Today is my book’s birthday and I’ll dance if I want to
“Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth.”
— Martin H. Fischer
I am so incredibly excited about my new book. It officially debuts today. So rather than my normal quick post, I decided to humbly and proudly offer the introduction to Thank and Grow Rich: A 30-Day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy.
I hope you enjoy it!
In 2013, my world was choke-slammed upside down. And I mean that in the best possible way. After 20-plus years of being a writer, sitting in my pajamas penning 15 books and countless magazine articles, I dropped the tracks for E-Squared. For whatever reason (luck, timing, planets aligning), that little black book with the funny title shot up into the stratosphere, capturing the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list. It has since been translated into 30-some languages.
To this day, I can’t open my in-box without finding e-mails that start with some version of “You are never going to believe this.”
It’s like waking up every morning to my own self-help channel. “Guess what?” readers will write. “I just won $500,” or “I just got my dream job on a horse farm.” And I get to celebrate with them right here in Lawrence, Kansas. I get to add to their energy of excitement and joy.
I am deeply humbled to think my words might have helped even one person recognize a deeper truth. I am infinitely grateful that the do-it-yourself experiments in E-Squared cracked open a window to the unending beneficence of the universe.
In fact, if any serious researcher out there is looking for evidence that the world is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating—one of nine spiritual principles covered in E-Squared—I’ve got a whole folder full of lab report sheets I’d be willing to share.
Occasionally, however, I get an e-mail from a reader who’s pissed. They want to know who I think I am, claiming the world is a beautiful place. They want to know why all the good stuff happens to everybody else. They claim to have seen no evidence of what I call the field of infinite potentiality (the “FP”), and they’re going to, poor things, go out and eat worms.
This book is for them. And for that scared little place in all of us that still can’t quite believe the universe actually likes us and works in cahoots with our highest aspirations.
When I can, I write back to these unhappy naysayers. I often send a blog post about my own days of worm cuisine. I encourage them to give it one more shot, to keep looking for the magic.
I started to notice a pattern within these anomalous “Why me?” letters. As I said, they sound a lot like my own crazy voices, the wild-haired loudmouths that still occasionally raise their hands in the back of my head.
“Hey, you!” they like to scream. “You’re all alone. The world doesn’t care about you. This is all bullshit.”
Those voices are the popular kids. The ones who make the nightly news, the ones we discuss around the water-cooler, the ones we appoint commissions and launch websites to fight. In other words, the dominant paradigm.
But they’re not the truth. They will never be the truth.
Another theme I noticed is just how hard these readers are trying—repeating affirmations, making vision boards, drawing focus wheels.
I have nothing against those practices. I’ve been known to use some of them myself. But what happens when we fight and work and struggle, because we think nothing will change unless we do, is we put up roadblocks to all the good that wants to manifest right before our eyes.
The last thing I noticed about the “life sucks” e-mails is how deadly serious they all were. Oh! The gravitas! The sobriety!
“I did everything exactly as you said,” they’d accuse with a hint of feral anger.
And every time, I was tempted to tell a stupid joke or make a goofball face.
Anything to get them to—lighten up, people! The whole idea is to have fun! To play around in the quantum sandbox!
But yelling at serious people never works. At least it never works on the serious voices in my own head.
But here’s what does: Giving myself a break. Counting my blessings. And getting on the frequency of joy and gratitude.
The Radio Transmitting Tower Known as You
“I can’t just sit here vibrating with my own joy— I have to write about it, I have to share it.”
— David Mason
Who can forget the explosive scene from the movie A Few Good Men? Tom Cruise has Jack Nicholson on the witness stand. Cruise is badgering him, wanting to know whether or not he ordered a Code Red. He wants the truth.
Nicholson, getting redder and madder, finally erupts: “You can’t handle the truth.”
And that, in a nutshell, is the real answer to those e-mails wanting to know why all the good stuff happens to everyone else.
Until we can get on the frequency of gratitude, our connection to the bigger thing is blocked. Our bandwidth can’t handle the eternal, infinite love of the Divine Broadcast that constantly airs possibility, joy, freedom. We’ve clogged up the connection by giving the floor to our inner anxieties, our fears, our time-sucking melodramas. Like Cinderella’s stepsisters, we’ve crammed life’s unending beneficence into our tiny shoes of old judgments and antiquated programming.
So in this book, we’re going to upgrade the bandwidth of our consciousness. By using a simple, straightforward practice that takes at most five minutes a day, you will rewire your nervous system, rewrite old habits, and literally change the chemistry of your brain.
And that’s where gratitude comes in.
Ode to Joy
“If your mind isn’t cluttered by unnecessary things, this could be the best day of your life.”
— from a message left on my voicemail by The Zing, AKA Ethan Hughes of the Possibility Alliance
Isn’t that sort of, well, lame?
You just wrote a pair of powerhouse books about energy and infinite possibility. And now you’re just gonna sell out and write about something pantywaist like gratitude? That’s so basic, so flimsy, so 101 . . .
Hold on, Sparky.
The gratitude I’m talking about in this book is anything but flimsy or 101.
Let’s call it ferocious gratitude. In-your-face gratitude. None of the namby-pamby, sunshine-and-lollipops crap.
Because here’s the thing. When we don’t stop daily to inventory all the gazillion things going right in our lives, the crazy voices in our heads try to make us their bitch.
When we don’t militantly count our blessings, the voices start jabbering, telling us that life sucks, that we suck. They’re like the ticker crawl at the bottom of a news broadcast, running continuously in a nonstop loop.
As long as we keep tuning in to these voices, we fail to notice the incredible gift we’ve been given: to be here on planet Earth, to have this day, to enjoy this cosmic adventure. As long as we continue to etch their bald-faced lies deeper and deeper into our psyches, we cloud over our profound transformative connection to the field of infinite potentiality.
By simply stopping every day and registering our connection to this undeniable, unchanging Presence, we start to notice a deeper truth, a happier reality. We start to notice an eternal broadcast airing its joyful melody quietly beneath the static.
No offense to Napoleon Hill, the author of the self-help classic on which my title riffs, but the real power is in not thinking. If you want to override your brain’s unfortunate habit of leafing through your past and creating a present hologram to match, forget thinking. And start thanking. And I mean thanking everything. The bills that are stacking up. The doctor’s report you weren’t expecting. The buffoon of a boyfriend who drank an entire bottle of tequila last night and puked on your new Oriental carpet.
When we practice this brand of ferocious gratitude—what I have dubbed the extreme sport of gratitude—we come to realize that all the striving, the endless struggle, the perpetual scrambling for our place in line, is unnecessary. In truth, it’s counterproductive and actually blocks the energy field that is and always has been available to sustain and guide us.
Brazen gratitude provides a portal, an entry point straight into the heart of the very field of infinite possibilities my other two Hay House books introduced. It puts you on an energetic frequency, a vibration that calls in miracles.
When you’re on this frequency (and it’s very different from Eddie Haskell “That’s a lovely dress, Mrs. Cleaver” platitudes), there’s really very little else you have to do. The universe happily shows up with blessings and guidance. All you have to do is nod, don your scarf and new shades, and enjoy the ride.
Giving thanks, recognizing all the good in your life, is the gateway drug to a life most extraordinary. It’s the superpower that moves you onto the frequency where beauty and joy and creativity happen.
And here’s the big “secret.” You don’t have to work at connecting with this energy field. You don’t have to be good enough to merit its attention. Or follow any formula to find it. You really don’t have to do anything . . .
Except . . .
. . . quit listening to the voices. Quit creating static. This sweet, loving, all-knowing energy force is here right now, waiting like the bull on the other side of the rodeo gate, ready to charge out the very second you lift the barriers of all you’ve been taught. It’s pawing at the dirt, chomping at the bit, waiting for you to recognize that pretty much everything you’ve learned since the moment you popped out into the material plane is dead wrong.
This universal energy force never disappears. Or plays peekaboo or hide-and-go-seek. It never falters. It never does anything but love and give and bestow blessings.
This book is yet another chance (but please know you don’t need this book or anything or anyone else) to prove there’s a better way, a more natural way of living. It will help you tap into a frequency where miracles are as common as pie.
Like my previous Hay House books that offer real-time experiments, this one offers a 30-day trial in ferocious, militant, in-your-face gratitude.
Spirituality, as I’ve always said, should be more than theory.
The hypothesis for the 30-day experiment is insanely simple: If you devote yourself to scouting blessings, you’ll find them out the wazoo. If you turn each day into a 24-hour miracle reconnaissance mission, you’ll call forth Truth. You’ll get the happily ever after.
The book also contains 27 party games (who needs exercises?) that are easy to play, rip-roaringly fun, and guaranteed to build your abundance portfolio. (I’ll talk more about the five components of this blue-chip capital in later chapters.)
Just know that by the time you have finished the month-long gratitude party prescribed in this book, you will look around at the parallel universe you’ve suddenly entered and think, Really? Whatever happened to my depression? My fear? Was I insane back then?
You will behold the proof, as A Course in Miracles promises, that love trumps fear, laughter trumps tears, and abundance trumps loss.
And it all starts with recognizing the beauty that surrounds you, flows through you, fills you with light. It all starts with getting on the frequency of gratitude.
Pam Grout is the author of 18 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the about to be released, Thank and Grow Rich: a 30-day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy