Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Miracle of Balance

For many years now I've enjoyed getting my day "started right" with my daily miracles workbook lessons and remembering to practice them throughout each day. More recently however, I have also made a commitment to eat better, lose weight, exercise every morning and walk my dog in nature for one hour every afternoon (and a few other things).

Initially this may sound like a lot in addition to my normal daily activities such as working at my day job, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and all of the other daily pressures and duties life imposes, and in a way it is. But I've also found that in addition to my "normal" daily responsibilities these are actually the things that I love to do, as well as some of the things that help me to keep sane.

In fact, as A Course in Miracles student, one of the biggest lessons I've learned (the hard way) is the importance of maintaining a proper life balance.

The Buddha taught this valuable lesson in his instruction to follow the "middle way." After starving himself and immersing himself so deeply in his aesthetic spiritual practice where he nearly died, he discovered the simple realisation that he is after all not just a spiritual being, but a spiritual being having a (perceived) physical experience.

I found the acceptance of this idea removed in myself for many years and have also noticed that it is an idea that is still missing in many ACIM students. Yes, we understand that the Course teaches us, "I am not a body, I am free," but more often than not we (subconsciously) misinterpret this idea to mean that we should dismiss the body and the physical experience as "not real."

Still, although it might be an illusion metaphysically speaking, the Course reminds us that our path is a course in miracles, not a course in denial. It encourages us to recognise that our magic, money, pills, etc. are illusory, but at the same time also acknowledges that at this stage in our evolution to deny our belief in them as helpful would be "a particularly unworthy form of denial."

I have personally known ACIM students that have experienced tremendous guilt, frustration, sickness and even clinical depression in spite of their dedicated spiritual practice because they simply failed to fully understand the importance of maintaining a BALANCED outlook on life within "the dream."

I myself experienced this when I put so much focus on my spiritual practice, I gained 30 pounds and as a result, hormonal imbalances, mood swings, foggy thinking and various aches and pains all over my body. It took me several years to fully embrace the idea of living what the Course calls "the Happy Dream."

In this state we go to work, we eat, sleep, pay our bills and do all the things that the world expects of us, yet we find a balance in all of these things. We gain a deeper understanding of the reality that even as we live and act as the world does, it is the joy of truth we carry within our hearts that allows us to be IN the world but not OF the world.

The ego would love to have us feel deprived of all the world has to offer as a result of this mindset. And, it can easily accomplish this when we allow it to use our spiritual practice as a means to slap our wrists for partaking of the things of the world. But Jesus said, it is not for us to transcend the world, but to LOVE the world.

We can do this when we first love ourselves by living a balanced, healthy and joyful life. We can do this when we laugh and play, study and pray. We can do this when we eat right, exercise and stop feeling guilty for being in a body. We can do this when we allow ourselves to have a human experience.

In the world of form, proper diet, exercise and recreation can have a great beneficial effect on our sense of well-being. In other words, we simply feel better when we engage in a balanced earthly lifestyle. God's only Will for us is to BE happy. I suggest we hereby give ourselves permission to accept and look forward to a wonderful new year!

Monday, 17 September 2012


Stress We all have it and there’s no point trying to deny it. You know what I’m talking about. That horrible feeling like the walls are closing in on you or that nagging worry over something you said or did, or left unsaid or undone. That sense of fear and dread that makes you certain something is going to overwhelm you that you simply won’t be able to handle. How about that anxiety that starts in the morning where a laundry list of tasks and pressures play over in your mind like a frenzied symphony before your day even begins. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. Stress affects everyone and the best we can do is simply learn how to manage it. There are actually two types of stress: One is the positive type that gives you that sense of excitement or motivation to give a good speech, run the fastest race or to think quickly on your feet. Studies show, this type of stress can actually improve our overall performance. The other type however is not quite so helpful. In fact, almost all forms of physical sicknesses and health conditions such as heart disease, tummy upset, asthma attacks, arthritis, epilepsy, headaches, bowel problems and skin rashes can be traced back to stress. Studies also show that various internal and external causes and triggers produce stress within us. Originally stress was a defence mechanism that created a “fight or flight” response in cavemen that enabled them to survive should they need to flee from a dinosaur or attack from another tribe. Fortunately, we not longer need to run from dinosaurs, but the stress reaction remains in our modern times due to a mental recreation of perceived danger in our minds. In other words, fear. A Course in Miracles says, although we would like to be relaxed and happy all the time, we are constantly choosing between our only two emotions, fear and love and are ever swinging back and fourth between the two. However, because fear is only a mental recreation of perceived danger, we are spending half our time in a made up illusion of stress. However the Course also tells us, this need not be. Through the process of forgiveness, where we are encouraged to overlook and let go of our grievances (attack, blame and guilt) with the support of Spirit, we produce a mental environment of peace and love that allows truth to take the place of illusions. The fearful spell of perceived pain and suffering is broken and we are free to be ourselves once more. This is called a healed or “corrected” perception and is a state of our “right-mind.” The dynamic is simple. Because fear and love cannot co-exist we can only experience one state or the other at any given time. When we choose fear, we cannot experience love, but when we choose love, there is simply no room for fear. The key is to consistently practice choosing love, or at least be willing to consistently choose love, and with Holy Spirit’s help you will have in essence devised an effective stress management system that will ensure you awaken to miracles each and every day!

Saturday, 5 May 2012


Did you know that in reality you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love? These can be from yourself and others, from yourself to others, or from others to you, because love is not dependent on anything anyone might think, say or do. It’s timeless and changeless. I really embrace this idea because it brings me great comfort to know that all of those times I beat myself up for not feeling good enough, or was self critical for not being younger, smarter or faster didn’t matter one iota and have never even made a dent in the truth of what I am, pure perfection. As an added bonus, we are not only protected from ourselves (we can sometimes be our own worst enemies), we are also protected from other’s expressions of lack of love as well. When I think of all the times I worried that someone was “out to get me” or was angry with me, it boggles my mind. What a joke! The icing on the cake is that our perceived attacks on others actually go no where as well. In the past, I spent endless hours of guilt agonising over something I said to someone that I later regretted, perhaps in a moment of heated argument, or basic stupidity. Worse still, the times I allowed myself to get dragged into gossip or office politics. I always felt terrible after and doubted that I would ever progress along my spiritual path. What a relief to know this is not the case. A wise person once said, “The truth will set you free.” The truth is Love and only Love and that is indeed freedom. We don’t need to search for it because it’s already ours. It is actually what we are. We can’t lose it nor reject it. It simply is. We can’t learn it or teach it because it’s intrinsic. We are the fish and it is the ocean in which we exist. In this ocean of love it’s good to know that we are perfectly safe and at home.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Making the Inner Shift: The Final Move from Fear to Love

At the heart of A Course in Miracles, God’s only Will for us is happiness... But is it really POSSIBLE to be happy all of the time? The Course says yes, if we are willing to make the Inner Shift.

What is the Inner Shift?

The “inner shift according to Chapter 21 of ACIM is, ‘the choice to be constant in our decision for happiness.’ The Course says, we all know that we WANT happiness, but we deny it simply BECAUSE it’s the truth.

In other words, we are afraid of it, because it poses a threat to our current ego experience, which we THINK is real. In fact, The Course says, ‘constant joy is a condition quite alien to our understanding.’ However, once the final decision for ONLY happiness is made, it has no exceptions; it’s unshakeable and unchangeable.

How do we make the Shift?

1. Keep things simple to avoid over-thinking and ego-resistance.
2. Understand the dynamics of our decision making process.
3. Examine and transform our core beliefs with the help of eternal Spirit (HS).
4. Establish a firm commitment to making the Shift.

The Dynamics of our Decision Making Process

We have two mindsets: Love and fear and we are always swinging between the two. The problem is, one mindset is real, but the other is false. So why then do we constantly swing back and fourth?

Basically, it’s our choice. One minute we can choose love and peace and the next minute, we can simply change our mind back again. But if we REALLY want ONLY happiness why do we keep changing our minds? Deep down we think this world holds something of value.

But, in order to fully understand the dynamics of our current decision making process, we need to examine our core beliefs (perceptions).

Examining our Core Beliefs

Since our core beliefs are always being projected outward and reflect back to us what we perceive to be real in the world, examining them can show us where they might be limiting us from choosing total happiness all the time.

I recently had an experience where I fell into a real upset over being reprimanded on a work project. I felt that he treatment I received was unfair and I also felt guilty because “I should have known better.” My stress over the matter mounted and I decided to take time off work to reflect over why I was feeling so heavily adversely affected.

I discovered after taking a close look at my values and perceptions (which I hadn’t done for some time) that I was holding onto an underlying belief from childhood that I was somehow unworthy. It was a real eye opener in that it was being reflected back to me in the form of not allowing myself to make and learn from simple mistakes in my life, but rather, demonstrate perfectionist behaviour to avoid being judged and feeling victimised when I received minor criticism.

I later read in the Louise Hay book, You can Heal you Life, that out of the thousands of people that she has counselled over the years, almost all of them held the underlying belief that they were “not good enough.”

I actually knew this because the Course teaches us that we all feel unworthy of love at a deep level because we falsely belief that we have separated from God and from each other and we feel guilty as a result. However it wasn’t until I stepped back and made a proper evaluation of my thought system that I realised this concept in action.

Once I came to recognise that this underlying belief was influencing my decision to be constant in my choice for happiness, with the help of Spirit, I am able to remain mindfully aware that I am the dreamer of the dream and I constantly choose what it is I see and experience (this is what it means to receive miracles all day, everyday).

Transformation of Beliefs with Spirit

So, let’s take some time now to look at the limited thought patterns and beliefs that may be limiting your choices and experiences currently and then take them to eternal Spirit (HS) for transformation:

• Limited beliefs about people?
• Limited beliefs about abundance and possessions?
• Limited beliefs about relationships?
• Limited beliefs about health?
• Limited beliefs about self-worth or value?

Process: Transforming beliefs with Eternal Spirit.

Now close your eyes and relax…

Allow your body to relax and your mind to quiet…

Breathe deeply and allow yourself to go within…

Centre your mind… and feel the peace and gentleness emanating from deep inside you…

Breathe it in…

Feel the constant Love… and the ever present peace that comes from your eternal spirit...

Allow this awareness of peace to extend to everyone…
Let it flow…

From this peaceful happy state, ask your eternal Spirit for insight on how to transform
your limited beliefs into unlimited beliefs. Begin with…

• People in your life… (Pause).
• Abundance and possessions… (Pause).
• Relationships… (Pause).
• Health… (Pause)
• Self-worth or value… (Pause)

Spend at least five minutes more reflecting on what you might still be afraid to give up if you make the constant choice for happiness? Remember we all secretly believe this world has something of value to offer us that we may not be that keen to release just yet, such as special grievances, worldly pursuits, etc. Then take these also to Spirit for a healed perception.

After the transformation process with Spirit, take a pen and paper and make notes about your experience and what are now your unlimited beliefs as received from your inner Teacher. These can be reflected on in the future and can slowly serve to replace your limited thought patterns as they arise.

• Unlimited beliefs about people?
• Unlimited beliefs about abundance and possessions?
• Unlimited beliefs about relationships?
• Unlimited beliefs about health?
• Unlimited beliefs about self-worth or value?

Making the Final Commitment

Now that we’ve examined and transformed our perceptions, this should lower any resistance to choosing love over fear. It’s important to note, that making the final choice for constant happiness requires that you no longer desire to waver back and fourth. Remember, this is your choice.

It’s also helpful to remember you’re not alone in your decision for happiness. You’re always supported by the universe and provided with every resource necessary. In addition, Eternal Spirit is always available when you call to provide a healed or “corrected” perception, also known as the miracle. There is no order of difficulty in miracles.

The choice you’re making now is not abut BE-ING happy all the time, but the desire to be CONSTANT in your decision for happiness. And lastly, by answering “yes,” to this final question, the Course says, “you will have renounced your decision to change your mind again.”

Is the decision for happiness [truth] all that I would see?


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Stay in the Light

As we all know, staying in the idea of light and remembering to choose peace first can be so challenging at times. Worries about health, money, family and work can occupy much of our thoughts if we allow them, and one moment of focusing on these issues can quickly turn into a full time preoccupation.

And it’s not just the obvious troubles of the world that can lead us into this ‘dark side,’ but more often than not it’s the mental anguishes such as uncertainty, judgments or holding grievances that cause our unrest and disturbs our peace.

However it’s during these times that staying in the light is so important. It may sound cliché to make a statement as obvious as ‘keep a positive attitude,’ but staying in an aware high frequency flow is crucial to maintaining inner-harmony and the stillness needed to hear the quiet, gentle Voice of the Holy Spirit.

Staying in the light involves allowing ourselves to be led step by step, moment by moment, trusting that all things are happening for our good. It means taking a deep breath and remembering to think a moment before speaking; to let things go easily and to not take life so seriously.

Staying in the light means always seeing the good in ourselves and others and knowing that we are all doing the best that we can. It means not beating ourselves up when things don’t seem to go our way or when we make a mistake.

Staying in the light means the ability to laugh at ourselves and with others instead of blaming or fault finding. It means allowing ourselves to have some fun every once in a while and not feeling guilty for things left unsaid or undone (there’s always tomorrow).

Staying in the light actually clears the path for receiving God’s Love and Blessings and frees us from trying to control every aspect of the illusion (it’s uncontrollable anyway). It’s living the ‘happy dream’ and allowing the snow of fear and worry to melt so that the blossoms of spring can bloom…

The dark side of our thoughts is always waiting and when eyes are closed, darkness can seem to be all there is. Staying in the light however is a decision to keep eyes open, front and centre. It’s a decision to remember the truth of whom and what you really are, love and nothing else.

“Ask for the Light and let it guide you without questioning where it takes you. Remember that until you see all the world within the Light, you may be lost, letting the darkness lead your way (Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament, NTI, MT.6:5-6).”