“The more people we connect with, the more doors the universe has to work through.”@Michelle Dobbins

“Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its intensity. Give me your hand.” –Rilke

Michelle Dobbins, my fellow fist bumper and internet buddy, ran a wonderful blog post yesterday about the “Six Degrees of Connection.”

In a nutshell, that’s what non-locality is all about. It’s the 101 Dalmatians Principle I talk about it my book. It’s the immutable fact that: “You are connected to everything and everyone else in the Universe.”

And since I know a lot of you are trying to get an audience with an agent or a publisher or maybe even Ellen DeGeneres, I’d like to offer this encouraging story that illustrates how you are connected to everyone from the Dalai Lama and Hilary Clinton to Joseph Campbell and the brilliant guy who proclaimed one of the most profound and oft-repeated phrases in the English language: “All men are created equal.”

For those whose history is a bit rusty, that man was Thomas Jefferson and here’s how you are less than four degrees (forget Kevin Bacon) away from each of them.

When visionary Jean Houston was but three years old, she was at a parade in her hometown of New York City. A wrinkled old codger wearing a confederate soldier’s uniform (hey, nobody’s perfect) came up and shook her hand. He said, “Little girl, you are shaking the hand of a guy who once shook the hand of Thomas Jefferson.”

And since I’ve shaken Jean Houston’s hand, even hugged her at workshops she used to give in Overland Park, Kansas, that means you are but four degrees away from one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. And since Jean has also been known to hug the Dalai Lama, proffer advice to Hilary Clinton and trade mythology with Joseph Campbell, well, you are within three connections of each of them. Isn’t that cool?

I like to think of those beautiful human bonds whenever I get discouraged or overwhelmed by the issues in the news. It’s tempting to wonder what I, one solitary person from Kansas, can do to solve the political chasm, what I, a single mom with a couple twitter followers, can do to stop gun violence.

And then I remember. I can invite my neighbor over for ham and eggs. I can bake a casserole for the new mom that just came home from the hospital. And I can know with complete certainty that I am but an intention away from every single person on the planet.

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”–Lao-tzu

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.”–Mary Oliver

Some people go to superhero movies. I prefer to BE a superhero. And by that I mean I actually dress up in a cape and bright costume and go out and perform good deeds.

In fact, in early October, I will join a whole band of bike-riding super heroes with names like “The Zing” and “Love Ninja” for a week of humble and spontaneous service. We’re meeting up in St. Louis.

And in honor of Ethan Hughes who started the International Superhero Headquarters and the Possibility Alliance on a 220-acre farm in northern Missouri, I’d like to re-run this post that ran last December.

Monetize, Schmonetize: the real juice is in the gift economy

You don’t need Alex Trebek or “buzzwords for $5000” to know that the internet’s top trend right now is “How do I monetize my website? My blog? My twitter feed?” Even YouTube offers monetization to prolific video uploaders.

Since I’ve been accused of being a “subversive presence on the planet,” I want to talk today about the exact opposite.

How do you un-monetize your life? How do you go against the culture’s dominant paradigm of wanting to “always get, get, get” and practice what’s known as the gift economy?

The gift economy, a philosophy more than a financial practice, is one in which people refuse to believe in scarcity and fear. Instead of always trying to “get more,” a gift economy is for those looking for ways they can give. It’s so radical that most people can’t even understand it.

I pitched a story about the gift economy to my editor at People magazine. She loves heroes, good news, and heart-warming human interest stories. But even though I gave her three specific examples of people working solely in the gift economy, she couldn’t understand it. “But how does it work?” she kept repeating.

It works, although I could never explain this spiritual belief to her, because once you give up your incessant fear and belief that it’s a dog-eat-dog, every-man-for himself world, abundance can’t help but show up in your life. It’s actually the reality of the human condition, but as long as we’re “monetizing” and erecting walls of fear, we block abundance.

Perhaps the best example of the gift economy is Nipun Mehta, a guy I consider my hero, the guy I begged my People editor to let me profile. In April 1999, when he was 25, he gave up his lucrative paycheck at Sun Microsystems to become a full-time volunteer. A fan of Gandhi, who said, “be the change you wish to see in the world,” Mehta started “giving” as an experiment. He started with money (he gave to charity), moved to giving of his time (volunteering at a hospice) and then decided he’d go full-time, giving of himself unconditionally with no strings attached. Thirteen years later, his experiment has been a huge success.

He started a free restaurant, a free inspirational magazine and has given away hundreds of millions of dollars in free tech services. He’s a Stanford-trained engineer who was raking it in during the dot.com heyday. But he wasn’t sure that’s where happiness lay. He works with a network of more than 100,000 volunteers who operate on 3 principles:

1) Everything is strictly volunteer. Money is NEVER charged

2) No one ever ASKS for money. Many charities do good work, but they all ask for donations. They do endless fundraising. He says that forces people to be in a needy space and he comes from a space of believing in abundance and the goodness of mankind. And indeed, money has shown up in spades (from the billionaire founder of Sony, as just one example) and from anonymous donors who send in checks for $10,000 or more. But Nipun and crew NEVER ask or expect.

3) They focus on small actions. “You just take care of what you can touch, give to whatever is in front of you,” he says and the ripple effects have organized into what he calls their own magic. “I can tell you story after story.”

The Karma Kitchen that he and fellow volunteers started in Berkeley (there are no prices on the menu and the check reads $0.00) spawned karma kitchens in Washington D.C. and Chicago.

“We don’t charge for anything, nor do we advertise anything. The project is sustained by anonymous friends who donate what they can, not as a payment for what they have received but as a pay-it-forward act for someone they don’t know,” Mehta says.

In place of financial capital, Mehta and his network of volunteers are building social capital, synergy capital and a type of subtle capital beyond definition.

Another one of my heroes is Ethan Hughes the guy I mentioned earlier that started the Superheroes Alliance, a group of 700 living, breathing superheroes. Everything he and his wife Sarah grow on their farm at the Possibility Alliance, they give away. They’ve given away goats, fruit bushes, seeds, soil and compost. They’ve given trees to every major city in Missouri. Most importantly, they host more than 1500 people a year who come to their farm from around the country to learn about permaculture. Permaculture classes normally start at about $1500. But Ethan and Sarah give them away free.

“At first people are shocked. So few mainstream Americans believe someone would actually give something away free with no ulterior motives. We’re in a cynical society that rarely trusts someone who says, “hey, I just want to help.”

The Hughes and their network of volunteers have helped build a library, bucked hay for a fellow farmer, cleaned up city parks and donated something like 50,000 hours of community service…all with no expectation.

“It’s really important to me to create access, and the gift economy is about access,” Ethan says.

Another example is Dr. Binal Shah, a naturopathic doctor with a biology degree from Rutgers, who offers a gift economy medical practice. She calls it the Karma Clinic and says it’s not about giving away “free” healthcare. It’s about sharing an experience of generosity that has the potential to shift both the giver and the recipient.

That’s why I say, “forget monetizing.” Think about something important, like what gifts do you have to give.

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

The perks of brazen gratitude, Part II

“You will look upon that which you feel within.”—Course in Miracles

It’s Rave Monday, a practice I learned from the inimitable Michelle Dobbins on her Daily Alchemy blog.

Giving shout-outs to all the good in your life, more than just a soppy exercise, changes your brain and rewires your neural transmitters.

When someone shows up on this planet with a grateful heart and eyes seeking only things for which to be thankful, that’s exactly what they’ll find. Abundance aplenty.

Focusing on how lucky and blessed we are literally re-sculpts our brain, increases our enthusiasm and lowers our stress.

And if that wasn’t enough, think of all the good drugs (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin) you miss out on when you’re bitching.

So today, I’m raving, fist bumping, jumping up and down over all the INCREDIBLE people I get to meet here on my website and on Facebook and Twitter and blogtalk radio. I may be late to the social media party, but I’m no less an enthusiastic guest. I get it. I really get it.

So, for those who want to join the fun, I’d like to mention the following celebrations of joy that are happening in the next week:

Tomorrow, at 10 Pacific, I’ll join the fabulous Todd Alan Cudaback on Life Mastery Radio. Check it out here:

The next day, which also happens to be my dear friend Betty’s 80th birthday (Happy Birthday, my friend), I’ll be talking with the totally-hip founder of Present Tense Coaching, Laura Gevanter. Check out her weekly show on blog talk radio network that starts at 3 Eastern here.

And lastly, I want to tell you that next week, I’ll be one of 13 experts (I love it when someone calls me an expert, even though I consider myself more of a seeker) in Raise Your State’s 2013 Summer Summit. It’s a series of 13 interviews with teachers in the field of consciousness, love, health and relationships.

And, yes, there are prizes…well, bonus gifts from each teacher. And everyone who signs up gets the gifts…I love it when that happens. My free gift is a 53-page eBook, a preview of sorts, of my book, Create or Die that will be on bookshelves soon.

Find out more at this link:

Thanks everybody. I love you all and really feel that it’s impossible to express the endless wells of joy that I have for all of you.

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

Let’s get this party started! Calisthenics for big-ass manifesting.

“What’s important is you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart.”—Cheryl Strayed

I’ve been yammering on about the default setting in our little pea-brains, the blueprint that erroneously says, “life is hard, shit happens and the glass is half empty.”

So I’ve been encouraging us to cut off THAT negative feeding tube and force new beliefs into our psyches—chiefly the TRUTH. That the universe is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating.

But it has come to my attention that there’s still some slacking going on in our muscle memory. That’s the phenomenon where we create a physiological blueprint. Our brains send a memo to our body that triggers our central nervous system, our muscles, our tendons, joints, etc. to perform automatic movements. There’s a continuous feedback loop from your brain to your muscles and back.

So I’ve developed this series of calisthenics to train your body, your muscle memory, if you will, to “get excited, get, get excited.” That’s a line my cheerleading squad boisterously yelled in junior high. Yes, I was an Ark City Puppy cheerleader. Don’t laugh! The high school mascot was a bulldog.

So, I hope you’re hearing the James Brown song, “I feel good, so good” playing in your head about now.

Exercise # 1: Pump your fist in the air with complete glee. Repeat five times.

Exercise #2: Pretend you’re a Latin American soccer player who just made a goal. In the finals. When the score is tied.

Exercise #3: Fist bump at least six people daily.

Exercise #4: Do the Harlem Shuffle on your way to the bathroom in the morning. Before your brush your teeth.

Exercise #5: High-five everyone you see. I can’t tell you how much fun this one is. We do it in my hometown every time our college basketball team wins the NCAA tournament.

Exercise #6: Go outside and stretch your arms wide to salute the sun that comes up everyday without you having to pay for it or ask it to.

For more inspiration and exercises, go see the movie, Frances Ha. Greta Gerwig is a maestro at leaping across streets, dancing in public and keeping her muscle memory happy.

And it never hurts to re-watch this exuberant Flash Mob that surprised the Big O.

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

“Be your best, most gigantic self.”—Cheryl Strayed

“We are invited by the future to step it up.”—Marianne Williamson

Even if I didn’t believe in the power of thought BEFORE I wrote E-Squared (and, of course, I did, that’s why I wrote it), there is no way I could, with a straight face, deny it now. Miracles are SO prevalent and manifestations so mind-boggling, that I can barely keep up with all the stories landing like jumbo jets of joy in my in-box. Relationships are happening, unexpected money is sailing in and, most importantly, people are changing their perspective of the world’s beneficence.

I want to thank everyone who has sent me a story. I walk around these days with a perpetual smile on my face and pump my fist into the air so often that my right bicep is starting to look like Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson’s bicep. Guess I’ll have to begin pumping with my left arm in July.

Anyway, in honor of celebration and joy and red rubber balls (my hope for all of you this holiday), I’m sharing this story that bounced into my inbox yesterday.

It’s from Travis Healy who not only gave me permission to share it, but was generous enough to send a picture. He even applied the word “Abracadabra” with magic (Okay,with a magic marker) to his way-cool manifestation.

Take it away Travis:

“For Experiment 2, I focused on “Burnt Orange Cars” to throw the F.P. for a loop. Within 48 hours, a burnt orange coupe drove right in front of me at an intersection just after leaving my home. Later that night, I was watching Counting Cars and they restored an old Ford and painted it…Burnt Orange.

Experiment 4 is where I became disenchanted. I focused on manifesting a red rubber, bouncy ball (another zinger I thought). Forty-eight hours later…no ball…that was 3 weeks ago…no ball. I wrote it off as not being focused enough.

Fast Forward…

No Shi* – Today, at the same intersection where I saw the burnt orange car, a red rubber bouncy ball literally rolled across the street with the wind, right across my path…as if taunting me. I jumped out, dodged cars and picked it up. Holding it now.” RedBallManifest

So for those folks who still believe in and are frustrated by the concept of time (I know it’s a pretty convincing illusion), this one’s for you.

Wishing you a sparkly, joy-filled Fourth of July.

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

Houston, we have a winner!!!!

“We know that attention acts as a lightning rod. Merely by concentrating on something one causes endless analogies to collect around it, an experience that we call coincidence, serendipity.” –Julio Cortazar

It’s a good thing I love to write, because I could never be a judge or a ref or anything that requires judiciousness. The snag I ran into when trying to decide a winner of my 2-2-2 competition is I love every one of the stories. I got comments on the blog, comments on Facebook, countless emails and I want every single person to win. That’s how I believe the world is meant to be.

But for the sake of not argument, but celebration, I have chosen a wonderful story by a wonderful new friend in Punjab, India. His name is Gaurav, he runs a grocery, has two adorable sons and he’s a whiz at teaching people to remember things.

We’ve become pen pals, discovered we have much in common and well, his email saying “I just know I’m going to win” was a clincher. I also loved his initiative in choosing a different number (more about that in a minute). His number was 4, chosen because one of his sons is 4, the other is 4 months. His wedding anniversary is on the 4th, he was engaged for four months and the year he was born ends in a 4. So he made the intention to see fours and (no surprise here) he saw them everywhere.

Because he’d already read E-Squared, he chose my book, Jumpstart your Metabolism, which is winging it’s way to India (how exciting is that!) as we speak.

I also want to share two other “amazing coincidences.” Hope you noticed the quotation marks which mean “ha-ha, get it!” or as Albert Einstein said, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”

The first was on an early morning walk with my Bassador, Izzy. She’s a mutt, part basset hound, part black lab and, yes, she’s kinda funny looking. I decided I was overdue in watching the sun rise. I see sunsets regularly. But it’s a rare day in Timbuktu when I see the debut of its opposite. But I was up early and hey, perfect opportunity. I live on the edge of town so it wasn’t too far a walk to find a giant corn field (I can hear the Kansas jokes already) over which I watched the sun rise gloriously above the horizon in a stunning pink and purple sky.

One of the clouds (and I hesitate to share this story because I’ve already been appointed Mayor of Crazy Town) or perhaps it was several clouds positioned together was shaped in a big, heavenly “2.”

The other “coincidence” dropped into my inbox last night from the gorgeous Simran Singh. She wasn’t entering the competition. Not sure, she even knows I exist.

But I’m a fan of her 11:11 Magazine and she sent to her list this Ted Talk that I’ve added here. It’s 17 minutes, but I think you’ll find it worth watching. Enjoy!!

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

“A better world is sitting, literally, right in front of us.”–Tom Shadyac

“I strongly encourage you to let go of these beliefs. They are inaccurate and melodramatic and they do not serve you.”—Cheryl Strayed

When asked “What’s the best predictor for finding a genius?” Buckminster Fuller used to answer, “A good mother.”

What he meant by that is if your mother (or your parents in general) believed in the largesse of the universe, if they saw that proverbial glass as half full and if they recognized the tremendous potential in not just you, but in all human beings, then you’d have a pretty good chance of realizing the genius within you.

If the culture that formed your rudimentary belief system is generous, open and tends to looks on the bright side, then there’s very little that can stop you from becoming all that you’re capable of becoming.

I heard a joke once that the only reason Jesus became “The Christ” is because God alerted Mary before he was born that that is who he was.

Our beliefs, more than anything else, shape our life experience. And most of our beliefs (we have thousands) are picked up before we have much say in the matter.

So despite all the positive affirmations and intentions for success, your fundamental, underlying beliefs about how the world works at its core create the framework for your reality.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1.      What’s your bottom line belief about other people? Are they good? Can they be trusted?

2.      What about life in general? Is it hard? Fun? Or something to be endured?

3.      What about yourself? What adjectives would you use to describe yourself? How did you parents describe you?

Our beliefs, the default setting we inadvertently picked up when we were growing up, are usually served up with a lot of rules, conditions and limits.

Most of the time, we’re not even aware of the underlying beliefs that create our reality. Which wouldn’t be a problem if our beliefs are aligned with our aspirations, dreams and highest selves.

But when our belief blueprints suggest that the world is a scary place, that money is limited, that hard work is a necessary evil, well, we’re going to have thoughts, those all-powerful creators of reality, that restrict what is possible.

Sadly, your beliefs don’t just filter your thoughts. They determine how big a reality you’re able to imagine.

Imagination and being able to envision a whole new possibility is what we now need.

So I say, “Let’s throw out those old, out-dated beliefs. Let’s juice up our imaginations and create a world that nobody has thought up yet.”

Pam Grout is the author of  16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

“Walk without a stick into the darkest woods. Believe that the fairy tale is true.”—Cheryl Strayed

“The more you look for synchronicity, the more magical your life becomes. You are the magician that makes the grass green.”—Robert Anton Wilson222

In her book, Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed, posing as Dear Sugar, tells the story of hiking in New Mexico. She was alone and had been for several hours. She turned a bend and suddenly ran into another solo hiker who at that exact moment had run into yet another lone hiker. The three of them laughed, began talking and discovered that all three of them had the same birthday, in three consecutive years.

In E-Squared, I wrote about coincidence and how rather than being some weird anomaly spit out by what Dr. John Lilly called “The Cosmic Coincidence Control Center,” it’s actually evidence of the Zero Point Field to which we are all connected. I also pointed out that simply contemplating synchronicity often triggers these “Oh Wow!” events. I also asked readers who experienced “an amazing coincidence” after reading that chapter to send me an email. Just so you know, I’ve gotten dozens of stories, many including the number 222 that I mentioned in the book.

My daughter, when she was in junior high, for those who haven’t read it, had a thing about 222. She started a 222 Facebook page, her friends called her at 2:22 every day and that summer, we ended up staying in room 222 in two different hotels (one in Seattle and one in London).

I used that anecdote in the 101 Dalmatians chapter and was amazed at a) how many coincidences people sent me and b) how many included the number 222.

My daughter, who is now 19 and in college, and I were talking about her 222 fascination the other day and suddenly we started seeing 222’s everywhere, sometimes two different ones at the same time. We started texting each other every time we spotted a 222. It has become an amusing game.

So today, in honor of my incredible daughter who “coincidentally” called me when I was getting ready to post this, I’m hosting a 222 competition. For the next few days, make an intention to notice the number 222.

I will send a free autographed copy of E-Squared or one of my other books (if you can’t think of anyone you’d like to give a copy to) to whoever posts the best 222 story in the comments below.

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

What marvelous thing might I create today?

“What is the most important thing we can think about in this most extraordinary moment?”–Buckminster Fuller

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the questions you ask. The universe will always match you question for question.

Sadly, most of the questions we ask are repeats of the questions we asked yesterday. We keep wondering the “same ole, same ole” that forever locks us into a tiny box of perception that greatly limits our reality. We place amazingly low expectations on what might be possible.

Every time you ponder the question “How do I get rid of this?” or “How can I overcome that?” you add energy to sustaining the unwanted state. As you devote more and more attention to its existence, you further validate its reality. You continue to view the state you’re attempting to overcome as a linear, predictable “problem.”

Not a lot of options in that teensy box.

Here’s what I’ve learned from quantum physics. Despite how it looks, we humans and everything else we lay gaze upon are, at our core, nothing but patterns of light and energy. We are entangled with all other beings on the planet, forever linked with the indivisible “Field of Potentiality” or to use Luke Skywalker’s vernacular, “The Force.”

By continuing to ask the same boring questions and residing in the same uncomfortable little shoebox, we block the flow and full expression of the F.P’s power.

The force, to borrow from Luke one more time, “can’t be with us.”

So my intention is to ask bigger questions, to think bigger thoughts?

“What if?” is always a good start.

What if our politicians could see eye-to-eye, to join forces for true and lasting change?”

“What if every child on the planet had a hot meal before they went to bed tonight?”

“What if every family had a roof over their head?”

“What can I do today that makes me dance with joy?

“How can I grow into the loving, wise, inspiring person I am meant to be?”

“What marvelous thing might I create today?”

Anything is possible, but we have to imagine it first. The more big questions we ask, the more we dare to say, “What would it look like if….?,” the bigger our lives will become. Putting your attention on something calls it into existence. We can literally reshape and redesign our lives by asking bigger questions.

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.

Everything starts with your thoughts.

“This year I’m chosing to live beyond my wildest dreams. Wonder where they’ll take me.” –Oprah

If you’ve already heard this story, mea culpa! But as a dear reader reminded me this morning, “You can’t be ‘fed’ enough good juju!” and just because you ate breakfast, doesn’t mean you’ll never eat again.

So this is a story sent to me yesterday from my friend, Dave Smiley. He’s the guy who made the movie “The Inner Weigh” which, if you haven’t seen, is definitely worth a watch.

Anyway, he told me about Cynthia Stafford, this amazing woman who was taking care of her brother’s five kids after he died in a tragic car accident. As you can imagine, she was busy. Five kids, raising them on her own. But she was not too busy to believe in the power of her own mind.

Every night before she went to bed, she’d visualize herself winning the lottery. She envisioned the amount she would win, even the shirt she’d be wearing when she heard the news. On Mother’s Day 2007 (as I said, this isn’t a new story), every little detail came to pass. She won $112 million in the lottery, the exact amount she’d been visualizing, and yes, she was wearing the lime green blouse with a leaf print she had imagined herself wearing. Today, she uses that money to support the arts and other charities she believes in. As she says “It’s a lot more fun to give than to receive.”

Not that she didn’t treat herself. After putting away funds for the kids’ education, she bought two Bentleys, one a baby blue convertible, took a dream trip to Paris and hired a personal trainer. She also started her own production company and is now making movies.

“I knew I’d get here,” Stafford said. “Everything starts with your thoughts. Whatever it is you want to achieve, you’ve got to believe in it first.”

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.