Life should not be a journey from the cradle to the grave with the intention of arriving in a safe and well preserved manner, but rather skidding sideways body all used up, totally worn out, with wine in one hand and ice cream in another screaming Wahoo! What a Ride!
No matter who we are or where we come from we all have our own journey. I know many of you are on a ride, I, too, am a traveler and it is my distinct honor to be able to share with you a journey that has taken me well beyond what I ever imagined possible.
What I do know is that my journey is not yet complete. I have learnt to focus on progress, not perfection. Feeling the journey, making room for it and transcending the experience.
What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end, therefore is where we start. Regardless of the challenge you may be experiencing currently or the tragedy you are trying to overcome, you do not have to face it alone. I assure you, you are going to get hit in this game of life, but when you do – you not need to stay down.
I recently arrived home from Vancouver but I reflect on getting off the plane from Ireland 12 years ago this month. I think about all the journeys that I have completed since over that time. Italy, Greece, Turkey, France, Germany, Hawaii, Alaska, Guatemala, Cuba, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua – I could go on and on – I truly have traveled the world and the seven seas, I have been up on the top but I have really down on my knees because I also remember the trips to the funeral home when my mom died, to the police station when I was accused of sexual assault by someone who worked for me that I had just put on probation, to the hospice facility when my dad was dieing, to the courthouse to defend the allegation and receive a discharge, to the US Customs office in Seattle when they detained me because Americans do not recognize discharges, to when I smashed my head on concrete which left me reeling with Post concussion syndrome, to the doctor’s office when I was diagnosed with Cancer and to the trustees office when I claimed bankruptcy. But I also remember the trip to the hospital the night my son was born almost 10 years ago.
The only way to really transcend what you experience is to recognize that it has to be about something greater. By transcending and by engaging the community around you to pursue a higher purpose, life can truly work.
Being accused of something I didn’t do in many ways was one of the best things that ever happened to me, as it made me truly appreciate what freedom is. In the Western world, we take freedom for granted every day; we don’t understand it until we lose it, even if only for a fleeting moment.
When you ask people about what makes them happy, most will say things like spending time with their family, getting a new car, or hanging out with their best friends. These are all things that create happiness, but in truth, these feelings of happiness are fleeting. That is why in today’s society, people consume so much – they are endlessly trying to chase happiness by stringing together moments and doing things that offer only temporary relief. Most believe that we are the centre of our universe and that our happiness revolves around us. I don’t believe in happiness – happiness depends on happenings – the root of the word implies that something needs to happen in order for there to be a result. I beleive in Joy and the truth is, the basis for joy in our life is the base of our existence, so joy is actually at our core, and our lives and success revolve around it. joy is free and available for anyone who wants it. You just have to decide that you deserve it.
Something I have learned along the way, that once you see you cannot unsee, once you taste you cannot untaste. Each new stage of growth, consciousness and maturity always brings with it greater freedom, complexity and inclusion. We generally do not grow or move towards later stages of consciousness without great pain, suffering or experiences.
And it is clear to me that all progress starts by telling the truth to yourself. Everyone is up against the same thing. Circumstances might be different, the stimulus might be different – but all adversity is the same and there is always a radical difference between the experience and the anticipation of the experience. When one asks “How much suffering can I take?” What you must understand is that you are going through the anticipation of a bad thing happening and when you actually go through the bad thing – the bad thing is incredibly easier and less painful than the anticipation. Most of the suffering on the planet is really not people experiencing a bad thing – it is their anticipation of a really bad thing.
At the end of May I spoke on the Niagara momonday stage. My presentation that night took the form of me writing a letter to my son for his 10th birthday. I spoke about how when you Google my name the first thing that pops up is the Guelph Mercury article that speaks about the sexual assault accusation. I spoke about how I had been living in fear for the last 7 years about my son googling my name and finding the story before I had the courage to tell him myself. And I spoke about what helped me through – the two books and the one beautiful human who finally held up the mirror for me when she found out about my story through someone else before I could tell her.
Well, two weeks ago as my son and I were walking home from playing tennis – the Google car drives past us… it started a whole conversation which included Calvin saying “You know Daddy, when you google your name a lot of things come up…” I lived in fear about how to start the conversation with my son and the universe started it for me when the google car drove past us – there are no coincidences.
I am a firm believer that there is no faster path to peace than people getting to know one another. So much violence and destruction today is caused by ignorance and fear of the unknown; we are crippled by the fear of what we don’t understand. Taking a journey into the unknown can be a vehicle to create peace through understanding and appreciation of others while making the world a little more perfect. And traveling around the world or deep inside ourselves also gives us an appreciation and awareness of ourselves, which goes hand in hand with being able to connect with others. How can we ever understand what we are and where we belong in the universe if we haven’t experienced ourselves?
Although Billy Joel is right – we didn’t start the fire, it’s always been burning since the world’s been turning and like him I tried to fight it however I learned that when you admit that your are powerless over a higher power, offer it up and surrender to your own weaknesses you will discover a power greater than yourself, a power that is freeing when you acknowledge that you are not the centre of the universe and therefore do not need to carry the weight of the world with you in everything you do. Surrendering is liberating and freeing. Part of growing is understanding that there are certain things that you just cannot control. All you can do is give your best in the moment you are in and Love the Life You Were Meant to Lead.
Kevin T. Cahill is an award winning sales professional and consultant specializing in the art of managing change and achieving great results. As the founder of The Change Revolution, this international best selling author and speaker inspires men and women alike. As someone who has mastered the art of resilience and hope, Kevin’s philosophy as a clarity builder is strategic and results driven. Kevin’s passion is to equip individuals and organizations with a renewed sense of clarity and excitement, knowing that positive change will bring about positive gains. His exciting creation The Change Revolution offers a winning blueprint for navigating through change and achieving success.
Speaking inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-836-7989.