My attention is my superpower

“Whatever fundamental reality might exist, we live out our lives in a subjective reality defined by what we agree to attend to.”—Maria Popova

Greetings, you precious beings! I’m just back from a travel assignment to Door County, Wisconsin and thought I’d answer a question someone posed on my last blog post.

I mentioned what I called “the droop” and this particular reader asked to hear more about that.

While I appreciate the question, I thought I’d explain why I prefer writing about kinder, truer, bigger things.

In the quantum field, an infinite number of possibilities are on the menu: sorrow, joy, pain, glee — you name it.  And I believe (and have fashioned a career writing about this) that from this unfathomable field of potentiality, we generate our personal reality with our attention and focus. What we’re interested in, where we shine our spotlight nurtures into being the life we experience.   

Consciousness is more than just a cognitive function. It plays the starring role in the creation of reality. What we attend to renders the world we see, taste, hear and smell. This is the startling conclusion of quantum physics.

As I said in one of my books, no one in their right mind would go into a department store, pick out the dress they most dislike and bebop up to the counter with their credit card.

Likewise, I get to curate where I place my attention and focus. That’s not to say I don’t droop from time to time.

But because I know my attention is a rare and precious superpower, I choose to turn my focus to a more pleasing page on the menu. The life wonderland page.

As always, my friends, go out there and have the most extraordinarily epic weekend of your life.

#222 Forever!

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

Are you dimensionally challenged?

“Pessimism doesn’t change the world. Seeing the bright possibility on the horizon, and declaring it real, is the act of faith that can get us there.”—Barbara Kingsolver

I have to restrain myself from starting every post with “OMG!” Blathering on about my lettuce patch and climbing purple clematis and the fox who makes his rounds in my neighborhood probably makes me sound uncool, unworldly.

But dang it! Why not find the wonder within the moment, revel in the life that’s exploding everywhere around me?

Cynicism has long been the prevailing fashion, but is it really true? Is half-full all there is to see? Or just a conditioned viewpoint we’ve spent years building up and believing in?

Today’s Course in Miracles lesson asks us to refrain from dismal thoughts and meaningless laments.  It asks us to see a different world and to think a different thought from those we have thus far been practicing.

It says any thought that’s not life-affirming is a lie. Any thought that doesn’t take possibility into account is limited and untrue.

And while a lie believed might temporarily act as law, by shifting our gaze slightly to “the now,” we can neutralize and dismantle it.

Looking at life with wonder and thanksgiving is the doorway into a higher dimension, a place where another, more beautiful voice will always have the floor.

I also want to let you know that this merry, merry month marks the grand opening of Taz’s Hangout at the Douglas County Big Brothers/Big Sisters headquarters.  It’s a new space where Bigs and Littles can hang. Taz’s friends and many of my friends are gathering today to officially “cut the ribbon.” BBBS is even changing the official address to 222.

So I continue to be amazed, to celebrate and to see possibilities and declare them real.

#222 Forever!

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

News flash: Inner pilot light still burning bright

“If we can pay attention to things that really matter, there a revolution starts.”– Robin Wall Kimmerer

I always liked blogging on Friday, partly because I could end with my favorite intention. “Have the very best weekend of your life.”

So even though I sent out a post earlier this week (in case you didn’t notice, I have no schedule or agenda for these posts), I thought I’d send out this tiny little reminder that even when it feels like your life sucks the big one, there is an inner light and an inner joy still going on within you.

I know this is hard to believe, ridiculous even according to the cultural Kool-aid we’ve all been gulping. But it’s true. That inner pilot light is always present.

Yes, our sacred gift of attention has been hijacked to pay attention to problems, products and other people’s agendas. But if we turn our attention ever so slightly, catch a tiny glimpse of that inner light, we’ll see that we remain as the Course promises, “as life created us.”

The inner light, the inner joy cannot be extinguished. Clouds can cover it. Our focus on others’ agendas can obscure it.

 But it’s always, always, always there.

 Remember this news flash as you go out and “have the very best weekend of your life.”

 #222 Forever!

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-SquaredE-CubedThank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

Prepare yourself for miracles today

“The world is an exquisite place if you can just stop for a moment.”—Chris Rush

The above headline is from yesterday’s Course in Miracles lesson. It might be my favorite lesson. But then I say that about a lot of the lessons.

Preparing for miracles is more or less my intention every day. To open my mind, to change the story I’ve long believed. As long as I limit myself to what everyone else accepts as possible, as long as I cling to what my culture tells me is statistically likely, that’s all I will ever see.

The Course says life comes with miracles a thousand times as happy and wonderful as those I could ever dream of or wish for. And that if I just surrender what I learned is possible, I will be led and guided every moment of every day.

As you know since you’ve joined this party called a blog, miracle stories drop like rain into my inbox.

I got one yesterday from a brilliant filmmaker in Moscow who was reading, E-Squared. She asked to see something that everyone knows is impossible—something that just couldn’t happen because of the snow, the cold, the….you get the picture. Yet, the very thing she asked to see (a butterfly) appeared within moments.

She said she was covered in goosebumps and wanted to cry from delight. Me thinks, that’s a reasonable plan (being covered in goosebumps) for every day.

And why not? I’ve been thinking about how we create reality. And how we don’t really start “creating” until the third act when everything on the stage of life has already been drawn up and decided upon.

But what if everything that has been drawn up, always by someone other than me, is completely wrong and only appears to be true because that’s what was created back then.

If we truly create our reality, then we need to let go of all beliefs that were automatically bestowed upon us by well-meaning parents and a culture that has historically invested in fear and scarcity.

Here’s a story that happened this weekend that I was trained to believe is preposterous, outlandish. The adjective “crazy pants” might have even occurred to a couple members of my possibility posse when I shared this with them yesterday.

But you know what? I am tired of believing in limitations and beliefs that offer so little, that preach protection and safety and you better watch out for those “other guys.” Why would I need to protect myself from life that only wants to give, that only wants to love me fiercely?

So I’d had a restless night and was sleeping in Taz’s room. The sun hadn’t yet come up. The birds were just barely starting to sing so I decided to go out and join them, to walk to where I could bear witness to the sun as it rose above the horizon.

All my clothes, of course, were in my bedroom where my partner was offering a contented lullaby of his own (read: quiet snoring). I did not want to wake him. Something told me to look in Taz’ closet. Say what?

But there, on a hanger, waiting for me to notice, was a long skirt and a jacket, perfect for my walk. I didn’t recognize the skirt as something Taz had ever worn and, believe me, I gazed on that girl’s beauty and style with great interest and love every time I saw her. The skirt was way longer than her normal size. I’m a good three inches taller than she was. The skirt was….drum beat…my size, my exact perfect size.

Needless to say, I went on a delightful walk in the outfit prepared just for me.

So yeah, it could have been Taz’s. But how much more fun to see it as a miracle that was prepared especially for me at the exact moment I needed it. And, from this point on, to know with complete surety that I don’t need to hoard things or prepare for things because what I need will always be provided by life that holds me in its ever-loving arms.

#222 Forever!

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

How do you interface with reality?

“The blue pill isn’t nearly as much fun.”—Donald Hoffman

So I love Jeff Bridge’s line from the movie The Big Lebowski.  When bowling hotshot Jesus Quintana comes over to taunt his team, The Dude so wisely pronounces, “Well, that’s just like your opinion, man.”

Most of what we think of as fact is merely an opinion.

Because reality is so vast and unfathomable, we use our reducing valve, Aldous Huxley’s nickname for the human brain, to form opinions and beliefs that we then render into what we call reality.

The brain’s neurons form pathways that allow us to see only our opinions, only our interpretations. And as we focus there, those pathways harden like concrete.

We’re born as little human love bombs. Very quickly, we learn to sync our interface, our neural pathways with the people, the culture, the world around us. It’s an interface that sees reality as limited and separate. It’s an interface that asks us to be afraid, to be very afraid.

Today’s Course lesson (#95) asks me to examine my personal interface with reality, to look at how I so often allow erroneous interpretations and opinions to drag me around like tin cans on a “Just Married” car. It asks me to let it all go, to recognize my opinions and interpretations are simply NOT true.  

Instead, it encourages me to see myself as united with all creation, limitless in power and in peace. It says there’s a much deeper and meaningful interface, one where I’m complete and healed and whole.

As for everything else? “It’s just like your opinion, man.” #222 Forever!

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

Mirror, mirror in the sky  

“Habits create a caricature of yourself.”—Marc Maron

You’ve probably heard of mirror work—where you gaze at your reflection in the bathroom mirror and tell yourself how strong and beautiful and capable you are.

Here’s why I never do that.

That woman who looks at me from the mirror is not the real me.

Focusing on that tiny sliver of a face and a body is like worshipping a single one of my 50 trillion cells. Without the other cells, that one solitary cell is useless.

Finding meaning or identity in my physical body blocks a deeper life force that wants to move through me. It blocks real meaning, real beauty, real substance.

Most of us squander our average 75 years on planet earth believing we are the image in the mirror. We slavishly work to protect it, to keep it going at all costs, to make it look as society tells us it should look.  

As the Course so plainly tells me, I am under no laws but God’s. All the strange and twisted human laws of beauty, economics, medicine and nutrition are only enforced when I cling so desperately to that caricature in the mirror.

Imagine how different our lives would be if we didn’t feel the compulsion to perpetually ensure its safety?

When we believe the image is who we are, we’re stuck and scared and unable to see the bigger glories.  

We are the life force itself, stars masquerading as separated reflections in a mirror.

Instead of talking to a mirror, I like to notice myself in the night sky, in the Milky Way, in the love that flows in and throughout the entire cosmos. #222 Forever!

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

It’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to

“I was wise enough never to grow up.”–Margaret Mead

Just so you know, this is not a plea for birthday wishes. I already feel blessed by each and every one of you. I know (except when I occasionally get cranky) that I’m deeply loved and, if anything, I want to give birthday wishes.

Because that’s how it works. When we’re filled up with love, with the truth of who we are, it can’t help but gush over to everyone in our vicinity—even if it’s the vicinity of a blog. I write these posts for one reason. I love to write them. I do it for me.

And, yes, that’s another gravitational rule of life. When you do what you love most in all the world, it brings blessings to you AND spills on to others like an over-running cup.

When I blather on about the largesse of the world, I occasionally hear comments like  “You’re out of your mind.” And I say, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!

My mind, as useful as it is, has never delivered much joy. It’s too busy keeping track of stuff, making to-do lists and filing all the reasons I should focus on the human meatball part of myself. But boy, when I get “out of my mind,” all I experience is joy and a beautiful awareness that I am so lucky to have occurred at all.

Today’s Course lesson is “There is nothing to fear.” So my third birthday wish for all of you is this: Get out of your fear-producing mind, recognize the Truth and enjoy a big honking birthday celebration on me. #222 Forever!

 Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

Here’s to a more spacious view

“Little by little, you will turn into the whole sweet, amorous universe. Love will surely burst you wide open into an unfettered, booming new galaxy.”—Rumi

Mention the word manifesting and most people think of material items posted on their vision board.  To manifest, as popularly advertised, is to bring new cars or jewels or lovers into one’s life.

But manifest, in its true definition, means to create a field that makes something perceivable to the senses. Thoughts and beliefs have energetic patterns that create specific fields from the vast, unknowable, infinite potentialities that erupted along with the Big Bang.

The possibilities are way more than a tiny human brain (the reducing valve, as Aldous Huxley described it) can begin to understand.

Our brains take one microscopic facet of life (say, the human meatball named Pam), place it in the center ring and hitch everything to that 42-foot (the standard length of a center ring in a typical 3-ring circus) field.

Deep grooves of habit diminish the vastness, the spaciousness of what’s truly possible. My dear friend Bob and I were talking about the sheer ridiculousness of believing we understand anything.

Even science can only study the 4 percent of the universe that’s visible. The other 96 percent, the invisible energy we only surmise is there because of its gravitational influence on the four percent we do see, remains unknowable.

So the best we can do is build models or fields that manifest one particular limited reality. Every religion, every culture, every personality is nothing but a manifested field. And, thankfully, none of them are solid or permanent or really anything except a pattern that we manifest with our ongoing attention.

I guess where I’m going with this long, esoteric blathering is that while I’m here, interacting on this fragile zone of earth and sky, I intend to unhitch my attention from the limited center ring and focus instead on life’s incredible vastness, on its never-ending gifts. I mean what are the odds that this collection of subatomic particles that pretend to be Pam even occurred on this rocky planet? What an extraordinary gift!

So call this your weekly reminder that what is manifested now (what we see on the news, in the world) is nothing but a temporary field, one iteration of possibility. By simply removing focus from “what appears to be” and putting it on “what else might be?,” we can create a field that more closely resembles life’s Truth: love, nothing but love.

Before I let you go, I also want to mention that I met yesterday with the incredible Cherie Anderson who created this Sunday’s fundraiser for the Taz Grout 222 Foundation. She gave me a brief preview (including my small part) and let me just say, that it’s going to be the bomb. A love bomb! There’s going to be tapping and a love exercise from Mr. Rogers (yes, that Mr. Rogers) and well, I’m just happy she invited me along for the ride. If I understand correctly, Cherie chooses a different good cause every month and then hosts a mini, on-line workshop where all proceeds go to said good cause.

If you happen to have time this Sunday, check us out here. I’ll be there. I’m sure Taz will be there with her ginormous light and spirit. And, of course, the 222 love energy will be there.

Have a ridiculously remarkable weekend, my friends, and if happens to include this Sunday’s “Will You Be Your Valentine” event, I’ll see you there.  #222 Forever!

 Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

There are only two options

“I belong to the Church of What’s Happening Now.”—Flip Wilson

Despite its wordy reputation, A Course in Miracles is overtly simple. Boiled down, it offers two options. You either live in love or you live in fear. That’s it. Those are your only choices.

And since fear is False Evidence Appearing Real, that shrinks your choices even further. You can’t NOT live in love. You can’t NOT be love. So choice B is an illusion.

The essence of your being is love. And there’s not one thing you can do to change that. Whatever you believe you might have done has absolutely no impact on who you really are.

And those other bozos out there? How you see them can also be effortless. At all times, they’re either offering love or they’re offering a call for love. And guess what? Since now you know your true identity (big, bounteous love), it’s easy to see right through their illusion.

The Course makes no bones. It offers unspeakable happiness. And all it takes is changing our minds about the world and about who we think we are.

Suffering is only possible when we believe the evidence the ego takes to the courtroom of our minds. But when you start to realize that its wildly creative, fear-based misinterpretation of the world has changed nothing, you’re free to announce case closed. Love is all that is.  

The illustration for this post (today’s Course lesson, My holiness envelops everything I see!) was created by Alberto Agraso, an incredible illustrator originally from Spain, now living in Canada. I discovered this fabulous Course artist when he sent a proposal for this year’s 222 Foundation gift.

Although we’ve chosen a different candidate, I fell in love with his work and I’ve sent it on to my editor at Hay House in the hopes they can publish an illustrated book or a card deck, making the Course even easier to grasp. I did my bit to make its profound wisdom easier to digest in my book, The Course in Miracles Experiment, but now it’s Alberto’s turn to simplify it even more.

Thank you, Alberto, for being a bright light. And thank you everyone who offered such incredible ideas for changing the consciousness of the world. As always, the announcement for this year’s gift will be made on February 22 (2/22).

#222 Forever!

 Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).

Let me invite you to a different kind of party

“Happiness, when done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive.”—Mary Oliver

It occurs to me that my blog posts all say the same thing. I wrap them up, of course, in different packages. But basically, they assert some variation of this theme: 1.) That our natural state is peace and happiness and that 2.) Our feckless egos tell us just the opposite.  

The trick, of course, is deciding which idea to feed.

The ego is pretty mouthy and insistent. It runs like stock market ticker tape, constantly announcing that something is wrong, that something needs to be fixed.

I notice that when I place my attention on the random thoughts profusely supplied by the ego, they clump together and create whole Hollywood-worthy productions, complete with set designers and dancing penguins.

But when I feed idea #1, that my natural state is peace and happiness, I evoke a self that’s more generous, open and spontaneous, one that can respond to whatever happens to be at hand.

My thoughts, I’ve noticed, are like legos. They literally build things. One thought leads to the next and to the next and so on.

And while thoughts, when guided by the ego, can certainly construct a lot of heavily-encrusted delusions, it’s important to remember that they ARE just that: delusions. They simply are NOT true. They’re habits that our long-standing attention has temporarily set into concrete.

The good news is the delusions can be dismantled, blown to smithereens, by simply returning to idea #1.

As the Course in Miracles likes to remind me, when I let go of self-deceptions and images I’ve falsely worshipped, fear disappears and only love remains. When I give up suffering, anxiety and doubt, the awareness of eternal peace and happiness, my natural state, can’t help but come pouring in.

Welcome to the celebration of a different kind of party. #222 Forever!

Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).