Relinquish your map of the universe

“Put all your knowledge and assumptions aside and start fresh.”–Jed McKenna 1 ab

Although my new book doesn’t start with the above epigraph, it could. It’s the perfect summary of what the Course in Miracles teaches. Start fresh. Let go of past beliefs. Release the ridiculous idea that just because something happened yesterday, it’s bound to happen again today.

We are literally blinded by our preconceptions, our damned fooled stubbornness that we know for certain that this is all we can expect from life, this is how this person’s gonna act.

Cognitive scientists tell us we develop perceptual shorthand that pre-processes everything we encounter. The upside is it keeps us from having to remember what size pants to buy. Or how to get to our favorite coffee shop.

The downside is it greatly limits what we’re able to see. Or rather what we don’t. We notice we’re looking at say, a dog or a sunrise or a chair and then we fill in the blanks with our stereotypes, our caricatures, the stuff we “already know” about dogs and sunrises and chairs.

We’re so used to seeing life in this way that we grow unwitting of its influence on our vision, on our way of being, on our regard for others. Particularly certain “others” who we coded a particular way in our cultural coloring book.

Doing the lessons in the Course opens our eyes, helps us see what Virginia Woolf called “a revelation of some order behind the daily wool of cotton life.”

Believe me, it’s extremely liberating when you start to realize life is SO MUCH MORE than you’ve believed it to be.

On another note, I’ve begun reviewing the applications for this year’s 222 Foundation grant. And wow! There are a lot of cool projects out there. Naturally, I want to fund every single one. I finally managed to narrow it down to 15 candidates, all of which I’ve contacted for more information.

One of the applicants sent this beautiful quote from Erich Fromm that seems like the perfect period for ending this post. Take it away, Erich Fromm.

“Man does not suffer so much from poverty today as he suffers from the fact that he has become a cog in a large machine, an automaton, that his life has become empty and lost its meaning.

“Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous. Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.

“What does one person give to another? He gives of himself, of the most precious he has, he gives of his life. This does not necessarily mean that he sacrifices his life for the other – but that he gives him of that which is alive in him; he gives him of his joy, of his interest, of his understanding, of his knowledge, of his humor, of his sadness — of all expressions and manifestations of that which is alive in him. In thus giving of his life, he enriches the other person, he enhances the other’s sense of aliveness by enhancing his own sense of aliveness. He does not give in order to receive; giving is in itself exquisite joy. But in giving he cannot help bringing something to life in the other person, and this which is brought to life reflects back to him.”

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).

Until further notice, celebrate everything

“Most of our assumptions have outlived their usefulness.” ― Marshall McLuhanacim meme 3

The Course in Miracles is all about challenging assumptions. We don’t see life as it really is because the stories we tell ourselves block the world’s unlimited largesse.

Instead of keeping track of all the beautiful gifts we’ve been given, we keep track of how many times we’ve been rejected or how many times this or that didn’t work.

But what if the opposite is true? What if the life force is actively working on our behalf at all times to deliver exactly what we need?

Most of us believe, that if we want something, we have to save up the money, go to a store and buy said thing. But what if that’s an erroneous assumption? What if all we have to do is make the request?

I just got a lovely email from a long-distance hiker who told me it’s common knowledge, among hikers out on the Appalachian, the Pacific Crest and other long-haul trails, that whatever is needed often shows up magically, beside the trail.

For example, on a 200-mile hike, he noted that he’d failed to pack a soap dish. That very day, a soap dish showed up along the side of the trail. It’s known in the hiking community as “trail magic.”

It also works in the city.

Once, in Mexico City where I was giving a workshop, I noticed I’d lost one of my Einstein wands (from Experiment #3 in E-Squared). I had no time to replace the wire hanger, but guess what? Not three minutes later, I literally tripped over a metal wire on the sidewalk that I quickly used to fashion into the missing wand.

It’s like manna from heaven that was miraculously supplied to the Israelites in their journey across the wilderness. It literally fell from the sky.

So here’s the assumption I suggest questioning this year. Is it true that, if you need something, you have to go to the store to buy it? Or will the universe deliver it to you, as long as you simply ask and don’t let your assumptions get in the way?

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).

Magic is afoot!

“Through it all, I keep coming back to love as the answer, the golden repair that lasts.”–Sue Cochrane

natoliYou know those bobble head dogs that people put in their back car window?

That’s what it’s like for me here at the Namaste community in Ajijic, Mexico. I  keep hearing things that resonate so deeply and I can’t help but nod and nod. And smile. And pump my fists.

Every morning, we gather together for satsang and it’s just so beautiful the things that are shared. Yesterday, James Twyman, who started this community, sang a song that he wrote just that morning, 30 minutes before group. This is nothing unusual. Because he’s so on fire with Spirit’s call, music flows through him. He seems to have a new song every morning.

Yesterday’s song, however, came straight from Taz. Several community members came up and said they felt her presence.

Here are some of the lyrics:

“You may think I’m leaving, but where would I go? I’m right here inside. Your heart might be grieving but there’s one thing you should know. What you feel inside is yours for all time. It will never fade. It will never fade away. For your heart is now mine. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Always.”

“I’ll be there when you call. There through it all. Your heart is safe with me.
“Just choose to believe. That love always finds a way. It finds a way. When your heart is open wide.”

“Watch for me. In the signs. Dream is now ending. It fades before your eyes. There’s no need for defending. You never really die. All you have to do is feel. My hand upon your own. Always there. Always there.”

If that wasn’t enough, several of us went out to a French bakery for cappuccinos and quiche, and my coffee cup, the only one of six, had E=MC2 on it. Everybody else got different logos, sayings, pictures. We all laughed at the clarity of the sign and I couldn’t help but exclaim ‘Thank you, Tazmosky!”–one of several nicknames I gave her over the years. In fact, Lisa Natoli, my new mighty companion, bought the cup straight from the restaurant and gifted it to me.

Lisa Natoli, if you haven’t already been introduced, is somebody you definitely need to know. She’s a powerful, incredible Course in Miracles teacher. I was so moved by her words that I literally walked up to her out of the blue and asked her to co-lead a week-long workshop/playshop at the Omega Institute from July 5-10. We’re calling it “All heaven will break loose.” Look for it in the upcoming catalog.

The other thing I’d like to announce is that my brother, James Twyman, is heading back to the States tomorrow. On January 4, he launches a radical, two-month tour of his “Brother Sun/Sister Moon” musical. Even better, he and cohort Bill Free are doing it just the way Saint Francis of Assisi did it back in the 12th century. They’re going penniless, on foot, trusting completely in God and the generosity of God’s children.

Here’s why I think it’ll change the world.

These two are all in, 100 percent. Like the original St. Francis, they’re completely on fire with love, with truth, with trust. The tour kicks off in Portland, Oregon, goes south to California and eventually will end with a two-week tour in New York off-Broadway.

They’ll be at Unity Village near me end of January, but, sadly, I’m giving a talk in Boston at that time. I hope to meet up with them in Phoenix in mid-January.

If you feel moved (and believe me, being with these two is such a gift), check out their schedule and offer to feed them, house them, help them get from place to place. They’re trusting in Divine Providence, but, as Paul and John said, it never hurts to accept “a little help from my friends.”

Being in their presence is an experience I have so treasured. And I know you will, too.

I’ll end with the ACIM quote Lisa shared this morning. “If you knew who walked with you, fear would be impossible.”

Have the best weekend of your lives, my friends. I love you to the Planet Zorpia and back.

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).

Feliz Navidad and Happy Adam Day

“Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square.” –Bobby Helms christmas with mosky-roo

Happy Adam Day! Which, as I learned this morning at Satsang, is today since Adam came before Eve.

And if you’ll humor me, here’s another.

What is the favorite music of Santa’s elves? See answer below.

Just wanted to wish everyone a beautiful, mystical holiday and remind you that the deadline to apply for 2020’s 222 award is December 31.

Lastly, in honor of Ram Dass who is “Being Here Now” with my beloved Taz, here are a few of my favorite Ram Dass quotes:

“When you know how to listen, everybody is the guru.”

“The quieter you become, the more you hear.”

“Dying is absolutely safe.”

“We’re all just walking each other home.”

And a story that has given me much comfort as I’m invited into a different kind of relationship with my daughter:

After Timothy Leary died, Ram Dass, his colleague at Harvard in the 60’s, was asked how he felt about the loss of his long-time associate?

Ram Dass answered, “What loss? He’s still with me.”

May we all be together this holiday season. And know that loss is not possible in the Kingdom! Love you all!

Answer: Favorite elf music? Wrap.

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 body is overrated

“If you want to make yourself miserable, you have endless opportunities because always, someone will do something you do not like.”–Sadghuru dude

Hey, my friends. I’m heading to group (I guess it’s my Mexican Possibility Posse) and, after that, to a natural hot springs. So I thought I’d post this excerpt from one of the two free books you get if you preorder The Course in Miracles Experiment.

I wrote this funny little freebie with 25 strategies created by the ego to keep us from the peace and joy to which we’re entitled. Enjoy!

Strategy #5: Create defective containers.

To separate God into the illusion of many parts, like the many pieces of a flower pot dropped on the floor, they’ll need containers. They will begin to believe these containers (they’ll call them bodies) are their identity.

And since these bodies choose not to live in Eden, not in the moment, they are not of God and, therefore, not eternal. In other words, they are defective or will seem that way outside Eden. These container/bodies will need constant attention. They will need to be fed, watered and rested on a daily basis. They will take so much time and attention (read: distraction) that their true identity will be lost.

They will name these bodies (I’m Sue and you’re Frank) and spend countless hours providing for their upkeep.

They’ll spend one-third of each day working at jobs they don’t like to provide feed and shelter for these containers. They’ll spend another third of their day resting their containers. They’ll protect them from what they perceive to be constant dangers with locks and protective clothing. They’ll go to doctors to find things wrong with their containers. They will be so distracted with all the things that “could go wrong,” they’ll forget that it is only their “wrong mind,” their “not of God” mind that created the whole thing. They will soon believe the container, the always-vulnerable container, is who they are.

A body could never contain God, so therefore, it will be my greatest invention, my most potent tool. Fallible, aging bodies that require constant attention are the ultimate distraction. The irony, of course, is they will be so distracted by caring for these bodies that they’ll never know their bodies are their own doing and that, at any moment, they could return to Eden.

The blueprint of who they are in Reality can never be interrupted. The separated ones, if only they knew, contain order, harmony, balance, peace and wholeness.
They wear bodies in the illusion according to the image they hold in their thoughts. They change their bodies by their beliefs, but they believe they are victims of these bodies.

Reflective note (Or addendum now in the 21 st Century): Like Dorothy, who had the ruby slippers all along, they can come home anytime. But they’re too busy looking for the Wizard and wandering all these yellow brick roads to ever figure that out.

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).

Judgments deter miracles

“The mind continuously creates hypotheses.”—Marilynne Robinson
knight

A couple days ago, at a wonderful vegan pizza restaurant in Ajijic, Mexico, I saw a sign that said, “Listen to your heart, not your habits.”

That could just as well be ACIM Lesson 342. Our brains are on autopilot. They’re wired to look for threats. To automatically mobilize around anything we judge to be scary.

The Course says it’s all a bunch of bunk.

James Twyman made a great point at Satsang yesterday. He brought up medieval knights. With all their breastplates and helmets and other assorted armor, you have to wonder—how did they even move, let alone guard their castles?

And that’s us. Walking around with way too much armor. Our judgments, our hypothesis, our masks make it kinda hard to move. They keep love away.  They deter miracles.

So today, instead of galvanizing myself against something horrible coming at me, I’m gonna focus on the other story. I’m gonna commit to beholding beauty, to pointing out all the things I love.

And anytime my brain makes yet another hypothesis, I’ll laugh. And I’ll say, “But did you see the egrets stretching their necks to the sun? Did you see the sweet father walking hand in hand with his daughter to school? Did you see the look in that lover’s eye?

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).

Exalting the beautiful

“It is joy by which the labor that will make the life that I want, possible.”–Ross Gay 1 cause

Unlike my gorgeous daughter who was fluent in Spanish, my language skills are malo, a word that basically means “they suck.”

But I have managed to master one phrase: “No gracias!” I use it many, many times a day as I am offered everything from aprons to sombreros to big buckets of raspberries and green beans.

I also use this phrase anytime my ego acts up. Today’s Course lesson (“I offer only miracles today. For I would have them returned to me”) tells me that if I only offer miracles (meaning I offer love and peace and other truths of who I am) that’s what boomerangs back. It’s classic law of attraction.

The Course offers daily tips for saying “No gracias” to all ridiculous ideas thrown out by the ego. The ego wants us to believe there’s never enough, that we’re never enough. It harps at us constantly. “You need to follow these seven steps. You need to be wary of this person. You need to work harder.”

The Course reminds us none of that is true. The workbook, which gives us 365 reminders, is all about overwhelming the ego with sheer persistence. That’s why I practice it year after year. That’s why I say “No gracias” to anything that doesn’t represent infinity, joy, peace of mind.

Instead I says, “Si Si” to the beautiful.

I just heard a wonderful interview with Ross Gay. He’s a poet, professor and author of The Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. He writes beautifully about how joy is an important calling.

“Joy,” he says, “is the moment when my alienation—not just from other people, but from the whole thing — goes away. If it was a visual thing, like, everything becomes luminous.”

Starting on his 42nd birthday, he promised himself to write a mini-essay each day about something that delighted him, simple things like vegan donuts and arugula and loitering. The thing that surprised him about his year of looking for and writing about delight was how quickly the study of delight made delight more evident.

At first, he thought it was gonna be hard, to find something delightful every day. But he writes that, very quickly, he developed a “delight radar” or a “delight muscle.

“I began to realize how frequently I’m in the presence of sweet little interactions that don’t have to happen, but do—like seeing two people sharing the burden of carrying a shopping bag or a sack of laundry.”

Perhaps my favorite part of the interview was Gay articulating that, in the longing for justice, we must exalt the beautiful and tend to what we love, as much as what we fight.

As he says, “I often think the gap in our speaking about and working for justice is that we forget to advocate for what we love, for what we find beautiful and necessary. We are good at fighting, but imagining, and holding in one’s imagination what is wonderful and to be adored and preserved and exalted is harder for us, it seems.”

So in honor of Ross Gay, I would like to exalt the gardener at the Namaste community here in Ajijic. His name is Augustino. He has been tending to the hundreds of plants, trees and flowers here since they were first planted, way before James Twyman bought the place. He treats each one with love and respect. He talks to them. He notices when one of them needs an extra drink of water or to be moved to a different spot. He is in a deep and caring relationship with his little piece of Mother Earth.

So tell me in the comments section below, “What beautiful thing are you willing to exalt today?”

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).

Running with the stars

“I’m writing a book. I have the page numbers done. Now, I just need to fill in the rest.” –Stephen Wright stars

Happy Friday, my friends. Before this day gets away, I want to send a quick update. I’m in Ajijic, Mexico, hanging out with James Twyman and his wonderful Namaste community.  You might remember I was here in early 2018.

Every morning, the lesson from A Course in Miracles is written on a big blackboard and we gather for an hour of singing and hugging and talking Truth.

Today’s ACIM Lesson (“I can be free of suffering today”) is a perfect reminder that we get to choose. At any time, we can step into joy and freedom, be released from the illusion that something is wrong, that something is other than it should be. Our perception (which is really another word for deception) doesn’t begin to show us everything. It only shows us what we’ve decided is true.

As James pointed out this morning, the only thing that keeps us stuck in our current illusion is our fear of letting go and expanding into everything. That’s what the Course promises.

If you’ve been hanging out on this blog for awhile, you likely know my take on A Course in Miracles–the book you guys practically forced me to write–is about to drop.

Hay House is putting together a landing page where anybody who preorders can get a couple extra free books that I also wrote to go along with it.

For those who are ahead of the curve and have already ordered, here’s a big shout out. And know that you can claim your free books ASAP by simply sending an email to Cathy Veloskey at cveloskey@hayhouse.com.

Hay House also wants me to tell you that Art & Soul, Reloaded, the eBook version, is on sale for $1.99 during the month of December. That’s less than a cup of coffee. And worth a whole lot more—especially if you’re feeling the pull to create. It’s available on Amazon, Nook and iBooks.

In other news, I’m actively fielding pitches for the upcoming 222 Foundation award. If you’ve got a great idea to move the needle,  an idea for changing perceptions and therefore changing the world, by all means, send your proposal here.  The deadline is December 31.

In closing, I’d like to end with this wonderful thought from the poet David Whyte. He says the ultimate touchstone of friendship is the privilege of having been seen by someone. You guys have definitely seen me, been here for me, walked with me, believed in me and accompanied me on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.

Thank you SO MUCH, my friends.

All of us. Together. 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).

You gotta get high

“Self-martyrdom is bad role modeling.”–Mushim Patricia Ikedalets-get-high-seth-rogen-weedmeems

In Thank and Grow Rich, I mentioned B.J. Novak, the writer/comedian/former beau of Mindy Kaling who claims his #1 tip for fostering creativity is “be in a good mood.” He calls it “powering up,” says he wouldn’t dream of starting his day, launching his writing until he’s feeling high.

“Getting high,” although physicists don’t call it that, creates the critical mass that replicates energy. Despite what we’ve long believed, it’s not quantity (large quantities of time, of effort, of investment) that creates real change.

It’s the quality of the time, the effort and the interaction that counts.

Energetically, a high vibration is the sweet spot, the yeast that creates the ability to reimagine our relationships, our work, indeed our whole lives.

Practicing joyfulness (being high) may seem like a tiny ingredient in the scheme of your life, but it’s the yeast that makes everything expand, that makes every good thing possible.

So whatever you’re doing on this beautiful, never-to-exist again day, make it a point to first get high.

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).

Big, fat juicy thanks all around

“If you have the right music very loud on the radio, you get about 50 more miles from your tank.”—Hunter S. Thompson Gratitude-Changes-Everything.jpg

It’s gratitude month, my friends. And as I do every morning with my possibility posse, I simply must share three amazingly awesome things that recently transpired.

Numero uno. Dr. Christiane Northrup who may just be the most generous person in the world recently made an Instagram video about my new book. My editor asked her to possibly provide an endorsement (after all, she’s a well-known and very famous expert) and wow! Not only did she provide kudos, but she made this fun little video, completely unprompted. She even said this was the first time she’d ever been able to embrace A Course in Miracles and she wanted my book (when it comes out in January) on her nightstand. As I said, WOW!

Second really cool thing is that Karen Drucker, the uber famous touring musician, speaker and retreat leader (and winner of the Tarzan calling competition when she was 13) has offered to throw a benefit concert for the 222 Foundation.

The Unity Temple on the Plaza has agreed to host this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on May 3 in Kansas City. Karen, who will be playing and singing songs from her 15 albums, will present along with Greg Tamblyn, me, Emmy-nominated Stowe-Good and other like-minded friends. And, just so you know, we’ll be presenting the song Karen and I wrote called, “Something amazingly awesome is going to happen to me today.”

We are hereby affirming that this consciousness-bending show will alter the world forevah!!! The 222 Foundation is all about moving the needle and this benefit concert is guaranteed to rev up the engine. Make plans now to be there.

Third reason I can barely sit here in my chair is that an auction has just begun for the 52 paintings that were created by the German artist, Sigrid Drobner, for the 222 Foundation.

flower2After Taz passed last October, this artist who I had never met promised to paint a special flower (and make a 3-D butterfly) every week of the year in Taz’s honor.

People sometimes say they’re going to do things, but this amazing artist actually followed through. She sent me one of these gorgeous paintings every single Saturday for 52 weeks. I can’t even begin to express how much her generosity has meant to me, how often it picked me up when I was wondering what in the heck I’m still doing on this planet.

And now she is auctioning them off with ALL PROCEEDS going to the 222 Foundation. Here’s what she says: “If anybody wants to make an offer, they can easily write an email to my address s.drobner@buntezeiten.de.” The auction, she says, will end December 1.

Again, my friends, never forget that support, love, generosity and abundance is the reality of the world. We simply have to let go of old school ideas that tell us otherwise.

I love and appreciate you all SO, SO much. I’d love if, in the comments section below, you share three of your own blessings. Let’s keep watering those seeds. course experiment

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).