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188 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change Your Thoughts, Change Reality
"There's no point in trying to go to Outer Mongolia to escape your issues; they will find you there because they live inside your head." --Marianne Williamson in The Gift Of Change - Spiritual Guidance For A Radically New Life

For over a decade, Marianne Williamson has been teaching principles from A Course In Miracles (ACIM)--a channeled psycho-spiritual...
Published on December 12, 2004 by Janet Boyer

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56 of 78 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gifts, New Life, and Questions
I found Williamson's book to be emotionally compelling, and at the same time raising questions... let me share a few.

Williamson writes well on the importance of learning from change. Her recommendations to embrace love and get rid of fear is something I know I certainly want. However, I began to wonder. Are there things I shouldn't love? Likewise, are there...
Published on December 17, 2004 by John Zxerce


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188 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change Your Thoughts, Change Reality, December 12, 2004
"There's no point in trying to go to Outer Mongolia to escape your issues; they will find you there because they live inside your head." --Marianne Williamson in The Gift Of Change - Spiritual Guidance For A Radically New Life

For over a decade, Marianne Williamson has been teaching principles from A Course In Miracles (ACIM)--a channeled psycho-spiritual self-study work which shows individuals how to create miracles by surrendering to love. Some scoff at the notion that "love is the answer", but Williamson answers them by saying: "It's amazing how much ridicule the topic of love can attract when it does anything other than support the status quo." Make no mistake: Williamson does not advocate what I call "sloppy agape". Rather, she boldly challenges humanity to start getting with the Divine program and begin to change from the inside out.

In her new book The Gift Of Change - Spiritual Guidance For A Radically New Life , Williamson sounds a clarion call that now is the time to begin to look within for change. Attempting to change the external world, she asserts, is akin to trying to change a movie by altering the screen when dealing with the projector is what's needed. Saying "hidden beliefs are dangerous beliefs", the reader is challenged to examine personal beliefs and the attitudes they engender. Tracing defensiveness--a form of "passive violence"--to the root of war, Williamson demonstrates how our resistance to love and vulnerability keep us enslaved to the ego. She writes:

"Whenever our outer world remains stuck, it is incumbent upon us to look, not outward, but inward. It is a call to find the places in ourselves where we are holding on to old ways--places where we blame others rather than taking personal responsibility for our woes; where we judge others instead of blessing them; where we are hard rather than vulnerable and open and kind. These issues hold the hidden keys to unlocking our unsolved personal mysteries."

Williamson outlines ten bridges of transformation that can be crossed when we fix our eyes and hearts on that which is unchanging--an eternal compass of spiritual principles which can guide us on the personal and global path to wholeness:

*From Forgetting Who We Are to Remembering Who We Are
*From Negative Thinking to Positive Love
*From Anxiety to Atonement
*From Asking God to Change the World to Praying That He Changes Us
*From Living in the Past and Future to Living in the Present
*From Focus on Guilt to Focus on Innocence
*From Separation to Relationship
*From Spiritual Death to Rebirth
*From Your Plan to God's Plan
*From Who We Were to Who We Are Becoming

Using personal anecdotes, Williamson delves into various life transitions such as menopause, adolescence, and parenting--and how seasons of change are amazing opportunities for not only growth and change, but also global transformation. Saying that "our greatest contribution to the world at this time is not just what we do but who we are becoming", she shows the reader that no matter where we find ourselves, we can be a conduit for miracles. In fact, she says that sometimes "being about our Father's business" is as much what we're not doing, than what we are. That is, chasing a future dream of spiritual ambition, we ignore life in the Present--which is the only place that "I Am", and miracles, dwell:

"If I had simply allowed myself to enjoy my life more, I would have ended up better off later on. And when I allow myself to simply enjoy my life right now, I'm giving myself the biggest boost for the future. Every point in life's journey is inherently preparing us for our future in ways the rational mind cannot possibly comprehend."

As an example, Williamson poignantly explains that she resisted some aspects of motherhood when her daughter was a baby--often distracting herself from the overwhelming insistent, needy demands of her daughter. Williamson recalls: "I see now that the fact it was happening meant it was exactly what I was supposed to be doing, and I wasn't losing out on anything by giving most of my attention to her." As one who has had a similar experience with motherhood versus aspirations for a "real life" (i.e., a spiritually fulfilling vocation), I resonated with the truth that wherever we find ourselves, that is exactly where we need to be. Our limitless and brightness can shine no matter where we are at; in fact, when we shine, we can literally change the world--for all minds are joined in the Mind of Christ.

The Gift Of Change provides us with a powerful blueprint on transforming our lives--and the world--through transforming our thoughts. Through the spiritual compass of the ten principles, we can at last find our way to inner peace and miracles--which results in a world that is healed and whole.

If you're disheartened at the state of global affairs--including war--this book can show you how to replace thoughtforms of fear with those of love. If you're desperately searching for your soulmate or the perfect job, The Gift of Change lights the path to the miraculous Now. If you're experiencing existential angst--free-floating anxiety that doesn't seem to have a cause-- Williamson says you are not alone...but there is a way through it by choosing love over fear and trusting the Holy Spirit for a miracle.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and Potent Insight, January 5, 2005
The world is as it is be because of the belief systems "hosted". Marianne maps out a new approach to formulating a new system of belief and by that I mean a change in the choice of perception, interpretation, understanding and response to our worldly experience.

The book contains great insight and is comprehensive and potent in a real world sort of way. It is not a "feel good" book which results in positive feelings evaporating when faced with real world experience. The "feel good" comes after the fact if you actually apply the principles in the real world. The book will transform you as you read it, there is no turning back once exposed and it will flip the light switch on in any mind that consumes it.

No doubt that the few that benefit from the current "system of things" based on fear and ignorance will be faced with major issues as the contents of this book reaches critical mass.

It is becoming more apparent Marianne is one of the world's great spiritual leaders not afraid to confront politics and infuse them with spirit and wisdom, and that is what this world needs spiritual leaders given a voice to rise above the ego chatter and as she mentions in the book the "audacity" to do so.

I had read about a 100 pages before I went into a business meeting where egos were just waiting to escalate into conflict, I had resolved myself to remaining quiet and peaceful and seeing all as being right from their point of view and as my self. Try as they might they could not create a conflict with me in the room, for from some where the right words came dissolving the ego's fabrications and reframing perceptions.

Oh and if you want to see a miracle in your neighborhood or at work buy copies for everyone on your street and leave them at their door steps. Leave a copy on all your coworkers desks and let the source remain a secret. Remember to give yourself a copy and act surprised. The results will be exponential.

Love & Blessings To All
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal Book!, November 12, 2004
By 
Tom (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
This book is a miracle in and of itself. It really shifted my mind and, as other's here have said, returned my thinking back to Love. As I read this book, I realized how hungry I was for Marianne's special brand of wisom and inspiration in my life. I found myself immersing myself in it, the way I did with A Return to Love. and Illuminata.

The one star review here, made my heart sink. Casting guilt is not exactly what A Course in Miracles had in mind. There is the letter of the law. And the Spirit of the Law. A Gift of Change stands on its own merits. Marianne is a magnificent teacher of that material. And this book is a culmination of her many years of experience and genius. Like fine wine she just gets better and better with age. I really urge you to read this book. In this day and age, with all that's going on, we could all use a very healthy dose of The Gift of Change. For me, personally, reading it reallly uplifted me and gave me hope again.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars marianne williamson, March 20, 2005
I feel that Marianne Williamson is one of the best inspirational authors and thinkers of our time. Her eloquence in her writing and her insight is amazing and it has changed my life in more ways than one. I want to thank her for her work and for this book, which is just one more gift on top of everything she has done for me. This book can chage your life.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A plan for change that's meant to last, October 17, 2006
It is clear--Marianne Williamson is most interested in creating miracles in this world and not just short-term gains.

As a new reader to this author, The Gift of Change for me started a bit slow, perhaps even somewhat negative and hardly what I considered uplifting: "I think, there is a collective depression among us, not so much dealt with as glossed over and suppressed. Each of us, as individual actors in a larger drama, carries an imprint of a larger despair."

But I encourage you to keep reading. After the doom and gloom the author makes this profound point: "Only when we have faced the limits of what we can do, does it begin to dawn on us the limitlessness of what God can do. It is in the depth of the darkness now confronting our world that will reveal to us the magic of who we truly are. We are spirit, and thus we are more than the world. When we remember that, the world itself will bow to our remembrance."

As a student and lecturer of the principles taught in the heavily Christian "spiritual psychotherapy" called A Course In Miracles (Foundation for Inner Peace), Ms. Williamson liberally borrows many of her reflections and passages found in AGOC from the Course and makes no bones about it. So steeped in these teachings, she comes off as genuine and her approach to living life the best way possible is not only believable, but really hits home.

Her honesty is refreshing. She looks back on her life, as we so often do, and wonders how she could have thought the things she did. Now in her 50's, she muses over a picture she saw of herself taken when she was in her 30's and wonders how she could have ever thought that that was inadequate? She says what most of us are thinking and feeling: that somehow we will never muster up to anything close to good enough. We are extrememly hard on ourselves and left to the ramblings of our own puny egos, we will always think of ourselves as lacking...

But we are not our egos, as the author points out time and again throughout the Gift of Change. We belong to God. "It's not humble to think you can't do what God is asking you to do; it's arrogant to think you know yourself better than the One who thought you up." "I am not here to design God's universe but to allow Him to show me the design He has already created. It was created in total love, for me and all living things. My mission is to trust that."

In the end, I feel Ms. Williamson's point was not so much about the benefits of change, but more so about asking God for guidance and then acting on the advice we know to be true in our hearts which is that of love, compassion, joy, and kindness. This is the way we create lasting change in us and the world. This is the way we create miracles.

I enjoyed this book.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Will Change Your Life, February 9, 2005
Marianne Williamson is a champion of the transformative process, providing us with the springboard from which we may catapult our lives to the next dimension, where love prevails over the fears and guilts and remorse which have kept us chained to lives of limit and lack.

Though it may take courage to strip ourselves free from the patterns which have taken hold over all these many years, integration of Ms. Williamson's concepts into our lives and Spirits truly enables emancipation from the disappointments and limits from which we have claimed we have desperately sought release, yet haven't had the set of tools, nor courage, to construct for ourselves a better way. TGOC provides us with those tools, and coaxes us gently and lovingly, serving as our wellspring of courage, until the new awareness enables our own courage to move us forward toward liberation.

This book is a must read - pick it up and don't put it down till you've turned the last page...it will change your life forever.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Return to Love that we need, November 11, 2004
In these times, when the world seems to be boiling over with volatility, it is nice to have a book about the tremendous good that can come from change. It might not be something we like to hear, but it's true.

This generous, warm book has all the impact and momentum of "A Return to Love." It highlights the ongoing effort we must all make to realize our highest and best self. There are so many turns we take in life that make us feel regret, guilt, sorrow, or pain, but this book has specific ways to learn to push past it. I was especially reminded of what in me is ego-driven and how to convert that so that I can live in my true self.

In this book, Marianne Williamson reminds us of a new way to live: we are not separated from God; there's no honor in being "small"; and any great thing that will happen to us collectively will start with each of us individually.

It's not all feel-good psychology, some of it comes from lessons to be learned. The idea of "atonement" may not be popular with some. But this isn't the atonement of your grandmother's fundamentalist church. It's a surrender that brings empowerment. It helps you take a whole new direction in life on a better path. Like "A Return to Love," I will probably re-read this a few times.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thinking person's guide, April 21, 2005
By 
Karen L. Hopson (Portland, Oregon United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book has made me think about everything: my relationships with friends and family, my relationship with God (which basically has been non-existent over the years) and my relationship with the English language and how I communicate. For someone who is struggling with God issues: who is God? etc. this is an excellent book to crack open and travel down the road of revelation. I highlighted the heck out of this book. Almost every sentence packs a wallop. One night while reading a page, I was overwhelmed with the message. Got chills, tears....it was so inspiring. When a book does that, it deserves five stars.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Gift, March 11, 2005
By 
Seeker (Berkeley, CA) - See all my reviews
Don't let those critical people from Gary Renard's camp dissuade you from buying this beautiful book. Marianne Williamson stays true to the most important principles of A Course in Miracles, like oneness and forgiveness, and makes them readily accessible to us in today's world. Although Course fundamentalists would have you throw the world away because it's ultimately an illusion, Ms. Williamson shows us how to heal the illusion and make it a profoundly loving and joyful place while we're here. Even the Course itself teaches us to first make life a "happy dream," until we can eventually release it altogether. Thank you, Marianne, for your offering of peace to an insane world.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Literature on Change by an Enlightened Lady, June 25, 2005
I was drawn towards Marriane's work recently through the quote that Nelson Mandela used from her work in his inauguration speech:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. ..."

I purchased the gift of change shortly after, and ever since have become a great fan of Marianne. I have recently attended one of her lectures, and I was amazed by her genuineness. She is manifestation of a true lady, and she is love in action.

I highly recommend this book to those who are facing inevitable change.
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The Gift of Change
The Gift of Change by Marianne Williamson
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