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Boundary or Itty-Bitty Box?

“Love is a built-in strength that’s far more effective than all the usual means of self-defense.”—D. Patrick Miller

It’s de rigueur these days to set boundaries. It’s okay for so and so to do this, but if he dares step over this self-imposed line in my sand, it’s curtains for him.

Here’s why I prefer to eliminate boundaries. Every person, no matter how they present on the outside, has dreams and wants to give love. And every person, unless they’re Jesus or Buddha or maybe Oprah Winfrey, also has their ugly parts, the parts that judge and want attention and do things that, on the outside, aren’t pleasant to be around.

But those traits are temporary, usually caused by some belief that involves their own safety as they perceive it to be.

Over and over again, I get proof that every living being (including birds and trees and ants) is much more complex than I can ever know. And for me to think I have enough information to make a judgement about really anything is a foolish conceit.

My mission, rather than to protect myself from what looks like some slight or wrong, is to stay open and draw out the truth, to feed the part, even if it seems invisible, that dreams and wants to give love.

I’m doing little things to prove that my judgments about others are limited. For example, there’s a waitress at a café I frequent that, in my less than magnanimous moments, I compare to a Nazi. My judgmental self  thinks she’s controlling and has used the pandemic to impose “her rules.” For a while, I avoided this restaurant and even shared a few anecdotes with my friends about her “unacceptable behavior.”

Until it occurred to me that I could be wrong. And that, if I treat her (and even think of her) as the loving, friendly, happy person she truly is, I would notice those qualities.

Now, I go there every chance I get, give her way bigger-than-necessary tips and am constantly treated to the medicinal properties of my own kindness.

Those boundaries that everyone thinks are so important not only limit the person I judge, but they lock me into a cramped box that’s getting more uncomfortable all the time.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to be released from all sense of threat, all tight places that limit me in any way.  Wishing you big, bounteous love and freedom in every area of your life. #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)

Tear it down and start again

“Culture is a plot against the expansion of consciousness.” ~ Terence McKenna

This is a page from an upcoming book featuring my gorgeous Taz. It’s called No Matter What, I Love You. It’s written by my friend, Laura Duksta and most of the proceeds go to support a children’s home in South Africa.

Early cultural programming trains us to “Be careful,” “Stay safe,” “Wait until conditions are just right.”

But in the meantime… “you should probably purchase this special program to lower stress, to become realized, to lose weight.

Sorry, culture, but I call B.S. We are not here to buy things. Or stay safe. And if we ever stopped long enough to truly appreciate the life force streaming through our very lungs, we’d know we are “already realized.”  It’s just hiding under all “the big people rules” we so faithfully follow.

My friend Cindy recently visited Quigley’s Castle in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Built in the 1940’s by Elise Quigley and family, this offbeat tourist attraction is not only eccentric and quirky and rife with all things I adore, but it shouts an important metaphysical truth.

Elise had been designing her dream house for nearly 15 years. She built an actual model of her “castle,” had a blueprint drawn up and even amassed the requisite building material including her extensive rock collection, her son’s marbles, petrified wood and a prehistoric deer hoof.  In the meantime, Elise, her husband Bud and their five kids lived in a lumber shack near Hogscald Hollow. Bud, who was busy working for the family lumber mill, kept promising that someday he’d build the house.

Finally one day in 1943, after Bud went to work, Elise and the kids moved all the family possessions out of the lumber shack and into the nearby chicken coop. They then proceeded to systematically disassemble the entire lumber shack, piece by piece. When Bud came home that night, “ye old family home” was stripped to the floor boards.

Construction on the new house began the next day.

We might chuckle at Elise’s chutzpah, but it’s also a surprisingly effective approach to life. Sometimes, you just gotta let go of the rules. You gotta strip antiquated conditioning straight down to the floorboards.

Take it from Elise Quigley. You don’t need to “avoid all risk….no matter what.” Or use your one-of-a-kind gifts to stay safe and support the culture’s GDP.

We are here on Planet Earth for one reason only: to create the good, the beautiful and the holy.

And, now, I will jump down from my soapbox.

Love you all. Have the best week of your life. #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)

We need your weird and wonderful

Shiver awake now at the doing of your dream.”–Bob Savino

In my book, Art & Soul, Reloaded, I share 52 anecdotes about well-known, successful artists who, like all of us, sometimes doubt themselves.

I called that section “You’re in Good Company” because it’s vital to know that artists who have “made it” are just as human, just as scared.

Steven Spielberg, even after winning countless Oscars, says he’s still insecure. Lady Gaga was dropped by her first record label after only three months. Saul Bellow’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Ironweed, was rejected by 13 publishers. Even Oprah got fired.

I love my collection of inspiring artist stories, but they’re especially useful when I’m about to go out with a new book proposal. Like Maya Angelou said, “Every time I sit down to write a new book, I think this is the time they’re finally going to find me out.”

Every artist has a story about how things could have been so different. How it all hinged on that one connection or that one wrong turn.

As a huge fan of Gary Larson (I just counted and I still have five of his Far Side cartoons thumb-tacked to the art wall in my office), I love the following story:

Larson was working in a music store, not exactly feeling “realized.” Sure, a Seattle magazine ran his quirky, one-panel comic, but he desperately wanted to quit his boring hourly job. He sent a collection of his work to several newspapers, hoping for a syndication deal.

While on vacation in San Francisco, before he heard back from any of his pitches, he approached the San Francisco Chronicle who bought it and sent it out for syndication. By the time he returned home, all dozen (or how many newspapers he’d initially pitched) had mailed back rejection letters. As he often mused, if he’d gotten those rejections before his vacation to San Fran, that would have been the end of the The Far Side.

So I don’t know who might need to hear this, but if you’re feeling like giving up for some reason, just know that you could be days or even hours away from things turning around.

Each of us has a blessing only we can give, a dream we so often push aside with some thought like, “Nah! I could never write or draw or start that business.”

Take it from me who, as I said in E-Squared, has gotten so many rejection letters I could have wall-papered the city of Cincinatti had they asked.

The world, no matter what your thoughts are telling you, wants and needs your gift. #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)

Tiny tweaks can reroute the flight pattern of your life

“If you trust life, it will surprise you and always give you good things.”— David Steindl-Rast 

Thank God I’m a writer, not a YouTuber, because the pronunciation of the word I want to write about today is way above my pay grade.

The word is arbejdsglaede. It’s a Scandinavian word that means work love and, as far as I can tell, there’s nothing like it in the English language.

In fact, I’ve heard an ugly rumor there are lots of non-Scandinavians who aren’t crazy about their jobs. Who don’t get excited when “The End” rolls on the screen of their weekend. I’ve also heard more heart attacks happen on Monday (again something to do with work) than any other day.

Since my chosen WORK (and that word never really cuts it for me, because well, arbejdsglaede) is the spontaneous expression of some thought that brings hope, that shines light on possibilities, I want to offer a different point of view.

I believe the reason my life has been 99 percent spectacular (including my career) is because that’s how I choose to see it. I expect to be dazzled. I expect my work to provide spiritual stimulation.  And I’ve proven over and over again that if I approach each day with that kind of expectation, that’s the kind of day (the kind of work, the kind of relationship) that’s likely to occur.

The reason it’s nearly impossible for me to distinguish work from play or my business life from my social life is because early on, I was blessed with the secret that that my appraisal of life affects its every aspect. #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)

Accelerating Now

“The moon is high and here I am.”—Bruce Springsteen

So I just listened to the five videos from Eckhart Tolle about “Conscious Manifestation.” I noted several interesting ideas.

Taz’s friend Molly took this lovely photo of moi.

Like me, he wrote down his intention to write the book that became “Power of Now.” Granted, he wrote his on a piece of paper and I wrote mine on a beach with a stick, but no one can argue that it didn’t work out for both of us.

He talked about an inner urging to share the ideas in his now-classic book, like somehow he sensed it was coming. His desire, he said, was to accelerate its manifestation. 

As I mentioned last week about the sunflowers in Plum Village that were in existence even before they blossomed, Tolle’s masterpiece was already an actuality, just not in material form.

Tolle also talked about the subtle distinction between two states of manifestation consciousness.

Don’t just BELIEVE you will receive whatever it is you’re attempting to manifest.

You have to KNOW you have already received it.

There’s a gaping difference. The first comes from a place of lack. The other comes from the fullness of who you really are: a powerful creator with all the resources and backing of the universe.

The other piece I related to was the acceleration. I feel a couple new projects picking up speed. As most of you know, I’ve been on a sort of self-imposed hiatus, maneuvering to regain my balance after the big shock of 2018. During my two weeks in the forest, I had a beautiful dream with a clear message that it was time to shift back into gear.  

In the dream, Taz and I were both visiting some giant resort. There were many others there, mostly strangers. And Taz and I would each go off and do our thing, visit with a friend, take a swim, etc. But we would always come back together. And it felt so peaceful, so right.  We both knew we were there for each other, that there was nothing to fret, nothing to worry about. And I woke up knowing in a whole new way that Taz and I have had many lives together, would likely have many more and that everything was right in the universe.

I’m not sure I could say that with conviction until now. Somehow that dream gave me permission to accelerate the new projects, to fully live this new reality.

So stay tuned, my friends. I’ve got some new projects on the horizon and, like Tolle said, I’m ready for acceleration. #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)

Kill the past and come back to life

For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”—Thich Nhat Hanh

You’ve probably heard about the cicadas, how large swaths of the U.S. (maybe other countries, too??) are about to be invaded by 1.5 million of them per acre. The thing that so intrigues me is how these wingless nymphs have existed for 17 frickin’ years, feeding on the sap of tree roots, just waiting for their big moment.

That incredible patience and timing is a useful metaphor for my own life and for my dreams of a world that works for all of us. It doesn’t always appear that we’re making progress or healing our divides or coming together like we could. The world’s biggest secret (that we all really love each other) often seems buried, like the cicadas, two feet underground.

That’s why those of us who know about the invisible energy realm must fall in love with things we can’t yet see with our eyes. It’s up to us to call forth a new world.

Yes, it’s daunting to focus on the cicadas-to-be or our visions for the future, but once we surrender the past (or kill it as the above headline, borrowed from a Pink Floyd song suggests), the new world can emerge.

Thich Nhat Hanh once wrote about the sunflowers of France’s Dordogne region where Plum Village is located.

“Visitors to Plum Village in April don’t see sunflowers,” he wrote. “But the local farmers see them clearly because they’ve plowed the earth, sown the seeds, spread the manure.

“When something has not yet manifested, we tend to think it’s in the realm of nonbeing and when it manifests, it’s in the realm of being.”

But it’s all one thing. We can’t wait to see the big yellow flowers to say they’re there. They exist, just like those cicadas, just like the items on your vision board, just like the love and possibilities we often suppress with our rigid armor of perception.

The words displayed on my dashboard (“Everything always works out for me”) are unfailingly true. Even when I can’t see it. And I remember, it’s only a matter of time. #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)

Receiving the frequency loud and clear

“Remind yourself that you are not the mind and that its problems are not yours.”—Sri Nisargadatta Mahara

You gotta love the Dude’s persistence. Even with our chatty minds constantly looking for problems and judging everything they see, The Dude still manages to make contact.

I’ve spent a couple weeks purposefully aware of The Dude as I’m out in a forest, far from most distractions. It never ceases to amaze how creative The Dude is in making Itself known. Like that picture on this post. I don’t know if you can see, but out in the middle of nowhere, in a place where few people go, I found a bounty of wild pink roses and two other colors of wildflowers, all in one place. It felt like a gift just for me.

I also want to share, since I’m eager to get back to listening to nature, a couple stories from the old inbox where the Dude (I’m so grateful He never gives up) was able to make contact. Enjoy!

  1. A week ago, I did one of your E-Cubed experiments while I was visiting my dad in his tiny town. I had so much fun, distributing notes with $5 attched. I felt more happy and relaxed about money than I had done in a long time. The result was simply outstanding. I was expecting an inheritance from my aunt and didn’t know how much it would be. This morning $114,000 landed in my bank account. Wow!! Wow! Wow! I wasn’t expecting that but I’m so happy and excited to receive it. Now I really know the Universe has my back.

2. “A couple of weeks before your girl left this planet my son also left very unexpectedly, only in his early 20’s I was in shock at first, then hysterical and then unable to even think.

“I found myself sitting at the kitchen table late one night when I said out loud, Jake please just let me know you are ok, that you’re still here. In that instant all the lights in my house went out. I was even stupid enough to go out and check the fuse box which was just fine. He kindly left the power points working so I could turn on a lamp and boil the kettle. I almost phoned an electrician but I couldn’t bear anyone in my home at the time. I waited three whole days before I finally sat back at the table and said, ok ok Jake I know it’s you. And the lights came back on. All the hairs on my arms stood up. It’s also the day I stopped crying. I was still so sad because I missed him so much but it gave me a peace I had never had before. For the first time I truly knew we never die.

“I felt guilty telling most people because they wanted to see a hysterical grieving parent but although I was still sad I was at peace. Not long after I saw you had a daughter who had also passed and it was very comforting to read your thoughts especially at times when I’d forget the truth.”

3. The last story comes from yesterday’s possibility posse. Yes, I was able to Zoom in from the forest. One of the members was riding their bike on the Lawrence trail (that “just happens” to be 22.2 miles long) when they noticed their patootie was sore. At that moment, they looked down and saw a padded, comfort bicycle seat, discarded and ready to use.

I’m telling you folks. Despite what your asshat mind tries to tell you, the universe is bountiful and waiting for you, like E.T., to phone home. #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)

Fill the world with gladness

“Writing down one thing you are grateful for each day is the cheapest possible therapy ever.”–Kevin Kelly

With all the world’s seeming issues, it can be hard to decide what to take on first. Should I contribute to the food bank? Should I march for peace?

It seems to me that the above headline, about filling the world with gladness is about as good a place to start as any.

Can you imagine if every person on the planet was filled with wonder, with gratitude? If every person spent their time noticing the extravaganza of trees and birdsong and stars that are available free of charge at every moment of every day?

I even wondered at yesterday’s possibility posse, when discussing strategies for getting kids to do chores, “what if parents modeled loving gladness when doing THEIR chores?” It’s only a learned cultural program that some things are fun to do and others aren’t. It’s us who give cues on how to react to things, how to “do life.”

Today’s Course lesson promises that every time we channel Elvis and say, “Thank you. Thank you very much,” it multiplies. It’s given back to us, it says, a thousand times and then a hundred thousand times more. Talk about compound interest.

Nature photographer Camille Seaman, who gained notoriety in 2003 for her photographs of the Arctic Ocean, said while watching the news after 9/11, “Where are the stories about how beautiful this life is?”

Her grandfather, a native Shinnecock, made her and her cousins sit outside every day for at least an hour. He’d ask, “What did you learn?” He’d point at clouds and say, “See that cloud up there? It’s made of your perspiration. And some day it will water this garden.” His great wisdom started her on the road of recognizing how connected we all are—not only to each other, but to clouds and water and the whole circle of life.

But the story that really got to me was when she was learning to surf. A friend took her out into the ocean, gave her a couple instructions and then abandoned her. Or that’s what she thought. She swam back to shore, livid that he would leave her in danger like that. And he told her something she never forgot. “It is only you who can learn to manage your fear.”

So she went back out on that surfboard and every time a fear would rear it’s ugly head, she asked this all-important question. “But is it happening now?”

She’d think, I could be gobbled up by a shark. And then ask herself, “But is it happening now?” And then a thought like, “I could get pulled under by a tidal wave” or “This heavy board could knock me unconscious.” And again she’d ask, “But is it happening now?”

It’s such a profound question and the perfect way to discover that, right now, in this moment gladness is here, waiting for me to notice, waiting for me to use its profound power to fill the world. #222 Forever

And FYI, here’s my latest podcast interview

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)

No effort, no thought, no will

“Why are we not always and forever, in every moment, overwhelmed by the miracle of the world?—Jeff Vandermeer

On my metaphorical vision board, I have four intentions, all of which came straight from the pages of A Course in Miracles.

I’ve shared them before, but since my squirrely mind can always use a refresher, I’ll list them again:

*Peace of mind

*Surety of purpose

*Clear, unmistakable guidance

*Unceasing joy

As you can imagine, that last intention took a rather startling hit when my gorgeous, brilliant, perfect daughter died suddenly of a cerebral aneurysm. Sometimes, I still can’t believe it.

But what I’ve come to realize (and there ARE certain advantages to having a spiritual correspondent on what’s mistakenly called “the other side”) is that the only thing that ever causes suffering is a belief in separation and limits. When I recognize that the very essence of Taz, me and everyone that’s currently starring in a body is an invisible consciousness that never ceases to be, it’s a lot easier to follow along with the Course lessons which today happens to be: God’s will for me is perfect happiness.

I know. It’s probably the most confrontational of all the Course’s promises.

But over and over again, I get confirmation that eternal connection, love and joy are bottom line truth including tonight’s super moon that happens to be pink and happens to be exactly 222 thousand miles from earth. It peaks tonight at 10:33 my time and you better believe, I’ll be out communing with it, dancing to it and celebrating the fact that happiness, peace, purpose and guidance are not achieved by effort or thought or will. They just are. All of us already have all these attributes.

Our minds like to dispute this fact, to continually try to “make things better.” But when we rest in full moons, eternal truth and perfect happiness, we come to realize that nothing needs to be done, nothing is out of place. All is well, awaiting our recognition. #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)

The wisdom of woo-woo

“I am what I pay attention to. I literally surrender my life force to it.”—Becca Brewer

In the corner of my living room sits a small black rock given to me by a bare-chested medicine man from the Cook Islands.

“Pa,” as he is known, plucked it out of a jungle river in the South Pacific Island, handed it to me and said, “Put this in the north corner of your living room and you’ll become a millionaire.”

I drink water from a blue glass bottle that I set outside in the sun to purify. This suggestion comes from Dr. Hew Len (the ho’oponono guy) who says “blue solar water” removes recurring and no-longer useful data running in my subconscious.

And I believe that every single hedgehog that shows up on the first of every month is sent to me by my precious Taz.

Admittedly, these techniques are rather unorthodox, definitely not something my accountant or my doctor would prescribe.

I follow them because I happen to know that reality is fluid and that wherever I put my mind, my finances, my body and my life will follow.

Beliefs and expectations are SO powerful that placebos (fake treatments like sugar pills, saline injections, and sham surgery) cause bald men to grow hair, high blood pressure to drop, ulcers to heal, dopamine levels to increase and even tumors to shrink. And although pharmaceutical companies would rather keep this on the down low, placebos relieve symptoms on par with real medication. Actual biochemical changes in the body make you wonder–—or it should—how “factual” facts really are?

So, yes, there are people who call me crazy, think I’m too woo-woo for drinking blue solar water and placing exotic black rocks in my home. But I don’t care.  I’m rather proud that I use the luminous superpower of my thoughts and beliefs to imagine, expand and create.

And while the verdict’s still out on the blue water (I DO notice I’m less and less interested in all sorts of cultural expectations), Pa’s rock, which I carried home in my suitcase, was added to my living room just a few months before E-Squared hit No#1`on the New York Times bestseller list, right before it was translated into some 40 languages.

I was visiting the Cook Islands for this travel assignment.

As Harvard researcher, Ellen Langer likes to say, “It is not our physical state that limits us. It is our mind-set about our own limits, our perceptions that draws the lines in the sand.” #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)

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