Subject: Gifts in Disguise
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
produced by Margo Chisholm
The Freedom Coach
Monday, November 22, 1999
Continuing thanks to those of you who forward CTJ to
friends, family and coworkers. Each week I hear from
people who received CTJ from a friend and want to be
subscribed. The Magic of the Universe issue was also
reprinted in another newsletter. I am honored! I wish
you all a peaceful, joyous and easy Thanksgiving. May
you spend the day with people you love, in conscious
gratitude for the abundance in your life.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have a request. Several
weeks ago, I became aware of a marvelous website called
TheHungerSite. I rarely forward email, but I did send this
information to everyone on my regular email list. By
going to http://www.thehungersite.com and clicking on
the “Donate Free Food” button you provide a serving of
rice, wheat, maize or some other staple food to a hungry
person. You may do this once each day. Please take this
opportunity to help feed the world.
Gifts in Disguise
I woke up this morning to low, gray clouds from which
big white flakes drifted slowly, adding to the 2-inch white
carpet that already covered my lawn. Snow. A big winter
storm, the radio said, making driving difficult,
necessitating wearing boots rather than shoes outside,
requiring a brush to remove the snow from windshields
before driving anywhere. Certainly this storm is creating
some inconvenience and even some problems. However,
I live in Colorado — Ski Country USA — and we have had
a dearth of snow this fall. This storm is a huge gift for us
here in the mountains. Yes, it brings some annoyances
and even some difficulty. But it doesn’t really take much
of a shift to recognize the snow as the gift it is, even
though it may be disguised.
Obstacles are gifts for learning. How many gifts cross your
path each day that are disguised as obstacles and go
unrecognized? How many times do you judge an event
to be a problem and fail to see the gift of learning it
contains? Each time we miss the lesson, it will be
presented to us again, this time a little bit harder. Anne
Wilson Schaef said in her book “Meditations for Women
Who Do Too Much,”
I always believe that the intensity of the
whack alongside the head that life has to
give us in order to get a lesson through
to us is directly proportionate to the
height and breadth of our stubbornness
and illusion of control.
How would your life be different if you viewed all of what
life gives you as gifts of learning rather than judging them
only to be problems or difficulties or obstacles?
I offer you an experiment.
Pick a day this week and choose to perceive each event of
the day, each phone call, each person you come across,
each occurrence as a gift of learning. Some events and
people will be easy to put in the gift category, some more
difficult. Choose your language carefully. Avoid words
like problem, difficulty, complication, predicament, hard,
impossible, inconvenient. Instead choose opportunity,
gift, growth, experience, lesson, teacher. Ask yourself
questions based on the supposition that everything that
crosses your path is a gift.
What can I learn from this person?
What opportunity is hidden in this event?
How can I grow from dealing with this situation?
What is the gift for me in this experience?
How can I shift my perspective from the problem to the
Where is the gift in this situation?
At the end of the day, take a few minutes to notice how
you feel, how your day was different than usual. In what
ways do you feel less tired, more energized? Write down
the lessons you learned from the gifts the day brought
you. How can those lessons prevent future problems?
Dealing with problems can be exhausting, frustrating,
energy-draining; dealing with gifts is gratifying, satisfying
and energizing. Gift vs. problem; satisfaction vs
frustration; energized vs. exhausted. It’s only a matter of
perspective. The choice is yours.
Perception + Acceptance + Learning = Life as a Gift
Make good use of bad rubbish.
If my life resembles a garbage dump, it is up to me to sort
it through, turn over the soil, and plant flowers to make
use of all the natural fertilizer.
–Anne Wilson Schaef
Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
–Karen Kaiser Clark
You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought: A
Book for People with Any Life-Threatening Illness —
Including Life by John-Roger and Peter McWilliams.
Another in the Life 101 series, this book is chock
full of advice, quotations and humor about overcoming
the kind of negative thinking that prevents us from
seeing through the disguises of the problems in our lives
to discover their true gifts. Life-altering principles, humor,
and step-by-step guidance are combined in a book that has
received a 5 star rating at amazon.com. High kudos
indeed! Shift your outlook from negative to positive. Find
it at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0931580579/tothesummit
Running From Safety; An Adventure of the Spirit by Richard Bach
The book jacket says, “If the child-we-were asked us
today for the best we’ve learned from living, what would
we tell, and what would we discover in return.” This is a
book about learning in a whole new way. It opens doors of
possibilities that will set your spirit soaring.
In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season….
Do you know what would have happened if it had been
Three Wise Women instead of three Wise Men?
They would have asked directions,
arrived on time,
helped deliver the baby,
cleaned the stable,
made a casserole, and,
brought practical gifts.
Pass it on to the wise women in your life!
Give yourself the gift of seeing the gifts this week!
ASK THE COACH
I will soon be adding an Ask The Coach page to my
website and occasionally to this newsletter. I invite you to
send me your coaching questions for use in this column. I
offer a free half hour coaching session on your question as
a thank you for any questions used either on my website
http:www.tothesummit.com or in this newsletter. Let’s
Copyright © 1999, all rights reserved, by Margo Chisholm
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The author of this article is Margo Chisholm. You may
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“At every moment of our life we have an
opportunity to choose joy.”
Henri J. M. Nouwen
Coach, Speaker, Author, Therapist
Partnering you in having success,
freedom and joy in all areas of your life
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