What do you want?

In my experience, I, as well as many others I know, are conditioned to answer that question with….”Well, I can tell you what I DON’T want.”

It is SO much easier for me to come up with a list of 50 things that I don’t want than 50 things that I do want.

I know why this is the case. Early on, I learned that I can not have what I want. I learned that there is scarcity. I learned that I am greedy to want and to ask for and to expect to receive things that are scarce that I do not absolutely NEED. I learned that it is wrong to ask for things that my parents could not deliver easily.

I also learned to focus on what was wrong. I distinctly remember coming home excited to show my mother a test that had been graded at 95%. Her questions to me were…Why didn’t you get 100%? What did you get wrong? Why did you get it wrong? So I learned…from that experience and many others… to focus on what was wrong…to focus on what was missing.

Now that I am seeking, I have some new beliefs. I believe that there is no scarcity. I believe we can have, be, or do whatever we want. I believe we create our reality with our thoughts.

However, remnants of old habits and thought patterns remain. Now that I am trying to wake, my daily practice includes watching to catch myself:

  • denying myself things that I want.
  • answering questions about what I want with answers about what I don’t want (Q.Where do you want to go for dinner? A. Not the Thai restaurant tonight.)
  • thinking about things that I do not want to happen (I hope this flight is not delayed….as opposed to I want this trip to go smoothly).

And when I am awake enough to catch those thoughts, I revise them.

The differences may seem slight, however, if we get what we are focused on…the differences are actually enormous.

Some days, I am more successful than others. It is worth the effort to continue trying. My ingrained belief is that it’s hard to change, but I know in my heart that it is harder not to. It is harder to live with self limiting beliefs and thought patterns than to live with no resistance. And It is worth whatever effort it takes to move closer to a state of no-resistance (alignment).

So…what do I want? Alignment…in all aspects of my being. I want to be clear about what I want, and to have complete faith that what I want is on the way to me. Why do I want that? Because I believe that being aligned means experiencing a consistent state of Joy. And consistent Joy is the goal in my life, the brass ring from the carousel, the lottery, the master prize.

I also want to be a person who can help others to identify what they want. I want to help myself and those that I encounter to be, do, and have all that we want to be, do and have. The biggest challenge for me in this area? Understanding and allowing others to want things that are different than what I consider the “ideal”.

Life is a fascinating adventure. Unlimited opportunities to expand!

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I don’t want that chili in my pie!

This weekend, I went to a conference on meditation. The beginning of the conference was wonderful. I picked up some new techniques, and really enjoyed the exercises. Today…a slightly different experience.

So, I got home, and thought…this would be a really good time to blog.

During this morning’s session, I reacted very strongly when the speaker said that fear protects us. I have paired fear with many adjectives, among them debilitating, paralyzing, disempowering, isolating.  To me, the words protective and fear simply do not go together!

My understanding is firm on this point. Fear is a useless emotion. Fear protects nothing. Protection is desirable, although unnecessary, as nothing real can be threatened, as the Course in Miracles teaches us. Fear, on the other hand….nothing desirable there.  Fear is the opposite of love.

Fear is on the bottom rung of our Emotional Guidance System (as explained in the Abraham material).  From this vibratory stance, no good can come.

Fear…how on earth could fear protect? What could it possibly offer us in the way of protection. What form could that protection possibly take?

We don’t need fear to keep our hands out of the fire. We simply need the awareness that the fire is hot, and can harm us if we get too close to it. Therefore, fear of fire (as all other fear) is unnecessary.

When walking down a dark street, fear does not protect us.  If we are tuned in, our intuition would protect us…advise us to chose a different street to avoid danger, or advise us to take a turn.  Fear, left unchecked, would block the inspiration and guidance we need at that time to keep us safe.

Ok… Having written that out….my learning today is that messages delivered with a great deal of energy ‘against’ can not be heard. I was not quite conscious when I lashed out against the comment. The material provided during the session was fairly basic, and I was mostly zoned out. So when the comment about fear protecting us came through the fog, instead of being curious, my emotion was anger. There is something in me that raises quickly to anger when someone in a ‘position of authority or influence’ makes a comment so inherently ‘wrong’.

But….Dear Speaker, should you ever read this…I apologize. I, of all people, know that beliefs can not be proven. I have long thought that since they can not be proven, I will choose those that bring me joy. And others must choose the ones that bring them joy. If it makes you happy to believe that fear is useful…go for it! Contrast is good. I can see and appreciate your world view, and then turn toward the world view that brings me joy. And if  participants in the audience resonate with concepts that I believe are completely false…that’s ok. And in the future..should I ever hear a comment from an ‘authority’ that so completely goes against what I believe, I will intend to come from a place of curiosity and not anger. I missed an opportunity…I really wish I knew now what form the protection provided by fear takes in the belief system that says that fear is protective.

And so, as Abraham says…If I don’t like the chili in my pie…I do not need to ban all chili from my kitchen….I simply do not put it into my pie. Which is why I left….best for me to leave that bottle of chili in the pantry today!

Why am I so convinced that fear is a useless emotion? Because I know….

I am safe (I am eternal.  I have eternity to get it “right”.  The worst that can happen to me is that I would die, and that’s not so bad…death is simply a change from physical to non-physical.)

I am in control (My thoughts and my vibrations create my reality.  Since I can control my thoughts and my vibrations….I can control my reality.)

I am approved of (I am the perfect creation of a perfect creator, made in his image.  I am loved beyond understanding and beyond what I can comprehend in my three dimensional state.  If others do not  approve of me, it is simply because they do not remember who we really are.  If I do not approve of others, it is simply because I do not remember who we really are.)

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A Dog With A Bone

I often think that my mind is like a dog with a bone…. it chews and chews and chews at the bone….even after every last ounce of taste is gone.

Today, I found a very good use for that quality of my thoughts.

My lesson today is “I am determined to see things differently.”  Yesterday, the lesson was “I am determined to see.”  The instructions for yesterday’s exercise were to repeat the lesson of the day every half hour.  That did not happen.

So today, I was given a gift!  Before I went to bed last night, I received an email that was bothersome to me.  When I woke this morning, it was one of the first things that came to my mind.  I responded to the email in a way that was congruent for me, and yet, my thoughts continued to review the details of the email, my response to the email, the players involved in the email.  It was almost funny – these thoughts … no matter how many times I thought I “put the bone down for good” kept coming back and replaying over and over again… the email, the response to the email, and the players involved.

But then… the GIFT!  I know that a good way to eliminate undesirable repetitive thoughts is to substitute other thoughts.  Somehow, before now, I never connected the dots and figured out that a perfect substitution for those undesirable repetitive thoughts is my daily lesson.   So… thank you Universe!  Today, I will have no problem remembering that “I AM DETERMINED TO SEE!”

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Lesson 3 – Take 2: I do not understand anything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place]

Yesterday’s lesson was made easier by the fact that I read Anita Moorjani’s book DYING TO BE ME. While reading the book, I kept thinking…if this is true, it is easy to believe that I don’t understand anything.  I guess we all have things that speak to us.  This book, in particular, spoke to me because Anita experienced spontaneous remission of cancer, specifically lymphoma, a disease that took my father over to the other side.

Spontaneous remission is a miracle, and the Course tells us there is no order of difficulty in miracles. I was thrilled while reading of this miracle. I have often wondered why we do not hear of more of them. The Course gives us the blueprint to follow to live a life where the miraculous is the commonplace. I am so looking forward to that experience, and am grateful for all the miracles I already experience in my life.

What is the essence of Anita’s message? Love. The Beatles gave it to us all those years ago…Love is all there is. And Anita tells us of the importance of loving ourselves. And for everyone who tells me it is hard to do that…my answer remains the same…it is harder not to. The image of people suffering and in pain is enough to keep me going on Course lessons…it is harder not to.

So yesterday’s step…admitting the truth, that I don’t understand anything…is a price I am more than willing to pay for a life of Peace, Joy, and Love.

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Lesson 2 – Take 2. I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.

Yesterday was Lesson 2. So many insights!

I don’t know why this one continues to surprise me, but it does.  EVERYTHING I see wrong in others is a lesson for myself.  I have been projecting that other Course students should actually DO the lessons.  So my first insight was – I was really telling myself that it was past time for ME to re-DO these lessons!

I was pretty sure I would breeze through the first half of the book.  After all…. I have it!  I know this stuff.

I love this quote from the Course – and I need to keep it with me always.  It will remind me of just how much I really do know:

T-14.XI.12. Those who remember always that they know nothing, and who have become willing to learn everything, will learn it. But whenever they trust themselves, they will not learn. They have destroyed their motivation for learning by thinking they already know. Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and never can be found alone.

My measuring stick for this journey in 2013!

I have to say…. in many, many areas of my life, I experience peace.  More peace than I would ever have thought possible ten years ago.  I have kept some areas apart, though.  Weight has always been one of those.  I have often wondered… if weight were no longer an issue, what would my main issue be?  This morning I woke up and before starting off on Lesson 3, I gave Lesson 2 one more look.  I have given everything in this room all the meaning it has for me….. Hum… just what meaning have I given my fat?

I started writing, and the results caused me to laugh out loud.  Which is a great thing for me, since my big 2013 objective is JOY along with Peace and Love.  This is probably way too personal to put on a blog, but … we are all one… we all know everything any way… and maybe someone someday will also get a laugh out of this.

What Meaning Have I given my Fat (feel free to substitute finances!) Correct Perception (as I can best understand it at this point in my learning)
I don’t have control I have total control over everything.  My thoughts create my illusion.
I am greedy – I take more than my due As a perfect creation of a perfect creator, I have been given everything.  My due is everything.
I must dull my senses to feel good My natural state is Joy.  If I am not in a state of Joy, my thoughts are wrong-minded.
I am (guilty, slothful, shameful) because I eat too much and move too little.  I don’t deserve to be thin because I am not consistent and don’t have the willpower to do what is necessary to be thin. I am a perfect creation of a perfect creator.  I need do nothing.
My past sins make it nearly impossible to remedy the situation The Holy Spirit will correct all errors if I surrender them to Him.
It will take so much time to take my fat off – I will have to pay high dividends.  It takes so long to get it off – not long to put it back on.  Sacrifice is required for a long stretch followed by deprivation thereafter.   I’ll fail eventually, I’m not consistent.  Why bother? What I eat makes no difference.  Sacrifice is not of God.  Time is an illusion.  There is no order of difficulty in Miracles.  It is not what I eat.  It is what I think.T-2.VI.4.  You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations.
I am greedy – shameful – I take more than I need.  I need to wear this externally so that everyone knows my sins and can judge me and stone me so that I can take my punishment here, and be spared the wrath of God. I am a perfect creation of a perfect creator. I am perfect. Judgment is not an attribute of God. My thoughts create my illusions.

I am, or have been, MUCH TOO TOLERANT OF MIND WANDERING.  It is past time to erase Column A and stick with Column B.  It will be interesting to me to see what my life, internal and external, looks like this time next year.  I am very excited to be doing the lessons again.  I would have sworn I kept nothing back the first time. This trip, I am going to keep my measuring stick closer!

 

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Tea Cups and Light Houses

New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow I re-start the Course. I am excited to see where it might take me this time.

Yesterday, at the Sunday ACIM group I attend, two lessons stand out. I woke up this morning thinking of the Zen story:

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868–1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!” “Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

This Zen story was in my mind because yesterday’s meeting showed me that my cup is still overflowing. I have beliefs I need to let go of before I can master the Course. Yesterday’s meeting highlighted this for me. Comments such as “Unfortunately, I know him”, “He’s a Jerk”, biblical references such as “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor”, and song lyrics with scarcity beliefs – “I take much more than I need” … these comments in an ACIM meeting (until now) have caused me to want to jump up and down in the middle of the room, and start quoting from the Course. This morning, I woke up with the awareness that it is not other students that I must be concerned with. It is myself.

I have had these limiting beliefs:

  • Course students should actually do the Course.
  • Course students should not confuse other belief systems (such as the Bible) with the Course.
  • Course students should at least make an attempt to recognize when they are judging.

The first thing I note in the three statements above is that I am “shoulding” all over myself. The second thing I note is that the three bullets are judgments. Time to let them go. “All things are lessons God would have ME learn.” This is not about other students. This is all about me! This is a perfect time to empty the tea cup! New Year’s Eve! The start of a new year.

On lighthouses…. Our fearless leader brought this up…. a wonderful message for me to remember as I begin the my journey through the Lessons:

“Many people spend too much time trying to be the captain of someone else’s boat.  Learn to be a lighthouse and the boats will find their way.”

 

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Responsibility

Hello!  This is my very first post.  I never thought I’d write a blog, but here goes…..

Today, a friend gave me a gift.  It was a reframe of the word RESPONSIBILITY.  Like many things our world has made heavy and cumbersome – there is another way of looking at it.

Response  Ability.  The ability to respond.  A present ability rather than a future burden. The knowledge that we will always be able to respond.  And respond appropriately.

Might be meaningful only to me…. hard to tell…. but very meaningful to me!

Thanks for the gift!

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