As Without, So Within

By Rev. Marla Sanderson

“As Within, So Without, As Above, So Below.”—Hermes Trismegistus

Consciousness creates. Look at your world. You created it. It will tell you all you want to know and more about your inner programming and beliefs.

It’s nice to have everything in your life just the way you want it, but the real feeling of wholeness and satisfaction comes from changing your inner self. For that, you must dig deeply into what makes you tick. It’s not always comfortable.

What does this kind of transformation bring?

Is it worth it?

It is if you want a higher quality of life, personal satisfaction, self-confidence, inner peace, happiness, fun, loving relationships and independence.

Some years ago, a friend gave me a Tarot reading. The cards said I had some deep emotional work to do—and it was coming up soon. Boy, was I confused! I’d done so much inner work I thought most of it was behind me.

To be honest, I thought I’d already “arrived.” Ever feel that way? Ever think you’ve “arrived” at some spiritual destination?

I had been working intensely with the methods from Ken Keyes’ Handbook To Higher Consciousness. I even conducted workshops to help others use them and change their lives for the better.

My pride felt wounded because the voice in my head wanted to believe I was as “spiritually advanced” as I thought. It’s easy to fool ourselves, isn’t it?

To my surprise, what felt like bad news turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. It wasn’t long before my self-satisfaction gave way, as illusions usually do.

Things happened to me that showed me what I needed to work on.

I discovered deeper levels of insecurity and self-sabotaging belief that were affecting my whole life. It was clear that with all my inner work, I had barely scratched the surface.

The internal earthquakes that followed were painful and sometimes embarrassing. It’s not easy to face the emotional gunk deep inside, but it is worth it to uncover new levels of confidence, creativity and happiness.

I started to put myself in situations that made me uncomfortable. It was like a game. Triggered fears and limiting beliefs showed me more of my inner programming that wasn’t working for me. I was eager to change it.

How about you? Ever notice …

Painful recurring events (this again?)

Do you have a life-long issue or problems that keep showing up? Do men/women always leave you? Maybe you get “passed over” instead of receiving the recognition or respect you deserve. Or left out when you want to be included.


We all know that emotions like fear, anger, jealousy and such feel bad. They also make you do some pretty dumb things. Severed relationships, arguments and misunderstandings are the products of emotions gone wild. The cost is devastating.

Squabbles or difficulties with others

Patterns of behavior that seemed normal while growing up may not work well for adults in the real world. Insecurities cause defensiveness and resentment. Whether it happens at work, at home, or elsewhere, some people find it hard to get along with others.

Behind any of these patterns you’ll find a belief that perpetuates the inner feelings and outer conditions that make up your life. All that I’ve mentioned barely touches the surface.

But a word of warning: Don’t judge or torture yourself over every tiny imperfect detail in your life! There’s no destination in Spirit. It is already perfect and so are you, even if you have issues. So go easy on yourself.

Have I finally “arrived”? Certainly not! But the trip is getting better all the time.

I’m happier with who I am and more confident. In many ways my life is better than it was before. I discovered talents and abilities I didn’t know I had and jumped into situations that would have terrified me in the past.

These days, I just like to go easy on myself and enjoy life.

If some area is out of whack, you can be sure something inside you is keeping it that way.

Meanwhile, love yourself no matter what’s going on. Love yourself no matter how you feel. Most of all, love yourself even more when you feel unlovable.

It’s not them.

Rev. Marla Sanderson is a skilled spiritual counselor, speaker, teacher, and workshop leader. She has studied and practiced the Science of Happiness and Science of Mind for over 40 years. Her website, The New Thought Global Network, showcases ideas from many New Thought disciplines.  She is ordained in the Centers for Spiritual Living. (Religious Science). Contact her at 727-475-8991, or or visit

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