Choosing to be happy and have fun is a revolutionary act

“One thing I’ve learned. Never set limits on yourself, not in the race, not in life. You may not win every battle, you may not win every race, but there is glory to be found in any worthwhile human endeavor.” –Hobart Brown

Hobart Brown, a metal sculpture artist, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1998. The reason? He has made happiness his occupation.

And, as he says, by “following my heart, by doing what seems to be the most fun at the time and by not doing those things that weren’t fun, I think I’ve lived a useful life.”

Indeed. Not only has this zany artist put Ferndale, California, his home of several decades on the map, but his invention of kinetic sculpture racing has inspired millions of people to take life less seriously.

As he likes to say, “It seems to solve the problem of how to have fun as an adult.”

When Hobart moved to Ferndale in 1962, this little dairy community of 2500 was almost a ghost town. The glorious Victorian homes were selling for a song, and city fathers were thinking about tearing them down, replacing them with modern structures. A great dissension reined between the farmers who had been there since the late 1800’s and the artists who were turning the cheap Victorian into funky studios.

Hobart’s crazy brainstorm, which eventually turned into the World Championship Great Arcata to Ferndale Kinetic Sculpture Race, brings a quarter-million people to town every Memorial Day weekend, pumps more than $2 million into the economy, and has totally healed the rift between the farmers and the artists.

Kinetic sculptures, in a nutshell, are works of art that move. Shaped like everything from giant bananas to two—ton dinosaurs to floating wheelchairs and 75-foot iguanas, these human-powered vehicles are peddled, pushed, paddled and pumped, Fred Flintstone-style. They’re made from scrounged bicycle parts, discarded lawn mower gears, painted septic tanks, old bathtubs and anything else inventors can come up with. Each machine is a testament not only to childlike imagination and engineering genius, but to artistic ingenuity, camaraderie, and well…insanity.

Hobart proves my point. One of the greatest ways to serve your fellow man is to figure out a way to enjoy yourself and to let people know that enjoying yourself is a good thing.

Vow today to approach your life with a sense of aliveness. Intentionally decide that you’re only going to look for the good and concentrate on the beautiful.

When you decide to practice the attitude of happiness, boredom turns into exploration. Canceled flights turn into a party. Waiting in line becomes a great opportunity to meet new people. Vacuuming the floor is a ballet performed to Van Morrison. And, of course, a rainy day calls for an indoor picnic with five kinds of cheese.

Make this revolutionary attitude switch now. Your joie de vivre will be contagious. Maybe you’ll even make the 6 o’clock news.

In Good We Trust: the power of positive thinking

Man only likes to count his troubles, but he does not count his joys.—Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Before entering the hospital room of a tuberculosis patient, visitors are required to cover their entire bodies. They even don surgical gloves and face masks.

None of us balk at this seemingly overcautious behavior. We don’t want to catch tuberculosis. It’s contagious, for goodness sake. Of course, we’d go to great lengths to avoid being exposed.

Yet, we never protect ourselves from the bad news we see on television, the horrible reports we read in the newspaper. What we see on the nightly news is nothing like what we see in our own neighborhoods. The new media presents a grossly-distorted picture, an anomaly.

And, unfortunately, that picture of “America, the Ugly” is every bit as contagious and as damaging as those tuberculosis germs.

Poet and novelist Maya Angelou goes so far as to call negativity poison. She is vigilant in protecting herself from negative conversation. If she hears what she calls “a poisonous comment,” she quickly says “sayonara” and doesn’t feel a bit guilty about it. If anyone starts in at her home, she asks them to leave.

“If you allow it (negativity) to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when rude or cruel things are said, I say, ‘Take it all out of my house.’ Those negative words climb into the wood and into the furniture and the next thing they’ll be on my skin,” she says.

She prefers what Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians. They wrote complaining about old men who were chasing young women, about church members who refused to tithe. And he wrote back, “If there be anything of good report, speak of these things.”

Your thoughts are magic. Not one of them goes unheeded by the universe. Whatever it is you think and feel the great universal energy stands up and says, “I second it.”

Why cast your spotlight in dirty corners? Why focus on negativity?

Our thought about ourselves, about our world, about our relationships create our reality. In a landmark physics experiment, researchers who theorized that light waves were curvy found curvy light waves. And those who deduced light waves were straight as Billy Graham? They found Billy Graham-straight light waves.

Who needs a mind reader or a psychologist to dredge up an unburied unconscious? If you want to know what there’s just take a look around. It’s all right there in living color. If you see dysfunctional relationships, finances that are always a struggle, a word of snotty sales clerks, then that’s what you’re spending your time thinking about. In fact, the thoughts come first.

Change your thought and your focus and you can literally change your world.

How to manifest: the power of baby steps

When we first learn about manifesting and the “law of attraction,” we tend to jump in with giant goals, things like new cars, new homes, boyfriends who look like Fabio. Those are all fantastic intentions and every single one of you deserves every one of those things.

But what I’d like to suggest is baby steps. Starting small. When you first learn to play golf, you break it down and master one step at a time. You spend a week practicing, say, keeping your eye on the ball. The next week you work on keeping your lead arm straight. It’s impossible to take it all in at once.

It’s the same with learning to manifest. In fact, jumping into the deep end, our normal inclination, tends to backfire and actually ends up being counterproductive. Let’s say you decide you want a BMW Z3 2.8 Roadster by oh.…next Wednesday. It’s quite possible that, instead of getting all worked up and excited about the new car, your predominant thoughts will be something like “eat my shorts.”

Needless to say, thoughts like those can only lead to disappointment. And I think that’s what happens. We get all fired up about this amazing idea that our thoughts create our reality. We start affirming and visualizing and being sure that this is our destiny and then the past starts creeping in. The negative thoughts. The way it’s always been.

Going from broke, depressed and loveless to rich, perpetually happy and a having a black book filled with numbers is a virtual chasm and can’t help but fail. When these intentions don’t happen overnight, which they won’t (They could. It’s possible. Gurus in India pull jewels out of the thin air), you’ll get discouraged and either give up or believe you’re not worthy.

What I’d like to suggest is starting small. Building muscle gradually.

Start with something you have absolutely no baggage around. Money, which is No#1 on most manifesters’ hit parade, comes with how can I say this politely, more suitcases than the Chicago airport.

If you start with something simple, something like say a blue feather, your thoughts won’t immediately put up their dukes and start yammering. In fact, small intentions are so nonthreatening that often we manifest them immediately.

For one thing, you’re not fighting the current. Most people, something like 95 percent of the human race, think manifesting money is supremely difficult. No doubt you’ve heard all the alleged facts about money:

It doesn’t grow on trees.
Making money is hard.
Blah, blah.

But I hasten to point out you don’t hear people going around saying, “It’s impossible to find blue feathers.”

So by starting with baby steps, you won’t immediately provoke the group consciousness. And, most importantly, you won’t trigger your own doubts and past failures.

Here are the three steps:

1. Go for something small, something you won’t be all “that’s impossible” about.
2. Make an intention and make it crystal clear.
3. Set a deadline.

In fact, for the next week, I’d like your help in creating some data for my new Hay House book: E-Squared: 9 Do-it-yourself Energy Experiments to Prove your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

I’d like your permission to enlist y’all as my test subjects, as my guinea pigs, if you will.

Using the three baby steps I just outlined, I’d like you to attempt to manifest the following five things:

1. Upfront parking spot
2. Blue feather
3. Free cup of coffee
4. Hearing from a friend from the past
5. Having something interesting and unexpected land in your mailbox or in-box

You’ve got a week.

And I hope you’ll send me an email or make a comment here to let me know which of these things you’ve manifested.

And just know that once you’ve got things like this down, moving on to money and that date with the Fabio look-a-like will be a piece of cake.

As we say in Manifesterland. “Today, a feather, tomorrow the world.”

Getting your manifesting ducks to quack in unison

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
–T-shirt I saw in Hawaii

ducks2
Filmmaker Michael Moore, in a 2002 commencement speech, gave the following advice. “All you boys should learn that once you give up on that girl, she will come to you.”

In some ways, prayer works the same way. By believing we desperately need prayer or a miracle or something we don’t have now, we deny God’s truth. We suit up with the wrong attitude.

Any time we look for an answer, we make the false assumption that the answer isn’t already here. Praying for love or happiness or some other desired goal defeats the whole purpose. It assumes somehow that the outcome of life is still in doubt. It’s not. God’s truth is perfection, all-joy, all-love, and to crave some piddling commodity is believing there’s something else. You have to suit up with perfect confidence that you have the right for all that is good. In fact, you have to believe it’s already here.

To Jesus, prayer was not a matter of bribing God. It was simply understanding that the higher law of Spirit overrides the lower law of the mental and physical plane. To plead or beg or to act like it’s not here is to suppose duality, not unity. And unity is what we’re going for. To get those ducks lined up, to get all those waves in laser-like coherence.

Like a laser, touched for the very first time


“We can’t afford the luxury of doubt.”
–Elastigirl in the Incredibles

I don’t know if you know anything about laser technology, but it works a little bit like Congress did on September 12, 2001. Remember how all those cantankerous old senators and representatives completely forgot they were Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives? How the only thing in their minds were “I’m an American, by God” and they sang God Bless America” in one great, big unified chorus? Well, that’s how a laser works.

Unlike ordinary light, that has lots of different types and sizes of wavelengths, lasers have one size wavelength, each of which precisely reinforces every other.

This is how you want to pray. Or it is if you want to see something appreciable happen. When Jesus “prayed” to multiple the fish and loaves, he didn’t beg God to “make something happen,” he simply put all his thoughts into one laser-like formation, namely that abundance and plenty was his divine right.

In fact, the real reason Jesus was crucified was those in command thought he was altogether too confident. How dare he be so bold as to think he could make crippled people walk, lepers dance? But Jesus didn’t just think he could do these things. He knew. He knew the truth of who he was which made his mind a veritable laser. He didn’t doubt for one second there was plenty of food to go around. He didn’t stop to question if a blind man could see (after all, the gift of health and perfect self-expression is everyone’s divine right) or if that storm that so scared the disciples was real. He knew that he had the right to command the heavens and the earth. In fact, that’s the only big difference between Jesus and you and me. We’re still wondering.

If you go back to Aramaic, which as you probably know is the language Jesus conversed in, the root word of ask reveals more than a “well, if it’s not too much trouble.” Ask, in Aramaic, means a combination of claim (as in that deed to the land is yours) or demand. To ask for something in prayer is to simply lay hold of what’s yours. You have the right, and even the responsibility to command your life.

How can we be sure, you ask? Same way you’re sure two plus two equals four. Because it’s a simple, unalterable principle of mathematics. If you add two plus two and get five, that’s not the principle of mathematic’s fault. Likewise, if you’re not getting the answers you want from your prayers, that’s not God’s fault. It’s you that’s screwing up the principle.

With God, there is no variation. There is one perfect picture of health, abundance, joy, peace, love, and all that other good stuff. But because we, like ordinary light with its variety of wavelengths, have all these variety of thoughts, we create a lot of turbulence. But it’s not necessary.

Prayer that is focused through an integrated, whole personality is like a laser—a single, clear beam. It doesn’t matter who asks or how they ask God’s answer is always “love and light and peace.” That’s not only God’s final answer, it’s the only answer

The problem with prayer A.K.A Why prayer always works


“Great Spirit is everywhere. It is not necessary to speak to him in a loud voice. He hears whatever is in our minds and hearts.”

–Black Elk

Prayer, as far as most of us are concerned, is a desperate S.O.S. reserved for special occasions. We think we’re “praying” only when addressing God directly with some screech for “HELP!” But since God is the force field that runs the universe, every thought we have is a prayer.

Every time we think any thought—be it a silent “God, doesn’t she realize that skirt makes her look like Walter Matthau” to “I’ll commit hari-kari if I don’t get that raise”—we influence the force field. I think I should probably repeat this: every single thought affects the force field.

The only reason we don’t change water into wine or heal cancer with one touch is because our thoughts (our prayers) are scattered all over the place. Instead of being one, constant, well-aimed tuning fork, our thoughts are more like a junior high band of beginning trumpet players.

On one hand, we “pray” for things to work out, but on the other, we worry they won’t. At the same time we speak for good, we secretly smirk that optimism is a bunch of baloney. We want to be committed to so and so, but what if he leaves? We want to make money, but didn’t the Bible say something about rich people, camels, and eyes of a needle?

The force is literally bouncing off walls. Go this way. No wait. Go that way. The force is knocking around like a lightning bug in a Mason jar. It’s being dissipated because we have no clear bead on what we really want. It’s not that God or “the force” isn’t answering our prayers. It’s just that we’re “praying” for too many things.

When you figure the average person has something like 60,000 thoughts a day, you come to realize that your life experience is “prayed” about by a heck of a lot more than the “please, God, let me get out of this speeding ticket” you uttered when you first noticed the flashing red light.

Sure, you begged God for peace of mind today, but you also spent 1200 thoughts obsessing about that damned co-worker who stole your website idea. Yes, you pleaded the money case with God, but you also spent 500 thoughts worrying about your overdue car payment. When you understand prayer for what it really is, it’s easier to understand why that one-time plea to the big guy doesn’t always pan out.

The only reason Jesus could walk on water was because 100 percent of his thoughts (prayers) believed he could. He had overcome the world’s thought system that says, “Only an idiot would be stupid enough to step out of the boat.” There was not one doubt, not a single thought (prayer) in his consciousness that didn’t fully believe it.

Your mind is very powerful, no matter how badly you disrespect the privilege, no matter how ineffectual you feel. Every single thought produces form at some level. Just because those thoughts are screwed up (and believe me, if you’re a human, some of your thoughts are screwed up) doesn’t make them weak or ineffective. Weak and ineffective at getting what you want, maybe, but never weak and ineffective.

Pray? Who me?

“Prayer is a soul’s sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed.”

–Old hymn

People often tell me, “I don’t pray. It’s a waste of time. It’s like believing in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy.” My response? It’s impossible to stop praying. Can’t be done. Thomas Merton, the Christian mystic, said “we pray by breathing.”

Take Al Unser, for example. He didn’t call it praying, but when he won his fourth Indianapolis 500, five days before his 48th birthday, he demonstrated the true power of prayer.

That year, 1987 to be exact, he had been unceremoniously dumped from his race team even though he’d won the Indy 500 three times before. For the first time in 22 years, it looked as if he’d be forced to watch the famous race from the sidelines. His sponsors and pretty much everyone else wrote him off as “all washed up.”

But in his mind, in every thought he possessed, he knew he was not too old to race. He knew he could still win. That “prayer” was so strong that when Danny Ongais, one of the drivers who had replaced him on the team, banged himself up in practice, Unser was brought in to race a backup car, a used March-Cosworth.

Nobody except him expected anything. Not only was he driving an older model used car, but when the familiar “Gentlemen, start your engines!” rang through the P.A. system, Unser was stuck back in the 20th position.

But that didn’t phase the three-time winner. In every fiber of his body, he saw himself winning. He expected nothing but victory. Finally, on the 183rd lap, he worked his way up the field, crossing the line for his fourth Indianapolis 500 title. Al Unser never had a doubt. Every single thought “prayed” for victory.

Or think of the mother, who having never before picked up anything heavier than a grocery bag of frozen foods, suddenly lifts a three-ton Plymouth off her first grade son. At that moment, she is so thoroughly engrossed in her urgent need to move that car off her precious child that she has no room for other thoughts. “I’ve got to move that car” was the only “prayer” in her mind. She did not remember, anywhere in her mind, that such an act was impossible.

Newton’s first law of prayer

“I’m 32 flavors and then some.”

–Ani Di Franco

When you throw a tennis ball in the air, you can count on it coming down. Granted it might fall in the neighbor’s petunias or on the roof of the 7-11 where you’ll need a ladder to retrieve if, but it’s guaranteed to come back down.

Prayer (thought) is just like that tennis ball. It comes back just the way you send it out. Like Newton said in his famous 4th law of energy, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What you give out, what you “pray” about, you get back in equal measure. If you send out fear thoughts, you get things to be scared of. If you lie, you’ll be lied to. If you criticize, you get criticized. But on the other hand, if you send out love, you get big, bounteous love. If you send out blessings, you get blessed in equal measure.

Everything you “pray” about eventually externalizes. Or to put it another way, your inner thoughts are continually being cut and pasted into your outer life. If you want to know what you’re really “praying” for, take a look around your life. You’ll see your innermost thoughts, the real desires of your heart, the prayers no one knows about but you.

I knew a girl who was paranoid of spiders. She used to worry that she’d reach into her makeup drawer some morning and instead of grabbing a lipstick, put her mitts around a big, fat spider. This unfounded thought passed through her brain every morning for months until….guess what? She reached into her makeup drawer and grabbed a big fat, hairy wolf spider.

To put it another way, thought is creative. The thoughts you hold in your mind, both conscious and unconscious, create what you see in your life. Every thought (prayer) has a certain vibration. It boomerangs back to you according to its pitch, intensity, and depth of feeling. Your thoughts show up in your life in equal measure as their constancy, intensity, and power.

Shoot-Out at the I’m OK-You’re OK Corral or how your mind works

“You always said to be true to ourselves. Which self are we supposed to be true to?” –Buddy (AKA Syndrome) in The Incredibles

Your mind is engaged in an ongoing showdown between different, conflicting parts of yourself. These splintered intentions or prayers, if you will, set all sorts of dynamics into motion. Let’s say you have a conscious intention to buy a new house and you pray to find one. At the same time you set that intention into motion, you simultaneously send out an unconscious, but equally effective, fear of a higher mortgage payment. You start fretting about interest rates, start worrying about the termite contract you inadvertently let expire on your current house, both of which send out even more unconscious intentions. If these unconscious fear intentions are stronger than the conscious desire intentions, well, guess which one wins?

The dynamic of opposing “prayers” (and again, every thought is a prayer) can produce confusion and doubt. As you become open to new perceptions and desires and simultaneously experience fear and anguish, you set up a struggle.

If it keeps up, you start to doubt that prayer even works. Or at least you conclude it doesn’t work for you. You become discouraged and start believing that life and circumstances are more powerful than you are.

Believe me, they’re not. Not even close. Your conflicting “prayers” are simply creating turbulence in the flow of God’s light.

Let me just repeat–prayer is extremely powerful. But it doesn’t respond only to your pleas. It responds to every intention—conscious and unconscious–with opposing sides battling it out. Here are four of most common battle fields:

1. The rut. We humans have this annoying tendency to fall into habit patterns. Remember those 60,000 daily thoughts I mentioned earlier? Well, all but 1000 of those thoughts are the exact same thoughts you had yesterday. Scientists tell us 98 percent of our 60,000 thoughts are repeats from the day before.

I once had a neighbor with an invisible dog fence. You couldn’t see it, but if her little jack terrier even dared step foot outside that fence, he got a painful shock. All of us are like that little jack terrier—stuck in our invisible fences.

Instead of using our prayers to think up new ideas, to ask for meaning to life’s great mysteries, we waste them on trivial, insignificant, thoroughly meaningless things. Look at the cover of a typical women’s magazine:

Lose inches fast

Last-minute strategies for holiday glam

Quiz: Does your mate really love you?

Don’t we have anything better to think about?

If the 7 million readers of Ladies Home Journal would all wonder instead, “What can I do to improve my own soul?” or “How could I make the world more loving?’ the big problems we’re so afraid of would be solved in year. Seven million people concentrating on issues like that are an unstoppable force.

2. The ad man’s copy. U.S. advertisers spend more than $250 billion every year trying to convince you that without their products, you are a complete and total loser. The ad shill’s entire reason for being is to make you and me dissatisfied with what we have and who we are. The average American sees between 1500 and 3000 commercials per day. Even non-TV watchers are constantly being invited to consume. Everything from ATM monitors to dry cleaning bags to stickers on supermarket fruit has been known to bear ads.

The most dangerous ads, as far as I’m concerned, are the new drugs ads that teach people to be sick. Madison Avenue has done a stellar job training us to need deodorant, mouthwash, and Domino’s three medium-one topping pizzas for $5 each. Now, they’re breaking new ground by training us to be sick.

3. Other people’s heads
. Like radio waves that fly around in the atmosphere, other people’s thoughts constantly bombard you. You unconsciously pick up the thoughts of your family, your culture, and your religion, even if you don’t go to church.

I read an article about a guy who had invented dozens of products including many that you and I use on a daily basis. He was regularly dubbed, “a genius.” But if you gave him George Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” test, he’d have been sent back to first grade. The guy never learned to read. And he said that was intentional.

“If I had learned to read,” he said, “I’d pick up other people’s ideas and cement those in my head. I choose not to bother with the interference.”

In fact, the reason most of the spiritual big cheese meditate is because it helps them avoid the interference. It helps them tap into the Universal thought that is goodness, beauty, and light.

4. Your own head.
Despite what you may think you’re praying for, it’s quite likely there’s an even bigger prayer getting in the way. Unfortunately, all of us have an underlying prayer that goes something like this:

“There’s something wrong with me.”

“I’m not good enough.”

“I have no talent.”

“I don’t deserve it.”

“I can’t do it.”

“It’s too hard.”


Sweeping negative statements like these are what we call false prayers, the default beliefs to which you march in obedience. The good news is they’re not true. The bad news is they operate as if they were true. They’re your own personal amulet that you carry unwittingly everywhere you go. You wouldn’t dream of plowing through life without them because, well, they’re just so…familiar. But the problem is these particular rabbit’s feet are concrete and weigh 189 pounds. They sap your strength, shackle your potential, and knock your hopes to hell and gone.

When I first began writing for magazines, I had an inferiority complex that wouldn’t have fit in Shea Stadium. Because I was from a small town in the Midwest, I couldn’t imagine that I had anything to say to a fancy editor from New York. Although I sent query after query pitching my many ideas, I didn’t really expect to sell too many. After all, I just “knew” there “weren’t enough” assignments to go around. At best, I figured I might be able to sneak a few under the cracks.

Needless to say, I got a lot of rejection letters, so many that I probably could have wallpapered the city of Cincinnati should they have needed wallpaper. The editors didn’t exactly tell me to drop dead, but they didn’t encourage me to keep writing either.

Then I read a book called Write for your Life by Lawrence Block. In the early 80’s, when his column for Writer’s Digest was at the height of its popularity, he and his wife, Lynn, decided to throw a series of seminars for writer-wannabe’s.

They called the day-long seminars “Write for your Life” and set about booking hotel rooms in cities around the country. Unlike most writing seminars where you learn to write plot treatments or how to get an agent, Block’s seminar dealt with the only thing that really matters when it comes to being a writer. Getting out of your own way. Getting rid of the countless negative thoughts that tell you what a hopelessly uninteresting specimen of humanity you are.

At the seminar, participants meditated, grabbed partners and confessed their greatest fears and did all kinds of things that helped them get to the bottom of why they wanted to write, but didn’t.

The seminars were hugely successful, but Block, who was a writer, not a seminar-giver, eventually got tired of trotting around the country, collecting tickets. Instead, he self-published the book that I ran into about the same time.

I took the book to heart. I did all of the exercises. I wrote affirmations. I consulted my inner child to find out what I was so afraid of. I even sent myself postcards for 30 days straight. On these postcards, I’d write such affirming reminders as “You, Pam, are a great writer.” “You, Pam, have what it takes to sell to New York editors.” “You, Pam, are interesting and people want to hear what you have to say.”

I’m sure the postman thought I was a little cracked, wasting 25 cents or whatever the postage was back then to send myself a postcard telling myself I was fascinating and abundant. But if he knew what a change it made in my life, he’d have been doing it, too.

Suddenly, I started getting assignments from the big national magazines with, yes, the big New York editors. First, there was Modern Bride that wanted a piece on exercises couples could do together. Ladies’ Home Journal asked for a travel story on Tampa Bay. Suddenly, this once-insecure writer from Kansas was getting assignments from big national magazines, the kind of magazines you see in dentists’ offices.

Did I suddenly start writing more fluidly, coming up with more compelling ideas? Probably a little bit (after all, that was one of my affirmations), but mostly I changed the reality of what I thought and said about myself.

I gave up the “prayer” that there “weren’t enough” assignments to go around. I let go of the “prayer” that I wasn’t talented enough to sell to national magazines.

If you’re not getting answers to what you formerly thought of as prayer, you have to take into consideration the other thoughts you formerly “prayed.” To bring about “God’s truth in form” you have to get all those ducks flying in the same direction. Once they’re all quacking for the same thing, you’ll get nothing but health, wealth, love, friends, and perfect self-expression.

Woot! Woot! My new Hay House book is out. I’m doing cartwheels!!!

“You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” — Buckminster Fuller, American futurist

e-squared smallerWoot! Woot! My new book is out. Although the official launch date isn’t until next month (January 28, for those who believe in preciseness), Amazon has been delivering copies to friends who pre-ordered. I am so excited I would do 10 cartwheels if I hadn’t fallen all three performances of “Oklahoma” in high school where the choreographer got the mistaken idea that I could do one. For those who are interested, E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments to Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality is a book, published by Hay House that proves the following nine energy principles:

1. The Dude Abides Principle. This is the basic principle, the foundation upon which all the others rest. Basically what it says is, “There is an invisible energy force or field of infinite possibilities.” The experiment could best be described as an ultimatum. You’re going to give the force exactly 48 hours to make its presence known. You’re going to demand a clear, unmistakable sign, something that cannot be written off as coincidence.

2. The Volkswagen Jetta Principle. Remember that new car you bought a few years ago? When you first decided it was the car of your dreams, it seemed like a unique car. You figured you’d be the only one in town to proudly drive one. Well, by the time you read up on it in Consumer Reports, decided on the price you needed to offer, and finally got yourself to the car dealership, you noticed that practically every eighth car was a Volkswagen Jetta or whatever car it was you wanted. And that’s what happens when you begin to think about something—you draw it into your life. Every thought we have, every judgment we make, impacts the field of potentiality. In fact, reality is nothing but waves of possibility that we have “observed” into form. This principle states, “You impact the field and draw from it
according to your beliefs and expectations,” and to prove it we’ll set the following clear intention: “This is what I want to pull out of the field in the next 48 hours.”

3. The Alby Einstein Principle.
Even though this principle, “You, too, are a field of energy,” is one of the cornerstone spiritual principles, it actually first came to light in a physics lab. Yes, it was scientists who discovered that, despite all appearances to the contrary, human beings are not matter, but continually moving waves of energy. This is the only experiment that involves equipment—specially designed, perfectly tuned equipment.Okay, so it’s
a metal coat hanger(a specimen of which I’m assuming,unless you’re a complete and total slob, is available in your
closet)and a drinking straw, something you can easily score free of charge at any McDonald’s.

4. The Abracadabra Principle. Most people associate the word abracadabra with magicians pulling rabbits out of hats. It’s actually an Aramaic term that translates into English as, “I will create as I speak.” It’s a powerful concept. It’s why Edison often announced the invention of a device before he’d actually invented it. It’s why Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for $10 million long before he ever made a movie. This principle simply says, “Whatever you focus on expands,” and in the experiment you’ll learn that there’s no such thing as an idle thought and that all of us are way
too cavalier and tolerant of our minds’ wandering.

5. The Dear Abby Principle.
This principle states: “Your connection to the field provides accurate and unlimited guidance.” By realigning your consciousness, you can access reliable answers to every request you ever make.The reason you don’t know this is because you’ve taught yourself the most unnatural habit of feeling separate, of not being in communion with the FP.

6. The Superhero Principle. In this experiment, governed by the principle “Your thoughts and consciousness impact matter,” you will duplicate an experiment conducted by Dr. Gary Schwartz, a professor at the University of Arizona, which demonstrated that sending intention to plants made them grow faster and reflect more light than their nonintentioned counterparts.

7. The Jenny Craig Principle
. Whether you’re a label reader or not, you know the food you eat offers certain vitamins, minerals, and of course, calories. You probably think these nutrients are cut-and-dried, that if the back of the yogurt container says it has 187 calories, then it has 187 calories. What you may not know is that your thoughts about yourself and your food are in a constant dance with your body. And that when you feel guilty about consuming calories, your food picks up a negative vibe that ricochets right back at you. In this experiment, you’ll prove the principle “Your thoughts and consciousness provide the scaffolding for your physical body” by infusing your food with love.

8. The 101 Dalmatians Principle.
This all-important spiritual principle states: “You are connected to everything
and everyone else in the universe.”Scientists call it nonlocality, and if you watched the cartoon version of 101 Dalmatians, you saw the principle in action.Remember when Cruella De Vil’s evil cohorts were trying to capture the escaped puppies? The old Scottish terrier in the barn where they were hiding barked for help to a basset hound in the
next county, who, in turn, barked the message to a dachshund farther along the route. Only in quantum physics, the
communication happens instantaneously. The very instant the Scottish terrier knows that the puppies require help,the dachshund, 20 miles away, also knows. Anything that happens to one particle is instantaneously communicated to the other. In this experiment, you’ll send messages to people in other places without the use of e-mail, letters, or
loud explosions.

9. The Fish and Loaves Principle.
This principle states: “The universe is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating.” It will also prove that your fears are pointless and that maybe it’s okay to take a big, deep breath.

Shiver awake now at the doing of your dreams.”–Bob Savino

In January 1959, a 30-year-old eighth grade dropout from Detroit borrowed $800 from a family savings plan to buy a house, not an unusual goal for a man of his age. Only this enterprising 30-year-old had his sights set a little higher. He was going to use that unassuming two-story house to start a record company.

The man, of course, is Berry Gordy, the record company is Motown and the plan, well, let’s just say that it worked. Between 1959 and 1972, Gordy’s Motown released 535 singles, 75 percent of which made the pop charts. From a recording studio that’s barely larger than a king-sized bed, Gordy produced 60 number one hits before he moved to Hollywood and sold Motown to MCA Records for $61 million.

I tell you this story because it demonstrates the power of opening to a bigger possibility. Berry Gordy could have easily settled for less. He was black at a time when black wasn’t yet beautiful. He dropped out of school in eighth grade, had already failed at an upstart boxing career and could neither play an instrument nor read music.

But he had a dream. He wanted to write songs. And if nobody else would produce them, well, he’d just do it himself.

Catching a dream is the point at which all of us must start. We see a vision. We hear a tapping on our heart. We start to wonder if “maybe, just maybe, we might be able to”….write a song, dance a poem, leap into a new way of being. We become willing to say  “it IS possible.”

But not even Gordy could have known that when he recruited a 19-year-old Smokey Robinson and his high school quartet, the Matadors (later to become the Miracles), he was launching one of the biggest musical phenomenon of our times.

When we first begin to listen to our dreams, we don’t always know where they’re leading us. This is good news. If we could see the final outcome, we might get scared off, put on the brakes, think “whoa nelly, that’s way too big for me.” So luckily all we have to do for now is take that first step, put that first toe out the door.

The other thing that the Motown phenomenon demonstrates is the wealth of talent that so often goes undiscovered. Had Berry Gordy been content to plug lugnuts at a Detroit auto plant, one of many jobs he tried before starting Motown, he would have never plucked Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and hundreds of other poor black kids out of the ghetto. It seems impossible that superstars of their stature might have taken another path. But had Diana Ross not caught a vision, she could very well be just another bag lady on 9th Street; Stevie Wonder, another blind kid on welfare. Thank God, they had the opportunity to tap the creative spirit that was within them.

If Gordy hadn’t turned 2648 West Grand Boulevard into a “happening” place to be, “Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I’ll Be There” and thousands of other songs would never have been written.

I, for one, would have had a completely different upbringing.  If it wasn’t for the Four Tops hit, “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” I’d have never danced with Andy Gilmore at Jim Rinklemeyer’s party. I’d have never known he wore Brut cologne, never known he smelled like mothballs, a discovery that can undoubtedly be traced to the tweed jacket he’d stolen from his older brother’s closet, and never known how it felt to be 13 and helplessly smitten. Unfortunately, I lacked the nerve to ever speak to him again.

How many of us lack the nerve to investigate the creative spirit within us? How many of us are on spiritual “welfare” because we haven’t caught the vision? The same kind of talent that Gordy found in his ghetto protégés is hidden in the people we walk by every day. It lays hidden because nobody bothered to look, nobody bothered to say, “hey, look what we can do.” It lays hidden behind thoughts of unworthiness, behind “masks” that we put on for a good show.

Each and every one of us have that same creative spirit. But, no, you’re probably thinking Detroit was different. The list of superstars goes on and on–the Temps, the Tops, the Vandellas, the Supremes. But you know what? Gordy could have just as easily opened that record company and been just as successful in Cleveland or Chicago or Omaha, Nebraska, for that matter. There are Temps, Tops, Vandellas, Supremes everywhere.  There are people that are just as talented, just as musical. The only thing they don’t have is Gordy’s vision.

This is not to deny the huge talent that existed in Detroit at that time. What they did on that little three-track recording system in Studio A can only be described as the musical equivalent of sitting in the front of the bus.

But it only happened because one man was willing to step up to the plate, was willing to say, “I believe.”

Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared, 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

“Django Unchained” actor unwittingly gives tips on learning how to manifest

I heard Christoph Waltz interviewed yesterday by Terry Gross on “Fresh Air.” He plays a German dentist turned bounty hunter in Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s new film. During pre-production, he was bucked off a horse and sent to the hospital with a dislocated pelvis. As he explained to Gross, “I’d been on a horse probably 40 years ago. But riding is something that in order to master you have to do it every day, and you have to do it over a long period of time. It’s like playing an instrument.”

And that’s the perfect description of how you learn to manifest. Instead of focusing on “what you see” you practice focusing on “what you want.” Over and over and over again. Yes, you will get bucked off the horse. Yes, you’ll hit the ground of your apparent lack, dislocate the pelvis of your negativity. But just keep climbing back into that saddle and focusing on what you want to be true.

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

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

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

In my blog post yesterday, I commented that I expect “unceasing joy.”

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

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

Practice, practice, practice.

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

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

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

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

Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared, 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

Life doesn’t suck, shit doesn’t happen and the glass is 100 percent full

“Ever since happiness heard your name it has been running through the streets trying to find you.”   

–Hafiz

I love this quote so much. To get it, to really believe that you’re meant to be happy is the first step to enlightenment. Any other choice (and make no mistake, it is a choice) is a fool’s errand.

beauty.

Somewhere along the line, we picked up this erroneous notion that life sucks, shit happens and the glass is half-full. Because we believe this as an inescapable truth, we expect that, we look for that and we create that reality. We can just as easily create a reality that says, “I can be joyful and peaceful every moment of the day.”

One of my intentions, in fact, is unceasing joy. I expect that reality day after day. Most people think I’m a ridiculous dreamer, an irresponsible gadfly. “It’s impossible to always be happy,” they insist as they press their hand to my forehead checking for fever.

My response? I’m sorry you feel that way and I’m glad my intention is to see only peace, joy, love and beauty. That’s the only direction I choose to point my lens.

We get whatever we look for—100 percent of the time. I would argue it’s irresponsible to look for anything less than unceasing joy.

You always have the choice. You can continue to believe in the world as is appears now or you can believe in a new vision. You can settle for “what is” or you can create something new. You can continue to interfere with Truth or you can step aside and let your natural joy rush in. It’s a simple matter of deciding where to shine your spotlight.

I will close with one of my favorite quotes from “A Course in Miracles.”

I am responsible for what I see.

I choose the feelings I would experience, and I decide

upon the goal I would achieve.

And everything that seems to happen to me

I ask for, and receive as I have asked.

The only possible way to make sense of Sandy Hook

“We all collapse a little; may it be toward each other.”

–Richard Kennney

 

It’s all I can do to steady myself in my chair. The news from Sandy Hook impels me to run to the bathroom, to vomit, to beat my fists against something hard and unyielding.

How could my country, the one I pledged allegiance to every morning for six years of grade school, have come to this?

Even though there is life to be lived today–a book to edit, cookies to order for my finals-taking daughter, this blog to write–I feel drawn to this tragedy. I’m temped to sit comatose by the television set, to watch the horror and shake my head.

Yet, the squirrels still scamper up the tree to their nests, dutifully gathering acorns for the coming winter. They gather as loud humans barge in and out the door that’s only feet from their measly food supply.  They gather even though a huge storm last year sent their nest crashing to the ground below. They gather even though death is imminent and life can be cruel.

A part of me wants to hide, to take my daughter and flee to New Zealand, where her dad owns a winery and, presumably, a more peaceful existence.

But it’s not a time to run away or to sit numb, helpless devouring all the details.

It’s a time to act, a time to create. A time for making peace out of chaos, a time for spinning love out of the threads of incomprehension.

It’s easy for me to think, “How can I, one insignificant person from Kansas, stop a groundswell?”

But that’s me forgetting who I am.

I am a creator, made in the image and likeness of the Great Creator.

And I am not insignificant.

If nothing else, I can write about what the massacre means to me. I know nothing about it, really. The macabre details are still being gathered. Other than a short stint at a breathing program in nearby Washington, Connecticut, I have no real ties to this little town.

Yet, the story is also about me. It’s about my anger, the many times I wanted revenge when someone rejected me. It’s about the times I lashed out when someone said, “goodbye” or “You’re not what I’m looking for.”

It’s about the unhealed places in all our hearts, those wounds that make us want to hit someone back.

Why do we want to strike out? Because we feel powerless.  Because we have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten that the life force of the Creator thrums through our very veins.

It’s easy to forget in this culture of convenience. No longer do we make our own bread, sing our own songs, dance our own jigs. No longer do we create much of anything. Too often we even forget that we can. The very thing that joins us to our Creator lies dormant.

And in this forgetting, we lose our footing. Picasso said that when he realized painting was a way to give form to his terrors and his desires, he knew he had found his way.

The boy who killed at Sandy Hook had not yet found his way. He conned himself into believing he was insignificant. He didn’t know that the life force of the entire universe pulsed through his body. He hadn’t yet come to appreciate the sacredness of each moment.

He didn’t know he could have screamed his rage and rejection into a song. He didn’t know he could have danced his anger into a profound acceptance.

If only he had known.

It’s too late for him. But it’s not too late for us, all just as guilty of anger and rage as the killers we point fingers at.

You are powerful. You can create the answers to the horrors that confront our country, those things that make us want to throw up our hands, flee to foreign countries, to kill.

Inside you is a stage play that will inspire someone to forgive instead of kill. Inside you is a painting or a story that can turn fear into hope, horror into peace. Even if it’s peace in one person’s heart, it is enough.

As Henry Miller once asked, “Where in this broad land is the holy of holies hidden?”

It’s in the squirrels still gathering their acorns. It’s in you.