“The Holiness of Your Challeges”

My life–especially what provokes or challenges me-have served to teach me we are blessed with a sacred journey we call being human. And while looking around at the state of the world may appear to mock this, I’ve also grown skeptical of conclusions based solely on my thoughts and what our culture tells me is so. I’ve come to understand wherever darkness holds court in your life is where to shine even brighter the light of your soul and the radiance of your heart. As Mother Teresa understood, saving the world and creating world peace begins in your own life and home and only then will it become so in the world.

It is holy work to be entrusted by women and men with intimacy of what keeps them up at night and doubting themselves. Becoming vulnerable with a stranger requires not only courage, but a faith-however faint and elusive-in people and the world as essentially good. I have the privilege of helping people trade their challenge in trusting themselves for trusting answers already within them. Add learning to translate the ever-present guidance and wisdom of their soul, and their courage to risk changing results in feeling better about themselves and their life.


When I speak with a person about what they are struggling with, I hear them also offer their answers, although they do not hear themselves do so. This is not due to a lack of intelligence or desire on their part. It is the result of being taught for generations to assign authority to outside of yourself, when the truth is, you are the expert of yourself and your life. And, as the ancient Greeks (and Barbara Streisand) understood, people need people in life. Alone we cannot see our angels and our devils which sit on our shoulders, awaiting our choice of which to embrace. Only a person on the other side of us can help us claim our angels and banish our devils.

Your capacity to live your desires and your passions will not come through talking or thinking about doing so. It comes through engaging your challenges for bringing forth just how much braver, stronger, and wiser you truly are than you now believe. What provokes you in life-an important relationship, a health challenge, the incoming POTUS- offers itself as a catalyst for engaging your soul and spirit to create solutions to where you now feel despair and discouraged. How wise Shakespeare was in cautioning us in being too quick to judge good or bad, right or wrong, when what challenges us (bad) offers us surprising grace (good) when we engage it.

The world needs you more than ever to be bold and brave in living as the unique and essential soul and life you are, to share the sacred (vs scared) presence and radiance you are. Never doubt that your spirit and soul can prevail in what you mind tells you is doom and gloom. You may not understand how this can be so, but choose to have faith in yourself and watch miracles unfold which serve your life and this time you were born for. I leave you with words which help me remember this when I get discouraged….

“We have entered a new Middle Ages, a time of violence, of extreme class disparity, of religious fanaticism, of plagues and famines…..a time when it is terribly important and often dangerous to preserve values and knowledge, to stand up for visions that most of this crazed world cannot comprehend or tolerate. The value of having your own inner map of the world as it is-not how it is broadcast-is this: it allows you to know that your life, your task, is larger than yourself. If you choose to be a decent person, you are entrusted with passing on something of value through a dark and crazy time. Preserving your integrity in your way, by your acts and your very presence, to hold what is precious for those who will build again when this chaos exhausts itself. People who assume the burden of their own integrity are free, and as Nelson Mandela showed us, it’s force cannot be quelled even when jailed. The future lives in our individual, often lonely, and certainly unprofitable acts of integrity or it doesn’t live at all.”  ~ Michael Ventura