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

If you know someone who could benefit from this post, please forward it to them with a personal note.


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?


What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.


Reprint Our Articles Free

You are free to publish or syndicate any of our articles. Visit our archives to view the articles. It’s quick and easy.

All we ask is that you include this statement:

This article appears courtesy of John Cali and Spirit.

Include this link to our website:


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.

Subscribe to his newsletter and receive a free copy of The Book of Joy: How To Live Every Day of Your Life Happily Ever After.