When I grow up, all I want to be is a little girl

“I do believe more than ever that there is a vast area of our own lives that we know nothing about.”—Anthony Hopkins

So the headline for this post comes from the great Sir Anthony Hopkins, only in his version, he longs to be a little boy. He even carries a photo of his four-year-old self on his phone that he often looks at and says, “We did good, kid. We did good.”

As you may have heard, the 83-year-old actor was recently nominated for an Oscar (again!!!) for his role in The Father. I was intrigued after reading an article in the New Yorker where he mentioned, after being asked about memorizing so many lines, that he tells himself “I’ve got a perfect memory.”

He said it’s a form of self-hypnosis and that he’s very careful what he says about himself.

Hopkins is a long-time devotee of what he calls intentionality. That’s why he repeats an affirmation every morning: “I am alive. I am well. I am filled with perfect and abundant life.”

“We are the direct products of everything we’ve ever thought,” says the Academy Award winner. “Even the most insignificant thought can change your life. For better or worse.  In whatever field — business, acting whatever — it’s all about what you dream.”

He believes in acting as if it is impossible to fail –whether he’s painting (he describes himself as a painting fiend), composing (his orchestral works have been performed in Moscow and London) or playing Hannibal Lecter, Richard Nixon or King Lear.

“Absolutely anything is possible,” he claims. “I don’t know why we say no so much.”  

What he does know is that human existence is mysterious, unknowable and far beyond understanding. Whether you believe in God or you are an atheist, he says, life is beyond explanation.

“I’m not clever enough to have designed this life. There has to be something bigger going on,” he says. “The only reason we don’t see God is because we’re always looking for him. God is in everything and we are all connected and while it’s all a dream within a dream, I am compelled to say to whoever is running the show, thank you very much.”

I have to agree, Sir Anthony. #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)

Rearranging the furniture in my mind

If you’re going to keep your sanity, the only choice is spirit.”—Americ Azevedo  

First, let me offer a huge shoutout to all of you. Not only did you pray for me (thank you so much), but you also generously and tactfully reminded me of my own advice. Someone suggested I re-read “That time I failed to take the red pill” from Lesson 110 in my book, The Course in Miracles Experiment. Others sent quotes from my other books.

Like Taz, who would sometimes call me out with, “Mom, do you really want to put that out there in the universe?” you helped me “turn the other cheek” which simply means choosing to move in a different direction.

I, of all people, should know that I literally surrender my life force to whatever I put my attention upon. So big hefty thanks all around!  

Perhaps my best realization is remembering, like the Course says, that what I see ”out there” is not the deepest reality. My wonky interpretation of life is hardly some great ultimate truth. Something far greater and vast than my squirrely mind gives form and meaning to my existence.   And the best part is it continues to work behind the scenes even when I choose not to be aware of it.

Right next to the track of my egoic mind that relentlessly goes over the same tired terrain is this other track, this incredible beauty/light/love track that moves below the level of thought.

Taz reminded me this morning of a book I read many years ago by Natalie Sudman. While working as an archaeologist in Iraq, Natalie was blown up by a roadside bomb. She had a near-death experience that completely upturned her life. The part Taz reminded me of was Natalie’s comedy sketch with her spirit guides. I say comedy sketch because, as they (the spirit guides and Natalie) worked together to repair her severe injuries and plot her next mission here on earth, they began one-upping each other with wild scenarios of possibilities. “What if you came back as paraplegic?” and then they’d all laugh uproariously or “What if you had no money for this next stage of your life?” again gleefully guffawing at all these crazy life experiences that are all available in the deck of cards.

I know this sounds rather cheeky, but Taz knew it was just what I needed to hear. She also reminded me of the movie, Stripes. Remember Francis, the surly, intense recruit who stood up during boot camp to announce that while his name was Francis Sawyer, everybody should call him Psycho? Furthermore, he warned, if anyone dare call me Francis, “I’ll kill ya.”

At that point, Army Sergeant Hulka jumps in with this now-famous line: “Lighten up, Francis!”

So thanks again to everyone who helped pick me up, dust me off and steer me back to the place within myself that is not subject to harm, change or even death.

I’ll probably forget again, but thank ya, Jesus, I have lots of tools and lots of beautiful tender friends who, like me, are just trying to find their way back 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)

A piece of good fortune in this glorious affair

“I hate it when I gain 20 pounds for a role and then remember I’m not an actor.”—Stevie Oakley

Hello, friends! I haven’t written in a while because, well, I’ve been in hiding, hiding the fact that I’m not exactly feeling “amazingly awesome” right now. That’s not a comfortable admission for a writer who has staked her career on spreading hope and joy.

Everything feels like a bit “too much.” Too much isolation. Too much loss. Too much division. Too much white supremacy.

But amidst it all, I found a note from Taz, a note she had written to her gloves. On one side, she had written the words with which I titled this post: “A piece of good fortune in this glorious affair.” On the back, she wrote a thank you note to her gloves for keeping her hands warm with a reminder that no matter how long it seems, spring will someday come.

I’ve also encountered many other pieces of good fortune during this dark period including a new friend who created the most beautiful quilt from Taz’s t-shirts. I’ve encountered inspiring books, received notes from readers (one even included a mini beach ball, folded into the envelope) and glorious invitations, one of which I share below. My amazing partner of 18 years fixes me dinner almost every night. We’ve discovered countless new trails and parks.

The quilt of many t-shirts!

And miracles, despite my weakened propensity to notice them right now, continue to show up. In a phone call with Hitaji Aziz, one of the recipients of this year’s 222 Foundation awards, I was reminded of the Course lesson “To give and receive are one in truth.” We were talking about her incredible work, about the best way to send the grant money. It was basically a business phone call. She stopped for a minute and asked, “What’s going on with your psoas muscle? I see bright red in that area.” Even though she was 700 miles away, she could clearly “see” the issues going on in my hip. She generously sent me a video and a meditation and a referral for a different kind of hip surgery. It was remarkable to me and a potent reminder that when you let God have the floor (which she did), miracles can be more readily orchestrated. Thank you once again, Hitaji!

I also want to let you know that I was invited to join Deepak Chopra, Gregg Braden, Rupert Sheldrake, Sue Morter and two dozen other scientists, healers, physicians and researchers for the FREE Science of Healing Summit that starts next week. You can listen to me and all 35 speakers by RSVP’ing at this link.

Did I mention it’s FREE?

As Taz (and the crocuses erupting in my front yard) remind me, spring is coming. #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)

Happy 2/22: Traveling through reality in a whole new way

The giver never goes without.”—Kat Dawes, the Now Ninja

I am so excited. It’s 2/22, the day when Taz and I officially announce this year’s recipients of the Taz Grout 222 Foundation awards.

As usual, I had many, many stellar applications. Seriously, there were so many fabulous ideas for rising above, for coming alive, for changing consciousness which, in the end, is the only way to become bigger than the problems.

When we put our attention on the light, become a conduit for higher level communication, real change starts to happen.

I’ll be telling you more about these projects down the road, but for today — because I’m heading out to perform 222 good deeds with Taz’s godmother— here’s just a quick thumbnail:

  1. Peacemaker Enterprise. You know that line in the American pledge of allegiance about being one nation under God, about being indivisible, about embracing truth and justice for all?  Well, Hitaji Aziz has devoted her life to that beautiful aspiration. Like all of us, she has seen the injustice inflicted on people of color – but she keeps getting back up, keeps holding on to a higher truth. Not only has she been a vocal proponent in the Black Lives Matter movement, but she offers free meditation classes, reiki and green living to the prison population. When she was 13, she came to the realization that she could actually do something about institutional belief systems that have pressed boots against the necks of black people for centuries. As she says, we can’t fix what we don’t face. The 222 Foundation is very honored to help Hitaji in her continuing quest for racial equality.
  2. Dancing Classrooms. Some of you might have seen my article about the Conway, Arkansas principal who dances each morning with his students.  As he said, when learning seems like a party, kids are pumped and excited about coming to school. Dancing Classrooms offers free 10-week, 20-session dance classes for fifth and eighth graders that center around making connections, celebrating cultures and breaking down barriers. During the pandemic, they’ve taught BREAK Dancing to re-energize students studying on Zoom.  I’ve seen many of their videos and wow!
  3. Taz’s Hot Dirt. They had me at the name. Taz’s Hot Dirt is a regenerative agriculture project in Toronto, Canada. Land is being reforested and several acres are devoted to growing organic fruits and veggies that are then distributed to seniors who are nourished with fresh produce AND regular visits. The project was conceived by the incomparable Dawn Joy Wightman who is a master gardener, actress, creator of plays and fairy novels.

Again, stay tuned. I will have more to report about all these projects soon, but for now, have a beautiful February 22 (2/22).

#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)

Bumping into other dimensions

“Forgiveness is man’s deepest need and highest achievement.”—Horace Bushnell

Good morning, sports fans. I trust you’re staying toasty, cozy and celebrating the fact that much-needed moisture is falling free of charge from the sky. Talk about a miracle!

Today’s Course in Miracles lesson, for those following along, brings up the F word. Forgiveness. As I often say, this life-changing concept is widely misunderstood.

It doesn’t mean overlooking something “bad” that happens. It’s admitting I don’t know enough to really judge what’s good or bad. And knowing that when I forgive (which means knowing nobody has the power to hurt me) I undo what fear has produced. Like magic, it causes illusions to disappear.

And when illusions start disappearing (I thought about calling this post—Pop Goes the Illusion!), you start bumping into other dimensions. Like things suddenly appear out of nowhere.

In E-Squared I compare consciousness to a skyscraper. I may be living on the second floor, but the miracle (the love, the peace, the truth) is waiting for me on Floor 17. Once I define something (or refuse to “forgive it”), I no longer question it. It becomes my reality. In quantum speak, it collapses the wave, leaving no room for mystery, wonder and new discoveries. Despite popular opinion, the phenomenon we observe with our five senses comes AFTER the decision to see, experience and feel it.

I was reminded of this yesterday during my weekly possibility posse. Jay mentioned a missing phone charger that suddenly showed up in the middle of a couch they’d searched countless times. Cindy’s favorite earring returned to the jewelry box she’d scoured for weeks. It reminded me of the hiker with a runny nose. She desperately needed a tissue, but she was miles away from civilization in an old growth rainforest. She looked down and there, underneath a tree, was an unopened box of Kleenex. The more we forgive, the more other dimensions can get through.

I love these kinds of stories because they demonstrate that whatever we need is always available. That’s a radical departure from what we’re taught. The one and only thing that keeps miracles at bay are my judgments (again, lack of forgiveness) and game day analysis. Miracles are common as pie when we open to life’s multi-dimensional nature.

Thanks, my friends, for taking this journey of possibility with me. I hereby announce that all of us are open and ready for dimensions of every kind, that we’re moving on up to higher floors where miracles are more real than the material world of phenomenon.

In exactly, one week, I’ll be announcing Taz’s 222 Foundation awards.  Stay tuned. Stay warm. And stay open. #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)

Looking for love in all the RIGHT places

“Joy is the justice we give ourselves.”—Drew Lanham

Happy Monday, my beautiful friends! It’s Hedgehog Day (when Taz always sends me a hedgehog from her dance floor in the cosmos) and it’s 2-22 month when, in exactly three weeks, I’ll be awarding the third Taz Grout 222 Foundation award.

In the meantime, I want to gush about an awareness that is making itself so bountifully clear to me.  As I repeat endlessly, the Course in Miracles, my main spiritual practice, is about upending the apple cart, proving that nearly every single thing we believe is backwards, upside down. Most of our beliefs are not only false, but they preclude us from seeing the truth of the world as it really is.

One of the many cons thrown by our ego is that we find love in people, places and things. Ergo—I just LOVE Spain or I loved Michael Beckwith’s talk yesterday. Or I love all the birds in my backyard. Those things are all true, but the love is coming, not from those things, but from me.

Love comes from within. That’s where it always is except when I smother my awareness of it with complaints or problems or some other ridiculous concept like it’s my job to seek love. How crazy is that—the idea that I have to somehow find love?

I’m the one that brings the love to people, places and things. It’s in me. And you. And everything there is.

Michael Beckwith, in yesterday’s talk that, YES I did LOVE, suggests we ask this question? “What good is here that I cannot presently see?”

That’s what the Course encourages us to do. To find the good, to bring the love to every situation, to look for seedlings that we then grow with our attention and presence.

The other wonderful thing Beckwith mentioned (and I say this all the time) is that we should never read the paper (or social media) to find out what’s happening in the world.   

What’s happening in the world is what we bring to it, what we choose to see in it, what we create with the joy and the light of our own love and attention. #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)

This one word changes everything

“You don’t have to like it. But it’s easier if you do.”—Byron Katie

Over the years, I’ve offered up a simple two-step gratitude game (A.A. 2.0) and dispensed life’s two magic words.

But today, I’m taking it a step further, paring it down to one simple word that continues to be a game-changer in my life.

The word is Akwaaba! It means welcome in Twi, the language of Ghana. I say it to every single feeling, every single thought, especially those I think I don’t want.

What I’ve noticed is that when I refuse to welcome a feeling or a thought, it tends to grow arms and legs.

But whenever I say “C’mon in, take your shoes off,” the negative thought realizes it no longer has power over me. It loses interest and literally slithers away.

Most of life’s problems can be boiled down to some version of “I don’t like this. I don’t want this.” And who wants to welcome something unpleasant like that?

Instead, we try to change it, suppress it, fix it or figure it out. But that gives it power it really doesn’t have. It takes a flimsy, insubstantial thought and turns it into a sh*t show.

It’s like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry freaks out when he hears the pilot of the airplane he’d flown to Ithaca is in the audience, eventually causing Elaine to get fired, George to humiliate himself and the pilot to rescind his boarding pass on the flight home. It was no big deal–except in Jerry’s mind.

Once I open my arms to a negative feeling or thought, when I say, “Yes, you are welcome here,” it dissolves on its own. Without me having to change it, fix it or figure it out. Trying to rid yourself of a “negative problem” is to give it power. In fact, when you really get it that every so-called negative thought has only arisen because you’re ready to let it go, you’re tempted to throw a party.

The real miracle is not just the undoing of the anguish (the “negativity ” that I either suppressed or fought to eliminate). It’s the riches that flood in when I free up the space.

Try it this weekend, my friends, as you go out and have the VERY BEST WEEKEND 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)

It takes a crazy person to even try this

“Except for the unquestioned thoughts you’re believing, life is always good.”—Byron Katie

So we’re three weeks and a day or two into the Course lessons for this year. And while I certainly hope you’re every bit as pumped up as you were on Day #1, I happen to know from personal experience that enthusiasm sometimes starts to flag about now.

Which is why I want to post this reminder of why we’re doing this, why Morpheus said “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” It can be summed up with one word: unbelievable.

According to Webster’s, the word unbelievable is an adjective describing something (an event) as extraordinary and difficult to believe.

Like the email I got the other day from a mother whose daughter sent her a cloud formation of E2 reminding her (from the other side) to read my book.  Or the 13 crazy squirrels who all stopped and silently meditated with a friend of mine.

These things seem inconceivable, far-fetched. It’s like Gayle King said to me when I was on her show many years ago. “C’mon, Pam!”

But miracles like these are only un-believable because our beliefs are wrapped up in rationality, materiality, limitation. Our egos, the poster child for these beliefs, base everything on what it takes to gain approval, to “stay safe.” Our culture gives us an unwritten rule book that does not allow the unbelievable to happen, not with all that fitting in we’re required to do.

Our cultural belief system holds us in a pattern that precludes us from hearing the still small voice that is always trying to support us, to help us. The cultural pattern, championed by our loud mouth ego, revolves around fear—What will they think? What if they don’t like me? What if I get sick? What if……..

Remember Amanda Eller, the hiker who got lost for 17 days in the Makawao Forest Reserve without her phone, her wallet or her water bottle? Once she let go of the fear (something our culture trains us NEVER to do) she was very clearly guided—eat this, walk this way.

Today’s lesson tells us in no uncertain terms that our ego goals have nothing whatsoever to do with our own best interests. The ego goals are good for maintaining culture, for maintaining the status quo, but they are not useful tools for accessing the benevolent voice that will rise up when you move past fear. Once you begin to recognize that everything you believe, do and think is a product of cultural conditioning, you begin to access more and more of the unbelievable. As the Course reminds us, if miracles are not happening on the daily, something has gone wrong. #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)

Bring the invisible to the foreground

“Reveling in love is one sure way to see through and beyond yourself to the wider world.”—B.J. Miller

For those following the Course in Miracles lessons (either in the book or on the Badass app), you’re probably noticing that the first few lessons present a rather shocking expose.

That what we see isn’t real. That what we think isn’t true. That the world is a lot less solid and stable than we’ve been led to believe.

This declassification of the ego’s secrets isn’t anything new. For more than a century, physicists have been pointing out the rather inconvenient truth that nothing is as it seems.

The world out there is simply a hologram, a transient play of light and space that our crafty brains solidify into an image.

The earth looks flat, but it really isn’t. The planet looks like the center of the universe, but it really isn’t. The ego likes to rush in and crowd our thoughts with illusions, things that really don’t exist.

And here’s why it’s important to cut through the façade. Why the Course calls out the brain for its propensity to automatically adjust images to align with the past.

Because there is another beautiful, miraculous dimension that we miss. To be fair, our neural pathways are trying like bloody hell to protect us—or rather protect our material bodies—but in doing so they edit and leave out all the good stuff.

If you’ve ever been snorkeling or scuba diving, you understand the concept. Beneath the ocean, beautiful in its own right, is a teeming world of color, wonder and astonishing life.  But until you go deeper, you never know this other world is there.

Most of who you are is invisible. The love, the light, the truth of you is impossible to see until you give up your belief in the ego’s alleged safety devices (AKA illusions).

The past, the known isn’t bad per se.  It’s just that there’s a lot more life to be had when you bring the invisible, as the above headline suggests, to the foreground. #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)

Forget conventional wisdom

“The first step to slaying a dragon is for one person to say, probably drunk in a bar, “It can be done.”—Alexandra Rowland

It’s important to remember there are ALWAYS different ways to look at things. And if ever there was a subject that could use some humor and playfulness, it’s — dare I say it — politics.

Yesterday, I was introduced to a politician who used art and creativity to make massive changes.  And since you gotta first hear about a possibility (remember the four-minute mile?) before you can embrace it, I decided to share a potential new way of governing.

Antanas Mockus, a Columbian philosopher, first made international headlines in 1993 when he was president of the National University of Colombia. To quiet a loud, unrelenting group of protestors, he ceremoniously dropped his pants. As he said, “innovative behavior can be effective when you run out of words.”

Public mooning didn’t go over well with the Board of Regents (or whatever they call university bureaucracy in the South American country), so he was asked to resign.

But within the year, he was back in the public spotlight running for mayor of Bogota. He was able to make massive change in the South American city using what he called a politician’s most powerful tool: imagination.

For example, when he was threatened by a leftist guerilla group, as many Colombian mayors were at the time, he donned the suggested bulletproof vest, but, as a symbol of confidence and even defiance, he cut a hole in the shape of a heart over his chest.

Another time, he walked the streets in spandex and a cape as Super Citizen, demonstrating the power of everyday average citizens.

When Bogota faced a water shortage, instead of the traditional rationing, he introduced voluntary conservation efforts, even running commercials of himself taking shorter showers. Instead of a busy signal on their phones, Bogotans got either his voice or Colombian pop star Shakira’s voice saying, “Thank you for saving water.” And it worked, decreasing water consumption by 10 to 15 percent.

He replaced corrupt traffic police officers with 420 mimes who “policed” driving behavior by pretending to be hurt or offended. Drivers began obeying traffic signals for the first time and within months, Bogota was able to dissolve the old, corrupt transit police force of 1800 officers. Dare I suggest a solution to police brutality?

Antanas was elected twice on a, get this, platform to increase taxes. During his second term, the City Council refused to approve the increase, so he invited citizens to pony up voluntary taxes and 63,000 households willingly paid an extra 10 percent.

Change IS possible, but we first have to be willing to surrender old, crusty policies and entrenched ways of doing things. We have to start looking for new solutions, to ask “What if?”

Antanas admits that some of his crazy schemes did not work. But he was able to deliver many promises because, as he pointed out, people began to cooperate. They had skin in the game. They began to have hope. They became astonished at their own power.

As he said, “Show me a city with a thousand problems, and I’ll show you 10,000 people who can solve them.”

So, while I normally eschew talking politics here on the blog, I thought this radical possibility of governance was worth pointing out.

I’ll end with this quote from filmmaker Adam Curtis, “Yes, change can be risky, but it’s also thrilling and might just lead to something extraordinary.” #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)