Then Watch Your World Blossom

By Vidya Ishaya    

How can you know that a tree is unshakable unless a hurricane has tried to rip it from its roots? How can you know that a person is bold unless fear is in the air? How can a tree give quality fruit without having some of its branches pruned?

In the summer of 1996, I rode a bicycle from the Kansas-Colorado border up through Montana and Oregon down to Phoenix. Why? Because it was my heart’s desire. There was nothing I wanted to do with my life more than bicycling across the USA – on a pleasure cruise, or so I thought…

Early one dewy bright morning, camped in the tall grass of a reservoir in Wyoming, I awoke to the sounds of stomping and bellowing and snorting, first at a distance, then coming closer and still closer to my tent. In record time, I slid out of my sleeping bag, zipped open the door, and looked out to see an enormous white bull just on the other side of the treeline. I learned at that moment just what fear is.

I fled from my tent, imagining the bull just behind me, and sprinted for the fence. From the road, as I watched the bull approach my brightly colored tent, I thought sure this was the end of my journey. I envisioned my tent and everything I owned strewn all over the pasture. But wait…

Flowing through a grove of trees near the tent was a little stream. All the bull wanted was his morning drink. The snorting and bellowing was just what bulls naturally do in the morning. After a leisurely drink, he grazed around (for a couple hours) and finally wandered away. Now, that was scary. That was so scary I could have abandoned my whole trip, never wanting to experience such a horrible possibility ever again. But I made a decision right then. The choice was to either give up everything I wanted and go back to a comfortable (but dreary) life without fear of such a terror, or to continue on… even though such an experience might happen again. I chose.

I remember thinking, "I’d rather be terrified and die than accept a dreary life of comfort and routine." So I continued… and as it turned out, this was just the first of many such experiences. One night, in black bear country, I laid awake all night, jumping at every little night sound. And another time, in the Mojave Desert, many miles from anything but hot rocks and sand, I totally ran out of water. Yet each and every time, something wonderful happened that turned the whole experience around. This taught me trust.

Trusting Big-Time Was a Daily Occurrence

Every evening, as the sun set, I needed to find a place to camp. Even in the most unlikely places, I always found good (and often, great) places to camp. One evening, in Fresno, California, as I was riding through miles of fenced-in orange groves, both tires blew out with multiple thorn holes in each. No houses around, no place to camp, my last $20 in my pocket -- what to do?

I stuck my thumb out and immediately got a pickup ride to a campground. The owner was totally charming, and we sat up late that night swapping stories. In the morning, he drove me all over town and even helped pay for a set of thorn-resistant tubes.

Now, how does that happen? It’s impossible for anything like that to happen if you can’t trust your universe. My experience, again and again, is that even in the midst of what looks like dire circumstances, I can trust that everything is A-OK. Over and over, my trust is confirmed. I then find myself able to both understand and then help other people deal with whatever comes up for them.

Late one night, in a dorm room, while trying to sleep, I was being kept awake by giggling and whispering going on nearby. My whole being filled with anger, but the thought came, "What’s wrong with young people giggling and laughing? It’s completely natural. They’re not doing anything wrong. So why be a bad guy and yell at them?" So I didn’t.

Bad choice. When the heart wants to move, and the mind is allowed to interfere, the result is suffering. All next day, I felt dreadful. The heart held anger. The energy was stuck. (See how "stuck" is a choice?) The solution was to allow the anger to come out, however that looked in the moment. It took the form of being pissed at a sweet, young girl singing nearby. "Stop that damn singing. I can’t stand it," I bellowed out. Well, that certainly moved the energy. And it gave a chance for the singer to feel her feelings around being yelled at. For me, again, this was a trust issue – that I could put out exactly where my heart was at, and the universe wouldn’t fall apart around me. (It never does.)

Sometimes I hear people express fear and sometimes resentment that the world doesn’t appear stable. There have been so many changes, so many people doing things in a different way from "the way things have always been done," so many people deciding to follow their heart elsewhere, so much that refuses to stay firm and fixed in one place.

How else can you learn to have trust and be rock-solid stable in the midst of changes unless the world around you appears to be scary, chaotic and downright unstable? If time and time and time again, when the fear dissipates and the outside world stops wavering for a bit, you find you’re stronger inside, what’s the problem?

What’s happening in the world is growth – and very quick growth. Inner stability, growth, and strength are what I see happening. Those people who want growth (and are willing to do whatever it takes) are getting it. Those who find they have different desires at the moment are fulfilling those desires. And that’s perfect! You can only be where you are at. And each person’s universe is giving them exactly what they want. (That’s the nature of the beast.)

The fact is: we heal individually when we trust our universe; that is, when we recognize there’s nothing wrong, and there never has been anything wrong. The world heals the same way: when everyone recognizes there’s nothing wrong, and there never has been anything wrong.

Trust, with complete innocence and watch your world blossom. What could be more worth doing?


Vidya Ishaya is not only the webmaster for InnerWorks Publishing, but also offers an enlightening newsletter at



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