Achieving the opposite of a spiritual quickie

I have finished something that has taken me more than 20 years to accomplish.

You’re thinking weighty here, aren’t you? Substantial. Meaty.

Like authoring a book. Building a dream home. Retiring in your 40s.


ACIMI’ve finished reading “A Course in Miracles.” Just the Text portion, that is.

You are holding your applause, aren’t you?


For those of you not familiar, this tome is a course in spiritual transformation. It is single-spaced, lengthy and written in language difficult for even the most advanced word nerds to process.

Beyond the Text portion, there’s a Workbook section and a Manual for Teachers.

So I have some ground to cover, still.

And yet, the feeling of accomplishment at finally making it through a book I was drawn to over two decades ago was rewarding.

Yes, I know. That probably sounds silly. Two decades to read something is not a Wheaties box moment.

As I look back, I bought this book because Marianne Williamson was a favorite author and she touted ACIM as a lifesaver.

Quite frankly, when I first started reading it, it felt a bit out there. A teensy bit insane. Just plain weird.

I read some of the Text in my 20s and finally gave up. Put it aside. To be revisited here and there in my 30s, during which I was busy getting married, birthing children, with my career. Oh, let’s face it. My 30s were a wash for ACIM. It was the furthest thing from my mind.

And then came my 40s. I picked it back up. Lo and behold, I was tracking with this crazy text.

Don’t get me wrong. It still makes my brain hurt at times. But I was spiritually that much more open, that much smarter, that much hungrier.

So, when I closed the book a couple of nights ago, knowing I had read a significant first portion of it—I smiled. Felt a sense of accomplishment. Not only at getting through it but at the changes that must have occurred internally to allow me to be in a place of better understanding its message.

I remembered who I was in my middle 20s, reading this in my studio apartment. And I saw who I am now, in my middle 40s, still plugging away.

Many times, we measure our growth in terms of numbers in our bank statement, size of our home, relationship status.

My feeling the other night was one of accomplishment that has nothing to do with my worldly endeavors or society’s definition of success.c813ebcd-5efc-4a98-83cd-fbcc7feeb9b6

It was a recognition that becoming a spiritual warrior is a long, tough climb. Maybe not even a constant climb. We take breaks.

I took those breaks but have not given up. And the progress I do not see every day became apparent when looking through a lens of 20 years. In the same way, grunting through planks in barre class does not seem to yield results in the short term. But, our svelte selves six months later attest to the hard work.

That’s all for today. Not earth shattering, even in my small corner of the world.

But satisfying.

To any and all on a spiritual journey out there, I feel your pain. Meditation is tough. Reading about spirituality in a world that does not reward it can be tough. Practicing your beliefs in a world where egotistical idiots sometimes reign supreme can feel impossible at times.

But, as we look back, it will have made a difference. Even if only to our soul, and hopefully to others we’ve met along the way.

I wish I could say I’m looking forward to the next milestone. Honestly, today I am not. The Workbook takes diligence and some days feels tedious or silly.

At those times, I will remind myself that any consistent practice reaps rewards. More of the slow simmer type of reward than any one Big Bang.

But I think I’ve just seen that is OK. Something to be celebrated, even.




39 Comments Add yours

  1. That is an accomplishment. I have been wanting to read it myself for the last few years. I have read passages, but haven’t stuck with it because I am usually working through a different spiritually related book. But I do think I will get there.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m finding the daily exercises more helpful than the text was . . . no surprise there!

  2. wow -good for you, Kay. I am inspired. Working through A Course in Miracles has been on my to-do list for years, but it has felt overwhelming and the language seems a bit strange and confusing. But maybe it’s time. I did read Gabrielle Bernstein’s book based on ACIM – it is a light read and an intro to the ideas of the course, but I did really like some of her meditations. I have always loved Marianne Williamson too. I have read so much in this genre, I should be an expert if there was a such thing but the never-ending challenge is the application to real life, isn’t it….and there is always more to learn, more to process, and yet another awareness that comes at just the right time. One book that comes to mind that I do remember really connecting with is Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser.

    1. candidkay says:

      I read Broken Open also, Karen! LIked it. It did resonate. And you’re so right–the application to real life is the toughest part. It’s easy to be a zen yogi as we read from the peace & quiet of our homes. Much harder when we are faced with challenges, in the form of people and tasks, in the world. Give ACIM another try. I came to the conclusion that if I only truly “got” even 1/10 of it, I was that much farther down the road . . .

  3. I have that book for 3 years and I’ve never been able to get past the first few pages! I’m a complete failure at meditation. I have a love/mostly hate relationship with yoga. I’m a Christian who can quote Yoda more proficiently than Jesus. But I definitely consider myself a spiritual warrior if for no other reason than I look for God everywhere. You’ve inspired me to give A Course in Miracles another try. And if I still can’t make sense of it, I’ll try again in a few years! 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      I got to the point where I realized that if I understood one tenth of every paragraph, that was still ok for now. It’s a start:). I love that you look for God everywhere. The willingness is there.

  4. Joseph says:

    Congratulations on finishing reading the text! It’s a beast, for sure, and definitely not for everyone because of this. Similar to you, I found the Course when I was 20 and studied it for a number of years before I “put it on the back burner”. It never left my mind, and I wrestled with its ideas for a couple of decades. I’ve picked it up and read the text several times during that time, but have never finished the workbook. That is what I’m doing now, now that I”m 40 and feeling like it makes even more sense than it did then. And maybe now I’m ready for it, ready to finish the workbook, ready to be the Light it calls us to be. Hang in there, the work you’ve done so far will be exponentially increased by the Holy Spirit and will aid you in living the Vision of ACIM. Peace to you!

    1. candidkay says:

      Thanks for stopping by my blog! Glad to have you. I love hearing stories similar to mine. Reinforces that as we each take our own journey, we are truly not alone. Plenty of other light seekers around the world . . .

  5. Congratulations! That is a BIG deal. I have not read it, but I like to watch Marianne Williamson videos where she talks about things in it. These days, I have a very hard time sticking with something that doesn’t hold my attention. I feel a bit ADD, but am currently reading Drunvalo Melchizedek’s The Ancient Secret of The Flower of Life. Thankfully it grabs me (for the most part).

    It definitely can be a challenge to be a spiritual warrior in this day and age. But I see where old paradigms are shifting and crumbling, being rebuilt simultaneously into better systems. The change is not without pain for some, but as with a lot of things will ultimately benefit most if not all. So cool to see how far we’ve each come as individuals (at least speaking for myself).

    1. candidkay says:

      I agree. Things are shifting, thank God. Still so many pockets of craziness but I try to focus on the light rather than those who bring the craziness.

      1. I grew up surrounded by crazy. I am so done with crazy- have zero tolerance for it anymore. Crazy mother is dead. Have moved on from crazy friends. Wiped my hands of it all.

  6. Good for you! I love Marianne Williamson but have never read any of her books. You’re giving me inspiration.

  7. Definitely cause for celebration. Congratulations!

  8. Eleanor says:

    Ok confession. I never finished Course in Miracles (in my 20’s). I was in this Spirituality Group where studied different books but when the cute guy in the group left to be a shaman on an Indian reservation, I left the group! Talk about a lack of spiritual development huh?? Ha!!

    1. candidkay says:

      So I guess unless you’re G. Bernstein, our 20s are not the most spiritual of times:). Your story is hysterical!

  9. Roy McCarthy says:

    Good for you Kristine and I love your feeling of accomplishment and attainment. I hope you’re not enthused to become a hermit in a cave though – we’d miss you too much 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      I have my days, Roy, when the cave seems appealing:). But I don’t think I’d last that way for long!

  10. Willow-Marie says:

    One of my favourites! Old, faded and worn, but still inspiring. Hope it keeps uplifting you too!

  11. Denise says:

    I read A Course In Miracles and did the workbook about 20 years ago. I also had the great privilege of spending several weekends at the center – before it moved to California – at workshops taught by Kenneth Wapnick. One thing I’ll say for sure – it’s one of those rare books that changed me. And it’s the things it’s taught me that help me deal with Philip’s dying.One of my favorite lines: “There’s a risk in thinking death is peace.” Philip’s taught me how true that is – not because he’s not at peace, but because he made me realize that me thinking if I died I’d stop hurting isn’t true. What needs to be worked out needs to be worked out here and now.

    By the way – you’re so funny and such a good writer; you make me smile, and that is much appreciated ;o)

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m so glad it’s helped you deal with such a tough time. And I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through it. I’m glad, during it, that I am able to make you smile–means the world to me. Thanks for sharing that:).

  12. lmarieallen says:

    It seems like all of us mid-40’s peeps are yearning for some kind of spiritual transformation. In your 20’s life is too new and exciting, and there haven’t been enough bruises to crave something different. And the 30’s are about service…to family, to bosses, to the relentless hustle of surviving the day. Maybe we’ve come to a place of finally wanting to know and love our true selves, and of having just a sliver of time to figure it out.

    1. Dale says:

      You hit that nail on its head lmarie!

    2. candidkay says:

      I’m still working on the sliver of time part:). But the hunger is there!

  13. Your doing ok wherever you are Kay. And yes, it does make you feel old sometimes….but over 40….no way!! 🙂

  14. I always love to hear about books, but I love more when I hear the story behind the book and it’s impact on the reader. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Dale says:

    I thought about getting that book as I read Gabrielle Bernstein’s “May Cause Miracles” which is based on it. I dunno. I am intrigued by Pema Chodrön since I saw her on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Now that you’ve suggested it, I am even more so!

    Good for you. Who cares how long it took you? You needed to be where you are to get into it. Nothing wrong with that!

    1. candidkay says:

      Would you recommend Bernstein’s book? Or was it Spirituality Lite?

      1. Dale says:

        Lite… good for someone just starting to think about looking into this. Like someone in their 20’s who found ACIM too heavy!! 😉

  16. Bravo! I’m trying to get into The Untethered Soul without much luck.

    1. candidkay says:

      I read it. Expected to love it. Didn’t. There were spots that hit my soul but I was, overall, underwhelmed. Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart made my brain pop, on the other hand:). Maybe that one?

      1. Thanks. I’ll try it.

  17. I just finished A Return to Love, Course is on my nightstand…. Thank you for this post! Justine

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I really liked that book! Did you? A Woman’s Worth was a favorite also. Are you just beginning the Course?

      1. I LOVED A Return to Love. Haven’t started A Course yet…I am intimidated….

      2. candidkay says:

        Oh yes. Aren’t we all? 🙂 But, if you go in with low expectations–just a willingness–I swear it becomes clearer over time.

  18. Congrats, Kay. Worthwhile goals usually take real effort – and time.

  19. Congratulations Kay, may the wind be at your back on your journey

  20. Amy says:

    High fives to you, spiritual warrior! And much love, too. xoxo ❤

  21. Everything you have said is so true and real! Well done, you are moving forward and have achieved and overcome many obstacles. Thanks for inspiring us to keep going, no matter where we are on our journey 🙂

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