For this next interview in our “Voices in Awakening” series, I’m blessed to interview Carol Howe, now in her 42nd year with ACIM. She is an author, master teacher, and world renowned expert on this timeless work. A close personal friend of co-scribe Dr. Bill Thetford, she wrote his biography and comprehensive back story of the Course, entitled Never Forget To Laugh. Carol is also the co-creator, with award-winning filmmaker Robert Hess, of unique and ground-breaking video online courses featuring the major principles and practices of ACIM.
Thank you so much for joining with me in this series! Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this journey? What top 3 lessons can others learn from your story?
I started recognizing “something was missing” at a very young age – before I even started school and have been engaged in the discovery ever since. Because my interest began very early and continued thereafter to play a dominant part my life, this never seemed like a decision, but an inevitable way of life. Way more than three discoveries have occurred but some major ones are: a) You are not missing information, but the practice of fundamentally changing your mind. b) Your unexamined notions about yourselves and others are entirely incorrect and need to be replaced ASAP. 3) Our relationships are for healing and not for “getting our ego way.” All previous ideas about relationships need to be discarded and replaced.
Can you tell me about the most inspiring miracle that has happened to you in the past year?
I am always inspired and newly grateful when I see with 100% certainty that what I offer to others will accrue to me. No matter what happens we have the option to resist and judge or welcome and befriend and therein lies our misery or miracle.
None of us are able to navigate our spiritual journey without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
So many have been helpful in so many ways, many unknowingly! Of course knowing Bill Thetford and all the original folks involved with the Course has been a huge gift. Also, I have had the great good fortune of working with two deep-tissue massage therapists, major “body work” fellows, for a total of around 40 years. The great advantage of this work is that, since the body structure does not lie, it does an “end run” around the intellect and reveals the many unconscious decisions and defenses that are actually structured into the body. This aids immeasurably in letting go of “blocks to the awareness of love’s presence.” Third, raising my boys was totally an eye-opener in so many ways – in the early years pushing buttons, hitting wounds, I didn’t know I had, and as they matured, delighting in and feeling incredibly grateful for the brilliant and loving men they have become.
What most inspire you about this moment in time?
Knowing everything is actually always fresh, with every moment a new clean slate, is inspiring and comforting, especially coupled with the truth that there are no victims or villains; we are simply experiencing the seamless wholeness of our “inner” and “outer” worlds.
We are “victims” only of our own mind set, so best news of all is that we are free to change our minds whenever we choose. The fact that, in these current times, many of our world’s systems/decisions seem to be “failing” is a wake-up call to many, which is always a wonderful thing. Obviously, our coming face to face with what we must discard can range from being annoying to very painful, but such freedom, relief and power are the blessed result of the work of self-discovery!
I’m also inspired by my grandchildren’s wisdom and all they will be be able to experience – and already are.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more people in The Awakening / spiritual consciousness raising?
What is most desperately needed across the globe is an understanding of our emotions/feelings and the fact that they are messengers bringing us crucially important information in our awakening.
Our emotions have been marginalized, resisted, ignored, judged and more, thereby relegating them to the category of “the enemy.” Nothing could be more damaging to our peace of mind because until they first are processed and released, we cannot get on with examining the false beliefs that are undermining our happiness, prosperity, and peace of mind – and changing them. So participating in Awakening requires that the emotions – ultimately caused by our often-unrecognized guilt – be embraced, chemicals calmed, a sense of safety restored, and only then can we get on with a substantive change of mind, claiming/experiencing our birthright of being beloved, safe, and with valuable gifts to offer.
What is your favorite “Life Lesson / Life Journey Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?
There are so many! Naturally the ACIM lessons are filled with these. From other sources, I am fond of Socrates’ wisdom – “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Without examining “what makes us tick, and why?” we simply remain in the dark and feel victims of fate. Therefore we can’t possibly make wise and loving decisions for ourselves and others. The relevance is that I am always examining my life, what seems to work – or not, and where I need to change my mind.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
I would say there are not really any major new beliefs, but refinements of ones I know, continuing to put them into practice – never judging any situation, staying present, looking for opportunities to reach out rather than “how to get my way.”
In the last five years, what have you become better at saying “no”? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
All important is saying No to one’s own ego and every year that gets easier because doing so is so positively re-enforced. Just follow intuition and watch the path unfold before you. That can include saying No to anything that doesn’t have an uplift or “yes” to it. I was programmed as a people pleaser in my youth so this has been a long, hard road to get to this place of allowing No to be an easy part of my vocabulary. For the major unfortunate beliefs we all have to deal with, it sometimes requires the very scary, “face the fear and do it anyway,” which is the only way you can be free. Trying to be free of old beliefs in a merely intellectual way will never work. You have to put yourself in the very situation that triggers those prohibitions that were installed at a survival level. In other words, at a very young age, disobeying these rules got you punished, abandoned, shamed, and more, so we are wired to avoid certain situations at all costs. So now we must “disobey” those rules in order to remove the programming. It’s a long important subject but that’s the major overview.
Do you have a new project you’re working on or have recently launched? Please tell us more and include a link for our readers if possible!
We have several wonderful online programs that are so hard to describe since no one has seen anything like them and can’t imagine what an ACIM course would be like with large-scale models (one is 16 feet long!) that visually illustrate major principles, animations, skits, spontaneous Q and A with an online class, 3-camera shoot on location, professionally edited and produced and more.
Also, we are just about ready to release our latest online program entitled Transforming Emotions, hopefully in the next several weeks. Since that link hasn’t yet been created, here’s the link to our “courses” menu page on my website: https://www.carolhowe.com/courses. I will send the specific link to this latest course when it’s created.
How can our readers follow you on social media?