A few months ago, a client came to me who had been unexpectedly laid off. It was a huge blow for her and she felt a bit of her identity had vanished. I helped her to ground back into who she was and the impacts that she had made over the years in her career. As the news started to sink in, she eventually found herself strangely happy and relieved. I helped her to see the layoff as gift. The abrupt change had presented an opportunity for her to find a more positive environment where her skills and expertise aligned; where she could feel challenged and grow.
My aikido teacher, George Leonard, called this awareness taking the hit as a gift. At various times in life we all receive hits. They can take the form of injury or accident, relationship struggles, career pitfalls, family crises or disappointments. Some are more forceful than others. When we receive the hit and label it as bad or negative we lose the opportunity to grow. If we receive the hit and look at it as a gift, we can open up to the possibility to change a pattern, belief, behavior or relationship in our life that is no longer serving us. We are empowered by this wake-up-call to act in a way that improves our health and wholeness thus embracing the pain or challenge for what it is, an opportunity.