With September just a few days away, the long, lazy months of summer are coming to an end. Signs and promotions in stores remind children (and their happy parents) that soon they’ll be “back to school!” My own school days are behind me, but thinking back, I can picture so many of my classrooms over the years. Depending on the teacher and the subject matter, I was either engaged and inspired, or bored and watching the clock. When I was young, if I complained about a tedious or unpleasant teacher to my mother she would always say the same thing. “Don’t close off your mind in that class, James, remember that everybody has something to teach you.” As I go through life as an adult, I realize the enduring wisdom of her words.
Earth is the schoolhouse for your soul.
The earth is a schoolhouse where your soul goes to learn lessons to allow it to grow and evolve. Because life here on Earth is so complicated and challenging (like an obstacle course for the soul) it’s the perfect training ground. I believe that every encounter you have with another person is part of your “training,” and, ironically, some of your greatest teachers are people you like the least! Pick out someone in your life – a friend, co-worker or family member – who really pushes your buttons. Set aside your irritation and try to figure out why your paths might have crossed. I can assure you that Spirit does nothing by accident – everyone comes into your life for a reason. Examine the emotions, behaviors and patterns that this person triggers in you. What can you learn about YOURSELF from their behavior?
What my father taught me.
When I think of my toughest but most valuable teachers, my father comes to mind. He was a good man, but he was all about logic and reason, and had a hard time expressing love. When I started on my road to mediumship, my father was very critical – he didn’t accept what I was doing because talking to the dead fell outside of what he believed to be possible. It hurt that he didn’t trust me enough to see what I was able to do for people. The few times he watched me at work, I expected him to see the evidence that was right there in front of him – but he couldn’t. While I longed for his approval, the lesson he taught me was to be secure enough in what I was doing to listen to the truth in my own soul, rather than be pulled off course by the opinions of others. Interestingly enough, after my father died, his Spirit came to me and said “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you – now I understand everything ou tried to tell me! Teaching goes both ways, and in death, my father learned a valuable lesson too.
Helping your soul to learn and grow.
It’s one thing to look back and understand the lessons that someone taught you – but it’s even more valuable to do it in real time, while you are in the moment. By being mindful and AWARE of your own emotions, you can catch yourself reacting to a situation. If you find yourself about to respond to someone with hurt, anger or frustration STOP, and ask yourself these three questions.
1) Why might the other person be behaving this way? Understanding the other person’s history or circumstances can allow you to replace irritation with compassion.
2) How might you react to make the encounter turn out better? You always have a choice! Like Wayne Dyer said “How other people treat you is their Karma, how you respond is yours.”
3) What are you learning about yourself that could make you grateful for this opportunity, rather than angry?
Taking the high road with difficult people can be challenging – but with awareness and understanding, the rewards are life-changing! If you need a little extra help, then my advice to you is “go back to school!” The James Van Praagh School of Mystical Arts offers online courses to help you learn new skills to enrich your life and the lives of the people you love. And because it’s always the right time to make a positive change, you can Save 40% on one of my most popular courses – 28 Days to Total Transformation now through Tuesday August 29th, 2017 with Coupon Code Transform40.