Monday, December 27, 2010

Course Note #87: Moving through Resistance

A year ago on December 21st, I had a freak fall that resulted in breaking one ankle and spraining the other.  It didn’t escape my awareness that injuring both ankles must carry some sort of metaphysical significance.  When I looked up information on this idea, I found this underlying message: Not wanting to move in a certain direction.  Resistance to change.
            This was a wake-up call for me because I had been experiencing strong resistance for quite awhile, even though I didn’t really understand just what it was I was resisting.  I now realize that the situation was created by me for the purpose of healing on both a physical and spiritual level.  After the accident, I knew that it was time to move forward. 
            Mere days after this accident, I was divinely inspired to begin a new weekly teaching session that I call, “Oh My God, I’m Free!”  I started the sessions on December 29, 2009 and throughout this year, there was several times when I wanted to quit doing them.  Each time, I heard the Inner Voice say that this was not an option because they were being used for my healing.  I didn’t recognize most of what was going on at the time but now, because the inner work was chronicled through audio and writing, I can see clearly how each week the Spirit of Healing took me deeper within myself.
            Together, we went through the nature of change, resistance, frustration and other assorted topics. Next, we went into the depths of the unconscious to look at pockets of unworthiness, guilt, self-judgment and fear.  This took up most of the year, after which I discovered, that it is through desire that we create experience. 
Recently, Holy Spirit led me to see that acceptance follows desire.  Once I knew that I truly want to be led only by my true desire, that of, knowing my Self as God created me, unlimited and free, then, it must follow that I allow all things to be exactly as they are. 

I’ve come to think of ego as simply the resistance to healing.  We experience the mind as split between resistance and healing.  In other words, there is a part of me that wants to be healed, in fact, it knows that I am already healed, but there is also another desire, and that is to know myself as something other than I was created to be.  In that desire to know ourselves as something else, we experience resistance.
I have come to understand that we do indeed have the desire to experience limitation, guilt and unworthiness; however, we often don’t experience it because it is denied and projected out, and so it stays hidden within.  I don’t experience it within me, when I see it in you.
In my willingness to pray, “Holy Spirit, please reveal to me what I have been hiding from myself because I Want To Be Healed,” I have allowed myself to experience what has been hidden.  And then, I was able to let it go.  We can only let go of that which we are willing to look at.  Although I doubt that I’m done! Ha!
For the most part, we don’t experience what we came to experience due to fear.   We’re afraid of the pain.  When the pain of not looking within becomes greater than looking, we are ready to move forward.  We then discover that the pain is momentary, and that it leads to freedom. 
This week, as I reflect on all that I learned this year with Holy Spirit, I feel such gratitude.  I no longer feel the resistance that I have felt in the last few years.
Most of this entire year it didn’t seem like anything was happening and then, suddenly, I felt changed.  Healing occurs on the inside before the outside.  So if we keep looking out there (to our bodies, bank accounts, the world…), to see if we’re healed, we just distract ourselves.  True healing is from the inside out.  Staying focused on the outside will keep us from healing on the inside.   We must become willing to let Holy Spirit use the outside to take us inside.    
Healing is peace of mind.  Coming to peace with whatever is going on, allows it to change.  As we learn to let all things be as they are, we look at the world through the vision of truth, and then the world seems to change.

If I have sand in my hand and make a fist, the sand seeps out through my fingers.  When I let my hand lie open, the sand stays there.  This idea of acceptance, letting go and letting be, is like opening our hands to say, “Yes!” to life.  Do I want to cling tightly to the past, or do I want to relax and allow my mind to be changed?

Over many years, as I have learned to take the focus off the outside and onto the inside, I have witnessed so much healing in my life.  When I look at a couple bugaboo issues in my life, I can see that they are perfect classrooms to teach me to Trust God, and to learn that I really am not a body, I am Freedom Itself.  Viewing our lives this way changes, literally, everything! 

Spirit Speaks:
Be patient.
Be Vigilant.
Freedom is at hand!

The audio was recorded on 12/21/10 and is 51 min.
Moving through Resistance
MP3 File

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Course Note #86: Something New Can be Born in Me

Merry Christmas!

            This Christmas day, may we pause for a moment and reflect on the many blessings that embrace our lives.  Each new day is a gift – a present – wrapped just for you.  Yet most of us awaken each day to many gifts that we all too often leave unopened.

            Many of the Christmas stories that we have been brought up with tend to reveal a similar theme, that of transformation.  Who can forget Scrooge, a mean-spirited and cold-hearted man who is transformed through the power of Love?
            George Bailey, sad and disheartened by the ways of the world – we watch as he returns to the remembrance that his is indeed a Wonderful Life!
            With anticipation, we see Rudolph overcome his fears and move on to lead his fellow reindeer.  And I mean really, we knew all along that the Grinch just could not steal Christmas.
            And then there is the Christmas story: The angel Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her of a new birth.  She represents the miraculous as she expands in consciousness to say, “Yes!”
            The characters in these beloved stories came to a point of decision, and yes, transformation.  Like them, we too, may be facing such a fork in the road.  Will we constrict into old habits and old ways of thinking?  Or will we expand like Mary and stand up to say,  “Yes!  Something new can be born in me!”
            Mary was with child through the power of the Holy Spirit.  And so it is with us, we are reborn to our identity as the Christ Self through the Spirit of Love. 
“My birth in you is your awakening to grandeur.  Welcome me not into a manger, but into the altar to holiness.  My Kingdom is not of this world because it is in you.  Let us join in honoring you, who must remain forever beyond littleness.
             “This Christmas, give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you.  Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Love in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us.  …For the babe of Bethlehem is reborn in the forgiveness of your brother.”  (ACIM T-15, T-19)

            We stand on the threshold of new beginnings.  We are creating the future now.  May we decide now to create something new, to begin again, to perhaps stand forth differently than we have in the past? 
            Let us seek to heal old wounds with family, friends and others who have touched our lives.  Let us be willing to love more fully, forgive more freely, appreciate more deeply, and serve from our highest level of being.  Easier said than done of course, but this is our task.
            Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what we owned, accomplished, published or saved; what matters is whether or not we let Love transform us, and be extended through us.  What do you want to carry into the New Year?  What do you want to create?  The time is now.
            And so, as you go about your life in the ensuing New Year, be willing to open your heart and extend your gifts.  You are needed.  You are significant.  You can make a difference.  Begin now to fulfill your task, which will culminate in not only a glorious year, but also a well-lived life.

Much love to you and yours. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Course Note #85: Vigilance is the Price of Freedom!

                      A Course in Miracles calls itself "a course in mind-training".  It's workbook, filled with 365 lessons, is an invaluable tool that facilitates not only mind discipline, but a relationship with Holy Spirit.  About 18 years ago I went through it twice, both times taking fourteen months, and so for a period of three years I was actively engaged in the work of training and disciplining my mind.  Vigilance to the inner work of mind training and discipline is an ongoing process, because here I am 18 years later with my Inner Teacher urging me to increased levels of mind training.
              I love the word "vigilance".  I've noticed over the years that sometimes people can be put off by the word, but it simply means to be alert, attentive and watchful.  I came across a fabulous definition: "Vigilance is the price of Freedom!"  And so it is, as the Course tells us that vigilance is a major step toward fundamental change.
            My willingness to go to a deeper level of commitment is moving me to a greater level of vigilance.  I am aware of an increased level of watchfulness as to observing if what’s coming out of my mouth, and what’s going on in my mind are in line with my increased commitment to know myself as Love created me.

I like to think of it this way: If you want to play baseball for the Yankees, then you will have to practice – A lot!  If you only want to play baseball with your child on Sunday afternoons, this doesn’t require much practice.  Either choice is fine, but they require different levels of commitment to practice.  
What seems to be occurring with me is that I now have greater willingness to play ball for the Yankees, and by that I mean, I have an increased willingness to be only love.  So, if I want to live only from the desire to know myself as Love created me, whole, complete and free, then I must be more vigilant about watching my mind.

              It comes down to, what do I really want?  If I really want to listen only to the Voice of Love, the Voice of my Worth, if I really want to extend the Love of God, then, I must be honest with myself about why I am not doing that to the extent that I desire to. 

I’ve decided that I want to be led by my true desire to know myself as free, rather than being led by the desire to know myself as limited.  I experience pockets of limitation and frustration in areas of my life, and recently I’ve become aware that I am continuing to create limiting experiences by letting an unconscious desire lead me.  Mind watching teaches us to be conscious of what was previously unconscious. If I want to be led by my heart, then I must take a deeper look at what is actually leading me.

As I have been vigilant about watching my mind in these areas, I see the thoughts of limitation or unworthiness and then ask myself, Do you want to continue to be led by this desire? 
No! My desire is to know myself as Love created me – unlimited and Free!  Unless I just want to give lip service to this desire, it’s time to raise the bar.
While in my office the other day I noticed how much my mind wandered to distractions in the world.  I thought about how I could step up my game here and stay focused on my true desire.  Soon after, I received a cd in the mail from a ministry I donate to on: Set Your Mind and Keep it Set.  Yes, thank you Holy Spirit.! Ha!
That quote is one of my favorites in the Bible from Colossians 3:2, and it is one that I am frequently reminded of: “Set your mind and keep it set on higher things, and not on the things that are on the earth.”  This is basically saying to keep your mind focused on cause rather than effect; on truth versus illusion.  Setting the mind isn’t all that hard, the difficulty lies in keeping it set!  It becomes easier though when I recognize that I am being vigilant for my own healing.
Another favorite is from Romans 12:2: "Be not conformed to the things of this world, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your mind."

The Course tells me that the way to be vigilant for the Kingdom, is to be vigilant against the ego.  Most of us have valued the kingdom of this world, and we have been vigilant to this kingdom.  We may think that we do don’t know how to be vigilant for the Kingdom of Love, but we do.  It’s simply a matter of switching our focus from the world to the Heart, switching our focus from what is not true to what is true.

I’ve been receiving much guidance lately from Holy Spirit about practices I can use to increase my focus.  One is that of using Regina Dawn Akers “Single Quiet Thoughts” (SQT), as a form of practice.  Last night I asked for guidance regarding how I was to use them, and I was prompted to one of Regina’s messages from Holy Spirit that I had printed out a while back that has really spoken to me of late:
“Your prayers are an invitation to see your Glory. Keep praying your prayers and make them a part of your ongoing thought process.  Put aside thoughts about the world and what there is to be done.  Trust Me to guide you in your doing.  Let go of trusting your self and Trust Me.  Use your mind to pray, to celebrate, and to invite the awareness of Glory.  Make ready for your awareness by preparing your mind to welcome it.  Make space for it.  Prepare a place of honor for it in your mind with nothing in the way to cloud it’s Light.” (June 1, 2005)

As I read this, immediately I knew that I was to turn the single quiet thoughts into prayers, and to pray them throughout the day.  I know that this will be a practice that will enable me to put aside thoughts of the world, and instead use my mind to pray, to celebrate, to be vigilant and to rejoice. 
This morning I took today’s single quiet thought to the gym with me, and at one point asked HS how I was to practice it.  Again and immediately, I heard it as a prayer.  This isn’t all that odd because years ago I had learned to make favorite passages in the Course into prayers.  For some reason they are easier to remember as prayers, and they will be used just the way HS says above: “keep praying your prayers and make them a part of your ongoing thought process.”  From SQT ~1~:

Dear Holy Spirit,
Today I will accept all things
as a gift from You.
I am willing to use all that occurs
today for the purpose of peace
and awakening to the Love
that I am.
And so it is.
The audio from this session was recorded to an internet audience on
12/14/10 and is 57 min.  Much more was shared on mind training and discipline as well as on spiritual practice.
How to increase your Vigilance

MP3 File

If interested you can find more messages from Holy Spirit, along with the Single Quiet Thoughts on Regina's website:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Course Note #84: What Do I Want Now?

The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament (NTI), A Course in Miracles, and the Bible, tell us that the goal is: Know thy Self.
            For the past month I have put a lot of study and practice into NTI James.  I am so wowed by what I have learned that I simply have to shout it from the rooftops! 

 In NTI James, Chapter 3 we are told: “Be a conscious-minded teacher of yourself.  Be aware of the goal you have chosen, and hold it as a beacon before you in all things.”
            The Course says that it is the unwatched mind that is responsible for the whole content of the unconscious.  So the way to be a conscious-minded teacher of myself is to watch my mind so that I can be aware of what’s going on in there. 

            “Your thoughts seem to be the foundation for your decision and your action, but even more…your thoughts are derived from your conscious desire.  Be, therefore, aware of your true desire within the consciousness of your mind. …Desire is the foundation from which all else springs forth.  Be true to your desire, and it shall lead you truly.”

This is incredible because it makes spiritual practice so simple, albeit not easy.  All I need do is keep in the forefront of my mind, my true desire which is:
 Know thy Self
Know thy Self as God created It
unlimited and free.
Be the Love that I am

“What is the test that you shall give unto yourself to see if you are currently following the beacon of your true desire?  Ask only this:

What do I want now?

            “If you find that you want anything other than “Know thy Self,” you have also discovered that you have veered off course.  Take this moment to reconnect with your truth, and you shall also be redirected in the direction that you shall go.”

            I had the opportunity to practice this the other day while in a traffic jam.  I felt impatient and irritated, but then remembered to ask myself, “What do I want now? 

“I want to get out of this traffic!  Okay, does this thought of impatience stem from the desire to know myself as Love created me, or does it stem from forgetfulness?”

For a moment I entertained myself with picturing God impatient in a traffic jam.  Then I brought my focus back to, what do I want now? I want to know the peace of God. I want to know myself as free.  With those thoughts I was able to relax in acceptance instead of impatience, and began to spontaneously send love to the people around me.  The traffic became the perfect experience to be the Love that I am.

            This is such a great practice!  Stop here and ask yourself, “What do I want now?” 

Going on to NTI James, Chapter 4:
            “You always receive as you have asked, but you may not be aware that you are receiving, because you do not know what you have asked for.  You do not ask from God through the expression of your words or thoughts.  You ask from the process of creation through desire, which you give your energy to.
God is defined as "the process of creation".  I ask, through desire.  Wow!  If I feel worried about money or afraid about the future, then in that moment I am giving my energy to the desire to know myself as limited, lacking and afraid.  When I give my energy to that desire, then circumstances are created where I will continue to experience lack, limitation and fear. 

I used to say that if you want to know what it is in your mind, look at your life.  However, to be more accurate: if you want to know what’s in your mind, look at how you experience your life.  We create through the desire to know ourselves as free (know thy Self), and we create through the desire to know ourselves as imprisoned (not know thy Self).

Money is always such a great example so, let’s say that consciously you have the desire to make more money, and you wonder why you never seem to make more money.  Beneath that conscious desire to make more money is the unconscious desire to know yourself as limited and lacking.

            Remember that it is the unwatched mind that makes up the unconscious, so as you watch your thoughts around this area of frustration, you find that, yes, you do have thoughts like: There is never enough.  How come they have more than me?  How dare those people spend money on that! On and on it goes.
While feeling fear about money I can remember to ask myself, “What do I want now?”  I recognize that I no longer want to create through the desire of lack and limitation.  Now I want to be a conscious-minded teacher of myself, and so I return my focus to what I really want, which is to know myself as unlimited and free.

             See, I cannot release the desire to know myself as limited until I become aware of this desire.  Once I do, through looking at my thoughts, I can see that I have been driven by a desire that I no longer want.  But if I don’t bring to consciousness what was previously unconscious, then I remain driven by something that I no longer want, and wonder why I continue to have the same experiences year after year.

Desire creates.

To be a conscious-minded teacher of yourself, pay attention to what is leading you and creating the circumstances in your life.  Every circumstance was created by a desire, either the desire to know your Self or not know your Self.

When I look at body issues from this viewpoint I can see how consciously I may want to lose weight, but unconsciously I have a desire to experience what it would be like to feel imprisoned by a habit or addiction. 
I was amazed as I saw that I had created such a great way to feel that, but now I recognize that I’m done with that and am ready to let my truest desire lead me – that of knowing myself as free and unlimited, right here and now. 
Do you see how this makes every circumstance in your life a gift, as you let it be used to remind you of what you really want? 

When you consciously focus on your true desire, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll win the lottery, attain a perfect body, or whatever else you think you want.   What it does mean, however, is that you will begin to create from your true Self, rather than from the small, limited self.  And wow! Won’t it be fun to see where that leads?

I can look back on all the things that I thought would make me happy, or that would change my life.  When I got them I was happy, my life changed, for a moment, and then I was back to limiting myself in some other way.  I can remember when I thought that getting my book published was the greatest thing in the world, and it was, for a few months, and then it was like, what’s next? 

It’s not that we’re not to enjoy our lives, but can we simply recognize that the things we think we want cannot really fulfill us because they are not what we truly want.  Our true desire, whether we are conscious of it or not, is to know ourselves as we are.  Don’t you know that right now -- your deepest desire is to know yourself as free, to know yourself as healed, to listen only to that one voice that speaks of your worthiness?

For far too long we have listened to the voice that tells us that if we get this and do that, then, we will feel worthy.  And so we strive to get this and do that, and it doesn’t even matter if we get it or do it, we’re still left with feeling not good enough. 
            Nothing in the world will make you feel good enough.  The only thing that will make you feel worthy is the willingness to listen to the Voice of your Worth, which is the Spirit of Love within.

            So about now you might be thinking that wanting that new car, or the published book or the perfect mate is wrong.  Don’t judge yourself for wanting things in the world, for even the desire to judge yourself stems from the desire to stay stuck in lack and limitation. 
            The truth is that focusing on your true desire may lead to totally new experiences that are far greater than anything you thought up for yourself. 

“Trust in your true desire and let it lead the way.  It will guide you as to what you are to do.

You need do nothing,
but continue to ask for that which you truly want.
Everything that you experience comes from you
and the desire that you allow.
Rejoice that this is true.
Choose consciously
the desire of your Heart.”

How simple is that?  Yahoo!

The audio was recorded on 12/5/10 to an internet audience, and is 57 min.
In it I talk about so much more than was covered here.  

MP3 File

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Course Note #83: Happy Birthday to Me - Gifts from the Universe

Today is my 54th birthday.  My sister just called and asked, “What are you doing?”
She asked me what was wrong and I shared with her that I was reading a birthday card that my son had just brought by.  Both my husband and son gave me cards this morning that made me cry, not in sadness, but in gratitude and joy.
It was probably no accident that A Course in Miracles arrived in my life at the same time that Bill and Bobby did – about nineteen years ago.  While they are not into the Course, I am quite positive that the unconditional love we share with each other and the healing we each continue to experience, is a direct result of my own willingness to heal.  I’ve seen that healing occurs within our relationships, and we are truly never healed alone.
As I opened my email and read through all the Happy Birthday greetings this morning, I was again overwhelmed with all the love and appreciation in my heart. 

Thank You for the gift that you are in my life.

So many of you who read this today will rejoice in the healing, love and friendship we’ve shared in one way or another.

For the first half of my life I didn’t like myself all that much and mostly, I felt not good enough and unlovable.  Today I wonder just what it was I felt not good enough for.  Ever thought about that, what is it that we think we're not good enough for?  I have come to a place where I truly love and enjoy my life, even though I too struggle with flaws and weaknesses just like everyone else.  But finally I have learned to enjoy, and in fact, embrace the process of healing, which is a good thing since I still have a long way to go in that department! Ha!
People talk about the good ole days of youth, but as I recall, those “good ole days” weren’t all that great.  What a good time it would be to be able to go back to those days armed with the knowledge and wisdom gained over 54 years!  Ah…but that’s not how it works, and I suppose that’s the plan.  Who would have thought while in our 20s and 30s that life really does get better as we age!

While visiting my mother years ago, we looked at some old photos.  I came across one of a young woman with long blonde hair, a great figure, sporting a dark tan and a bikini.  “Who’s that?” I asked my mother.
With a look of surprise she said, “That’s you.”
Huh!?  I certainly don’t recall looking that hot.  Yes it’s true; youth and beauty are indeed wasted on the young.  Here I sit over thirty years later – I’d like to lose more than a few pounds and zap a few wrinkles, but wow – it feels so good to have arrived at a place where I like myself and am comfortable in my own skin.  And let’s face it; at this stage of the game if I still had long blonde hair, I’d probably look like a hag!

This morning I read a post I had written last year on my birthday where I reflected on my “birthday lessons”.  As I did this, I was able to see more clearly what I had learned this past year. 
My birthday lesson in the Bible happens to be Hebrews 12:2 and I paraphrase:

Let me fix my eyes on Truth, and look away
from all distractions.

            This mirrors what I’ve been writing about frequently of late.  I am learning to more consistently use my mind to focus on the truth of my being.  I have been bringing increased awareness to the ways that I allow myself to be distracted from knowing myself as Love created me, like when I get caught up in focusing on my body, my business, the future…

            Next I turned to my birthday lesson in NTI Hebrews 12:2:

 Follow the beacon of the Heart.  Persevere in its way, letting
go of dreams as the Heart lovingly shines its Light on them.
…Remain focused on the true desire of the Heart,
and listen to it in all things.

This too mirrors what I have been learning, and what I wrote about two days ago in the post: “Leading From the Heart.”  In that post I also wrote about how I was discovering that areas of frustration and distraction are actually gifts I have given to myself as they have kept me on the healing path and taken me deep within myself.  Uncanny that this morning as I read this passage in NTI I also read this a few versus later:

“Remember that each circumstance is a gift given by you for your own healing, and you accept each gift graciously within the gratitude with which it was given.”
Wow, I’ve been giving myself some really great birthday gifts of late!

And now I come to my birthday lesson in A Course in Miracles, 336:

Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined.

The lilies of forgiveness shine into the mind,
and call it to return and look within,
to find what it has vainly sought without.

Yes, I have vainly sought for happiness in the things of this world. I am so thankful to have learned to look for it where it is – within.  With the vision of Love, which is forgiveness, I recognize my union with all living things.  

I cannot forget the calendar I’ve had on my desk for twenty-five years, reminding me every December 2nd to:
Do all things with Love.

Recently, when I asked myself, what do I really want? The first answer that came to me was, I want to do all things with Love.

As I rest with my birthday lessons, I find it interesting and amazing how perfectly they mirror my inner work this past year.  I felt to share them with you because no matter what day of the year it is, I recognize them as gifts given to myself and you, reminding us of the way to really Live. 

Perhaps this year I will keep these gifts to myself in the forefront of my mind, which should make for some amazing reflections on December 2, 2011.

Thank You.  Hope you’re having a wonderful day! Much love.