Hey there. It's Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. And this is not Q&A Tuesday. It's a very special day. Why? Because I am here with one of my favorite authors of all time, a woman who has made such a huge impact on my life. And I'll tell you about that in a moment, but first I want to read you her intro.
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Six of her 10 published books have been New York Times bestsellers. Four of these have been number one New York Times bestsellers. Her first book, A Return to Love, is considered a must read of the new spirituality. And in 2006, a Newsweek magazine poll named her one of the 50 most influential Baby Boomers. Her newest book is called The Law of Divine Compensation on Work, Money, and Miracles.
Marianne, thank you so much for having us in your home today.
Well, thank you for having me on Marie TV.
So, I have to tell you this before we get into it. I want to tell all you guys. So when I was in my early 20s, I was having such a hard time. I was just starting out as a life coach and I was questioning everything. And I was having a hard time with my parents, with my vocation, and I was really in a tough space.
And I remember being in Union Square in the Barnes and Noble, and looking around for a book. And your book, A Return to Love just kind of jumped off the shelf at me. And I picked it up and I started reading it and I cried right there in Barnes and Noble, because your words and what you put down in your work spoke so deeply to where I was in my life, and you gave me a pathway to get back to what I felt like was really me and to do what I really wanted, and to reconnect with my parents in a way that I had never even imagined possible. So, I just wanted to thank you publicly.
Well, thank you. So much of that book is based on the agony that I felt, much like the one you just described, when I was in my 20s. And so much of that was spent in New York City, and I found the Course of Miracles in New York City. So, I was you wandering through Barnes and Noble.
Yeah, thank you.
It was just awesome. So, okay. The first thing I want to ask, and we're talking about your new, amazing book, The Law of Divine Compensation, which by the way, if you do not have this book, you need to get your hands on this book now. Get five copies, 10 copies and give it to your friend. And as we go through this interview, you're going to hear why.
So, you've written so many books over the course of your career, which has been amazing, and this one being about work, money, and miracles. When you first started as a writer and a teacher, did you struggle to make ends meet? And tell us just a little bit about that part of the journey and how it's evolved.
I'm of the generation that grew up in the late 60s and the 70s, and everything wasn't so financialized the way it is now. I grew out of a kind of hippie ethic. I needed to work. I needed to pay the bills, but I didn't this ambition that is so rampant now.
And when I started lecturing on a Course in Miracles, there was no reason to think that I would be able to make a living doing that, because this career niche did not exist then. You could be a clergy, and I didn't see myself being clergy, or you could be like a professor of comparative religion in a university somewhere. And I didn't see that for myself either.
So when I first knew about Judy Scotch going around the country, talking about a Course in Miracles, I thought that was just the most amazing thing. But there was no conceptualization of that as something that you would do for a living.
So when I started lecturing on a Course in Miracles, I remember I was working as a temporary secretary and I was working at a building in Santa Monica here in LA, that at that time was called the World Savings Building. And I had been doing this temporary secretarial job. And I was standing at the elevator bank there. And it was as though I heard a voice in my head say, "This will be your last secretarial job." And it was really one of those things of like, who said that.
And at that time I had started lecturing on a Course in Miracles at a place called the Philosophical Research Society. But, you know, I didn't think I would pay my bills doing that. And yet more and more people came. And I remember the day when, I don't remember the specific day, but in fact it happened that enough people were coming to my lectures with their $3 or $5 or $7 donation, that I could live on that.
So for me, that was so amazing. I was bringing in money that others would be strategizing how to make more. That I just thought was the coolest thing in the world. And then when my first book came out and it was very successful, mainly because of Oprah Winfrey, that was just such a delight and a miracle, but nothing I would have ever even conceived of.
Wow. So beautiful. So what exactly is the Law of Divine Compensation?
The Law of Divine Compensation is just a phrase I came up with to describe a particular action of how the universe operates. The universe is both self-organizing and self-correcting. What do I mean by that? Well, an embryo becomes a baby and a bud turns into a blossom and an acorn turns into an oak tree. Clearly there is an invisible hand of sorts. You have a sperm and you have an egg, and then the next thing you know, cells are dividing and a little brain is formed, and toes and spleen and heart and lungs. It's so extraordinary.
Well, from a metaphysical perspective, that amazing way that the universe supports life in moving forward all the time is not just in physical nature, but in all aspects of things. So just as the little embryo is programmed to become the baby, you and I are programmed to have the best relationship possible. You were programmed to have the best career possible. There is a programming by which this television show would be its best.
The difference between you and me and the acorn is that we can say no.
We can think thoughts and behave in ways that make us deviate from that otherwise perfect self-organizing pattern.
You know, usually when we think of making things happen in our lives, we think like you're looking at a computer and you bring up a blank document, and then you have to figure out what to write on it. So that's one way of looking at life. Like if you want to make anything happen, you have to bring up that blank document and figure out what to do.
But another way of looking at life is to think of an undeletable file that is always in your computer. You might think of it as God's will. You might think of it as divine intelligence. By whatever name you call it. That same force that makes the embryo turn into the baby. The embryo didn't have to figure out how to become a baby. Now, when you think of life that way, that I don't have to pull up a blank document and figure things out so much as I have to bring down to the screen this undeletable file always there, but just usually not brought down to the screen because it's not the button I push or the file I select, by which every thought and every action, not only on my part, but on everyone else's part, including this divine biocomputer of the universe that will make sure that everybody meets who is supposed to meet, and everything happens that's supposed to happen, I can have that.
So if I pick up, let's say a file, and the file is God's will, document my career. File God's will, natural intelligence, divine hand, whatever, document career, document money. And that is a programming in our minds. So this is no more true about money and career than it is about anything else.
You know, the quote I have at the beginning of the book is from Einstein when he said, "The most important decision we ever make is whether we think we live in a friendly universe or a hostile universe."
If you believe you live in a friendly universe, then you believe that you're supported just the way the embryo is supported and becoming the baby. The acorn is supported and becoming an oak tree. You were supported by universal plan of sorts, a divine architecture. That architecture for the oak tree is within the acorn. And there is an architecture within your consciousness, by which Marie becomes the highest creative possibility for Marie this lifetime. And every aspect of the universe is already at work, making sure every aspect of your life unfolds according to that same divine perfection.
But because we are trained to think according to a mindset that rules the human race, that is based on fear rather than love, we are constantly thinking thoughts that knock us out of that universal order. And there are really only two categories, harmony and order, or chaos. It's kind of like a cancer cell. When the cancer cell deviates, a cancer cell is a cell that's gone insane, and it disconnects from its natural intelligence. And instead of existing to collaborate with other cells in the synergistic way by which they come together to support the higher functioning of the organ, the cancer cell goes off to do its own thing, build its own mass made up of other sick cells. And of course that's destructive to the system. And that's the way we live on this earth. We have forgotten our native intelligence. And that native intelligence is love itself.
So when we live with the mind as a conduit asking only ... There's a lesson in the Course in Miracles, a prayer that we're taught to say every day. Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say? And to whom? Then you find yourself flowing down the river in this divine alignment, and you really do see that the universe can bring more to you than you can bring to yourself. It's like the difference between seeing a pile of iron shavings and saying, "Okay, well, I'm going to put my fingers in there, my fingers, and try to design these beautiful patterns, filament, beauty." No, the only way I can do that is introducing and magnet. And the true self by whatever name you call it, you can talk about it in religious terms or secular terms. It's the Christ self, the Buddha mind, the universal light, whatever name you use for it is a magnet for all things good.
So the Law of Divine Compensation is not only that the universe is self-organizing, but that the universe is self-correcting. So just as my body is programmed to work, your lungs breathe and your heart beats, should there be injury to your system, the body is also programmed to repair and to heal itself.
The Law of Divine Compensation is that that is true on every level of nature. What that means is that anytime there is a lack, there is diminishment, there is a deviation from love, within spiritual substance, there is the ability and the intention of the universe who enter into the mortal realm and compensate for whatever lack or diminishment.
And I think that that is so important because we all have moments of deviation, whether I did it or somebody else did it, whether I made a mistake and I was stupid with my money and I went bankrupt, or due to systems of economic injustice and Wall Street and banks, et cetera, it was somebody else's fault. It wasn't even my fault. The point is the universe is on it.
But if I am in lovelessness, if I am in anger at myself or others, if I'm in attack about it, if I, in some way, constrict rather than open my heart during that period of pain, then the universe cannot move through me to provide the compensation. Every thought of love we co-create a miracle because miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. But every thought of lovelessness deflects the miracle, deflects the correction, deflects the healing.
That's why in the book, usually if somebody is going through money or career issues, their coach does not say to them "Who have you not forgiven?" Because that person would say, "Forgiveness? This has nothing to do with forgiveness. This has to do with my career. This has to do with my money." But any place we haven't forgiven is a place where we are blocking love. So we are blocking the miracle.
And in career, as much as anything else, you never know where the miracle is going to come. You never know what avenue this new opportunity is going to move through. But the universe is literally, moment by moment an infinite and endless opportunity machine. But if we're not present in that moment with an open heart, we miss the opportunity.
One of my favorite parts of the book is actually in the preface. And I literally almost fell off my chair. I was hootin' and hollerin', because it was just so stinkin' good. And you talk about something that I've actually thought about a lot. And let me see, I actually typed it down here. So you said "What happens when someone says, oh yeah, what about starving kids in Africa? Are they poor because their consciousness is out of alignment with love?" Can you share your response?
Anytime there's a problem, the ultimate cause of the problem was a deviation from love. But that doesn't mean that the deviation from love was on the part of the person who is experiencing the effect of that deviation.
If someone gets cancer, because there were carcinogenics in the water that they were drinking, whoever put the carcinogens there was not thinking if they knowingly did that. The lack of ethics, the deviation from love, a deviation from a sense of the sacredness of life itself was not on the part of the person who then got the cancer. Are you with me?
Now we can talk about other factors, et cetera. But my point is that the deviation itself was not on the part necessarily of the person.
Now, when you talk about 17,000 children on this planet who die of hunger every single day, of starvation, not just hunger, 17,000 children every single day, that's one every four seconds starve on this planet. That means since you and I started talking, figure out how many four second intervals there were. That's how many children have starved to death.
Now, obviously we're not saying, well, at least I'm not, because some people I think are. I am certainly not saying that there's something in the consciousness of that child that somehow is not as loving as ours. I find that obscene actually. I find that kind of viewpoint really, morally obscene. However, you can say that those children are starving from a lack of love. The love in this case, on the part of the industrialized nations of the world.
In the United States, we spend $700 billion a year on our defense budget. Economist Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University has established that for $100 billion spent over 10 years, we could eradicate deep poverty from the face of the earth. Deep poverty means the 1 billion people on the planet who are living on a dollar and a quarter and less a day. Above that, there are another billion living on $2 and less a day. That bottom billion is called deep poverty, the bottom billion. And of course it is among those that you have the starving children.
You bet it's a lack of love that's allowing this to happen. You bet it is, because if the Western industrialized nations and other advanced industrialized nations of the world got together and said that is the bottom line, not the short term economic gain of our people, but a recognition on the part of the people of the world, of the interdependence, the connection, the interconnectedness of all people on this planet, and feeding the children who are starving should be the bottom line, that evolution is an evolution in love. That evolution in political and social consciousness will only emerge from that evolution in our capacity to love.
Right now, we are stuck as a species, on a level of personal love. We are stuck on a level of personal love for people we like, or love for people who are like us. And the love that will save the world is not just love for people that we like. It's not just love for people that we know. It's not just love for our children. It's love for all of the children. It's not just love for our home, it's a realization that the earth itself is our home.
And any time we have any problem, whether it's an individual problem or a collective problem, that's always at the root of it. What is the invitation here? Where is the invitation to step up our game? Where's the invitation to step up your game. And it always has to do what would be a greater level of excellence. What would be a more compassionate heart? What would be a generosity of spirit than I'm not displaying now?
And I think that's where we are collectively. And those 17,000 children starving is just something put up to all of us, I think. And particularly, Marie, the women of the world, because I think when the women really move into that space within ourselves, where we do what we normally do in the home, which is to make sure that children are fed first above all else.
You know, in every advanced mammalian species that survives and thrives, a common anthropological characteristic of the adult female of the species is her fierce protection of her cubs when she feels that there is a threat to the young. Even among the hyenas, the female hyenas, the adults encircle the cubs while they're feeding and will not let the adult male hyenas got anywhere near the food until the cubs have been fed. I look at you, I think of myself, surely we could do better than the hyenas.
What's exciting about the women, for instance, in your audience, yourself perfectly, certainly an example, what's so exciting about more women taking advantage of the opportunities we have in a society like ours, having the careers that we have, earning the money that we do, the point, I believe at this point in time, the issue is for us to think a little bit less, perhaps of do I have the rights that I want. Not that we have all the rights that we ultimately wish to have, but we have enough of them that the question now becomes, how can I make a better contribution through the rights that I have? Not just, how do I get more money or how do I get more of a career, but given how much I already have and how much you already have and how we can work together to make the highest level of contribution that we can. And I believe feeding starving children should be number one on our list.
Yes, that gets an amen for me. And I know it's not a Sunday, but I had to say it. So, okay. One of the other things you say in the book, which I just, there's so many. I could highlight this book till the cows come home and I have, and you've actually been generous enough to give me a new copy because mine was so beat up. One of the things you talk about is behind every fear, there's a miracle waiting. Tell us what that means.
Well, in a Course in Miracles, it says that there are only two categories of thought; love and fear. Love is who we are, love is the true thought, it's the thought of the true self. And anytime we deviate from that love, it is like light to darkness. Darkness is not a thing. It's the absence of a thing. And you get rid of darkness by turning on the light.
Fear is to love what darkness is to light. You don't hit the darkness to get rid of it, and you can't just hit the fear to get rid of it. But you turn on the light and the darkness is automatically gone. You turn on the love and the fear is automatically gone.
So what that means is that in any moment where I need help, what I need is a correction, I need a breakthrough. Well, the correction and the breakthrough means a miracle. And a miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love. Where's the fear? Who am I not forgiving? Where am I living in the past or the future rather than in this present? Where am I not making myself fully available to the person in front of me? Where am I not being as excellent as I could be, as ethical as I could be? Where am I coming from ambition rather than service? Where am I coming from competition rather than cooperation and collaboration? Where am I not standing in the full shining possibility within myself in any given moment?
That is the miracle, giving up the lower thought for the higher thought, the weaker thought for the stronger thought. And so it's that cell going back to its divine alignment. And then the miracle occurs. The breakthrough on the outside will then occur because we have the breakthrough on the inside.
I love it. I could talk to you for hours and I [crosstalk 00:20:30].
I hope we will.
Yes. So, okay, this is a good one, specifically about money. So many people complain, and they blame limiting beliefs about money. Like, oh, I learned this from my mom or my dad, or this is the way that my family has always thought about this. And you talk about in the book how we can transform those thoughts.
Well, the issue of childhood programming ... The first therapist I ever had, I was in my early twenties, and she said something to me that was so stunning and I never forgot it. She said, "You know, Marianne, your father, isn't your real father. Your mother isn't your real mother. God is your real father. And God is your real mother." We have the mortal self and we have the mortal story, but we are more than the mortal self, and so we are more than the mortal story.
So when you accept yourself as a child of the universe, a child of God, a child of the divine, by whatever words we describe these things, you realize that you are not at the effect of mortal limitation once you realize you are an immortal self. Once you move from, I am a child of my family situation, and say, but I'm so much more than that. I am a child of God. And I am entitled to the miracles that every child of God is entitled to. And through that mysterious alchemy, even the broken places within myself, when given up for healing, will become part of what I can use to make a greater contribution.
So sometimes you get rid of a tape by taping over it. We tend, in the west, to think if I analyze a problem enough, that will of itself get rid of it. And enough of us have spent enough hours in therapy to know of itself, that won't work.
But in the Eastern tradition, they don't analyze the darkness to get rid of it. They simply go for God, knowing that in the presence of the higher mind vibration, all that simply is not you will drop of its own dead weight.
And so when you begin to identify, that's what enlightenment is. Enlightenment is a shift in self-identification from the body to the spirit, from the mortal self to the immortal self. And you realize that you are at the effect of the world you identify with. So if I identify with a world in which there's a recession and there's scarcity and all of that, what many people do, and this is where we get in trouble, where you get in trouble is where you meet a limited circumstance with limited thought. And you just fall right into the, ain't it awful, it's going to take a time for the jobs to come back, the recovery is slow.
Money doesn't grow on trees.
They're not hiring anybody. Even if they're hiring somebody, they're not hiring anybody my age. The issue is to answer the limited condition with a recognition of the law of divine compensation, which means the spirit will compensate for any limit in the material world. And that I can meet the knowledge that it's a recession with the knowledge. That's not knowledge, that's perception. Yes, within this mortal world, there's a recession, but in God and spirit, there is no recession, there is no lack. There is only abundance.
And not for everyone, because even if there is a recession, there's many people that you and I both know who are thriving right now.
Well, there are Fortune 500 companies that have been founded during recession.
So the consciousness with which meet a circumstance is really the point here, isn't it? It's everything.
And knowing that and standing in conviction, miracles arise from conviction, the course says, which I love that line. You have to more than know a principle. Stand on it. And that's what I hope the book does, that in reading it, it bolsters the self-confidence with which you actually wield to the power of the knowledge of principle.
You know, there's a line in the Course of Miracles where it says, "If you treat these ideas like toys or symbols or metaphors, they'll have the power of a toy or a symbol or a metaphor. But if you treat these ideas like the powers that literally rule the universe, so shall they be for you?"
I love you.
I love you too.
So I'm going to ask one more question before we wrap up. This is something specific that I encounter a lot, especially with women, and especially when it comes to the subject of money; feeling a sense of shame or embarrassment about wanting to make it, about wanting to be successful. And something I've heard you say before, when you experience that level of shame or embarrassment about wanting to make money, you're sabotaging yourself from actually having any.
Some people in our society today are prejudiced against poor people. But some people in our society are prejudiced against rich people. Not every poor person is some lazy, nogoodnick, but not every rich person is someone who made their money unethically. So, no socioeconomic group has a monopoly on righteousness. And there's nothing beautiful about what happens when money stops circulating. You know, there's nothing beautiful about bread lines.
So sometimes people limit themselves. You know, the Course of Miracles says, "Beware the power of an unrecognized belief." Sometimes we look at people who have money and we make assumptions as though we know. And if you have a judgment of people because they created wealth, you will subconsciously sabotage the creation of wealth when it's moving towards you.
There is such a thing as unethical wealth creation. There is such a thing as greed. And there is such a thing as economic injustice. And those are important topics for us to be aware of at this time in our history. There is no doubt about that. However, that doesn't mean that everybody who is making money is making money from a place that is not loving and good.
So anytime we're judging anyone, we can get off that Holy high horse of ours, because the judgment itself, number one, God judges no one. And number two, if you judge someone else for anything great in their life, you will block the reception of whatever that is into your own. So anytime you see a person having anything you want in any area of life, celebrate it, be happy, and take whatever envy you feel and say, "God, please take this from me because I know it doesn't serve."
I love that. Gorgeous.
At the same time, while all of this is true, I think it's also important for us to realize always, that money isn't everything. To say that you are open to finances should be coupled with an absolute realization that money should never be our bottom line. Love should be our bottom line. And that should be true not only as individuals, but it should be true as a society.
And the great transformation that we need in the world is a shift from an economic ordering principle of human civilization, to a humanitarian ordering principle of human civilization. The whole point of people like yourself, myself and your audience of making money, is not only to take care of ourselves or our families, our loved ones, but the world. And money is a power and it should be used in all ways, very responsibly. And the power that accrues to us should not just be buying power, it should be about something much more than consumerism. It should be about a conscious sense of responsibility to particularly the children of the earth and to future generations. And I think people like yourself being so in the forefront of that change is so significant. And I'm happy to be talking to you.
You're going to make me cry.
Thank you, darling.
So, I come to see you speak anytime I can, and I've loved you for years. And one of the things I so adore is that often, and probably almost every time, you end with a prayer. Is that something we can do today?
Sure. Dear God, for all of us who are joined here, we place in your hands our burdens and our questions and our responsibilities. We place in your hands our debts, and we place in your hands our assets. We place in your hands our fears about money and work. And we place in your hands our visions and our prayers and our hopes for money and work. In this, and in all things dear God, we pray to be lifted to the highest level of divine order. May we be who you would have us be that we might do what you would have us do?
May our work in the world, dear God, be more than just a job, may it be a calling, as each of us now, surrender ourselves and ask that we be used by you, that whatever we do, it be a conduit for the love that uplifts all things. May the brilliance and the genius that is your spirit within us, move through us in collaboration with the genius moving through everyone else to create the most beautiful world. And so it is together, we say, amen.
Amen. Oh my gosh, Marianne, this has been amazing. Really, it's one of the highlights of my life to be sitting here with you and this is going to be incredible. So is there anything that you want to share before we wrap up?
Well, I think a piece of the book that's meaningful to a lot of people is this idea of a job versus a calling. You know, jobs come and go. But a calling is something that you were given the moment you were born. Our real job, our real calling is to be the people that we are capable of being. You can lose a job, but you can't lose your calling. And often people think I have to get a job as though it's outside yourself. But a real career, when it's seen as a calling, is something that emerges organically from who you are. Your career is not separate from who you are. A career is an extension of who you are.
And then anything we do, even though we all have different careers, different jobs as defined by the world, we all have the same calling. We all have the same ministry as it were. And that's that the talents that we have, the resources we have be used in the service of a common endeavor, and that is the expression of our love in this creative way that makes the world more beautiful.
I think that's important to remember that what you're really here to do on this earth can't be taken away from you, and it's the economy of the world is irrelevant to that. And the more you stand on that, the faster it takes for the universe to form a manifestation around you, and to compensate for whatever lack might have occurred.
Gorgeous, gorgeous. You are absolutely stunning. Thank you for letting us in to your home and thank you for sharing your incredible work with the world. On behalf of all of us, we love you so much. Please keep writing books. Please keep talking. The world needs you so much.
Thank you. Right back at you. Thank you.
So as we close up today, as we always do on Marie TV, we like to wrap up with a bit of a challenge. And something that Marianne says from a Course in Miracles is an idea is stronger when it is shared. So we want you to share in the comments below. And we've got a three part question for you today because this was just a really juicy and rich interview.
So the first thing I want to hear about is what is a limiting belief or a judgment that perhaps you've been carrying around when it comes to work or money that you are willing to let go of? What are you willing to let go of? Part two. Who do you need to be in order to step in to that new reality? Anything that comes to mind, I want to hear about it. And finally, tell us what's the single biggest insight or breakthrough or shift or miracle that you experienced as a result of this interview.
As always, we have thousands, tens of thousands, actually now hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world, and everything that you share helps produce an aha in someone else. As always the best action happens after the episode, over at marieforleo.com. So go there and leave a comment now.
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Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching this special episode and I'll see you next time on MarieTV.