Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson


The other day I found myself in a different kind of space. I had just found out that a workshop I wanted to go to was already filled up. For the first time in six years, I was not able to go to my favorite teacher’s workshop. I must admit I was not comfortable about that situation. So I had to discover what was going on in the battlefield of my mind. Most people would have just shrugged it off, but to me it was much more serious than that.

The first step was to be still. This was not easy, I was in the space of “my guru walked by me and ignored me. He didn’t give me a flower.” In other words, some deeply buried feelings of unworthiness, rejection, and abandonment were coming up to be healed. It did not feel pleasant. Had I done something wrong? Was I being punished? Why were some people lucky enough to go and I wasn’t? Was life really that capricious and unfair? Luckily I didn’t have to experience that nonsense for long, I quickly realized that I was in an old thinking pattern that was making me a victim.

The second step was to look for the lesson. After all, I had created this situation somehow for my own enlightenment. I am still contemplating that one, new revelations arise constantly. I marvel at how the lessons that we least want are the ones that teach us so much. For me, I think one of the lessons from this situation is that not going to a workshop is a workshop. Sometimes we get more out of not getting what we want than getting to go to a workshop. I know that I talk with a lot of people who can’t afford to go to all of the workshops that they would like and that makes them feel a certain way. I have compassion for anyone that is attached to going to workshops like I am. This is a sure source of suffering.

So the third step in the process was to detach. The contemplation of this little mouse poop of a situation has brought me some valuable insights.  First, I am not going to die if I don’t get to a workshop. If it isn’t my karma, it just isn’t my karma. I have to learn to love myself even when I don’t get what I want. The most valuable lesson I have learned from this is that I am in control of my suffering. I create my suffering, and I can let go of it. I can hang on to it as long as I want, and I can return to my bliss anytime I want. Sometimes being a victim can be so much fun though, even when it doesn’t feel all that great.

I was quite mystified as to why I felt so abandoned and rejected because I was not invited to this workshop. After all, I go to many workshops and teach many myself. To be able to spend that time by myself and search for the cause of these irrational feelings was a gift that I finally accepted. I later found out that this particular workshop was not for me, the teacher had carefully picked the people that were invited to go and they were in great need of healing, much more than me. I did get the opportunity to look at my desire to belong, to be apart of the group and why I felt like I was being excluded when the reality was there was only so much space and I did not need the workshop. So I finally concluded that it was all in divine timing and destiny. I did not miss anything, I actually was able to learn some valuable lessons about myself.

The final step for me was to be grateful for the lesson and the teacher. This includes myself. So by being grateful for not being able to go to the workshop, I transformed the energy of being a victim into being a creator. When I do that, I go from suffering to bliss. Like the old saying goes, “life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us.”

I am actually feeling pretty good about not going to a workshop. The workshop of not going to a workshop was very helpful.

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