Unless you’re a perfect driver (and although I know many people who think they are, I know no one who actually is), you’ve probably encountered a speed bump*, undoubtedly going faster than the posted speed.
When you inadvertently hit one, it’s a clear sign to slow down. Likewise, rumble strips, those grooves on highway shoulders that shimmy your car and offer unexpected back massages when you accidently leave your lane, are signals that something needs to be corrected.
No one would ever dream of stopping their car, getting out and complaining because “woe-is-me! I hit a rumble strip!” Nor would they call their friends, rush to a support group or enlist their therapist. The proper procedure when hitting a rumble strip is self-correct. It’s a piece of cake.
It works the same when setting an intention. Reaching any goal, manifesting any desire is a simple matter of deciding that you want it and starting to move in that direction. It’s no more complicated than driving from say, Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Let’s pretend Los Angeles is what you have now—a beat-up Ford Escort, a crummy job and weekends watching re-runs alone. San Francisco, where you really want to be, is a shiny, new Jaguar, a high-paying job that utilizes and appreciates your greatest strengths and weekends watching movies with an astoundingly hot specimen of the opposite sex.
So, how do you get there? You start focusing on San Francisco. You forget that Los Angeles and your beat-up Escort even exist. And you remember that at every moment, you’re either heading towards San Francisco or you’re doubling back towards Los Angeles. Every thought is a step in one direction or the other. Thoughts that take you back to LA are “Good jobs and hot dates are not that available” or the even more popular, “Good jobs and hot dates are available, but not for the likes of me.”
Thoughts that move you towards San Francisco go something like this: “That new job is going to be so amazing.” and “Man, is this person sitting next to me on my couch ever so fine.” The more energy and excitement you invest, the quicker you’ll get there.
Some people get stirred up, take a few steps towards their desires, panic, and turn right back around towards Los Angeles. Others leave the LA city limits, walk for a spell, take a rest to look around, and then get pissed because it doesn’t look like San Francisco.
Of course, it doesn’t look like San Francisco. You’re not there yet. You’re still seeing countryside that’s just outside Los Angeles, stuff you have to pass to get to San Francisco. But you’ve left LA. Say a cheer and keep focusing. Whatever you do, don’t stop driving.
The only way to reach the sweet, champagne-drenched finish line of where you want to be is to keep your nose pointed in that direction. Do not turn around and look back. Los Angeles is history. Stay focused on…did I mention San Francisco?
When you hit those speed bumps, it’s just a sign to calm down and carry on. And as for those rumble strips, be grateful they’re showing you that, for a moment, you’re headed in the wrong direction. But it’s easy to self-correct.
Getting to San Francisco doesn’t take any particular gift. It just takes willingness to keep driving. To laugh at the rumbles trips. And to keep focusing your attention, energy and awareness.
See you in San Francisco!!!
*For those who like useless trivia, speed bumps are called sleeping policeman in Jamaica, kipping cops in Great Britain and speed breakers in New Zealand.
There’s the S.A.T. for getting into college, the L.S.A.T. for law school and the M.C.A.T. that opens doors to med school. But here, being offered for the very first time, is the best test I know for measuring creativity in human beings.
Answer the following question.
Pam Grout’s Test of Creativity
1. Are you breathing? (‘x’ the appropriate box)
My name is Pam G. and, as of today, I am launching a brand new chapter of A.A. Unlike Version 1.0, my A.A. stands for Amazing Awesomeness and it only has two steps.
Step #1: Admit that…..”Something amazingly awesome is going to happen to me today.” First thing every morning, before throwing off your covers, before leaping out of bed (and it doesn’t take long in this program before participants do leap out of bed with joy and expectation), before firing up the old Mr. Coffee, proclaim to the world that something unexpected, exciting and amazingly awesome is going to happen to you today. It takes what, three, four seconds? Yet it’s one of the most important things you will ever do. The first few minutes of every morning pre-paves the next 24 hours with positive expectations. It sets up a powerful intention, a forecast on which you can focus.
And it never fails to come true.
Step #2: Come to believe…..in blessings and miracles. Pretend you’re a private investigator assigned the task of finding all the beauty and largesse in the world. The dominant paradigm might suggest otherwise, but practiced with regularity, this ritual will force you to see things in a whole different way. Instead of looking for problems, be on the hunt for new blessings. Take on the mission each day of reporting back with at least three pieces of amazing awesomeness, three blessings that are different than the day before. I often liken myself to Lewis or Clark, scouting important new territory.
Because we get out of life whatever we focus on, practicing these simple two steps has the power to override and overturn the accepted paradigm.
Like Bill W.’s A.A, that has reformed the lives of millions, this new program (A.A. 2.0) can transform a “nameless squad of empty glass thinkers.”
I invite others to join me in tweeting their blessings (only rule is it has to be different each day) to my Twitter feed. Or feel free to leave your blessings here. By expecting and looking for a different, more kinder reality, we can, together in one jubilantly mighty whoop, uplift and lighten this tired old world.
Don’t you think it’s time?
I am quaking in my boots. I promised that in the run-up to the release of my new book, E-Squared, I’d blog every day. My publisher, Hay House, sent me a book called Platform by Michael Hyatt. In order to build momentum for a book through social media, a marketing bonanza of which even the smallest of authors can take advantage, he recommends daily blogging.
That’s thrilling and terrifying at the same time. It’s thrilling because, my gosh, I’ve wanted to be disciplined enough to write daily for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil. It’s the linchpin that holds a writer together—consistency, daily attendance to the muses, and well, the simple act of applying the old rear end to the chair. I’ve used it countless times when writing the 16 books that have my name on them. But, when I’m not on assignment or not being expected by some editor to deliver the goods, I don’t always write. I turn off the pipeline to my muses. Somehow I expect them to beat me over the head with whatever it is they want me to say. Even though I know the only way to truly call yourself a writer is to write.
It’s hard to admit this. One of my books is, in fact, about the importance of doing just that. Art and Soul, one of my all time favorites, is about showing up for the muses, day after day. Yet, for the last few years, I faithfully show up, alright, but only when editors give me deadlines, only when I need to add heft to my checking account.
That’s why I’m terrified. Blogging every day feels like streaking in front of a crowded arena. Granted, my subscriber list so far amounts to what, my mom and a couple friends?, but, if I do this right, I hope to create a following. That’s a scary thing to say.
Why would anyone want to follow me? Who am I to command respect? Yes, I suffer massive insecurity even though I’m what the world might call a successful writer. I’ve sold and written 16 books. I’ve been on big TV talk shows. I write for the kind of national magazine you find in dentists’ offices. Yet, I’m still terrified.
But when was terror ever a decent reason to cut off your brilliance? All terror really means is you’re listening to the wrong voice. In everyone’s head, there are always two voices. There’s the voice of your true calling, your magnificence, if you will.
And then there’s the imposter, the voice I like to call my Inner Salieri. If you saw the 1984 film, Amadeus, you know all about Antonio Salieri, a Venetian composer and director of the Hapsburg Opera. In the film, made from the 1979 play of the same name, Salieri was intensely jealous of Mozart. He recognized the young composer’s artistic gift and did everything he could to sabotage him. That’s why I call the voice that continually tries to defile every noble attempt at creating art my “Inner Salieri.” It’s the voice that puts a roadblock between me and everything the higher forces are asking me to do. In my opinion, it’s the root cause of most depression and unhappiness. It’s a tricky bastard.
That’s why arming myself against my Inner Salieri is a day-by-day process, one that can only succeed with discipline. One that can only succeed by showing up day after day on this blog, revealing my thoughts and opening up the trench coat to the naked real me inside.
“What keeps the world in chains but your beliefs?”
–A Course in Miracles
Every town has one. The mumbling guy on the street. The woman in all-black who frequents coffee shops carrying a three-foot cross. Those intriguing characters that always make you wonder. In Lawrence, Kansas, where I live, we have a whole contingency of such characters. Dennis, who typically wears a Spiderman outfit, never leaves home without his “daughter” Cheryl, a plastic doll he either carries or pushes in a stroller. Over the years, Cheryl has “grown up” from a baby doll to a bigger doll until now she’s the size of a storefront mannequin which, in truth, she actually is.
Pranksters kidnapped Cheryl the other day and the local police force, taking it quite seriously, put out an A.P.B., which thankfully resulted in an immediate recovery. Dennis and Cheryl are local celebrities. Dennis even has his own fanpage on Facebook.
The point I’m trying to make is that Dennis is no different than the rest of us. His world, although a slight deviation from what’s considered normal, is very real to him. Just as the world we’ve made up in our minds is very real to us. But both—Dennis’ world and the world we “see” and believe in with such a tenacious grip—is fiction. Neither constitutes Reality.
Reality, according to physicists who study these things, is that we are all connected. We are all one. In fact, the biggest secret in the world is we all really love each other.
We only “see” this other reality, this separate, divided, ugly world, because we imagine it to be that way. Illusions are as strong in their effects as is truth.
Because we continue to repeat and believe in the world we see on the six o’clock news, we continue to see the all hell-breaking-loose world of destruction and limits. Because dodging minefields is our source of vision, we continue to see a world of doom. Through our rote insistence on fear, we have created a fearful world.
But it’s no more real than the world of Dennis.
We have enslaved the world with our fears, doubts and miseries. By simply changing our vision, by imagining what “could be” instead of believing in “what we think is” we can literally change the world. The inner always creates the outer.
Instead of swimming in the insane culture-wide obsession with pathology, we should revel in the endless flood of miracles.
Isn’t it time to give up the world we keep re-running in our mind, to overthrow the status quo? A new more imaginative and free world is possible. But we must retrain ourselves to look through optimistic eyes. To say “thank you” and recognize all the beauty and largesse in our lives.
Posted on August 18, 2009
“Adventures don’t begin until you get into the forest. That first step is an act of faith.”—Mickey Hart
Launching a new book is like standing on stage with your pants down. You feel kinda vulnerable, wondering if anyone’s gonna like it.
Even after 17 books, I totally relate to Maya Angelou who once said, “Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, I think, “Uh, oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.”
So thank you everybody for “finding me out” and supporting me anyway. All your oh-so awesome emails, your congratulations, your “likes” have really rocked my world.
I cannot tell you how much it means.
And if you’re still not sick of me, stop by Facebook on Monday from 3 to 4 pm EST for a chat on the Hay House website.
Now, got out and have the best weekend of your life.
To get it started, here’s one of my favorite videos, for those who haven’t seen it in a while. I interviewed Matt years ago for one of my National Geographic books.
I dare anyone to watch it without breaking into a smile.
Pam Grout is the author of 17 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just -released sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig.
My interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, originally scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m. today, got bumped. Jean Feraca, host of “Here on Earth,” called frantically about 11 a.m. “We need to do a show on Walter Cronkite,” she said. “Can we postpone?”
For Walter, I said “yes.”
We, the greatest of all creators, with capabilities to build cities and inspire nations, are squandering our time watching reruns of I Love Lucy. We have forgotten that whole galaxies exist within our grasp. –PG
Hi! Welcome to the internet home of Pam Grout. I am the author of 16 books, two screenplays, a live soap opera, a TV series and enough magazine articles that I haven’t starved in 20 years without a 9-5 job. On this site, you’ll find all sorts of information about my books and about my career as a freelance writer.
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Pamela Sue Grout