The 21-Day Challenge by John Cali and Spirit

posted in: Blog, channeling, inspiration | 12

Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a different way to stand. ~ Oprah Winfrey

mountain climbing challengeMountain Climbing Challenge

A couple days ago I finished a “21-day meditation challenge”—the name Deepak Chopra has given his periodic free meditation courses. He presents each of the series with Oprah Winfrey. Their latest, Manifesting Grace through Gratitude, ran the 21 days from July 13 through August 2.

As always, it was a pretty powerful experience for me.

Although unrelated, this meditation challenge reminded me of another 21-day challenge, a personal one I faced in nearly the identical time frame, but many years ago.

On July 17 all those years ago, my mother died. Exactly 21 days later, on August 6, my beloved 17-year-old dog died. In between those two events, my nearly 20-year marriage ended.

Those 21 days were certainly one of the most difficult times of my life. Nothing before or since has come close to that time.

Now, these many years later, I can see clearly how powerfully, and positively, that 21-day challenge has affected my life.

The other day I spend some time mulling it all over. Much good came out of those challenging 21 days. The good wasn’t immediately obvious to me. But, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, it’s now totally clear.

First, my mother, Mary. She was approaching 90 years, in pretty good health, and still leading an active and happy life. She always said she did not want to linger and die in a hospital. She didn’t. On July 17 she lay down on her bed at home, closed her eyes, and left, quickly and painlessly.

She had a beautiful life and a beautiful death. She was and is one of my greatest inspirations.

My dog, Pasha, had been with us all but about six months of his long life. He was a real canine character, bringing much fun and joy into our lives. We always said he was funny enough to be in the movies.

We’d found him in the aftermath of Hurricane Agnes when our little town was hit with devastating winds and floods. He apparently had washed away from God knows where. But he was unharmed and healthy.

I’ll never forget all the joy, love, and laughter he brought into our lives.

My wife’s and my long relationship, starting when we were barely more than kids, taught me a lot. I learned from her much of what I know today about life and love. Before we met she’d had a rough life, but never gave up. She and I had our challenges, as all relationships do.  We have a beautiful son, and the love was always there.

But, as the years passed, we both recognized the time had come for us to follow separate paths. The end was friendly—no bitterness, no arguments. Sad, but loving. We agreed on everything.

Today, all these years later, we’re still good friends and we stay in touch. Love never dies.

So I guess my point in telling you all this is what my spirit guides often say—everything that happens to us in life is always for our highest and best good. No exceptions.

Finally—I’ve given this a lot of thought the past few years—I can honestly say I probably would not be on this spiritual path today if that 21-day challenge had not happened. It was a dramatic turning point in my life.

Today I feel happier, healthier, more alive than ever before. And I’m blessed to be doing what I love, and what I will be doing the rest of this lifetime.

How about you? Can you see in your past seemingly devastating events that turned out to be, as the saying goes, “blessings in disguise?” Please share with us below.


Copyright © 2015 by John Cali

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Here’s an inspiring short video of folks dealing with a daunting challenge most of us will never face.


Related posts:
Dark Energy and Life’s Other Challenges
Do You Take Life Too Seriously?


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About John Cali

Writer and publisher John Cali, author of 10 books, talks to ghosts and dead people. He writes about these adventures at his blog and website, and in his upcoming book, Conversations with Spirit: Real Answers To Life’s Pesky Questions, Book 1.

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12 Responses

  1. Cathy Houston

    Hi John! This is a post dear to my heart! I think we all naturally go through many dark nights of the soul, well at least I have. Like you John, my marriage of many years ended, but it produced two beautiful girls that are grown now and on their way in life. I learned so much from that marriage! And when life sent me my next challenge, it “mysteriously ” helped me because of what had happened to me previously-I have found this over and over again. I always need what I learned from past challenges to get through present things, both challenging and enlightening- life is so darn interesting!!Thank you John ! Blessings and loads of hugs!! Cathy

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Cathy, for your comments and your kindness.

      I love your story! You’re a magnificent role model for us all. There is no experience in our lives that does not create opportunities for growth. By being open to those opportunities, you show us what we are all capable of.

      Lots of blessings and big hugs to you, my dear!

  2. Margaret

    PS I should add that I have been helped immensely by Barbara Clark’s healing grief and trauma meditation tape and continue to use others in the series. It’s wonderful to be able to release the pain from the past.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Margaret.

      For those interested, you can find all Barbara’s wonderful healing meditations here.

    • Barbara

      Thank you for your kind comment Margaret. I am so delighted that it continues to help you. I should listen to my own meditations more than I do! 🙂
      Big loves and hugs,
      Barbara x

      • John Cali

        That’s great advice, Barbara. My old friend Dan Poynter once said to me we writers need to occasionally go back and read (listen to) what we’ve written. We need to take our own advice, the advice we give others.

  3. Margaret

    Thanks for this John. I particularly liked the opening quote from Oprah about challenges inviting us to find a new centre of gravity (a different way to stand.
    Some years back now my equilubrium was disturbed with the news that my sister had pancreatic cancer and only had a few months to live. She lived many miles away in Mexico and I had care commitments at home. I literally went ina spin developg positional vertigo. I did adjust and my sister and I enjoyed special times visiting each other.
    Not long after my sister’s passing my mother passed (92) and not long after that I lost my job. The grieving was intense. However my mother’ last few weeks were so spiritually charged I felt raised up
    I then searched Google ‘where are the dead now’ and found this wonderful site which continues to nourish and inspire my journey.
    Losing my job was very scary but I found an amazing job pretty much straight away (after I must say using Louise Hay’s affirmations.)

    So, yes I can agree we grow through our challenges and all is well again 🙂

    Much love to all

    • John Cali

      You’re quite welcome, Margaret. And thank YOU for your thoughtful comments—and for sharing your touching stories.

      As you say, we grow through our challenges—and all truly is well.

      Love, John

  4. Mikala

    It is so strange that I should read this article at this exact time. I and a dear friend of mine for 58 years were discussing this topic about our personal lives today. Because of our mutual trust, truth and understanding over the years, we decided we know one another better/more than anyone else on Earth knows us. It was a fun discussion, while we examined all the challenges, the falling down and the getting up, and how in what we considered the “worst of times”, it was the Creator who walked beside us and pulled us through. Each challenge taught us more about ourselves, and what changes needed to occur for our lives to be more of what Creator intended for us. Our pathways are now filled with Love, Compassion, Light, and the absolute knowledge (not faith but knowledge) of who we are and from whence we have come, and the great Peace in knowing where we are headed.

    The Earth is our school house, we are the creative students. Sometimes we need Special Education teachers.

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Mikala, for sharing with us.It’s a fascinating journey we are all on in this lifetime and on this planet.

      I love what you said here: “The Earth is our school house, we are the creative students. Sometimes we need Special Education teachers.” Indeed!

  5. Pat K

    I read somewhere recently that if we want to (en)Lighten, we would do well to set an INTENTION to look at everything that takes place in our lives as something that will be of benefit “down the road.”

    Not easy in the “red-hot minute,” but still, as Intent to have posted in a prominent place until the thought moves up more and more to default mode, I trust that it is possible.

    Like you, I reflect on difficulties and tragedies that I could not see my way out of at the time, and I am amazed at how boxed in my thinking was. And I have compassion for my suffering self . And I trust that in the future, the same will be true when I regard this period of “Now.”

    Thanks for this post!


    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Pat.

      I agree—if we have the intention to see everything in our lives as a benefit, then we are indeed enlightened. As you say, that’s not always easy in the moment, but it’s always possible.


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