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Why life’s speed bumps are not destinations for pitching tents

“We are all gardeners, planting seeds of intention and watering them with attention in every moment of every day.”― Cristen Rodgers


Unless you’re a perfect driver (and although I know many people who think they are, I know no one who actually is), you’ve probably encountered a speed bump*, undoubtedly going faster than the posted speed.

When you inadvertently hit one, it’s a clear sign to slow down. Likewise, rumble strips, those grooves on highway shoulders that shimmy your car and offer unexpected back massages when you accidently leave your lane, are signals that something needs to be corrected.

No one would ever dream of stopping their car, getting out and complaining because “woe-is-me! I hit a rumble strip!” Nor would they call their friends, rush to a support group or enlist their therapist. The proper procedure when hitting a rumble strip is self-correct. It’s a piece of cake.

It works the same when setting an intention. Reaching any goal, manifesting any desire is a simple matter of deciding that you want it and starting to move in that direction. It’s no more complicated than driving from say, Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Let’s pretend Los Angeles is what you have now—a beat-up Ford Escort, a crummy job and weekends watching re-runs alone. San Francisco, where you really want to be, is a shiny, new Jaguar, a high-paying job that utilizes and appreciates your greatest strengths and weekends watching movies with an astoundingly hot specimen of humanity.

So, how do you get there? You start focusing on San Francisco. You forget that Los Angeles and your beat-up Escort even exist. And you remember that at every moment, you’re either heading towards San Francisco or you’re doubling back towards Los Angeles. Every thought is a step in one direction or the other. Thoughts that take you back to LA are “Good jobs and hot dates are not that available” or the even more popular, “Good jobs and hot dates are available, but not for the likes of me.”

Thoughts that move you towards San Francisco go something like this: “That new job is going to be so amazing.” and “Man, is this person sitting next to me on my couch ever so fine.” The more energy and excitement you invest, the quicker you’ll get there.

Some people get stirred up, take a few steps towards their desires, panic, and turn right back around towards Los Angeles. Others leave the LA city limits, walk for a spell, take a rest to look around, and then get pissed because it doesn’t look like San Francisco.

Of course, it doesn’t look like San Francisco. You’re not there yet. You’re still seeing countryside that’s just outside Los Angeles, stuff you have to pass to get to San Francisco. But you’ve left LA. Say a cheer and keep focusing. Whatever you do, don’t stop driving.

The only way to reach the sweet, champagne-drenched finish line of where you want to be is to keep your nose pointed in that direction. Do not turn around and look back. Los Angeles is history. Stay focused on…did I mention San Francisco?

When you hit those speed bumps, it’s just a sign to calm down and carry on. And as for those rumble strips, be grateful they’re showing you that, for a moment, you’re headed in the wrong direction. But it’s easy to self-correct.

Getting to San Francisco doesn’t take any particular gift. It just takes willingness to keep driving. To laugh at the rumbles trips. And to keep focusing your attention, energy and awareness.

See you in San Francisco!!!

*For those who like useless trivia, speed bumps are called sleeping policeman in Jamaica, kipping cops in Great Britain and speed breakers in New Zealand.

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

23 Responses

  1. Getting to _____ (insert your dream here!) doesn’t take any particular gift. It just takes willingness to keep driving. To laugh at the rumbles trips. And to keep focusing your attention, energy and awareness.” I love that you always bring such humor into all of this, Pam. You make the travels so much fun. 🙂

  2. Hi Pam!

    I love your messages and have been an avid fan since reading your book E2 a couple of years ago. I’ve noticed on a few of your posts when you mention love and relationships you say “of the opposite sex”. I am a gay man who’s fallen in love with my soulmate, and while I don’t hang anyone’s opinion on my relationship, it just doesn’t sit right with me that you intentionally say opposite sex. Do you not support loving whoever you happen to fall in love with? If you, then isn’t there a more inclusive way of saying what what you’re trying to say?

    Much love,


    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Thank you SO MUCH for pointing out my short-sightedness. I whole-heartedly support loving in any incarnation. I welcome suggestions for better ways to say things. Thank you, Jeff!!!

  3. Hi Pam, I have really enjoyed your books. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I am stuck right now with being specific about my next “encore” career. I have read many many books, taken classes, seen a coach, etc. but am having trouble with specificity. Does it work to “drive west” versus a specific city (using your example) ?
    Any other tips on clarity would be most helpful. Thanks, Beth

    1. Hi Beth, I like to be specific and say “Phoenix” for example and then add “or somewhere better” I’ve placed my order with an exact preference and the Universe can give me that or something better!

  4. Nope, never heard of Kipping Cops here in England – well, not for speed bumps anyway – it’s Sleeping Policeman for us. All the best Gillian

  5. Thank you, Pam. Boy, did I ever need this message right this very instant. The Universe is so good, and thank you for facilitating!

  6. Like very much. Speed bump in Puerto Rico is called a “muerto” (like for a dead body laying on the road)

  7. I love what you wrote – very Esther Hicks with the rumble strip and the San Fran/LA analogies (Phoenix/Yuma). Good to be reminded of this again!

  8. San Francisco is definitely where I want to be! Got the hot guy, just want unlimited money, and to work if I want……and a Tesla instead of a jag….😊

  9. This to is something I really needed to hear Pam, Thank you. My positive change in attitude and getting to the base of my happiness has really helped me in this confusing time these last few days. Your books keep me there. HAPPY AND POSITIVE. The elevator version of this eventful adventure is a long planned (2 months) ago actually for a 2 day tiny home workshop and a move from Nanaimo BC to Niagara ON, driving and planned to arrive by Feb. 10 or 11th. Well I got one day in for the workshop Saturday and that evening a 911 call for broken ribs. Giving me an expensive extended stay at the hotel because I cannot move now. I currently have everything I own which is 6, 2 cubed boxes in my car and a week delay in getting to Ontario. Cry, yes a bit but I immediately flip the script. Instead of asking why to all this, I am just grateful that someone, something my FP is telling me something? I have no clue yet what. I keep my mind open and am so grateful I have the money to stay here, that I am alive and maybe I should stay in BC?
    I am not planning anything anymore. My goal is to heal as fast as I can. I need to stay positive to do so. No woo’s me here, no way!
    The weather is horrific and I am driving into worse weather so this could be the reason? I need to physically slow down, so that has been fixed. I have asked that the FP give me some sign in 3 days to fill me in? I am confused, very confused but my script will all make sense when it needs to. Thank you for reminding me that my thoughts are all in the right direction and this is just a speed bump. I will get to Ontario this I know forsure. I will drive away from BC and won’t look back.
    Love you Pam

  10. Or…the “same sex”…it is San Francisco as you know! ☺☺☺


    “Awakening Hearts & Inspiring Potential Through The Wisdom Of The Horse” Carol Marriott Ravenheart Farms Equine Assisted Learning Centre & Retreat Raven Horse Wisdom Life Coaching & Consulting http://www.ravenheartfarms.com

  11. Loved this message! Except for the hot specimen of the opposite sex on the couch Cuz I’m gay . So I’ll just leave it at s hottie sitting next to me on the couch. Love you Pam! And love Thank And Grow Rich!!! 😘

    Sent from my iPhone


  12. Loving the trivia! 🙄😄 I would hate to hit a “sleeping policeman” in Jamaica… That sounds much more serious! Thank you for the beautiful blog entry today and waving hi from my chosen city of Los Angeles!
    – Sandy SpiritualNurse

  13. One can use those speed bumps or ripple strips for many issues. Right now, my daughter has to put her and my favorite cat to sleep tomorrow night. This is a huge speed bump for both of us and I am very sad right now. I will always remember this sweet beautiful, Calico Cat with the sweetest personality. I don’t know why Jolie became so ill suddenly, but I do not want to linger in this sadness and I am eager to move on. Perhaps this speed bump is simply to cause us to be aware, really aware, of what we have. I am so sad right now, but in the grand
    scheme of the Universe, this is just the blink of an Eye. Time moves on and does not stop for triumph nor tradegy. I shall move with it. Many thanks to you, Pam. I read all your posts and I read most of your books. I so enjoy them. They give me fresh hope and keep me heading in the right direction. Thank you for your effort in writing. You have a gift. But it takes work to execute the gift, so thanks, thanks, and ever thanks. Fondly, Jenny Markakis

    1. Hi, Jenny:
      So sorry to hear about Jolie. Have been through it many times, and it never gets easier.
      You might want to read “Grieving the Death of a Pet” by Betty J. Carmack, a wonderful book that I re-read every time I lose one.
      Also “Animals and the Afterlife” by Kim Sheridan, another terrific book I’ve re-read many times.
      And remember: Sad is okay. It’s part of it. (For me, it’s more like devastating!) I don’t think it helps to pretend we’re not, or to rush through the grieving. You’re losing daily contact with a unique, loving being. If you hadn’t loved, you wouldn’t care. There’ll be plenty of time later to rediscover the joys in life. They will return eventually.
      Peace and love,

  14. Hi Pam – love, love, love your books. Thank you so much for posting this now. I am almost three quarters of the way from my personal journey from my LA to San Francisco, and I have been focusing on that new city more and more. But, then all of a sudden, I am overwhelmed by LA calling me and old thoughts and patterns return. It is becoming less frequent, but it is overwhelming when it happens. It is as if the car stalls, and I am sitting there trying to turn the engine over and nothing happens. Then all of a sudden, it kicks in and I am on my way again. I know, like I know that this wonderful new world awaits…and I am excited by this journey. I now realize, after reading this, that I am just hitting a road bump, and rather than going out and examining it in detail, I should just go ‘oops’ and carry on driving.

    Thank you again….perfect timing…as always the Universe always brings me what I need, when I need it – and this time it was you!

    Sending you love and hugs,

  15. Hi Pam

    Love this post though I have never heard of the expression kipping cops. Here in England we call them sleeping policemen or speed bumps!!

    Nicola xx

    Sent from my iPhone


  16. Great post Pam! But we call them sleeping policemen in Britain too, never heard of kipping cops 😊

  17. Hi Pam!

    I love how graciously you always put these simple ideas into words. And this particular analogy with LA to SF drive is just awesome. A perfect reminder of how we should think and act. Thank you so much!!

    By the way, speed bumps if translated from Russian would be sleeping policemen as well, or more precisely, resting policemen 🙂

    Have a wonderful day!

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