Uplifting the Planet, One Dance at a Time

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance–Martha Graham 00001f

Two days ago, I woke up discouraged and lethargic. The crazy uncle in my head was concocting a major soap opera. Act I: Woe is Me, starring Pam Grout. Act II: We’re all going to die.

And then, during the commercial break, I remembered: “Oh yea, you’re a Course in Miracles student. This is the time to ask for a miracle. This is when you ask J.C. and the Holy S to replace the grievance in your head with true perception. I uttered a hesitant, mousy “Help!”

I turned to my phone (not normally recommended for escaping soap operas) and there, awaiting me on Twitter, was Jack Black dancing in his skivvies, cowboy boots and cowboy hat. He called his masterpiece a “Stay-at-Home” dance. It was the exact miracle I needed.

I immediately shared on Facebook, proclaiming his gift to the world a more potent morning pick-me-up than my A.A. 2.0 program.

So thank you, Holy S! Thank you, true perception! And especially thank you, Jack Black, for reminding me that one of the best ways to serve the planet is to get on a higher energetic frequency. Especially right now. Those of us who know about the power of consciousness, who know it’s our energetic vibration that creates the framework for our lives owe it to the world to radiate glee, joy and well, goofiness.

In recognition of this truth, the directors of the 222 Foundation (Taz and me) convened and decided to offer a new challenge for changing the current consciousness of the planet. To reiterate our mission, we believe all people long to be generous and create beautiful things, we believe all humans are interconnected (even when they’re home alone) and we believe tiny actions have great significance.

00001gRight now, for example, I’m enjoying the notes and pictures from the Random Acts of Money project we funded in Snohomish, Washington. The inimitable Kimmy Rhoads, who pitched the project, is turning money into art, adding encouraging notes and changing people’s lives.

Speaking of changing lives, the Taz Grout 222 Foundation is offering $222 to the charity of choice to the first 22 daring dancers who are willing to post a video of their own Stay-at-Home Dance. Maybe you want us to reward your local food bank? Your free health center? Your community art center?

Post your dance here or on FB, Twitter or Instagram. Tag the @TazGrout222Foundation. Just make sure to send a link in the comments below. Weird costumes are encouraged.

For those who are thinking, you want me to do what?$%!!!!, I offer this video interpretation of my own interpretation of Jack Black’s now viral dance. I look forward to seeing your creations!!!

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).

Just another day to love and serve

“It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.”—Tom Stoppard 00001e

Medical peeps are doing their thing. Delivery services, grocery stores and governments are doing theirs.

My “thing” has always been overturning consensus reality. Offering a story that’s different than what we’ve long believed. Some people call these miracles.

At very least, these stories beg the question: Is it really true things are scary now? Is it really true we’re in danger?

Things aren’t always as they appear. A Course in Miracles, in fact, proposes a revolutionary overhaul of ALL our beliefs. It wages an outright challenge to the fundamental nature of reality.

For those who are reading along in my new ACIM book, you probably noticed today’s lesson tells the story of SARK who, after affirming “Miracle find me now,” was walking in San Francisco, where she lives, and six $100 bills floated down to her out of nowhere.

But that’s impossible, consensus reality insists.

But is it really?

In my world, “impossible things” happen all the time. Here are three recent examples:

1. A new friend of mine, also a Course student, knows that nothing real can ever be lost, that nothing that’s truly ours can ever be gone.  A few years ago, she seemed to have lost a treasured ring. It had been her grandmother’s ring and, well, she really, really loved it. A few weeks ago, she walked into her apartment and there, lying on the rug by the front door, was her grandmother’s ring. Two years, guys!

2. Just this morning, I was talking to my long-time friend from Florida. She worked part-time for awhile at Whole Foods and couldn’t help but notice the tattoos and many hues of her younger co-workers’ hair. She decided it might be fun to have purple hair. She has always been a manifesting maestro, but even I was surprised when she told me that, out of the blue**, her hair started turning purple. Her powerful thoughts alone turned her hair purple. And, no, she didn’t dye it.

3. Lisa Natoli, my Omega co-leader for the “All Heaven Will Break Loose” workshop, says unexpected money is coming to her like crazy. For example, she just received a several hundred-dollar check from Kohl’s. Out of the blue.** As she said, “I haven’t stepped foot in Kohl’s for five or six years.” If you haven’t read her FB post about “Coronavirus being no different than anything else,” you should definitely check it out here.

I know there’s a lot of messaging out there that makes the world seem less than miraculous. But just remember, my friends, that most of what we hear about the economy,  our health, about life in general is a story. It’s a malleable, ever-changing story. And we have the power to change it.

As I often say on Fridays, “Have the very best weekend of your life.” It is, after all, up to you.

**Another synonym for God

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).

The two magic words, a review

Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it.”—Thaddeus Golas 00001d

As our world is being rearranged, as the old ways are crumbing, it’s wildly important to be exceedingly kind to yourself. To repeat, again and again, the two magic words: “It’s okay.”

If you haven’t taken a shower in 3 days, it’s okay.

If you feel scared, it’s okay.

If you haven’t accomplished a single thing from your to-do list, it’s okay.

If you haven’t taught your kids a single math problem, it’s okay.

No matter what.

No matter what is happening, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s okay.

No matter how you feel, no matter how you think, it’s okay.

The Truth about ourselves lies beneath the train of thoughts plowing through our minds. And it’s still rock solid.

It can’t be changed by our panic, our judgments, our anger, all of which are normal, everyday antics of our minds. And they’re okay. It’s all okay.

Today, as I learn to be gentle with myself, I find there’s no need to do anything. But breathe.

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).

Reboot your spirit: a guest post

“Joy is not an escape from reality’s hard edges, not a privilege of the few or a luxury to be allowed once the hard work is done. It’s a life-giving, resilience-making human birthright.”—Krista Tippett 00001c

I loved this essay by a friend of mine who describes himself as “Holder of lots of jobs, author, coach, nice guy.” I asked Dunn (see his bio below) if I could share here on the blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

A Perspective on All This

Sometimes God gets to call a time out, and while high school coaches get either 30 or 60 seconds, the Man gets as long as He needs, as long as it takes.

Why this? Why now? To me, something had to do it and if not now, when? And if not this, then what? We’ve been crippled before – we survived Ebola and Y2K – and we’ll never forget the days of September 11th.

Still, I recall September 12th, when perfect strangers hugged on the streets, when there were two-minute standing ovations to the National Anthem when the games began again. Now, as I’ve written, some don’t even bother to stand anymore.

For some reason, we were chosen – we were the winning sperm cells – we get to play. We’ve enjoyed piano recitals and 4th of July celebrations, competing win, lose, or draw. We’ve got to cry good tears and bad – fair and unfair – and quite frankly, we get to participate. I have to let that sink in as I write it – for some reason, we GET to participate!

We appreciated all this after 9-11 – for a while – and then we became a phone-staring culture – Screenagers as great writer Tom Greene wrote. We spent all this time doing and doing and doing and waiting for our next email while the world went unappreciated and our souls got corroded in the process.

I sit now in an empty school – not one student in here that needs to get a copy made, or to go to the bathroom, not one kid is flirting with another, there’s that lethal silence where there’s supposed to be slamming lockers, chirping voices, a Smart Board delivering some message.

We are on our knees – it’ll probably get worse before it gets better. Obviously, it’s time we take care of our bodies, though I contend it’s time to take care of our souls. I sit in an empty classroom, waiting in wonderful impatience for the next time 22 kids pile in here – all filled with piss and vinegar and life and dates and agendas.

I write crippled as you are – on my knees and with scabs that are getting worse. But I still write in gratitude. We have survived before. We will survive again. Life is here and for some reason, we were chosen to play.

Okay, so who the hell am I? Do I think I’m God’s gift? Yes, I do. And SO ARE YOU! Damn it, SO ARE YOU!

It’s time we appreciate that fact, take care of it, mentally and physically.

And in closing, I picture the day – not far away – when these halls refill, priceless smiles everywhere, the sounds of laughter replacing this God-awful silence.

I love that thought. And I choose to love this life.

Today, I’ll reboot my spirits instead of my computer. And I can’t wait to see you all again, cellphones be damned…Dunn, James Dunn

Dunn Neugebauer is the author of two books – Funny Conversations with God, and Rock Bottom, Then Up Again (and other spiritual essays). He lives and works in Atlanta as a Sports Information Director, Upper School sub, cross country and track coach, and football announcer. When not at school, he reads, writes, runs, and works crossword puzzles for sanity sakes.

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).

Nothing can hurt the real you

“Control your own mind. Or somebody else will.”—Tony Robbins 00001b

Thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been using to keep me from jumping on the fear train.

1. Needless to say, I turn to A Course in Miracles where I’m assured that my claim to miracles is not dependent on the rituals of medicine, economics, religion, government, etc. I get miracles for free because of who I am, because of what (not who) the Dude is. And I remember my mantra:  I could see peace instead of this.

2. I practice gratitude. For example, how cool is it that, right now, all that is not essential is being stripped away. Who can even look at ads for tanning beds or smart wash carpet cleaners?

Although Greta Thunberg got a jump on most of us when she refused to comply with society’s accepted structures (school, business as usual, etc), she was basically saying what we’re all being shown right now.

Our culture and its dominant messaging is created by consultants and think tanks and marketers who see us, not as human beings, but as suckers who are only here to buy their stories, their brands and their products. All of that nonsense is going down.

The guy who hoarded all the toilet paper is really no different than the current “winners” of the capitalist, anti-life system we’ve all been playing into. Now, we can see it for the sham it is. It offers no real security. It’s all made up. For this I say hallelujah!

3. I’m also grateful we’ve got proof  of what we spiritual types have been touting for eons: we are all connected and interwoven. We’re all basically the same person.

And if a tiny invisible virus can spread across the globe this quickly, if it can upend everything we mistaken believed was our security, think how fast we could transmit a different, truer story. A story of love. Of connection. Of oneness.

Now’s the time to forget monetizing, marketing, media.  I’m using this enormous gift of time by turning to the natural world that isn’t complaining, isn’t worrying, isn’t stockpiling.

It continues to give of its gifts–music (thank you birds), impending shade (thank you trees), beautiful colors (thank you flowers).

And I ask myself, what gift do I have to give?

That’s all any of us ever wanted to do anyway. To love and to give of our gifts.

Many folks are eager to return to “life as we knew it,” but I no longer want to cling to that made-up world.

I’m eager for the new one that’s emerging. Birth, as we moms know so well, is messy, sometimes painful. But wow! Look at the gift on the other side.

This is our opportunity, guys, to create a better, truer, more loving world.

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)

What if? A Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

“Worry and fear are not spiritual practices.”—Michael Beckwith Only-Love-is-Real

When you believe, as I do, that the universe constantly conspires for your good, you can’t help but notice the silver lining. As Jack Kornfield says, “This virus isn’t happening to us. It’s happening for us.”

What if this is the universe insisting we slow down, that we become still and listen for a change—not to what some box or little device is shouting at us—but to what our hearts are saying? What the trees are whispering? What our loved ones on the other side are telling us over all the noise?

What if this is the down time we’ve long professed to want so we can write a song? Or a poem? Or a bedtime story for our four-year-old? Shakespeare, I’ve heard, used a  quarantine to write King Lear. Newton discovered calculus.

What if this is our big chance to rewrite everything? Do we want to keep believing we’re imprisoned by the senseless laws of the world? That we’re dependent on stacks of green paper strips and piles of metal discs? Do we want to remain beholden to the marketed idea that we won’t survive without our little pills or our jobs where we do things we don’t particularly want to do for eight hours a day?

Today’s Course in Miracles lesson asks us to dismiss all these foolish beliefs. It asks us to hold our minds in silent readiness to hear the Voice that speaks of Truth. It asks us to declare our freedom from the tyranny of the cultural Kool-aid.

What if this is an inflection point in our history? Our invitation to finally embrace our highest selves?

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).

I could see peace instead of this

“In a time of crisis, we all have the potential to morph up to a new level and do things we never thought possible.”– Stuart Wilde 00001a

Hey, team, thought it might be a good time to review ACIM lesson 34. As I write in my book, “Today’s mantra is an all-purpose elixir. I use it at all times, in all situations.”

No matter what happens, no matter how bad things look, I remind myself that, “I could see peace instead of this.”

I’m in no way beholden to see peace. There’s no pressure to give up my perception. But I AM asked to raise peace as a possibility. No matter how remote it may seem, it helps to admit that “I COULD see peace instead of what I’m currently seeing.”

It’s a reminder that perception starts in our minds.

So while you’ve probably been lectured a million times in the past couple weeks on how to properly wash your hands, I’d like to offer the following 20 seconds on how to properly disinfect your mind.

1. Distance yourself from fear.We can stop or slow down the highly contagious disease of fear by reducing contact with our biggest enemy–internal thoughts of OMG! We’re doomed.

We can use this time to go within, to imagine a better world, to send love and peace to each of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. We can use this time to create, to envision a world and a government that, instead of focusing on economic stimulus, focuses on love and humanity and equality for all.

2. Stock up on some perspective. The media loves to talk about the “deadly” new virus, but I’d like to point out that, even at its most virulently projected mortality rate (and we still don’t have precise figures), 97.5 percent of those who get it make a full recovery. Just like we do from many other illnesses. That’s not to say we shouldn’t take precautions. As Jack Kornfield likes to say, “Remember your Buddha nature AND your social security number.”

3. Empower your internal pharmacy. Cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton says stress is a contributing factor in 95 percent of all illness and disease. So we can best inoculate ourselves by watering seeds of possibility, not worse case scenarios. A calm nervous system fosters a strong immune system. I recently heard the expression, “Proceed as if there is not a problem” and remember your body is resilient and has self-healing superpowers.

I’ll end with this wonderful video by my friend, Karen Drucker that proves we can send out love vibes even when washing our hands.

https://www.facebook.com/KarenDruckerMusic/videos/139448827373146/

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).

What are you programmed to believe about your body?

“Don’t let your mind bully your body.” – June Tomaso Wood

yoga

What? My yoga “tights” don’t look like yours?

Being the observant person that I am, I can’t help but notice that the current rendition of my body looks nothing like the bodies on the covers of magazines.

For one thing, it’s many decades older. It has a lot more wrinkles and spots. And if some orbiting alien is currently collecting earthly specimens, it might be tempted to catalog me as a completely different genus than say the women you see in the average movie or TV show.

If I’m not vigilant, this glaring dichotomy could cause serious emotional pain. Like all women, I’m blasted 24/7 with ads and FB posts and magazine articles insisting on the importance of microblading my eyebrows, retinoiding my collagen, twilighting my hair color, black lacing my fingernails.

And as for body size, I’ve been socially engineered my entire life to be a size 8. Or is it a 6 these days?

The cultural pressure is so intense that looking in the mirror can be an act of sheer confrontation. Even JLo recently admitted she doesn’t always like what she sees.

So to counteract the non-stop marketing messages, I decided to get up this morning and write a quick thank you note to my 64-year-old body that, as Mae West says, “is no model because models are an imitation of the real thing.”

10 (of countless) reasons I won the body lottery:

1. I have two eyes. They may not be contoured and properly highlighted, but they both work. They allow me to see birds and tiny frogs and the purple crocuses that were poking up yesterday with new springtime hats. They enable me to see this computer screen and to binge (if I so choose) a Netflix series. Thank you, precious eyes.

2. I also have two fully-functioning legs. Their skin isn’t as tight as it used to be, but they still get me from Point A to Point B anytime I want to go. They can still skip, run around a pickleball court and they can still dance. Boy, can they dance. Kudos to you, legs!

3. I have a torso (that can still perform downward dog), 4. a full head of hair, 5. a nose, 6. a mouth (that gets to sample lots of extremely tasty morsels), 7. fingers, 8.toes, 9. ankles, 10. knees–all of which work like a champ, all of which deserve daily thanksgiving.

It’s insane, really, how lucky I am.

So sure, society and marketers and producers of useless stuff will continue to find ways to make me feel less than. They’ll keep advertising stupid products and ludicrous ideas of how I’m supposed to look.

But I declare my freedom. Instead of heeding their ridiculous potions, lotions and notions of beauty, I will just keep saying thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

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).

Well, duh! 3 life hacks I was reminded of (once again)

“When the world is in turmoil, it’s time to ‘go fugitive,’ to slow down and receive rather than impose, to feel rather than think. That way we’ll be ready when it’s time to break out of our limited belief systems – for breaking out of our limited understandings is what it will take.”–Carolyn North einstein2

You would think a person who writes books on spirituality and limitless possibility would know exactly what to do when her thoughts go squirrely.

Sadly, that’s not always the case. Like last week, my mind was in full scatter-bomb mode, firing away with non-stop insecurity, doubts and well, let’s just say, you’re lucky you weren’t in the vicinity.

Thankfully, I’m blessed to have very wise friends who reminded me of the following:

1. “Ya know, Pam, that’s just a story.” Boy, did I ever need to be reminded that no matter how something might look, it’s just one story (out of a gazillion) and it’s not permanent or fixed. When you zoom in on anything, you find energy and a bunch of atoms that move around all the time. So why would I ever invest in a story that didn’t feel good? Especially when a simple change in focus moves energy and atoms into a completely different configuration.

2. “What do you think the Dude thinks?” I was moaning about lack of clarity, complaining that the decision I was trying to make was clear as a chocolate milkshake. That’s when my friend, Cindy, very gently pointed out that I could always consult with the One who knows.  Why didn’t I think of that?

3. “What my thoughts think of me is none of my business.” We’ve all heard this piece of advice, “What other people think of me is none of my business.” But this one knocked my socks off. Even my own thoughts aren’t my business. Not my real business, not my God business.

Most of my thoughts were created by a culture that tells me how I should and shouldn’t act, that tells me what’s appropriate for a woman my age. As the Course so gently reminds me in lesson after lesson, I am not my thoughts. So whatever stream of negative nonsense that marches through my noggin’ is really none of my business.

My business is to stay present, to keep reaching for stories that make me happy and to trust that the Dude has already worked everything out.

Oh, one other thing I learned this week. A collection of ladybugs is called a loveliness. Fish come in schools, dolphins in pods, but ladybugs, come in “a loveliness.”

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).

222 Forever: Celebrating Taz with 3 New Projects

“Let us not look for you only in memory. You would want us to find you in presence, beside us when beauty brightens, when kindness glows and music echoes eternal tones.”– John O’Donohue

c&G2

Yes, my friends, it’s here. The auspicious date for announcing the 2020 recipients of Taz Grout’s 222 Foundation. Every year, to honor my radiant, brilliant daughter, Tasman McKay Grout, the 222 Foundation gives a grant to an imaginative project with the chutzpah to radically change the consciousness of the planet.

I’m a sharp P on the Myers-Briggs scale which indicates I tend toward being flexible, spontaneous and open-minded. Good qualities, right?

Except when you need to narrow down options, to make decisions. So receiving 100 applications for this year’s grant was well, way outside my comfort zone. I wanted to fund them all.

222 foundation 2Thanks to some assistance from my “board” (that is to say a coffee consultation with my friend, Never-Say-No-to-Fun Rhonda), I finally picked these three:

1. A Taz Grout forest of 2222 trees in southern India. The tree planting idea started when someone nominated climate activist Greta Thunberg. I love that she’s young, brutally honest and 100 percent committed.

Plus what could be more imperative right now than changing our climate story? Particularly, the story that humankind is separate from the natural world, that material possessions are more important than our planet’s air, water, soil and trees. This home of ours is alive, sentient and we must do everything we can to exit the feedback loops that tell us we are lord and master.

Greta made this wonderful video detailing a natural climate solution. This magical tool sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little and has the ability to repair our natural environment.

The Taz Grout 222 Foundation will plant 2222 trees this year through Project GreenHands, a grassroots ecological initiative established by the Isha Foundation. I chose GreenHands because it was started by the illustrious Sadhguru (check him out if you haven’t already) and because Taz’s forest will be in India near some of her ashes and last year’s 222 project.

2. A Taz Grout school library in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Taz was an avid reader, maybe because I started reading to her when she was still in the womb. She kept lists of all the books she read each year. In college, she worked at the library. So supporting literacy for girls in rural and impoverished Nepal is the perfect fit for the 222 Foundation.

I fell in love with Hands in Nepal from the moment I opened the email from director, Jan Sprague. HANDS (it stands for Humanitarian Acts in Nepal Developing Schools) does amazing, heartfelt work. Everyone in the organization is a volunteer.

Jan, like me, lost a child and doesn’t belief in death. She knows our children will always be with us, here and now. It was her other son, Danny, who actually started this wonderful nonprofit that builds schools and libraries. My plans are to go to Nepal later this year for the installation of the plaque honoring Taz. I look forward to extending Taz’s family into the rural Himalayas. This video is the perfect primer of this outstanding organization.

3. Last project honors Taz’s commitment to relentless creativity. If you read my books, you know Taz and I had a thing about anonymously gifting small bills and leaving encouraging notes about the wildly abundant universe. Kimmy Rhoades, a kindergarten teacher in Snohomish, Washington, applied for the 222 grant with her visionary Random Acts of Money project.

This generous soul loves giving money away to strangers, proving that old school financial assumptions, traditions and habits block the more accurate truth that freedom is available for everyone. She drops bills of all denominations–on hiking trails, biking paths, in parking lots and stores. Often in the form of origami fish or paper airplanes, her money bombs blast, as she says, the ridiculous notion of scarcity right out of the water.

With the help of a 222 grant, her kindergartners’ natural creativity and the love notes she plans to attach, her secret mission will seed 222 messages of hope for all.

This video isn’t Kimmy’s project, but you get the idea:

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).