Being ready is not enough – are you willing?

Change, personal transformation, is possible, when you are not just ready, but willing!
Talk to all those people that have a habit, a ruinous temptation which they can’t get over. Smoking, alcohol, being a compulsive skirt-chaser, staying cynical at all times__all these are habits. Yesterday a friend posted a status on his facebook Page saying there’s this man who comes jogging to the same park as him every morning. Except that this person is always on the phone, reviewing the previous day’s sales with his junior colleague. Shouting, ranting, kicking butt and both experiencing and expressing a lot of stress in the bargain! My friend concluded in his post that it doesn’t look like the man is enjoying being the way he is. And perhaps he is consumed by his occupational challenges. Possibly. In fact, no chain smoker or alcoholic enjoys being one. Every cynic wants to stop and see the magic and beauty in everyday Life. They are ready to change. But they are not willing. Being willing means this: you must accept that you will go through some pain as you begin the journey to transform yourself. You must know, believe and motivate yourself that this pain, this change is for the good. Willingness is a soul-related emotion. Readiness is mind-related. The voice of reason readies us. But it is our inner voice that makes us willing.

As Richard Bach, the famous American writer, wrote: “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly!” It is only because the caterpillar is willing, and not just ready, despite excruciating, life-threatening pain, that it becomes the butterfly! So, why crawl, as Rumi, the 13th century poet asked us: “Why crawl when you have been created to fly!” On a cosmic plane, our lifetimes are just about the lifespan of a butterfly’s! We have been created to enjoy the beautiful open spaces, and to drink in the pure nectar of Life. Then why do we crawl? Why are we suffering? The only reason is we are unwilling, even if ready, for change, for personal transformation. Be sure to encounter pain on this path!  But then, what’s Life, without some pain, without change!? You can avoid or escape neither. So, go change folks __ for your own good! 
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Only when you are ready and willing, will you experience Life’s beauty and magic

For you to see Life’s beauty, for you to experience the miracle of Life, you must be both ready and willing!
There is a famous Sufi story I remember reading.
A young man went in search of a Master. He was ready to go around the world, for he was determined to find the Master, the true Master, the Perfect Master.
Just outside his village he met an old man, a nice fellow, sitting under a tree. He asked the old man, “You look like a wanderer…”
The old man said, “Yes, I am a wanderer. I have wandered all over the earth.”
The man said, “That is the kind of person I was hoping to meet who can guide me. Can you suggest to me where and to whom I should go? I want to be the disciple of a Perfect Master.”
The old man suggested a few addresses to him, and the young man thanked him and went on.
After thirty years of wandering around the earth and finding nobody who was exactly fulfilling his expectations, he came back to his village, dejected and depressed. When he was entering his village he saw the old man again, who had become very old now, sitting under the tree. And suddenly he realized that this old man was the Master he had all along been searching for! He fell at his feet and he said, “Why didn’t you say it to me, that you are the Master?”
The old man said, “But that was not the time for you. You could not recognize me. You needed some experience. Wandering around the earth has given you a certain maturity, a certain understanding. Now you can see. Last time you had met me, but you had not seen me. You had missed. You were asking me about some Master. That was enough proof that you could not see me, you could not feel my presence. You were utterly blind; hence I gave you some bogus addresses so you could go. But even to be with wrong people is good, because that is how one learns. For thirty years I have been waiting for you here, I have not left this tree.”
In fact the man, who was not young anymore, looked at the tree and was even more surprised. Because in his dreams, in his visions, he was always seeing that tree and there was always a feeling that he would find the Perfect Master sitting under this tree. Last time he had not seen the tree at all. The tree was there, the Master was there, everything was ready for him, but he was not willing, even if he was ready.
This is why we don’t often find what we are seeking. Inner peace and happiness. Because even if we are ready to seek it, we are not willing to let it enter our lives. Only when we are ready and willing, both, can we experience Life’s beauty and magic!