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I have been going through A Course in Miracles. Thanks to Chris Cade, an enlightened being who is working it well – giving, selling, and supporting others’ in their work.  Every day I get an idea to work with.  The practice doesn’t take a lot of time but generates plenty of insights.  This Blog entitled Lesson got me thinking.

The Course is rooted in Christianity, at least in its speech.  I tend to shy away from the word God in these writings, but I do, very deeply, believe in Him. Susan Jeffers said, “There is just too much that nourishes and supports us to deny the existence of something . . . whatever that something is.” Surely, the fact that we come equipped with such amazing tools could be seen as proof of His existence.  Every one of us has at our disposal, whenever and wherever we want it, things like Imagination and Curiosity.  We all have the capacity for Courage and Love.  We are well supported by these things that come built-in.  By His nature, God can be anywhere and everywhere.  So, His presence can be achieved with simply a thought.  Barbara Sher offered a tool she calls The Ideal Family.  You pull together in your mind anyone you choose.  Knowing a little something about who they are and what their experiences have been, you can imagine asking them questions.  I know a few things about Marianne Williamson who I have chosen as my ideal sister.  Whenever I have something I’m churning in my head, I can think of her and imagine what she might tell me. Angels and Saints.  Music and Art.  Not to mention all the people I can reach out to with a word, a phone call or an email. All of this adds up to some serious strength at our beckon call!

When it came to the second part, I balked a little.  God has given so many gifts!  I’m healthy, I have a wonderful husband and live in a beautiful place.  I’m able to give of my talents to support others, etc. etc.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that maybe Vision is one of His most important gifts.  We’re not talking about physical sight, but inner vision. So even those who are sight impaired can use this vision.  If I don’t see all those blessings in my life, they don’t do me much good.  The most pervasive change I’m seeing in myself from working The Course is my perception.  It is really all about how I see things.  I don’t know if there’s anything more valuable than being able to see who I really am, the truth of a situation, what I have to give and all that I have.

Curiosity is one of those magical things.  Anyone who has fairly normal brain function can use it.  It is available whenever and wherever you need it. As with all the spells of doing, the magic is activated simply by using your wand of choice.

Curiosity, fueled by imagination, can take you far.  It invites you to ask why, or how about, and what if. No matter where you are or what your situation, the questions posed from these can open wide vistas of possibilities.  Right before your eyes.

One can get onto the scent of curiosity, leading to all kinds of things. Good and bad.  There are no limits. Curiosity pulls you forward, your imagination tempting you with bigger and better.

Take a quick look around.  Everything you see started from someone’s curiosity.  Could I make something that would allow me to speak to someone outside of shouting range?  What if we could make a record of a musical performance so others could hear it?

Curiosity leads to solutions.  If I can’t do it this way, is there another way?  Add some imagination to see what could be.  Before you know it, the answer will be there.

Try pulling out Curiosity the next time you meet someone, have to start all over, or are making plans.  I promise, it will liven things up!  You never know where you can go.  Okay, it might not be Fiji, but maybe you can find something like it.

It’s always better to reach for the stars than to settle for what is in front of you.  Using Curiosity and Imagination you’ll see lots of shiny orbs to reach for.

What could you achieve if you’re never told what you’re doing is silly (or otherwise shouldn’t)?  What if you were always encouraged to keep doing what you love to do?  And that approval was mirrored back to you in everyone around you?

I was just wondering . . .

What if you were constantly told you could, no matter what might strike your fancy to do?  If there was always help, at every turn, to answer your questions, show you how it’s done.  Someone who would hold your hand and keep whispering to you how wonderful you are, how capable you are, as you step into foreign territory.

It kind of piqued my curiosity to wonder what you could become.

As I wrote about earlier, it’s so easy to undermine someone’s confidence with the “wrong” words.  No matter how well meaning.  But what if you never heard those wrong words, never even thought them?

I imagine we could all be so much more if we had someone (or 2) to nurture us as we stepped out of our comfort zones.  Wouldn’t it be so much easier to try new things if we knew we had someone to catch us?

Everywhere I look, I hear of these young people – 18, 19, 20 or so – who seem to have no limits on what they can accomplish.  Musician?  Sure.  Artist? Why not?  Film maker?  Of course.  Designer?  Yeah, that too.  I might be concerned that they’ll spread themselves too thin.  But I don’t think it works that way for them. Maybe they’ll just have a lot more fun, be happier, more productive and creative than any previous generation.  Who knows what they might discover?  How they might be able to change the world, solve its problems?

What if this freedom is tempered with love and care for their fellow humans?  Then what?

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but without it he never would’ve known how much fun he could have with a mouse!

Curiosity is one of those amazing things we all come equipped with.  You only need a little imagination to get it fired up. But passion is what really makes it move.  A desire to know more. To find out how, why, where?

It is, literally, turning on your mind. Opening it to the possibilities.  The switch is turned on by merely asking questions, by thirsting to know more.  It supports the theory that there are no stupid questions. It is only stupid not to ask, to think you know everything – which, of course, is impossible.

Curiosity keeps us expanding our horizons.  Reaching out for more. What would it be like if . . . ?  That gets us moving ever forward.  You can’t stay stuck long if you’re stretching for something else.

Curiosity sparks and feeds your imagination. The more you know, the more you can imagine. Curiosity opens the gates of imagination and possibility.

Want to try something?  Switch on your curiosity and it will carry you a long way to finding out and getting in motion toward it. These days, with a computer (or well-equipped phone) there isn’t much you can’t find out.  Maybe you don’t know how to search.  Turn it around with your curiosity and ask: How do I find out how to search? 

What do you want to know?

What we’ve been taught (and in some cases ingrained) is that we need to always be doing for others.  Be selfless.  That a good person is one who doesn’t think of herself, but is always thinking of others, first.

They’ve got it all wrong.  Or backwards, anyway. Like the much-used airplane story. (Not the one which reminds us that it takes many adjustments to keep an airplane heading to its destination.)  The rule that says, if you are on an airplane with a child and the oxygen masks drop, put on your mask first and then tend to the child.

You are good to no one if you can’t breathe.  If you’re burned out, you can’t encourage others.  If your needs are not met, your ability to help others is compromised. Julia Cameron says, “Treating yourself like a precious object will make you strong.”

SARK believes in Self Support and Self Care.  Good self care, I’d say, entails listening to what you need and doing what you can to make it all right or make it better.  Look at resistance and fear straight on and rather than ignore them, think about what you need and how you can clear the way.  Taking a few minutes ahead of time to see what’s going on, can save you a lot of struggle down the road.

SARK talks of how easy it is to create imbalances, to upset the yin yang balance. But,  “The goal is not to attain ‘perfect’ balance because we are all splendidly imperfect. Rather we can become increasingly aware of the ways that we can bring more balance into our lives in new ways that feel really, really delightful.”  It’s hard to get it right all the time, but we can use tools to bring us back the other way when we fall too far off kilter. “I’d been taught,” SARK says, “to work hard and delight was a possible side effect, not a well-chosen value.”  I think that well-chosen value can come out when you make sure your needs are met.

It’s important to start by acknowledging all the ways you are currently taking good care of yourself.  What supports you.  SARK suggests coming up with a “. . . special quirky boogie balance dial, or perhaps a scale which tracks all your systems of self support and alerts you to when one system is out of balance.”

I’ve come up with a MDR (Minimum Daily Requirements) list.  For me, it includes things like writing, meditating, doing Tai Chi, getting in movement, posting and sending.  I have boxes for each day that I can quickly check off to see if I’m doing the things that support me.  It also lets me know things like I haven’t meditated in three days.

Some powerful questions, along these lines, that SARK poses: What role does joy play in your life?  What is your definition of success?  What can you do to increase your feelings of success?  I believe these are questions that need to be answered by each of us.  Just taking a few moments to ponder them can help you make strong self care choices.

The more you can fill your own well, the more water you have for nourishing your life, your plans, your loved ones, every one.

Curiosity is a great tool to use.  Constantly ask, are there better ways I can take good care of myself?  Explore new ways and avenues.

For physical self care, I want to listen more to my body for what it needs: food, rest, movement, etc.

For my emotional self care, I’m going to practice receiving.  My new thing is: The more I can take in, the more overflow I will have for others.

For my mental self care, I’m listening again, this time to others: books, talks, broadcasts, whoever is speaking, and stay open for easy and fun ways to learn.

For my spiritual self care, I want to tighten up my reminder system – the notes I leave for myself and my daily affirmations.  Are they saying what I want them to say? Update where necessary.

In the end, I think the best thing we can each do for ourselves is to take it all a little easier, breathe a little deeper and slower, touch a little lighter.

As always, check out SARK’s web site!

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