Feelings of Giving Up

Good morning and happy day to each of you! I am compelled to speak to the person who expressed “feelings of giving up.” I remember being in that state where all I could do was pray to die because I was experiencing feelings of giving up. It was s such a place of despair that I want to speak to the person who searched for it.

The reason I am so much wanting to speak to them is because I want to relay there is hope. It gets better – it really does. In fact, there are things you can do which will make it get better, which can get you out of the place where you have feelings of giving up.

One thing you can do is begin to identify the one thing that lights you up. This could be the simple beauty of a flower, or seeing a child laugh. I blogged yesterday about this, so read yesterday’s blog. Find just one small thing that can make you smile in spite of yourself and your feelings of giving up. Focus on it and bring your thoughts back to it when you begin to have feelings of giving up.

The next thing you can do is become willing to look at things from a whole new angle, with new eyes. Resolve to have this willingness. If you can’t seem to become willing, ask the Universe for the willingness to be willing to have willingness. Just keep saying, Universe, please help me be willing to have willingness.

Next, think of how you can help another. Set aside  your feelings of giving up for a brief time, and do something nice for someone else. Help an elderly person in some way, or a homeless person. Set aside your feelings of giving up while you’re helping them and you’ll begin to feel better.

Now consider what the lesson is that you are being taught, for our darkest hours can be our greatest teachers if we allow them to be.

Give these suggestions a try and see if you do no begin to get through your feelings of giving up. I hope you are feeling less like giving up and more like you have value to others in the world.

If you would like help to get to a place of feeling better about things, I coach people to get past the feelings of giving up. Simply call me to schedule a free 30 minute discovery call. On that call we will discuss what it is you want from your life and how o go about getting it. Call 415-883-8325.



What Does Willingness Look Like?

Good morning, everyone! I has dawned a bright and sunny day here in the north San Francisco Bay Area, and I hope your day is bright and sunny from the inside out. I think someone stuffed the ballot box with the search term “what does willingness look like,” (lol) and I will address that today.

I believe willingness is the key to all change, all improvement, and all feeling better about ourselves and others.

Webster defines willingness as the act of being willing, which is acting or giving readily and cheerfully, gladly or voluntarily. In my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, I say that all it takes to unlock the gates of our heart is a little opening the size of a key hole. Then the door opens wider…

When we practice willingness, we are open to whatever the Universe has to bring our way. We are open to differences in others, open to seeing new things for ourselves. It is a feeling of expansiveness, of expanding light.

Yes, willingness is a lightness of being. There is a mysterious quality about it, as we await new experiences, new feelings, “new” in all areas of our life. There is a deep knowingness when we are practicing willingness, a deep feeling that all is well. We look eagerly to what the Universe has to offer us.

When we are demonstrating willingness, others see an openness about us, experience less judgment from us. They see our lightness, our eagerness for newness. They see a person who is more at peace with themselves, with others. Yes, willingness is the key to happiness and peace.

How do you feel when you are experiencing willingness? Leave a comment and let us know.


The Power of Willingness

Good morning and Happy New Year to all of you out there! I hope you all have a wonderful year in 2013! I want to start the year off by talking about willingness, but before I do, I’d like to address the person who searched for “sometimes living is worthless.”

To you who searched for that, I’d like to say, yes, sometimes it feels like living is worthless. There appears to be no hope, nothing to do that will improve the situation. That is what it was like for me anyway, when I was praying to God to let me die in 2005.

The operative word there is “feels.” It “feels” like living is worthless. The thing is, it is a feeling, and if we allow them, feelings will come and go. They pass if we just hang in there and wait for them to do so. What worked for me when I felt living was worthless, was helping someone to get through what I had gotten through in my suffering.

In other words, I was helped through that feeling by being useful to another, and I was useful to another by sharing my story with someone who was struggling with the same feelings with which I had been struggling. It worked for me to talk through these feelings in an effort to be of service to another. When I realized that by sharing how I made improvements in my life I was helpful to another, I began to feel that life WAS worth living. Perhaps you can gain something from that and your feeling that living is worthless will ease.

Let’s move on to willingness. In fact, willingness applies in the situation above, because one has to be willing to be of service to another, willing to let the feeling of worthlessness travel through.

Webster defines willingness as acting and giving readily, cheerfully, gladly… voluntarily. I found that asking the Universe for the willingness to be willing to have willingness was useful to get me to the point of having willingness. Unfortunately for my mental health, I had to be beaten down to the lowest low emotionally and with my drinking, before I was able to gain the willingness to do something about it all. I was so bad off, I became willing to do whatever it took to feel better.

Today, I define willingness as one of the major keys to use to open the gates of my heart when it is closed. In fact, I find willingness to be the key for the basis of everything I do. The power of willingness is remarkable. When I am willing, all sorts of positive things come my way. Often, problems solve themselves with my action and God’s intervention, but I have to be willing to do the work. Then, I have to be willing to allow God to work in my life.

The act of being willing opens doors that might never be opened for us. It’s like, when we show willingness, the Universe knows how to help us attain what we want and need. It opens our mind, our heart. There is great power in that.

How do you show willingness? Leave a comment and let us know.



Willingness is the Key to Our Sobriety

Willingness is the key to our sobriety. It is behind everything… everything! Being willing to be willing will help us achieve sobriety and peace of mind. 

Behind all the things we have been talking about lies willingness. If we are willing to get sober, to be uncomfortable sometimes, and still not pick up a drink, then we have more chance of succeeding.

If we are willing to face our emotions, even the difficult ones, we improve our chances of staying sober. Willingness is behind our courage, our faith. 

If we are simply willing to consider the presence of a higher Source in our lives, we have more chance of being sober, as that Source can act to guide us.

Willingness is behind our degree of honesty. If we are willing to look at ourselves honestly and be who we are with others, then we increase our chances of staying sober.

If we are having difficulty getting willing, we pray for the willingness to be willing. It is that simple.

The thing about willingness is, it takes just a little to go a long way – just the size of a keyhole. Once we demonstrate that little bit, the Universe comes to our aid and helps us expand upon it.

Willingness is something we do readily, cheerfully, and voluntarily. We consent to do something specified or implied. With this attitude, we cannot go wrong, we will not be led astray.

Today, be willing to open your heart and mind to the concept of willingness. Take action to be willing. Consciously identify and realize your level of willingness. When you become willing, your life will flow much more smoothly, you will be able to stay sober more easily, and you will find peace.



Respecting Others and Ourselves As Individuals

Sometimes, we as individuals do not respect others as individuals. So, our topic today is respect of individuality.

The verse that accompanies the photograph in the book starts, “We ask of others to follow our dreams, to be like us. Why?”

Respect of Individuality

Respect of Individuality

Why, indeed. Why do we think that what we are and what we do is what others should be and do? When we expect another to be like us, to follow our dreams, it thwarts the skills and talents of another, sending the message that who they are is not good enough, or simply not good.

Did you experience that at any point in your life? In childhood, in a marriage? I did. I was constantly compared to my sisters, who were academic. I was artistic, so in the comparison, I failed miserably.

It has taken my lifetime to revert the belief that I was not a good person. Even still, I struggle with feelings of not being good enough.

So, what’s the solution? How can we look at another and celebrate their differences as individuals? We can do just that. We can take special note of another’s individuality and respect it, celebrate it.

We can encourage another’s individuality, urging them to greatness in the areas in which they excel and are interested.

At the same time that we are respecting others as individuals, we can respect our own individuality. Oh, yes, for we – you – are each a unique individual, worthy of celebration and respect.

Take the time to think about all the things about yourself that make you an individual, all your special talents and gifts. Then, consider that these are the gifts you are intended to bring to the world.

Be willing to humbly share these gifts with everyone around you. When you do, you will begin to feel at peace with yourself and the world; it will bring you a feeling of completeness, wholeness. 

It is my hope that you will begin to see others as individuals, allowing them outside of any box in which you have placed them. And I hope that you begin to celebrate your uniqueness, allowing the world to see who you are as an individual.



How to Find Forgiveness

Yesterday, I spoke about how forgiveness found me. It was quite by accident. Now, I know how to recreate that for myself and I thought I’d share it with you how to find forgiveness.

Tiers of Forgiveness

Tiers of Forgiveness

It happens in tiers, or stages, over time. There are many emotions to deal with, and the original anger and resentment will resurface for you to look at. It gets easier if you apply the following process.

  • Identify the original anger. Recognize it as hurt and let yourself feel that hurt. Be willing to feel it.
  • Don’t get into how justified you are about your anger. Allow yourself to hurt.
  • Take a look at yourself and determine if you may have done something to provoke the other person. Be really honest about that, even if it is embarrassing to admit. Better to know this up-front. Be willing to look honestly. Be willing to be responsible for your own actions and words.
  • If you did do something to provoke the other person, perhaps an apology is in order. Drop your pride and apologize if you were the one who set the ball in motion.
  • If that is not the case, then look further at yourself and examine whether you have ever done the very thing for which you are angry.
  • Chances are, you have in some form or another. Think about how you felt about yourself when you did that. Were you feeling badly about yourself and took it out on another in some way?
  • Have compassion for yourself for how badly you were feeling about yourself when you did that act, or said what you said to be hurtful to another. Really hold yourself and give yourself comfort. Be willing to show yourself compassion.
  • Now, think about the other person and consider that they most likely were feeling badly about themselves when they did what they did to you.
  • Now, try to see them with the eyes of compassion for the wounded soul they were at that moment that they hurt you.
  • Don’t condone the hurtful actions. Forgiveness is not about condoning the hurtful actions or words of another. It is about freeing up your heart from the resentment you harbor. It is about clearing your heart.
  • Once you see with the eyes of compassion, try to bring forgiveness into your heart.
  • Know that they were doing the best they could at that moment, just as you always do the best you can in any moment, even if you are hurtful to another.

Try this series of ideas for one with whom you are angry and resentful, one whom you are unable to forgive, and see if it is helpful. See if it shows you how to find forgiveness.

If it is yourself you need to forgive, the same stages of self-examination and compassion apply. If you try this method, let us know the results. Leave a comment with your success, or let us know if it just didn’t work.


Hopefulness As A Way of Life

Ray of Hope

” A ray of light across the bars of my being lights my way, instills hope in my heart”

As we blog our way through the topics of my book, we now arrive at hope. We have begun with great angst – fear, sorrow, and despair. Then, we became aware of ourselves, our situation, how we are in the world. Courage was bestowed upon us when we turned to a sacred force for assistance.

We became willing to look at ourselves with honesty and openness as we performed a self-appraisal, which led us to accept ourselves. As we looked at ourselves, we applied compassion and kindness, the same of which we bestow upon those we meet on our path.

Once we have a sense of ourselves in the world, our role, our interactions, we begin to have hope  – that we are okay as a human being, that others can be trusted, that we can find happiness in ourselves and the world around us. This hope has occurred because of the process we have been through up to this point.  We are beginning to feel more complete and whole, which spurs our hope. We continue to feel hope as we repeat the steps discussed up to this point. It is an on-going cycle that breeds more hope.

What are the ways in which you feel hope in your life?


As the award-winning author and photographer of her book of inspirational prose and photographs of wrought-iron gates, it is said by others that Carolyn CJ Jones’ book offers inspiration, hope, and empowerment to those in transition, to those souls in the corner who struggle. View the video about the book; stroll through the pages, both of which are located to the right of this blog. Buy the book from Carolyn’s website  and receive free shipping and your personally autographed copy.


Key of Willingness

key of willingness“All it takes is willingness to unlock whatever lies inside, to turn the knob and open the gate…

All it takes is a tiny opening, the size of a keyhole.”

For me, willingness is an action. It is a state of mind, an orientation, in which I place myself. By choosing to do that, I have set an intention and there is the action part. It is something I do readily, cheerfully, gladly.  To get there, I must have an openness of  heart and mind. Used with honesty, openness and willingness are very powerful.

What does it feel like to be willing? How does one know they are there? For me, it is a knowingness, a deep sense of peace and trust. It is being alright with, and even excited about, whatever comes my way, even if it is negative or difficult. It is a process of letting go of  the way I want things to be, or of the things that I have.

How does one become willing? It is that state of mind, that orientation that I have chosen for the day. It comes with openness. It is something I consciously and actively do… I say to myself I will be open and willing. I even pray for the willingness to be willing. That has helped many times over the years of my sobriety. Even a sliver of willingness has allowed the forces of the Universe to slip in and help.

What is the reward of being willing? Personally, it is that feeling of  peace and trust which I mentioned. It is also an excitement, an anticipation, of seeing how my life unfolds when I open myself to the guidance of the Universe, or to God, or to whatever you call your Higher Power.

How do you experience willingness? Is it something you choose?