The Blessing in a Crisis

I recently heard a lecture by the best-selling author Daphne Rose Kingma and she said some things that are worth sharing. If you want to hear more from her, check out her latest book on the 10 things to do when your life falls apart, which you can order any place where you like to get books. While her comments were not directed to people dealing with business challenges, they certainly apply in that situation. Here’s what I got from what she said:


A crisis is any situation that you feel is beyond your control (which most people in business are experiencing given the economic downturn). Why it’s a crisis is that we are thrust into feelings we are unfamiliar with. As human beings, our nature is to want to feel in control. Since we are fundamentally emotional beings, feeling out of control is unsettling. The notion of surrendering to the circumstances is not our nature.


To make matters worse, we get a lot into self blame. Why me? Why now? And when we get beyond that, the tendency is to just try and figure out how to effectively deal with the circumstances and that’s that.


There is an alternative, one that’s empowering but not one that most of us choose. That is to step back and ask what there is to learn from the situation. We certainly don’t look at a crisis as an opportunity for personal transformation. Yes, you have to deal with the circumstances. But the real opportunity is to see the situation as an opportunity for emotional growth. People actually need an occasional crisis to become more personally aware.


Life is a journey of personal and spiritual growth. It’s really not about collecting “stuff,” although for too many, that’s how it appears. The richness of life comes from getting to know ourselves and the people in our lives and who we work with. The great beauty of a crisis is its opportunity to confront all of our assumptions and the areas where we are unconscious. And we don’t stop to acknowledge how brilliant we are just to have survived up until now.


Personally, and as an example, I just had a bit of a crisis. I crashed on my bike, landed on my face, had some pretty ugly bruises, spent 6 hours in 2 emergency rooms and had over an hour of plastic surgery to close all of the wounds. But I never felt victimized by the situation. As I took time to just relax and recover, I spent several hours writing in my journal, looking to see what the lessons were for me in the situation and what I could learn about myself from what happened. I learned quite a bit. It’s a good thing I had just heard Daphne’s lecture so I could try that approach. It really worked.


So if you are still at the effect of what’s going on in the economy and suffering in any way because of it, here’s an opportunity to take a different approach. Maybe it’s time to open yourself to some new possibilities, to reach out to others, to acknowledge yourself, to see what there is to learn about yourself, and to even claim a greater piece of your personal power. After all, couldn’t hurt!