Understanding “Tragedy”

“It is time to stop talking and start walking; stop crying and start sweating.  Working together with a common faith we cannot fail.”  ~Jimmy Carter, U.S. Presidential Speech 1979

In the movie What the Bleep Do We Know, Dr. Hagelin describes a rather unconventional social experiment conducted in Washington D.C.  Over a two month period of time, 4,000 individuals came together to meditate daily with the intention of lowering the crime rate.  Normally during the summer in Washington D.C. the crime rate sharply increases due to the warmer weather.  From June 7th through July 30th 1993, the time-frame of the meditation experiment, crime in Washington D.C. was reduced by 23.6%.  The likelihood that this was merely a “coincidence” was calculated at two parts per billion, also noting that Dr. Hagelin’s experiment was repeated 48 times with similar results in prisons, inner-city schools, war-torn areas like Nicaragua, Iran, Israel and Lebanon.

Recently, the United States has encountered a natural “tragedy,” referred to as Hurricane Sandy.  She left her mark on New York, New Jersey and several other locations for quite some time to come.  Whenever any challenging or tragic event occurs, there are always two by-products; gratitude and an opening of the heart.  These types of events leave you feeling very thankful for what you have, the people in your lives and sometimes plain thankful for being alive.  This gratitude leads to an opening of the heart and our altruism kicks into full gear.  We immediately want to help in some way…our “hearts go out” to the people who were affected by the tragedy.

Studies have shown that altruism is hard-wired in our brains.  When hooked up to brain scanning machines, people who were asked to think about giving money to someone had the same exact parts of their brain light up as when they thought about selfish pleasures such as eating and sex.  (It brings a whole new meaning to the term “this is better than sex!”)

What came up for you during Hurricane Sandy?  Were you grateful?  Did you wonder in what way you could help?  Did you feel empowered or like a victim who has no control over what happens?  Everything happens for a reason…even natural events.  They are meant to wake us up; to force us to think and do things in a different way when no other way has worked.  They are there to teach us something about ourselves and how we relate to each other.  What does it really mean to you to be “alive?”  Is it all about you or is it about us?

When I hike the Inca Trail in Peru, the shamans teach you to always give back to the Earth that which you took.  If you pick up a rock, give back to the Earth something in your possession – a piece of hair or a sacred article of your own.  Everything is about balance.  When Mother Earth creates a hurricane, she is balancing her energy.  What happens is as much about us as it is about her.

Instead of reflecting upon why this happened, turn the mirror inward.  Where does your life need balancing?  What is some personal “tragedy” in your life trying to teach you?  Is there anything in your life that needs to be “washed away” so something new can have room to enter?

Think about it…not everything is how it seems.

The best medicine of all is the simplest medicine.  Let us all learn self-love, self-forgiveness, compassion and understanding.  Then we will be able to give those gifts to others.  By healing the person, we can heal Mother Earth.
~Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Praying we all finally step into who we are,


Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

Announcing the publication of “Choosing the Life You Were Born to Live:  How Changing Your Thoughts Will Change Your Life” by Chris Sopa published by Balboa Press.

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What Would You Do, In This Moment, If You KNEW God Had Your Back?

I open myself to the unknown future in full trust and I release the past with gratitude for how it has blessed my path with joy, difficulty and knowledge.

I am blessed to be on the Board of Directors for the Susquehanna Habitat for Humanity.  We meet once a month and I don’t think I have ever been a part of an organization that makes such a difference in the lives of people OR where I haven’t cried at EVERY Board meeting (happy tears)!

Last night, we had the pleasure of hearing about a program Habitat offers called “I’m Still Standing.”  This program helps individuals who have found themselves lost in life and in the local detention center and helps them “rebuild, restore and refurbish” their lives…just like we do to our houses…by teaching them skills then involving them in construction projects we have going on through Habitat.  We had the pleasure of hearing from two young ladies in the program last night, one who is 20 years old and one who is 31 years old.  As they both spoke about the amazing things this program has done to turn around their lives I could not help notice the similarities to what they said and what we have been talking about in this blog all week.

These ladies, who both stated that coming into the program they (as they said), “needed a lot of work…just like the houses they work on,” both were able to TAKE ACTION in a different direction in their lives because they changed WHAT THEY BELIEVED ABOUT THEMSELVES!  Lawana Perkins, the amazing woman who is responsible for this program, said it perfectly; “The only 2 things we have control over in this life are our MIND and our MOUTH!”  In order to change your life in a positive direction and see sustainable change, the action needs to start from INSIDE OF YOU!  Your thoughts, your beliefs, your choices…they all need to be in alignment.  Once your head and your heart are in line with who you truly are there is no stopping you.  Fear dissipates, courage rises.  Then add into the equation how who you and your new choices are affecting others, your community and the world…then you are on to something!

We are all here on this planet TOGETHER!  What I do AND THINK affects you and what you do and think affects me.  There is no way around it.  As we move into this new age of consciousness (which is all about ONENESS and COMMUNITY) we will begin to see that the old outdated ways of manipulation, self-serving activities and selfish motives fade away…they will no longer work in this “new system.”  The things that will last will be those things that benefit the WHOLE.

If in this moment, you KNEW God had your back (and so did everyone around you) and you KNEW there was no such thing as mistakes and failure…what would you do????

Noodle that question over the weekend and then take your first step.  It is a step worth taking AND we are all waiting for you!  😉

BLESSING from Reverend Angela Peregoff:

There is only one life.  That life is God.  That life is perfect . That life is my life NOW.  Because this one life is perfect and complete,  I know that everything that contradicts that life is cast out and eliminated right now!
There is nothing in me that can deny that perfect life.
I identify my life, as it is divinely aligned with God,
with right action that flows in and through every situation.
I am blessed with benefits from joy, peace, harmony, beauty, and abundance.
As I bear witness to the power of good, that power blesses  everything and every person that comes in contact with this life.
I accept the perfection of this life with all the vitality of the universe as it is. . . . . . . right now, and so it is.


Stepping into the unknown future as we speak,