Iran, writing a TV series and walking around the world with a teddy bear: the perks of being a writer

On my list of top three things I love about being a writer is that I get emails from readers. These joyful notes that show up unexpectedly in my inbox come from all over the world, constantly piquing my curiosity with, “How in the heck did that nanny from Iceland find my breathing book?”

I have dozens of Facebook friends from Iran. Not that I can read what they post—it’s in Persian. But I was finally able to ascertain that these friend requests are the result of somebody pirating the English version of my book, Jumpstart your Metabolism, and translating it into Farsi. Not exactly legal, but certainly a giant compliment.

I became close friends with a wonderful woman who lives on a tree farm in California, even writing a TV pilot with her and sharing a trip to Mexico. We had a blast and completely defied the old school conditioning that you should “never trust a stranger.” Now, it seems impossible that Heather and I haven’t known each other forever.

Another favorite request came from a reader in New Jersey. One of my books had an experiment that involved carrying around giant stuffed animals. It proves just how friendly and funny people are, a discovery I made after bringing back a monstrous moose from a travel-writing gig in Montana. This reader offered to walk to my house all the way from New Jersey (I live in Kansas) with a four-foot teddy bear. With that guy, I didn’t book a trip to Mexico.

My new book, E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments to Prove your Thoughts Create your Reality, also includes experiments. So, needless to say, I’m starting to hear from readers. Not two days after it came out, I heard from a fabulous Southwest flight attendant who heard me on Hay House Radio, bought the book and had immediate results.

Just yesterday, at my Spiritual Entrepreneurs group, a photographer, who I’ll call Sherry because that is not her name, told us that last week she was bemoaning the fact that she didn’t have a clear bead on what she wanted. “I know setting an intention works,” she said, “But I don’t really know what I want. I just want people to knock on my door and bring money.”

Not four hours after making that statement, “Sherry” was sitting on her couch when the doorbell rings. It was a friend, who she hadn’t seen in a couple weeks. She was evidently on her way to an appointment.

“I don’t have time to chat,” the friend said. “But here’s the money for those pictures. Enjoy.”

Why it’s wise when setting goals and intentions to leave the details up to Infinite Intelligence

“How is none of your business.”
—Edwene Gaines

Jeannie worked a minimum wage job as a clerk at a discount store. She heard this rumor that prosperity was possible to anyone who made it a conscious intention, anyone who took the time to write down what they’d “love to do.” She didn’t really buy it at first, but just in case, she hedged her bets by attending a workshop given by Edwene Gaines, a powerful prosperity teacher who makes the rounds at Unity churches.

She stood up during the workshop and challenged Edwene’s thesis. “This prosperity business is a bunch of bunk,” she said. “How could it possibly work? I barely make minimum wage. How in the world could any of this good stuff happen for me?”

Edwene reminded her of the first principle of prosperity: How is none of your business.

“Your business is ‘What do I want?’ Edwene reminded her and then asked her this question. “Would you be willing to consider the possibility that God has ways of bringing your good to you that you might not have thought of yet?”

Jeannie gulped and said, “Well, yes.”

“Okay,” says Edwene. “Should we get back to the only question that’s really up to you?”

“Well, I’ll tell you what I want,” Jeannie said. “I want to see the world. I want to go to all those wonderful places I’ve only read about and seen on TV. I want to go to the opera in Italy, the casinos in Monte Carlo. I want to see the Pyramids, visit London, Paris and Machu Picchu. I want to travel to Tibet and China. And I want to go first class and ride in limousines and wear beautiful clothes.”

And again, Edwene asked her, “Are you willing to consider the possibility that God knows exactly how to do all that?”

Eighteen months later, Jeannie called Edwene.

“And, boy, was she excited,” Edwene says.

Jeannie proceeded to tell her about waking up one morning and yelling at the walls of her tiny apartment, “I am not a clerk. I don’t know what I am, but I am not a clerk.”

She went in that day, quit her job and decided she’d look for gainful employment elsewhere.

A few days later, while making the job interview rounds, she took a break for coffee at a little diner. She sat down at a booth and noticed a paper opened to the classifieds in the booth next to her. She couldn’t help but be curious about the ad, circled in red ink.

Turns out an elderly woman who had owned three successful businesses had recently retired and wanted to see the world. Although the woman had grown children, none of them could take the time off, so she was looking for someone with whom to travel. She wanted someone who would handle all the details—plan the itinerary, secure the airlines tickets, hire the limos, etc.. The older woman didn’t care where she went. She just wanted to go, to make up for the lost time she’d devoted to her businesses.

“And guess what?” Jeannie says. “We went to the opera in Italy, the casinos in Monte Carlo. We went to Paris and London, Tibet, China and Mexico City. We saw the pyramids in Egypt,” Jeannie says. “And it was just like I asked. She bought me elegant clothes and even loaned me her jewelry.”

They traveled first-class for almost an entire year when the older woman became ill. They returned to the States and, in her will, the older woman left Jeannie a small inheritance.

So, as Edwene would say, “Are you willing to consider the possibility that God might know a few things you haven’t thought of yet?”

What is the most important thing we can think about in this most extraordinary moment?

“I always say to myself, what is the most important thing we can think about in this extraordinary moment.”
–R. Buckminster Fuller

Who, when you really think about it, wants to do unimportant and uninteresting things? Yet, look how we spend our time. Look at the headlines in the magazines we read. Look at the TV shows we’re addicted to.

We think we care about things we really don’t. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you really don’t care what perfume you’re wearing, whether or not you’ve mastered the secret of the sixty-minute orgasm.

You care about what happens to our children. To our oceans. To the big, beautiful American dream of freedom and equality and unlimited possibilities. You care about your soul, about God, about how you can make a difference in the world.

Somehow, we’ve gotten off track. I don’t really know how it happened. I don’t believe we need to know. Figuring out why we’ve gotten off track is another of these irrelevant issues on which we spend way too much time. It doesn’t matter.

The only thing that matters now is “How can we get back on track?” “How can we take our focus off trivial and unimportant things and put it back where it belongs?”

When we focus on insignificant issues we deny our true selves. This is a big problem, folks. It’s why Eli Lilly made a fortune on Prozac. It’s why forty people will try to kill themselves in the next hour.

We are gods playing fools. We pretend to care about things we don’t care about. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, what kind of car you drive. It’s like we’re all playing make-believe, only somehow we forgot that it’s make-believe.

The only thing you really care about is how you can boldly make a difference in this world, how you can best spread love to your brothers and sisters. All of us recognize this truth—whether we admit it or not. It’s the still, small voice that continually pokes us in the ribs, the discontent that flows through us when we stop long enough to think, “Is this all there is?”

The still, small voice will never shut up. It’s the energizer bunny. The dandelion in your front yard. You just can’t get rid of it. So why don’t we all just put down our dukes, call “Ally-ally-oxen in free” and admit it.

We all really love each other. We all long to do big things. We can save our world. It’s not too late.

What if tragedy, chaos and unhappiness are nothing but a rumor, cemented into our consciousness by years of conditioning?

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”
–Bob Marley

Most of us think life is some sort of boot camp for heaven. We believe this short life span is “only a test” for the paradise we’re eventually going to earn. If we hang on and bear up, we’ll someday walk through those pearly gates and be happy. These errors in thinking have been condensed into living facts. Nothing is plainer than the inevitably of sorrows and trials.

But what if it isn’t necessary? What if these is no reason to be poor? Or sick? Or anything but living an abundant, exciting life? What if these tragic, difficult lives are nothing but a rumor, cemented into our consciousness by years and years of conditioning?

What I’d like to suggest is this heaven you’re waiting for is available now. And that you’ve been sold a bill of goods about who you are and what is possible.

The way I see it, there are only four reasons we aren’t all joyous, loving and free.

1. We didn’t know we could be.

2. We didn’t ask.

3. We don’t use our mind power properly. If you’ve ever been in a sailboat, you know that unless you hold the sails in the right position, you’re pretty much stuck paddling in circles. The wind, like your mind is a potent energy source, but it won’t take you anywhere until you learn the proper way to use it.

4. We have a thing about drama. Ever wonder why rollers coasters are so popular? Why movies like Alien v. Predator boost ticket sales? C’mon, admit it.  You crane your neck around to see those mangled bodies lying there along the side of the road after a car accident. You actually like being a little off-kilter and guess what? As long as you enjoy this, you get to have it.

This may be a hard pill to swallow, but we—you and me—made the mess we call material reality.

If you look very closely as what we politely assume to be the building blocks of the universe, you’ll discover they’re dicey at best. Or to put it another way, since renowned physicist Brian Greene is much better at explaining these thing than I am, “quantum fluctuations so mangle space and time that the conventional ideas of left/right, backward/forward, up/down and before/after become meaningless.” In other words, we experience war and global warming because that’s what we’ve come to expect, what we think of as reality. We created these disasters with our angry, fearful consciousness. The exciting thing about this truth (that it’s us, not some random misogynist named God) is that another way IS possible. We do not have to accept war and sickness and injustice. We, by changing our consciousness, can create a peaceful world that works for everyone. In fact, looking for anything else is irresponsible.

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

Never give up on your dreams.

“Five years ago I was still waiting tables in New York City.”
–Lady GaGa

Six years ago, Justin Bieber was a school kid from Canada. Jacki Weaver, 66, who’s up for an Oscar for best actress, was an unknown from Down Under.

The point I’m trying to make is “Don’t ever give up on your dreams.”

As the manager of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” repeated often: “In India, we have a saying; everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, it is not yet the end.”

One of the dreams I’ve never given up on is having a platform to inspire and uplift the world. Today, that dream is coming true.

I’m featured today as the Inspirational Luminary on InspireMeToday.com. I’m hanging with some pretty good company. Other luminaries who have dispensed their wisdom include Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Neale Donald Walsch and Marci Shimoff. I’m honored to be with such esteemed company!

Please visit the site and help me inspire the world. If my traffic and comments break records, InspireMeToday.com will share my content with millions of additional people too! I hope you’ll check it out, leave a comment and share it with your friends.

And whatever you do, know that you should never, never ever give up on your dreams!

World’s best “how-to book” not found in the self-help section

“Like a loyal animal, the imagination will come when it knows the door is open.”
–Carol Lloyd


My favorite how-to book will never be found in the self-help section of the bookstore. It was written long before the term self-help was even coined.

It’s a children’s book called Harold and the Purple Crayon and it rivals Oprah when it comes to addressing the possibilities of the human condition.

Written by Crockett Johnson in 1955, this little 65-page masterpiece tells the story of a little boy named Harold who decides to go out for a walk one evening. When there isn’t any moonlight (and, of course, everyone knows a good walk requires moonlight), Harold just takes out his purple crayon and draws the moon.

He also needs a sidewalk (which he draws) that leads to a forest (he only draws one tree because he doesn’t want to get lost) that turns out to be an apple tree (or at least it is after Harold’s crayon gets ahold of it). Unfortunately, the apples aren’t ripe yet, so Harold draws a frightening dragon to guard the tree.

When he falls into the ocean, Harold is able to grab his wits and his purple crayon to draw a boat and set sail for a beach, where he draws a picnic lunch with nine kinds of pie.

The whole book is about Harold’s great adventures scaling a mountain, soaring in a hot-air balloon and touring a city, all created by his ever-faithful purple crayon.

It’s a powerful book because it demonstrates a great spiritual truth—we are the authors of our own lives. We draw every detail—even the dragons and the oceans we “accidentally” fall into.

Harold could have gone on his walk, noticed there was no moon and sat down and pouted. Isn’t that what most of us do? “Damn, no moon. Better call my therapist, hit some pillows.” Or he could have drawn his moon, compared it to El Greco, and said, “I’m a hopeless shame. What was I thinking? Me? An artist?”

Instead, he kept reaching for his purple crayon and drawing every event, every answer, every friend he needed. We all have that power.

Harold was only a kid. He hadn’t yet lost his imagination, his sense of wonder and awe. No one had explained yet that he couldn’t have whatever he wanted. As long as he had his purple crayon, he could ride the universe.

Remember that big box of Crayolas with the 64 awesome colors? With that one small gold and green box you could have absolutely anything-—navy blue carousels with peach prancing ponies, magenta castles with yellow-green drawbridges, puffy white clouds and purple grass although your teacher might have frowned on that kind of thing. “Grass is green, don’t you know.”

Each year of school, the Crayola stash gets smaller. By the time we graduate from high school, we’re wielding nothing but a blue Bic for figuring our checking account.

Let’s go out this week and get some crayons. Let’s create our world the way we want it. And if we happen to fall into an ocean or run into a dragon, we’ll just draw ourselves a lifeboat and head for the beach, where at least one kind of pie will be waiting.

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

Abundance, hoarders and why I’m a whole lot richer than #DonaldTrump.

“I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine
Smiling next to Oprah and the Queen.”—Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars

I didn’t make Forbes’ list of billionaires in 2012. Unlikely, I’ll make it this year either. But I do know a secret that makes me deserving of the list.

I know with complete certainty that the world is limitless, abundant and strangely-accommodating. I also know that anything I could ever need or want is as easy to manifest as plugging in the toaster.

Take this Wednesday, for example, I’m flying to Belize to visit Mayan pyramids and to snorkel along the world’s second largest reef. Next month, on my birthday, I’m flying to the Cook Islands where I’ll undoubtedly snorkel some more and stay in a couple five-star hotels.

Those billionaires? I doubt they could spare the time.

In fact, the only difference between me and “The Donald” is I choose not to carry my riches around. It’s comforting to know that anything I could ever want to do is available to me, but why flaunt it or drag around a bunch of material baggage?

In fact, I’d like to argue that amassing $7 billion, the dollar amount Trump claims to be worth, is not that different than hoarding old newspapers, leaky buckets and all the other junk collecting in the homes of the dysfunctional folks we watch on the A&E show, “Hoarders.”

No, my role model is Peace Pilgrim who, when she was very young, made an important discovery: “Making money is easy.”

Which is why she could give up her earthly possessions and walk around the world with nothing but the clothes on her back. As she said about her 28-year-old journey, “Life is full. Life is good. I have a feeling of always being surrounded by all of the good things, like love and peace and joy. It’s like a protective surrounding.”

That’s all anyone really needs. To know with sure conviction that “the world is limitless, abundant and strangely accommodating.”

It’s not the “stuff” you want. Jesus could never have brought Lazarus back to life and multiplied all those fishes and loaves if he’d been preoccupied by the desire for a beachside residence.

That said, I do not want to make you feel guilty for wanting a big home in Malibu. There is not one thing wrong with a big home in Malibu. Or anything else you want. Want it. Walk toward it with all your heart and might. Just know that there are higher rungs. And know that most people hoard material things out of fear. And fear, after all, is what we’re attempting to move away from.

Is the radio station in your head stuck on a self-defeating channel? Maybe it’s time to pick a better song.


“At every point in time,
there are infinite possibilities
and a parallel reality exists for each possibility.”
–Daniel Jackson, Stargate

Imagine this? A foreign exchange student from a tiny African village with no running water or electricity comes to the West and gets dropped off at a hotel room. The hotel maid, who has a giant crush on George Strait and loves to listen to the local country and western station, forgot to turn off the radio when she finished tidying up the room. Hours later, the student walks into his first hotel room ever to find a radio playing non-stop country and western music and loud, obnoxious ads.

He much prefers the drumming of his little village, but unfortunately he has no idea that a) the radio has an off switch or b) that, at any time, he could simply move the dial to a different, more pleasing station.

Hopefully, the above scenario has never happened, but it’s a perfect metaphor for life. An extensive line-up of music stations with an immense variety of options is available for anyone with a car, a boom box or a computer with Pandora.

Life, too, offers a dizzying choice of consciousness options. We can choose joyful thoughts or thoughts of fear. We can choose to celebrate or worry. The station we tune into is completely up to us. It’s the most important decision we ever make. Our consciousness channels create the quality of our life.

Most of us are like the exchange student, stuck on one channel and unaware that, at any time, we could pick a different reality. We are the captains of our fate, the master of our mind’s channels that all too often get stuck on an endless loop.

Before long, we start believing that reality is nothing but the loud, obnoxious C&W station playing in our consciousness. We fail to realize that a) there’s an off-switch, b) there are lots of other channels and c) the world only appears the way it does because, in our ignorance, we chose the wrong channel. Isn’t it time to change the dial?

Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared, 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. And she chose to write about radio stations today in honor of next week’s debut on Hay House Radio.

How the parlor game “Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon” gives us hope

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” –Aibilene Clark, from the book and movie, The Help

I’m sending a shout-out today to the anonymous person that taped uplifting affirmations to the bathroom stall at Mirth Café in Lawrence, Kansas. Your words reminding me that “I am beautiful. I am powerful. I am capable of great things” made me so happy and reminded me that the simplest of things, the tiniest of actions can impact the world.

Your affirming words not only added joy to my day, but they elevated the energy of every person I encountered from that moment forward.

I once saw a comic strip where the boss scolded his employee who went home and took it out on his wife who then screamed at the kids. In the last frame, the toddler is sitting outside on the front porch shaking her finger at the puzzled dog.
That boss had no idea the chain of events he started when he chose to criticize rather than encourage.

You’re probably heard of the parlor game, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, which suggests that any two people on earth are, on average, a mere six acquaintance links apart.

I like to think of those beautiful human bonds when I get discouraged, 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.

Yes, we’re all different, have varying political beliefs and religious affiliations. But every last one of us eventually shows up in the same bathroom stall.

One tiny sheet of paper. Five simple lines. Tiny actions sending beautiful ripples out into the universe.

Leave a comment below with the words you’d like to leave on the door of your bathroom stall.

Why it’s time for an intervention from the relentless 24/7 media

“Violence is interesting which makes it a great obstacle to world peace and more thoughtful television programming.” –P.J. O’Rourke

Crisis, conflict and violence are the prevailing themes of our 24/7 media. If some stranger talked to us the way newscasters do, we’d tell them to go jump in a lake. Likewise, if our boyfriends made us feel the way headlines often do, our friends would line up for an intervention. ‘Toss the jerk out on his head,’ they’d say.”

Living in fear sells products, creates economies, elects politicians and keeps the flying monkeys on the job. But it’s not the truth about the world.

The reality is that the world is safer today than at anytime in history. The murder rate has plummeted in the last ten years. School shootings are no more prevalent than they were in “Leave it to Beaver” days. In fact, collaboration, goodness and, yes, love are the norm.

It’s just that the dominant paradigm, the one we’ve blindly bought into is “life sucks.” Any thought to the contrary is sidelined immediately by the 27-inch box in the corner of most of our living rooms (and kitchen and bedrooms). In fact, if you pay attention to the box–and most of us use it to form our view of reality–you have little choice but to conclude that murder, rape, war, and genocide is the human condition.

But if you look at it scientifically, the math just doesn’t work out. For every Koran-burning Terry Jones, there are 335,000 ministers who aren’t burning the Koran, who are espousing peace and love and tolerance. For every Scott Peterson, there’s 58.9 million husbands who didn’t murder their wives.

Every day, we’re spoon-fed “news” about missing children, identity theft, the mild-mannered neighbor who walks into work with an AK-47 and a bomb pack and blows up his boss and 27 co-workers.

Why do we think this is news?

On the same day (February 18, 2008), two-year-old Karissa Jones was abducted from her home in Louisville, Kentucky (by her father, as it turns out), there were 53,298 two-year-olds in Kentucky who didn’t get abducted, who were safe and sound at home, happily sipping apple juice from their Winnie-the-Pooh high chairs. Nearly a million children of all ages in Kentucky also didn’t get abducted that same day.

Why is Karissa the “news?”

News, by definition, is new information that teaches people about the world. Picking out what happened to two-one thousandth of one percent of the state’s two-year-olds is not an accurate picture of the world. If you ask me, what happened to the other 53,298 two-year-olds is a bigger story. Or at least it’s more realistic news.

What you see on the newscasts at night, what you read in the morning newspaper is not a realistic perception of our world. It’s an anomaly, an out-of-character thing that happened at one moment in time. News junkies pride themselves on believing they’re well-informed. Because they know what Ann Curry said about the latest layoffs at Boeing and what Morley Safer reported on the earthquake in New Zealand, they smugly believe they’re up on current events.

But do they know about the African-American postman in Germantown, Tennessee who jumped into a lake to save a couple whose brakes went out of their car when they were coming home from a hospital dialysis treatment? Do they know about the Marysville, Kansas attorney who flew, on his own dime, to Israel to donate a kidney to a 10-year-old he’d never met?

Thinking you’re informed because you watch the news is like thinking you understand a zoo when you’ve only seen the “Z” on the entryway sign. It’s not a complete picture, guys. It’s not even a good picture. I’m not going to argue that you can’t find the letter “Z” at any zoo. But if you try to convince me you’re a zoo expert or even that you have a faint understanding of what a zoo is all about because you’ve seen a “Z,” well, I’m sorry, I have no choice but to argue.

Attention-grabbing headlines and newscasts are nothing more than a sales tool, no more “factual” than “The Simpsons.” Isolated incidences get turned into frightening trends and our own thoughts have become conditioned to leap to the worst.

The mission of this blog is to free readers from the straitjacket of the relentless news media. Instead of asking “What’s wrong?,” a question we hear over and over again, I’d like to pose a simple question with the power to change the world: “What’s right?”