Another pen & paper episode! List your problems on paper and listen in! All of your problems are nothing more than effects of THE ONE PROBLEM of separation. It is 100% impossible to change an effect by dealing with the effect – and yet this is precisely what many people do – try to heal or solve or cure an effect. It cannot be done. But you can change the cause and the effect will change as a result. Join Lisa Natoli as she offers the practices from A Course in Miracles, Workbook Lesson 79 & 80. Also in this episode, Lisa describes her practice of working with Jesus to deal with difficult situations or difficult people. One Problem. One Solution.
00:00 Hey, there. Welcome to another episode of the Lisa Show. I’m Lisa Natoli. I’m so grateful that you’re here listening. Thank you so much. Today’s episode is called Solve All Your Problems Right Now. It’s another kind of pen and paper kind of day. I’m going to be giving you an exercise and a practice. Today’s exercise is similar to the one that I gave in episode two where I invited to list your symptoms. Really, that’s all I ever talk about here, because often in ideas of healing, or transformation, or enlightenment, people are wishing for a miracle. They’re hoping for change, and they’re not realizing that you have to be a co-creator in the change that occurs. You must look at your thoughts. You must look at your beliefs. You must see what’s been going on in your thinking and having a willingness to change.
01:01 So, thank you for being here. What I’m going to be doing is looking at workbook lesson 79 and 80 from A Course in Miracles. Let Me Recognize the Problem so It Can be Solved, and Lesson 80 is Let Me Recognize My Problems Have Been Solved. I love the simplicity of this work. You actually can notice the fear. You don’t let the fear run the show anymore. Today, I ask for you to get a journal or a piece paper and a pen. We’re just going to start right here in this place. I ask for you to write down problems that you think you have. You can stop the tape. You can just click the stop button on this and take some time and write down your problems on the list, whatever they are, physical symptoms, relationship problems, money problems, and the list is endless. We seem to have a lot of different problems. So, I ask for you to just do that now. Just stop this recording, push the button, and just take some time, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and just do the work.
02:16 Okay, did you stop the recording and did you write down a list? You should have a piece of paper now. If you did not do that, I ask for you to stop the recording now. Just write down your list of problems. Okay, welcome back. You should have a list by now. You should have a piece of paper, and it should have all your problems on them. We’re going to have a really great time today because I’m going to show you the simplicity of solving them all.
02:46 This is similar to the list that I had you write back in episode two where I had you list your symptoms. You just write them down. Often, when you’re on a spiritual path, the ego wants to bypass all the problems and the symptoms by using a spiritual concept, like, “I’m whole and perfect. I’m all light. I have no problems. There is no world. It’s not real,” but you have to look at the problems. You actually have to look at what’s going on in your thinking so that you can change your thinking and when you put these things on paper, they don’t escape you. That’s why I ask for you to stop this recording. Go get a piece of paper or a journal, and write it down. Because if you just say, “I’m just going to do this in my mind. I’ve got all my problems in my head. I know how to deal with them,” you can really focus and say, “Okay, here it is. I caught you. I caught you, you thought, and you are not going to go buried anymore.” So, we start right here.
03:51 I’m going to just read a little bit from Let Me Recognize the Problem so It Can Be Solved. This is lesson 79 from the workbook of A Course in Miracles. It says, “A problem cannot be solved if you do not know what it is. Even if it is actually solved already, you will still have the problem because you cannot recognize that it has been solved. This is the situation of the world. The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved.”
04:28 So that list, everything you’ve written down on that piece of paper is an effect. It’s not an actual problem. It is an effect of the real problem, which is your belief in separation, the belief that you think you’re alone. That is the only problem that you have. While you’re believing in that one problem, and of course you believe that you’re alone, because that’s what the body’s eyes are showing you. It looks like you have to do everything by yourself and that there is no help or support for you. Every single problem that you seem to have is an effect of that one problem. So, you don’t have those problems that you listed down on the list. Those are just effects, and they’re actually over and gone.
05:22 It’s good to think of it like a hologram of light where you believe in separation, you believe in it long enough it starts to show up first on the emotional life. So, you start to feel depressed, or sad, or worried, afraid. It shows up in the way you feel. And if you don’t correct the problem, it then begins to show up in the physical. It shows up in the world that you appear to be in. So, this is a journey back to find the cause of the problem. You’re not longer dealing with the effects. All we do here in the world is deal with the effects. We have a physical symptom and we suddenly just say, “Okay, I need to change my diet. I need to take a pill. I need to go to the doctor.” That’s dealing with the effect. You haven’t actually dealt with the cause, which is your belief in separation. That’s what we’re doing today.
06:20 It says, “Everyone seems to have his own special problems,” and that’s the list that you have there, “Yet they are all the same and must be recognized as one if the solution which solves them all is to be accepted. Who could see that his problem has been solved if he thinks the problem is something else? Even if he is given the answer, he cannot see its relevance. That is the position in which you find yourself now. You have the answer, but you are still uncertain about what the problem is. A long series of problems seems to confront you, and as one is settled, the next one and the next arise.” I know you have had this experience. You solve one problem, and right behind it there’s another one, and they’re endless. You never are able to solve them all. Like you solve your health problem, and suddenly there’s a money problem. You solve your money problem, and now there’s marriage issues. You solve your marriage issues, and now there’s a health problem again. The list of problems is endless.
07:39 What we do in the world is we keep trying to fix the effect. It’s not possible. You cannot fix an effect. I want you to think of an effect like a sunbeam. It’s like you can’t get your hands on it. It’s not something you can actually fix. You must go to the cause. You go right where the problem is. I always like to think of it like a root. It’s just a root that’s got to come out, this belief in separation, a belief that you’re alone, and it’s a false belief.
08:13 There’s this line in the clarification of terms that I absolutely love. It’s in a section called Jesus Christ. It says, “There is no need for help to enter heaven, for you never left. You never left heaven and heaven is a state of mind. Christ is a state of mind. Love is a state of mind. You never left.” But then, it says, “But there is need of help beyond yourself, as you are circumscribed my false beliefs of your identity which God alone established in reality.” I’ve always loved that idea that all my false beliefs are circling me, the me that is me, that is the light, that is the love that is eternal, that is changeless, that is free forever is circumscribed by false beliefs of my identity. These false beliefs are covering the truth of what I am, and I can’t see the truth of what I am.
09:20 The work of A Course in Miracles is to identify the false beliefs and do something about them. This is why there’s no order of difficulty in miracles because you have the power and the ability to do this. But so often, people just want a miracle. They just want the problem to go away, but what they really are asking for is the effect to go away. They want the symptom to go away. They want the sickness to go away. They want the difficulty to go away. So, they’re dealing with things on the effect level, and no change is possible on the effect level. You have to go back to the cause and work there. And what is the problem? The belief in separation. You cannot see it, but you are not alone. There are helpers with you right now. God is with you. Jesus is with you. Everyone you’ve ever loved is with you. You can’t see this with body’s eyes, so it takes faith. It takes trust to come into this place to know I’m not alone. I’m really not alone, and you start to live from this place.
10:32 I’m going to to continue to read. I’m going to give you some sentences that you can use and carry with you throughout the day to undo all of your false beliefs. When you continue to deal with the cause, you correct at the causal level, the effects then must change, guaranteed. This is a direct experience. You can’t just listen to my words and have the effects disappear. You must do the work yourself.
11:02 I’m reading from workbook lesson 79 in A Course in Miracles. It says, “A long series of problems seems to confront you. As one is settled, the next one and the next arise. There seems to be no end to them. There is no time in which you feel completely free of problems and at peace. The temptation to regard problems as many is the temptation to keep the problem of separation unsolved.” So if you look at your list, you’ll see that they look like problems, plural, many. And if you took even more time to just keep sitting there and writing down all your problems, you’d probably fill both sides of the piece of paper. What we’re going to recognize now is there’s only one problem. I want you to write that at the top of the page, one problem, separation, which means there’s one solution.
12:01 ” The temptation to regard problems as many is the temptation to keep the problem of separation unsolved. The world seems to present you with a vast number of problems, each requiring a different answer. This perception places you in a position in which your problem solving must be inadequate, and failure must be inevitable. No-one could solve all the problems the world appears to hold. They seem to be on so many levels, in such varying forms and with such varied content, that they confront you with an impossible situation.” So on that piece of paper, you’ve only written down your own personal problems. If you were to take another piece of paper and write down the world’s problems, you’d have a whole other list: hunger, war, poverty, loneliness, sickness. You can’t possibly solve all these problems.
13:03 For years, I remember I was living in New York City, I was really big on solving world problems. I used to do all of these charity events, and 5K races, and raising money for hunger, and for AIDS, and for cancer. I just remember feeling there’s no end to these problems. Somebody described it once of putting a bandaid on an amputated arm. Someone else described it one time as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. You’re rearranging chairs on a ship that’s going down, and that’s what it’s like trying to solve all the world’s problems. You cannot throw enough money at all the problems of the world. Why? Because it’s an effect. The problems that you think you see in your own personal life and in the world are an effect of the belief that is in the one mind, which is separation, one problem. There’s one solution to recognize that you’re not alone.
14:11 What most people do is they think, “I will live that way when the problem disappears.” They think, “Well, I’ll think and know that I’m not alone when I see something shift in my external physical world.” It doesn’t work like that. You have to start from right where you are, right in the middle of all your problems. You have to shift your perception to know I’m not alone. I’m not alone. God is with me. I’m not alone. Help is here. You just really acknowledging in gratitude, and in conviction and in certainty, and in confidence that this is the truth.
14:54 But because we’ve been circumscribed by false beliefs of our identity for so long, that at first this seems like a game of make pretend. We don’t know that there is a presence and a power with us because we can’t see it. Like I said, it’s an act of faith and trust to come and live from this place before your problems are solved, before the effect disappears. You make a decision to live from this place, to know, “Okay, my problems have been solved. The problem of separation has been solved. I am not alone. God is with me. I am not alone.” Whatever that word is that you use for the presence and the power … I use Jesus. I just love that image of a friend, a best friend who’s here with me, who experienced the same kind of problems that I experience, and that he just takes my hand, and he’s with me, and he’s leading me, and he’s guiding me.
15:59 What this is, it’s not a thing outside of me. It’s my own Christ presence. But to me, it’s helpful to be able to think of as like a body. I don’t know. That’s just how it works for me. I can see his smile. I can see his joy. I can see that it’s just like a guide on a mountain, in a place where is unknown territory, and this guide knows where we’re going. All I have to do is be like a child and trust and follow, and that requires me to be able to be still and to listen.
16:36 I’m so grateful that you’re here, being willing to experiment in this great experiment where you’re saying, “Okay, wow. The world’s not really talking about these ideas too much. But then, I’m going to practice and be like a scientist in the field in the place where I am with all of my problems, all of my symptoms, all of my difficulties, and I am going to use my life to practice these ideas.” It’s like I’ve described before in this episode about the Wright brothers betting that plane off the ground. It hadn’t been done yet, but these individuals, they just said, “Okay, I’m going to start working in the invisible realm, and I’m going to make a commitment that this is my life work, and I am not going to give up.”
17:25 The other day, I was thinking about my greatest strength. To me, my greatest strength is perseverance. It’s amazing to me how many challenges I hae been faced with over the years and I never give up. I’ve had moments where I have been stalled. I’ve been stalled for months. I just have had moments of really thinking, “This does not work. This work, these ideas, this course in miracles, it doesn’t work. It’s just nice-sounding words that I hope are true, but it’s not really true.” I’ve had moments of being stalled in that place, but something says, “Okay, start again. Just keep going. This work is true.” To me, that’s my greatest strength, that nothing has stopped me. Nothing can stop me. I love that.
18:20 That’s where you really can see, okay, no matter what, no matter if the symptom persist, if the problem persists, you’re not going to back and saying, “Oh, well. It doesn’t work.” It’s like you get up. You fall down. You feel more grievance. You feel fear, and you say, “No, I’m getting up again. I’m not going to stay in this place, and I’m not going to stay down.” You just have that willingness. What I know to be true now is that that is the presence and the power of God in me that gets me up again. It says, “Okay, enough of feeling sorry for yourself. Enough of this doubt. Get up.” From there, it’s a movement.
19:05 So, lesson 79 says, ” Dismay and depression are inevitable as you regard them. As you regard all these problems you feel depressed. Some spring up unexpectedly, just as you think you have resolved the previous ones. Others remain unsolved under a cloud of denial, and rise to haunt you from time to time, only to be hidden again but still unresolved. All this complexity is but a desperate attempt not to recognize the problem,” again the problem is separation, the belief that you’re along, “and not to let it be resolved. If you could recognize that your only problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the answer because you would see its relevance. Perceiving the underlying constancy in all the problems which confront you, you would understand that you have the means to solve them all. And you would use the means because you recognize the problem.”
20:16 Okay, so what the practice period is here, and I love it … I’ve already asked for you to write down a list of your perceived problems as you believe you have them. This one says, “In our longer practice periods, we will ask what the problem is, and what is the answer to it. We will not assume that we already know. We will try to free our minds of all the many different kinds of problems that we think we have,” so you wrote that down already. You’re going to free your mind now from that list and you’re going to take a practice period. I invite you to do this.
20:56 “We will try to realize that we have only one problem, which we have failed to recognize. We will ask what it is, and wait for the answer.” What I think is so funny about this is it’s saying we’re going to ask for what the problem is and what is the answer to it. We were already told what is is. I love that. What he’s really inviting us to sit with it and accept it for ourselves, to take it from where you just heard me say it where you read it in the book, and where you’re allowing it to come clearly into your mind. We will ask what it is and wait for the answer. We will be told. Then we will ask for the solution to it. And we will be told.
21:46 “Our exercises for today will be successful to the extent to which we do not insist on defining the problem. Perhaps we will not succeed in letting all our preconceived notions go, but that is not necessary. All that is necessary is to entertain some doubt about the reality of our version of what our problems are. We are trying to recognize that we have been given the answer by recognizing the problem, so that the problem and the answer can be brought together, and we can be at peace.” Then, I love how in here it uses only the singular. It doesn’t say problems. It says problem. There’s only one problem, separation. That is the only problem. That is the cause of all of your problems, plural. One problem–one solution.
22:45 “The shorter practice periods for today will not be set by time, but by need. You will see many problems today, each one calling for an answer. Our efforts will be directed toward recognizing that there is only one problem and one answer.” Problem is separation. The answer is the recognition I’m not alone. One problem–one answer. “In this recognition are all problems resolved. In this recognition there is peace.”
23:20 Something I’ve talked about a lot is, and I know that this isn’t true for everyone, but this has been my experiences, is that it takes time for the effects to disappear. Sometimes they just disappear automatically, like you have that thought, “I’m not alone,” and you feel the joy, and you know the gratitude, and you’re in a space of appreciation, and the effects just disappear. They just disappear very quickly. My experience has been that the effects take a minute to just start to dissolve, and then they’re gone. I’ve talked about the story of my having credit card debt and 10 years worth of debt that I had been not looking at and not paying. In that situation, I saw that I was trying to handle the problem by myself. The way I was trying to handle it was by ignoring and hoping that it goes away, wishing that by some sort of a miracle it would just disappear, somebody would give me money, I would win the lottery, that something would happen.
24:22 But, the healing happened when I recognized that I was perfectly safe, I wasn’t going to hide anymore, I wasn’t alone, and that this problem was solved, that this problem of 10 years worth of credit card debt was already solved. Then, it took nine months for it to disappear. It didn’t just disappear overnight because I had the thought, but I knew in the moment that I was okay and that the problem was solved, and that I wasn’t hiding anymore. It wasn’t trying to wish it away. 10 years worth of credit card debt which I had been wishing would go away for 10 years disappeared in nine months.
25:06 That’s what I mean is that often people will think, “Well, I did the exercise, I did the practice, but I still have my problems. I still am sick. I still feel weak. I still have these problems. This person is still difficult in my life. My invitation to you is to not move from that place of knowing that the problem has been solved. If it still seems to be lingering, just keep standing in that place of certainty, and confidence, and joy, and you will see it disappear. You will see that it’s lessening its grip on you. You’re not worried about it anymore. You’re not thinking about it so much. Then, all of a sudden, it’s gone. The effect is gone.
25:54 In finishing up lesson 79, it says, “Be not deceived by the form of problems today. Whenever any difficulty seems to rise, tell yourself quickly: ‘Let me recognize this problem so it can be solved.’ Then try to suspend all judgment about what the problem is. If possible, close your eyes for a moment, and ask what it is. You will be heard and you will be answered.” I love that, because you’re not alone. You will heard and you will be answered. You’re not alone. God is with you. Problem solved.
26:37 So, lesson 80 from the workbook lesson of A Course in Miracles is Let Me Recognize My Problems Have Been Solved. I’ve always loved that that lesson 79 says, “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.” That’s singular. Let me recognize the problem. Then, lesson 80 is, “Let Me Recognize My Problems Have Been Solved,” plural, that’s your list,” have been solved.” Why? Because you have solved the one problem and your problems are solved. I love that.
27:10 “If you are willing to recognize your problems, you will recognize that you have no problems. Your one central problem has been answered, and you have no other.” I just want you to recognize this is mind training, that we have been circumscribed by false beliefs for so long that we’re alone, we have to do everything alone, we have to take care of things by ourselves, if we don’t do it it’s going to fall apart. This is how we’re surrounded, circumscribed, like a circle, by false beliefs that for a moment you’re just going to keep falling back into the old pattern again. You’ll have this moment of clarity, “I’m not alone. Angels are here. God is here. The presence and power of love is here. It’s guiding me. I’m listening,” but then you fall back into the old pattern again. So, it takes real training to keep coming back to this place to recognize I’m not alone. Help is here.
28:16 Whenever you’ve done this, you feel at peace. You just feel like, “Okay, everything’s okay. I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but I know that I’m okay.” You’re in that experience of peace. “Your one central problem has been answered and you have no other. Therefore, you must be at peace. Salvation does depend on recognizing this one problem, and understanding that it has been solved. One problem–one solution. Salvation is accomplished. Freedom from conflict has been given you.” To me, this is the adventure. This is the place where you recognize, “Oh my God. I don’t have to worry about these problems anymore. I’m free.” So no matter what seems to confront you, you’re okay with it.
29:05 In my mind, and my life, and in my experience, there’s still challenges that come up, but I am okay in there. It’s me that’s identifying with the truth of what I am is the light. So, I’m no longer spending time out here trying to solve things. I hope that makes sense, but it’s a identification with the light that you are. You’re constantly coming back to your center again. “Freedom from conflict has been given you. Accept that fact,” I love that, “and you are ready to take your rightful place in God’s plan for salvation.
29:45 “Your only problem has been solved!” I love that. Then, it has an exclamation point. “Your only problem has been solved! Repeat this over and over to yourself today, with gratitude and conviction. My only problem has been solved. My only problem has been solved. My only problem has been solved. Repeat that over and over today with gratitude and conviction. My only problem has been solved.” I’m laughing. I love it. I’m just going to keep repeating it. My only problem has been solved.
30:23 The only problem is separating the belief that we thought we were alone, and my only problem has been solved. I’m not alone. Oh my God. I’m not alone. You feel the joy of that. I invite you to just have with it, to recognize that god is with you. That’s awesome, right? My only problem has been solved. “You have recognized your only problem, opening the way for the Holy Spirit to give you God’s answer. You have laid deception aside, and seen the light of truth. My only problem has been solved. You have accepted salvation for yourself by bringing the problem to the answer. And you can recognize the answer today because the problem has been identified
31:10 “You are entitled to peace today. A problem which has been resolved cannot trouble you. Only be certain you do not forget that all problems are the same,” so look at your list again. All of your problems are the same. They have one cause, your belief in separation, and that list is an effect of the one problem. You’ve been trying to do things by yourself and you have forgotten the truth. One problem–one solution. “Only be certain that all your problems are the same. Their many forms will not deceive you while you remember this. One problem–one solution. Accept the peace this simple statement brings.
31:58 “In our longer practice periods today, we will claim the peace that must be ours when the problem and the answer have been brought together. The problem must be gone because God’s answer cannot fail. Having recognized one, we have recognized the other. The solution is inherent in the problem. You are answered and have accepted the answer. You are saved. Now, let the peace that your acceptance brings be given you. Close your eyes and receive your reward. Close your eyes and receive your reward. Recognize that your problems have been solved. Recognize that you are out of conflict, free and at peace. Above all, remember that you have one problem.” What is it? Separation. “One problem and that the problem has one solution. It is in this that the simplicity of salvation lies. It is because of this that it is guaranteed to work.
33:11 “Assure yourselves often today that your problems have been solved. Repeat the idea with deep conviction as frequently as possible,” and remember it started at the beginning with that word, conviction. Earlier it said, “Your only problem has been solved. Repeat this over and over to yourself today with gratitude and conviction.” Then, it says it again over here. “Repeat the idea with deep conviction as frequently as possible today.” And again, this takes faith because the mind is going to try to convince you that your problems haven’t been solved because they still exist. You still see them. You still see there’s no money in your bank account. You still are experiencing pain. You’re still experiencing that person as being difficult in your life. But now, we’re siding only with the truth. We’re bringing ourselves back to this place and recognizing, okay, this problem has been solved.
34:15 Many times in the past, I’ve mentioned this idea of sending Jesus out to deal with your problems. So, you’re collaborating now with the presence and the power that you are. One example is that if you have a difficult person in your life that you are now working with Jesus. And again, I just work with Jesus. Whatever you want to call that, Holy Spirit, or love, or light. Whatever you want to call it is totally fine. It doesn’t matter. But, what matters is that you’re recognizing that this light goes out and is with the person. What I do is I see Jesus with this person eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner with them, just right there with them in the passenger seat of their car. just wherever they’re going, I see the presence of God with them, and I know that whatever the difficulty is, it’s being taken care of. My part is to listen if I’m needed to do anything.
35:22 What it says in A Course in Miracles is that Christ needs our hands, our eyes, our ears, our feet, and above all else, our willingness. So, often times, this energy is going to be coming through the body. That’s how people can recognize it. That’s why I’m on social media the way I am. I am the light of the world, and I’m demonstrating it. I’m inviting you to be the light of the world and demonstrate, that you step in and demonstrate that there is another way. There is another way of living. You don’t have to live in your problems. You don’t have to be a victim. You don’t have to be sorry for yourself. You don’t have to be complaining.
36:03 Now, you’re demonstrating the other way, the other way of being present, of trusting, of joining. Now you become the solution. When I live this way, and I’m just recognizing, okay, I have a problem here and I’m acknowledging, but I’m not alone, I’m not alone, and this problem has been solved, then I’m just asking the light of God to go out and work with this person, or work with this situation, open the path for me, open the way for me, remove all obstacles from my pathway. I’m working with Jesus. I’m saying, “Okay, I’m here now. Show me what it is that I need to see so that I can move forward. Let’s work together.” That’s how it works for me. That, again, is a direct experience. You begin coming into a place where you’re acknowledging there is an invisible, but very real, presence and power that is available to you.
37:01 I’m going to to rad this again. It says, “Assure yourself often today that your problems have been solved.” You don’t have to know how. Just know that they’re solved. Whatever it is, already solved. “Repeat the idea with deep conviction as frequently as possible and be particularly careful to remember to apply the idea for today to any specific problem that may arise. Say quickly: ‘Let me recognize this problem has been solved.’ Let us be determined not to collect grievances today. Let us be determined to be free of problems that do not exist.” I love that. That makes me laugh. Let us be free of problems that do not exist. Watch how much the mind keeps going back to the effect. It keeps, and no, this has not been solved yet. Look, I’m still having symptoms. “Let us be determined to be free of problems that do not exist. The means is simple honesty. Do not deceive yourself about what the problem is, and you must recognize it has been solved.” Amen.
38:21 I’m very grateful that you are here, you are with me, you’re doing the work. Really, just now, practice. It’s all about practicing. Just live in gratitude and deep conviction and use these ideas. This is lesson 79 and lesson 80 from A Course in Miracles. You are the light of the world. You have been given the function of lighting up the world. The only thing that has to happen is for you to recognize your grievances, and your judgements, and these blocking places, which exist nothing more than beliefs and thoughts, and just be willing to let them go, to say, “I’m not going to linger there anymore. I have the function of lighting up this whole world, and all I have to do is let my grievances go. Let me recognize my problem has been solved.” I want you to just watch how quickly that list that you just wrote down begins to disappear. I’m excited for this to occur for you. It is guaranteed to work. I thank you with all my heart for being here, join with me in one purpose, simply to remember the truth. I love you.