Can A Course in Miracles Cure Your Worries?

A Course in Miracles BookHow Does A Course in Miracles Work

I presented the ideas in this blog at a recent workshop  in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  If you’re a student of the Course, I’d love to receive your comments. If you’re new to it, you may find its teachings helpful to your personal growth. It has changed my life!

What is A Course in Miracles? (from Wikipedia)

The book, A Course in Miracles (ACIM), consists of three sections entitled “Text”, “Workbook” and “Manual for Teachers.” Its purpose is to bring about a “spiritual transformation,”  In 1965, Helen Schucman began working at a medical center as Bill Thetford’s research associate. When their weekly office meetings became quite contentious, Thetford concluded that “[t]here must be another way.” Schucman believed this interaction triggered a series of visions, dreams, and heightened imagery, along with an “inner voice” that told her: “This is a Course in Miracles, please take notes.” The next day, she explained her “note taking” to Thetford. To her surprise, Thetford encouraged her to continue the process. Schucman said that the writing made her very uncomfortable, though it never seriously occurred to her to stop. The transcription was completed in 1977. ACIM is published by the Foundation for Inner Peace in Novato, CA.

General Principles of ACIM : Gigi’s Ideas (Workbook lesson # in parentheses)

A miracle is a shift in perception. We choose God’s loving thoughts over ego’s fearful thoughts.  We can align our minds with either Love or Fear.

  • Love: God. Spirit. The only reality. Everything that comes from love is good: e.g., peace, service, care.
  • Fear: The ego. Illusions. The part of the mind that knows only fear: judging, separating, attacking. God did not create the ego. It’s driven by bodily instincts for survival and competition. When people operate out of fear, it’s simply an appeal for help.

Who Am I, Really? “We’re spiritual beings living in a human body.”

  • I am a beloved child of God. I am spirit. (But I’ve forgotten this.) (114)
  • I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me. (201)
  • God is in my mind. My mind holds only what I think with God. (141)

Don’t Trust Ego’s Thoughts

Ego’s voice is the first one and the loudest one we hear. It tells us happiness is not in God; that it’s in worldly people, places & things.

  • I’m never upset for the reason I think. (5)
  • I’m upset because I see something that isn’t there. (6)
  • I see only the past. (7) I have no neutral thoughts. (23)
  • The world I see holds nothing I want. (128)

“It’s His/Her Fault!”

We’re sinless in God’s Eyes: We love ourselves & others because God does. Fear (ego) separates us from our own spirit AND one another.

  • When people operate out of fear, it is simply an appeal for help.
  • What I see is a form of vengeance (attack/defense). (22)
  • My grievances hide the light of the world. (69)

There’s Only One of Us Here

What we see in another is what we believe about ourselves. As we love and forgive others, we dissolve our sense of separation from God     and our fellows. We’re students and teachers to one other.

  • To give and receive are one in truth. (108)
  • All that I give is given to myself. (126)
  • I’m not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts. (18)  

How to Escape Ego and Fear

Every time we’re disturbed, we need to reject ego’s negative    perceptions and ask God (Love) to help us see things differently. There is no “order of difficulty” to either problems or miracles. They’re all the same: either misperceptions or the truth.

 I Want to Be Free of Ego’s Perceptions

  • I share God’s will for happiness for me. (102)
  • I am not the victim of the world I see. (31)
  • The past is over. It can touch me not. (289)
  • I could see peace instead of this. (34)

I Choose Love over Fear

  • I am determined to see this differently. (21)
  • Let miracles replace all grievances. (78)
  • Let every voice but God’s be still in me. (254)
  • I rest in God. (109)
  • Love is the way I walk in gratitude. (195)

Related Prayers

Third Step Prayer: God, I offer myself to Thee – To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!

Seventh Step Prayer:  My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.

The Activity of God (J. Sig Paulson — Unity Church): The activity of God is the only power at work in my mind, heart, and life. All false beliefs, all negative appearances are dissolved right now by the loving, forgiving action of God. I am whole, strong, and free as God created me to be.

Want to Learn More?

Start with Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love; Then get my friend, Karen Casey’s, two wonderful books, Daily Meditations for Practicing the Course and 52 Ways to Live The Course in Miracleshttps://www.amazon.com/Karen-Casey/e/B001IGNGO2

gigilanger_worrylessnowGigi has studied ACIM since 1988. She now attends Course study groups in Michigan and Florida.  Langer is a certified facilitator of Gerald Jampolsky’s Attitudinal Healing, a program that helps children and adults struggling with disease apply the ideas from ACIM.

Gigi Langer’s new book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, is being published by Possum Hill Press in February, 2018.

Super Tools for Worry

Worry Less, positive thinking
Don’t Worry!

 

If you’re like me and sometimes worry about a challenge you’re facing, here are a few tools that  help me through it. I usually emerge free of fear and ready to enjoy life–stress-free!

First,  I get honest with myself that I’m a little rattled. (Quite often I try to deny how I’m really feeling by trying to “put on a good face”– even with myself!!)

Then I admit that fear has been in the driver’s seat of my mind and I invite a  power bigger than my fear to take over my thinking. I often merely ask for help to see things differently.

Next, I choose to take the necessary actions to find peace of mind. This requires a commitment to my own happiness and serenity.

Finally, I apply growth tools to dissolve my worries so I can connect with wisdom and love. I persist in using tools such as a simple prayer, affirmation, or calling a healthy friend to share my concerns. Sometimes I use the app Insight Timer to help me relax and trust that all is well.

Insight Timer is great; you can select guided meditations by the amount of time you have, person, or topic.  I just used the one by Tara Brach to calm myself about the next phase in my book-writing adventure: Doing publicity, another whole new challenge!

Here’s the link to the app: https://insighttimer.app.link/HQZbB2ezuF

Tara Brach’s  15-minute meditation helped me access the courage, inspiration, and peace of mind to move forward with my project. Her wonderful books and other products are at www.tarabrach.com

I know that honesty, power, choices, and tools like these can help you  connect with the power of your true self—unfettered by fear, ego, and limitation. The sky’s the limit!

(PS: The advance reader copies of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now will be printed next week! Check it out out https:// Gigilanger.com/new-book-worry-less-now/) Release date: March 2018…unless you subscribe (-:

Should You Trust A Friend’s Advice? 4 Tips

Share worries; connect; gigilanger; worrylessnow
Photo by Joshua Ness

When you’re worried or confused, who can you trust to be helpful?

How can you be most helpful when someone you love is hurting?

These four tips will help you determine which of your friends to share your troubles with.

Tip 1:  Notice how your friend responds to your concerns. Here are a few typical patterns — some more helpful than others.

a. “Here’s my solution,” rather than “Here’s how to access wise guidance.”

  • A less helpful friend suggests immediate solutions that attempt to control the situation. Because he’s uneasy with your discomfort, his goal is to fix it right now. Such advice can make the situation worse rather than better.
  • A helpful friend offers ideas and tools that bring you peace of mind and intuitive guidance. He’ll remind you that a serene state of mind will result in the best actions.

b. “It’s all about me,” rather than “It’s all about you.”

  • A less helpful friend responds by sharing her own troubles. If she’s not able to focus on your concerns, then she may not be truly interested in your well being.
  • A helpful friend listens, carefully summarizes your thoughts and feelings, and asks questions to understand you. If this friend shares her own story, it’s only offered to give you hope; then she returns the focus to you. 

c. “Let’s focus on the problem,” rather than “Let’s find a place of peace.”

  • A less helpful friend wants to hear the lurid details. She commiserates about how terrible your situation is and helps you justify your pain. Such friends end up reinforcing your resentments, fears, and worries.
  • A helpful friend refuses to escalate your fears by “awfulizing” events. She might suggest that you accept the situation as it is for now, and work toward a peaceful state of mind. Finally, she reassures you that this situation will find resolution in the best way for all, and that it may take time.

d. “Here’s my solution,” rather than “Here’s how to access wise guidance.”

  • A less helpful friend suggests immediate solutions that attempt to control the situation. Because he’s uneasy with your discomfort, his goal is to fix it right now. Such actions often make the situation worse rather than better.
  • A helpful friend offers ideas and tools that bring you peace of mind and intuitive guidance. He’ll remind you that a serene state of mind will result in the best actions.

Tip 2:  Consider how you feel after talking to the person. If you feel more agitation than hope, try sharing your vulnerabilities with someone else.

Tip 3:  The most helpful people probably won’t come from your family. Your family members may unwittingly reinforce the very same patterns you’re trying to overcome. Give yourself some time to heal before you share deeply with family members.

Tip 4:  Choose an individual who holds no sexual attraction for you. If you ignore this advice, your desire for personal growth may take a backseat to the romantic imperative, with damaging results.

For more on communication, check out Eric Bowers’ blog on www.roadtocompassion.com.

Gigi Langer of Worry Less NowGigi Langer, PhD is a sought-after speaker on professional and personal growth.  She has 35 years of experience in psychology, therapy, and recovery.  Gigi has co-authored five other books and is an award-winning writer.

Her latest book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, will be released in March 2018

 

 

Listen Up! It’s An Act of Care

Listen, Connect, Care

 

Listening– REALLY Listening!

How often have you had a conversation with someone who only wanted to talk about themselves? Frustrating, aye?

Unfortunately, most of us respond to our loved ones either by telling stories about our own past or offering solutions. Both types of responses prevent seeking to understand first, perhaps the most important of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

When in a conversation with someone, open your heart, empty your mind, and listen. If you notice yourself thinking about your own past, refocus your attention on what he is saying. If you’re tempted to suggest solutions, remind yourself that actively listening is your goal.

To show your intent to understand, briefly summarize what you think you heard. When he replies, summarize again.

Listening in this way not only shows that you careit also invites the person to clarify his own thoughts and feelings, often leading to helpful insights.

For example, if a friend tells you she’s worried about losing her job because her boss constantly criticizes her, tune in, breathe, and resist the urge to tell your own tale about a bad boss.

Then paraphrase her words: “It sounds like you get a lot of negative responses from him.”

Your friend replies, “Well, it’s not really criticism. It’s just that he has such high expectations.”

Then you summarize (without giving advice), “Hmmm, high expectations. That’s gotta be hard!”

This reply elicits her feelings and encourages more detail, allowing both of you to explore the problem and find positive ways to address it.

 Try It Out

  1. Select a friend or coworker who is easy to talk to.
  2. Plan at least a 15-minute conversation without interruption.
  3. You may want to begin by explaining that you’re working on your listening skills and reassure him you have only good intentionsto fully understand what he says.
  4. Ask him to begin talking about something happening in his life.
  5. Listen intently while suspending your urge to break in with your own experiences or solutions.
  6. When he stops, pause to see if he’s finished and to prepare your response. Select the most important parts of what he said, and summarize one of them in your own words. For example, “So, you said (fill in blank). Tell me more about that.” or “You mentioned the word (fill in blank). What does that mean to you?”
  7. If it seems acceptable to the other person, ask him how it felt to be listened to this way.

In your everyday interactions, make a conscious effort to listen carefully to others and paraphrase what you heard. Withhold your own thoughts and reactions until you fully comprehend the other person’s position or experience.

Even though the habit of seeking to understand may feel artificial, you will soon find it more natural, especially when you sincerely intend to give pure, loving attention to another. As you listen fully, you’ll be astonished at how much you learnand by the good will you create.

PS. I learned a lot of great communication skills from these folks: http://www.thinkingcollaborative.com/norms-collaboration-toolkit/

Worry Less Now; Gigi LangerGigi Langer, PhD is a sought-after speaker on professional and personal growth.  She has 35 years of experience in psychology, therapy, and recovery.  Gigi has co-authored five other books and is an award-winning writer.

Her latest book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection, will be released in March 2018