From The Keys to the Kingdom by Paul Ferrini
“The kingdom of heaven is within.” Jesus
The storms of life will come and go. Of that we may be certain.A wise person does not just hope for the luck of the draw. He or she does not live in fear of the storm, but instead prepares to meet it when it comes.
There are a few simple spiritual truths that can help us weather the ups and downs of life. They are neither esoteric nor complicated. We would do well to understand these truths and to pass our understanding on to our children. There may come a time when one of these simple truths and the practice that goes with it may save our life or the life of someone we love.
It is no mystery that the secret of life is to learn to love and honor you. If you can do that, you can also learn to love and honor others. You can find your true gifts and passion in life. You can stop betraying yourself and giving your power away. You can live a creative, graceful and purposeful life.
The practices in this book will help you to do this. I have made them simple and clear so that you can use them right away. First, read the book through so that you understand all the concepts. Then re-read the first chapter and do the The Keys to the Kingdom 8 practice it asks you to do every day for the next week. Put that simple truth to work in your life and you will begin to see results. Then move on to the next chapter.If you want to go deeper, take a couple of weeks or a full month on each chapter. After you have completed all of the chapters and taken the time to practice, you will have the keys to the kingdom and will be actively using them. You will know all that you need to know to be happy and at peace with yourself and others. Your only job will be to keep practicing what you know.
If you learn better by joining with others, start a Keys to the Kingdom Practice Group and share your experiences. Use the Affinity Process Guidelines in the Appendix of this book to help create a safe space for sharing. Support each other in bringing these concepts and spiritual practices into your daily lives.
No matter how much support you have, you will sometimes forget to practice. When that happens you may experience pain and struggle in your life. That is how you will know that you have forgotten. But don’t beat yourself up. Just renew your commitment to practice what you are learning. Pain is a wake up call. It tells you that you have gone to sleep or become unconscious. Pain calls you back to re-align your life with truth from the inside out. Jesus told us that the Kingdom of heaven is within. We keep forgetting that. We keep looking for love and happiness outside of ourselves. That search always comes up empty. When it does, we think there must be something wrong with us. We must be deficient. All our unworthiness and self judgment rises up. We beat ourselves up. We beat our partners and children up. We shame and blame, attack and defend. We get drawn into the drama. It is not pleasant. When we forget who we are, we cannot be nice to ourselves or others. We must come back home. The kingdom is within, not without. We must learn to find love within our own hearts. Then we can take it out into the world. But if we try to take it out into the world before it is fully established in our hearts and minds, we will make an ungodly mess.
Just look at the world around you and you will see both the drama and the mess. It is so ubiquitous, so multi-layered that you know it cannot be changed easily. If you want to shift it, you have to start from the inside. A messy, uncharitable world comes from a messy and judgmental mind. An unloving world comes from a hurt and shut down heart. There is no way this can be changed on the outside. Change must come from within.
When the heart heals, the world heals with it. If you do not believe this, then try it for yourself. Heal your heart and see how the world you live in changes.T hat is what this book will help you do. One final suggestion. I wrote this book as a helpful tool for you and for me. I know that it works when we are willing to work with it. So I want to ask you: “Are you ready and willing to work with it?” This book is not an adornment that you can keep on your shelf. It is a practical tool. It is like a hammer. It is meaningless if you never use it.
It is an existential fact that we all have the life we want. If you didn’t want the life you have you wouldn’t have it. As oon as you say “I don’t want to live like this anymore” you begin the process of transformation. But you must back it up with actions. Words are not enough to change old habits. This book is a tool that was made to fit in your hand so that you wouldn’t hesitate to use it.
Please use the keys in this book to open the doorways in your life. Take the keys with you wherever you go. Use them as often as you can. They will help you to transform your experience. Fear will drop away and unconditional love will shine through. As you awaken to who you are, so will the people around you. A fearful world cannot exist for a loving heart. Love changes everything. That is why this works. Do your part and you will see for yourself.
I wish you many blessings.