Joy Ignites Success

Was that a gift?

By  - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Was that a gift?

Or maybe you meant to say contract?

In our Course in Miracles group last Saturday (during a discussion about giving without wanting anything in return), the question was asked about what to do when a gift comes with expectations.
With the holidays arriving soon, it feels like a good time to review the difference between a gift and a contract.
A gift, by definition, is given freely, without compensation. Gifts can come in the form of material objects for sure; but also in kind words, listening, sharing and so much more.  In giving a gift, we have the opportunity to find joy in our ability to give, to enjoy another’s delight and to bask in the energy of gratitude (either from the other, or from ourselves for ourselves). For some, the joy is in finding the perfect gift. For others, no shopping is required.
A contract, on the other hand, to be legally binding, includes promises from both parties. I’ll mow your lawn and you’ll give me money. Read More

2017-The Year of the Pause

By  - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I recently completed reading the entire text of A Course in Miracles. This was a huge task and one I had set a goal of completing by the end of 2016. A bit out of character, but I completed it. The next task was to read the Manual for Teachers. On January 1, when I opened the book, I immediately felt some resistance. And a deeper voice, saying “not yet”. On exploring this, I starting pondering how quickly we jump from one thing to the next and specifically, from one year to another. I realized that as much as I was ready to be done with 2016, I was not yet ready for 2017. Like the pause between the exhalation of breath that comes before the next inhalation, I needed a pause between years. Read More

I Could Choose Peace Instead of This

By  - Thursday, March 24, 2016



Many, many years ago, while I was still single and living in NYC, I read Gerald Jampolsky’s book, Say Good-Bye to Guilt. Of the many brilliant things he wrote about, one piece I chose to work with at that time was the 34th lesson from A Course in Miracles “I could see peace instead of this”. Somehow in my mind, I had translated the word see to choose, but I don’t think it had an effect on how I worked with the lesson. Over 30 years later, I still find this to be one of my most useful lessons.
What the lesson tells us is that peace is always an option because it is an inside job. The ability to find peace even in the most tumultuous situations lies within. This is poignantly demonstrated in the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor who writes about psychologically overcoming even the most unbearable of situations.
 Read More

The Cost of Giving is Receiving

By  - Monday, July 06, 2015

The Cost of Giving is Receiving

This lesson from the Course in Miracles is one (of many) worth paying careful attention to. Whatever it is you are offering to others has to move through your body. It is your only vehicle for communication. When you are angry with another, it is your body that feels the anger. When you are loving to another, again, it is your body that feels the love. What do you want to feel today?
The Course in Miracles focuses on the perspective that there is no separation and that what we do onto another we are doing onto ourselves and that all grudges we hold against another show us where we need to forgive ourselves. Whether this aligns with your beliefs or not, it still holds that you cannot seek vengeance or even hold a negative thought towards anyone, without feeling the impact in your body-mind.
As an experiment, just think about someone you’re upset with. If you pay attention, you will notice certain sensations in your body. You may feel butterflies in your stomach, a tightening in your throat, or a gripping in your shoulders. Undoubtedly, it won’t be a pleasant sensation. So, for now, just open inside and let the anger dissolve as best you can.

Now, as part two of the experiment, think about someone you feel very loving towards. Perhaps a child or pet. Again, notice the sensations in your body. Much more pleasant, yes?

 Read More

About MSI

Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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