You Can Heal Your Life - (Louise Hay / ) -

You Can Heal Your Life -

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: 2003 .
: Louise Hay /
: Louise Hay /

:Body & Mind Healing
: 160 kbps

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You Can Heal Your Life - (Louise Hay / ) .

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You Can Heal Your Life - (Louise Hay / ) -


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LOUISE L. HAY INCLUDES A NEW AFTERWORD OVER 30 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE Part I INTRODUCTION Suggestions to My Readers I have written this book to share with you, my readers, that which 1 know and teach. It incorporates portions of my little blue book, Heal Your Body, which has become widely accepted as an authoritative work on the mental patterns that create dis-eases in the body. I have had hundreds of letters from readers asking me to share more of my information. Many persons who have worked with me as private clients, and those who have taken my workshops here and abroad, have requested I take the time to write this book. I have set up this book to take you through a session, just as I would if you came to me as a private client and attended one of my workshops. If you will do the exercises progressively as they appear in the book, by the time you have finished, you will have begun to change your life. I suggest you read through the book once. Then slowly read it again, only this time do each exercise in depth. Give yourself time to work with each one. If you can, work through the exercises with a friend or with a member of your family. Each chapter opens with an affirmation. Each of these is good to use when you are working on that area of your life. Take two or three days to study and work with each chapter. Keep saying and writing the affirmation that opens the chapter. XI YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE The chapters close with a treatment. This is a flow of positive ideas designed to change consciousness. Read over this treatment several times a day. I close this book by sharing with you my own story. I know it will show you that no matter where we have come from or how lowly it was, we can totally change our lives for the better. Know that when you work with these ideas, my loving support is with you. Some Points ofMy Philosophy We are each responsible for all of our experiences. Every thought we think is creating our future. The point of power is always in the present moment. Everyone suffers from self-hatred and guilt. The bottom line for everyone is, Im not good enough. Its only a thought, and a thought can be changed. We create every so-called illness in our body. Resentment, criticism, and guilt are the most damaging patterns. Releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer. We must release the past and forgive everyone. We must be willing to begin to learn to love ourselves. Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the keys to positive changes. When we really love ourselves, everything in our life works. In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete, andyet life is ever changing. There is no beginning and no end, only a constant cycling and recycling of substance and experiences. Life is never stuck or static or stale, for each moment is ever new andfresh. I am one with the very Power that created me, and tfiis Power has given me the power to create my own circumstances. I rgoice in tfte knowledge that I have the power of my own mind to use in any way I choose. Every moment of life is a new beginning point as we movejrom the old. Tfiis moment is a new point of beginning for me right here and right now. All is well in my world. Chapter One WHAT I BELIEVE The gateways to wisdom and knowledge are always open. Life Is Really Very Simple. What We Give Out, We Get Back What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences. We create the situations, and then we give our power away by blaming the other person for our frustration. No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for we are the only thinkers in it. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives. Which of these statements sounds like you? People are out to get me. Everyone is always helpful. Each one of these beliefs will create quite different experiences. What we believe about ourselves and about life becomes true for us. 1 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE The Universe Totally Supports Us in Every Thought We Choose to Think and Believe Put another way, our subconscious mind accepts whatever we choose to believe. They both mean that what 1 believe about myself and about life becomes true for me. What you choose to think about yourself and about life becomes true for you. And we have unlimited choices about what we can think. When we know this, then it makes sense to choose Everyone is always helpful, rather than People are out to get me. The Universal Power Never Judges or Criticizes Us It only accepts us at our own value. Then it reflects our beliefs in our lives. If I want to believe that life is lonely and that nobody loves me, then that is what I will find in my world. However, if I am willing to release that belief and to affirm for myself that Love is everywhere, and 1 am loving and lovable, and to hold on to that new affirmation and to repeat it often, then it will become true for me. Now, loving people will come into my life, the people already in my life will become more loving to me, and I will find myself easily expressing love to others. Most of Us Have Foolish Ideas about Who We Are and Many, Many Rigid Rules about How Life Ought to Be Lived This is not to condemn us, for each of us is doing the very best we can at this very moment. If we knew better, if we had more understanding and awareness, then we would do it differently. Please dont put yourself down for being where you are. The very fact that you have found this book and have discovered me means that you are ready to make a new, positive change in your life. Acknowledge yourself for this. Men dont cry! Women cant handle money! What limiting ideas to live with. 2 What I Believe When We Are Very Little, We Learn How to Feel about Ourselves and about Life by the Reactions of the Adults Around Us It is the way we learn what to think about ourselves and about our world. Now, if you lived with people who were very unhappy, frightened, guilty, or angry, then you learned a lot of negative things about yourself and about your world. 1 never do anything right. its my fault. If I get angry, Im a bad person. Beliefs like this create a frustrating life. When We Grow Up, We Have a Tendency to Re-create the Emotional Environment of Our Early Home Life This is not good or bad, right or wrong; it is just what we know inside as home. We also tend to recreate in our personal relationships the relationships we had with our mothers or with our fathers, or what they had between them. Think how often you have had a lover or a boss who was just like your mother or father. We also treat ourselves the way our parents treated us. We scold and punish ourselves in the same way. You can almost hear the words when you listen. We also love and encourage ourselves in the same way, if we were loved and encouraged as children. You never do anything right. Its all your fault. How often have you said this to yourself? You are wonderful. I love you. How often do you tell yourself this? However, I Would Not Blame Our Parents for This We are all victims of victims, and they could not possibly have taught us anything they did not know. If your mother did not know how to love herself, or your father did not know how to love himself, then it would be impossible for them to teach you to love yourself. 3 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE They were doing the best they could with what they had been taught as children. If you want to understand your parents more, get them to talk about their own childhood; and if you listen with compassion, you will leam where their fears and rigid patterns come from. Those people who did all that stuff to you were just as frightened and scared as you are. I Believe That We Choose Our Parents Each one of us decides to incarnate upon this planet at a particular point in time and space. We have chosen to come here to learn a particular lesson that will advance us upon our spiritual, evolutionary pathway. We choose our sex, our color, our country, and then we look around for the particular set of parents who will mirror the pattern we are bringing in to work on in this lifetime. Then, when we grow up, we usually point our fingers accusingly at our parents and whimper, You did it to me. But really, we chose them because they were perfect for what we wanted to work on overcoming. We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience. Well, I believe you created those experiences over and over because they mirrored something you believed about yourself. It doesnt really matter how long we have had a problem, or how big it is, or how life-threatening it is. The Point of Power Is Always in the Present Moment All the events you have experienced in your lifetime up to this moment have been created by your thoughts and beliefs you have held in the past. They were created by the thoughts and words you used yesterday, last week, last month, last year, 10, 20, 30, 40, or more years ago, depending on how old you are. However, that is your past. It is over and done with. What is important in this moment is what you are choosing to think and 4 What I Believe believe and say right now. For these thoughts and words will create your future. Your point of power is in the present moment and is forming the experience of tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and so on. You might notice what thought you are thinking at this moment. Is it negative or positive? Do you want this thought to be creating your future? Just notice and be aware. The Only Thing We Are Ever Dealing With Is a Thought, and a Thought Can Be Changed No matter what the problem is, our experiences are just outer effects of inner thoughts. Even self-hatred is only hating a thought you have about yourself. You have a thought that says, Im a bad person. This thought produces a feeling, and you buy into the feeling. However, if you dont have the thought, you wont have the feeling. And thoughts can be changed. Change the thought, and the feeling must go. This is only to show us where we get many of our beliefs. But lets not use this information as an excuse to stay stuck in our pain. The past has no power over us. It doesnt matter how long we have had a negative pattern. The point of power is in the present moment. What a wonderful thing to realize! We can begin to be free in this moment! Believe It or Not, We Do Choose Our Thoughts We may habitually think the same thought over and over so that it does not seem we are choosing the thought. But we did make the original choice. We can refuse to think certain thoughts. Look how often you have refused to think a positive thought about yourself. Well, you can also refuse to think a negative thought about yourself. It seems to me that everyone on this planet whom I know or have worked with is suffering from self-hatred and guilt to one degree or another. The more self-hatred and guilt we have, the less our lives 5 ' YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE work. The less self-hatred and guilt we have, the better our lives work, on all levels. The Innermost Belief for Everyone I Have Worked with Is Always, Im Not Good Enough! We often add to that, And I dont do enough, or I dont deserve. Does this sound like you? Often saying or implying or feeling that you are not good enough? But for whom? And according to whose standards? If this belief is very strong in you, then how can you possibly have created a loving, joyous, prosperous, healthy life? Somehow your main subconscious belief would always be contradicting it. Somehow you would never quite get it together, for something would always be going wrong somewhere. I Find That Resentment, Criticism, Guilt, and Fear Cause More Problems Than Anything Else These four things cause the major problems in our bodies and in our lives. These feelings come from blaming others and not taking responsibility for our own experiences. You see, if we are all responsible for everything in our lives, then there is no one to blame. Whatever is happening out there is only a mirror of our own inner thinking. I am not cqndoiiing other peoples poor behavior, but it is OUR beliefs that attract people who will treat us that way. If you find yourself saying, Everyone always does such and such to me, criticizes me, is never there for me, uses me like a doormat, abuses me, then this is YOUR PATTERN. There is some thought in you that attracts people who exhibit this behavior. When you no longer think that way, they will go elsewhere and do that to somebody else. You will no longer attract them. Following are some results of patterns that manifest on the physical level: Resentment that is long held can eat away at the body and 6 What I Believe become the dis-ease we call cancer. Criticism as a permanent habit can often lead to arthritis in the body. Guilt always looks for punishment, and punishment creates pain. (When a client comes to me with a lot of pain, I know they are holding a lot of guilt.) Fear, and the tension it produces, can create things like baldness, ulcers, and even sore feet. I have found that forgiving and releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer. While this may sound simplistic, I have seen and experienced it working. We Can Change Our Attitude Toward the Past The past is over and done. We cannot change that now. Yet we can change our thoughts about the past. How foolish for us to PUNISH OURSELVES in the present moment because someone hurt us in the long ago past. I often say to people who have deep resentment patterns, Please begin to dissolve the resentment now, when it is relatively easy. Dont wait until you are under the threat of a surgeons knife or on your death bed, when you may have to deal with pariic, too. When we are in a state of panic, it is very difficult to focus our minds on the healing work. We have to take time out to dissolve the fears first. If we choose to believe we are helpless victims and that its all hopeless, then the Universe will support us in that belief, and we will just go down the drain. It is vital that we release these foolish, outmoded, negative ideas and beliefs that do not support us and nourish us. Even our concept of God needs to be one that is for us, not against us. To Release the Past, We Must Be Willing to Forgive We need to choose to release the past and forgive everyone, ourselves included. We may not know how to forgive, and we may not 7 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE want to forgive, but the very fact that we say we are willing to forgive begins the healing process. It is imperative for our own healing that we release the past and forgive everyone. I forgive you for not being the way 1 wanted you to be. 1 forgive you and I set you free. This affirmation sets us free. All Dis-ease Comes from a State of Unforgiveness Whenever we are ill, we need to search our hearts to see who it is we need to forgive. The Course in Miracles says that all dis-ease comes from a state of unforgiveness, and that whenever we are ill, we need to look around to see who it is that we need to forgive. I would add to that concept that the very person you find it hardest to forgive is the one YOU NEED TO LET GO OF THE MOST. Forgiveness means giving up, letting go. It has nothing to with condoning behavior. Its just letting the whole thing go. We do not have to know HOW to forgive. All we need to do is to be WILLING to forgive. The Universe will take care of the hows. We understand our own pain so well. How hard it is for most of us to understand that THEY, whoever they are we need most to forgive, were also in pain. We need to understand that they were doing the best they could with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge they had at that time. When people come to me with a problem, I dont care what it is poor health, lack of money, unfulfilling relationships, or stifled creativity there is only one thing 1 ever work on, and that is LOVING THE SELF I find that when we really love and accept and APPROVE OF OURSELVES EXACTLY AS WE ARE, then everything in life works. Its as if litde miracles are everywhere. Our health improves, we attract more money, our relationships become much more fulfilling, and we begin to express ourselves in creatively fulfilling ways. All this seems to happen without our even trying. 8 What I Believe Loving and approving of yourself, creating a space of safety, trusting and deserving and accepting, will create organization in your mind, create more loving relationships in your life, attract a new job and a new and better place to live, and even enable your body weight to normalize. People who love themselves and their bodies neither abuse themselves nor others. Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the main keys to positive changes in every area of our lives. Loving the self, to me, begins with never ever criticizing ourselves for anything. Criticism locks us into the very pattern we are trying to change. Understanding and being gentle with ourselves helps us to move out of it. Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasnt worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. In tfie inanity of life, where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I believe in a powerfar greater than I am that flows through me every moment of every day. I open myselfto the wisdom within, knowing that there is only One Intelligence in this Universe. Out of this One Intelligence comes all the answers, all the solutions, all the healings, all the new creations. I trust this Power and Intelligence, knowing that whatever I need to know is revealed to me, and that whatever I need comes to me in the right time, space, and sequence. All is well in my world. 9 Part II A SESSION WITH LOUISE Chapter Two WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? It is safe to look within. My Body Doesnt Work It hurts, bleeds, aches, oozes, twists, blows up, limps, bums, ages, cant see, cant hear, is rotting away, and so on. Plus whatever else you may have created. I think I have heard them all. My Relationships Dont Work They are smothering, absent, demanding, dont support me, always criticizing me, unloving, never leave me alone, pick on me all the time, dont want to be bothered with me, walk all over me, never listen to me, and so on. Plus whatever else you may have created. Yes, I have heard them all, too. My Finances Dont Work They are nonexistent, seldom there, never enough, just out of reach, go out faster than they come in, wont cover the bills, slip through my fingers, and so on. Plus whatever else you may have created. Of course, I have heard them all. 13 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE My Life Doesnt Work I never get to do what I want to do. I cant please anyone. I dont know what I want to do. There is never any time for me. My needs and desires are always left out. Im only doing this to please them. I am just a doormat. Nobody cares what I want to do. I have no talent I cant do anything right. All I do is procrastinate. Nothing ever works for me, and so on. Plus whatever else you have created for yourself. All these I have heard and more. Whenever I ask a new client what is going on in his or her life, I usually get one of the above answers. Or maybe several of these answers. They really think they know the problem. But I know these complaints are only outer effects of inner thought patterns. Beneath the inner thought patterns is another deeper, more fundamental pattern that is the basis of all the outer effects. I listen to the words they use as I ask some basic questions: What is happening in your life? How is your health? What do you do for a living? Do you like your work? How are your finances? How is your love life? How did the last relationship end? And the relationship before that, how did it end? Tell me about your childhood, briefly. I watch the body postures and the facial movements. But mostly I really listen to the words they say. Thoughts and words create our future experiences. As I listen to them talk, I can readily understand why they have these particular problems. The words we speak are indicative of our inner thoughts. Sometimes, the words they use do not match the experiences they describe. Then I know that they are either not in touch with what is really going on or they are lying to me. Either one is a starting point and gives us a basis from which to begin. 14 What Is the Problem? Exercise: I Should The next thing I do is to give them a pad and pen and ask them to write on the top of a piece of paper: I SHOULD They are to make a list of five or six ways to finish that sentence. Some people find it difficult to begin, and some have so many things to write that its hard for them to stop. I then ask them to read the list to me one at a time, beginning each sentence with I Should. . . As they read each one, 1 ask, Why? The answers that come out are interesting and revealing, such as: My mother said I should. Because I am afraid not to. Because I have to be perfect. Well, everybody has to do that. Because I am too lazy, too short, too tall, too fat, too thin, too dumb, too ugly, too worthless. These answers show me where they are stuck in their beliefs and what they think their limitations are. I make no comments on their answers. When they are through with their list, I talk about the word SHOULD. You see, I believe that should is one of the most damaging words in our language. Every time we use should, we are, in effect, saying wrong. Either we are wrong or we were wrong or we are going to be wrong. I dont think we need more wrongs in our life. We need to have more freedom of choice. 1 would like to take the word should and remove it from the vocabulary forever. Id replace it with the word could. Could gives us choice, and we are never wrong. 15 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE I then ask them to reread the list one item at a time, except this time to begin each sentence by saying, If I really wanted to, I could This puts a whole new light on the subject. As they do this, I ask them gently, Why havent you? Now we hear different answers: I dont want to. I am afraid. I dont know how. Because I am not good enough. And so on. We often find they have been berating themselves for years for something they never wanted to do in the first place. Or they have been criticizing themselves for not doing something when it was never their idea to begin with. Often it was just something that someone else said they should do. When they can see that, they can just drop it from the should list. What a relief that is. Look at all the people who try to force themselves for years into a career they dont even like only because their parents said they should become a dentist or a teacher. How often have we felt inferior because we were told we should be smarter or richer or more creative like some relative. What is there on your should list that could be dropped with a sense of relief? By the time we have gone through this short list, they are beginning to look at their life in a new and different way. They notice that many of the things they thought they should do are things they never wanted to do, and they were only trying to please other people. So many times it is because they are afraid or feel they are not good enough. The problem has now begun to shift. 1 have started the process of releasing the feeling of being wrong because they are not fitting someone elses standards. Next I begin to explain to them my philosophy of life as I did in Chapter One. I believe life is really very simple. What we give out, 16 What Is the Problem? we get back. The Universe totally supports every thought we choose to think and to believe. When we are little, we leant how to feel about ourselves and about life by the reactions of the adults around us. Whatever these beliefs are, they will be recreated as experiences as we grow up. However, we are only dealing with thought patterns, and the point of power is always in the present moment. Changes can begin in this moment. Loving the Self I continue to explain that no matter what their problem seems to be, there is only one thing I ever work on with anyone, and this is Loving the Self. Love is the miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives. I am not talking about vanity or arrogance or being stuck-up, for that is not love. It is only fear. I am talking about having a great respect for ourselves and a gratitude for the miracle of our bodies and our minds. Love to me is appreciation to such a degree that it fills my heart to bursting and overflows. Love can go in any direction. I can feel love for: The very process of life itself. The joy of being alive. The beauty I see. Another person. Knowledge. The process of the mind. Our bodies and the way they work. Animals, birds, fish. Vegetation in all its forms. The Universe and the way it works. What can you add to this list? Let's look at some of the ways we dont love ourselves: 17 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE We scold and criticize ourselves endlessly. We mistreat our bodies with food, alcohol, and drugs. We choose to believe we are unlovable. We are afraid to charge a decent price for our services. We create illnesses and pain in our bodies. We procrastinate on things that would benefit us. We live in chaos and disorder. We create debt and burdens. We attract lovers and mates who belittle us. What are some of your ways? If we deny our good in any way, it is an act of not loving ourselves. I remember a client I worked with who wore glasses. One day we released an old fear from childhood. The next day she awakened to find her contact lenses were bothering her too much to wear. She looked around and found her eyesight was perfectly clear. Yet she spent the whole day saying, 1 dont believe it, I dont believe it. The next day she was back to wearing contacts. Our subconscious mind has no sense of humor. She couldnt believe she had created perfect eyesight. Lack of self-worth is another expression of not loving ourselves. Tom was a very good artist, and he had some wealthy clients who asked him to decorate a wall or two in their homes. Yet somehow he was always behind in his own bill paying. His original quote was never enough to cover the time involved to complete the work. Anyone who gives a service or creates a one-of-a-kind product can charge any price. People with wealth love to pay a lot for what they get; it gives the item more value. More examples: Our partner is tired and grouchy. We wonder what we have done wrong to cause it. He takes us out once or twice and never calls again. We think something must be wrong with us. Our marriage ends, and we are sure we are a failure. We are afraid to ask for a raise. Our bodies do not match those in Gentlemans Quarterly or 18 What Is the Problem? Vogue magazine, and we feel inferior. We dont make the sale, or get the part, and we are sure we are not good enough. We are afraid of intimacy and allowing anyone to get too close, so we have anonymous sex. We cant make decisions because we are sure they will be wrong. How do you express your lack of self-worth? The Perfection of Babies How perfect you were when you were a tiny baby. Babies do not have to do anything to become perfect; they already are perfect, and they act as if they know it. They know they are the center of the Universe. They are not afraid to ask for what they want. They freely express their emotions. You know when a baby is angry in fact, the whole neighborhood knows. You also know when babies are happy, for their smiles light up a room. They are full of love. Tiny babies will die if they do not get love. Once we are older, we learn to live without love, but babies will not stand for it. Babies also love every part of their bodies, even their own feces. They have incredible courage. You were like that. We were all like that. Then we began to listen to adults around us who had learned to be fearful, and we began to deny our own magnificence. I never believe it when clients try to convince me how terrible they are, or how unlovable they are. My work is to bring them back to the time when they knew how to really love themselves. Exercise: Mirror Next, 1 ask clients to pick up a small mirror, look into their own eyes, and say their names and, 1 love and accept you exactly as you are. This is so difficult for many people. Seldom do I get a calm reaction, let alone enjoyment from this exercise. Some cry or are close to 19 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE tears, some get angry, some belittle their features or qualities, some insist they CANT do it. I even had one man throw the mirror across the room and want to run away. It took him several months before he could begin to relate to himself in the mirror. For years I looked into the mirror only to criticize what I saw there. Recalling the endless hours I spent plucking my eyebrows trying to make myself barely acceptable amuses me now. I remember it used to frighten me to look into my own eyes. This simple exercise shows me so much. In less than an hour, I am able to get to some of the core issues that are beneath the outer problem. If we work only on the level of the problem, we can spend endless time working out each and every detail; and the minute we think we have it all fixed up, it will crop up somewhere else. The Problem Is Rarely the Real Problem She was so concerned with her looks, and especially with her teeth. She went from dentist to dentist feeling each one had only made her look worse. She went to have her nose fixed, and they did a poor job. Each professional was mirroring her belief that she was ugly. Her problem was not her looks, but that she was convinced something was wrong with her. There was another woman who had terrible breath. It was uncomfortable to be around her. She was studying to be a minister, and her outer demeanor was pioui and spiritual- Beneath this was a raging current of anger and jealousy that exploded now and then when she thought someone might be threatening her position. Her inner thoughts were expressed through her breath, and she was offensive even when she pretended to be loving. No one threatened her but herself. . , He was only 15 when his mother brought him to me wit Hodgkins dis-ease and three months to live. His mother was un er standably hysterical and difficult to deal with, but the boy was and clever and wanted to live. He was willing to do anything I t0 him to, including changing the way he thought and spoke. His sep 20 What Is the Problem? arated parents were always arguing, and he really did not have a settled home life. He wanted desperately to be an actor. The pursuit of fame and fortune far outweighed his ability to experience joy. He thought he could be acceptable and worthwhile only if he had fame. I taught him to love and accept himself, and he got well. He is now grown up and appears on Broadway with regularity. As he learned to experience the joy of being himself, the parts in plays opened up for him. Overweight is another good example of how we can waste a lot of energy trying to correct a problem that is not the real problem. People often spend years and years fighting fat and are still overweight. They blame all their problems on being overweight. The excess weight is only an outer effect of a deep inner problem. To me, it is always fear and a need for protection. When we feel frightened or insecure or not good enough, many of us will put on extra weight for protection. To spend our time berating ourselves for being too heavy, to feel guilty about every bite of food we eat, to do all the numbers we do on ourselves when we gain weight, is just a waste of time. Twenty years later we can still be in the same situation because we have not even begun to deal with the real problem. All that we have done is to make ourselves more frightened and insecure, and then we need more weight for protection. So I refuse to focus on excess weight or on diets. For diets do not work. The only diet that does work is a mental diet dieting from negative thoughts. I say to clients, Let us just put that issue to one side for the time being while we work on a few other things first. They will often tell me they cant love themselves because they are so fat, or as one girl put it, too round at the edges. I explain that they are fat because they dont love themselves. When we begin to love and approve of ourselves, its amazing how weight just disappears from our bodies. Sometimes clients even get angry with me as I explain how simple it is to change their lives. They may feel I do not understand their problems. One woman became very upset and said, I came here to 21 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE get help with my dissertation, not to learn to love myself. To me it was so obvious that her main problem was a lot of self-hatred, and this permeated every part of her life, including the writing of her dissertation. She could not succeed at anything as long as she felt so worthless. She couldnt hear me and left in tears, coming back one year later with the same problem plus a lot of other problems. Some people are not ready, and there is no judgment. We all begin to make our changes in the right time, space, and sequence for us. 1 did not even begin to make my changes until I was in my forties. The Real Problem So here is a client who has just looked into the harmless little mirror, and he or she is all upset. I smile with delight and say, Good, now we are looking at the real problem; now we can begin to clear out what is really standing in your way. 1 talk more about loving the self, about how, for me, loving the self begins with never, ever criticizing ourselves for anything. I watch their faces as I ask them if they criticize themselves. Their reactions tell me so much: Well, of course I do. All the time. Not as much as I used to. Well, how am I going to change if 1 dont criticize myself? Doesnt everyone? To the latter, 1 answer, We are not talking about everyone, we are talking about you. Why do you criticize yourself? What is wrong with you? . , As they talk, I make a list. What they say often coincides wit their should list. They feel they are too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too dumb, too old, too young, too ugly. (The most beauti u handsome will often say this.) Or theyre too late, too early, too azy, and on and on. Notice how it is almost always too somet mg 22 What Is the Problem? Finally, we get down to the bottom line, and they say, I am not good enough. Hurrah, hurrah! We have finally found the central issue. They criticize themselves because they have learned to believe they are not good enough. Clients are always amazed at how fast we have gotten to this point. Now we do not have to bother with any of the side effects like body problems, relationship problems, money problems, or lack of creative expressions. We can put all our energy into dissolving the cause of the whole thing: NOT LOVING THE SELF! In tfie infinity of life, where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I am always Divinely protected and guided. It is safe for me to look within myself. It is safefor me to look into the past. It is safefor me to enlarge my viewpoint of life. I amfar more than my personality past, present, orfuture. I now choose to rise above my personality problems to recognize the magnificence ofmy being. I am totally willing to learn to love myself. All is well in my world. 23 Chapter Three WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? The past has no power over me. All right, we have gone through a lot of stuff, and we have sifted through what we thought the problem was. Now we have come up with what I believe is the real problem. We feel we are not good enough, and there is a lack of self-love. From the way 1 look at life, if there is any problem, then this has to be true. So let us look at where this belief came from. How did we go from being a tiny baby who knows the perfection of itself and of life to being a person who has problems and feels unworthy and unlovable to one degree or another? People who already love themselves can love themselves even more. Think of a rose from the time it is a tiny bud. As it opens to full flower, till the last petal falls, it is always beautiful, always perfect, always changing. So it is with us. We are always perfect, always beautiful, and ever changing. We are doing the best we can with the understanding, awareness and knowledge we have. As we gain more understanding, awareness and knowledge, then we will do things differendy. Mental Housecleaning Now is the time to examine our past a bit more, to take a look at some of the beliefs that have been running us. 25 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Some people find this part of the cleansing process very painful but it need not be. We must look at what is there before we can clean it out. If you want to clean a room thoroughly, you will pick up and examine everything in it. Some things you will look at with love, and you will dust them or polish them to give them new beauty. Some things you will see that need refinishing or repair, and you will make a note to do that. Some things will never serve you again, and it becomes time to let those things go. Old magazines and newspapers and dirty paper plates can be dropped into the wastebasket very calmly. There is no need to get angry in order to clean a room. It is the same thing when we are cleaning our mental house. There is no need to get angry just because some of the beliefs in it are ready to be tossed out. Let them go as easily as you would scrape bits of food into the trash after a meal. Would you really dig into yesterdays garbage to make tonights meal? Do you dig into old mental garbage to create tomorrows experiences? If a thought or belief does not serve you, let it go! There is no written law that says that because you once believed something, you have to continue to believe it forever. Lets look at some limiting beliefs and where they came from: limiting belief: Im not good enough. where it came from: A father who repeatedly told him he was stupid. He said he wanted to be a success so his daddy would be proud o him. But he was riddled with guilt, which created resentment, and all he could produce was one failure after another. Daddy kept financing businesses for him, and one after another, they failed. He used failure to get even. He made his daddy pay and pay and pay. course, he was the biggest loser. limiting belief: Lack of self-love. WHERE it CAME from: Trying to win daddys approval. The last thing she wanted was to be like her father. They cou agree on anything and were always arguing. She only wante 26 Where Does It Come From? approval, but instead all she got was criticism. Her body was full of pains. Her father had exactly the same kind of pains. She did not realize her anger was creating her pains just as her fathers anger was creating pain for him. limiting belief: Life is dangerous. where it came from: A frightened father. Another client saw life as grim and harsh. It was difficult for her to laugh, and when she did, she would become frightened that something bad would happen. She has been reared with the admonition, Dont laugh or they might get you. limiting belief: Im not good enough. where it came from: Being abandoned and ignored. It was difficult for him to talk. Silence had become a way of life for him. He had just come off drugs and alcohol and was convinced that he was terrible. I discovered his mother had died when he was very young, and he had been reared by an aunt. The aunt seldom spoke except to give an order, and he was brought up in silence. He even ate alone in silence and stayed quietly in his room day after day. He had a lover who was also a silent man, and they spent most of their time alone in silence. The lover died, and once again he was alone. Exercise: Negative Messages The next exercise we do is to get a large sheet of paper and make a list of all the things your parents said were wrong with you. What were the negative messages you heard? Give yourself enough time to remember as many as you can. A half hour usually works well. What did they say about money? What did they say about your body? What did they say about love and relationships? What did they say about your creative talents? What were the limiting or negative things they said to you? If you can, just look objectively at these items and say to yourself, So thats where that belief came from. 27 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Now, lets take a new sheet of paper and dig a little deeper. What other negative messages did you hear as a child? From relatives From teachers From friends From authority figures From your church Write them all down. Take your time. Be aware of what feelings are going on in your body. What you have on these two pieces of paper are the thoughts that need to be removed from your consciousness. These are the very beliefs you have that are making you feel not good enough. Seeing Yourself as a Child If we were to take a three-year-old child and put him in the middle of the room, and you and I were to start yelling at the child, telling him how stupid he was, how he could never do anything right, how he should do this, and shouldnt do that, and look at the mess he made; and maybe hit him a few times, we would end up with a frightened little child who sits docilely in the corner, or who tears up the place. The child will go one of these two ways, but we will never know the potential of that child. If we take the same little child and tell him how much we love him, how much we care, that we love the way he looks and love how bright and clever he is, that we love the way he does things, and that its okay for him to make mistakes as he learns and that we wi always be there for him no matter what then the potential t at comes out of that child will blow your mind! Each one of us has a three-year-old child within us, and we o ten spend most of our time yelling at that kid in ourselves. Then we wonder why our lives dont work. If you had a friend who was always criticizing you, would you vra to be around that person? Perhaps you were treated this way as a c 28 Where Does It Come From? and that is sad. However, that was a long time ago, and if you are now choosing to treat yourself in the same way, then it is sadder still. So now, here in front of us, we have a list of the negative messages we heard as a child. How does this list correspond with what you believe to be wrong with you? Are they almost the same? Probably yes. We base our life script on our early messages. We are all good little children and obediently accept what they tell us as truth. It would be very easy just to blame our parents and be victims for the rest of our lives. But that wouldnt be much fun, and it certainly wouldnt get us out of our stuck position. Blaming Your Family Blame is one of the surest ways to stay in a problem. In blaming another, we give away our power. Understanding enables us to rise above the issue and take control of our future. The past cannot be changed. The future is shaped by our current thinking. It is imperative for our freedom to understand that our parents were doing the best they could with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge they had. Whenever we blame someone else, we are not taking responsibility for ourselves. Those people who did all those terrible things to us were just as frightened and scared as you are. They felt just the same helplessness as you do. The only things they could possibly teach you are what they had been taught. How much do you know about your parents childhoods, especially before the age of ten? If its still possible for you to find out, ask them. If youre able to find out about your parents childhoods, you will more easily understand why they did what they did. Understanding will bring you compassion. If you dont know and cant find out, try to imagine what it must have been like for them. What kind of childhood would create an adult like that? You need this knowledge for your own freedom. You cant free yourself until you free them. You cant forgive yourself until you forgive 29 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE them. If you demand perfection from them, you will demand per fection from yourself, and you will be miserable all your life. Choosing Our Parents I agree with the theory that we choose our parents. The lessons that we learn seem perfectly matched to the weaknesses of the parents we have. I believe we are all on an endless journey through eternity. We come to this planet to learn particular lessons that are necessary for our spiritual evolution. We choose our sex, our color, our country; and then we look around for the perfect set of parents who will mirror our patterns. Our visits to this planet are like going to school. If you want to become a beautician, you go to beauty school. If you want to become a mechanic, you go to mechanics school. If you want to become a lawyer, you to go law school. The parents you picked this time around are the perfect couple who are experts in what you have chosen to learn. When we grow up, we have a tendency to point our fingers accusingly at our parents and say, You did it to me! But I believe we chose them. Listening to Others Our older brothers and sisters are gods to us when we are little. If they were unhappy, they probably took it out on us physically or ver bally. They might have said things like: Ill tell on you for. .. (instilling guilt) Youre just a baby, you cant do that. Youre too stupid to play with us. Teachers at school often influence us greatly. In the fifth gra > teacher told me emphatically 1 was too tall to be a dancer. I e ie 30 Where Does It Come From? her and put away my dancing ambitions until 1 was too old to make dancing a career. Did you understand that tests and grades were only to see how much knowledge you had at a given time, or were you a child who allowed tests and grades to measure self-worth? Our early friends share their own misinformation about life with us. The other kids at school can tease us and leave lasting hurts. When I was a child, my last name was Lunney and the kids used to call me lunatic. Neighbors also have an influence, not only because of their remarks but also because were asked, What will the neighbors think? Think back to the other authority figures who were influential in your childhood. And, of course, there are the strong and very persuasive statements made by advertisements in periodicals and on television. All too many products are sold by making us feel we are unworthy or wrong if we dont use them. * * * We are all here to transcend our early limitations, whatever they were. Were here to recognize our own magnificence and divinity no matter what they told us. You have your negative beliefs to overcome, and I have my negative beliefs to overcome. 31 In the inanity of life where I am , ail is perfect, whole, and complete. The past has no power over me because I am willing to leant and to change. I seethe past os necessary to bring me to where I am today. I am willing to begin where I am right now to clean the rooms ofmy mental house. I know it does not matter wfiere I start, so I now 6egin witfi tfte smallest and the easiest rooms, and in that way I will see results quickly. I am thrilled to be in the middle of this adventure, for 1 know I will never go through this particular experience again. I am willing to set myselffree. All is well in my world. Chapter Four IS IT TRUE? Truth is the unchangeable part of me. The question, Is it true or real? has two answers: Yes and No. It is true if you believe it to be true. It is not true if you believe it isnt true. The glass is both half full and half empty, depending on how you look at it. There are literally billions of thoughts we can choose to think. Most of us choose to think the same kinds of thoughts our parents used to think, but we dont have to continue to do this. There is no law written that says we can only think in one way. Whatever I choose to believe becomes true for me. Whatever you choose to believe becomes true for you. Our thoughts can be totally different. Our lives and experiences are totally different. Examine Your Thoughts Whatever we believe becomes truefor us. If you have a sudden financial disaster, then on some level you may believe you are unworthy of being comfortable with money, or you believe in burdens and debt. Or if you believe that nothing good ever lasts, maybe you believe that life is out to get you, or, as I hear so often, I just cant win. If you seem unable to attract a relationship, you may believe Nobody loves me, or I am unlovable. Perhaps you fear being dominated as your mother was, or maybe you think, People just hurt me. 33 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE If you have poor health, you may believe, Illness runs in our family. Or that you are a victim of the weather. Or perhaps its: I was bom to suffer, or Its just one thing after another. Or you may have a different belief. Perhaps youre not even aware of your belief. Most people really arent. They just see the outer circumstances as being the way the cookie crumbles. Until someone can show you the connection between the outer experiences and the inner thoughts, you remain a victim in life. PROBLEM Financial disaster No friends BELIEF I am not worthy of having money. Nobody loves me. Problems with work Im not good enough. Always pleasing others I never get my way. Whatever the problem is, it comes from a thought pattern, and thought patterns can be changed! It may feel true, it may seem true all these problems were wrestling with and juggling in our lives. However, no matter how difficult an issue we are dealing with, it is only an outer result or the effect of an inner thought pattern. If you dont know what thoughts are creating your problems, youre in the right place now, because this book is designed to help you find out. Look at the problems in your life. Ask yourself, What kinds of thoughts am I having that create this?" If you allow yourself to sit quietly and ask this question, your inner intelligence will show you the answer. Its Only a Belief You Learned as a Child Some of the things we believe are positive and nourishing^These thoughts serve us well all of our lives, such as. Look bot w y before you cross the street. 34 Is It True? Other thoughts are very useful at the beginning, but as we grow older they are no longer appropriate. Dont trust strangers may be good advice for a small child, but for an adult, to continue this belief will only create isolation and loneliness. Why do we so seldom sit down and ask ourselves, Is that really true? For instance, why do I believe things like, Its difficult for me to learn? Better questions to ask are: Is it true for me now? Where did that belief come from? Do I still believe it because a first grade teacher told me that over and over? Would I be better off if I dropped that belief? Beliefs that Boys dont cry, and Girls dont climb trees, create men who hide their feelings and women who are afraid to be physical. If we were taught as a child that the world is a frightening place, then everything we hear that fits that belief we will accept as true for us. The same is true for Dont trust strangers, Dont go out at night, or People cheat you. On the other hand, if we were taught early in life that the world is a safe place, then we would hold other beliefs. We could easily accept that love is everywhere, and people are so friendly, and I always have whatever I need. If you were taught as a child that, Its all my fault, then you will walk around always feeling guilt no matter what happens. Your belief will turn you into someone whos always saying, Im sorry. If you learned to believe as a child, I dont count, then this belief will always keep you at the end of the line wherever you are. Like my childhood experience about not getting any cake (see My Story, Chapter 16). Sometimes you will feel youre invisible when others fail to notice you. Did your childhood circumstances teach you to believe, Nobody loves me? Then you are sure to be lonely. Even when you bring a friend or relationship into your life, it will be short-lived. Did your family teach you, There is not enough? Then I am sure you often feel as though the cupboard is bare, or you find you just get by or are always in debt. 35 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE I had a client who had been brought up in a household where they believed everything was wrong and could only get worse. His main joy in life was playing tennis, and then he hurt his knee. He went to every doctor he could find, and it only got worse. Finally, he could not play at all. Another person had been brought up as a preachers son, and as a child he was taught that everybody else came first. The preachers family always came last. Today he is wonderful at helping his clients get the best deal, yet hes usually in debt, with little pocket money. His belief still makes him last in line. If You Believe It, It Seems True How often have we said, Thats the way 1 am, or Thats the way it is? Those specific words are really saying that thats what we believe to be true for us. Usually, what we believe is only someone elses opinion we have incorporated into our belief systems. No doubt it fits right in with all the other things we believe. Are you one of the many people who will get up in the morning, see that its raining, and say, Oh, what a lousy day!? It is not a lousy day. It is only a wet day. If we wear the appropriate clothing and change our attitude, we can have a lot of rainy day fun. If it is really our belief that rainy days are lousy days, then we will always greet rain with a sinking heart. We will fight the day rather than flow with what is happening in the moment. If we want a joyous life, we must think joyous thoughts. If we want a prosperous life, we must think prosperous thoughts. If we want a loving life, we must think loving thoughts. Whatever we sen out mentally or verbally will come back to us in like form. Each Moment Is a New Beginning 1 repeat, The Point of Power is always in the present moment. You are never stuck. This is where the changes take place, right right now in our own minds! It doesnt matter how long we ve 36 Is It True? negative pattern or an illness or a poor relationship or lack of finances or self-hatred. We can begin to make a shift today! Your problem no longer needs to be the truth for you. It can now fade back to the nothingness from whence it came. You can do it. Remember: you are the only person who thinks in your mind! You are the power and authority in your world! Your thoughts and beliefs of the past have created this moment, and all the moments up to this moment. What you are now choosing to believe and think and say will create the next moment and the next day and the next month and the next year. Yes, you, darling! I can give you the most marvelous advice, coming from my years of experience, yet you can continue to choose to think the same old thoughts, you can refuse to change and keep all your problems. You are the power in your world! You get to have whateveryou choose to think! This moment begins the new process. Each moment is a new beginning, and this moment is a new beginning for you right here and right now! Isnt that great to know! This moment is the Point of Power! This moment is where the change begins! Is It True? Stop for a moment and catch your thought. What are you thinking right now? If it is true that your thoughts shape your life, would you want what you were just thinking right now to become true for you? If its a thought of worry or anger or hurt or revenge or fear, how do you think this thought will come back to you? It is not always easy to catch our thoughts because they move so swiftly. However, we can begin right now to watch and listen to what we say. If you hear yourself expressing negative words of any sort, stop in mid-sentence. Either rephrase the sentence or just drop it. You could even say to it, Out! Imagine yourself in line at a cafeteria, or perhaps at a buffet in a luxurious hotel, where instead of dishes of food, there are dishes of 37 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE thoughts. You get to choose any and all the thoughts you wish These thoughts will create your future experiences. Now, if you choose thoughts that will create problems and pain thats rather foolish. Its like choosing food that always makes you ill We may do this once or twice, but as soon as we learn which foods upset our bodies, we stay away from them. Its the same with thoughts. Let us stay awayfrom thoughts that create problems and pain. One of my early teachers, Dr. Raymond Charles Barker, would repeatedly say, When there is a problem, there is not something to do, there is something to know. Our minds create our future. When we have something in our present that is undesirable, then we must use our minds to change the situation. And we can begin to change it this very second. It is my deep desire that the topic How Your Thoughts Work would be the very first subject taught in school. I have never understood the importance of having children memorize battle dates. It seems like such a waste of mental energy. Instead, we could teach them important subjects such as How the Mind Works, How to Handle Finances, How to Invest Money for Financial Security, How to Be a Parent, How to Create Good Relationships, and How to Create and Maintain Self-Esteem and Self-Worth. Can you imagine what a whole generation of adults would be like if they had been taught these subjects in school along with their regular curriculum? Think how these truths would manifest. We would have happy people who feel good about themselves. We would have people who are comfortable financially and who enrich the economy by investing their money wisely. They would have good relationships with everyone and would be comfortable with the role of parenthood and then go on to create another generation of children who feel good about themselves. Yet within all this, each person would remain an individual expressing his or her own creativity. There is no time to waste. Lets continue with our work. 38 In the inanity of fife where I am, ad is perfect, whole, and complete. I no longer choose to believe in old limitations and lack. 1 now choose to begin to see myseljf as the Universe sees meperfect, whole, and complete. The truth ofmy Being is that I was created perfect, whole, and complete. I will always be perfect, whole, and complete. I now cfioose to live my lifefrom this understanding. I am in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing. All is well in my world. Chapter Five WHAT DO WE DO NOW? I see my patterns, and I choose to make changes. Decide to Change Throwing up our hands in horror at what we may call the mess of our lives and just giving up are the ways many people react at this point. Others get angry at themselves or at life and also give up. By giving up, I mean deciding, Its all hopeless and impossible to make any changes, so why try? The rest of it goes, Just stay the way you are. At least you know how to handle that pain. You dont like it, but it is familiar, and you hope it wont get any worse. To me, habitual anger is like sitting in a comer with a dunce cap on. Does this sound familiar? Something happens, and you get angry. Something else happens, and you get angry again. Something else happens, and you get angry again. Something else happens, and once again you get angry. But you never go beyond getting angry. What good does that do? Its a foolish reaction to waste your time only getting angry. Its also a refusal to perceive life in a new and different way. It would be much more helpful to ask yourself how you are creating so many situations to get angry at. What are you believing that causes all these frustrations? What are you giving out that attracts in others the need to irritate you? Why do you believe that to get your way you need to get angry? 41 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Whatever you give out comes back to you. The more you give out anger, the more you are creating situations for you to get angry at like sitting in a corner with a dunce cap on, getting nowhere. Does this paragraph bring up feelings of anger? Good! It must be hitting home. This is something you could be willing to change Make a Decision to Be Willing to Change! If you really want to know how stubborn you are, just approach the idea of being willing to change. We all want to have our lives change, to have situations become better and easier, but we dont want to have to change. We would prefer that they change. In order to have this happen, we must change inside. We must change our way of thinking, change our way of speaking, change our way of expressing ourselves. Only then will the outer changes occur. This is the next step. We are now fairly clear on what the problems are, and where they came from. Now it is time to be willing to change. I have always had a streak of stubbornness within me. Even now sometimes when I decide to make a change in my life, this stubbornness can come to the surface, and my resistance to changing my thinking is strong. 1 can temporarily become self-righteous, angry, and withdrawn. Yes, this still goes on within me after all these years of work. Its one of my lessons. However, when this happens now, I know Im hitting an important point of change. Every time I decide to make a change in my life, to release something else, Im going ever deeper into myself to do this. Each old layer must give way in order to be replaced with new thinking. Some of it is easy, and some of it is like trying to lift a boulder with a feather. The more tenaciously I hold on to an old belief when I say I want to make a change, the more 1 know this is an important one for me to release. It is only by learning these things that I can teach others. It is my opinion that many really good teachers do not come from joyful households where all was easy. They come from a place o 42 What Do We Do Now? much pain and suffering, and theyve worked through the layers to reach the place where they can now help others to become free. Most good teachers are continually working to release even more, to remove ever-deeper layers of limitation. This becomes a lifetime occupation. The main difference between the way I used to work at releasing beliefs, and the way I do it today, is that now 1 dont have to be angry at myself in order to do so. 1 no longer choose to believe that Im a bad person just because I find something else to change within me. Housecleaning The mental work I do now is like cleaning a house. I go through my mental rooms and examine the thoughts and beliefs in them. Some I love, so I polish and shine them and make them even more useful. Some I notice need replacement or repair, and 1 get around to them as I can. Some are like yesterdays newspapers and old magazines or clothing thats no longer suitable. These I either give away or toss into the trash, and I let them be gone forever. Its not necessary for me to be angry or to feel Im a bad person in order to do this. Exercise: I Am Willing to Change Lets use the affirmation, I am willing to change. Repeat this often. I am willing to change. I am willing to change. You can touch your throat as you say this. The throat is the energy center in the body where change takes place. By touching your throat, you are acknowledging you are in the process of changing. Be willing to allow the changes to happen when they come up in your life. Be aware that where you DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE is exactly the area where you NEED to change the most. I am willing to change. The Universal Intelligence is always responding to your thoughts and words. Things will definitely begin to change as you make these statements. 43 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Many Ways to Change Working with my ideas is not the only way to change. There are many other methods that work quite well. In the back of the book I have included a list of many of the ways you could approach your own growth process. Just think of a few now. There is the spiritual approach, there is the mental approach, and the physical approach. Holistic healing includes body, mind, and spirit. You can begin in any one of these areas as long as you eventually include all the areas. Some begin with the mental approach and do workshops or therapy. Some begin in the spiritual area with meditation or prayer. When you begin to clean your house, it really doesnt matter which room you start in. Just begin in the area that appeals to you most. The others will happen almost by themselves. Junk food eaters who begin on the spiritual level often find that they are drawn to nutrition. They meet a friend or find a book or go to a class that brings them to an understanding that what they put into their bodies will have a lot to do with how they feel and look. One level will always lead to another as long as there is the willingness to grow and change. I give very little nutritional advice because I have discovered that all systems work for some people. 1 do have a local network of good practitioners in the holistic field, and 1 refer clients to them when 1 see the necessity for nutritional knowledge. This is an area where you must find your own way or go to a specialist who can test you. Many of the books on nutrition have been written by persons who were very ill and worked out a system for their own healing. Then they wrote a book to tell everyone else the methods they used. However, everyone is not alike. For instance, the macrobiotic and the natural raw food diets are two totally different approaches. The raw food people never coo anything, seldom eat bread or grains, and are very careful not to>ea^ fruits and vegetables at the same meal. And they never use sa t. macrobiotic people cook almost all of their food, have a different sy tern of food combining, and use a lot of salt. Both systems wo 44 What Do We Do Now? Both systems have healed bodies. But neither system is good for everybodys body. My personal nutritional approach is simple. If it grows, eat it. If it doesnt grow, dont eat it. Be conscious of your eating. Its like paying attention to our thoughts. We also can learn to pay attention to our bodies and the signals we get when we eat in different ways. Cleaning the mental house after a lifetime of indulging in negative mental thoughts is a bit like going on a good nutritional program after a lifetime of indulging in junk foods. They both can often create healing crises. As you begin to change your physical diet, the body begins to throw off the accumulation of toxic residue, and as this happens, you can feel rather rotten for a day or two. So it is when you make a decision to change the mental thought patterns your circumstances can begin to seem worse for a while. Recall for a moment the end of a Thanksgiving dinner. The food is eaten, and its time to clean the turkey pan. The pan is all burnt and crusty, so you put in hot water and soap and let it soak for a while. Then you begin to scrape the pan. Now you really have a mess; it looks worse than ever. But, if you just keep scrubbing away, soon you will have a pan as good as new. Its the same thing with cleaning up a dried-on crusty mental pattern. When we soak it with new ideas, all the gook comes to the surface to look at. Just keep doing the new affirmations, and soon you will have totally cleared an old limitation. Exercise: Willing to Change So we have decided we are willing to change, and we will use any and all methods that work for us. Let me describe one of the methods I use with myself and with others. First: go look in a mirror and say to yourself, I am willing to change. Notice how you feel. If you are hesitant or resistant or just dont want to change, ask yourself why. What old belief are you holding on to? Please dont scold yourself, 45 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE just notice what it is. Ill bet that belief has been causing you a lot of trouble. I wonder where it came from. Do you know? Whether we know where it came from or not, lets do something to dissolve it, now. Again, go to the mirror, and look deep into your own eyes, touch your throat, and say out loud ten times, I am willing to release all resistance. Mirror work is very powerful. As children we received most of our negative messages from others looking us straight in the eye and perhaps shaking a finger at us. Whenever we look into the mirror today, most of us will say something negative to ourselves. We either criticize our looks or berate ourselves for something. To look yourself straight in the eye and make a positive declaration about yourself is, in my opinion, the quickest way to get results with affirmations. 46 In the infinity of life where I am, ad is perfect, whole, and complete. I now choose calmly and objectively to see my old patterns, and I am willing to make changes. I am teachable. I can (earn. I am willing to change. 1 choose to havejun doing this. I choose to react as though I havefound a treasure when I discover something else to release. I see andfeel myself changing moment by moment. Thoughts no longer have any power over me. I am the power in the world. I choose to befree. All is welT in my world. Chapter Six RESISTANCE TO CHANGE I am in the rhythm and flow of ever-changing life. Awareness Is the First Step in Healing or Changing When we have some pattern buried deeply within us, we must become aware of it in order to heal the condition. Perhaps we begin to mention the condition, to complain about it or to see it in other people. It rises to the surface of our attention in some way, and we begin to relate to it. We often attract a teacher, a friend, a class or workshop, or a book to ourselves that begins to awaken new ways to approach the dissolving of the problem. My awakening began with a chance remark of a friend who had been told about a meeting. My friend did not go, but something within me responded, and I went. That little meeting was the first step on my pathway of unfoldment. I didnt recognize the significance of it until sometime later. Often, our reaction to this first stage is to think the approach is silly, or that it doesnt make sense. Perhaps it seems too easy, or unacceptable to our thinking. We dont want to do it. Our resistance comes up very strong. We may even feel angry about the thought of doing it. Such a reaction is very good, if we can understand that it is the first step in our healing process. I tell people that any reaction they may feel is there to show them they are already in the process of healing even though the total heal- 49 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE ing is not yet completed. The truth is that the process begins the moment we begin to think about making a change. Impatience is only another form of resistance. It is resistance to learning and to changing. When we demand that it be done right now, completed at once, then we dont give ourselves time to learn the lesson involved with the problem we have created. If you want to move to another room, you have to get up and move step by step in that direction. Just sitting in your chair and demanding that you be in the other room will not work. Its the same thing. We all want our problem to be over with, but we dont want to do the small things that will add up to the solution. Now is the time to acknowledge our responsibility in having created the situation or condition. Im not talking about having guilt, nor about being a bad person for being where you are. I am saying to acknowledge the power within you that transforms our every thought into experience. In the past we unknowingly used this power to create things we did not want to experience. We were not aware of what we were doing. Now, by acknowledging our responsibility, we become aware and learn to use this power consciously in positive ways for our benefit. Often when I suggest a solution to the client a new way to approach a matter or forgiving the person involved I will see the jaw begin to clench and jut out, and arms cross tightly over the chest. Maybe even fists will form. Resistance is coming to the fore, and I know we have hit upon exactly what needs to be done. We all have lessons to learn. The things that are so difficult for us are only the lessons we have chosen for ourselves. If things are easy for us, then they are not lessons, but are things we already know. Lessons Can Be Learned Through Awareness If you think of the hardest thing for you to do and how much you resist it, then youre looking at your greatest lesson at the moment. Surrendering, giving up the resistance, and allowing yourself to earn what you need to learn, will make the next step even easier. Don t 50 Resistance to Change your resistance stop you from making the changes. We can work on two levels: 1) Looking at the resistance, and 2) Still making the mental changes. Observe yourself, watch how you resist, and then go ahead anyway. Nonverbal Clues Our actions often show our resistance. For instance: Changing the subject Leaving the room Going to the bathroom Being late Getting sick Procrastinating by: doing something else doing busy work wasting time Looking away, or out the window Flipping through a magazine Refusing to pay attention Eating, drinking, or smoking Creating or ending a relationship Creating breakdowns; cars, appliances, plumbing, etc. Assumptions We often assume things about others to justify our resistance. We make statements such as: It wouldnt do any good anyway. My husband/wife wont understand. I would have to change my whole personality. Only crazy people go to therapists. They couldnt help me with my problem. They couldnt handle my anger. 51 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE My case is different. I dont want to bother them. It will work itself out. Nobody else does it. Beliefs We grow up with beliefs that become our resistance to changing. Some of our limiting ideas are: Its not done. Its just not right. Its not right for me to do that. That wouldnt be spiritual. Spiritual people dont get angry. Men/women just dont do that. My family never did that. Love is not for me. Its too far to drive. Its too much work. Its too expensive. It will take too long. I dont believe in it. Im not that kind of person. Them We give our power to others and use that excuse as our resistance to changing. We have ideas like: God doesnt approve. Im waiting for the stars to say its okay. This isnt the right environment. They wont let me change. I dont have the right teacher/book/class/tools. 52 Resistance to Change My doctor doesnt want me to. I cant get time off work. I dont want to be under their spell. Its all their fault. They have to change first. As soon as I get , Ill do it. You/they dont understand. 1 dont want to hurt them. Its against my upbringing, religion, philosophy. Self Concepts We have ideas about ourselves that we use as limitations or resistance to changing. We are: Too old. Too young. Too fat. Too thin. Too short. Too tall. Too lazy. Too strong. Too weak. Too dumb. Too smart. Too poor. Too worthless. Too frivolous. Too serious. Too stuck. Maybe its just all too much. 53 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Delaying Tactics Our resistance often expresses itself as delaying tactics. We use excuses like: Ill do it later. I cant think right now. I dont have the time right now. It would take too much time away from my work. Yes, thats a good idea; Ill do it some other time. 1 have too many other things to do. Ill think about it tomorrow. As soon as I get through with . As soon as I get back from this trip. The time isnt right. Its too late, or too soon. Denial This form of resistance shows up in denial of the need to do any changing. Things like: There is nothing wrong with me. I cant do anything about this problem. I was all right last time. What good would it do to change? If I ignore it, maybe the problem will go away. Fear By far the biggest category of resistance is fear fear of the unknown. Listen to these: Im not ready yet. I might fail. They might reject me. What would the neighbors think? 54 Resistance to Change Im afraid to tell my husband/wife. I might get hurt. 1 may have to change. It might cost me money. I would rather die first, or get a divorce first. I dont want anyone to know I have a problem. Im afraid to express my feelings. I dont want to talk about it. I dont have the energy. Who knows where I might end up? I may lose my freedom. Its too hard to do. I dont have enough money now. I might hurt my back. I wouldnt be perfect. I might lose my friends. I dont trust anyone. It might hurt my image. Im not good enough. And on and on the list goes. Do you recognize some of these as the ways you resist? Look for the resistance in these examples: A client came to me because she was in a lot of pain. She had broken her back, her neck, and her knee in three separate auto accidents. Yet she was late, got lost, and then was stuck in traffic. It was easy for her to tell me all her problems, but the minute I said, Let me talk for a moment, all sorts of turmoil began. Her contact lenses began to bother her. She wanted to sit in another chair. She had to go to the bathroom. Then her lenses had to come out. I could not keep her attention for the rest of the session. It was all resistance. She wasnt ready to let go and be healed. I discovered her sister also had broken her back twice, and so had her mother. Another client was an actor, a mime, a street performer, and quite good at it. He bragged about how clever he was at cheating others, 55 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE especially institutions. He knew how to get away with almost anything, and yet he got away with nothing. He was always broke at least a month behind in the rent, often without a telephone. His clothes were tacky, work was very sporadic, he had lot of pains in his body, and his love life was zilch. His theory was that he couldnt stop cheating until some good came into his life. Of course, with what he was giving out, no good could come into his life. He had to stop cheating first. His resistance was that he was not ready to let go of the old ways. Leave Your Friends Alone Too often instead of working on our own changes, we decide which of our friends needs to change. This, too, is resistance. In the early days of my work, I had a client who would send me to all her friends in the hospital. Instead of sending them flowers, she would have me go to fix up their problems. I would arrive with my tape recorder in hand, usually finding someone in bed who didnt know why I was there or understand what I was doing. This was before I learned never to work with anyone unless he or she requested it. Sometimes clients come to me because a friend has given them a session as a present. This usually doesnt work too well, and they seldom come back for further work. When something works well for us, we often want to share it with others. But they may not be ready to make a change at that point in time and space. Its hard enough to make changes when we want to, but to try to make someone else change when he or she doesn t want to is impossible, and it can ruin a good friendship. I push my clients because they come to me. I leave my friends alone. Mirror Work Mirrors reflect back to us our feelings about ourselves. They show us clearly the areas to be changed if we want to have a joyous, filling life. 56 Resistance to Change l ask people to look in their eyes and say something positive about themselves every time they pass a mirror. The most powerful way to do affirmations is to look in a mirror and say them out loud. You are immediately aware of the resistance and can move through it quicker. Its good to have a mirror with you as you read this book. Use it often for affirmations and to check where you are resisting and where you are open and flowing. Now, look in a mirror and say to yourself, I am willing to change. Notice how you feel. If you are hesitant, resistant, or just dont want to change, ask yourself why. What old belief are you holding on to? This is not a time to scold yourself. Just notice what is going on and what belief rises to the surface. That is the one that has been causing you a lot of trouble. Can you recognize where it came from? When we do our affirmations and they dont feel right or nothing seems to happen, its so easy to say, Oh, affirmations dont work. Its not that the affirmations dont work, its that we need to do another step before we begin affirmations. Repeated Patterns Show Us Our Needs For every habit we have, for every experience we go through over and over, for every pattern we repeat, there is a NEED WITHIN US for it. The need corresponds to some belief we have. If there were not a need, we wouldnt have it, do it, or be it. There is something within us that needs the fat, the poor relationships, the failures, the cigarettes, the anger, the poverty, the abuse, or whatever there is thats a problem for us. How many times have we said, I wont ever do that again!? Then, before the day is up, we have the piece of cake, smoke the cigarettes, say hateful things to the ones we love, and so on. Then we compound the whole problem by angrily saying to ourselves, Oh, you have no willpower, no discipline. Youre just weak. This only adds to the load of guilt we already carry. 57 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE It Has Nothing to Do with Willpower or Discipline Whatever we are trying to release in our lives is just a symptom, an outer effect. Trying to eliminate the symptom without working on dissolving the cause is useless. The moment we release our willpower or discipline, the symptom crops up again. Willingness to Release the Need I say to clients, There must be a need in you for this condition, or you wouldnt have it. Lets go back a step and work on the WILLINGNESS TO RELEASE THE NEED. When the need is gone, you will have no desire for the cigarette or the overeating or the negative pattern. One of the first affirmations to use is: I am willing to release the NEED for the resistance, or the headache, or the constipation, or the excess weight, or the lack of money or whatever. Say: I am willing to release the need for. . . If you are resisting at this point, then your other affirmations cannot work. The webs we create around ourselves need to be unwound. If you have ever untangled a ball of string, you know that yanking and pulling only makes it worse. You need to very gently and patiently unravel the knots. Be gentle and patient with yourself as you untangle your own mental knots. Get help if you need it. Above all, love yourself in the process. The willingness to let go of the old is the key. That is the secret. When I say needing the problem, 1 mean that according to our particular set of thought patterns, we need to have certain outer effects or experiences. Every outer effect is the natural expression of an inner thought pattern. To battle only the outer effect or symptom is wasted energy and often increases the problem. 58 Resistance to Change I Am Unworthy Creates Procrastination If one of my inner belief systems or thought patterns is, I am unworthy, then one of my outer effects will probably be procrastination. After all, procrastination is one way to keep us from getting where we say we want to go. Most people who procrastinate will spend a lot of time and energy berating themselves for procrastinating. They will call themselves lazy and generally will make themselves out to feel they are bad persons. Resentment of Anothers Good I had a client who loved attention and usually came to class late so he could create a stir. He had been the baby of 18 children, and he came last on the list of getting. As a child he watched everyone else have while he just longed for his own. Even now when someone had good fortune, he would not rejoice with them. Instead he would say, Oh, I wish I had that, or Oh, why dont I ever get that? His resentment of their good was a barrier to his own growth and change. Self-Worth Opens Many Doors A client who was 79 came to me. She taught singing, and several of her students were making television commercials. She wanted to do this, too, but was afraid. I supported her totally and explained, There is nobody like you. Just be yourself. I said, Do it for the fun of it. There are people out there looking for exactly what you have to offer. Let them know you exist. She called several agents and casting directors, and said, I am a senior, senior citizen, and I want to do commercials. In a short time, she had a commercial, and since then shes never stopped working. I often see her on TV and in magazines. New careers can start at any age, especially when you do it for the fun of it. 59 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Self-Criticizing Is Totally Missing the Mark It will only intensify the procrastination and laziness. The place to put the mental energy is into releasing the old and creating a new thought pattern. Say: I am willing to release the need to he unworthy. I am worthy of the very best in life, and 1 now lovingly allow myself to accept it. As I spend afew days doing this affirmation over and over, my outer effect pattern of procrastination will automatically begin to fade. As I internally create a pattern of self-worth, then I no longer have the need to delay my good. Do you see how this could apply to some of the negative patterns or outer effects in your life? Lets stop wasting time and energy putting ourselves down for something we cant help doing if we have certain inner beliefs. Change the beliefs. No matter how you approach it, or what subject matter we are talking about, we are only dealing with thoughts, and thoughts can be changed. When we want to change a condition, we need to say so. I am willing to release the pattern within me that is creating this condition. You can say this to yourself over and over every time you think of your illness or problem. The minute you say it, you are stepping out of the victim class. You are no longer helpless; you are acknowledging your own power. You are saying, I am beginning to understand that I created this. I now take my own power back. I am going to release this old idea and let it go. Self-Criticism I have a client who will eat a pound of butter and everything else she can get ahold of when she cannot bear to be with her own negative thoughts. The next day she will be angry at her body for being heavy. When she was a little girl, she would walk around the family dinner table finishing off everyones leftovers and eating a whole 60 Resistance to Change stick of butter. The family would laugh and think it was cute. It was almost the only approval she got from her family. When you scold yourself, when you berate yourself, when you beat yourself up, who do you think youre treating this way? Almost all of our programming, both negative and positive, was accepted by us by the time we were three years old. Our experiences since then are based upon what we accepted and believed about ourselves and about life at that time. The way we were treated when we were very little is usually the way we treat ourselves now. The person you are scolding is a three-year-old child within you. If you are a person who gets angry at yourself for being afraid and fearful, think of yourself as being three years old. If you had a little three-year-old child in front of you who was afraid, what would you do? Would you be angry at him, or would you reach out your arms and comfort the child until he felt safe and at ease? The adults around you when you were a child may not have known how to comfort you at that time. Now you are the adult in your life, and if youre not comforting the child within you, then that is very sad indeed. What was done in the past is done, and it is over now. But this is present time, and you now have the opportunity to treat yourself the way you wish to be treated. A frightened child needs comforting, not scolding. Scolding yourself only makes you more frightened, and there is nowhere to turn. When the child within feels unsafe, it creates a lot of trouble. Remember how it felt to be belittled when you were young? It feels the same way now to that child within. Be kind to yourself. Begin to love and approve of yourself. Thats what that little child needs in order to express itself at its highest potential. 61 In the infinity of lift where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I see any resistance patterns within me only as something else to release. They have no power over me. I am the power in my world. I flow with the changes taking place in my life as best I can. I approve of myself and the way I am changing. I am doing the best I can. Each day gets easier. I rejoice that I am in the rhythm andflow ofmy ever-changing life. Today is a wonderful day. I cfioose to make it so. All is well in my world Chapter Seven HOW TO CHANGE I cross bridges with joy and with ease. I love how tos. All the theory in the world is useless unless we know how to apply it and make a change. 1 have always been a very pragmatic, practical person with a great need to know how to do things. The principles we will be working with at this time are: Nurturing the willingness to let go, Controlling the mind, and Learning how forgiveness of self and others releases us. Releasing the Need Sometimes when we try to release a pattern, the whole situation seems to get worse for a while. This is not a bad thing. It is a sign that the situation is beginning to move. Our affirmations are working, and we need to keep going. Examples We are working on increasing prosperity, and we lose our wallet. We are working on improving our relationships, and we have a fight. We are working on becoming healthy, and we catch a cold. 63 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE We are working on expressing our creative talents and abilities, and we get fired. Sometimes the problem moves in a different direction, and we begin to see and understand more. For example, lets assume you are trying to give up smoking and you are saying, I am willing to release the need for cigarettes. As you continue to do this, you notice your relationships becoming more uncomfortable. Dont despair, this is a sign of the process working. You might ask yourself a series of questions like: Am 1 willing to give up uncomfortable relationships? Were my cigarettes creating a smoke screen so I wouldnt see how uncomfortable these relationships are? Why am I creating these relationships? You notice the cigarettes are only a symptom and not a cause. Now you are developing insight and understanding that will set you free. You begin to say, I am willing to release the need for uncomfortable relationships. Then you notice the reason youre so uncomfortable is that other people always seem to be criticizing you. Being aware that we always create all of our experiences, you now begin to say, I am willing to release the need to be criticized. You then think about criticism, and you realize that as a child you received a lot of criticism. That little kid inside of you only feels at home when it is being criticized. Your way of hiding from this had been to create a smoke screen. Perhaps you see the next step as affirming, I am willing to forgive... As you continue to do your affirmations, you may find that cigarettes no longer attract you, and the people in your life no longer criticize you. Then you know you have released your need. This usually takes a little while to work out. If you are gently persistent and are willing to give yourself a few quiet moments each day to reflect on your process of change, you will get the answers. The Intelligence within you is the same Intelligence that created this entire planet. Trust your Inner Guidance to reveal to you whatever it is you need to know. 64 How to Change Exercise: Releasing the Need In a workshop situation, I would have you do this exercise with a partner. However, you can do it equally as well using a mirror a big one, if possible. Think for a moment about something in your life you want to change. Go to the mirror and look into your eyes and say out loud, I now realize that 1 have created this condition, and I am now willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that is responsible for this condition. Say it several times, with feeling. If you were with a partner, I would have your partner tell you if he really thought you meant it. I would want you to convince your partner. Ask yourself if you really mean it. Convince yourself in the mirror that this time you are ready to step out of the bondage of the past. At this point many people get scared because they dont know HOW to do this releasing. They are afraid to commit themselves until they know all the answers. Its only more resistance. Just pass through it. One of the great things is that we do not have to know how. All we need is to be willing. The Universal Intelligence or your subconscious mind will figure out the hows. Every thought you think and every word you speak is being responded to, and the point of power is in the moment. The thoughts you are thinking and the words you are declaring at this moment are creating your future. Your Mind Is a Tool You are much more than your mind. You may think your mind is running the show. But that is only because you have trained your mind to think in this way. You can also untrain and retrain this tool of yours. 65 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Your mind is a tool for you to use in any way you wish. The way you now use your mind is only a habit, and habits, any habits, can be changed if we want to do so, or even if we only know it is possible to do so. Quiet the chatter of your mind for a moment, and really think about this concept: YOUR MIND IS A TOOL YOU CAN CHOOSE TO USE ANY WAY YOU WISH. The thoughts you choose to think create the experiences you have. If you believe that it is hard or difficult to change a habit or a thought, then your choice of this thought will make it true for you. If you would choose to think, It is becoming easier for me to make changes, then your choice of this thought will make that true for you. Controlling the Mind There is an incredible power and intelligence within you constantly responding to your thoughts and words. As you learn to control your mind by the conscious choice of thoughts, you align yourself with this power. Do not think your mind is in control. You are in control of your mind. You use your mind. You can stop thinking those old thoughts. When your old thinking tries to come back and say, Its so hard to change, take mental control. Say to your mind, I now choose to believe it is becoming easier for me to make changes. You may have to have this conversation with your mind several times for it to acknowledge that you are in control and that what you say goes. The Only Thing You Ever Have Any Control of Is Your Current Thought Your old thoughts are gone; there is nothing you can do about them except live out the experiences they caused. Your current thought, the one you are thinking right now, is totally under your control. 66 How to Change Example If you have a little child who has been allowed to stay up as late as he wishes for a long time, and then you make a decision that you now want this child to go to bed at 8:00 every night, what do you think the first night will be like? The child will rebel against this new rule and may kick and scream and do his best to stay out of bed. If you relent at this time, the child wins and will try to control you forever. However, if you calmly stick to your decision and firmly insist that this is the new bedtime, the rebellion will lessen. In two or three nights, the new routine will be established. It is the same thing with your mind. Of course it will rebel at first. It does not want to be retrained. But you are in control, and if you stay focused and firm, in a very short time the new way of thinking will be established. And you will feel so good to realize that you are not a helpless victim ofyour own thoughts, but rather a master ofyour own mind. Exercise: Letting Go As you read this, take a deep breath and, as you exhale, allow all the tension to leave your body. Let your scalp and your forehead and your face relax. Your head does not need to be tense in order for you to read. Let your tongue and your throat and your shoulders relax. You can hold a book with relaxed arms and hands. Do that now. Let your back and your abdomen and your pelvis relax. Let your breathing be at peace as you relax your legs and feet. Is there a big change in your body since you began the previous paragraph? Notice how much you hold on. If you are doing it with your body, you are doing it with your mind. In this relaxed, comfortable position, say to yourself, I am willing to let go. I release. I let go. I release all ten- 67 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE sion. 1 release all fear. I release all anger. I release all guilt. I release all sadness. I let go of all old limitations. I let go, and I am at peace. 1 am at peace with myself. I am at peace with the process of life. I am safe. Go over this exercise two or three times. Feel the ease of letting go. Repeat it whenever you feel thoughts of difficulty coming up. It takes a little practice for the routine to become a part of you. When you put yourself into this peaceful state first, it becomes easy for your affirmations to take hold. You become open and receptive to them. There is no need to struggle or stress or strain. Just relax and think the appropriate thoughts. Yes, it is this easy. Physical Releasing Sometimes we need to experience a physical letting go. Experiences and emotions can get locked in the body. Screaming in the car with all the windows rolled up can be very releasing if we have been stifling our verbal expression. Beating the bed or kicking pillows is a harmless way to release pent-up anger, as is playing tennis or running. Awhile ago, I had a pain in my shoulder for a day or two. I tried to ignore it, but it wouldnt go away. Finally, I sat down and asked myself, What is happening here? What am I feeling? I realized, It feels like burning. Burning. . .burning. . . that means anger. What are you angry about? I couldnt think of what I was angry about, so I said, Well, lets see if we can find out. I put two large pillows on the bed and began to hit them with a lot of energy. After about twelve hits, I realized exactly what I was angry about. It was so clear. So I beat the pillows even harder and made some noise and released the emotions from my body. When I got through, I felt much better, and the next day my shoulder was fine. 68 How to Change Letting the Past Hold You Back Many people come to me and say they cannot enjoy today because of something that happened in the past. Because they did not do something or do it in a certain way in the past, they cannot live a full life today. Because they no longer have something they had in the past, they cannot enjoy today. Because they were hurt in the past, they will not accept love now. Because something unpleasant happened when they did something once, they are sure it will happen again today. Because they once did something that they are sorry for, they are sure they are bad people forever. Because once someone did something to them, it is now all the other persons fault that their life is not where they want it to be. Because they became angry over a situation in the past, they will hold on to that self-righteousness. Because of some very old experience where they were treated badly, they will never forgive and forget. Because I did not get invited to the high school prom, I cannot enjoy life today. Because I did poorly at my first audition, I will be terrified of auditions forever. Because 1 am no longer married, I cannot live a full life today. Because I was hurt by a remark once, I will never trust anyone again. Because I stole something once, I must punish myself forever. Because 1 was poor as a child, I will never get anywhere. What we often refuse to realize is that holding on to the past no matter what it was or how awful it was is ONLY HURTING US. They really dont care. Usually, they are not even aware. We are only hurting ourselves by refusing to live in this moment to the fullest. The past is over and done and cannot be changed. This is the only moment we can experience. Even when we lament about the past, we are experiencing our memory of it in this moment, and losing the real experience of this moment in the process. 69 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Exercise: Releasing Let us now clean up the past in our minds. Release the emotional attachment to it. Allow the memories to be just memories. If you think back to what you used to wear in the third grade, usually there is no emotional attachment. Its just a memory. It can be the same for all of the past events in our lives. As we let go, we become free to use all of our mental power to enjoy this moment and to create a great future. List all the things you are willing to let go of. How willing are you to do this? Notice your reactions. What will you have to do to let these things go? How willing are you to do so? What is your resistance level? Forgiveness Next step, forgiveness. Forgiveness of ourselves and of others releases us from the past. The Course in Miracles says over and over that forgiveness is the answer to almost everything. I know that when we are stuck, it usually means there is some more forgiving to be done. When we do not flow freely with life in the present moment, it usually means we are holding on to a past moment. It can be regret, sadness, hurt, fear, or guilt, blame, anger, resentment, and sometimes even the desire for revenge. Each one of these states comes from a space of unforgiveness, a refusal to let go and come into the present moment. Love is always the answer to healing of any sort. And the pathway to love is forgiveness. Forgiveness dissolves resentment. There are several ways in which I approach this. Exercise: Dissolving Resentment There is an old Emmet Fox exercise for dissolving resentment that always works. He recommends that you sit quietly, close your eyes, and allow your mind and 70 How to Change body to relax. Then, imagine yourself sitting in a darkened theater, and in front of you is a small stage. On that stage, place the person you resent the most. It could be someone in the past or present, living or dead. When you see this person clearly, visualize good things happening to this person things that would be meaningful to him. See him smiling and happy. Hold this image for a few minutes, then let it fade away. I like to add another step. As this person leaves the stage, put yourself up there. See good things happening to you. See yourself smiling and happy. Be aware that the abundance of the Universe is available to all of us. The above exercise dissolves the dark clouds of resentment most of us carry. For some, it will be very difficult to do. Each time you do it, you may get a different person. Do it once a day for a month, and notice how much lighter you feel. Exercise: Revenge Those on the spiritual pathway know the importance of forgiveness. For some of us, there is a step that is necessary before we can totally forgive. Sometimes the little kid in us needs to have revenge before it is free to forgive. For that, this exercise is very helpful. Close your eyes, sit quietly and peacefully. Think of the people who are hardest to forgive. What would you really like to do to them? What do they need to do to get your forgiveness? Imagine that happening now. Get into the details. How long do you want them to suffer or do penance? When you feel complete, condense time and let it be over forever. Usually at this point you feel lighter, and it is easier to think about forgiveness. To indulge in this every day would not be good for you. To do it once as a closing exercise can be freeing. 71 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Exercise: Forgiveness Now we are ready to forgive. Do this exercise with a partner if you can, or do it out loud if you are alone. Again, sit quietly with your eyes closed and say, The person I need to forgive is and 1 forgive you for . Do this over and over. You will have many things to forgive some for and only one or two to forgive others for. If you have a partner, let him say to you, Thank you, I set you free now. If you do not, then imagine the person you are forgiving saying it to you. Do this for at least five or ten minutes. Search your heart for the injustices you still carry. Then let them go. When you have cleared as much as you can for now, turn your attention to yourself. Say out loud to yourself, I forgive myself for . Do this for another five minutes or so. These are powerful exercises and good to do at least once a week to clear out any remaining rubbish. Some experiences are easy to let go and some we have to chip away at, until suddenly one day they let go and dissolve. Exercise: Visualization Another good exercise. Have someone read this one to you if you can, or put it on tape and listen to it. Begin to visualize yourself as a little child of five or six. Look deeply into this little childs eyes. See the longing that is there and realize that there is only one thing this little child wants from you, and that is love. So reach out your arms and embrace this child. Hold it with love and tenderness. Tell it how much you love it, how much you care. Admire everything about this child and say that its okay to make mistakes while learning. Promise that you will always be there no matter what. Now let this little child get very small, until it is just the 72 How to Change size to fit into your heart. Put it there so whenever you look down, you can see this little face looking up at you, and you can give it lots of love. Now visualize your mother as a little girl of four or five, frightened and looking for love and not knowing where to find it. Reach out your arms and hold this little girl and let her know how much you love her, how much you care. Let her know she can rely on you to always be there, no matter what. When she quiets down and begins to feel safe, let her get very small, just the size to fit into your heart. Put her there with your own little child. Let them give each other lots of love. Now imagine your father as a little boy of three or four frightened, crying, and looking for love. See the tears rolling down his little face when he doesnt know where to turn. You have become good at comforting frightened little children, so reach out your arms and hold his trembling little body. Comfort him. Croon to him. Let him feel how much you love him. Let him feel that you will always be there for him. When his tears are dry, and you feel the love and peace in his little body, let him get very small, just the size to fit into your heart. Put him there so those three little children can give each other lots of love and you can love them all. * * * There is so much love in your heart that you could heal the entire planet. But just for now let us use this love to heal you. Feel a warmth beginning to glow in your heart center, a softness, a gentleness. Let this feeling begin to change the way you think and talk about yourself. 73 In the infinity of lift where I am, ail is perfect, whole, and complete. Change is the natural law ofmy life. I welcome change. I am willing to change. I cfioose to change my thinking. I choose to change the words I use. I movefrom the old to the new with, ease and with. joy. It is easierfor me to forgive than I thought. Forgiving makes mefeelfree and light. It is witfijqy that I learn to love myself more and more. The more resentment I release, the more love I have to express. Changing my thoughts makes mefeel good. I am learning to choose to make today a pleasure to experience. All is well in my world Chapter Eight BUILDING THE NEW The answers within me come to my awareness with ease. I dont want to be fat. I dont want to be broke. I dont want to be old. I dont want to live here. I dont want to have this relationship. I dont want to be like my mother/father. I dont want to be stuck in this job. I dont want to have this hair/nose/body. I dont want to be lonely. I dont want to be unhappy. I dont want to be sick. What You Put Your Attention on Grows The above shows how we are culturally taught to fight the negative mentally thinking that if we do so, the positive will automatically come to us. It doesnt work that way. How often have you lamented about what you didnt want? Did it ever bring you what you really wanted? Fighting the negative is a total waste of time if you really want to make changes in your life. The more you dwell on what you don't want, the more of it you create. 75 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE The things about yourself or your life that you have always disliked are probably still with you. What you put your attention on grows and becomes permanent in your life. Move away from the negative, and put your attention on what it is that you really do want to be or have. Lets turn the above negative affirmations into positive affirmations. I am slender. I am prosperous. I am eternally young. I now move to a better place. 1 have a wonderful new relationship. I am my own person. I love my hair/nose/body. I am filled with love and affection. I am joyous and happy and free. I am totally healthy. Affirmations Learn to think in positive affirmations. Affirmations can be any statement you make. Too often we think in negative affirmations. Negative affirmations only create more of what you say you dont want. Saying, I hate my job, will get you nowhere. Declaring, 1 now accept a wonderful new job, will open the channels in your consciousness to create that. Continually make positive statements about how you want your life to be. However, there is one point that is very important in this. Always make your statement in the PRESENT TENSE, such as I am or I have. Your subconscious mind is such an obedient servant that if you declare in the future tense, 1 want, or I will have, then that is where that idea will always stay just out of your reach in the future! 76 Building the New The Process of Loving the Self As I have said before, no matter what the problem, the main issue to work on is LOVING THE SELF. This is the magic wand that dissolves problems. Remember the times when you have felt good about yourself and how well your life was going? Remember the times when you were in love and for those periods you seemed to have no problems? Well, loving yourself is going to bring such a surge of good feelings and good fortune to you that you will be dancing on air. LOVING YOURSELF MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. It is impossible to really love yourself unless you have selfapproval and self-acceptance. This means no criticism whatsoever. I can hear all the objections right now. But I have always criticized myself. How can I possibly like that about myself? My parents/teachers/lovers always criticized me. How will I be motivated? But it is wrong for me to do those things. How am I going to change if I dont criticize myself? Training the Mind Self-criticism such as that illustrated above is just the mind going on with old chatter. See how you have trained your mind to berate you and be resistant to change? Ignore those thoughts and get on with the important work at hand! Lets go back to an exercise we did earlier. Look into the mirror again, and say, I love and approve of myself exactly as I am. How does that feel now? Is it a little easier after the forgiveness work we have done? This is still the main issue. Self-approval and self-acceptance are the keys to positive changes. In the days when my own self-denial was so prevalent, I would occasionally slap my own face. I didnt know the meaning of selfacceptance. My belief in my own lacks and limitations was stronger than anything anyone else could say to the contrary. If someone told 77 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE me I was loved, my immediate reaction was, Why? What could anyone possibly see in me? Or the classic thought, If they only knew what I was really like inside, they wouldnt love me. I was not aware that all good begins with accepting that which is within ones self, and loving that self which is you. It took quite a while to develop a peaceful, loving relationship with myself. First, I used to hunt for the little things about myself that 1 thought were good qualities. Even this helped, and my own health began to improve. Good health begins with loving the self. So do prosperity and love and creative self-expression. Later I learned to love and approve of all of me, even those qualities I thought were not good enough. That was when I really began to make progress. Exercise: I Approve of Myself I have given this exercise to hundreds of people, and the results are phenomenal. For the next month, say over and over to yourself, I APPROVE OF MYSELE Do this three or four hundred times a day, at least. No, its not too many times. When you are worrying, you go over your problem at least that many times. Let I approve of myself become a walking mantra, something you just say over and over and over to yourself, almost nonstop. Saying I approve of myself is a guaranteed way to bring up everything buried in your consciousness that is in opposition. When negative thoughts come up, such as, How can I approve of myself when I am fat? or Its silly to think this can do any good, or I am no good, or whatever your negative babble will be, this is the time to take mental control. Give these thoughts no importance. Just see them for what they are another way to keep you stuck in the past. Gently say to these thoughts, I let you go; I approve of myself. Even considering doing this exercise can bring up a lot of stuff, like It feels silly, It doesnt feel true, Its 78 Building the New a lie, It sounds stuck up, or How can 1 approve of myself when I do that? Let all these thoughts just pass through. These are only resistance thoughts. They have no power over you unless you choose to believe them. I approve of myself, I approve of myself, I approve of myself. No matter what happens, no matter who says what to you, no matter who does what to you, just keep it going. In fact, when you can say that to yourself when someone is doing something you dont approve of, you will know you are growing and changing. Thoughts have no power over us unless we give in to them. Thoughts are only words strung together. They have NO MEANING WHATSOEVER. Only we give meaning to them. Let us choose to think thoughts that nourish and support us. Part of self-acceptance is releasing other peoples opinions. If I were with you and kept telling you, You are a purple pig, you are a purple pig. You would either laugh at me, or get annoyed with me and think I was crazy. It would be most unlikely that you would think it was true. Yet many of the things we have chosen to believe about ourselves are just as far out and untrue. To believe that your selfworth is dependent on the shape of your body is your version of believing that You are a purple pig. Often what we think of as the things wrong" with us are only our expressions of our own individuality. This is our uniqueness and what is special about us. Nature never repeats itself. Since time began on this planet, there have never been two snowflakes alike or two raindrops the same. And every daisy is different from every other daisy. Our fingerprints are different, and we are different. We are meant to be different. When we can accept this, then there is no competition and no comparison. To try to be like another is to shrivel our soul. We have come to this planet to express who we are. I didnt even know who I was until I began to learn to love myself as I am in this moment. 79 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Put Your Awareness into Practice Think thoughts that make you happy. Do things that make you feel good. Be with people who make you feel good. Eat things that make your body feel good. Go at a pace that makes you feel good. Planting Seeds Think for a moment of a tomato plant. A healthy plant can have over a hundred tomatoes on it. In order to get this tomato plant with all these tomatoes on it, we need to start with a small dried seed. That seed doesnt look like a tomato plant. It sure doesnt taste like a tomato plant. If you didnt know for sure, you would not even believe it could be a tomato plant. However, lets say you plant this seed in fertile soil, and you water it and let the sun shine on it. When the first little tiny shoot comes up, you dont stomp on it and say, Thats not a tomato plant. Rather, you look at it and say, Oh boy! Here it comes, and you watch it grow with delight. In time, if you continue to water it and give it lots of sunshine and pull away any weeds, you might have a tomato plant with more than a hundred luscious tomatoes. It all began with that one tiny seed. It is the same with creating a new experience for yourself. The soil you plant in is your subconscious mind. The seed is the new affirmation. The whole new experience is in this tiny seed. You water it with affirmations. You let the sunshine of positive thoughts beam on it. You weed the garden by pulling out the negative thoughts that come up. And when you first see the tiniest little evidence, you dont stomp on it and say, Thats not enough! Instead, you look at this first breakthrough and exclaim with glee, Oh boy! Here it comes! Its working! Then you watch it grow and become your desire in manifestation. 80 Building the New Exercise: Create New Changes Now is the time to take your list of things that are wrong with you and turn them into positive affirmations. Or you can list all the changes you want to make and have and do. Then select three from this list and turn them into positive affirmations. Just suppose your negative list was something like this: My life is a mess. I should lose weight. Nobody loves me. I want to move. 1 hate my job. I should get organized. I dont do enough. Im not good enough. You can then turn them around to something like this: I am willing to release the pattern in me that created these conditions. I am in the process of positive changes. I have a happy, slender body. I experience love wherever I go. I have the perfect living space. I now create a wonderful new job. I am now very well organized. I appreciate all that I do. I love and approve of myself. I trust the process of life to bring me my highest good. I deserve the best, and I accept it now. Out of this group of affirmations will come all the things you want to change on your list. Loving and approving of yourself, creating a space of safety, trusting and deserving and accepting, will enable your body weight to normalize. They will create organization in your mind, create loving relationships in your life, attract a new job and a 81 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE new place to live. It is miraculous the way a tomato plant grows. It is miraculous the way we can demonstrate our desires. Deserving Your Good Do you believe that you deserve to have your desire? If you dont, you wont allow yourself to have it. Circumstances beyond your control will crop up to frustrate you. Exercise: I Deserve Look in your mirror again, and say, I deserve to have or be , and I accept it now. Say it two or three times. How do you feel? Always pay attention to your feelings, to what is going on in your body. Does it feel true, or do you still feel unworthy? If you have any negative feelings in your body, then go back to affirming, 1 release the pattern in my consciousness that is creating resistance to my good. I deserve . Repeat this until you get the acceptance feelings, even if you have to do it several days in a row. Holistic Philosophy In our approach to Building the New, we want to use a holistic approach. The holistic philosophy is to nurture and nourish the entire being the Body, the Mind, and the Spirit. If we ignore any of these areas, we are incomplete; we lack wholeness. It doesn t mat ter where we start as long as we also include the other areas. IIf we begin with the body, we would want to work with nutrition, to learn the relationship between our choice of food and beverages, and how they affect the way we feel. We want to make the est choices for our body. There are herbs and vitamins, homeopat y an Bach Flower Remedies. We might explore colonics. 82 Building the New We would want to find a form of exercise that appeals to us. Exercise is something that strengthens our bones and keeps our bodies young. In addition to sports and swimming, consider dancing, Tai-Chi, martial arts, and yoga. I love my trampoline and use it daily. My slant board enhances my periods of relaxation. We might want to explore some form of body work such as Rolfing, Heller Work or Trager. Massage, foot reflexology, acupuncture, or chiropractic work are all beneficial, as well. There is also the Alexander Method, Bioenergetics, Feldenkrais, Touch for Health, and Reiki forms of body work. With the mind, we could explore visualization techniques, guided imagery, and affirmations. There are lots of psychological techniques: Gestalt, hypnosis, rebirthing, psychodrama, past-life regressions, art therapy, and even dream work. Meditation in any of its forms is a wonderful way to quiet the mind and allow your own knowingness to come to the surface. I usually just sit with my eyes closed and say, What is it 1 need to know? and then I wait quietly for an answer. If the answer comes, fine; if it doesnt, fine. It will come another day. There are groups that do workshops for all different tastes such as Insight, Loving Relationships Training, Advocate Experience, the Ken Keyes group, Actualizations, and many more. Many of these groups do weekend workshops. These weekends give you a chance to see a whole new viewpoint about life. No one workshop will totally clear up ALL your problems forever. However, they can assist you in changing your life in the here and now. In the Spiritual Realm, there is prayer, there is meditation, and becoming connected with your Higher Source. For me, practicing forgiveness and unconditional love are spiritual practices. There are many spiritual groups. In addition to the Christian churches, there are metaphysical churches, such as Religious Science and Unity. There is the Self-Realization Fellowship, M.S.I.A., Transcendental Meditation, the Siddha Foundation, and so on. I want you to know that there are many, many avenues you can explore. If one way doesnt work for you, try another. All these sug- 83 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE gestions have proved to be beneficial. 1 cannot say which one is right for you. That is something you will have to discover for yourself. No one method or one person or one group has all the answers for everyone. I dont have all the answers for everyone. 1 am just one more stepping stone on the pathway to holistic health. 84 In the infinity of lift where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. My life is ever new. Each moment ofmy life is new andfresh and vital. I use my affirmative thinking to create exactly what 1 want. Tftis is a new day. I am a new me. I think differently. I speak differently. I act differently. Others treat me differently. My new world is a refection ofmy new thinking. It is ajoy and a delight to plant new seeds, for I know these seeds will become my new experiences. All is well in my world. Chapter Nine DAILY WORK I enjoy practicing my new mental skills. If Children Gave Up When They Fell for the First Time, They Would Never Learn to Walk Like any other new thing you are learning, it takes practice to make it part of your life. First there is a lot of concentration, and some of us choose to make this hard work. I dont like to think of it as hard work, but rather as something new to learn. The process of learning is always the same no matter what the subjectwhether youre learning to drive a car, or type, or play tennis, or think in a positive manner. First, we fumble and bumble as our subconscious mind learns by trial, and yet, every time we come back to our practicing, it gets easier, and we do it a little better. Of course, you wont be perfect the first day. You will be doing whatever you can do. Thats good enough for a start. Say to yourself often, Im doing the best I can. Always Support Yourself I well remember my first lecture. When I came down from the podium, I immediately said to myself, Louise, you were wonderful. You were absolutely fantastic for the first time. When you have done five or six of these, you will be a pro. 87 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE A couple of hours later, I said to myself, I think we could change a few things. Lets adjust this, and lets adjust that. I refused to criticize myself in any way. If I had come off the podium and begun berating myself with Oh, you were so awful. You made this mistake, and you made that mistake, then I would have dreaded my second lecture. As it was, the second one was better than the first, and by the sixth one, I was feeling like a pro. Seeing The Law Working All Around Us Just before I began writing this book, I bought myself a word processor/computer. I called her my Magic Lady. It was something new I chose to learn. I discovered that learning the computer was very much like learning the Spiritual Laws. When I learned the computers laws, then she did indeed perform magic for me. When I did not follow her laws to the letter, then either nothing would happen or it would not work the way I wanted it to work. She would not give an inch. I could get as frustrated as I wanted while she patiently waited for me to learn her laws, and then she gave me magic. It took practice. Its the same with the work youre learning to do now. You must leant the Spiritual Laws and follow them to the letter. You cannot bend them to your old way of thinking. You must learn and follow the new language, and when you do, then magic will be demonstrated in your life. Reinforce Your Learning The more ways you can reinforce your new learning, the better. I suggest: Expressing Gratitude Writing Affirmations Sitting in Meditation 88 Daily Work Enjoying Exercise Practicing Good Nutrition Doing Affirmations Aloud Singing Affirmations Taking Time for Relaxation Exercises Using Visualization, Mental Imagery Reading and Study My Daily Work My own daily work goes something like this. My first thoughts on awakening before I open my eyes are to be thankful for everything I can think of. After a shower, I take half an hour or so to meditate and do my affirmations and prayers. Then after about 15 minutes of exercise, usually on the trampoline, I will sometimes work out with the 6:00 a.m. aerobic program on television. Now Im ready for breakfast consisting of fruit and fruit juices and herbal tea. I thank the Earth Mother for providing this food for me, and 1 thank the food for giving its life to nourish me. Before lunch I like to go to a mirror and do some affirmations out loud; I may even sing them something like: Louise, you are wonderful, and I love you. This is one of the best days ofyour life. Everything is working out for your highest good. Whatever you need to know is revealed to you. Whatever you need comes to you. All is well. Lunch is often a large salad. Again, the food is blessed and thanked. In the late afternoon, I spend a few minutes on my slant board, allowing my body to experience some deep relaxation. I may listen to a tape at this time. 89 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Dinner will be steamed vegetables and a grain. Sometimes Ill eat fish or chicken. My body works best on simple food. I like to share dinner with others, and we bless each other in addition to the food Sometimes in the evening, I take a few moments to read and study There is always more to learn. At this time I may also write out my current affirmation 10 or 20 times. As I go to bed, I collect my thoughts. I go over the events of the day and bless each activity. I affirm that I will sleep deeply and soundly, awakening in the morning bright and refreshed and looking forward to the new day. Sounds overwhelming, doesnt it? To begin with, it seems like a lot to cope with, but after a short period of time, your new way of thinking will become as much a part of your life as bathing or brushing your teeth. You will do it automatically and easily. It would be wonderful for a family in the morning to do some of these things together. Meditating together in the morning to start the day or just before dinner brings peace and harmony to all. If you think you dont have the time, you might get up half an hour earlier. The benefits would be well worth the effort. How Do You Begin Your Day? What is the first thing you say in the morning when you wake up? We all have something we say almost every day. Is it positive or negative? I can remember when I used to awaken in the morning and say with a groan, OH GOD, ANOTHER DAY. And that is exactly the sort of day I would have, one thing after another going wrong. Now when I awaken and before I even open my eyes, I thank the bed for a good nights sleep. After all, we have spent the whole night together in comfort. Then with my eyes still closed, I spend about ten minutes just being thankful for all the good in my life. I program my day a bit, affirming that everything will go well and that I will enjoy it all. T is is before I get up and do my morning meditation or prayers. 90 Daily Work Meditation Give yourself a few minutes every day to sit in quiet meditation. If you are new at meditation, begin with five minutes. Sit quietly, observe your breathing, and allow the thoughts to pass gently through your mind. Give them no importance, and they will pass on. It is the nature of the mind to think, so dont try to get rid of thoughts. There are many classes and books you can explore to find ways to meditate. No matter how or where you begin, you will eventually create the method best for you. 1 usually just sit quietly and ask, What is it that I need to know? I allow the answer to come if it wants to; if not, I know it will come later. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Another form of meditation is to sit quietly and observe the breath as it goes in and out of your body. As you inhale, count one, and as you exhale, count two. Continue counting until you get to 10, then begin again at one. If you notice your counting takes you to 25 or so, just go back to one. There was one client who seemed to me to be so bright and intelligent. Her mind was unusually clever and quick, and she had a great sense of humor. Yet she could not get her act together. She was overweight, broke, frustrated in her career, and without a romance for many years. She could accept all the metaphysical concepts quickly; they made a lot of sense to her. Yet she was too clever, too quick. She found it difficult to slow herself down enough to practice over a meaningful period of time the ideas she could grasp so quickly on a moment-by-moment basis. Daily meditation helped her enormously. We began with only 5 minutes a day and very gradually worked up to 15 or 20 minutes. Exercise: Daily Affirmations Take one or two affirmations and write them 10 or 20 times a day. Read them aloud with enthusiasm. Make a song out of your affirmations and sing them with joy. Let your mind go over these affirmations all day long. 91 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Affirmations that are used consistently become beliefs and will always produce results, sometimes in ways that we cannot even imagine. One of my beliefs is that I always have good relationships with my landlord. My last landlord in New York City was a man known to be extremely difficult, and all the tenants complained. In the five years I lived there, I saw him only three times. When 1 decided to move to California, 1 wanted to sell all my possessions and start fresh and unencumbered by the past. 1 began to do affirmations such as: All my possessions are sold easily and quickly. The move is very simple to do. Everything is working in Divine Right Order. All is well. I did not think about how difficult it would be to sell things or where I would sleep the last few nights or any other negative ideas. I just kept doing my affirmations. Well, my clients and students quickly bought all the little stuff and most of the books. 1 informed my landlord in a letter that I would not be renewing my lease, and to my surprise, I received a phone call from him expressing his dismay at my leaving. He offered to write a letter of recommendation to my new landlord in California and asked if he could please buy the furniture, as he had decided to rent that apartment furnished. My Higher Consciousness had put the two beliefs together in a way 1 could not have conceived of: I always have good relationships with my landlord, and Everything will sell easily and quickly. To the other tenants amazement, 1 was able to sleep in my own bed in a comfortable furnished apartment until the last moment, AND BE PAID FOR IT! I walked out with a few clothes, my juicer, my blender, my hair dryer, and my typewriter, plus a large check, and I leisurely took the train to Los Angeles. 92 Daily Work Do Not Believe in Limitations Upon arriving in California, it was necessary for me to buy a car. Not having owned a car before nor having made a major purchase before, I did not have any established credit. The banks would not give me credit. Being a woman and self-employed did not help my case any. 1 did not want to spend all my savings to buy a new car. Establishing credit became a Catch-22. 1 refused to have any negative thoughts about the situation or about the banks. I rented a car and kept affirming that, 1 have a beautiful new car, and it comes to me easily. I also told everybody I met that 1 wanted to buy a new car and had not been able to establish credit so far. In about three months time, I met a businesswoman who instantly liked me. When I told her my story about the car, she said, Oh, well, I will take care of that. She called a friend at the bank who owed her a favor, and told her that I was an old friend, and gave me the highest references. Within three days, 1 drove off a car dealers lot with a beautiful new car. I was not excited so much as I was in awe of the process. 1 believe the reason it took me three months to manifest the car was that I had never committed myself to monthly payments before, and the little kid in me was scared and needed time to get up the courage to make the step. Exercise: I Love Myself I assume you are already saying, 1 approve of myself almost nonstop. This is a powerful foundation. Keep it up for at least a month. Now take a pad of paper and at the top write, I LOVE MYSELF; THEREFORE... Finish this sentence in as many ways as you can. Read it over daily, and add to it as you think of new things. If you can work with a partner, do so. Hold hands and alternate saying, I love myself; therefore... The biggest benefit of doing this exercise is that you learn it is almost impossible to belittle yourself when you say you love yourself. 93 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Exercise: Claim the New Visualize or imagine yourself having or doing or being what you are working toward. Fill in all the details. Feel, see, taste, touch, hear. Notice other peoples reactions to your new state. Make it all okay with you no matter what their reactions are. Exercise: Expand Your Knowledge Read everything you can to expand your awareness and understanding of how the mind works. There is so much knowledge out there for you. This book is only ONE STEP on your pathway! Get other viewpoints. Hear other people say it in a different way. Study with a group for a while until you go beyond them. This is a life work. The more you learn, the more you know, the more you practice and apply, the better you get to feel, and the more wonderful your life will be. Doing this work makes YOU FEEL GOOD! Begin to Demonstrate Results By practicing as many of these methods as you can, you will begin to demonstrate your results of this work. You will see the little miracles occur in your life. The things you are ready to eliminate will go of their own accord. The things and events you want will pop up in your life seemingly out of the blue. You will get bonuses you never imagined! I was so surprised and delighted when after a few months of doing mental work, I began to look younger. Today I look ten years younger than I did ten years ago! Love who and what you are and what you do. Laugh at yourself an at life, and nothing can touch you. Its all temporary anyway. Next lifetime you will do it differently anyway, so why not do it different ly right now? 94 Daily Work You could read one of Norman Cousins books. He cured himself of a fatal dis-ease with laughter. Unfortunately, he didnt change the mental patterns that created that dis-ease, and so just created another one. However, he also laughed himself to health on that one, too! There are so many ways you can approach your healing. Try them all, and then use the ones that appeal to you the most. When you go to bed at night, close your eyes and again be thankful for all the good in your life. It will bring more good in. Please do not listen to the news or watch it on TV the last thing at night. The news is only a list of disasters, and you dont want to take that into your dream state. Much clearing work is done in the dream state, and you can ask your dreams for help with anything you are working on. You will often find an answer by morning. Go to sleep peacefully. Trust the process of life to be on your side and take care of everything for your highest good and greatest joy. There is no need to make drudgery out of what you are doing. It can be fun. It can be a game. It can be a joy. Its up to you! Even practicing forgiveness and releasing resentment can be fun, if you want to make it so. Again, make up a little song about that person or situation that is so hard to release. When you sing a ditty, it lightens up the whole procedure. When I work with clients privately, I bring laughter into the procedure as soon as I can. The quicker we can laugh about the whole thing, the easier it is to let it go. If you saw your problems on a stage in a play by Neil Simon, you would laugh yourself right out of the chair. Tragedy and comedy are the same thing. It just depends on your viewpoint! Oh, what fools we mortals be. Do whatever you can to make your transformational change a joy and a pleasure. Have fun! 95 In the infinity of lift where I am, at[ is perfect, whole, and complete. I support myself, and life supports me. I see evidence ofThe Law working all around me and in every area ofmy life. I reinforce that which I learn in joyous ways. My day begins with gratitude andjoy. I lookforward with enthusiasm to the adventures of the day, knowing that in my life, All is good. I love who I am and all that I do. I am the living, loving, joyous expression of life. All is well in my world. Part III PUTTING THESE IDEAS TO WORK Chapter Ten RELATIONSHIPS All my relationships are harmonious. It seems all of life is relationships. We have relationships with everything. You are even having a relationship now with the book you are reading and with me and my concepts. The relationships you have with objects and foods and weather and transportation and with people all reflect the relationship you have with yourself. The relationship you have with yourself is highly influenced by the relationships you had with the adults around you as a child. The way the adults reacted to us then is often the way we react toward ourselves now, both positively and negatively. Think for a moment of the words you use when you are scolding yourself. Arent they the same words your parents used when they were scolding you? What words did they use when they praised you? Im sure you use the same words to praise yourself. Perhaps they never praised you, so then you have no idea how to praise yourself and probably think you have nothing to praise. I am not blaming our parents, because we are all victims of victims. They could not possibly teach you anything they did not know. Sondra Ray, the great rebirther who has done so much work with relationships, claims that every major relationship we have is a reflection of the relationship we had with one of our parents. She also claims that until we clean up that first one, we will never be free to create exactly what we want in relationships. 99 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Relationships are mirrors of ourselves. What we attract always mirrors either qualities we have or beliefs we have about relationships. This is true whether it is a boss, a co-worker, an employee, a friend, a lover, a spouse, or child. The things you dont like about these people are either what you yourself do or would not do, or what you believe. You could not attract them or have them in your life if the way they are didnt somehow complement your own life. Exercise: Us Versus Them Look for a moment at someone in your life who bothers you. Describe three things about this person that you dont like, things that you want him or her to change. Now, look deeply inside ofyou and ask yourself, Where am I like that, and when do I do the same things? Close your eyes and give yourself the time to do this. Then ask yourself if you ARE WILLING TO CHANGE. When you remove these patterns, habits, and beliefs from your thinking and behavior, either the other person will change or he or she will leave your life. If you have a boss who is critical and impossible to please, look within. Either you do that on some level or you have a belief that bosses are always critical and impossible to please. If you have an employee who wont obey or doesnt follow through, look to see where you do that and clean it up. Firing someone is too easy; it doesnt clear your pattern. If there is a co-worker who wont cooperate and be part of the team, look to see how you could have attracted this. Where are you noncooperative? If you have a friend who is undependable and lets you down, turn within. Where in your life are you undependable, and when do you let others down? Is that your belief? If you have a lover who is cold and seems unloving, look to see t there is a belief within you that came from watching your parents in your childhood that says, Love is cold and undemonstrative. 100 Relationships If you have a spouse who is nagging and nonsupportive, again look to your childhood beliefs. Did you have a parent who was nagging and nonsupportive? Are you that way? If you have a child who has habits that irritate you, I will guarantee that they are your habits. Children learn only by imitating the adults around them. Clear it within you, and youll find that they change automatically. This is the only way to change others change ourselves first. Change your patterns, and you will find that they are different, too. Blame is useless. Blaming only gives away our power. Keep your power. Without power, we cannot make changes. The helpless victim cannot see a way out. Attracting Love Love comes when we least expect it, when we are not looking for it. Hunting for love never brings the right partner. It only creates longing and unhappiness. Love is never outside ourselves; love is within us. Dont insist that love come immediately. Perhaps you are not ready for it, or you are not developed enough to attract the love you want. Dont settle for anybody just to have someone. Set your standards. What kind of love do you want to attract? List the qualities in yourself, and you will attract a person who has them. You might examine what may be keeping love away. Could it be criticism? Feelings of unworthiness? Unreasonable standards? Movie star images? Fear of intimacy? A belief that you are unlovable? Be ready for love when it does come. Prepare the field and be ready to nourish love. Be loving, and you will be lovable. Be open and receptive to love. 101 In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I live in harmony and balance with everyone I know. Deep at the center ofmy being, there is an infinite well of love. I now allow this love to flow to the surface. It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being, and radiates outfrom me in all directions and returns to me multiplied. The more love I use andgive, the more I have to give. The supply is endless. The use of love makes mefeel good; it is an expression ofmy inner joy. I love myself, therefore, I take loving care ofmy body. I lovinglyfeed it nourishingfoods and beverages, I lovingly groom it and dress it, and my body lovingly responds to me with vibrant health and energy. I love myself, therefore, I provide for myself a comfortable home, one thatfids all my needs and is a pleasure to be in. I fill the rooms with the vibration of love so that all who enter, myself included, willfeel this love and be nourished by it. I love myself, therefore., I work at ajob I truly enjoy doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities, working with andfor people I love and who love me, and earning a good income. I love myself, therefore, I behave and think in a loving way to all peoplefor I know that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I only attract loving people in my world, for they are a mirror ofwhat I am. I lave myself, therefore, I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences, and I amfree. I love myself, therefore, I live totally in the now, experiencing each moment as good and knowing that myfuture is bright andjoyous and secure, for I am a beloved child ofthe Universe, and the Universe lovingly takes care ofme now andforever more. All is well in my world. Chapter Eleven WORK I am deeply fulfilled by all that 1 do. Wouldnt you love to have the above affirmation be true for you? Perhaps you have been limiting yourself by thinking some of these thoughts: 1 cant stand this job. I hate my boss. I dont earn enough money. They dont appreciate me at work. I cant get along with the people at work. I dont know what I want to do. This is negative, defensive thinking. What kind of good position do you think this will get you? It is approaching the subject from the wrong end. If you are in a job you dont care for, if you want to change your position, if you are having problems at work, or if you are out of work, the best way to handle it is this: Begin by blessing your current position with love. Realize that this is only a stepping stone on your pathway. You are where you are because of your own thinking patterns. If they are not treating you the way you would like to be treated, then there is a pattern in your consciousness that is attracting such behavior. So, in your mind, look around your current job or the job you had last, and begin to 105 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE bless everything with lovethe building, the elevators or stairs, the rooms, the furniture and equipment, the people you work for and the people you work with and each and every customer. Begin to affirm for yourself that, I always work for the most wonderful bosses. My boss always treats me with respect and courtesy, and, My boss is generous and easy to work for. This will carry forward with you all your life, and if you become a boss, then you will be like that, too. A young man was about to start a new job and was nervous. I remember saying, Why wouldnt you do well? Of course you will be successful. Open your heart and let your talents flow out of you. Bless the establishment, all of the people you work with, and the people you work for, and each and every customer with love, and all will go well. He did just that and was a great success. If you want to leave your job, then begin to affirm that you release your current job with love to the next person who will be delighted to have it. Know that there are people out there looking for exactly what you have to offer, and that you are being brought together on the checkerboard of life even now. Affirmation for Work 1 am totally open and receptive to a wonderful new position, one that uses all my talents and abilities, and allows me to express creatively in ways that are fulfilling to me. I work with and for people whom 1 love, and who love and respect me, in a wonderful location and earning good money. If there is someone at work who bothers you, again bless them with love every time you think of them. In each and every one of us is every single quality. While we may not choose to do so, we are all capable of being a Hitler or a Mother Teresa. If this person is critical, begin to affirm that he or she is loving and full of praise. If he or she is grouchy, affirm that this person is cheerful and fun to be aroun If he or she is cruel, affirm that this person is gentle and compas 106 Work sionate. If you see only the good qualities in this person, then that is what he or she has to show to you, no matter what behavior is displayed toward others. Example This mans new job was to play the piano in a club where the boss was known for being unkind and mean. The employees used to call the boss Mr. Death behind his back. I was asked how to handle this situation. I replied, Inside each and every person are all the good qualities. No matter how other people react to him, it has nothing to do with you. Every time you think of this man, bless him with love. Keep affirming for yourself, I always workfor wonderful bosses. Keep doing this over and over. He took my advice and did exactly that. My client began to receive warm greetings, and the boss soon began to slip him bonuses and hired him to play in several other clubs. The other employees who were sending out negative thoughts to the boss were still being mistreated. If you like your job but feel you are not getting paid enough, then begin to bless your current salary with love. Expressing gratitude for what we already have enables it to grow. Affirm that you are now opening your consciousness to a greater prosperity and that PART of that prosperity is an increased salary. Affirm that you deserve a raise, not for negative reasons, but because you are a great asset to the company and the owners want to share their profits with you. Always do the best you can on the job, for then, the Universe will know that you are ready to be lifted out of where you are to the next and even better place. Your consciousness put you where you are now. Your consciousness will either keep you there or lift you to a better position. Its up to you. 107 In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. My unique creative talents and abilities flow through me and are expressed in deeply satisfying ways. There are people out there who are always looking for my services. I am always in demand and can pick and choose what I want to do. I earn good money doing what satisfies me. My work is a joy and a pleasure. All is weff in my world. Chapter Twelve SUCCESS Every Experience is a Success. What does failure mean anyway? Does it mean that something did not turn out the way you wanted it to, or the way you were hoping? The law of experience is always perfect. We outpicture our inner thoughts and beliefs perfectly. You must have left out a step or had an inner belief that told you that you did not deserve or you felt unworthy. Its the same when I work with my computer. If theres a mistake, it is always me. It is something I have not done to comply with the laws of the computer. It only means that there is something else for me to learn. The old saying, If at first you dont succeed, try, try again, is so true. It doesnt mean beat yourself up and try the same old way again. It means recognize your error and try another way until you learn to do it correctly. I think it is our natural birthright to go from success to success all our life. If we are not doing that, either we are not in tune with our innate capabilities, or we do not believe it can be true for us, or we do not recognize our successes. When we set standards that are much too high for where we are at this moment, standards we cannot possibly achieve right now, then we will always fail. 109 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE When a little child is learning to walk or talk, we encourage him and praise him for every tiny improvement he makes. The child beams and eagerly tries to do better. Is this the way you encourage yourself when you are learning something new? Or do you make it harder to learn because you tell yourself that you are stupid or clumsy or a failure? Many actresses and actors feel they must be performance perfect when they arrive at the first rehearsal. I remind them that the purpose of rehearsal is to learn. Rehearsal is a period of time to make mistakes, to try new ways and to learn. Only by practicing over and over do we learn the new and make it a natural part of us. When you watch an accomplished professional in any field, you are looking at innumerable hours of practice. Dont do what I used to do I would refuse to try anything new because I didnt know how to do it, and I didnt want to appear foolish. Learning is making mistakes until our subconscious mind can put together the right pictures. It doesnt matter how long you have been thinking of yourself as a failure; you can begin to create a success pattern now. It doesnt matter what field you want to operate in. The principles are the same. We need to plant the seeds of success. These seeds will grow into an abundant harvest. Here are some success affirmations you can use: Divine Intelligence gives me all the ideas I can use. Everything I touch is a success. There is plenty for everyone, including me. There are plenty of customers for my services. I establish a new awareness of success. I move into the Winning Circle. 1 am a magnet for Divine Prosperity. I am blessed beyond my fondest dreams. Riches of every sort are drawn to me. Golden Opportunities are everywhere for me. 110 Success Pick one of the above affirmations and repeat it for several days. Then pick another and do the same. Allow these ideas to fill your consciousness. Dont worry about how to accomplish this; the opportunities will come your way. Trust the intelligence within you to lead you and guide you. You deserve to be a success in every area of your life. In tfie infinity of life, where. I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I am one with the Power that created me. I have within me all the ingredients for success. I now allow the success formula to flow through me and manifest in my world. Whatever I am guided to do will be a success. I learnfrom every experience. I go from success to success andfrom glory to glory. My pathway is a series of stepping stones to ever greater successes. All is well in my world. in Chapter Thirteen PROSPERITY I deserve the best, and I accept the best, now. If you want the above affirmation to be true for you, then you do not want to believe any of the following statements: Money doesnt grow on trees. Money is filthy and dirty. Money is evil. I am poor, but clean (or good). Rich people are crooks. I dont want to have money and be stuck up. 1 will never get a good job. I will never make any money. Money goes out faster than it comes in. I am always in debt. Poor people can never get out from under. My parents were poor, and I will be poor. Artists have to struggle. Only people who cheat have money. Everyone else comes first. Oh, I couldnt charge that much. I dont deserve. Im not good enough to make money. Never tell anyone what I have in the bank. Never lend money. 113 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE A penny saved is a penny earned. Save for a rainy day. A Depression could come at any moment. I resent others having money. Money only comes from hard work. How many of these beliefs belong to you? Do you really think that believing any of them will bring you prosperity? It is old, limited thinking. Perhaps it was what your family believed about money, because family beliefs stay with us unless we consciously release them. Wherever it came from, it must leave your consciousness if you want to prosper. To me, true prosperity begins with feeling good about yourself. It is also the freedom to do what you want to do, when you want to do it. It is never an amount of money; it is a state of mind. Prosperity or lack of it is an outer expression of the ideas in your head. Deserving If we do not accept the idea that we deserve to prosper, then even when abundance falls in our laps, we will refuse it somehow. Look at this example: A student in one of my classes was working to increase his prosperity. He came to class one night so excited, for he had just won $500. He kept saying, I dont believe it! I never win anything. We knew it was a reflection of his changing consciousness. He still felt he did not really deserve it. Next week he could not come to class, as he had broken his leg. The doctor bills came to $500. He had been frightened to move forward in a new prosperous direction and felt undeserving, so he punished himself in this way. Whatever we concentrate on increases, so dont concentrate on your bills. If you concentrate on lack and debt, then you will create more lack and debt. There is an inexhaustible supply in the Universe. Begin to be aware of it. Take the time to count the stars on a clear evening, or the grains 114 Prosperity of sand in one handful, the leaves on one branch of a tree, the raindrops on a windowpane, the seeds in one tomato. Each seed is capable of producing a whole vine with unlimited tomatoes on it. Be grateful for what you do have, and you will find that it increases. I like to bless with love all that is in my life now my home, the heat, water, light, telephone, furniture, plumbing, appliances, clothing, transportation, jobs the money I do have, friends, my ability to see and feel and taste and touch and walk and to enjoy this incredible planet. Our own belief in lack and limitation is the only thing that is limiting us. What belief is limiting you? Do you want to have money only to help others? Then you are saying you are worthless. Be sure you are not rejecting prosperity now. If a friend invites you to lunch or dinner, accept with joy and pleasure. Dont feel you are just trading with people. If you get a gift, accept it graciously. If you cant use the gift, pass it on to someone else. Keep the flow of things moving through you. Just smile and say Thank you. In this way you let the Universe know you are ready to receive your good. Make Room for the New Make room for the new. Clean out your refrigerator; get rid of all those little bits of stuff wrapped in foil. Clean out your closets; get rid of all the stuff you have not used in the last six months or so. If you havent used it in a year, definitely get it out of your home. Sell it, trade it, give it away, or burn it. Cluttered closets mean a cluttered mind. As you clean the closet, say to yourself, I am cleaning out the closets of my mind. The Universe loves symbolic gestures. The first time I heard the concept, The abundance of the Universe is available to everyone, I thought it was ridiculous. Look at all the poor people, I said to myself. Look at my own seemingly hopeless poverty. To hear, Your poverty is only a belief m your consciousness only made me angry. It took me many years to realize and accept that I was the only person responsible for my 115 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE lack of prosperity. It was my belief that I was unworthy, and not deserving, that money is difficult to come by, and that I do not have talents and abilities, that kept me stuck in a mental system of not having. MONEY IS THE EASIEST THING TO DEMONSTRATE! How do you react to this statement? Do you believe it? Are you angry? Are you indifferent? Are you ready to throw this book across the room? If you have any of these reactions, GOOD! I have touched something deep inside you, that very point of resistance to truth. This is the area to work on. It is time to open yourself to the potential of receiving the flow of money and all good. Love Your Bills It is essential that we stop worrying about money and stop resenting our bills. Many people treat bills as punishments to be avoided if possible. A bill is an acknowledgment of our ability to pay. The creditor assumes you are affluent enough and gives you the service or the product first. I bless with love each and every bill that comes into my home. I bless with love and stamp a small kiss on each and every check I write. If you pay with resentment, money has a hard time coming back to you. If you pay with love and joy, you open the freeflowing channel of abundance. Treat your money as a friend, not as something you wad up and crush into your pocket. Your security is not your job, or your bank account, or your investments, or your spouse or parents. Your security is your ability to connect with the cosmic power that creates all things. I like to think that the power within me that breathes in my body is the same power that provides all that I need, and just as easily and simply. The Universe is lavish and abundant, and it is our birthright to be supplied with everything we need, unless we choose to believe it to the contrary. I bless my telephone with love each time 1 use it, and I af irm often that it brings me only prosperity and expressions of love. 1 0 the same with my mail box, and each day it is filled to overflowing 116 Prosperity with money and love letters of all kinds from friends and clients and far-off readers of my book. The bills that come in I rejoice over, thanking the companies for trusting me to pay. 1 bless my doorbell and the front door, knowing that only good comes into my home. 1 expect my life to be good and joyous, and it is. These Ideas Are for Everyone The man was a hooker and wanted to increase his business, so he came to me for a prosperity session. He felt he was good at his profession and wanted to make $100,000 a year. 1 gave him the same ideas 1 am giving you, and soon he had money to put into Chinese porcelains. He spent so much time at home, he wanted to enjoy the beauty of his ever-increasing investments. Rejoice in Others Good Fortune Dont delay your own prosperity by being resentful or jealous that someone else has more than you. Dont criticize the way they choose to spend their money. It is none of your business. Each person is under the law of his or her own consciousness. Just take care of your own thoughts. Bless anothers good fortune, and know there is plenty for all. Are you a stingy tipper? Do you stiff washroom attendants with some self-righteous statement? Do you ignore the porters in your office or apartment building at Christmas time? Do you pinch pennies when you dont need to, buying day-old vegetables or bread? Do you do your shopping in a thrift shop, or do you always order the cheapest thing on the menu? There is a law of demand and supply. Demand comes first. Money has a way of coming to where it is needed. The poorest family can almost always gather together the money for a funeral. 117 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Visualization Ocean of Abundance Your prosperity consciousness is not dependent on money; your flow of money is dependent upon your prosperity consciousness. As you can conceive of more, more will come into your life. 1 love the visualization of standing at the seashore looking out at the vast ocean and knowing that this ocean is the abundance that is available to me. Look down at your hands and see what sort of container you are holding. Is it a teaspoon, a thimble with a hole in it, a paper cup, a glass, a tumbler, a pitcher, a bucket, a wash tub, or perhaps you have a pipeline connected to this ocean of abundance? Look around you and notice that no matter how many people there are and no matter what kind of container they have, there is plenty for everyone. You cannot rob another, and they cannot rob you. And in no way can you drain the ocean dry. Your container is your consciousness, and it can always be exchanged for a larger container. Do this exercise often, to get the feelings of expansion and unlimited supply. Open Your Arms 1 sit at least once a day with my arms stretched out to the side and say, 1 am open and receptive to all the good and abundance in the Universe. It gives me a feeling of expansion. The Universe can only distribute to me what 1 have in my consciousness, and I can ALWAYS create more in my consciousness. It is like a cosmic bank. I make mental deposits by increasing my awareness of my own abilities to create. Meditation, treatments, and affirmations are mental deposits. Lets make a habit of making daily deposits. Just having more money is not enough. We want to enjoy the money. Do you allow yourself to have pleasure with money? If not> why not? A portion of everything you take in can go to pure pleas ure. Did you have any fun with your money last week? Why not. What old belief is stopping you? Let it go. 118 Prosperity Money does not have to be a serious subject in your life. Put it into perspective. Money is a means of exchange. Thats all it is. What would you do and what would you have if you didnt need money? We need to shake up our money concepts. 1 have found it is easier to teach a seminar on sexuality than it is one on money. People get very angry when their money beliefs are being challenged. Even people who come to a seminar wanting desperately to create more money in their lives will go crazy when 1 try to change their limiting beliefs. 1 am willing to change. I am willing to release old negative beliefs. Sometimes we have to work with these two affirmations a lot in order to open the space to begin creating prosperity. We want to release the fixed income mentality. Do not limit the Universe by insisting that you have ONLY a certain salary or income. That salary or income is a CHANNEL; IT IS NOT YOUR SOURCE. Your supply comes from one source, the Universe itself. There are an infinite number of channels. We must open ourselves to them. We must accept in consciousness that supply can come from anywhere and everywhere. Then when we walk down the street and find a penny or a dime, we say Thank you! to the source. It may be small, but new channels are beginning to open. I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. I now receive my good from expected and unexpected sources. I am an unlimited being accepting from an unlimited source in an unlimited way. Rejoice in the Small, New Beginnings When we work for increasing prosperity, we always gain in accordance with our beliefs about what we deserve. A writer was working to increase her income. One of her affirmations was, I am making good money being a writer. Three days later, she went to a coffee shop where she often had breakfast. She settled into a booth and spread out some paper she was working on. The manager came over 119 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE to her and asked, You are a writer, arent you? Will you do some writing for me? He then brought over several little blank tent signs and asked if she would write, TURKEY LUNCHEON SPECIAL, $3.95, on each card. He offered her a free breakfast in return. This small event showed the beginning of her change in consciousness, and she went on to sell her own work. Recognize Prosperity Begin to recognize prosperity everywhere, and rejoice in it. Reverend Ike, the well-known evangelist from New York City, remembered that as a poor preacher he used to walk by good restaurants and homes and automobiles and clothing establishments and say out loud, Thats for me, thats for me. Allow fancy homes and banks and fine stores and showrooms of all sorts and yachts to give you pleasure. Recognize that all this is part of YOUR abundance, and you are increasing your consciousness to partake of these things if you desire. If you see well-dressed people, think, Isnt it wonderful that they have so much abundance? There is plenty for all of us. We dont want someone elses good. We want to have our own good. And yet we do not own anything. We only use possessions for a period of time until they pass on to someone else. Sometimes a possession may stay in a family for a few generations, but eventually it will pass on. There is a natural rhythm and flow of life. Things come, and things go. I believe that when something goes, it is only to make room for something new and better. 120 Prosperity Accept Compliments So many people want to be rich, and yet they wont accept a compliment. 1 have known many budding actors and actresses who want to be stars, and yet they cringe when theyre paid a compliment. Compliments are gifts of prosperity. Learn to accept them graciously. My mother taught me early to smile and say, Thank you when I received a compliment or a gift. This advice has been an asset all my life. It is even better to accept the compliment and return it so the giver feels as though he or she has received a gift. It is a way of keeping the flow of good going. Rejoice in the abundance of being able to awaken each morning and experience a new day. Be glad to be alive, to be healthy, to have friends, to be creative, to be a living example of the joy of living. Live to your highest awareness. Enjoy your transformational process. 121 In the {infinity of life where I am, ad is perfect, whole, and complete. I am one with the Power that created me. I am totally open and receptive to the abundantflow ofprosperity that the Universe offers. All my needs and desires are met before I even ash I am Divinely guided and protected, and I make choices that are beneficialfor me. I rejoice in otfiers' successes, knowing there is plenty for us all. I am constantly increasing my conscious awareness of abundance, and this reflects in a constantly increasing income. My good comes from everywhere and everyone. All is well in my world. Chapter Fourteen THE BODY I listen with love to my bodys messages. 1 believe we create every so-called illness in our body. The body, like everything else in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs. The body is always talking to us, if we will only take the time to listen. Every cell within your body responds to every single thought you think and every word you speak. Continuous modes of thinking and speaking produce body behaviors and postures and eases or dis-eases. The person who has a permanently scowling face did not produce that by having joyous, loving thoughts. Older peoples faces and bodies show so clearly a lifetime of thinking patterns. How will you look when you are elderly? I am including in this section my list of Probable Mental Patterns that create illnesses in the body, as well as the New Thought Patterns or Affirmations to be used to create health. They appear in my book Heal Your Body. In addition to those short listings, I will explore a few of the more common conditions to give you an idea of just how we create these problems. Not every mental equivalent is 100 percent true for everyone. However, it does give us a point of reference to begin our search for the cause of the dis-ease. Many people working in the alternative healing therapies use Heal Your Body all the time with their clients and find that the mental causes run 90 to 95 percent true. * * * 123 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE THE HEAD represents us. It is what we show the world. It is how we are usually recognized. When something is wrong in the head area, it usually means we feel something is very wrong with us. THE HAIR represents strength. When we are tense and afraid, we often create those bands of steel that originate in the shoulder muscles and come up over the top of the head and sometimes even down around the eyes. The hair shaft grows up through the hair follicle. When there is a lot of tension in the scalp, the hair shaft can be squeezed so tightly that the hair can no longer breathe, and it dies and falls out. If this tension is continued, and the scalp is not relaxed, then the follicle remains so tight that the new hair cannot grow through. The result is baldness. Female baldness has been on the increase ever since women have begun entering the business world with all its tensions and frustrations. We are not aware of baldness in women because womens wigs are so natural and attractive. Unfortunately, most mens toupees are still discernible at quite a distance. Tension is not being strong. Tension is weakness. Being relaxed and centered and peaceful is really being strong and secure. It would be good for us to relax our bodies more, and many of us need to relax our scalps, too. Try it now. Tell your scalp to relax, and feel if there is a difference. If you notice that your scalp visibly relaxes, then I would suggest you do this little exercise often. THE EARS represent the capacity to hear. When there are problems with the ears, it usually means something is going on you do not want to hear. An earache would indicate that there is anger about what is heard. Earaches are common with children. They often have to listen to stuff going on in the household they really dont want to hear. Household rules often forbid a childs expression of anger, and the childs inability to change things creates an earache. Deafness represents longstanding refusal to listen to someone. Notice that when one partner has a hearing impairment, the other partner often talks and talks and talks. 124 The Body THE EYES represent the capacity to see. When there are problems with the eyes, it usually means there is something we do not want to see, either about ourselves or about life: past, present, or future. Whenever I see small children wearing glasses, I know there is stuff going on in their household they do not want to look at. If they cant change the experience, they will diffuse the sight so they dont have to see it so clearly. Many people have had dramatic healing experiences when they have been willing to go back into the past and clean up what it was they did not want to look at a year or two before they began wearing glasses. Are you negating whats happening right now? What dont you want to face? Are you afraid to see the present or the future? If you could see clearly, what would you see that you dont see now? Can you see what you are doing to yourself? Interesting questions to look at. HEADACHES come from invalidating the self. The next time you get a headache, stop and ask yourself where and how you have just made yourself wrong. Forgive yourself, let it go, and the headache will dissolve back into the nothingness from where it came. Migraine headaches are created by people who want to be perfect and who create a lot of pressure on themselves. A lot of suppressed anger is involved. Interestingly, migraine headaches can almost always be alleviated by masturbation if you do it as soon as you feel a migraine coming on. The sexual release dissolves the tension and the pain. You may not feel like masturbating then, but it certainly is worth a try. You cant lose. SINUS problems, felt right in the face and so close to the nose, represent being irritated by someone in your life, someone who is close to you. You might even feel they are bearing down on you. We forget that we create the situations, then we give our power away by blaming the other person for our frustration. No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for we are the only thinkers in our mind. We create our experiences, our reality, and everyone in it. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our mind, we will find it in our lives. 125 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE THE NECK AND THROAT are fascinating because so much stuff goes on there. The neck represents the ability to be flexible in our thinking, to see the other side of a question, and to see another persons viewpoint. When there are problems with the neck, it usually means we are being stubborn about our own concept of a situation. Whenever I see a person wearing one of those collars, I know this person is being very self-righteous and stubborn about not seeing the other side of an issue. Virginia Satir, the brilliant family therapist, said that she did some silly research and found that there are more than 250 different ways to wash dishes, depending upon who is washing and the ingredients used. If we are stuck in believing there is only one way, or one viewpoint, then we are shutting out most of life. THE THROAT represents our ability to speak up for ourselves, to ask for what we want, to say I am, etc. When we have throat problems, it usually means we do not feel we have the right to do these things. We feel inadequate to stand up for ourselves. Sore throats are always anger. If a cold is involved, then there is mental confusion, too. LARYNGITIS usually means you are so angry you cannot speak. The throat also represents the creative flow in the body. This is where we express our creativity, and when our creativity is stifled and frustrated, we often have throat problems. We all know many people who live their whole lives for others. They never once get to do what they want to do. They are always pleasing mothers/fathers/ spouses/lovers/bosses. TONSILLITIS and THYROID problems are just frustrated creativity, resulting from not being able to do what you want to do. The energy center in the throat, the fifth chakra, is the place in the body where change takes place. When we are resisting change or are in the middle of change or are trying to change, we often have a lot of activity in our throats. Notice when you cough, or when someone else coughs. What has just been said? What are we reacting to? Is it resistance and stubbornness, or is it the process of change taking place? In a workshop I use coughs as a tool for self-discovery. Every 126 The Body time someone coughs, I have that person touch the throat and say out loud, I am willing to change, or 1 am changing. THE ARMS represent our ability and capacity to embrace the experiences of life. The upper arms have to do with our capacity, and the lower arms have to do with our abilities. We store old emotions in our joints, and the elbows represent our flexibility in changing directions. Are you flexible about a changing direction in your life, or are old emotions keeping you stuck in one spot? THE HANDS grasp, hands hold, hands clench. We let things slip through our fingers. Sometimes we hold on too long. We are handy, tightfisted, openhanded, penny pinchers, butterfingers. We give handouts. We can handle ourselves, or we cant seem to handle anything. We put a handle on something. Its hands down. Its hands off, hanky panky. We give someone a hand, are hand in hand, its on hand or out of hand, underhanded or overhanded. We have helping hands. Hands can be gentle or they can be hard, with knotty knuckles from overthinking, or gnarled with arthritic criticism. Grasping hands come from fear fear of loss, fear of never having enough, fear that it wont stay if you hold lightly. Tightly grasping a relationship only has the partner run away in desperation. Tightly clenched hands cannot take in anything new. Shaking the hands freely from the wrists gives a feeling of looseness and openness. That which belongs to you cannot be taken from you, so relax. THE FINGERS each have meaning. Problems in the fingers show where you need to relax and let go. If you cut your index finger, there is probably anger and fear that has to do with your ego in some current situation. The thumb is mental and represents worry. The index finger is the ego and fear. The middle finger has to do with sex and with anger. When you are angry, hold your middle finger and watch the anger dissolve. Hold the right finger if your anger is at a man and the left if it is at a woman. The ring finger is both unions and grieif. The little finger has to do with the family and pretending. ' 127 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE THE BACK represents our support system. Problems with the back usually mean we feel we are not being supported. Too often we think we are only supported by our job or by our family or spouses. In reality, we are totally supported by the Universe, by Life itself. The upper back has to do with feeling the lack of emotional support. My husband/wife/lover/friend/boss doesnt understand me or support me. The middle back has to do with guilt. All that stuff that is in back of us. Are you afraid to see what is back there, or are you hiding what is back there? Do you feel stabbed in the back? Do you feel real burnt out? Are your finances in a mess, or do you worry about them excessively? Then your lower back may be bothering you. The lack of money or the fear of money will do it. The amount you have has nothing to do with it. So many of us feel that money is the most important thing in our lives, and that we could not live without it. This is not true. There is something far more important and precious to us without which we could not live. What is that? It is our breath. Our breath is the most precious substance in our lives, and yet we totally take for granted when we exhale that our next breath will be there. If we did not take another breath, we would not last three minutes. Now if the Power that created us has given us enough breath to last for as long as we shall live, can we not trust that everything else we need will also be supplied? THE LUNGS represent our capacity to take in and give out life. Problems with the lungs usually mean we are afraid to take in life, or perhaps we feel we do not have the right to live life fully. Women have traditionally been very shallow breathers and have often thought of themselves as second-class citizens who did not have the right to take up space and sometimes not even the right to live. Today, this is all changing. Women are taking their place as full members of society and breathing deeply and fully. It pleases me to see women in sports. Women have always worke in the fields; but this is the first time in history, as far as I know, that women have gone into sports. It is wonderful to see the magnificent bodies that are emerging. 128 The Body Emphysema and heavy smoking are ways of denying life. They mask a deep feeling of being totally unworthy of existing. Scolding will not change the habit of smoking. It is the basic belief that must change first. THE BREASTS represent the mothering principle. When there are problems with the breasts, it usually means we are over-mothering either a person, a place, a thing, or an experience. Part of the mothering process is to allow the child to grow up. We need to know when to take our hands off, when to turn over the reins and let them be. Being overprotective does not prepare the other person to handle his or her own experience. Sometimes our overbearing attitudes literally cut off nourishment in a situation. If cancer is involved, then there is also deep resentment. Release the fear and know the Intelligence of the Universe resides in each one of us. THE HEART, of course, represents love, while our blood represents joy. Our hearts lovingly pump joy throughout our bodies. When we deny ourselves joy and love, the heart shrivels and becomes cold. As a result, the blood gets sluggish, and we creep our way to ANEMIA, ANGINA, and HEART ATTACKS. The heart does not attack us. We get so caught up in the soap opera and dramas we create that we often forget to notice the little joys that surround us. We spend years squeezing all the joy out of the heart, and it literally falls over in pain. Heart attack people are never joyous people. If they do not take the time to appreciate the joys of life, they will just recreate another heart attack in time. Heart of gold, cold heart, open heart, black heart, loving heart, warmhearted where is your heart? THE STOMACH digests all the new ideas and experiences we have. What or who cant you stomach? What gets you in the gut? When there are stomach problems, it usually means we dont know how to assimilate the new experience. We are afraid. Many of us remember when commercial airplanes first became popular. That we could get inside a big metal tube that would carry us safely through the sky was a new idea we found hard to assimilate. At every seat, there were throw-up bags, and most of us were using them. We would throw up into our barf bags as discreetly as we 129 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE could, wrap them up and hand them to the stewardess, who spent a lot of her time running up and down the aisle collecting them. Now it is many years later, and though the bags are still at every seat, they are seldom used. We have assimilated the idea of flying. \ & ULCERS are no more than fear tremendous fear of not being good enough. We fear not being good enough for a parent, we fear not being good enough for a boss. We cant stomach who we are. We rip our guts apart trying to please others. No matter how important our job is, our inner self-esteem is very low. We are afraid they will find out about us. THE GENITALS represents the most feminine part of a woman, her femininity, or the most masculine part of a man, his masculinity; our masculine principle or our feminine principle. When we do not feel comfortable with being either a man or a woman, when we reflect our sexuality, when we reject our bodies as dirty or sinful, then we often have problems in the genital area. I seldom come across a person who was reared in a household where the genitals and their functions were called by their right names. We all grew up with euphemisms of one sort or another. Remember the ones your own family used? It could have been as mild as down there, to names that made you feel your genitals were dirty and disgusting. Yes, we all grew up believing that something was not quite right between our legs. I feel the sexual revolution that exploded several years ago was in one way a good thing. We were moving away from Victorian hypocrisy. Suddenly it was okay to have many partners, and women as well as men could have one-night stands. Marital swapping became more open. Many of us began to enjoy the pleasure and freedom of our bodies in a new and open way. However, few of us thought to deal with what Roza Lamont, founder of the Self-Communication Institute, calls Mamas God. Whatever your mother taught you about God when you were three years old is still there in your subconscious mind UNLESS you have done some conscious work to release it. Was that God an angry, avenging God? What did that God feel about sex? If we are still car- 130 The Body rying those early guilt feelings about our sexuality and our bodies, then we are surely going to create punishment for ourselves. BLADDER problems, ANAL problems, VAGINITIS, and PROSTATE and PENIS problems all come under the same area. They stem from distorted beliefs about our bodies and the correctness of their functions. Every organ in our body is a magnificent expression of life with its own special functions. We do not think of our livers or our eyes as dirty or sinful. Why do we then choose to believe our genitals are? The anus is as beautiful as the ear. Without our anus we would have no way to release what the body no longer needs, and we would die very quickly. Every part of our body and every function of our body is perfect and normal, natural, and beautiful. I ask clients with sexual problems to begin to relate to their rectum, penis, or vagina with a sense of love and appreciation for their function and their beauty. If you are beginning to cringe or get irate as you read this, ask yourself why. Who told you to deny any part of your body? Certainly not God. Our sexual organs were created as the most pleasurable part of our body to give us pleasure. To deny this is to create pain and punishment. Sex is not only okay, it is glorious and wonderful. It is as normal for us to have sex as it is for us to breathe or eat. Just for a moment try to visualize the vastness of the Universe. It is beyond our comprehension. Even our top scientists with their latest equipment cannot measure its size. Within this Universe there are many galaxies. In one of these smaller galaxies in a far-off comer, there is a minor sun. Around this sun a few pinpoints revolve, one of which is called Planet Earth. I find it hard to believe that the vast, incredible Intelligence that created this entire Universe is only an old man sitting on a cloud above the Planet Earth ... watching my genitals! Yet so many of us were taught this concept as a child. It is vital that we release foolish, outmoded ideas that do not support us and nourish us. I feel strongly that even our concept of God 131 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE needs to be one that is for us, not against us. There are so many different religions to choose from. If you have one now that tells you that you are a sinner and a lowly worm, get another one. I am not advocating that everybody run around having free sex at all times. I am saying that some of our rules do not make sense, and this is why so many people break them and become hypocrites. When we remove sexual guilt from people and teach them to love and respect themselves, then they will automatically treat themselves and others in ways that are for their highest good and greatest joy. The reason we have so many problems with our sexuality now is because so many of us have self-hatred and self-disgust, and so we treat ourselves and others badly. It is not enough to teach children in school the mechanics of sexuality. We need on a very deep level to allow children to remember that their bodies, genitals, and sexuality are something to rejojiqe'^ about. I truly believe that people who love themselves and their bodies will not abuse themselves or others. I find that most BLADDER problems come from being pissed off, usually at a partner. Something makes us angry that has to do with our femininity or our masculinity. Women have more bladder problems than men because they are more prone to hide their hurt. VAGINITIS again usually involves feeling romantically hurt by a partner. Mens PROSTATE problems have a lot to do with self-worth and also believing that as he gets older he becomes less of a man. IMPOTENCE adds fear and is sometimes even related to spite against a previous mate. FRIGIDITY comes from fear or a belief that it is wrong to enjoy the body. It also comes from self-disgust, and it can be intensified by an insensitive partner. PMS, PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME, which has reached epidemic proportions, is concurrent with the increase of media adver tising. These ads continually hammer home the concept that the female body must be sprayed and powdered and douched and over cleansed in numerous ways to make it even barely acceptable. At the same time that women are coming into their own as equal beings, they are also being bombarded negatively with the idea that the em 132 The Body inine processes are not quite acceptable. This notion, combined with the tremendous amounts of sugar being consumed today, creates a fertile breeding ground for P.M.S. The feminine processes, all of them, including menstruation and menopause, are normal, natural processes. We must accept them as that. Our bodies are beautiful, magnificent, and wondrous. It is my belief that VENEREAL D1S-EASE is almost always sexual guilt. It comes from a feeling, often subconscious, that it is not right to express ourselves sexually. A carrier with a venereal dis-ease can have many partners, but only those whose mental and physical immune systems are weak will be susceptible to it. In addition to the old standards, in recent years the heterosexual population has created an increase of HERPES. This is a dis-ease that comes back again and again to punish us for our belief that we are bad. Herpes has a tendency to flare up when we are emotionally upset. That tells us a lot right there. Now, lets take that same theory over into the gay community, where they have all the same problems everybody else has, plus much of society pointing their fingers at them and saying, Bad! Usually, their own mothers and fathers are also saying, Youre bad. This is a heavy load to carry, and its difficult to love yourself under these circumstances. It is not surprising that gay men were amongst the first to experience the dread dis-ease, aids. In heterosexual society, many women dread growing old because of the belief systems we have created around the glory of youth. It is not so difficult for the men, for they become distinguished with a bit of gray hair. The older man often gets respect, and people may even look up to him. Not so for most gay men, for they have created a culture that places tremendous emphasis on youth and beauty. While everyone is young to start with, only a few fit the standard of beauty. So much emphasis has been placed on the physical appearance of the body that the feelings inside have been totally disregarded. If you are not young and beautiful, its almost as though you dont count. The person does not count; only the body counts. 133 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE This way of thinking is a disgrace to the whole culture. Its another way of saying, Gay is not good enough. Because of the ways gay people often treat other gays, for many gay men the experience of getting old is something to dread. It is almost better to die than to get old. And aids is a dis-ease that often kills. Too often gay men feel that when they get older, they will be useless and unwanted. It is almost better to destroy themselves first, and many have created a destructive lifestyle. Some of the concepts and attitudes that are so a part of the gay lifestyle the meat rack, the constant judging, the refusal to get close to another, and so on are monstrous. And aids is a monstrous dis-ease. These sorts of attitudes and behavior patterns can only create guilt on a very deep level, no matter how much we may camp. Camping, which can be such fun, can also be extremely destructive, both to givers and recipients. It is another way of avoiding closeness and intimacy. In no way am I trying to create guilt for anyone. However, we need to look at the things that need to be changed in order for all of our lives to function with love and joy and respect. Fifty years ago, almost all gay men were closeted, and now they have been able to create pockets in society where they can at least be relatively open. 1 feel it is unfortunate that much of what they have created gives so much pain to their gay brothers. While it is often deplorable the way straights treat gays, it is tragic the way many gays treat other gays. Men traditionally have always had more sexual partners than women; and when men get together, of course there will be a great deal more sex. Thats all fine and good. The bathhouses fulfill a wonderful need, unless we are using our sexuality for the wrong reasons. Some men like having lots of partners to satisfy their deep need for selfesteem rather than for the joy of it. I do not believe there is anything wrong with having several partners, and the use of alcohol and some recreational drugs on an occasional basis is fine. However, if we are getting bombed out of our heads every night, and if we need several partners a day just to prove our self-worth, then we are not coming from a nourishing space. We need to make some mental changes. 134 The Body This is a time for healing, for making whole, not for condemnation. We must rise out of the limitations of the past. We are all Divine, Magnificent expressions of Life. Lets claim that now! THE COLON represents our ability to let go, to release that which we no longer need. The body, being in the perfect rhythm and flow of life, needs a balance of intake, assimilation, and elimination. It is only our fears that block the releasing of the old. Even if constipated people are not actually stingy, they usually do not trust that there will ever be enough. They hold on to old relationships that give them pain. They are afraid to throw out clothes that have been in the closet for years because they might need them some day. They stay in stifling jobs, or never give themselves pleasure, because they must save for that rainy day. We do not rummage in last nights garbage to find todays meal. Leant to trust the process of life to always bring you what you need. Our LEGS carry us forward in life. Leg problems often indicate a fear of moving forward or a reluctance to move forward in a certain direction. We run with our legs, we drag our legs, we pussyfoot, we are knock-kneed, pigeon-toed; and we have big, fat, angry thighs filled with childhood resentments. Not wanting to do things will often produce minor leg problems. VARICOSE VEINS represent standing in a job or place that we hate. The veins lose their ability to carry joy. Are you going in the direction you want to? KNEES, like the neck, have to do with flexibility; only they express bending and pride, ego and stubbornness. Often when moving forward, we are fearful of bending, and we become inflexible. This stiffens the joints. We want to move forward, but we do not want to change our ways. This is why knees take so long to heal; our ego is involved. The knees take a long time because we get our pride and our self-righteousness involved. The next time you have a knee problem, ask yourself where you are being self-righteous, where you are refusing to bend. Drop the stubbornness and let go. Life is flow, life is movement; and to be comfortable, we must be flexible and move with it. A willow tree 135 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE bends and sways and flows with the wind and is always graceful and at ease with life. Our FEET have to do with our understanding, our understanding of ourselves and of life past, present, and future. Many old people have a difficult time walking. Their understanding has been warped, and they often feel there is no place to go. Little children move on happy, dancing feet. Elderly people often shuffle as if they are reluctant to move. Our SKIN represents our individuality. Skin problems usually mean we feel our individuality is being threatened somehow. We feel that others have power over us. We are thin-skinned. Things tend to get under our skin, we feel skinned alive, our nerves are right under our skin. One of the quickest ways to heal skin problems is to nurture yourself by saying in your mind, I approve of myself, several hundred times a day. Take back your own power. ACCIDENTS are no accident. Like everything else in our lives, we create them. Its not that we necessarily say, I want to have an accident, but we do have the mental thought patterns that can attract an accident to us. Some people seem to be accident prone, and others go for a lifetime without ever getting a scratch. Accidents are expressions of anger. They indicate built-up frustrations resulting from not feeling the freedom to speak up for ones self. Accidents also indicate rebellion against authority. We get so mad we want to hit people, and instead, we get hit. When we are angry at ourselves, when we feel guilty, when we feel the need for punishment, an accident is a marvelous way of taking care of that. It seems as though any accident is not our fault, that we are helpless victims of a quirk of fate. An accident allows us to turn to others for sympathy and attention. We get our wounds bathed and attended to. We often get bedrest, sometimes for an extended period of time. And we get pain. Where this pain occurs in the body gives us a clue to which area of life we feel guilty about. The degree of physical damage lets us 136 The Body know how severely we felt we needed to be punished and how long the sentence should be. ANOREXIA-BULIMIA is denying the self life, an extreme form of self-hatred. Food is nourishment on the most basic level. Why would you deny yourself nourishment? Why do you want to die? What is going on in your life that is so awful that you want to get out completely? Self-hatred is only hating a thought you have about yourself. Thoughts can be changed. What is so terrible about you? Were you reared in a critical family? Did you have critical teachers? Did your early religious training tell you that you were not good enough as you are? So often we try to find reasons that make sense to us for why we are not loved and accepted just as we are. Because of the fashion industrys obsession with slenderness, many women who have as their main messages, I am not good enough; whats the use, will use their bodies as a focal point for selfhatred. On one level they are saying, If 1 were only thin enough, then they would love me. But it doesnt work. Nothing works from the outside. Self-approval and self-acceptance are the key. ARTHRITIS is a dis-ease that comes from a constant pattern of criticism. First of all, criticism of the self, and then criticism of other people. Arthritic people often attract a lot of criticism because it is their pattern to criticize. They are cursed with perfectionism, the need to be perfect at all times in every situation. Do you know of anyone on this planet who is perfect? I do not. Why do we set up standards that say we have to be Super Person, in order to be barely acceptable? Its such a strong expression of not being good enough, and such a heavy burden to carry. ASTHMA we call smother love. There is a feeling that you do not have the right to breathe for yourself. Asthmatic children often have overdeveloped consciences. They take on guilt feelings for whatever seems wrong in their environment. They feel unworthy, therefore guilty, and in need of self-punishment. 137 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Geographic cures sometimes work with asthma, especially if the family does not go along. Usually, asthmatic children will outgrow their dis-ease. This really means they go away to school, get married, or leave home somehow, and the dis-ease dissolves. Oftentimes, later in life, an experience will happen that pushes an old button within them, and they have another attack. When that happens, they are not really responding to the current circumstances, but rather to what used to go on in their childhood. BOILS AND BURNS, CUTS, FEVERS, SORES, IT1S, AND INFLAMMATIONS all are indications of anger expressing in the body. Anger will find its way to express, no matter how much we try to suppress it. Steam that is built up must be released. We fear our anger, lest we destroy our world, yet anger can be released as simply as saying, I am angry about this. True, we cant always say this to our bosses. We can, however, beat the bed or scream in the car or play tennis. These are harmless ways to physically releasing anger. Spiritual people often believe they shouldnt get angry. True, we are all working toward the time when we no longer blame others for our feelings, but until we arrive there, it is healthier to acknowledge what we do feel in the moment. CANCER is a dis-ease caused by deep resentment held for a long time until it literally eats away at the body. Something happens in childhood that destroys the sense of trust. This experience is never forgotten, and the individual lives with a sense of self-pity, finding it hard to develop and maintain long-term, meaningful relationships. Because of that belief system, life seems to be a series of disappointments. A feeling of hopelessness and helplessness and loss permeates the thinking, and it becomes easy to blame others for all our problems. People with cancer are also very self-critical. To me, learning to love and accept the self is the key to healing cancers. OVERWEIGHT represents a need for protection. We seek protection from hurts, slights, criticism, abuse, sexuality, and sexual advances; from a fear of life in general and also specifically. Take your choice. 138 The Body I am not a heavy person, yet I have learned over the years that when I am feeling insecure and not at ease, 1 will put on a few pounds. When the threat is gone, the excess weight goes away by itself. Fighting fat is a waste of time and energy. Diets dont work. The minute you stop, the weight goes back up. Loving and approving of yourself, trusting in the process of life and feeling safe because you know the power of your own mind make up the best diet I know of. Go on a diet from negative thoughts, and your weight will take care of itself. Too many parents stuff food in a babys mouth no matter what the problem is. These babies grow up to stand in front of an open refrigerator saying, I dont know what I want, whenever there is a problem. PAIN of any sort, to me, is an indication of guilt. Guilt always seeks punishment, and punishment creates pain. Chronic pain comes from chronic guilt, often so deeply buried that we are not even aware of it anymore. Guilt is a totally useless emotion. It never makes anyone feel better, nor does it change a situation. Your sentence is now over, so let yourself out of prison. Forgiving is only giving up, letting go. STROKES are blood clots; congestion in the bloodstream in the area of the brain cutting off the blood supply to the brain. The brain is the computer of the body. Blood is joy. The veins and arteries are channels of joy. Everything works under the law and the action of love. There is love in every bit of intelligence in the Universe. It is impossible to work and function well without love and joy being experienced. Negative thinking clogs up the brain, and there is no room for love and joy to flow in its free and open way. Laughter cannot flow if it is not allowed to be free and foolish. It is the same with love and joy. Life is not grim unless we make it so, unless we choose to look at it in that way. We can find total disaster in the smallest upset, and we can find some joy in the greatest tragedy. It is up to us. 139 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Sometimes we try to force our life to go in a certain way when it is not for our highest good. Sometimes we create strokes to force us to go in a totally different direction, to reevaluate our lifestyles. STIFFNESS in the body represents stiffness in the mind. Fear makes us cling to old ways, and we find it difficult to be flexible. If we believe there is only one way to do something, we often find ourselves becoming stiff. We can always find another way to do things. Remember Virginia Satir and her more than 250 different ways to do dishes. Notice where in the body the stiffness occurs, look it up on my list of mental patterns, and it will show you where in your mind you are being stiff and rigid. SURGERY has its place. It is good for broken bones and accidents and for conditions beyond the abilities of a beginner to dissolve. It may be easier under these conditions to have the operation, and concentrate all the mental healing work on seeing that the condition is not recreated. More and more each day there are many wonderful people in the medical profession who are truly dedicated to helping humanity. More and more doctors are turning to holistic ways of healing, treating the whole person. Yet most doctors do not work with the cause of any illness; they only treat the symptoms, the effects. They do this in one of two ways: They poison or they mutilate. Surgeons cut, and if you go to surgeons, they will usually recommend cutting. However, if the decision for surgery is made, prepare yourself for the experience so it will go as smoothly as possible, and you will heal as rapidly as possible. Ask the surgeon and staff to cooperate with you in this. Surgeons and their staffs in the operating rooms are often unaware that even though the patient is unconscious, he or she is still hearing and picking up everything said on a subconscious level. I heard one New Age leader say she needed some emergency surgery and, before the operation, she had a talk with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. She asked them please to play soft music dur ing the operation and for them to talk to her and each other contin 140 The Body uously in positive affirmations. She had the nurse in the recovery room do the same thing, and the operation went easily, and her recovery was rapid and comfortable. With my own clients, I always suggest they affirm that, Every hand that touches me in the hospital is a healing hand and expresses only love, and, The operation goes quickly and easily and perfectly. Another is, 1 am totally comfortable at all times. After the surgery, have some soft and pleasant music playing as much as possible, and affirm to yourself, I am healing rapidly, comfortably, and perfecdy. Tell yourself, Every day I feel better and better. If you can, make yourself a tape of a series of positive affirmations. Take your tape recorder to the hospital, and play your tape over and over while you rest and recuperate. Notice sensations, not pain. Imagine love flowing from your own heart down through your arms and into your hands. Place your hands over the part that is healing, and say to this place, I love you, and I am helping you to get well. SWELLING of the body represents clogging and stagnation in the emotional thinking. We create situations where we get hurt, and we cling to these memories. Swelling often represents bottled-up tears, feeling stuck and trapped, or blaming others for our own limitations. Release the past, let it wash away. Take back your own power. Stop dwelling on what you dont want. Use your mind to create what you do want. Let yourself flow with the tide of life. TUMORS are false growths. An oyster takes a tiny grain of sand and, to protect itself, grows a hard and shiny shell around it. We call it a pearl and think it is beautiful. We take on old hurt and nurse it and keep pulling the scab off it, and in time we have a tumor. I call this running the old movie. I believe the reason women have so many tumors in the uterus area is that they take an emotional hurt, a blow to their femininity, and nurse it. I call this the He done tne wrong syndrome. Just because a relationship ends does not mean there is something wrong with us, nor does it lessen our self-worth. 141 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE It is not what happens, it is how we react to it. We are each responsible for all our experiences. What beliefs about yourself do you need to change in order to attract more loving kinds of behavior? 142 In the. infinity of lift where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I recognize my body as a goodfriend. Each odd in my body has Divine Intelligence. I listen to what it tells me, and know that its advice is valid. I am always safe, and Divinely protected and guided. I choose to be healthy andfree. All is well in my world. Part IV CONCLUSION Chapter Sixteen MY STORY We are all one. Will you tell me a little about your childhood, briefly. This is a question I have asked so many clients. Its not that I need to hear all the details, but I want to get a general pattern of where they are coming from. If they have problems now, the patterns that created them began a long time ago. When I was a little girl of 18 months, I experienced my parents divorcing. I dont remember that as being so bad. What I do remember with horror is when my mother went to work as a live-in domestic and boarded me out. The story goes that I cried nonstop for three weeks. The people taking care of me couldnt handle that, and my mother was forced to take me back and make other arrangements. How she managed as a single parent brings my admiration today. Then, however, all 1 knew and cared about was that I was not getting all the loving attention I once had. I have never been able to determine if my mother loved my stepfather or whether she just married him in order to provide a home for us. But it was not a good move. This man had been brought up in Europe in a heavy Germanic home with much brutality, and he had never learned any other way to manage a family. My mother became pregnant with my sister, and then the 1930s Depression descended upon us, and we found ourselves stuck in a home of violence. I was five years old. 215 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE To add to the scenario, it was just about this time that a neighbor an old wino, as I remember it, raped me. The doctors examination is still vivid in my mind, as was the court case in which I was the star witness. The man was sentenced to 15 years in prison. 1 was told repeatedly that, It was your fault, so I spent many years fearing that when he was released he would come and get me for being so terrible as to put him in jail. Most of my childhood was spent enduring both physical and sexual abuse, with a lot of hard labor thrown in. My self-image became lower and lower, and few things seemed to go right for me. I began to express this pattern in the outside world. There was an incident in the fourth grade that was so typical of what my life was like. We were having a party at school one day, and there were several cakes to share. Most of the children in this school except for me were from comfortable middle-class families. I was poorly dressed, with a funny bowl haircut, high-topped black shoes, and I smelled from the raw garlic I had to eat every day to keep the worms away. We never had cake. We couldnt afford it. There was an old neighbor woman who gave me ten cents every week, and a dollar on my birthday and at Christmas. The ten cents went into the family budget, and the dollar bought my underwear for the year at the dime store. So, this day we were having the party at school, and there was so much cake that, as they were cutting it, some of the kids who could have cake almost every day were getting two or three pieces. When the teacher finally got around to me (and of course I was last), there was no cake left. Not one piece. I see clearly now that it was my already confirmed belief that I was worthless and did not DESERVE anything that put me at the end of the line with no cake. It was MY pattern. THEY were only being a mirror for my beliefs. When I was 15, 1 could not take the sexual abuse any longer, and I ran away from home and from school. The job I found as a waitress in a diner seemed so much easier than the heavy yard work I had to do at home. 216 My Story Being starved for love and affection and having the lowest of selfesteem, I willingly gave my body to whoever was kind to me; and just after my 16th birthday, I gave birth to a baby girl. I felt it was impossible to keep her; however, I was able to find her a good, loving home. I found a childless couple who longed for a baby. I lived in their home for the last four months, and when I went to the hospital, I had the child in their name. Under such circumstances, 1 never experienced the joys of motherhood, only the loss and guilt and shame. Then it was only a shameful time to get over with as soon as possible. 1 only remember her big toes, which were unusual, like mine. If we ever meet, I will know for sure if I see her toes. I left when the child was five days old. I immediately went back home and said to my mother who had continued to be a victim, Come on, you dont have to take this any longer. Im getting you out of here. She came with me, leaving my ten-year-old sister, who had always been Daddys darling, to stay with her father. After helping my mother get a job as a domestic in a small hotel and settling her into an apartment where she was free and comfortable, I felt my obligations were over. I left for Chicago with a girlfriend to stay a month and did not return for over 30 years. In those early days, the violence I experienced as a child, combined with the sense of worthlessness I developed along the way, attracted men into my life who mistreated me and often beat me. I could have spent the rest of my life berating men, and I probably would still be having the same experiences. Gradually, however, through positive work experiences, my self-esteem grew, and those kind of men began to leave my life. They no longer fit my old pattern of unconsciously believing I deserved abuse. I do not condone their behavior, but if it were not my pattern, they would not have been attracted to me. Now, a man who abuses women does not even know I exist. Our patterns no longer attract. After a few years in Chicago doing rather menial work, I went to New York and was fortunate enough to become a high-fashion model. Yet, even modeling for the big designers did not help my self- 217 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE esteem very much. It only gave me more ways to find fault with myself. I refused to recognize my own beauty. I was in the fashion industry for many years. I met and married a wonderful, educated English gentleman. We traveled the world, met royalty, and even had dinner at the White House. Though I was a model and had a wonderful husband, my self-esteem still remained low until years later when I began the inner work. One day after 14 years of marriage, my husband announced his desire to marry another, just when I was beginning to believe that good things can last. Yes, I was crushed. But time passes, and I lived on. I could feel my life changing, and a numerologist one spring confirmed it by telling me that in the fall a small event would occur that would change my life. It was so small that 1 didnt notice it until several months later. Quite by chance, I had gone to a meeting at the Church of Religious Science in New York City. While their message was new to me, something within me said, Pay attention, and so I did. I not only went to the Sunday services, but I began to take their weekly classes. The beauty and fashion world was losing its interest to me. How many years could I remain concerned with my waist measurement or the shape of my eyebrows? From a high school dropout who never studied anything, I now became a voracious student, devouring everything I could lay my hands on that pertained to metaphysics and healing. The Church of Religious Science became a new home for me. Even though most of my life was going on as usual, this new course of study began to take up more and more of my time. The next thing I knew, it was three years later, and I was eligible to apply to become one of the Churchs licensed practitioners. I passed the test, and thats where I began, as a church counselor, many years ago. It was a small beginning. During this time I became a Transcendental Meditator. My church was not giving the Ministerial Training Program for another year, so I decided to do something special for myself. I went to college for six months MIU, Maharishis International University in Fairfield, Iowa. 218 My Story It was the perfect place for me at that time. In the freshman year, every Monday morning we began a new subject, things I had only heard of, such as biology, chemistry, and even the theory of relativity. Every Saturday morning there was a test. Sunday was free, and Monday morning we began anew. There were none of the distractions so typical of my life in New York City. After dinner we all went to our rooms to study. I was the oldest kid on campus and loved every moment of it. No smoking, drinking, or drugs were allowed, and we meditated four times a day. The day I left, I thought I would collapse from the cigarette smoke in the airport. Back to New York I went to resume my life. Soon I began taking the Ministerial Training Program. I became very active in the church and in its social activities. I began speaking at their noon meetings and seeing clients. This quickly blossomed into a full-time career. Out of the work I was doing, I was inspired to put together the little book Heal Your Body, which began as a simple list of metaphysical causations for physical illnesses in the body. I began to lecture and travel and hold small classes. Then one day I was diagnosed as having cancer. With my background of being raped at five and having been a battered child, it was no wonder I manifested cancer in the vaginal area. Like anyone else who has just been told they have cancer, I went into total panic. Yet because of all my work with clients, I knew that mental healing worked, and here I was being given a chance to prove it to myself. After all, I had written the book on mental patterns, and I knew cancer was a dis-ease of deep resentment that has been held for a long time until it literally eats away at the body. 1 had been refusing to be willing to dissolve all the anger and resentment at them over my childhood. There was no time to waste; I had a lot of work to do. The word incurable, which is so frightening to so many people, means to me that this particular condition cannot be cured by any outer means and that we must go within to find the cure. If I had an operation to get rid of the cancer and did not clear the mental pat- 219 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE tern that created it, then the doctors would just keep cutting Louise until there was no more Louise to cut. I didnt like that idea. If I had the operation to remove the cancerous growth and also cleared the mental pattern that was causing the cancer, then it would not return. If cancer or any other illness returns, I do not believe it is because they did not get it all out, but rather that the patient has made no mental change. He or she just recreates the same illness, perhaps in a different part of the body. 1 also believe that if I could clear the mental pattern that created this cancer, then I would not even need the operation. So I bargained for time, and the doctors grudgingly gave me three months when I said I did not have the money. I immediately took responsibility for my own healing. I read and investigated everything I could find on alternative ways to assist my healing process. 1 went to several health food stores and bought every book they had on the subject of cancer. I went to the library and did more reading. I checked out foot reflexology and colon therapy and thought they both would be beneficial to me. I seemed to be led to exactly the right people. After reading about foot reflexology, I wanted to find a practitioner. I attended a lecture, and while I usually sat in the front row, this night I was compelled to sit in the back. Within a minute, a man came and sat beside me and guess what? He was a foot reflexologist who visited the home. He came to me three times a week for two months and was a great help. I knew I also had to love myself a great deal more than I was. There was little love expressed in my childhood, and no one had made it okay for me to feel good about myself. I had adopted their attitudes of continually picking on and criticizing me, which had become second nature. I had come to the realization through my work with the Church that it was okay and even essential for me to love and approve of myself. Yet 1 kept putting it offrather like the diet you will always start tomorrow. But 1 could no longer put it off. At first it was very difficult for me to do things like stand in front of the mirror and say 220 My Story things like, Louise, I love you. I really love you. However, as 1 persisted, 1 found that several situations came up in my life where in the past I would have berated myself, and now, because of the mirror exercise and other work, 1 was not doing so. I was making some progress. I knew I had to clear the patterns of resentment I had been holding since childhood. It was imperative for me to let go of the blame. Yes, I had had a very difficult childhood with a lot of abuse mental, physical, and sexual. But that was many years ago, and it was no excuse for the way I was treating myself now. I was literally eating my body with cancerous growth because 1 had not forgiven. It was time for me to go beyond the incidents themselves and to begin to UNDERSTAND what types of experiences could have created people who would treat a child that way. With the help of a good therapist, I expressed all the old, bottledup anger by beating pillows and howling with rage. This made me feel cleaner. Then I began to piece together the scraps of stories my parents had told me of their own childhoods. I started to see a larger picture of their lives. With my growing understanding, and from an adult viewpoint, I began to have compassion for their pain; and the blame slowly began to dissolve. In addition, I hunted for a good nutritionist to help me cleanse and detoxify my body from all the junky foods I had eaten over the years. 1 learned that junky foods accumulate and create a toxic body. Junky thoughts accumulate and create toxic conditions in the mind. I was given a very strict diet with lots of green vegetables and not much else. I even had colonics three times a week for the first month. 1 did not have an operation however, as a result of all the thorough mental and physical cleansing, six months after my diagnosis I was able to get the medical profession to agree with what I already knew that I no longer had even a trace of cancer! Now I knew from personal experience that DIS-EASE CAN BE HEALED, IF WE ARE WILLING TO CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK AND BELIEVE AND ACT! 221 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE Sometimes what seems to be a big tragedy turns out to become the greatest good in our lives. I learned so much from that experience and I came to value life in a new way. I began to look at what was really important to me, and I made a decision finally to leave the treeless city of New York and its extreme weather. Some of my clients insisted they would die if I left them, and I assured them 1 would be back twice a year to check on their progress, and telephones can reach everywhere. So I closed my business and took a leisurely train trip to California, deciding to use Los Angeles as a starting point. Even though I had been bom here many years before, I knew almost no one anymore except for my mother and sister, who both now lived on the outskirts about an hour away. We have never been a close family nor an open one, but still I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that my mother had been blind for a few years, and no one had bothered to tell me. My sister was too busyish to see me, so 1 let her be and began to set up my new life. My little book Heal Your Body opened many doors for me. I began to go to every New Age type of meeting I could find. I would introduce myself, and when appropriate, give out a copy of the little book. For the first six months, I went to the beach a lot, knowing that when 1 became busy, there would be less time for such leisurely pursuits. Slowly, the clients appeared. I was asked to speak here and there, and things began to come together as Los Angeles welcomed me. Within a couple of years, I was able to move into a lovely home. My new lifestyle in Los Angeles was a large jump in consciousness from my early upbringing. Things were going smoothly, indeed. How swiftly our lives can change completely. One night I received a phone call from my sister, the first call in two years. She told me that our mother, now 90, blind, and almost deaf, had fallen and broken her back. In one moment my mother went from being a strong, independent woman to being a helpless child in pain. She broke her back and also broke open the wall of secrecy around my sister. Finally, we were all beginning to communicate. I discovered that my sister also had a severe back problem that 222 My Story impaired her sitting and walking and which was very painful. She suffered in silence, and though she looked anorexic, her husband did not know she was ill. After spending a month in the hospital, my mother was ready to go home. But in no way could she take care of herself, so she came to live with me. Though trusting in the process of life, 1 did not know how I could handle it all, so I said to God, Okay, I will take care of her, but you have to give me help, and you have to provide the money! It was quite an adjustment for both of us. She arrived on a Saturday; and the following Friday, I had to go to San Francisco for four days. I could not leave her alone, and I had to go. I said, God, you handle this. I have to have the right person to help us before I leave. On the following Thursday, the perfect person had appeared, and moved in to organize my home for my mother and me. It was another confirmation of one of my basic beliefs: Whatever I need to know is revealed to me, and whatever I need comes to me in Divine right order. I realized it was lesson time for me once again. Here was an opportunity to clean up a lot of that garbage from childhood. My mother had not been able to protect me when 1 was a child; however, I could and would take care of her now. Between my mother and my sister, a new whole adventure began. To give my sister the help she asked for presented another challenge. I learned that when I had rescued my mother so many years ago, my stepfather then turned his rage and pain against my sister, and it was her turn to be brutalized. I realized that what started out to be a physical problem was then greatly exaggerated by fear and tension, plus the belief that no one could help her. So here was Louise, not wanting to be a rescuer and yet wanting to give her sister an opportunity to choose wellness at this point in her life. Slowly the unraveling began, and now, today, its still going on. We progress step by step as I provide an atmosphere of safety while we explore various avenues of healing. 223 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE My mother,* on the other hand, responds very well. She exercises as best she can four times a day. Her body gets stronger and more flexible. I took her to get a hearing aid, and she became more interested in life. In spite of her Christian Science beliefs, I persuaded her to have a cataract removed from one eye. What a joy for her to begin to see again and for us to see the world through her eyes. She is so pleased to read again. My mother and I began to find time to sit and talk to each other in ways we had never done before. A new understanding developed between us. Today, we both become freer as we cry and laugh and hug together. Sometimes she pushes my buttons, which only tells me there is something further for me to clear. * * * *My mother left the planet peacefully several years ago. I miss her and love her. We completed all we could together, and now we are both free. 224 Afterword. I ts hard to believe that 20 years have gone by since 1 first wrote You Can Heal Your Life. During that time, this book has been translated into 29 different languages, is available in more than 35 different countries, and has sold more than 30 million copies throughout the world. When I first wrote this book, my original dream was to go beyond the students in my workshops and help as many other people as possible change their lives for the better. Little did 1 know how the Universe would fulfill this dream or how many people would really be helped. From the moment this book was written, it seems that Life has said, This book must go out; it must be available worldwide. I think that the success of You Can Heal Your Life is due to the fact that I have the ability to help people change and learn to love themselves without laying guilt on them. I also think that the simplicity in the message helps it transfer between many different cultures with success. At this years trade book fair in Los Angeles (Book Expo America 2003), I met a man who told me that Im a best-selling author in his bookstore in Kathmandu, Nepal. I keep his business card on my desk as a reminder of the extraordinary connection I have with people everywhere. And today, the Internet brings me masses of mail from all over the globe each month. Many of these letters are from young people who find my message just as relevant and healing as those who first read it 20 years ago. So much has happened over the years: For six and a half years, I spent time working with people with AIDS. It began with six men in 225 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE my living room one evening; within a couple of years, it had grown to a weekly meeting of more than 800 people. We called it The Hayride This was such a growing period for memy heart was constantly being stretched. Ill remember those experiences for the rest of my life. The Hayride Support Group still exists in West Hollywood, although Im no longer connected with it, since I moved out of town a few years ago. Sometime after I wrote this book, several of the Hayride people went on the Oprah show with me to put out positive messages about AIDS. The same week, I appeared on Donahue with Dr. Bemie Siegel. You Can Heal Your Life hit the bestseller list and stayed there for 13 weeks. I was in constant awe of how Life was moving me in so many directions. I was working ten-hour days, seven days a week for a long period of time. Life goes in cycles. Theres a time to do something, and then theres a time to move on ... . For the past ten years, Ive had the pleasure of spending much of my time in my garden creating compost, feeding the earth, and growing most of the food I eat. In the next few months, Ill be moving into a new condominium with a terrace. Now my gardening will be different, yet Ill keep my hands in the soil. Painting has been on my wish list for a long time, and Ive dabbled a bit over the years and taken a few classes. A couple of years ago, I came across a wonderful art teacher who accepted me as her only student. To my amazement, her name is very similar to mine: Lynn Hays. Lynn has stretched me far beyond what I thought I was capable of painting, and she wont allow me to paint anything small. Im now doing oils on a large scale these days and feeling very fulfilled. Ive rescued several animals over the last 20 years. I told each one, 1 cant do anything about your past; however, I promise you that you will live a life of love and joy for the rest of your days." They all lived out their allotted times and have now moved on. My intuition tells me not to have any more animals for the time being, as I need to be free to move around the world more. In the early days, there were few people doing the kind of wor was, and I felt the need to be everywhere, teaching constantly. Now 226 Afterword there are so many good teachers out there that I no longer feel the pressure to personally rescue everyone. Ive written more than 20 books and have produced numerous audios and videos. My advice columns, Ask Louise and Dear Louise, appear in more than 50 different New Age publications (as well as in my own bimonthly newsletter). Theres plenty of material for people to study. Ive cut down my speaking schedule to almost nothing. I work behind the scenes now, supporting new authors and talented teachers. Im blessed to have excellent people running Hay House for me. Reid Tracy, president and CEO, and vice president Ron Tillinghast are both invaluable to me, as is Shelley Anderson, my personal assistant. I love all the people who work in editorial, the art department, publicity, customer service, marketing, sales, accounting, and the warehouse. They all make up the wonderful mix of Hay House family members that makes us all so successful. I believe we shall continue to bring our brand of information to the world for a long timeblessing and prospering all those we touch. When I first printed You Can Heal Your Life, I started Hay House so I could self-publish my book, since I believed at the time that no other company would have released it back then when these thoughts were considered so radical. At that time, there wasnt even a self-help section in the bookstore. Today, more than half of the New York Times bestsellers are self-help books. How the consciousness of people has changed! It feels good to know that I was one of the early pioneers in spreading the message that we all do have the ability to improve the quality of our lives. Hay House has since grown to be one of the worlds top publishers in the self-help and mind/body/spirit fields. Now we even have offices in Sydney, Australia; London, England; Johannesburg, South Africa; Vancouver, Canada; and Hong Kong. All these changes have been beyond my wildest dreams. In the beginning, all I wanted to do was help the people I couldnt see personally. I truly believe that the growth of Hay House was supervised by the Universe itself: When we choose a new book to publish, its always something that helps others 227 YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE improve themselves. I love supporting promising authors who are helping to change peoples lives! An astrologer once told me that when I was bom, there was a configuration in my chart that showed 1 would be helping many, many people on a one-to-one basis. Of course, 77 years ago, tape recorders had not been invented, so that configuration seemed unlikely. However, because of the miracle of technology, the sound of my voice on tape (and now on CD) accompanies thousands of people to bed each night. My voice can put anyone to sleep! As a result, many people whom Ive never met feel that they know me because we spend so many intimate moments together. One of the wonderful things about what I do is that it gives me the opportunity to be greeted with love almost everywhere I go. People feel that Im an old friend who has helped them through many a sticky moment. No matter what age we are, we can always let go of some more garbage and break a new barrier. Let me share my latest breakthrough with you. Last year when I turned 76, I decided to do something Id never done before because I was always afraid to: I took up ballroom dancing. Id wanted to dance since I was a child, but I could never get up the courage. For many years Id said, In the next lifetime, I will be a dancer. Its too late to do it now. Talk about a negative affirmation. Then one day last fall, I passed a dance studio that advertised: We teach you to dance one step at a time. And I thought. One step at a time . . . maybe I could do that. And the thought that followed was: Im going to live quite a few more years. Why am I waiting for the next lifetime?! And so a new era began for me. The first two months were absolute hell. I dreaded the lesson each Wednesday afternoon but knew I had to go through with it. I think I held my breath the entire first lesson. Every little-kid piece of garbage I still carried within me came up: embarrassment, humiliation, shame it all flooded through my body. I couldnt even find an affirmation to fix it. One of my teachers finally said, Louise, I can see the fear in your eyes. Where does it come from? I couldnt answer the question right then. But later that night I really thought about it, and the answer was 228 Afterword that there was a part of me that was convinced I would be hit in the face if I did it wrong. That was a real revelation to me. The little kid inside was terrified of being slapped, and 1 was 76 years old! At the next lesson, when 1 told the teacher my answer, her eyes filled with tears. And that was the breakthrough for me. All those feelings began to subside, and I could concentrate on my steps. Its now almost a year later, and 1 take three private lessons a week and four group lessons. Its even become fun for me. So, my dears, if 1 can do it, so can you. Its never too late to learn something new. The older I get, the more important my health becomes to me. I eat simply: protein, vegetables, and some fruit. Im not a vegetarian now, although I have been; however, I do eat lots of vegetables. I no longer eat wheat, dairy, sugar, com, citrus, beans, or caffeine, except on very rare occasions. I also exercise more than I used to. The practice of yoga entered my life when I was 75, and Ive been doing it three times a week. Ive become more limber than I was as a child. In addition, I take Pilates classes and walk for an hour three times a week. All of this helps keep my body in good shape. Who knows what the next 20 years have in store for me? I have some ideas; however, life knows so much more than I do. One of the next subjects I would like to teach is how to make dying a joyful experience. We have so many negative beliefs about death, yet its a normal and natural process. Were all bom and we all die. Why are we so frightened of death? We werent frightened to be bom. My feelings at the moment are that if we learn to live a joyous life, then well automatically have a joyous death. Ill explore this more, and then Ill share my findings with you. All is well. Life is good. --End--

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