I recently had the blessing of interviewing Corinne Zupko, author of the award-winning book, From Anxiety To Love.
Corinne began her work with A Course in Miracles after struggling with multiple anxiety disorders, and now lives free from debilitating anxiety. Corinne is a keynote speaker, Adjunct Professor of Counselor Education at The College of New Jersey, licensed counselor, Board Certified Coach and teaches weekly mindfulness meditation classes at a major U.S. financial institution.
Thank you so much for joining us Corinne! Can you share the story of how you decided to pursue this journey? What top 3 lessons can others learn from your path?
Panic attacks and intense, debilitating anxiety were my catalysts for starting a spiritual practice. I was in college at the time of my first panic attack, and I was desperate to try anything for relief. I had always been anxious as a child but college is when things got really tough. My mom gave me a copy of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) at this time, and it gave me so much hope that I could get better. I was willing to try anything, and A Course in Miracles was the only approach I found that addressed my fear on a very deep level and therefore I was able to find true relief.
The relief wasn’t yet permanent though, because I started out using my spiritual practice as a band-aid. I’d turn to A Course in Miracles when I felt anxious, I’d read something to feel better, and then I’d go back to doing what I was doing before. This only carried me so far.
It was not until 2009 when I had another “I can’t get off the couch” episode of anxiety, when I realized that I could take my spiritual practice much deeper than I previously had. It was at this time that the anxiety truly started to fall away because my sense of self was shifting from the small “ego” sense of self, to a True Self that we all share.
The top three lessons that others can learn from my experience is:
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?
My mom has been an incredible guide and mentor for me in my spiritual journey. When I started having panic attacks, she had already been studying A Course in Miracles for several years, and had, in the past, occasionally tried to talk to me about it. Angrily, with my teenage attitude I would shout, “Speak to me in English like you used to!” and I’d firmly reject her offering. It wasn’t until I found myself in a place of complete desperation (i.e. on the bathroom floor of my college residence hall bathroom having a panic attack) that I became open to spirituality. When she offered it again, assuring me that it was all about finding and maintaining peace, I said “YES.”
I am so grateful for my mom’s dedication to A Course in Miracles, and for her patience and kindness with me. I love talking about the Course with her and I am here today because of her guidance and love.
What is your favorite Life Lesson / Life Journey Quote? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?
“If you knew Who walks beside you on the way that you have chosen, fear would be impossible.” – A Course in Miracles
I used to wake up with pretty awful early morning anxiety. Even if I went to bed feeling peaceful, I’d often wake up in a complete ball of tension. The only thing that seemed to make it better would be to get out of bed and get busy during the day. But this didn’t heal or change anything.
In my journey through anxiety, I noticed that the more I was identified with my small sense of self (i.e. “Corinne”) the stronger the anxiety would be. “Corinne” had lots of fears and worries and felt like the world was a threatening place. However, through my work with the Course, I’ve come to learn that the small self is not who we are. “Corinne” may be my chosen identity, but I have the power to “choose again.”
In my journey I also noticed that the more I identified with Spirit, as the True Self that we all share, the anxiety would fall away. So when I’d wake up with early morning anxiety, instead of running away from it, I’d start to turn towards it. I’d imagine that the Holy Spirit (who I refer to as my “Inner Therapist” in my book) was beside me, looking at the early morning anxiety WITH me.
I would remind myself that I was safe because I was looking at this false fear with Spirit by my side. I would state my willingness to remember the Truth. I would ask to see with Spirit’s eyes instead of my own. And I started to notice that the fear began to fall away. Just like the morning sun burns away fog, the fears would often just fizzle, and I’d be left with a sense of knowing that I am not alone.
What greater comfort is there than remembering our Oneness? Although we may perceive ourselves as separate from Source, we have a Guide who walks with us to help us remember our True nature.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
The greatest practice that has improved my life has been based on the teaching from A Course in Miracles, “Hold onto nothing.” This has led me to give everything (the “bad” stuff and the “good” stuff) to my Inner Therapist. In doing so, I know that my Inner Therapist will uphold what is true (the love) and what is not true (the fear) will fall away.
A Course in Miracles is not about adding to our ego identity. It is about undoing it. When we “hold onto nothing” we are not giving the ego a chance to strengthen the small self identity. Instead, we are saying to Spirit, “I give this to you. Show me the Truth instead.” Miraculous things can happen when stop seeking to add to our ego identity.
Do you have a new book / app / project you’re working on or have recently launched? Please tell us more and include a link for our readers if possible!
When my lifelong anxiety started to truly heal and fall away, I knew I had to write about what was helping me. The results of my writing comprise the pages of my award-winning and bestselling book, From Anxiety To Love: A Radical New Approach for Letting Go of Fear and Finding Lasting Peace (published by New World Library). I’m thrilled to see this book making its way into the hearts and minds of people who are ready to make big shifts in their lives by living with inner freedom instead of with fear.
You can learn more about the book at http://FromAnxietyToLove.com/book.
In addition, my podcast, From Anxiety To Love Radio, is full of powerful teachings about healing anxiety through A Course in Miracles. Find out more at: http://fromanxietytolove.com/podcast/
How can our readers connect with you online?