What a great way to wake up with a reminder of the peace of God enveloping us in each moment. All we must do to have this peace is to bring to awareness that miracles are always available to us. Today, we set the intention that no matter what happens in our day, we can choose to see it all for our good. We can turn every misperception over to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation so we can see it all as serving our healing. We can be a passerby today---not letting anything interfere with our peace, overlooking all that is false. "I do not seek the things of time, and so I will not look upon them." (W.346.1.3)
I often wake up with thoughts of how to handle my busy day, and if I don't remember to turn my mind to thoughts of God, I start to feel anxious. Don and I started this morning talking about how we saw a situation that happened yesterday and we both laughed when we realized how each of us saw it so very differently. Of course, both of us were wrong because perception is always wrong. We were simply playing with our projections. When we seek the things of time, we seek to be right and to affirm our image of how we believe things are. With this, our focus is on the things of the world that we think serve the body and the image we hold of ourselves. When we come to the realization that the things we pursue don't bring peace but more suffering, they drop away. Our interest in the things of time diminishes.
To abide in the peace of God is a decision we make today. We have been given everything. Nothing is lacking. We can't be alone. We can only be unaware of the peace and love that surround us in every moment. Today, we let go of the temptation to engage in arguments, dismiss thoughts of worry and feelings of anxiety, and stay vigilant for God and His Kingdom. Each time something comes up to disturb our peace, we take the time to step back and rest the mind, accept what we see, and trust that all is as it needs to be. (Rest, Accept, and Trust) "And [in that process] I would find the peace which You created for Your Son, forgetting all the foolish toys I made as I behold Your glory and my own." (W.346.1.7) The foolish toys we made are simply our ideas of what we think we need for happiness. They are the sharp-edged children's toys of sin and guilt that are called toys because we still are attached to them and don't completely understand that they bring nothing but more suffering and loss. As our holy minds are occupied by these trivial goals, our inherent glory is obscured.
At any time throughout the day, we can "begin again," just as Jesus tells us in the Chapter 30 Section, "Rules for Decision." He acknowledges that it is much easier to start the day right in the first place, but we can still accept the Correction anywhere along the way in our day when we get off track. Our true desire is for peace, but this desire can be so quickly replaced by our perceived needs, desires, and temptations. We are tempted to throw away peace in the face of perceived difficulties. When we decide that our purpose for the day is only peace, everything becomes a perfect opportunity to learn it. Nothing is wrong. Everything is perfectly orchestrated for our good as we come to realize that all things work together for good no matter what it looks like. It is all a witness to our state of mind. When we make it about our specialness instead, we forget who we are, and we lose awareness of His Ever-present Love. When everything in the day is used for forgiveness, the world takes on a new purpose and everything is helpful for awakening. It becomes a perfect classroom, with optimum karmic opportunity in every situation. I love how Eckhart Tolle put it when he encourages us to accept whatever the present moment contains and accept it as if you had chosen it since this will miraculously transform your whole life. There is no reason not to be a happy learner when everything that has been chosen is used for forgiveness.
"The new beginning now becomes the focus of the curriculum. The goal is clear, but now you need specific methods for attaining it. The speed by which it can be reached depends on this one thing alone; your willingness to practice every step. Each one will help a little, every time it is attempted. And together will these steps lead you from dreams of judgment to forgiving dreams and out of pain and fear. They are not new to you, but they are more ideas than rules of thought to you as yet. So now we need to practice them awhile, until they are the rules by which you live. We seek to make them habits now, so you will have them ready for whatever need."
(T.30.IN.1.1-8) (ACIM OE T.30.I.1)
We forget God's Love every time we project guilt onto others and see the world as a place to satisfy our needs for specialness by using others for that purpose. Now we can choose to use every situation as an opportunity for undoing the ego thought system. It is a question of purpose. Why am I here? Is it to focus on finding my way back to my Self or is it to satisfy every desire? Today, we practice the holy instant to help us remember that there is another way of looking at the world.
Your practice must therefore rest upon your willingness to let all littleness go. The instant in which magnitude dawns upon you is but as far away as your desire for it. As long as you desire it not and cherish littleness instead, by so much is it far from you. By so much as you want it will you bring it nearer. Think not that you can find salvation in your own way and have it. Give over every plan you have made for your salvation in exchange for God's. His will content you, and nothing else can bring you peace. For peace is of God, and no one beside him "
(T.15.IV.2.1-8) (ACIM OE T.15.V.36)
Now, the events of the world become the backdrop to our lives, and what is going on in the mind becomes the foreground of where we put our awareness.
Christmas can serve as a great backdrop for looking at our conditioned responses. I find that over the years things have shifted for me around this event. I no longer spend a lot of time on decorating my home, buying gifts, baking up a storm, attending events, or shopping. Clearly, there is nothing wrong with any of these activities. In fact, they can serve as a backdrop for watching whatever is coming up in the mind as we engage in them. It is not that we are required to stop the behavior as much as we choose to watch how certain things lose their value as we progress on this path.
is everything, so we are reminded to ask in everything, "What is it for?" "Will this bind me more deeply to the illusion or will it serve to bring me closer to truth?" It is not what we do but with whom we do it---with the Holy Spirit or with the ego? In everything we do, it is important to ask, "Am I aligned with Love or with fear in every moment?" It takes a lot of vigilance to stay focused on watching the mind.
This does not mean we don't attend to what is to be done, but we ask if it could be done easily from a place of peace. "This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent." (T.18.VII.8.3) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.70) It is not at all what we do, but with what mindset we do it. Is the guidance coming from the ego or the Holy Spirit? We do not have to withdraw from any activity, whether it is going to movies, watching TV, participating in sports, or any other kind of entertainment; but we ask ourselves, what is the activity used for? If the focus is on Atonement, then it does not matter what we spend the day doing. What does matter is that we remember to smile gently at the silliness of the ego and take ourselves lightly through the day?
"And when the evening comes today, we will remember nothing but the peace of God. For we will learn today what peace is ours, when we forget all things except God's Love."
This is when we step outside the dream and recognize it is our dream. Everything is orchestrated by our own minds, and we receive everything that we have asked for.
"Everyone will receive what he requests. But he can be confused indeed about the things he wants; the state he would attain."
The holy instant is a moment outside of time. It is where peace awaits us. Thus, we accept everything in our day as another opportunity to learn that we are here to be released from fear and to remember the love we are. The means are given us that this may be accomplished as we are reminded once again, "Today the peace of God envelops me, and I forget all things except His Love." (W.346) That is the experience of the holy instant, where the activities of the day move into the background, and the focus becomes one of recognizing that our reality is outside of time and space.