Open Your Mind: Open Your Heart

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Does an open heart, open the mind or does an open mind, open the heart?

Maybe it doesn’t matter which one happens first, but for me, when I’m waiting in line at the market feeling anxious because the line is slow, my mind is locked, closed and my heart constricted. That is why having a practice in watching the mind helps because when aware of the “agitation” I can say “I want to see this differently” and with that I am open to the Souls who share the line with me and let go and relax. I can see the silliness in spending energy on something trivial like agitation. I want and choose peace, inner peace. The Course In Miracles tells us the goal of the Course is inner peace and the workbook lessons certainly guide us in helping to look at the blocks we have put up to keep peace away, and as it turns out LOVE too. The ego is the culprit but it is ONLY a thought.  The ego has a game plan:  Keep You Upset, guilty and miserable!  It is JUST a thought and PLEASE do not believe it.

Monitoring your thoughts and mind is the key to freedom: How do YOU feel? Are emotions in charge of you or are “YOU” in charge of them via your Mind?  We have to look at the emotions not to indulge or believe them but when we ” look”, which is part of the forgiveness instructions, in What is Forgiveness link below, they dissipate like smoke on a windy day. We no longer live from them or let them run aka ruin our lives unless it serves us somehow.   There are those who like an emotional state of anxiety and fear because they think it keeps them motivated but it is not good for the health of the body, which we need in order to go through the lessons we came here to learn and it is also not good if inner peace is our goal.

We don’t have to believe our thoughts just because we think them. An example is my boss told me he’d like to see me in his office for a meeting the next day at 2 pm. I hadn’t a clue what it could be about but I can tell you thoughts ran rampant through my mind, and they were not all good thoughts. What could it be? Maybe I’d be fired or asked to resign! Well, it turned out I received a compliment and a promotion! All that energy spent in worry, fear of the future, fear of the past! Everything but: “Right Now, all is well.” Ahhhh…..right NOW….all is Well. This instant is the only time there IS! Everything else is my projecting into the future and the ego fear running amok.

As students of the Course we are told we are the Christ, a Holy Son of God and Jesus our elder brother will guide us, if we take his hand and invite him in. Share all your emotions and thoughts with your elder brother. He awaits your invitational prayer – this is one I use:

Jesus Christ, Holy Son of God, Dear elder brother, please guide my heart and mind and help me look at and remove the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is my natural inheritance, as I journey to the Home and Father, I never left.”

I try to repeat this whenever I am upset about something and especially when I can’t sleep at night because I’m ruminating about a worry; a meeting I dread; a bill to be paid; someone I need to forgive but don’t want to. Unlock your mind and look at all those thoughts with your loving elder brother; let him give you a thought to replace the ones you think are true…..and your Heart will Open.

Click on these links and click on the arrow, “play” and have it read to you – close your eyes.

ACIM: Introduction https://acim.org/acim/what-it-says/

Workbook Lesson 185. W. pg. 348. I want the peace of God. https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-185/

What is Forgiveness –W. pg. 401 https://acim.org/workbook/what-is-1/

You are worth it because you are LOVED!

 

Good Politics: The Service of Peace

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If you are depressed over the current politics in our Country I want to share with you a hopeful message!  I am not a Catholic but I honor all messages of inclusion and peace for You, Me, Everyone and the World!

I recently watched a video called “Pope Francis, A Man of his Word.” If you need some inspiration I highly recommend it.  The 52nd World Day of Peace was January 1, 2019. Pope Francis’s message was:

“Good politics is at the service of peace.”

He made several points but the first was “Peace be to this house.” What he was saying was “peace for our family, our house, our communities, our country, our continent and importantly our common home our world.”  Here is the link to his message to paste in your browser:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/peace/documents/papa-francesco_20181208_messaggio-52giornatamondiale-pace2019.html

Here is a summary of what he said that was so inspiring for all people of Faith regardless of their religion of spiritual beliefs and especially as our politics take the stage for the next year and we watch the debates and delve into the upcoming election we might keep his thoughtful recommendations in mind.
He expanded on several pertinent points by suggesting that “charity and human virtues along with service of human rights and peace be the basis of politics. He suggested those running for office should recall the “Beatitudes of the Politician” which were proposed by Vietnamese Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyễn Vãn Thuận, who died in 2002.
Here they are:

Blessed be the politician with a lofty sense and deep understanding of his role.
Blessed be the politician who personally exemplifies credibility.
Blessed be the politician who works for the common good and not his or her own interest.
Blessed be the politician who remains consistent.
Blessed be the politician who works for unity.
Blessed be the politician who works to accomplish radical change.
Blessed be the politician who is capable of listening.
Blessed be the politician who is without fear.

He suggests that every election and re-election, and every stage of public life, is an opportunity to return to the original points of reference that inspire justice and law. One thing is certain, “good politics is at the service of peace. It respects and promotes fundamental human rights, which are at the same time mutual obligations, enabling a bond of trust and gratitude to be forged between present and future generations.”
Watching it was like a breath of fresh “political air.” If we look for and vote for those who from all appearances, seem to hold these values we would have leaders that we, the world and future generations deserve.

He also brought up political vices: dishonesty, self-service, corruption, exploitation and denial of rights and plundering of natural resources for the sake of quick profit to name a few. Good politics inspires and promotes participation of the young and trust in others and fosters confidence that we can all work together for the common good.

Politics at the service of peace finds expression in the recognition of the gifts and abilities when everyone contributes his or her gifts to help build trust especially in our times marked by mistrust and rooted in fear of strangers. The world has a need for security rather than nationalism and division.

There is a need to reaffirm that peace is based on respect for each person, whatever his or her background.  Peace entails a conversion of the heart and soul; it is both interior and communal; and it has three inseparable aspects:

1. Peace with oneself: Rejecting inflexibility, anger and impatience; by showing “a bit of sweetness towards oneself” in order to offer “a bit of sweetness to others”;
2. Peace with others: Family members, friends, strangers, the poor and the suffering, being unafraid to encounter them and listen to what they have to say;
3. Peace with all creation: Rediscovering the grandeur of God’s gift and our individual and shared responsibility as inhabitants of this world, citizens and builders of the future. When any of our brothers and sisters suffers we are all affected. God sees with his heart. Even the atheist shares the same love. Maybe that’s the only common bond we all have, the bond of God’s love. Other than that we are free, even free not to love Him.

Here is more inspiration:

Lesson 194: I place the future in the Hands of God. (paste the link in your browser)

Lesson 194: I place the future in the Hands of God.

 

 

God is your Hard Drive

IMG_8935Workbook Lesson 44. God is the light in which I see

The Course in Miracles Workbook has 365 lessons. These lessons are our pathway to peace. Knowledge is not the goal of the Course. Peace Is.

In Lesson 44. Jesus tells us that we cannot see in darkness but we also cannot make light. God is the light in which I see because God is in my Mind.

We can and do make darkness with our thoughts and misperceptions. The world is a place of darkness and it distracts us constantly with the chaos of war,  sickness, death and disaster.

Jesus tells us we think we see in the darkness of the world.  But light reflects life and is therefore an aspect of creation. Creation and darkness cannot coexist. It is like trying to mix water and oil.

Light and Life do go together being aspects of creation.
“In order to see, you must recognize that light is within, not without.”

Workbook Lesson 43: God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him
Perception is not an attribute of God. His is the realm of knowledge. When we link to our Hard Drive, our computer chip aka God and Light, our perceptions will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge…..and inner peace.

The light INSIDE of you is TRUE. Light is understanding, it is vision – not the perceptions our stray thoughts and judgments that wander in and out of our awareness.

The equipment for seeing (God and Light) is INSIDE of your MIND.
“An essential part of this equipment is the light that makes seeing possible. It is with you always, making vision possible in every circumstance.”

You cannot be WITHOUT God. He is your equipment. He is the computer chip the Processor, Ram, Memory and Hard Drive in your MIND.

You share HIS MIND. The Mystery that is God, is within your mind, Eternal, it can never die, you can never die, death is impossible because your Spirit and Mind is forever shared with God.

With God as the Hard Drive, the Light within, your Identity as Spirit is one with Him.

Workbook Lesson 44. Paragraph 7. Let go of every kind of interference and intrusion by quietly sinking past them. Your mind cannot be stopped in this unless you choose to stop it. It is merely taking its natural course. Try to observe your passing thoughts without involvement and slip quietly by them.

You are letting the LIGHT guide you, God is your Source, You cannot see apart from him.

Go to http://www.acim.org

Listen to these lessons and you will realize that God is your Hard Drive, the eternal computer chip that is always PART of YOU.

You ARE LOVED!

Feel Loved this Year

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You are loved!  Most of us do not allow ourselves to feel it.  Why?  Don’t we believe we are lovable?  You ARE loved, warts, gifts and all!  Give yourself the gift of feeling it.  Really feel it.   Go to a silent place within, close your eyes and feel yourself being held, as if you were a small child again.  Feel yourself being rocked gently and a soft hand stroking your cheek and telling you that you are loved.  Feel the care and sweetness in your heart.  That is how God loves you.  Your spirit is love and as bright, as soft, pure and innocent like this blossom.

I invite you to go to the A Course In Miracles website and listen to Lesson 109, I rest in God, being read to you as you close your eyes.

Here is the link to paste in your browser:   https://acim.org/workbook/lesson-109/

The Course offers 365 lessons, one for each day of the year.  We being at lesson number 1 and  read a lesson per day and on the 109th day of the year we learn we can and DO rest in Love, in God and can be at Peace.   We just need to accept it.  At the end of the 365 lessons you will never be lonely again or feel unloved…….when you remember your true identity – God’s Holy Precious Son.

Happy New Year!

Christmas: Giving and Receiving

Christmas: Giving and Receiving

Give Only Love for That is What you ARE!!   If you are feeling despondent Remember this and feel it in your heart.  When you Give Love you ARE Love!  What do you LOVE??

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Years ago our youngest son looked inquiringly at his Dad and said “Why Christmas?” It was a perceptive and honest question from his little three year mind. How would you answer that question? It is a good question to pose to our grown up selves. We rush about planning and making lists and drive ourselves crazy or get on the internet and figure out the best deals. We fret over what to give to whom and will they like it, that’s the big question. And then we imagine them opening it up and watching carefully for the expression that comes in that twinkling moment.

Maybe that “instant” is our gift! That shining twinkling moment when we made someone happy, made them smile and gasp with surprise. Then we hear their laughter, hopefully not a groan, and words of thanks or maybe a smooch!

My husband’s father loved Chocolate Covered Cherries. Every year we gave him a box. Finally one year he opened the gift and said, “Oh No, not Cherries again.” That was the last year we gave him cherries! How many of us have opened presents we definitely did NOT like and managed to feign appreciation showing we “love it” and have “always wanted one?”

Back to Why Christmas? Well it is all about Jesus and his Birth Day right? Look at how we avoid Jesus and his teachings these days. A few years ago I was reading a book about Jesus. The author had put his beautiful face smack on the cover. A gentleman stopped to inquire what I was reading.   I closed the book and showed him the cover. You would have thought I was pointing a machine gun in his face! He was absolutely horrified, shocked! His eyes were big, brows shot up and he looked like someone had hit him with a stun gun. His adverse reaction was palpable. He said “Oh” and hurried away as quickly as he could.

Where does that reaction come from? For over 2,000 years the world has had Jesus to deal with. All faiths have their concepts but where does that “aversion” comes from.

One reason (and I am not a scholar) could be because the Bible claims he is God’s ONLY begotten son. So where does that leave the rest of us and the horrified man? We know of families that have a favorite child whose attributes out shine everyone else; that special child. Could it be collective unconscious jealousy runs through a society feeling resentment and somehow unloved. It can fester over a lifetime and throughout the ages. How many of us, deep down, feel as adored as that baby? The sweet song, ‘Away in the Manager’ always brings tears to my eyes.

If we don’t resent him we may try to out-do him! Climb the highest mountains; make the most money; give the biggest gift; have the biggest house or most expensive car or? We are all looking for love and appreciation. Maybe God (and others) will love us if we do such and such.

And yet we celebrate baby Jesus at Christmas and sing carols to him not knowing that baby is also us, you and me. If we had been students of the spiritual book, A Course In Miracles, at the time our young son asked, we could have told him that baby Jesus was (and still is) loved very much by God and he is too! We are all God’s sons, the Christ. God being Eternal Unchanging Love never condemns or rejects anyone. In the First Chapter of the Course Jesus tells us: “You are a perfect creation, and should experience awe only in the Presence of the Creator of perfection. Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience for his greater wisdom. He is also entitled to love because he is a brother, and to devotion if he is devoted. It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours. There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you.” ACIM I.II.3.

So….Jesus is devoted to us, you and me, everyone! He shows us our potential. No one is excluded from Love not even a politician. He tells us we are all the same in the ego world because we feel separated from God and our only need is to choose love instead of fear and hatred.  And like Jesus we can offer tolerance, love and yes forgiveness too as we free our spirit from the tight grip of judgment and hatred. For 2,000 years his wisdom has endeavored to open our hearts and minds to the clarity of healing light. We come here to learn lessons, to see through the ego and world programming and to exclude no one from our love. All hate is from the ego; all love is God. When we give Love, we receive love.

That is giving and receiving.

Visit:  http://www.acim.org

http://www.facim.org

 

 

 

 

Peace is Release – Release is Peace

 

IMG_2998The Course In Miracles says that each decision that you make is one between a grievance and a Miracle.  Every decision is actually a judgment!  Every thought can be one of inclusion or exclusion.  The inclusive thought brings inner peace.  The exclusive thought brings separation and guilt.  It is hard to believe that a judgment can bring guilt but it does.  We heap guilt upon our souls with every seemingly insignificant harmless judgmental thought.

But guilt is not harmless.  It ego eats at your soul.  The ego is addicted to  “sugar” – and its sugar is judgmental thoughts, grievances, grudges, jealousy, resentment, worry and the distraction of controversy.   The ego seeks to keep you in guilt rather than in the arms of the Holy Spirit and Love.  You will never be happy until you look at the ego and examine its hold on your life and how it colors your perceptions.  The ego is not your friend. and its job is to make you miserable and feeling separated and alienated.

When you feel the gnawing sense of un-ease in your gut, just retrace your previous thoughts.  What situation or judgment has you by the throat?  What is it about?  Is it a worry a gripe or a grudge against someone, a relative, friend or possibly yourself?

Just LOOK at the unease.  Bring all the details into awareness and imagine holding the hand of the Holy Spirit.  Say:  “Look at this with me.  Help me see it differently.”  When we share all the details with the Holy Spirit we are taking it out of the ego’s clutches.

Now Wait!  You have brought it to awareness.  It is no longer festering below in the unconscious ready to percolate to the surface at a moments notice.

This Looking help with the RELEASE.  The release is the process of letting go.  You have given it to God.  Breathe into the letting go to speed it on its way.

The RELEASE comes with looking and by passing the ego.  The ego is no longer in charge of the gripe or the grudge or the upset.

Release is Peace!  Peace will arrive!  The grudge, grievance will lessen and at some point you will laugh at the silliness you put yourself through.  We do it to ourselves!

See: A Course in Miracles lesson 78.  Let miracles replace all grievances. 

” Perhaps it is not quite clear to you that each decision (judgment) that you make is between a grievance and a miracle.” 

You are LOVED!!

Visit:  http://www.acim.org  – click on workbook lessons

 

 

Peace and Joy Are Available

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If you are contemplating suicide it is because you are replaying hurtful events in your mind.

We do not find peace by remembering and replaying hurtful events because we are stuck on automatic!  Are you happy being stuck in a belief?  Even if it WAS your fault you may think you are “right.”  Does being right make you happy?  Even if it was your fault you think you are wrong and suffering guilt!  Are you happy being guilty?  Or, even if it WAS NOT your fault, remembering and replaying the past still does not make you happy!  Ask Yourself: Do I want peace and joy rather than guilt and grievances?

If the answer is YES, then decided to STOP replaying the past!

It is up to you……yes YOU!

You can choose to look at it another way.

Say:  “OK – I’ll look at this another way for the sake of my own peace.”

Begin to think of the people involved (or the situation) and realize that you are denying peace and joy that is their right (under the equal laws of God.)  You have ALSO denied peace and joy to yourself.

Think of that:  If you hold a grievance against someone….it is held in your MIND!  You are trapped in the grievance with them.  Are you happy?

Think of the people involved a little while and tell them in your mind:

My brother/sister/myself:  peace and joy I offer you,

That I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.”  (Include yourself in this prayer.)

We don’t think that just because we have denied peace and joy someone else that we are in effect really denying peace to our Self.  If you hold hate or a grudge in your mind, you are the one HOLDING the hate and the grudge so you are the effect of your own suffering!

Do you think your brother is suffering?  We don’t know but we know you are.

Would you rather say to that brother?

My brother/sister/myself: misery and suffering I offer you

That  I may have the ego’s misery and suffering as mine.

Which version do you choose?  If the word God bothers you, take it out.  God won’t care.  That mystery of love is that it never condemns.  It doesn’t know how to.  Make a copy of the pledge and paste it around the house.  Take yourself on as a student and train yourself to accept that peace and joy is your inheritance and that you are worth it.

* This quote comes from the spiritual book, A Course In Miracles, Workbook lesson 105 God’s Peace and Joy are Mine.  Visit  www.acim.org  go The Workbook lessons and then click the lesson selector. You can also click “hear” and listen to the entire lesson and close your eyes.   Choose peace!

Hint: When you give you also receive!