If you are willing, just close your eyes for a moment and call forth the voice of the highest power in the universe. Take a deep breath, and ask, "Where am I suffering right now?" When you get your answer, just breathe in, thank the part of you that is willing to admit to this truth, and allow yourself to become aware of all the ways that you keep trying to squeeze your foot into a shoe that is too small—a life that falls short of your soul''s potential.

Now, why would you tolerate the pain of a constricting old identity—why would you tolerate this oppressive pinch when the truth of who you are is so much greater? The reason you squeeze yourself into shoes that are clearly too small is because you have lost your faith to one degree or another. You have lost faith either in yourself, in those whom you share the planet with, in the presence of a divine source, or the possibility of a future filled with love, passion, and endless possibilities.

If you look, you will find an aspect of yourself that is faithless —the part of you that has fallen to its knees, knocked down by heartbreak and stripped of faith after years of disappointments and difficulties of all kinds. Pummeled and bruised by the painful moments in life, this faithless part of you clings stubbornly and desperately to what it knows. Lost and alone, this part of you keeps forcing the size-six shoes onto your size-nine feet. Never mind that these shoes have holes in the bottom and their sparkling sheen is long gone. Forget about the fact that you can barely stand upright in them. Your faithless self holds on anyway, because at least that part of you knows those shoes. At least the discomfort they inflict is predictable. But with a bit of scrutiny, you can see the paradox: your faithless self actually does have its own brand of faith. It's a kind of misplaced faith—faith in your limitations, faith in your blockages, faith in your negative internal dialogue.

OK, but when that you can see beyond your past, beyond your outdated beliefs, assumptions, and habitual patterns, you can say, "Enough is enough." You can declare the Consciousness Cleanse to be a demarcation, etched in stone, of the turning of the tide. You can make a commitment that you will no longer put up with needless suffering, emotional pain, and the repetitive bad habits of your past. Your willingness to do the is evidence of that fact. The force with which your soul is calling you toward your deeper purpose will never settle for faux faith. It wants the real thing. And so the 21 days you're about to enter into are an opportunity to take your faithless self gently by the hand, letting it know that you understand its trepidation but that you also know that everything it really wants requires that it kick off the shoes of the past. Simply let it know that you''re partnering with it. You and your faithless self are taking one step at a time together into your larger shoes, the ones that your own soul has had tailor-made for you.

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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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