Post Traumatic Growth

Here’s an idea that’s had a big impact in my life. It could make a difference to yours too.

It’s something I learned from founder thought-leader of the International Agape Spiritual Centre, Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith.

And it’s called Kensho and Satori.

Hi I’m Josie Thomson. I’m a mindset, resilience and change leadership expert. I’m an international speaker, a multi-award winning coach, I’m an author and 2 time cancer survivor.

I know what pain and adversity is, and I’ve lived through some pretty awful circumstances. I’ve always attested that when these challenges come our way we can either getter better or bitter.

So what has Kensho and Satori got to do with growth and pain. Let me explain.

Michael Beckwith says that we can choose to grow in our life through pain, or we can grow in our life through insight.

Growth through pain or insight. It sounds simple doesn’t it? But both of these elements dance with us, essentially at the same time, throughout our life.

And they’re designed to help us grow as individuals and as human beings.

As you listen or read through this communication, pay attention to the difference and ask yourself this question:

In the past few months, have I been growing by Kensho or Satori?

Let me explain. Kensho is growth by pain. It’s when pain enters our life to prompt us to make a shift.

An example may be: you start a business, but it fails and you lose a lot of money. It’s painful. But you look back at what went wrong and learn what to do and what not to do the next time you attempt your next business.

Another example can be: you are extremely ambitious at work, but stress takes its toll and you fall ill. It’s painful and debilitating. But once you recover, you make a commitment to take better care of your health and wellbeing.

Another example could be: you’re in a relationship, but it ends suddenly. It’s painful. But  somehow with time, the experience makes your heart more resilient and you learn to love and appreciate yourself more.

This is what’s meant by growth by Kensho (or growth by pain).

Growth this way is often gradual and slow. So slow in fact, you might not even notice it at that current moment. But I’m willing to bet that if you just think about who you were five years ago versus who you are now, you’ll see that you’re a completely different person.

These Kensho moments, as small and as subtle as they are, build up over time.

Now, there is a second way we grow. It’s far more pleasurable. But happens far less frequently. It’s called Satori.

Satori comes from moments of sudden awakening. It’s growth by insight, and they can seem to come TO you almost at random. It’s that “A-ha!” moment we’ve all felt when something just clicks. It could be an idea you picked up from a personal growth program, or a revelation you get from a retreat or a seminar, or a new form of wisdom you gain from a book or a meditation practice.

Satori is pleasant. It’s pleasurable. And best of all, it levels you up in a way where the things that used to scare you is just a distant memory.

You operate at a completely different level and you can take on new life challenges (challenges that you wouldn’t have taken before) with more confidence and courage.

And here’s why understanding these two concepts had such a profound impact on me.

The idea of Satori made me realise just how important it is for us to fully embrace personal growth.

Okay we know, Satori moments happen infrequently. But by immersing myslef in my personal growth, I put Myself in the best position to receive inspiration. You can too.

Life then becomes an ever-growing unfolding of new ideas, insights, and awakenings. There’s far less judgement and pain, and much more insight and awakening to new concepts and ideas.

I know which one I prefer!

The idea of Kensho on the other hand, made me see and experience “painful” moments in my life in a completely different light.

From the Satori stand point, “pain” was no longer something that pulls me down.

Instead, pain becomes an indicator to me that I am on the cusp of new growth – it’s just a matter of course-correcting the direction of my life to find that path to rise above the noise, suffering and pain.

So the next time you experience a painful moment, as we all do in life, ask yourself this question…

“What can I learn from this and how am I being invited to grow?”

And when you do, you’ll quickly realise that pain is nothing more than an invitation to grow better and to take the next step in life.

So, back to my original question…

Which way have you been growing in the last few months? Kensho or Satori?

What can you do differently now?

If you’ve got a story to share, please do so. I’d love to hear from you.


Until next time, remember this:

It’s not what happens to you that defines you. It’s how you respond that counts!

Be kind and be patient and take good care of YOU. Because you’re worth it!

Shine on.





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