Adversity is a Gift

By Steve Rumpp

Welcome the adversity in your life. Don't go looking for it, or enjoy it- but welcome life’s physical, mental and emotional adversities as they happen, with total mindfulness.  See more clearly than you normally see, breathe more calmly, think more soundly, and be with the adversity in your life.

Your true strength lies within it.

Bikram likes to say, “The darkest place is under the lamp.”  Implied then, is that the brightest place (with the most to learn) is in total darkness.  “The more you suffer, the more you benefit.  If $1 buys 2 apples, then when you suffer more, the same $1 buys 4 apples.”  While we think we’d prefer to go through life without adversity, this proverb implies we would miss an important point were we never to be challenged to work through difficult times.  Conveniently, life is filled with plenty of just such opportunities!

It is in the depth of our challenges that we have the best view of our own life, of our present degree of Self-realization, of a fear we can dissolve in order to live a more fulfilled and happy life.  Just as it is within the stillness of our yoga that our most rare gems are to be found, so it is within our darkest moment that gifts await.

Greet adversity with increased calmness.  Demonstrate to yourself that you can handle anything.  That nothing steals your peace.  Ever. This is what you practice each day you step onto your yoga mat. Practice being faced with challenges and rising above them to find peace under any circumstance.

Learning to discover deeper strength, greater peace and new solutions to old problems from within our most difficult times, also serves as a model for the global response required if we are to meet the adversity facing our planet.  It is within this kind of peace that all of the world's problems will ultimately be dissolved.

Just like there is no such place as 'away' when we think of throwing something there, there is no such time or place called 'later' when it comes to living in right action.  No such thing, just an excuse to avoid ourselves.  Every choice matters, especially during our most difficult times.

How we handle adversity defines our power as individuals.  The seeds we plant through our actions and our thoughts create in turn the life we live.  No deals.  No exceptions.  No way around it.  We deliver ourselves to ourselves in every moment – good and bad.

Care about every little thing as if your life depends upon it.  Your happiness does.  Plant seeds of good in every action and every thought, and watch your life turn into the magic show of bliss and blessings that this life is meant to be.  Practice your yoga, live as a yogi in the fullest expression of detachment doing the right thing.  There is no need and no place for worry.  The universe will provide.

Adversity is also our reminder to be humble.  Say thank you, embrace these moments for the richness they possess and don't miss out on one of the momentary insights they contain.  Your life is about to change for the good.