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The Process

An ancient Hindu legend describes a time when all human beings were gods, but because they abused their divinity, Brahma, the chief god, took it away from them. Three wise holy men were called in to help Brahma decide where to hide humankind's divinity so they could never find it again.

"Let's hide it on the highest mountaintop," offered the first holy man.

"No, humans are very resourceful. Eventually someone will climb up there and find it. Instead, let's hide it at the bottom of the deepest sea," suggested the second holy man. But they realized in time someone would discover it there as well.

"Let's bury it deep in the earth," said the third holy man. But they all realized there, too, it would one day be found.

After much thought and deliberation, they decided to bury divinity deep within each person. "No one will ever think to look for it there!" they exclaimed. And there it has remained ever since.

The Heart of TURN-AROUND

We explore the outer reaches of space, the unbelievable depths of the ocean, the very bowels of the earth, we searched far and wide to "find ourselves". But how few of us ever think to look inside. Our divinity is deeply hidden in every human heart where it waits to be discovered, ever ready to provide all the answers and guidance and solace we will ever need.

Only when we are armed with the knowledge that we have a divine presence within us will we dare to step out of the "but-I'm-only-human" mindset and identify with the dimension that does not deal on that level--a higher dimension. The solution to a problem is never found on the level of the problem itself. It is found on a higher level, where all answers and all possibilities await. The more we can identify with this level, the easier life becomes. This is the heart of TURN-AROUND.

Does this mean we need "God" on this trip?

Before addressing this critical question, let's take a slight detour to define our terms and to distinguish between "religion" and "spirituality".

We are all spiritual but not all of us are religious. Spirituality, as we are using the term in this book, refers to our awareness of our relationship with a higher power that resides in each of us. Spirituality relies on inner knowledge and inner feelings, and so each of us expresses his or her spirituality in an absolutely unique manner. Religion, on the other hand, is a set of formalized beliefs created by an individual or group and is practiced by the members of that group. Religions are constructed on frameworks of outer rules and tenets.

So, getting back to whether we need "God" on this trip, the answer hinges on how we're defining God. You'll have to use your own innate wisdom to make the final determination yourself. But here's our reasoning: when faced with situations that seem threatening or even tragic, our human tendency is to allow the mere appearances to influence us in a negative way. As a result, we anxiously scramble around for the solution amidst the very chaos of the situation. But (at the risk of being redundant) the solution to a problem is never found on the level of the problem. How could it be? For example, if you walked into quicksand, the more you struggled, the deeper you would be sucked into it. The trick to keeping out of trouble in quicksand is first to stop struggling--that only makes it worse. (Dare we say it again? The solution to a problem is never found on the level of the problem.) When you stop struggling, your natural buoyancy keeps you afloat. But then what? Then you need someone positioned higher than you are and standing on firmer footing to lend you a hand and pull you out.

Okay, so far so good. Now, how does this apply to you? If you feel you are in an impossible situation without the ability to resolve it yourself, doesn't it make sense that you have to turn elsewhere for help? And help can only come from the power "higher" than you yourself--a Higher Power--one that transcends the human level of the situation. If your life is currently mired in the quicksand of an addiction or an illness or financial crisis or poverty or whatever, why not look for the highest power you can find? An awareness of this higher power can help you, but... BUTů this knowledge cannot be of any help to you while you're struggling and thrashing about in the problem. And, too, keep in mind the Hindu legend: you don't have to look "upward" to contact this power; you'll find it available if you look "inward." The secret of TURN-AROUND is its reliance on working with this creative force already part of you, part of us all. What lies in our past or what lies in our future is insignificant compared to what lies within us.

One God, Many Names

Higher Power, Inner Wisdom, Nature, Cosmic Mind, Supreme Being, the Infinite, Universal Intelligence, Allah, Creator, and a multitude of others--the power most people refer to as "God" is called by many names, and is conceptualized in many ways.

You have your own concept of God, your own belief or non-belief regarding a supreme power, and it's certainly not for us to define for you what that is. But the fundamental tenet of TURN-AROUND holds that God--whatever "God" is --is not something to be worshiped, rather it is a principle to be lived, a presence dwelling within each of us. You can never be separated from this presence, because you are an expression of it. So rather than praying to this power to do something to help us, we can allow it to work through us as a living principle. Because this invisible source is in each of us, it supports each of us and benefits our lives to the degree we are in synch with it. When navigating a river, we make the most progress when we paddle with the flow.

The Promise of TURN-AROUND

So often we look for outside answers to inside "problems," when all the while there is an inner wisdom that remains untapped. No matter what your own situation appears to be, the real problem is seldom the one you see. The real problem is your inability or your subconscious unwillingness to allow this inner wisdom to unfold its plan through you.

It is human nature to see our problematic situation as a set of circumstances "out there" interfering with your happiness, interfering with your desire to be rich or not to be poor, to be respected or not to be scorned, to be loved or not to be ignored, etc., etc, etc.. So you find yourself asking your friends, your neighbors, your loved ones for answers. You may even seek professional counseling if your pain is severe enough. "What do you think I should do?" You can end up with all kinds of advice, but still with no answer to the question, "what is the best thing for me?" Without involving your inner wisdom in the decision, you are simply rolling dice, because there is a higher, broader plan at work.

Right now it may seem to the contrary, but the fact is you live in a supportive universe, whose benefits are available to you at all times. You enjoy these benefits when you become aware of them and allow them access into your life. This is one of the foundation stones upon which TURN-AROUND is built. If you can accept this basic premise and keep it uppermost in your mind, you will experience surprising changes. If initially you are having trouble accepting this basic premise, we urge you to stay with TURN-AROUND anyway, because even when practiced half-heartedly. the seven steps can still help.

The seven TURN-AROUND steps do not make something happen. In fact, you can't "make" anything happen. Sure, you can sometimes manipulate people, circumstances, and events to give yourself temporary comfort and the illusion that you are in charge. Trouble is, the only glue to hold them all together is the strength of your own will. If you let your guard down, even for a minute, the same people, circumstances and events revert to their former levels and you have to round them up and glue them back together again. So you can see it's a continuous process requiring an enormous amount of effort, one that eventually wears you out!

This is a short book. The seven steps of TURN-AROUND are brief and to the point. You won't have to waste your time reading pages and pages of theoretical ideas or spend agonizing months or years on self-analysis. You can enter into this process with the hope-filled feeling that help is here at last. If you are willing to follow the seven steps and not skip over anything or slacken your commitment, you will be pleased at how your life looks and feels in the near future.