Articles by Sandy
Sheryl Sandberg and Sandy Levey-Lunden are on the same mission
May 2013 by Sandy Levey-Lunden
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook and author of Lean In (Women, Work and the Will to Lead), points out that women still only make 77 cents as compared to a man’s $1 an hour. Out of 195 independent countries, only 17 are led by women. Of the Fortune 500 CEO’s, only 21 are women. And she feels that the woman’s movement begun in the 60’s has been stuck and on hold for the past twenty years.
“Women are hindered by barriers that exist within ourselves,” she says.
“Women unintentionally hold ourselves back in our careers and throughout our lives. We have internalized the negative messages we got from our parents and society.”
“It’s wrong for a girl to be outspoken.”
“It’s wrong for a girl to be more powerful that a man.”
“Women have to compromise their career goals for a relationship and family.”
“Women have to lower their expectations of what they want to achieve in life.”
“Women have to hold themselves back.”
“Women can’t aspire to the top executive positions.”
Today it is time for women to begin leaning in…
begin stepping up…
speaking our truth…
offer our opinion…
define our goals…values…and dreams
be ambitious…and pursue our goals and dreams with gusto
be willing to climb the career ladder of success…
seek out higher levels of responsibility…
aspire to achieve personal fulfillment.
Sheryl goes on to state that, “Our internal barriers deserve a lot more attention to better understand exactly what is holding us back from fulfilling our potential. And getting rid of these internal barriers is critical for our success.
For the past thirty years Sandy Levey-Luden has been addressing these same women’s issues in her course True Woman’s Power. Thousands of women have learned what they need to let go of in order to achieve their full potential. What wrong beliefs and limiting emotional blocks have to be released in order for women to successfully attain their goals and dreams. It is certainly important to develop the self confidence to “Lean In” to the world…step up…and speak out. But as Sheryl Sandberg correctly points out, it is equally important to investigate and get rid of those internal barriers that stifle us in the first place. Sandy’s three day course specifically looks at these issues and empowers women to permanently overcome whatever is standing in their way to True Woman’s Power.
Whatever you can dream…you can achieve. Boldness has genius…power and magic in it. Begin Now.
How I Came to Study A Course In Miracles
By Sandy Levey-Lunden
In 1980 while I was a personal success coach in San Francisco, one of my clients brought me the first three volume set of ACIM as a gift. I looked into these books and I said to myself “If I was to study these books or this methodology, I would have to change everything I think, feel and believe in my life. And why would I want to do that?” I put the books aside, saying to myself “This is too much work and revamping of my whole life.” A few weeks later, I received another set of the three volume ACIM set. I was very surprised to receive a second set! I thought to myself that this had to be more than a coincidence, it was a message. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I would become a real student and teacher of the Course.
I went on to become a teacher, a seminar leader and a trainer, teaching my own courses that I wrote for my business, which I named On Purpose. In all the trainings I wrote, which today total 18, I constantly referred to these ACIM books for quotes, ideas and ways to help people process what they were going through. These ACIM books became a reference library for me and I memorized many of the quotes in the 1980’s. Shortly after that I received a cassette tape that I began to play and sing to, which was directed by ACIM and written by Rabbi Nathan and Rabbi Joseph. I did not realize that what I had memorized were in fact very deep passages of ACIM.
In 1989 I moved to Sweden. At that time I had been working in my seminar and coaching business for ten years in San Francisco; Vancouver, Canada; Australia and Hawaii. Within a year’s time, my husband and I put on a peace conference of which he was a member of the board that put on the conference in Gothenberg, Sweden. At the end of this conference I had a great crisis in my life when my husband told me that he had fallen in love with a younger woman who was 25 years younger than us. I told my husband that that couldn’t possibly be true. One can’t fall in love with one person and then fall in love with another but I could not explain to his satisfaction why this couldn’t be true. In my desperation I began to pray and said my prayer over and over all day long, for God to send me a partner who wanted to align with me in my purpose – to end separation and suffering. I thought to myself that it could even be my present husband, but I had no idea who this person would be. God sent me Mats Stjernkvist.
Mats came into my life on the 31st day of my prayer which was the deadline I had set for myself to have my answer given to me. He came to my castle home in Sweden while my husband was out seeing his girlfriend and it was the first day of one of my courses called The Art of Surrender.
Mats had the same experience I did- his wife had fallen in love with another man at the same peace conference. He had the same intention and desire as I- the pure peace of God. When Mats came into my life he came carrying ACIM, saying he wanted to use these books to free everyone and ourselves. And so, together, we became avid students of ACIM. I channeled a powerful method that clears pain and suffering and a chart which explains the clearing. After I read ACIM I found that my channeled method and chart specifically matched ACIM.
Now I would say, 15 years later, for everything I think, do, feel and say I automatically check myself to see if I am in line with ACIM and if not, see what forgiveness can be given to increasingly live and be in pure Truth.
How Do I Love Thee
By Sandy Levey-Lunden
Forward by Deborah Grandinetti
The Holy Relationship, a major emphasis of the A Course In Miracles book, is a revolutionary approach to relating. It is both a philosophy and a living practice. Sandy Levey-Lunden made it come alive for me personally. Her course work provided an opportunity to step into a deeply satisfying experience of intimacy and showed me how to live there with another person.
I first met Sandy in Lansing, Michigan, in mid-October in a two day course. I was so impressed with the changes I experienced that I moved heaven and earth to take her 10 day Power of Clearing Coaching Certification Program in Stowmarket, England. When I left for England, I was financially challenged and mateless. (In fact, it had been years since I was in an intimate relationship.) I came to the training partly to heal a block in forming a lasting, loving relationship which I had carried for, perhaps 30 years, since I experienced the first of two rapes. I had never thought that I could be authentically honest with a man on every level - and be received.
I thought I was too much for any one person and that I had to bite down on my truth and hold back, rather than reveal myself, lest I be rejected.
During the training, I worked through lifetimes of grief, disappointment, and despair, freeing myself to what A Course in Miracles would call the real me. When the training concluded, I felt light as a feather. In essence, I am my true self now and live from who I truly am.
Four days after the training, my financial situation began to improve. A week later, a man contacted me about exploring the possibility of a relationship. Six days later we met, and it was the most magical, soulful meeting of my life. Within two hours, we knew - this was something different, something so exquisite we could not have orchestrated this by ourselves. We are partners who share a common purpose; even our dreams echo one another's. It's not that we are in love, although that is true. It's that we are remembering together the Love we have always been, appearing now, in time and space, as two mouths sipping from the cup of Eternal Fullness.
This article about the origins of this transformative work is a transcription from a conversation with the woman who made this momentous meeting possible, a world-class, Bronx-born, Bodhisattva with a distinct Laughing Buddha girlishness.
-Deborah A. Grandinetti, Maple Shade, NJ
Making the Holy Relationship Real (Sandy speaks to Deborah)
I was inspired to tell this story after an exchange with a friend who had studied A Course In Miracles night and day for seven years.
Studying the Course is very different from living it.
She picked me up for our weekly A Course in Miracles class. I told her that I could be in a Holy Relationship partnership with anyone and that I could spend the night sleeping non-sexually next to any "brother." She didn't believe that possible. I persisted. She pointed out a man in the Miracles group and said, "I bet you can't be that man's partner. I bet you couldn't spend a night in the same bed with him."
The reason this friend picked out that particular man as a deal breaker is because she didn't consider him handsome, interesting, or smart. Her judgment showed me what she thought of herself, since we only judge others in the way we judge ourselves. If we think we're not good enough, even at the subtlest levels, we will find the same "flaw" in others.
As a result of that conversation, I was inspired to tell what this Holy Relationship process means to me. For most people, it is a challenge just to read A Course In Miracles and comprehend what it says. Of course, it's much more challenging to live what it says, on a day-to-day basis. That is the real challenge - to have your life reflect the teachings. Yet, that is the opportunity ACIM offers every one of us. In every area of our lives, we can either say, "I am clear and in my truth," or have some judgment, some fear, some guilt, etc.
As a student of ACIM, we know that we are either in 100 % love and joy, or we have something to clear.
Of course, we still have our "normal" lives to live. Everyone has their ego stories, ego patterns, and lessons they came here to work out. I haven't met anyone who doesn't. I have been observing mine for many years. The Manual For Teachers says that when I become an advanced teacher of God, I will no longer be here. I think it's important to realize that we might think we know Truth, but we really don't know. If we truly knew the Truth, as it manifests in our lives, things would unfold entirely differently.
The world is a school. In order to know Who We Really Are, we have to take every aspect of us that we thought was guilty - every action, thought, feeling, and belief - and bring it back to innocence. We also have to take everyone we encounter - and all of their actions, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs - back to innocence. Every single one. Every single aspect.
A Course in Miracles says we do not grow: we awaken to who we are. In other words, I Am That I Am. We - each of us - are this: I Am That I Am, Eternal Love, Peace, Joy, Totality, Infinity. We don't need to grow, just to wake up.
Our greatest teachers on this journey of awakening are the people closest to us. We were meant to meet all of them.
For the last 30 years, I have examined people's relationships and helped them figure out their patterns. My goal has been to see how we construct our reality and how we dance the same dance and engage in the same non-productive patterns over, and over, and over again. I have looked into this so I could learn how to heal them, i.e. the patterns and their "owners."
If you look closely at your own life, you'll see that these patterns can be subtle or obvious. Sometimes, we think we've overcome a pattern only to see it pop up somewhere else. Until we dive deep down and truly forgive ourselves and others, we will repeat the same patterns over and over. Only by first forgiving will we have true understanding, as the Course says.
If you choose to wake up, you'll stop responding to your life from habits and patterns from the past and respond from the Love that you always are. I invite people to wake up into the Oneness. That's why I created this Holy Relationship training.
Clearing is the essence of the process. It allows us to shed the many veils we've superimposed on our true selves. These veils of judgments and patterns make it challenging, if not impossible, to maintain any kind of relationship, let alone one which requires us to be with each other in truth.
The Holy Relationship is as different from what A Course In Miracles calls special relationships as night is from day. The Course characterizes a special relationship as one which creates separation.
It says, "I think there is something wrong with me; therefore, I think there is something wrong with you." The special relationship is all about trying to fulfill the other person's perceived lack of love or "hole." At its core, it's a bargaining process - you give me what I think I need, and I'll give you what you think you need.
Sound familiar? It is what we all know, and it doesn't work. This is why we feel trapped, because we become so enmeshed in needing this relationship fix.
The Holy Relationship is a whole different tune. If we were living A Course in Miracles, we'd stop looking for the sexier, richer, more famous, more powerful, or more intellectual partner who would enhance our image. We'd know that we could love any brother (or sister). We'd simply have to make the choice of which one.
What I am saying is hard for people to grasp. But the big "T" Truth for people who want to wake up now is that sexual attraction can be a conscious choice. You could live totally fulfilled with any brother or sister. It is only your judgments, perceptions, fear, and guilt that stop you.
The problem is that we are only attracted to someone with lessons complimentary to ours. And that attraction is unconscious because our lesson is unconscious.
The Holy Relationship creates joining and oneness. In it, partners see no lack here or there. They think, "I am completely who I am in my love and I see the same over there."
In a Holy Relationship, people know they are innocent. They see themselves and their partner as perfect in who they (both) are. In order to live like this, two people agree to have a joint purpose, for example, to release their negative past and live in 100% love. It must be a purpose they both want.
When you practice the Holy Relationship, you agree to clear whatever barriers and hindrances that stand between you and remembering Who You Really Are in True Love. A Course in Miracles says we are not here to seek love, only to remove the barriers to love we have created within ourselves.
In a Holy Relationship, your job is to support your partner in going all the way toward discovering who he or she truly is and of what is Real in every situation. And what is Real, of course, is Eternal Love.
The Catalyst for the Shift
This process was given to me after a very painful occurrence in my own life. I met a man while on tour in Sweden and we decided to marry. So in 1989, I moved my family and business to Sweden.
On our honeymoon, he told me that he wanted to host a peace conference that year, which he did. During the conference, he met a younger woman and fell completely in love with her, and told me he was leaving me for her. He said - as an accountant would say - that 90 percent of him wanted to be with her, but only 10 percent wanted to be with me.
I didn't know what to do. I was confused and out of my mind with fear and desperation. Should I run - go back to America - or hold my ground? Never in all my life had I felt so desperate.
So I resorted to something I did as a little girl - I prayed for God to show me a way to resolve my pain, and the pain and suffering in everyone I met in my seminars and counseling practice. I noticed many others were facing the same unfaithfulness I was experiencing. I was in so much pain; I told God that I could live only 31 more days without this answer.
On the 31st day, I was scheduled to give a seminar on "The Art of Surrender." To my shock, 35 people registered without any effort on my part. I couldn't imagine why they'd want to learn - or what they could learn - from a teacher in so much pain.
The night the course started, I remember feeling a surge of fear when I saw my assistant, Mats Stjernqvist, step out of his car and walk toward the house. I had this crazy thought - "I don't want to be alone with him!"
I noticed that thought, but I went on as if nothing was wrong. Later, when my assistants began to turn in for the night, I was left alone with Mats. He asked if I would like to go into the meditation room on 4th floor. My first reaction was, "No, I don't want to. I feel afraid and I don't want to!"
Reluctant as I was, I went anyway. As I walked up the circular staircase in the tower, I knew I was about to change forever. Mats appeared to alter right before my eyes, and kept transforming (he even looked Japanese at one point). I could see the ancientness in him.
During that conversation, I committed to being in a Holy Relationship with him for eternity. That's right - I committed for eternity. (In a Holy Relationship, a person commits to a purpose, not to a body or personality. Therefore, it goes on forever and it never ends.)
When I left the tower, I knew we had made a huge commitment. While conducting the rest of the training, I discovered that the answers I had prayed for so desperately were coming to me effortlessly. In the days that followed, I received information about processes that could free people in relationship, practices that could help them release the core of the guilt from their past, the source of their relational problems, especially in their relationship with mother and father. I saw the opportunity to create a Holy Relationship training, which Mats and I invented out of our real-life experience.
Magic opened up. More processes were revealed to us as we learned to use the process called "The Power of Clearing and A Course In Miracles." Since 1990, I've been privileged to see many of the men and women who meet in my seminars decide to marry.
©copyright 2010 Sandy Levey-Lunden, San Francisco, CA
Forgiveness After Marital Infidelity and Betrayal
By Sandy Levey-Lunden
There is a reason for the public fascination with sex scandals such as the Clinton-Lewinsky affair and the more recent revelations about Tiger Woods. Most of us carry some kind of sexual guilt, which overlays our spiritual guilt. In short, we think, feel, and believe we've left
God. And that's why betrayal and abandonment are recurring themes in human relationships. We create these experiences over and over again unconsciously out of guilt.
So that's what is activated within us each time such a story hits the news. Tales of infidelity, betrayal, abandonment--each of these stimulate memories of every single perceived sexual indiscretion in our own lives. Because we don't want to look at ourselves, we point the
finger at someone else. We love to ask, "How could Clinton (or Spitzer, Sanford, Woods, etc.) do such a thing? Yet, there's an internal resonance--a resonance through our own unconscious guilt around "betraying" God. We believe we have betrayed God, which we then translate into feeling that God has betrayed us. Therefore, betrayal becomes a theme in so many relationships in terms of our sexuality, fidelity and finances. Then we attract the scenario of someone not giving us the piece of the pie that we feel we deserve monetarily. This can manifest as a dispute related to an inheritance or a divorce. Money or sex can then be used to attack, creating feelings
of separation and abandonment.
In my counseling practice, I have encountered many couples who felt that they were wounded by betrayal and/or abandonment. I never thought it would happen to me, but it did. To make matters worse, the betrayal and dissolution of my marriage occurred within months of
moving my daughter and my business from the United States to Sweden. Now I was experiencing what I had seen so many couples and individuals suffer through during counseling in my practice.
I thought the loss of my husband and our marriage would kill me. However, that loss turned out to be a great blessing. The pain drove me to look more deeply into the nature of the Holy Relationship and to discover not only a way for me to heal and live happily, but to help
others achieve it for themselves.
It began in the late 1980s. I was on a tour and conducting trainings in Sweden, where I met a man. We fell in love and decided to marry. So in 1989, I moved my family and business to Sweden.
On our honeymoon, my husband told me that he wanted to host a peace conference that year. I helped him register the participants, but did not attend the final evening of the conference because I wanted to relieve the baby sitter who was with our three children. Days later, I left for Hawaii, where I was scheduled to give a training. Within 24 hours of my arrival, I bent over and couldn’t get up; I was in so much pain, I thought I had broken a vertebra. The truth was that exactly 12 hours earlier, in our home in Sweden, my husband had taken a younger woman to bed. Somehow I sensed that, even from such a distance.
I called my husband a couple of times during the training and noticed that he sounded distant and aloof. I didn’t panic until I returned home. Everything looked okay. He had even put out a spread of champagne and smoked salmon as he did on special occasions. But I felt strange.
I didn’t say anything during the meal, but as we got ready for bed, I felt compelled to address it. “Tell me now what happened in my absence,” I said. “I know something dreadful has happened. Do you have cancer? Are you going to die?” That’s how upset I thought his energetic fields were.
He was honest with me. “I’ve fallen in love with a younger woman. I want to be with her and enjoy my second adolescence with her. But I don’t want to give you up either. There’s a 10 percent chance that I actually still want to be with you, but 90 percent of me wants to be with
I asked him all kinds of fear-based questions. I wanted to know if he slept with her—he did—and what her name was. He wouldn’t tell me. “You might as well,” I said. “I’ll know her name by the time I wake up.”
That night, I hardly slept. I felt like I was dying, and was completely out of my mind with jealousy and grief. But by the morning, I knew who it was: Maria. I had registered her at the peace conference and I remember noticing her when she arrived.
I couldn’t imagine forgiving him. I felt I had been stabbed with a sharp sword and didn’t know how I would ever feel whole again. Fortunately, he and I had agreed to go for counseling if we ever found ourselves in such difficulty that we couldn’t resolve it ourselves. I couldn’t think of anyone who could help us to heal our marriage because I felt so triggered in my feelings of survival that I couldn’t even think clearly. Finally, I resorted to something I did as a child: I prayed. (“When all else fails….”) Over several years of teaching, I had observed that many others experienced the same unfaithfulness I was facing. I asked God to give me a process that would help me and others with similar experience to heal and feel whole and complete again. I told God that I could live only 31 more days without an answer because I couldn’t stand the pain I was in any longer.
I longed for someone who would join me in this process of healing because I believed it was clear that my husband had chosen the other woman. After praying almost continuously for 30 days and 30 nights, I got my wish, and I couldn’t believe that my prayer had been answered. On the 31st day, I was scheduled to give a seminar on The Art of Surrender. To my shock, 35 people registered without any effort on my part. I couldn’t imagine why they’d want to learn, or what they could learn, from someone in so much pain.
The night the course started, I remember feeling a surge of fear that went through my entire body when I saw my assistant, Mats, step out of his car and walk toward the house. I had this crazy thought—I do not want to be alone with him tonight! I noticed that thought, but continued as if everything was fine. At the end of the evening, I was left alone with Mats. He asked if I would like to go into the meditation room on 4th floor. My first thought was, “No way!”
Reluctant as I was, however, I went ahead. As I walked up the circular staircase, I knew my life was about to change forever. As we sat together, Mats’ appearance began to change right before my eyes. I could see he was an ancient being. During that conversation, we committed to the purpose of finding the answer to all pain and suffering in relationships. We both were going through the same suffering from our previous relationships. I later found out that this was the beginning of a Holy Relationship (according to ACIM) that would last for eternity. That’s right, I committed for eternity. (In a Holy Relationship, a person commits to a purpose, not to a body or personality. Therefore, it can go on forever and never end.)
When I left the tower, I knew we had made a huge commitment. While conducting the rest of the training, I realized that the answers I had prayed for so desperately for a month were coming effortlessly. In the days that followed, I received information about a process that could
free people in difficult relationships: practical steps that could help a person release core guilt from their past, especially guilt stemming from relationships with their mother and father, which invariably becomes the source of their present relational problems. While receiving the process, which we now call The Power of Clearing, I was given guidance on how to apply it to my own anguish regarding my ex and his girlfriend.
The Power of Clearing process which I received in prayer after my husband fell in love with this other younger woman, is a three part process in which you clear any and all suffering, mistaken beliefs, traumas, attack, defense in your life. The last two stages of the process are forgiveness exercises which confirm and affirm A Course in Miracles. The first stage of the power of clearing process goes into the old ego thoughts that a person is having at the time of their upset and then takes it to the original place in your history where the original thoughts, feelings, and beliefs came from. Sometimes it is just emotion that comes out during stage one, and sometimes you actually get back to the origin from where the pain came from when you were little. As the course in miracles says it is not necessary to go back to the original trauma to clear something from your past. Many people need an emotional tool to work with to sink their teeth into their feeling so that they can let it go. The clearing identifies the exact beliefs you are having, so it is the belief about yourself that you are actually clearing.
In the first stage of the clearing process, I come up with all of my ego’s projected thoughts, feelings and beliefs that are negatively impacting me. In this case, against my ex-husband and against this other woman. I felt all of my hatred. I felt I had been victimized. I felt
I had been betrayed and abandoned. I used the structure that I received in the clearing process, which was a specific structure and formula for me to release everything and just be heard. For example, I said “What I want you to know Sven is that I feel that you promised me to tell me the truth and always be there honestly and I feel you have betrayed me now by being with this other woman and that makes me feel alone, just like I felt as a child when my father left me when I was six months old in the hospital and I was very ill and thought I would die. The person holding the space would say “Thank you,” and they would be present with me without judging me, or agreeing with me; they merely offer compassionate support, so I would continue saying everything possible in my ego mind from my pain and suffering about this betrayal.
Another example of the first stage of the clearing was “What I want you to know Maria is I felt like you were trying to steal my husband from me behind my back, which made me feel betrayed, just like when my other friend when I was very small in school stole my best friend
from me and they went off by themselves, leaving me out completely. I felt totally abandoned.”
I went on identifying and expressing these feelings and thoughts for at least another hour. Then I had completed the first stage of the clearing process. The second stage involves asking for forgiveness and the correction of misperceptions in regards to the ego’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs. You can only go to this stage when you have completely let go in stage one. The purpose of the first stage is to really clear the mind of unconscious guilt. I had felt guilty that this happened to me and that I “created” this in some way, just like victims of rape feel that they have created it in some way.
During the second stage of my clearing, I said “What I want you to forgive me for Sven is for feeling that you have betrayed and abandoned me, which makes me think there is something wrong with me and I’m not good enough in some way.” The coach then affirms with “Thank you. That is not the Truth. It’s a Story you made it up and you can let go of that anytime you want.” Then I want on to ask forgiveness from myself, saying things like “What I want you to forgive me for Sandy is for believing that you were rejected by your brother (who you gave everything to), which means you would always be rejected by the man you love.” I went on with step two for around twenty minutes, asking for forgiveness on all of the main issues that I identified in the first step. I mainly asked for forgiveness for the beliefs that I held against
The third step is also a process of forgiveness, but in the third step, you remember your Eternal Truth and your True Nature. You also remember the Eternal Truth and True Nature of every person that you projected your feelings against. Whether you felt attacked or victimized, it doesn’t matter. It’s both the same thing. “What I want you to forgive me for Sven, is for forgetting that you and I will always be one. Thank you. That is the Truth. You and I will always be One. There is only Oneness and I love you. What I want you to forgive me for Sven
is for forgetting that we’ll always be Joined. Thank you. That is the Truth. There is only Joining in Truth.”
Devoting myself to the process for three days gave me the ability to let go of any and all grievances against my husband, Sven, and his lover, Maria. In fact, I was so “clear” that Sven eventually called and asked me to help him and his girlfriend with some difficulties they had
created for themselves.
After the Art of Surrender course was over, I conceived the method of helping people work through these kinds of relationships, which later became The Holy Relationship training, and then the 10-day Holy Relationship workshop. With Mats, magic began to happen in my life at an exponential rate because of our Holy Relationship purpose and union. During the months and years that followed, more processes were revealed to us as we learned to use The Power of Clearing and ACIM. Since 1990, I’ve been privileged to see many of the men and women who meet in my seminars decide to marry.
Only today, I received the following testimonial from Elaine Clark and I have included it with her permission.
This is a great big thank you ! Doug and I got married in December as a celebration of 23 years of working on having a great relationship. That work never would have started if not for you. I am so very grateful that you cared enough about me to never give up - even when I wanted to. Of course our relationship is not perfect but it is fulfilling and peaceful as it never has been before. Love has won again! It is my intention to teach other couples how to do this work of transforming a relationship from painful to peaceful.”
How Healing is Accomplished
by Sandy Levey-Lunden
A part of A Course in Miracles that I have felt very drawn to is the section called “How is Healing Accomplished?” (M17: Manual for Teachers, page 17) I have found little written about this section and I have always been surprised that more teachers do not focus on it. Some ACIM students might believe that the Course does not support the physical healing, since the body is not real, but I think an important part of ACIM is to support healing on all levels: mental, emotional, spiritual and physical.
For the 20 years that I have been a student and teacher of ACIM, I have constantly returned to this section whenever I, or anyone else, has a negative feeling in their body that was disturbing their peace of mind. In my course, Choosing Freedom: The Way Out of all Pain and Suffering and the Way Into Who You Really Are, I use this section as part of a process for freeing anyone from the illusion of illness.
When I work with a student, I ask them to go deeply through eight questions about the condition. Even though A Course in Miracles says that we do not have to remove the condition to prove that healing took place, in ninety percent of cases, the condition totally disappears working on the student's mind. Perhaps it disappears because it is my belief that it will disappear and the student and I join in the purpose of fully releasing the meaning the condition has for us. I have had people who were extremely sick with conditions that had existed for years. They are able to clear the condition in the class and are amazed it can happen so quickly and easily by clearing the mind. These conditions have included prostate cancer, allergies, colon problems, urinary tract conditions, environmental illness, inability to conceive, and breast cancer. ACIM says: “There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not ‘harder’ or ‘bigger’ than another.” (T3: Text, page 3) I have found this to be so when I practice clearing physical or emotional conditions with the knowledge of “The Perceived Purpose of Sickness” and “The Shift of Perception” sections. (M17)
The first section, “The Perceived Purpose of Sickness,” teaches that we must understand what we created the illusion of sickness for, what its payoff is, why we want to hold on to it and keep it in our lives, what it stands for or proves to us about ourselves (what belief it reinforces), the benefit of not letting it go or healing it, and who we would blame if we never healed? Does it mean that having this condition makes us the creator of our lives and that we have usurped God’s throne? What would it mean to us if we healed ourselves personally and were our own doctor?
In the next section, it says: “One need but say, ‘There is no gain at all to me in this’ and he is healed.” (M17) This means that I have gone through all the benefits in my mind that this sickness or condition has given me, forgiving myself for making up and believing in these thoughts, and forgiving anyone else that I believe the sickness involves. It also means that I am reminding myself of spiritual truths and feeding them to myself, that none of these beliefs I made up are true, and that I do not need to live in this fantasy, which is at the core of the physical condition.
This journey without distance is perfectly described in a new book by Gary Holtz, Journey to the Heart: Secrets of Aboriginal Healing. Gary went through multiple sclerosis (MS) and healed himself in a process with Aboriginals in Australia, going through every benefit and reason he wanted to be numb and feel nothing in his life, thereby creating MS. When you can feel deeply and taste your reasons for creating the condition and go through the emotion of the condition, you are on your way to releasing it. Gary Holtz went on to share this process with people all over the world.
When we have hidden a thought, a feeling, or belief in our body, it becomes a sickness. Generally, this is a secret to the person and when they divulge it to themselves, or others, it no longer has a hold over them. Since I can choose to kill myself with my own belief or feeling that I will not release or forgive, I get to be the creator of my own life or death.
The sickness represents the drama we were going through at the time of our emotional challenge, and felt we could not deal with it, or go through and release. Therefore, we stored it in our body as a secret to ourselves, and hidden thoughts that we would not want to admit about the sickness. Mostly, it is guilt that stops us from admitting these hidden thoughts and thus releasing them.
ACIM says that we cannot be sick unless we think, feel, or believe that we are separate from someone. We must forgive the person, persons or incident that we are blaming and thereby release ourselves. As we know, forgiveness is a gift to ourselves. I am only ever forgiving myself for what I think, feel, or believe. I am clearing feelings of worthlessness about myself and forgiving myself for believing in them. In general, I am clearing that I am worthless, not good enough, or that no one loves me, sees me, or wants me. This secret is only released if I am willing to go through all aspects of what the sickness is for, in my mind.
Of course, today the ego-mind is geared to taking prescription pills instead of being willing to look at the process deeply and clear whatever ego story (or maybe their entire ego life story) that the pain or sickness represents, so we never realize it is not the truth of who we are. Of course, this would take time, energy, and effort and most people’s egos convince them that they do not have that and so the simplest way is just to take pills or have surgery.
Sometimes, the pills or the operation are the “special agents” to help release the process and bring it to conclusion, and this happens after the forgiveness in the person’s mind has occurred. And, sometimes, medication is an escape from dealing with the condition in the mind and, therefore, the illness re-manifests in another place in the body.
It takes great courage, fortitude, and persistence to heal something in your body through your mind, and your commitment to the process must be one hundred percent. It is easier to do this when we have a holy relationship partner who understands the process of healing and fully supports it, knowing that the illusionary sickness is not true. ACIM says that we need a brother to confirm who we really are when we forget. And this remembrance is essential to the healing.
Seeing what the sickness or condition is for, the part it plays in our life, and the meaning it had when we felt the sickness or created it, is part of the healing. The following questions are the ones I ask a person who is going through the whole mind process of clearing their sickness. I received these questions as the essence of the “How is Healing Accomplished?” section. (M17)
1) When did this sickness begin? What was going on in your life at the time and what were your feelings about it in the months and years that preceded the sickness?
2) What is the value, pay-off, or benefit of your sickness?
3) How does this choice for weakness give you strength? (How does it give you a sense of control or make you feel more powerful? How does it make you think you are better than God?)
4) What (with this insane conviction) does “healing” stand for?
5) Would you like to be your own physician and heal yourself, with your mind releasing the condition? What would be your purpose for living, or healing? Why would you want to die, or not heal?
6) Who would you blame, or want to be sorry, if you died or stayed sick?
7) What do you feel guilty about?
8) What do guilt, sickness, pain, disaster and suffering mean now?
If the sickness has no purpose now, it can leave.
This process is one you can practice yourself. In my classes and private sessions, when someone has answered the questions, they stand up in front of the class and, with conviction and power, say: “I have no need for this condition [name the condition exactly] and I do not want it anymore.” They might say it a few times so they can get fully congruent with all aspects of the statement with their mind, body, and spirit. This process is very exciting and fulfilling for me as the person gets to the Truth of their condition.
The Power of Forgiveness
By Sandy Levey-Lunden
In 1990, I received ‘The Power of Clearing’ tool as an answer to my desperate request to God for a way to heal pain and suffering and end separation in relationships, after my own husband fell in love with another woman 25 years younger than me. I told God in a prayer that I could live for 30 days more while my husband was seeing this other woman and while I felt so much confusion, pain and suffering in my life about this. I felt desperate for an answer. I had given God 31 days to give me an answer to free people, as well as myself, from all pain and suffering in relationship.
On the 31st day of my prayer, which went on day and night, when I was not talking to my 5-year old daughter, the Holy Spirit sent a man into my life, whose wife had fallen in love with another man at exactly the same place and time as my husband. He had been my own student and promoter of the courses in Sweden. The two love affairs of our partners took place at an International Peace Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. This man, Mats, joined with me in a purpose: to find a way out of all pain and suffering in relationship.
Mats came carrying A Course in Miracles under his arm and saying that he wanted to study it. I had seen this ACIM book before. In fact, I had received two copies in the 1980’s from two of my students, when the book was in three volumes. Over the years, I had looked into these sets of books and felt that, if I were to study them, I would have to change everything I felt, thought, and believed. In fact, I thought that studying these books would change my whole life. I was not prepared to do that in the 1980’s. Now I was in total pain and suffering and, because of that, I was prepared to study ACIM. I had also been teaching seminars for ten years and I needed an even deeper way to support people in their breakthroughs in the crises of relationship break-up.
While I was living in Sweden, and Mats and I were in relationship in a joint purpose, I received the answer to my prayer in the form of the ‘Clearing Process’ and ‘The Big Truth and Little Truth Chart’. The ‘Clearing Process’ exactly matches the principles of A Course in Miracles and I began to study the Course with my new partner, as a way of freeing myself from suffering in relationships, freeing others and ending separation. In fact, we left Sweden for four months and went to Hawaii to study ACIM night and day, and apply the learning in a practical way to our thinking and our lives. ACIM became a passion and a joining force in our lives. We still traveled back and forth to Sweden every six weeks to teach classes there together
Forgiveness from a Course (ACIM) perspective is not the same as the traditional teaching of how to forgive. In the traditional definition, we forgive by overlooking something that we believe actually happened and thus we see the error that someone has made and attempt to overlook it. In Course based forgiveness, we recognize that it is our thoughts about the situation that we need to forgive. We give everything the meaning it has for us and therefore it is our interpretation of any situation that needs to be released. So it is all about having ‘a little willingness’ to look at our unconscious, limiting thoughts, feelings and beliefs in order to release them.
The Clearing assists a person in removing the unconscious and conscious guilt from their past. It provides tools for changing the way they view everything, from their relationships, finances, and their personal success. Clearing is the single most useful tool I have seen for releasing all the limiting beliefs that run peoples’ lives, send them into harmful cycles, and motivate self-destructive attitudes and behaviors. The Clearing Process is a simple, yet profound, tool for speaking your total truth and releasing your ego thoughts, feelings and beliefs. In the Clearing, we are confirming the Holy Spirit's truth in every communication. We forgive ourselves, with the Holy Spirit as witness and guide, for believing what our egos tell us.
Current upsets are simply doorways into old thoughts and old memories that are in the ‘basement’ of our ego mind so that by releasing them you can choose a life of joy instead of suffering. Choice is the most powerful tool we have in the mind. Our power to choose determines the world we see, the relationships we have and the success we experience. Our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and behavior are all the result of choices we make. In other words, we determine our experience through the choices we make. Bringing this to awareness allows us to continue to make better choices.
The following is a testimonial, in her own words, from a women who has taken my classes. It is a great example of how unconscious beliefs can effect current relationships and how forgiving those beliefs is the biggest step that can be taken toward peace.
"When I was eight years old, I started menstruating and I was devastated when my mother failed to communicate with and inform me about what was happening to me and my body. Then, when I was 14, she was frightened when she found out that a teenager at my school was pregnant. She went into a rage, telling me that if I got pregnant, "over her dead body" would she ever let me keep it. "I will make you have an abortion", she said. Meanwhile I was not sexually active, but had always known I wanted to someday have a family. Later in life I realized I was emotionally and physically paralyzed by these earlier experiences. I grew up feeling that it wasn't safe for me to bring a baby into this world. I felt it was bad to be a woman, that I should reject all that is feminine and motherly in me. In my logical mind, I knew this was not true, but deep down I felt I wasn't worthy of what I wanted most.
"When I was 30, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, a hormonal and auto-immune condition that causes endometrial cells to grow outside of the uterus. It causes internal bleeding, pain and infertility. I scheduled a radical surgery to have the endo excised, but then changed my mind. I decided to explore my beliefs and childhood experiences first, to heal those, and see where that would take me. Through working with Sandy Levey-Lunden over three courses (The Art of Surrender, Choosing Freedom: the Way Out, and True Woman's Power) and ACIM, I forgave my mother for her behaviour and influence. But, more importantly, I stopped blaming her in the now, and I forgave myself for believing – for more than a decade – that I was unworthy, unsafe, damaged and infertile. I freed myself from learned helplessness and embraced the truth that I am worthy, loving, lovable – that, at age 33, it was in fact safe for me to bring a baby into the world with my loving husband. Within three months of feeling complete with this healing journey, my husband and I conceived and our miracle baby, Xavier, was born on April 9, 2004."
Through my teaching The Clearing Process over the years, I have had the joy and honor of seeing sicknesses healed, marriages saved, and families reunited. It was because they forgave each other and themselves. The Clearing lifted the fog from the mirror, and they saw their True Selves looking back at them, with the Holy Spirit at their side, and thus could see the world through themselves clearer than ever before. The Clearing Process is True forgiveness.
I am privileged to make teaching The Clearing Process my life purpose, and have been able to train coaches to teach it to more and more people. Of course, it is not a fix-all, end-all solution. Forgiveness takes diligence and the will to be happy rather than to be right about what you think you believe about the world and your self. I hope everyone takes this first step to choose to forgive and end separation in this world. It is our most important job, and we do get “paid” for it, in rewards of freedom, peace, joy, and love.
Did I Ever Tell You I Love You?
By Sandy Levey Lunden
“I can’t believe it was just two short months ago that I was in so much pain with a broken heart. I was reeling from breaking off an engagement, having already failed at two marriages. I was trying to escape from my pain and thinking of where I could run to when I began listening to a CD for the second time. This CD led me to Sandy Levey-Lunden and the answers I so desperately needed.“
-Betty Seise, seeming relaxed and full of life.
According to Levey-Lunden, “We have no relationship issues; we have unresolved issues of the past with our parents and family that we bring to each new relationship, and project it onto our present relationships. When we come into partnership (marriage, love affair, working), a co-worker or lover is in relationship with everyone from our past with whom we are not at peace or clear with. At any moment, when the situation resembles a past feeling or incident, we can then receive the same response of anger or negativity, as towards that person from the past. Our only choice, really, is for each individual to clear and come to peace with each relationship from their past.”
In the CD, Relationship as a Path to Enlightenment, she explains why relationships are so difficult and painful: “We unconsciously place expectations on our partners. When they fail us, we make a case against them and pull away. Instead of loving them unconditionally, we blame them for things we perceive them to have done, and the blame destroys the relationship.”
Most relationships are based on some sort of unconscious contract or bargain: "I will love you as long as you do this for me, and when you don't (or do it the wrong way, too late, too early, too hard, too soft), then I’m out of here." In these “special” relationships, people seek to fulfill someone else’s [perceived] lack of love, because they believe they themselves lack love. Sandy's teachings are based on this very prism. "We can never fulfill the illusion of lacking love, because there is no lack of love," she explains. "We try and never succeed, because the truth is we are the love we seek." Many relationships are rooted in the fear that “If my partner knew the truth about me, they wouldn't love me.” To protect themselves, people hide in a subtle web of lies, avoidance and drama. As a result, the real truth of who they are never emerges.
The fear of being known is rampant in the couples Ms. Levey-Lunden works with. “I love seeing all parties fully communicate, only to discover there was nothing to be upset about in the first place. It was all one big misperception between two egos.”
As a psycho-spiritual counselor of more than 30 years, she reminds us that we must be complete with our “lack of love” process before we can truly experience love. “If a person doesn’t honor and appreciate their partner unconditionally now, they haven’t learned the lessons that they came to learn. They will recreate these lessons with other people until they learn them. No one can escape their lessons. They follow us everywhere.”
WHY IS THIS SHOOTING HAPPENING EVERYWHERE? AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
By Sandy Levey-Lunden, February 2018
We’ve all noticed that in the last 20 to 25 years there have been a lot of shootings and attacks that seem to arise all of a sudden from nowhere.
Beginning with Dunblane in Scotland more than 20 years ago, these attacks have spread to many parts of the world, especially in the United States. Many classrooms were involved in these sudden attacks and we are always looking for the reasons and as a society we ask “Why is this happening?”
At first people thought this could be some kind of terrorist plot and now we see there’s a much bigger picture than just a terrorist plot. Who are the people who are doing these attacks and what could be the common element in all of these people? Is there a theme? Plus what could we do to ensure that it stops happening?
One thing we can do in all of this is to take Responsibility for everything that is happening in our world and get that we are all One and we are Not separate. The idea that it could be happening in some distant part of the world and that it won’t happen in my town or my school, is an erroneous fallacy because it has turned out Not to be a truth.
We need to take our eyes off our computers, televisions and smart phones and start looking at everybody around us to assess the level of peace in each person in our vicinity, friends, family, loved ones. What can we do to be helpful and take a look at the larger picture of how we can end separation in our families, friends, loved ones, and create joining and interconnectedness. We have to look at what is right in front of our own eyes, specifically in our own lives, our own conflicts, our friends’ conflicts and Clear our emotional pain with each person we know and meet.
The picture of the war of the attacks at schools, concerts, cities has become too big a sociological challenge or psychological problem for us to just rely on formalized therapists or consultants.
We all need to look outwards, lift up our eyes and see who is alone, separate and possibly filled with rage because they see that others have separated from and rejected them. These people who feel alienated and rejected and who have difficulty making friends, feeling accepted and the ones who possibly have been bullied by others and have bullied other people in return can be a ‘danger point’ for all of us.
This danger point has to be recognized that it’s not their problem alone and they don’t have to find a way to fix it. They may not know it’s even possible to release their feelings of isolation and rage because they have had it all of their lives and they believe it is a part of themselves.
As a Life Coach and Counsellor for over forty years I see that most people confuse what is their ego personality and do not know they can Clear and Release the thinking ‘this is who I am’. Meaning, they believe these personality traits are their authentic self, however this is not the Truth. We need to become truly awake and observant and witness our own ego attack thoughts, negative thoughts of ourselves and others. These are the things we need to release, not live out or go asking for the collusion of others with the notion to confirm that ‘we are right’. The more we want collusion and receive collusion the more Stuck we can become.
When two ego personalities collude on an ego thought and blame someone it makes it real and justified. Then we can’t separate ourselves from that person. So most people are in the process always of excluding someone or separating themselves from that person because they find them dangerous, instead of thinking “How could we be honest with this person and share without blaming what we feel and take responsibility for our own feelings?”
We want to be thinking more about what would be helpful instead of just getting rid of that person from our lives. Separating ourselves from people increases the isolation and sense of alone-ness within ourselves and the person we are separating from. This isolation and aloneness can lead to a deep rage and thoughts such as “Well I’m all alone and no-one cares about me and I’m not part of any group and family because I feel so separate, it doesn’t matter if I kill those people because I am all alone anyway. I am completely alienated from everyone, therefore who ever I shoot will not matter as no-one cares about me, why should I care about anyone!”
What can we do about this? For one thing we can be extending generous compassion to ourselves if we think we are guilty. Also to others who may think they are guilty and energetically to the world at large. Using the Huna Healing system from Hawaii and in particular the Ho’oponopono prayer can be helpful in daily life. There are four parts to the prayer that can be repeated over and these are I’m Sorry, Please Forgive me, Thank You and I Love You.
The hypothesis in this prayer is that if it is happening in my world and I take notice of it, it has something to do with me on some level and that I have attracted it. Even before our birth we may have absorbed from our mother and father’s lives their own unresolved trauma.
As a Therapist and Life Coach it has become important for me to recognize how much of a person’s pain and suffering they have unconsciously agreed to. In my work I see consistently that suffering can be cleared and that joy, aliveness, power and passion for their life uncovered and experienced.
One of the phenomena I have noticed over the years as a Therapist has been the extent of the emotional and sexual abuse of young children. From my therapeutic experience I see the process of releasing and forgiveness as a key to healing. It is my hypothesis that many of the teenagers in schools where shootouts occur were subjected to sexual and/or other abuse. For these teenagers it would lead to feelings of helplessness, of being attacked, put upon and now in the classroom they are reclaiming internal power, striking back at their perceived attackers. It is interesting that in many cases they are killing children, just as they were when they too were ‘attacked’.
There are many forms of therapy today to help these children who have been emotionally and sexually abused. Therapy that offers opportunity to let go of the suffering they have gone through and come back to their true authentic nature and release their aliveness.
It is up to all of us to become aware and awake to what we see that needs to be cleared or released that is negative inside of ourselves and others all around us. We can no longer afford to be silent and sleeping, playing video games on our phone. It is time for each of us to look at “How can we choose to wake up more in our lives right now and become more proactive?” And say to ourselves “I choose to wake up now before it’s too late”
I make up a story within myself that there must have been a doorman or someone in that Las Vegas Hotel or a person working there who must have noticed there were so many golf bags coming in from that man with the guns in his golf bags before the shooting occurred. There has been an idea going around in the world that we just need to mind our own business! In fact the opposite is true! We all need to wake up to the thought “We are all a part of the Totality”. This means whatever is happening in my world is part of my own business and if I notice it, maybe I’m noticing for some reason and from my intuition I can maybe contact a person who can do something about it?!
We each have to become more pro-active in our own world.