Life faces us with our vulnerability on a daily basis. We struggle to exert control. Often we resist change and prolong a crisis. Difficult times offer opportunity for growth and renewal, as well as depression and despair. These insights, drawn from science and nature, can help us meet life's challenges and make wise choices. Even when painful, we can create richer, fuller lives.

What appears threatening offers opportunity for growth and renewal.
In 1977 the Belgian physicist Ilya Prigogine won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. His work showed that any open system, when faced with change and disorder, can reorganize itself at a higher level. Prigogine discovered that change and disorder create new possibilities. They are essential conditions for a system’s growth and renewal. We are open, living systems. We can adapt and respond to new information with resilience. During times of crisis, we can accept and appreciate life as it is and look for
opportunity within each challenge.

We often grow the most during dark and uncertain times.
Perhaps bulbs, more than any other planting, help us understand that mystery is at the heart of growth and transformation. That bulbs bloom at all seems a miracle. They have lain dormant below the soil and survived a long, cold winter. The bulb is a food-storing structure. It draws on this reserve supply and thrives despite adverse conditions. Much of the change and growth from bulb to bloom takes place out of sight. Our own lives mirror this remarkable yet mysterious process. We draw on our inner
strength and learn endurance. We find the resilience deep within to grow and thrive in difficult times.

Having less control opens us to new possibilities.
Prigogine helped us see change and disorder as an ally, not as a signal for trouble. Disorder creates new possibilities. Nature shows us the necessary link between darkness and the creative process. Times of crisis, when our inner worlds turn dark and cold, offer us opportunity for growth and renewal. A life crisis is a crossroads and a turning point. What matters most is how we respond. We face a defining moment. We can refuse to change - breakdown and dry up within. Or we can let go - embrace change and breakthrough to a higher level. Growth and renewal bring us new life. Personal transformation always empowers us.

We are spiritual beings here on earth to grow and thrive and enjoy the process. Letting go is part of our spiritual journey. Much of life experience is out of our control. But we do have the freedom to choose our thoughts. We can see ourselves, not as victims, but as powerful creators. We can notice only the positive aspects of each person, event and circumstance. We can fill each day with thoughts of appreciation. Positive thoughts help us use the language of possibility rather than despair. We make the best of where we are. We renew in body, mind and spirit. We create richer, fuller lives.

Author's Bio: 

Mary Beth Ford, Ed. D. is the author of Wisdom from the Gardens: Life Lessons and creator of The Garden Wisdom Teleseminar. She specializes in the area of life balance, which she describes as balance between outer world and inner self. Mary Beth offers products for living with balance and joy at The Garden Wisdom Store online. To learn more, visit her website at and hear an inspiring video message from Mary Beth.