This is the story of all of us. Like Grasper, when we are shedding an old identity, we naturally question who we really are, where we belong, and whether we'll still be lovable if we let go and allow the metamorphosis into a bigger, greater self to occur. We question whether we're going to be OK in the transition and are guaranteed a better life…for sure. Even if we can't bear living inside the small, uncomfortable confines of our outer shell, we have collected so much evidence that this is the safer choice, the smarter move to make. And yet the great paradox is that the profound process of letting go of the self we know is what gives us the strength to shake off the familiar shell of our past and place ourselves in the care of a power greater than ourselves. It is an act of faith, a commitment to our higher purpose, that gives us the confidence to leave the past behind and venture on to new territories.

The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse supports you in a quickening of this process, helping you shed the layers of the past and open up to the grandeur of living in a larger world so that you can participate more consciously in the unfolding of your own divine story. It is the journey from your head to your heart; the journey from ego to soul, from thinking to feeling—the journey that addresses this fundamental truth: your mind cannot and will not take you where your heart longs to go.

So to win the game of your life, you must be willing to venture outside your mind—shed the skin of your past—and open up to the enormity of who you are. It is only when you accept your past that you can shed it and become open and malleable enough to make the journey out of the land that you've known, to return to your original sacred state of being. It is in this state of awareness that you can see the gift that you are and the blessings of your circumstances. Although this divine story unfolds uniquely for every one of us, I will assert that where your heart longs to go has everything to do with reconnecting with the inner resource that gives rise to the miracle you know as human life. But the caveat is that the real shift in consciousness, and the fulfillment of all that you desire, demands that you let go of the shore of the self you've known in order to embark on the hero's journey into the unknown. It requires you to choose daily to live a soul-centered, spirit-directed life—a life guided by a force greater than any self you know.

My Grasper Moment

It was my own cracking open that led me to search and explore beneath the surface of my own human shell. I was in my fourth drug-treatment center, and it was day ten of a twenty-eight day program. By this time, I had suffered for over fifteen years with drug addiction and the underlying insecurities and self loathing that birthed this painful pattern of behavior. I had been in and out of treatment centers before and could never seem to make it all the way through. It was always around the ten-day mark that I began to feel strong, willful, and convinced that I "had it." I don't know what I thought I had, but the ache that led me into the treatment center would fade away and be replaced by a desperate desire to get the hell out of there. But on this particular day, I was keenly aware of where my urge to escape would take me. It was no mystery, because it had happened so many times before. I would finagle my way out of the treatment-center door, claiming I was healed, had found enlightenment, and was now freed from my addiction. And then either hours, days, or weeks later I would be back in the same vicious cycle of filling my small body with drugs, chasing a feel-good moment, and then sinking back down into the depths of hell and hopelessness.

But on this particular morning I was finally able to see where the path of running away would lead me. And I knew without the shadow of a doubt that I couldn't do it one more time. I knew that if I ran away, I would either find myself back in the same place I was in or, worse, never make it back here alive. But even with this awareness, the urge to escape continued to well up inside of me, and the voices in my head became louder and louder: "Run, Debbie, run! Get out of here! You're not one of them. You don't need this. You don't need these people. You can do it alone! You're better than them." For hours I turned my attention to this inner voice and listened. I wanted to believe it. I wanted it to be the truth. But the harsh reality was that this voice had let me down so many times before. So maybe for the first time in my entire life, I decided to resist the urgings of this know-it-all voice and instead chose to explore the possibility that there was another way besides my way. I needed to explore this power that everyone kept talking about, this force that could give me some relief.

Excerpted from The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse by Debbie Ford. © 2009 by Debbie Ford. Excerpted by permission HarperCollins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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