“The world is only in the mind of its maker.”
–Course in Miracles
Who in their right mind would walk into a restaurant, take a look at the menu and then order the dish they least desire?
Likewise, who would go shopping at Nordstrom’s and opt to carry the rack’s ugliest outfit up to the sales counter?
Yet, that’s what most of us do in our thinking, in our conversations. We focus on things we don’t want to happen. We focus on the fear, on the negative, on the lack.
And those decisions have a much bigger impact on your life than one ugly dress or a dish you can’t stand. You literally draw out from the universe whatever you focus upon. In other words, you get what you order. It’s an unalterable law.
Some make the argument that they can’t help what they think, that they have no control over the thoughts that pop into their minds. If you want to continue to believe that, it’s your choice. But just so you know, that argument is a monster-sized bucket of bull.
At every moment, we make the choice where we focus our energy. Always. One hundred percent of the time.
I’m not denying that our minds habitually return to the worn-out groove of thoughts we’ve had in the past and that it takes some re-training to start a new habit of focusing only on what we want, but we have the capacity to do it.
And, I hope you’ll join me in focusing only on new possibilities, on love, on what our world could become. Yes, it’s a radical thought, but it sure as heck beats thinking about the same ole, same ole from yesterday.
I’d love to see comments from people. What are you choosing to focus on from here on out?
Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.
What distinguishes the people who are living their dreams and those who are not? Thoughts, nothing but thoughts.
Here it is, 4:30 my time, and the day has gotten away from me. Like every day, miracles have lined up to greet me and blessings have called out my name. As I get ready for next week’s South Pacific adventure to the Cook Islands, I’d like to share this quote from Rhonda Byrne who was interviewed earlier this month by bookish.com, a new outing by USA Today and six U.S. publishers.
Daniel Lefferts, the interviewer, posed a question that many people ask.
What advice would you give to people who have a hard time believing in the law of attraction but want to?
Here’s what she said: “Our thoughts seem so insignificant but, in truth, they have created and continue to create our world and our individual lives. Try and find a single thing that has not been created by thought. The way we feel about other people and interact with other people comes from our own thoughts. We can’t speak without thought. Any action we take, even to lift our arm or to stand up, comes from thought. Cars, planes, railways, buildings, cities, ships, technology, music, art and all things created by human beings not only began with thought but were created and materialized through thought. We accomplish our work through thought, and live every moment of our day through our thoughts. If you really examine everything in the world, you will realize that it was thought that caused it and created it. And so then ask yourself, if human beings have built everything there is from thought, how can I say that thought is not powerful? What distinguishes the people who are living the life of their dreams and those who are not? The ones who are living the life of their dreams thought they could do it, and those who are not, didn’t think they could do it.
And here’s what I say in E-Squared: Okay, just say it: “How can something as simple as a thought influence the world?” Let me just point out that a hundred years ago nobody would have believed songs sung by a bunch of American Idol contestants could pass through brick, glass, wood, and steel to get from a transmitter tower to your television set, either. Nobody would have believed a cell phone no bigger than a deck of cards would allow you to talk to your sister 2,000 miles away.
Your thoughts, like the 289 TV channels and like your voice on the cell phone, are vibrational waves. When you hear Eminem rapping about his daughter Hailie, your eardrum is catching a vibrational sound wave. When you see Brad Pitt’s cane or Madonna’s single leather glove (accessories they wore to the 2012 Golden Globes), you’re seeing patterns of vibrational light waves.
And that’s what your thoughts are—vibrational energy waves that interact and influence the Field of Potentiality (FP). Every thought you have, have ever had, or ever will have creates a vibration that goes out into the FP, extending forever. These vibrations meet other vibrations, crisscrossing in an incredible maze of energy. Get enough energy together and it clumps into matter. Remember what Einstein said—matter is formed out of energy.
The field of potentiality simply follows the energy you send out. And your thought vibrations draw similar vibrations. Here’s one small example: A few years ago, I remember thinking I wanted a potato masher. I didn’t mention it to anyone. I just made a mental note: Next time you’re at Walmart, buy a potato masher. That very night, my friend Wendy, who was cleaning out her drawers, stopped by with a couple of no-longer-needed cooking utensils, including a potato masher.
Another time, I decided I needed more laughter in my life. Within a couple weeks, I began dating Todd, a funny co-worker who eventually became a comedian.
The coincidences we see in our lives are just energy and the FP at work. Most of the time, we employ energy inadvertently, totally oblivious to the fact that what we think, say, and do makes a difference. Consequently, we constantly activate this power to follow the patterns we already believe in.
People think Jesus is the be-all and end-all, because he was so good at manipulating energy and matter. But, as he so poignantly pointed out (although these aren’t his exact words), “You, too, are da’ man.”
“We all long for love. Everything else is just killing time.”
Most people hear the word “love” and immediately think of long white dresses, tuxes and diamond rings. Our tendency to associate love with romance is a gaping blind spot. Not only are there millions of people to love (forget your quest to zero in on Mr. or Ms. Right), but there are million of ideas, millions of causes, million of quests to fall in love with.
Take Dale Price, for example. This stay-at-home dad from American Fork, Utah, has spent the past three years waving at his high school son’s bus dressed in weird costumes, a different one every day. It started the first day of his son’s sophomore year when he realized the bus, for the first time, would drive down their street. Price greeted the bus (and his embarrassed son) that first day wearing a football helmet. From there, his creativity grew. He has waved at the bus dressed as Elvis, Fred Flintstone, Santa Claus and, once, a lampshade. He and Rain, the red-faced son, ended up on Good Morning America and the resulting blog, Wave at the Bus, has received millions of hits and raised money for Rain’s college fund, although his dad is quick to admit it may also end up being used for therapy.
Or take Matt Harding who fell in love with traveling. In 2003, while in Hanoi, his traveling buddy videotaped him dancing, a rather kooky arm-flapping, march popular with adolescent boys at middle school dances. And then he videotaped Matt dancing in Tonga. And in the Philippines, Mali and the Panama Canal. The video on the resulting “Where the Hell is Matt?” website shows a grinning Matt bouncing up and down in 69 countries. What’s more, the underlying, if unplanned message of unbounded human joy and connection comes across loud and clear.
“There are no words on the video and I’m not trying to get anybody to doing anything,” Harding say, “It just makes people happy.”
The point is, there are lots of ways to make people happy, lots of ways to love. Don’t sit around waiting for your soul mate. Be crazy with love. Love when it makes no sense. Love in all it bewildering ways, shapes and styles.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
– Oprah Winfrey
My friends, relatives and anyone who follows my blog knows about A.A. 2.0. It’s a simple, two-step program for revolutionizing your life.
The name comes from my daily practice of getting up each morning and proclaiming, “Something amazingly awesome is going to happen to me today.”
The next step, just as easy, involves texting three miracles and/or blessings (A.K.A. awesomeness) to four friends who I refer to as my “power posse.” The only stipulation is the list has to be different every day. I like to say that my number one mission in life is scouting miracles. I’ve found that the more I look for them, the more plentiful they become.
Since I’m writing about travel today and looking over my itinerary for next week’s oh-so-exciting trip to the Cook Islands, I thought I’d demonstrate how this simple program works by sharing the awesomeness from last month’s adventure to Belize:
Thursday: Easy, on-time flights, staying on a 7200-acre rainforest preserve and drinking Argentinean wine with the resort’s South African manager.
Friday: Exploring a 3000-year-old Mayan site, howler monkeys who sound like Jurassic Park and rescuing my favorite hat before it plunged down an 800-foot waterfall.
Saturday: Swimming three-feet away from a three-foot loggerhead turtle, seeing lemon sharks, barracuda and a giant school of blue tang and being invited to watch the Caribbean cup soccer finals on an outdoor TV while eating just-caught barbecued lobster.
Sunday: Egrets and pelicans on my morning beach walk, mimosas and gelato before my 10 a.m. flight and getting home 30 minutes early.
If you want to join A.A. 2.0, tweet your daily blessings to #A.A. 2.0.
Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.
“In dreams there are no impossibilities.”
Caryn Johnson always knew she wanted to be an actor. In fact, she says her first coherent thought was, “Man, I’d love to act.”
Even though she grew up in the New York projects, theater and what she called “pretending to be somebody else” was a big part of her life. This was back in the days when Joe Papp brought free Shakespeare on trucks to her neighborhood in Chelsea. She also watched lots of movies with her brother, Clyde, and her mom, Emma, who was raising the two kids on a single salary.
“When I saw Carole Lombard coming down some stairs in a long satin thingy, I thought, I can do that,” she says. “I wanted to come down those stairs and say those words and live that life. You could be anything, up there in the movies. You could fly. You could meet alien life forms. You could be a queen. You could sleep in a great big bed, with satin sheets in your own room.”
By the time she was 8, she was acting for the Hudson Guild Community Center, a children’s daycare/theater/arts program, also near her neighborhood.
Her life took a detour in high school when her dyslexia caused her to get mistakenly classified as “slow, possibly retarded.” She dropped out of school, became a junkie and forgot all about her acting dream. By the time she was 19, she was a single mom herself.
The good news is she HAD kicked the drugs. In fact, her daughter’s father was the drug counselor who helped her get off the junk. But the bad news is he wasn’t cut out to be a father. He split a few months after Alexandrea was born.
Caryn was a high school dropout with no skills. In fact, the only thing she knew how to do was take care of kids. She took a job as a nanny and moved to Lubbock, Texas with the friend who hired her. Eventually, the friend moved to San Diego and Caryn and her daughter gladly followed.
When the relationship went south, she found herself stuck in California with no money and no skills. She didn’t even know how to drive, a major hindrance in freeway-happy California.
“I had no high school diploma,” she says. “All I had was me, and my kid.”
Oh, yeah, and that “Man, I’d love to act” dream. During the day, she learned to lay bricks, went to cosmetology school. At night, she played around with an experimental theater troupe. For a while, she did hair and makeup for a funeral home supplementing her income with a welfare check, “worrying about how to get my kid more than one pair of shoes, or how to make $165 worth of groceries last for a month.”
Through it all, she continued to believe that “anything is possible.” She continued to believe that she could be like Carole Lombard, floating down stairs in satin.
“Acting is the one thing I always knew I could do,” she says.
Her unwavering belief finally unlocked the door. In 1983, famed Hollywood director Mike Nichols happened to catch her performance in an Berkeley experimental troupe, the Black Street Hawkeyes. He was so blown away by the characters she played that he signed her immediately for a one-woman performance, the Spook Show, on Broadway. Steven Spielberg caught that show and cast her as Celie in The Color Purple. By then, she’d changed her name to Whoopi Goldberg.
“No one ever expressed this idea that I was limited to any one thing, and so I think it terms of what’s possible, not impossible,” Whoopi says in her memoir, Book. “I knew that if you come to a thing with no preconceived notions of what that thing is, the whole world can be your canvas.
“Just dream it and you can make it so. I believed a little girl could rise from a single-parent household in the Manhattan projects, start a single-parent household of her own, struggle though seven years of welfare and odd jobs and still wind up making movies.
“So, yea, I think anything is possible. I know it because I have lived it. I know it because I have seen it. I have witnessed things that ancients have called miracles, but they are not miracles. They are the products of someone’s dream. As human beings, we are capable of creating a paradise, and making each other’s lives better by our own hands. Yes, yes, yes…this is possible.
“If something hasn’t happened, it’s not because it can’t happen, or won’t: it just hasn’t happened yet.”
Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.
Once, in a three-bedroom pension in Austria, I got locked in a tiny bathroom. I hollered out to my hosts, “Help! I can’t open the lock.” They spoke no English so obviously they didn’t rush to my aid. Instead, they probably scratched their head, wondering what the crazy American girl was yammering about so early in the morning.
Not wanting to miss even an hour of my fabulous solo Eurail adventure, I got louder and louder in my attempts to arouse their assistance. Finally, they came to the door and started asking what I presumed were questions, but since I speak no German, I had no idea what they were asking.
This story (and, yes, for those who are wondering, I finally did get free from that tiny 3-foot by 4-foot lock-up) demonstrates what I think is going on in the world today, particularly American politics. People are speaking two different languages.
Since I’ve spent much of my life writing books about what I consider to be the biggest secret in the world (that we all really love each other), I’d like to offer some translation assistance:
1. What they say: Life Sucks
What they really mean: I’ve memorized an emotional state of suffering and have set up neural pathways that can see little else. Secretly, I know the world is beautiful.
2. What they say: You suck
What they really mean: I’ve picked up cues from my background that suggest you’re different from me. So I’m scared and prefer to keep my distance. In reality, I love you and know we are one.
3. What they say: Your politics suck.
What they mean: I’ve learned this unfortunate habit of jumping to conclusions and shutting out all evidence that differs from my safety zone. I’d really like to shut up long enough to hear what you have to say. I know we have more in common than we have differences.
Or if that fails, do what I do. Play the opposite game. When people start spouting unhappiness, inanities and misinformation, I know they’re simply replaying old tapes and need my love more than ever.
We simply must get over the notion that there is reluctance on the part of Infinite Intelligence to provide our good.
Chris Michaels, a handsome and very wise Science of Mind minister, told a great story a few weeks ago.
He explained that when you make an intention (or pray or send out a ‘rocket of desire,’ as LOA students might call it), you must act with authority. You must KNOW that your words and consciousness are powerful.
Remember that bit in the Lord’s Prayer where we say, “Give us this day our daily bread?”
“Our daily bread,” say Chris, “is everything we need to live well and be happy. How bold. How absolutely courageous!!”
Notice that Jesus taught us to command.
He didn’t beg. He didn’t plead. He didn’t even ask. Or say, “Please, pretty, pretty please, God, send me a loaf of pumpernickel.”
Jesus knew his word had power. He knew that when he spoke, his word was activated by a law of energy that only knows how to deliver whatever is held in consciousness.
You don’t beg the soil to grow a plant. You simply put a seed in the ground and watch it grow. You don’t plead with your coffee pot to make your morning coffee. You don’t stand over it and say.“Please, God, I’ve been really good and I need some caffeine.”
No, you simply plug it in. You place a demand upon the law of electricity by plugging in your coffee pot. And you know with complete authority that within a few minutes you’ll have coffee.
We simply must give up this notion that there is a reluctance by God to provide our good.
There is no reluctance on the part of the universe to give you absolutely everything good you can possibly imagine. But nothing can be given until it is claimed.
“How is none of your business.”
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?”
“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.