Peace, music and other merriment I may have missed

“The unknown is where the most exciting part of life happens.”—adrienne maree brown

Joyous 2o22, my friends!

One of the bajillion things I loved about spending last summer in Mexico was the singing. Guys crowded together in trucks, sang joyously together as they headed off to work. I was reminded of this yesterday because a Mexican construction crew that’s building a house near my home was, not whistling while they work, but singing to the catchy Spanish lyrics coming from what must have been a boom box.

Hearing this made me incredibly happy–humanity out there celebrating life—even though it was cold, even though they were slinging and pounding boards.

Today’s Course in Miracles (yep, I started it yet again) reminds me that all my certainties about life cause me to miss the most miraculous of realities. For example, it’s common knowledge that “you don’t sing while you work. You put your nose down and you get ‘er done.” But what if that belief stunts what’s possible.

My intention for this year is to surrender every single thing I believe, to toss out all facts and convictions that constrain and tame the bigger reality. I want to be open, to leave space, to wake up excited to see what might happen today without my conclusions about what it’s going to bring.

I heard an interview with acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton. When he was 27, driving from Seattle to graduate school in Madison, Wisconsin, he pulled over in a field to get some rest. While he lay there in the dark, a thunderstorm rolled over, echoing throughout the valley. He heard the crickets, the booms and he suddenly realized that he had the wrong impression of what it means to listen.

Like all of us, he’d been trained to pay attention to teachers and other authority figures, to gather information, to listen to what other humans told him was important. In other words, completely ignore the orchestra of life that literally surrounds us all.  That night in a field changed everything. He dropped out of school, became a bike messenger and focused on one goal—to become a better listener. To actually take in what he calls our “solar-powered juke box.”  His passion is recording sounds from around the world, everything from Sitka spruce logs (which sound like a violin) to thunder in the Kalahari Desert to dawn breaking around the world, including near me in Caney Creek, Kansas.

Which begs me to wonder, what else do I miss?

Yes, folks, life is singing to us, blessing us, even guiding us.  All we gotta do is give up our assumptions and our narrow band of seeing and listening and believing. Here’s to being completely open to the tangled wild in 2o22. #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) that has just been turned into an app. Badass ACIM (badass-acim.com)

Imagining a new world

“Joy is to fun what the deep sea is to a puddle.  It’s a feeling inside that can hardly be contained.”–Terry Pratchett

In response to a comment on my last blog post, I stated that I have a crush on all of humanity. And I meant it.  We humans are utterly fascinating creatures, star dust all, random collections of molecules.

My latest crush is Adrienne Maree Brown, a black, queer activist from Detroit. I heard her interviewed by Tami Simon and was fascinated by her wisdom, her clarity and the following ideas:

We live in a world and a culture that was imagined by someone else. It’s not permanent—even though we often think it is. Many of the stories and beliefs we still act upon today were created long ago and way too many revolve around want, accumulation and fear. They’re not working anymore.  The cool thing is we can change them.

How? Fractal responsibility. A fractal, of course, is a pattern that repeats itself on many levels—in the universe and in a tiny cell. So to change the world, we can begin by altering our own personal fractal.

As Brown says, “Fractal responsibility is saying, How do I operate in a way that is responsible to my vision, in a way that’s not just pointing fingers and asking other people to change, but recognizing the kind of change I can make in the world is directly related to the change I’m willing to make within myself.”

For example, democracy. Rather than rail at what seems like threats to our country’s promise of equality, I can look at my own home where (gulp!) I don’t consistently practice democracy. My arrogant position too often is “Well, I bought the house, I pay the bills. I should make the decisions.” That’s not fair or democratic to Jim, my long-time partner. And that’s something I CAN change.

She also talked about pleasure activism, what she calls “a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work.”

In other words, let’s make the revolution irresistible. Let’s make it impossible to want anything else. My mission has always been to create a path (to equality, freedom, creativity, joy, etc) that’s so compelling that people can’t imagine walking any other.

If you’re interested, here’s the interview that compelled me to bring home three of adrienne maree brown’s books:

Embracing Pleasure, Fractal Responsibility, and the Power of Our Imagination – Sounds True

#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) that has just been turned into an app. Badass ACIM (badass-acim.com)