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?

 







Are You Motivated?

This month in the Lessons in Light series, I will be leading students on the topic, “A Matter of Motivation.” Today I shared with those on the “Lessons in Light” list a wonderful Guided Meditation I recorded that helps us to focus in on our motivation and dedication. This includes passages from ACIM.

If you are interested, you can go to www.lessonsinlight.org to sign up for today’s lesson and future lessons. A few times a week I will send and post an email to the Lessons in Light site and membership.  Some will be meditations, practices, exercises and ACIM readings. There is also a Facebook group to share insights and miracles!

Sign up today!

Are you interested?

If you would like to join us in this email series, you must be either a patron or current subscriber of MiraclesOne at the $5 monthly donation level or above.

Yes, only $5 a month at the bare minimum, yet you may wish to support us (and we would most appreciate) by giving $10, $20, $50 a month or more monthly. There are more perks for the more you pledge monthly. You donation helps to support our expenses.

This”Lessons in Light” series is our gift to you for supporting us each month in our continued creation of ACIM resources. We are an all-volunteer ministry and we seriously depend on your support. There will be many more of this type of series and others in the months to follow.

Our Patron site is: https://www.patreon.com/miraclesone You can sign up with a credit or debit card and if you prefer a PayPal account.

If you are currently a monthly donation subscriber (or currently a student in an ongoing class), email us at revs@miraclesone.org to indicate your interest in receiving this series.

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Transparency and ACIM

I love our Living ACIM classes and last night’s first session of our new class, “True Spirit of the Holidays”, was no exception. We’re sharing on a topic that can be placed to the side easily in our minds. That is, the holiday season. We like to think we are good Course students and don’t buy into the commercialism or we practice oneness and peace, or are not anxious about holiday spending, but even the “best” of students can verge into old practices, or old beliefs.

What was so exciting for me (and I think everyone) was the transparency of our initial opening discussion. The appreciation at the end of the class especially from everyone for knowing how non-judgmental and loving we were to one another as we shared our ups and downs and honest feelings about the holiday season. We didn’t have to pretend to be evolved ACIM students in any way!

Our students in the class range from those who have already made changes in their holiday practices and those who would still like to do so and everything in between. Some may be triggered by the thought of joining with family in another state, or dealing with finances, or a sense of obligation in gift-giving, or all the activities one “must” do as a “woman,” and the guilt of all of it.

In this class, we will be “questioning every value that we hold” and creating our own perfect celebration. And yes, that is the perfection. Everyone’s celebration will be different and matched to their values, their tastes and desires. We do this in four phases. First we take an inventory as we reflect on past celebrations in ten different areas of our life. Then, we do a values exercise as we rate our values. Thirdly, a guided fantasy in creating the ideal holiday. When doing this, students can gain new insight into the positive changes they wish to make. Finally, students will make a plan talking their traditions and practices and identified values, as well as the sharing as the weeks go on, and create a valuable tool to guide them toward a more loving, spiritual Christmas celebration.

What does this have to do with the Course?

I will be incorporating ACIM throughout the weeks of this class. Our main idea is the sorting out as discussed in the Development of Trust section in the Manual for Teachers. We are sifting through what is valuable to us and what is not. Granted this is form, but as we work on these exercises, we will come to know that what we truly desire is peace. As a student shared last night, this format can be used not only for the holidays, but for any issue in our lives.

My hope is as we go through the weeks, we will continue to remember peace as our one goal. And it is not about changing anything in form (although we may be guided to do so), but more importantly changing our mind.

You can still join us in this class if you sign up ASAP so you can receive the materials to start your holiday “inventory”for our second class meeting. Join at this link.

There is a Prayer in Our Heart

Last night we commenced our new Living ACIM class, “Prayer of the Heart.” As the class and I travel over the next six weeks, we will be learning how “prayer” is presented by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.

As we gathered in our first session, we first experienced a body scan relaxation and meditation. I invited the students to ground and center themselves and ask what their intention would be for the next six weeks of our time together. The intention is their desire for an outcome or what they had hoped to gain when the class had come to a close.

In the sharing that took place regarding our intention, students wanted a sense of inner peace away from the distractions of the world. A few mentioned how they start their day with God and how easily they are pulled away from maintaining the connection. Some wanted to improve their communication with God. Others wanted to let go of self-criticism and learn to be gentle with oneself. And, some wanted to offer up their limitations and be in gratitude. All students realized that God is always speaking and wanted to learn how to stop and listen.

After this initial intention-setting, we had a dialogue on our past and current prayer life. What it was or what students learned in the past and what has transformed. Here are just a few of those thoughts:

  • In the past, I was begging when praying and then I felt punished. This changed with ACIM, and I am grateful for the new experiences.
  • I was always asking and then at the whim of God’s mercy. Now I affirm and am open to the blessing and awareness of peace.
  • I grew up where there was a Book of Common Prayers. We were always saying the same prayers. Now I like to use affirmative prayer. I still pray but the form has changed.
  • I’m afraid to trust and relinquish to what God’s plan is. I want to learn how to forgive as that has been an issue in my life. Instead, I want to radiate love to others.
  • In Sunday School growing up, I was always asking for things. Recently I learned how to create a Gratitude Journal and that has been my new way of praying.
  • I learned to pray and ask for help. And, don’t forget about the starving children in India. I had to pray to God to fix or change things. But these things never change and I felt that God was ineffectual. I’m learning now to let go and let God and let myself be Who I am. I like to hold others in the Light.
  • Memorized prayers, that’s what I learned growing up Catholic. These were prayers I learned by rote, but the words never really seemed to have any meaning behind them at all. I just recited and somehow that was supposed to make something happen. There was no meaning behind it and that was what was missing; the meaning. Now, I turn to a Higher Power. I still can have a feeling of awkwardness and I want to learn what True Prayer is.  I know I need to be with the experience.

As we continue, the class will be learning True Prayer as Jesus teaches us in ACIM. We will study Part II of the Workbook for Students and the supplement “The Song of Prayer.” And, importantly practice what we learn on a daily basis which will involve creating our own prayers. The gift the class receives comes from the sharing with one another. When I teach, that is my main focus that we hear from the wisdom of every member in the class. The significance in this is God speaks to all of us and there is not a single person who is above all, including myself. I have merely the mid-wife for our class as I guide us all forward.

If you find this topic interesting and you would like to participate in the class, we can still take new students on the second week. I record each week for the students’ benefit just in case a class needs to be missed due to illness or a prior appointment. After the second week I cannot take new students in the class.

Here is the “Prayer of the Heart” class information at this link.

Blessings to all,

Rev. Deb