Some of the greatest joys of being on the spiritual path are those heartfelt moments of synchronicity, the kind which stop you in your tracks and make you smile as you get a hint that there is something bigger at work. These past few days have certainly played out that way for me and I honestly couldn’t be more grateful for the guidance as it led to me having a weekend I will truly never forget!
I was invited by John Beavin, dear friend of the legendary late ACIM teacher, Kenneth Wapnick to an event featuring Gary and Cindy Renard. Gary is the author of the incredible (and much-needed) book explaining the theory of ACIM, The Disappearance of the Universe (amoung other very helpful books) and his wife, Cindy who is also an ACIM teacher and author of A Course in Health and Well-being. So, I honestly did not want to miss the opportunity to learn and deepen my understanding of A Course in Miracles from the two teachers I resonate most with! The clincher was it was all going down on the other side of the continent from me, in New Jersey. I was originally dismayed at the thought of not being able to accept the invite, but I decided instead not to worry about it – this was something that I did not want to bugger up with the ego mind, so I let my Right-Mind take over the situation.
Upon giving it over to my Right-Mind, I relaxed and I said to myself, “let yourself be surprised.” In the next few moments I had a vision come into my mind, a vision of me having dinner with the Renard’s, John Beavin, my dear friend Corinne Zupko (who I knew would be in attendance), and my loving husband, Eric. It was a brief vision but one which I connected with so deeply that it seemed to electrify my cells as I got goose bumps all over my body. I knew there was more to this vision then just an idle fantasy, it somehow felt different. I remembered from Gary Renard’s new book, The Lifetimes When Jesus and Buddha Knew Each Other, the teaching that when Spirit has given you an idea you end up feeling at peace and even motivated. This was certainly one of those times for me because in this case I felt what is normally elusive with the ego mind, I felt that there was possibility.
Getting in touch with the good-feeling thought of participating in the conference, I posed the question to my husband, Eric, “What do you think of me going to this event this weekend?” and he said to me without hesitation “You have got to be there.” With that we looked at flights, hotel and a rental car, and everything was booked effortlessly (and cheaply!!). 36 hours later we were on our flight headed for New Jersey.
The swiftness with which the plans came into place filled me with confidence and I truly felt that I was meant to at the very least, be present at the conference and at the very most, I would get the opportunity to chat with Gary and Cindy. Upon my arrival at the conference I was introduced to Cindy and Gary where we hugged and Gary exercised his exceptional memory by noting that he remembered meeting me at an ACIM conference in Chicago five years earlier. I was uncertain how everything would unfold that weekend, “would the dinner I had envisioned come to fruition?” I often wondered and then I would remind myself that I was not in charge of the details and I let Spirit in my Right-Mind lead the way. At the end of the first day and once Gary’s book signing was completed, I heard Gary call to me and say, “Fiona, would you like to go for dinner with us?” My response to him was, “I would love to!” and in my head I said, “Hells yeah!!”
An hour later we were all seated at a large table, Gary, Cindy, Corinne, Eric, and two more gentlemen, Jack and Ralph. Gary inquired about my upcoming book and we all told stories and jokes and got to know each other. I told them about my vision and because it was a group of ACIM students, everyone nodded their heads knowingly. As Spirit would have it, Eric and I had the opportunity to join Gary and Cindy for dinner again the following evening with John Beavin, his wife Lainie and more dear friends included. It was an amazing weekend which occurred because I decided to back off from what the ego would tell me and let Spirit in my Right-Mind take over the details.
We are taught in this world to take control of every little thing as we are encouraged to worry, plan, obsess and orchestrate all details. But, as the Course would say, we were badly taught. ACIM would also say that we have a hard time hearing Spirit because we are too preoccupied with our own individual voices. Remember that our mistaken ego identification brings us nothing but pain and struggle as we blindly navigate through the ego’s complex labyrinth to find some sort of fleeting happiness. For, as we are also taught in A Course in Miracles that the ego’s motto is seek and do not find.
It’s unsettling at times to think of what our misplaced loyalty in the ego has brought us, it’s almost as if we’ve been investing in the wrong stock for decades. We’ve been investing in our emotional and physical pain, conflict, and separateness, all of which compounds a very low self-esteem. So, when is enough of the ego, actually enough?
It’s wake up time.
Just as we commit to the ego mind we can commit to our Right-Mind. Our greatest power in the physical experience is in our being that of the decision maker, where we choose which teacher we will listen to. The ego who is the teacher of pain, or Spirit Who is the Teacher of peace. The fact is we have an unfeasible amount of creative power surging through us at all times and as the Course teaches, the mind never sleeps and therefore never stops creating, it is therefore essential that we pay attention to where we put our focus. So, try and step back from what the ego mind would say, do or want for you. Be willing and practice letting your Right-Mind fill in the details and guide you. You can begin doing this on the seemingly small things in your life, like getting over an old embarrassing moment or a grudge with someone who is no longer in your life. Honestly, what have you got to lose?
You will know that Spirit is guiding you by noticing how you feel. Spirit and the qualities of love are benign. Once you have received guidance from Spirit you can expect to feel genuinely happy, enthused, relaxed, joyful, confident and motivated. The negative things will lose their charge and you will feel that you really do want to let all the negativity and conflict go.
The teaching which was cemented for me was to let go of what the ego mind thinks is possible. With the ego we are limiting ourselves as the ego does not want us to evolve but devolve. Again, I let myself be surprised. And as it is for me, it is for you, for we are one in the same. The key to the better way is not outside of you, it is within your mind awaiting your slightest invitation. Practice.
“A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own.”
A Course in Miracles
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