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.