Wednesday, June 29, 2016

You Don't Have to Go It Alone

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

When I was a new student of A Course in Miracles going through the long and uncomfortable (sometimes downright painful) “period of sorting out” it would have been so nice to speak every now and then with someone who had been through what I was going through and who had actually attained the inner peace I wanted. But there was no one around then who offered a professional relationship like that. So I muddled through in more discomfort and pain than was necessary. And, eventually, when I was ready I became a mentor for others so that they could have an easier time than I did as they made their way to inner peace.

Obviously I do have clients so some people have taken me up on this offer.  But it is frustrating for me to hear of others who are still trying to go it alone. Clients tell me of friends who have questions or blocks to peace that they need help working out. They tell them, “Call Liz!” But they rarely do. Sometimes I can tell from comments people write at my blogsite or in emails that they are unhappy or uncomfortable or are ready to work through guilt and would benefit from a session with me. It’s not a time-consuming relationship. People get relief from just a half-hour call with me, every now and then or on a regular basis (weekly, every-other week, monthly). I’ve never had a client tell me that they felt worse at the end of a call. So why don’t they call?

Here are some things I’ve heard:

“I feel I should hear the Holy Spirit on my own.” But you read books and listen to tapes and go to a study group or to seminars? Like those the mentoring relationship is just another instrument that the Holy Spirit uses to reach you. And unlike books and tapes and seminars or a public study group, a mentor can answer your specific questions, give specific examples and tools, and clarify points. The give and take of a private conversation brings greater clarity and deeper understanding.

“I don’t want to pay for it.” But you pay for all sorts of everyday pleasures. Your lattes and booze and massages and ice cream and manicures and cable/satellite TV and books and tickets to movies and sports and plays, etc. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s natural to pursue pleasure to offset the pain of the human condition. So why wouldn’t you pay for something that brings relief rather than just offsets the pain for a little while? Isn’t inner peace a worthwhile investment?

“I’m not worth it.” Well, what can be said about this but, “Yes you are and I’m sorry you don’t know it.” Not feeling worth it is something we can discuss, too!

“I don’t want to waste your time.” Really, people have said this. (No doubt the feeling was related to the last quote). Well, when I wanted help I felt this way, too. If anyone was available to help they were not people who mentored for a living so there was a feeling of taking up their time. But with me it’s a professional relationship. I am offering my time, energy, education, and experience in exchange for money so you don’t have to feel guilty about using them. A professional relationship puts us on equal footing.

“I don’t have anything ‘big’ enough to talk about.” If it’s an obstacle to peace size does not matter! And if it’s just a burning question it will hold you back, too. Not all of my calls with my clients are about problems or questions. Sometimes clients share what is working and good in their life. They share miracles. A lot of what I do is validate, which helps my clients move past doubts that hold them back.

Sometimes my readers have a vague idea that they would benefit from speaking with me but don’t know what to talk about. Anything and everything! Your whole life is your spirituality. We don’t have to discuss A Course in Miracles directly. As a client once said to me, “You teach spirituality; ACIM is just the language you use.” On most of my calls ACIM does not come up directly at all. Just bring to the call whatever is on your mind. I cannot tell you how often clients say, “I don’t know what to talk about today” and yet we fill up the time effortlessly.

The point is: You don’t have to go through the process to peace alone. You don’t have to stew with questions, doubts, or a nasty ego that won’t let you move past it. I’m here to help you make it easier on yourself. It is the path to peace after all…


(You can read testimonials here: www.acimmentor.com/clienttestimonials.html)

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Learn about one-on-one mentoring, how to send a donation for this blog, and about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Ego is Benign

One of the things I help my clients sort out is what is the neutral personality of the self and what is the ego (personal thought system). They are confused because the ego is the thought system in their mind that tells them that the self is their reality and that they need to measure themselves by the self. So it’s hard for them to see that the self – the body and personality – is neutral and that it is the ego that is not neutral.

For example, clients will say something like, “I know it’s ego but…”

“…I like mountain biking…”
“…I want to study medicine…”
“…I enjoy horror stories…”
“…I prefer to be alone…”
Etc.

First, you can see by the “but” that what they mean is, “I want this even though I know it’s bad.” They judge the ego as “bad” so what they see as expressions of ego are therefore “bad”. But actually the ego is not wrong or bad. It is nothing. Second, all of those traits that come after the “but” are just neutral expressions of a neutral personality. They have no meaning in themselves. They are not expressions of ego, which is a judgmental, evaluative thought system of lack, guilt and fear. It is the ego that has determined, after you start reading A Course in Miracles, that the ego is bad. And it is the ego that judges neutral personality traits as bad.

I used to write about the ego attacking me to hold my attention but I have come to see that the ego is actually benign because it is nothing. It cannot change Truth so the ego has no real effects and I can see that now. When I listened to the ego I projected my belief in guilt, which I learned from it, onto it. I really believed I was guilty, but saw the guilt in the ego, just as I often saw guilt in others. But the ego does not attack. When your attention goes elsewhere it will do what it has to do to hold your attention once you turn its way again. It will pursue the thoughts, usually negative, in your mind that it knows work to hold your attention. But if you don’t believe in it, this will not work. Just as with others, you are only affected by what the ego says about you if you believe what it says about you.


The ego is really just the thought system of the human animal. And it functions like an animal, doing what it has to do to “survive”. In its case, “survival” means seeming to exist for you. Your belief in it is its sustenance. And when you withdraw your attention it seems to “attack” to get you to feed it again. But you won’t experience its attention-sustaining measures as an attack when you see that it is nothing.

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Learn about one-on-one mentoring, how to send a donation for this blog, and about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

In the Turnaround

When I was a young child sometimes when I played alone I would experience a reassuring, comforting Presence with me. I felt in those experiences that everything would always be okay. These experiences were very rare. I had a happy, secure childhood and I had no conscious need to seek reassurance. But of course I was still having the human experience of everyday lack and insecurity. I was unconsciously open to Truth at those times. These experiences seemed very natural so I didn’t question them. Nor did I think of them beyond their occurrences.

As a teenager I would in times of desperate adolescent angst turn to what I thought of as my “inner Therapist”. These were very rare occurrences, too. But you can see how a shift had unconsciously occurred for me: The Presence was no longer with me; It was within me. It was still Other, but I knew It was in my own mind. I thought of It as my “inner adult” the way as adults people speak of their “inner child” left-over from their childhood. It was a future, wise me come to guide and comfort me through hard times. (I pictured It at the time as being all of 25 years old!)

In my late teens I started reading self-help books and eventually psycho-spiritual material. These told me that God was within me. I understood that they were speaking of my Inner Therapist. And then A Course in Miracles came along when I was twenty years old and I knew right away that the Voice that dictated it was the Christ in my mind – another name for the Presence that I had experienced as a child and the Inner Therapist I turned to as a teenager. I changed my label for It but the experience was the same.

My study and practice of ACIM  led me to grow my awareness of the inner Presence, the Holy Spirit. I learned to call on it as my Guide and Teacher in all things. Later, when it came time for me to teach others, I learned to come from the Holy Spirit within me with others and in my writing.


Recently I have experienced a shift and I now know, not just intellectually but experientially, that that Presence, that Inner Therapist, the Christ Mind and Holy Spirit, is me. I have had surprising experiences of myself as the Teacher to the split-mind (decision-maker) in this mind rather than as the split-mind calling on or coming from the inner Teacher. In these experiences the split-mind is the “other”. It wasn’t exactly accurate for me as a teenager to think of the Presence as a future me. It was me all along. What was in the future was my awareness of this. I have gone from the Presence being with me to It being within me but Other; to the boundary between me and It slipping and being able to come from It as I dealt with the world; to beginning to experience, at least so far within this mind for the self in it, being the Presence…

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Learn about one-on-one mentoring, how to send a donation for this blog, and about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Between Me and Me

Each time I read A Course in Miracles different concepts stood out for me. Concepts would sink in, I’d move past them, and I was ready to learn new ones. The last time I read ACIM for myself was as I translated it into plain language. Then one lesson was driven home to me over and over again: This whole process to peace was between me and me. My sense of conflict was not between me and a world outside of me. It was not between me and a god outside of me. All of my conflict was occurring only within me. All of the reconciliation I needed was between a part of my mind (the split-mind) that was alienated from the Totality of my mind (Truth). There was nothing else and no one else involved. Each time this realization hit me with the force of a thunder clap.

I was already aware that I made my own world by projecting meaning onto a meaningless universe of form. I was used to bringing my conflicts with the world or the concept of a god back to what I was doing in my own mind. But actually experiencing on a deep level that the whole process was between me and me brought a feeling of deep comfort. It always helps to know what is going on in my own mind. But this realization also eliminated fear on the deepest level. Conflict with something outside of me meant I was powerless to resolve it on my own. But knowing the conflict was only within me was empowering.

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Learn about one-on-one mentoring, how to send a donation for this blog, and about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Ask: Is fear of not existing the "mother of all fears"?

“I just finished reading over your 3/23/16 blog (http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2016/03/love-peace-and-joy-as-effects.html) in which you mentioned having a terrifying experience of the ‘fear of not existing’. I was recently thinking about a former friend who had created a persona which expressed itself as an obnoxious role he was compelled to play in all his interactions with others. I thought that he was so invested in this fake identity that if he was prevented from playing it, he would not know ‘who he was’ and would be terrified of not existing (not consciously of course). Is this what you were talking about?
I have experienced a horrible foreboding of impending doom a few times when I traced back some fear, through guilt etc. I also experience pre-dawn anxiety every day which always seems to be about various trivial things in my life. Do you think that the ‘fear of not existing’ is actually the ‘mother of all fears’? And most important of all - what to do, especially while it’s happening. I always think there's some way to look directly at that fear as a means of dissipating it. I try to apply the ‘Rules for Decision’ (Chapter 30) to my morning fears but they seem intractable so far.” (June 1, 2016)

Reality is formless, boundless Being. So the experience of limited form, or the self, is very uncomfortable. The ego (personal thought system) teaches that your discomfort is guilt for “separating” from your natural state. It tells you that your natural state (Truth) is a power over you and outside of you (a god) that will punish you for attacking it by leaving it. So the “mother of all fears” is the belief that the experience of yourself as a human is real and that it is the result of defying a god that will punish you for it by annihilating you. You will cease to exist. This guilt and fear of annihilation is the core experience of the ego thought system and you experience them as your own when you identify with the ego. What I shared in that article was an experience of being at the very center of the ego experience.

In our identification with a self we fear change because all change brings loss of some kind. We have personas and roles that we cling to and are afraid to release because we fear we will lose more than we gain by doing so. This is what your friend may have experienced. Or he may not have believed that change was possible or that there was a better experience to be had. He also may have found that being obnoxious brought him things he valued and simply didn’t want to change.


Your pre-dawn anxiety sounds like something chemical. If you have already traced your thoughts down to the fear and guilt at the center of the ego then continuing to dig around in your mind may only increase your anxiety. Your belief here may only be that “I am this body and its chemically-induced moods are my reality”. If this is the case then the best way to deal with it is to accept that this is your experience of that particular body. Remember, acceptance does not mean that you like something. It means that you acknowledge that it is happening without resisting it. Watch the thoughts and remind yourself that it’s just the chemicals in that body’s brain in the morning. Don’t believe in the thoughts, don’t embrace them, and don’t resist them. Instead, gently correct them with self-talk until they pass. If you’re not sure what to say to yourself, think of what you would say to reassure a friend who was sharing these thoughts with you. This practice can line you up with the Holy Spirit’s thoughts and pull you out of your morning anxiety faster.

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Learn about one-on-one mentoring, how to send a donation for this blog, and about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

As Though It Should Be Different

“Dreams are perceptual temper tantrums, in which you literally scream, "I want it thus!" And thus it seems to be. And yet the dream cannot escape its origin. Anger and fear pervade it, and in an instant the illusion of satisfaction is invaded by the illusion of terror. For the dream of your ability to control reality by substituting a world that you prefer is terrifying. Your attempts to blot out reality are very fearful, but this you are not willing to accept. And so you substitute the fantasy that reality is fearful, not what you would do to it. And thus is guilt made real.” (T-18.II.4)

A Course in Miracles likens the experience of the universe of form to a dream that is a temper tantrum against Reality (Truth/God). The dreamer is the “Son of God” (split-mind) and the self with which you identify is a figure in the dream, one of billions of projections of the Son of God. (To be clear: This dream is only a meaningless idea of the opposite-of-God that has no intention behind it. Only within the dream does the dream seem to have the intention to be in defiance of God).

There are many layers to the way ACIM addresses the idea of “dreams”. The section that includes the quote above begins with the dreams you have at night when you sleep. Then it segues into discussing the whole experience of form as a dream. In any case, any dream is an attempt to have another reality, whether that new reality is meant to replace the “reality” of the awake-dream or to replace Reality Itself with the awake-dream. And it is not the dream-to-replace-reality (the universe of form) or Reality that are frightening. Your resistance to them and your attempts to change them frighten you by increasing your guilt. Only if the world is real are you guilty. And you only try to change it because you think it’s real.

So in identification with the ego (personal thought system) you resist not only Reality but the reality (universe of form) that is meant to replace It. On a daily basis you struggle against the way things are in the world.  A lot of the sense of being a victim that one has in the world comes from an often unconscious belief that the world is supposed to be different from the way that it is. It is an unconscious belief not just that the world is perfectible, but that the perfect world is here and that somehow you are kept from reaching it.

For example, Georgette leaves job after job because in each job she finds that she is in conflict with someone. Well, yeah, the world is a place of conflict between personal identities (egos). She will be in conflict with everyone she knows sometimes. And she will be in conflict with someone in every situation. The process of growth into full adulthood is adjusting to this by taking responsibility for one’s own attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to mitigate conflicts. But Georgette’s attitude is that there is a job out there where she will get along with absolutely everybody all the time. This may not be a conscious attitude, but unconsciously she goes from job to job seeking for the perfect situation. And when she can’t find it she feels that she is being unfairly deprived.

The world is not a perfect place and it never will be. It is not meant to be. It is the idea of the opposite of Perfection (Truth). It is a place of lack and conflict and dysfunction. It is not perfectible because then it wouldn’t be what it is. If it was perfectible it would no longer be the opposite of Perfection.


This does not mean that you should never work to change things in the world for what you think would be the better. But it does mean that you have to accept that you will never change the world to be perfect. If you seek to improve (the world as well as the self with which you identify) rather than perfect, you take a lot of pressure off yourself. And you eliminate a sense of victimhood, too. The world is not perfect for anyone.

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Learn about one-on-one mentoring, how to send a donation for this blog, and about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The ACIM Student and Being Different

A reoccurring theme with many serious students of A Course in Miracles is how they have felt different all of their lives. Some are okay with this; others still want to be accepted and to fit in. The difference can show up as having been more perceptive than the average person; having a psychological orientation; never accepting what the religion of their family of origin taught; being more sensitive and intuitive; always sensing that there was something more than the world had to offer, etc. The question they often have is, are they different because they were always headed toward a spiritual path (or really already on one)? Or did their being different lead them to seek relief in a spiritual path?

The answer is both. Because you are on a spiritual path you were always headed toward one. But in the unfolding story how you end up on a spiritual path could show up as looking for relief from the pain of being different. In any case, the spiritual path resonates or you would not remain on it.

When I was in life-coach training I once asked a teacher, how large is our market? She said that it is estimated that at any given moment about 1 in 5 (20%) people are on a path of personal growth. (Of course, this is only in the developed world. Where people do not have access to basic education and/or struggle to survive they do not have the luxury.) By a “path of personal growth” she meant anything from reading self-help books to attending 12-step or other self-help programs to psychotherapy to being on a spiritual path. And it is my experience that only a tiny minority (probably less than 1% of the world’s population) on a spiritual path are very serious about growing their awareness of Truth. It is no wonder ACIM students often feel they are “different”!

And as your awareness of Truth grows you will only feel more “different” as you detach from the values of the world. The more at peace you are the fewer people to whom you will relate. But the upside is, you are at peace so it does not matter! However, until you experience wholeness in Truth you may have a nagging sense of not fitting in. Humans are social animals. Fitting in is necessary for survival so it is frightening to feel that you don’t fit in.

But then again, the whole human condition is one of feeling unique and therefore alone. You may belong to a group but you are a unique member of the group. You can relate to many somewhat but never to any one person wholly. No one ever feels that they wholly fit in anywhere, not even in their families. Until you transcend a human identity you will be afraid of being too “different”.

In ACIM it says “‘All are called but few choose to listen.’” (T-3.IV.7) This means that the Truth is in every mind but not every mind is moved to find It and to grow their awareness of It. If you need a story for this, ACIM provides one. The story of time is a projection of the idea of the opposite-of-God. This idea was over as soon as it was thought because God cannot have an opposite. In the story of time this undoing shows up as seemingly-individual minds going through a process of becoming aware of Truth.


Some students tell me that they think that the world is in a new era of “awakening”. Well, you won’t see this if you step back and look at the whole world. They think this because they have surrounded themselves with like-minded people. Their world has changed and they project this to the rest of the world. But as their awareness of Truth grows they will stop taking stock of themselves and a world. They will live in the awareness that only the Truth is true.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.