“It’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”–Bertrand Russell
British author Terry Pratchett once remarked that while most of us believe people (authors, poets, filmmakers) create stories, the truth is just the opposite.
Stories create people.
The stories we believe about ourselves and about the world shape us into the people we become. If we believe life is full of problems, we spend our lives solving problems. If we believe we are separate and alone, we fail to enjoy the deep connectedness in all of life.
The stories that wreak the most havoc are the subtle, cultural ones we don’t even realize we’ve subscribed to. The inherited perceptions we believe are absolute truth, unalterable, just the way it is.
As anyone who reads my work knows, I’m all about capsizing engrained stories. It’s the mission of the Taz Grout 222 Foundation. It’s why I begged my publisher to turn the pages of E-Cubed upside down. It’s my deepest prayer—that humanity will be released from all false stories of lack and fear.
In India, I experienced a completely overturned story that I will be musing about for the rest of my life. ServiceSpace that invited me to the Moved by Love retreat operates solely on the gift economy. That means everything is given out of love. There’s nothing transactional. Ever.
It’s so far removed from the accepted narrative that when I tried to pitch a story about it, my editor at People magazine couldn’t wrap her mind around it. “But how does it work?” she kept asking until finally concluding it had to be a fairytale and that I was missing something.
To be at the retreat was to witness insatiable generosity day after day, to enter a field where it’s safe to let your guard down, safe to wonder if, “Maybe this depth of kindness and care is actually human nature?”
It’s impossible to put this kind of experience into words. Words, after all, are a way of stopping possibility. Once you name something, it becomes that thing—no longer fluid, no longer bubbling with potential. It becomes difficult to “see” it any other way.
To state one small example: a tree. Is it simply a plant? A green blob with a brown stem (something kindergartners regularly draw)? Or, according to the capitalist story, a product we exploit for our own needs?
What if trees are trying to help us? I met several people at the retreat who regularly converse with trees including a prominent politician from Austria who finally left politics to do something he feels can better change the world. A Japanese calligraphy artist told the story of walking into a forest and having a particular tree say to her, “Hi! I’m Greege.” I think I might have the name wrong, but the tree definitely introduced itself and she has since met trees in three other locales (the California redwoods, for one) that she has introduced to each other. She and I decided we’d keep in touch by sending messages through trees from our respective homes across the planet.
All I know is that life is intertwined, interdependent and radiant with love.
We may think we’re trying to get something (a better job, more love, a bigger social media following), but the rock bottom truth is all we really want — the only thing we’ve ever wanted — is to give, to serve and to love with every fiber in our body.
Gifts keep pouring into my life including the opportunity to participate in this online “Be Your Valentine” fundraiser with all proceeds going to the Taz Grout 222 Foundation. Click here for the deets if you’re interested:
Have an amazingly awesome weekend, my loves. #222 Forever!
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).
I love this, Pam!! Thank you for this gift!!
Fantastic! Your messages and insights are such a joy.
I love to bring home rocks for my enjoyment and for use in my science classroom. When I do, I always ask their permission, as some are in quite lovely places. After I ask, I “listen” for yes or no from the rock. And yes, often I leave them behind. But many rocks love the idea of travel to a new place and being useful to students. I also tell my students what I do, and I get very little pushback on it. Even from high school kids.
I’ve yet to feel communication from stones, but my best friend does. She’ll pick one up and say “Oh, feel this!” And I stand there stupidly and say “It feels like a rock.” But I don’t doubt it because plants and trees talk to me. I love the respectful way you treat the rocks.
I have had many wonderful, wild experiences communicating with trees, not enough space to share them all here. The most amazing was one winter morning I asked my tree buddy if they feel fear and sadness as their leaves drop, or do they know spring is coming. The tree whispered in my mind “We know deeply that we will return. Just like you do. You seem to wither and die, but there is always a rebirth.” At that time, I had no real opinion about reincarnation. It stunned me. Houseplants can be chatty, they all love Reiki treatments, one even asked for “More please.” Oh yeah, and a tree once helped us find the perfect apartment. And more . . .
Love this piece, Pam!
..the rock bottom truth is all we really want — the only thing we’ve ever wanted — is to give, to serve and to love with every fiber in our body.
YES, YES, and YES!
You writing always inspires me! Thank you!
Pam, thanks for sharing about your experience in India; I wanted to immediately sign up to this…who are the people ‘how did you hear about us’…why isn’t your name on there? Just checking…😌🙏
Your messages always seem to come when I need to hear them the most. Thank you!
I LOVE the tree stories!! I haven’t yet “heard” a tree speak to me but I feel a deep connection with trees and have always felt they are more than just a beautiful and necessary plant. They feel like beings to me. So thanks for sharing the lovely and “unbelievable” tree stories, and for reminding us that life is so much more than what our beliefs and perceptions tell us, and that being and sharing who we are with love is what life is all about. Have a fabulous weekend yourself dear Pam! 🌳🥰🌲
Pam, I am now reading “Humankind” by Rutger Bergman. He speaks at great length about how deep down we humans are loving beings and he gives lots of scientific data to support this view. I think you and he are on the same page!
Love this Pam, keep doing this, we all need this, love todays ACIM it goes along with this love note you have graced us with.
Above all else I want to see. ✌️& ❤️
I have had the notion that trees are speaking to me , I just need to listen closely and learn their language.
So great to hear your inspiring thoughts after a tough week!
All I can think of right now is THANK YOU!!
God love you, Pam, for sharing the insights that are pouring through you. It’s been happening for me, too. When I first began to read books about the law of attraction, “i” had no idea that the content could lead to a much deeper dimension of life. It has…and I’m profoundly grateful. 🙏🏻🧡
Welcome back Pam! Gosh this trip to India must have been been pure soul food for your heart, mind and body!
Until now I never heard a plant whispering my name but loving the outdoors and walking through nature, I will shut off my constantly chatting brain and listen to the latest forest gossip 🙂 xx
Thanks for this post , for me come in the exactly right time . Its a gift
Thank you Pam! Your Badass ACIM has changed my life. For YEARS I tried several times to get into “The Big Blue Book” and it fell flat as a pancake. Your real world language and slightly (or not so slightly) irreverent approach finally helped me to clearly see and hear the TRUTH!