May Cause Miracles: Final Review

As promised, here is the final review of May Cause Miracles. I will admit after I finished with day 42, I put the book down until yesterday. I think I mentioned in the last post how I am realizing that I have a hard time finishing stuff. Especially books. I have this tendency to ALMOST finish but many times never quite getting there. I’m curious as to why. Maybe I have a problem with things ending?!?! hmmmm something to look into.

Ironically, one of the first things the book says after Day 42, aside from the story of  the Golden Buddha (which I actually suggest you read first), is  one of two things that typically happens upon finishing the assignments.

1.  You become so inspired by the work that you commit to these principles in all of your affairs, deepening your spiritual practice more and more each day

2. You feel great and therefore conclude that the work is over. Within a few weeks (maybe even days), the ego convinces you that you’re healed and no longer need the daily practice. You lose sight of your miracle mindset.

What’s interesting is that as I just wrote that, I realized that one of these two options can be common for people during any process of changing bad habits. When spending a long period of time used to one way of life, and then trying to change for the better, your ego can go through a rough time and it will do what it needs to do to make sure you aren’t ignoring it for too long. Even if it is making you feel great for your progress convincing you that everything is fine, like in example #2. It’s like a sneaky little ghost, because over time, if you don’t continue your practice, the ego WILL sneak  its way back in convincing you that it knows best. It’s like when people who lose a lot of weight, they are told they have to continue their healthy practices to keep the weight off otherwise it can be easy to gain it all back.

I think the difference between success and failure (for lack of better words) is the difference between #1 and #2. When you find something that works for you in a positive way I think it is highly imperative to actively continue your practices. Humans are creatures of habit, habit is built by consistent repetitive behaviors. I’ve heard the average time it takes to form a new habit is around 60 days and that’s with daily repetition, but to KEEP that habit has to become a lifestyle.

I could already see myself slipping into #2 right after Day 42. I mean it took me a few weeks to even finish the book. I want to work on #1 and keeping everything I have  learned in mind so I can continue to practice choosing love over fear. I can admit, over the years, choosing fear has become the easy thing to do. Going the route of #2 is the EASY thing to do. Sticking to #1 takes effort and practice. Moment by moment we have choices to make. I’m ready!

If you have noticed, each week there were 7 basic principles to practice when learning how to choose love over fear. Witness Fear, Willing to choose Love, Shift perspective, Foster Gratitude, Practice Forgiveness, Expect Miracles, Reflect. Gabrielle puts the story of the Golden Buddha at the end because like in the story, we need tools to uncover our light within.

Sun_Light_Energy

“Cracking open to your golden light is one thing, but nurturing your glow is another”. Here are 8 ways Gabrielle’s suggests to KEEP your light shining bright:

1. Be Patient “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety” – (A Course In Miracles)

2. Seek to Find Joy In A Joyless Place “It’s easy to be committed  to love when everything is going great in our lives…It’s entirely different to be committed to love in the midst of the dark periods”.

3. Look At The Problem So It Can Be Solved “Upon recognizing each of our problems as assignments to grow, we can be guided to perceive them differently…Accepting this truth will help you honor all of your life’s experiences, the good and the bad”.

4. Don’t Obey the Ego’s Interpretation of Fear“Acknowledging your ego’s fear is much different from believing in it”.

5. Let Go of External PerceptionsYour external experiences doesn’t dictate your internal experience…Your happiness doesn’t rely on something outside of yourself.”

6. Deny the Ego’s Interpretation of the World – “Witness the ego in action but remember that the false perceptions are not your truth.”

7. Be Mindful Not to Make Your Practice Special – “There can be a tendency to make yourself special for choosing love…that specialness creates more seperation…be mindful”.

8. Learn the Happy Lessons of Forgiveness“Through forgiveness you will be released…Accept each encounter as an assignment and you will be released from the ego’s story”.

We all have fearful thoughts, we all can feel controlled by these  fearful thoughts from time to time, therefore I think this book can be a great read for anyone. Even if you consider yourself to be a mostly happy person, there’s always room for more happiness. May Cause Miracles takes a very subtle approach to recognizing your everyday thoughts and strengthening your power to CHOOSE love every time.

Whether you are trying to lose weight, stop an addiction, change your attitude, strengthen relationships, Following your dreams, etc… It all involves learning how to choose loving thoughts over fearful ones. Fear halts your life, while Love moves you forward.

You can read my progress throughout May Cause Miracles by clicking on the links below:
Week 1: Here and Here
Week 2: Here and Here
Week 3: Here
Week 4: Here
Week 5: Here and Here
Week 6: Here and Here

Think about any changes you are going through…how can what you’ve read above help you in your practice? Feel free to leave a comment below.

xoxo,

barista

Don’t forget Gabrielle has a 6-week live online course for May Cause Miracles starting starting soon. For more info and to sign up CLICK HERE

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The Golden Buddha Within

The last chapter of May Cause Miracles started with a beautiful story about a Golden Buddha. I thought it was worth sharing: images

In 1957, a group  of Tibetan monks was informed that they would have to move their sacred shrine because a highway was being built on that land. A focal point of their inhabitance was a huge clay Buddha, which also had to be relocated. Moving the Buddha was no small feat. The monks arranged to have a crane move the Buddha to their new location. The moment they started lifting the Buddha on the crane, the clay began to crack. To make matters worse, rain was pattering down, deepening and widening the cracks. To protect the Buddha from further damage after it had been moved, the monks covered it with tarps overnight. During the evening, the head monk went under the tarps with a flashlight to check on the clay Buddha. Upon shining light on the Buddha the monk noticed golden shimmers of light radiating from the cracks. He brought back his chisel and hammer to chip away at the clay and uncover the shimmer from within the Buddha’s frame. As the monk chipped away at the clay Buddha, he realized that it was not clay after all– the Buddha was made of gold. Surprised by his discovery, the monks were eager to determine the heritage of the Buddha. They learned that many centuries earlier, their predecessors worshiped the Buddha in its golden form. These ancestral monks got word that the Burmese army was coming to destroy their community and attack them, so they covered the Buddha in clay to protect it. The monks were killed in the attack, but the army placed no value on the clay Buddha and therefor left it unharmed.

reason for this story… “Inside we are all Golden Buddha’s, but we grew to believe we were made of clay. Our ego’s false perceptions led us to grow into a belief system that covered our inner light. We’ve spent years, maybe decades, masking our truth. Now it’s time to embrace our light and reconnect with our Golden Buddha within.” – Gabrielle Bernstein

 

xoxo,

barista

May Cause Miracles: Week 6 Part 2

imagesCAQRU0YXI know its been a little while since I wrote my last May Cause Miracles post. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to work on following through. I have noticed that when something is coming to an end, procrastination sets in big time and it takes me forever to actually finish, if at all. This happens a lot especially when reading books.

Day 39 was about Gratitude to the World. My favorite quote from this chapter is “when you stop trying to make the world serve you, then you can serve the world”.  Gratitude is very important in these processes because it becomes very easy to focus on the negative things around you versus the good things you are thankful for. “I am grateful for my new perceptions  of the world”.

For this evening exercise I had to write a gratitude letter to someone who has greatly affected my life. “By charing your gratitude with others, you inspire them to carry on their sacred path. Shining light on the accomplishments of others brings more light to the world”.

My letter was to my fiance, Justin. I can admit, and I’m sure he could tell you, I don’t do enough focusing on the great things he does for our relationships. So I wanted to take the opportunity to do so. I wasn’t going to share it, but here goes (also will be his first time reading):

Dear Justin,
I just wanted to let you know because I don’t express it enough….Thank You! Thank you for loving me. For always thinking of me. For being thoughtful and always there. For listening to the things I like and love and showing up. For always planning amazing stuff and surprising me. Even though I don’t like surprises I appreciate the effort behind them. For keeping a spark alive even when I don’t give back like I should. Thank you for loving me even when I’m crazy, when I wake up with wild hair, and can be annoying. Thank you for even the hard times because it’s those moments that are making me grow. Forcing me to grow even though you may not realize it. Sometimes I don’t realize it either. I know I don’t always give back in the same ways you give to me but I want you to know I do notice it, and I DO appreciate it. I love you for being that guy. I’m trying and focusing on being the best I can be so in return I can be the best for the relationship. Thank you for the patience. I love you!
Love, Ashley

After gratitude day comes the day for forgiveness. Forgiveness is always huge because it allows you to let go of things that can hindering the possibility to effectively move forward. It’s a huge cause of fear and leads to resistance when it comes to choosing the love path.

“I forgive the false projections I have placed on the world” was the affirmation for Day 40. On this evening I had to write another letter, this time one of forgiveness to a person or organization I have been resenting. It’s interesting because my letters of gratitude and forgiveness were to the same person. This one is a little more personal to both parties involved so I will not be sharing it, but it was a little enlightening to write the things I had held on to. To look at how those fears have held me back.

The biggest thing was to choose to see love instead of the false projections. The false projections are the surface of the behaviors I was resenting whereas love is what’s deeper inside. The truth I know is there and was empowering to commit to see the truth versus the fears. Something I have to continue to remind myself, especially when shit seems to hit the fan 🙂

The book is a “40 day” guidebook but to complete the week there is actually 42 days. Day 41 is about fully taking in that I AM A MIRACLE WORKER! “I am here to be truly helpful”. It’s all about remembering that this is what we are here for. Gabrielle stated that one of her resolutions was to measure her success by how much fun she is having. I was then to look at the areas we focused on in the book and see how I could inject more fun into those areas.

Here are some of the questions that were asked. Take a look and see how you can apply these to your life.

Self Love: In what ways can I have more fun on my own in my everyday life?

Miracle of the Body: How can I enjoy he process of physical activity? What innovative and challenging workouts can I try? How can I enjoy the process of eating healthy foods?

Holy Relationships: How can I bring more fun into my relationships? What thoughts, conversations, actions, activities can I bring into all of my relationships?

Miracle of Abundance: How can I bring more fun into my career or place of work? Hoe can I have fun while I am creating abundance?

Miracle Worker of the World: How can I bring more fun into the world?

As Gabrielle suggests, challenge yourself into incorporating more fun into each of these areas of life every month. “If you intend to have fun, you will have a fun life”.

Wrapping up Day 42….THE LAST DAY!!! I will share this last day as well as some insight from the final chapter, in a later post. Although I am done with my 42 days of practice, the real work has only begun!!!

I would love to know if you have been reading May Cause Miracles though as well as your experiences if so. Feel free to share in the comments below.

xoxo,

 barista

 

If you have not picked up the book yet, Gabby will be having a 6-week ONLINE course for May Cause Miracles. It focuses directly on the book and provides you with guidance as you read along. There will be videos and audio versions as well as her guided mediations. It’s an awesome way to experience the book. Check out and sign up HERE

May Cause Miracles: Week 6 Part 1

help-others finally coming to an end of my MCM journey. It only took me a few months 🙂 Here we are week 6. I started Day 36 on April 11th and finally coming to an end in a few days. You could probably guess I had to do week 6 more than once. Three times to be exact. The first time I attempted I was about to start day 39 and just didn’t feel like I had focused well on the previous days so decided to do it again. The second attempt,  I had gotten to the evening exercise of Day 39 and kept forgetting to do it. I actually didn’t end up picking up the book for like 4 days so again wanted to start the week again. I’m still finishing a few days but want to at least put out there the first half of the week.

Week 6 is all about becoming a miracle worker. Realizing that your job is not limited to just yourself. It’s about becoming a miracle worker for the world. Helping others. You are a better help for others when you help yourself first. You can inspire and understand through experience.

“You’ll realize the transformation is not for you alone. You’ll learn that you’re here to use this gift to shine light on the dark world around you. You become a miracle worker in the world. As you begin to understand how love is crucial to the healing of the world, your miracle work will take on a whole new meaning.” – Gabrielle Bernstein

The beginning of the week, Day 36, is like the beginning of all the week. Witnessing your fears. “For my peace and the peace of the world, I choose love”. Each week there was a theme and each first day of the week started with witnessing your fears in perspective of what the theme was. Your fears about your body, career, money, relationships. This day it’s witnessing your fears in perspective of knowing that you MUST do so for the sake of the world.

The thing that stood out to me on this day was that FEAR is not real. I know that I have actually mentioned that in a previous post, how fear even stands for FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. Fear has a good way of feeling so real in the moment. It’s easy to recognize when others are in a fearful state but it takes a lot of patience and mindfulness to recognize it in yourself and change your mindset. Knowing this and experiencing this should already help us relate to others with the compassion we need to offer ourselves. My practice and work is to become more aware of my fears IN THE MOMENT and choosing not to react as a result  of fear.

“Inner Guide, I welcome you to show me where to go, what to do, and what to say“. This was the affirmation for Day 37. The book mentions that the more you start to dedicate yourself to love, the MORE your ego will work against that notion. The funny thing that I just put together is that during the 3 times I have worked on week 6, I think my ego was working in overload this whole time. I feel like I have gotten in more arguments with my fiance, reacting more to his actions, allowing my ego to take control. I’m almost positive it came along because I had been to open to becoming a miracle worker. And guess what, truthfully many times, my ego won! That’s actually part of the reason I wanted to do the week over again and again because I had acknowledged that I  had not been putting my love skills to work. The only choice I choose though, is to keep moving forward and keep at it.

On this Day I had to witness the present fears and choosing to turn them over to my Inner Guide.

Some of my fears on this day were:

*I’m not good enough to be a mentor/coach
*I will continue to work in a job that I don’t LOVE and that isn’t taking me towards my goals
*I am scared of marriage
*Not giving my child enough attention.
*Re-living my past
*Not having another baby soon
*I won’t get the freedom I am looking for
*To stand in my truth fully without waver

Along with what I took in from Day 36, I had to recognize that these fears weren’t real and I had still have to trust that my inner guide will handle it from here and if I listen will lead me to the path that’s best for me.

I already shared with you guys Day 38. Click this link so you can read it.

Although the book is a 40 day guidebook, it technically goes to 42 days to finish out the week completely so I will share days 39-42 with you in a few days.

xoxo,

barista

May Cause Miracles: Week 5 Part 1

save_moneyWell I am finally done with week 5. I spent a good 2 weeks there. I got really busy and found myself not focusing so much on the week as I wanted to so I decided to stay in the week longer, I even actually started it all over when I was half way through because I had missed a few days.

This week was about MONEY. How your SELF WORTH determines your NET WORTH. I know I had a huge issue with money and really spent some time noticing all my fears these last two weeks surrounding money. Money does have a bit of control over me as I am constantly worried about spending too much, not having enough, or trying to avoid debt. I also have become more aware of where my money issues started (when I was young) and how I am already effecting my son and his feelings revolving money.

I grew up in a suburban city called Pleasanton where most people are pretty well off. I lived with my single mother and we were probably on the lower end of the spectrum when it came to our status. I would say she was middle class as, especially now looking back, you somewhat had to be to be able to afford to live there. I grew up having a lot of friends that had a lot more than me and it would be hard sometimes not being able to afford the same things or do the same things as they did. Because of this, when I think about my childhood and how I grew up in relation to money, I know a lot of issues especially involving my self-esteem came from not feeling comparable to my peers.

I remember an experience that stuck out for me was the first time tried out for soccer team. I made  the traveling team which usually costs a lot more than the regular team. I remember begging my mom to let me play and I we just couldn’t afford it so I had to turn down the opportunity. I had made the team a few times after that and once was almost allowed to play but then still couldn’t because of money. I remember just feeling super bummed because it wasn’t even that I wasn’t good enough, I made the team but just couldn’t afford to play. I was pretty good at soccer while I played but always used to wonder what it would have been like if I had been able to play on the traveling team and learned the skill-set they are taught. If I could have been a lot better and even gotten a scholarship or something.

I love “May Cause Miracles” version of the ego’s false perceptions when it comes to financial fears because I know we all can relate to these:

*The ego has a lack mentality
“I can’t possibly get a raise in this recession” “I will never afford that”
*The ego believes that passion has no purpose when it comes to making money
It convinces us that we can’t have it both ways when it comes to earning – “I can’t make money doing what I love”
*The ego has a get mentality rather than a give mentality
“we believe we need to get more to be happy”
*The ego creates addictive patterns around money
“money addiction, gambling addiction, debt addiction- we become powerless over money”
*The ego uses money to deepen belief in separation
“equates wealthy people as happy people and emphasizes the importance in external power – if you have money, the ego makes you more special”
*The ego is uncreative when it comes to money
“Ego convinces us to think linear, limited way- focusing on manipulative action to get more”
*There’s never enough for the ego
“Once the ego achieves a certain goal, it always needs more”

Day 29 was all about becoming aware of what my fears surrounding money are and know that “I am not my lack mentality”. This was a fun day because I spend several times a day speaking about “not having enough money” or “that costs too much”. I liked this day because I was reminded not to attach thoughts about myself with my fears. My main financial fears surround lack of money and not being smart with my money.

Day 30 was about my willingness to change my thoughts. In order to do that I had to dig deeper into my ego’s power. “I am willing to change my inner dialogue about my finances”. I remember when I  bought my first car, the dealer told me that I had very great credit and that above everything I should make sure I keep it that way. So it has been an internal thought of mine constantly and I have huge fear of getting into debt and bringing down my credit score. Not having enough in my savings for the things I want in the future or in case of an emergency. Instead of having an addiction to spending, I think I have an addiction to saving. I have a lot of money in my savings account and I get joy out of adding money to my account when I can or at least seeing it stay the same. I have always had a fear of not making enough money doing what I love, and even though now I have more faith in following the direction of what I love, I still have a fear of being good enough at what I love. I try to have a give mentality when I can but sometimes I compare myself to people who make more than me, especially my fiance and claim that I can’t give as much because I don’t make as much. I have placed external power in money by thinking that if you have money you can do more and you don’t have to worry about anything. My thoughts and my actions reinforce my lack mentality because I have become afraid to spend money and have a hard time letting go. It stops me from taking risks or making investments.

I think this chapter has helped me a lot. I notice my thoughts a lot more, and although they are frequent, I try to create a feeling of abundance in moments in which I initially feel lack. For today I want you to just try to notice your lack mentality and how often you think about money… it may be a lot more than you think. let me know.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!!

xoxo

barista

May Cause Miracles: Week 4

You guys are probably wondering how long I have been on week 4 in my “May Cause Miracles” book. I spent a few extra days there. 3-4 days on day 25 because I kept forgetting to do the evening exercise. It’s funny because soooo many times I was just going to skip it and continue on with the next day like I wanted to back on earlier in the book. All I kept thinking was that “If I want to see what results I get by following her techniques, I have to actually do them”.

Week 4 was all about relationships. Not just intimate ones you have with a partner but ALL relationships you have with people in general. It follows from Week 3, which was about Body Image, in where we learn that:

“The ego uses the body to create more separation in our relationships to others. When you perceive yourself as a separate body, inevitably you’ve projected yourself to be better than or less than someone else.”

One quote I love that she says from the book “A Course in Miracles” is “judging others is the same as judging yourself”. I mean think about that for a second… When you judge someone else it only means that you are comparing them to yourself in some way or another which means there is no way possible to judge someone else WITHOUT judging yourself.

Day 22 started as all first days of the weeks start, which is with recognizing how y

ou think about others. How do I make people more or less special than me? “Today I am the witness to my ego’s false perceptions of others”. With this affirmation I definitely could see how judging others only meant judging myself.

I judge others and myself off looks, friends, popularity, conversations, responses, etc. I attack others by pushing my ideas onto them, convince people that they just don’t understand me, and this can start arguments. I tend to make people special whom are in a place that I want to be in or have what I want. Especially people that I admire in the self-growth field. I turn around and make myself my special by thinking I know more than others or can understand certain stuff that the average person doesn’t. I sometimes tend to believe I have this special awareness and some people aren’t “there” just yet. I compare myself to others according to looks, job, happiness, activeness, etc. I then asked my Inner Guide to heal me of these fearful ways and for guidance towards oneness.

Love_Everyone_by_Oakmi

Day 23 was all about surrender. “Inner Guide, I ask that you help me see everyone as equal”. The book said I would use this affirmation a lot throughout the day and boy did I. Man oh man do I judge. It definitely will be a constant work in progress. “the more you call on love, the more love you will see”. I had to go back through all the ways I judge others, attack others, how I’ve made others and myself more special, and how I compare myself to others and choose to be willing to see love instead.  There was a nice meditation this night that allowed to breath in my willingness and breath out what I am ready to do.

One key thing to know while reading this book is that these processes were created with the belief that we were all born out  of a positive loving energy and over time through fear and fear and more fear, we tend to forget the energy that still resides within, The energy in which we were created. Our Inner Guide. Our intuition. Our higher self. Our relationship with God. However you want to look at it. So on Day 24 we dig deeper into this and know that “Kindness created me kind”. If this is true and you know that is who you are then it’s safe to say that being unkind would mean to be at a disconnect with your true self. Throughout the day I actually caught myself a lot having unkind thoughts and replacing them with my affirmation. I even thought of past ways I hadn’t been kind and that made me want to be extra kind this evening.

I usually get home from work around 6:30pm and I will admit, I don’t always wanna make dinner. Over time I have noticed it get less and less. Well with the time change and it staying lighter out later, I thought it would be nice to have a nice dinner with my family outside. I stopped at the store on the way home, picked up a few things and although we didn’t make it in time to still be light out, we had a nice dinner outside at the table in the backyard together. Later after my son went to bed, my fiance wanted to get in the spa. I FINALLY got in the spa for the first time. It was nice and we got to have some alone time and have a nice talk which is something we don’t get to have often. No worries about work, no worries about blogging, catching up on TV shows, etc. We had a nice night and it started with my thought and want to be kind.

In order to learn and grow in this area I do have to recognize in which ways I have been unkind.

On this day I noticed that I have had unloving thoughts about myself, my co-workers, my fiance. When I go back and think about WHY I was having unloving thoughts, it is out of some sort of fear based thinking. The thing is that when you write it down and think of the reasoning, it almost seems silly. Being unkind didn’t make me feel good or better so if that is the case then what is the point. I then had to forgive myself for these unloving thoughts and recognize that it is not WHO I am, just me ego decision to choose fear over love. Something that stood out as important to me on this night was the quote from the book “By continuously acknowledging your unkind ego’s behavior, you will weaken the bad habit…” Like said, a constant work in progress.

The reason this week took me extra long was because I spent 4 days actively working on Day 25. I didn’t find myself putting my all into it. This day’s work was based on knowing that ALL relationships are ways in which you can learn and grow and the 4th day of each week is always gratitude so its being grateful for the lessons that come from your relationships. “All encounters are holy encounters”.  This affirmation is to remind me that every person that I met give me an opportunity. One to strengthen my practice in choosing love over fear. Especially those relationships that make me a little more ticked off or upset. Sometimes I had to just stop and ask myself, “what can I be grateful for in this situation?”. This act alone stop reactions and arguments and helped me have some more appreciation.

Day 26 was much like Day 5 in week one where the affirmation was “I could see peace instead of this”. Forgiving myself for the judgements I have had. Every encounter is a chance to see love and this affirmation is a way to forgive myself for any other thought.

Day 27 was to bring it all home and truly notice the changes that happen when making these subtle shifts. “Today I am a Miracle Worker. I choose to see Love in all”. I CHOOSE to see love in all. It’s a CHOICE I want to make. In the evening exercise I had to make a list and look at the relationships that cause my pain. The realize that these painful encounters are the ones that most allow myself to take a deeper look. Pain hurts, it hurts like HELL but guess what? Pain is the one single thing that usually leads to change. Without pain, some of us wouldn’t have reason to change and become better. And there will ALWAYS be a chance to grow and become better. I ended the night with a silent prayer for those people to be guided, protected, and healed from fear…just as I want to be.

Day 28 reflection day….and now I am on week 5.

Technically I should have started Day 29 on Wednesday but it throws me off some starting a new week in the middle of the week so I decided to actively work on Day 29 until Monday night and will begin Day 30 on Tuesday. This week  is all about how my self-worth is related to my net worth. That’s right….MONEY money money monaaaaay!!! Stay tuned

ps: I know that since I have done one whole week at a time, my posts are obviously longer… let me know if this is fine or if I should go back to breaking down the week into two parts…  I thank you in advance for your comments!!! 🙂

xoxo,

barista

PPS: Don’t forget Gabrielle’s virtual conference starts TOMORROW!!! March 25th. Sign up here to have access to her interviews with 20 Miracle Workers and get more insight about this book “MAY CAUSE MIRACLES”. The book is amazing so I know this conference is going to be nothing short of the same. SIGN UP NOW!!!

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