Returns to Southern California
“Everyday Grace” . . . Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness and Making Miracles
By Kathy DeSantis
Awareness Magazine proudly welcomes Marianne Williamson, an internationally-acclaimed author and lecturer back to Southern California where she once lived her “life’s mission.” She has published seven books, including the mega bestseller “A Return to Love,” three of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers. Her titles include “Illuminata,” “A Woman’s Worth” and “Healing the Soul of America.” She also edited “Imagine: What America Could Be in the 21st Century” which is a compilation of essays by some of America’s most visionary thinkers. She has been living in Michigan where she is the spiritual leader of Renaissance Unity ? Interfaith Spiritual Fellowship.
Whether you hear her on TV or in person, Marianne’s constant source of knowledge and her dynamic energy is endless and amazing. I attended her lectures several times in 1990 when she was a minister in Los Angeles. I remember not really knowing anything about her but being so impressed with what others had said about her message and delivery that I had to see for myself.
Here was this petite woman with a strong voice telling us that only love is real and that everything else is an illusion. Like me, hundreds of people sat in awe and listened. It was she who guided me to the book “A Course in Miracles” which I studied with my husband, then ultimately to the Fullerton based Miracle Distribution Center. At that time Marianne was also busy organizing Project Angel Food, a meal-on-wheels program that serves homebound people in the Los Angeles area. Today Project Angel Food serves over 1,000 people daily. Since then she has been a popular guest on numerous television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose.
Her current book “Everyday Grace” is currently (at this writing) ranked as #5 on the NY Times Bestsellers List and #1 on the Barnes and Noble Bestsellers list. (See review on page 9)
Kathy: What is the right use of our imagination?
Marianne: I think every thought is guided by spirit (love) or by fear. Anything we think falls into one of those two categories. My own imagination can be loving or fearful — love is its best use, of course. Sometimes it’s obvious which thoughts apply to each category. Our journey is a process, not a goal. Sometimes we all fall short along the way, but that’s the way life is.
Kathy: If you had the chance what would you say to terrorists?
Marianne: I don’t think the issue is what I would say to terrorists because there is a lot of healing to be had. Terrorism calls for a spiritual solution. What I would do instead is meditate on an image of healing and peace.
Kathy: What would that look like?
Marianne: I see the terrorists surrounded by a diamond egg shell so the malevolence they think about can’t go past the shell and the diamond reflects light and love and truth. Every day I post angels around us to forgive and protect us. I ask Holy Spirit to enter into our relationships in other nations to restore harmony and make them whole.
Kathy: What do you do for yourself to keep your life spiritually balanced?
Marianne: Every morning I read the Course in Miracles Workbook and I do Transcendental Meditation in the afternoon.
Kathy: What are our obstacles to receiving and giving love even though we want it so badly?
Marianne: Love is the power of God alive on earth. It is a transformative, alchemical, miraculous force. And with that force, God is well aware of how to make this universe work perfectly for all of us. Yet often we do not allow it, however strongly we profess our belief in God’s love as our salvation. God’s love is not just His love for us, it is, most importantly, the love we give the world.
We are resistant to the experience of a bigger life through love because it feels like death to the ego. The ego, our small and separate sense of self, is an imposter personality. It is a false self that resists remembering God because in recognition of our oneness with Him lies the death of the ego and the end of fear. Also we resist love because it jams the rational mindset. The mortal mind can’t understand how miracles work and we are taught to mistrust what we can’t see. We can’t receive love if we ourselves do not love.
Kathy: With so much negative news in the media and the possibility of war or terrorist attacks threatening our nation, how can we apply the force of love in our everyday life?
Marianne: The news is like a prayer list for humanity. How different the world would be if every day’s newspaper reports were met with prayers for healing from its readers? And that will happen, when the modern mind realizes the power of spirit. Prayer itself will emerge from the constricting limitations of religious doctrine to become a spontaneous call of the soul to the higher power from where we came.
Kathy: How could we do that?
Marianne: We bless everyone mentioned in every news story, no matter where they stand or what they do. For what we bless is delivered to divine right order. Bless those who do harm as well as good because judgments block miracles.
Instead let us claim for ourselves the power of love. Read about war? Pray to be a peacemaker. Read about abused children? Pray to be an advocate for them. Read about reign of terror? Pray to see a loving world that exists in a realm beyond it and for God to make you a significant part of the effort to bring it forth. When I read or watch the news, my biggest temptation is to judge those who disagree with me. The prayer that often pops into my mind after reading the newspaper or listening to a television news show, goes something like this: “Dear God, please remove from my mind the sense that I am right and other people are wrong. My temptation is to feel contempt toward those I disagree with, and this feeling of complete and utter powerlessness with my sense that the world is falling apart. Help me to forgive. And use me, if possible, that I might help to make things better. Amen.”
Kathy: What is your hope for the world? Should we rely on miracles?
Marianne: Our hope is not for something to happen in the world but for something to happen IN us. Our greatest hope has already been realized. Heaven is here and now, in our capacity to realize our oneness. God says “yes” to our hopes. We are the ones who keep saying no.
We are not hoping that this or that will happen, but that we will achieve a state of consciousness in which we will not swerve from love or peace. Hope is simply an attitude, placing trust in the mystery of the universe before trust in the things of this world. God has promised our return to the garden but when we get there is entirely up to us. We may travel long lengths down the paths of fear but someday we may realize that our choice is either to live in fear or to learn to live another way.
God is not our servant but our deliverer. He enters where we invite Him but an invitation not offered in love is not an invitation at all. Our hope is that one day he will have taught us how to love one another so completely that our world will become His garden. In the meantime the only was to feel hope is to give hope to someone else. And then we’ll see that it is already all around us. The world should feel hopeful because you are here. You are the hope because God is in you.
Kathy: Thank you, Marianne, for sharing your valuable time with Awareness Magazine. We welcome you to Orange County in March.
Marianne will join Rev. Sandy Moore and Dr. Rev. Michael Beckwith in “A Call To Action for the World” Saturday, March 8 from 9-5 at the Radisson Hotel in Newport Beach. For further in-formation or tickets, please call (949) 481-3877 or you may go to www.centerfortruth.org This event is being sponsored by the Center for Universal Truth.
BOOK REVIEW . . .
Everyday Grace Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness and Making Miracles
By Marianne Williamson Published by Riverhead Books
I expect that “Everyday Grace” is another mega bestseller from Marianne Williamson. It is already climbing the charts of the N.Y. Times Bestseller list. With the news of the world treading fear in the hearts of many, this book is just what we need right now.
Marianne appears to have evolved even further since her first books, if that is possible. She has found another creative outlet to share the Course in Miracles teachings within the pages of this book. She reminds us that the way we think and live our spiritual convictions can provide the foundation for a graceful life and shape our everyday world.
Did you know that mistakes are just a deviation from love? Imagine living without judgments or fear or low self esteem? Instead we feel at peace with ourselves even in the midst of a crisis or the sadness and grief of life. When our hearts crack open and when Spirit is applied to everything we experience, the result is grace, faith and confidence that we are blessed, and we move through this lifetime with hope, meaning, fulfillment and joy. Miracles happen to us. We are on our way to enlightenment.
How do we live a life filled with grace? We start each day by asking for it and Marianne leads the way in telling us how. This book contains many of the jewels we learned in the Course of Miracles, such as worshipping a loving God who wants to fill our every need but from whom we ask far too little. Every need we have should be placed in His hands, she reiterates. (Are we ever going to learn that one?) The emphasis of the message is on how to go through our journey, being in the process we call “life” and how to apply the “Holiness” of love to our relationships, workplace, emotions, community so that we live a more graceful life.
She says as we open our hearts and minds to love, we will see more miracles around us as our hopes are realized and that our lives are reflections of eternal love. She provides beautiful meditations within the message of the chapters that fit the topic of the chapter and refers to the Course in Miracles often. One meditation I found particularly meaningful is the one she uses to start her day.
“Dear God, I give you this morning. Please take away my despair of yesterday. Help me to forgive the things that caused me pain and would keep me bound. Help me to begin again. Please bless my path and illumine my mind. I surrender to You the day ahead. Please bless every person and situation I will encounter.”
Again and again, she provides relevance and meaning to the teachings of the Course in Miracles through her new book. Just glancing at the chapter titles such as: Starting the Day; Hearing the News; Working and Needing Work; Arguing; Hoping Against Hope; and Learning Compassion, for example, you suspect that this could be a down-to-earth type of message! It is!
In her usual eloquent way of writing, Marianne has managed to deliver the message of God’s love as a way to heal the universe and restore harmony on the planet through each one of us. I read the entire book and certain parts more than once — it is that meaningful! I wholeheartedly recommend “Everyday Grace” whether you are a student of life or a student of the Course in Miracles.
This book is available at your local bookstores or online at
www.marianne.com . Marianne will be signing books at her lecture on
March 8 in Orange County.
Reviewed by Kathy DeSantis
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