Bernard intended the Golden Gate course lessons to be sent out every two weeks, so you will see references to that in countdown “twenty six more weeks, etc…” at the end of each lesson. If you do follow the two-week format you can use the Follow Ups for the alternate weeks which you don’t have an official lesson. You can also use the Follow Ups as a mid-week “booster” if you are working through the main lessons on a weekly basis.
As Bernard points out in Lesson 1, “Your life will change with your thoughts”. It is important to make this personal and think to yourself ,”My life will change with my thoughts”.
How do you feel as you allow yourself to think this? As you think, “My life will change with my thoughts.” or “My life is changing with my thoughts.” can you feel a lightness, a freshness, a sense of new possibilities? If so then this is telling you that this is the kind of thought which feeds something inside you which is ready for a new way of life.
A new way of life comes from a new way of thinking and feeling. New patterns of thought and feeling take time to get established. No need to feel daunted if you feel that you are a long way from living the life of abundance you want. You are not a long way at all. Sometimes it may seem that way, but it is not true.
For one thing the path to abundance is an easy path. Notice how much better you feel when you think “I am changing my life as I change my thoughts”. It is likely that you already feel better when you think like this (If not then you soon will). This is a sign that such thoughts are more natural to you than your current habitual thoughts. These better feelings are showing you that you are being more true to your real self when you think like this.
It is obviously less effort to be true to yourself than to not be true to yourself. Being true to yourself means going with your natural flow rather than struggling against it. The sense of lightness you get from doing the Thought Bricks exercises shows you that you are being more and more true to yourself. Your inner forces are awakening and helping you and will increasingly do so as you advance in this work. You will then see that you had not nearly so far to go, to get to where you want to be, as you first imagined.
Perhaps you don’t trust your own good feelings. Perhaps you are worried you will get caught up in a haze of happy feelings and not live a practical and useful life. No need to worry about that. As the Course develops you will see that these teachings are very practical. Very practical indeed.
Perhaps you have a bit of the martyr in you and feel that life ought to be a struggle and that you need to prove how “good” you are by having lots of difficulties in your life – so that you can have something to push against. But why trust the part of you that wants to struggle and not trust the part which wants to be happy? Have you noticed that the part of you which wants struggle has not allowed you to become the type of person you want to be and to do the things you long to do? A sense of struggle gets in the way of you developing and expressing your “talents” the skills and abilities which are naturally yours. The book you always wanted to write, the journey you have long wanted to take, the new things you wanted to learn – whatever it is – all get replaced with a treadmill of unhappy effort. A sense of struggle will cause you to seek out difficulties rather than opportunities in life. A sense of struggle does not allow you to become a confident, friendly and outgoing person. It makes it harder for you to develop an outgoing friendliness and love for the people around you.
We probably all have met someone who is a burden to all around them, because of the way that they insist in turning their life into a painful drama of some kind. Unnecessary struggle is really just a form of selfishness as it comes from a self-centred point of view. The most unselfish thing you can do is to choose happiness and abundance so that you can share goodness with others. You cannot share something unless you have it, so let yourself choose happiness and let yourself choose abundance.
Carry on with the exercises Bernard gives in Lesson 1: Secret Exercise No 1 and the Golden Gate affirmation “OBSTACLES MELT FROM MY PATH AS I STEP THROUGH THE GOLDEN GATE TO GOOD FORTUNE AND FULFILMENT.”
Life Changing Game
Here is a fun and enlightening game.
How many variations can you come up with for the sentence, “My life is changing as I change my thoughts”? See if you can find 10, 20 or even 100 different ways of saying this. Write them down and see which ones feel the best to you just now. Remember to have fun and be playful with this. See if you can come up with new variations the next day and so on. Put a one or more of your favourites where you can privately look at them every day.
My life is getting better as I have better thoughts.
I feel better as I think better thoughts.
I become more abundant as I think more abundant thoughts.
I have more friends as I have friendlier thoughts.
I think successfully, so am am successful.
Kindly thoughts bring kindly people into my life.
… and so on.