By Noelle Sterne
Darcy came into the Bible study group looking radiant, happier than I’d ever seen her. She couldn’t wait to tell us what had happened. The previous week, she had been worriedly repeating the details of the upcoming custody hearing for her daughter. After Darcy’s recent divorce, her husband was attempting to undermine her character to sway the judge for custody.
But now, Darcy was transformed. Maybe, more accurately, triumphant. The hearing was very short, she said, and the judge saw through her husband’s tactics. Darcy was awarded custody and at the end, to her astonishment, her husband turned to her and said, “It’s probably for the best.”
The group members congratulated Darcy and shared her joy. Two of us commented on the astounding change in her. “What caused it?” we asked. She told us of a process she’d discovered for meeting challenges like these that stemmed from her study of A Course in Miracles.
Darcy called it “Send Love Ahead.” She described how it works and, at the next group meeting, gave us all a typed summary of her meditative method. Here it is.
1. Sit quietly apart from everything.
2. Close your eyes and take some slow, deep breaths.
3. Visualize the event that fills you with dismay. See the room or setting,
where you’ll be appearing, working, sitting, talking. If you don’t know the specifics literally, imagine them.
4. If you’ve been resisting the situation (“I wish I didn’t have to do this!),
admit it. Rage if you must.
5. If you’re afraid, admit that too. Darcy said that she was so fearful in the days before the hearing that she couldn’t eat and shouted out loud at home, “I’m afraid!” Often when you admit it fully, it dissipates.
6. Do your homework. If it’s a presentation, speech, or call, write it out.
If you need to, research the contents. If it’s a written or other creative project, list the steps necessary to complete it. If it’s a defense of something, make notes and practice your points. Darcy wrote out all the positive reasons she should be awarded custody (and without maligning her ex-husband).
7. Mentally go to the place or situation, whether it’s an office,
auditorium, meeting room, judge’s chambers, or your own study. Fill the physical space with love.
8. See the room shining in light.
9. Picture yourself and every other person involved smiling, extending hands to you, nodding “Yes.”
10. Feel the light and peace envelop you and radiate out from you.
11. Gently think about how you want to emerge from the situation. See yourself afterwards in a favorite, comfortable and comforting environment, like a reward.
12. Think about how you want to feel after it’s over. How do you really want to feel? What do you want to have accomplished or settled? What direction do you want to know you’re next going in?
13. Write down your answers to these questions. Writing them down is stating your affirmations. Record as many specifics as you can. Don’t be shy or modest. You deserve all the rewards and blessed outcomes.
14. See every other person involved leaving feeling satisfied, fulfilled, happy with the outcome, and ready to take the next constructive action.
15. Say to yourself: “I surrender all to God. I feel only Love here.” Repeat these words every time you feel anxious about the situation or tempted to visualize something less than perfect.
16. Sit quietly feeling this Love.
17. Practice these steps twice a day.
A week after Darcy told the group about this method, I had the opportunity to test it. In a few days, I had to attend a difficult meeting on behalf of a client. Using Darcy’s principles and steps, I prepared the materials necessary, practiced my opening statement aloud and in an increasingly firm voice. Then, several times a day, I visualized the office where the meeting would take place. I saw it and everyone in it filled with Love, illumined. I projected Love to each person I knew would be there.
I made a list of how I wanted to feel afterwards. My adjectives included “knowledgeable,” “reasonable,” “professional,” “peaceful,” “strong,” “satisfied with the outcome,” “understood,” “respected,” “listened to,” “having accomplished the task,” “achieved the perfect administrative decision for my client,” and “knowing the next direction.” I visualized, too, relating the positive outcome to my client, and both of us congratulating each other. On the day of the meeting as I drove, I kept saying “Love is here.”
Yes, I was nervous, hands clammy, stomach feeling hollow but I knew I’d prepared, practically and spiritually. My hands gradually warmed and my stomach stabilized as I repeated “Love is here.”
The meeting started on time and went smoothly. I said what I had to, listened attentively to the others, and responded in even tones. Afterwards, driving home, I glanced at my list. To what shouldn’t have been my amazement, every one of those positive outcomes had been fulfilled. And more—the individuals on the other side assured me of their complete cooperation to resolve the matter speedily. I felt great gratitude—to Darcy, to the Course in Miracles, and to the Creator.
When I related my experience at the next group meeting, one of the members referred us to Lesson 349 in the Course in Miracles Workbook, and I recommend it for similar situations:
- Today I let Christ’s vision look upon
- All things for me and judge them not, but give
- Each one a miracle of love instead.
In any difficult situation you may face, especially one you want to run and hide from, think about this lesson and Darcy’s steps. Use them before a thorny phone call, a meeting you dread, an exam you’re scared of, a project you don’t know how to start, a presentation that terrifies you, and a creative session you cringe at plunging into.
Sit quietly, take a few deep breaths, do your homework, and visualize the absolute best outcomes. You deserve all of them—as you send love ahead.
Noelle Sterne is an author, editor, writing coach and spiritual counselor. She writes fiction and nonfiction, having published over 300 pieces in print and online venues, including Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Women on Writing, Funds for Writers, and Transformation Magazine. Her monthly column, “Bloom Where You’re Writing,” appears in Coffeehouse for Writers. With a Ph.D. from Columbia University, Noelle has assisted doctoral candidates in completing their dissertations (finally) for over 28 years. Her practical-psychological-spiritual handbook in progress helps them further. In her book Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams (Unity Books; one of ten best 2011 ebooks), Noelle draws examples from her practice and other aspects of life to help writers and others release regrets, relabel their past, and reach their lifelong yearnings. Her webinar about the book, with narrative and slides, is available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95EeqllONIQ&feature=youtu.be Noelle explores writing, creativity, and spirituality on Author magazine’s “Authors’ Blog”: http://authormagazineonline.wordpress.com/ Visit Noelle at her website: www.trustyourlifenow.com.