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Just call me Dory

“Forgiveness is your number one dance move.”—Maria Felipe

I was flipping out Sunday at one of my possibility posses, raving about a particular line from a recent Course lesson that I must have read at least 43 times. How did I fail to notice this before?

I compared myself to Dory from Finding Nemo, needing to be reminded again and again of something I knew, something I thought I’d mastered.

P Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way.

P Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way.

My boos from the posse, who also dug the line, asked me to send it to them. So even better, I decided to write this post about the stunning reminder that, more than anything, forgiveness means breaking mechanical patterns of thought. And that if I really want a future different from the past, I need a brand, spanking new perception, free from unconsciously adopted beliefs and behaviors.

The line that jumped out is this: “The future now is recognized as but an extension of the present.” 

We actually wake up every morning expecting more of the same. We live in an always-evolving, intensely loving and creative energy field and we tend to see nothing but the tiny wave of perception we collapsed years ago, mostly revolving around scarcity, limitations and fear.

Because our thoughts and beliefs are such powerhouses, we continue to create our worlds from this outdated information. We continue to see our lives as what we believed them to be yesterday.

And that’s where forgiveness comes in. Where surrender comes in.

If we can completely let go of every single thing we believe to be true and decide to trust — not in our intelligence or our education, but in life as it really is without the blinders, a new reality can begin to unfold.

We begin to recognize that our true nature is happiness. And that once we decide to trust, life works in our favor, people prove trustworthy, news events that seem to repeat themselves can begin anew.

Maybe Dory is actually wiser than all of us. She doesn’t need a past. Or an old story that limits or defines her.

So Dory, here’s to you and a new possibility with the rise of every morning sun.

P Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way.

And #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)

A tale of two miracles

“Writing music is my second career. My first career is to be happy.”—Jewel

I have never had what’s considered a normal career, the kind with insurance benefits and retirement packages. Instead, I spent the years people typically use to “climb the career ladder” pursuing interesting adventures and, like Jewel, investigating practices that encourage peace, wonder and spontaneity.

I’ve come to believe that this state of pure aliveness is my natural state (yours, too) and that other states of say, stress, impatience and fear are the result of an erroneous belief system. I’ve been known to blame society and old cultural paradigms for trapping me inside the box, but I realize my own mind is also guilty of misappropriating truth from time to time.

That’s why I believe sharing miracles (the only conversation worth having, in my opinion) is so important. So here are two:

At today’s possibility posse, Jay mentioned his intention to forgive the Catholic church. We all have those institutions and legacies that seem to have hurt us. Jay, a cradle Catholic who LOVED the church, was devastated when a priest, upon learning they were gay, refused to give communion.  At the time, Jay wrote the church off, but in their desire to live the most authentic, open life possible, knew forgiveness would eventually be necessary. When Jay was ready, they said it out loud. “I now forgive the Catholic church.”

Soon after, Jay opened their old childhood jewelry box and found a very unusual Catholic medallion.

“I’ve seen lots of Catholic medallions, but never one like this. Where did it come from? I know I didn’t put it in there.”

What Jay did know is that once you make a sincere intention, you better hang on to your hat. Especially when said intention includes the F word. Because the universe–the field, God, whatever you want to call it–takes that shit seriously. Signs will start showing up like the owls who inundated Harry Potter’s muggle relatives with invitations to Hogwarts.

In the last month, Jay has been invited to four Catholic funerals. The willingness to open to new things (that’s all forgiveness really is) resulted in a priest apologizing, a canter singing “Panis Angelicus,” the song Jay’s mom sang every year and more importantly, Jay being willing to look the very priest who slighted them in the eye, and say, “I forgive you.” In other words, Jay is now free. They even reported doing a rosary the other day.  

Despite its reputation, forgiveness is the path that opens us to all good things. It has nothing to do with letting someone off the hook. It’s simply a realization that nothing or nobody can hurt us. That’s true freedom.

Another climbing out of the box miracle occurred at All Souls. A beautiful young woman shared that she’d been asking the question so many of us have—what is mine to do right now? How can I make a difference? How can I help mend the world back together? One night during this period of soul-searching, she had a vivid dream, a dream that seemed realer than normal reality. She was sitting on the couch in her living room when a little blond girl with blood coming out of her nose and her ears approached. Needless to say, the woman picked her up, held her tight and comforted her. The little girl said she’d lost her parents, so the woman hugged her even tighter. They shared a beautiful, holy connection.

When she woke up the next day, she read in the paper about a bombing overnight in Ukraine where many children and their parents were killed and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she had lovingly ushered that little girl into the next realm.

It was a stunning moment. All of us who heard her story knew it to be true. Truer and more real than “normal” reality.

As we climb out of our heads, as we escape the four walls in which we endlessly circle, we discover that our true purpose may be happening in a cosmic realm. And that anybody or anything we forgive heals not only us, but the entire world.

I love you, people.

#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).

Three holy words for times such as this

“If you’re focused on the how, you’re getting in the way.”—Esther Hicks

By Tracy Smith-Hodges

Like most folks in this country, I’ve been in what you might call a state of shock. I have absolutely no idea what to say, what to do. Some of the things happening right now make NO SENSE to me whatsoever. None.

War? Really? Gun fascination? Why? It just doesn’t compute in my way of understanding the world.

So the three words I’m concentrating on right now are “I don’t know.” All solutions that make sense to me have been discussed before. All “answers” that seem obvious to me have been bandied about for decades. 

I do know that most proposals involve “bad guys” and resistance. And that “knowing” what needs to be done never works. It just animates into our world more “bad guys” and more resistance.

“I don’t know” doesn’t bind time to the past. It doesn’t confine imagination and opportunities and solutions that are trying to find us. Peace, kindness, love and abundance for all mankind already exists as one of the possibilities in the quantum field. It’s there. But as long as we stick with Newtonian equations (where we anticipate and predict certain outcomes), we’re stuck with what we know, with what seemed to make sense in the past. And as long as we cast blame on someone out there, we restrict what is possible.

By admitting “I don’t know,” I’m leaving room for a miracle. By giving thanks for the existing quantum possibility of peace, kindness, love and abundance for all, I’m drawing it into the world for me and for all with whom I’m holistically entangled (literally everybody and everything).

I heard a story yesterday that really spoke to me. A guy named Dan Stevenson who lives in the Eastlake neighborhood of Oakland was tired of the impromptu dump growing on the median across from his house. People were throwing away old mattresses, trash, junk they no longer needed. Signs warning of consequences for such actions did nothing to alleviate the problem. So Dan, who had no idea what to do, simply superglued a stone Buddha on the median.

Little by little, people started leaving candles instead of trash. A Vietnamese family ended up building an altar. That tiny act (where Dan didn’t know what to do) literally changed everything.

So I will repeat “I don’t know” and give thanks for the love, peace and light possibility that is every bit as valid of a possibility as the one most others are focused upon.

Have a beautiful day, my incredible friends. #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).

Boundary or Itty-Bitty Box?

“Love is a built-in strength that’s far more effective than all the usual means of self-defense.”—D. Patrick Miller

It’s de rigueur these days to set boundaries. It’s okay for so and so to do this, but if he dares step over this self-imposed line in my sand, it’s curtains for him.

Here’s why I prefer to eliminate boundaries. Every person, no matter how they present on the outside, has dreams and wants to give love. And every person, unless they’re Jesus or Buddha or maybe Oprah Winfrey, also has their ugly parts, the parts that judge and want attention and do things that, on the outside, aren’t pleasant to be around.

But those traits are temporary, usually caused by some belief that involves their own safety as they perceive it to be.

Over and over again, I get proof that every living being (including birds and trees and ants) is much more complex than I can ever know. And for me to think I have enough information to make a judgement about really anything is a foolish conceit.

My mission, rather than to protect myself from what looks like some slight or wrong, is to stay open and draw out the truth, to feed the part, even if it seems invisible, that dreams and wants to give love.

I’m doing little things to prove that my judgments about others are limited. For example, there’s a waitress at a café I frequent that, in my less than magnanimous moments, I compare to a Nazi. My judgmental self  thinks she’s controlling and has used the pandemic to impose “her rules.” For a while, I avoided this restaurant and even shared a few anecdotes with my friends about her “unacceptable behavior.”

Until it occurred to me that I could be wrong. And that, if I treat her (and even think of her) as the loving, friendly, happy person she truly is, I would notice those qualities.

Now, I go there every chance I get, give her way bigger-than-necessary tips and am constantly treated to the medicinal properties of my own kindness.

Those boundaries that everyone thinks are so important not only limit the person I judge, but they lock me into a cramped box that’s getting more uncomfortable all the time.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to be released from all sense of threat, all tight places that limit me in any way.  Wishing you big, bounteous love and freedom in every area 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) that has just been turned into an app. Badass ACIM (badass-acim.com)

Why not let the universe surprise you

“From a new perception comes a future very different from the past.”—A Course in Miracles 002azul

It’s time, guys! Time to break free from all stale, boring, petrified concepts.

Why stay trapped in a prison of scarcity, a ticking time bomb of fear? A Course in Miracles is very clear—the dominant paradigm is nothing but a make-believe fable that we can overturn at any time.

Once we let go, we discover it’s safe to love with abandon, it’s prudent to see beyond appearances, it’s advisable to dance with the unseen.

As Kobe Bryant’s shocking death reminds us, there is no time to waste. Why devote even one second to judgment? To waiting? To withholding?

Kobe is on to the next big adventure, as is his daughter, as is my daughter. Won’t be long until we’re all enjoying the big cosmic dance.

But until then, let’s throw off the shackles of anxiety and panic. Let’s overturn frozen concepts.

Maybe we could just trust the universe might know what it’s doing.

And with that thought, I’d like to return to my former practice of sharing “oh wow! stories from my inbox:

1. “I was in Nevada walking through a desert ranch with my boyfriend. As we were running back to the car, I stopped and picked up a black rock in the sand. I put it in my backpack and promptly forgot about it…until a week later when someone posted a picture on Facebook of a black rock they found on the ground at a concert. The same concert I had been at a few days prior ! I thought “Oh shoot, that’s my Nevada rock! I ran to my bag and it was unzipped!!!! But when I reached my hand in, it was there! Safe and sound!

“Now I was interested in finding out about the rock. So I messaged my friend who is          a rock crystal expert. As I was shining my light on the rock to videotape for her, I saw that MY NAME was carved into the rock !!!!! In all caps. KAYLIN. On a rock that I happened to pick up in the middle of the desert. How ?!?!?!!!”

2. “Like a lot of people, I have read hundreds of self-help books over the years. Yours was different. I’d been unemployed for 8 months and was finding it very hard to get a job. I also needed a new car. I did the 48-hour manifestation exercise that you talk about (in E-Squared). I did it exactly as you said. And, both times it worked within 24 hours. Firstly, I got offered a job and secondly, I found the car I wanted to buy at the price I wanted to pay in the exact color I wanted. Wow! The job I applied for wasn’t the one I got. It was a supervisor job with a $15,000 higher wage. I’m blown away.”

3. “Your books have inspired me to step out differently in my view of this universe we live in. And since you mentioned getting a free cup of coffee, I thought to myself, “How am I going to get a free cup of coffee? I’m a stay at home mom with a 4- and a 1- year old.

“Well, I met up with a friend at this craft event and she (without my thinking about it or asking) bought me a coffee!! It didn’t dawn on me until the next day when I picked up your book again and it popped in my head, “Oh my gosh I got a free coffee!” Crazy how abruptly in happened!”

I share that last story to emphasize how important it is to open our eyes, to actually notice the beauty, the gifts, the wonderment.

She could easily have missed it. Like we all do when we refuse to budge from our old positions, our old beliefs.

Today, I start fresh.

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).

What Brad Pitt taught me about forgiveness

“We made the world we’re living in and we have to make it over.”–James Baldwin brad pitt (2)

So my new book about A Course in Miracles debuts in exactly four days.

So while I’d love to tell you about my travels, my upcoming speaking gigs, the 100 applicants for this year’s 222 Foundation award, I figure I owe a mention to those of you who insisted I turn my ACIM musings into this book.

More than anything, the Course is about the F word. Everything, it tells us, boils down to forgiveness.

But like most important concepts, forgiveness is widely misunderstood.

So I’ll let this story about Brad Pitt illustrate what the Course means when it suggests making forgiveness our chief goal.

The hunky heartthrob’s first job in Hollywood was dancing in a chicken suit in front of El Pollo Loco restaurant.

If he’d have stayed in that job, he’d have never landed his role in Thelma & Louise, he’d have never stunned us all in A River Runs Through It. He’d have never…well, I’ll let you look up his IMDb for yourself.

Brad’s willingness to surrender his first “acting” job is a classic case of forgiveness. All forgiveness means is letting go of where you are now. Letting go of what you’re just sure is true.

When we hang on to our certainty, to our beliefs that this is just the “way the world is,” we literally imprison ourselves. Life, the Divine Buzz, can’t get in.

Forgiveness simply means recognizing that today is a completely new day and that anything–absolutely anything–is possible. Forgiveness breaks the pattern of false perceptions. It allows us to experience reality unblinded by yesterday, unblinded by past beliefs.

It means letting go of the chicken suit.

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).

Today I counteract the operative inside my mind with forgiveness

“Why should James Bond have all the action, fun, money, and resort hotel living.” ― Paul Kyriazi

“Hm,’ said Bond. ‘That’s bogeyman stuff.”—Ian Fleming james bond

My ego (that whiny voice that likes to inform me that so and so “done me wrong,” that this circumstance is a huge problem) is a double agent. It pretends to know everything. But he really did call you a skunk. You really DO have a good excuse.

It pretends to be my friend. It pretends to be working on my behalf. But it lies through its teeth. It has no allegiance to the higher cause. In fact, it’s employed by the patriarchy, loyal only to the dominant paradigm that says people are not to be trusted, that lack and limitation is the state of the world and that fear is the only emotion worth cultivating.

This pernicious double agent ego infiltrated my mind sometime before I was 5. It began transmitting disinformation by telling me I was somehow different from other people and that I was both better (sometimes it whispers that fictitious story) and/or worse (another popular tactic) than everybody else.

It gained my trust by scaring me, showing me its deceptive surveillance of the wretched and the ugly. This double crossing mole told me that life is hard, that people were not to be trusted, that abundance was for other people.

But today, I have but one goal. To stand with and for Truth. ACIM Lesson 257 promises me peace. And any operative that presents conflicting counterintelligence, I will immediately report to the authorities (the Holy Spirit) to handle as it sees fit.

Also want to share this video from www.tribesforgood.com. I’ll be joining them this November for the maiden Social Impact Journey. Any takers?

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.

If I had to pick just one

“It’s all about having a clean antenna.”—Pete Holmes
1 ba
As a travel writer, I get this question a lot. What’s your favorite country? Or city? Or destination in general?

I have a couple pat answers. Either I answer with the country or city or destination I last visited—because, after all, that’s what lovers of travel do. They fall in love with every place, everything, every person.

Or I point out that, just like you don’t want pizza at every meal, you can’t narrow your favs to just one. It depends on an evolving string of moods and desires. Favorites change.

The one question I’ve never gotten, however, is what’s your favorite Course in Miracles lesson. If anyone every did ask, I’d undoubtedly pick ACIM Lesson 189.

Here’s why:

1. It promises a world alive with hope and blessed with perfect charity and love. I mean, what more could you ever want? Or need?

2. It also promises that this world, when seen anew, keeps us safe from every form of danger or pain. Again, not a bad guarantee.

3. It says the real world, the one we block with all our fears, offers endless wells of joy. This is what’s actually there, folks, when we let go of our holograms of malice and attack. These problematic holograms are NOT REAL. We made them up and continue to invest in them by staring at them, believing in them, trying to fix them. Let me repeat. They are NOT real.

4. And this is probably my all-time favorite part about this lesson. I don’t have to do anything. The universe will show up with endless benevolence and generosity the very minute I open the valve. It promises that boundless joy is what’s natural and, as soon as I ask, it will show up. Like ASAP. God, it says, will be there in joyful and immediate response.

5. It also says, “forget this world, forget this course.” Come with wholly empty hands. It tells me to let go of every single thought the past has taught, every idea I learned before now.

So favorite destination? No idea. Favorite Course Lesson? 189. Maybe I’ll throw the rest away and practice 189 every day for the rest of my life.

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.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing

“Leave your fear at the train station.”–Paul Selig


Today, I’m going to let Bob Marley take the floor. His “lesson” (sung below) personifies ACIM Lesson 141.

It’s all I need to know going into this next review. And for those still confused about the F word, here’s a post I ran last year.

According to the Course in Miracles, forgiveness (the F word) is the answer to everything. But like God, love and other important concepts, forgiveness comes with a cargo-hold full of baggage and is not well understood.

Forgiveness doesn’t suggest overlooking something someone did to me. The F word, according to the Course, means it’s impossible for anyone to DO something to me. For me to think, even for a brief moment, that I understand the world from the tiny bits of my perception is to make a huge mistake.

All I can see, all I will ever see, is what the viewfinder of my limited perception shows me. If my perception is fixed, nothing can come between the goal that it has chosen.

Let’s say I choose the perception that so and so is a misogynistic asshole. If that perception stays fixed (meaning I refuse to forgive) nothing—not a miracle, not a sign, not an evidential slap in the face, can allow any other truth to manifest for me.

Likewise, if my perception is convinced that money is hard to come by, the world’s unlimited abundance cannot get through my blockade. It’s right there, eager to unfold in my life, but my perception has put up orange cones.

Forgiveness means knowing my perception is forever tiny and incomplete.

Forgiveness means knowing I am blessed and that every single thing that happens, every single person who pushes my buttons is a gift. Everything is FOR me. Nothing is against me.

Forgiveness is to defy the lie. To defy the lie that something is wrong, that life sucks, that so and so is a horrible evil person.

The coolest thing about forgiveness is it relieves me of having to make judgments. Knowing I can’t and don’t understand the whole relieves me of having to decide what’s good and bad, decisions I’m incapable of making. It literally frees me. And that’s why the F word and I roll deep.

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

My secret weapon

“Hate, in the long run, is about as nourishing as cyanide.”–Kurt Vonnegut
ACIM Lesson 135 is one of my favorite lessons. I use it ALL the time.

It comes in handy anytime I’m tempted to play victim. It’s the perfect antidote when I notice myself feeling offended by something someone says.

It’s particularly useful when I forget the truth about myself.

Because anytime I defend myself, I take on a role that’s not really me.

To defend myself is to pretend that I can be hurt. It’s to make believe that my perception, the hologram that proves itself over and over again to be incomplete, is somehow more accurate than the truth I’m learning here in the Course.

If I defend myself in any way, I forget that I am a beloved child of God. I forget that everything is FOR me. Nothing is against me.

I forget that every single thing that happens, every single person who pushes my buttons is a gift.

This lesson doesn’t suggest overlooking something someone did to me. It says it’s impossible for anyone to DO something to me.

If my perception stays fixed (which it will once I start defending myself), nothing–not a miracle, not a sign, not an evidential slap in the face–can allow any other truth to manifest for me.

All I can see, all I will ever see, is what the viewfinder of my limited perception shows me.

Instead of attacking back when my viewfinder shows my fellow humanoids spouting inanities, misinformation and what looks like hate, I use this lesson to remember.

They’re simply replaying old tapes and desperately need my love. It helps me to stop taking everything so personally and to remember what I call the biggest secret in the world—that we all really love each other.

Radical actions such as choosing not to attack, to justify, to see the “crime” upsets the normal cultural paradigm. It creates a resonant field that goes out into the ethers making our world a little sweeter, a little safer, a little more beautiful.

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