Changing my world one thought at a time

“I encourage everybody to open their ears and their eyes and especially their minds, wide.”—Christoph Waltz
django

Christoph Waltz won the Oscar, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for his portrayal of King Schultz, a dentist turned bounty hunter in Django Unchained.

During pre-production, however, he was bucked off a horse and sent to the hospital with a dislocated pelvis.

Some people might have thrown in the towel. But not Waltz who claimed total responsibility.

“I hadn’t ridden a horse for 40 years. It’s a skill like playing an instrument. You have to do it every day,” he said

And that’s the perfect description of how we ACIM students “change our minds and therefore change our world.”

Here’s my daily practice:

Instead of focusing on “what I see,” I focus on “what I want.” Over and over and over again. Yes, I get bucked off the horse. Yes, I hit the ground of apparent problems, dislocate the pelvis of limitations. But I just keep climbing back into that saddle and focusing on what I want to be true.

Left to its own devices, the human mind is quick to jump to conclusions, leap towards fear and cower in the face of possibilities. That’s why I’ve made “training my mind” priority numero uno. On a daily basis, I instruct it to look for beauty. Encourage it to seek out the bigger picture, to focus on the love and the seemingly impossible.

Yes, it’s an incorrigible slacker. Keeps returning to familiar old ruts. Keeps listening to the spin doctor that looks at the world as a potentially scary place. Insists on focusing on the “information” from my five senses, from the news media, from the default setting that says, “Be careful. Worry. Don’t even think about learning to trust.”

So I just keep getting back up in the saddle, directing my mind to focus on what I know to be Truth.

People often ask me, “How is that even possible?” when the “what you see” looms so large in your mind.

And all I can say is it’s the same as the answer to the old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”

Practice, practice, practice.

Or, if you’re Quentin Tarantino, the director of Django Unchained, you take your character off the horse that caused the accident in the first place.

When the Oscar-winning director went to visit Waltz in the hospital, found out he couldn’t ride a horse for three months, he wisely said, “You know if you don’t talk much about it, I might get some interesting ideas.”

And that’s exactly what he did. Waltz’s character spends most of the movie riding around in a horse-drawn buggy with a giant tooth swinging from its hinges.

So, quit talking about the “world as it seems,” get back up in that horse-drawn carriage and use your imagination to take you all the way to a happier, more beautiful reality.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

Houston, there is NO problem

“We believe a lot of stupid things.”—Esther Hicksgo for it

Just a couple ACIM Cliff Notes for your weekend pleasure:

1. If it’s not wholly joyous, it’s not God’s will.

2. If it’s not wholly joyous, it involves some decision I erroneously made.

3. Because it was me who made the less than joyous decision (See #1) and because this decision was never forced on me (See #1) , I can change it at any time.

4. I just have to do is go back to the point where I made the erroneous decision and ask the Holy S to decide instead. I repeat. I don’t have to fix anything. In fact, the less I plot and plan and come up with action steps, the better.

5. This is really simple.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

Today, I take a different bus

“I don’t have to make the crowd go wild or get a standing ovation. Good enough means that I finally enjoy playing the game.” ― Jenni Schaefer
flying bus
My friend, Jay, an amazing life coach and cherished member of my possibility posse, told a funny story that perfectly illustrates the current Course section, “What is the World?”

The day before he was flying to California to give a presentation, he tried to check in to his flight online. He entered the confirmation number several times and was puzzled that the airline website kept insisting there was an error.

“Oh well,” he was busy, had lots of things to wrap up and finally figured. “I’ll just check in tomorrow at the airport.”

Next day at the kiosk, he got the same message. Finally, with less than an hour until his flight, he stormed up to Delta desk and demanded “What’s the deal?”

The attendant took one look at his ticket and said, “Oh that’s a United confirmation number.”

United, for those who don’t know the Kansas City airport, is in a completely different terminal. He had to catch a bus to get there.

Jay’s perception about his airline tickets, like so many of our perceptions about the world, are false.

We literally make up a story (I’m on Delta) and proceed to go to the wrong terminal. As the Course says, that’s when the mechanisms of illusion are born and from those illusions, we create a world to match.

The world we currently see revolves around a story of not being quite good enough. Our bodies aren’t quite good enough. Our finances aren’t quite good enough. Our relationships aren’t quite good enough. Our careers aren’t quite good enough. Nothing is ever quite good enough. And as long as that’s our perception, false though it may be, that’s the reality we create. That’s the terminal we live in.

The Course is like the attendant who kindly pointed out that Jay was basing his thoughts (and therefore assumptions and actions) on a false perception.

Once he let that go, he easily caught a bus to a different terminal where his plane was waiting.

ACIM Lesson 241 says today is a time of special celebration. Because in this very moment, we can let the false perception go. We can leave the terminal of separation, the one that claims nothing’s quite good enough, and catch a free bus to the terminal where errors vanish, false perceptions disappear and everything is perfect in every way.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

Set the dial back to zero

“People who judge you are just not your people.”—Constance Wu

green bay training campJust returning home after a few days in Denver (love to all the peeps who came to the playshop at the Halcyon Hotel) and then a quick press trip to Green Bay. I had a blast attending Packers Training Camp, finding a beer called Awesome Sauce and sampling cheese, beer, wine and chocolate. My career as a travel writer is, as I often say, a pretty sweet gig.  It was the universe’s solution for my desire to see the world.

Anyway, I’m back home, plunging into a new assignment and getting ready to embark on the new book, the book that you, my friends, helped facilitate. Yes, it’s on A Course in Miracles and, yes, it will be fun, inspiring and life-changing.

Today’s ACIM 235 is a reminder that the Divine’s plan for all of us is perfect happiness. This is such a good lesson for us to feel deep in our bones.

It doesn’t say happiness on the weekends. Or on our birthdays. Or on other momentous occasions. It promises happiness 24/7/365/all the days of your life. It’s radical and it’s real.

To drive home the point, here’s an email I read 5 minutes ago.

“I don’t normally say this to strangers but, I love you! YOU have helped me change my life! I got E2, E3 and Thank and Grow Rich in audibles and have been listening to them over and over ad infinitum, for the last 3 or 4 months. I have been trying to recruit as many of my friends as possible, recommending the books or audibles, I have bought them for friends – I want to help add to the growing collective and give out as many red pills as I possibly can. I began this at the behest of my boss, with E2.

“I am so thankful to him for pointing me in this direction – I am so thankful to you for writing these books! You, Pam Grout, please, take just a minute to sit back, smile and bask in the solace of knowing that you are living your best life and by doing so, helping others to do the same! I have too many examples to thank you for but just off the top of my head, without giving any thought at all really, I mouthed along with you “I can afford anything I want, in fact, I am so prosperous, I never need worry again…” that week, OUT OF THE BLUE, I got a promotion and a substantial raise.

“Another, more important example to me than that, in referencing quantum nonlocality, I went to visit my mother’s grave over the weekend. She passed away last year from complications due to Alzheimers. I had a great conversation with her, told her I missed her but I knew she was in a better place and more importantly, wasn’t suffering, and I could never ask her to give that up and come back here just because I missed her. But I did want to ask one thing – just to let me know that she was ok. IMMEDIATELY after I finished that sentence, it started raining. It was kind of cloudy but didn’t necessarily look like it would rain, there were even patches of blue sky and sun shinning through. I now know I have a direct line to my mom. Pam, you have given me the tools I need to live my absolute best life, I can never repay you for that so in an attempt to show my gratitude, I will endeavor to pay it forward to anyone and everyone with whom I come in contact. Peace and happiness to you, Pam.”

And peace and happiness to all of you.

Signing off from North Lawrence.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

No longer listening to my brain’s cliff notes

“Thinking the physical world is all that matters is like shutting oneself up in a small closet and imagining there is nothing beyond it.”—Eben Alexander

gabbyOne of the great joys in my life is knowing the universe is so much bigger than anything I can conceive, in knowing that miracles (or what we call miracles) reside right on the other side of the veil I’ve imposed with my very limited brain.

As cool as the brain is, a veritable network of millions of neural pathways, it actually puts up a tremendous barrier to Truth. It limits, it takes all the available input and boils it down to what I call “Cliff Notes for Dummies.”

Sadly, our Cliff Notes are restricted to what we’ve decide to let in, to what we’ve erroneously pick up from our culture, our family upbringing and the six o’clock news.

As the Course in Miracles reminds us,  we would be astounded, literally blown away, if we had even the slightest idea how many limits we have placed on Reality.

While we’re here, living on this physical plane, we put the brain’s two pounds of wrinkled mass on a pedestal. We believe everything it tells us, listen to its crazy promptings, its tendency to focus on the past and worry about the future. I amaze myself with how much time I sometimes waste thinking about some person who “did me wrong” or about some financial dilemma. Not a good expenditure of my valuable time.

The brain is so NOT reliable that, I believe, our very highest calling is to distract it as often as possible. That’s why meditation is so important, why I proclaim gratitude for everything that happens. These practices put an end (or will eventually) to the crazy person blathering in the brain. Once the brain gets out of the way, Truth can’t help but rise up.

I really hate to knock my brain. It has accomplished a lot in my life, but from here on out, I’d like to officially appoint it as secretary of my neurology, digestive system and other things it’s proficient at and leave the rest to Source, to Truth, to the Reality of Pure Bliss.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

Lovers gonna love

“There are people waiting for someone just like us to come along. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give.”–Leo Buscaglia Love-Unconditionally-Image-dc408

You can’t make a giraffe sing an aria. You can’t teach a goat to do the cha-cha. And you can’t really be happy in this life without being true to who you are.

Take all the aptitude and career tests and Myers-Briggs you want, but your purpose here on Planet Earth is to be love, to demonstrate your true self.

Doesn’t matter if you’re a plumber, a sign painter, a candlestick maker, you will only find meaning if you live to love.

Whenever there’s any kind of question (say, you’re put out because the airline cancelled your flight or your seven-year-old forgot to put his soccer jersey in the laundry basket and it’s crusted in his bedroom corner on gsame day) you will always be happiest when you choose the loving option. Kneejerk reactions often cause us to feel justified in holding grudges or feeling put out. But kneejerk reactions do not a happy camper make.

Choosing the loving response (whether the subject of your ire “deserves” it or not) will always make you feel happier.

As ACIM Lesson 229 points out. We were made by love and we’re here to love. Any other choice makes us miserable.

Because I’m committed to give as much love as I can in every situation that I can, I have decided to join Tribes for Good on their maiden Social Impact Journey this November. These journeys to India are week-long curated expeditions to learn, well, how to change the world.

Like me, Tribes for Good is on a mission to overturn the dominant paradigm.

The current economic model suggests that ambitious, talented people should go to college and then find a slot to fill within the existing structure.

But as most of us have learned by now, squeezing ourselves into a slot is a limited ambition. It’s not the path to joy. We were designed by the big love kahuna to be go-getters, problem solvers, full-hearted givers to all.

Fitting into a big machine will never be as satisfying as discovering your own love mission, creating your own path.  Working really hard at someone else’s agenda will never fully satisfy your deepest needs.

That’s what Tribes for Good is all about. Giving us the tools to use our unique talents and gifts to make sure that all of our brothers get a fair shake. The end result is an insanely meaningful, productive and prosperous life.

To find out more about these week-long curated expeditions of discovery, insights and reciprocation, click here. And if you want to read about one of my heroes who successfully used his gifts to change the world (I once wrote about him for People magazine), click here.

And this weekend, as you’re having the best weekend of your life, remember that love is who you are, why you’re here, the reason for everything.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

Spoiler alert: don’t read this if you’re coming to tonight’s playshop

“We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”–Carlos Castaneda

1abcd3So I’m in Denver, prepping for tonight’s workshop. So if you’re planning to be there, this post will either serve as a trailer (it’ll make you really excited) or it could be all you need.

ACIM 228 is about getting out of our own way. It’s about recognizing our innate beauty, about no longer putting ourselves down.

In fact, the only problems any of us really have is that we view ourselves differently than our Source views us. Our Source sees us as perfect, funny, loving, gorgeous, free of all problems.  We’re the ones who block that truth.

So here’s the outline, the hypotheses we will explore at tonight’s Denver playshop:

1. Joy is your natural state. We aren’t in touch with it because we live in problem state, not possibility state. Once we wipe away all the mind chatter, joy is what’s left.

2. All answers to all perceived problems come easily and smoothly once you contact and access this natural state.

3. Abundance is the state of the world without our muted lens.

4. Everything you are seeking is also seeking you. The answer is already here or it’s on the way.

Love you guys! Have a fabulous day!!

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

Your vibe attracts your tribe

“The secret is to gang up on the problem.”–Thomas Stallkamp
tribe
If you’re a regular at this blog, you know how much I love my possibility posses and how important I think it is for all of us to “gang up” on the problem of lack and limitation.

I get together with my one of my posses (we call ourselves the Spiritual Entrepreneurs of LFK) twice a month.

They’re like my own personal pit crew who help me change my flat tires, fill me up with gas and steer me in a new direction whenever I go astray.

Today, Jennifer mentioned something that I probably knew, but had forgotten. That’s another one of the bennies of getting together to talk about possibilities. We all need reminders, inspiration, cheerleading.

Since Jenn is coming off hip surgery, she is currently focusing on the fact that every single day, her body create 500 million new cells.

Not only is that a heck of a lot of new cells, but it’s all the proof anyone should need that reality, as ACIM Lesson 227 reminds us,  is up for grabs.

With all those new cells (and, yes, your body generates that many, too), there’s absolutely no reason you have to be the same today as you were yesterday.

The real question is “What are you communicating to these new cells each day?”

The options, according to Jenn, are: “Welcome to pain and misery. Or welcome to the party of vim, vigor and vitality.”

I couldn’t say for sure, but I thought she looked at least five years younger.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

Today I’m open to a glorious new world

“Today is your day to sing wild songs of adventure, to soar your spirit and unfurl your joy.”–Jonathan Lockwood Huie jump for joy

When my daughter and I go shopping, we have an unspoken policy if we happen to get separated. She knows that sooner or later, as sure as dandelions in the spring, she can find me in the bargain section, rifling through the sales rack.

This is a good metaphor for ACIM Lesson 226. Instead of claiming the new and exciting, we tend to go back to the same old sales rack.

Every day, when we get up, we have a brand new chance. Opportunities we haven’t even imagined are available. There are new adventures, new ideas, new ways of seeing the people in our lives.

But most of us choose to rinse and repeat the day before. We hit the alarm clock with the same finger, trudge to the bathroom with the same old tired shuffle, look at ourselves in the mirror with the same old worn out expectations.

In other words, our neural pathways keep firing on the same ole, same ole worn out routes.

The Course in Miracles introduces us to a brand new way of experiencing the world. There is no value, it says, in staying the same.

Today, we are encouraged to give up our puny goals, the ones we continue to expect again and again.  Why go back to the sales rack?

Today, we ask for the new and exciting.

I’m ready. You in?

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

Four portals to transcendence

“An awake heart is like a sky that pours light.” ― Hafiz
portal

The good news is you can use anything to find God. Beauty, art, even suffering offer portals to life’s transcendent moments.

The trick is to recognize that the Divinity we seek is within us. It’s within every person, within every situation. There are no exceptions to this rule.

The judging mind continually tells us something’s gotta change. This is wrong. You gotta do something and fast.

But when, as ACIM Lesson 225 tells us, we finally recognize the Divine in everything, it becomes obvious. And we wonder, “How could I not have seen it, this presence that permeates all things?” It’s conspicuously apparent.

In the meantime, here are my favorite portals, the ones I use most frequently to shut down the asshat in the brain that taunts and tempts me to believe in a hologram that it made up:

1. Meditation. Katy Perry, Hugh Jackman, Madonna, Clint Eastwood and Kristen Bell are just a few celebs who use meditation to find inner peace. (another synonym for God)

2. Nature. There’s reams of evidence that the simple act of going outside improves concentration, eliminates headaches, and even eases stress and depression. Tao Master Mantak Chia, who teaches his students to meditate with trees, says trees are natural processors for releasing negative energy. According to the Taoist viewpoint, trees, because they’ve been around for a while, grounded in one place, are able to transmute energy and absorb universal forces.

3. Creativity. When I’m immersed in writing or any other creative pursuit, time literally hangs suspended. At times, it evens feels like I’m touching the hem of the divine. People think they want to write a book or a movie because they want to be David Lynch or Joyce Carol Oates. They want to be interviewed by Oprah. But the real present under the creativity Christmas tree is that joy, serenity and peace become your most ordinary state of being.

4. Gratitude. Practicing gratitude, more than penciling a written list is to practice alchemy. Looking for the good in life literally changes things. Physically changes things. Financially changes things. Mentally and emotionally changes things. It literally rearranges atoms. Living on the frequency of joy and gratitude causes cataclysmic reverberations. It takes you straight to the Divine Buzz.

So doesn’t really matter which portal you use. I just find it comforting to know there are a gazillion paths to God.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.