Raw Vegan Apple Pie

“All my experiences make me who I am now”.
– Eddie Murphy

Once upon a time, there was a man named Robert Pennington. One could say that Robert’s life was a bit of a challenge.

Robert flunked out of an important class in college, was divorced at a young age, and fired from his job. He was then shot in the chest by a stranger, fell deeply into debt as a result, and was audited by the IRS. He also cared for his critically ill wife for almost 30 years until her untimely death from MS in 2008. True story.

In each of the aforementioned situations, Robert did what most of us do – he reacted with fear, doubt, worry, and stress. But then, after his initial reaction, Robert did something different. He learned how to respond to his challenges in a way that allowed him to see the “upside” of “down times”.

A couple of weeks ago, someone sent me a copy of Robert’s book, Find the Upside of the Down Times. I rarely review books on my blog but something told me that this book was a winner (OK, so it was my intuition that told me that… ding, ding, ding!!!).

Robert’s book arrived at the PERFECT time, as books often do. I was exasperated after a difficult conversation with a friend and was fretting over my finances. I was about to pull my hair out and organize a spontaneous pity party when my intuition said, “CHECK THE MAIL, KB”. Lo and behold, there was Robert’s book, winking at me from the bottom of my mailbox.

I took it outside with a cup of tea and ended up reading it cover to cover. I couldn’t put it down.

Each chapter begins with a true story from Robert’s life (i.e. being shot, flunking college, getting divorced, being fired, audited, etc). He then describes the lesson he learned from the experience and recommends an exercise to help you apply the lesson to your own life. My favorite part about the book is the way Robert opens each chapter. Here are a few examples:

“I was shot in the center of the chest by an unknown assailant with a .38 caliber handgun. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

“I had a $36,000 hospital bill with no health insurance. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

“I lost most of my yearly income in one phone call. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

Since I finished the book I’ve been exclaiming, “This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me” at random, especially when I feel sad, mad, or frustrated:

“Scooby’s eating his own poop again… This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me!”

“I just spent 6 months working my ass off at the gym and I’ve gained 2 pounds… This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me!”

“The raw food fundamentalists are sending me hate mail because I ate an egg… This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me!”

Can you feel how that simple sentence raises your vibration???

I realize that my current challenges are nowhere near as devastating as the stories Robert shares in his book. But my point is that perceiving ALL of your experiences as if they are blessings will radically transform your life.

Through giving intuitive readings I have come to understand how even the worst experiences serve a very important purpose in our lives. The sooner we understand this, the sooner we reveal the joy and peace that is always present underneath the chaos.

If you are going through a difficult time right now, I highly recommend Dr. Pennington’s book to help get you through it. You can buy it on Amazon OR enter to win a free copy below. The winner will be drawn on Monday, October 17, 2011.

To enter, simply tell us what you’re going through and then tell us why it’s going to be one of the best things that has ever happened to you. :)

With love & gratitude,

K to the B &
R to the P

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21 thoughts on “Find the Upside of the Down Times

  1. matthew

    Wow. Perspective is a very good thing.
    I am on a very similar track as described above, right now, with not a lot of options to change things (as far as I can see, at least). Between physical and medical issues and the never-ending, unpayable bills, crushing loneliness, personal struggles with being a single parent, as well as the constant grind of demands in life, I don’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel…..It’s nice to see someone found a way out of it though. Thanks for sharing this, KB.


    1. matthew

      If I think hard about it, I can see how this is really one of the best things that has happened to me because I have learned that no matter how bad things get, how dark things seem, there is always tomorrow, always another day to feel gratitude to be alive and well enough to get out of bed and face whatever the new day gives me. Really, it seems like when you are at your lowest, feeling your worst, most hopeless, THAT is exactly the time to push harder and look at what you are experiencing as a chance to grow and change. Giving up is an option, but it doesn’t provide relief from the pain. Moving forward, looking ahead, being grateful can create relief.


  2. Rachelle Fordyce

    Love the review, KB! I especially like your use of humour with the Scooby-poop reference, the gaining 2 lbs and the egg hate mail. lol! (Poor Scooby! When I was a kid my mom had a dog that would eat her own poop, too. Blah!)

    I’d be interested in reading this book, it sounds like a great source for inspiration. Please enter me in the draw!

    Rachelle :)


    1. Rachelle Fordyce

      I just realized I didn’t properly enter with my last comment! So here’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me:

      I’m 32 and I still don’t have my driver’s license. I’ve been procrastinating learning how to drive since I originally got my learner’s permit and took driver’s ed about 17 year ago. My soon-to-be-16 year old half-sister will probably go for her license on her 16th birthday, and I feel like that’s going to embarrass the hell out of me… especially if I don’t have get my driver’s license by then!

      But that’s ok… it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me! I’m using the scenario to form a goal and to give myself a much needed kick in the ass to learn how to drive! And plus, I have a super awesome wonderful patient and encouraging teacher to help me! <3


  3. Karen

    The best thing tha ever happened to me was when I divorced a few years ago. Of course at the time it was hell! It felt like my world was pulled out from me. But as soon as I turned the crappy situation into an ‘upside’, I quickly learned so much moreabout who I was, and what I had to offer. Ian currently feeling a need for a career transition. I also know that if I wallow in feeljng stuck a d hopeless change won’t happen. Gotta look a the upside and trust that the universe knows when the time is right for me.


  4. Bailey

    I’m currently in therapy where I am remembering things from my childhood that I didn’t know had happened before, namely being the victim of sexual abuse from a family member. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me. For a while I never thought I would get over this, and still often think that. It’s a crushing fact of my past. But we are beautiful people in a beautiful world and discovering these things now is going to help me overcome the overwhelming negative energies that have been ruling my life and allow new happy shiny things in. I try to remember that in five years time, this part of my life will be viewed from a different perspective and that perspective could be applied now to help as well. :) Sounds like many people would benefit from this book and I’m glad you’ve found and shared it!


  5. Tammy

    A few years ago, I made a change in my lifestyle – I’m trying to view the “positive” in everything. However between health issues; family dysfunctions; financial ups and downs; and seeming like everyone around me wants me to keep it all together and provide them with “positive” outlooks… sometimes my inner-self fights its own battle and I’m the one needing “me”. I’m always open to suggestions and love a good-read; plz enter me for the book draw. And thanks KB for the continuous uplifting vibration I receive from reading your blog! :)


    1. Alex

      Tammy, sweety, I hear you sister!
      I lead women’s circles here in Brazil and many of the women say the same thing: I love my family, which makes me feel a bit guilty to even think it but to be honest my family is sucking the Shakti out of me! (Your Shakti is your divine feminine goddess power that sustains all that is.) So, you’re not alone in feeling that you need your energy for Yourself. Let me tell you that you absolutely do and you deserve it.

      We as women must remember to nourish and cultivate our own well-being FIRST – and on a regular basis. First thing every morning: Take time to feed your feminine, first. Make a morning ritual, write in a journal, meditate, do your thing. Do whatever it takes it for you to be filled-to-the-brim-spilling-over in your own radiance. This practice will plug you right into the source of your own divine power and you will have more than enough to give to all.

      As women we are many times told by society to feel guilty about caring for ourselves but hey, we have needs too. Learning to authentically express our needs to our family, partners and children and practicing self-care will shift energy away from us women as primary energy giver, while at the same time modeling autonomy.

      Love from Brazil,


  6. Ender Ayanethos

    I’m so inspired by your courage, KB! I really admire that you sold your dog collar business to follow your heart and am on the edge of my seat watching your life unfold. We all are.


  7. Andrew

    I’m going through a breakup with the girlfriend who has given me the most happiness of any I’ve known so far… it may be the best thing that’s happened to me because I know I need to do it to become more true to myself. One day I’ll be in an even more incredible relationship situation than the one I had, and be glad I didn’t settle for being untrue to myself.


  8. Jen Brentano

    Hey KB!!

    I just turned 35 (proud and excited to share!) and for the first 32 years of my life I allowed myself to be a ‘victim’ of my circumstance. I believed and KNEW that “I am not good enough, people don’t like me, so why even bother.” A brief list of my “victim-hood”:
    -after 11th grade and all A’s being told I wasn’t smart enough for college
    -physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually abused by exes
    -pregnant at 19
    -married and divorced by 21
    -divorced again
    -ask kindly to leave 2 jobs
    -house fire
    ……and the list goes on. For 32 years I lived in the fear, doubt and worry. Then, I had a moment, nearly 3 years ago that forever changed my life. Since that time, I’ve shifted from victim to responsible party and I own what has happened. I know that every thing that has happened to me has brought me where I am today and I can say I am grateful for them all. I now welcome each and every opportunity because I know I am meant to learn something.

    I’d love to receive the copy of the book so I can add it to my collection of things to lend out and share with others. I know that when we allow ourselves to embrace a shift, big things happen!!


      1. Jen Brentano

        Hey thanks!! It was painful and felt awful at the time. Even still, I’d do it all again to bring me where I am today…so very very worth it!!

        I love what you shared too… keep in mind that you don’t need to figure out tomorrow, just allow yourself to stay in this moment and the rest will work out – it always does and always for the highest good of all concerned!!

        Blessings xoxo


  9. Daphne

    I went through a difficult time recently and it has been a challenging year for me. It caused me to review my physical, mental and spiritual choices. Going into the fall season, I’m just starting to get enough distance and perspective to understand this may have been a gift after all. It was difficult to see it in a positive light at the time (and still is some days) but it was the wake-up call I needed.

    I would love to read the book you’re offering. Thanks!


    1. Dr Rob Pennington


      Difficult times are difficult, no way around that. It takes me time to gain a perspective too. I certainly don’t see something as a “best thing that happened” when I’m in the middle of struggling with it.

      But I’ve learned that remembering when I have made such transition in the past helps me remember more quickly in the present. And hopefully as you say, it becomes a wake-up call to take action in a desired direction, even when I don’t know exactly how I’m going to succeed – yet.

      Thanks for your interest. And blessings on this challenging year of yours becoming an opening to new opportunities. For myself, I want to cultivate the expectation of those opportunities being better than I have imagined possible!

      Dr. Rob Pennington


    1. Dr Rob Pennington

      1st, Congratulations Matthew on winning KB’s GiveAway! I hope my struggles, lessons learned and suggested activities will help you save time and pain in moving through your current challenges.

      But 2nd, and more importantly, Congratulations on realizing that a Dark Night of The Soul is often required to awaken to a greater dawn.

      Of course it doesn’t look like that in the middle of the darkness, but that is when we discover we each have a power to light our own light. That is the first step in an often difficult task of finding the next step we can take which opens our world again to more opportunities than the darkness allowed us to see. In a way it is faith. In a way it is just a practical process of doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

      I remember in high school our chorus teacher had us learn songs from a Broadway play, Ben Franklin in Paris. There was “Half the Battle is Learning To Smile” and “Look for Small Pleasures”. Of course at that age I thought it was just silly ideas. But now close to 45 years later, I find those songs still come quickly to my mind and heart. They have guided me in ways I could not have imagined so long ago. Maybe they might provide some support for the insights you have already realized. Each song is available to be individually downloaded with the original cast at: http://www.amazon.com/Franklin-Paris-1964-Original-Broadway/dp/B000060PC7




  10. Alex

    I get it.
    There once was a woman named Alex. Last year she was brutally beaten, almost being raped and killed by a random stranger in the street. During the attack all she could think of was that if she was going to die, then she was going out with a fight. She yelled with all her might and fought back, finally people came to her rescue. As the attacker cowardly ran away, straight into his soul, and she decided right there: “This is the best think that ever happened to me.”

    And so it was. It sent me onto my heroine’s journey, to live while I’m still alive and to create the life of my dreams, no matter what.

    Love from Rio de Janeiro,


    1. Dr Rob Pennington

      “…to live while I’m alive and to create the life of my dreams, no matter what.”

      Wow. What a blessing to have come to such an awareness and commitment – ever in a person’s life, no matter the path. Bravo to a ‘woman named Alex’.

      Love back to you from Houston



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