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I talk a lot about spiritual practice, a daily practice of contemplative prayer or meditation. And this is the foundation of everything I do personally and professionally, and what I coach others to do.

But sometimes that means I can get a little overly focused on the practice itself. This quote brought me up short and made me think about the bigger picture:

“A wise teacher once told me that what is of value is never the habits and skills acquired from practice, but the understanding that results from consciously undertaking struggles.”

  • Richard Hodges (Master Judo Champion)

This is a powerful reminder that although the practice is important, the practice itself isn’t the point. The point is to show up in daily life bearing the fruits of your inner transformation into the world, for the good of others.

That’s where true wisdom becomes practical. The goal isn’t to withdraw into a safe, controlled world where everything is predictable. (That’s impossible.)

No, the real goal is to have the inner courage to “consciously undertake struggles”… WITHOUT shrinking, becoming paralyzed by fear, or going back into old (often destructive or addictive) habits.

When you can consciously undertake challenges, then you really know the fruits of your practice are paying off in daily life.

What does this look like in practice?

  • It looks like feeling afraid to do something big and bold, but doing it anyways.
  • It looks like having difficult, but honest, conversations with your employees or direct reports…
    • with your partner or spouse…
    • with your kids…
    • Or even – gulp – with yourself!

It also looks like not becoming overly rigid even with your commitment to a spiritual practice (if you already have one, and if you don’t then I want to talk with you even more…)

In Centering Prayer and Meditation, we’re very conscious about not having “rules.” Instead, we have “guidelines” to guide our practice, to give it enough shape and structure so it becomes easy to do every day; but not so rigid that it becomes a “have-to” or another item on the to do list.

We also teach that the experience of the meditation is completely irrelevant. Let me say that again, your experience during the practice is completely irrelevant.

What is relevant is showing up and saying yes…to everything.

Which sounds really good until challenges come up!

That’s where the heart of this transformative process takes you – to the very limits of your excuses, your fears, your insecurities, and your limiting beliefs (about God or about ourselves or the world or other people)…AND then it asks you to “surrender in” (the way of yielding).

I don’t know anybody who does this with any consistency who hasn’t made a commitment to a daily spiritual practice, surrounded themselves with a teacher they trust, and others who are committed to the path.

I also don’t know anybody who does this perfectly. This is the way of yielding and surrendering, even to failure and to learning from it as much as possible.

The paradox here is that this willingness to accept life on life’s terms opens up a couple of things:

  • First, it opens up the possibility of healing from life’s wounds.
  • Second, it opens up incredible energy, creativity, innovation, and connection with others.

If you’re watching and you find yourself right on the verge of moving beyond stress, overwhelm, or burnout from trying to force things to happen in a particular way; and you’re looking for a gentler and wiser way (but no less powerful), then I want to invite you to an honest, courageous conversation about where the Spirit might be leading you in this struggle.

Apply – Thomas J. Bushlack

How will you know if that’s you?

  • First, you’ll probably have an intuitive sense that something more is struggling to be born or released through you and your particular experiences, skills, and achievements.
  • Second, I’ve got a proven system for exploring this together that I use on Breakthrough Sessions, so that you can get total clarity on where you are right now and what you need to do next

And then if we can help you get to the next level, we can discuss that; and if not, that’s fine too.

But the only way to find the goodness and power that the current struggle is bringing out in you is to embrace it and take action. Otherwise, you end up like most people who feel this little tug, but never respond to it.  People who get to the end of their career and wonder what greater good they could have unleashed in the world if they could have gotten the inner courage and external help to say yes and embrace the unknown adventure.

My passion is walking right beside you into that unknown adventure!  And the doorway to that adventure is your free Breakthrough Session – Apply – Thomas J. Bushlack

“A wise teacher once told me that what is of value is never the habits and skills acquired from practice, but the understanding that results from consciously undertaking struggles.”

  • Richard Hodges

What struggles do you need help consciously undertaking?  Click the link now to find out…

Apply – Thomas J. Bushlack


Apply – Thomas J. Bushlack

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