Inspiration For The New Year

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  —  Marianne Williamson

I collect quotes.  My journals are full of them.  They inspire me, challenge me, and help me tap into the thoughts of some of the greatest minds to ever walk this earth.  I believe the quotes a man keeps say a lot about his character.  Although Dorthy L. Sayers may be more correct when she says, “A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.”

I’ll leave it to you to test the fruits of my labor.

The quote by Marianne Williamson above is one of my favorites.  I originally heard that quote attributed to Nelson Mandala, but later learned Williamson penned those words in her book A Return to Love – Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. Recently, I took the opportunity to listen to that book on tape, as read by the author herself.

The audio book isn’t very long, just two cassette tapes.  I was able to listen to the entire book in just two and a half daily commutes to work.  Williamson is an inspiring speaker and she delivers her material with a rapid-fire delivery style.  I found her book to be so pregnant with insight and wisdom that I felt compelled to listen to the entire work three full times.

In a nutshell, A Return to Love is Williamson’s story of how she discovered A Course in Miracles and how it saved her life.  She devotes much of the book to explaining her take on the principles of the Course, which she now teaches to others.  If A Course in Miracles could inspire such a profound work, I reasoned, then I need to get that book for myself.

And so my Christmas gift this year was a trip on the Internet to purchase A Course in Miracles and another Amazon-recommended book about the Course by Gary Renard titled The Disappearance of the Universe.  Over the Christmas holiday, I took some time to begin both books.

I also scheduled some time to review the accomplishments from 2008, and to set my goals for 2009.  Like Zig Ziglar says, “You can’t hit a target if you’re not aiming for one.”  Last year, I had multiple goals in seven different life-categories, including family, career, finances, and spirituality.  My results were a mixed bag; some important goals achieved, but many still unattained.

I started to compile a new list of potential goals for 2009, but as I spent more time exploring the principles of the Course, it became clear where the focus for the coming year needed to be.  In 2009, I will focus on a single goal: the study of A Course in Miracles, including the Text, the Manual for Teachers, the Clarification of Terms, and the Supplements, and the practice of the exercises in the Workbook for Students.  I will also seek out other texts that can further clarify the Course, like Williamson’s and Renard’s.  As I learn more, I’ll do my best to share what I’m learning with you.

My goal is inner-peace and healing, in my life and in yours.  May the Holy Spirit bless this effort and grant the miracle of Christ’s mind in our lives.  Amen.