How to make a problem into a gift

A section of my mother's first drawing since recovery from serious illness. I love this piece, the old lady frowning; her friend loving her, holding her, cheering her up.


Your problem is a gift.

You’ve probably heard that before. Life throws curveballs and we all figure out that even the worst situations offer new insights: a lost relationship forces you to look yourself in the eye; a nasty hangover makes you re-examine your lifestyle; a terrible boss makes you consider why you got into this racket in the first place.

What you may not know is that these gifts don’t come from God – or the devil or that angel with the strange sense of humor: they come from you.

You’re ready for a change. You’ve outgrown a job; you’re feeling itchy, twitchy; aching for release from a relationship. Something inside of you is on the move.

As you turn your gaze toward the future, visualizing the new life that will be so much better than the one you’ve got, you do whatever it is that you do to conjure change: say a prayer, light a candle, open a bottle of wine and talk things out with your sacred journal.

You place the call. 

Instantly, the universe does what it (always) does: It responds.

That cute guy from I.T. ambles by your desk, a magazine fall from a shelf, open to an article about your illness, an invitation arrives that makes you feel nervous… in a good way… like in order to attend, you’d need a new outfit, a haircut… a complete makeover.

But then, just when things get interesting, you freeze.

Like a deer in headlights.

“I’m not ready!”or “That was too fast!” or “What would people think?” or “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

You put on the brakes. You resist the change that’s trying to reach you… and a challenge is born!


You gave you this gift.

At the heart of every challenge you’ve ever faced there was a seed of calling: something you really wanted (or sensed that you needed) but because you believed that you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) have it, you built yourself a problem around it. A problem built of edges you’re afraid to cross.

Every problem is a shrine to your not enoughness, your excuses, your unfinished business.

it’s not a punishment, not a spiritual test designed to keep you locked in fear prison until you live up to some standard of piety, purity or perfection.

Your problem is a gift-wrapped package of calling.

I know, crazy, right? 

Your problem is calling you

  • to awaken to your own beauty, intelligence and talent. Because seriously, you know you’re amazing, right? You know what you’d be, what you’d do, if only you could stop pretending you are less than you actually are. Stop. Unwrap the box that you keep yourself in – give us your gift.
  • to let go of outdated, limiting patterns of thought. Stop holding yourself separate from love, from light, from life. Know that you can shift, breaking free of old patterns you no longer need (or believe in).
  • to open to your natural relationship with the divine – and the co-creative forces that support your unfolding. God wants you to be happy, to be whole, to live in the flow of love. In fact, God sees you as already there.

You are already there. No kidding. Look around. Look for evidence. 

  • Look here: at your relentless and brilliant imagination.
  • Look here: at your passionate heart
  • Look here: at your intelligent, self-regulating, symptom-producing body – that vehicle you’re walking around in is a miracle; a custom-designed ride with a built-in rebalancing system. Listen for its wisdom. It’s talking to you.
  • Look here: at your courageous, deep-in-the-belly, can’t-resist-it, gotta-have- it willingness to take that last step and pull your future from the dream world into present time.

Heres how to make a problem into a gift:

Sit down. Close your eyes and inquire within. What is this problem calling you toward? What is this problem asking of you?

Seriously. Close your eyes.

Now. Don’t take any action until you hear from the deep inner wisdom at the center of your own heart.


When the first inspiration bubble arrives, examine it. Look at it, consider it. Does it feel right? Does it resonate?

If not, ask for another one… your inner well of wisdom NEVER EVER runs dry. Give it a workout.

Once you have something that feels juicy and special and just right, take a small first step toward it. What one action could you take toward your dream? (Hint it will feel a little risky, and it will be a choice toward power – and toward love)

Practice radical gentleness – with yourself. Mastering your edges takes courage – and patience and time – and lots of small steps, guided by the part of you that knows where you’re headed before you even ask the question

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }


Brilliant! You’ve written how I’ve felt for a long time…. Thank You for your awesome messages.


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