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How would your life change if you trusted that your challenges are a part of your journey home – back to yourself and back to Life – instead of feeling that your challenges are here because you have done something wrong or you are being punished or God fell asleep on the job? What would happen if your illness, your difficult relationship, your demanding boss, your compulsions, and maybe even your troublesome dog were showing up in your life to help you heal?

Mountains-Nature-Sky-SunnyThe healing you long for comes when you discover how to play the warmer, warmer/colder, colder game. Remember that game from your childhood? You hide something and when your friends are searching for it, you say “warmer, warmer” when they come close to where it is hidden, and when they go away from it, you say “colder, colder.”

When you live in the colder, colder place, your challenges take you right up into your head and you follow them down the rabbit hole of struggle. The storyteller in your mind tries to figure things out, resist them, judge them, attack/defend and when all of that fails, it falls into hopelessness and despair. The last thing it wants to do is actually experience what you are experiencing.  So you leave yourself for the struggles of your mind when you most need yourself!

This is where warmer, warmer comes in.  When you discover how to turn toward your experience, giving it the light of your attention, you begin to open up again. In other words, you get warmer. Let’s take fear for example. When a story of fear comes, if you fall under its spell, your body gets tight, your mind gets even tighter, and you are cut off from the healing balm of your own heart. So you get colder. If instead, when you notice that you are getting tight and you bring the light of your attention into your body and explore what is happening there, your mind calms down and the tightness softens. You now have access to your heart, which is kind and tender to both the story of fear and all of the tightness it brings to your body.

The more you bring curiosity to your immediate experience, the more your heart opens. And it is your heart energy that every single part of you is longing for, especially the parts you don’t like.  All lasting healing happens in your heart.

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Mary O’Malley is an author and counselor in Kirkland, Washington. In the early 1970’s, a powerful awakening set Mary on the path to changing her whole relationship with the challenges of life, freeing herself from a lifelong struggle with darkness. Since that time, Mary has taught extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Denmark.

She is an inspirational speaker who leads retreats that transform people’s lives, provides individual counseling, and offers ongoing groups where people can come together to experience the miracle of Awakening. Her strengths lie in her ability to be fully present in the moment, integrating information, technique and insight with simplicity and compassion. Mary is committed to helping people heal their inner wars, so they can become a part of the healing of our planet. She does so by drawing on her own life experience to facilitate healing and awakening in a compassionate and powerful way.

Mary’s books, which are endorsed by Eckhart Tolle and Neale Donald Walsch, include: What’s In the Way IS the Way: Moving Beyond Your Struggle into the Joy of Being Fully AliveThe Gift of Our Compulsions: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Acceptance and HealingBelonging to Life: The Journey of Awakening; and The Magical Forest of Aliveness: A Tale of Awakening.

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