It’s pretty easy to love ourselves when all is running smoothly, when our work is stable and the relationships in our lives feel connected and balanced. But what happens when you get in a harsh argument with your mate, or when the company you work for needs to downsize and adds to your workload while reducing your salary? Where do we turn when life’s challenges meet us straight on and demand our attention?

In times of hardship, most of us tend to forget that this is a friendly universe that is always supporting and uplifting us. If we knew, without a shadow of doubt, that all of the resources in the universe were constantly rushing forth to support our every need, a vivid clarity and receptivity would be ever-present, guiding us in the perfect direction, meeting the right people, and making decisions that lift us above the current circumstances. From this higher purview, we’re able to see clearly and attract the needed resources that bring success.

So why is it that so many of us stay stuck in the muck and mire of our given circumstances? If we know better, what keeps us running in the same loop that can often feel hopeless? Is it our lack of trust that we live in a supportive universe, or perhaps we’re so conditioned to feeling comfortable when faced with conditions of struggle and hardship? Imagine having a favorite pair of shoes, and through time, your feet slightly grow and gradually cause greater discomfort while walking. Rather than replacing these shoes, you choose to continue walking in them because they’re so familiar and your favorites. Even though you begin to limp and feel constricted, you put up with the pain due to a notion of false comfort!

We laugh at examples such as this, but the humor evoked is due to a sense of relationship with this silly behavior. In each moment, we have the opportunity to catch ourselves when feeling any semblance of pain, question its source, and make a self-honoring choice. In order to make this course correction, it’s imperative that we firmly believe that we’re worthy of living a life free from pain, a life that fully supports our well-being and grandest of expression. We need not bathe in the familiarity of discomfort. Yet, how do we catch these irrational beliefs as they surface? How do we shift a lifelong pattern based in struggle and unworthiness?

Below are a few tools that can serve as supportive reminders when we begin falling down the rabbit hole of false illusion.

  • Become fully aware of how your body reacts when you feel triggered. Whenever you experience this feeling, it’s an indicator that something’s off. Stop and track what situation or thought provoked this discomfort. Allow yourself to become an observer and objectively become clear on what self-honoring choice you need to make that will bring you joy and a sense of peace. Invoke the courage and conviction to remain unwavering with this choice and watch how the universe rushes in to support you.
  • Devote to a daily practice of connecting with your inner-child. Listen to his or her needs and become mindful of giving the love and nurturing qualities that they’re desperately needing you to hear and honor. When your inner-child feels loved and supported, you naturally show up in the world making wise choices.
  • Find an accountability partner, someone who will not cosign with you in making unsupportive and painful choices. Check in with them on a weekly basis giving ten minutes each to listen objectively and support each other as an authentic witness. Be willing to be fully honest with each other in lovingly reflecting back where unsupportive choices are at play and revealing alternative choices based in self-love and honesty.

The greater that we truly believe in the possibility of living a life free from constant pain, sadness and discomfort, the more consistently we choose love over fear, joy and expansion over pain, and goodness over heartache. It is our birthright to live a life based in love and always returning to this foundation of love throughout life’s constant changes that stretch us beyond where we could have ever imagined traveling… matter what!

Carl Studna is a world-renowned photographer, inspirational speaker, teacher and award winning author. Carl’s intimate portraits of influential people ranging from Sir Paul McCartney to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, are published and known worldwide. Carl has taken his message and experiences to print in his book, CLICK! Choosing Love One Frame at a Time.  Studna’s innovative work, the LuminEssence Method©, teaches a new paradigm for radiating the light that resides within revealing each person’s authentic gifts.

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Comment by Carl Studna on May 18, 2016 at 9:08am

Regina, you're so welcome and thank you for the feedback.

Comment by Regina Chouza on May 18, 2016 at 12:12am

Hi Carl, I have sent it through, thank you for the edit!

Comment by Carl Studna on May 15, 2016 at 6:39pm

Hi Regina, Here is a slightly revised version of my sentence in question below.

"Is our lack of trust that we live in a supportive universe, or perhaps we are so conditioned into thinking that struggle and hardship are necessary to feel comfortable and safe?"

My assistant created these hyperlinks and when I click on each one, I'm taken to the writer's contributing page. I don't believe that the link that takes the reader to my Om Times page was published as a featured article. 

Best of Wishes,


Comment by Regina Chouza on May 13, 2016 at 6:19pm

Hi Carl,  Thanks for submitting this lovely article. My name is Regina, I'm one of the editors here at OM Times. I have 2 minor comments before sending this to the publishers for consideration:

- There is a phrase that I don't quite understand - would you be able to rephrase this sentence: "Is it our lack of trust that we live in a supportive universe, or perhaps we are so conditioned to feeling comfortable when faced with conditions of struggle and hardship?" Is the sentiment that we are so used to feeling comfortable that struggle and hardhips throw us for a loop?

- You included several hyperlinks to articles in the community - if those articles have been published on OM Times ( we can link to the final version instead.

Finally, I just wanted to mention that we stay away from contractions as much as possible, to be sure that the articles sound more professional. I have corrected these already in a Word document so no need to fix it, but please keep that in mind for future submissions.



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