We all tend to cyclically go through times of loss, personally and globally. How you handle that loss can make or break you and those you influence. In this episode we’ll look at how to rise up again no matter what type of loss you’ve faced. 

Topics Covered:  

4:00    –  Are we in ‘final exam’ time in the game of life?  

 :00 –    The importance of processing emotions to rise from the ashes   

26:00     Three short, practical ways to become more present and “in the flow”  



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Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

This is Episode 57How to Rise from the Ashes.  We all tend to cyclically go through times of loss, personally and globally. How you handle that loss can make or break you and others in  your sphere of influence. In this episode let’s look at how to rise up again no matter what type of loss you’ve faced.   Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and you’re listening to the Mindstory Speaker podcast helping leaders with the inner game, so they can better serve others.


Understanding the alchemical process and structure of change can help you better navigate it all. All change has the same basic structure whether you upgrade to a new piece of software, move your home, or go through a global pandemic. And no matter when you are listening to this podcast, the information can be helpful because we are on a roller coaster of change our entire lives. But right now, at a global level, we’ve just gone through one the biggest changes the world has faced in a long time. The covid-19 virus, the lockdown, the economic downfall, the political storms, the destructive earth changes. It’s a lot. Then, you have your own personal changes to navigate in the face of all the global ones. At some level, I believe we are all connected, there is a global human consciousness and your thoughts and emotions affect that, AND the collective consciousness affects you, too. So, if you’ve been feeling down or agitated lately and don’t have a specific reason for it, it may just be a sign you are empathically picking up on what’s going on at the global level, whether you watch the news or not. You can’t escape it, so you might as well exercise your right to choose how to respond, thereby positively affecting yourself but also the global collective.

So, if we take the metaphor of the seasons it can help remind you of the natural cycles of life. During the end of Autumn or the Fall of change, you experience loss. After the loss you experience the Winter of Change, where it’s dark, cold and barren, and can feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But eventually life brings a Spring of change, where new possibilities start to emerge, at first in small ways. Some of those ways don’t survive, but if you’ve gone through the seasons in a conscious way, you start to spring to life again and move into the Summer of Change when the next phase of your creative development in life fully flourishes and you get the harvest of all your inner and outer work. Then, invariably you go into the Fall of Change again and start the cycle all over.

Many of my clients are not wanting to make any plans right now because they say they can’t control what happens externally, but you CAN prepare internally. You can choose how you want to respond whatever life brings, so that you can continually tend your garden well and rise from the ashes of your life in the best way possible.

Chances are you’ve done it many times before, especially if you’ve lived a few decades already. You may have faced death, injury, illness, theft, breakups, betrayals, rejections, invalidations, income loss and much more. If you subscribe to the idea that life is a game, or are open to exploring that, then it all has a purpose. If it’s a school for inner growth, then all the losses, hardships and challenges are your lessons, and the big ones, like maybe right now are your final exams so you can graduate and move onto bigger and better things. So, if you’re willing to learn your lessons, study, and pass the exams, you get to grow. The problem is, the ego often does not like these lessons and will resist them. There’s programming within the human subconscious mind designed to pull you down, sabotage, and resist. Just like in nature, not all plants will come back to life again, there is a force of entropy pulling everything in nature towards death and destructivity, and there is an opposing force pulling everything in nature towards life and creativity. We all have that within us. I believe the true self does want to grow, and so tapping into that can set you on a course to rise again and flourish. Of course, the journey can, at times, be  intense, uncomfortable, hard, painful, but if you stop resisting this inevitable movement towards growth, that’s going make the whole process far easier.

At MindStory Academy we call MindStories a collection of thoughts, believes, emotions characters, plots revolving around one theme – they are designed to give an interpretation to particular experiences, so we know  how to respond. Some MindStories are like a bad virus that ripples through the consciousness of humanity and causes degradation of consciousness and destruction, and some are like a good virus, that acts like an antibody to empower, uplift and create growth and these also ripple through the collective consciousness. You have a choice each and every moment, which way you want to go. In fact, I would go so far as to say that in some ways, that’s the whole purpose of the game; to have a virtual reality playground where you get constantly lured away from positive growth. The purpose of that is simply to build your muscle of discernment and choice. And by what’s going on at the global level right now, it looks like we’re going through final exams. If you pass, I do believe you emerge into a new realm of consciousness where all your capacities go up exponentially. But that’s a topic for another podcast.

How do we do this? The constructive use of consciousness technology. We are used to thinking of technology as heartless machines that can do things we can’t do, but there is another brand of technology, that some people call “consciousness technology”. We suggest that creating Mindstories are a form of conscious technology that you can use in constructive or destructive ways, just like an iphone can be used in constructive and destructive ways. It depends on the intention of the user. It’s the idea that anything, say, a computer can do, the human mind can do if properly trained and released from the bondage of subconscious programming. Meditation is another form of consciousness technology. Using your intuition, as we’ve talked about on other episodes, to tap into the group mind of your listeners, so you say things a way that they can truly relate to…is another form of consciousness technology.

So let’s say, you are going through a dark night of the soul as they say, a hard experience that seems like it just won’t end, here are some ways to help you navigate it and hopefully rise from it in a way that brings you into the best harvest of your growth as possible. One of the biggest reasons people stay stuck in a dark night of the soul, is because they resist it, which actually just strengthens it. So the first, and most important thing to do, is just to be with the discomfort of the darkness, accept and have compassion for the fact that you have negative feelings about what’s going on. What if you didn’t judge yourself or others, for having a hard time with loss, change, challenge. It’s natural and normal. That alone can make a huge difference, that alone can release 70% of the suffering just by not resisting it anymore. So this is about really validating every single negative emotion or thought you have about the situation. It’s okay, you’re okay, let yourself really feel it. Own it all. Most people disown those feelings. But those feelings are born of your thoughts and perceptions of the world, and so it’s like kicking your children out in the snow. Naturally they want to be let in. So they rap on the windows calling for you to let them in, but you try to ignore them, but you can’t really. They haunt you. That’s when people turn to addictive substances and behaviors, whether it’s food, alcohol, overwork, TV, social media, just to drown out the cries of those disowned children. So open the door, let them in, warm them up, feed them, love them, nurture them, let them have their temper tantrums, let them cry. You don’t need to do this in front of people, or in inappropriate places or to throw that energy onto someone else, but most people do need a safe space to release and process pent-up emotional energy if they want to rise from the ashes of their life. You can’t reinvent yourself from unprocessed emotions.

Why is it so important to process all these emotions? Once healed and processed they provide a springboard for change. They provide the fertile soil for growth. If you don’t do that, you can stay stuck and the stuck emotions run you subconsciously. If you’ve ever met someone with a chip on their shoulder, they seem bitter about life, you’ve met someone who hasn’t learned how to process their emotions. Or someone who keeps talking about regrets from the past. Or, someone who keeps hoping for something better in the future. All those behaviours are indicative of an unwillingness or an inability to process their emotions. How do you process? You need to be in present moment awareness, because that’s where you have the power to transform.

The good news is that it’s not that big a deal if you just let yourself do it. It reminds me of when I used to go to a lake as a child. It was summer, but the lake was fed by a Canadian glacier. On the first day of vacation, I remember putting my toe in and deciding it wasn’t for me. I spent the entire week watching everyone else enjoy the lake, then on the last day my cousin pulled me into the water with him.  After a few seconds of discomfort, I actually loved it. It was so refreshing, and invigorating, and exciting and fun to be out there with everyone playing instead of sitting on the shoreline watching them. I just wished I’d done that on the first day of vacation instead of the last. But it’s never too late to learn that processing your emotions can actually become a natural, normal, invigorating and good process if you let it. Just BE with those negative states instead of resist them, numb them or project them onto others, they will bubble and boil in the alchemical cauldron until something new arises, something that invariably turns into greater wisdom, resilience and strength. And you can’t just grin and bear it, it’s about being open hearted in your approach to it, relaxing into and being curious, that’s what creates the transformation.

And that requires being present in the here and now. The past and the future are only in your mind. True reality is in the NOW. The problem is that our whole society is set up to distract people from the here and now. So, any practice you have to just be present in this moment right now, even for a few seconds a day, is better than not doing it at all. We all go in and out of being in the present moment throughout the day. For example, you’re driving and thinking about what to eat for dinner, but then a driver cuts you off and you get present again. Then, all is okay, and you think about something to add to your grocery list. So, just be present as often as possible…to build the muscle…and I’ll talk about more ways in a moment. Here’s why it can make such a huge difference.

You’ve probably heard lots of people talk about the power of mindfulness, especially at work. You may even have mindfulness practices. Certainly that’s made a huge difference in my life. In particular, the ability to drop down into what, say, a mindfulness teacher might call THE TRUE SELF, or the compassionate neutral witness. This is the part of you that doesn’t react from the survival brain or the limbic emotional brain, but from what you might call…the higher mind…the true self or whatever you want to call it.

The first time I got into mindfulness was back in the 1990s when I got invited to a 5 day silent meditation retreat. I never thought I could be in silence for 5 days just sitting and walking and just watching my mind. I thought I’d run screaming out of there after the first day, but I had just experienced several losses in my life at the same time. My mother had just died, a relationship ended, and I lost a number of well-paid business contracts. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was in the Winter part of change that’s cold, dark, barren…no Spring in sight. That’s often a good time to go into silence. When in that silence, the true self can rise to the surface and do the mental, emotional, spiritual decluttering that we cyclically need to do, just like you would declutter your home. Or, to the use the seasonal metaphor, to compost the last harvest until it turns into the fertile soil for your next harvest.

It WAS hard at first, because of my resistance, but once I stopped resisting it, I ended up loving it. I also noticed massive ripple effects in my life after that. In fact, right afterwards I had a business trip planned. It was a tightly scheduled trip to speak at an event in another city.  But I was very much grounded into this practice of just being in the here and now and being ok with whatever life brought me. That wasn’t my usual style especially when travelling. I tended to get stressed out easily especially when there were delays in the face of a deadline. For example, the traffic was bad getting to the airport, the check in line was very long, the security line was even longer. I finally get through security just when my flight was supposed to leave, but fortunately, the monitor read that my flight was 20 minutes delayed. So glad I didn’t drive myself crazy with worry, for nothing. I was really hungry so I decided to buy a bag of dry roasted cashews just to tide me over.  I then go to sit in the departure lounge. I put the cashews down on the little table between two seats and then open my laptop to do a bit of work. Now here’s weird thing, a few minutes later the woman beside me picks up my bag of cashews, opens them and starts to eat a few. I look over at her surprised. She smiles and offers me some. Normally, I would’ve reacted and said something to the her, but I’m cool. So I just smile back and I take a few cashews, then she has some more, then offers me more. And we both sit there munching our cashews in silence until they are all gone. Then we get in line for the plane, and I decide to strike up a conversation. I want to know what kind of woman steals another person’s cashews. Turns out we were in the same line of work. She did training and development for a huge multi-national company. I told her what I did. Long story short, she ended up hiring me to work for her company. At any rate, after that we board the plane and I am getting settled into my seat, and I open my bag and there is my bag of cashews. So glad I never got reactive with her. Being present is a game changer, right. That encounter began a massive process of reinvention in my life. Ever since that retreat experience, I’ve created daily habits to stay in the flow state and be as present as possible. So here are a few that might be useful for you.


More and more research proves that being in a state of flow is one of the greatest secrets to success in life. Nothing repels people or opportunities more than its opposite, desperation.

Flow is the mental state of operation in which you are fully immersed in whatever you are doing. You are energized, focused, with full involvement in the process of the activity. Most of us have some activities in life where this is easy to do, such as, playing a sport like tennis, or writing a blog post, or making music. The trick is to put that flow state into all tasks, no matter how mundane.


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Happiness, says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: When we are involved in creativity, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life. He is the architect of the notion of flow – the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.

Csikszentmihalyi interviewed some of the most creative people in the world who experienced this flow state. People who are at the top of their game, such as artists, scientists, composers, dancers and poets, describe an effortless, spontaneous, timeless feeling – like entering a doorway into another realm. Albert Einstein gave a similar explanation to the forces of relativity.


One of the fundamental questions that almost everyone asks us is how to feel happier. The way that most people go about being happier is they try to go out into the world and achieve something external in their environment.

If you buy that car, if you lose weight, if you get out of debt, if you make a few million, if your business becomes a success, if you find the perfect relationship, then you’ll be happy. Your mind will continue to search for something outside of itself to gain happiness and, ironically, this brings you into the cycle of unhappiness. The paradox is that even if you get what you want you’ll often snap back to being unhappy because there’s some other goal you now want that’s out of reach.

It’s easy to get burned and exhausted living that way, because that’s not how the world works.  Your thinking is the source of your life experience, and as long as you don’t understand this, you will blame external circumstances and factors over which you have no control, you’ll definitely be unhappy.

Amazingly, if you don’t understand how your mind works, you won’t be happy no matter how wonderful your circumstances are. That is because you will feed the negative thoughts that then produce the negative feelings.

You’ll never find happiness on the other end of a goal because it’s generated inside of you. The trick is to never make your happiness dependent on external circumstances.

You can decide to be happy if you have a car…or not.

You can decide to love your body if you lose weight… or not.

You can decide to be compassionate with yourself if you get out of debt… or not.

You can decide to have a great life if you make a few million… or not.

You can decide to feel good about life if you have a successful business… or not.

You can decide to be happy if you find the perfect relationship… or not.

Consider the possibility that you don’t have to be controlled by what happens outside you. What a relief!  You can simply be happy even in circumstances that are less than perfect.

Happiness occurs when you allow your mind to focus on good thoughts, empowering meanings of life events, which lead to good feelings, which lead to inspired actions, which reprogram you for more good things. Only in a good feeling state can new answers emerge to solve old problems.

Happiness is a state of flow that will allow you to see old problems in new and creative ways and allow you to make better decisions leading to better results. To enter the flow state, you need to cultivate mental relaxation. Most people are highly tense and agitated a lot of the time. The good news is that you can train yourself to be more relaxed, at peace and happy by your choice of thoughts and interpretations. Remember, you are always only one thought away from a good feeling.


The flow state is the starting point for being charismatic. People often think charisma is just something you are either born with or not. Yet, if you think about it, you’ve probably had days when you feel charismatic, or where you’re magnetizing good experiences. People are responding positively to you.

Then, other days, it seems like the opposite is happening. Your day is full of complainers, issues, glitches and barriers. We’re not saying you are fully responsible for what life brings. The world around us is a co-creative experience, and sometimes negative experiences are a blessing in disguise.

That said, you DO contribute to how the world shows up for you. Most people operate in a non-charismatic way. They are rushing through activities and feeling frustrated because they haven’t reached their goals yet. This state actually repels their goals and invites negative interactions.


Here are 3 quick techniques to get present so you can get back in the flow. As I said, the Buddhists call this walking the middle path. If something goes badly, you take the learnings and then go back to a neutral state. If something fantastic happens, you celebrate and feel gratitude, then go back to the neutral state. You then don’t need to feel like a ship without a rudder, where you feel like a victim to the ups and downs of life. You experience them, but you go back to neutral very quickly.


Practice present moment awareness by going out into nature. This is the easiest way to start. Use your 5 senses to observe your surroundings. Try to stay with the experience and not let your mind run off and think of something else. Simply focus your awareness on the present moment, and notice what you see, hear, feel-physical, feel-emotional, smell, taste.

For example, I see an oak tree, I hear the wind blowing through the leaves, I feel the grass under my feet, I feel at peace, I smell the Hyacinth flowers, I taste the crisp spring air.

At first, this takes discipline; but, as you feel the rewards of peace and contentment, it will motivate you to continue this habit.

I see: ________________________________________________________________________

I hear: _______________________________________________________________________

I feel physically: _______________________________________________________________

I feel emotionally: _____________________________________________________________

I smell: _______________________________________________________________________

I taste: _______________________________________________________________________



There are times throughout your day when you have to wait. You’re in an elevator, stuck in traffic, or in a line. Those are times that many people get frustrated and impatient, especially if you’re dealing with a deadline. This state of mind raises your stress hormones, distracts your mind into the future, and makes you a magnet for negativity. To help you break free of that state, take 1 minute to do this activity. Again, state what you see, hear, feel emotionally, feel physically, smell and taste.

For example, I was stuck in traffic recently, and here’s what I said out loud to myself. I see the red car in front of me. I hear the hum of the car engine. I feel tension in my jaw. I feel the car seat against my back. I smell and taste my cup of tea.

That forced my focus into the present moment and calmed me down. If I could see my brain scan as I did this, the energy would no longer be clustered in the survival brain, but dispersed back into the high brain functions of the neo-cortex. Try it yourself the next time you’re feeling impatient.

I see: ________________________________________________________________________

I hear: _______________________________________________________________________

I feel physically: _______________________________________________________________

I feel emotionally: _____________________________________________________________

I smell: _______________________________________________________________________

I taste: _______________________________________________________________________


Some people unconsciously create these rushing experiences because they are addicted to the stress hormones. They leave late for a meeting so that they have to rush to get there. When I first discovered this addiction to cortisol, I started creating new habits of being on time.

For example, hours before leaving, I would put my bag at the door with everything I would need for my meeting; all my notes, water, directions, coat and shoes ready to go. My outfit would be picked out and be lying on my bed. I would leave an extra 15 minutes for traffic and glitches.

At first, it was uncomfortable to NOT be rushing, and to actually arrive early for a meeting. I heard inner thoughts such as, “This is a waste of time” or “I could have answered 3 more emails.” Then, I changed my thoughts to, “It’s so nice to not be rushing” or “I love getting to enjoy the whole journey to where I’m going.”

List at least 3 new habits you could create in order to be on time for things.

HABIT #1 _____________________________________________________________________

HABIT #2 _____________________________________________________________________

HABIT #3 _____________________________________________________________________

So, I purposely gave you small, easy to implement habits, because I find those are the ones that people actually do. If it’s complicated, too conceptual or heady, people don’t do them. And it’s in the experiencing of the new state, that the new neuropathways, or the good MindStories start to form. So, give just one of them a try.

This podcast episode, by the way, is based on Chapter 14, of our book, MindStory Inner Coach and it’s called Staying in the Flow and Being Present. If you’d like more tools like this, for a limited time we’re offering this book for free on our website: MindStoryAcademy.com. You’ll also see the free book link in the show notes. Along with the book, you also get two short guided audios that are called neuro-blueprints. They are a form of meditation to help you stay present and get back into the flow.

One is called how to end self sabotage, it’s one you would use at night. The other is called your hero’s journey, which is about reframing the challenges of your life in terms of a mythic adventure and how those challenges have forged you in the fire of wisdom to now help others. Sometimes that’s hard to see until you do a process like this. And this is a version you would do in the morning. These take chapters 2 and 10 of the book to a much deeper level. All together, the audios and the book come to $94 but you can get them free right now.

Also, if you are attracted to the idea of being a well-paid online speaker and coach we teach people how to get successful in these professions quickly, and give you all our  MindStory tools to use in your business or job or to help you get a job with us or another company. If you’re interested, check out our Certification tab at MindstoryAcademy.com. It’s where we train you how to make extra income or even your next million working online, from the comfort of your own home, living from anywhere making a huge difference while making a great living speaking, teaching and coaching others to become masters of their own mind…one the best professions to have at this time in history.

So that’s it for today…Do post a review of this podcast if you like it – on iTunes or youTube or wherever you listen. It makes a big difference to helping others find out about it.

I hope that was helpful. Until next time, I’m Carla Rieger, thanks for listening.

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