The Gift of Change - Marianne Williamson
"There's no point in trying to go to Outer Mongolia to escape your issues; they will find you there because they live inside your head." --Marianne Williamson
For over a decade, Marianne Williamson has been teaching principles from A Course In Miracles (ACIM)--a channeled psycho-spiritual self-study work which shows individuals how to create miracles by surrendering to love. Some scoff at the notion that "love is the answer", but Williamson answers them by saying: "It's amazing how much ridicule the topic of love can attract when it does anything other than support the status quo." Make no mistake: Williamson does not advocate what I call "sloppy agape". Rather, she boldly challenges humanity to start getting with the Divine program and begin to change from the inside out.

In her book The Gift Of Change - Spiritual Guidance For A Radically New Life, Williamson sounds a clarion call that now is the time to begin to look within for change. Attempting to change the external world, she asserts, is akin to trying to change a movie by altering the screen when dealing with the projector is what's needed. Saying "hidden beliefs are dangerous beliefs", the reader is challenged to examine personal beliefs and the attitudes they engender. Tracing defensiveness--a form of "passive violence"--to the root of war, Williamson demonstrates how our resistance to love and vulnerability keep us enslaved to the ego. She writes:

"Whenever our outer world remains stuck, it is incumbent upon us to look, not outward, but inward. It is a call to find the places in ourselves where we are holding on to old ways--places where we blame others rather than taking personal responsibility for our woes; where we judge others instead of blessing them; where we are hard rather than vulnerable and open and kind. These issues hold the hidden keys to unlocking our unsolved personal mysteries."

Williamson outlines ten bridges of transformation that can be crossed when we fix our eyes and hearts on that which is unchanging--an eternal compass of spiritual principles which can guide us on the personal and global path to wholeness:

*From Forgetting Who We Are to Remembering Who We Are
*From Negative Thinking to Positive Love
*From Anxiety to Atonement
*From Asking God to Change the World to Praying That He Changes Us
*From Living in the Past and Future to Living in the Present
*From Focus on Guilt to Focus on Innocence
*From Separation to Relationship
*From Spiritual Death to Rebirth
*From Your Plan to God's Plan
*From Who We Were to Who We Are Becoming

Using personal anecdotes, Williamson delves into various life transitions such as menopause, adolescence, and parenting--and how seasons of change are amazing opportunities for not only growth and change, but also global transformation. Saying that "our greatest contribution to the world at this time is not just what we do but who we are becoming", she shows the reader that no matter where we find ourselves, we can be a conduit for miracles. In fact, she says that sometimes "being about our Father's business" is as much what we're not doing, than what we are. That is, chasing a future dream of spiritual ambition, we ignore life in the Present--which is the only place that "I Am", and miracles, dwell:

"If I had simply allowed myself to enjoy my life more, I would have ended up better off later on. And when I allow myself to simply enjoy my life right now, I'm giving myself the biggest boost for the future. Every point in life's journey is inherently preparing us for our future in ways the rational mind cannot possibly comprehend."

As an example, Williamson poignantly explains that she resisted some aspects of motherhood when her daughter was a baby--often distracting herself from the overwhelming insistent, needy demands of her daughter. Williamson recalls: "I see now that the fact it was happening meant it was exactly what I was supposed to be doing, and I wasn't losing out on anything by giving most of my attention to her." As one who has had a similar experience with motherhood versus aspirations for a "real life" (i.e., a spiritually fulfilling vocation), I resonated with the truth that wherever we find ourselves, that is exactly where we need to be. Our limitless and brightness can shine no matter where we are at; in fact, when we shine, we can literally change the world--for all minds are joined in the Mind of Christ.

The Gift Of Change provides us with a powerful blueprint on transforming our lives--and the world--through transforming our thoughts. Through the spiritual compass of the ten principles, we can at last find our way to inner peace and miracles--which results in a world that is healed and whole.

If you're disheartened at the state of global affairs--including war--this book can show you how to replace thoughtforms of fear with those of love. If you're desperately searching for your soulmate or the perfect job, The Gift of Change lights the path to the miraculous Now. If you're experiencing existential angst--free-floating anxiety that doesn't seem to have a cause-- Williamson says you are not alone...but there is a way through it by choosing love over fear and trusting the Holy Spirit for a miracle.

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