Healing Your Life
Below you will find the text for Step Eleven of the Healing Your Life Course. You will also find a link to the video of Paul Ferrini teaching this step. Please read through the text and then watch the corresponding video.. Then, when you are ready, answer the homework questions in the journal that follows. When you have finished, save your answers so that you can refer back to them in the future.
Follow Your Heart
Goal: Find your direction within and live in the flow of the universe.
Strategy: Be Joyful. Stay in the present moment
Moving From Your Head to Your Heart
In the past, you may have looked outside of yourself for answers or you may lived primarily in your head, trying to figure everything out intellectually. While this no doubt served you in finding information and problem solving, it did not necessarily
help you learn to love yourself or improve your relationship with others. To do that, something else was needed.
You needed to learn to come into your heart, feel your feelings and accept all of your experience. You needed to learn to hold a compassionate space for yourself. You needed to build the inner temple, where you could sit in silence and connect with
your intuition and inner guidance. You needed to make friends with your little child and learn to love and accept him or her. You needed to learn to look at your judgments with compassion. You needed to see -- without beating yourself up-- all the ways in which you gave up your power and betrayed yourself. You needed to take your power back find forgiveness for yourself and others.
This preparation was essential to bring you into Phase Three of this work. Now, resting in your heart, you are learning to leave the drama of the world behind and listen to the still small voice within. As you learn to trust what you hear and act on it, you gradually move beyond your ego structure and the fears that hold it in place.
A Different Way of Life
All this healing work leads to a different way of life that unfolds from the inside out. It has its own resonance and harmony. Peace within your consciousness translates into peace in your relationships. Love for yourself translates without great effort into
love for others. The integration of your shadow translates into compassion for the wounded children of this world who are motivated by fear and driven by insecurity and lack of self worth.
Jesus told us that we need new skins for new wine. So we need to dump out the old wine and recycle the old container. New wine needs a new container. Love and acceptance create a new consciousness. That consciousness is the new container. It
holds our experience gently in its embrace.
The new container is created out of an integration of head and heart, reason and intellect, male and female, light and dark, humility and transcendence. It synthesizes the opposites and takes the strengths from both sides.
An integrated life is very different from a polarized life. A polarized life is reactive and volatile. Projection and attack are rampant. The drama is extreme. But an integrated life is quiet and serene. All the judgments are called out and placed on the
table where they are held in love and compassion. There is little drama here.
In an integrated life, you are both the witness and the participant. You look within and observe yourself without. You know that everything you see is just information about yourself. Sometimes it seems to be about others, but that is just appearance.
Everything you think, feel, say and do belongs to you. Others just hold up a mirror so that you can see the parts of yourself that you haven’t been willing to look at.
Inner peace becomes a reality for you as you learn to look at and accept all of your experience. You see that no part of you is bad or evil. There are just parts of you that have not yet been loved. And now you have the skills necessary to bring love to all
parts of yourself.
Because you have no enemy within, you don’t meet an enemy in the world. All the people you meet are equal brothers and sisters. They have the same fears, the same joys, the same pain and the same joy that you have. Even if they have a different color skin or a different religion, they are human beings just like you. Knowing that, you are not threatened by differences. You learn to love and accept people as they are.
Living in the Flow of the Universe
In the past, your decisions may have been dominated by fear. But now that you know how to hold your fear compassionately, things are different. You are more patient with yourself and others. You no longer speak or act in a hasty or impulsive way.
You learn to tune in to what is necessary in each situation, speaking and acting when it feels right to do so, and refraining from speaking or acting when it does not feel right.
Your life begins to simplify. As you take the pressure off, you feel less anxiety, less need to fix or control. Things begin to happen without great effort. As soon as you became aware of a legitimate need, you see that it is met elegantly by the universe.
Gradually you realize that when you trust, the flow of abundance moves into your life and helps you move toward your next step, even if you don’t know what it is.
You used to need to know everything in advance so that you could plan your life. Now you know that all that is unnecessary. By the time things happen, your plan will no longer be relevant. So you learn to show up with an open heart and an open mind.
You trust that when you need to know something, you will be told. You see this happen again and again. In its own strange way, it is completely reliable.
As you let go of your need to figure everything out, grace unfolds in your life. If you need a plan, you make a flexible one, with lots of options. Your job is not to impose your will on life, but to cooperate with life so that your needs and those of others can be fulfilled.
Even when you set a goal you don’t know how you will reach it. You don’t know whether you will walk, or drive, or take a plane. You don’t know when you will arrive or what adventures you will have a long the way. But you trust and begin to
move forward however you can. You put one foot in front of another, and somehow things get done. Goals are achieved, even surpassed. And you still don’t know how you did it!
Not knowing becomes a real pathway into the divine. You surrender the mind’s need to know “how” or “why” or “when” or “where” and just show up when and where you can. You do the best you can and trust that it will be enough. Your best is
always enough because you are enough. Everything is unfolding beautifully without you needing to put pressure on yourself or on others.
This is the Great Way of the Tao. It is the Great River flowing downstream. You do not need to push it. You just need to jump in, or get out of the way. It is absurd to think that your job would be to “teach the river” how to flow? Better to be patient and humble and let the river teach you.
There is no better teacher than life itself. And you can be a wonderful student if you will just show up with an open heart and mind. You don’t have to decide in advance what will happen or what it will mean. That is just some game the ego plays
because it is afraid that its needs won’t be met. But you know there is a better way for your needs to be met.
And so you pray: "Lord, let me be an instrument of your will. Let my will and your will be one and the same. Let me trust and show up knowing that you will be with me, guiding mywords and my actions, making straight the path before me."
There is no perfection in the world, but there is perfection in love and the ways of love are beautiful beyond measure. In love, all things are made whole and complete. In love, the Father and the Son are one, and the True Self goes forth into the world in
goodness and glory.
The Life of the True Self in the World
The action of the True Self in the world is joyful, enthusiastic, exuberant. Its desire is to give without thought of return and to express itself freely and fully. The words of your True Self are honest and true, and the actions of your True Self are congruent
with who you are at the deepest level.
The True Self does great things in this world without great effort or struggle. That is because it is directly guided by the Spirit Within. Of course this cannot happen as long as you are living a selfish, wound-driven life. Then the universal will and the will of your ego will be at odds. You won’t move in the flow of the universe. You will swim against the tide. You will struggle and
However, when you surrender your little will to the great universal will, when you stop wanting only what benefits you in a selfish way and start to desire what benefits all equally, there is a major energetic shift that takes place. Now the universe stands
with you and behind you, supporting you and moving you forward. The river carries you downstream.
You begin to participate in the abundance of the universe. You become an empty channel, an instrument of the peace and love, as St. Francis called it. You enter a dialog with the divine in which:
- You offer your willingness, and it deepens and becomes trust.
- You offer your hope, and it deepens and becomes faith.
- You offer your acceptance and it deepens and becomes surrender.
- You offer your gratitude for the gifts you have received, and greater gifts are given to you.
The Spirit within guides you to move through the open doors. The people you need to meet show up in your life. The resources you require appear when you need them. Because you do only what is in harmony with your heart’s desire, you live in a
state of joy that is contagious and empowering to all who witness it. By living joyfully in the present moment, you shed the limitations of mind that hold you in chains and recreate your suffering. Now that you are living from your heart, new outcomes are
Living in Love: Twelve Practices
To live in love is to bring love to yourself and others. It is that simple. When you bring love, love returns to you, for love begets itself. This is the law of supply and abundance:
- First you bring love to yourself.
- Then you extend your love to others.
- And then you receive love in return.
This cycle repeats itself without end. Once love answers the call for love, only love remains. The cries of the wounded child are soothed and pacified, and peace reigns again in our hearts and minds. Here are twelve practices that will help you keep love alive in your life.
1. Trust the process (even when you don’t know where it is leading).
2. Live in the present moment (not in the past or future).
3. Let things be. Refrain from doing unless guided to act.
4. Remain in silence. Refrain from speaking unless inspired to speak.
5. Stay out of your head. Be okay with not knowing.
6. Stay in your heart and remember to breathe.
7. Cultivate your intuition. Trust your inner knowing.
8. Remain connected with your Core Self (your peaceful center).
9. Bring love when it is needed (whenever fear rises).
10. Let go of judgments, ego agendas and other thoughts/actions motivated by fear.
11. Refrain from forcing. Allow things to unfold naturally, without pressure.
12. Relax, surrender, and give up the need to control.
Spiritual Mastery Prayer
Many people have found my Spiritual Mastery Prayer to be helpful in learning to surrender to the Spirit within. I am happy to share it with you here.
Help me to feel my oneness with you and my equality with my brothers and sisters.
Help me to recognize my judgments and to look within for correction.
Help me to give up shame and blame and to learn from my errors so that I do not repeat them.
Help me to care for my body, my family, my community and my planet.
Help me to create what is for my highest good and for the highest good of others.
Help me to be responsible for my creations.
Help me give up victim consciousness and realize that I am a powerful person with many creative choices.
Help me to stand up for myself in a loving way without attacking others
or seeking to influence the choices they need to make.
Help me offer freedom to others so that I may receive it in return.
Help me reach out with compassion to those in pain, in grief, under stress, or in limitation of any kind
and offer them hope and encouragement.
Allow my heart to open to them.
Allow my eyes to see beyond the behavior that is motivated by fear and unworthiness.
May I offer to others and to myself the unconditional love and acceptance you offer to me.
Help me to master my skills and talents so that I may place them in your service and fulfill my purpose here.
Help me to step into the role you would have me play in inspiring, empowering and uplifting others.
Help me to trust my gifts and give them without expectation of return whenever the opportunity arises.
Help me to give freely and love freely, surrendering the outcome to you.
Help me surrender the need to control so that I can live spontaneously and with your grace.
Help me to understand and heal my wounds so that I don’t push love away
or block its presence in my heart and in my relationships.
Help me soften and become vulnerable.
Help me learn to ask for help and trust the help that you offer me.
Allow me to heal the past so that I can enter the present fully.
Allow me to become a doorway for the healing of others,
and let me walk courageously through the door that has been opened for me.
Help me surrender what is false and establish in what is true firmly and with conviction.
Help me to walk my talk, listen deeply, and speak only when I have something helpful to say.
Help me to understand that the Friend is always with me
and my only purpose is to be a Friend to others.
Help me detach from name and fame and surrender all forms of external authority
so that I can be guided by the authority within.
Allow me to know at all times and in all places that the highest good of others is and will always be my highest good.
Let all that separates me from others fall away so that I may recognize the One Self in all beings.
Allow me to complete my work on earth with care and humility and return to you when my work here is done.
May all veils and barriers that separate us dissolve
so that I may dwell fully and completely in the heart of your love.
Step Eleven Teaching Video
Homework for Step Eleven
Important Questions to Ask Yourself
- Can you stay in your heart and live in the present moment?
- Can you let go of the past and the future?
- Can you surrender your need to control or to know what will happen?
- Can you trust and allow your life to unfold naturally and spontaneously?
- Can you be in touch with your joy and understand that everything works for the good of all?
- Do you realize there is nothing about you or anyone else that you need to fix?
- Can you be peaceful and patient and get in touch with the abundance that is flowing through your life now and at all times?
- When in your life did you most successfully trust your intuition and inner guidance?
- Can you think of a time when you let go (and let God or the universe find the solution) and noticed that everything shifted?
- The need to control is antithetical to living a happy, empowered life. How is this true for you?
- In what area of your life right now are you being asked to surrender?
- One of our greatest challenges is to live in the present moment and allow our lives to unfold. Where in your life are you doing this successfully and where are you struggling with this?
- Can you think of a time when you were able to hold your fears gently so that you could sink into the place of love and peace within your heart? What happened to the fear when you became fully present in your heart?
- Everything has its own organic development and own natural time for expression. Interfering in this natural order only creates suffering for yourself and others. Have you learned to refrain from trying to force things to happen in your life?
- Can you think of a time when you decided to push the river? What happened?
- We all get in the way of the flow of life (Tao) and have to learn to step out of the way. How have you done this?
- We can’t jump into the river if we don’t trust it. In what way is it difficult for you to really trust and really let go?
- If we know that we are loved and supported by the universe, we can live an effortless and abundant life like the lilies of the field that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount. In what ways is your life effortless and abundant?