I read her first book, A Return to Love, in my early 20's and since then she has been one of my favorite teachers. She is known for her interpretation of A Course in Miracles, a spiritual thought system that focuses on recognizing that we always have a choice between love and fear.
So it seemed fitting that she based a lot of her talk on Friday around the oil spill, an issue that provokes great fear. I admit that I have been unable to fully "take in" this catastrophe. It's like a bleeding that can't be stopped, an event that has unknowable and far reaching consequences.
I literally can't handle seeing the birds, the marine life, and the fisherman that are devastated by this man-made disaster. Last Monday I actually tore the cover off my Newsweek magazine so I didn't have to look at the devastation. It literally gives me pain in my heart and a pit in my stomach.
And here I am listening to this woman who is not only asking me to look at it, she is asking me to focus on it. She is not suggesting that I watch the fear-inducing nightly news or read the angry articles of blame. She is asking me to look at what is happening to our earth with love, hope and healing.
I am reminded that we are living in a new age where research has finally caught up to the awareness that there are many ways to heal. We have always accepted traditional medical care, but we now have evidence that acupuncture, food, positive thoughts, energy work, meditation, visualization and prayer all play a role in healing.
So it's time to take a holistic approach to healing our earth. A small number can actually play a physical role in solving this problem and cleaning up this mess, but the rest of us can send thoughts of love and atonement to an earth that has been abused and desperately needs to be appreciated.
I can make a point to send hope to the gulf on a daily basis, and I can send thoughts of wisdom and strength to the men and women whose job it is to repair and manage this catastrophe.
I can take a few minutes each day to visualize people treating the earth with respect so it can begin to heal and repair itself. I can visualize people taking care of the marine life and animals that are suffering, and others taking care of the workers and families that are struggling.
This is not just a fantasy or wishful thinking; I prefer to think of it as a step toward a possibility.
See things as you would have them be instead of as they are. ~ Robert Collier
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. ~ Albert Einstein
Everything you can imagine is real. ~ Pablo Picasso
The law of natural correspondence simply means as within, so without. For everything that is created, there must be a picture, a mental equivalent for it to exist in the world of our experience. ~Mary Manin Morrissey
And as I visualize these possible outcomes I feel better, I feel relief, I feel stronger. I feel like I am doing what I can in an unfathomable situation, and I hope that in your own personal way, you can do the same.
Thank you Marianne for reminding me to pay attention and choose love. And for the reminder that we can all play a role, however small, in healing this world. Not by obsessing or being afraid, but by taking a moment to respond to this shared pain with love, hope, and a vision of healing.
And just as I finish writing this, I hear another strong female voice coming from Pandora on my iphone…..words that perfectly summarize this experience, a song that reminds us that we can do more than we think.
If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we're all OK
And not to worry 'cause worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I won't be made useless
I won't be idle with despair
I will gather myself around my faith, for light does the darkness most fear
~ from Hands by Jewel
Comments or suggestions on how to help the Gulf Coast? Monetarily, spiritually or personally? Feel free to comment.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.