Self-Leadership should be uppermost in our minds during the COVID-19 crisis, but it should always be important: however there are several urgent reasons. Self-leadership returns a sense of control over your own life. It gives you an integrative approach to mind and body. It aligns you with the best knowledge currently available about “total human awareness” the whole package of you living at your best immunity and doing your best at work and for others under challenging circumstances.Chris Walker
To have an inspired day, don’t clutter your hours with so much “busi-ness” and unimportant things that you have no time to “be in love” and “live with love”. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived, with money as the only reward, is no cause for celebration. In its purified state, the human heart is the hologram of the seen and unseen worlds; it is the part that reflects the whole. The heart is the point at which the individual human being is closest to the Divine.
Your Vision resides in your Heart
The heart is the centre of our motivation and our knowing, possessing a depth and strength of will that the personality lacks. When we say that the heart has an integrative power, we are not talking in abstract, metaphorical, or merely intellectual terms. The realisation and purification of the heart both opens a doorway to the infinite and results in a restructuring of neural pathways – a refinement and reorganisation of our entire nervous system – that allows the fullest expression of our human possibilities. We can so easily fall into the world of live to work rather than work to live. Time can rush by; we are so busy getting ready to enjoy life that we are too tired to take advantage of it. To manage our life for the benefit of love we must master the power of will. This, in another language, means discipline.
Bringing it home.
Work with love, live with love, act with love, a home with love, friendships with love, heal with love. Love is a lifestyle. Love is not separate from our life because actually, love is life. We grow with love and stay young with love. Our health thrives on it; our joy is underpinned by it. A person who loves their work is unstoppable, inspired. It all begins at home. A sanctuary of love. This is a chaotic home, a place where feelings and experiences are honest, and challenges are many. But there is always a smile; we call it the mystical smile, because you know that all the challenge is not in conflict with love. It is simply your ego, trying to protect itself. Like an angry child. The key to living with love is the ability to fall through that ego, to the truth that sits beneath it, any time you choose. This is the mark of wisdom.
To maintain your inspiration start by doing what you love and loving what you do. Just for arguments sake let’s block out your vision of the world so you can’t see your daily life any more. There’s nothing there. You are sitting here reading this great article then no matter who is around you, you are alone. Now, imagine. There are about 6 trillion stars in the Milky Way. Our Sun is one of them. And our planet goes around our Sun, just like all the other Suns have planets too. There are 50 billion galaxies like the Milky Way. So, if you do the math, your calculator will be unable to display the numbers because we aren’t normally built to think that big.
Now the world is still painted out in everyday terms but sitting alone you find yourself in awe of another dimension. This is the most important thing. To stay in awe of the magnificence of the universe and how totally lucky we are to be conscious of the vast magnificence of it. To stay inspired we have to get over the tenancy to make our current reality the only universe we know because that makes us self obsessed: de-motivated.
To have a really, really inspired day, one of the greatest gifts is simply to be excited about the fact that you’re alive. The gift is just knowing that you are alive and have the opportunity to see stars and moons and beauty in a flower. My Dad used to say, “I look up the obituaries in the paper, if I’m not in it; then it’s a great day”.
We each need to remain so excited about life, just like a child at Christmas or Passover or whatever your faith’s special day. Everyday is Christmas; everyday is your birthday, the birth of a new day. That’s where great, fantastic, unbelievable days begin.
In your home, surround yourself with things from another world. Not this one. Pictures of a universe, like my screen saver from Apple. Amazing awe-inspiring ideas and things that make you like a child so ready to have a fantastic day. Like a child learn to bounce off the walls and mend the hits. Make no excuses and be like a child, smile, want life, want it to be fun. In this, you will know yourself and your heart will be open to life.
Create with love.
To manifest anything without inspiration or love is totally possible. But never enjoyable. To manifest a child on this earth without love is not enjoyable, it is a task. To manifest a business without inspiration becomes a job, not a passion of love. To do anything without love as your centre is to manifest with force and emotion and there can be no rest in this heart.
So inspiration and love for what you do is the centre, and its purpose is to expand. Love expands by the act of doing things, by creating homes, building families, expanding businesses, imagining new songs. Manifest is the result of love. All of life is about creating and when we create with love, we are living on purpose.
Love and inspiration need maintenance.
We may begin to manifest a relationship with love but the challenges can overcome the love. We might begin with love, but emotions and judgments creep in. Then we are motivated to start doing things in our relationship to try to overcome the lack of love. People start making babies, growing children, building homes, collecting friends, because they’ve ‘got to’ compensate for diminishing love, trying to make their relationship work. They substitute material things for the love that was meant to be behind their life. Then, there is manifestation without love. The love was there, but the problems and challenges have overcome the love.
The four substitutes for real inspired love in life are; Spirituality – trying to get what we’ve already got. Food and substance – which fills the vacuum that is meant for love. Sexuality – the physical, emotional and sexual escape from real intimacy. Greed – the mindless accumulation of property, assets and personal goods in an attempt to feel good about being uninspired.
The standard solution to lost inspiration in life is to increase the emphasis on substitutes. People start wanting more sex, more money, more work, and more “uppers”. They keep the same old process of dealing with their challenges and just look for another place to get fulfilled, down in the lower mind. But this doesn’t last because that person always gets ill. It’s the cause of many of the diseases people get – patched over lost love using substitutes. There is a better way.
Instead of substitutes and putting band-aids on issues, it is better to go to the source and actually find what is stopping a person from doing what is the most important and most natural thing on earth for them, loving what they do.
Everyday there are challenges in your life. Everyday there is an opportunity to grow in love.
Then there is growth. By wanting to stay inspired everyday leads you to a process of growing your love through issues. That process is revealed in nature. Without human interference, the laws of nature reveal the universal beauty of love, and therefore any issue you pass through their guidance will turn, from an ego emotion, to love. This is the how we return to our true nature; ask the nature from whence we came, to guide us.
Inspiration in action.
Discipline is the turning point. The pain of regret always outweighs the pain of discipline. Therefore, as we shift from the ego focus of short term pleasure toward purpose, dreams and longer term results, the ego loses control and becomes the lion, and you to tamer, The vast majority of spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, tai chi and more hold this as the most critical ingredient of the transformation between ego life and love life. Discipline.
Will is a different kind of power.
Will acknowledges that there are temptations, that there are always old patterns, but that all the righteousness, devotion and fanatic adherence to dogma will never remove the source of temptation. An alcoholic is still an alcoholic while they are in a phobia about alcohol. With will power there is a different approach; there is simply something more important to do.
Will does not rely on righteousness or goods that are separated from bad. Like the healing fanatic who will tell you about the virtues of organic food for hours on end. No, that is the ego in blind fanaticism building dogma, separation. There are two sides to everything, good and bad, including organic food. But will is different. Will asks, “What are my long term goals and what choices are best for me to make to achieve them?” Like, “I want to travel the world helping children”. I would ask “When?” and you might say, “Until the day I die”, and I might say “When?” and you might add, “OK, when I am 90”. So now we got past a loose fantasy with no detail, to a little more detail. Then we go for lunch and you are sitting opposite me and when menu comes I ask, “What are you having for lunch?” You think, and say, “Oh there are so many delicious choices”, and I would reply, “Not if you are serious about living until you are 90 and still travelling around the world helping children.” Then you might choose the organic salad, because it might help you live your dream. That choice is made with ‘will power’.
Doing what you love – wise choices.
How are we going to choose? There are always at least two alternatives. Emotional choices and love choices. They are like two carrots dangled in front of our nose almost constantly; one goes left, the other goes right. Emotion will make us happy and give short- term gratification. Love may not be as stimulating, but in the long-term pays truth. So, will power is the power to make that choice. Given that an inspired life is a doing life, these choices are crucial.
If you want to be a rock guitarist, then you’d better have will power.
Because you’ll need to practice everyday, even when your emotions are all over the ship. Every day you might feel tired or depressed, or happy and joyful and, if like the average person, you follow those emotions, like an undisciplined child. Then 10 years later you’ll be so expert in being emotional, but not one day closer to playing the guitar.
That’s the average relationship. Dreaming of sacred love, wanting to grow into the future together, committed to all sorts of wonderful destiny, but just acting on emotion. If there is no will power then there is no God power, no love power. If you can’t apply discipline to your relationship how are you going to go anywhere but around in circles? Will power means to process judgement, to give each other priority. It means don’t sweat the small stuff, forget being right, stop giving advice when it is not asked for, learn how to love instead of change things. This is love power. Real discipline.
If you say you are going to do something in your life, and you don’t do it, you beat yourself up.
Make commitments of discipline in your relationship. If you break them, don’t lie. Admit it. No one can beat you up more than you. But then work on more discipline, more will, more love power by finding a better reason to follow your commitment. Being committed to something is all about having a good enough reason. If you love yourself enough then emotional blackmail is not a good enough reason to be committed. If someone says, “I won’t like you if you don’t do that” then only if you already hate yourself is that a motive. But at this level of will there has to be a dream you’d love so much that the cost of emotion is too high and not worth the worry.
People get this when they lose something. I had a friend who had a heart attack. They were so not disciplined and had absolutely no will power. After that catastrophe they became a health fanatic. A year later they were emotional again and eating junk. They were disciplined out of fear. This is not sustainable. In your relationship, find a dream that is big enough that you would love to live and then work out what the cost is in terms of lifestyle. If you aren’t willing to pay the price get out of the way so someone else can live it. But don’t expect your relationship to last if you can’t find a dream worth living for.
After two or three shattered dreams you might find it hard to come up with real commitments for long-term dreams. Simply start with little ones and work your way up. There is a process in the last chapters of this book on dream matching.
The will of the human heart is an unbridled experience of doing something that you love, rather than something that loves you. Then you bring this choice making awareness into all facets of your life without compromise. Will is the heart choosing long-term benefit over short-term emotional expression.
Inspiration is not found in emotional drama but in the wisdom of choices and sacrifices made in recognition of dreams and Love. If you do not have the will to choose wisely then you’ll pick low priority activities to fill your mind. Because these are self sabotaging (they do not fulfil your dreams). If you are treating yourself as unworthy of love, unworthy of higher purpose, unworthy of long-term investment, then your life will not treat you any differently. Remember that nobody does to you more than you do to yourself. Will is ultimately self-respect; will power is self-worth.
Self-respect is found in the doing of life, not in the thinking of it.
Self-respect is action of choices. Your self-worth grows when you do things worthy of your own respect. Emotional drama and working on low priorities, working on other people’s priorities is all self-deception and this will bring disaster, catastrophe and humbling circumstances to anyone who does not work on the higher priorities that manifest their dreams. If you do not have a vision, there is only ego.
A person who can say, “I love doing this” is far more rewarded on the cosmic level than the ego that would profess, “I love this, because these are the things I get for doing it”. Achievements last for moments, but life is a journey. There is no solace for the wealthy person who, surrounded with material items and victories, cannot smile in the face of a days work, or at the idea of walking to the garden for a few moments of reflection. It is in the eyes of loved ones where we find God rather than the buildings we create to house them. It is in the doing of things of high priority to our dreams that the wealth exists, not in the gratitude of those we help.
Will is not power, although it is all the power that exists.
How does creation function in the universe? The world? The answer is, by Will. The laws of the universe hold all the chaos into a magnificent order. The entire universe conforms to just five simple laws. Therefore, what we call our willpower is more accurately, God power; and emotion is hell power. Will power is a combination of physical and mental strength. Our hands, with all their perfect mechanics, cannot hold a glass of water if there is no willpower to support it. If will power fails us, a seemingly healthy person will not be able to even stand. Therefore, fish do not swim with their body; they swim with their will power. And when man has the will to swim, he swims like fish.
Will power has enabled humankind to complete tremendous things. Will brings us to success, yet when will fails, however intelligent the person, they too fail. Therefore, it is not the human power solely that moves us, it is a divine power found in the human body that makes unbelievable feats possible. The work of the mind is still greater, for no one can hold a thought in his or her mind for a moment if there is not the strength of will to hold it. If a person cannot concentrate and keep their thoughts still for a moment it means that will power fails them, as it is will that holds a thought.
Will power is love; in spiritual terms, love is will power. If one says, “God is love”, it means in reality “God is Will”. The love of God, the Will of God, causes the creation, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Universal laws pervade our earth and our heaven. When a person says, “I love to do it”, it means, “I will to do it”, which is a stronger expression and means, “I fully love to do it with all my heart and soul.”
“Birth, water, fire, air seemed to us as things, as objects, but before God they are living beings; they stand as his obedient servant’s and obey divine Will”.Rumi,
We received a part of that divine will as our own divine heritage, and it is our consciousness of that will which makes it greater. If we are not conscious of it, our will becomes smaller. An optimistic attitude towards life develops the power of will, while the pessimistic attitude reduces it. Thus, it is only ourselves that hinders our progress in life. There is no one in the world that can be a worse enemy than ourselves; for at every failure we see ourselves standing in our own light.
When the mind is pushed to hold one thought for a while it becomes restless because it is not accustomed to discipline.
The mind by itself has no hesitation to hold a thought of disappointment, blame, anger, pain grief, sorrow or failure; it will hold it so tightly that you cannot take one of those righteous thoughts from its grip. But when the mind is requested to hold a particular affirmative thought, often it will not, responding instead by saying, “I am free and I will not be controlled”. This is the ego fighting against the heart of will for emotional freedom and cursing the divinity of sacred love, dreams and joy.
You must teach your mind discipline by concentration; power of will, then the mind becomes tied in concentration to the focus of your work. A parent must be strong with a child because they have no discipline. They must be that higher wisdom until the child becomes wise. A disciplined mind becomes your servant rather than your master. The thoughts of the heart, and the act of holding the thought in the heart, are both of great importance for the fulfilment of an individual’s life, and most importantly, their relationships.
Often a person will say, “I try my best but I cannot get my mind to concentrate, I cannot make my mind still”. While it is true they cannot concentrate, it’s not true that they try their best.
Once the mind has become your servant, what more can you wish? Then your world is your own, you are the king or queen of your kingdom. Although some people will argue, “Why not let the mind be free, as we are free?” But the easy answer to this is to observe the life of the person without discipline, filled with emotional drama, maybe even a filled bank balance. They have lost the essence; they are nothing but living shells of emotion.
Self-discipline is that which makes the master of the self, however difficult and tyrannical it may seem in the beginning. Self-mastery is a combination of discipline and applied will. It is not in vain that the great sages live in caves with devotion and great purpose. It is not something to imitate, but something to understand. Such asceticism is self-discipline; it is the development of will power. This is the turning point for a sacred relationship. To invest yourself in love is to have the will to sustain it.
There are those who would sit for the whole of their lives under the coconut tree and wait for the coconuts to drop. There are those who would chop the tree, so they own the tree. There are those who would learn to climb and bring what they need to their lives. Too many of us enter a relationship and then wait to see what happens. We buy the furniture and make the babies. There is no brain required in either of those actions and we can have pleasured sex with 90% of our brain removed. Love is will, effort, and without affirmative effort, you wait for the coconut, and survive on nothing between.
The Taoist observes wu-wei, or non-doing, like water that without effort seeks and finds its proper level. This path includes purifying oneself through stilling the appetites and the emotions; accomplished in part through meditation, breath control and other forms of inner discipline… The foremost practice is goodness or naturalness, and detachment from the Ten Thousand Things of the world.”
Everyone Dies but Not Everyone Lives
“When you are inspired by some greater purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds, your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”Pattanjali