This morning, as I did the ACIM daily lesson, I couldn’t help but notice how love is all around me. It’s like all the things I have been thinking about and trying to incorporate into my being have been coming to me everywhere I look. This morning, at church, I will be the “guest” for the teens’ “Adulting” class, speaking to them about my spiritual practice. When I spoke with the Youth Director about it, what I had to say to her was that while I have a formal list of things I do each morning, most of which revolves around A Course in Miracles, spiritual practice isn’t something you take out of your pocket and do once a day – it is who you are 24/7.
We were discussing this in our Tuesday night ACIM group last week. In Chapter 6, The Lessons of Love, The Lessons of the Holy Spirit there are three primary lessons that teach how to take one’s spiritual practice out into the world, where Jesus reminds us, “I have frequently said that what you teach you are.”
- To Have, Give All to All
- To Have Peace, Teach Peace to Learn It
- Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom
The Lessons of Love begins by telling us that the message of the crucifixion was “Teach only love, for that is what you are.”
What I am noticing lately is that love, as in God’s Love, is constantly embracing me. In every moment, in every situation, love is there. I am reading my usual several books at once and one of the ones I started yesterday was Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World. I had gotten it from the library because I decided that I really need to step up my game making money at my job, so I should figure out how to easily and effortlessly make that transition into being more successful. Things start to come my way constantly, but too often I don’t pursue them and they fall away, never materializing into anything. I am about halfway through the book and what I discovered the first “secret” was is love. Love for everyone, every situation, every person that crosses my path. Love. Hmmm.
The second book I started reading yesterday (I have a problem, okay – I LOVE books and the library has so many delicious offerings!) was called: This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True by M.J Ryan. I’m 17% through that one and I must say, I LOVE this book. I feel like it is the perfect combination of neuroscience (because I am a closet wannabe neuroscientist!) and practical application of how to adopt a new habit. I want my habit to be love because “ Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.” “5 Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary.”
(I had that in today’s lesson, BTW. Even my own writing is pointing me towards love. “5 Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary.”)
What Ryan tells us is that the reason it is hard to change is that our limbic brain which is our emotional brain (ego, in Course terms) kicks in and hijacks our best intentions. It always reaches for easy, pleasant and safe. And because neurons that fire together, wire together, habits will derails us. In order to make miracles the norm, they have to become involuntary; they must be habits. This is why the Course is a manual in mind training. We (I) are (am) attempting to rewire our brains to choose love. Today’s ACIM lesson, I gladly make the “sacrifice” of fear, is teaching us to choose love.
This is exactly what the Course tells us illness is, a faulty solution to a problem. In the Manual for Teachers it says, “Healing must occur in exact proportion to which the valuelessness of sickness is recognized. One need but say, “There is no gain at all to me in this” and he is healed. But to say this, one first must recognize certain facts. First, it is obvious that decisions are of the mind, not of the body. If sickness is but a faulty problem-solving approach, it is a decision. And if it is a decision, it is the mind and not the body that makes it. The resistance to recognising this is enormous, because the existence of the world as you perceive it depends on the body being the decision-maker. Terms like “instincts,” “reflexes” and the like represent attempts to endow the body with non-mental motivators. Actually, such terms merely state or describe the problem. They do not answer it.”
Love is everywhere. God is constantly trying to provide me with the answers I seek. Am I listening?
So as I head out the door to church and my meeting with the teens after service, I repeat today’s ACIM lesson, “I gladly make the “sacrifice” of fear.” Because I can’t realize my true potential until I do.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.
*M.J. Ryan. This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True (Kindle Locations 302-303). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.”