A Course in Miracles, Day One (Sober, Exercising + Ready for Spiritual Practice)

As you know if you’ve spent any time around here, it’s time for me to put as much attention on my personal growth and connection to source as I have to making money and doing business over the past 5 years.

Here’s what I have not said yet.

My focus on being in the top 1% of earners and doing what others won’t do to stay there, led me into depression and addiction. Now that I am sober and clear-minded, I can see it — I was able to do what others would not or could not do because I anesthetized myself into working 12, 14, 16 hour days and maintaining a pace that is truly untenable for any healthy human.

While I’ve been quite transparent here, I have not felt able to write about how bad it got.

It’s part of the reason I started the Whole Truth Show — I am sharing it all there in real time.

It has been far easier for me to speak about the reality of where the quest for financial success led me than it has been to write about it.  Bottom line: my financial success and quest to maintain it led me into a deep, dark hole that I am finally climbing my way out of and I know that my healing can lead to your healing so I’m sharing it with you as it happens.

You’d probably never have known it by looking at me, even if you spent time with me, but that hole has lived within me for many years and I am done filling it with bad decisions, poison, shame & guilt.

Yesterday, I returned to CrossFit, my exercise of choice.

Mid-day yesterday, when I would have normally been craving the sweet escape that I had previously been turning to medical marijuana to provide (I’ve been pot free since August 18), I realized I not only did not crave a hit off a joint, but that I once again had touched that space of pure joy that is only possible when free of all substances.

When I was smoking every day, my mind convinced me I could only reach that high by indulging in the drug.  Hello, addiction! Gratefully, a part of me remembered the truth even when after quitting it felt elusive and yesterday I got to touch that truth again — it seems my natural serotonin is returning thanks to exercise and sobriety.  Thank you God.

Now that my external health is getting on track, it’s time to decide on the path of spiritual study that will support my internal health and keep me clear.

I’ve been considering several options.  Great Freedom, Oneness University, & Diamond Heart just to name a few.  And while I will very likely give those a go, I am beginning with a daily commitment to a Course in Miracles.

There are a couple of reasons for this: 1) I don’t have to get on any phone calls (Great Freedom), attend any retreats (Diamond Heart), or wonder whether it’s just a big scam (Oneness University) and 2) several people I trust from a wide variety of backgrounds have done the Course and I have seen the results (Marianne Williamson, Gabrielle Bernstein, Craig Filek, Sujana Hara, just to name a few).

Most importantly, it’s a regular daily practice I can consistently apply no matter where I am, no matter what I am doing or what’s going on in my life.  All I have to do is turn to the text, read the lesson and apply it.

Today is Day One.

The practice — awareness that nothing I see around me means anything.  The Course invites me to stop three times today and look around the room, my space, my landscape and look at each item I see with the awareness that it does not mean anything.

I am sitting in our sanctuary space at the farm with the big garage door open so I am half way in and half way out, as I write this.  I look around and notice that this chair does not mean anything.  That table does not mean anything. This dog does not mean anything.

I look beyond my space and notice the corn does not mean anything.  The power lines do not mean anything.  The motorcycle does not mean anything.  The garage does not mean anything.  The fence does not mean anything.  The car does not mean anything.  The chickens do not mean anything.  The goat does not mean anything.  The garden does not mean anything.

I do this for a full minute and will do it again twice throughout the day, for not more than a minute.

My mind judges this practice as silly, as something I already know and yet I do it anyway because I am committed to the practice more than I believe my mind, I trust the teaching, and I know my mind does not always know what is best for me.

Immense gratitude to Gabrielle Bernstein whose book Spirit Junkie has already inspired me to return to this practice even though I’m only a few pages in.  Pick up your copy of Gabby’s book here.  I look forward to meeting you one day Gabby and sharing the story of my transformation.

Would you like to practice along with me? If so, it’s easy.  Pick up the book a Course in Miracles or put it on your Kindle and join me here in the comments with your experience of the daily practice.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog if you are not already subscribed so I can keep you up to date on my daily practice.  I know I’m a lot more likely to keep it up if you are here with me, so let’s do it together, okay?


  1. kimSunday, September 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm 

    Wishing you the very best, Alexis.  I bought a copy of the Course many years ago but have never read it.  Perhaps it is time.

  2. Nathalie LozanoSunday, September 18, 2011 at 9:53 pm 

    wowwww super wowwwwww, that inspireddddd meeeee, it’s the most THE MOST powerful and beautiful post I’ve read from you…. I can share with you that I also used to turn to marijuana to “see” … but I stopped like 5 years ago and it’s just greattt…. but more than anything, I just loooooove your openness, your transparency, your work… only a very human, lovely, caring, sweet and strong person can be as you are…. dear Ali, I don’t know when but surely I want to meet you in person, whether for doing businesses that support our personal growth and our personal mission, or “only” to meet each other and just share and share… I feel so blessed I’ve had the chance to find your web page … it was just such a coincidence, but that’s another issue…  I will get the book and let you know. Practice from Day 1 (meaningless) … I love that. I took a course myself (Landmark Forum) two years ago (in fact besides my work as a lawyer I am being trained to lead some of Landmark’s “minor” courses to bring MIRACLESSSSS to people’s lifes)  and and maybe the most important part of the course was the distinction “empty and meaningless”… LIFE IS EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS AND ITS EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS THAT IT’S EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS. WITH ALL MY LOVE, ADMIRATION AND GRATITUDE. Nathalie Lozano

  3. UmohSunday, September 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm 

    Thank you for being a true leader and being so real! It is such a gift to me and everyone in this haze of marketed authenticity hype where small nuggets of venerability that align with product launches is touted as transparency. You are the real deal and today I love you for that! I have also had the book for a long time and spirit has lead me to it again and again but I never made it past the 1st few days. Today is my birthday and along with your post that is giving me the courage to really commit to it today. So Yes I will join you:) Thank you!

  4. KarunaodonnellMonday, September 19, 2011 at 1:49 am 

    Ali. you rock. I have been working on my own transparency and you are such an inspiration for this. I smile thinking of my coaching call with you after money map that I shared the pieces of my great work that were clear then and how this level of sharing my healing story and the energy of transformation is the only game in town for truth speakers. AHO<3

  5. AndreaMonday, September 19, 2011 at 3:49 am 

    I just bought the book today! I saw your post on Gabrielle Bernstein’s FB page and I would love to practice along with you.  I picked it up because I am so sick of suffering, although suffering led me to this book through a stream of synchronicities: 1) Gabrielle’s Website 2) Her mention of the book 3) I looked up “suffering” on youtube and there was a guy I started listening too, I then subscribed to his page and sure enough there is an interview with Gab. B as the latest video! 3) I went to a used bookstore:  As i was looking at the books the first book I picked up was a Wayne Dyer book and in the intro he quoted “A Course in Miracles”! on the first page! 4) Bought the book and started reading it.  Good luck to you and your new path! Andrea (dresgraphics.com)

  6. Joshua GoldblattMonday, September 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm 

    This is insane.  So now you, a self-admitted pot-addicted free spirit, expect lawyers to buy into your program for creating millions and engaging every prospect that walks through the door.  In addition, you’ll be saying that these people don’t mean anything. 

    Nice plan – good luck with that.

  7. AmethystMonday, September 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm 

    Blessings to you on your journey to sustained sobriety!  The “Archetype” of Addict – whose primary function has been to absent oneself from this world is being transmuted now throughout this nation into the new “Archetype” of PRESENT.    This is not just you doing this work Ali – know that you are processing a larger archetypal pattern and you are not alone.  Much ceremony has been underway in recent weeks to further facilitate this shift.  As you step in to your new spiritual practices I would like to make a recommendation if I may that you find a circle of support for your FEMININE.  I will be attending a gathering of international healers and medicine women in New York this autumn.  Let me know if you would like deeper information or guidance on healing and blossoming even more fully into your sacred feminine power. 

    Peace IS in you!

    All Light,


  8. AnonymousMonday, September 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm 

    Joshua, I don’t expect anything.  Lawyers who want to engage a whole lot more prospects will join the program I created from my own experience of creating a system that allowed me to grow a million dollar practice in just three years, have clients I love and who loved me.  The smart lawyers will see beyond what’s going on in my life now to what I have created and know they can learn a tremendous amount from me and my experience.  What they learn and apply immediately translates into more money and more practice enjoyment. Period.

    The others, the judgmental ones, will stay stuck in their own bullshit and not engage more clients, not command higher fees and wonder why they are so frustrated in their practices. I am finally (and thankfully) getting to a place where I am not attached either way.   I will help those who want it and release those who don’t with love and blessings for their journey.  Blessings to you.

  9. AnonymousMonday, September 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm 

     Yes, please join me.  I’d love to experience it with you.

  10. AnonymousMonday, September 19, 2011 at 11:41 pm 

    Yes, love, please send it over.  I know I’m not alone and that’s why I’m being so open about this journey.  I know many others are struggling and suffering in silence.  Let my voice be a representation and invitation to others to speak the truth.  Love to you.

  11. AnonymousMonday, September 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm 

    Aho dear Karuna.  Thank you and I love you.  Please share your story.

  12. AnonymousMonday, September 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm 

    I hope you had an oh so happy day Umoh.  I am done with bullshit authenticity and transparency, as you can tell.  Grateful to have finally gotten myself to a place where I can let it all out w/o concern for who thinks what about me.  Looking forward to hearing your experience with the Course.   Please keep sharing.

  13. AnonymousMonday, September 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm 

    I love you Nathalie.  Hope to hear you on the show tomorrow.  Mwah.

  14. Christy PayneTuesday, September 20, 2011 at 12:24 am 

    Ali Love.  Congratulations on sixty days of sobriety and for your courage to share your journey in overcoming addiction online with the intent of helping others to heal as well.  In our culture it is often not acknowledged that working 12, 14, 16 hours a day is a also a form of addiction – just one that is “socially accepted” and even applauded.  The drive that fuels it is often the drive that fuels other addictions – the desire to achieve and prove self-worth – to mask the feelings of loneliness, self-doubt, lack of confidence and trust in the truth that you are worthy, good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, perfect, whole and complete just as you are.  I’ve never studied the Course in Miracles directly but work inspired by it and the New Thought Movement are what initially supported me on my path of healing from severe depression and anxiety. I was also super into the Oneness Movement for a couple of years. Find that anything that helps us to cut through the stories and illusions we’ve created and return to our sense of Divinity and connection to our Spirits, Highest Selves and Truth of who we really helps.  The challenge with any sort of addiction (food, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, work, sex, shopping etc) –  anything that we use to “numb” and keep us from feeling our feelings is that we often stop one form of addiction and end up replacing it with another “healthier form” (intense exercise, spirituality growth, etc.  I like to recommend this book as a guide for healing addictions: http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Compulsions-Revolutionary-Self-Acceptance-ebook/dp/B002GEKJBS  Love to you on this journey!!!

  15. NathalieTuesday, September 20, 2011 at 12:42 am 

    I have the book now. Well… for me it’s Day One. My experience: OK, I felt great when applying the idea “it does not mean anything” to the chair, the window, my shoes… but when I started “this hand, my daughter’s feet … brrrrr…. it didn’t feel that well, I felt anguished …. can’t wait for tomorrow’s exercises! Kisses to all of you!

  16. Escher VanKorlaarTuesday, September 20, 2011 at 1:28 am 

    I see you 🙂
    Just finished reading… I appreciate ever word.
    On behalf of the universe… “well done!”

  17. Sasha HyndsTuesday, September 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm 

    wow! something is in the air, i bought the book maybe 10 years ago………but i am finally ready to commit to reading it. I too was inspired by gabrielle berstein to pick it up again. knowing all of you are committing to reading it, really inspires me to not quit………I’m on day 4.

    Love to all of you

  18. SashaTuesday, September 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm 

    wow! something is in the air, i bought the book maybe 10 years ago…finally ready to read it. I was also inspired by gabrielle berstein to start reading it. It’s so inspiring to know all of you are commiting to reading and doing the work. I feel this is the right time….let go of fear……and embrace love.

    Love to all of you

  19. ~ Mark Allen Grainger ~Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm 

    Ali… As of 22 months ago I turned my “dabbling” of ACIM (A Course In Miracles) into a daily practice and in that time I have witnessed miracle after miracle unfold. It is such a beautiful peace of work and holy instances are coming your way. I can honestly say for the first time in my life, I can actually choose peace in any given moment.

    If I may suggest, schedule some times with ACIM experts (you will know they are experts when they play down their experience and shy away from being held on a pedistal) at least every month. You are basically changing the operating system of your personality and the ego will assault and twist the reality of everything to get you to stop. While our support will help fuel your resolve those who have worked with the course for many years will offer you the distinctions that truly add to the practice. Remember that ACIM is a course about relationships and how others reflect an aspect of ourselves… having someone more experienced in the ACIM journey will serve as a reflection of the you who already is at peace

    ACIM is a gift in my life… and you are so lucky to have chozen this path now.

    God bless,

    Mark Allen Grainger

  20. Tarley ReedWednesday, September 21, 2011 at 11:03 pm 

    This is the second post I read today from just stumbling (i guess  you never really stumble upon anything) upon you…soooo grateful. I’m sooo freakin inspired to speak my own truth about my life and change the course I have been on. A Course in Miracles….i’m down!!! I’ve known about it for years and never done anything with it. I would love to participate in this and be supported to keep doing the exercises everyday. This is no accident I was ran across you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing so openly. 

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