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“I am among the minsters of God and I am grateful that I have the means by which to recognize that I am free.”
A few nights ago, I had the unique opportunity to lead a private yoga class for a small group of women who wished to honor their deceased loved one, each other, and all the ways they cared for their beloved family member as she made her transition. Collectively, they traversed the relentless and difficult terrain of providing meticulous care for their beloved so that she could pass in peace, at home. Given our current climate, dying at home while surrounded by loved ones is a special gift.
During the class, I felt the presence of God in palpable ways. In the dimly lit room within which we practiced, I also felt a deep, benevolent, abiding compassion hanging thick in the air. The class unfolded flawlessly. Although I heard myself guiding our practice, I was clear that my voice was just the channel through God spoke messages of comfort and solace. As my body moved from one asana to the next, in a spontaneous, unplanned way—I experienced my arms, legs, and heart as extensions of the Divine guiding this family in ways that would offer rest to their weary bodies. As they wept softly, I witnessed the sacred expression of both love and loss on their faces. In those moments, I saw the face of God manifested in the rawness of their human form. This was a beautiful evening that was rooted in one simple prayer that I uttered before I entered the space to begin class. The prayer was:
“Use me, God.”
I am blessed that all my work is infused with the qualities I experienced a few nights ago. Whether it is my work from the yoga mat or meditation cushion, a ZOOM webinar, or while writing blogs, book chapter and articles, there is a felt sense of awe, wonder, joy and enthusiasm. I also experience a sense of lightness and a childlike anticipation of what the day might bring.
To call what I do “work,” does not in any way capture the nature of how I am spending my time and diminishes the blessings of getting to serve in the ways that I do. What I love most about my work is the felt sense that “I” am totally out of my own way. Frankly, I am at my very best when “Christine” (just the name for this body I inhabit) is so plugged into the Divine that she is the clear and open vessel through which the love of God flows.
Upon waking, the question: “What is your function?” is the first to enter my mind. In the soft light of dawn, I hear myself whisper the answer:
“My only function is to be an extension of the Light and the Love of God. This is all and this is everything.”
I repeat this phrase three times before setting my feet on the floor. When I hold the belief that this is, indeed, my only function, work ceases being work. And the way I spend my time each day unfolds like a living miracle.
“And that one Voice appoints your function and relays it to you, giving you the strength to understand it, do what it entails, and to succeed in everything you do related to it.” (ACIM: Lesson 154)”
About three years ago, I fired myself.
Yes—you read that right.
I fired myself.
At the time, I was enrolled in Lisa Natoli’s, 40-Day Journey of Transformation. Mid-way through my time in the “desert,” I woke with the realization that A Course in Miracles could radically transform my relationship to my work. Although I have long enjoyed a robust career as a university professor, yoga and meditation teacher, and more recently, as a corporate trainer, I often felt the faint presence of anxiety lurking along the edges of the work I intuitively knew I was blessed to do. If I looked deeply, I could see that this fear was linked to worries about not being good enough, not being valued, and not making an impact. At times, I felt like an imposter, and felt an underlying sense that I did not deserve to do work that I enjoyed. Looking back, this way of thinking caused great suffering and was an obstacle to the abiding joy that I sensed was possible if only I could be free of the self-doubt and Egoistic longings for perfection, praise, and evidence that “I” mattered.
Although I had been a student of A Course in Miracles for well over twenty years, I never quite saw the principals present in my relationship to work. However, during the 40-Day, this changed. I had an epiphany that I shall never forget.
It was early morning and I was sitting in my kitchen preparing for the day’s lesson. I felt riddled with anxiety about the work I had to do that day. As I brought my coffee mug to my lips, I thought:
“Christine– to move beyond the stranglehold that Ego has on your professional life, you need to fire yourself.
Yes—that’s right—you need to fire yourself!
You need to get clear that God is your employer.”
This moment concluded with a certainty that I felt at a cellular level. The certainty was:
“I work for God.”
Even as I write, I can feel the chill and power of this message because I never felt so free.
The course always serves to remind us that miracles are merely shifts in perception. This moment was just that—a simple, yet powerful shift in my perception about work that occurred while sipping my morning coffee.
It is rare that I don’t wake up and have clarity that the “work” I “get” to do on any given day is an opportunity for me to be extension of the Divine. As such, God’s hand, voice, power and Presence is present in everything I do. The recent experience I had while teaching bereavement yoga stands out because it reminded me that for the most part, my work is the experience of total flow. Flow state occurs when ego is so completely edged out of what we are doing that we are fully surrendered to God being fully expressed through us. When this happens, we are not working. We are “expressing,” and in the act of Divine expression, we are serving.
I want to be clear that it is not always this way. Whenever I feel stuck, struggling, complaining, anxious, overwhelmed, or less than optimistic about the work I am doing, I take pause. When such fear-based qualities are present, it is a clue that I am off course, unplugged, and most of all, that I have forgotten who my employer is! Shifting out of this state and getting back into flow often takes just this light and simple reminder:
“Christine—you fired yourself three years ago!
You are under the employment of God.
You are not in charge anymore!”
Lesson 154 is instructive should you feel stuck in fear-based thinking about the work you do in the world. I encourage you to look at this lesson and to read it in the context of “work.” For me, the lesson inspires me to not be falsely arrogant nor humble about being “used” in the service of God. It can serve as a quick kick in the butt when I feel slowed down in any way by my work. Lesson 154 reminds me that I need not delay commitment to my function. Both loving and firm, this lesson nudges me to drop uncertainties, doubts and fears as there is a higher calling. When I heed the call, I dedicate my efforts, gifts and skills to God. I rise and meet the day with a strong request of God:
“Use me…use me…use me.”
Whatever your work, it has been divinely appointed. And there is no permanency to this appointment. The work you do might shift and change in ways you could not have never imagined! What matters most is being clear that your work is expressed through you in your role as an “earthly messenger,” and that your gifts, skills and contributions are given away freely. As such, there is no sense of holding back your gifts and skills. There is total permission to offer your best. There is enormous freedom in living out your work in this way.
In sum, we are the vessels through which the Divine flows. What flows through us is an offering to the entire Sonship—and as such, we all benefit because of the work we do in the world.
I wish each of you the same lightness, ease, awe, joy and freedom related to your work. Lean into Lesson 154 whenever you need to reconnect to your function and to plug back into Divine energy. Give yourself permission to experience your work as a state of flow and enjoy the utter delight of serving in ways that stoke the radiance of your own light. Every aspect of our lives can be transformed by the principals and practices that A Course in Miracles offer—even our work.
Dr. Christine E. Kiesinger serves as Vice President of Development (USA) and Lead Facilitator of Emotional Intelligence and Conscious Communication at studio BE. She is also a long-time yoga and meditation teacher and a life-long student of A Course in Miracles. Christine is devoted to the practical application of course in everyday life.
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