The F word for beginners


“I used to think the human brain was the most wonderful organ in the body. But then I realized who told me this.”—Emo Philips
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The human brain, as cool as it is, is designed to be efficient, not accurate. It’s designed to notice things that jive with past experiences. It works by interpreting things to cohere with what we already know.

So for me to judge or think I know best in nearly any situation can only get me in trouble.

Forgiveness, which ACIM Lesson 81 reminds me is my function, is a simple matter of saying “Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I don’t know.”

Maybe my brain is seeing this person as a caricature of the way I believe he is. Maybe, instead of seeing the light in him, I’m seeing my brain’s filter, my brain’s interpretation.

So today instead of assuming I know anything, I’m going to thank my brain for sharing and ask J.C. and the Holy S to run the show.

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

Important news flash: There is only one problem left in the world.

“Through His power and glory all your wrong decisions are undone completely, releasing you and your brothers from every imprisoning thought.” —A Course in Miracles
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According to my friend, Christine, March 20 is the International Day of Happiness. She also says it’s Alien Abduction Day. But we won’t get sucked up (pardon the pun) into that.

I leave today for Ajijic, Mexico where I’ll be spending nearly three weeks with a Course in Miracles community started by James Twyman. I wrote about him in my book, Living Big.

So I’m going to re-run a post I wrote a couple years ago. It speaks to ACIM Lesson 79 (Let me recognize the problem so that it may be solved). Enjoy!

This may come as a shock, but there is only one problem in the world today.

Despite all its many wily manifestations, this one problem is the same for all of us.

It’s a problem of perception. Our perception is the ONLY thing we need to heal. If we pray for healing of the body (or money issues or relationship struggles or any of the other myriad “problems” we think we have), we only reinforce the belief that there’s a problem.

There is no problem. There is only wrong perception. There is only the story we make up to entertain ourselves or frighten ourselves or… heck, I don’t know why we persist in investing all our energy into solving all these problems.

A few years ago, I became Facebook friends with a beautiful, wise woman named Ley Love.

Her story so inspired me that I asked her permission to share it with you.

With no further adieu, here’s Ley’s story:

Twenty years ago, i was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. It had been apparent that i had suffered the problems that come with the label for all of my life. After being diagnosed with the condition, i set out to discover all there was to know about the subject, so that i could be informed about my own condition. I read countless books, read websites, pamphlets, talked to others with Bipolar, anything i could find to understand why i was the way i was. I wanted to heal and thought that information was the best way to do this.

Today, i can see that all of that reading, the years spent pouring over information that would inform me of who i was being, was totally counter-productive. In fact, all it did was to teach me more about ‘How to be Bipolar”. I noticed that as time went by, i began to develop even more of the symptoms i had been reading about and life began to become unbearable. I suffered major anxiety, deep depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, low self esteem, OCD in many many forms, Agoraphobia (I didn’t leave my house for two years), I had countless problems in all of my relationships, self harmed and had basically completely closed down and given up on life. I had no hope of ever recovering and wanted to die.

This was the ego’s story.

Today, since studying ACIM, I am symptom free of nearly every one of those problems! I am happy, healthy, in love with life extremely grateful for all that ACIM (and god of course) has done for me. My only want in life now, is to be able to share this wonderful system of healing with others. To show people that there is a way out of the seeming nightmare that life can be and to give hope that what the course in Miracles insists can happen, DOES happen! I am the living proof.

I encourage anyone that wants to exchange the nightmare for the beautiful dream, to study this course. It is truly life-changing and has saved me from the depths of the hell that i thought i was living in. You can have this too. All it takes is a little willingness to see things a different way, God will do the rest!

Let love lead the way :-

And that’s it from Ley. I’ll talk to you again soon from sunny Ajijic!!

Hasta la vistas, babies!!!

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

Turning Mr. Hyde back into Dr. Jekyll

“People show up in our lives as opportunities to reach out in love. In spite of what we see, there is fullness and glory. Our job is to call it forth, to strengthen it, to honor it, to pray for it to rise.”—Michele Longo-O’Donnell ho'

You may have heard about Dr. Hew Len. He’s a former psychologist assigned to the special ward at the Hawaii State Hospital, a notorious clinic for the criminally insane.

It was so bad that Hew Len’s predecessors all left in despair (usually in less than a month) after making zero inroads in the lives of the seriously disturbed murderers, rapists and you know, the type of dates we hope not to encounter on say, Tinder or Match.com.

Hew Len was different. He rarely left his office. In fact, not once did he meet with any of the inmates, preferring instead to retrieve their files one-by-one and practice the ancient Hawaiian art of ho’oponopono.

Basically, as he explained it, he was healing the part of himself that created such atrocities. It was pointless, he believed, to try to heal others. All he could do was heal himself.

Little by little, nurses started noticing changes. Inmates required less shackling, less pharmaceutical drugs. Some mystery person began tending the gardens, repairing the tennis courts. The atmosphere changed SO MUCH that the prisoners, one by one, were eventually released. After four years, Hawaii’s much-despised clinic for the mentally insane was shuttered forever.

Although ACIM Lesson 78 (Let Miracles Replace All Grievances) doesn’t actually prescribe ho’oponopono, it might as well. It reflects Hew Len’s belief that anything that happens TO us is our responsibility.

Anything we perceive, any person we don’t like is our creation and thus our responsibility. One hundred percent. No exceptions.

It sounds crazy. But it worked for Hew Len and it’s the only thing that can ever heal our lives. We must first heal our perceptions. The world is a projection of our mind and today’s lesson asks us to choose just one lucky individual and use him or her to heal the planet.

Even though I can barely pronounce it and have to frequently look up its spelling, I use ho’oponopono all the time. I’ve successfully turned Mr. Hydes back into Dr. Jekylls.

All it requires is saying these shockingly simple phrases to all ogres on your path:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.

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

Turns out we ARE sitting on a pot of gold

“Being born’s a hell of a lottery”-David Mitchell
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Every year, at least $800 million in lottery prizes never get claimed. That’s a lot of serious cash that some lucky stiff could be enjoying right this very moment. Just imagine all the unaware ticket holders who, instead of sitting on a beach in Bora Bora, are bemoaning the fact they can’t pay their heating bill.

In other words, a lot of people are pretending to be poor when they’re so NOT.

That’s us, says ACIM Lesson 77. We are entitled to miracles–and it’s not just abundance to which we’re entitled. We’re entitled to the whole enchilada: joy, meaning, adventure, peace.

Miracles are your birthright, your destiny. Just like you can talk, clap and walk to the nearest Quicktrip, you can perform miracles.

This is a guarantee. This is ensured in your creation.

Today, I simply ask for what is rightfully mine. And to make it easier to remember, I’m going to play James Twyman’s beautiful song over and over until it’s an unshakeable fact in my mind.

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

Leprechauns, pots of gold and other crazy mad beliefs

“It’s not what you don’t know that kills you, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t true.”
–Mark Twain
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If you’re a parent, your kids have undoubtedly accused you of T.M.I. It stands for “too much information.”

In ACIM Lesson 76 (I am under no laws but Gods), we learn that not only have we have picked up T.M.I, but that most of it is T.M.F.I. (too much false information).

In this lesson, we examine the strange and twisted laws to which we are bound. The Course calls it insanity to believe we must obey the “laws” of medicine, of economics, of health. To think we would starve without stacks of green paper strips and piles of metal discs is the height of madness.

These ridiculous laws play a big role in how we experience life. They’re like the kitchen junk drawer that’s filled with a bunch of forgotten items: a dried up magic marker, rusty scissors, old birthday cards from people you don’t even remember and keys that probably used to open something although you’re not sure what.

This lesson offers freedom. It asks that we clean out the junk drawer, that we examine the mad beliefs that run our lives. Here are a couple I’ve decided to abandon:

1. “It’s necessary to get 8 hours of sleep.”

Who came up with that figure? It certainly wasn’t Thomas Edison who liked to boast that he slept but three or four hours a night and that he sometimes worked for 72 hours straight. The Course in Miracles makes it very clear that the only thing that makes us tired is our thoughts. And, of course, our commitment to the mad belief that you MUST get eight hours of sleep.
That particular belief, of course, has been perpetuated by the pharmaceutical industry that has made a killing out of our mad beliefs.

I prefer this belief: “I always get the right amount of sleep.”

2. “If you’re overweight, you should diet.”

Ahhhhh, right? Whoever started that particular rumor should be marched to the guillotine. Dieting only resets your metabolism lower. It should be obvious to all of us that diets DO NOT WORK!! Except for the diet industry that has made billions off that big, fat lie.

I prefer this belief: “I can eat whatever I want and maintain a perfect weight.”

3. “It’s imperative to work your ass off if you want to get ahead.”

Over the years, this belief has self-replicated, mutated and spread throughout our culture. It’s so pervasive that many of us abandon our natural creativity in its service.

I prefer this belief: “The more fun I have in my work, the more money I make.”

The list of laws that hold us prisoner is long indeed.

That’s why today I am repeating (in my head, not out loud) over and over again: I am under no laws but Gods.

Wouldn’t be surprised if I even find that pot of gold.

Top of the morning, afternoon and evening to you on this extraordinarily epic Saint Patty’s day!

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

The world as you’ve never seen it before

“There’s a voodoo mojo brewing at the go-go”–Bon Jovi
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When John Lennon and Yoko Ono launched their “War is Over” campaign, a deejay asked them, “Isn’t that ridiculous? The soldiers, the Vietnamese? How can you tell them the war is over?”

John, as always, had the perfect answer.

“People need to remember that they’ve got the power—not the government or leaders or teachers.”

His belief that we’ve got to imagine it first was early law of attraction. Who knew? John Lennon may have been one of its first practitioners.

ACIM Lesson 75 (The light has come) is a campaign similar to Lennon’s inspiring campaign.

He and Yoko plastered the message “If you want it, war is over” on billboards all over the world —11 cities from Tokyo to Berlin to New York. They also distributed leaflets and ran full-page newspaper ads. When asked how much it cost, he said, “I don’t really know. But surely less than a human life.”

Yoko re-launched the campaign three months ago.

“When we drop small pebbles, it immediately affects the ocean of the whole wide world,” she said. “We’ll keep doing it. Together. We change and the world changes.”

So today, I’m celebrating my personal change. I’m celebrating that the light has come. I’m celebrating the beginning of true vision, a happy vision, a vision that will replace the other world I created by thinking it was real.

As the Course reminds me, in my thoughts and beliefs lies all power.

And therefore:

I will dwell not upon the past today.

I will see the world, bathed in light, as I’ve never seen it before.

And I will remember what John said, “We–all of us–have the power.”

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

Effort is overrated

“Love is present everywhere, and its presence only needs to be realized.”—David Hawkins 3 little birds

If you really want to change your life, ditch the struggle, throw overboard the idea that you have to do more, try harder.

ACIM Lesson 74 (There is no will but God’s) encourages us to give up conflict and rest in a deep sense of joy and increased alertness. It tells us this peaceful, joyful way of being is what’s natural.

It tells us that any time we perceive a problem, we’re at odds with how God sees us.

It’s probably a good time to re-mention that God is nothing like the long-bearded guy the church made up for the sake of convenience and control.

Super God (or the Dude) is a luminous force of constant love and life is an enormous piece of art that I’m helping to create with my thoughts, with my frequency, with my love.

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

That was easy

“Excellent!” I cried. “Elementary,” said he.” ― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

easyMy beautiful colleague and friend, Annola Charity, presented me with a Staples “Easy” button a few years ago. This three-inch red button, when pressed, repeats “That was easy.”

I take it to all my playshops and tell everyone I know that it’s one of my favorite mantras and one  of the most important beliefs you can have.

In fact, the section that stood out to me when reviewing ACIM Lesson 73 (I will there be light) was how easy it is to pass the barrier of grievances that stand between me and my happiness.

Because it’s a wordy lesson, one of those that rubs me the wrong way, I plucked out two major points:

A) What I see in the world mirrors what is within.

B)  While it seems complicated to let go of my grievances (mainly because they sometimes seem so REAL), it’s a whole lot easier if let go of what I frequently call the most dangerous four-letter word in the English language.

This word that I’ve specifically banned from my vocabulary is especially damning when combined with something you’re trying to do: lose weight, attract money, get a hot date.

The word is “hard,” as in “It is hard to……

You know you’ve said it:

“It’s hard to change old habits.”
“It’s hard to find a better job.”
“It’s hard to empty my mind when meditating.”

Because our beliefs are so powerful, literally sculpting our lives on a moment-by-moment basis, to believe (and especially to say out loud) that anything is difficult is extremely counterproductive.

Still, even those of us who know about (and happily use) the power of our thoughts sometimes speak that ugly word.

I prefer the words “smooth” and “easy” and repeat those beautiful sentiments as often as I can.

I affirm that whatever I want to accomplish is smooth and easy. In fact, the less I do, the better things turn out. The more I hand over to the universe (the field of potentiality that is SO much smarter than me), the better my life becomes.

I hope you will join me in affirming that it’s “smooth” and “easy” to live in and be the light.

 

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

Unfurling a new map

“The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future.”–Eckhart Tollelight_of_the_world_by_pantalamonshan-d56yqcs

One of the key reasons I accept all invitations to present workshops (what I call play shops) is because I meet the most amazing people. I hear the most miraculous stories.

In Seattle, for example, I met a woman who used the principles in E-Squared to win one of HGTV’s Dream Homes. Another got front row tickets to a U2 concert even though it was sold out.

Perhaps my favorite story was from a woman who got a very clear message from her dog, a dog who had died several years earlier. He told her to be on the lookout because he was coming back. Sure enough, a stray dog showed up on her doorstep later that day. He had the exact markings on his chest, but the real kicker was when he laid down and crossed his right paw over his left just like he always had.

ACIM Lesson 72 (can you believe we’ve gotten this far?) says holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation. To me, it’s a reminder that I’m much more than my body, that these miraculous stories are the way it’s supposed to be.

Grievance-free thoughts carry an amplitude of energy that overrides the dominant paradigm.

Nothing is set in stone (the field is infinite and ever-changing). It is only my repetitive habits that show me the same results. I can change all that seems like “fact” by withdrawing my attention from it.

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

A whole new instruction manual

“None but ourselves can free our minds.”—Bob Marleymarley

Not long after he returned from India, spiritual guru Ram Dass was speaking to a group in New York. He was decked out in a flowing white robe and beads. A woman in the audience stood up and asked, “Why are you dressed like that? Aren’t you Jewish?’

Without missing a beat, he answered: “Only on my parent’s side.”

All of us are SO MUCH MORE than the genetic makeup of our bodies, the heredity of our families. We are literally God in drag.

ACIM Lesson 71 (Only God’s plan for salvation will work) tells us that trying to be anything else is crazy ridiculous.

The ego’s plan (if only this were different, I’d be okay) is like following a map of Peoria to navigate the streets of London. Or like using a do-it-yourself bookshelf manual to fix your vacuum cleaner. God’s plan is to know that everything IS OKAY! To celebrate that fact with full frontal abandon.

This lesson also has one of my all-time favorite passages, one I use nearly as much as my “Something extraordinarly epic is going to happen to me today.”

What would you have me do?

Where would you have me go?

What would you have me say, and to whom?

The answers I get from this practice are the only instruction manual I could ever need.

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