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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.

Be ready to take off!  Whether you are are reader or writer.

I took a journey through someone’s rant about a ruefully justified killing. Comfortable, easy language enticed me with its scent.  The bite of sarcasm, like the perfect spice, made it more palatable.  (Though in many ways, more dastardly.)  Just a simple essay, a small piece of candy, less than 600 words with quotes (and zero calories!).  Took me, happily, to the center and back of a vulgar issue.  And left me feeling richer for the experience.

Other journeys are much longer to faraway places, in distant parts of your imagination. Through a complicated series of thoughts and feelings, swirling around punctuated actions.  From the Himalayas, to a left-handed world, or through a Geisha house, into a school of witchcraft and wizardry.  Kinda leaves you breathless!

It’s not anything less than an adventure for the writer, either.  Anyone who’s ever played with fiction knows the trip through a story is always one of discovery.  Nuggets appear along the way which help the author to see things more clearly. Giving the story better legs to stand on.  Even in dry old non-fiction, shining insights and dazzling connections arise that hadn’t been noticed before.  The lay of the land can shift and change many times from one side of any piece of writing to the other.

Journaling takes me on a journey through my head and heart. It’s always filled with surprising twists and turns as I come to know the pathways through my own inner landscape.

Words stand ready to take you wherever you may wish to go.

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.

It’s a Loving Universe

As I write this now, I’m thinking that this should be Part 1. When you see that the Universe is a loving place, it makes it that much easier to accept and allow.  From that place of acceptance, you are more able to access the present moment.

Be that as it may, all it takes to know it’s a Loving Universe is simply to take the time to look.  When you begin to search for evidence, you will find plenty.  Everything, I mean everything that happens to you is for your best good.  It may take some time and space to see it, but see it you will. Even (sometimes especially) things that look “bad” like losing your job, for instance, often turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.  Over and over, you will see evidence if you but take the time to observe the results.

What’s truly amazing about this is that while the Universe is busy loving you and delivering good things your way, It is also doing the very same thing for everyone else.

It’s at this point I wish to bring in the word God.  Personally, it seems like fanciful thinking to say that life sprung up out of nowhere and developed a species that can build a city, make love and create music. It seems far more rational to think there’s an intelligence, a plan behind it all. What else could make everything perfect for everyone?

This Universe (or God, if you don’t mind) is so loving that It has given us all the tools we need to manifest an awesome life.  We can create our life without money, time or help.  Everything each of us needs we come equipped with. Things like willingness, imagination and inspiration are standard equipment on all models.

One more important point I’d like to make about the Loving Universe is that It accepts us (as It asks us to accept It) completely and without reservation, just exactly the way we are.  No matter what flaws you may think you have, no matter how many “bad” things you think you’ve done, the Universe still loves you, still brings you the best.  Just because you’ve made a few mistakes (or even broken a few laws) doesn’t mean you lose your curiosity, the ability to take action, fall in love, or be committed to a goal.

If you’re not convinced it’s a Loving Universe just watch It at work and you will soon have all the proof you need.

I wanted to go to a concert a good distance from my home.  I could take the train to get there, but wasn’t keen on doing that at 11 or 12 at night. So, I needed a ride home.  A week before the show, a friend told me she’d be happy to give me a ride.  But the night before the show it was looking like it wasn’t going to happen.  Still, there was hope.  By the next morning, the ride had fallen through.  What was I going to do?  It would be hard to find another ride this late in the game.

At the very last minute, the perfect ride (there and back) materialized.  The weather, which was supposed to be cool and rainy, turned out sunny and 70. I even got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants!

It all came together, I believe through this process:

1)  Decide what you really want.  In other words, set an intention.  I could’ve stayed home, but I decided I really wanted to go this concert. If I had been too ambiguous about this, it might not have worked so well.  Sometimes I may say I want to do something, but I’m not fully clear on it.

2)  State the reasons why.  As I went over this, I saw what the important features were –eating at the restaurant, hearing the performance, seeing some friends and contacts.  It fueled me and solidified my desire.

3)  Imagine yourself having it, being with it.  Being able to see myself there, smiling at good friends, eating good food, enjoying the concert, made it more real for me.  If I could see it, maybe it could happen.  As in all attraction, it helps very much if you can generate a good, strong feeling around it.

4)  Expect a Miracle.  This means acting as if it will happen.  Through the morning of the concert, I did as planned just in case.  I set my sites on that miracle and was determined to be ready if the opportunity arose.

5)  Let it go.  This may be the hardest step.  After all that build up, you need to allow yourself to be okay if it doesn’t happen.  Make a plan B and be comfortable with it.  Find the benefits in doing the alternative.  I resigned myself to the fact that I might well be staying home and looked to see what I was going to do instead.  I thought about how it might be a better thing if I stayed home.  I could get some things done, rest, make phone calls . . .  The more you can let go of needing plan A to happen, the more you open to the possibility.

Can you imagine all the things you could do, how magical your life would seem if you did this all the time?  I’m going to try it next on healing a relationship which could surely use a miracle.

I believe in miracles!

I’ve been asked to write a piece for an e-Newsletter called Follow Your Bliss.  The November issue is going to be about Courage.  So I thought I’d dive in and  explore it a bit.

Courage is an interesting trait.  It’s one of those qualities we come equipped with if we choose to engage it.  Much like imagination or forgiveness.

Many times we are courageous without knowing it. Like young people who can do things older folks wouldn’t.  Maybe too much knowledge and well honed images of what could happen scare some people. I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter books on CD.  Harry does brave things without thinking, “Gee, aren’t I courageous!” He just does what seems to be best to do in the moment.

Perhaps there’s a factor of trust in Courage.  If you trust everything will be okay, you’re more likely to go where others dare not.  There is a point beyond trust even where Courage becomes superfluous.  We might call it Faith.  In that place you have a deep sense that you are protected.  You just know what you’re doing is Right (or you don’t even think about whether or not it’s right or wrong) and that’s enough.

Courage keeps you a safe distance from fear.  A timid person is always afraid of something. Courageous ones lower that number significantly.

“Fear is the little mind killer,” we were taught in Dune.  It’s true.  Nothing shoots down more dreams and great deeds than fear. We might define Courage as the absence of fear.

“Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty,” Merriam Webster says. The origin of the word is Heart.  I like that.  We might say a person with courage has heart.

Perseverance is an important quality. Julia Cameron wrote a book called “Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance.” What good is anything you do if you give up at the first sign of struggle or fear?

Some may need to wield more courage than others.  But perhaps the more you use it, the less you need it.

I’m going to look for places in my life where I’m courageous without even knowing it. And when I start to feel scared or frustrated, I will engage my courage muscle and see what happens.

Wishing is one of those magical tools we all carry with us all the time.  Thanks to our imagination, there is no limit to what we can wish for.

Wishing helps you to create an intention. When you can articulate what you wish, you’ve set in motion all kinds of possibilities. You’re now clear on what you want so you can be more open to look for it.

The hopin’ part is a little more tricky, however.  Wishes work best when they are accompanied by loose and happy feelings.  If you need it too much, if you add angst to the equation, you could block it from happening, keep yourself from spotting it.

The best way to be is open and willing. You might be able to recite the features: carbon fiber brakes, flappy paddle gear box, rear wheel drive, CD player, Sat Nav, etc.  If you’re too hung up on these things, you might miss a great opportunity to get the fast car you really want.  It’s helpful to know about the features you want, but even better to know what you want them for.  Discovering the essence of what you want; like a fast car.

Then, the toughest part (at least for me) is to be completely open to it.  To believe it’s possible for me to have the thing I’m wishing for.  As they say in “Creating Money,” you need to be ready to wear it.  Can you slip your arm into it and embrace it?

So many of us say we want something, but can’t actually imagine ourselves having it.  I run into that a lot.  I wish big and then I start to think, “But I never get things like that.  It’s too perfect.”

Balderdash!  I need to chase those thoughts away.  How will I get something perfect if I don’t believe I deserve it, that I can have it?

That open, willingness to embrace it, to really have it in your life is the magic spell, which attracts your wish right to you.

Be careful, though, not to stop the flow once it comes.  Sometimes wishes can come fast and furious. That’s when it’s a good idea to take a breath and open even wider.  Allow yourself to have even more, knowing you can take it all in.

I wish for lots of marvelous things to come to all of us.  And wide open arms to catch them all!

What an amazing power we all have!  No matter what the situation, no matter our physical  limitations or the facts on the ground, imagination is not stopped.

I can be huddled under the covers on a cold winter’s night, and my imagination can take me to a warm, sun-filled beach.  I can live in a grand house of lavish splendor.  Or I can fly, soaring over sweeping green vistas.  I can travel to Italy or sit in my back yard on a beautiful, comfortable chair.  I can win a race or become a star.

It is only limited by my awareness of what it can be.  But science fiction invites us to go places we’ve never been before.  To go well beyond what we know.  Maybe Imagination really has no limits.  It can move through walls and cover great distances in a moment.

Imagination can expand with a breath. And it can sit tidy until you bring it up again.  You can add or subtract at will. And no physical barrier can stand in your way.

I don’t believe there are many, if there any others at all, sentient beings who have the power of imagination.  Imagination is crucial to our creative process. Everything that is created starts with someone imagining it.

Imagination may scare us at times, but it can also take us to great heights of delight.  And it can shed light on understanding.

Words play a critical role in imagination. They are the units we use to express our imagination – to convey our visions – so they can become reality.  Imagination needs no other outlet than thought.  It can rest easily within the confines of your mind.

Imagination is a fierce tool we all share.  Of course imagination can take over, causing distortions to occur.  But all powerful energies can be used for corrupt purposes.

Here we stay on the positive slant and see how much imagination can do for us. To provide an escape as needed, inspiration where applied, understanding when called for, and expression if asked.

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?

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