If you’re having setbacks, it means you’re on an adventure!

Jenna and I did a lot of travelling in 2012 – and have much to come in 2013! So much so that her parents got us brand new suitcases for Christmas because ours are falling apart.

Part of travel and part of living life full out – is that things aren’t always going to go the way that you want them to. In fact, if you are REALLY on an adventure – setbacks and trials are a part of the model and built into the journey.

I remember Tony Robbins saying, “Your only problem is to think that you shouldn’t have problems.”

Marianne Williamson has said, “In A Course in Miracles it says we think we have many different problems, but we really only have one and that’s separation from God. No matter what the problem area is in our lives, at the causal level that problem has to do with our own consciousness. Whatever our brokenness is, it’s reflected in a particular problem. That’s the area of our lives where we need to take a closer walk with God.”

Now – if you don’t like the word God, you can use any word that works for YOU. Don’t get caught up in the semantics. The word could be life or The Uni-verse, or The Divine, or Source or Jesus, Buddha, etc.

But the basic idea is that problems are a sign of life, a sign of being on an adventure, and you only really see problems when you are disconnected from your Source – otherwise they are always gifts bearing fruit.

Now – back to our traveling adventures. When I was in the music business and an artist manager, we had all kinds of people flying over the world at different times. And I’ve become used to travel delays. I even get to the airport about 2-3 hours early for domestic flights and 3-4 hours early for international flights.

This is part of a living meditation in my life, to keep stress down and to flow with life.

Well – when Jenna and I were coming home from Charlotte to L.A., we got up around 5am. I checked the flight status (we were on different flights). My flight was fine, but Jenna’s wasn’t. I called up the airline and was on hold and talking with the rep for about an hour (happy that I was up so early to deal with the snafu).

It ended up that we paid for Jenna’s flight, but the ticket never actually got confirmed in the system. So it looked like I was going home and Jenna wasn’t. This was not acceptable. So I got on the internet and literally found the last ticket from Charlotte to L.A. The only thing was, she was supposed to take off around the same time as me at 9:30am – this new flight didn’t take off until 6:30pm EST and we were supposed to be in Ojai by then.

I surrendered and accepted that this was The Uni-verse working on our behalf. Then, I bought the ticket. And what’s cool is that a few minutes later I got a refund for Jenna’s first ticket and it was the exact same amount.

So I was off early and Jenna was off late. She ended up getting into L.A. around midnight and our plans to go to Ojai that day had to be scrapped. So we went home and left the next day.

And all the while – thinking – no problem, we are being guided.

We got to Ojai to the house we rented so that I could finish my Hay House book, and it was freezing. There were a few space heaters in the house. And the only thing that Jenna really can’t stand is the cold  because she is so sensitive to it.

So we went back and forth for a few hours trying to decide the best thing to do. Do we go back to L.A.? Do we stay in Ojai? Well… there were no other spaces available on Airbnb.com – so we went back to the house. And decided to make it work.

Jenna could have easily gone back to L.A. and stayed at our apartment, but we didn’t want to be apart for the next two weeks while I finish my book.

We got the space heaters to work – but they had to be placed in the house just right because too many in one area kept tripping the breakers and the power would go out.

And all the while, we are grateful for messed up flights, delayed travel, freezing cold houses in Ojai and tripping breakers. Why? Because we know that these are signs that we are on an adventure. And that we are so privileged to even have these kinds of bumps in the road, because it could be much worse.

If I had been in my old mindset of five or ten years ago, I would have been complaining and resisting the whole time. But, I’ve learned to accept, to let go and to see all setbacks and bumps in the road as Divine timing.

And now, I am writing this blog on the first morning at the beautiful house in Ojai. Sure, it’s a little cold in the kitchen where I write, but who cares? We have each other. We have this time. We have this space and it even gave me a blog to write about for you.

So it can’t be that bad.

How can you see problems as gifts today?

As always, the action happens in the comments below. Leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!



  • Cody

    I am experiencing a lot of setbacks right now! This article came right on time!

  • Angela

    So perfectly timed! I’ve been having a setback and I’ve been confused about how I should react. Thank you!!!

  • That’s a great fun story Mastin. Again proving its all how we think about things. Happy writing.

  • Victoria

    Well this article came right on time for me too! I’ve just been having a setback. 
    I live in Germany and I was supposed to visit my sister in Canada for the holidays and get together there with my mom as well. Everything was planned and should have worked out perfectly. 
    Then, I never got my passport back from the canadian embassy and after weeks of calling trying to talk to someone, sending emails, complaining to the mail company, asking for an investigation to find out where my passport was and when I was about to decide to declare it lost at the police and get a new one (which would have been a lot of money and time) it turned out to be that it had been here for a long time and eventually returned to the sender. I never got the notification to pick it up nor were the people from the post office in my city able to help me and find if there was something for me. Apparently it was always here. 
    Well, after resisting for a few days and being sad I did accept it and let go, and just right after that things started to move on. 
    And by reading this blog I do realize I am on an adventure! these holidays alone have been a VERY creative period for me and I am actually now working on a new personal project for this year that came out of that and that I am very excited about 🙂

  • Mgclark3

    I LOVE this Mastin!! This article is one of my favorites yet. Thank you for this wonderful reminder of how important it is to keep things in perspective. I need a lot of work in this area and I am going to keep this article handy so that I can refer back to it and let your wisdom reset my negative stinkin’ thinking. Thank you!!

  • Mastin – 4 years ago my wife and I were forced to leave our home. We couldn’t afford it – and I needed to move to St. Louis to work. This was our dream home. I remember lying in bed with my wife and she cried – and I felt horrible, but I remember hugging her and telling her that no matter where we were it was fine – because she and I and the three kids would be together.

    4 years later we moved back into our house. Our stuff is still in STL – but the kids have beds, our couch is a futon, and the house is still our dream home. We took the kids on a 2-month cross-country road trip (including Ojai) – and have just rolled with the adventure every step of the way. Yes, it has been terrifying at times.

    Moving back into our home – we have let things unfold. Friends have given us things we needed, and all the other details have fallen into place. Now – can we afford to stay in our home this time? That’s our plan – but we’ll see if it’s THE plan. I hope so 😉

    Life is a lot more peaceful when you expect and accept the challenges – instead of resisting them.

    Love bless – and have a great day!


  • Guest

    I don’t understand what these chain of events was “divine timing” for – to write this blog entry? If you’re saying this is an adventure. Do you mean we should be enjoying what’s happening along the way? I’m a little lost with the message of this entry.

    • Sherezada Torres

      I Dont think that everyone will enjoy the process of change, especially when it comes in the form of job loss, divorce, bad health, etc. But if you just change your perspective of: Why me? Why this? And rather accept the process as part of what is happening right now; and refocuse your energy with all the other good parts of your life, you will find that you can deal with the present as an adventure.

  • LR Williams

    You don’t know how much I needed to hear this today, of all days. Thank you!

  • Maya Northen

    I love this! I work in travel for a living, running my own travel company, and there constantly snafus, changes of plans, delayed and missed flights, and so much other stress. I not only have to not be stressed about them myself, but I have to try to convince my clients not to be. It’s an area I really need to work on because as much as I know this logically, when I get a call from a client at 6 AM because her flight is cancelled and she’s going to miss her connection, I go into “oh no!” mode and frantically start trying to figure out what to do, all while having to appear totally calm to my client (because having your travel professional say “oh no!” is never something you want to hear!). But, turning this around and thinking about it the way you put it, every time this happens, I learn more and more how to handle it, and it becomes easier to do. So I have noticed that when things happen in other parts of my life that would normally set me off – even something silly like spilling something all over my new outfit – I find myself dealing with it better. So not that I ever want my clients to have snafus, but for me (and for them, even if they don’t see it at the time) each time they do, I have to turn it into a learning experience, to better myself personally and professionally. 

  • Sherezada Torres

    Hey MASTIN!!! I totally live by this thought process. I was recently laid off. When I heard the news, I shared it with my close friend & collegue. She started crying and said “OMG, what are you going to do?” My response was that, I praised God because he is the one in charge of the road I am meant to take. I am grateful for the time I had at that company, as a consultant, and now I take all those lessons and friendships, and move on towards my next adventure.
    I didn’t & do not feel scared at all about my job loss. As a single mom of 2, I know how to make it all work. So I am excited to go back to the gym, respond to your post..LOL And spend time with my little boys. THANK YOU GOD!!  A layoff isnt a problem-IT’S MY NEW ADVENTURE!! WOOP-WOOP!

  • Andrea

    Great post as always Mastin. I think the more we can share this message with people, the less drama we will have in the world. I see so many trying to control the outcome, instead of accepting what is, and knowing and trusting the universe that there is a plan for everything that is occurring! Thank you. 

  • Ellen Cosgrove

    I too needed to hear this today!  I have been stuck in self pity over the fact that I have to waitress at the moment as my dreams of being a singer have not yet been realised to the point where i can survive on doing just that. I have been so focused on the problem that i am blinding myself to a solution. I need to keep the faith. Work to survive and use my spare time to show up to life and have the life I dream of and with it trying to remember thy will not mine be done! I’m on a break from a split shift – when i go back this evening I will thank God that i have a job and perspective on why its so important to be grateful. Thanks Mastin – I absolutely love this blog 🙂 Good luck with the rest of your book!

  • Chrisdoster34

    My dear dawg Mastin,

    I’ve found the best way to warm up is to get up and get the blood flowing, even if it is a 10 minute yoga routine… it helps my writing too when I move a little. My co-workers look at me kind of weird because I stand up or do stretches at my computer while I write in the office sometimes. I take that as a sign I am doing something right. Plus I have a reputation to hold up as the weird, healthy guy around here.

    Thanks for your daily empowerment of my inner health freak renegade. If being healthy means I’m a freak, I don’t want to be normal. Judging by the fact that 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, being healthy IS being a freak and/or non-conformist… I feel a rant coming on so let me just close by saying beautiful work on TDL and taking the time to devote to your health on a regular basis. I love hearing about your no sugar and exercise pursuits.

    Not sure where this quote came from but feel free to use it sometime: “When I am nice to myself, the world is nice to me!” I see you being nice to yourself a lot lately (via exercise and good nutrition) and I judge the world is being nice back to you. I feel the results of your dedication in self improvement come out in the TDL which then empowers me to believe in myself. Keep up the good work!

    Much love,


  • Wow, great timing. Last night and all morning has been
    one stressful problem after another, so this post really hit the nail on the
    head. I’ve been trying really hard to not let these problems put me in a bad
    mood, but I’ve just barely been successful – I feel like I’ve been on the verge
    of surrender to negative thoughts! You make a good point: Problems are a sign
    of being on an adventure. Mine is a little more mundane that yours: Trying to
    finish a task that makes me go to bed really late; running late in the morning;
    not remembering that the tolls on the toll roads went up; someone at the office
    not holding the elevator for me when I was just a few steps behind; papers scattering
    on the floor. Luckily I’ve been able to at least laugh at the situation. I really
    just saw it as a test of my ability to stay centered and not let silly things
    affect my entire mood and outlook for the day; to release the outer superficial
    problems and maintain inner balance. But an adventure… I’ll have to marinate in
    that concept as it applies to all problems, even these mundane ones. That’s a
    really good perspective for me to hear this morning. Thanks!


    Much love,



  • CB

    Fantastic blog, Mastin. Keep up the inspiring work! 

  • Man, I love Ojai. Since it is only 1.5 hrs away from where I live, I go often. The Inn at Ojai is so relaxing and I STRONGLY recommend it. Anyway, I am FINALLY surrendering to my so-called problems. It wasn’t until my mentor said, “Great Challenges are for Spirits who are here to do great things,” that I started looking at my problems-as gifts. (FYI-this does NOT mean all other people who don’t have as many bumps and bruises aren’t here to do great things.) With my crazy life, I had to either…be a VICTIM or a VICTOR! It is a choice. My stories are endless. Here are just a few top ones:
    -Very fearful parents who I feared would abandon me if I did not submit to their desires-They picked my profession-Dental Hygiene. I let them. Eye cancer at 24  (6 months after graduating) leaving me mostly blind in left eye-A recurrence at 27 and needed to radiate as I broke up with my first love of 5 years -At 29 my eye starts drifting to the left. I was one who was VERY VAIN!-At 30- tried to fix the drifting eye-it only made it…WORSE…way worse. The Dr did not want to   touch it anymore in fear that I would lose the eye for good.-Unwilling to grow up..I am dating a 21 year old Surfer. I broke-up at 31 in fear that no one would like a girl with an unattractive eye.-Marry at 33. My parents do not like him. His parents do not like me. (liberals vs republicans)-move to suburbia in San Diego and MISERABLE in MATERIALISM-falling out with a best friend who was in our wedding-35 Cancer again- laser…can’t get pregnant-37 IVF and we have a son with EXTREME SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER40-cancer for my second time in a different spot (2 in 10,000) ON my 40th BIRTHDAY PARTY (read the blog if you wish).-Wearing an eye patch and hiding from my son in my bedroom from his uncontrollable fits of rage (blog). 41-falling out with my in-laws and marital issues42 (now) Dad finally truly abandons me because I am not doing what he says, and then the house flooded one week laterNow, in this moment…I see all of them as GIFTS to learn and teach.I am at PEACE!The Daily Commenter,Kathleenare-you-there-kathleen-its-me-god.blogspot.com/

    • Jess

      As I was reading this my beautiful 21 year old daughter walked down the stairs and poured a cup of coffee.  I couldn’t help but think of the “stuff” she will endure in her life. I have easily surrendered to my problems because they started as a little girl and i suppose I was always in survival mode . My sweet innocent daughter yet to have even a dent because i have made it a career to take every bullet that came her way. Looking back I wish i had let her suffer or receive life’s problem gifts. Those gifts have really made me the person i am today. Thank you 
      Kathleen , time to take off my bullet proof vest !! 

      • Amen sister. Do not worry…the Uni-verse will give her many challenges from which to learn and grow. Many times we need to get out of our own way and others’ way for The Uni-verse to work it’s magic. It’s all about the lesson and the timing is ALWAYS perfect. Good job on seeing the gifts mama! BIG LOVE to you!!!!

  • Lindsay Dunton

    Thank you!  Thank you! Thank you!  Your blogs, quotes and daily affirmations help me get through what I’m going through right now in my life and make me want to DANCE!  I’m happy and healthy and although I’m going through a divorce, I know my future is bright and I will be okay.  THANK YOU!

  • Cscenta

    Problems being a Separation from God, being able to surrender and accept is changing the frequency and creating a shift of flow and ease is simply divine timing. Thank you! Yes!! An adventure!

  • Charity

    I see my problems as a sign that somewhere along the line I have not been paying attention and that I need to go back and soul search only to find a pattern of how God works after all my struggles I have embrace all my scars I now have a blog where I seek to inspire and be inspired .

  • Well, We are having a huge setback
    , My spouse just quit his job( not good thing to do) and bills are piling up,as for me I took early retirement,but you I can’t do it all( but I will surely try). I am taking care of ny brother health problems and now blind and is on a dialysis patient. I am not complaining about it, it’s just overwhelming great now for me. There is reason for this I know that. I believe I just have to stay still and wait for God to get me through this.Can someone give some words of encouragement

    • Chrisdoster34

       You have an infinite supply of everything you need inside of you. Hang in there sister,


  • Captj11crc1

    If more people thought in this manner, we would progress with more positivity.  When we criticize the “master plan” of all existence, we disallow the continuing flow of energy we were just experiencing or was our present state of being.  Acceptance of “what is”, for some people is
    a very difficult thing to do.  Acceptance, with the thought we have the ability to enhance “what is”, is merely part of our own creative process…….the artist, expressing what comes from within.  We must all become that artist, to create the world we see, we invision……a world based on love, and peace for all humanity.  Our desire for this reality, must be our highest priority, and when this goal for the future of our world is first and foremost, then our thoughts and action will coincide……..”See The World At Peace”……thought is what you think it is”.
    crcjr  1 /2013