Enhancing Your A Course in Miracles Practice: Overcoming Resistance


This week, let’s take a look at resistance in our ongoing series of “Enhancing our ACIM Practice.”

We must be aware of resistance in our practice of A Course in Miracles.  It can occur in various forms. First of all, we are drawn to the Course. It found its way into our lives and here it is. We love the words and we are drawn to its beauty. Yet, practicing it is where the resistance comes in.

I speak of this from my own personal experience. I do not share with you anything that I have not dealt with myself. I came to the Course easily, however, I had many life-defining moments where I was ready to throw in the towel in more ways than one.

  • I was subjected to abuse in various relationships including as a child with an abusive mother.
  • I was raped.
  • Two of my three children were molested by an ex-spouse.
  • I lived near poverty at one point in my life with my two oldest children.
  • I’ve dealt with health issues.
  • I had self-esteem, self-love, self-confidence issues.

Even when I wanted to give up on life, on love, and on this Course, I persisted. You can too. Continue reading “Enhancing Your A Course in Miracles Practice: Overcoming Resistance”

Thoughts on Week 33, Text, Chapter 18, VIII. The Little Garden


I recall perhaps 16 years ago there was a beautifully illustrated book for children created from this section, titled “The Sunbeam and the Wave.” I owned this lovely book and I may still have it in my collection. The book shared with children and families what we too can learn from this section. Simply, we are not alone. The sunbeam is not separate from the sun and the wave is not separate from the ocean. As try as we might, to be separate from God, we cannot. The same with everyone here in the world, particularly at this time in current events, many would like to be separate from a certain presidential candidate. Neither we nor the candidate can be separate from us.

We defend our little piece of insignificant matter and fight tooth and nail to do so. Wouldn’t it serve us to recall the Kingdom as whole?

I can say at times my mind has wandered away from the joining with others here in the world I may find disagreement in terms of philosophies or politics, yet I can disagree but not separate. I can have, as Ken Wapnick used to say, a “preference” for another way to live, a candidate or even a movie genre. I have to look closely at my mind as to why I do have the preference. Is that preference wrought with judgment? Or can I cleanly and clearly state, it is just a matter of choice with no emotional repository present?

There is no reason to “fight” for anything. Only love is welcome and as it should.

I do love the last line in this section: Only a little wall of dust still stands between you and your brother. Blow on it lightly and with happy laughter, and it will fall away.  And walk into the garden love has prepared for both of you.

The wall of dust is all the barrier is between political parties, philosophies, opinions, genres, what have you. It is our own mind that keeps us separate. Nothing can separate what God has joined.

 

Thoughts on Lesson 160


I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.

At one time or another we all feel we do not belong. It could be in a group, a family, a workplace, an organization or a gathering. What we are feeling is this lesson. We feel as strangers in a strange land. Certainly I have felt out of place many times in my life. It’s that feeling though that has led me and you to A Course in Miracles. We see the world differently, you and I, and that’s why we feel the way we do. The rest of the world is just seemingly blissfully unaware.

This reminds me of the movie, The Matrix. There are those who see the world differently and come to find Morpheus, who then offers us the opportunity to see the truth. The truth is ACIM coming into our lives, that is the proverbial red pill as we witnessed in the movie. The truth may seem hard to swallow but it is the truth. This world is an illusion and we have every reason to feel out of place because it is not our real Home.

Our eyes are now open. We know the truth. We feel the truth. Yet at times we wish to still be unaware. We push the knowledge aside as to never know what God created. But it pops up, we glimpse it and finally we desire more glimpses. We desire peace instead of what we experience. This is when we make the choice to listen to the Voice for God assure us that what God created is eternal, free and forever joined with Him.

Thoughts on Week 22, Text, Ch. 13, IV. The Function of Time


Ch. 13, IV. The Function of Time

“And now the reason why you are afraid of this course should be apparent. For this is a course on love, because it is about you.”

My function is to heal and to create, yet the ego teaches me the opposite. Of this who would not be confused. Through the ego, I come to believe that Heaven is actually hell so there is the threat of God, His punishment, and the terror of His Love.

The ego continues the focus on guilt. It recalls the past, insists I must pay for the past, yet promises no future except more discontent. The present moment means zilch to the ego. It only lives in the past.

What does the Holy Spirit do for me? He shows me that there is only the here and now. In the here and now there are opportunities for salvation. In these opportunities I can fulfill my function to heal and to create. Here and now.

Thoughts on Week 16, Text, Chapter 9, VI. The Acceptance of Your Brother


Chapter 9, VI. The Acceptance of Your Brother
If I am not joyful, it is because I am not in tune with the joy that is within me. I must have made a decision in my mind not to accept joy.
My brothers are a part of me, and that is reason enough to be joyful except I don’t always accept that fact here in the world. My brothers have the ability to teach me who I am but I refuse the teaching most of the time.

If I want to know myself as God’s Son, and I do, then I need to accept joy and accept my brothers I can learn to do this. It is not a hard task.

I want to wake up so why stay asleep when the ways to awaken have been given me?

I am eternal even when it doesn’t feel that way. How can I know my own eternity when I join with my Guide? The miracle moves me from where I am now (believing in the world) to where I truly am now (Heaven). I need all the pieces to know my wholeness – my brothers, myself, Holy Spirit and God.

 

 

Thoughts on Lessons 103 & 104


103 – God, being Love, is also happiness.
104 – I seek but what belongs to me in truth.
We continue with knowing where our happiness is found. It is found in the Love of our Father. We have been so used to fear in all its forms in our lives that we shy away from accepting joy (TRUE JOY) in our lives. We make excuses, we put parameters around it, we wonder when the other shoe will drop, instead of accepting what is ours already. There is a reason we practice as written. It’s helping us to correct our thinking and our thinking does need immediate correction. We have listened to long to that tiny tick of time that incurred madness. We can seek happiness today, this moment and always.
We seek the truth beyond all else. God’s gifts of joy and peace are within my grasp as they are in my very hands. Joy, love and peace is not “out there” in the world, a thing to be accomplished or a goal set. It’s within me all the time. There’s no place like OM. When I realize Home is all I seek, then I will realize I have always had the means within me to be there.

In Love,
Rev. Deb

Thoughts on Lesson 69


Thoughts on Lesson 69

WBNewsletterGrievances keep me in isolation and darkness. How can I see light if all I choose to see is my many judgments and criticisms? It’s always willingness that sets me free from the chains of judgment. I have been in a dungeon and now I can see the light. That image always comes to mind for me for some reason, the dungeon, that is. Perhaps too many Edgar Allan Poe stories when I was younger. I know that’s what my loneliness felt like, down there in the pit, never free, always believing that someone else kept me in the pits of hell, instead of realizing it was my very self that did this. 

And this I have done, I can now undo!

Today’s meditation practice has been so lovely as always as we envision the clouds. At first as heavy and dark as can be, then with the realization the clouds are only wisps of nothingness and I can move past them as easily as I care to do so. By practicing I am invoking my Holiness to show me the light of myself. I kept the truth hidden and now I can arise out of the hell I have made and into the glory of Who I am. No matter what I am feeling, and I have had a lot of feelings over the last two weeks to dissuade me from practicing truth, yet, I know the truth and I know the truth will, shall I say, “set me free!” It does and it always will.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel, NO….you are the light of the world!

In Light,

Rev. Deb

Thoughts on Lesson 67

WBNewsletterWhen I am not feeling my best, it is a blessing to have this lesson to remind me of what I have forgotten.When I have forgotten I have listened to the ego’s voice of doom. How could I possibly be holy, kind, helpful or perfect, when I feel far from any of those descriptions? It is not because I feel that I am, that I am. It is because eternally….I AM. That is why the practice is well suited to the days we feel not our best. We need these reminders because of the distracting thoughts, the past shadows, and the self-judgment. 

When Jesus says it is “particularly helpful today to practice the idea for the day as often as you can,” there is a concrete reason for it. We forget! We listen to the voice of fear instead of the LOVE THAT CREATED US LIKE ITSELF! We need to hear the truth repeatedly lest we forget and we forget all the time. I can speak for myself on that. It can be so slight, a busy day, a migraine (like I had yesterday), deadlines to meet, and places to go, chores to do, and when it doesn’t find the flow that I want to occur, then I misplace my birthright. 

So easily our truth can be recaptures by the remembrance. Four or five times an hour or more is not a lot to ask. Do you want to continue the path you are on of self-condemnation? Or, do you really want to know the Love that you are? The answer is easy and the solution even easier. This Course is to practice, not to read the pretty words. Use it and it will offer you great gifts.

Peace,

Rev. Deb

Thoughts on Week 7 – Text – Chapter 4, V. The Ego-Body Illusion

Chapter 4, V. The Ego-Body Illusion

I recalled a time today that I felt myself get off track in a conversation with my husband. As I shared something I was processing, I noticed that he had started to fall asleep. For some reason this struck me the wrong way and I became angry. I did not go to peace and became swept away with emotion in a short period of time. The ego mind began to catalog and recite his “sins.” I focused on this for a few minutes until I realized that I had asked the ego for protection. In becoming quiet, I was able to draw it back into myself. What was I feeling? I was feeling abandoned. And so my goal in attacking Paul was not to look at my true feelings. It was providing me with a shelter from healing.

So now with this quick reminder, I can remember that the ego likes to cause a diversion as to not see the eternal. Seek only the truth.

“In all diversionary tactics, however, the one question that is never asked by those who pursue them is, ‘What for?’ This is the question that you must learn to ask in connection with everything. What is the purpose? Whatever it is, it will direct your efforts automatically. When you make a decision of purpose, then, you have  made a decision about your future effort; a decision that will remain in effect unless you change your mind.”

Be As One

ChangeYourMindVol1v1KINDLECOVER

ChangeYourMindVol1v1KINDLECOVERHow can One compete against itself? That’s impossible! There’s no reason for competition because we have everything and we are everything. In reality, we cannot compete. We are all One. But even though competition is the way of the world, I don’t need to compete by identifying myself by my work and handing out my credentials as soon as I meet someone. When ego meets ego, the conversation goes something like this: “I’ve got this much experience, I’ve got this, I’ve got that. I’ve got the proof that I’m better than you.” Why do we do this? Because we’re not at peace with who we are. We don’t believe that we have everything and know everything. So in our ego insecurity, we have to draw attention to our accomplishments and qualifications. Now, if you’re looking for a job, it’s appropriate to give your resume and talk about your accomplishments.

We seem to be in competition with each other for God’s favor (or by whatever name you use) because we believe we lost His favor when we seemed to separate from Him. That conflict is reflected in the world first in our competition with our siblings for our parents’ love. Later we compete with our co-workers for the boss’s approval. We compete in the marketplace to ensure our employment. Or we compete in sports so we can be the best. Or we compete in school. And on and on. Whatever the venue, we believe we’ve got to compete and to win. We’ve got to be superior. That’s not to say we shouldn’t participate in competitive sports or excel at our work or bake delicious cookies. What we need to do is be aware of what’s going on in our minds. Are we doing this because we feel the need to build ourselves up? To be better? To be superior and better and grab the goodies first? If that’s our purpose, it will keep us separate and alone. Our competition with others is keeping us from God.

I took a yoga class, and we were specifically instructed not to compare ourselves with others, in fact not even to look at our classmates. We were told to listen to our own bodies. But, you know, “Compare & Contrast” is the ego’s favorite board game. Pretty soon I found myself checking out my fellow students anyway. In the Downward Dog pose, I peeked to see if others could get further down than me. Or consider activities where we keep score. We’re pleased when we have a high score because we think we’ve proven ourselves. But who are we really trying to impress? Who are we really trying to be better than? The very One we originally believed we were in competition with (competition to the death, no less), God Himself.

We’re also competing so we can maintain our individual separation. I’ve got to stay in my lane. You’re in your lane. You’re doing your thing; I’m doing mine. I’m doing my tennis or swimming. I’m doing my life. You’re doing your life. I’m trying to be better than you. We do this all the time in one way or another. Competition can be subtle or overt, but it’s still competition. I can compete even in the spiritual life. I might be afraid that someone else will awaken sooner than I will.

When we say “God is” and then cease to speak it is because there is nothing else but the Peace of that Oneness. But right here and now in the world, our ultimate Union starts with seeing our equality with our brothers and sisters as One. Our relationships in the world are our classroom where we can learn our Union with the Divine. Our goal is to join with them and realize our Oneness. But it takes time to lessen our fear sufficiently so we can step into that Oneness, but that’s why we’ve been given time. In that way, time is our friend.

That’s it. We’re One. Come to that truth with empty hands, without all thoughts of what you have ever learned before and put aside all images you have made about yourself, your brothers and sisters, and our Source. Let all that go so Wisdom can replace it with truth. As we learn to look upon our brother as our equal, we can ask the Divine to help us see our brother through the eyes of truth, not judgment. Wisdom will not fail to help and teach.

“You who are not at war must look for brothers and recognize all whom you see as brothers, because only equals are at peace…He will not leave you comfortless, nor fail to send His angels down to answer you in His Own Name.” from A Course in Miracles.

This article is excerpted from our book “Change Your Mind! Talks on Living A Course in Miracles” by Revs. Deb and Paul Phelps

Purchase on Amazon.com or through www.miraclesonebooks.org

Posted January 24th, 2015

What Happens When I Trust

Divine Messages: A Journey Through the Workbook for Students in a Course in Miracles

From our Journey Through the Workbook for Students – Re-released with a brand new cover!

“If you are trusting in your own strength, you have every reason to be apprehensive, anxious and fearful. What can you predict or control? What is there in you that can be counted on? What would give you the ability to be aware of all the facets of any problem, and to resolve them in such a way that only good can come of it? What is there in you that gives you the recognition of the right solution, and the guarantee that it will be accomplished?”

   The beginning of this lesson reminds me that for many years I thought I could run my own life. What a joke that is now as I review this idea of “God is the strength in which I trust.” In the past, I had every situation planned out and indeed was angry if the planned outcomes were never achieved. I was attached to what I wanted and other people, places and things had better cooperated because it was all about me. This person needed to respond in a certain way and do certain things and if they did not then I retaliated in some form either overtly or covertly; the same with other situations. I walked around with the black spot of blame and fear within my heart. Trusting God was a foreign concept back then. But now, as I rely on Him to provide the means for a happy and peaceful life, I can see that people and situations that come into my life are for my highest growth and learning. No longer do I dwell on what should happen or try to control it, instead I simply trust that what God has planned is for the higher good of everyone involved. They are all lessons presented for myself.

As I release my hooks into expectations, there are no longer the resentments. There is a saying that goes, “Expectations are pre-meditated resentments.”

   If I simply trust in my Father, then only joy will be the outcome. Peace will be the outcome. I have been blessed with wondrous gifts when I have released all that I believe should occur in my life. The Holy Spirit always leads me Home. His Voice will only lead me there. It is for me to stop and listen to what the message is there for me and then gladly follow it. This does not mean that challenging situations do not continue to occur in my life, but it does mean that now I do not have to depend on my own strength, my own answers to resolve them. That is the Holy Spirit’s job. He has all the answers, if I am willing to hear them. Many gifts can come out of the most difficult situations. I have found that those gifts include a dedication and devotion to a continuance of mindfulness and the practice of forgiveness. Through this, I will come to the sanctuary of peace more often. For this, I am grateful.

From Lesson 47

For 365 days during 2005-2006, Revs. Deborah and Paul Phelps allowed their minds to be open to the Voice of God and to receive His messages. By simply utilizing their daily life situations as conversation topics with the Holy Spirit, they found that their healing increased by the simple act of practical application of the ideas of forgiveness in A Course in Miracles. These personal messages were written daily and now shared with many. This book has been a favorite of ACIM students for many years.

Purchase your print or ebook copy at www.miraclesonebooks.org

Lesson 282 – I will not be afraid of love today.

Lesson 282
I will not be afraid of love today.

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