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I’m up in Maine and it’s snowing here – a gentle, sweet snow and I’m so grateful. I really love the changes of seasons, and in every season, there are usually some days that we wish it were different.
One day up here on Deer Isle, when I was living here in the early 90’s after I’d left New York, we had a cold snap and it was the coldest I’d ever experienced in my life. 20 degrees below zero. For you Celsius fans that’s about -29.
I was fortunate because, out here on Deer Isle, being an island surrounded by water, it’s much cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than it is on the mainland. It was probably twice as cold on the mainland.
I was going to a party that night, and I remember how searing the cold was. Of course, I heated the car for 20 minutes before I got into it, but it was still painfully cold. Just going to and from the car, the hairs in my nose froze and crackled. It hurt to have any skin exposed.
Most of the time, living here on the island is heaven. It’s gorgeous. The weather is beautiful most of the time. On a warmer winter night with snows and a full moon, it is a winter wonderland that takes your breath away.
Before living in Maine, I lived in Manhattan. I really love NYC, and most of the time it’s an exciting and interesting place to be. However, when the summer heat comes full on, up to 100 degrees – that would be about 37 Celsius – and the humidity is also upper 90’s, then it is positively unbearable. I cannot handle it. It feels like torture.
My BFF, Rev. Karen Russo lives in Phoenix. As God would have it, I’ve been to visit her in the month of August two years in a row. It’s hot as Hades then. And don’t give me that dry heat stuff, because in August it’s not that dry. Not at all.
I remember going outside for a walk early in the morning, when it’s the coolest, and as we started to walk I was feeling the air outside after being inside the air-conditioned house, I thought, “I wish somebody would open a window out here.” It was just plain stuffy, even outside!
Wherever you live, in most places there are days when it’s just too dang cold or hot, humid or wet or dry, sunny or dark or something. There will always be something.
In every single moment of life, there’s always something to complain about and something to be bothered by, if we let it.
It just depends on what we’re interested in.
That’s what determines our focus.
It’s never what’s happening “out there”.
It’s always about what’s happening inside.
Transformation is an inside job.
And that’s why, about 20 years ago, I made up my mind to be “unbotherable”. I’m not there yet, but that’s my goal. I get closer every day.
Even on the days that I’m bothered by things, I still feel I succeed because I take that upset and turn it over to the Higher Holy Spirit Self for healing. Healing is what I’m most interested in. I keep my FOCUS there.
I let the upset unwind with the Love and compassion of my own heart. I made these crazy thought forms. I gave them life, and it’s time for me to let them go. I intend to be free of ALL of them. I give the Holy Spirit the heavy lifting every day.
The keys to all of my inner healing, which have produced all the wonderful changes in my life, are these three:
Since it’s a brand new year, and it still has that lovely new year smell to it, I’m offering something I call my 5 Day Challenge to End Self-Sabotage starting tomorrow – it’s a gift to the community to inspire and support folks in keeping a healthy, happy new year momentum going.
And one of the things we’ll be talking about is WILL POWER vs WILLINGNESS. It has been SO helpful to me to understand the difference, and then apply that wisdom to my life.
When someone has a problem with obsessive-compulsive behavior or avoidance, they’ll often try willpower to make a change. A perfect example of that is trying to get in shape or lose weight at the beginning of the year.
People make New Year’s resolutions about what they’d like to change in their eating, drinking, exercising, home cleanliness and organization, and all kinds of things.
Resolutions require willpower.
Willpower is part of a plan of behavior modification.
Behavior modification is a helpful start when we’re feeling out of control, obsessive, compulsive and addicted.
For the moment, we can pause the addictive behaviors with willpower.
But we all know that stopping the behavior isn’t a healing.
As A Course in Miracles teaches us, all healing is at the level of the mind – NOT at the level of behavior.
We seek not to change the behavior, but to change our mind about ourselves, life, our bodies, and eliminate the ROOT CAUSE of the behavior – which is our beliefs.
Many people obsessively self-medicate as a way to escape how they feel. I’ve certainly done WAY more than my fair share of that. Willpower does NOTHING to eliminate that issue – it only intensifies it.
It’s like turning up the heat on a pressure cooker.
Eventually, it will explode.
And then there’s an even bigger mess to contend with.
A Course in Miracles tells us:
“You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of willingness. You do not need guidance except at the mind level. Correction belongs only at the level where change is possible. Change does not mean anything at the symptom level, where it cannot work.” T-2.VI.3.
Willingness is the only way to make real progress on the spiritual path of awakening.
Our willingness is ALL that’s required to have true and lasting transformation.
It seems so simple, and quite frankly, too easy, but neither is accurate.
Have you ever had a moment where you felt driven to act compulsively and you knew it would not end well, and that if you could have any small fraction of willingness you could take a deep breath and make a higher choice, but you just didn’t want to – in that moment?
Instead you willFULLY, self-destructed?
Practicing those moments of willingness IS where our healing’s at.
Willpower simply won’t do.
When we’re craving, needing, and wanting to satisfy that compulsion, we’re feeling deprived. We’re feeling like a victim that needs, and wants, and craves, because we don’t have — we lack.
What don’t we have?
In that moment, we don’t have a connection with Spirit that lets us know we’re fully loved and held in perfect Wholeness. That knowing of, our perfection is missing from our awareness.
How could willpower ever heal that?
How could willpower ever even satiate the craving for Unity for one second?
But even a little bit of willingness is instantaneous joining with Spirit.
“The power to work miracles belongs to you. I will provide the opportunities to do them, but you must be ready and willing.” T-1.III.1.
Using will power actually makes things worse.
We feel self-betrayed, on some level, when we’re trying to control and manipulate the cravings and behavior. It just feels hellish.
Okay, maybe there are moments of ego superiority and satisfaction when we’re able to use willpower to not follow the needing, wanting, and craving impulses. But those will power moments just fuel the fire of living without lasting healing. Always a victim.
A Course in Miracles tells us:
“We have already attempted to correct the fundamental error that fear can be mastered, and have emphasized that the only real mastery is through love.… You may think this implies that an enormous amount of time is necessary between readiness and mastery, but let me remind you that time and space are under my control.” T-2.VII.7.
Our willingness IS all that’s needed for our healing. Let us practice that this entire year and see what wonderful and miraculous healing we have!
STARTS MONDAY: A new FREE 5 Day Challenge program to end self-sabotage and self-medication. Check out this free gift – click here to register now and join me on Monday!
Please join with a friend and let’s get our healing ON!
Ready to Make A Leap? Masterful Living starts Monday, January 14
My Masterful Living Course supports people in establishing an effective spiritual practice. It’s not intellectual. It’s from the heart. This is what works to undo these chains that bind us to keep repeating the past. You can talk with a Spiritual Counselor to see if Masterful Living is right for you right now. There’s no charge. Click here now to book a free Exploratory Call.
New Year’s Reboot replay is already available. If you’ve already registered for Masterful Living 2019 this is a bonus class and you’ll receive it automatically.
In my yearlong Masterful Living Course a number of people have healed these self-destructive habits such as rehearsing disappointment, failure, depression, and addiction. Many have gone off anti-depressants, let go of old hurts and sadness that has troubled them, even chronic pain seems to disappear for many.
I share what I learned that shifted me out of my habits of ignoring my intuition and all the healing opportunities that God gave me in my Masterful Living Course 2019. At no charge, you can also book an Exploratory Call to speak with one of the Spiritual Counselors who has already done the program, and they can help you be clear if this is right for you right now.
Let’s heal the past and live a life we LOVE! Let’s ROCK this new year! Class begins January 14 – please register now!
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