Key Thoughts: 


  • Does everything work out the way it is supposed to? I don’t believe so.
  • Do breakdowns always turn into breakthroughs?  Not necessarily.
  • Best advice:  Choose to see things differently

In my view, it all depends on attitude and whether we are able to “lovingly” identify an error in our thinking and shift our focus back to love and present mindedness. My spiritual view is that each moment provides an embedded possibility for transformation. There is NO GUARANTEE. We have to CHOOSE to respond in a loving and healthy way.

The Story

I recently did a short term (5) month rental when I took on a consulting project in another state. I was optimistic about the tenant I selected. I was encouraged when she mostly paid her rent on time. When we talked via phone she mentioned slight “improvements” she was making to my home.

At the end of my consulting project I returned home the day before the tenant was moving out. I discovered she had rearranged my house, taken down all of my art,  and put a ton of holes in my walls. The house was not the serene or clean home I had left. I noticed these upset feelings and then invited myself to “see things differently.” 

Overall, the five months she lived here, were a blessing to us both. She had a wonderful retreat space to live through the trauma of a divorce, a broken foot and her stressful uncertainty. I had a financial cash flow that helped create new opportunities for me. Once I shifted my focus from “stinking thinking” back to “miracle thinking” I could first imagine, and then began to feel, new possibilities. 

A shift in perspective

Over the course of the next few days, I noticed little things she had done to improve the space. I like the new kitchen curtains and light over the sink she installed.  She had repositioned my couch and it improves the flow of the great room.  The damaged walls gave way to the possibility I could paint them.  My improved cash flow allowed for me to imagine hiring a painter to help me. The limited idea that good trades people are hard to find tried to derail that new possibility.  I asked one of her movers if they knew a good painter. “YES” they responded. I called him immediately and he came that very afternoon. He gave me a fair price to do “the hard part” I knew would be more challenging for me. 

A Challenge becomes an opportunity

The choice of paint color can be challenging. My goal was to lighten and brighten the space while maintaining its sense of warmth and coziness. I had to consider new factors that I was not knowledgeable about: how Bend winters and summers impact LIGHT in the house. I began the search for information from online designers. Certainly I thought, they would “know” better than me. I stressed myself out a bit during the decision making process before I got to the place of feeling I “knew enough” and could trust myself to choose the correct colors. The painter was able to begin the project early and his work was excellent. Mission accomplished: the house is lighter and brighter and yet still warm and cozy!

The next time you encounter unexpected issues or events, or discover yourself dwelling in “stinking thinking” consider how you might see things differently and open up new possibilities.