The Best “Worst Time” of My Life by Christine Kloser (an excerpt from my book, “Pebbles in the Pond: Transforming the World One Person at a Time“)
God sure has a funny way of working in our lives. Being a coach for years and the author of The Freedom Formula: How to Put Soul in Your Business and Money in Your Bank, one of my core teachings was that the Universe is always conspiring for your highest good. It wasn’t until I was put to the test in 2010 and 2011 that I discovered I barely knew what that really meant.
Let me share some background as I guide you through the greatest faith walk of my life. This is a story I hope will help you see that even the darkest times of your life are filled with an abundance of light, and the unfolding of a glorious mystery that can deliver blessing and miracles that far exceed your greatest dreams.
After being an entrepreneur since 1991, I finally hit what most would consider the “jack pot” in January 2009: a successful coaching business, lots of new clients eager to work with me, a best-selling book, and generating nearly a half million in revenue in a single weekend during a seminar I hosted in Los Angeles. I also co-owned a company that trained non-fiction authors to write, publish, and market their books, and had manifested the perfect business partner to help me with that business which I’d started back in 2004. Life was good as I sailed off to the Caribbean to celebrate my success with my husband and daughter. A picture perfect life, indeed. Or was it?
Let’s see. That half million dollars of seminar revenue cost nearly $150,000 to produce. I ended up with $100,000 in uncollectible credit card charges as the credit crunch hit everyone hard, including many of my clients. I had paid far more than my budget could reasonably afford to hire high-level coaches to help me reach that goal, and my credit cards bills were proof of how much I had overleveraged myself in hopes of being a big “success.”
It looked like I had succeeded to everyone on the outside. But what kind of success was it when I put everything on the line to create a business I “thought” I should… doing what so many other coaches helped people do, namely make more money? Once I got honest with myself, I saw the truth that helping other people make money was not a passion that truly inspired me.
Transforming people’s lives was my driving force. Returning people to the magnificent truth of who they really are was my gift. Helping people reclaim and shine their brightest lights in the world was my unique blessing. But, I had stepped away from this truth and didn’t trust it was “enough” to make a great living. (“Not enough” was a theme I was all too familiar with being a high-achieving performer my whole life as a cover to make up for the deep seated belief that I was never going to be “enough.”)
Hindsight is Always 20/20
Well, little did I know that stepping away from my deepest passion would be the very thing that lead me down the path of financial ruin; an experience that terrified me more than anything. Wasn’t money the only measure of success that really mattered? It was in the world I grew up in, and financial ruin was the worst possible thing that could ever happen to a person in my mind. Who was I if not a financial success? What a powerful question!
So, after months of going through the mental, spiritual, financial, and personal anguish of realizing I had to file for bankruptcy, I felt my life was nearly over. How could I ever succeed again? Who would want to listen to what I had to say? I felt I was a supreme failure. Maybe I should give up my dreams? How much worse could it get?
Well, maybe not that much worse because I still had a business partner and my small publishing company. That was the only shred of hope I had to get me through those very dark days. I knew I could double our revenues in 2011 and get myself and my family back on our feet. Thank you God, for saving this one asset in all that we were going through!
Wait! What is this? A FedEx package the day before I’m going in to sign my bankruptcy papers? It’s from my business partner’s attorney saying she wants to buy me out of the company. What? That was the only bit of stability that remained in my life. Even my marriage was on rocky terrain after all we’d gone through. If I didn’t have that company, I had “nothing.”
This unexpected news (after months of planning with our attorney to protect the publishing company through the bankruptcy) impacted me more deeply than having my second pregnancy end in a miscarriage. It knocked me to my knees with a force that threw me down into darkness, pain, betrayal, and fear I’d never experienced before.
There were many days I thought I’d be better off giving up and crawling under a rock for the rest of my life. There were days I sobbed without end. There were days I couldn’t recognize myself through the rage that coursed through my veins. There were times I felt like a monster for having the thoughts I had. There were days I hated God. And, then there were many more days when I prayed for God to remove the hate and fear from my heart. They were the worst days of my life. And, they were the best days of my life.
A Walk of Faith
In the depth of that darkness when it appeared I had “nothing” left, I discovered that I had everything if I had my faith and trusted that the Universe really WAS conspiring for my highest good all the time! (Remember, I’d taught this stuff for years, but was only now being asked to really LIVE it.)
Through the mess, the fear, and the pain, a healing and transformation happened that feels like a miracle to me. On January 20, 2011, I surrendered my personal will and leaped into trusting God fully when I stopped fighting to try to keep my publishing company, and sold my shares to my partner for a fee that didn’t even cover my attorney’s bill. It was the scariest and most liberating thing I’ve ever done! I’d never exercised faith like that before. I felt like I was on a wild adventure – with God at the helm!
Letting go of that company meant I had no known source of income; no concrete business at all. I had to rely completely on the Divine to help me navigate the new and unknown terrain of my life, and whatever new business was trying to emerge through me. I found an inner strength, confidence, and wisdom I’d never known before, and I promised God that I would use this experience in the highest service to others.
And, that’s exactly what I did. Within weeks of signing the final papers with my former business partner (and also our final bankruptcy papers), it was clear exactly what I was being prepared to do! I had been guided every step of the way and received more miracles and blessings that I can count that led me to launch a new business which was totally aligned my unique gifts and blessings.
My new co-creation (this time around, my business partner was God), is in service to visionary leaders who want to share their transformational stories through the power of the written word… their books! This business is my bliss. By the grace of God, I get to channel all of my passion for helping others heal, transform, and shine (ultimately for the purpose of helping all of humanity heal, transform, and shine). And I now combine these blessings with my practical “know how” of what it takes to write, publish, and market a book. Calling this new evolution of my work a “match made in heaven” is an understatement. For me, this felt like nothing short of a miracle that had been in the making for years, if not lifetimes.
The book you’re now holding in your hands is evidence of that miracle, as all of the contributing authors will attest to. This is one of many tools for transformation that was birthed through the best “worst time” of my life. Don’t underestimate the power of this manifestation in your hands right now. You were asking for a prayer… this just might be it!
For me, this book is a sign of the incredible gifts that await you when you surrender to a higher purpose and do what you are truly here to do (with God by your side). I never dreamed my business could be this good, this joyous, this blissful, this rewarding, this impactful, and this abundant!
Let this book (and all of the powerful stories in it) be a sign of grace in your life. Open yourself up to seeing the miracles on the pages. Believe that no matter what challenge you are facing right now, you can transform through it into a whole new experience of yourself. This is how you create a larger ripple of good as you drop your own “pebble in the pond.” This is what it’s all about.