No such thing as separation

“Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?” –Marcel Marceau coffee

Happy Thursday, dear ones!

My Course in Miracles book comes back from the editor tomorrow so I’ll likely be busy with rewrites. In the meantime, I wanted to send a quick update. And also share the wonderful latte designs from my favorite coffee shop.

As always, “shout outs” for all your kind notes, your donations to the 222 Foundation, your beautiful emails. I am so grateful for every one of you.

California was cool—both metaphorically and weather-wise. After giving my Sacramento workshop, I flew to southern California to hang out with my friend, Anita Morjani, who as readers of her books know, has an inspiring take on “the other side.” I also met with two other moms who have lost kids. We’re all in agreement that now’s the time to build a bridge. In reality, there is no “other side”—there’s just eternal life. All references to “other” are provisional, illusionary and just not true.

Taz’s bio dad, who used to own a winery in New Zealand, had a very clear vision of Taz welcoming the 50 from the Christchurch mosque. Coincidentally (or not) she had recently gotten her New Zealand passport and spoke Arabic.

I love getting all these signs that life is eternal and constantly working behind the scenes in ways that are far beyond my comprehension.

Because I’ve been M.I.A., I decided to resume one of the regular features on this blog—sharing stories from my inbox. Enjoy, my friends!

“Just got your book E Squared. First experiment got me thinking about way more blessings than I realized I had.

“Second experiment was crazy. Said to the FP, “let’s see orange cars today.” Well, my drive to work was uneventful. I was trying to see orange cars but I didn’t see any. However, I was listening to your Ted Talk where you mentioned singing “I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener”.

I arrived at my office and I parked behind a “copper” colored car. Now in my mind, I convinced myself that it was orange. I thought to myself, “Okay, here we go”. I walked in and sat at my desk. I turned and looked out the window and there it was. The ultimate “Orange Car”. The Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile was parked in my parking lot. Now you can’t get more orange than that. I laughed and thought of your Ted Talk where you mentioned Oscar Meyer Wieners.

On my drive home I saw around five more orange cars.

Thanks Pam, can’t wait for experiment #3.”

coffee2Thank you, Mark, and thank you to all of you for holding the vision for a kinder, more beautiful, more meaningful world. I love you all!

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Traveling

“We are all here together on God’s jeweled dance floor.”—Hafiz

writing in sand

Please keep this to yourself. (Or at least don’t tell my editor who is expecting the manuscript to my new book on September 1). The only words I’ve written in the last 8 days have been in the sand on Pacific Beach in San Diego.

I gave a workshop (only I call it a playshop) last Saturday and Taz and I took a drive up the California coast to visit friends. And, yes, we danced outside on the full moon (it’s a thing one of my power posses does to stay connected). My friend Anita Moorjani, who made Taz and I the most amazing Indian food, even joined in the fun. Life, to paraphrase the t-shirts, is amazing.

So since I’m playing catch up today (including buying a new phone since I accidentally dropped mine in the toilet), thought I’d run this article that first appeared on Huffington Post.


I was raised in a small town in Kansas where I learned to read, write and politely answer stranger’s number one question, “Where’s Toto?” But my real education didn’t begin until I left the borders of my own country.

Here are five really life-changing lessons I learned from traveling:

1. It’s the people, stupid. Bucket lists are fun to check off. And there’s no question that seeing the Eiffel Tower, climbing Pike’s Peak and visiting the Great Pyramid of Giza are worthwhile endeavors. But the travel experiences that stand out, the ones that mean the most are encounters with locals. Meeting Hank and his cat, Poop Deck, who live on Hank’s sailboat in St. Croix’s Christianstead Harbor was far more enlightening than visiting the island’s bioluminescent bay.

Hanging out with Ping, a proud Maasai warrior at Mara Plains Camp in Kenya’s Olare Motorogi Conservancy, led to far more lions than any guidebooks. Ping, who has lived alongside wildlife his entire life and reads nature’s subtle signs as a way of survival, led me to day-old baby elephants, a trio of male lions who had just taken down a hippo and rhinos who, without Ping, would have been as elusive as Waldo.

2. Money does not equal happiness. I always smile when a Westerner announces their noble, selfless plans to help poor unfortunates in what we call “a third world country.” Invariably, they return home from their volunteer vacation suitably chastened, not sure who helped whom. They become aware, often for the first time, of vast pools of human resilience and joy found in cultures not bogged down with material possessions. Creativity and sheer genius emerges when there’s no television, no Words With Friends, no material excess requiring a storage unit.

Soweto, for example, taught me more about possibility than anything Tony Robbins might write. With unemployment soaring around 50 percent, crafty entrepreneurs sell picture frames made from discarded Coke cans, zebras carved from table legs and statues made from bottle caps. Street musicians sing, old friends tap-dance in unison, jugglers toss knives, balls and witty repartee, all hoping their near-professional efforts will coax a five-rand note from passers-by.

3. The news media often has it wrong. If you believe the news, it’s dangerous to leave your house, let alone the country. But in the last year alone, I’ve been to four countries with State Department warnings and not once have I ever felt threatened in any way. I even heard Pico Iyer talk about a recent assignment in Iraq. He said that the same people carrying the signs (“Death to Americans” and the like) would invite him home for dinner after the protests. I’m not being flip. I just happen to know that the scariest part of most overseas trips is the media reports which, when you really get down to it, are nothing but anomalies.

4. It always pays to look deeper. What news-savvy American hasn’t picked up the notion that he’s not likely to win any popularity contests with Muslims? As I discovered in Turkey, that stereotype is misguided and downright insulting.

Hospitality is an art in the Muslim world, a cherished virtue that encourages practitioners to view every person who comes across their path as sent to them by Allah himself. It’s next-to-impossible to be in the general vicinity of another human being in Turkey without being handed a fig or a hazelnut or a bowl of fresh yogurt made that morning from the milk of their own cow.

Hospitality is so over-the-top (commerce, it seems, is beside the point) that any crusty idea that foreigners are different or that life sucks or that the world is going to hell in a handbasket are properly dashed against the inhospitable shores of the Black Sea, a region in Turkey that looks more like the Colorado Rockies than Lawrence of Arabia.

5. People are the same wherever you go. It’s a universal belief — that “those people” over there are completely different than us, that we have nothing in common with those who practice different religions, follow different customs or dress differently. Traveling disavows that falsehood with a vengeance. Even though my Ecuadorian hosts worshiped Inti, the Incan God of the Sun, and regularly dined on beetle larvae and guinea pig grilled spread eagle on a spit, I discovered that, just like me, they get crushes, like to dance and tell jokes. When it comes right down to it, all of us, from Singapore schoolgirls to Namibian pygmies, want the exact same thing: happiness, well-being for our families and the right to pursue our dreams.

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 recently-released sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig

Choosing to be happy and have fun is a revolutionary act

“One thing I’ve learned. Never set limits on yourself, not in the race, not in life. You may not win every battle, you may not win every race, but there is glory to be found in any worthwhile human endeavor.” –Hobart Brown

Hobart Brown, a metal sculpture artist, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1998. The reason? He has made happiness his occupation.

And, as he says, by “following my heart, by doing what seems to be the most fun at the time and by not doing those things that weren’t fun, I think I’ve lived a useful life.”

Indeed. Not only has this zany artist put Ferndale, California, his home of several decades on the map, but his invention of kinetic sculpture racing has inspired millions of people to take life less seriously.

As he likes to say, “It seems to solve the problem of how to have fun as an adult.”

When Hobart moved to Ferndale in 1962, this little dairy community of 2500 was almost a ghost town. The glorious Victorian homes were selling for a song, and city fathers were thinking about tearing them down, replacing them with modern structures. A great dissension reined between the farmers who had been there since the late 1800’s and the artists who were turning the cheap Victorian into funky studios.

Hobart’s crazy brainstorm, which eventually turned into the World Championship Great Arcata to Ferndale Kinetic Sculpture Race, brings a quarter-million people to town every Memorial Day weekend, pumps more than $2 million into the economy, and has totally healed the rift between the farmers and the artists.

Kinetic sculptures, in a nutshell, are works of art that move. Shaped like everything from giant bananas to two—ton dinosaurs to floating wheelchairs and 75-foot iguanas, these human-powered vehicles are peddled, pushed, paddled and pumped, Fred Flintstone-style. They’re made from scrounged bicycle parts, discarded lawn mower gears, painted septic tanks, old bathtubs and anything else inventors can come up with. Each machine is a testament not only to childlike imagination and engineering genius, but to artistic ingenuity, camaraderie, and well…insanity.

Hobart proves my point. One of the greatest ways to serve your fellow man is to figure out a way to enjoy yourself and to let people know that enjoying yourself is a good thing.

Vow today to approach your life with a sense of aliveness. Intentionally decide that you’re only going to look for the good and concentrate on the beautiful.

When you decide to practice the attitude of happiness, boredom turns into exploration. Canceled flights turn into a party. Waiting in line becomes a great opportunity to meet new people. Vacuuming the floor is a ballet performed to Van Morrison. And, of course, a rainy day calls for an indoor picnic with five kinds of cheese.

Make this revolutionary attitude switch now. Your joie de vivre will be contagious. Maybe you’ll even make the 6 o’clock news.