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Excerpt from "The Only Thing That Matters"

by Neale Donald Walsch

Life loves you. It may not seem that way to you right now, and you may guffaw when you hear this, but Life loves you and is supporting you, and that is why you are receiving a Special Invitation from Life on this day.

You may actually be able to feel this invitation—much as you sometimes sense in the sleepy hours of the morning that it’s time to wake up.

Have you ever had that feeling? Nothing in particular is happening.

There’s no alarm going off. No one has come into the room to stir you.

There’s just an inner knowing: It’s time to wake up.

You may be feeling these days a muted excitement stirring within, generating a restless readiness to respond to a gentle but persistent inner voice that keeps whispering . . .

. . . It doesn’t have to be this way.

That inner voice is correct. Your life does not have to be a series of worrisome and challenging crises involving finances or relationships or health or family—or all of the above. Or, for that matter, on some days nothing in particular . . . just a nagging sense of out-of-orderness.

Neither does the world at large have to be a container of constant calamity engulfing its governance and politics, its commerce and economics, its environment and ecology, its cultures and religions.

Listen to that voice . . .

. . . It doesn’t have to be this way.

That is not wishful thinking. That is your Awareness speaking.

What is occurring in your life right now is that your Awareness is growing— and now you are hearing its voice. In strictest terms a “growth” in your Awareness is not possible. Your Awareness is what it is; it does not “grow” larger and larger. That’s because your Awareness rests within your Soul, and your Soul does not get bigger, or in some way “more,” than it always was and is now.

It is your Mind that expands. For easy understanding, it could be said that Awareness rests in the Soul and Attention resides in the Mind. So to put what is occurring in your life another way, you are now paying greater Attention to your Awareness. It’s one thing to be “aware,” but it is another thing altogether to pay attention to what your Soul is aware of (instead of ignoring it, which most people do most of the time).

This mixture of the two is what might be called Consciousness. When your Mind pays attention to your Soul, and your Mind and Soul thus carry the same data, hold the same idea, and possess the same perspective, you might be said to be fully conscious.

So, in real terms, it is your Consciousness that is expanding as the Awareness of your Soul comes to the Attention of your Mind. Now here’s where the danger of misinterpretation exists: Your increased Consciousness brings along with it an increased sensitivity to every aspect of  life. This has no doubt resulted in an expansion of the effect that all of Life has on you—and this could feel as if everything’s in your way, standing between you and peace, because the same kinds of life experiences that you encountered with little difficulty just a short while ago now feel like they’re going to put you on “overload.”

You’ve probably been wondering what’s going on, and why you don’t seem to be “handling things” as easily anymore.

Well, it’s all very simple: You’re not becoming less able, you’re becoming more capable than ever. But you’re growing into that as Life calls upon you to pay more attention to more things in more ways more of the time. Add to this the fact that there is more data in toto of which you can become aware (the world’s new technologies have placed more information at the fingertips of a 15-year-old today than that to which the President of the United States had access a few years ago)—and you can see the challenge.

And it hasn’t stopped there. More things seem to be falling apart all at once all over the place than ever before—from financial systems to political systems to social systems, and even weather systems. So here you are, in the middle of The Perfect Storm: a confluence of expanding energies, enlarging noticements, and rapidly multiplying negative events that are producing some very interesting times. To say the least . . . some Very.Interesting. Times.

Yet it is as spiritual teacher Mary O’Malley wonderfully and succinctly puts it: “What’s in the way is the way.”  The reason that life’s events seem to many people to be in the way is that many people have no idea where they’re going. They do not know that on the path they were intended to take, there are no obstacles. The obstacles that people are encountering have not been plunked down suddenly and ruthlessly by Life, right in the middle of the path they’re traveling. Rather, the path they’re traveling is the one with obstacles already on it.

Why? Why would people be traveling the road with all the detours, all the pitfalls and potholes and stumbling blocks, and finally, all the dead ends? It’s because they’ve been given poor directions, or a very badly drawn map.

The way people have been told they’re supposed to go is not the way they came here to go. And that is why 98% of the world’s people are spending 98% of their time on things that just don’t matter. When you turn that around, you’ll turn your life around.

Neale Donald Walsch is the author of 27 books on practical spirituality, including the Conversations with God series, which have sold millions of copies worldwide. His books have been translated into 35 languages, and seven have made the New York Times bestseller list. The author's internet television program, Talk to Neale, allows his readers to interact with him regularly in person at www.CWG.tv. Walsch lives with his wife, the American poet Em Claire, in Ashland, Oregon. Website: www.nealedonaldwalsch.com .

Price: USA $19.95 • CAN $19.95 • UK £10.99

Format: 6" x 9" Hardcover

ISBN: 9781401942366

Permission: The following excerpt is taken from the book The Only Thing That Matters by Neale Donald Walsh. It is published by Hay House (Available now) and available at all bookstores or online at: www.hayhouse.com.

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