One of the great ironies in life is that as much as we might fear change, we constantly pray for our lives to change in some way. We recognize that change is constant—that nothing remains the same forever—yet we hold tight to the idea that change must be easily recognized and, above all, initiate minimal trauma. Another irony is that, even with all our fear of change, we believe that for something to make a lasting difference in our lives, it has to be grand, obvious, big, loud, and have a guaranteed outcome. We have an inherent mistrust of the subtle, much less anything that takes a while to come to fruition.


Yet, the truth is that the most meaningful events that have shaped our lives have, by far, been the smallest and the subtlest. Even within the greatest traumas of life, such as the loss of a loved one, a major accident, the sudden loss of a job, a divorce, or any of the other great sufferings of life, what is most remembered after the months pass and the individual begins speaking about the sorrowful event are the particularly healing or grace-filled interactions that occurred during the darkest of times.

A conversation with the right person at the right time has the power to reshape the whole of our life, and in fact, the whole of your life has been shaped in precisely this manner through events and encounters with significant individuals, the highlights of which lasted no more than sixty seconds. As a result of those sixty seconds, however, your life’s path was profoundly redirected. Perhaps your encounter led to a spiritual awakening, or maybe it opened the passageway into the cosmic domain, which ultimately compelled you to examine the meaning and purpose of your own life. For some, their sixty-second moment broke through the barriers of heartaches and emotional wounds that prevented healings and the building of healthy adult relationships.


For the past few years, I have been deeply influenced by the work of Saint Teresa of Avila, who continually encouraged her nuns to “look for God in the details of your life.” What, then, would God look like? God would manifest as these sixty-second encounters that hold such profound power that it can only be said that we emerge from them a different person. Ordinary moments in life—and there are far more of those—do not contain the grace that characterizes these sixty-second transformational moments. And this is the reason these stories deserve to be gathered together in this book.


One of my own stories is included in this wonderful book, my encounters with the holy avatar Sai Baba. While I had more than one sixty-second encounter with him, none were longer than a minute, and each one profoundly impacted my life. Indeed, I would have to say that I clung to the power of my encounters with Sai Baba as a lifeline, so extraordinary were those rare moments when they occurred.


I have always had the faith that our lives are not random events, that we matter to a Divine Being, but no matter how much faith we think we have, we are still filled with awe and wonder when a moment unfolds in our lives in which we awaken from within just long enough to recognize the presence of God in every detail of our life. One of those moments, as the many authors of these stories share, is enough to inspire a different life direction or dissolve any fears about living and dying.


The categories of stories in this book cover the best topics I can imagine in terms of the sixty-second transformation: life and death, the mysterious, heartbreak, the sacred, and enlightenment. Author and dear friend Phil Bolsta not only selected themes that are ideally suited to the power of grace, guidance, and sixty-second transformations, but he also selected extraordinary individuals to share their personal stories, all of which are heartwarming and inspiring.


But of all the benefits that you the reader will gain from this book—and there are many—I think the greatest is the message of how quickly your life can change and how little it takes for heaven to initiate that change. Most often, you are looking in the wrong direction for your life to change, fearing dragons and sea monsters that are never going to show up on your doorstep. Rather, the Divine reveals itself to you in the subtle events, conversations, and experiences of your life—in potent sixty-second encounters that leave you breathless and filled with awe. That is the signature of God.


Ask anyone who has had a near-death experience that, according to the clock, was no longer than sixty seconds. That person returns to his body not only certain that death does not exist, but he also knows that he will be greeted by his loved ones and embraced by an intimate and loving Light that knows all the details of his life down to the first word he uttered as a child. This is not the result of a car accident or a man’s imagination during surgery to repair his damaged body. This man encountered God during his near-death experience for less than sixty seconds, yet those sixty seconds were the most authentic of his earthly life.


I have no doubt that every reader will be blessed by the experience of reading Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. And further, I would bet that after reading this wonderful book, no one will ever take one minute of life for granted again. You just never know what the next moment may bring.

FOREWORD

By Caroline Myss

Author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit


SIXTY SECONDS: ONE MOMENT CHANGES EVERYTHING