In his book, Still Here, beloved American spiritual teacher Ram Dass talks about healing as letting “what is” take you closer to God. I’ve been sitting in that statement a lot in the last week after a string of challenges. The first one was the biggest, so I got to start swimming in the deep end of the pool right from the start. As the week went on, there were other challenges of smaller magnitude. I’m glad the big one happened first!

In each case I immediately found things that I could beat myself up about–how my own actions or lack of attention had allowed things to unfold as they did. It was very tempting to go down that road, but thankfully I had enough clarity to say no to those thoughts. Instead, I just kept focusing on my favorite coaching questions: “What’s the gift?” and “What wants to happen here?” And those questions helped me sit in Ram Dass’ teaching to let “what is” take me closer to God.

Each time I go through another patch of challenges, I get better at living in Ram Dass’ teaching. I get better at paying attention to the “what is” and identifying its gifts. And yes, there is always more than one. As I follow the gift, listen to it, and let it guide me forward, I evolve in my own journey. I gain new insight and understanding, I find grace in what is happening, I uncover deeper compassion for myself and others, and I reach yet a deeper place of stillness. Transformation occurs just because I was willing to be present with “what is.”

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