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You can’t make an elephant purr and other reasons to give up resistance

“Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.”–Cheryl Strayed baby-elephants-cute-pictures-animals

Yesterday in the posse, my really wise friend Cindy made the above comment about the futility of resistance. It says it all. When we continue to beat ourselves over the head trying to make that elephant purr, we are going to continue to be miserable.

It’s plain and simple, folks. We cannot fight problems. We can try and try and try, but fighting, fixing, focusing on what’s wrong is like driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

But there is a steering wheel on our car. We CAN turn around. We can start moving with the flow of the universe. It’s done by taking our attention off everything we think sucks. All those problems we think need fixing. All those issues we have with so and so. Or with our jobs. Or with our bodies.

When we get in the flow of gratitude, when we start noticing all the gazillion things that are going right, those annoying problems have a way of fixing themselves. They literally dissolve. Without any input on our part.

It sounds counterintuitive, I know. We’ve been doing it the other way (driving the wrong way on the one-way street, trying to teach that elephant to purr) for most of our lives.

But we can turn around. We can let that elephant roar. And it all starts with putting our attention on things that we like. Things for which we are grateful.

As for me, I’m loving the open windows, autumn weather, listening to the crickets. I’m loving the fact that the sun continues to come up each morning. There is so, so, so much to be grateful for. And that’s the only road on which I want to drive.

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 just released, Thank and Grow Rich: a 30-day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy.

21 Responses

  1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for all the gentle reminders, for the beautiful word pictures sharing your perspective of the world, for contiuinng to display your unbridled joy with the whole, fantastic, gorgeous planet!!!!

  2. I decided no matter what all will be okay, even a boss that can’t stand my happiness and she is trying to make my life hell or is trying. I got my revenge to her yesterday but it was more like the universe had my back
    I will transfer to a different department and of l go away. I will be respectful but l have to stay away from her negative adidute. We just don’t have the same tv show going anymore. Wohooo I am turning to a different frequency channel
    Thanks Pam 🙄😊

  3. Hey lovely! Did you get my presentation? Was it ok? Did Vega get back to you and Jully? xo Miranda

  4. As always, I love your posts, Pam. I have used this technique (when I remember to!) for some years. I had an issue with my right knee for a while, which tended to flare up when I was on longish walks. I discovered that if I concentrated on how well my other knee was working the pain really did go away! I’ve told lots of people to try this, but most just laugh of course.
    Incidentally, I eventually found out what caused the problem (hula hooping! ) and haven’t had it since.
    Your new book is AWESOME. xx

  5. I love you Pam Grout! I’m listening to the crickets right now & loving it. Thanks for helping me keep my life simple and stay on the road to joy. I just have to turn the wheel! Duh! 🙂

    1. This is so cool!!! I’m only reading this article now and i’m listening to crickets right now with the windows open.
      Thank you Pam.

  6. Great post! And it fits perfectly with a daily practice I’m doing right now of making an audio recording at the end of the day of everything that worked. It’s so fun to scan my day for all the things that worked — laughing with my son, being able to help a friend, my heart beating, my legs carrying me from one place to another, having food in the fridge, the water that magically came out of the faucet, riding a ferry boat across the water, having eyes to see the wide blue sky. Each day I surprise myself by recalling things that weren’t conscious, but when they pop into my mind, I get to be grateful for them. Pam, I always know that when I read your posts, I will feel uplifted + grateful afterward. THAT works. Thank you so much!! <3

  7. Pam, received and finished and have re-read “Thank and Grow Rich” about ten times now! LOVE LOVE LOVE the book and the “activities” but mostly love how SIMPLE you kept it. Sorry, editors, PAM was right, NOT you. Starting my day with the intention that something amazing WILL happen has been the most amazing practice! I’ve added this to my daily prayer and meditation practice. Since I’m a recovered alcoholic who works the 12 steps (which can make me feel crappy at times, if I’m not a “good AA,”) having your AA 2.0 is a RELIEF!!! Thank you, Pam, for being YOU!

  8. Once again, you’ve nailed it Pam! I have refocused on what give me joy. Just ordered your book at our local bookstore to help keep them in business. All is WELL!!
    Loving hugs, Shoshanna

  9. I’m now following your lead (as well as your blog 🙂 and now watch for miracles as they occur. Today I witnessed an amazing event during my aquasize class. The pool is outside and there were about 20 of us doing jumping jacks, etc. when suddenly a cormorant jumped in the pool with us! It paddled across the width while swimmers scrambled to get out of its way then turned and dove underwater and swam the length.as we watched, mouths agape. I have never been so close to a wild waterfowl such as this and I thought to myself, “Well, here’s the miracle for today!” Feeling such gratitude to be a part of this and for you, Pam, for opening my heart to everyday wonder.

  10. hi Pam i saw (or thought i saw) a phrase and want your opinion on it, here it is ” Do we smile because we are happy or are we happy because we smile?”

      1. it’s from a special TIME edition called ” the science of happiness” in the spirit section it said ” Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile. Sometimes your smile is the source of your joy. ” -Thich Nhat Hahn
        in my head i turned it into a question.

  11. A devout Grout reader (like the pun?), I am happily midway through Thank & Grow Rich. In Party Game #9, I came across the title of a book that has not yet been a part of my spiritual building blocks. I pulled up my Amazon app to put The Afterlife of Billy Fingers into my cart. When faced with the format decision, audible (for which I had one credit), Kindle, or the good ole hold-in-your-hand flip-the-page version, I agonized for a few minutes contemplating price and accessibility and while still wavering clicked on paperback. Quickly moving to check out, I noticed the total including tax was $12.46, but the balance due was zero. Wondering why, I scrolled down to see that a gift card for $12.46 was applied to the purchase. Now I shop on Amazon all the time, and I know I didn’t have any outstanding gift card balances (Those are long gone!). I could hardly believe my eyes, a gift card for the EXACT amount, $12.46! For a split second, I was tempted to scroll around to find the solution to this not-so-bad problem I was facing. Just then I cracked a grin, and said out loud “So this is my amazing happening for the day, thank you Billy Fingers!” and I hit the Complete Order button before this miracle had time to slip away!

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