Why it’s time to widen the aperture

“Arrive curious, without the armor of certainty. Live the life that chooses you, new with every breath, every blink of your astonished eyes.”—Rebecca del Rio

Tomorrow is Tasman’s birthday. She would have been 27.

I strongly believe she came to me 27 years ago as an act of great love. I was a 37-year-old singleton who desperately needed a monster lesson in loving with my whole heart.

I was a, let’s just say, wishy-washy creator who needed a reason to fully commit to being responsible and going for my dreams.

At the time I discovered I was pregnant, I was making it (sorta) as a freelance writer. I had my moments of glory, getting a few good-paying assignments with Travel+Leisure, Modern Bride (ironic since I had always been single) and the Washington Post. I was dabbling in travel writing and more or less following my whims. Nothing wrong with whims, but it was clearly time for me to do something more substantial.

I’d struggled with commitment to one man so Taz, entering my life as a tiny human totally dependent on me, became the soul mate I so acutely desired.

Thanks to her, I buckled down on my spiritual practice. I turned my career, my parenting, my entire life over to The Dude. I’ve written before about how painfully clear it was that I needed to see things differently, to let go of all the limitations I’d placed upon myself, to well, widen my aperture.

If I was truly going to make it as a writer, the dream I’d long pursued, and if I was going to properly care for this beautiful soul who could have chosen a two-parent household, a bigger bank account, a caregiver with a more stable career, it was pretty obvious I needed to shape up.

I am forever grateful that she and her infinite love chose me anyway. She believed in me in a way I didn’t. She gave me a flesh and blood reason to become the person I always wanted to be. In short, she inspired me to completely rewire and rewrite my life.

Many in my circle, after hearing the surprising news that this gypsy was going to be a parent, encouraged me to seek a more stable profession, something with regular hours and benefits.

But to truly be a good example to my new soulmate, I felt I needed to go for the whole enchilada—to carve my own path, to follow my urgings to honor the gifts I was given. Yes, I would have to write consistently, become disciplined, but writing consistently is what I LOVE to do. Plus freelance writing gave me space and time to be there for Taz.

The most significant change required was for me to surrender old paradigms and ways of seeing the world. I had to rely completely and humbly, not on my own smarts or talent, but on the bigger force that continuously whispers to me, the force that wants to guide, bless and interact with all of us.  

Every day, I repeated this affirmation:

Into my will, let there pour strength.

Into my feeling, let there flow warmth,

Into my thinking, let there shine light

That I may nurture this child, Tasman McKay Grout,

With enlightened purpose,

Caring with heart’s love

and bringing wisdom to all things.

In a week, it will be two years since Taz joined the cosmic love team or what we often call the “other side.”  I’m still getting my equilibrium after this shattering loss. But this I can say with complete certainty:

My gorgeous, brilliant daughter who was always the wisest person in any room still lives within my every thought, my every breath, my every heartbeat.

So thank you, Taz, for choosing me, for overlooking my shortcomings and for inspiring me to be a better person. I feel it in my bones that this lifetime was one of many we’ve experienced together.

I will love you forever. I’m excited about the upcoming 222 Foundation award and for the day we meet up again, unencumbered by the illusion of these fallible bodies. Happy magical birthday, my love. #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).

The absolute must-do right now: Curate your intake

“In the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never even pretend that we are not.”– Mr. Fred Rogers

For the next six weeks, I’m participating in a Laddership Pod with 175-some people from 19 countries. Every day, we read a selected reading and then reflect on what it means.

This opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. In case you hadn’t noticed, the “news” right now is less than uplifting. It’s constantly in your face with a lot of talk that doesn’t, shall we say, take into account the perspective of infinity.

I noticed myself getting caught up in it—believing I needed to stay on top of all these current events. My main takeaway from this onslaught of news is that I was being played. I was being purposely manipulated.

More than ever, I have to curate what I allow into my field of awareness. Just like I “curate” what I put in my body, I have to also curate what I allow into my mind.

The stories I’m reading in the Laddership Pod are exactly what I need right now to start my day. And since these stories are better than anything I could come up with, I’m posting a couple links that I trust you will also find comforting. Enjoy!



Namaste, my beautiful friends. #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).

What would a being of light do today?

“If we only knew deeply, absolutely, that our smallest act, our smallest thought, has such far-reaching effects; setting forces in motion; reaching out to the galaxy; how carefully we would act and speak and think. How precious life would become in its integral oneness.”–Irina Tweedie      

So let me guess. The question I posed in today’s headline (How would you spend your day if you knew you were a being of light?) was not the first question you asked yourself this morning. Not with news to catch up on and precautions to take.

But what if we started every morning with that question, with that intention? How different our morning, our day and our lives would be.

Instead of penning a to-do list, what if we actually got up and began acting like the being of light we truly are? A being of light isn’t worrying about coronavirus or getting tangled in political knots.

As long as we seek to become something, to get something, we will forever remain in the energy of seeking, of not having. Why not just go there now?

“Be the change,” as Gandhi famously said. Taz directed me to listen to an interview I gave post-E-Squared as I was walking this morning and wow! Did I ever need to hear this again? I even mentioned something about death back then. Really?

I’ll be writing today (on my upcoming project) about a girl, now grown up, whose brother, her best playmate, died when she was young. For many months after, he came to play with her every night after everyone else had gone to bed. Her grief-stricken mother, who like most adults forgot the truth about who she is, woke up every morning wondering why his favorite truck was out in the dining room or his legos were strewn across the kitchen.  The young girl, who hadn’t yet mastered the dominant paradigm, tried to tell her mom, but she was far too invested in the old paradigm.

Eventually, that mom will be reunited with her son. Eventually, we’re all going to get there. It’s already a done deal.

But for now, for today, ask yourself “How would a being of light spend her day?’

And if you’ve got an extra 58 minutes, listen to this interview. It helped me. And I trust it will remind you of who you really are. #222Forever

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).

Escape from the trance

“To save the planet, we don’t need technological breakthroughs or vast amounts of capital. Essentially, we need a radical change in our thinking and behavior.” – Rob Hopkins

My wonderful interviewer, Carolin, made this backdrop for me the other day.

German mystic Meister Eckhart said, “God is at home. It is we who have gone out for a walk.”

Because we are distracted by a long litany of misery, we don’t even notice God or the truth about who we really are.

The world we’re seeing now is a byproduct of decades of enculturation, decades of believing that we are limited to these physical meat suits. Most of our fear comes from trying to protect them. Until we turn our back on all that is emerging out of the chaos of our current thoughts and beliefs, we will continue to miss the light.

One of the main lessons from A Course in Miracles is “I am not a body. I am free.”  It’s repeated A LOT. It says that if we can just get that one lesson, if we can learn to embrace the part of us that’s bigger than our body, our lives will come alive in a whole new way. Our bodies are nothing but a resource, a tool, a conduit for a higher level of consciousness.

What’s missing for many of us is the wisdom to recognize we are much MORE than our body. Once we get this, we can travel through reality in a whole new way.

Let’s take Taz, for example. As I’ve mentioned before, we had a ritual involving hedgehogs. Whichever one of us said that silly word first on the first day of each month won the prize of a lucky month. We started this game when she was in junior high.

To this day, she sends me a hedgehog on the first of every month. Sometimes, it comes as a photo or a text from her old phone. On May 1 of this year, I was doing a podcast with the wonderful Course teacher, Lisa Natoli. While we were chatting, a hedgehog crawled into her back yard in Maine. She said it had never visited before.

Tasman McKay Grout, even though she’s busy doing her God work out there in the cosmos, still finds time to bless me with this monthly reminder. Yesterday, September 1, she must have been in the mood to show off. Because she sent me not one, but four hedgehogs. Two of them came from readers of this very blog—one whose daughter dreamed of a white hedgehog and another who was sent a pair of socks tricked out with, you guessed it, dozens of hedgehogs. She said, “I knew right away this was meant for you.”

During the first months after Taz’s passing, I failed to notice the hedgehogs. But as Meister Eckart points out, “it was me who was out for a walk.”

Meister Eckhart also said, “If the only prayer we ever say is thank you, that would be enough.”

So thank you, Jodi, and thank you, Rosa, and thank you, Taz, for helping me realize that I am, that you are the energy, light and consciousness that animates the body, not the body itself. Love you forever. #222Forever

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).

Who’s on your board of directors?

“Your creator is itching to contact you.” – George Washington Carver 00001aaad

One of my first books, commissioned by a national seminar company, was about mentoring — how to be one, how to find one.  SkillPath, the company that hired me to write it, sold it at the seminars they trotted around the country giving.

Upon reflection, I realize that most of my mentors dispense wisdom from what many call “the other side.” To be fair, I don’t really believe there’s an “other side.”  Rather, the potential to connect with anyone, dead or alive, is available to all of us.

Like Napoleon Hill, who appointed his own personal “Cabinet of Invisible Counselors” including Luther Burbank, Leonardo da Vinci and Abraham Lincoln, I recently opened a conversation with George Washington Carver.

I’ve written about this great scientist and inventor before. Not only was he one of the first Americans to be invoked into Britain’s Royal Society of Arts, but this brilliant man practically saved the economy of the South after the boll weevil devastated the cotton crop.

I love him because he KNEW he was deeply connected to God or what I call the “Field of Infinite Potentiality.” Anyone, he said, can “tune in.” The vast broadcasting system is available to every single human.  The very air around us contains an energy current we can plug into.

YouTube and Google are fine, I suppose, but they show us “old news,” stuff that humans have figured out. Carver’s broadcasting system offers brilliant NEW ideas, ideas with the power to rewrite the apparent “what is.”

In case you hadn’t noticed, the apparent “what is” isn’t looking so sunny right now. So, as of today, I re-up my commitment to tune in – to the higher idea, the loving, generous broadcasting system that, as Carver said “is itching to make contact.”

Every single thing he needed to know was easily revealed to him — starting as early as grade school. He had been praying (and begging his adopted parents) for a pocket knife. One morning, he woke up, ran out to the garden and came back calling “Aunt Sue. Aunt Sue.” He found an ivory-handled knife in a watermelon, exactly as he’d dreamed.

Every morning, before the sun arose, George Washington Carver, got up and walked. His communion with nature, he insisted, provided the recipes, the formulas to create the hundreds of products for which Henry Ford, Albert Einstein and three presidents lauded him. He didn’t do it for the acclaim. He did it because this 24/7 broadcasting system was telling him — here’s how you can help.

This energy broadcast is there for all of us.

We are connected to every single thing we could ever need to live a fulfilling, abundant  life. All we have to do is tune in. #222forever

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).

Monday’s Miracle Manifesto

“Give of yourself as freely as you possibly can to eliminate the darkness.”—Tituss Burgess 


Good morning, merry miracle makers.  Thought I’d take a moment to share a miracle story that recently came my way.

It’s from Tituss Burgess, the Emmy-nominated singer/actor who plays Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s gay, out-of-work roommate.  I became interested in him because of his close relationship with his grandmother who passed to the nonphysical many years ago. He still talks to her, feels her presence and seeks her advice. When she visits, he says things get really still and he just knows she’s broached the veil.

“It’s as real,” he says, “as if she were…you know, here in person.”

His grandma also continues to orchestrate miracles.

After four episodes of playing hairdresser D’Fwan on 30 Rock who, among other scene-stealing moments, urged Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy to “come out of the closet,” Burgess says, “I finally felt I’d found my purpose.”

It’s not that he didn’t enjoy his Broadway roles (in Guys and Dolls, The Wiz and Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, to name a few), but he was fervently praying for a bigger dream, a higher purpose. He got goosebumps when Alec Baldwin, after the conclusion of his four-episode run, told him he deserved a spin-off series.

At that point, he went home to his studio apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, got down on his knees and implored the Dude, the Universe, his grandma to bless him with another series-regular role.

“I said, ‘Goddess, I want another regular role with the same caliber of talent, the same level of energy, the same wonderful writing.”

He got evicted shortly thereafter.

Rather than despair, he knew it was time to employ his highest beliefs.

“I prayed for those things that I now knew were my purpose, I meditated on those things, I astral projected myself into these things. I saw myself there.”

Five years later, he landed the part of Titus Andromedon, Kimmy’s flamboyant, self-delusional roommate.

On his first day of filming, he got a clear wink from the universe.

“I was told to report to 48nd Street between Eighth and Ninth. My hand to God, the door of my trailer opened right in front of the very place where I had fallen to my knees and prayed. I get teary just thinking about it. It was a very clear sign of my bond with my grandma, with goddess, with the universe. It was like they said, “I see you and I’m going to give you beyond what you just asked for.”

So I ask you, my friends, what are you going to ask for today from the universe?

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 sky’s the beginning

“I am frightened and I am fearless. I am weak and I am a warrior. I am uncertain and I am confident. And by learning to embrace the paradox in all of it, I am more myself.”—Alicia Keys 00001aee

So I read an incredibly inspiring book this weekend. And, no, it wasn’t published by Hay House or any other self-help purveyor. The book, More Myself, is Alicia Keys’ riveting memoir that further proves there’s little this superstar can’t do.

Here are five reasons I now have a huge girl crush on this activist, Grammy-winner, entrepreneur and creative genius:

1. She knows that with every word and intention, she creates the masterpiece that is her life. That’s a quote, straight from the pages of her book. From the very beginning of her illustrious career, when she signed her first contract at—get this?—age 15, she has been aware of the universal energy that forms itself around her belief and thoughts.

2. She’s all-in as an activist. Her video, 23 Ways you Could be Killed if you’re Black in America is poignant and powerful and sadly, still as true as it was four years ago when she first made it.

3. She’s living proof that creativity is a synonym for spirituality. She has been using her art, expressing her truth to imagine a new world and design a new vision. As I write in my book, Art & Soul, Reloaded, the world will ultimately be bound back together not by politicians, but by thousands of individuals giving of their gifts, thousands of individuals becoming ambassadors of the possible.

4. She has been practicing meditation since 2015, using a Sanskrit mantra that translates to, “I bow to the Creative Wisdom, the Divine Teacher within.”

5. Like my gorgeous daughter, Taz, she eschews makeup. She even launched a movement (hashtag, #NoMakeup) that encourages women to be true to themselves. And I love that she freely admits that, like all of us, she stresses way too much about what other people think and has, for years, withheld parts of herself to make others feel comfortable. She details how all the photos of models and actresses and others we compare ourselves to have been heavily photoshopped. As she says, “I don’t want to cover up anymore—not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.

If that’s not a manifesto worth following, I don’t know what is.

Here in Lawrence, Kansas, I’ve been celebrating little things—like moonflowers (it’s so much fun to watch at dusk as they begin to pulse and shimmy and ready themselves to burst open and salute the moon) and neon green-throated hummingbirds who recently congregated around my hummingbird feeder as they prepare for their journey south.

No matter what’s happening out there, my friends, it’s important to remember that inside us all is a subtle, invisible wisdom stream that’s 24/7 available to assist with our journey.

Have a fab week, my friends. Sending love and 222 blessings from the heart of America.

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 whole breath and nothing but the breath

“He who half breathes, half lives.”—Ancient Eastern proverb 0001aaac

So I hear there’s a new bestseller about the power of breathing. Written by James Nestor, it’s called Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. I’ve ordered it and am looking forward to reading it, but, from what I can tell, it echoes much of the same info as the breathing book I wrote in 1996 when Taz was three.

I called it Jumpstart Your Metabolism, because, among other things, proper breathing (which most of us don’t do) pumps up your metabolism. It was my way of tricking people into paying attention to this uber-important body function that we tend to take for granted.

I initially self-published it. I’ve got a great photo of three-year-old Taz walking “the yellow brick road” she made out of the books wearing her ruby red slippers, the ones she liked to sleep in. Eventually, Simon & Schuster bought it and, far as I know, it’s still out there inspiring people to “take a big, deep breath.”

After re-reading my own book (funny how I have to do that sometimes), I decided to post this excerpt:

“Breathing, quite frankly, is the most underrated activity on the planet.  My own interest in this topic started when somebody gave me a series of motivational tapes by Tony Robbins, the self-help guru whose late-night infomercials are enough to inspire a sea slug. I’d love to tell you I sat down immediately, listened to each and every tape, and suddenly became a genius, but the truth is I didn’t get around to listening to most of them until a few years later.

“While driving home to my mother’s house for the mandatory Thanksgiving turkey, I happened to plug in a cassette in the series that talks about energy: how to get it, how to keep it. Since this was a subject I was miserably lacking in, I decided to pay attention.

“At the time, I had about as much energy as a dead goldfish. I was a single mom of a then one-year-old. Need I say more? Between diapers, fevers, and rent payments that seemed to be due every five minutes, energy was not a word in my vocabulary. It was obviously Tony’s favorite word.

“Even his voice was infectious. I almost stopped the car and did a polka. He talked about energy and how the best way to get it was to breathe. Since I was presumably already breathing, I didn’t think it’d be too much trouble to breathe a little more.

So I did.

Now you’ve got to understand something about me. This cassette was the 17th in the series and so far, I hadn’t followed through on any of them.

But breathing was so simple, so undemanding.


Another favorite photo of my angel.

Maybe I’d even follow through on his suggested 21-day breathing program. If he’d asked me to swear off chocolate or run up ten flights of stairs, that would have been a different story. But all he wanted in return for all this boundless energy was ten deep breaths three times a day. I could fit that in between meals.

Besides, what did I have to lose? I didn’t have to buy anything or go anywhere or even stick with it longer than the average lunar cycle.

Well, to make a long story short, I followed through with the breathing—all 21 days. And guess what?

Tony was right. I felt as if somebody finally flipped the switch. I actually had energy for the time since Taz was born. She had to be wondering what in the heck was going on. Her draggy mommy had suddenly turned into Jim Carrey. Once, I’m pretty sure I even saw her wanting to stick her finger down her throat, roll her eyes, and say, “Chill, mom.” But luckily this was before she could speak.”

The book goes on to explain how nine out of ten of us are wimpy breathers and it gives breathing cocktails (I have always eschewed the word exercises) to overcome this deficiency. After mentioning my new interest in my old book, a member of one of my posses mentioned she had once laminated a couple of the exercises and kept them by her bed.

I’m not sure why it surprises me so much when I hear people actually “listen” to what I write.

Anyway, my friends, as I say in the end of that book, “May the breath be with you…..with all its accompanying peace, passion and prosperity.”

And, as always, have the best weekend of your life.

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).

Fall in love with the world you can’t even see yet

“Perceptual bias affects nut jobs and scientists alike.”—Martha Beck12 dance

India won its freedom from British colonial rule in 1947. Mahatma Gandhi, who led the nonviolent battle, used to say, “India will be independent as soon as its people can see it in their own minds.”

In other words, they had to focus not on what they saw, but on what they wanted to see.

As long as we feel beholden to outside circumstances, put stock in the world as it appears to be, we are stuck in small emotions, small visions.

The world is changing at warp speed. We’re in the midst of the biggest planetary evolution of our time. Those of us who know that an invisible energy realm (what I often call the field of infinite potentiality or the F.P.) governs the material realm are the pioneers who must call forth the new world. A world where everybody belongs, a world where everybody is fed and nurtured and loved.

I realize it doesn’t exactly look like that now, but we–with our thoughts, emotions and consciousness—are being called to play the starring role in the new world that’s being born.

It’s up to us to tap into the world’s natural abundance and joy. It’s up to us to change the story from lack and scarcity to plentitude, from transaction to trust, from fear to love, from separateness to unity. Love and possibilities are everywhere around us except where we suppress it with limited perception.

Everything we need is already here but we must fine-tune our seeing. We must bring forth that which we can’t see yet with our eyes.

Who’s game to join me in this new vision, from problem state to possibility state? Let’s fall in love, let’s be dazzled with the world we’re calling forth. #222 Forever!

And for those who are interested, here are a couple recent podcast interviews.



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).

Money? Who needs money?

“I cannot afford to waste my time making money.”–Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz

Creativity TEST

Taz made this cool meme from a creativity test in the book.

I’m speaking tomorrow at Marc Allen’s Summer Writing Workshop.  To prepare, I re-read my 2017 book, Art & Soul, Reloaded. It was Taz’s favorite of my 20 books and, in fact, I dedicated it to: “Taz, the most creative person I know.”

One of the sections details the many myths about being a writer, the first of which seemed like a fitting excerpt for a rainy Monday morning. Enjoy!

I am forever grateful I never ran across the famous French novel Scènes de la vie de Bohème by Henri Murger.

I’d have probably loved the novel that was wildly popular in the mid-19th century. Revolving around a group of impoverished artists who lived in the bohemian quarter of Paris, this bestseller spawned Giacomo Puccini’s 1895 opera La Bohème and is widely credited as being the catalyst for the now-household term starving artist. Like Rocky and Bullwinkle, pancakes and syrup, the words starving and artist have been joined at the hip ever since. How many posters have you seen for starving artist shows or starving artist sales?

But it’s an exceedingly dangerous belief for any artist to subscribe. And it’s the first of our list to meet the chopping block. Using these words, even as a joke, perpetuates an energy field that does none of us any good. It cements an antiquated belief that (a) you can’t make art without money (so untrue, it’s preposterous), and (b) if you’re an artist, you’ll always be broke.

Luckily for me, I didn’t buy either maxim.

I was naïve enough to believe I could make a living as a writer. Without a trust fund. Without a bunch of savings in the bank. Without really anything but my own fool imagination.

You might have noticed my last name is not Rockefeller. Not only did I grow up with a glaring lack of silver spoons, but my father was a poorly paid Methodist minister in a tiny town in Kansas.

It was very clear to me that if I was going to reach my dream of being an author, of inspiring the masses with my words, I would have to rely on a different kind of capital. I would have to amass creative capital.

This unique retirement plan has been my saving grace, especially since I didn’t fare exceptionally well in the ranks of corporate America. Even after securing a college degree, my one concession to the normal paradigm, I bristled at thoughts of a “real job.” Even a semicorporate job (a theme park that, at the time, was owned by Lamar Hunt, the guy who owned the Kansas City Chiefs) frowned on my choice of footwear and my “let’s throw it out there and see what happens” attitude.

I’ve never felt the need for surveys, market research, and prescribed plans that, sure, might work for someone, but offer no guarantees for me. I prefer traipsing to the well of the unknown, the river of infinite potentiality, the field of the brand-new.

That’s not to say I always believed in myself. That would be like saying van Gogh didn’t suffer mental illness.

But between bouts of lying in bed and staring at my ceiling fan, I found the wherewithal to believe I could create work that someone might enjoy. Between thoughts of unworthiness and self-pity, I believed I could devise creative capital with nothing but a good idea.

I was able to self-publish not one, but two books. I put them out there even though I was a single mom with a three-year-old (for the first one) and a seven-year-old (during the production of the second one).

It’s one thing to call myself a freelance writer when it was just me, sharing homes with friends, trotting around the globe. But when I became a parent, it was expected I would settle down, be realistic, get a real job.

I am very grateful I didn’t listen to the conventional paradigm.

Because here’s the thing. You don’t need money to be an artist. You need but one thing. Persistence to keep getting up off the floor where you sometimes lie (or at least I did) with your face pressed against the cold concrete, moaning, “What was I thinking?” You just keep getting up and taking the next step.

When you have no budget, you’re forced to get creative. You have to find new and interesting ways to get things done. Like collaborating with others, like trading services.

Money offers a leg up, but it’s far from imperative. #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).