Converting problems in to opportunities

In line with my last blog post, where I talk about Ashwada, the tantric practice of learning to savor each experience, in this writing I invite you to learn to appreciate your problems!

When we label certain circumstances as problems, we immediately color our perception of the event as something negative, bad, problematic, etc. As a result, our body and breathing become tense, we may experience some level of anxiety, and our ability to respond creatively and constructively may decrease. Worse yet, we lose our innate ability to have fun in the process.


This is why when I feel stressed by some event or circumstance, I repeat to myself:


Dealing with this is good for me.


My spiritual teacher once said: "The problems that come to us in life are neither stronger nor weaker than us, they are as strong as we are" and I would add, dealing with these is how we grow in personal power and wisdom.


In ontological coaching, instead of using the word problems, we use the term break, which literally speaks of a break in our flow through life. What is a problem for me may not constitute a problem for another person, since perhaps in their case, they know perfectly how to respond to the circumstance, therefore, they do not experience a break in their flow. Something becomes problematic for me when I judge that I do not have the availability, knowledge, or resources to deal with it easily. The term break speaks of an internal limitation that we can take care of. Our stress comes from our judgments/beliefs associated with the "problem" and perhaps also speaks to our resistance to learning new skills or believing in ourselves. Hence we could add another line to the previous statement:


Dealing with this is good for me.

I open myself to learning and growing in this process.


Every time we transcend a personal limit, a new world of possibilities opens up to us. This does not mean that the process can't be challenging, but what it does provide is a mental space that allows you to embrace the process with energy, faith and even enthusiasm if you know that it will provide you with greater freedom and power of action. This is why I invite you to practice seeing in each of your "problems" doors to new skills and panoramas of experience.


Don't underestimate the power of your perception. How you choose to view the circumstances will define your experience of them. Remember the goal of yoga, it is freedom from our conditioned mind and this freedom can only be regained in each moment. Therefore, the most important action is to cultivate a positive outlook, seeing in every event a gift to grow in knowledge and personal expression. Hence, I give you the 5 Questions to carry out a Cognitive Re-framing from the renowned coach, Tony Robins. The excerpt that I share with you below is written by one of my Meditation teachers: Jonathan Faust, this is his personal story:


"Questions can become a very powerful tool when you can ask creative questions that open up new possibilities, and that can change your state of consciousness. I would like to give you an example how they really helped me once:


I was feeling tired and exhausted when I got home from work, when I checked my voicemail and discovered that I had 75 voicemails to respond to. Desperation and hopelessness came, and then, thank God, I remember the problem-solving questions. This is how it goes:


1.- What is good about this situation or what could be good?


"I thought: Nothing!" (But the power of the exercise comes from persevering in honestly answering the question.)

"Well, there are 75 people who think I'm important enough to send a voicemail, maybe that's cool"


2.- What is not perfect yet?


"I'm not working reasonable hours, that would allow me to not come home exhausted and have time to slow down and build up a little more energy for the next day." - I started to feel a little more energy


3.- What are you willing to do to solve the situation?


"I'm willing to learn how to manage my time better. I'm willing to learn how to delegate, and I think I'm willing to learn how to say no."


4.-What are you no longer willing to do to solve this situation?


"I'm not willing to live this way anymore. I don't want to live on the edge of exhaustion, trying to do all my things, constantly feeling overwhelmed" - and I started to feel a little more energy here.


The next question is a really challenging question, it's one of those radical questions that forces you to rethink your entire experience.


5.- How can you solve this situation and have a good time doing it?


I had an idea, I went to the refrigerator, got a beer and went to my back porch and brought my phone, I have always liked doing different accents and voices, while going through voicemail, I let myself be creative, answering the messages…and I went on and on, and I got to the final voicemail and I was actually disappointed because I was having so much fun. I also realized that I could get excited about learning how to reorganize my life and get help, get some coaching.


These 5 questions helped me in a very powerful way; "They took me from feeling desperate to being much clearer about what I was willing to do, what I was not willing to do, and thus be able to resolve the situation."

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