I’m grateful to be healthy. I’m grateful for all the opportunities, experiences and learning that life has afforded me; and I’m grateful to be back.
I’ve left Arizona after two long years, and returned to my home state of California. The sight and smell of the ocean that I’ve missed so very much; and the ability to spend time with my family and loved ones are experiences beyond compare.
It’s easy to be grateful for the things that are obviously good and beautiful in life… but it takes a broader perspective and deeper awareness to be grateful for those things that are painful, and ugly.
The last four years of my life have been the most painful and difficult of my entire existence; and yet they’ve also been an incredible and amazing adventure. Sometimes you must experience something completely ugly to find the beautiful.
At the beginning and end of each day, I’m grateful to be alive; to have the gift of life; and to have the opportunity to take all the lessons and experiences and move forward. I believe we should all be grateful for each and every single day of life… regardless of whether we perceive them as positive or negative, up or down.
I was speaking to a group recently, and I reminded them that every coin has two sides—both a heads and a tails. You absolutely cannot have one without the other. This principle in the world of physics is called the Law of Polarity; and even a cursory study of quantum physics will tell you that annihilation and creation are in a continuous and never-ending dance in our universe.
One of the biggest fallacies for the students of the Law of Attraction (that became so popular all over the world a few years ago), is the belief that “If I understand the LOA, and execute it perfectly… then nothing bad, ugly or challenging will ever happen again in my life.” This is a lack of understanding; an illusion of the grandest proportions.
Truly it’s the adversities, struggles, and austerities of life that are the fuel of growth; And like it or not… Pain is the mother of all growth.
There will never be an up without a down; a right without a left; a high without a low; or a head without a tails. A majestic mountain peak is only perceived to be majestic by the contrast between its peak and the valley. The fullness of its existence is only appreciated by contrast to the emptiness of the sky that it boldly stands against. Do you follow?
Any physical trainer will tell you that your muscles only grow through exercise and pain. Both the building and the tearing down are vital parts of growing bigger and stronger in body; and you can’t have one without the other.
Likewise, any teacher of expanding life and experience (that’s worth his or her salt), will tell you exactly the same about the human spirit and soul.
It is transmutation, not denial that is the tool of mastery.
Please read that again. Contemplate it. Play with it; and roll it around in your mind. Think about what it truly means. Apply it to all areas of your life.
In simple terms transmutation means that first we must honestly recognize and embrace situations and circumstances for what they are. Attempting to cover a nail in chocolate will never turn it into candy. However, nails do have their own unique purpose in the perfect order of the Universe.
It’s often hard to comprehend God’s Will or the Universal Plan. The nails in life seem so cold, hard, and sharp. Don’t they?
Believe me, I’ve often wished and prayed for things to be different; and if I had anything to do with it in the moment, I would have changed situations in a heartbeat. But we can’t control the unexpected or uncontrollable. We can only control our experience of those circumstances. We can only choose what we’re going to do with them, and how we’re going to either move forward, or fold.
If we choose to grow bigger and stronger both mentally and spiritually we must accept the painful situations of growth and learning. That’s called life. And then through self-discipline, we must utilize them all to our advantage.
My experience tells me that this principle of “utilization” is a fundamental quality and characteristic of all who attain true success, harmony and wellbeing in any area of life.
Is it really possible to maintain a state (and ultimate trait), of harmony and wellbeing in all areas of life? Even while in the midst of external chaos?
Is it possible to stand strong while in the midst of a spiritual, mental, and physical tsunami? To keep the faith and hold your vision even when everything in your life is falling apart? Yes.
Please understand, in no way am I suggesting this is easy. It’s not. In fact, it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do.
I’ve been through the darkest night of my entire life in the last four years (often feels like forty). Yet in that darkness I have realized more things than you can imagine; and continued realization is the real secret to being truly awake and alive. Isn’t it?
It’ll probably take the rest of my days to even begin to understand and describe all that I’ve been gifted to see and experience. What better opportunity could I be given to really practice the principles that I know to be true than the one I received?
In the depth of darkness I made a conscious choice to “utilize” everything to my advantage—to facilitate my own development, advancement, and growth. For isn’t that what you and I both really want? The entirety of life and the whole of the Universe are about fuller expression, experience and expansion. Aren’t they?
Like it or not, you can’t more fully express, experience and expand life unless you shove off bravely into dark and unchartered waters.
Over the next weeks, months, and years I’ll be continuing to work, as always, on myself first and foremost. As stated before, it will probably take me the rest of this physical existence to digest and integrate the new clarity and understanding that I’ve received over the last four years (again, often feels like forty).
My website will be operable and under ongoing renovation. There’s a lot of work to do; and I remain open to Universal Intelligence to guide me in the ways that I can continue to serve and provide value in the world.
I don’t know exactly how it will all unfold, but what I do know is that it will continue to be a wonderful and grand adventure. I hope that you’ll join me. It’s good to be back. We all have so much to be grateful for.
Much love and respect
James Arthur Ray
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