I had the privilege of attending the MiraclesOne “Awakening to Joy” retreat in March. I would like to share my personal experience and the Joy that Awoke within me. The retreat was based on the book “Awaking to Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness,” written by James Baraz and A Course in Miracles. The topic of each group session came from this book. Each session encouraged attendees to reflect deep within themselves to truly awaken their True inherent identity.

As I took the time we each were given to process each topic The Holy Spirit reminded me of the personal intention I set about a year and a half ago to live the most authentic and transparent life I can. I set this intention during one of my morning “Prayer, Meditation, and Centering” times and for years I would try to keep the appearance that all was well in every area of my life. The Holy Spirit knew when I was ready for the shift of my perception that not only sharing, but also showing that I did not live perfectly in an imperfect world. My fellow Course students helped me immensely.

I have experienced so much more joy and light-heartedness in my life and have made great strides on my journey towards inner peace. The retreat’s focus helped me in more ways than words can express. As a focal point on remembering each topic, we were given different colored stones, which started with a cloudier colored stone and advancing towards a clear stone. These stones are wonderful reminders of not only the beautiful and transformational retreat that was created for the participants but to also represent the outcomes of our life transformations and of the deep reflection that we practiced at this retreat.

My husband also attended the retreat and we found areas that connected us as a couple, but also areas that showed us parts of our lives where the light of joy was shed or needed to be shed. After the retreat, while my husband and I were on our way home The Holy Spirit showed me a joyous truth. We ended the retreat on the Judeo-Christian celebration of Palm Sunday that begins “Holy Week” leading to the following Sunday, which is Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the crucifixion. The resurrection of “New Life” or the starting of a new chapter in my life that is occurring is such a joyous and peaceful reason to celebrate my “Awakening to Joy!”

Ryan Westbrook-Vigue


If you missed the retreat, we have a 10-week class that starts this Thursday, May 3rd.

The class is held online in our video and phone conferencing room. If you cannot make the day and time for the class, there is a self-study option where you will receive the videos, assignments and any extra resources. As Ryan described, this is powerful and enriching material that will be presented in this class.

We awaken to joy by awakening to the good within ourselves. We don’t try hard to be joyful or happy, we allow our experience to be what it is while opening to the possibility of joy.

As you learn to be present in your life, to love yourself and others, to be kind to yourself in difficult times, to let go of what is not needed, to knowing blamelessness, and to allow compassion and gratefulness, all these will naturally lead to the Light of Joy dawning within.

I will be incorporating A Course in Miracles along with some material from an insightful book on mindfulness called: Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness. 

Please note: The book is not necessary to attend the class as I will be sharing excerpts from the book that are in alignment with ACIM.

Together in this class, we will use ACIM readings, material from the book, visualizations, meditation, homework assignments, journaling, and weekly class sharing.

Register here

I hope you will join us.

Rev. Deb

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