From Fear to Love
31 Days of Spiritual Awakening
Opening the Doors to Love’s Presence
There are many doors to unconditional love. Entering any one of these doors makes it easier for us to enter the others. Cultivating one core spiritual virtue helps us to cultivate all the others.
When you have experienced love’s patient blessing on an imperfect world, you know have come home, and you welcome all who would enter, no matter which door they use to enter.
In this world, we are all brothers and sisters. We may have a different color skin, speak a different language, or practice a different religion, but these differences cannot undermine our equality unless we allow them to.
You and I are the door keepers. Turn anyone away and you may find that the door closes to you too. How we treat others determines the quality of the life we live here on earth.
The core spiritual virtues discussed in this book bring us closer to God and to each other. Cultivating these virtues is the work of a lifetime. It requires constant practice and, fortunately, life provides us with many challenges and opportunities to practice.
We may not know how to love without conditions when we come into this world, but we can use our time here to learn to open our hearts to love’s presence. We can learn to speak the language of love and to embody love in our actions toward others.
To be sure, we will make mistakes and we will have to learn to forgive ourselves and others. As long as forgiveness is our compass and constant companion, we cannot lose our way back home.
31 Days of Spiritual Practice
Why are there 31 Teachings and Practices in this Online Retreat? Because each month has a maximum of 31 days and so there is a Teaching and a Practice for every day of the month.
Think of your first month of practice as a 31-day spiritual retreat. Of course, you don’t have to travel to a monastery or retreat center. You don’t need to leave your home or your job. You just need to create time and space within your life to focus on the Teaching and Practice for that day.
Read the Text for each day when you get up in the morning. Consider how the Teaching applies to your life now and in the past. Pay attention to the Opposite States of Consciousness listed. You may experience one or more these during the day, and they will point you clearly toward the correction that needs to be made.
Ponder the teaching throughout the day, using every opportunity to engage in the practice for that day. If you have time, write your reflections in your journal at the end of the day.
Each day of practice will bring its own unique insight. Yet there is a cumulative effect. Every day of practice creates momentum and results in a deeper and more profound experience. If you can stay with this process for 31 days, you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
if you miss a day, don’t worry or beat yourself up. Just pick up the thread on the next day.
If you find this practice helpful, let it become an ongoing one. Every month you have the opportunity to revisit each of the Teaching and integrate it more deeply into your life.
Each day look for the opportunities life brings to you to cross the threshold. When the door opens, however, unexpectedly, walk through it.
In this way, you create a simple daily practice that can transform your consciousness and your life. You invite the Spirit of God to enter into your heart and mind, to speak with your lips and reach out with your hands.
As your heart opens, your cup is filled to overflowing and you become a fountainhead, offering acceptance and love to all who encounter you.
The Spiritual Teaching and Practices discussed in this course.
Below you will find a synopsis of the 31 spiritual Teachings discussed in the Online Course. If you wish to experience the full text and videos of Paul Ferrini teaching, you can purchase the whole course for $299 or you can purchase each unit separately for $9.99.
DAY 1 Acceptance
Acceptance is a state of consciousness. We cultivate acceptance when we accept life as it is and people as they are. We don’t have to like something to accept it. The more we accept life as it unfolds with all its polarities – light and dark, good and bad, up and down, persona and shadow – the more we begin to create integration and cohesion within the psyche.
Opposite States of Consciousness: Rejection, Denial, Resistance, Projection. When you reject something, react in fear, or project your thoughts and feelings onto others, you create division in the psyche and conflict in the world.
DAY 2 Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a state of consciousness. We cultivate forgiveness when we forgive ourselves and others. We all know that we are supposed to forgive, and we may even be willing, but we cannot forgive until we are ready. Forgiveness is a process that takes time and often happens over months and years, not over days or weeks. Learning to forgive requires that we see and dissolve the blocks to forgiveness in our hearts and minds. There is always a payback for not forgiving others or ourselves. We need to see what they payback is and to realize that it is holding us back from healing and taking back our power.
Opposite States of Consciousness: Blaming, Shaming, Retaliating, or Holding a Grudge/Grievance against others. Not forgiving others means living as a victim and giving our power away. It prevents us from healing. Feeling guilt for our words/actions and blaming/shaming ourselves is also a major block to our healing. Punishing ourselves does not help us learn from our mistakes and bring correction. It just keeps our wounds alive.
DAY 3 Humility
Humility is a state of consciousness. We cultivate humility when we emphasize our equality with others, refuse to puff ourselves up, inflate our abilities or accomplishments, and allow others to share in the credit we receive for our creative endeavors. Because we step back and appreciate what others bring to the table, people feel connected to us and happy to cooperate with us. By letting others go first, we are treated with deference and respect. Because we do not call attention to ourselves, ask for favors or special treatment, others sing our praises and invite us to come forward and lead.
Opposite States of Consciousness: Hubris, Narcissism, Arrogance, Self-importance, Excessive pride, Asking for special treatment, Puffing ourselves up at the expense of others, Needing to be the star of the show and the center of attention. When this occurs, we need to step back and let others go first, let them share the spotlight, the praise, the credit and the attention. There is enough here for everyone. We don’t have to claim it all for ourselves.