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So, what’d you do with Pam?

“Joy is the most infallible sign of the existence of God.”— Longtime note on Stephen Colbert’s computer

JumpingSomeone on Facebook asked if any of my books discuss how I became a student of A Course in Miracles.

Like many relationships, it started with a meet and greet.

Someone introduced me to Gerald Jampolsky’s “Love is Letting Go of Fear.”

It inspired me to buy the big blue door stop, the first of many I’ve purchased over the years. I’ve lost a couple, accidentally washed one with my sheets.

From there, I went to Big Sur for a month-long ACIM work study with Julian Silverman, a Gestalt teacher and one of the first managers of Esalen. It was where I met Stan, the guy I mention in chapter one of  E-Squared.

But I remained a dabbler. Like most Course beginnings, it was desperation that finally forged my commitment.

In fact, the Course itself was “scribed” out of desperation by two professors at Columbia University who were sick of the petty struggles, the department infighting, the aggressive attitudes.

William Thetford, head of medical psychology, unexpectedly proclaimed one day, “There has GOT to be a better way.” The Course, which began pouring forth through Helen Schucman, was “the better way.”

Lesson 33 echoes their discovery: There is another way of looking at the world.

And for that FB reader who wanted to know, here’s an excerpt from E-Cubed:

Before I became a serious student of A Course in Miracles, I was the last person anyone would have picked out of a police lineup as “most likely to succeed.”

At the time, my boyfriend, the last in a long series of boyfriends, had kicked me out of the house we shared in rural Connecticut.

To top it off, I was seven months pregnant, was (obviously) unmarried, and had nary a clue where to go. Even worse, it was mid-July and the air conditioner in the little blue Toyota in which I’d stuffed most of my earthly possessions was on the fritz.

Temperatures averaged 100 degrees as I set out across the country, big as a house, pointed in the general direction of Breckenridge, Colorado.

Clearly, something needed to change.

A Course in Miracles, a self-study program in spiritual psychology that I ultimately began to follow in earnest, had the audacity to suggest that I was responsible for my train wreck of a life. It implied that if I would simply let go of all my mad fixations—my “he done me wrong” blockages and all the other clutter I’d picked up about the way the world works— I could actually be happy. It suggested that the only reason I wasn’t experiencing big-ass love and swimming in perpetual abundance was because my consciousness was on red alert.

My thoughts viewed the world as my sworn enemy.
In short, it challenged the very foundations of my life.

I didn’t let go without a fight.

My conversations with JC and the Holy S, as I began to call my Course comrades, went something like this:

Me: “But what about all my problems? I must analyze and fi x them.”

“Let go!” the Course seemed to suggest.

Me: “But what about good and evil, right and wrong?”

“Resign now as your own teacher,” it clearly advised.

Me: “But . . . but . . .”

Slowly, inch by inch, I gave up the reins to my beliefs and old mental constructs. It began to occur to me that if I had the power to create such an ongoing disaster, I might also have the power to create a life I could enjoy.

In fact, the Course pulled no punches, going so far as to guarantee that “perfect peace and perfect joy are your inheritance.” And all I had to do was give up my belief in deprivation and lack.

Me: “But that’s so hard.”

“It’s not hard,” the Course said. “It’s your natural state. It’s just very different than the way most people think.”

I also learned from the Course that the tall blonde chick I see every day in the mirror isn’t really me. The depressed pregnant woman driving the blue Toyota cross-country was nothing but a false identity I’d been taught to assume by a world that worships separation and limitations.

In fact, by focusing in on that little “self,” I completely missed my connection to this other thing, this bigger thing that many call God.

I had completely imprisoned myself by zeroing in on this rickety body that—no matter how many face creams I used, no matter how many downward-facing dogs I did, no matter how many Wayne Dyer books I read (and I read a lot)—was never going to be good enough.

And that’s what the Course is about: Taking the wrecking ball to mental constructs that have imprisoned us for far too long. Taking the focus off the limited self we see in the mirror and putting it on the glorious field of potentiality (the FP) that allows us to connect to all that is.

It’s about letting go—giving up old mental constructs and surrendering to the all-loving, all-powerful energy force that’s bigger, bolder, brighter, and, yes, stranger than anything you’ve yet seen. This Sacred Buzz is life itself.

Life, which—no matter how many walls we erect, no matter how seriously we screw up—is always there waiting with arms open wide.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her new book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

55 Responses

  1. Wow. This post brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful way to explain me! LOL You are the best Pam. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Absolutely Wonderful !!! I love how you are able to put ACIM into terms based on your experience! beautiful. Especially the part about giving up our mental constructs that do very much imprison us to the way our life currently is. You remind me that there are rainbows always waiting for us. All we need to do is open our eyes and see!

  3. These lessons, and your expanding on them, are just joy. I love Colbert’s note too. I have one from the Course taped on my monitor: “Accept but the joyous as truth.” Difficult for me on some days. But as you say, if we can create the disasters of our lives, we can create the joy too. Thank you, Pam!

  4. Wonderful! Thank you so much, Pam. The line from ACIM that sticks with me, paraphrased, is: This is part of God’s will for me, no matter how I see it.

  5. I am so loving these posts! Love you so much!!! I am here with my wrecking ball self and seeing more clearly each day! Thank you so much!!!

  6. You know what I love, every time I open one of your emails it’s like you are talking directly to me! We will meet soon and I will give you a great big love hug! Today’s really hit my heart to know that I am on the right path. Love you joy toy!!!

  7. Like you and many others, ACIM was something I said I was “doing” but I was really just skimming/reading it and not working it. That changed after reading your new posts. Keep it up.

  8. As long as you take the time to explain this all SO well, I will keep leaving a comment to let you know how much I appreciate your work. No reply necessary. I know how much time it takes. This is another important lesson. Read the link lesson before the comment so you are getting through to me. 🙂 Have a great weekend.

  9. Hi Pam,

    Good post today, Pam! Not that they all aren’t… nice to revisit E2 with excerpt that you included. It just makes good sense. The key is to train your brain to let it go!!

    LOVE to Dance Walk! I salsa, shimmy, and sing up and down the country road I live on! I’ve danced with the fire flies on a summer night! It’s fun to do it down a grocery store aisle, too!! 😉

    Peace. Joy. Out.

    Karen W.

  10. Aloha Pam, Daniella, a super fan here wondering where the heck do I start with ACIM. I have the big blue book and it’s intimidating. Had it for years, don’t even know where to start. Then, I read all kinds of quotes from it from you and marrianne williamson and so many others I lean in on… and I wonder where do you start? I googled around for a guide book? Or is it like the bible and just trusting I am guided – led to what I need to read? Thank you so so SO much! Listening to your Thanks and Grow Rich for the 3 rd time. Healing through another layer and this one feels the darkest I’ve ever felt and I’m a glass FULL woman always. A bright light. Perhaps it’s time to get INTO ACIM too. Blessings and Aloha to you and all you share for us all. Love your books and blog 🙂 Daniella Brause currently recharging her light… learning how to not be impatient about it. That Tigger bounce will return.


  11. Pam – I think you have just found your next book! I have been a student of ACIM for years, but it still remains rather dense. Your beautiful and simple explanation of many of the ACIM tenants clarified my understanding. Thank you!

      1. Pam – there are no coincidences! Just as Marianne Williamson was one of the first to decode ACIM, you could be the one to provide a fresh (and funny) perspective. I am happy to support you in any way possible :-).

  12. Dearest Pam – You light the world! You light your mind & all our minds which God created one with you. And for that – WE THANK YOU!

    Sent from my iPhone


  13. I read ACIM in my ’30’s and am now in my 70’s. Also, in the 1970’s I bought a printed sign that read, “You are entitled to miracles.” I didn’t understand the possibilities but now I do. That sign is
    now on the wall of my house.

  14. Thankyou Pam. Delightfully inspiring and encouraging. I love the video at the end too and I’m going to be bold and give it a go on my way home one day when I walk from work to the train station! So many ways we can add joy and delight to our day – and to those around us, as long as we are willing to give up our fear of being judged as a nutcase or crazy or weird. Who cares?! Let me be a wild, weird nutcase if it adds joy, laughter and light to someone’s day 😁👍🏻⭐️ Thanks for sharing that clip with us and for being your wonderful self. We are so blessed to have you in our lives Pam 😘💜💟

    1. Always so great to hear from you, Jenny Louise! And thanks for reminding me of the correct spelling of whinge. I used to live in Australia, got my master’s at Macquarie University and that’s probably where I learned that word.

      1. Oh thanks Pam!! 😁
        When did you live in Australia? I grew up in Sydney and moved to Melbourne exactly 19 years ago on the first of February this year. Maybe we lived in Sydney at the same time! (I was there from 1966 until 1999) A delightful “connection” if that’s the case! Anyway, yes I think whinge is definitely an Aussie word whichever way you spell it! 😉

  15. I’d love to read ACiM, but I find it difficult. I wish there was a version that was an easier read. It feels like a textbook, and I have difficulty staying focused on it.

    I’m sure I will try it again one day, but the first two times didn’t take.
    I don’t suppose there is a “… for Dummies” version?

    1. Actually Craig, there is a Course for Dummies. It’s written by Alan Cohen. Hay House publishes it. It doesn’t run through all the lessons, but it’s remarkably helpful.

  16. Wow! I see myself in this story! And I vow right now that I am giving up my story of “Yah, but…” and beginning today, I notice the difference in my thoughts between want and plenty and I choose the latter.

    1. A friend of mine from Temecula, California just wrote a funny thing about hunting the “Yea, buts.” She pronounces it like rabbit and, like Elmer Fudd, she’s hunting down that silly wabbit!

  17. One of those messages I felt was meant for me in a big way, since last night, I started reading Letting Go of Fear, and your message was in my email this morning. I hear ya, Divine, I get it. Oh and my name is Pam so when I read, “What did you do with Pam?” it felt personal, LOL.

  18. All i can say is thank you! I have tried to do the cim many times and uh well never made it very far…please don’t stop i am really enjoying doing this as a “group”

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