With me you never know why things happen but today I was inspired to start sharing. My inspirations arise from daily lessons from A Course in Miracles. ACIM is a course in healing.
Coming out of grad school (for psychology) I had so many questions. Why are there so many theories of the mind? Why do we all disagree on what is wrong with our patients and what will heal them? Why do some patients heal and not others? As a practitioner, I realized early on that if someone wasn’t healing my choices where to blame myself for being a bad therapist, blame the patient for being a bad/non complaint patient or deem that person’s illness beyond healing. (This last one we do a lot!!!) None of these options ever sat well with me, though. And by always assuming one of these options to be true, we negligently overlook the gaping holes in healing as we know it.
Was this all we have? There had to be another way.
When I got sick I clearly understood something that had never been apparent to me before. The medical model, of which psychology is a part, has coping, chronic and remission but it has no healing. We have models that keep people sick. This is not intentional or conspiratorial as some like to assert, it is because we don’t know what true healing is.
All healing is of the mind. The mind can heal the body, but the body cannot heal the mind. The mind is the true powerhouse here but we are completely unschooled in how to use it. And so we largely ignore it as the source of healing that it is.
Following my second cancer surgery I felt a cloud hanging over my head. My brain was off to the races. It became obsessed with questions like ‘When was I going to get this again? How much time do I have? How will my kids be without me?.’ These questions haunted me. I went to one doctor who gave me a referral for a therapist. I knew there was nothing there for me. I asked my other doctor, ‘how do I not get cancer again?’ and his answer set me free. He said, 'I don’t know'.
There are many ways to process that statement. Some would be depressed hearing that truth but for me it was pure liberation. Not knowing did not mean it was difficult, it just meant it was beyond what we know. And I was happy to go there. I would go beyond what we know and I would find healing. And I did.
The basic premise of ACIM is that all healing is of the mind. This is what I have always believed. This is what drew me to psychology in the first place. I don’t know how I knew this, but I did. While this is the premise of psychology it doesn’t take it nearly as far as ACIM.
In ACIM, all healing is of the mind. Not the brain, the mind. And not some of it. All of it. Labeling something as chronic, either mentally or medically, is a failure to believe that true healing is possible. Everything is healable. We do not need to cope and we do not need to suffer, we can heal. The only thing standing in our way is what we believe to be true. To heal we must question everything we know and we have to be willing to change our minds about ourselves and the world as we perceive it.
ACIM teaches how to do this. It is a 365 day course in mind training to undo our ego based belief system of who and what we believe ourselves to be so we can know who we truly are. This is the path to peace, healing, and unremitting joy - which most of us don’t believe is possible.
While ACIM is not a religious text, God is the main attraction. God, though, is not the God that many of us where taught. For me God’s image needed a lot of reworking but I have come to know God as pure, unconditional love, grace and mercy. No suffering required, no revenge, brimstone or smiting - ever.
ACIM has cleared up all the gaping holes left by conventional religion, psychology and medicine. It has answered and continues to answer all my questions and in doing so it has answered all of my prayers. My intention with these blogs is to offer a mini 10 week course in Mind Training. For those for whom healing has remained elusive, hopefully this will resonate. For those who know there must be a better way, this may be what you have been looking for. For skeptics invested in the structures such as they are, I invite you to open the door and see what comes in. You can always choose to reject it later. As I always say, take the best and leave the rest.
The mind training techniques that I share are the ones that changed my life. They are designed to take you out of or interrupt your brain’s programmed patterns. These are not patterns you are aware of and that doesn’t matter. You do not need to believe in what you are doing to try the techniques. The only caveat is to do them without trying to anticipate the outcome. Thinking you know what will happen before it happens is not actually predicting the future (which we don’t know how to do) it is confirming that the past will recur. (More on this in our Time Travel Lesson). For now, simply be open to subtle changes you may notice.
Healing, requires a shift in perspective at the mind level not an increase in intellect or factual knowledge. Factual knowledge gets us nowhere new if our perspective remains the same. In order to undo what we know and make room for what we don’t we have to get stupid. Right now we believe in everything we know and this is a block to learning.
Before I started mind training, the words 'I don’t know were' not in my vocabulary. As a parent I am supposed to know, as a psychologist I am suppose to know, as an employee I am supposed to know. The need to know is so strong that we make up the answers. We don’t do this consciously but our brain is currently trained to land on something that we can get behind and we go with it. If you thought knowing sh*t was fun, you are in for a real treat not knowing anything!!!
I am not going to share my experiences so as to not color yours. Let’s begin….
Mind Training Lesson 1: Get Stupid
Our mission this week, should you choose to accept it, is to see everything anew.
Instead of saying 'here we go again', or 'I know what's going to happen' - say, 'I have never seen this before’. Move into curiosity, wonder, exploration and out of knowing, predicting the future and defensiveness.
Whenever your peace is disturbed don’t immediately look for the stressor - just tell yourself that you don’t know what’s going on.
Whenever a conflict arises don’t look for a solution - remind yourself that you don’t know what the problem is, hence you don’t know the answer.
In parenting, don’t know everything. Don’t know where the shoes are, when the paper is due, what time it is. Don’t know what is best or right for others, don’t advise.
When asked direct questions - be sure to answer most of them with the words IDK.
The more you use this stupid training the more you will see the changes - so be prolifically stupid to the point of comical!!!
And lastly, it’s so much more fun when we learn together. Make this collaborative. Do it with a friend or a group of friends. If you have any questions please email me. And please share your experiences with me as this always makes my day!!!
Peace and possibility,