The Beautiful Crisis
Adversity is so useful. It allows people to look for something beyond day to day reality, and this brings them in touch with their true inner selves. In desperation, they begin to pull on their unlimited power, and they realise that anything can be changedStuart Wilde
A beautiful crisis is one that enters your life (or maybe look at it as something your core self/higher power has drawn to you because you are ready to change and it sees that you need a rocket booster, some creative chaos) that has all the raw materials of an incredible and powerful transformation hidden within.
If you can identify hidden benefits in the darkest of times, the crisis becomes beautiful because it has positive meaning- it is now the vehicle for the deep change life is calling you to embrace.
Examples of Beautiful Crises
(Includes positive elements of events that have a mostly negative impact)
Caterpillar to butterfly chrysalis - beautiful because it allows the caterpillar to be more and do more in its life
Chaotic eating - because the pain can push you to look deeper and manage your life directly instead of via compulsive eating. This is likely to lead to a more powerful and interesting life than most of those around you who did not getbthe benefit of having a similar beautiful crisis
My PMT in 2012 - so awful it triggered a one month experiment giving up sugar, which led to lifelong freedom from the white stuff, and probably my eating psychology training, which led me to discover the Queen Programme, be a coach, find my purpose, start my podcast, make my life easier and help others
Coronavirus - one beautiful side effect is the reduction in pollution due to lock down. A great side exercise is to list any hidden benefits of this time in your life.
Can All Crises Really Be Beautiful?
Can all crises be beautiful? I would never be so arrogant as to say yes for every human being. I have had incredible advantages that most of the world have not had.
For myself, I think yes - every one of my crises has had beautiful elements at the very least, including childhood sexual abuse. What is more important than anyone handing you a definite opinion here is for you to question every single crisis you have experienced or are experiencing now, to interrogate yourself and ask “Could there be any transformative elements hidden in this disaster and pain?”
The most useful way to approach this subject is to assume that there is probably at least one benefit to every crisis you experience. If you do the opposite, you risk falling into victim thinking and become less aware of the hidden benefits.
For most people, crises are never beautiful - because they refuse to look for the positives in the difficult times. Or what I think is almost as bad, is that they get really good at identifying the positives in crises in retrospect when they are no longer being challenged by the crisis.
I say this approach is almost as bad, because they create a sense of themselves as positive thinkers, philosophical and wise. They hand out this past-its-sell-by date wisdom to others stuck in the middle of crises as if their retrospective positivity will help. But when they themselves hit their own next crisis, they tumble headling into fight or flight and disaster thinking. Ah, the irony of Mr/s Stress Head telling you everything will be OK in the end and see how character building this is, when last week they lost their head over someone cutting them up in traffic.
The REAL power move is to look for the hidden benefits while you are slap bang in the middle of each crisis. A great personal example of mine is coronavirus and my business. At the start of lockdown, I identified a potential need for a short term, one week group coaching experience online. This was a great success and has led to many other direct and indirect benefits.
At the time of writing, things are still incredibly uncertain in terms of the economy. People bandy around the word recession with ease. I am constantly on my toes, thinking “What else? What else can I offer? How can I market myself better?” The truth is that COVID has made me step up and run my business better.
What If You Cannot See Any Hidden Benefits?
When I went 95% sugar free in 2012, it took me about two months to be rock solid certain that I was never going back to sugar. There then followed a very difficult period where what I can only think of as my fear centre did some very ninja moves to get me to go back to sugar. There was a good deal of emotional pain.
Let’s call this experience my Fear Centre Ninja Challenge (FCNC). I am sure you have had many FCNCs in your life, that you were probably unaware of.
I had zero idea how to deal with this. There was only two things I was absolutely certain of -
#1 This was a protective move from part of me. (It had to be, because this turmoil set in at the same time as my No Going Back certainty).
#2 I was not giving in. No. Way. In. Hell. Sugar was not an option.
So I put up with the turmoil. No ideas, no role models to follow or inspire me. Even my faves Marianne Williamson and Karla McLaren were no help. The only tools at my disposal were the awareness that this was a misguided effort at protection and the hope that after a while, my fear centre would realise I was not in danger from the NAKD bars and the sugar free cake etc, and the turmoil would die down.
This was me turning a crisis into a beautiful crisis, even without having any answers.
The turmoil did end (which is another story) and so I was proved right.
Here is another thought: just the mere fact that you are questioning the 100% cast iron awfulness of any situation is in itself a way to make it beautiful.
And another thought: I have no way of knowing if the turmoil of the Sugar FCNC is the thing that absolutely ensured I was never going back to sugar. But there’s a good chance that I have FCNC to thank for my ultimate freedom from sugar. I had to work so bloody hard for it, heart and soul. This is pretty uncomfortable to write but there you go.
What are the hidden benefits of any past crises you have gone through?
Now imagine that you HAVE to answer YES to the following question: Are there hidden benefits and opportunities in any crises or challenges you are experiencing right now?
What are those benefits and opportunities?
Welcome to your beautiful crisis. Think of it as advanced training at The School of Life.