A Course in Miracles: Shifting from Hardship to Perfect Love

This past Tuesday, I found myself in Jeffrey Mironov’s living room. He is A Course in Miracles teacher. At the beginning of class, he was asked a question that I really identified with. Someone present had recently entered unemployment. They found themselves battling negative speak from their ego and they wanted to know how to kick the rut and self defeating thoughts. Jeff’s response from my notes and recollection are below:

The entire nature of time and space is hardship- we developed abilities to distract ourselves from suffering. This plane is one that operates from insufficiency- it’s never enough. It’s never rich enough, long enough, short enough, deep enough. Beyond our human experience- difficulty does not exist. Biases are all burdensome. These biases get compounded and we become ego-centric. Over time, our tolerance becomes less and less. We reshuffle the deck (self help books, try a slightly different approach- spiritual entertainment etc) to shift our consciousness momentarily. Everybody is having the shared experience of difficulty in all areas (family, job, special relationships, hobby etc). People are becoming more cognizant every holiday. It’s rough having this whole system of becoming separate and living this constellation of contradiction that is life. 

There was a question about if you have a special relationship and you pray together- will that help the special relationship?
In a special [romantic] relationship that is immature we try to satisfy our needs through another. If you pray together, sincere prayer, your mind will change. Prayer works to the degree that we really mean it. It cannot be superficial. It must have sincerity – say what you mean and everything you say you mean. Actions and behavior must be aligned and consistent. 

*Behavior moves others and demonstrates my willingness to be moved! 
When do we know when our learning is complete? When everywhere you look everyone smiles, babies don’t cry, human consciousness has shifted and suffering disappears.
We are all united in this experience of woe. (we think to ourselves, “NO one can possibly know how i feel…” THEY DO!) 

The nature of God’s gift is unlimited. Living everywhere at once- nothing I think separately is true- no one is truly the way I think they are. Separateness is a problem. We must remain open and receptive to learning and remember that this too shall pass. Salvation is an idea that undoes the need for more explanation. It empowers you to share experience beyond explanation and learning. Returns you to spontaneity, authenticity and aliveness -you live in the moment- you become an agent for something miraculous. 

We begin to see through the veneer of complaining. Thinking poorly, feeling poorly and doing poorly are all connected. It’s not user friendly and will not produce miracles. 

In the bible, Jesus says, “Everything you do to yourself- you do to me and God.” Problems don’t exist. They are opportunities for more expansive and creative solutions.
As you become yourself- your role in awakening will naturally unfold! Your being is always becoming. The nature of my being is the nature of god’s being. Everything that disturbs me- I made it all up. SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL!!! 

Salvation is expanding. Every thought is not true in life we only have reason for joy. Our dreams then begin to lighten up- become less terrifying. You can do a lot to promote that. Get down with God through meaningful prayer. Through prayer you get personal with spirit. Inner counsel with Holy Spirit make it real. Speak to Holy Spirit/Christ/Creator. God lives in me as I live in him. Be expressive of that. Set aside moments of spiritual prayerful sincerity. Be alert for moments you’re not tired. An instant of sincerity. Immediate connection honors the spirit in me. Receptivity to receive Holy spirit/god right here and now. God doesn’t ask anything of us. There’s no need to do a song and dance- he’s happy to be in your presence. I am profoundly loved and adored- there is nothing more pleasing and beautiful than my being and existing. 

Life is perfect love and expression. God got it right in you since the beginning- PERFECT LOVE. 

You are the loveliest of God’s creations. Become living examples- in life only the truth is true- be an expediter of causing the business of correction- inner shift to love by remembering a love that casts out all fear. 

 The room that night was beyond connected. It was such a beautiful moment.

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Divine Storm: Trust Your Power

Wayra Fuerza Bruta NYC July 2014
I was watching Super Soul Sunday and I heard Mastin Kipp‘s account of his divine storm- a moment in his life when everything seemed to be going “wrong.” He started his blog The Daily Love and after a year he had 1,000 followers. During a one week period he lost his living situation, had no job, thew out his back, had gout in one foot and had hit rock bottom. His ex-girlfriend’s parents joked that he could always live in their pool house – he took them up on their offer. He lived in a room that was 8 feet by 8 feet…

That got me thinking – maybe this is that silent period for me. The one where I am supposed to turn inwards and work on both myself and my blog. It also got me thinking about the concept of a “Divine Storm.” That perfect combination of events where everything gets blown into upheaval. 
A little over a year ago, I found a job at a moment where I was thinking about getting rid of a roommate after quitting my job of almost 7 years. The difference in salary between my old job and  the new job that found me was the amount my roommate paid in rent [mind f*ck- simmer in that “coincidence”]
By all accounts, even after ridding myself of a roommate I should have had cash but I was spending faster than I could make it. 
The first glaring sign that something was off was when I had $900 stolen out of my checking account from an ATM. When your money’s not right or is messed with – know that this is a sign. At the moment, I could not put my finger on what the issue was because of the daily dose of denial I was on. 

I acquired a coffee dependency. I was medicating my anxiety and stress with chlonopin. Towards the end of my almost one year stint at the new job my nights were spent taking benedryl to get sleep. 
Through it all – the common denominator was unhappiness and denial. Then, my family began to fall apart as well. My mom was in and out of the hospital. My dog was attacked by a family member and I could not pull away from work. 
No matter how positive and how happy I tried to be I was dragging myself through it all and internalizing the dysfunction.
I went to California to unplug from the rush of New York City. It was so replenishing and joyful. Tasting happiness can be dangerous. I knew that my soul was dying by denying that I was not being true to myself. We all know how that one ended – going to California precipitated my decision to quit
Now, here I find myself, for the most part at home. I am at peace in my home with my dog. My apartment may not be 8 by 8 but this is where I am working from. This isn’t a bad place to start contemplating. 
I think the most interesting part of Mastin Kipp’s story was that during his Divine Storm he was asking why-  why was he stuck in this small space. At that point, he heard a reply – “because this is the size of your faith. And that is all you need.” A week later Kim Kardashian tweeted about his blog and it blew up. 
This past couple of years I have been through quite a lot. I am GLAD I have been through everything and can count it as part of my past and it is a great story to be told. So happy to be FUNemployed. I am exactly where I need to be and my courage has brought me far. I am blessed. I am hopeful and looking forward to see what happens once the dust settles…
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Moving Away: Getting Out of the ‘Hood

Flan from a Goya Box – First Sin

Glass of Pink Moscato from the Barefoot Bubbly collection on hand as I open the fridge to look on my failed attempt at flan. I tried substituting the milk for almond milk (that whole lactose thing gets me every time.) My flan looks so freaking sad. Flan is the most perfect thing to me – so yummy. Cracks in my flan. Even out of a box I could not get it right…
What other cracks? What of the cracks? There are cracks on my ceiling. I think the point I am trying to make in my buzzed state is that I don’t like my apartment. I have lived in the same neighborhood for roughly 23 years. At this stage, it is safe to say that I have outgrown it.

Back in December 2012 I woke up to a cry outside of my window. It was a screeching unsettling cry. Blood curling cry. Something I put out of my mind but it was also the moment I realized I had to leave Inwood and what I considered my neighborhood. A woman had been stabbed by her ex-boyfriend. I had awakened from my pre-New Years Eve nap to her last scream. Last breaths. She did not make it to 2013. Moment to moment – we take it all for granted having arrived at the next instant.  

I walked by today to find that Dyckman Park had been taped off with the white police tape. There was a police van outside. “Another thing,” I told myself as I ignored it on the way to the train station. 
Later in the day, I walked past my neighbor’s door – there was a sign on her door saying: 
Apparently, her home had been burglarized. There are no breaks when you live in the ‘hood – the struggle is alive and well. The realization comes to me that I live in a neighborhood that is not safe. No neighborhood really is (trouble/thieves/criminals travel) but my neighborhood does not have the luxury of being ignorant of this. I get to my apartment and I put the chain lock on my door. 
My sister texted me to invite me to my niece’s graduation. I joke that my dog, Martini, will not be able to make it as her social schedule is full. My sister retorts with “Mary, I heard a woman got raped in Dyckman park on Broadway. So be careful.” My sister is the master of tact like that…
I google the incident to see if it’s the same from earlier in the day. It is. Life is. It is sad. In that moment, my world became smaller. I felt closed in and claustrophobic. I learned that the victim had managed to fight off her attacker. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to be careful. I don’t want to be restricted. How about we just live in a safe world where these sorts of things don’t happen? 
While looking at the same online newspaper, I find that there had also been a drive by shooting up the block from me a week before. Seriously? At this point, I can’t keep up with the muggings/violence/crime/insanity in this small space of land.
I don’t even know what to say except – F* this! My movement will not be restricted and I will not be paralyzed by fear. I will, however, resolve to move the hell out of here as soon as is humanly possible. Breaking free. I somehow feel ok with the thought of moving out of the ‘hood and moving on. I have not abandoned it – it’s just too crazy/hectic/violent/movie-plot-perfect for me to remain. The craziness and insanity that surrounds me is not me. I feel comforted by this simple thought.
Oh, and my flan – it may look like crap but it actually hardened. This after 2/3 of my Barefoot Bubbly is gone… :). 
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Unexpected Conversations with a Psychic

After speaking with a psychic two times and knowing other people who had spoken with her, I had questions about how it was that she received the information she conveyed. I had asked her for an interview but that was cancelled. This past January 20th I caught up with her, I scheduled her for a third reading in which I was told that the spirits were not coming through so I began to ask her questions. Apparently, no one had ever stopped to ask about her gift:

Kathleen Moore (I was given permission to use her name! Follow her on Facebook) was born with the gift – she likened it to being born with an extra finger. You don’t really notice it or feel special. She was used to it. Lots of people gain psychic abilities after having near death experiences. Beginning at a young age she saw people others could not see. She would get messages from people. 

She was sent to a psychiatrist. She was suspected of having juvenile schizophrenia. This was a turning point in her life. She went to a psychiatrist who asked her regarding what these “people she saw” told her to do, how she saw them, and if she believed them to be real at one time. While with the psychiatrist, she saw their dead grandmother and she conveyed a message. The doctor immediately brought her mom in and told the mom that she’s not crazy. The doctor admitted that this was the first time he met someone that was gifted. They advised to keep it all a secret. 

She spoke to her mom about it and extrasensory perception runs in the family. In her late teens/early 20’s she started reading professionally. The last 5 to 6 years, psychic abilities have become more mainstream (i.e. Long Island Medium). People are now more spiritual. When she was a teen, people called her a fake which was only a fear based reaction to not understanding or being able to define her.

Kathleen has been doing readings for 22 + years. She is a clairvoyant- meaning she sees images, hears the other side and is able to connect with spirit guides. She reads by spirit. She meditates, speaks to spirit by focusing on the person’s first name. She can read via phone or remote writing because she connects to spirit. She can’t read over the computer because she sees too much. She picks up too much energy.

She sees silver threads that she weaves and sees photos in a scrapbook. Messages and psychic imagery are conveyed to her in a way that she can understand the information being presented. For example, when she says she sees marriage – for her it means a deeper commitment in which a couple might be living together without the paper or official marriage piece of it. When she is presented with a wedding taking place – she might see the physical invitation that has a year or sees wedding planning or if the person being read is a female she will see them in a wedding dress.
She asked at a young age not to be able to see “death” unless she could help or change it. The way she sees death is that she may see a calendar that goes blank and does not go past a certain time. When she sees that – it may be that the person needs to receive the message that they need to focus on their health or make other changes.
As a result of her gifts, she sees death differently. She sees it as a continuation of an awesome journey – not an end. She’s spiritual and believes in God/a higher power. She believes in divine light and love. 
She’s not so much for organized religion. She doesn’t believe in anything that’s used to hurt or judge people. She only believes in things that are uplifting and make you feel strong. God doesn’t make mistakes. Every energy is put on this earth for lessons [good/bad/indifferent]. Everyone has something to offer someone else. 

She believes in experiences, not victims. There is a higher power, miracles, angels, connection to earth- but above all God does not make mistakes. 

Her advice is to not let others tell you what you can and can’t do. We get stuck on the here and now and what we want. We forget that the Universe and spirit knows how things will go down and has a purpose for us. 
Follow this exercise – divide your life. Think of your life in terms of 5 year increments and think of something instrumental. The things that truly shape our lives and point you in the right direction – those moments, although we might be hesitant to admit, are divine interference. 
Every being has an intuitive connection but we block or close it off. 
We are souls having a human experience (via Gabrielle Bernstein aka my new obsession). Our souls are here to learn and go through a physical process- this includes meeting new people, volunteering, being employed/funemployed, experiencing the passage of time and aging, dating, connecting,  or whatever it is you are meant to be doing with your gifts (blogging for me). You must go through the process of being in a body (health/sickness etc). [Having a psychic reading will not provide you with a shortcut (my personal two cents).] You still have free will and, with that, the opportunity to “f*ck it up”. But through it all, we are guided and never alone. And in the end, what we thought were those “f*ck ups” are what turned out to be blessings in disguise- just wait for the whole picture to reveal itself to you or better yet- go out there and grab life by the cojones (male, female, or in between- have BIG b*lls).

And if you’re feeling up to it… I’ve got a number for you:

[The above transcript was printed with permission from an actual conversation with Kathleen on January 20, 2014. Some of it summarized and interpreted by me- you’re welcome.]

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I Quit: The Craziest Things I’ve Ever Done

Being on the dating scene, I’ve had to discuss what I do and other character questions. While on a Grouper date, I was asked what was the craziest thing I have ever done. My Response: 
Quitting My Job. I was in a place of unhappiness and of being down on myself because I did not comprehend how I could be stuck in a job that did not bring me joy. I was disappointed because outside circumstances should not dictate one’s happiness. No matter how much gratitude or positivity I tried to glean from what I found myself in – It caused me physical pain. There’s no other way of truly explain it. It wasn’t anything that was done to me and working at my old job wasn’t bad at all. I just couldn’t be. I couldn’t wake up, get dressed and face another day. I counted out 10 days and I left. I did not tell myself. I had an old resignation letter drafted from a few months prior. I changed the date and signed – my hands were shaking so I printed it out and tried signing three times. To be frank, I quit my job because I no longer was sleeping. I couldn’t eat and I would have panic attacks. Panic attacks are the symptoms and a visceral reaction that lets you know that there is something clearly wrong. Your body is communicating to you and you should listen. I took two Xanax-es and downed two Bud Lights (don’t ask) and I marched into Human Resources followed by my bosses’ offices. Yes, the craziest thing I did was quit my job during a recession and a not so wonderful job market. I quit without a new job waiting for me. A couple of days after my last day at work a headhunter contacted me… the rest is history.
To think that that moment exists in a vacuum would be a bold faced lie. That moment is just the converging of many things. Since this is a forum for honesty, I would add:
The craziest thing I did was not quitting. 
I had the courage to live. I did not die and I made it out of college alive. I was told on my Grouper date that I am not the typical Cornell student – super cerebral but not “all there.” This comment was followed by a second one that insinuated or alluded to the high suicide rate – “don’t people kill themselves?…” – yes, they do. The craziest thing I ever did was power through. Dealing with stress is no joke- those burdened by anxiety know that it’s a daily struggle. There is no rational behind it. Sometimes things just are. They cause you anxiety and you don’t know why. I know not to trust my thoughts. Thinking leads to over analyzing which in turn leads to dread and ends in panic.
Post Cornell it’s not just that I managed to survive. Maintaining is no longer enough. Now I feel a shift into how am I actively BUILDING my life into something that brings me joy and happiness (and even in writing that – perhaps it’s more what joy and happiness am I bringing to this thing called life- nothing can bring you happiness. It should just be.). It’s how am I present. You showed up (awesome!) but how are you making the most out of these moments?
I have been digging into this thing called spirituality and I found the following thoughts (paraphrased from Super Soul Sunday – video below) to be very enlightening:
– Pay attention to your assignments. You have to show up and get to work. 
-Everything comes up so that it can be healed. (That anxiety thing I was speaking about- it’s coming up because my body knows that my situations AND my reactions to these situations are things I need to work on. Freaking out about not being in control and being fearful of making mistakes are things that I must release – this is the work that I have to do).
-“We are not looking for the meaning of life as much as we are looking for the experience of being alive” Follow your Bliss.
-As you step [in life] something will come to support you.
I’m just happy to be here… I chose to look for joy and happiness in this crazy thing called life. It’s been a huge journey. It took great courage to quit my job but it takes even greater b*lls to stand here when all I want to do is run away. I am on my search for ultimate happiness [HINT: you will learn that your journey is awesome but happiness exists within the self.] 
My journey is not perfect but it is mine. I’m still working through my stuff. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up but I have learned a few things. Happiness is in simultaneously beING and doING. Having enough courage. Stay.

“Every experience is coming into your life based upon what you are calling in to[wards] you.” -Oprah

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