Thursday, July 28, 2011

Course Note #115: Mantras & Meadows - Part deux

   Hi Friends, 
             Yesterday in my “Food for Life & Spirit” blog (, I wrote that I was reading The Teachings of Inner Ramana in the gym in the morning.  A friend asked me how I could concentrate on that sort of material in the gym.
            That’s a very good question.  When I was 19 I had just moved to the Los Angeles area and I met a couple that taught me transcendental meditation (TM).  I was given a mantra that I have not forgotten: hah-rah-dah-ya.   For about a year or so, I meditated with this mantra twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the evening. 
I recall reading a book about TM around that time, and the author said that he had practiced it for a few years and found it very helpful, but later gave it up.  I wondered why if it was so helpful that he gave it up.  Yet, I had the same experience.  In ways that I wasn't even totally aware of, I knew that the practice had been very helpful to me, but I still let it go. 
It wasn't until my early 30s that I began to meditate again, and this occurred through doing the workbook of A Course in Miracles.  I found that as I did the workbook, each workbook title became a sort of mantra for the day.  Over the years, many of the workbook lessons have served as wonderful mantras to quiet the mind. 

              How does this all relate to concentrating in the gym?  Well, through twenty years of off-and-on meditation, which taught mind training and discipline, I have learned to quiet my mind practically anywhere.  Also, when my son was a teenager he was a DJ and into playing LOUD house music!  So I had a choice: learn to tune it out or kill him.  I know it sounds harsh, but I did choose learning to tune it out. My husband, however, yanked the fuse a few times. Ha!

                 I felt to share all this today because it is pertinent to my entrĂ©e into the Ramana teachings.  I've never been one of those spiritual teachers who could just read a book and teach on it.  No, my "individualized curriculum" is that I am guided to teach what I am learning at any given point in time.   
               If you've been reading my blog lately, then you're privy to the fact that for the past month or so I have had a very difficult time quieting and resting my mind.  I have been mesmerized and hypnotized by some of the circus acts spinning through my mind.   Nevertheless, through my willingness to let go of it, I have allowed Spirit Within to use it all for the healing of my mind.

             In the previous blog I shared how I came to the "next step" in regard to practicing the mantra.  In the past week I have found the mantra practice to be very helpful, even restful, as I let it take me from the circus to the stillness of the meadow.
                 The last two days, however, I have returned to the circus, big time.   On a walk this morning, as my mind fell into its current obsessive loop of judgment about an event in my life, I said the mantra: God is Love. I am as God.  And then, immediately my mind went back to the circus… I'd say the mantra, and then, immediately my mind went back to the circus… Again and again I said the mantra, and then immediately returned to the circus.  Egads!

                 Holy Spirit was able to break through the cacophony:  "Let's go back to acceptance." 

                  "Ah, yes.  I am willing to stop and look at these thoughts of judgment.  I see these thoughts of judgment.  I accept that I have been drawn back into the circus, and that in fact, I don't want to leave this particular circus act right now.  But…Holy Spirit, I am willing to return to the meadow, please show me how."

              Then, I understood how the mantra could be used to return the mind to stillness, and how it can also be used for the purpose of denial and repression.  In the past week I had been letting the mantra rest my mind, but in the last two days I was simply using the mantra to deny and repress the judgments, and as I did this, the judgments came even faster, and I became more frustrated.   

            I recognized that instead of letting the mantra take me from the circus to the meadow, the mantra had become just another act in the circus!  How did this occur?  Aha…  I was using the mantra with the "thinking mind" rather than with the Heart. 

             I was then reminded of the "Instructions for using the mantra" from the Ramana teachings, specifically rule number three:
            "Rule three is to practice the mantra with love and devotion.  Say the mantra from the Heart.  I have told you that the mantra is a gift of awakening.  Cherish it as a very precious gift.  In the moments that you give to the mantra, give with the love that you would give to the most precious of all gifts."

            Suddenly, I felt such gratitude for Holy Spirit and these teachings, and even for the event that has brought forth so much judgment in my mind.  Wow.

I have returned to the meadow.

~ Thank You ~

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Course Note #114: Mantras & Miracles

In the last few posts and audios I have shared that my mind has been very focused on particular judgments.  Our judgments keep us mesmerized by the world.  With ego being so active in my mind in recent weeks, I see more than ever before how judgment is a distraction that keeps the belief in separation alive-and-well.
I’ve received great lessons and insights on acceptance through these judgments, but still have not been able to let them go.  Last week on a morning walk I asked Holy Spirit to help me.  When I came home and checked my email, I caught a post from Regina Dawn Akers that contained a “Single Quiet Prayer”:

I want only God now.
I want nothing else.
I ask you, Universe, to help me.

I am not afraid to ask.
I understand you are benevolent-love.

I ask benevolent-love
to help me awaken
to only love,
and I trust you.

                   How synchronistic to receive this after I had just asked for help.  I spent the day with the prayer.  Later, I felt to share with Regina what was going on with me, and I asked if she could help.

She said that it sounded like I was in the same place she was a couple years ago when she felt the ego really loud in her mind.  She asked for help and guidance.  Not too long after her prayer, she began to receive the teachings that are now contained in a book entitled: The Teachings of Inner Ramana. 
            She said that these teachings were the help she had asked for, and that they led her to the next step.  She asked me how I felt about the Inner Ramana book.  When it was published I had purchased it along with the cds, but have not felt an interest to read it.  I had attempted to listen to one of the cds but just couldn’t even hear it.  When this occurs, I find that the material is just not what I need at that time.  I was willing to check it out again.
            After our email exchange I went to take a shower and get ready to go, and while doing this I listened to an audio teaching on NTI Mark, and heard this:

           “The Lord, your God, wants one thing from you and one thing only.  He seeks all that you think, that He may show you all that you are.”  (NTI Mark 12v41-44.6)

             I knew this was a message for me.  Then I was reminded of a passage in NTI Matthew, chapter 18 that says this:

              “Listen to Me.  Rejoice at your opportunities to forgive.  Be happy that you have found yourself judging or holding a grievance, for what you find, you can let go.  In this way, the splinters to Love’s presence are removed, that Love may be known as whole again.”

              This is really wonderful!  Holy Spirit is not saying that we are to be reprimanded for holding grievances; rather He says to rejoice and be happy because we cannot release what we are unaware of. 
              Often in religious and spiritual communities, we can tyrannize one another in that, we can deem someone as not spiritual enough because he or she is momentarily angry, judgmental, or fearful, and/or is having particular problems. Remember, the spiritual path is foremost about being willing to look at the thoughts in our own mind, and recognize that they are the cause of the world we see.

              Let’s face it; due to ego’s great defense mechanisms of denial and projection, we have been able to remain mostly unconscious of our judgments and grievances.  Seeing them is the way to ultimately release them.  Every time I see them I have an opportunity to remember what I truly want.

               As I left the house that morning, I grabbed the Inner Ramana cds and as I listened to the first one, I was totally present with it.  It spoke to me in a big way.  The book begins with teachings on practicing a mantra.  The mantra that is suggested in the Ramana teachings is “I am that I am”.  Regina also gave me another, “Be still and Know that I am God.” 
              I asked her if there was some sort of significance to “I am that I am” because I preferred “I am as God created me” a mantra I had found helpful for years.  I’ll share with you parts of our email exchange:

           Regina:  I don’t know if “I am as God created me” is the same.  It has a thought of duality in it that isn’t in the other two.  It may not work the same way.
            Sheryl:  I wonder what you mean by this.  In ACIM it tells us that if we really got “I am as God created me” then all our problems would be solved.
           Regina:  I think that if one gets “I am as God created me”, that mantra itself would naturally shorten within the mind as clearer understanding came.

            As soon as I read this sentence I heard: I am as God.  I am as God.  I thought, “Wow. That’s it! That’s my mantra!”
              Then I read the rest of the email:
              Regina: For example, the person may say, “I am as God created me” for a time, but then they might start feeling a prompt to say only “I am as God created.”  After some more time they may feel to say only “I am as God.”  That would feel very profound, and a person could be with that mantra for months or years.  Of course, eventually it would naturally drop to “I am”, and from there possibly even to just “I” followed by a profound silence and expanded seeing.  After that, there would be only silence…no more “I”.  “Me” would be the first to go from the sentence, not just because it is as the end of the sentence, but also because it is the biggest obstacle to true seeing.

              Later, I had an insight on this part as well.  “I am as God created me” has been a mantra for me for a long time, and I realized that her email had prompted me to this clearer understanding: I am as God.
Last Thursday I began to use the “I am that I am” mantra and a few days later received the “I am as God” mantra.  To my surprise I found it to be a very restful practice and it really worked to quiet the judgments in my mind. 

             Here is an excerpt from The Teachings of Inner Ramana:
                “I ask you to practice.  I have given you a mantra.  I ask you to practice this mantra to the utmost of your ability.  This means, practice it as much as you remember.  This mantra shall access knowledge and bring it back to you (similar to the way a computer command can access a saved file and open it into memory).
             “Through the use of mantra and surrender, the mind becomes a tool that is used.  It is no longer a tool that acts as user.”

              So, in ways that I don’t totally understand, my willingness to practice the mantra will serve to remind me who I am. 
             In the audio (see link below), I shared the chapter on: “Instructions for Using the Mantra” which I won’t share here due to length.  

               There has been a question in my mind for several months.  As I have been more willing to stay focused on my true purpose, I have wondered how to practice this throughout the day, and have asked for guidance about this. 
             You know how it is: Once we leave the sanctuary of our home and get on the freeway, go to work, or other activities the focus can be lost.  I wondered, “How do I do this?  Am I just supposed to think “I am that I am” or “know thy Self” all day long?”  This didn’t seem practical to me and so I was in a quandary about how to practice.

              The next chapter in the book, “The Circus and the Meadow” is an absolutely wonderful teaching that also answered my question.  I would love to share all of it but it is too long to share here, so I will share excerpts.  First, it likens the thinking mind to a circus and the stillness, our Heart’s desire, to a meadow.

            “The mind is very active.  If you watch it you will see it as much like acrobats in a circus.  It is always jumping this way and that, bending and turning, and it has some very amazing moves.  But it is a circus.  It is not reality.  In fact, it is a complete distraction from reality.  You will never notice reality if you remain focused on the circus act of the mind.
             “…The mind is going to want to think.  You are going to be drawn back to the circus.  But an inner response to this desire as soon as you notice it is most helpful to awakening.  The inner response is one that turns your attention from the noise of the circus to the quiet love for the meadow.
                “This is the purpose of the mantra I have given you.  It consistently and repeatedly throughout the day turns your attention from the circus and back toward the meadow, which is your truest of desires.
              “Wear the mantra like a layer of clothing.  Practice it throughout the day, whatever you are doing.  The mantra cannot be practiced too much as we are teaching the mind through desire to remain still.”

              As I go about my day and bring awareness to my judgments I can return to the mantra: “I am that I am” or “I am as God.”

            It’s not that we are expected to do this all day long, I don’t know if we can, but what we can do is bring awareness to when we have returned to the hype and drama of the circus.  If you are feeling pain, fear, worry, or suffering…you have returned to the circus tent, but you can quickly and easily return to the meadow:  

I am grateful that I now see this circus
 in my mind.
 I am that I am.
 I am as God.

             So this was the answer to my question.  No matter what I am doing I can always return my mind to the stillness of the meadow with a simple sentence, I am as God.  I am amazed at the benefits I have received from this practice just in the last six days.

           The discomfort I was experiencing due to my obsession with certain judgments served to increase my willingness to let them go, and to be led to this next step.  Just as Regina’s increased willingness to stop the ego chatter led her to the next step, which was to receive this wonderful material.

             And now, for a Single Quiet Thought ~231~

I have asked you
to rest the mind.
This is not a little request.

To rest the mind frequently
will bring the most insight.
To rest it little
will bring the least.

The mantra
“I am that I am”
(“I am as God”)
(Insert your own)
is a gift of awakening.

Cherish it as gift,
and you give love
to your reality.

The Teachings of Inner Ramana can be ordered through Amazon or
“Single quiet thoughts” SQT, can be found at:

The audio of this teaching was recorded on Sunday, 7/24/11 and is 59 min.
Mantras & Miracles


    MP3 File

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Course Note #113: Let go of the Belief in Separation

In my previous blog I wrote about purpose and the idea that our true purpose is Know thy Self.  A Course in Miracles teaches us to seek within to find the barriers to the awareness of Love’s Presence.  As we increase our willingness to look with Holy Spirit at the false beliefs of guilt, unworthiness, lack and separation that lurk within the recesses of our mind, we uncover the obstacles to Love.  These false beliefs are the obstacles to knowing your Self as the Love that You are. 

All the false beliefs in the mind are obstacles to living and knowing our true Self; however, the belief in separation is the umbrella belief in that, all false beliefs extend from the original error of believing we are separated from the Source of all living things. 

            Ego lives on through the belief in separation.  Through the pages of NTI Luke I learned that this belief has a voice, and it’s the voice I think of as “my thoughts”.  Now that was a rude awakening!
         I began to view the voice that chatters incessantly about everything I see, think or do as the toxic Chatty Cathy.  Once I began to see my thoughts this way, I became the observer, and in that respect I am no longer as identified with my thoughts as being the truth about me or anything else for that matter. 

                  NTI Luke defines the belief in separation: 
                  “Within your mind, there is a belief that is in opposition to God. …The belief that leads to this confusion is the belief that you are a separate entity.  It is the belief that there is a you and a them.  It is the belief that there is a you and that there is a universe of objects that are separate from you.  This belief you accept as a fact and you do not question it, so it does not occur to you that it is a mistaken belief that can be given up.”  (NTI Luke 1vs57-80)

                  That we fully believe in this illusory separation is evident in our daily lives in more ways than we realize, yet it is most readily seen in the ways humans separate from one another.  I thought about this recently while on a morning walk.  I observe on these walks how difficult it seems to be for humans to acknowledge one another.  Rarely do people smile at me first, but when I smile at them their face lights up as they smile in return.    

                  So, it’s interesting how we wear the belief in separation in our interactions with one another, yet it is also interesting that something as simple as a smile quickly reveals our deep connection.  No matter where we are in the world, a smile is a universal gesture of greeting.  With a smile we say, you exist, and you are worthy.
               Before I began this writing session I had gone to the grocery store, and while I saw many more people there than I do on morning walks, I was inwardly reminded that I didn’t smile at anyone.  I didn’t see this inner prompt as any kind of judgment, but rather another observation of the ways we walk in the world together and yet separate. 

How do I let go of the belief in separation?

               NTI Galatians tells us that judgment keeps the belief in separation alive.  “Now I ask you to look at your mistakes and own up to them, not in guilt, but in relief.  For the release you seek shall be yours through the surrender of your judgment.  Through acceptance, not judgment, the Light of Heaven is yours.  (NTI Galatians 2v17-21)

              A few weeks ago I spoke and wrote on “acceptance.”  It’s been interesting since then how many times Spirit Within has prompted me to remember some of the things I shared that day.  Lately, it seems that my morning walks have been used to show me observations about separation and judgment, and so here is another morning walk story.
             An event occurred in my life, one that has brought up a lot of judgment within me and I have had a very difficult time letting it go.  So several mornings in this past week my mind was engaged in judgment and attack.  I’ve also been aware that the whole situation is also stirring up feelings and thoughts stemming from the belief in unworthiness.  So there are all sorts of things wrapped up in this particular event.
                   I have been involved in inner work for so long that usually I don’t have a difficult time resting my mind, but I have to say that for several weeks I have been literally obsessed about this particular situation.  I told myself that I needed to let these judgments go, and as I tried to replace them with spiritual words I had to laugh at myself because I knew that in this situation I was merely putting whipped cream on crap.

               The inner work that has been so up for me lately is the work of looking at false beliefs, and focusing on purpose and acceptance.  The problem with practicing acceptance is that we can mistake it for being only about trying to accept something that we really find unacceptable, and this was certainly my dilemma on that day (and many days lately if I’m honest!).
               I’ve noticed that toxic Chatty Cathy has multiple personalities.  One of them was chattering away about how wrong this person was to do what he did, and another began to chatter about how I was not being very spiritual in holding onto this stuff.
               In the midst of “my thoughts” I heard Holy Spirit say, “Let’s look at it.” 
               I heard this: "To 'let all things be exactly as they are' is also to accept that right now your mind is filled with judgment and attack."
                Acceptance is accepting the thoughts in my mind now.  Acceptance is accepting that this is the way I feel right now. 
              I then remembered part of the message I shared in the blog and audio on acceptance, and it was essentially this:  If you’re feeling hate, stop and look at it.  If you’re feeling anger, stop and look at it.  If you’re feeling judgment, stop and look at it.  If you are attacking someone else or yourself, stop and look at it.  Stop and look at it.
                     In regard to the event I am having a difficult time accepting, I had been thinking that I just needed to accept the situation, and that it is what it is.  It’s done and there’s nothing I can do about it.  This was not working for me, however, because truthfully, I do find the situation to be unacceptable.
It was a revelation to learn on a deeper level that acceptance is not so much about accepting the form, but about accepting what is in my mind now.

I am willing to accept these thoughts
 without trying to get rid of them. 
I accept that I feel judgment and attack
and unworthiness. 

Holy Spirit,
I am willing
to let You
correct my mind.
Thank You

            It’s been a long time since I’ve had something like this go on where for weeks I cannot tame my thoughts.  And yet, I see now how this experience has been perfect practice to delve deeper into the belief in separation, which is held onto with judgment and let go of with acceptance.

            I’ve wondered if I’ll ever be able to let go of all these false beliefs, and then I remembered that I don’t have to, I only have to be willing to let them go.  Although it still seems somewhat impossible, but Holy Spirit has this to say through NTI Matthew:
                “What seems impossible to you is not impossible.  In fact, it is all that is truly possible, for the belief in separation cannot hold you prisoner, because it is not true.  It is not real.  It is nothing but a figment of your imagination in which you have placed your faith.  Through this, you can see the power of your faith!

                  “But I ask you to remove your faith from what you believe now and place your faith in Me, that you may see through different eyes.  Surely, you will see differently!” (NTI Matthew 21vs20-22)

             Yes, we have placed our faith in the things of this world.  We have believed that forces outside of us have power over us.  We have believed that we have been at effect instead of cause.  Release and freedom come through returning to cause.  The cause of pain and suffering is “my thoughts”, and my thoughts come from false beliefs.  Holy Spirit speaks to us through NTI Revelation:

Trust Me.
Hold to Me as we look at your false beliefs
Guilt, unworthiness and separation are not real,
although they have been believed.

We must look at them and release them
If we do not do this,
the beliefs remain,
and you cannot know the peace of
Knowing your Self as you are,
because you have chosen to know your self
as you are not.

There is nothing to fear.
By trusting Me to the end through all
that we seem to experience,
you will learn this is true,
and you shall rejoice
unto Heaven.
                                                                                                           (NTI Revelation 2v20-25, paraphrase)

The audio was recorded on Sunday, July 17, 2011 and is 59 min.
So much more was shared on the audio than in this post. Enjoy!


    MP3 File

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Course Note #112: Living in Purpose

            Without a doubt, the most common question posed to me over the years is, how do I find out what my purpose is?  What am I meant to do with my life?  Often the questioner is seeking an answer that involves job or career.
            I’ve worked as a chiropractor for going on twenty-six years and when I first became interested in spirituality via A Course in Miracles I thought that my purpose was to be the best chiropractor I could be.
            Back then I was doing the workbook of the Course and was particularly tuned into the prayer on being truly helpful.

            “You can do much on behalf of your own healing and that of others if, in a situation calling for help, you think of it this way:

I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Love that sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what
to do, because Love that sent me will direct me.
I am content to be where I am,
knowing that Love goes with me.
I will be healed as I let Love teach me to heal.
                                                                          (ACIM T-2 V.8)

            It was almost twenty years ago when I first prayed that prayer and it’s one I continue to pray frequently.  While I have found it very helpful in my chiropractic work, ironically, it led me to a different purpose in form, that of speaking and writing on spiritual principles.  I have found that teaching has been a great gift because it has kept me immersed in spiritual growth all these years.  Nothing else has brought so much passion and joy into my life as continuing to evolve spiritually, and being able to share it with others.
               So in this blog I will delve more deeply into living in purpose.

What is my purpose?

            Our purpose in form as it relates to what we do in the world, can be different for each one of us, but in content it is the same.  I like to think of it this way: My purpose is to: 

 Know thy Self

Know myself as Love created me,
unlimited and free.

Be only Love
Know only Love
Extend only Love 

Seek first the Kingdom

            Different words can be used, but the point is to recognize that our purpose is to remember who we are.  The more vigilant we can be about watching our mind and keeping our thoughts aligned to true purpose, then the more we will be guided to do things that will bring us joy and serve one another. 

I feel that Holy Spirit’s purpose is simply to continually remind us of our purpose.

Why is knowing and living my true purpose important?

            “Everything that comes to you comes to you for your healing.  There is nothing that you experience that cannot have that purpose if that is the purpose you give it.  But hear Me well.  I have said that is the purpose it will have if that is the purpose you give it.  If you do not give the purpose of healing to your life, it shall not have that purpose.  And no experience can bring to you that which you do not desire.”  (NTI 2Co 1v3-11)

            This is such an important paragraph.  First, “healing” as it is used in spirituality refers to healing the false belief that we could ever be separated from our Source.  Healing, then, is to remember who we are. 

                   No matter what occurs in our lives, it carries the purpose of our healing, and if we don’t give it that purpose we then fall into feeling victimized and afraid.  Purpose leads us and creates our experiences.  Here’s how: Let’s say you have been feeling fear about money, bills and the future:
                   As you watch the thoughts in your mind, you see that they are fear-based thoughts around money.  And then you can remember: Ah…these thoughts come from a false belief in lack and limitation, and this belief stems from the false purpose of knowing myself as lacking and limited.  Ah…I see!  I see!  My true purpose is healing.  My true purpose is to know who I really am.  I now want to create from that purpose.

                  In this way, we let the experiences of lack and limitation, unworthiness, guilt and self-judgment be used as an impetus to remember our Truth rather than being used as a distraction that will keep us stuck. 
             See, in our slumber, we continue to let false purpose and belief be the driving force in our lives, yet as we awake to our true purpose and let that be our focus, we begin to create experiences from this higher level of being.

How do I practice letting my true purpose lead?

            When we learn to pay attention to our thoughts, we can readily see if our thoughts support our true purpose or if they draw us away from it. 
            If my purpose is to be only love, does a thought of irritation and anger toward another support being only love?  Do thoughts of lack and limitation support knowing myself as Love created me, unlimited and free?
            Please don’t fall into feeling guilt and blame over your thoughts, because that just keeps you asleep.  Simply be increasingly willing to remember what you really want.
          In all situations ask, “What is the purpose?”  If we decide that we want it (the relationship, circumstance, our bodies, etc.), to be used for the purpose of healing, then it will be.  If we decide that we want to use it to feel like a victim, lacking and not good enough, then it will be.  This is a way to remind ourselves of what we truly want.

          All the lessons in the workbook of the Course are helpful to keep us focused on purpose, but I particularly love lesson 353: 
My eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet today
have but one purpose; to be given Love
to use to bless the world with miracles.


            A prayer for awakening*  ~332~

Let me not today
become entangled in the world I see,
in its problems or in its pleasures.

Let me remain instead
inwardly focused
with my eye and my ear
on my Teacher,
my Guide.

Let me be led
without a thought for the world,
but only a thought
for listening and following.

This is true surrender
and this is my desire,
my goal and my purpose now.

Take my hand and lead me.

              This is our purpose now, to let it lead us to the remembrance of who we are.  Let us give Spirit Within permission to remind us to practice and to remember.  Let me remember what my purpose is.
Thank You.

* Single Quiet Thoughts and prayers can be found here:

The audio contains much more than is shared here.
It was recorded on 7/3/11 and is 59 min.
Living in Purpose


    MP3 File

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Course Note #111: Practice Acceptance

              Acceptance can be one of those practices that fall under the “easier said than done” category.  We have numerous opportunities every single day to practice letting all things be exactly as they are.  I almost always teach and write on what is up for me at any given time, and acceptance has been on the plate. 
I have a notebook where I keep quotes and articles that speak to me, and while perusing it the other day I came across this:

            “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.  When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Unless I accept life on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.  I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”  (AA book, pg 449)

            In A Course in Miracles we are taught that holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for healing.  When disturbed about anything, we are holding a grievance.  In order to heal we must replace attack and judgment with acceptance.
If we decided to practice only this one thing, it’s amazing how many opportunities we give ourselves to practice.  For the last several weeks my mind has been caught up in a thinking loop about a “fact of my life” that I was disturbed by.  Specifically, a minor surgery performed on my arm that is more like a hack job.  Even though it's done, and there is not a darn thing I can do about it, my mind has continued to return to thoughts about how wrong this doctor was to do what he did.
So a few days ago, while on a morning walk with my dog, once again I was on a thinking rant about this doctor.  I had just given a talk on practicing acceptance, and so my mind was a fertile ground to hear the Inner Voice remind me:

“Sheryl, acceptance is the answer to all your problems today, not some of them, but all of them.”

I’d rest a few minutes in acceptance and then my thoughts would bounce back to judgment and attack.  And then Spirit Within would remind me of acceptance.  It was like a game of tennis going on in my mind – the ball bouncing back and forth between acceptance and judgment. 
Fortunately, I was on a long walk that day and so I had plenty of time for observation. I noticed that when my mind rested in acceptance I felt peaceful, and when my mind bounced back into judgment and attack I felt agitated.  By the time I returned home, acceptance had won the game and I was at peace about the situation.  I even realized that perhaps this was the best thing for my healing, I can let my arm be a constant reminder that acceptance is indeed, the answer to all of my problems today.   I admit though that every time I look at my arm, I have another opportunity to practice acceptance.  I persevere. 

This is just a minor example that comes up for me now, but let’s face it, there is always something going on in life that we can grievance about especially those things that we see every day, and that seem hard to accept.  

Are you having a difficult time accepting something today?

In my recent teaching on acceptance, I shared one of the messages given to Regina Dawn Akers called, “Accepting Now.” *  Here’s an excerpt:

            “In any moment you are experiencing exactly what you choose to experience.  This is important for you to realize, because in resisting your current experience you resist you.  Resistance is fear.  The trick to shifting an experience that you do not like to another experience that you know you’d prefer is to totally accept the current experience.
            “If that experience is hate, look at it.  If it is doubt or fear, look at it.  If you are projecting onto others or attacking yourself, stop and look at that.  Stop, only for a moment, and look directly at the current experience as you have deemed it to be.  And now say:
‘This is how I feel now.  These are the thoughts I see in my mind now.  I accept this exactly as it is without wishing to extend it longer than it need be.’

“Then stay in the energy of acceptance.  Acceptance is the answer…patient acceptance.  Do not be in a hurry.  Rest, accept and trust.  Notice temptations to resist.  And in that moment, choose again.  This is truly the best way to help yourself.” 

When I go to the gym early in the morning I like to read spiritual material while on the elliptical machine.  And so, while reading this message I gave myself another opportunity to practice acceptance. 
            I am not the type that compares myself to others, and I suppose that’s because I have talked to so many people over the years that I have come to realize that every one has something to deal with.  Specifically though, I don’t compare myself to others in regard to appearance as in wishing I looked like someone else.
That morning on the way to the gym, I said a prayer giving Spirit Within permission to reveal to me the errors in my mind as I went about my day.  So as I was reading the aforementioned message on acceptance, my mind began to wander.  I looked at other women in the gym that I thought looked really good, and began to judge myself  about what I coulda, shoulda done differently.

Immediately I realized that they were thoughts of self-judgment and unworthiness coming up again to be experienced, and then released.  I realized that this experience I was having was exactly what the “accepting now” message was talking about.  Wow.  And so, I returned to the message and practiced what it said to practice:

Holy Spirit,
I am having an experience of self-judgment.
I am willing to look at the thoughts of unworthiness
and judgment that are lurking in my mind.

This is how I feel now.
I am willing to accept this experience
without wishing to extend it longer than it need be.

I am willing to let all things,
including myself,
be exactly as they are.
Thank You.

See, through the willingness to allow myself to experience the self-judgment and unworthiness, I was able to also see that the thoughts stem from a false belief in my inherent unworthiness, and a false desire to know myself other than Love created me.  Once this is recognized then I have an opportunity to choose again. 
A few weeks ago my husband and I saw the new “X-men” movie.  It’s about people who have what we would think of as super powers.  In it, there is a female character that is blue and scaly with bright red hair and glowing yellow eyes.  She has the power to turn herself into anyone she wants to be, and so because she doesn’t like how she looks, frequently she reveals herself as a young beautiful blond woman.
         At one point in the movie, as she is working hard to perfect her powers, a mentor character walks into the room and tells her that at least fifty-percent of her power is being used to be something that she is not. 
He said, “You want the world and other people to accept you, but you don't accept yourself.”
            This spoke to her, and afterward she began to accept her physical form as it was.

              This also spoke to me.  Does it speak to you? 

            A favorite teaching in A Course in Miracles says: “Seek not to change the world [yourself], seek instead to change your mind about the world [yourself].

Acceptance is the answer.    Let us practice looking on now and loving it as it is.  Trust.  You are being healed, even now.

* A message given to Regina Dawn Akers, “Accepting Now” September 24, 2007, can be found on her website: under “monthly archives”.

This audio was recorded on 6/26/11 and is 56 min long
Accepting Now

    MP3 File