What Challenges You?
by Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The above quote by Marianne Williamson has been around for years, and is relevant today. We tend to look at life as either a challenge/lesson or just the way things are. Now most of you reading this most likely fall into the former perspective, while the rest of the world feels it is the latter.

 If you have read enough of my articles, you know my view is that we are the creators of our lives; or some take the view that we are co-creators. As our life unfolds in each moment, we are consciously or subconsciously faced with choices. The choice we make moves us into the next moment and the next choice. Seems complex from this angle, but it is done so unconsciously it is seamless.

 If we view life as a challenge, then that is what we will get, continuous challenges to overcome. For some, that may work, for most of us though, it makes life seem hard. A couple of definitions of challenge: 'something that by its very nature serves as a call to battle, special effort ...' or 'difficulty in an undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it'

 Sometimes, when I fill out a form to be a part of a webinar or conference call with either Internet Marketing or Spiritual Awakening, I am asked the question, "what is your greatest challenge?" That question tells me that the person posing the question looks at the subject as a challenge, just as I said above about most people.

 From the partial definitions above, a challenge can be viewed as either something to overcome and win, or something that stops you. The choice to make every 'step' a challenge can wear you down, unless you are one of those people that gets an adrenaline rush and thrives on it.

 Knowing that we are creating what we experience in the moment does not help make it feel any less challenging. What might help though is to see it differently. There is a variety of other names that people use to identify what seems to get in their way; some are lesson, blessing, message, mistake, obstacle, and test. Using some other way of identifying what might not be working for you can make the situation look less ominous.

 The way I have learned to avoid anger, frustration, or confrontation of what seems not to work in my life is to look at it as either a blessing or a message sent to help me grow spiritually. Identifying what it is telling me is another matter. I can sometimes get it and other times not.

 Just as there are signs all around us guiding our journey, we need to learn to interpret what our 'signs' and 'challenges' are telling us. Of course, in the long haul, we need to begin creating our lives so that challenges are no longer present. How is that done?

 Since any 'challenge' is giving us a message about something we believe, then it is obvious that the next step is to identify the belief. The point here is that if you had no beliefs, you would have no 'challenges'. In fact, if you had no beliefs, you would be walking this planet as an awakened Being.

 The best way I have found to identify 'hidden' beliefs is to open your awareness to the events that unfold during each day. Thoughts, words, and actions point to expressed beliefs you have carried around all of your life. Interpret your responses and reactions to situations, and you have nailed a belief or beliefs.

 Let's look at an example. You are out shopping and watch a Porsche 911 convertible pull away from the curb. "Must be nice." Is your remark; belief other people have a lot of money, but I don't and never will. This belief comes from other people, as do most all of your beliefs.

 So what are your challenges? Is it life itself, or do they just show up when things don't go your way? Take you time, and begin to identify what you consider challenges. Look at each one and see if there are some that are similar to another. A belief can come up through more than one kind of event; in fact, it most always does.

 Begin to interpret what the 'challenge' is telling you about yourself, and pin it down to a belief. You can then work on the belief and eliminate it from your unconscious mind. No one needs challenges to continuously happen. We need to start interpreting their meaning and eliminating them from our lives.

 Only when challenges have disappeared will we be creating lives that work for us, and enter into a state of happiness, or even better, joy.


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