We recently met with Corinne Zupko to discuss her spiritual path. She’s a coach and author who used spirituality to move away from her debilitating anxiety. She’s also an Adjunct Professor of Counselor Education at The College of New Jersey.
Spiritual Fizz: Hello Corinne. Thank you for finding the time to talk with us in your busy schedule. Many of the things you do in your life seem to be rooted in spirituality. Did your connection with spirituality start at an early age?
My mom used to try to talk to me about spirituality when I was a teenager but to be completely honest, I’d be very dismissive and snarky about it. I’d literally cover my ears with my hands and say, “Speak to me in English like you used to! I’m NOT interested!” I simply wasn’t ready. However, things changed during my sophomore year of college when I broke down with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. I joined the club of 40 million Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders. It was only then that I became open to trying anything to feel better, including spirituality.
Spiritual Fizz: So why did you focus on spirituality? Was there a person or a book that got you interested in it?
During the night of my first panic attack in college, I called my mom at 3 a.m. as I was curled up on the floor of my bathroom. She instilled hope that we’d find help for me, and she again started talking to me about the healing and peace-inducing principles of a psychospiritual text called, A Course in Miracles. A couple of weeks later, I had the book in my hands and started studying every word it said. Most of it I didn’t understand, but what I did understand was very comforting to me, and led me to keep at it.
Over time and with deepening my sense of spirituality, I noticed my anxiety diminished. This was an incredible motivator to keep going with this pathway. Practicing A Course in Miracles has brought me an incredible amount of peace, and the anxiety and panic attacks I used to struggle with on a daily basis are now light years away from me.
Teaching from Anxiety to Love
Spiritual Fizz: That’s a wonderful story Corinne about your path to spirituality. Is there a particular activity that you do today to maintain a level of spirituality?
I’ve internalized many of teachings of A Course in Miracles and it continues to be my “operating system.” I still study and read from the book, and I also engage in a daily mindfulness practice infused with a spiritual twist. It’s essential to me to spend quiet time each day with my Higher Power.
In addition, the writing and teaching I do always reinforces spiritual lessons in my mind. A Course in Miracles teaches, “as you teach so shall you learn.” I’ve found that teaching helps me integrate spirituality even more deeply into my life, because as I must put my inner experience into words to teach, this helps me integrate my learning even more.
Spiritual Fizz: Your teaching is at The College of New Jersey. How does spirituality come into the courses you teach there?
I’ve been fortunate to be able to bring spirituality into my courses, particularly in a course called, “Wellness Counseling.” We explore our own spiritual beliefs, learn about different spiritual pathways, and learn how we can help our clients rely on their own sense of spirituality in their healing process, regardless of the spiritual orientation of the counselor.
In addition, I bring the practice of mindfulness meditation into all of my courses, which helps students feel connected to themselves, their clients, and one another. As we slow down and practice the skill of paying attention, stress levels decrease and a sense of well-being often comes forward.
Spiritual Fizz: That sounds like a great course Corinne. What’s next on the horizon for you? You have a book coming out, right?
Six years ago, I was guided to begin writing about all of the principles of A Course in Miracles that got me out of anxiety and back to peace. The result is my forthcoming book, From Anxiety To Love: Working with your Inner Therapist to Find Lasting Peace (New World Library, 2018). Although it took a while to write the book, the publishing deal came into being rather quickly, which helped me see that the universe was ready to support the message of this book being birthed into the world.
The first part of the book is devoted to exploring the metaphysics of the Course (intertwined with personal stories), the second part is comprised of the action steps I took to get out of anxiety, and the third part of the book shares many personal stories so the reader can see examples of the healing principles in action. In addition there are meditations, journal prompts, and helpful mantras for moving through anxiety. You can learn more about book news on my website. I’m excited to share it with you!
From the editor: That was an insightful and personal discussion with Corinne about her path from anxiety to love, and her ability to heal herself through spirituality. You can get more details about Corinne’s healing solution with her free crash course on undoing anxiety with A Course in Miracles.
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