Read an Excerpt
That Precious Reunion
You have some "time" on the Program. Or, as one might say in more casual circles, you’ve "been around" a while. You’re at that stage where on one hand newcomers look up to you as someone who’s “been there,” and on the other, you feel you can finally hold your own in a conversation with those blasted, beloved "old timers."
And what’s the Program? Well, it could be any one of the dozens of Twelve-Step Programs to which millions of us now attribute a better life, or even being alive. Or both. Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Al-Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Alateen, Nicotine Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous, or You-Name-It-Anonymous; if you’ve ever sat through a bunch of meetings in some grungy church basement and heard, "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed these steps . . . ," you’re a Twelve-Stepper.
You feel fairly comfortable on the Program most of the time. Not great, really, but OK, except for that relentless gnawing. No matter; you have a moderately good relationship with your Higher Power, you speak at meetings off and on, and you probably still have one or two "babies" or "pigeons," those newcomers who incessantly bug you on the other end of a phone.
Basically, you’ve got it together. You’re sober, or clean, or in a process of releasing, slimming, whatever. You feel pretty good about your Program on the whole. You go to an acceptable number of meetings, take a good Tenth Step now and then, and may even opt for some occasional Twelfth-Step work when pressed. A model member. But this feeling that there’s something more just won’t leave you alone. Ninety percent of the time you’re not even aware of it, but that other ten percent, what is it?
You go about your life pretty much by rote. You wake up in the morning not flying, but OK, and hit work with the same "hi" to the same boss every day. You dutifully reach for that scrungy coffee cup with your name on it and begin your workday after the usual complaints about the coffee’s quality. You listen to the same, unfunny jokes from the bunch, laugh at the appropriate spots (God forbid you shouldn’t be one of the troops!), and make the obligatory comments about Susie’s new dress and how low it’s cut.
Nothing changes, particularly you. There’s no excitement, no newness. Maybe you should get more involved with the Program again, maybe get more newcomers to work with, or put in some hours down at Central Office. Maybe it’s time for another inventory. Damn! What is it?
Then come the long walks. Are you really looking for something, or is it just spring fever in January? A new church, or dance group, or study group, anything new to fill that void. Perhaps you should share the feeling at a meeting? No, you guess not. How can you talk about a feeling when you don’t even know what the feeling is you’re feeling?
So what is it? If you really tried, could you put your finger on it? Empty? Lonely? Or just basically unjazzed? Of course, you don’t want to look at it too closely because it might be nothing more than midlife crisis or college doldrums.
Then again, maybe your situation isn’t so subtle. Maybe you’re one of the "Dear-God-how-did-I-ever-get-myself-into-this-mess-and-if-it-doesn’t-change-soon-I’m-going-to-kill-myself" group. And you go to meetings, smiling your usual answer to the usual greetings, "Oh, fine, thanks. I’m just fine."
You keep stuffing the feelings as unrecognizable. After all, you’re sober, or clean, or releasing, or off cigarettes and card tables, aren’t you? What else is important? Finally, in shoulder-shrugging resignation, you conclude it’s probably nothing. After all, your life is a damn sight better than it was before the Program, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
No! That kind of thinking won’t work any longer. Everything is not fine, not by a long shot. By capping your feelings, denying what the magnificent inner voice within you is trying to scream into your sleeping consciousness, you’re simply stuffing them farther down to fester yet another day. No, this is definitely not what life is all about.
The Feeling of Aloneness
Most of us go through life not knowing what we want but being pretty darn sure this isn’t it. So we walk around with that gnawing feeling of aloneness. Oh sure, we believe in a Higher Power--out there. We know it’s always there, ready to interact with us the moment we call to it. But the problem is we’re forever removing ourselves from that conscious contact and reverting right back to where we were--empty, separate.
Since we’re certain it would be impossible to stay "plugged in" every second of every day, the Higher Power gets put on the back burner, ready for duty when called upon. We go on picking up scraps of joy here and there in those rare and wonderful moments of carefree living, those moments of what? Ahh, those moments of not feeling alone!
That Magnificent Longing
How much of a surprise would it be to learn that the purpose of life was to live, to be really alive, to be filled with the adventure of all life, to be in absolute control of your own destiny, to be a joyous learner from life, loving every moment of the ride? Life was designed to be a platform for us to live our creativity, to live and express our individuality in colorful and challenging ways simply because those things bring us joy.
For most of us, however, the purpose of life has been earning the dollar, finding the "right" relationship, getting the house, making it work. Little have we known that all those things we’ve been working at, and going through, are nothing more than roadmaps from the soul. What do you think that longing is that’s been pounding inside of you? It’s the soul of your Being pleading with you to opt for something more vast, pleading with you to end this experiment in frozen living. "Wake up," it’s saying. "You don’t know who you are! Wake up and find out! I won’t let up until you do! Wake up, damn it, wake up!"
A light goes on. Something in you knows what to do, where to look. You find new books like this one, new people, new groups. You feel as if a door has opened and fresh breezes are blowing through. You’re beginning to feed that magnificent longing. New life is stirring in you, and your journey to a place inside we’ll call "Home"has just begun.
You’ve been homesick for that Home, though you can’t remember it. You can’t remember because it’s too vast to fit into your present structure of thought. You’ve been wanting something, but you haven’t known what. And if you’re at all like me, there’s been an increasing urgency attached to that desire. And so here you are, about to begin this most incredible of all journeys.
Take care. If you don’t want your world rocked, your security shaken, or your tidy little sandbox disturbed, you may not want to spend time in these pages. Some of the concepts may startle you, or even frighten you. But stay with it and give that longing a chance. Let yourself drink in answers to questions as old as time itself: who you are, what you are, why you are. This is not power of positive thinking, although that’s involved. Nor is it cosmic razzle-dazzle. What’s in this book is truth as I have learned it, truth that has totally changed my life and the lives of thousands.
So let your journey begin! It’s the reawakening of what you’ve always known but long forgotten. You pack your Twelve Steps and take them with you. You are on your road Home, that warm place of remembrance that’s been calling to you for so long, that place inside holding total knowledge of who and what you are. It’s your God within standing up, shaking itself off, and beginning to smile.
Freedom: The Inside Job
Imagine what it would be like to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but to just be in the face of whatever’s going on, to welcome the experience of pain, to acknowledge fear, and do all this within a world of ease and serenity, instead of raving panic.
Tough to imagine, isn’t it? Right now you’re probably quite right in thinking such a utopia couldn’t possibly exist. Yet once you come to accept one simple principle in your life, you’ll see how possible it is. That principle is simply to know, to know, you have choices. And not only do you have choices, but you have within you an energy center more powerful than ten thousand suns to make those choices happen.
There are two essential points to absorb before you can move on. If you feel resistance to them, simply acknowledge that resistance and keep going, for these points set the stage for an easier opening of the doors within which have been locked for so long. These two points are:
1) You will never know the elixir of the freedom of life that is your birthright as long as you are addicted to the idea that manipulating your universe from the outside will make you happy.
2) Nothing, nothing, will change in your life until you absolutely know that you are worth more than you are now getting.
Two toughies, no question about it. The first, because we’ve been taught to believe in outside circumstances since babyhood; the second, because beliefs about our worth (or lack of it) are buried so deeply we have no idea they even exist.
Shiny New Tools
How often have you had a flash that this thing you see as you is a whole lot bigger than one could perceive? We’ve all had those feelings but usually stuffed them, lest such outrageous thinking rock our already shaky boat. The fact is, we are far more than we think we are, vaster, more magnificent, and more powerful than the tiny, minute knowledge of ourselves can presently imagine. If you let it, that vastness will be your inner teacher, reaching out to you with golden keys of freedom. The secret in letting it happen lies in understanding the physics behind this vastness. That’s right, physics! Energy! Force! Power!
You don’t have to keep repeating the same, negative experiences over and over and wonder why. You don’t have to repeat the same problems with lifemates, and jobs, and money, and wonder why. You don’t have to, unless you want to. You have choices, wonderful, amazing choices.
Be open to the reality that you are not a mere, limited being of flesh and blood but rather a center of energy filled with life and power, a vortex of such immense force that, once harnessed, you are able to change your life in whatever manner you desire, whenever you desire to do so.
From Chapter One to Chapter Two
Sometimes we take our Twelve Steps for granted; other times we’re overwhelmed with gratitude for their simple power. Sometimes we work them; other times we ignore them. But at no time have we ever left them, no matter how often we may have slipped or stumbled. They are part of us forever, for nothing, but nothing, could ever replace those magnificent Twelve Steps.
The principles within these pages are not intended to replace anything. They are new. They go beyond. From Chapter One, now comes Chapter Two, so to speak. In Chapter One, our Program, we established ourselves as functional members of society, no longer chained to the addictions of our existence. The more we got into the Twelve Steps and"practiced them in all our affairs,"the more serenity inched into our lives, giving us the freedom to reach for more. And now, we’re ready for chapter Two.
Follow the Call
Home is that place inside where God is, that place inside we’ve longed for, but forgotten. Until we’re at least open to believing this self we inhabit is only a fraction of what we really are, until we realize the sun and the ocean are as nothing beside us, and until we can give up the idea that God is something separate from us, that longing inside will never leave, and we’ll be going around in the same unfulfilled circles for the rest of our lives.
What we’re going for here is simply a process of waking up. There are no rules, and there is no rush. Everyone gets it when they get it. So, as you go through the coming pages, do so with a sense of allowing, without judgment. Be willing to entertain new beliefs, new insights, new ways of thinking. The more open you are to these truths, the more rapidly your life will change, for the more rapidly you will change.
You’ll be embarking on a journey as ancient and as natural as life itself, and one hundred percent guaranteed. Whether you dive in with an insatiable hunger and go at breakneck speed or lightly sample bits and pieces of the smorgasbord as it passes before you, you’ll never again be able to return to what you are now, nor will you want to.
With just a little willingness, you can leave your old ways, hurts, and struggles behind and opt for the life, love, and wisdom your soul so desperately yearns to experience. That’s the longing you feel, the yearning, the call for you to remember all of what you really are. Let it be. Follow your yearning. All those defenses you’ve so carefully built are beginning to weaken, and the floodgates are pushing open with the strength of your desire to know. Coming forth is what you’ve been looking for all your life.
Roadmap to Where? Journey to What?
Alcoholic that I am, punch lines are dear to me. With the thought that you, too, may have this same trait, I felt an overview of where this road is leading might be helpful.
While you’ll find within these pages an easy-to-follow roadmap, you’ll also run across some subjects which are basically unprovable. For instance, no one to my knowledge has yet been able to prove God. Nor has anyone been able to prove what’s contained in the subconscious, or that prayer is heard, or that every human being owns powers beyond imagination. That a great deal of evidential data exists on the qualities of thought and its electromagnetic properties is about as close as I can come to offering any kind of proof that some of the things we’re going to be talking about are verifiable. For the most part, they’re not.
However, most of us who are now thrilling to this new way of life don’t even think about proof. The knowledge we’re accumulating is resonating so deeply in our Beings, and causing such dramatic changes in our lives, we just live it and want more! What’s written here is what I’ve learned, felt, experienced, witnessed, believed, and become since beginning this"wake-up"process. If it rings bells within you, you’ll know it, for your whole Being will shout with joy to the heavens. If not, so be it. And if, down the road, you’re still wondering if there isn’t something more, just come on back. It will never be too late to begin this journey to a new life.
Discovering the Something More
The trip starts for most of us with the same reasons you picked up this book . . . wanting something more than just surviving. We gradually move into a new concept of ourselves as spiritual beings and begin to get the first real inklings that the only force creating our reality is us. That’s shocking, maybe even frightening at first, but eventually we get used to the idea.
Finally it sinks in; we can’t separate ourselves from what we already are! We realize we’re just as much a piece of God as a leaf is of its tree. Separation from our Source, the"God-there-Me-here"syndrome, is just not something we can live with any longer.
Before long, we come to see that the something more we seek is ourSelves (the capitol S keynotes our divinity), Selves that are more than anything we could possibly imagine, or have ever known. Bit by bit, we walk into a new and immensely loving relationship with the Source of our Being, God, All That Is, our Higher Power within and without.
You actually feel this union. Then it dawns on you; you’re not taking this journey alone and never have. The God of your being has walked with you, guided you, and loved you beyond measure since time began and before.
We’re learning that love is not something you do, but something you are, that it is our very essence, our core. A major part of our journey is learning how to reach in, touch, and ignite that precious inner core.
This journey beyond the Twelve Steps is bringing our union with God into fruition.
Just Chop Wood
There’s an old Eastern parable that tells of the fellow, a woodcutter by trade, who became enlightened after studying for years with masters of high spiritual learning. His friends, quite confounded by the devotion he displayed to his studies, asked of him what he intended to do after he became enlightened. With sensible logic he replied,"Chop wood; what else?"
The purpose of opening to this new life is not to build a holy temple in which to sit and contemplate our navels forevermore but to live as we have never lived before. We find that life is the grandest gift there is. Instead of trudging its road of happy destiny, we take on life as the greatest lover we have ever had.
We’re in partnership, in cocreation, with our Source, the All That Is, our Higher Power, God. It’s an absolute, glorious partnership in which we learn to give up the priority of being unhappy.
No longer beholden to our past, or to an uncertain future, we learn to get into the moment of now and stay there. A dearly loved member of my home group used to say,"If you keep one eye on yesterday, and one eye on tomorrow, you’ll be cockeyed today."Great expression and I loved it, but actually living it was quite another matter until beginning this new way of life. Learning to live in the now, we find the exquisite joy of simply chopping wood, no matter how tough the knots.
Taking Back Our Power
That we were powerless over our addiction is hardly a topic for argument, for our ego-selves gave the addiction that power. But this has never meant we were powerless, period, not by a long shot.
We come to see that almost every day of our lives we’ve given our power away to someone, or something, to govern us. And what did we lose in those transactions? Love of ourselves, therefore, love of God. Every time we gave our power away, we fanned the illusion of separation from our reality. The aloneness, the longing, just went on and on.
Then comes the dawn. If we’re no longer giving all of our power away, we must still have it within us. Gradually, a day at a time, we begin to use the power we had so unknowingly given to everyone and everything but ourselves. Miracles begin to happen; our lives begin to change. It’s a wild, free, indescribable feeling of joy, humility, power, and oneness.
And Things Like . . .
Living this way of life is truly getting rid of pain, not to mention struggle. It doesn’t mean we won’t have lessons, or what I call"fires,"to go through. We will, and do. But can you imagine going through a mess with ease? Can you imagine being laid off and being honestly grateful for the lesson?
We learn how to stop clinging to things and people. Then the courage to allow happiness comes, because we learn how to ask for it, demand it, and create it.
And what’s happiness? To me, now, it’s having all of my needs met. As to joy, well, that’s creating my wants, and having them met! You learn what it means to live in joy, how to please your own heart and soul, how to be yourself, totally. And it all really happens, bringing incredible, indescribable happiness.
Remember, these are the results of embarking on this journey, not the"how to’s."And if all of this sounds impossible, I understand. And yet it’s not impossible. These same results have happened to me and thousands like me, ordinary, devoted Program people who couldn’t understand why life kept batting them over the head with the same old hammer time after time.
We found there is more to this life. Things like no longer needing to look outside ourselves for our happiness (and no longer kidding ourselves we don’t really do this). Things like enjoying, I mean really enjoying, being by ourselves now and then, or permanently. Enjoying sitting and just being, without having to fill a screaming void with the stereo, or TV, or telephone, or even a book.
Things such as beginning to trust, developing a calm awareness that life’s under control, no matter what’s flying around. You’re in the flow, allowing life’s lessons to happen, allowing life to live you.
Owning It All
To learn that everything we’ve ever done, we’ve done because we wanted to, and that whatever we are, we created by ourselves, is not always easy to swallow. We learn to accept how we’ve created our life, and how to change it. In part, that means giving up blame of any sort. It means owning that we’ve designed how we live.
If we’re walking through life filled with unhappiness, worry, self-pity, misery, loneliness, self-denial, we come to see how we bring these things about and own that realization, removing blame totally from any other person, place, or thing, past or present. It’s realizing we’ve created our life by how we think!
When we finally acknowledge, deep within, that we have indeed created our own reality, our past no longer owns us; rather, it becomes part of our wisdom. Our hates, resentments, and fears no longer push our buttons, and, best of all, no longer control our future.
As so we take back our power; our lives begin to change. The new bounce to our step is seen by all, especially by us.
Allowing the Happiness
With the understanding of how we have given away our power and allowed our lives to be created and ruled by our own uncontrolled thinking, we search for the next obvious step: turning our thoughts around.
When we came to our Twelve-Step Program, it didn’t take long for us to find out that until we took our all-important First Step, we weren’t going to get very far. For some, the First Step was a relief. For others, it was agony. Either way, once that was under our belts, the door opened to a new world.
So it is with the steps to awakening that sleeping giant within us."First things first"means accepting we do indeed create our own reality and how that happens. Gradually, almost magically, we begin to manifest the outrageous realities we’ve always wanted in our lives as we learn to work with the universal energies, within and without, as one.
Home to Unlimited
There are streams of moments on this journey that are so sweet, so empowering, so awe-inspiring, that when things go awry, as they often do, you will have stored an enormous reserve of awareness and love from which to draw. Thus the impact of the fires, or problems, is greatly cushioned, and solutions come quickly. Of course, just as on the Program, the faster we grow in the skills of mastery, the less the impact of each succeeding fire.
Then, as the flames of self-love expand, there comes an insatiable hunger for more. And why not? When was the last time you felt warmed, loved, held, caressed, rocked, soothed, understood, accepted, approved of, enjoyed, cared for, cherished, valued, appreciated, treasured, and adored, all at the same time, by or from your own Self?
We come to allow that delicious love from our Inner Being, the energy of the universe which courses through every atom of our cells. We learn to tap into that power and merge with it, for it is our very essence! With the tapping-in comes a feeling of alignment, of being-in-touch-with. It may last for only a few seconds, maybe longer, but you never forget it.
And then you grow into a new kind of oneness with life where you experience love without personality, where you acquire a wisdom without superiority, and where you experience power without arrogance. And you’re alive. Oh God, you’re so alive!
So, does this mean you’re going to put a halo around your head and walk off into Never-Never Land without ever again having to trip over another difficulty? Hardly! What it does mean is that you can learn how to give no power to problems and move directly to another level of where solutions can be quickly manifested. Before long, problems actually become exciting and welcome challenges from which to learn.
Defenses drop. Tensions fall away. Frustrations take a back seat. Hopelessness vanishes. You discover there’s a purpose to your life and how to fulfill that purpose. I think the proper words are"finding yourself,"and oh, how sweet it is!
It’s happening all around the globe today, people waking up to know who, what, and why they really are; people seeing themselves as unlimited centers of God-energy, rather than vulnerable human beings; people learning the challenging but beautiful process of allowing, rather than judging; people removing all fear and unfolding from limitation into unlimitedness, a day at a time.
Above all, this is a journey of stretching our minds, bending our consciousness, pushing our thoughts so high and so hard our brains hurt--literally--then stretching farther still to open our minds to even greater understandings, and learning how to live those understandings a day at a time.
Of course, to become the unlimited beings we were designed to be means change. For most of us, that is definitely not a process we look upon with relish. The old is being pulled away to make room for the new, another level, another attitude, another perception, and it’s not always sunshine and roses.
We ask for help from the power within and without, and change happens. It happens with a new strength, gentleness, and love that’s blossoming within us, even in the midst of our fears.
One of the biggest fears we confront is loss of our past (our identity) and of the emotions which those memories bring. And perhaps the greatest freedom we confront is the loss of our guilt in doing what bring us joy, and then doing it!
As our courage grows, we begin to manifest new events, people, and circumstances in our lives. It feels as if new energy is dancing in our circuitry, because we’re in a different space, a different level of consciousness, operating at a different frequency.
Life becomes filled with expectations because we know how to call those expectations forth, knowing darn good and well there’s nothing wrong with doing it. We claim our right to be happy and create that happiness. As one of my favorite teachers says, "If it’s not fun, it’s not worth your Godhood!"
Tools for the Journey
We came into this life loaded with every kind of tool imaginable to help our wake-up process begin. But somehow we forgot; we forgot the powers we were given. We forgot at the deepest level and have been on a lifelong search for we knew not what.
Within these pages are the keys to awaken yourself to the powerful tools within you, as well as basic directions on how to use them. Some of the tools are unlocked by taking actual steps, others through golden understandings. They go together, steps and understandings. Some have to do with the nature of thought, others with learning how to take back the magnificent power we’ve so thoughtlessly given away.
These steps are nothing more than helping hands in the journey back to God. Your path will be as natural for you as mine has been for me. Wherever you are this moment, you have only to ask that the wisdom come to you, and signposts will begin to appear that say, "This way. Here’s your roadmap. It’s been a long journey. Come on. Come Home."
Not a thing along the way can hurt you. The God of your Being along with all the forces of the universe dearly want you to remember and will go to unimaginable lengths to give you safe, loving assistance.
No, we are not alone on this journey, nor have we ever been! Let yourself get into the flow, into the exquisite process of realizing what you already are. Make up your mind there is nothing to keep you from delicious happiness and joy, or from just old-fashioned peace and contentment, or from finding out how deserving you are to have it all!
And then the day comes when you find yourself sitting somewhere in your own special place. The wind is at your back, and the breezes are blowing through your hair in gentle abandon. All is at peace within you. And the tears come. You don’t really understand the tears, but you allow them. It’s as if you’ve just come back to you after a long, long absence, and the reunion is precious beyond words. And so you weep. You weep the kind of tears you have longed to weep for as long as you can remember. This is a moment you will never forget. You know you are on your road Home to the real you, and to a life more wondrous than you can imagine.