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I am fortunate to have met MarciaGrace and to be a student in her group on A Course in Miracles. Our meetings are lively and spirited; her interpretation of the material is always clear, relevant and inspirational. The information I have learned has made a significant impact on my life and the way I view the world. MarciaGrace’s compassionate manner and concern for all group members is apparent at every meeting and the meditation we begin the session with is always calming, centering and surprisingly relevant to the feelings of the group members that day. MarciaGrace’s daily blogpost on the principles of A Course in Miracles contains information to help us live our lives in freedom and joy; her observations and explanations are clear and comprehensive. In the year that I have been studying with MarciaGrace, I have learned much and have also learned that I also have much to learn, which is part of the process! MarciaGrace truly is a great visionary, a leader in spiritual growth and a gift in my life.
“Everything begins with a thought” you hear me often say, and that’s important because today I want to talk about the fact that you have no idle thoughts. No thoughts that are unimportant, shall we say. Every thought that you have produces either peace or chaos in your mind. It’s one or the other, there’s nothing in between.
Today I often joke that I’ve lived several incarnations in my present body. And, in truth, I am nothing like the nervous, shy, insecure young woman that once inhabited this physical frame. At some point, I realized how miserable and fearful I was (although I did a great job of putting on a ‘happy face’ for the world.) This awareness led me to dive deep into the literature of self-understanding. I read and read—books on religion, on mental disorders (yes, I’d actually sit and read the DSM III like a novel!), on psychology, on spirituality, on yoga, on breathing and of course, on self-help. Then, in 1978 I found A Course in Miracles, which changed my life.
Fast forward, in late 1993, while writing a newsletter for A Course in Miracles with my colleague JoAnn Barrett (who today has a thriving ministry in Melville, NY), I noticed a mailing on her table for The New Seminary for Interfaith ministers. Long story short, I suggested we go and she agreed!
We studied, we sang, we debated, we cried our way through our 3 years at Seminary. In our first year I began to experience things in myself that scared the hell out of me, literally! It was exhilarating at times, and terrifying at others. And here’s where the new persona, MarciaGrace, was born.
I awakened one morning filled with terror—Who was I? What was I supposed to do with my life? How could I possibly be a minister when I didn’t even know how to help myself? I was sweating. Tears were pouring out of my eyes and sobs of grief and fear shook my body. I cried out to the universe for help. And suddenly, I felt myself surrounded and enfolded in angel’s wings! (And I didn’t believe in angels as beings with wings. To me, angels were thoughts of love, help and joy from the Divine, but, there they were!)
Anyway, I knew there were 2 of them with me. I wasn’t afraid at all. I was amazed. And tentatively, I asked their names. I heard a gentle yet firm voice. It said, “My name is Marlon and I am here to be your strength and confidence.” I interpreted this as male energy which I was sadly lacking. And then a softer voice said, “I’m Anita and I want you to know you are beautiful, intelligent and have the gift of healing which you must learn to give.”
That experience was a huge shift in my consciousness. Being the perennial student that I am, I researched the meaning of my angel’s names. Marlon may have come from the French, wild falcon, or from the English, a form of Merle or Merlin, sea fortress. In either case they both depict strength. Anita, as turns out, is the diminutive of Anna which comes from the Hebrew, Hannah, which means grace.
In the days following that terrible day which brought the angels to my rescue, I called upon them frequently for help. As soon as I thought of them, I could feel (and still do to this day!) their soft, warm wings enveloping me. Marlon said little but his indomitable presence made me feel sure and safe. Anita told me she was giving me her name to remind me that my destiny was “Marcia … moving toward grace.”
For ease of use, I shortened my new name to MarciaGrace.