I share this experience on the bathroom floor of the West Palm Beach Institute because it was the defining moment when I discovered that a power greater than the self that I knew existed. It was in this moment that I began to heal and transform my inner world and form a deep, loving relationship with the power that I now know as God. It was my day, my miracle, my choice point. And every day for the next eighteen days, I made the choice to find my way back into that bathroom, which had become my holy sanctuary—a place where I could reconnect with the all-loving presence that had delivered me access to the higher aspect of myself and this inner resource that could shift a moment of pain to a moment of awakening. Through this daily ritual of prayer, I found the strength to finally make it through all twenty-eight days of treatment. On one warm Florida day nearly twenty-six years ago, I walked out of my last treatment center, knowing that I had tapped into a power and a resource that could remove obstacles, change people's perceptions of the world and their lives, and lead me to a future I couldn't even fathom. That day, I knew with every fiber of my being that I needed to further explore, understand, and, more important, devote my life to finding and knowing God.

As I continued my healing process and resumed my life, I was consumed by the need to understand how this shift had occurred. Why this time did I find the strength I had failed to find so many times before? How did I go from feeling deep pain, agony, and despair to experiencing peace, joy, and contentment? How could I feel so alone and separate one moment, and a moment later feel completely connected, one with all that is, seen and unseen? How did I go from seeing the world through the self-centered eyes of my wounded ego to glimpsing the unbelievable intricacies and possibilities of my inner life?

To this day, I remain awed and fascinated by what's available to every one of us when we reconnect to our soul's deepest desires. The quest to understand this powerful source has led me on a long, unbelievable journey, from the depths of darkness and despair to unimaginable moments of light, love, creativity, and joy. And the unquenchable desire of my soul to have all of my questions answered and the mystery of unseen powers revealed is ultimately what has led me to the 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse…and the return to light that it promises.

Leaving my shell behind—which included many friends, behaviors, and habits; a plethora of negative beliefs and false assumptions; and an army of grudges and resentments—has allowed me to hear and follow the longing of my soul's deepest purpose. My soul knew I would be a teacher, writer, and friend to many. My soul knew I had all the ingredients to express my God-given wisdom to others and to develop myself into a woman who now considers herself an order-taker. Who is my master? you might ask. My master is a power I've never seen but that I've experienced, a power that is here to give and not to get, to offer rather than push; a power that seeks goodness but doesn't judge darkness. My master is a loving presence that guides me to continually take risks, to share my deepest pain as well as my greatest joy; a master who is always guiding me toward the light of my precious soul even when I can't understand where we are going, a master who urges me to make better choices even when my human needs are calling me to an earthly desire.

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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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