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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Letting It All In

We strive for goals and aim for perfection. Why? So, we can experience a peak moment of accomplishment, a loving relationship, ideal health or fulfillment? But, are we EVER really "letting in" the joy of it all?

Not too long ago, I had the privilege of celebrating the launch of my book, The Power of Inner Choice. Nearly 200 friends, family and acquaintances joined me that gorgeous day in Los Gatos. About an hour into the party, my friend Ken Farber asked me how I was doing.

Well, all the details of the party had come together rather synchronically, people had stepped up and were serving food, drinks and managing the festivities. Dear friends were arriving every minute, people I hadn't seen in months or longer! People were enthusiastically buying books. It was "all about me," which was admittedly kind of fun.

But, superficial answers don't really cut it with my friend Ken. He's real, and likes depth and authenticity. I met him at a Byron Katie Weekend Intensive, and he's an exceptional individual. So, I shared - "Well, most of me is really excited and present with everything going on." And...there was another layer. So I continued. "And, I notice a small part of me is thinking that I should be doing more to help execute the party. I'm normally the one at my parties putting food in the oven, filling up the chafing dishes, serving drinks and attending to details." Alas, all I was doing was signing books and greeting people.

It was obvious to both of us what was needed. Tapping into Byron Katie's simple questions, Ken instinctively asked, "You should be doing something, is it true?" I checked in and realized everything WAS being handled. (Thank goodness for Margaret and Jim!) There really wasn't anything more to do, than to simply be present and graciously sign books.

Then he asked, "How do you react when you think the thought, 'I should be doing something'?" I answered, "Well, a part of me isn't available to be here 100% with my guests. I feel some underlying nervous energy and anxiety. My chest is tight. A part of me is in the kitchen. I'm in my head, not my body."

Ken then asked, "Who would you be without the thought, "I should be doing something'?" My eyes immediately swelled with tears, as I felt my chest lighten and overwhelming feelings of gratitude and emotion poured into every cell of my body. It was uncomfortable and awkward, yet freeing. I could barely answer the question. Without the thought, 'I should be doing something,' I would have to fully take in that this party is for me (and my book) and these people came to celebrate with me. That was extraordinarily overwhelming!! Thank goodness, I had on sunglasses and the champagne had already been poured. I felt so much gratitude and joy. It was truly one of the sweetest moments of my life.

Once again, I am amazed at how one little innocent thought kept me from experiencing all the love and joy available to me in that moment. I immediately felt more relaxed, lighter and at peace inside, able to be more present to everyone. What had I been waiting for?

All too often, we strive and strive and strive -- in anticipation of some moment. And, how often do we block and filter the most wonderful feelings of love, joy and gratitude from ever coming in? Where are YOU not letting in all the love and joy you deserve? For me, I realized that I was filtering the love from my relationship, as well as love from others.

Have you ever thought your significant other was "with-holding" love from you? Could it be that your RECEIVING gates just weren't letting it in?

Business accomplishments, contributions to the lives of others, joy of an experience, love from a friend, achieving a health goal, receiving a bonus check are all opportunities to "let in" good feelings. Perhaps, like me, there is an innocent thought standing in the way of feeling all the joy you deserve. If there's a "I'll celebrate when...," or "I have too much to do" or "They don't really love me" thought lurking nearby, I invite you to investigate the thought with Katie's four questions (www.lovingwhatis.com). With an little intention and investigation -- you can quadruple the good feelings in your life almost immediately. Experience life fully - DO IT NOW.

Soulful CHALLENGE: Identify any thoughts that may be blocking your RECEIVING muscles. Put the thoughts up against "inquiry." Challenge yourself to get present and take in all the love, joy and appreciation from others. You DO deserve it.

(Katie's questions and instructions for "inquiry" are also found in my book, The Power of Inner Choice.)

Mary Allen, CPCC, MCC is author of The Power of Inner Choice. She hosts Conversations with the Masters interviewing best-selling authors via free, live conference calls. Visit http://www.lifecoachmary.com to learn about coaching, her popular year-long Success and Inner Peace Bootcamp and tap into a wealth of resources including her ezine SoulFULLY Living, and Your Daily Gems.

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