Without the Smell of Fire — Moving from Survivor to Thriver

Cover of Cylvia Hayes’ When Life Blows Up

Yesterday was October 14th, 2020, exactly six years to the day that my life blew up.

I didn’t even realize it until well into the day.  Just the week before, my home refinance closed and I was able to pay off the last remaining financial complication from all the trouble of the big ordeal.  It is a delicious sense of closure and full freedom.

I have weathered so much, changed and grown so much since that fateful day.  It is probably impossible to describe the depth of change.  What I do know is that I am truly, deeply grateful for that change, grateful what it is like to live with this mindset rather than the old one.

Recently, in one of the classes I took as part of my ministerial studies, I worked with the book Without the Smell of Fire, by the late Walter Lanyon.  Lanyon has become one of my favorite spiritual writers.  In this book he makes a powerful case for moving beyond attachment to the tragedies we go through.  I have found this to be a critically important step in moving from working to overcome to fully embracing the resulting growth.

If we aren’t careful, it is easy to slip into victimhood when we stay attached to the story of overcoming hardship or tragedy.  The choice is whether to stay at the level of survivor or step into our Self as a thriver.

I am here as living example to encourage you that no matter how bleak and hard it may seem right now, there is always possibility for truly magnificent good to come from the hardship.  The sooner you can let go the story of surviving, the sooner you can let the smoke clear, the sooner you will start noticing the sweet smell of opportunity and joy.

I am a long-time student of A Course in Miracles.  The Course describes a miracle as a correction in error thinking.  Recently, I picked up a new morning habit.  Just as I am waking, before I even get out of bed, I take a moment and ask, “Huh, I wonder what miracles I am going to notice and accept today?”  I am LOVING this little practice because it helps me much more quickly open to the possibility of something lovely showing up even in circumstances that appear unpleasant.  I encourage you to give it a try for a week or so.  You have nothing to lose by playing with it.

Finally, my book is getting a good bit of interest now (I mean after all, how could I have planned to release a book titled, When Life Blows Up just before the pandemic blew things up for all of us!).  Here are links to a couple of recent interviews I have done.

Much love.  Choose to thrive!