Spiritual Psychotherapy

Five Steps to Cultivating Your Relationship with the Holy Spirit

handCultivating your relationship with the Holy Spirit is the simplest, most natural thing in the world. It is the most satisfying relationship you will ever have, and it will result in all your human relationships improving immensely. Though it may seem elusive, this relationship is right here, right now. The key to making contact with the Holy Spirit is letting go of the ego self, or what the Course calls, “undoing,” “unlearning” and “forgiveness.”

Here are five steps to cultivating your relationship with the Holy Spirit that always work–even if you don’t discern results for a while.

1. Be willing. Another way of saying this is, “Step back and let the Holy Spirit lead the way.” Willingness is pretty easy, because even if you are not willing, you can be willing to be willing. That’s good enough. Just to be sure you really mean it, say aloud, “Holy Spirit, I am willing to be in relationship with You. Help me develop our relationship.” Breathe. Fully exhale … then allow a sweet inhale to come.  Then say it again–as many times as feels right.

Feel encouraged, because A Course in Miracles promises that you cannot fail. “Be willing, for an instant, to leave your altars free of what you placed upon them, and what is really there you cannot fail to see.” (T-21.II.)

Think of “willingness” as connecting your will with God’s Will–like plugging into a Power Source, just as you do with electrical appliances and your cell phone. Willingness grows naturally after that, because once you’re connected to God’s Will, you are connected to an unstoppable Loving Force. A tiny, sincere willingness begins the process of cultivating your relationship with the Holy Spirit.

antennae drawing2. Tune In. Once you’ve stated your willingness to yourself and the Holy Spirit, consciously choose to tune in. Just as you would adjust the dial on a radio to get clear reception, do the same in your own mind. Focus your attention on the memory of God within you–it is there. The Course calls this memory the Holy Spirit. Draw your attention to something within you that Knows. This can happen quickly–in a holy instant. Trust that your intention is enough to help you tune in, even if it feels like nothing happened.

Lesson 124 tells us, “Your benefit will not be less if you believe that nothing happens.  You may not be ready to accept the gain today.  Yet sometime, somewhere, it will come to you, nor will you fail to recognize it when it dawns with certainty upon your mind.”  In the Preface, Jesus tells us that “return to God [is] not only possible, but inevitable,” and in Chapter 4, “God is inevitable, and you cannot avoid Him anymore than He can avoid you.”  And there are many more assurances of this kind throughout A Course in Miracles.

3. Establish Connection. Now that you’ve tuned in, it’s time to establish a lasting connection with your Internal Teacher, as Helen Schucman, the scribe of ACIM, referred to the Holy Spirit. How? Notice what comes to you … what ideas enter your mind? Ideas will probably not be logical, linear thoughts. For me, establishing connection has a lot to do with body language.

AmyonrugThroughout the day, I often find that lengthening up my spine creates space between my vertebrae, which invites my head to align over my shoulders (rather than poking forward) and results in the crown of my head tingling. This tingling is a receptive feeling which naturally leads to connection with the Holy Spirit. Tingling is my kinesthetic equivalent to what other people call, “seeing energy or auras.” I feel energy.

ACIM doesn’t talk about energy, but it does speak of an “individualized curriculum” where each student has their own unique process of awakening. The process simply reminds us that there is more than meets the eye, and returns us to our “spiritual eye” so to speak. In Chapter 2 we’re told, “Spiritual vision can literally not see error, and merely looks for Atonement” (which is the undoing of error, the Holy Spirit’s Correction to the ego’s mistake). For me, feeling energy is clearly undoing my identification with the seeming solidity of flesh and blood as my identity.Rumi lisa dietrich

4. Open to Guidance. Now that your connection is established, open to Guidance. If “connection” could be visualized as holding hands with Spirit, then Guidance is receiving direction. Let your Internal Teacher lead you by the hand.

kids fall downAgain, for me, at times this has been physical. Doing the Sufi turn, like the whirling dervishes do, has unwound me many times. But if this seems too esoteric, remember as little kids most of us spun around recklessly until, giggling and dizzy, we collapsed on the ground. Don’t rule out anything as a spiritual practice. I’ve also often had the experience of speaking or writing something that was beyond me … the minute the words came out, it was clear they contained wisdom that was not little Amy’s.

And, of course, there are the wonderful synchronicities that occur in mundane circumstances. Just driving in the car, I’ve received many messages–songs on the car radio, license plates with telegraphic messages, road signs, and more. These often reinforce something I’ve suspected I need to do, but haven’t quite had the courage to follow through. It’s not taking the action that is important–it is being reminded that I have nothing to fear because the peace of God lives within me.

5. Stop & Listen. Even though God is an unstoppable force, we have to stop blocking Him before He can flow through us. In order for the Holy Spirit to lead the way, we need to stop. Stop “doing,” stop talking, stop directing, stop tensing, stop clenching and bunting and resisting–for just one moment. A moment is all it takes for Timelessness to replace time (in other words, to allow the holy instant to arise).

blurryMost people have trouble with this until they get the hang of it. It is a fear/control issue. One way to sidestep the fear is to gaze out into the distance and “trance.” This is also something we all did as children. Let your eyes de-focus. Allow the world to grow blurry and recede … there is Something Else in your mind … let it appear. Now listen. Open your mind and receive what is already yours. Receive the Love, Peace and Joy that is always within you. Just for a moment, release control by suspending all judgment. The ongoing Beingness which you already are will arise naturally.

Over and over again, the Course tells us to listen. “Listen today and you will hear a Voice which will resound throughout the world through you.” (Song of Prayer); “Listen and you will learn how to remember what you are.” (T-10.V.11:7); one of my favorites, “Be not afraid today to circumvent the voices of the world. Walk lightly past their meaningless persuasion. Hear them not. Be still today and listen to the truth.” (Lesson 106); and last, but not least, “If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen.”

This last quote leads us right back to #1: Be willing. Cultivating a relationship with your Holy Spirit is a circular, right-minded process that defies ego logic and can never fail. Give these five steps a try, and let me know how it goes for you.

You may enjoy these related videos:  The Holy Relationship and Your Relationship with the Holy Spirit.  Also, you may enjoy Reasons to Keep Faith Even If You Don’t Hear God.  If you would like coaching, click here

A Better Way to Say “I Miss You”

There was a time in my life when I was separated from someone I loved because he had to do military duty in Iraq.

We were able to text and send letters and occasionally we even spoke on the phone.

But even so, inevitably we said, “I miss you.”

I began to notice that “I miss you” left me feeling lonely and helpless. At first, without realizing it, I tried to block out the yearning and pining that made my heart ache and kept me up at night. Eventually I became aware that I was tensing my muscles so I wouldn’t cry. And eating all those pints of ice cream was just an attempt to stave off loneliness with sugar.

As a psychotherapist, I knew the best thing to do was to go ahead and feel my feelings without censorship. So I consciously gave myself permission to experience the physical deprivation of my boyfriend’s presence.

At first the feelings intensified, sometimes as a deep ache, other times almost unbearably stabbing … and then they would recede. The end of this cycle bore fruit. I felt relieved, my body relaxed, it became easier to sleep at night.

And then, something inside said, “Make a ‘miss’ list.” What? Again, the inside voice said, “Make a ‘miss’ list. Be specific!” There was nothing to lose, so I sat down at the computer, placed my fingers on the keyboard, closed my eyes, and out popped:

  • I miss your smile.
  • I miss your laugh.
  • I miss seeing your face.
  • I miss just driving around in the car with you.
  • I miss holding hands.
  • I miss doing your laundry.
  • I miss you running errands for me.
  • I miss sharing meals together.
  • I miss being close, being able to hug.
  • I miss bicycling together.

Strangely, it felt good to review in detail ordinary things that I loved doing together. I breathed in and out, feeling the sweetness of what we had when we were together.

The inside voice piped up again, “Now make a wish list.” And again, my response was a dull-witted, “What?”

The inner voice patiently explained, “Turn your ‘miss list’ into a ‘wish list.’” My hands understood before I did. Some speedy typing ensued and a second list now read like this:

  • I wish I could see your smiling face right now.
  • I wish I could see you burst out laughing.
  • I wish we were driving in the car right now.
  • I wish we were doing chores together.
  • I wish we were on the beach together.
  • I wish we were eating dinner in the kitchen.
  • I wish we were holding hands and could hug each other.
  • I wish we were bicycling together.
  • I had turned “miss” into “wish.”

Then inspiration struck full force and I was moved to “translate” again, this time into an “I am” list:

  • I am seeing you smiling at me right now.
  • I am hearing you laugh out loud with happiness that you’re back home.
  • I am feeling my heart expand with the pleasure your laugh gives me.
  • I am seeing us driving around in the car together, singing along to the radio.
  • I am feeling happy and there’s a smile on my face as I think about us driving and singing!
  • I am feeling close to you, heart to heart, no matter how many miles are between us.

I had gone from “I miss” to “I wish” to “I am.” When we speak in the present tense, using the words “I am,” we activate the most powerful force within us—our Spiritual Being. “I am” ignites a creative power within ourselves that is tremendously healing and nurturing.

Whenhands_making_love_heart_with_shining_light we use this technique of translation we learn to soothe ourselves and maintain connection with our loved ones, no matter where they are. A Course in Miracles tells us, “Nothing you can do can change Eternal Love.”

On a human level, we can believe that because someone is not physically with us that we are deprived of their company. But when we become aware that love is eternal, then whether someone is in front of us or seemingly distant, the love lives forever in our hearts.

So if you’re missing someone, and would like to feel whole rather than split apart, start with the genuine feeling of “I miss you” and make a list. Then translate your list into what you wish.

Next, choose to be in the present moment with “I am” sentence constructions. Stay connected with the person you miss and actually build your relationship through specific examples of what you love about being together.

This positive appreciation actually brings you closer, builds trust and intimacy, and will surprise you with how much easier it is to be parted, whether for a day, a week, or even facing a death. Love is an eternal bond which can never be broken.

Try this better way of saying, “I miss you” and let me know how it goes by leaving a comment or emailing me at miracles@amytorresacim.com

If you enjoyed this article, read Gatita Sparkles which is about how you can never lose your loved ones because death is not really real.  And you may find these articles truly helpful also: Gatita’s Metamorphosis Into The Lady, and This Is the Best Moment of Your Life.

 

 

Which Version of ACIM Is Legit?

People feel strongly about the different versions* of A Course in Miracles, about what was edited or left out. What amazes me, although I guess it shouldn’t given the divisive nature of the ego, is the lack of empathy in seeing the best in their brothers.

It should be obvious that everyone involved with the original preparation and publication of A Course in Miracles was motivated by Love.  Not human love, but the inner grace that guided them and they chose to follow.  Everyone followed the best they could.  What we see in our brother is what we see in ourself.

Vision reveals everyone is Innocent.  Of what could anyone involved in delivering A Course in Miracles be guilty?  “You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment.” (T-3.VI.3:1)

Over the years, I’ve bought every version of the Course to see for myself if the differences are significant and concluded that any version of A Course in Miracles can heal the split mind.  How can that be?  Because I’m following the Author, not the editor.

“All fear comes ultimately, and sometimes by way of very devious routes, from the denial of Authorship.  The offense is never to God, but only to those who deny Him.  To deny His Authorship is to deny yourself the reason for your peace, so that you see yourself only in segments.  This strange perception is the authority problem.” (T-3.VI.10:4-7)

Jesus guides us all throughout the Course to ask, “What is the purpose?” of every decision.  He doesn’t leave us hanging.  Over and over, in various ways, he tells us, “The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself.”  (T-2.V.5:1)   Atonement is waking up!  Atonement is the end of ego interference and the recognition that separation never occurred.  Forgiveness, complete non-judgment, is another way of describing meaningful purpose.

Both Atonement and forgiveness release the belief in false identity — the ego — and it is recognized that we are not bodies, we are free, for we are still as God created us: Being.  Debates and arguments are for doers.  Doers are people who want to maintain identification with the ego and avoid undifferentiated Being at all costs.

There are those who state that crucial material was left out of ACIM, without explanation. But anyone who is truly interested can read Absence from Felicity by Ken Wapnick, Journey Without Distance by Rob Skutch and Understanding A Course in Miracles by D. Patrick Miller, to name a few books that give background on the subject.  Click here to read what Gary Renard has to say.  And here for Rev Tony Ponticello’s view and his response to Gary.

But don’t get caught up in a “camp” — that’s schismatic, which is exactly what the ego wants, misses the point of ACIM entirely, and is just plain silly.  Anyway, do you want to read about A Course in Miracles, or do you want to follow the guidance of A Course in Miracles?

It seems to me that Helen Schucman became a clearer transmitter for the Voice from God as she became more comfortable with the scribing process. Personally, I have no problem with early distortions of Jesus’ Message and personal material meant for her and Bill Thetford being kept private.  We still have over 1200 pages of wisdom repeating the same idea simply because we are too deaf, dumb and blind to get it the first time!

Read the Introduction to the Text:  “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”  Read (even better, practice) Lesson 189:  I feel the Love of God within me now.   It says, “Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.”

Isn’t it obvious that wasting time on which version is “right” is an ego ploy? What an ironic distraction! Any Course student worth his or her salt would recognize that in a heartbeat. A Course in Miracles isn’t important! The versions aren’t important!  Read any version you prefer.  They are all part of the illusion.

The worthy thing about the Course is its Message of Generalization — we are all the Same One – and ACIM offers us the method of forgiveness for finding that out. If you have any questions, and you are a true Course student, how about bringing them to the Holy Spirit and getting the Answer you need Directly?

And remember, the Holy Spirit’s Answer is a silent Love, a still Peace, a unified Oneness. There is no specific information. Specifics and information are not of the Abstract Mind of God.

I write this to get it off my chest. I would hope we can have a respectful conversation about this subject — and about any and every subject, for that matter. Anyone who attacks, points a finger or assigns blame is totally missing the point of A Course in Miracles.   Okay, I’ve said it.  Now let’s all choose again and go Home together. Namaste.

*Different versions of ACIM include the originally published books from the Foundation for Inner Peace, the publishing arm founded by Judith Skutch; editing done by Helen Schucman and Ken Wapnick (at first there were three separate books: the Text, Workbook for Students, and Manual for Teachers; eventually they were bound under one cover), the Urtext, the original version, the sparkly edition, and now, A New Edition, compiled by Robert Perry and published by his organization, the Circle of Atonement, among others.

Happy Now Here!

“Happy Now Here!” I got that from Mooji.  Since time is an ego construct (A Course in Miracles is one of many mystical teachings that agree on that), Timelessness is our true nature.

A Course in Miracles teaches us to practice the holy instant until we string together enough miracles (which collapse time) that we reach the Atonement (complete undoing of the belief in separation).

As Course students, how do we do that?  All together now:  “By practicing forgiveness!”  Give every moment of your life to the Holy Spirit and receive the Timeless Truth about what you really are and what you truly have every single everlastin’ eternal moment!

In Chapter 15 of ACIM, The Holy Instant, Jesus tells us to “make this year different by making it all the same.”  The same Love is always available to all of us. We are that Love. What are you waiting for? The time to love, be loved and know yourself as Love is now.  here and now yin yang

Happy Now Here!
Amy

I appreciate you 💜

Yes, you! You are top of my gratitude list this Thanksgiving! Thank you for being my “partner-in-spirituality” 🙂  grateful-heart

The Course says we each have a unique individual curriculum, and sharing how to use the body and emotions for the Holy Spirit’s purpose is mine. Thank you for your feedback about what works and what doesn’t, your questions, your sharing of miracles, and most of all, your love.

Like Lesson 197 says, “It can be but my gratitude I earn” — when I give you love, and you give me love, we mirror the Love we really are.

Of course, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to feel gratitude and Love, and yet … being around all those family members, or not having family, finding yourself stuck in traffic, or faced with so many tempting foods, can trigger so many less-than-Loving feelings. So …

* Dreading Thanksgiving? Click on Thanksgiving Song
* Happily anticipating Thanksgiving? Click on Thanksgiving Song

Yes, I know the offering for both dread and happy anticipation is the same … think about it 😉

Press your tongue …

against the roof of your mouth, just above your teeth.

Yesterday, if you followed my instructions, you took three full breaths, beginning with an exhale. Now, let’s add an element that pulls your thoughts right out of your head. This relieves anxiety, headaches, brain fog and, as ACIM puts it, “the thoughts you think you think” .

It may feel awkward at first, but play around until you get it. That’s what I did, and if I can, so can you 🙂 Read through, and then try this:

Place your tongue against the roof of your mouth, just above your teeth. Once your tongue feels okay there, press gently. Breathe naturally several times and let the nonsense in your head drop into your mouth and continue downwards until all ego mind-stuff plonks out the bottom of your feet. Mother Earth composts it 🙂

Tip #1: Place the palms of your hands on your thighs (if you are sitting). If standing, press palms of hands on a tabletop or against a tree trunk, whatever works.

Tip #2: Plant the soles of your feet firmly on the floor (barefoot is best; wearing shoes is okay, if necessary). Legs are parallel (uncrossed), feet are hip-width apart.

Extra Credit: If you want to go further, incorporate yesterday’s breath, beginning with the “birthday candle” exhale. (Click here if you need a refresher.) * Yes, you’re actually pursing your lips and exhaling while keeping your tongue pressed to the roof of your mouth, just above your teeth.

Warning: We’re working towards dancing 🙂 Have you noticed that “dance” is in “abundance” and “Guidance”? Just a clue that discovering your Inner Dance will liberate you in so many ways!

(If you’d like some personal coaching, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com — my work is really blossoming now, and I have less time available for private sessions, but if you are sincere and motivated, get in touch.)

How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You

How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You was originally a workshop which I gave at  the “Who Are You Really?” Course in Miracles conference in Cleveland, Ohio in 2012. Little by little, it has grown into a library of articles, essays, video, a Facebook page and other stuff (as it keeps growing).

The topics (see list below) include how to use the body to practice forgiveness, facing fears about death, not having to have perfect body health to spiritually awaken, how falling apart can be the best thing you can do, and more.

Here are some tantalizing quotes about the body from A Course in Miracles:

“And you have done a stranger thing than you yet realize.  You have displaced your guilt to your body from your mind.”  ~T-18.VI.2:5-6

But luckily, ” … the body is a learning device for the mind.”  ~T-2.IV.3:1

So, “The body is beautiful or ugly, peaceful or savage, helpful or harmful, according to the use to which it is put.”  ~T-8.VII.4:3

Reassuringly, “Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly.”  ~T-8.VIII.9:8

Last but not least, “The body is the means by which God’s Son returns to sanity.”  ~W-5. What Is the Body?

Topic List:

Are You Sponge-able?

Take Yourself Less Personally

The Purpose of the Body (essay) and The Purpose of the Body (video)

Death Is Just A Belief (essay) and A Happy Conversation About Death – Interview with Jon Mundy (video)

Coming Apart at the “Seems”

Body Health Is Not a Measurement of Unfolding

The Spark Is Still As Pure As the Great Light

Flossing and Feldenkrais

A Course in Miracles and Body Image (Facebook page)

God Is In Your Smile

A Better Way to Say, “I Miss You”

This Is the Best Moment Of Your Life

Ask Amy: Forgiveness – Am I Doing It Right?

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ACIMBodyImage/

Living the Language of Love, Harmony & Beauty (work-in-progress)

ACIM teaches us that the Holy Spirit’s purpose for the body is to use it as a vehicle for learning, as a communication device.  After many years of working with the Course, the body feels less like “me” and more like a beloved car–a great vehicle in which to get around; a “thing” that I do my best to treat well and maintenance regularly.

In my personal curriculum, yoga has been one way the Holy Spirit has reached my mind through the classroom of my body.  Through my personal trials and tribulations with the body, I have tried all kinds of alternative healing.

On the physical side, there’s been cranio-sacral therapy, myofascial release, visceral manipulation, Feldenkrais, every kind of massage you can name (yes, I’m a massage junkie).  Body-oriented psychotherapy has included what I call expressive-release work (see bioenergetics based on Wilhelm Reich’s work, emotional somatic healing, and EMDR (uses eye movement).

Spiritually there’s been qi gong, tai chi, Afro-Cuban motion, belly dance, Indonesian latihan, EFT and much more.

How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You is a fascinating subject, especially since the Course tells us the body isn’t even real.  But while we identify with the body, happily there is a way to use it for true healing, miracles, and the Holy Spirit’s pure loving purpose. I call this practical mysticism and embodied spirituality.

 

Ask Amy: Is ACIM Against Meditation?

Guy QuestionQ:  I’ve heard that the Course is against meditation.  Is that true?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  The Course is not against meditation.  Sometimes people misunderstand the passage where Jesus says, “Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary.” Taken out of context, that sentence might seem to be against meditation.

But in context, Jesus is telling us that fighting sin and temptation are actually ways of staying engaged with the ego. He explains that ritualistic meditation is counterproductive: “Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals for which they were set up.” (M-16)  In other words, the ego is only too happy to cleverly take over meditation for its own goal of “doing” rather than surrendering to the much happier realization that “I need do nothing” but allow the Holy Spirit to completely take over.*

Throughout the entire Course, Jesus advises that we develop a taste for spending quiet time with God. There are many meditations throughout the 365 lessons in the workbook, but usually they are called exercises or practice periods (see www.facebook.com/acimeditations). The Workbook starts off with meditations that are just a minute or two and builds to a point where we are told that we will eagerly await being able to devote time solely to God. The Text and Manual for Teachers also have meditations, and they are called holy instants, recommendations to be still and listen, wait in silence, spend a quiet moment opening to His Correction and His Love, among other phrases.

Interestingly, forgiveness, the cornerstone of the Holy Spirit’s practice, can be considered an “outward” meditation. ACIM teacher Don Giacobbe, in his book, Christian Meditation Inspired by Yoga and A Course in Miracles, proposes, “Forgiveness is meditation applied outwardly toward others. … Forgiveness and meditation have a reciprocal relationship. Since forgiveness is meditation applied outwardly, the inverse is equally true: Meditation is forgiveness applied inwardly toward yourself.” How beautiful and profound to discover that the Course offers us both internal and external meditations to access direct experience of our Innocence which is our true nature. “For now we seek direct experience of truth alone.” (W-Pt.II.Intro)

It could be said that prayer and meditation are the same thing. Both require a willingness to release belief in the body and personal identity. If we can do this for just one moment, time collapses and “the memory of God shimmers across the wide horizons of our minds.”

The ego would have us form a special relationship with meditation so that the ego can feel expert and masterful. Jesus and the Holy Spirit would have us relinquish all control and discover that meditation is the doorway into our natural Self. When we do this, day and night becomes an ongoing mindful meditation as we find, “How quiet is the time you give to spend time with Him, beyond the world.” (W-164)

* Mooji’s video, “Is It Important to Devote Time to Meditation?” may help you understand.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the July-August 2016 issue of Miracles magazine. Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community. For a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089.  Click here to purchase digital copies.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

The Spark Is Still As Pure As the Great Light

Hey Sparky!

It’s been a while since I wrote, and you’ve been on my mind the whole time. I’ve been immersed in the Thought that each and every one of us has the spark of God within us, and share this so you can feel the Light within yourself:

The power of one mind can shine into another, because all the lamps of God were lit by the same spark. It is everywhere and it is eternal. In many only the spark remains, for the Great Rays are obscured. Yet God has kept the spark alive so that the Rays can never be completely forgotten. If you but see the little spark you will learn of the greater light, for the rays are there unseen. Perceiving the spark will heal, but knowing the light will create. Yet in the returning the little light must be acknowledged first, for the separation was a descent from magnitude to littleness. But the spark is still as pure as the Great Light, because it is the remaining call of creation. Put all your faith in it, and God Himself will answer you. (T-10.IV.7&8)

Please re-read the quote slowly and thoroughly. Read it out loud. Tell yourself, “I am a lamp of God. I am the spark within a Great Ray which streams from the Great Light. I am willing to put all my faith into the spark that I may hear God Himself answer me.”

The spark is the umbilical cord back to God. The Great Ray is the bridge you cross to your Source, the Great Light. The lamp is your body when you give it to God to use for His Purpose. The ego uses the body for fear, anxiety, tension, and death. If you would like some practical mysticism for undoing the ego’s darkness and discovering your spark, join “Undoing Anxiety,” a free MiracleShare Academy webinar series. Just click the pic below.

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Glowingly, Amy

God Is In Your Smile

“Find where your smile originates and you will find your Source.”  Holy Spirit beamed this thought into my open mind and Amy crosslegged whiteinstantly I became aware that a smile is not your lips, your tongue, your mouth, your teeth, your jaw.  A smile starts deeper than that and spreads beyond the face entirely.

In fact, during my advertising career years, when I was lucky enough to work with voiceover artists and celebrities in recording studios, I learned that you can hear a smile.  If the person reading the script is faking their smile, a smile is not communicated!

(FILES): This February 24, 2008 file phoTo digress a moment, Wesley Snipes once read some copy of mine before he was famous.  And it was an honor to write for Ossie Davis, whose voice raised thrills as he warmed up by practicing some of my lines aloud.  Both of them had beautiful smiles, by the way. Ossie Davis smile

As I was saying, a smile spreads beyond your face because a smile is actually your Inner Light.  Your smile is one of those obvious, but often overlooked, clues that God is in you since your smile isn’t mechanical, therefore it must be inspired!  I remember telling my psychotherapist at a very low point in my life when I felt that I couldn’t overcome the anxiety and depression that was paralyzing me at that time, “The worst part is that deep inside I know I’m naturally cheerful — it’s in my smile!

Early in the Course, Jesus says something very interesting, “You do not know your joy because you do not know your own Self-fullness. … The full appreciation of the mind’s Self-fullness makes selfishness impossible and extension inevitable.” (T-7.IX.4:2 & 6)  Smiling is a direct route to knowing your Self-fullness and feeling the full appreciation of your True Nature which arises instantly when you do so.

Have you ever noticed that smiles are contagious?  When someone smiles at you, or you at someone, usually both end up smiling.  This is because, “The power of one mind can shine into another, because all the lamps of God were lit by the same spark.  It is everywhere and it is eternal.  In many only the spark remains, for the Great Rays are obscured.  Yet God has kept the spark alive so that the Rays can never be completely forgotten.  If you but see the little spark you will learn of the greater light, for the Rays are there unseen.”  (T-10.IV.7:5-6; 8:1-3)  Your smile can help you learn of the greater light if you follow it to the Light from which it originates.

I once knew someone who had Bell’s Palsy* which is a condition that affects the nerves in the face.  He was self-conscious John Sudworth bells palsy smilethat his smile became crooked and spent the rest of his life trying not to smile.  How sadly backwards.  It took an effort to stop smiling — and if, instead, he had smiled, he may very well have healed and reactivated the nerves and muscles of his face.  But even if he didn’t, his smile would have communicated Love which overrides any deformity.

Your smile is not your lips, your tongue, your mouth, your teeth, your jaw!

Your smile is an ordinary miracle, capable of reminding you every day that God is within you and without you.  Your smile is the Light within you. When you smile, you radiate well-being and joy.  In other words, you are a conduit for healing miracles.  And when you become conscious that you have volunteered your body to fulfill the Holy Spirit’s loving purpose, your smile is reflected back to you a thousand times more than you smiled it!

A Course in Miracles defines a miracle as being spontaneous, natural, involuntary and it collapses time.  It defines a holy instant as a miniature of Heavewink with star in eyen — providing us with an experience of Timelessness.  String together enough miracles and holy instants and — poof! — you discover your Inner Light.  Why wait?

Let’s find where your smile originates right now and you will encounter your Self.  Take a moment and follow the trail of  your smile.  Does it actually start in your mouth?  Is it in your heart?  Your eyes?  Is it moving through you and emanating from you?  Right about now you could feel a shift in perception and realize that your smile is not only within you, but you are within God’s Smile!  The real you is a Smile without a face.

Abide in your smile“Father, Your Son is holy.  I am he on whom You smile in love and tenderness so dear and deep and still the universe smiles back on You, and shares Your Holiness.  How pure, how safe, how holy, then, are we, abiding in Your Smile, with all Your Love bestowed upon us, living one with You, in brotherhood and Fatherhood complete; in sinlessness so perfect that the Lord of Sinlessness conceives us as His Son, a universe of Thought completing Him.” (W-341)

Abiding in your own smile naturally leads to the discovery that you truly abide within Your Father’s Smile.  How many times does Jesus tell us in the Course that you are not the body, you are free, for you are still as God created you?  Well, it’s true!

While you identify as human, place yourself in the Holy Spirit’s Hands for guidance.  You will find yourself smiling more and more!  As you smile, you will realize that you are not human — you are Being.  And Being is Unaffected by what is not real.

As the Introduction to ACIM states: Nothing real can be threatened.  Nothing unreal exists.  Herein lies the peace of God.

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You may also enjoy watching Service with a Smile! and reading Remember to Laugh, Happiness Is Your True Nature and This Is the Best Moment of Your Life.

* Click here to read about John Sudworth’s attitude towards Bell’s Palsy.

God Is In Your Smile was originally published April 26, 2015 and this is the newly revised and updated version.

To hear Amy speak about A Course in Miracles, watch her YouTube videosIf you’d like to ask Amy a question for her popular Ask Amy column in Miracles magazine, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com …  To receive blessings from Amy, read Sweet Dreams of Awakening.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, Amy’s online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.