An excerpt from Live Your Happy by Maria Felipe
Before she was an author and a minister, Reverend Maria Felipe was an actress, a model, and a TV host with a fabulous French boyfriend. She appeared in national commercials, was the first ever Latina boxing announcer, and interviewed World Wrestling Federation competitors in front of audiences of twenty thousand people. People Magazine in Espanol even referred to her as “Una Campeona Sin rival,” which means a champion without rival. But through it all, she felt insecure, unworthy, and downright miserable.
All that began to change when she began to study a book called A Course in Miracles (ACIM), and eventually went on to get her ministerial certificate from an ACIM school known as Pathways of Light. “This self-study spiritual thought system helps students develop a relationship with the ‘internal teacher’ it calls the Holy Spirit, which in turn helps us change how we see the world on a daily basis,” writes Maria. “This ‘shift in perception’ is what ACIM calls a miracle.”
In Live Your Happy: Get Out of Your Own Way and Find the Love Within (New World Library, April 22, 2017), Maria shares more than twenty years of experience studying and living the principles from ACIM. This is not a philosophic explanation of the Course. It is a practical, hands-on guide for actually living it. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.
We can choose to see the world through the eyes of love or through the eyes of fear. This is the fundamental choice of our everyday life. In the terms of A Course in Miracles, this means deciding between the thought systems of the Holy Spirit or the ego. The whole world as we experience it exists because most people choose ego — the way of fear — most of the time. That is, we tend to think that we are separate, alone, unworthy, and guilty. Please excuse my Spanish if I suggest that this is all a bunch of caca!
In fact, I call the ego our “cuckoo” voice: It’s the part of the mind that worries, judges, fears, and holds grudges. In short, the ego is out to kill our happy. The good news is that another completely different way of thinking is available to us. The Holy Spirit is right there inside our minds, waiting for the chance to remind us that happiness is our divine right! We have the power to choose freedom, and even though we may forget we have that choice, we always have more opportunities to choose love. The patience and kindness of the Holy Spirit never go away. Whenever we drift away, the Holy Spirit just waits for our return.
We drift because the ego can be very powerful. It convinces us of two simultaneous, contradictory ideas: The first is that we’re unworthy, unlovable, and just not good enough; and the second is that we’ll somehow find happiness out in the world, even though we don’t really deserve it. Thus, our ego convinces us that if we somehow find the perfect job or relationship, we’ll be happy. If we put tons of cash in the bank, we’ll be happy. If we graduate from college, get a promotion, and so on, we’ll be happy. But as the Course puts it so bluntly: “The ego’s rule is, ‘Seek but do not find’ [and] ‘Try to learn but do not succeed’ ” (ACIM, ch. 12, section V). Obviously, there’s just no way to win with this thought system.
Your Happy Comes from Within
We have two teachers we can choose from. Depending on which thought system we choose, we are literally deciding whether to live in hell (where ego takes us) or heaven (the Holy Spirit’s neighborhood). These are not places in the afterlife; they are the ways we experience existence right now. We will experience our existence exactly as we choose: “Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within. The source of neither light nor darkness can be found without” (ACIM, workbook lesson 73).
For example, when I was going through my divorce, my ex-husband once called to express some anger that left me feeling very sad. My ego reaction came up right away: Who does he think he is? What a jerk! Poor me! I haven’t done anything wrong. He should be paying me alimony....Blah blah blah. After a while I caught on, looked at where my thoughts were taking me, and began to pray: “Holy Spirit, I am feeling very sad. All my thoughts are hurting me now. I must have chosen wrongly, so now I choose again. Heal my mind, Holy Spirit — I want peace instead of this.”
To my surprise, a stillness came over me right away. Soon I even began laughing. I realized that what I was thinking was just coming from my ego, the fear-driven part of my mind, and that I did not need to buy into it! I remembered this principle of the Course: Whatever you accept into your mind has reality for you. It is your acceptance of it that makes it real. The rest of my day was wonderful!
Maria Felipe is the author of Live Your Happy. After experiencing success as a model and actress, including hosting World Wrestling Federation TV shows, she felt called inward and studied to become a reverend at Pathways of Light, an accredited religious school inspired by A Course in Miracles. She leads monthly services in both Spanish and English at Unity Church in Burbank, CA. Visit her online at www.MariaFelipe.org.
Excerpted from the book Live Your Happy: Get Out of Your Own Way and Find the Love Within. Copyright © 2017 by Maria Felipe. Printed with permission from New World Library.
"Life happens. Life in the flow."
We learn over time that nobody can solve our problems, but someone can guide you how to solve the problem. You may receive guidance through a teacher, a guru or even strangers that you run into every day. As we practice yoga we learn that the more we know, the less we truly know. Every day I am reminded how much I truly do not know; a very humbling experience.
Yoga teaches me to be present. To just live for being and enjoying life as it is right NOW. Not ten minutes from now, no five days ago, but right now. We are taught to get out of our heads, to release worries and fears of the past or the future and to only live for this very moment. Presence.
"Lead me from untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light." ~ Buddha
Through yoga we are reminded that we do have a dark side as well as a light side. We are not to repress the dark side, but embrace that side of our Self. We are the yin and the yang. We ultimately cleanse the dark stuff we hold inside. We shine the light on this. We must make friends with dark side. Both positive and negative balance out the whole. Daily practice refines and improves our inner vision to see our Self more clearly. We no longer need to run from fears. Face them and say I'm not running from you anymore. So much is in our heads, so much dark is only in our heads, self-doubt judgment betrayal. Yoga grounds the body so that the light and dark sides of ourselves become clear. So much is truly untrue. But as we diligently practice we are able to find the middle ground and walk our centered balanced line in life. We gain balance in centered lightheartedness. We can have harmony in both light and dark.
"Yoga tells us that the world is actually a projection of our own thoughts and we can modify our inner world to manifest into our outer world. When our inside realm is at peace and in harmony, our outer world shines this projection back at us." ~ David, Jiva Mukti Yoga co-founder
Yoga is observation.
We can observe our world and see what part that is in us is begin reflected back to us. We can then see what part of us needs modification or adjustment in order to have our outer reality reflect back to us the peace, happiness and love we so greatly desire and deserve.
Yoga is already inside of you. Happiness is there. Yoga helps you peel away the onion layers to get to the core. To freedom. The deepest Divine connection to the Ultimate Light Source.
Come out of wanting and back into acceptance and Joy. A yogi or yogini can turn any situation into bliss. That is a yogi. Yoga is being now. Ultimate yoga is meditation. Just BE.
Yoga is love.
"Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls." ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Through a dedicated practice of all forms of yoga we can participate in the world with a sense of freedom, unaffected from trauma, depression, anger, etc. The freedom is balance in both.
Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at SpiritualCompassConnection.com.
"Follow Your Bliss. It's Your Spiritual Compass."