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Ep 4 Transcription "If You Want To Enough"

Leona:

Hi friends. Welcome to the get off your affirmation podcast. I'm Leona Evans, and I'm here today with my son and co-host, Matthew J. Evans.


Matthew:

Hi everyone. Thanks for listening.


Leona:

Tod ay, we're going to take a deeper look at goal setting. Now manifesting goals is one of the most popular of all our self-help concepts, but with so many excellent tools and methods available to us, why are so many of our goals left unfulfilled? Why do certain methods for goal setting work sometimes and not others? Why does it seem that we try so hard and too often end up frustrated when we don't manifest what we want? Well, maybe there's a difference between what we say we want and what we really want.


Matthew:

That's really interesting because you'd kind of assume that if you were in the goal-setting process, that you already knew what you wanted,


Leona:

But the question is, do we really want it? Or do we think we should want it? Those are two entirely different things.


Matthew:

Yeah. When we believe we should want something, we don't have the passion to actually go out and do it.


Leona:

And that explains why I have so many unused health club memberships. I wanted to want to exercise. I knew that I should exercise, but deep down inside, I just couldn't make myself want to enough. No matter how many goals I set for myself, no matter how many times I tried, there was a resistance inside of me that kept me from following through. See early on in our lives we realize that people expect things from us. They want things for us. Society wants things for us and from us. And very often we get confused between what we really want, what is part of our unique individuality and what's expected from us. And so, because of that confusion, we often think we want things only to find out later on that we never really did.


Matthew:

Seems like no matter what goal setting tools we use, if we don't really have a passion for it, it's going to be really, really hard to work toward those goals. I mean, it's just going to be dragging our feet and complaining the whole time and maybe even giving up.


Leona:

So today I thought we would focus on making sure we know what we want, how to find out what we really want honoring what we really want and being able to manifest that which we really believe is for our highest good. And so today I would like to challenge each of you to get off your affirmation, find out what you really want and set about achieving your goal.


Matthew:

I really I'm excited for this. This is going to be really cool.


Leona:

I am too. Something very powerful came up for me this week and I was reminded of my process of giving up smoking for the last time, which was in 1982. I haven't had a cigarette in over 38 years.


Matthew:

Wow. That's quite a bit longer than I've even been alive!.


Leona:

Yes, it is quite a bit longer. The first time I quit was for two years and then went back to it


Matthew:

Really, why?


Leona:

If I really look at it closely enough, apparently I really didn't want to quit in the first place,


Matthew:

But two years, I mean, that seems like such a long time to not need a cigarette..


Leona:

I know. And it was really disappointing for me to see how easily I was able to go back to it after all that time. And yet, as I thought back on it, I began to see that I never really let it go. So I smoked for another period of time, always telling myself that I would definitely quit for good when the time was right. At this point, I was ready to make a big career change and decided to apply to Unity Ministerial School. One day, as I was looking over the brochure I noticed that each class was 50 minutes long with a 10 minute break every hour. And it occurred to me that I couldn't go that long without a cigarette. I had never gone that long without a cigarette, and I certainly would not be able to pull it off now.


Matthew:

Wow. That's crazy, that's a lot of cigarettes!


Leona:

I was a chain smoker, and when I finished one cigarette, I would be lighting the next, I smoked four packs a day!


Matthew:

Oh my gosh.


Leona:

I know. There was seldom a time when I didn't smoke. Actually, I didn't even enjoy it most of the time, it was hard on my throat. I coughed a lot and I was short of breath.


Matthew:

And singing and dancing and doing everything that you did all the time for your work. That must have been so much more difficult.


Leona:

Well, it was, but the thing is most of us who sang and danced also smoked. And, of course, there was our role model, Frank Sinatra, who smoked while he was singing.


Matthew:

It's amazing how there isn't a single recording of him coughing.


Leona:

Well, no there isn't. You see, there, wasn't the stigma about smoking in those days? It was cool, it was sophisticated, it kept your weight down. It was like having a friend. It was a remarkable kind of habit that had not only a physiological, but an emotional component.


Matthew:

It was part of society and a part of culture..


Leona:

We used to say, let's relax and have a cigarette break.


Matthew:

It was like a social invitation. So you had even more reason to always be smoking. It meant you were always kind of connecting with someone. At least that's what you're being told, or what you're telling yourself.


Leona:

Yes. There was always an excuse to smoke.


Matthew:

When you went back to smoking after you stopped, did you feel bad? Did you think, "Oh no, I did this again." What was your thought process for that?


Leona:

To be quite honest with you, most of me was relieved that I had a chance to smoke again. Besides, I told myself I was only going to do it for this pack of cigarettes or for this week, but it was always that I wasn't really a smoker again. I was just doing it for a little while,


Matthew:

But you would keep resetting whatever that deadline was.


Leona:

Oh yes, absolutely. Kept resetting the goal. And all the while I kept getting deeper and deeper into the addiction. So here I was with a four pack a day cigarette habit, preparing myself for a new career, and I couldn't stop smoking.


Matthew:

Were there fewer places where you could smoke? Was that one of the things that helped you quit? Almost like the jig was up,


Leona:

The laws were starting to get stricter on where you could smoke. At that time people could smoke on airplanes and in restaurants. It was really easy to do.


Matthew:

That's crazy. I know I've seen it in movies, but it's hard for me to even imagine a world with that much smoking in it.


Leona:

Oh yes. It was quite a world, quite a world. And there was such a level of denial. The planes were divided into sections Nobody seemed to realize that we were all on the same plane, but you could smoke in row L but you couldn't smoke in row M


Matthew:

Because smoke knows where the rows are and respects that.(laughter). I always wondered about that in restaurants too. I would see pictures of old jazz clubs and you see a smoking section and a no smoking section, but there's still smoke everywhere in the room.


Leona:

I know. I know. A lot of it has its humorous aspects, but for me it was a very daunting time.


Matthew:

So you would have moments where you would see the advertising saying how dangerous smoking was and you would know that you needed to stop, but still feel that craving more strongly and not really want to quit quite enough. Right?


Leona:

That is correct. I did not want to quit enough. Not that I didn't want to live and have a wonderful long life. It's just that at that time there was no real hard evidence that smoking was harmful.


Matthew:

That's an excuse we can tell ourselves. Right? We can say, "it's really not that bad" even to the point of disbelieving evidence to the contrary.


Leona:

Oh yes. That's so true. Denial is one of the most insidious addictions there is. And so I decided I would quit smoking and take a month to wean myself off, you know, smoke fewer and fewer cigarettes every day until I didn't smoke any. Well, as the process went on, after about two weeks, it started getting harder and harder. I watched the clock. I craved the time when I could have another cigarette. It was worse than not smoking at all. Finally the day came when I got down to one cigarette and I was able to say, "This is it. I quit". And I have to tell you for about 15 minutes, I felt so victorious. I had conquered, I had won. I was now free. However, by the time I got home from work, I was so desperate for a cigarette that I looked in my garbage can. I looked everywhere to try to find even a half-smoked cigarette, and I felt defeated. It just, hadn't worked. I had failed.


Matthew:

Oh, I'm so sorry. That's awful. So sad to experience that.


Leona:

It was a really tough time. And yet about a week later, I decided to call a friend of mine who was a self-help hypnotherapist to get some advice. He told me that I had been approaching it the wrong way that I really needed at least three months to wean myself off. And he showed me the tools to do that. I felt so excited. I was so thrilled to have his support. I felt more motivated than ever. And I was sure that this time I was going to do it. So I went through the process. I went through the three months. It was amazing. The day came that I had my last cigarette and I felt totally victorious --- for about 15 or 20 minutes.


Matthew:

Oh man, the craving came back again?


Leona:

And this time I went to a restaurant and started looking in their ashtrays and I was feeling really, really depressed.


Matthew:

Wow! What turned it around from there?


Leona:

Well, I flew home to Chicago and I confessed to my mother that I didn't know what to do anymore. I couldn't take the stress. I couldn't take the deprivation. I was eating myself crazy. I just didn't know how to stop. And during the course of our talk, I asked her to take a walk with me. When we got to the corner drugstore, I said," I just have to get some cigarettes, I can't help it"!" After a moment, she said something very simple, almost too simple, that actually changed my life. She said, "Okay, if you have to, you have to, I'll wait out here" And then as I turned to go inside the store she mumbled under her breath. "I would never let something like that get hold of me".


Matthew:

Wow, that just really drives it right home, doesn't it?


Leona:

Oh yes. It drove it right home. And it made me realize that it was exactly what I was doing. I was letting it get a hold of me, and the addiction, itself, was talking out of my mouth. I realized that I never really wanted to quit until that moment. I thought I had to. I thought I should. I thought I would look better. I thought I would sound better. I thought I would feel better, but I didn't really want to.


Matthew:

So powerful though, that idea of giving your power away to an object or an addiction like that and totally losing yourself.


Leona:

After my mother made that comment, a seemingly innocuous comment under her breath, not even directly to my face, I understood exactly what I was doing. I was giving my power away and I had a really powerful desire to stop. Now I had a new motivation. I had a new goal ---- to be free. And this time it didn't matter how much pain or discomfort I had to go through because it was going to be worth it. And that motivation has served me all these years. Was it hard? Oh yes. It was so hard. It was very hard. But once I decided to do it, I decided get support in every way I could.


Matthew:

It's like that phrase you hear people say about taking your life back.


Leona:

Yes. That describes it perfectly. So I thought of all that this week and I realized that being unable to quit smoking had nothing to do with the effectivness of the goal-setting tools. That wasn't the problem. The problem was that underneath all of those affirmations, I just didn't want to, enough.


Matthew:

Because theoretically, any set of tools for goal-setting would work. The most important thing is whether we want to enough, because if we don't, it's not going to happen.


Leona:

That is true. Although I still say that goal-setting tools can be very, very helpful. They're a tremendous support to what we already decide we want, but one of them is just as good as another., The same thing with diets, which diet works? The one that you do, the one that you successfully complete. No question about it. Most often, it's not the diets that are a problem. It's our commitment and our willingness to follow through.


So let's talk about will, and especially in relation to what we often discuss as God's will, Is God's will different from our will. And what do we mean when we say God? For us in Progressive Spirituality and New Thought, we think of God as the Ever Present Power of Unconditional Love, Life and Wisdom. And so when we ask that God's will be done in our lives, we are really seeking alignment with that power which already within us


Matthew:

It seems like a lot of times when we hear about God's Will, we think of something outside ourselves or something that we have to try to find.


Leona:

Well, that is the traditional point of view. What is God's will people have asked? How do I know that I'm doing God's will, this is a very, very big issue. For me God's will is much more than a specific activity or a thing. People might ask when they're starting out in life, is it God's will that I become an architect or a teacher? Is it God's will that I go to France or England? What is God's will? And for me, the response would be: whatever fulfills your highest capacity to experience life in its fullest, to give and receive love, to feel your creative potential expressed. To me, that's God's will. And so when we want to know, what is God's will, is this what God wants me to do? Let's try not to think in terms of specifics, let us know and understand that God or spirit within us wants for us to express ourselves at the highest level of our being and addiction to a substance will keep us from doing that.


Leona:

As long as we're addicted self-condemnation will keep us from feeling. We deserve the highest level of expression, resentment, lack of forgiveness toward ourselves, and others will keep us from experiencing that highest level of expression. And so when we're asking ourselves is this God's will, or my will let's understand that both wills are the same, just seen from two perspectives. The pure will of spirit is our higher self unclouded by misperceptions. What we refer to as our will is often conflicted with self doubt and self-condemnation. So we need to go into meditation. We need to sit with the idea that we are enough and that we deserve the best as we keep working with these ideas and these principles, we become lifted to a wiser, greater and more loving level of expression that enables us to make decisions that are for our highest good.


Matthew:

So God's will really, is always for our best, like how do we connect? How do we feel connected with what God's will is for us when we aren't feeling good about ourselves?


Leona:

I think we need to remember at all times that when we are not feeling good about ourselves, we are not in a position to make life-changing decisions. This is the time to go into meditation, to seek counseling, to seek the wisdom of those who love and support us to feel better about who we are so that we can align ourselves a nd when we get to a place in life, when we realized that we made a decision, or we used our will in a way that was not necessarily for our highest good based on a low self-concept, then we always have the choice to see ourselves from a higher, stronger vantage point and Spirit, the Divine I Am is always there with unconditional love, always asking us to come up higher.


Matthew:

That's really comforting. You know, that idea that we're always being supported when we're working toward these goals, no matter how difficult they can seem to get. Quitting smoking, breaking an addiction, breaking just a habit is so hard. And any time that we can look within and find that support is so important,


Leona:

Here's a wonderful quote written by Aristotle, "Excellence is never an accident. It's always the result of high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives choice, not chance determines our destiny." I love this quote so much because it helps us see that instead of being victims of our circumstances, that it's our own volition, our own self-concept that empowers us to use all of the gifts of the spirit that are inherent within us in the highest, most inspiring ways. It's by our choice, by aligning our will with the universal will, that we become capable of living our lives to the fullest, because the fact is our dreams, our deepest desires represent the living spirit of truth beckoning us to share those gifts with the world.


Matthew:

That's really inspiring. Knowing that we are capable of experiencing that, that it is all a matter of setting our intention and focusing our will onto what we want, and knowing that the universe is there along with us to remind us that we are deserving, we are enough.


Leona:

And so once again, I respectfully challenge each of you to get off your affirmation, find out what you really want and set about achieving your goals. Let's take a moment to recap some key ideas. What have we worked really hard to manifest that didn't happen or didn't happen the way we wanted it to, and we were left frustrated? Is it something that we really, really wanted? Or was it something we thought we should want? Did we feel that we deserved it? Because our self-concept determines how successfully we manifest our highest good. If we find out that our self-concept needs work, then let's work at it. Let us find a place of positive reinforcement. Let us do our meditation. Let us do our affirmations. Let us find a way to lift ourselves from a negative environment or negative reinforcement. Let's remember we're better than that.


Leona:

Let's refrain from making any life-changing decisions when we're not feeling good about ourselves, when we're not feeling healthy, when we're not feeling deserving. And let us remember that our goal is to get in touch with our hearts' desire, to in touch with the universal will that continues to lift and support us and to bless and encourage us every step of the way to manifest our talents and skills, to share them with the world, to be all that we were created to be it's up to us. It's all up to us.


Matthew:

Thanks so much for listening to our show. Please connect with us at the Get Off Your Affirmation Facebook page. We are really looking forward to hearing your feedback. Subscribe to our website at getoffyouraffirmation.com


Leona:

Have a wonderful week. You deserve it.

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