Confessions of a gratitude junky

“It’s the stories we tell ourselves that cause all the problems. If you look reality straight in the eye, you end up a lot less confused.”—Nell Zink

So I gave myself an incredible gift over the holidays. It did not feel like a gift at the time. But it so powerfully reinforced everything I believe that I’m hoping I shan’t (wow! Where did that word come from?) dig it up again.

For whatever reason, I decided to pull out one of my old, treasured stories.  It’s an Oscar-worthy tale with lots of drama, plenty of pathos and my body knows exactly what to do with it, starting with manufacturing and dumping an assortment of stress chemicals.

I put everything I had into this oh-so familiar pity party. And sure enough, it demonstrated, once again, the power of thoughts and beliefs. Life itself is stunningly beautiful—except when we put ourselves in the prisons of certain stories and beliefs. Our stories do indeed create worlds.

So here is my thankfully short-lived holiday tale. Instead of celebrating and reveling in all the wonderful holiday memories I have with my beautiful daughter, I decided to pout about the unfairness of the fact she’s no longer here. I put all my energy into the story that this was my fifth Christmas without my favorite person in the whole wide world. You can imagine the result.

I was grumpy to my partner. I was withdrawn at his family’s Christmas Eve feast. In other words, I suffered because I fed a thought that doesn’t look reality straight in the eye. I know good and well Taz isn’t really “gone.” Heck, I still talk to her every day. I feel her presence around me. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have spent 25 years of my life with her Divine being, right here in the material world.

The old story is compelling. As sad stories go, it gets five stars. Unless you live in Ukraine or say, Somalia, it’s hard to find a tale that garners more sympathy.  But why choose to forfeit right here, right now with a belief that causes suffering.

I know people will say, “but you have the right to your emotions!” and, yes, I believe I do. But I also believe I deserve happiness and that I can curate which stories I choose to water and grow in my consciousness.  

I’m grateful for this experience that offered more proof that we do indeed create our reality. And I remain committed to life that’s happening right now in this beautiful, never-to-be repeated moment. #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).

21 reasons to be of good cheer

“The journey to the light starts with a candle. Once it’s lit, darkness has gone forever.” ― Adriano Bulla good cheer

Merry, Merry, my friends!

As you know if you’ve spent any time at the party known as my blog, I’m here on Planet Earth to change the dominant paradigm. My mission is to spread the news to anyone who will listen that life is constantly conspiring to send blessings.

Which is why I loved interviewing the Kansas City Secret Santa who passes out $100 bills. People magazine sent me out to interview him. Twice. It was a hoot and a half to join him, to see the expression on people’s faces when he’d peal a couple hundys off his stack and hand them over.

So in the interest of continuing my long-standing journalism career, here are 20 additional reasons to be of good cheer this illustrious holiday season:

1. A 9-year-old boy from Ohio decided that instead of the $300 X Box, he wanted to buy 30 blankets for 30 homeless people. **

2. Two former Wall Street tycoons started a free ride share service for families of cancer patients. Think Uber, but without those annoying credit card bills.

3. A woman in Pennsylvania built a life-size Snoopy dog house (complete with our favorite beagle wearing a Christmas hat) at her desk.

4. A Milwaukee man transformed an abandoned mall into a Winter wonderland for 100 kids from the Boys and Girls Club. He created a gingerbread house, an ice-skating rink and a sledding hill.

5. A police chief in Massachusetts who impersonates Santa learned sign language so a hear-impaired girl could finally talk to the jolly ole soul.

6. A flight attendant and two passengers entertained passengers after their flight from Denver to Virginia was delayed for an hour because of snow. You can listen to their mandolin/ukelele performance here.

7. The Pope who just turned 81 threw a huge pizza party for sick kids. As he told his fellow revelers, “A joyous spirit is like good land that grows good fruit.”

8. A reporter showed up for his interview with an autistic student who had been suspended for wearing a banana costumer wearing a grape costume.

9. An opthamologist from Grand Rapids, Michigan not only gave up his Saturday to treat an elderly patient who needed an eye injection, but because the snow plows didn’t run that day, he carried her from her car into the office.

10. A major league baseball player donated his $9 million mansion and 100 acres of land to a charity that provides camps for children with special needs and chronic illness.

11. When a middle school in south Dallas put out a call for volunteers to help with a “Breakfast with Dads” event, 600 men showed up.

12. After a Texas first grader sent a letter to Santa asking for food, blankets and a ball for her brothers, 900 people (at last count) from around the world responded by sending blankets.

13. In Fort Collins, Colorado, an anonymous donor bought every single toy at Goodwill so that each child shopping with parents got one free gift.

14. An 8-year-old New Jersey boy collected more than 1000 Christmas toys for children of Puerto Rico. NBA manager Brandon Eddy alone sent 11 boxes.

15. A convent in eastern France took in 56 African refugees.

16. An anonymous donor dubbed Santa B paid off $40,000 of layaway holiday bills in Everett, Washington.

17. A diner in Scottsdale, Arizona left a $2000 tip on a $17 bill.

18. Policemen in Shawnee, Kansas, instead of giving out traffic tickets are giving out, $10,000 in cash.

19. A senior in Lancaster, Texas gave away two pair of Vans tennis shoes to special needs students after they complimented him on his stylin’ footwear. The thing I like most about this story is that the video he posted on Twitter has been viewed more than 3 million times. Who says people don’t want good news?
20. The Innovation Show, a podcast in Dublin is giving away a free interview with yours truly on Christmas Day. Aidan McCullin, who recently read E-Squared and received blessing after blessing (a crisp 50-pound note on the ground next to his car, for starters) said it was his gift to spread good cheer to the world.

**Microsoft heard of his good deed and gifted him with the Xbox anyway. Proves my thesis that the more you give, the more you receive.

Have an extraordinarily epic holiday, my friends!

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

5 writers. 200,000 donors. A true reason to shout hallelujah! #IStandWithLove

“Love is worth all the hullaballo.”—Cheryl Strayed

I didn’t plan to write a blog post this morning. I’m out the door in 5 minutes. But I’m so stoked about this amazing piece of news that I really have no choice.

Five writers raised $1 million to help Syrian refugees in a mere 31 hours. That’s barely more than a day.

But what’s even cooler is that this great gift to our suffering brothers and sisters was raised by all of us together. No one gave more than $25 which means the little guys came together for a great cause. Without politicians. Or institutions.

I’d also like to thank the Donald Trumps and the Isils of the world who, on some cosmic level, agreed to play the part of the “bad guys” so the rest of us can come together and prove to ourselves what is truly possible. Maybe these “dark forces” are part of the universe’s bigger plan? Not for me to judge. My only job is keep holding out for love. For a higher Truth.

The whole scenario gives me SO. MUCH. HOPE. Anything is possible. We CAN change the world, guys. And no better time to be reminded of that than Christmas. The light is definitely here.

Enjoy your holidays. Make it the best one ever. And remember to do more of what you want to do and less of what you think you should.

I love you all SO MUCH.

Signing off from Lincoln Street.

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 its equally-scintillating sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig.

Newsflash: You’re already in possession of the best Christmas (or Hanukkah) present. You just need to turn it on.

“When you’re looking so hard to get on your path, you’re putting up resistance that keeps you from finding it.”—Esther Hicks

We’ve all read the books, heard the speakers, know the spiel. But how many of us actually use the unseen presence that fills all space, that animates all life, that constantly attempts to bestow joy and light.

Most of us thwart the Great Spirit (that’s what Native Americans call it, but there are at least 89 synonyms) by relying on feeble human effort.

We think we have to perform or meet some standard or jump through hoops to please this Spirit.

But here’s the thing we forget. It’s already ours. We don’t have to earn it.

It’s a gift we already have and nothing can ever change that. Nothing can ever take it away. No matter what we do.

Once we shed our outdated mental constructs, we can receive it fully, we can utilize its power.

All we have to do is enter into that expectation of light. Be still. Listen. Feel the love.

There’s a difference between potential energy and kinetic energy. Potential energy exists everywhere. It fills all space. That’s the gift. That’s your inheritance.

Kinetic energy, on the other hand, is able to light fires, pulsate beauty and goodness. Change the world.

And it can be easily accessed once you give up your old ideas and make a decision to let this Spirit have its way with you. You don’t have to do a damn thing. Except listen and let go.

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.

“Joy emanates in everything.”—Jon Krakauer

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” ― Hamilton Wright Mabie

If Victor Frankl can find meaning in a concentration camp, I’m thinking those long lines at Target could easily be turned into a party.

Everything is in your attitude. You can either stand there, moaning about how slow the cashier is going or you can sing “Joy to the World.”

Those 15 people ahead of you? They could become your new best friends. I’ll bet together you could even sing harmony.

So no matter how long the lines get, no matter how demanding your “to-do” list seems, just remember, “This, too, is an opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.”

This is the season of glad tidings. Don’t let it go to waste.

And thanks to Cathy Gallo Losee who sent me this video with yet another take on shopping. Enjoy!!

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.