A quick read of FB posts last night indicates that many have faced some tough challenges in 2016. It was quite a year for me also. For those of you who are feeling stretched beyond anything you thought possible I want you to know that you are not alone, and I offer this perspective.

I once heard a story about science experiment where a school class divided up a dozen moth cocoons into 2 groups. In one group they left them be, and in the other they gently cut tiny slits in the outer cocoons to aid the moths in hatching. What they discovered was that none of the moths in the group they aided survived because they didn’t gain enough strength in their birthing process to sustain them in the world.

Perhaps we could find similar instances in our own lives. This summer, after the first day of a workshop I was leading concluded, I had to take a participant to the ER for what we discovered was a spider bite. As ER’s are, we didn’t get back until 4:30 am and I had to begin leading again at 7:00 am. I would typically NOT be excited to knowingly have to lead anything on less than 3 hours sleep, but, to my surprise, the day went very well and I felt surprisingly invigorated. It taught me that I am capable of more than I thought.

Childbirth (and parenting) cannot occur without challenge, discomfort and, yes, pain. Great athletes have all mastered the ability to push beyond their comfort zones and discover new limits. The birth of nations, the abolition of slavery, ending apartheid and other social movements have all come with enormous difficulties. So if you are challenged, if you are struggling, if you are stopped in some aspect or aspects of life, I invite you to consider the possibility of a new perspective. What might you now be giving birth to? What might these challenges be offering you in your growth?

One lesson that’s emerged from me over the past years is that regardless of what’s happened, when we stumble and fall, all there ever is to do is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, if necessary take time to heal, reflect, maybe even adjust, but ultimately, keep right on going – after all, what’s the alternative? There is much to be done, we have a world that needs healing, transformation and rebuilding.

I wish you the happiest of New Years!

Love Brad