self, Spirit- it is the wisest, calmest, most present part of you. Connecting with your inner peace is what it’s all about. This is why we have problems, to remember that we are not just flesh and bone struggling through life- we are, in fact, spirits creating incredible connections through a brief physical lifetime.
  5. Thank your higher self for helping. Too often, I forget this piece. I’ll wrestle with a problem, ask for Spirit to help me through it, then phew- it’s over, I don’t have to think about it anymore. But it’s essential to acknowledge and honor that help to strengthen that connection. Would you feel inclined to help someone who never thanked you for anything you did?
  6. Tell someone. We are not doing this alone. Sharing our stories connects us with others, and encourages them. If it weren’t for those who’ve gone before us passing on their stories, we’d be constantly stuck re-learning the same things, thinking we’re doing it wrong because no one else seems to have these struggles.

I’d love to hear your story.

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14 comments… add one
  • Oooh. This is good. And true.

    I need sleep first, story later, but thank you for this!

    • Belle

      Thank you Christa! I can’t wait to hear your story.

  • Thank you for this. How we choose to respond to the challenges – this is such an important reminder.

    Such beautiful wisdom here. You inspire me, Belle.

    • Belle

      I’m honored, Alia. Thank you. <3<3<3

  • Thank you for this. It is like the Universe is telling me something these days. I’ve never been a fan of wrestling with God, so to speak and I am realizing I don’t need to.I will be given what I need.

    • Belle

      Keishua- that is so true and so simple- we don’t need to. You’re a gorgeous soul and I can’t wait to see what unfolds for you.

  • I seen your guest post at Kind over Matter, so I can by. I have to say firstly, that it’s so nice to have someone else who is so spiritually connected without shoving it down people’s throats. I feel like I can connect and relate with you, and the energy here is so wonderful.

    I really needed to read this story right now. I started feeling sorry for myself, which is never a good thing. I was thinking, “great, anytime we get a little more money, there’s always something that just has to be fixed.” Yeah, it’s life, and it always happens. So what? My God has never let me down or left me alone. He has always taken care of me and provided when I could not. Change is inevitable, and it’s not always pleasant. It’s like anything else though, my perception of the situation is what makes it what it is. Either I can smile and embrace it, or kick and scream the whole way. When I get down I try to remember this one thing: “He is either everything, or He is nothing.”

    Thanks again, and I’m so glad to be here :o)

    • Belle

      Thank you a million times for your comment. I really believe being spiritually connected is in complete discord with shoving anything anywhere;) When we unfold, we allow others to unfold as well.

      I couldn’t help but think when I read your story that perhaps that extra money is coming in because God knows something extra is coming up! You have exactly what you need before you need it.

      I’ve found my relationship with that wonderful energy that is in everything and everyone (God, Spirit, whatever word we use) is either wonderful or frustrating completely depending on my perception of it. Some days, no matter how long I’ve been happy & loving & in connection with Spirit, I’ll have frustrating and disconnected moments. It just is. That’s why it’s a practice, and I have to keep coming back again and again and remember why my relationship with Her is so important.

      Your story is a beautiful “coming home”. Thank you. =)

  • I had just decided to spend three whole days without worrying! The idea just fills me with glee because I am too often caught up in the mind boggling, self-defeating, and self-sabotaging act of jumping into overwhelm. Oh no! Reading this article was just a perfect companion to my vow and challenge of experimenting with a worry free zone. I especially loved the part about how it’s great to thank our higher selves and that we wouldn’t want to do favors for someone who never thanks us! Hooray!

    I want to declare right now that I will be first in line for any book you put together — especially if it includes these wonderful posts!

    • Belle

      Oh Carol! What an exquisite plan! I can’t wait to hear how your worry-free days go. What a perfect thing to let go of. Thank you for the inspiration!

      And oh you read my mind! I am working on a little something to have here soon. Thank you for encouraging the project without even knowing it was in the works! Love & hugs dear friend!

  • Reneice

    I love it!

    • Crystal Belle

      Thank you Reneice!

  • Hannah


    I really love your point about the importance of acknowledging and truly feeling the emotions associated with challenges, struggles and resistance – as well as reminding us all to thank the higher power. This is a practice I think more often than not is left out of mindfulness practices when they talk about acknowledging our feelings, feeling them and letting them go. In doing this we forget about the actual accomplishment of moving from that place of negative thought (destructive) to positive. I am excited to start using this in my practice and watching my connection grow and strengthen. Thank you :)

    • Crystal Belle

      Thank you Hannah! I’d love to know how this works for you and if you have anything to add to it from your practice. :)
      Crystal Belle

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