“The unknown is where the most exciting part of life happens.”—adrienne maree brown
Joyous 2o22, my friends!
One of the bajillion things I loved about spending last summer in Mexico was the singing. Guys crowded together in trucks, sang joyously together as they headed off to work. I was reminded of this yesterday because a Mexican construction crew that’s building a house near my home was, not whistling while they work, but singing to the catchy Spanish lyrics coming from what must have been a boom box.
Hearing this made me incredibly happy–humanity out there celebrating life—even though it was cold, even though they were slinging and pounding boards.
Today’s Course in Miracles (yep, I started it yet again) reminds me that all my certainties about life cause me to miss the most miraculous of realities. For example, it’s common knowledge that “you don’t sing while you work. You put your nose down and you get ‘er done.” But what if that belief stunts what’s possible.
My intention for this year is to surrender every single thing I believe, to toss out all facts and convictions that constrain and tame the bigger reality. I want to be open, to leave space, to wake up excited to see what might happen today without my conclusions about what it’s going to bring.
I heard an interview with acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton. When he was 27, driving from Seattle to graduate school in Madison, Wisconsin, he pulled over in a field to get some rest. While he lay there in the dark, a thunderstorm rolled over, echoing throughout the valley. He heard the crickets, the booms and he suddenly realized that he had the wrong impression of what it means to listen.
Like all of us, he’d been trained to pay attention to teachers and other authority figures, to gather information, to listen to what other humans told him was important. In other words, completely ignore the orchestra of life that literally surrounds us all. That night in a field changed everything. He dropped out of school, became a bike messenger and focused on one goal—to become a better listener. To actually take in what he calls our “solar-powered juke box.” His passion is recording sounds from around the world, everything from Sitka spruce logs (which sound like a violin) to thunder in the Kalahari Desert to dawn breaking around the world, including near me in Caney Creek, Kansas.
Which begs me to wonder, what else do I miss?
Yes, folks, life is singing to us, blessing us, even guiding us. All we gotta do is give up our assumptions and our narrow band of seeing and listening and believing. Here’s to being completely open to the tangled wild in 2o22. #222 Forever!
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World) that has just been turned into an app. Badass ACIM (badass-acim.com)
Hi Pam, I love your blog, have all your books and am working on switching my brain over to happy grateful thoughts. One thing I for which would be extremely grateful is if you could switch up the font you’re using to something I, and many others with not perfect vision, can see better! It seems across the internet the trend is for very thin, seemingly grey rather than black text and it is very difficult for some of us to read. I end up sometimes having to copy and paste an article into Notes so I can see it in a font I can read. Thank you! ❤️❤️❤️
Thanks, Donna. I’ll ask my web designer (I can’t believe I can say this since I’ve always done this whole thing myself until the wonderful Ioana volunteered to help me out.) https://glowupbranding.com/
Thank you for all the inspiration and encouragement!
You are amazing!
You are amazing, too! Thanks!
Bravo! I’ve been trying in earnest to develop this skill since moving to the foothills 20 years ago, and previously made sporadic attempts. I see room for improvement — opportunities missed in favor of slipping into worry and the like. But yes, the inner rewards make every effort to tune in more than merely worthwhile.
Yes, getting out each morning to listen to whatever nature is celebrating is so much fun!
Happy 2022 Pam! I know that this is your year:::or Taz’s year!! Lovely article as always!
Tell me, when you do ACIM, you do the original book or your own book ?
Love love and much more love from Cyprus 😘
I use both, believe it or not. Mine’s kinda more fun, but I figure it never hurts to consult the original source.
LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!!! I am on round 2, day 6 of ACIM . It’s even better the second time around! Your book, makes my day every day!! Brilliant lady 💕OX
And this comment makes my day! Thank you!!!
Somehow you always bring to my attention something I have forgotten or not enjoyed in a long time. Thank you for reminding me of all the love and wonderous sights and sounds of everyday life that is right there for me to reach out and experience!
Yes, I try to make living in wonder my default setting.
There is nothing like crickets and birds!! And the “semi” cicadas in Japan have this crazy loud hypnotizing series of dronelike notes in stereo surround in summer. Just walking around is like being in Nirvana!!
How about this for a mad and wondrous synchronicity? As I was reading your post it began to storm here with a vengeance, and right in the middle of me reading about Gordon Hempton lying in the field whilst a thunderstorm rolled over him, the thunder boomed over me!!! Bizarre and wonderful!! So yes, life is filled with magical music all around us if only we will pay attention and listen with our hearts as well as our ears. 💖🎼⛈May we all tune in and, as you said so superbly, “be completely open to the tangled wild in 2022” !! Amen! 😁💃🌷🍄🌝
Makes my heart sing.🥰
I have said it before and I’ll say it again you are truly inspirational
Awesome, Pam! And thanks to you, I’m interviewing Gordon for my book! 🙏✨✨✨
I can’t begin to explain how much I love this!!!!!
I am also restarting ACIM Pam Grout style. LOVE the idea of that level of listening. I’m going to take that as a challenge to myself in the year ahead. Thank you as always, Pam!
Happy New 2022 to you Pam! Thanks for this message and for the introduction to Gordon Hampton. I am listening right now to Atlantic Sunrise. So grateful for you, sending blessings.
Thank you Pam for this lovely message on this very cold day. I am trying to become a better listener!
Oh my this resonates(pun intended) so much with me Pam. I studies Science in University and read for facts and information. It wasn’t until years later that I learned to read for pleasure, without trying to find the facts. Listening to life and the sounds in it is a skill we need to relearn also, but so wonderful once established. Thank you so much for sharing!
What an amazing read! I love music, and my mother is a wonderful singer. I remember in childhood she used to sing lullabies for me, and it would instantly calm me. I felt so protected by her singing that I miss it even now. Your article reminded me of all the good days I spent with her in my childhood. It was very encouraging, inspiring, and a little bit nostalgic for me. Thanks a lot for sharing it with the readers. It was a great read!
Thank you so much for writing about acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton and his work. I have near me Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (Pear Par) and I’m going to take a walk in it and LISTEN to the sounds. Life is awesome, thanks for the reminder!