A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 74

Effort is overrated.  My dad used to tell us “Work smarter, not harder!”

Thoughts of conflict are artificial constructs that we’ve been taught have reality.  The truth is that there are no conflicts unless we create them.  We GIVE them reality. 

The trouble with that is once we start to hand over our power for love, for joy, to that darn little terrorist demon on our shoulder, he will by all that’s holy take ALL your power, ALL your energy, ALL your mind and he will feed you back the conflict, pain and hurt you started with until it’s unbearable.

How about trying the easier way, though?

How about using your power for creation to make positive change?

It DOES take effort at first.  Some days it’s a constant struggle.  But it is SO WORTH THE EFFORT!

Remind yourself that you have NO IDEA what was going on in that other persons’ head when they made that hurtful remark.

Remind yourself that your job is NOT to continually re-hash every thing that’s said to you today, looking for signs that someone else is trying to spread their pain around.

Ever see the movie “Barnyard”?  One scene is that classic set of lots of holes in the ground, and every time you look there’s a groundhog popping up out of a different hole.  The coyotes can’t catch them ’cause they just pop back down, then come up in a different hole. There are holes everywhere, it seems.

(Photo by mieneresterampe, courtesy of Pixabay)

Our negative thoughts can be just like those darn groundhogs, popping up when and where we least expect them.

If we keep whacking at them, we’ll eventually tire them out and BAM, that one will be gone for good.  That means one less sh**ty thought to deal with tomorrow.

Once we get rid of the darn things, the holes will fill in and eventually we have our lovely smooth lawn again.

Work smarter today.  

Pick one crappy thought out of the crowd and mash it into nothingness.

There.  One down, and a bunch to go.

It DOES get easier with practice.

Let your Easter Sunday be a day when you immerse yourself in the timeless river of love and contentment.  Let it all go.  Just be happy today. And if you DO have to whack a few negative thoughts, do it and let them go.

Have a blessed day today!

 

Photo by kirkandmimi, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne

A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 73

There’s a light on already!

Our preconceived notions change what we are able to see.

If we let our ego guide us, that little demon will take us to a very dark place, indeed.

But if we remind ourselves that WE are in charge of HOW we perceive everything around us, the light starts to penetrate the fog.

Here’s an example:  My husband (of 21 years) is laid off from work due to the Corona virus pandemic.  He’s a handy guy, loves to fix and build stuff.  When we bought the house we’re living in, it had no electricity and only cold running water.  It was built by an Amish couple who sold it when they moved back to Pennsylvania.

So, the plan was that we’d buy it and fix it up,  knowing that Jim and our son Tyler could do all the work to modernize.

Three years into our grand plan, we still have a long way to go.

We do have electricity in most of the house.  We do have hot running water in the shower.  So we’ve made progress.  

Three or four days ago, I asked Jim to switch the light over the bathroom sink.  I purchased a nice 3 light fixture a year or so ago,and it’s been waiting to get installed ever since.  I figured there’s a fixture there, he could put the nice one up without too much effort.

Came home from work that day, and instead of putting the bathroom light in like I’d asked, he’d spent the day outside in the garden and in the barn (just like the last three weeks).  Then, just as I drove in from work, he and Tyler took off with the trailer to get a load of hay for the horses.

I was teed.

He’s been home now for almost a month, and I’m still waiting on all the projects that need done in the house.  I had even asked nicely!

By the time they got back, I was in bed and mostly asleep,so I never said anything.  I was still pretty aggravated, though.  During the day, I thought about it some more and decided that it just wasn’t worth being mad about.  Sooner or later it’ll get done.  So I let it go.

A couple of days go by, and while chatting after I’d come home yesterday, Jim mentioned that he wasn’t feeling very energetic and had been pretty tired for a couple of days.  I gave him the highlights of my day on the phone at work, and asked what he’d got done.  He said “Not much, and sure not as much as I wanted.” I could tell he was feeling pretty rough.

At this point, I was really glad I hadn’t made a big deal out of a small thing!  

Point being:  If I’d listened to that “ego-demon” on my shoulder, I’d have made a big deal out of the fact that the light didn’t get installed.  I’d have felt all self-righteous about it, too- after all, I’m working all day, right?  Can’t he get up for an hour just to do ONE little thing?

But what would that have accomplished?

I’d still be mad, he’d also be mad, and we’d probably have had an argument.  Is a darn light fixture THAT important?  No.  It would have been my ego, whispering that “If he REALLY cared, he’d have gotten this done.  He doesn’t actually give a darn what YOU want.”

It was obvious that he felt ill, and honestly, there’s a lot of days when I’m too tired to get much done, either.

He did bring it up a day or so later, saying he was sorry he hadn’t got it done yet.  My response?  “Oh, well, sooner or later!”. And when that came out, I felt lighter, as though I’d let something heavy down, and let it go.

What a blessing!  By just keeping my mouth shut for a day, I got to experience that feeling of forgiving, and it truly is like setting down a heavy load.

What are you holding onto, that’s keeping you tied down in the dark?

Let it go, and allow yourself the luxury of forgiveness.  Drop your anger, fire your ego, and fly above the clouds into the light!

Photo by nonmisvegliate, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne

A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 72

Abundance surrounds us.

Especially now, here, in Spring, life in its myriad forms begins trying to bust the bank wide open.

Two weeks ago, my son and I were conducting our irregular survey of the creek that runs below our fenceline.

One of the objects of these excursions is to see just how many different signs of life we can identify.

Mink, raccoon, and turkey tracks were abundant in a few silty spots.

Small rushes, sedges and grasses are starting to reach for the sunshine.

In the water, a few tiny crawfish, no longer than the tip of my pinky finger.  A few baby salamanders, about twice as big as the crawdads.  

Most astonishing, salamander eggs by the hundreds, glued to the bottoms of flat rocks, submerged in the not quite ice-cold water.  About every third rock my son turned over was decorated with groups of tiny eggs.  For probably a half mile or more, we explored, turned over rocks, and looked at everything.  SO much LIFE, preparing to explode out into our little corner of the ecosystem.

Nature may sleep in winter, but in the Spring she bounces out of bed and prepares a banquet for all.

The Universe is like this, too.

We may slog through times that appear to be hard, feel cold, and seem like they’ll never end.  But as long as we keep moving and have faith, that change will arrive.  And we will finally be able to see and experience the abundance that has actually surrounded us the whole time.

Set your sights on the feast that the Universe has ready.  Don’t waver in your determination to reach that table, covered in every good thing, in quantities that never end.

And remind yourself, once every hour, that you are part of that abundance, mind, body and soul. 

It’s our skewed perceptions of scarcity that keep us in a state of want.  Once we open our hearts to the full extent of that Divine banquet, we’ll see that it’s been on the table all the time.  We just have to take our seats.


Photo by socaljournalist, courtesy of Pixabay
Be safe and blessed today!

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne

A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 71

Ask the Universe this question today:  

“What do you mean for me to do, to become?  What do you mean for me to say and accomplish?  What is my real aim, my goal? ”
If you let your ego answer, it’ll take you on a guided tour of all the crappiest things possible in life, because it glories in the negative.  Your ego, that little demon on one shoulder, just loves to help you suffer.

Bur if you ignore your ego, tune out that demon (no matter how loud he screams) you will start to hear the small, still voice of the Divine.  The angel on your other shoulder is too well-mannered to shout, too kind to poke you and pinch you to get your attention.

Your ego is a dismal navigator, and will be sure to find a great roadmap to somewhere you don’t want to be.  It’ll take every chance to help you get hopelessly lost, then crow about how poorly you’ve managed the trip.

On the other hand, if you don’t pay attention to your ego and instead focus on the Divine, you’ll get your answers, your direction, and your purpose. It doesn’t have to be a painful process.

Admittedly, it may take time for the details to become clear in your mind.  It may evolve and change as time goes on.  Patience is part of the process.

EVERY person’s choices have an effect on the world we experience.  

Your job and mine is to not get distracted by the trivia, and to continue to focus on the importance of each choice we make.

Let the Universe unfold to you today.  Allow yourself time to contemplate your direction, your purpose and passion.  Give yourself the mental space to see your REAL choices, your meaning, your message.

Three times today, quiet your mind and ask the Universe “What am I intended to do?  What should I focus on?  How do I aid the Divine plan?”

Be prepared, though!  The answers you get may not be anything like what you expect, and the road you travel may take you to an alien landscape.  

Keep moving.  Have faith.  And, whatever you do, don’t stop believing!

Be safe and blessed today.


Photo by jplenio, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne

A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 70

Ever had someone tell you that “You need to face reality!” ?

My sixteen year old son told me the other day that he prefers to “be more realistic”.  He’s basically telling me that he expects that the Universe is a dark, cruel place, and he’s afraid to be “too optimistic”.

But what kind of “reality” is that, and why would any human want to believe that?

I prefer the brighter view, the kinder and more loving Universe.

I prefer the Universe that’s pretty much taken care of me for the last 50+ years.  I’ve never gone hungry.  I’ve always had a roof over my head.  I’ve never needed a drink of clean water, and been unable to find one.  

When  was 13, I decided that it was time for me to get a “real” summer job.  Babysitting and washing cars wasn’t bringing in enough cash to cover the stuff I wanted.  I talked with my parents, (knowing that they’d have to drive me to work and pick me up) and they agreed.

A couple of weeks went by.

Finally, my Dad asked me “So, are you going to actually look for a job?  Do you think someone is just going to call you, out of the blue, and ask you to come and work for them?”

 I had to admit that it seemed unlikely, and resolved to start actually calling around the next day.

I never got the chance.

At 9 the next morning, my Dad answered the phone.  He got a very odd look on his face after a few.minutes.  When he hung up, he turned to me and said “Get dressed, you have a job interview.”

It turned out that a friend of one of my “babysitting families” had a small business out on the highway about 5 miles from home.  This friend was someone my Dad knew, as he’d stopped at the place a few times for a burger and a beer.

This friend needed summer help, and she’d asked a couple she knew if they had any recommendations.  They’d given her my name.  They were one of my babysitting families – I’d watched their three boys several times over the last couple of years.

I worked for that lovely lady for four summers, weekends during the school year, and on holidays.  She’s the person who first taught me that I was the only one in charge of my feelings and my attitude.  I’m still learning that lesson every day.

I wish that every teenager who gets a summer job could work for someone like LouAlice.  She was irreplaceable.

What’s YOUR story?  When has the Divine handed you an unexpected gift?

Photo by klimkin, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne

A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 69

“My grievances hide the light of the world that’s in me.”

 The Course in Miracles makes this statement, and I’ve got to admit that it’s true.

If I hang on to the negativity that some people spend their lives spreading around with a lavish hand, my light gets dimmer and dimmer, until I can’t see it myself.

But if I let that experience go, if I forgive, the gloom begins to lighten and then will clear away completely.

It’s apparently a “natural” reaction, to hash and re-hash those hurtful things, but unless we truly release the thing, it’ll hang on like a darn cockleburr, constantly aggravating until it works its way through your clothes and soon drawing blood.  They’re incredibly painful, grow in the most unlikely places, and grab on when your attention is elsewhere.

Like that cockleburr, we have to dig the hurt out, get every bit of it out of our shirt or pants so that it can’t keep hurting us.

When you’ve finally pulled one of these things from a pair of jeans, you REALLY want to toss it in a fire and watch that thing burn!  They’re covered in tiny claws, and they literally hang on for all they’re worth.

Once you get it out and burn it, toss the ashes of that hurt into the wind.  

A great exercise for this is to write about your experience.  Write everything about it that keeps replaying in your head.  Then, step outside and put a match to it.  Let it burn, and watch the ashes drift away.  Let go of everything you wrote.

If you can master this, you can rid yourself of all those old grievances that haunt you, and find peace.  Once you’ve burnt away the clouds of resentment and pain, the sun will come back into your soul. 

Spend 15 minutes today, writing down everything about some painful thing that’s been going ’round and ’round in your head.  Then burn your page of writing, and let it go.  Free yourself of that pain and let the wounds heal.

Then go out and let the sun shine on you.  Maybe you’ll even get to see a rainbow!

Have a blessed day today, and be safe.

Photo of rainbow at Lake Powell by skeeze, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne

A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 68

Balance may be overrated.  Then again, maybe it’s just a question of degree.

There’s a constant barrage of reminders to “Don’t get carried away!” or ” Don’t let it take over your life “.

Sometimes this is good advice.  If it’s something negative or unhealthy, you do need to rein it in.  But what about your creativity?  What about your purpose, your passion?

Do you really have to sacrifice everything and everyone on the altar of your calling?  What if you don’t?

My favorite quote on this subject is “We’re not called to balance, we’re called to purpose.” (Ruth Soukup in “Do It Scared”).

In order to make your dreams reality, you may have to give up something else.  This is why it’s so important to focus on the RIGHT thing, the RIGHT dream, going in the RIGHT direction.  Because, face it, we only have so many hours in a day.

And in order to get your dream to the lift-off stage, you may need to cut yourself some slack on getting other things done, like mopping the floor or cooking every meal from scratch, or keeping the lawn mowed.  

This just means that you have to get a bit more creative in how you allot your time.  Maybe on the weekend you can make a couple of different favorite dishes and pack some in the freezer.  Get your family involved.  You don’t necessarily have to go it alone, and we all have to get some things done just to survive.

Personally, I make it a rule that I ONLY cook on the weekend, and use my weekend dishes to make dinner from for the rest of the week.  I’ve been doing this for so long, I don’t feel guilty about it anymore.

As far as balancing, though, this see-saw  definitely ends up with the creative end weighing far more than the housework end.  I’ll never be the ideal housewife (if indeed such a person exists).  And I’ve made my peace with that.  It’s not my thing.

What’s holding you back?  Do you have unrealistic expectations for yourself?  Do you expect that you should be able to get it ALL done, every day?  Do you berate yourself about the things you don’t get done?

If you’re going to go overboard, take your creativity with you.  Carve time out of your busy schedule to be creative.  Then, come back to your responsibilities.  Yes, it’s a balancing act, but it’s SO worth the effort.

Make time to just have fun with your family, especially now!  Even if it’s just hide-and-seek in the backyard, do something

And don’t forget to take care of yourself.  Remember to find a spot in your day to “get carried away” !  

It’ll inspire you, and make your family time more joyful and precious.

Have a safe and blessed day today!


Photo by MMazer , courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne

A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 67

You were created by love, to love and to be loving.

Face it, here.  The Universe doesn’t need another whining, self-pitying voice.  There are plenty of people around who are willing to let go of their personal power to change and grow, so they can feel sorry for themselves.

But you’re obviously NOT one of those people.

You want to be the best human that you can be, and that’s why you’re here, reading this.

Remind yourself today that even Albert Einstein was confounded by the reality of the Quantum Field and the possibilities it introduces into how we conduct our lives.

The field exists as an ocean of possibilities, just waiting for you to focus on one of them so that it can “collapse” into the material world we’re used to experiencing.  The biggest question you have to answer is “What reality do I want to focus on?”

 Because what we focus on is what we see, and our vision immediately starts to exclude all possibilities from view.

What’s YOUR big dream reality?

What is it that you REALLY want to do, to be, and to experience?

When you start to focus on that, everything else falls away like the butterfly’ chrysalis when it emerges into its first day.  You and I are exactly like that butterfly, probably at different stages but still working our way toward that magical emergence from the cramped confines of the shell that enfolds us.

Start breaking out today.  Get ready to fly.

Remind yourself today twice every hour, of the reality of YOUR dream, and the fact that you’ve been in your cocoon long enough to grow and develop your wings.

Focus on your dreams, and let them emerge into daylight.

And have a blessed day today!


Photo by GLady, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne

A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 66

Been talking to that voice in your head?

Pam tells us that even bothering to engage with that jerk gives it power.  

It’s admittedly hard to turn off that voice.  I struggle with this most days. 

I picture my situation as being kind of like the cartoons i grew up watching on Saturday mornings – I have a cute little angel (including tiny golden halo!) on one shoulder, whispering sweet, loving affirmations in my right ear.  Then there’s the ugly little devil on the other shoulder, shouting at me all the things that I’ve done wrong, all the things I should have said, all the things I shouldn’t even be considering.

It’s REALLY hard sometimes to ignore that loud guy.

And, frequently, I do not succeed.

But every day I start over.  I have to sweep the trash from yesterday up, pick it up in the dustpan, and toss it in the trash.  I keep trying to sweep that jerk up, too, but most days he jumps out of the trash and climbs right back up my arm, shouting all the way.

But because my purpose is to BE, to CREATE, and to personify JOY, I keep at it.

Do you struggle with this, too?

My “escape” from that little demon is my craft.  When I’m sewing, or felting, or gardening, or even writing (sometimes), I’m heading into the zone where my whole being engages with my hands, and his voice sort of dulls down to a minor buzz.

What’s YOUR craft?  What is it that YOU do, that pulls your mind back into your heart, and drowns out that jerk’ voice?

Do THAT today.  

And when he starts shouting in your ear that you’re not good enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, remind yourself that you ARE enough.  You ARE UNIQUE, so how could you even be not enough of anything?

And turn your ear to the angel on your other shoulder.  THAT’S something worth listening to!


Photo by Alexas_Fotos, courtesy of Pixabay

Be blessed today!

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne

A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 65

Joy is our real purpose in life.

The pursuit of joy, the inspiration of joy, the experience of joy – this is our sole reason for being on this planet.

Everything we do, every thought, every action should be taken with the aim of causing more joy, more happiness, more fun.

Most people can’t actually make themselves believe this utterly foreign idea.  We’re raised being told to “Settle down!” “Don’t be so loud! ” “Get to work!” 

And after eighteen years of being instructed in how to be dull, how to fit in, how to be “productive”, most people settle down and get to the work of not being so loud.

What we really ought to be doing is encouraging our kids and ourselves to get out there and start singing in the rain, dancing while it’s snowing, creating art and gardens and playgrounds.

Life is literally too short to waste all of it on fitting in.  What is that even about?  Everyone’s completely unique, so how can anyone really hope to fit in?  And, more importantly, why?

What’s your plan for joy today?

Spend 10 minutes today, and start making a plan for your own joyful production!  But remember to keep your “Social Distance” and stay well.

Be blessed today!


Photo by WinnieC, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 

LeslieAnne