Of all the virtues we can learn no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into a challenge.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


The Manipura Chakra maps to our core, our physical and psychological power center, and our ability to transform energy into action. As the Root Chakra grounds us through the earth element, and the Sacral Chakra moves us with the water element, the Solar Plexus Chakra activates us with the element of fire.

Brigid is the triple goddess of primal fire. As the priestess of healing, she brings the ailing back to physical, mental, and spiritual vitality. As the protector of the hearth, she provides warmth and nourishment to withstand the harshness of winter. As the muse of the craftsperson, she harnesses fire to inspire transformation of substance and story.

We might think of facing adversity and challenges as synonyms. However, adversity as a noun for opposition or hostility makes it a thing with implied permanency. While challenge has evolved from a noun meaning demand to a verb encompassing dispute, dare, defy, and stimulate. In so doing, challenge becomes a temporary experience inviting action. This subtle difference in wording can help us reframe an unfortunate turn of events, consciously shift our perspective, and reclaim our power. In psychology this is called cognitive reframing.

Here are three practices to help us reframe our experience, transform our adversities into challenges, and reclaim our power.

  • Plot Your Story: Every good story has its protagonist meeting with adversity and actively challenging the situation. Check out this classic video with Kurt Vonnegut plotting the protagonist journey through traditional story arcs – then plot your story. It will make you laugh too – and laughing gives us some perspective to help reframe our narrative.
  • Get Marching: Just staring at a problem can give us tunnel vision and actually limit our cognitive ability to address it. High knee marching is a great exercise we can do almost anywhere. Stand in place with arms bent 90 degrees.  Alternate lifting the right knee and the left arm with the left knee and right arm. This engages our core and gives us a cardio kick. I recommend marching to Sia’s Unstoppable for this reframing exercise.
  • Bake Some Bread: Harness the modern day hearth to nourish yourself. While it may seem challenging (see what I did there), baking bread can get us out of our head and bring us back to present through the engagement of our senses. Plus, It connects us with our ancestral past. This can be a deeply nourishing and rewarding experience. Here is a beginners recipe.