The more you clean up your inner world, the more beautiful your outer world will be.

” In order to see the light, we must first experience the darkness.” — C. G. Jung

To savor success you must first taste failure, to understand and appreciate the value of love, you must expose yourself to rejection and pain. By expanding our consciousness, we open ourselves to a better understanding of the teaching tool our experiences hold for us, by allowing the flow of life and accepting that things need to happen in order to learn, we are in a better position to become more appreciative for the life that is unfolding—we are better open to a life of harmony.

Hello beautiful souls! I wish you many bright days and if you are currently experiencing darkness, I pray that it will be short lived, for it is in moments of profound darkness that our souls find the light once more. When we mourn our losses, it is when we struggle to find peace once again, we become vulnerable, uncomfortable, at times powerless. The pain might be so unbearable, making us feel immense fear; our mood darkened—life becomes a struggle. But why must it be so? Why struggle, why not allow? Why not accept the flow of life, trust, know that this too shall pass; learn the lesson and move on—this is a one way to view life. To succeed at achieving a state of gratitude and appreciation (for all that life holds for us) we must be open to experiencing by first comparing and fully understanding the opposing side (we cannot have one without the other).

To live in this conscious awareness and understanding that we live in ‘duality’; we accept a deeper understanding of life and its balance interaction of opposite and competing forces. When we live in duality, we learn to experience opposing sides by comparing the opposing counterpart—giving that (opposing) experience value.  Examples of duality that come to mind are peace and war, love and hate, companionship and solitude. The concept of duality can prove to be quite instrumental in answering scientific questions and even prove to be inspirational in the concept of mythology and religion:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”—Lao Tzu

When you are living the darkness, it is difficult sometimes impossible even, to see even a flicker of light at the end of the long treacherous tunnel—but it is there. Just as you are assured that after daylight there is nightfall (depending on where you live), you must know that light always follows darkness—it does not matter whether you are religious or not—it has been engrained in you that this is the case. So why resist? Why not embrace the flow—difficulties and all! Contradictions, truths, non-truths all are relational, everything has its purpose—together an expression of each other. These experiences or perception of experiences determine how we show up in the world.

As the winter months near, I think about running into my warm beautifully lit home with fireplace running, grabbing my blanket and hot cocoa—love this, feeling of warmth and coziness! I recognize that I wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept of ‘warmth’ and appreciate it as much as I do, until I have experienced the cold treacherous weather (remembering waiting for the bus during -20°C), walking in damp socks after stepping in slushy snow—not fun☹. When we manage to travel to sunny destinations for a week or two, we certainly appreciate the beautiful warm Caribbean weather, the ocean breeze, don’t we? I think all of us wish we could fly off anywhere that is near the sea right now after living this world-wide lock-down, to experience that luscious freedom of running across the sand, taking in the sea breeze, taking in the sun (a symbol of light dispelling darkness), that will once again restore my calmness, making me feel relaxed and renewed. For the folks living near the sea, think of us living up north having no access to beaches—please appreciate your natural environment that much more. Right now, I am enjoying my hot cocoa as it is currently 8°C here in Toronto. So, yes, we understand that we first must live uncomfortable scenarios, experience a form of darkness to understand and appreciate the light that much more, that we know will soon come to pass and what a beautiful sweet spot to be in.

I am extremely grateful for all my experiences in life, I embrace them all! Having experienced times of turmoil, violence, chaos early on in my life, that season of darkness, taught me to appreciate the peace and love that much more, that is very much a part of my life now. I embrace it wholeheartedly and it gives me great comfort knowing that I could not understand the extent of such peace and love, were it not for that period of darkness—and for this I am grateful. I forgive myself for having allowed such darkness, I forgive my teachers that took part in it—I am grateful for my lessons.

We need to embrace the opposite in order to achieve wholeness—a life of harmony. We can only continue our personal growth when we open ourselves to many more painful and uncomfortable moments. Be mindful of what you are putting out into the universe when designing your map to what you perceive success should be. If we are the architects of our own lives and we know that our experiences shape us, then why choose to see life from a negative lens? What type of foundation are you building for yourself? Are you choosing to draw these perceptions from ego; what your mind has been fed by society, or will choose to view your circumstance and live your experiences by following your heart—living from wholeness rather than from lack. This is what our seasons of darkness teach us. Choose to see the light in everything, choose to move on and walk into the beautiful life that awaits you, now that you are wiser, but choose and hold yourself accountable for those choices. To choose or not choose are also opposing examples, however not making a choice in life, is also ‘choosing’ not to choose (huh?). I think my point here is: don’t let life happen to you, make a decision and move with the flow—it will certainly move you in the direction you need to go in order to achieve greater success!

For approximately thirty years, I was humbled with the opportunity to represent some beautiful souls that for whatever reason in their lives had to go through a period of darkness, some recovered fully, took their season of darkness as a period of reflection, took the lesson(s) learned and moved on. Some however remain on the repeat soundtrack: ”Why Me?” It is their inability to forgive these moments and feelings of anger, that kept them reliving these painful experiences, taking them deeper and deeper into darkness. They do no realize that they are allowing this pain, this lack, to take hold of them. They do not see that their suffering spills over to their loved ones who are trying their best to keep it together for them—do not do this to yourself and your loved ones. Do not allow this period of darkness take you down, instead reflect.

I will give you an example of one such case of success. I had just started with this law firm, and I was thrown to a workload of 600 cases—as you can imagine I felt overwhelmed and I could not breathe as I drove home that evening after my first day. I cried in my car thinking I made the biggest mistake, but after that good cry, I held my head up, I prayed (as I often do), I felt a calmness and was ready for what the day brought me. My mornings were busy with never ending phone calls of poor souls seeking guidance, seeking answers and solutions to their cases that had been neglected for some time (seeing that there was a recent shift in management). I tackled each case, one a time, making no promises just applying what I know. With great confidence, I organized a team and began as my very own version of ‘Dear Abby’, (yup that’s how young I am! Yikes!) to resolve and provide answers to these poor souls, one heartbeat at a time. This led me to a gentleman (in fact he was my very first call and case on the job) who called quite frantic, seeking resolution to his case immediately (by then it was already 6yrs old and no resolution in sight). I later discovered that he did not just have one case but five cases pending—for which I was instrumental in seeing through the successful resolution of all his cases and gave him that much needed closure in his personal life. The success of this story was not so much that his cases resolved, with great monetary value, but that along the way this client; (let’s call him Mr. X for the sake of this blog), began to see the value of the lesson learned. As this client had a few cases pending, naturally it would take a few years to see the resolution of all cases and during that time, we had plenty of opportunity to talk. I am quite open with my clients and encourage them to be open about how they are feeling not just physically, but emotionally as well. I become an active participant, as they welcome me on their journey, I ensure to hold their hand every step of the way, along with the help of a magnificent rehabilitation team, to ensure that not only their rehabilitation goals are met, but also their goals at becoming a better version of themselves. As their representative I have access to their medical file, I become quite familiar with their health patterns and come to an understanding of the events leading to their misfortunate accidents, an understanding stemming from a spiritual perspective. Two cars colliding or a pedestrian crossing and getting seriously injured—that’s obvious; no, my thinking goes beyond my physical lens.

My conversation with Mr. X led to what was going in his life, right before the accident. I cannot tell you how many times clients start to realize and question, how they fell into the lie that their lives were wonderful, they were making money, their life at home was good, blah, blah, blah. But was it? No, I ask my clients to dig deep. Cases aside; if you are going through a period of darkness, and if in fact you and your family were living your ‘best lives’, then you might conclude that your talents must have been called to action and you must figure out what you are called to do in order to realize your true potential (your life’s purpose), in this life time.

For Mr. X, his revelation was so profound, by examining every aspect of his life, he concluded that the first accident (that caused several fractures including his vertebrae and several internal injuries) which was the most severe, and was a near death experience, leaving him with a multitude of impairments; in fact, saved his life. Prior to his first accident, Mr. X, was quite successful, was making more than a decent salary, his job called for him to be on the road often, but he thought he was content and living the life—this however,  was not reflected on his medical file, mind you. He was obese, had an enormous amount of health issues and he was refusing to see the many lacks in his personal family life due to traveling. As I began working with him and we began having our conversations, and as he learned to ‘keep his cool’ when things did not get done as quickly as he hoped, he started allowing more peace in his life. As his legal cases began to come to a resolution one-at-a-time, he learned to relax. He came to terms that the life he had before was not for him, an in fact he was on his way to no good with all his underlying health issues. As I put together a rehabilitation team to work with him on his physical injuries, I also made sure he had access to some wonderful practitioners qualified to address all his emotional and psychological needs. He grew quite fond of the care he received from his team (including my care and advice) and chose to only look at the positives going for him and that goodness he was experiencing; despite his near-death experience. He no longer dwelled on what was, focused on himself and on getting stronger physically, understanding that this season of darkness while only momentarily, ‘too shall pass’, I began to notice a shift in his mindset, in his mood, on his outlook. He learned to trust. He embraced the lesson it brought him, learning to love himself again. He repaired his relationship with his son (that was non-existent before his accident due to spending it entirely on the road and in hotels), he worked on self-love, and began to open himself up to opportunities once more. When he began the healing process, he began to shed all those unnecessary pounds and the last time I spoke to him he had lost half his weight (being close to 360lbs. prior to his accident). Whenever he called me, he was no longer frustrated, no longer yelling, (as he often did at reception) it was because of his foul mood that my entire office came to know him. When he attended my office for his last and final visit, he was unrecognizable, surely my colleagues would not have pegged him for someone that weighed 360lbs at some point, and they were certainly shocked to hear that this was the gentleman who often yelled at anyone who would lend an ear to his misery. I empathize for his pain, I showed compassion, offered him support where needed, and it was because he was open to letting go of this old pain, because he was willing to accept the flow of life, and allowed this new-found perspective that he was able to see the light once more. God bless!      

We need to learn to use the paradoxes in our lives to expand our consciousness, to learn to create our future successes. Trust the flow and learn to recognize how moments of darkness teach us appreciation and gratitude for life. There is life after loss, more happy moments, after moments of darkness, laughter after moments of sadness—take comfort in knowing that ‘it too shall pass’ and embrace your brighter and wiser self! Know that there is more to this universe, this space. Think about what you are putting out there and how that thought that action materializes in your outer world. You have everything in your power to handle what is going on in your life today, tomorrow has not yet come, so why worry about what you cannot control? Yesterday cannot return so why dwell on it? Today, is what is available to you—own it! Release your desired outcome, what you think now becomes your reality, let go of fear, let got of ego—stay present. Feel your desirable outcome, visualize with full intention what that prosperous outcome looks like, despite the temporary outer conditions (this is to practice non-duality). You have one life, live it!

Now, my dear readers, to experience ultimate joy, contentment, peace always, you must open your mind to a mind of ‘non-duality’ to simply feeling; the ability to live with what is happening within your day without separating yourself from it (That is a double huh?). Be sure to keep a look out for this very informative segment on non-duality in future posts. But for now my sweet souls, simply understanding ‘duality’ is a good starting point to finding your purpose, to help you reach a level of awareness that offers you the ability to be alive in this moment; to take on all experiences as teaching tools for brighter tomorrows.

Remember to offer love to everyone, be kind always including your loyal and faithful pets!

Until our next visit together, stay kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

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