The continuing dress rehearsal in my head


“I’m thinking about naming my first son Emmy so I can say I’ve got one. I want Emmy, Oscar and Tony – and my daughter Grammy.”- Noah Wyle
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Alessia Cara, the 21-year-old Canadian pop singer who just won the Grammy for Best New Artist, is living proof of one of my top ten maxims: “We animate into our lives whatever we put our attention upon.”

The night of her big win, when she strode to the stage to accept her award, she said, “Holy cow. I’m shaking. I’ve been pretend-winning Grammys since I was a kid, like in my shower.”

So what I want to know is “what are you rehearsing?” In your head. In your shower. In your everyday thoughts.

If you can’t answer right away, just look around. Look at where you are. Look at what you have.

That, my friend, is what you’ve been rehearsing.

In ACIM Lesson 37, we rehearse a statement that will upgrade every single thing in your life: My holiness blesses the world.


My purpose, the Course tells me, is to see the world through my holiness. To see it through the beauty Cara sings about in her hit, “Scars to Your Beautiful.”

Until I fully realize that I am holy, completely, 100 percent whole, I will still believe in (and therefore see) sacrifice. Until I learn to bless the world, to see through the eyes of gratitude, there will continue to be a “payment” involved. Either from myself (“I need to try harder”) or from someone else (“It’s not fair what that creep did to me”).

And here’s the real kicker. From the perception of problem (even the tiniest complaint), I will continue to see loss. And I will have no idea that my lack of gratitude, my lack of blessing, my lack of wholeness is the cause.

So today, I embrace my holiness and know that my great joy is to bless the world.

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.

Lasering love with the Holy S

“Call everyone to your table of kindness.”–Majayablast

I’m on travel assignment this week in Quebec, Canada. I’ll be skiing, dog sledding, wolf-watching, ice fishing and lasering love to every person I see.

One of the things I love most about the Course is I can do it anywhere. The trick is to not get hung up on doing it right, on having to meet every fool deadline.

The only requirement is to remember the truth about who I am: a powerful love lasering machine.

Lesson 36 is: My holiness envelops everything I see.

So today, I will remember that I affect everything with the energy I emit. My job is to  ramp up the love and know unseen forces are taking care of everything else.

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.

Ditch the commandments. Join the party

“Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance.” ― Oprah Winfrey 12 dance

According to Beto Perez, the creator of Zumba, more than 15 million people in more than 180 countries Zumba every week.

Why?

Because it’s easy (“I wanted it to be something my mother could do,” Beto says) and it’s fun (Fun equals lasting behavioral change, he also says).

In fact, the ultimate goal of any Zumba class is to feel the FEJ.

It stands for freeing, electrifying joy. And that’s what happens when you dance uninhibited to hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo.

You may be wondering what Zumba has to do with ACIM Lesson 35: My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.

Zumba went from obscure dance class in Cali, Colombia to worldwide phenomena for one simple reason. A marketing genius transformed it from have-to (I’ve got to go exercise) into I-cannot-WAIT-to.

Unlike Zumba, God and being holy has a major PR problem. It’s the last place most people would turn to find freeing and electrifying joy. Church, crucifixes, penance. I mean, who needs it?

Even worse, as someone once said, “I have nothing against God. It’s his fan club to which I take exception.”

So I propose a new way of looking at God. Not only have I changed the name (The Dude. The Field of Infinite Potentiality. The Divine Buzz are just a few I’ve been known to use), but I tell anybody who will listen that the real God (not the God invented by man, fabricated for the sake of control) is the coolest, the most fun, the most direct path to FEJ I’ve ever found.

Or as Beto Perez says,

“Magic happens when your inhibitions (or old school beliefs ) go out the window.”

“If you happen to get lost, just shake your booty.”

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.

Reset your frequency

“May I waste my heart on fear no longer.”—John O’Donohueeye

Ask anyone. It’s our eyes that enable us to see.

A Course in Miracles begs to differ. It tells me that what I see is a choice. The visual details received and processed by my eyes are a direct result of my thoughts and beliefs.

ACIM Lesson 34 is “I could see peace instead of this.”

My perception of the world, it tells me, comes from my mind.

And while I’d never dream of walking into a department store, picking out the ugliest dress and taking it to counter, I have to wonder why I sometimes pick the ugliest thought and not only carry it to the counter, but put it on (complete with matching shoes) and “wear it” for hours at a time.

My thoughts are like a stream—they just keep on floating by. I’m the only one who can pick which ones to collect in my bucket. Today, I think I’ll let them keep floating and choose to have an extraordinarily epic day instead.

Have the best Saturday of your lives, my friends!

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.

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.

We are all Thomas Edison

“There is no beginning. There is no end. There is only the infinite passion of life.”- Federico Fellini

chickenIn the quantum world, there’s no such thing as absolutes. No one reality is truer than any other.

When the observer gets involved, starts looking for certain things, a material world begins to coagulate around their beliefs.

 

ACIM Lesson 32 talks quantum: I have invented the world I see.

So I have to ask myself, do I want to invent a world out of my complaints?

Or do I want to invent a world of oneness and joy and peace?

The world being presented today is based on fear. It’s based on the belief that everything is out to get us: our politicians, our food, our bodies (which we examine regularly for breakdowns in yearly checkups), other countries, even our lovers, whom we’ve been warned to examine for signs that “he’s just not that into us.”

Every news report, every commission, every political speech, every self-help book is based on our unending fascination with “what’s wrong.” We take pills, we buy energy drinks, we twist ourselves into yoga poses, we chant, we meditate, we pray to some nebulous deity in a fruitless search to correct all the wrong in our lives. Or the wrong we’ve been warned is coming.

History books are filled with lurid recountings of war, famine, and political unrest. As Patch Adams once joked, “Where’s the party chapter?”

The Course tells us that by treating, analyzing, and working so diligently to annihilate problems, we give them the power to govern us. By exercising such extreme efforts to “avoid” our inevitable demise, we actually facilitate the very demise we’re hoping to avert.

So today, we acknowledge that we “made this world up” and we commit to using our brilliant inventor minds–not to complain or winge or look for problems–but to envision a luminous, happy, beautiful world for everyone.

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.

There’s a party going on right here

“A miracle is the answer to any problem.”—Marianne Williamsonducky

A Course in Miracles has lots of pages, lots of words, but it boils down to this: once we relinquish our old thought system, love becomes our M.O. and miracles and blessings are all we see.

As we let go of the creaky, has-been thought system that’s currently playing out on our planet, we move…

From fear to love.

From problem state to possibility state.

From limitations to absolutely anything can happen.

And it starts with getting Lesson 31: I am not the victim of the world I see.

The world out there is a result of the world in here. I hope you see my pointing at my head.

Once I let go of my belief (my thought system) that whatever problem seems to be plaguing me is ABSOLUTE TRUTH, a bigger picture (also known as a miracle) can emerge.

Since I happen to be a trained journalist (or as I’ve been known to joke, a member of the world’s largest terrorist organization), I decided to prove my point by reporting the following stories that recently dropped into my inbox:

1. Problem: Missing wallet

“I just finished E2 about 2 minutes ago. I just wanted to say thank you for changing my life (no big deal lol)

“I had lost my wallet for 5 days. I went on and on about it. Even my 2-year old was walking around saying, “Mommy lost her wallet”

“Finally after complaining for the millionth time about the horror of replacing my credit card (1st world problems), I smashed my finger and split my nail open.

“So I think to myself, what’s the message. And with my new found dose of adrenaline, the voice came in clear: “Have you not learnt a *!** thing?”

“You’re right” I silently replied

“So I went to the kitchen with my daughter, took out some paper and drew a picture of Mommy and Lo finding the wallet. I wrote a little story about how we would do a ducky dance.

“Five minutes later, the wallet reveals itself and we danced like ducks.”

2. Problem: Missing the bus to work

“I felt moved to add to your mountain of emails. I work at a library and accidentally sent a book to the wrong shelf. In tracking it down I noticed “Thank & Grow Rich” and decided to check it out. On the very day I decided to do your 30-day exercise, I was shocked to see one of the inspirational readers I use every day reaffirming your philosophy with, “If I fill this moment with gratitude, the next moment can’t help but bring blessings.”

“After doing my first AA 2.0 (note to reader: it’s a gratitude program I write about in Thank & Grow Rich), I was rushing through the snow to the bus stop, only to see the bus cruise past my stop and head on without me. I decided not to see it as problem or the end of the world.

“Then the weirdest thing happened. The bus slowed down, stopped, and BACKED UP toward me! I had never had that happen before. “Don’t tell anyone!” the driver told me, smiling. He had backed up to a gap in the snow banks, so I could easily board. The gratitude exercise was a great start to the day, and every day since. Thank you and I look forward to more blessings to share!”

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.

The Divine Buzz and Me: A Love Story

“A feeling of peace and well-being spread through her veins.”—Ann Patchett
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While brunching on Saturday, my friend Judy asked if I was up for an experiment. She has been using psychologist Arthur Aron’s 36 questions. It’s a device, according to an essay in the New York Times’ Modern Love column, for accelerating intimacy.

I think I surprised us both with my answer to question 4: What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

Typical answers include things like being at the beach, sipping drinks with umbrellas, getting massaged.

I said (and I was as surprised as Judy) that my perfect day had nothing to do with activities or events. It has to do with my head space, with feeling the Divine Buzz that, at times, almost overwhelms me. I’m not even sure how to describe it. A sense of joy, a sense of life’s fierce beauty. It’s almost like I could spontaneously combust with sheer rapture.

When those days (well, more like minutes of some days) happen, it matters not what I’m doing.

Believe me, I’ve had many of the “perfect days” promoted by the marketing machine—exotic vacations, five-star hotels, mountaintop lodges. But nothing compares to being on the frequency of joy and gratitude.

The perks we think we want are cool. I’m often astonished by the things I’m invited to do as a travel writer. But those things don’t guarantee happiness or “perfect days.” I was once miserable on a safari in the jungles of Brazil. My head was wanting to be back home. My thoughts were judgy, insecure, lost.

The only requirement for a perfect day is having a happy mind. ACIM Lesson 30 says: God is in everything I see because God is in my mind. It talks about joining with what you see rather than keeping it apart. It promises that the world will open up before you and you’ll see what you’ve never seen before.

I call it the Divine Buzz and I’m grateful for every moment I allow myself to feel it.

Here’s to having a “perfect day,” my friends.

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.

Question authority

“You know you got it if it makes you feel good.”–Janis Joplin
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The first thing I learned in journalism school is “question your source.” Is the source reliable? Knowledgable? Are the “facts” being presented scientifically-provable?

This standard journalistic practice is especially useful when deciding which of the voices in the chorus of your head to listen to.

In ACIM Lesson 29, we learn God is in everything I see.

Feel free to substitute my word (field of infinite potentiality or FP) or make up one of your own. Love, I’ve found, works like a champ.

But if it’s absolute fact that God, love, the FP is in everything, why do I see pain and dysfunction? Why am I afraid?

When thoughts like this arise, it’s time to question your source. Who is this voice that screams, “Get me out of here. Make this stop.”

For me, it’s always my own made-up story. It’s my cultural programming. It’s definitely not love or infinite potentiality.

As Mary Karr jokes, when she listens to her made-up story (as opposed to the truth of love), she wants to “snort cocaine and make out with the FedEx guy.”

Today, I choose to see love in everything. If the chatty asshat starts yammering, as its wont to do, I will question the source and realize that if it doesn’t feel good, it’s just–as Faulkner calls it–my little postage stamp of reality and not the truth.

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.

When the universe starts saying, “Hey, Girl!”

“There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”–Jawaharlal Nehru

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The Course in Miracles not only upsets the apple cart of our old paradigms, but it enlists a whole new team of horses.

It demonstrates that we, at all times, are interacting with the universe. With our thoughts and beliefs, we’re having a two-way conversation with God.

And that’s where the miracles begin.We start getting guidance. We start noticing signs.

When we commit to wanting to see things differently, as ACIM Lesson 28 advises, the guidance and the blessings start to show up. Or rather we become open enough to notice.

In E-Cubed, I told the story about Sue Monk Kidd who, when seeking guidance about whether or not to become a writer, had a bee follow her all over a convent in Crete, Greece.

It was the sign she needed to go home and finish her international bestseller, Secret Life of Bees.

In E-Squared, I mentioned Michael Beckwith who, before he became a powerful New Thought minister, had a few doubts about his calling. He asked point-blank, “Look, God, if you’re listening, if this is what you really want for me, have that windmill point in my direction.”

Even though it was a windy day and the windmill was spinning very fast in the other direction, no sooner did he say that than the windmill stopped rotating on its normal axis and pointed straight at him.

I get stories in my inbox every day from people telling me remarkable stories about signs, guidance and blessings from the universe.

Yesterday, I got an email from a filmmaker who had just read the story about Michael Beckwith. He asked a question and requested a sign. His dog Lala, who never barks, stood up, barked (for the first time in her life), turned around and laid back to sleep.

The universe has been dropping hints, sending paper airplanes forever.

As we commit to, above all else, see things differently, those signs and blessings can finally get through.

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.