Monday, August 8, 2011

The Voice of Will Power

Will power. It doesn't work. I wish I could just leave it at that, but will power is something that has never been effective. Maybe it works as we push ourselves over the finish line of a marathon, but it is totally ineffective off the starting block. I have yet to see it effectuate long lasting change in anyone at a deep level. It may work over a short period of time...and sometimes it is a great kick start toward true transformation. Like a spark plug that ignites the engine. But I think of the many times in my own life, when my spark plug of will has powered me into action...and then, just as quickly, my will ran out of gas and I powered right back to doing things the way I had always done them.
I think I was confused; I truly believed that I could force myself to do anything. Exercise, diet, meditate, drink 8 glasses of water day...if I could just MAKE myself do it...then I would be changed. If I powered up that "should do”... and if I engaged in the exercise of doing it without question, then I would find peace in my soul and harmony in my world. It didn't work. It doesn't work. The world has been powered by "will" for so long I understand why we all buy into it as the way of change. I cannot tell you when it happened for me but I think this awareness has been evolving for a very long time. It was not a flash of light, more like the sun coming up over the horizon that allowed me to see will power for what it is. I think it came because I finally slowed down long enough to acknowledge that what I was doing was not working. I began paying attention to the life I am living.

If being present when I am with someone I love is the most precious gift I can give another, then being present with myself is the greatest healer. In presence, I have slowed down long enough to feel the pain of my misconceptions and therein I found my greatest motivation for change. When I accepted that I cannot digest gluten, that it made me ill when I ate it, it was easy to choose a better diet. When I realized that to grow older in a healthier way was achieved with exercise, then my yoga, my swimming, and my exercise program was something I looked forward to doing. When I realized that my thinking was shaped by the world instead of my heart, I was able to easily let go of false concepts and perceptions. Will power has its place, but when my will was being powered, I always felt at war with life. I have thrown in the towel, raised the white flag and surrendered. When the dust settled I found peace and the actions I now take in my life make sense to me. THAT is the kind of truce I can live with.

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