I just googled the word Perception and here’s how Wikipedia defined it: “Perception (from the Latin perception, percipio) is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment.” And then, more pages follow…but let us consider that first statement, which is very powerful. The way we see and interpret the world around us is directly linked to the way we think and feel about ourselves, and then the way we think and feel about ourselves is a direct reflection of how we behave towards others and exist in the world.
In Marianne Williamson’s recent “Soul Sunday” discussion with Oprah, she defined a miracle (referring to the teachings from A Course in Miracles) as “a shift in perception from fear to love.” A Course in Miracles teaches us, that if we are willing to change the way we look at and perceive the world around us (and ourselves within it) we can radically change our reality from fear to love, from darkness to light.
This is such an unbelievably important and insightful interview (you can watch it by clicking onto OWN full episodes on the net) and if you haven’t seen it already, I can’t recommend it enough. Marianne says, “If I’m not happy, there’s something I’m not looking at correctly” and that “We are either walking in the direction of fear, or the direction of love.” Love is not to be confused with romantic love, but rather positive energy, fear is darkness, love is light. There’s nothing in between. You’re either operating from a place of fear or love; if you’re feeling happy, you’re walking the path of love, when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, angry or depressed, you’re walking the path of fear.
This is my third attempt at studying A Course in Miracles. I first picked up the text in 2005 and again in 2006 and found it daunting. I was overwhelmed and a little spooked by it. Simply not ready. However, now that I myself now fully understand what it means to have a radical shift in perception, and truly feel after a life almost entirely made up of fear, I’m ready to fully commit to this text. Now that I am clearer about my true purpose in life (Writing, Teaching and Speaking as a Transformational Life Coach) I am open to this process. My previous careers as a performer and screenwriter, although essential to my path of development were not truly of relevance to me. Those “titles” for me were fear based and focused on exterior validation. I didn’t realize this until recently I had a breakthrough session with Intuitive Catalyst and author Becky Walsh which radically shifted my perception of things.; and made me wake up to what I truly believe is important. Perhaps, if I hadn’t recently experienced my own radical shift in perception, I wouldn’t be writing these words. In fact, I know I wouldn’t. Thank you Becky Walsh!
Every single spiritual teacher that I revere; Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Robert Holden, and so many more, refer to A Course in Miracles as being transformative to their spiritual evolution. So 2014 is the year for me to dive into the teachings.
I think a wonderful way to approach the teachings of this text without diving in head first, is to first watch Oprah’s interview with Marianne Williamson and then to read Marianne’s book A Return to Love, which in it’s day was a best seller, and to this day remains one of the most effective and powerful books ever written. I am also in the middle of reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s “Spirit Junkie” which also teaches the principles of A Course in Miracles, and is perfect for a young and contemporary audience. Starting with Oprah’s interview with Marianne however, is essential for anyone who believes that changing your thinking can change your life, and as Marianne said in that interview, “If you know what changes a heart, you know what changes the world”…that’s some inspiring stuff.
So as a suggestion for today, you might want to try this out. Every hour try checking in with yourself, to see how you’re truly feeling. I love Martha Beck’s suggestion of asking yourself whenever walking by a mirror, “How you doing sweetie?” Are you feeling good or bad? Are you walking on the love path or the fear path? If you find yourself walking on the love path, that’s excellent, but if you’re on the fear path, you might want to say to yourself; “I’m willing to see this differently”.
Love from Claire xx