How can I get more willpower? This question has eluded me throughout my teen and adult years, set in motion by my first glazed donut.
The glory of its sugary, squashy doughyness set a cellular pattern in my resistance gene. It was that first donut that set a cycle of behavior, making it easier for me to give into temptation.
I have always made excuses for my lack of restraint. Whether it’s buying the shoes I don’t need or answering the phone when I shouldn’t, I somehow convince myself that I will be stronger later. But in spite of my half-hearted abilities, I found myself strangely motivated to find more willpower.
I had no idea where to begin. I felt like Little Red Riding Hood walking through the forest, looking for my grandmother. Although I knew Grandmother wasn’t hiding in a poha berry bush, I kept searching for her. It was as if I would find her sitting serenely on a tree stump, humming softly, knitting me a hat.
Well aware that I was one to complicate things, I decided to simplify. So I broke up my mission into the realms of Body, Mind and Spirit. I decided it would be best to consult a few of the all-knowing oracles of Maui’s holistic empire. Like acupuncturist Jeff Tice, a.k.a Needle Wizard.
We met in a cafe where he ordered a glass of wine. If this was a test the wizard was giving me, I had already failed miserably. I ordered one, too, and sat sheepishly as we began our conversation. Ironically, he explained that it was the kidney organs that supported a person’s will. I smiled, knowing that my kidneys and I had been in cahoots for many moons and they had become comfortable with my apathy.
Tice explained that there were many techniques for building kidney energy, one of them being a five-point ear treatment called the NADA method. Panicked, I thought to myself, “Nada, as in nothing. No more chocolate, no more expensive shoes, no more decadence?”
Using his Jedi mind skills, he calmed me, clarifying that it was a protocol for addictive behavior named after the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. He said that it was a powerful treatment stimulating the liver, lung, kidney, parasympathetic nervous system and the spirit gate (heart) that helps to build strength from within, supporting mental and emotional choices.
“Naturally, the body, mind and spirit want to be in synchronicity with nature,” Tice said. “When any of those is out of synch, problems can arise.”
Did he mean problems such as having this glass of wine on an empty stomach? I nodded and thanked him, agreeing that I would make a point to build my kidney energy after I finished my journey.
The next phase was how I could support my mind in having stronger will. I was graciously led to Cassandra Sternthal, Marriage Family Therapist, a.k.a. Queen Mind Reader. She explained that personality type has an effect on a person’s will.
“Genetically, some people are born strong-willed, making it easier for them to be motivated,” she said. “Others have to learn to erect their will through life. They are the ones that have to look at and process why it is they are not willful.”
How did she do that? It had only been a five-minute phone call before she was already calling me out on the carpet. I asked her what someone could do to gain more will.
“It also has a lot to do with what you language to the self,” Sternthal said. “If you are saying truthful, powerful things you usually follow that path. The battlefield comes about with negative or shameful statements to the self and this affects the subconscious health. A negative mindset then assumes that things will not happen and they don’t.”
I thanked Sternthal and meekly moved on to the last, but not least of my sages. Sal Colbert, an energetic realignment specialist, a.k.a. Medicine Woman, had given me a session in the past and I knew that the work she did couldn’t always be grasped by the heady mind.
This time she explained to me how to support the spirit in having more will.
“This is not an easy topic,” Colbert said. “We have always been dealing with this question as evolving humans. But first we must separate will from willpower.”
Yes, finally, thank you! I knew there was an equation that I had been missing all along.
“Will is the noun and will power is the verb,” she said. “Will is an organic and ornate source that we come into the world with a certain amount of, developing more as we go along. Willpower starts with the knowing of a desire. It is up to us to take that purposeful action to a place of sacred intention.”
I was definitely picking up what she was putting down yet I still felt that I didn’t have the tools to implement these concepts, leaving me thirsty for more of her knowledge.
“There are active ways to strengthen them both,” she said. “Will can be strengthened by emotionally claiming authority over your choices, be active in them. This allows you to be in authority of your emotions.”
Colbert then went on to express how to strengthen one’s will power. “Evaluate your sources of inspiration. Make sure that the amount of energy that goes out equals what goes into you. Replenishing is important.
“The archetype of will power is the warrior self,” she said. “It is vital that you stay in an empowered place; communicate your goals and wants. You don’t want to be a silent child.”
I knew that had never or would never be an option, leaving me to feel like I had at least one thing working with me in my skirmish of will.
I had made the crossing, allowing me to analyze my gatherings. To sum it all up, my magical journey taught me to be nice to my kidneys, to pay attention to my flaccid resolve and that in being conscious of my choices, I could strengthen my will.
In the end, there might always be things I wish I did more of and other things I wish I didn’t do. But like the lovely Mae West once said, “I avoid temptation, unless I can’t resist it.” And if there is a will, there must always be a Mae. MTW