Increasing Awareness Endorsements

My life has expanded in many ways since joining an Increasing Awareness class.

For years I had felt that something was lacking in my life–something essential, something spiritual. I tend to be very goal oriented, an achiever. I have always felt that I could accomplish anything in life if I just worked hard enough and applied myself. Consequently, I tried many spiritual disciplines through the years and worked hard at them, always searching for that elusive, lacking element in my life. What I found was that none of these disciplines could satisfy that deep need in my life.

Once I joined an I AM class, it did not take long for me to realize that what I was experiencing felt very real and very true to me. I began to see that all those things I had been searching for and struggling to find, I am – I have them all within me. To know this has been an incredibly freeing and yet empowering experience. In class I have been mentored to recognize and release the barriers that have kept me from realizing all this before now.

I find that I am less driven, less controlling and that I am less attached to the outcome of my goals. I do not feel as constricted and tight, but with openness I watch and marvel as my life unfolds everyday. I am more trusting that I have the guidance and support I need moment to moment. Life is more peaceful and joy-filled.

Now I am not as invested in working hard to become the person that I think I should be, but I am relaxing and growing in the knowledge of who I really am. And this has made all the difference.

My heart is full of gratitude for all the blessings that my Increasing Awareness class has brought to me.

Just over four years ago, a dear friend of mine with whom I have shared many years of small groups, introduced me to Increasing Awareness Ministry.

At the time I was feeling the longing to have more joy and peace in my life. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what was stirring inside of me, but I really wanted to be present in my crazy multitasking life. In the chaos of it all, I wanted to FEEL gratitude, love, and happiness instead of simply grinding through life.

Increasing Awareness Ministry has impacted not just my life, but my family and friends as well. I am grateful for the opportunity to gather with a group of women who all seek a life of clarity. It is amazing and wonderful that these women are so authentic, insightful and open.

I believe if you want to be healthy in life and in your relationships, you first must look internally. Being open to exploring who you REALLY are, and who your Creator made you to be is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.

I am thankful for that day my dear friend shared I AM with me. It has become a gift to myself and my family. I share my experiences with the ministry as often as I can, and also support the ministry financially each month. It is with a happy heart I give, knowing I am supporting something that has impacted my life in such a positive way.

Open your heart and mind to something new.

I have become friends with Judith as a fellow traveler on our Journey through the coursework at I AM. Simply put, she is like a bird let out of the cage, a particularly beautiful one with a song to sing. She radiates joy when she stops to reflect on her newfound awareness and the life change that has resulted. Most days, she can hardly contain it!

She’s an inspiration to us all. And to think she started this journey after retirement! She’s transforming and becoming, revealing more and more and more of her divine essence. I can only hope to have this level of energy and excitement about life when I’m the same age. Bravo, Judith!

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

My story … in limerick

My false self desires control
and my high standards can take a real toll.
I AM makes me share stuff
even though it can be tough.
It’s me showing love to my soul.

Barbara and Kristie make me share
and my group really shows me they care.
I’m learning the good side of ONE
and that giving up control can be fun.
I’m becoming more aware.

I took an early retirement in 2007 with many plans for the future – family, travel, and time to spend however I might choose. To say “God had other plans” would be a huge understatement! After my dad died suddenly and left my invalid mother in my care, I started questioning EVERYTHING! How do I do this? What’s best for mom? Why does God let people suffer? Why does everything happen at once?

It was during this time I joined an I AM class and 7 years later I’m still learning, growing, sometimes resisting…then growing some more. I used to joke and moan when I’d come to class and find an exercise to complete or, my favorite, a creativity activity with crayons. Yet I quickly found that those activities helped open up doors to my soul which had been shut tight for years.

During the past 7 years I have grieved the loss of 2 parents, supported a son who struggled with depression and failure in his first year of college, faced a debilitating illness, and reconnected to my husband after years of living separate lives all continuing my journey with I AM.

At I AM I have been met in a spirit of trust and compassion, learning and growth, reflection and often, a hearty laugh! I have stopped trying to “fix” everyone else and instead open myself to growth! I have faced unresolved grief and unsurfaced anger! I have learned to appreciate all the gifts that continue to come my way even when they aren’t always easy to see! I have made precious friends who have loved and supported me all along the way. My goal continues, as one of my “creative activities” revealed to me, to flow like a river in the shade of a beautiful tree with sunshine filtered through the leaves on a warm summer day!

Life is so precious!

I remember the first I AM class I attended. I didn’t know anyone and had no idea what it was all about. I had learned about I AM through a series of “happy coincidences.” At the first class we were asked to share why we were there and I responded that I really didn’t know. I just felt that I was supposed to be there. In my fourth year of classes I sometimes still feel that way. I’m just supposed to be a part of this lovely community.

My life has been a series of crises (like most everyone else), and I had no idea of the part I had played in all of them. I just knew I was deeply wounded. How sad to look back and realize my false self caused so many problems in the relationships with people that I wanted to love. I’ve come to be grateful for the awareness and for the opportunity to change.

Over the years I have had brief glimpses of who I really was and I had a deep longing for her. I really liked her, but I could never hold on to her for very long. My false self would take over and I’d fall right back into letting her be in charge of my emotions and my actions. I never had the courage to really live as my true self.

To be honest, it’s still scary to let go; there seems to be something very comfortable about the pain. I believe through participation in the I AM classes and events, and Spiritual Direction, I am learning to be brave.

I thank God for drawing me in and connecting me with Barbara and Kristie and all of the other amazing women I’ve met. These relationships are such a gift. I don’t want to know what my life would be without it.

I heartily endorse Increasing Awareness. Spiritual direction participating in their class, the Inner Story, has opened me to a new awareness about myself that both surprised and enlightened me. I never realized how really ‘lost’ I was on my spiritual journey.

My spiritual director has given me the tools and has awakened in me an inner resolve to get to know myself better and to deepen my relationship with God. I highly recommend Increasing Awareness to anyone who is serious about their spiritual journey and is looking to deepen their relationship with God.

What strikes me as the most significant change brought about because of my time with I AM is not only the way I pray but things I seek in prayer. Fundamentally, prayer has always been this exhaustive exercise in begging done at a time of urgency. My view of the Father (or Mother) was informed largely based on my view of my parents: a dominating, tough luck, merciless parent, looking to snag me in a certain sin. I felt certain that God was going to teach me a lesson by making a point of my shortcomings. If I had a harsh word to my child, God would turn her against me. If I had an envious thought of a neighbor, I was confident of a forecast of poverty to punish me for my jealousy. How tiring. And pointless. And yet I did it again and again. There have been times where I had nothing left to lose and I would turn to God, begging, weeping for intervention.

But in fact, throughout the I AM classes, with the aid of many humbling and thought-provoking exercises, I accepted that not only was I asking God to prop up my false self, but my view of God was entirely based on my false self. The whole process of my prayer was constructed around my beliefs of who I didn’t want to be. I was praying to be a different person: a sweeter person, a softer person, a person who drinks less and smiles more, a person who needs no one and is free of trouble. That’s a tall order, even for Deity to grant, because it’s inhuman.

I can’t put my finger on the exact moment prayer became love, a relief, and my daily bread. But it did happen. And it happened because of I AM. The Enneagram messages, the Richard Rorh emails, the workbooks, the fellowship, and the class time lifted me to a place of absolute surrender. There was a gradual evolution away from the pleading prayer towards a complete, encompassing place when I close my eyes. In that moment, I feel absolute love. And the thing I seek is no longer a list to prevent my undoing but simply to see the face of God. And in that instant of conscious yield, love fills me and peace settles over me.