Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Course Note #82: Leading From the Heart

I have been receiving much guidance about staying focused on my Heart desire.  One evening recently, I was inspired to rest my mind and ask: What is it that I truly want?
I want to do all things with Love.

What is it that I truly want?
I want to let go of worldly ambition and serve only Love.

What is it that I truly want?
I want to know myself as God created me, unlimited and free.

What is it that I truly want?
I want to Know my Freedom.
I want to Live my Freedom
I want to experience myself as free from all attachments.

What is that I truly want?
I want to listen only to the Voice of my Worth.

            Later that same night I wrote, Holy Spirit, what would you have me remember?
I am Love.

            Here I was reminded of an experience I had back in January 2001 while meditating on lesson 79 in A Course in Miracles:  “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”  In this lesson we are urged to ask what the problem is, and then to ask what the solution is, we will be told.  After about twenty minutes in meditation on this lesson I suddenly heard:
I am Love.
I am Love.
I am Love.

And then I heard the Inner Voice: “Sheryl, this is your one problem – you have forgotten that you are Love.  The Solution: In any instant that you perceive a problem, turn to Me so that I may remind you that you are Love.”
            Even though this occurred almost ten years ago, I still recall how I felt as I lifted my head from meditation: Wow!
            Sometimes we get tripped up on the truth that we are Love because in the English language, the word "love" is over-used and watered down. Love is a transformative energy.  It is the highest vibrational energy in this universe – God is Love. 

When I find myself mesmerized by the world of form: my body, my bank account, my business, and my ambitions… I can stop and remember: What I have I forgotten? 

What do I really want?   

            This morning while in the gym I thought, Holy Spirit, in this moment show me how to extend the Love that I am.  I was inspired to look at each woman in the gym and silently bless her with love. 

The Love that I am blesses the Love that is you.

            All minds are joined, and so on some level, others can hear our thoughts of love.
In any moment that we think a thought of love, we are not judging, or listening to the voice of unworthiness. 
You may have noticed as you read this, that I have been given many thoughts to focus on, but really, they are all the same thought.  They are all thoughts that stem from the desire to know myself as Love created me.  Know thyself.  A focus on anything outside of me is to know myself as I am not.

If I sit around focusing on: “Oh My God. I really need to lose weight!”  With those thoughts, am I focused on who I am as Love created me, or am I focused on who I am as a body?  We are not asked to deny our bodies, but we are asked to remember that our body is not who we are.
Lest you think that a focus on your true desire will cause your body, bank account and everything else to fall apart, not at all!  I have discovered in more ways than I can address here, that as I focus on my Heart desire, everything else falls into place.   
As I’ve taken focus off my body and onto my true desire, it’s as if I am literally being pushed out of bed at 5:30 AM to go to the gym.  While I have always been into exercise, I have never been into getting up and in my car that early!  Not only that, I have been inspired to take along spiritual material and consequently, I feel more attuned to my purpose than I have in awhile.  In fact, I’m wondering if the spiritual aspect is the real purpose for me being there! Kind of like killing two birds with one stone. Uh...perhaps "killing two birds" is not a great analogy in a spiritual blog post! Ha!    
If you’d like another example of how this works, read on: I have a fairly large business office with more rooms than I currently need.  Over the years I have created a balanced life that includes being able to stay home a few days a week to write and teach, and so I am always open to new avenues of income. 
As I’ve stayed focused on my Heart desire, versus the need to earn money, out-of-the-blue a psychologist was referred to me who was seeking office space.  Now, he's renting one of the extra rooms. Along with that I have had other opportunities to rent rooms in my office several days a month.  These passive revenue streams flowed directly from taking my focus off of money and on to purpose.
Both of these areas in my life have been a previous source of frustration and struggle.  Now, however, I see more clearly than ever before that these areas where I have felt imprisoned are really gifts I gave to myself.  Flowing from the deepest desire to know myself as free, I have allowed Spirit Within to use these areas as a classroom to teach me that I truly am free.
And so focusing on the one desire doesn’t mean that your life will stagnate, rather, it becomes more fun, mysterious and exciting.

            This morning I was reminded of a line in the Course: “Child of Love, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy. Do Not Lose Sight of This.”
            Instead of focusing our sight on the things of this world, the things we want to fix and change; let us keep our sight focused on: You were created to Create…

Holy Spirit, 
Today, may you show me how to create the good, 
the beautiful and the holy?

          And so, as you go about your life this week, may you too be inspired to set your focus on what you really want. 

          I ended today’s “Oh My God. I’m Free!” session with a great song by Scott Kalechstein Grace called: From the Heart:
Let me feel what is real,
Let me heal what is not.
Let me live every moment coming straight from the Heart.

All I really want is an open heart.
All I really need is an open heart.
I have an endless supply of love in my heart.

You can hear the song on the audio, which also includes much more than I shared in this blog post.
The audio was recorded 11/30/10 and is 58 min.
called: Leading with the Heart

MP3 File

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Course Note #80: I Need Do Nothing

Recently I’ve been inspired about a project I’m feeling guided to do.  In various ways I have been receiving the message to take my focus off the world, and instead to recognize that I need do nothing.  And so I wondered, “Just how is this project going to get done, if I’m to do nothing!?”
            I was prompted to a section in A Course in Miracles on: I need do nothing.  The section begins with a discussion on how focused we are on the body and body preoccupations. When we think of doing something, we think of doing something as a body.  We are urged here to recognize that “I need do nothing” is a state of mind.

            The voices in the world tell us that we are to be bigger, Better, BEST!  Spirit Within whispers: be still.  As I rest in that quiet place within, there, I do nothing.
            “This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent.”

When we rest in truth, then we are guided as to how we are to be “busy doing” in the world.  We readily experience the difference between this guidance versus when we are so busy doing things in the world that we don’t have time to rest in the silence.

“I need do nothing” is a practice, one that is far more productive than focusing on what I think I should be doing in the world.

            Recently, a friend had emailed to me a quote by Joel Goldsmith that I had printed out and taped on my computer.  The next day, I was thinking about this project I’m inspired by, and I became confused about how to go about it.  I wrote in my journal, “I am confused.”  Then I felt to tape that quote in my journal under that sentence:

            “Many fail to realize their desire because their thought is held to getting, achieving, accomplishing, rather than the unfoldment of good from within.  When we bring to the search a heart full of Love for God, for truth, for Reality, all things are added to us.”
            Ah…as I read the quote again, all was clarified.  I am confused when I focus on anything other than my truest desire, which is to know myself as Love created me, to be healed and to know myself as free.  I was able to see in that moment that I was confused because my mind was split between the desire to know myself, and the desire to achieve and accomplish in the world.           
         We are hypnotized and mesmerized by the world of form, and healing is about returning to the truth that we are in this world but not of this world.  We are spiritual beings first.

Haven’t we all experienced getting something in the world that we desired, only to find that it didn't carry with it the fulfillment we were seeking?  And so the question becomes: 

What do you really want?

When our truest desire, that of healing, finds first place in our thoughts, then everything that flows from that desire will lead us to knowing how we can best serve in the world.  No matter what sort of work we are called to do, it will take on a whole new meaning, even if it’s the same thing we've been doing for years.

I have experienced so much peace, healing and miracles throughout twenty plus years of inner work, but this past year as I taught a class on freedom, I have been guided week by week to go deeper into myself.  Throughout the year it didn’t feel like much was happening, inside or outside.  And then suddenly, I feel changed.  With an increased inner focus on healing, I am now seeing changes take place in my life with seemingly no effort on my part.  Especially in a couple areas of chronic frustration, I have been experiencing new levels of freedom. 
Now I know this sounds mundane, but spontaneously, for the past couple months I've gotten up at  5:30 a.m. to go to the gym.  While for most of my life I have been avidly into exercise, I have fallen off my regular routine this past year after an ankle injury, but I have never in my entire life gotten up that early to go to the gym.  In fact, the only place I’ve ever gone to that early is the bathroom or the airport!
What’s funny is that I’ve been struggling with lack and body issues for years, trying to fix them myself.  Or more accurately, I see why healing is a process as I had one foot in trying to fix everything myself, and one foot in letting go and letting God. 
As I consistently rest in my true desire to do nothing but focus on my healing, change is occurring.  

What I also see now more than ever is that, the areas in my life that have left me feeling frustrated are also the ones that have kept me on the path to healing.  Just imagine what life would be like if you began to see any area of frustration and struggle as what it really is – a gift to yourself to bring you home to Love.  What a liberating thought, eh?

Today I will remember that I need do nothing
 but rest, and let all good
extend through me.

This Audio was recorded to an internet audience and is 54 min.

MP3 File

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Course Note #79: The Secret to Change

I’ll bet I’m not the only who would like to change some things about myself.  Throughout spiritual literature I’m told, in one way or another, that the more I focus on Truth/God/Love – all that is not consistent with this higher energy will drop.  In my experience this is absolutely true.  Over the years I’ve seen quite a few habitual thought and behavior patterns drop away.  Nevertheless, there are some patterns that have been stubbornly persistent.
The Bible speaks of “strongholds”. I like to think of a stronghold as anything that has a strong hold on me.  This could be an addiction, thoughts of lack, or unforgiveness toward events or people from the past.  Whatever it is, it steals your energy, leaving you feeling unfulfilled, imprisoned, and just not good enough.
Strongholds are habitual thought patterns and so therefore, they must be dealt with in our mind.  The ego seeks to keep us mindless, and does so by keeping our focus on things that need to be fixed or changed.  As long as we stay focused “out there”, we will not return to cause – our thoughts. 
A Course in Miracles tells us that the ego is nothing, but then on the other hand, it tells us not to underestimate it.  The ego might be “nothing”, but what cannot be underestimated is our belief in this small, limited, separated self that we have made.  This area where we feel enslaved is one that has become a big distraction from focus on the Truth of who we are.
Recently I heard the Inner Voice say: "The only way you will ever change is to keep your focus on what you are, instead of on what you are not. While pondering this I came upon this passage in the Course:

“Wrong perception is the wish that things be as they are not.  You do not have to seek reality. It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions.”  This spoke to me in the sense of, I don’t have to seek the reality of who I am in Truth, this will occur automatically when I meet reality’s conditions.  And then I thought, “How do I do that?”
            I was prompted back up to the sentence, “Wrong perception is the wish that things be as they are not.”  Wrong perception is looking with the ego, so in order to meet the conditions of reality I must choose to see with the Holy Spirit.  With this vision I return to right perception, which is the willingness to let all things be exactly as they are, in truth.  Here I recognize that there is nothing to change or fix.  I remain as God created me – whole perfect and complete.
            In the Course we are taught not to ask the Holy Spirit to heal the body, but to ask instead to let Spirit Within teach us right perception of the body.  With such a perception we are free because all despair and distress centers on believing that we are bodies, separate from the Creative Source of all Good. 

            I did a talk on this subject not too long ago and moments before I went on, I heard the inner voice say, “Sheryl, the secret to change is this, "Seek not to change yourself, but choose to change your mind about yourself.”
This idea actually harmonizes with another “secret to change” found in the Bible, “Be not conformed to the things of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”   (Romans 12:2)
In the Bible we are told that we have been given divine power to demolish strongholds. The divine power is the presence of the Holy Spirit that can do for us what we feel powerless to do for ourselves.  With divine help we are to take captive every thought and purpose that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and bring it into alignment with Truth. (2 Corinthians 10:4-6)
            I love this, “take every thought captive…” We must learn to be leaders in our own mind, taking our thoughts captive and leading them to Love. 
            Call to mind that area where you wish things were different than they are.  Recognize that you are seeing with the ego – wrong perception.  Listen as Divine Love whispers to you now,

As your thoughts wander to this stronghold in your mind,
be willing to let Me release you.
I need only your willingness to recognize
that you are unwilling for release,
but out of this recognition, My perfect
willingness is given you.
Call on me and I will lead you to truly know
your Freedom.

The Divine Presence cannot take what we are unwilling to give up.  I am only asked to recognize that there is a part of me that doesn’t want to be free, yet in my willingness to turn to Spirit Within, I choose freedom.   My part is to be willing to choose again, however, weak that desire may be.  
 So instead of beating up on ourselves because we don’t want to give up our addictions, or our feelings of lack and scarcity, or hurt and pain from some betrayal from the past… Let us become willing to see it as an opportunity to choose again.
Love gently calls to you and says, “My Child, choose again.”  

Here is an audio given to an internet audience. It is 46 min.
The Secret to Change
MP3 File

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Course Note #78: Body as Scapegoat

In my job as a doctor of chiropractic, obviously I have frequent discussions with people about, guess what? Bodies! I am ever grateful for these opportunities to speak with people on a deeper more intimate level than in normal discourse as it has facilitated a greater understanding of all the issues we humans have with our bodies.
Let’s take a look at the myriad of ways we focus on the body: Health, illness, obsessions about looking good, or about not looking good enough, aging, gender, skin color, sexuality, handicaps – clothing it, housing it, feeding it…the list goes on and on and on. 
We identify with the body as being who we are.  In A Course in Miracles we are told that the ego (the false self) holds the body dear because it dwells in it, and yet it also hates the body, because it cannot accept it as good enough to be it’s home. 

We can readily see how this is true.   If you feel that you can only be happy if your body looks or feels a certain way, then you are looking at it with the ego and you will most likely come to hate it.  But, when we learn to look at the body through the vision of Spirit Within, it becomes a learning device for the healing of our mind.

If you’ve been reading my blog then you have observed that I’ve been looking deeper within at guilt and unworthiness.  Just as I recently wrote about how we can avoid looking at guilt through blaming others, in the same way, we can avoid looking at feelings of unworthiness when we project them onto the body as the source of these feelings.  Thus the body becomes a scapegoat for unworthiness, guilt, fear and judgment.
Essentially, God’s plan for freedom is to seek healing where it is, within our mind.  The ego seeks to keep us out of our mind, and its primary way of doing this is with a focus on the body.  The body is the ego’s idol and such a great distraction!
            We fear looking within because we think we’re going to see a big snake pit.  Not so.  When we look within with the Light guiding us, we find that we are Light.  In the Course I am told that it is my task to seek and find within myself all the obstacles to the awareness of the Love that I am.   We must look within for the obstacles, not outside of us.
I came across a message on Regina Dawn Akers website that was given to her from Holy Spirit called: “You like having the body to blame”.  This message so spoke to me in regard to what my Inner Teacher has been teaching me about looking at the feelings within.  Much of the message contains ideas that I already understand and have experienced, but where I felt spoken to directly was here:
            “I ask you to be willing to look at this belief in your unworthiness without the anesthesia of projecting it onto a body.  When you cannot blame the body (or other circumstances in your life), the pain of the unworthiness may go deeper than you know.  Be willing to feel this pain in order to learn it is not real.  It is only an experience of emotion, but behind the experience of emotion is a light that reminds you it isn’t true.  Invite the pain into your presence.  You do not want to avoid it any more.”
            As I read the part about inviting the pain into my presence, I felt a little fear about it, even though I also felt very ready and willing to look at it. As I had this thought of fear, immediately I was reminded of a passage from NTI Luke 8 that says (my emphasis):
            “Let all things serve the purpose of healing.  Do not avoid healing because you do not want to look at the pain of unworthiness and guilt.  We must look at it together if you are to be healed.  Do not be afraid.  I am with you, even now.  Stay with the process.” 

            Admittedly, a few times since then I found myself thinking, “I wonder how the pain is going to come up?  I wonder when it’s going to come up? I wonder what it’s going to look like? I hope it’s not a big drag!”  Each time those thoughts came up, I responded with willingness and trust that I am being healed now, I am not afraid, the light is with me now.  We invite the pain of unworthiness up, simply, so that we can see it and let it go. 
            It’s ironic that I am writing this today because I actually gave the talk that this post stems from the week before the previous one here on this blog called: “Abide where you are, differently."  In that post I wrote about a painful experience of projecting unworthiness thoughts onto another person.  I don’t know for sure, but I feel that experience may have been a result of the willingness I speak of in this post to look at the pain within.

            So if you’re reading this today you too want to go deeper.  We might consciously think that we want to finally lose that weight, or get healthy or whatever, but underlying that wish is an unconscious desire to stay the way we are because, feeling not good enough because of our body keeps us from ever healing those feelings that lurk in our mind.
            So instead of focusing on what bodily thing you’d like to change, ask yourself, “What do I really want?” 
I want to be healed. I want to know myself as a free, unlimited creation of Love.

            When I keep this purpose in the forefront of my mind, then I am united with the Love that I am, and thus my body can be used to simply extend Divine Love.  The truth is that God cannot love you through me, if I hate me.  And God cannot love me through you, if you hate you. 
            The body as used by the ego becomes an instrument of separation; when used by Spirit Within, it becomes an instrument for communion.  Let’s not judge ourselves for how we have used our bodies lovelessly, instead, let us be willing to do the inner work so that our bodies may be used by Love. 
            As you go about your life this week, be willing to look at the ways you may be using your body as a scapegoat for unworthiness, guilt and self-judgment.  And then be willing to ask Love to look at your body with you that it may be used for its real purpose – extending the Love that You Are.

The audio of this session was recorded on 11/2/10 and is 58 min. long.
It includes much more than I was able to share in this post.  The audio also includes lesson 199 "I am not a body, I am free" from A Course in Miracles put to music and spoken with Maz’s great voice.
You can hear more of his lessons at http://www.acimradio.net

MP3 File

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Course Note #77: Abide where you are, differently

I have been receiving much inner instruction of late about using my mind differently. Yesterday I heard the Inner Voice say, “Use your mind to stay focused on Me.”  I had not ever thought about it quite that way – that I could use my mind to stay focused on truth. 
Last night I heard, “Sheryl, get your mind off yourself and on to Me.”  Yes, one of those BUSTED lines! Ha!
I teach on Tuesday mornings and this morning I had no idea what I was to talk about.  Moments before I started, I happened to open The Way of Mastery to this:

            “The Way of Transformation absolutely requires that you be committed to living differently.  For is not transformation a change from the status quo?  How can you experience transformation if you do not use time to think and be differently?  Crying out to me will not do it.  Reading a thousand holy books will not do it.  One thing and one thing only will bring you into the transformation that you have sought – the willingness to abide where you are, differently.

            This spoke to me as just a few days ago I was inspired to listen to and edit an old recording I had done on the vine and the branches, a teaching from John 15 in the Bible.  I now see that this task was for the purpose of being reminded to abide in Truth.  In willingness to abide where I am, differently, everything changes.

Abide in Me, as I abide in you.
Dwell in Me, as I dwell in you.
Make your home in Me,
as I make My home in you.
Remain in Me, as I remain in you.

I like “remain” as it reminds me that we have never really left the Home of Love except with our thoughts.  My deepest desire is to know myself as Love created me.  My mind is split between this deepest desire, and the opposite desire, which is to know myself as limited, imprisoned and afraid.  I can learn to use my mind to focus on what I really want – to know myself as Free!  I abide in truth with my mind.  With every thought I either remain on the vine or I fall away. 
Lately my inner work has been about going deeper within to look at guilt and unworthiness.  This seemingly existential guilt stems from an unconscious belief that we are separated from our Source.  I had not been able to relate to that at all: “ I don’t feel separated from God, and even if I did, why would I feel guilty about that!?”
            Some of us may feel that we are one with God, but do we really? If we were consistently abiding in the truth that, Yes I am as God created me – if we were really dwelling in that thought, then we would not know ourselves as lacking, unworthy and not good enough.
            I now see how these feelings of guilt and unworthiness really do stem from a mind that is split between truth and illusion.  Instead of allowing ourselves to feel the guilt and judgment and unworthiness, we project it out.  We project it onto our bodies as being never good enough, we blame others, we feel lack and limitation…oh it’s impossible to count the ways!
            Recently I had prayed a prayer saying that I was ready to look at what was hidden instead of projecting in into my life. I rarely feel envy or jealousy toward other people, but yesterday, I felt what I would call a combo of envy, jealousy and resentment toward a public person.   Spirit Within directed me to see that they were thoughts of unworthiness.  I realize that this experience was an answer to my prayer. 
            Yesterday, Spirit said to me, “Let’s take away all the stuff out there.  You are not really envious or resentful of her; you are simply projecting a thought of unworthiness onto her. Let’s look at it together so that it can be let it go.” 
We cannot heal that which we are unwilling to bring up and look at.  And even once brought up, we may still fall into judging ourselves, but that’s like indulging in a double scoop of ego!  The inner work is about simply noticing: “I projected all this onto another person, or onto my body, as a way to keep from looking at what is inside of me.  What’s the truth? Am I unworthy? No.”  So this painful experience turned out to be great for the healing of my mind.   Beyond the pain is liberation!
Let’s go deeper in looking at how we use our mind.  So frequently, we use our mind to crucify ourselves.  We do not have to listen to the voice that crucifies; we can learn to listen to the Voice of Worth instead.
As always, we have a choice: We can hold onto the thoughts of guilt, judgment and unworthiness, or we can let them go to healing:
 I see these thoughts of judgment and unworthiness
in my mind,
but my deepest desire is to be healed.
My deepest desire is to know myself
as Love created me.
And so in this moment,
I give these thoughts to Love
for the purpose of healing my mind.
And so it is.

“One thing and one thing only will bring you into the transformation that you have sought – the willingness to abide where you are, differently.

The audio was recorded on 11/9/10, from today’s “Oh My God, I’m Free!” session includes much more than I share here.  The audio is one hour long. Enjoy.

MP3 File