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After watching his barn burn to the ground, 17th Century samurai and poet Mizuta Masahide wrote the following haiku:

“Barn’s burnt down
now
I can see the moon”

Masahide’s quote came to me, as most God-winks do, at a time when I was struggling to see the half-full glass in front of me. I’d recently jettisoned the vestiges of what most folks consider a normal life; the job and the house were gone. And as I moved my life in a new direction, it was often easier to see the obstacles than the opportunities.

The quote resonated so strongly because it reminded me that what’s needed most in challenging times is the courage to look for beauty and meaning in the rubble. Because even in the midst of what we perceive as disastrous, there are opportunities on the other side of every challenge we face.

It’s easy to give up, to tell ourselves that what’s happened means the end of our dreams. But that attitude is not worthy of us and our purpose for being on this planet. Within every challenge are the seeds of greatness, just waiting to sprout.

Maybe you’ve watched as your metaphorical barn burned to the ground. Perhaps life is not moving in the direction you had planned, or maybe you’ve been unwilling to see anything but the rubble.

My message to you is this:

Find the beauty and magic in your life. Understand that you arrived on this planet with all of the courage and faith you need to turn tragedy into triumph.

Look up.

See the moon.