He had been speaking for almost two hours, yet still you could have heard a pin drop. The clock told us that the Sunday evening talk was almost over, yet by the feeling in the room, I think we would have stayed for as long as he would talk. Will Pye was speaking about his extraordinary journey since receiving a brain tumor diagnosis three and a half years ago at the age of 31.
What makes Will’s story extraordinary is not the particular diagnosis, or even how the physical health part of the story continues to unfold. What makes his story extraordinary is his response to the diagnosis and the choices he has made in living with it. You can read about it in his new book, Blessed With A Brain Tumour: Realizing It’s All Gift and Learning To Receive. (Available in digital format now; the print version will be out soon.)
I first met Will in the summer of 2011 at an Institute of Noetic Sciences conference in San Francisco. We had a brief yet very engaging conversation. Not long after, he enrolled in the seven-month teleclass version of our Transformational Presence Leadership and Coaching program. During that program and in our occasional correspondence since then, I have been in awe of Will’s wisdom and clarity in the face of challenges. Add to that his beautifully eloquent way of speaking, and you have a young man who clearly lives in this world, yet seems to not be of this world. After that Sunday evening gathering, attendees described him as “a gentle laughing Buddha” and as “wise far beyond his years.”
As Will drew his talk to a close, he made the simple statement, “Life looks after you.” (Will speaks in universal terms – some might say, “God looks after you,” or Spirit, Mystery, or the Universe. Insert whatever name works the best for you.) He was speaking about how, no matter what is happening on the outside, if you trust, pay attention, and align with a greater potential, you will be taken care of.
“Life looks after you.” Those words were such a beautiful reminder for me. In an instant, challenges of my past flashed in my awareness, accompanied by the recognition of how Life had looked after me during those challenges. In my experience, the key has been to stay present with what is happening and keep moving forward – to not get caught up in the drama or lost in overwhelming feelings and emotions and to simply “be” with what is without judgment.
Will continued to wrap up his talk, yet I remained with that statement, “Life looks after you.” As I let it sink in deeper and deeper, I realized that there is a second part of the statement that creates the full circle: Life looks after you, and you must look after Life.
Life looks after us by bringing us messages, experiences, insights, resources, people – whatever we need in just the moment we need it. However, we can miss those messages or not recognize the help that is available to us if we are caught in “reaction” instead of “response.”
Reaction is spontaneous action without thought. Response is action after pause and consideration. Reaction often comes from ego, driven by a perceived threat to survival, safety, or our carefully constructed reality. Response is more often a clear and intentional choice, coming from the realm of the soul and a greater awareness that grasps what is happening within a bigger-picture view.
Life is constantly speaking to us, offering guidance, showing a path, putting up red flags, and offering us challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. This is “Life looking after us.” “Looking after Life” means recognizing that there are messages everywhere, paying attention, and then responding. It means saying “yes” to what wants to happen next in our lives – not just what we want, but rather what wants to happen in service of something bigger than just us.
“Life looks after us; we look after Life.” This makes a full circle of energy. We become stewards for the greater potential that is waiting to unfold through us. If we pay attention and follow that potential, we will have everything we need to move forward. Sometimes we don’t get it until the moment we need it, but it will come. Somehow, someway, it will show up, and we will be able to take the next step.
P.S. To learn more about paying attention to the messages all around us, my first book, Intuitive Living, might be a great resource (available in digital format), or download our 11-module e-course, “Intuitive Living: A Journey with Spirit.”
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