“Pain doesn't last. And when it's gone, we have something to show for it. Growth.”~ Kamal Ravikant
I just finished reading the book Rebirth: A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and Following Your Heart by Kamal Ravikant. The fictional story is based on the author’s experience of walking the Camino de Santiago. Throughout the book, there are many pearls of wisdom that have positively impacted my life.
One of the key messages in the book is that asking questions like “why do people suffer?” or “why did this happen to me?” is not helpful because life is a mystery and there are no answers to these questions. The character shares that what you should ask is, “What Now?” You acknowledge that something happened and then determine what you will do now that it has happened.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in life is that things are going to happen that I didn’t plan or want. Shit happens. When something unexpected happens, I ask the question, “What am I supposed to learn from this?” However, after reading this book, I will not only focus on the lesson I am supposed to learn, but also ask ‘What Now?’ For example, my roof blew off the house, and I learned the importance of detachment and letting go of stuff. But the ‘What Now?’ question leads me to make sure I am much more conscious when purchasing anything new and must justify that the item must bring me pure joy and not add clutter. Asking ‘What Now?’ takes me deeper into learning from each situation.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Nick Foles, epitomizes what can happen when you follow the “What Now?” scenario. He was released from the Rams and could have wallowed in the ‘poor me’ syndrome, but instead took a little bit of time and figured out what he wanted to do. He went back to play for the one coach who believed in him, Andy Reid. Foles was the backup quarterback until Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL. He took the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl and won the MVP yesterday. It is the perfect story about not knowing what the future holds, but having faith, living in the now and moving on from something most people would view as terrible. Being released from the Rams could have been the best thing to happen to Nick Foles.
The significance of the ‘What Now?’ philosophy of life to me is that it does no good to wallow in the ‘poor me’ syndrome. It is important to consider that this situation is the best thing to happen; pain doesn’t last and positive growth has come from things I didn’t initially label as ‘good.’ During times I think of as difficult, I must come back to the present moment, practice acceptance, determine the lesson to learn and ask ‘What Now?’ I am in charge of my life and get to choose how to view what happens and what I will do.
How can you incorporate the ‘What Now?’ philosophy in your life?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
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