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This one word changes everything

“You don’t have to like it. But it’s easier if you do.”—Byron Katie

Over the years, I’ve offered up a simple two-step gratitude game (A.A. 2.0) and dispensed life’s two magic words.

But today, I’m taking it a step further, paring it down to one simple word that continues to be a game-changer in my life.

The word is Akwaaba! It means welcome in Twi, the language of Ghana. I say it to every single feeling, every single thought, especially those I think I don’t want.

What I’ve noticed is that when I refuse to welcome a feeling or a thought, it tends to grow arms and legs.

But whenever I say “C’mon in, take your shoes off,” the negative thought realizes it no longer has power over me. It loses interest and literally slithers away.

Most of life’s problems can be boiled down to some version of “I don’t like this. I don’t want this.” And who wants to welcome something unpleasant like that?

Instead, we try to change it, suppress it, fix it or figure it out. But that gives it power it really doesn’t have. It takes a flimsy, insubstantial thought and turns it into a sh*t show.

It’s like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry freaks out when he hears the pilot of the airplane he’d flown to Ithaca is in the audience, eventually causing Elaine to get fired, George to humiliate himself and the pilot to rescind his boarding pass on the flight home. It was no big deal–except in Jerry’s mind.

Once I open my arms to a negative feeling or thought, when I say, “Yes, you are welcome here,” it dissolves on its own. Without me having to change it, fix it or figure it out. Trying to rid yourself of a “negative problem” is to give it power. In fact, when you really get it that every so-called negative thought has only arisen because you’re ready to let it go, you’re tempted to throw a party.

The real miracle is not just the undoing of the anguish (the “negativity ” that I either suppressed or fought to eliminate). It’s the riches that flood in when I free up the space.

Try it this weekend, my friends, 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-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)

Forget conventional wisdom

“The first step to slaying a dragon is for one person to say, probably drunk in a bar, “It can be done.”—Alexandra Rowland

It’s important to remember there are ALWAYS different ways to look at things. And if ever there was a subject that could use some humor and playfulness, it’s — dare I say it — politics.

Yesterday, I was introduced to a politician who used art and creativity to make massive changes.  And since you gotta first hear about a possibility (remember the four-minute mile?) before you can embrace it, I decided to share a potential new way of governing.

Antanas Mockus, a Columbian philosopher, first made international headlines in 1993 when he was president of the National University of Colombia. To quiet a loud, unrelenting group of protestors, he ceremoniously dropped his pants. As he said, “innovative behavior can be effective when you run out of words.”

Public mooning didn’t go over well with the Board of Regents (or whatever they call university bureaucracy in the South American country), so he was asked to resign.

But within the year, he was back in the public spotlight running for mayor of Bogota. He was able to make massive change in the South American city using what he called a politician’s most powerful tool: imagination.

For example, when he was threatened by a leftist guerilla group, as many Colombian mayors were at the time, he donned the suggested bulletproof vest, but, as a symbol of confidence and even defiance, he cut a hole in the shape of a heart over his chest.

Another time, he walked the streets in spandex and a cape as Super Citizen, demonstrating the power of everyday average citizens.

When Bogota faced a water shortage, instead of the traditional rationing, he introduced voluntary conservation efforts, even running commercials of himself taking shorter showers. Instead of a busy signal on their phones, Bogotans got either his voice or Colombian pop star Shakira’s voice saying, “Thank you for saving water.” And it worked, decreasing water consumption by 10 to 15 percent.

He replaced corrupt traffic police officers with 420 mimes who “policed” driving behavior by pretending to be hurt or offended. Drivers began obeying traffic signals for the first time and within months, Bogota was able to dissolve the old, corrupt transit police force of 1800 officers. Dare I suggest a solution to police brutality?

Antanas was elected twice on a, get this, platform to increase taxes. During his second term, the City Council refused to approve the increase, so he invited citizens to pony up voluntary taxes and 63,000 households willingly paid an extra 10 percent.

Change IS possible, but we first have to be willing to surrender old, crusty policies and entrenched ways of doing things. We have to start looking for new solutions, to ask “What if?”

Antanas admits that some of his crazy schemes did not work. But he was able to deliver many promises because, as he pointed out, people began to cooperate. They had skin in the game. They began to have hope. They became astonished at their own power.

As he said, “Show me a city with a thousand problems, and I’ll show you 10,000 people who can solve them.”

So, while I normally eschew talking politics here on the blog, I thought this radical possibility of governance was worth pointing out.

I’ll end with this quote from filmmaker Adam Curtis, “Yes, change can be risky, but it’s also thrilling and might just lead to something extraordinary.” #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)

Is there confetti in your pocket?

“We are the promise of one people, one breath declaring to one another: I see you. I need you. I am you.”—Richard Blanco

I often share stories from my inbox, miracle stories that, as I’ve mentioned, often begin with “You are NEVER going to believe this.”

Today, I’m going to share a couple stories from my most important teachers—kids who, before they’re taught to “be careful” and “act responsible,” know the important stuff.

When I was out walking the other day, I ran into a family of 5. The youngest boy spotted a fuzzy caterpillar on a tree. Rapt with this amazing creature, he waved his parents over who dutifully “oohed” and “aahed” until finally they had to call him off, “C’mon, we gotta go.” The little boy, lingering a bit longer, leaned down to the caterpillar and said, “Goodbye. I love you.”

My other teacher is a little boy whose mother shared this story on Twitter. He was buckled into the backseat of the car when he asked, “Is it okay to throw the confetti in my pocket?”

“What?” she exclaimed. “Why do you have confetti in your pocket?”

Nonplussed, he answered. “It’s emergency confetti. I carry it everywhere in case there’s good news.”

This Thanksgiving season, I plan to share my love with caterpillars and trees and to keep confetti in my pocket because good news is everywhere when I decide to look for it. #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).

Behind the scenes, everything’s working on your behalf

“The only election that really matters? The one in your head. Do you vote for love or fear?”—A tweet I posted a couple weeks ago

On September 1992, just days after his dad died, Matthew McConaughey sat on his top bunk in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and jotted down 10 life aspirations in a diary. At the time, he was waiting tables at Austin’s Catfish Station. So when he listed the lofty goal of winning an Oscar for Best Actor, there wasn’t a lot of evidence pointing in that direction.   

The reason I tell you this story is not because McConaughey started spouting affirmations and pasting photos on a vision board. Fact is, he never looked at the list again…until he was digging through old journals and diaries to start his memoir, Greenlights.

I like these reminders that behind the scenes, even when I’m totally unaware of it, miracles and blessings are being orchestrated on my behalf. At the exact same time a psychotic parade of crazy thoughts screeches, “Eeks! Oh no!,” there’s a natural expansion taking place. Just like my heart continues to beat, my lungs continue to take in oxygen.

This Divine presence isn’t something I have to develop or create. It’s there, happening whether I’m paying attention or not. It’s who I am despite my thoughts that have a tendency to scream “FIRE!!”  

Thoughts (which just keep marching by) are random and have no real substance unless I decide to log into them. Just like my Netflix screen shows 3 gazillion potential movies, I only see the ones I click. And like McConaughey proved, the best tact for making something happen in your life is “set it and forget it.”

I was being interviewed the other day by Light Watkins, a wonderful meditation teacher who posted an early video of the Einstein wands I wrote about in E-Squared. He asked if I ever go back and read my own words. Hmm.

And then, because the universe keeps spreading bread crumbs even when I’m not paying attention, I got a notice that Mrs. Kasha Davis, a drag queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race, was reading my book Thank and Grow Rich in her story time. And because the universe wasn’t taking any chances, I received a wonderful card (in the mail, no less) from a reader whose posse reads Thank and Grow Rich every November.

Okay, universe, I get the hint and the reminder from my own book that if I struggle (because I think nothing will change unless I do) or log into the parade of noise in my head, I erect roadblocks to the natural joy and expansion that’s doing its thing 24/7.

My sole assignment is to lighten up, to have fun, to play around in the quantum sandbox. So this Thanksgiving week, I hope you’ll join me in giving yourself a break, counting your blessings and getting on the frequency of joy and gratitude.

And if you feel like listening to the interview with Light (he also recently interviewed the incredible Ava DuVernay and wrote a fabulous book that I happily endorsed called Bliss More), click this link right here. Light is a GREAT interviewer.

Have a fabulous week, my friends. Who knows? I may even check in later this week with a few excerpts from my book on shameless gratitude and unabashed joy. #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).

The sky’s the beginning

“I am frightened and I am fearless. I am weak and I am a warrior. I am uncertain and I am confident. And by learning to embrace the paradox in all of it, I am more myself.”—Alicia Keys 00001aee

So I read an incredibly inspiring book this weekend. And, no, it wasn’t published by Hay House or any other self-help purveyor. The book, More Myself, is Alicia Keys’ riveting memoir that further proves there’s little this superstar can’t do.

Here are five reasons I now have a huge girl crush on this activist, Grammy-winner, entrepreneur and creative genius:

1. She knows that with every word and intention, she creates the masterpiece that is her life. That’s a quote, straight from the pages of her book. From the very beginning of her illustrious career, when she signed her first contract at—get this?—age 15, she has been aware of the universal energy that forms itself around her belief and thoughts.

2. She’s all-in as an activist. Her video, 23 Ways you Could be Killed if you’re Black in America is poignant and powerful and sadly, still as true as it was four years ago when she first made it.

3. She’s living proof that creativity is a synonym for spirituality. She has been using her art, expressing her truth to imagine a new world and design a new vision. As I write in my book, Art & Soul, Reloaded, the world will ultimately be bound back together not by politicians, but by thousands of individuals giving of their gifts, thousands of individuals becoming ambassadors of the possible.

4. She has been practicing meditation since 2015, using a Sanskrit mantra that translates to, “I bow to the Creative Wisdom, the Divine Teacher within.”

5. Like my gorgeous daughter, Taz, she eschews makeup. She even launched a movement (hashtag, #NoMakeup) that encourages women to be true to themselves. And I love that she freely admits that, like all of us, she stresses way too much about what other people think and has, for years, withheld parts of herself to make others feel comfortable. She details how all the photos of models and actresses and others we compare ourselves to have been heavily photoshopped. As she says, “I don’t want to cover up anymore—not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.

If that’s not a manifesto worth following, I don’t know what is.

Here in Lawrence, Kansas, I’ve been celebrating little things—like moonflowers (it’s so much fun to watch at dusk as they begin to pulse and shimmy and ready themselves to burst open and salute the moon) and neon green-throated hummingbirds who recently congregated around my hummingbird feeder as they prepare for their journey south.

No matter what’s happening out there, my friends, it’s important to remember that inside us all is a subtle, invisible wisdom stream that’s 24/7 available to assist with our journey.

Have a fab week, my friends. Sending love and 222 blessings from the heart of America.

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).

Choosing a more nourishing narrative

“What time but now can truth be recognized?”—A Course in Miracles 00001s2

With all the uncertainty right now, it’s tempting to fill in the blanks with despair. When we don’t really know what’s going to happen—with the pandemic, with the economy, with the daily unrest—it’s easy to fast forward to fear.

Lately, I’ve been doing just that, listening to my ego instead of the Voice for Truth.

My ego is like a panther, perched and ready to pounce at the first sign of mind wandering.  If I go even a day or two without meditating, without counting my blessings, without tuning into a higher truth, that ornery ego slithers right in like a slimy used car salesman.

It tries to convince me that things NEED TO CHANGE. That things are definitely NOT OKAY. In my case, it especially likes to throw down the old “childless mother” card.

“You have good reason to feel sorry for yourself. You lost your only child, for God’s sake. You have every right to be miserable.”

And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Moping around. Focusing on what the Course calls “the valueless.”

In other words, I was focusing on a narrative that doesn’t serve me. It doesn’t serve my happiness, my highest intentions or the expanded awareness to which I am committed.

Just like I choose between eating junk food or healthy, nutritious meals, I choose between thoughts that are valueless (“Eeks! Everything’s going to hell”) or thoughts that are valuable (“This next breath is a lot more real than anything in the news, anything in my past.”)

Some argue that digging up the deep-seated past, addressing unconscious childhood wounds, failed relationships, etc, is how we feel better.

But I’ve discovered that the Course is right. The past is a valueless narrative with a bottomless pit. Most of it’s not even true–or not true right now.

It is only in the present that I can be free. More time, more rehashing, more ‘woe is me!’ never works.

The Course in Miracles urges me not to use these excuses, not to employ these grievances to attack myself. Those things, it tells me, reside in the lower frequencies. They’re fine, if I want to spend the rest of my life there–in the material, in the limited, in the fear.

But I made a commitment to Taz, to God and to myself that I was going to live in the higher frequency, the expanded consciousness, in what the Course calls, “the ancient peace I carry in my heart.” That’s where Taz is, that’s where we’ll all be eventually.

Every day, I get this choice. To chose a narrative of sorrow and pain. Or a narrative that brings me joy. For me, it has to be a daily practice.

A couple things that have brought me joy recently: The Space X flight a couple weeks ago was launched at exactly 2:22 my time. I enjoyed concocting the homemade yard sign in the above picture.

And this morning at Dunkin Donuts, we drove to the window only to be told that our lattes were paid for by the car in front of us. We offered to pay for the car behind us and the guy at the window said, “That’s what’s been happening all morning long.”

That’s love, guys, the only thing there is when we commit to focus on the nourishing narrative, the expanded consciousness, the Truth.

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).

My vision board for the planet

“If we don’t use this time for change, we will have missed an insane opportunity.”–Noah Elias 00001k

This may come as a surprise to some of my readers, but I’ve never been big on vision boards. Mainly because the stuff most people paste on them—fancy cars, oversized houses, etc.–don’t interest me all that much. The things I get excited about are invisible, non-material. You can’t exactly paste things like compassion, creativity and joy onto a cardboard poster.

But I do believe 100 percent in the theory behind vision boards. You make an intention, send out a request and voila! it manifests right before your eyes. Intentions, we now know, have causative power. Indeed, consciousness plays a pivotal role in the establishment of physical reality.

For three decades the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab studied the interaction of human consciousness on the material world. What they discovered is that individuals working alone to alter random generating machines had modest success, but the true power came when the whole world got involved. The machines literally went crazy during the Indian Ocean tsunami, for example, or after Princess Diana’s car accident. Four hours BEFORE the first plane hit the towers during 9-11 the PEARS machines “knew” something was about to go down.

I can only imagine how the machines (they’ve been duplicated at locations around the world) are reacting to collective consciousness now. So here’s what I’d like to propose:

Knowing that our thoughts create vibrations that determine the unfoldment of our planet and knowing that, if we work together, we can play an important role in the revolutionary changes that are taking place, I propose we create a planetary vision board.

I don’t care about the brand of car I drive or how big my house is, but I would be SO PROUD to create a planet, a society that:

  1. Recognizes the connectedness of all living things.
  2. Values the power of love and uses it to make all decisions at all times.
  3. Governs with principles that embody health, well-being, dignity and prosperity for all.
  4. Loses interest in accumulating wealth and material things. As musician Mikel Jollett recently tweeted, “After you reach $999 million, how about you get a trophy that says “I won capitalism” and we name a dog park after you? And every red cent after that goes to schools and health care.”
  5. Knows true security doesn’t comes from physical things, but from the unseen forces of creativity, spirituality and love. Yes, love–real love is the mightiest power on earth.

In the comments section below, please add your vision and know that your thoughts and consciousness are contributing to the future of humanity.

Love, only love,


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 are you programmed to believe about your body?

“Don’t let your mind bully your body.” – June Tomaso Wood

What? My yoga “tights” don’t look like yours?

Being the observant person that I am, I can’t help but notice that the current rendition of my body looks nothing like the bodies on the covers of magazines.

For one thing, it’s many decades older. It has a lot more wrinkles and spots. And if some orbiting alien is currently collecting earthly specimens, it might be tempted to catalog me as a completely different genus than say the women you see in the average movie or TV show.

If I’m not vigilant, this glaring dichotomy could cause serious emotional pain. Like all women, I’m blasted 24/7 with ads and FB posts and magazine articles insisting on the importance of microblading my eyebrows, retinoiding my collagen, twilighting my hair color, black lacing my fingernails.

And as for body size, I’ve been socially engineered my entire life to be a size 8. Or is it a 6 these days?

The cultural pressure is so intense that looking in the mirror can be an act of sheer confrontation. Even JLo recently admitted she doesn’t always like what she sees.

So to counteract the non-stop marketing messages, I decided to get up this morning and write a quick thank you note to my 64-year-old body that, as Mae West says, “is no model because models are an imitation of the real thing.”

10 (of countless) reasons I won the body lottery:

1. I have two eyes. They may not be contoured and properly highlighted, but they both work. They allow me to see birds and tiny frogs and the purple crocuses that were poking up yesterday with new springtime hats. They enable me to see this computer screen and to binge (if I so choose) a Netflix series. Thank you, precious eyes.

2. I also have two fully-functioning legs. Their skin isn’t as tight as it used to be, but they still get me from Point A to Point B anytime I want to go. They can still skip, run around a pickleball court and they can still dance. Boy, can they dance. Kudos to you, legs!

3. I have a torso (that can still perform downward dog), 4. a full head of hair, 5. a nose, 6. a mouth (that gets to sample lots of extremely tasty morsels), 7. fingers, 8.toes, 9. ankles, 10. knees–all of which work like a champ, all of which deserve daily thanksgiving.

It’s insane, really, how lucky I am.

So sure, society and marketers and producers of useless stuff will continue to find ways to make me feel less than. They’ll keep advertising stupid products and ludicrous ideas of how I’m supposed to look.

But I declare my freedom. Instead of heeding their ridiculous potions, lotions and notions of beauty, I will just keep saying thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

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).

You can now officially call me crazy

“I have to deconstruct my whole belief system.”—Taylor SwiftCoastal Redwoods, California

When an author debuts a new book, interview requests begin pouring in. I’ve done six in the last week alone.

Inevitably the question comes up. So what’s next? A new book? A speaking tour?

My only guidance thus far probably sounds a bit weird. It’s a deconstruction, as Taylor Swift called it, of a popular belief system.

I’m being called to connect with trees. In this technological age, many of us (and, yes, I, too, am holding up my hand) have forgotten about our deep web of connection with nature.

My plans for 2020 are to visit, commune, hang out in some old growth forests. In the United States, a scant 2 to 5 percent are left. Because we think of nature as a commodity, as opposed to a vital piece of our community, we’re in danger of losing her wisdom.

Taz, as long-time readers of this blog may remember, pointed out that humankind is not separate from nature. Our connection, thankfully, is impossible to sever. She used the example of a grove of aspens. By all appearances, a mountainside of aspens looks like a bunch of separate trees. But in reality, they’re one big organism connected by an extensive root system.

That’s us—we humanoids and nature. We belong together. We’ve been hoodwinked by a story that claims we are independent and autonomous. The earth we inhabit is alive.

And the trees and the plants and the animals all have agency. We’re not the boss. Or at least we shouldn’t be.

I’ve spent years scouring books, attending seminars, sitting at the feet of a wide assortment of gurus. But now, I’m feeling led to learn directly from the life force that exists in nature.

Scientists like Suzanne Simard are proving that, among other things, trees are a lot more responsible than humans. They constantly take care of each other. They value relationships above all else. And as Simard points out, listening to them has the power to change the arc of the future.

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).

Always open, always there

“I found the material world was getting in the way.”—B.J. Novak living-in-a-simulation_v2-600x315

So I got an email the other day with a question about my new book. This reader wasn’t sure whether to do the daily lessons or just read about them.

I nearly choked on my JP Licks hot chocolate. I was in Cambridge, Mass at the time watching the parade honoring Elizabeth Banks as 2020 Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year.

Clear communication, for an author, is right up there with words and  sentence structure. I realize if there’s even a smidgeon of doubt, I’d failed. At least with this reader.

So let me make it abundantly clear. Doing the daily lessons is the ONLY reason to have this book. And the ONLY reason to do the daily lessons is to establish communication with Divine Intelligence. Once this “Voice” (the Course calls it the Holy Spirit, I call it your stunt double or your own personal butler) is awakened within you, you can pitch my book in the trash. Of course, I’d rather you recycle it or pass it onto somebody who has yet to fall in love with the Divine Presence.

Once you establish communication with this bigger thing, your every question will be answered, your every need will be met. A clear path will open up for your life.

The reason most of us are not in touch with this Divine Intelligence is because we’re paralyzed by the material world. We stare at it as if it’s real. The fluctuating bits of energy that make up the material world is a virtual reality game, a giant simulation that we create with our beliefs and expectations. It’s malleable. And we’re in on the game. Even Elon Musk, who says there’s a one in billion chance we’re living in base reality, believes there’s a more sophisticated intelligence.

My friend Cindy pointed out yesterday that my dedication in the book (To Taz, I could never live without you so I don’t) should be lesson # 1.

Maybe it’s the only lesson we need. Why would any of us choose to live without the aid and assistance that’s available from the other side? It’s like taking an eyedropper to the ocean and settling for that for the rest of your life.

As I hope I’ve made clear, the entire purpose of the Course in Miracles, both the original and my cheeky translation, is to connect with the invisible guidance that, like a 7-11, is always open, always there.

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).