NOTE: This article originally appeared in Miracle Worker Magazine (May/June 2024). Download the entire issue here.

When I think about my life pre-ACIM and post-ACIM, my mind is immediately brought to this quote:

“By far the majority are given a slowly evolving training program, in which as many previous mistakes as possible are corrected.” (ACIM, M-9.1:7)

I was 19 years old when A Course in Miracles came into my life. At that time, I was lost in an abyss of anxiety and panic attacks, terrified of getting sick and terrified of dying. I believed in God but had no pathway to deepen that connection. As I dove headfirst into the teachings of A Course in Miracles, I knew it was the healing balm I needed.

What I didn’t know at the time, though, which I clearly know now, is that healing is not linear. It can be messy. And not only can it be messy, but our journey to remembering the truth consists of a curriculum that for each of us is “highly individualized” (ACIM, M-29.2:6). No two curriculums are going to look the same.

When I think of my life pre-ACIM and post-ACIM, I realize that it is much more nuanced than a pre/post evaluation. A Course in Miracles reveals deeper and deeper layers of its teaching as my own consciousness continues to grow and expand. In other words, I do my lessons, I study the book, and I “think” I know what it says. But then, something arises in my life to show me that I know nothing. I then let go of my conceptualization and ideas about ACIM, and something bigger reveals itself to me through the pages of the book. Being a Course student, for me, is an iterative process.

So, when I think about my new life with A Course in Miracles, it’s a continuous new life, not a one-time new life. For the sake of explaining some pre/post insights and lessons, I’m breaking my journey down into four distinct phases:

Before A Course in Miracles:

My entire life before A Course in Miracles was accompanied by some form of anxiety. My first major period of undoing occurred in the form of panic attacks at age 19, fueled by the sudden death of a classmate. My mom had previously tried to introduce me to the Course, but only once I hit rock bottom did I finally take her advice and begin studying the Course.

My first 12 years as a Course student (1997-2009):

These years were characterized by doing the lessons in the Workbook as best I could. I found increasing peace, and the anxiety waned. I turned to the Holy Spirit and asked for help A LOT. I began developing a sense of who I was beyond a body. But looking back, I was using A Course in Miracles as a band-aid. If I felt fearful and anxious, I’d pick up the book, read until I felt better, and then go back to whatever I had been doing. I ran away from fear. I didn’t want to feel any uncomfortable feelings. I would shut out anything that might disturb the peace I found.

To sum up my main takeaways throughout this time, it’s that we cannot bypass our lessons. I learned that if we try to do anything with the small self as our guide, we falter. Thankfully, I learned through my early years as a Course student to consistently turn to the Holy Spirit. This laid a solid foundation for me for what was to come. In 2009, after being a Course student for 12 years, I found myself in the thick of debilitating anxiety again, triggered by feeling stuck in a job that was no longer a good fit for me. I had to ask myself, “What was I missing?”

My second 12 years as a Course student (2009-2021):

As I slowly recovered from the mountain of anxiety that showed up in 2009, I asked myself some tough questions (with the Holy Spirit as my guide). I was shown that I had been using A Course in Miracles to bypass discomfort. I realized I had to turn towards my discomfort and look at it WITH the Holy Spirit. After all, the Course teaches that “purification is necessary first” (ACIM, T-1.I.7:1). We must look at what we’ve made (with the Holy Spirit).  At this time, I started writing about all of the ACIM teachings and inspired practices that were helpful for me in healing. My book, From Anxiety to Love, was born and published in 2018.

These years were characterized by a reasonable amount of peace, interspersed with gentle lessons. I learned that A Course in Miracles is a living document and that the more I kept my mind open about what could be revealed to me, the more spiritual experiences I would have.

My lessons from this time period reinforced the importance of centering the Holy Spirit in all aspects of my life. I solidly learned the healing and transformative value of transparency, honesty, and integrity and how much peace and inner harmony those characteristics bring about.

Then 2021 showed up, and I would again be brought to my knees as a Course student. I didn’t fall into the abyss of panic attacks (score!), but a series of stressful events in my family along with some relationship losses upended my entire sense of stability.

2021 – present day:

2021 ended up being a rocky year, and rather than cling to A Course in Miracles and what it says (or, more accurately, what I think it says), I had an experience of Jesus coming to me and asking me to let it all go. To let the book go. To let all words go. To let identification as A Course in Miracles student/teacher go. Instead, I was being asked to trust HIM, directly. To hear HIM, directly. Being that my spiritual foundation is based on the Course and I’ve been working with it my entire adult life, letting go was terrifying. But I had developed enough trust to follow the guidance.

When I let go, a series of events unfolded. I felt destabilized and like my spiritual foundation was gone (spoiler alert, it wasn’t!). Almost immediately, divine help showed up. I had a series of mystical experiences that included visions, abundant synchronicities, and a deep sense of knowing that I was not walking alone. There are teachings in A Course in Miracles about angels, psychic abilities, the soul, and other topics that aren’t widely discussed. These became the “next phase” of my Course studies (and yes, I am still a Course student!).

A main lesson learned in this period of my life can be summed up by this Course quote: “This course is a beginning, not an end. ²Your Friend goes with you. ³You are not alone” (ACIM, W-ep.1:1-3). We are truly guided every step of the way. Help is available whenever we ask. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through many different channels – through seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing.

I have also deeply learned that whenever we are “triggered” or hooked by a situation in our lives, it is pointing to something within that needs to be seen in order to be healed. So, we can be grateful for whatever upsets us – it is pointing to something ready to be healed. Whatever step I need to take next in that healing will reveal itself to me. I trust that fully now.

I’m so filled with gratitude to have A Course in Miracles as my foundation as I learn, unlearn, heal, forgive, and move through this dream. The Course enables me to see the orchestration of things. It provides a “quiet center” of rest before going on to “every busy doing on which you are sent” (ACIM, T-18.VII.8:3). I wouldn’t exchange the foundation I have in A Course in Miracles for anything. Without it, I’d be lost. With it, I get to live a life that “becomes a meaningful encounter with the truth” (ACIM, W-135.19:2). How lucky are we!

I’d love to hear about your journey as a spiritual student. Feel free to leave a comment below!


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