This phrase is a boxing term used to explain how a fighter can angle themselves in a way that takes the sting out of the opponent’s blow. In essence, if the punch comes at you from your left, it will lose its power and force if you move to the right. This is how it is in life.

 Whether we like it, the “punches”of life come to us in the form of change. This is the inevitable force that sends your life reeling and disrupts your sense of security and predictability.

If you have any doubt about this, think about the changes happening in your body. Not only are you not in the body you were in ten years ago, you will not be in the same flesh and blood several months from now as your body regenerates its cells.

This reality of life leaves you with two choices, you can minimize the force of the punches by accepting and going along with them or you can take them full force by pissing and moaning about them every step of the way. Rolling with the changes brings you satisfaction, fulfillment and joy, battling and bemoaning them casts you to a lot of misery and suffering.

The Universe is conspiring with you, so you might as well say yes

 We are the ones who judge the events of our lives, but the fact is that everything that happens to us is for our benefit. Every experience contains a lesson that moves us towards our highest selves. It makes a difference if you say yes to them and open your heart to the lesson. My story bears fruit to this phenomenon.

I recently moved from one Florida city to another. Over the past several years, a restlessness growing within me urged me to move from Vero Beach to Sarasota. As I had done in the past, I tried to ignore this inner voice, for I was comfortable and secure in beautiful Vero Beach. But as the weeks and months rolled by, I could see the light of my soul was dimming . Meanwhile, that inner urging to move on would not let up.

My first inclination was to return to my beloved Denver, but my frequent visits did not generate the sense of longing to go back home I hoped for.

By sheer coincidence, the threat of Hurricane Mathew on the Atlantic shores of Vero Beach caused the authorities to evacuate our homes. Having no place else to go, I sought refuge in Sarasota, Florida which was all the way across the state on the Gulf coast. Surprisingly, I felt at home in this town where I had never been.

I was ready to dismiss these feelings thinking the novelty of the new place attracted me. But on subsequent returns, the awareness I had found my home only intensified.  Unable to ignore this personal calling, I gave in to it and took the actions to move to Sarasota.

Once I answered this call, a great sense of peace came over me. I knew I was on my right path.  Supporting my decision, the Universe helped me with everything from the home sale to settling into my new place. I couldn’t be happier with this new beginning. Today, whenever I sit down to write, I look out from my new office onto the glorious waters of Roberts Bay.


Once again, I find myself amid starting life over again. I have learned that to establish new roots—trusting in the universe—I must say “yes” to every invitation and every opportunity that comes my way.

My dear friend Suzanne has labeled this effect Desperado. Desperado does not contain a no. You get an invitation; say yes; you run into a new person; take the time to get to know them better; a new challenge comes your way and you take it on. Now, this does not mean you do something stupid like jumping off a high bridge expecting the angels to break your fall, but it does imply that you take on new things, even the ones that make you uncomfortable. This is how you break your mold and open to a new way of being. This is how you allow the “punches” to shape you, they are not destroying you, they are sculpting the new you.


I find the best metaphor for us in life in a mobile that hangs from a ceiling next to a window. Just like the mobile, you can grow comfortable believing all of your pieces are perfectly balanced. Then someone opens the window and allows a gust of wind to come in and, suddenly, your world is topsy-turvy. . It is easy to get upset while you are spinning from this unexpected force, but as things begin to settle, you discover that all the elements of your life remain connected, only their position changed as a new equilibrium was established.

Sarasota is my home for now, but I know someone might open that window and let that gust of wind blow my life out of balance. But I know the dance now and realize change is part of my evolution. 

Know you are safe; when change happens it is because the universe is causing you to reassess the importance and balance of your priorities. Have faith in this knowledge and it will help you roll with the punches.

Going through a difficult life transition?

You might benefit from reading my latest book, Catch and Release: One Man’s Improbable Search for True Love and the Meaning of Life. It is my story about starting life over again. Download a PDF of the first 5 chapters of Catch and Release for free.  To order your inscribed copy in either hardcover or paperback, click here ( Catch and Release is also available on Kindle here ( You can also subscribe to my free weekly newsletter on my website and receive motivation and encouragement to help you on your way to recovery.

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