As synchronicity would have it, I got a chance to connect with a wonderful author and healing practitioner—Staci Boden. Staci recently released her book: Turning Dead Ends into Doorways: How to Grow Through Whatever Life Throws Your Way.
The message of the book resonated with me immensely. The book covers topics that are the main focus of my writing—living life moment by moment with awareness, surrendering to the energy of life and allowing events to unfold rather than holding on to a specific outcome and resisting what is.
As I read this book, I felt more assured about my ability to deal with life’s unexpected challenges. I’m still learning to follow the energy, instead of trying to grab it by the horns and drag it my way.
Today I want to share with you some of the many insights and learning points I took from this book. These are just a few tidbits from the copious notes I took as I read and worked with the book.
I truly hope you benefit from my notes and feel encouraged to buy the book—not just to read and put aside, but to work with it … to awaken to the power and splendor within you.
In the book Staci shares openly and honestly serious challenging life experiences of family and friends and how she has grown through each one. She took me with her on a journey full of raw emotions and human reactions. She showed me what it means to live through the most excruciating of experiences and find meaningful growth.
The best part about the book is its focus on the practical side of life. Staci calls it practical spirituality—which can be learned through 8 teachers.
“Practicality lives in the present moment.” ~Staci Boden
Through interacting with these teachers in our daily life we can navigate the unknown—by choice or by being thrown right into a challenging life altering situation.
The illusion of control
The main premise of the book—which I whole-heartedly agree with—is realizing that control is an illusion. We can’t manipulate reality to suit our preferred outcome. We can try and if we’re lucky we might succeed, but only momentarily. Sooner or later reality will remind us that we are not in control—we never were!
No one plans a serious illness, a failed business venture, or a breakdown in marriage among countless other unknowns that life throws at us.
We are born from the unknown, journey through the unknown and eventually leave through and to the unknown.
A relationship with the unknown
It’s better to form a conscious relationship with the unknown and let go of the desire to control (or the attachment to) a specific outcome.
When we embrace the unknown, we open up to life and give ourselves permission to explore. We can hold a curious focus on an outcome, while living in the present moment—and still recognize that we can’t know anything for sure.
When we form a conscious relationship with the unknown, we connect with the eight teachers of life.
The good news is that these teachers are within you and around you—and have always been there for you. It’s a matter of opening up to these teachers as you navigate the energy of life.
The 8 teachers of navigating life
Living through the unknown can be scary, but with the right teachers and guidance we can navigate it and live a meaningful life.
The book dedicates a chapter to each one of those teachers. I only highlight a few points below.
Fear takes us ahead of the energy—where we usually become lost. Doubt and resistance intensify when we’re on the threshold of change.
Instead of wanting to crush fear, have a conversation with it. Connect with your body and follow the energy of fear. Where does it reside in the body? Does it have a color or a shape?
A conscious relationship with fear develops awareness.
Once the light switch of consciousness flicks, we start to question everything we think we know.
As you shift from fear to awareness, you give yourself permission not to know—and this creates space for you to explore.
Noticing your thoughts, sounds, images, colors, and sensations engages your awareness—in the present moment. And in the present moment of awareness, the possibility of choice is born.
Choice strips fear of its hold on your experience. You take a leap of faith into the unknown with every choice you make.
You trust yourself, even your mistakes, and the more you trust, the more you grow. You’re no longer a victim, but a powerful being—with choice.
Instead of being driven by an inner conflict—burdened with judgment, guilt, or blame—you shift to an authentic choice based on compassion, love, and acceptance.
“A conscious relationship with choice teaches us how to hold the pain and beautify of life alongside each other.” ~Staci Boden
The body embodies the unknown. It’s the ultimate doorway for awakening consciousness. It holds the potential for both life and death.
Instead of wanting to control or lecture the body, have a conscious relationship with the body—it can initiate healing.
Trust and honor your body. It’s a constant teacher.
Intuition is your internal compass and lifeline of trust. You don’t need to develop it but rather develop a relationship with it. Tuning in to your intuition will help you in navigating the energy of life.
Connect with your intuition through dreams, voice, and your senses.
Practice noticing what you perceive. This awareness can shed light on what’s been inside of you all along.
Our energy reflects core patterns of how we live and relate to others.
To navigate the energy of life start with noticing, then connecting, receiving and holding and following the energy in the body. And finally letting go.
Follow the energy instead of getting ahead of it. Allow for breathing room and loosen up. Any nagging thoughts about a certain outcome, positive or negative, means you’re getting ahead of the energy.
You navigate the unknown by sensing your way through life, one moment at a time.
Intention serves as an alarm that wakes you up. It grounds you when you’re faced with choices.
Hold your intention with open focus—relaxed, receptive, and present.
Act on your intentions. Feel the fear and move towards your intention anyway.
Surrender can be a choice to let go of a certain outcome and all the expectations and fears that come with it. This creates space for expansion. Inside the grief of letting go lies freedom.
Surrender can be a way to embrace and allow the energy of the present moment to lead the way—without the need to understand.
Surrender may evolve to watching life play itself out without the thinking or needing to participate. You witness it on a different level.
“In a dance between fear and surrender, beyond outcome or heart’s desire, and even through unimaginable pain, we can learn to navigate the unknown in life. And then the dance changes.” ~ Staci Boden
To thrive means to trust yourself to be able to navigate whatever life throws your way. When we hold tight to a certain outcome, grasping at certainty, we miss experiencing the precious gift of life present in each moment.
If you enjoyed reading this article and feel you can learn from Staci’s message, please visit her site and get the book. My notes don’t do the book justice, they are just glimpses of a message of healing and growth.
Get the book, and work with your teachers. You will have plenty of guidance every step of the way with examples and exercises. Start today. Everything changes the moment you decide to look at things differently. And this book will surely make you do just that.
P.S. I’m not affiliated with the book and don’t have anything to gain from recommending it other than the message and its tremendous value.
Photo courtesy of Hartwig HKD