Enhancing Your A Course in Miracles Practice: Feeling Overwhelmed

I am starting this new series, “Enhancing Your A Course in Miracles Practice” in the hopes it will help you as a student to learn to integrate ACIM into your daily life a little more easily. Over the years I have had many questions from students and I plan to address some of those concerns in this series. These ideas stem from my own personal practice for over 25 years, and with mentoring others.

I want you to know I will also welcome your questions that you would like me to address. See the contact form below.

It doesn’t matter if you have been studying ACIM for some time or are new to its teachings, we all experience from time to time seeming setbacks, confusion, periods of absence, joys and miracles.

Follow me as I share common experiences students can have. You may relate or you may not. In the end, we all remain as God created us.

Feeling Overwhelmed

As we approach our study of A Course in Miracles, we may be confused and overwhelmed by all of the information available to us, especially in this age of technology, i.e. social media, YouTube, books, podcasts, and blogs. Because of this technology, nowadays there are many who profess to be THE teacher of the Course.

However, there is only ONE Teacher of the Course and that is the one that is within us. Books and workshops, conferences and videos may all assist us but to truly learn Jesus’ instruction he has to give us we must practice it for ourselves. When trouble in our lives arises, the ego’s knee-jerk reaction is to look outside for the solution or the quick fix solution. Difficulties are an integral part of our practice. They are not to be avoided; in fact, they are to be used. Jesus states this in the Introduction to the Workbook. These difficulties provide invaluable opportunities for learning and remembering the truth.

When we become stuck in the mud, it is because we are ceaselessly running from our problems and after our desires. When we feel the urge to run, it is because we feel overwhelmed.

  1. Only do what you can do.  Be gentle in your study and practice. You will not memorize the entire book in a few sittings. You will not “get” it by this method. Take it one soft step at a time. Think of another activity you may have learned, swimming, riding a bike, typing on a computer, or knitting. You didn’t know how to accomplish any of those activities all at once. You learned you took your time, and in the end, you succeeded. There is no hurry to awaken.
  2. Be patient. Easier said than done, right? This Course teaches us patience believe it or not. The Course is simple but it seems hard because we are impatient. Take your time.
  3. Make your practice count.  That is, when you do the lessons, do your best with all your heart. When you practice forgiveness, do the same. Beware of judging yourself as that is the ego’s tool to arrest the process. Listen only to the Holy Spirit and Jesus. You may wish to set up a scheduled time for your study and practice.
  4. Stay in the present moment. As best as possible, of course! We can be swayed by past mistakes, forgotten practices or the neverending list of what we will do when we awaken. Allow yourself to be exactly where you are. Holy Spirit and Jesus both do not rush us. It is a process. Take time to practice the 5 minutes in the morning and the 5 minutes in the evening as suggested at the end of the Manual for Teachers.  Do longer if you can. It will make a difference to orient yourself to peace. It will carry with you throughout the day.
  5. Relax. This goes along with the previous tip. Relax, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Neither will your study and practice. Look who you have on your side! Jesus and Holy Spirit! What a team! Be sure to take the time to unplug and just be.
  6. Say no to distractions. Yes, we all are busy however we have to remember we are busy by our own choice. Did you go to Facebook or the news or your email first thing in the morning before taking the time to connect with God? How did your day go? Spending the time in communion with God in the Holy Instant will make a difference in how you approach your day.
  7. Ask yourself, “How much do I desire peace in my life?” By asking this question consistently you will find you will take the time to do all of the above.

The answer is always within you. We all hit the brick wall from time to time. Even seasoned Course practitioners and teachers hit the brick wall, myself included.  Be ready and open to cope. Your ability to cope with being overwhelmed in the Course depends on your attitude. If you can learn that even the overwhelming feelings are present as opportunities, you will make progress. This ability, of course, will continue to make ripples in your life.

Once again, the Teacher of A Course in Miracles is within you. I suggest you try an experiment and set everything else aside. All the books you purchased, the Facebook groups, the email lists and forums, recordings and videos, and take a deep breath. Ask for His Assistance sincerely, and it will be there. All it takes is that little bit of willingness. If you don’t understand a passage, ask, then make a note of it or journal it, and then move on to the next paragraph. Usually, you will either receive the answer in the next paragraph or an AHA moment a little later.

As you know, I am all about Practical Application, that is our main philosophy here at MiraclesOne. We desire to be equal partners with you on the journey. We want to celebrate with you the miracles we all can have.  If you want to join us in what we offer, you can. If not, that’s okay too. We are still together as One.

Several years ago I wrote my “Suggestions for Studying A Course in Miracles.” You can find them at this link.

Have a question?

 







Roll the Stone Away Meditation

“Ask but my help to roll the stone away, and it is done according to His Will.” C-ep.2:3

Use this 20 minute guided meditation to practice rolling the stone of fear away from your holy mind with the help of Jesus. In releasing the old thoughts, the light will dawn within your mind and you will experience a new perspective. Inspired by the Easter passages in A Course in Miracles.

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The direct link to the audio is: https://api.spreaker.com/download/episode/4332245/rollstoneawaymeditation2010.mp3

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Day 20 in Our 40 Days of Light

We are in the midst of our 40 Days of Light, however you can still join us. Go to 40daysoflight.org. Each day I post and send out the daily affirmation and then post my thoughts to our Practical Application Facebook Group. 

Thoughts on Day 20        

So today I put “forgiveness” on the table for all of us. I hope you picked it up and embraced the practice today with Lesson 134.

I was driving back from an errand and passed our old street. I had resentful thoughts quickly emerge in reference to our former landlords. I know at times I’ve had my righteousness in full blast over these last 3+ months since we bought our new home. Yet, remnants of unforgiveness where there. Especially when I see the stark improvement in my health since we moved. Virtually no signs of fibromyalgia, hardly any migraines, and each new day I feel stronger. Even my daughter’s migraines have subsided and she is fairing better as well.

With this information coming to mind, I wanted to hold that grievance with the former landlords and their denial that the mold we had complained about for several years was black mold. We suspected it after reading up on it not too long before we moved. We criticize ourselves for not testing it ourselves after we moved and after how we were treated by them. Even though enough proof was present. Besides other fallout from this relationship, which makes us totally scratch our heads on many different fronts with them from our leaving, which I won’t further describe, I have to remember that forgiveness is the key to happiness.

This is what came to mind today as I drove by our street.

I recalled the practice, choosing our landlords as the “brother” as instructed. I had no problem in cataloguing the “sins” as they crossed my mind. There was an abundance!  And of course, all the evil thoughts. But to Jesus’ point, we stop and consider, “Would I condemn myself for doing this?” Where their times I have ignored what others have told me? Have I not held back information because of abject fear, lack and scarcity? Even jealousy? Why yes, of course.

I chose to see them in the Light with Jesus. Yes, even while driving. In that short time, 7 minutes from the street to our new home, I did not want to lay the heavy chain upon them, thus laying it upon myself. I chose resurrection for us all. As Jesus states at the end, “No one is crucified alone, and yet no one can enter Heaven by himself.” Indeed something to remember.

I’ve thought about this off and on today with just now putting it in writing. It felt right. It felt more peaceful to offer forgiveness than to continue to hold on to this so tightly. If it comes up again, I’ll just rinse and repeat.

I’d love to hear how your practice went today. Be sure to share.

 

The Forgiveness Path

The path of unforgiveness leads us down a path that twists and turns,  filled with thorns and roadblocks. The way is not clear for it is not seen at all. With forgiveness, the way becomes clear. Forgiveness does not twist the truth into something it is not. It leads us Home.

In every situation that crosses our path we have a choice. Too often though, the choice has been blaming others for our discomfort. Be it another person, an organization, the government, society, financial institutions or the media. We place the blame squarely on someone else’s shoulders instead of looking within as to where the problem lies.

What is “Forgiveness” according to A Course in Miracles? Forgiveness is first a central teaching in the Course. It leads us to happiness. Through forgiveness, we come to know we are innocent and one with each other and our Creator. Our function is forgiveness, however, it is completed alone, but through the assistance of the Holy Spirit. It is a release from what we thought occurred in the world. In truth, in Heaven, it has never occurred. This is different than the traditional viewpoint on forgiveness.

In Lesson 5 we are reminded “I am never upset for the reason I think.” We think the problem is real outside of us, hence the blame game we play again and again. Believe me, I too, have played that game, yet with my practice of A Course in Miracles it becomes mere blips on the screen rather than all out day after day upset.

Forgiveness, as Jesus tells us in the “What is Forgiveness?” section prior to Lesson 221 in the Workbook for Students, is:

 

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is.

 

If we come to realize that what we see outside of us is not the cause of our upset and that seen with Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s eyes will result in forgiveness. When we look at the issue in front of we are not judging it in any way. He asks us to simply look at the unreality of the problem.

Easier said than done, right?

If we profess to be ACIM students, it is more helpful to work through the issue than to simply intellectualize what Jesus refers to in regards to “forgiveness.” The words in the Course are poignant indeed, yet, we are called upon to actually use the words to help to free us from our thorny path. This is bringing ACIM to “life.”

When we look at the situations that call for forgiveness, we are asked to step back and look at what the ego is doing without any judgment at all. We notice the insanity of it when joined with our Inner Teacher. When we are hell-bent on the problem, then we will never see the love underneath.

Nothing in this world can take our peace away. Too often we give our peace away readily. We willingly give away the power of our mind and become the victim. I have heard this from students throughout my many years of teaching. They will relate a situation and it is consistent in the referral to the other person or entity as the problem. Even sometimes too I have been referred to as the “problem” or the obstacle to a student’s learning. The ego’s projection is so maniacal in its deception that it will use anyone in front of us, even those we love. It will whisper to us to run away rather than to face the truth in our minds. Here, we need to move from the “other” as the problem to realizing the problem is in our own mind.

We have been afraid of love in our mind. We say we desire love, yet if we allow love in we are terrified that our ego self would dissolve into nothingness. Hence, we continue to insist the problem is “outside” instead of “inside.”

The real problem is the separation. The real answer is the Atonement.

~ From our book “The Holy Place of Forgiveness”