A Refresher Course In Miracles

Well, I had a very nice Christmas. On Festivus, I read the Wikipedia entry for the Yule Log to my family following viewings of Die Hard 2, A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All. On Christmas Day, I went to my cousin’s house, where we had a carb-filled feast and I played with my younger cousins. I got to meet my four month old baby cousin Madelyn for the first time. What an easygoing baby.

For gifts, I got DVDs of Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan and Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, both favorites of mine. Now I’m happy to own copies of them on DVD. I also received Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) (hilarious, highly recommended) and Nile Rodgers’ Le Freak (which as of this posting I have yet to read). I received a $50 Gift Certificate to Regal Theaters from my brother, and a food processor from my sister. I also got money from my mother to purchase additional presents, to which I bought Gabrielle Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie.

I originally purchased a hard copy of Spirit Junkie for an older friend of mine who has been reading A Course In Miracles, on which Gabrielle’s teachings are based. But I flipped through it and began reading passages from the book, and I was compelled to download a Kindle copy for myself. I just finished reading it. It’s basically the story of Gabby’s journey from tortured adolescent to thirtysomething Spiritual Life Coach. She utilizes her autobiography as a vehicle to expound on the Course, complete with guided meditations. I also downloaded a few of her guided meditations off of ITunes, which are useful.

I like to pride myself as a quasi-intellectual, but I have a soft spot for spiritual stuff like this. Although I dabbled in New Age stuff a little bit as a teenager, I began to take it more seriously five years ago after an existential crisis. It opened up a new world to me. Yet, to a certain degree, I’ve continued to take the path of least resistance, and recently, I realize it’s not serving me anymore. It’s time for me to a make a big jump in a number of ways, and Gabby’s book made me realize that the way to begin is to take a good look at my attitudes, or as she calls it, “my ego”. I realize that I haven’t been able to get some of the things I wanted because I have had my doubts about being able to carry them out. A psychic I used to see has said more or less the same thing about me in the past, but Gabby has put in a way that I now truly understand.

In her book, she also talks about relationship problems. She expounds on the Course‘s idea that no one comes to you by accident, and that rather look at challenging relationships as misfortunes, it can give us the opportunity for self-improvement. It allowed me to look at a recent non-relationship that did not end well, in a different light: that perhaps I should look at this person in a loving way, rather than be filled with grief. I’ll let Gabby explain it:

Lately, my steering wheel on my car has been feeling a little loose. Today I scheduled an appointment to have a mechanic take a look at it to see what’s going on. My father thought it might be that the steering wheel fluid needs to be checked out, but when I scheduled the appointment, the guy scheduling the appointment said it might not be that. I fretted and felt that this car is eating up a lot of my expenses. Later, I counseled myself that this is just “my ego”. Right now, I’m going to work to release (as Gabby would say) my financial insecurity. For the last several months, I’ve been trying to find new ways to make money, and it’s been stressing me out. I’m not sure if training to be a doula, a yoga teacher, or a script consultant is in the cards for me right now. It’s better for me to focus what I already have on my plate, and all of the other stuff is just taking up mental space and wasting my time. When resources are scarce, sometimes spirit is all we have.

Anyway, here’s some Grouper, who I’ve been listening to a lot of as I work on this:

And to ring in the New Year, here’s an oldie but a goodie from The Lounge Lizards:

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