Stop, Step Back and Breathe

Three or four times every year we are presented with a slice of time, about three weeks give or take, in which we may find our lives going array for no apparent reason. There are very good explanations for what is happening around us, as with most situations which cause us to be perplexed and confused. But for the purpose of brevity, I ask you to just go with me on this, because one of those slices of time started yesterday.

Whether it is bad karma, some stars in or out of alignment, a Universal Law we are fighting or a devil doing his work (depending on your take on life), we all have these moments where no matter how hard we try to make things right everything seems to be going wrong.

Psychotherapist and coach Lynn Grodzki, LCSW, says for those of in the profession of helping others, we recognize this as AFGO, Another Friggin’ Growth Opportunity. As helpers we know we must first help ourselves before helping others. Often people want to grow spiritual or improve in their lives only to complain that they do not want to try something new. 12-step programs remind us that doing the same thing over and over and expecting difference results is a great definition of insanity. At times during our lives such as we are currently experiencing, it does it good to stop, step back, take one heck of a deep breath, and see if the AFGO before us requires a change in the paradigm we have of life.

When Ernest Holmes wisely taught us that changing our thinking changes our life he was not explaining a one-time experience. It is not like you “paint your car, change your life” and the car works perfectly for the rest of the time we own it. Changing our thinking only changes our life when we are practicing this principle by examining our sacrosanct paradigms on a daily basis.

If we have built our life on a firm foundation as expressed in our personal vision and mission, then the changes, frustrations, obstacles and other AFGOs that present themselves allow us to move forward instead of stopping progress and/or staying stuck.

Over the next three weeks be aware of the AFGOs, of frustration on the part of others, or perhaps yourself. When these “golden opportunities” present themselves, stop, step back, take one heck of a deep breath, smile to yourself as you recognize the AFGO and go with the flow of the Universe. Just remember when you go with the flow: YOU get to pick the stream.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


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