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“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” —Wilma Rudolph 

Spirit is defined as the nonphysical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character. Some reference spirit as the soul of a person. Others think that most of who we are is human spirit.  It is the inner self that determines the essence of what we believe, say and do. 

Spirit generates energy within that connects with the life force that exist within the universe. Some people identify that life force as God. Others label it Higher Power.  Many believe that it is simply the energy that exists within all beings both animate and inanimate.  For sure, whatever name you put to it, it encompasses the spirit of who you are. 

In the 12-step community, they talk about a Higher Power that will restore us to sanity. It is coupled with the idea of turning your life over to the care of God as we understand Him. These words are an obstacle to some people who do not accept the concept of a Higher Power or God, let alone the concept of a gendered God. However, a concept of spirit within and without is more plausible for some. Spirit is gender neutral and is inclusive of those who are unbelievers and uncomfortable with religious nomenclature. The spirit that restores sanity is within you and it exists all around the universe. It includes those who prefer explicit religious terminology such as Higher Power or God, etc.

Turning your life over to the care of God (spirit) of your understanding engages the conflict of willfulness versus a willingness to surrender or let go of what you cannot control. Entrepreneurs and addicts think they must control everything. Control is an illusion. When you streamline or summarize what you can control, it is nothing but your spirit! This spiritual awareness involves a free fall into reality which is counter to human response. When in doubt the human spirit wants to clutch, grasp, or hang on to what we cannot control. Like the hiker who fell over the edge of the Grand Canyon but 10 feet down catches a tree branch growing out the side of the canyon and screams out “God help me” and then hears a voice that says “Let go”!  It makes logical sense that he would ask “is there anyone else out there?”

We are wired to not let go but to hang on for dear life. Paradoxically, finding your true self requires letting go of what you cannot control which cognitively makes sense but emotionally is so very hard to do! Letting go is what provides the capacity for peace and calm in the midst of the storm that swirls around your life. In this space that is created through surrender, your spirit will guide, protect, and create acceptance while you free fall in participation of life and practice presence in everyday experience. 

When you shift your mindset from willfulness (control) to willingness (surrender) you open your heart to the multitude of possibilities that exist in the universe to help you succeed or expand sobriety. It is in your spirit that you make this transaction. Often, it is subtle but powerful in its operation. It is in your spirit that you validate your own sense of approval. It is your spirit that helps you to separate who you are from the fury of activity that is going on around you.  Spirit identifies that the busyness of life, professional, personal, and focus toward others is not who you are. Spirit provides a place to retreat to a space of calm and fulfillment that supersedes the achievement of tasks, financial accomplishment, winning or reaching the goal of caring for others. 

Your own personal creation of surrender and acceptance will connect to the spirit of the universe that gives to you connection, creativity, contentment and calm. Some people identify this realization as making peace with God. However, you choose to define it, your spirit is key to restoring your sanity from the maddening, mind-blowing experience of entrepreneurial living and the crazy-making of addictive behavior. 

It is within your spirit that you cultivate the personal brilliance needed to navigate the world around you.  In your spirit you will cultivate the brilliance of calm and tranquility when otherwise you would crumble. It is not easy to create in pressure moments, and no one is zen all the time!  However, it is your spirit that leads you back to centered living. This is the sweet spot that transforms weakness to strength. It is the place that limitations are best recognized. As you recognize your limits you will manifest your strength. Spirit is the active agent that enables this personal capability. It propels you. Cultivating your spirit will fine tune awareness and recognition that you are not alone with your own energy but is shared with all of life around you. 

It is the power of spirit that creates abundance which centers you in the presence of turmoil, tough times and more. The power of the spirit within you confronts guilt and shame and appropriately directs it to behavior and protects  your sense of self. 

Everyone is a mistake-making person. It is your spirit that has the capacity to transform guilt to awareness of harm toward self and others. After guilt plays its role, spirit releases it because it serves no other purpose.  It takes practice to employ its power.  Spirit transforms shame into compassion for self and others hurt by your behavior. It does this by making sure the shame focuses on your behavior not your sense of being. This requires training to empower spirit in this area of your life.

It is your spirit that has the power to guide and manage dominant feelings like hatred, rage and anger, shame and resentment to become healing forces of self care for you and others. When you let go of what you cannot control, shift from a willful mindset to an open heart of willingness,  nothing is more powerful in the world than the  marriage of human spirit with the human will.