Create relentlessly, love fiercely and do quiet, kind things for the underdog: an update on the 222 Foundation

“We never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint.”—Leo Buscaglia 222 foundation love

One of my greatest blessings is my inbox. Every day, I receive fist-bumping miracle stories, love notes and signs from the universe.

“Oh, Pam,” it often chides me. “You promised to do this… You agreed to write that.”

Today’s sign was an email from a reader wanting to know if it was too late to apply for the 222 Award. Which reminded me I vowed to post an update soon. So here goes:

I’ve chosen the first recipient of the 222 Foundation. Because of the short timing and the shock of all that’s transpired, I decided to dispense with the application process for this first award.

It will be given out February 22, 2019 and announced at Taz’s Celebration of Life which would have been on 2/22 except I’ve been scheduled to fly to California to give a workshop on 2/23.

I chose a group of beautiful women who live in Agra, India near the Taj Mahal where I left some of Taz’s ashes last month when traveling with the first Social Impact Journey of Tribes for Good.

Let’s just say the women I chose exude immense inner beauty, generosity and know from first hand experience that the world will never change if we spend all our time and money on clothes and makeup and society’s messages that there’s something wrong with our bodies, our looks and our strong voices.

Eventually, the 222 Foundation will be an incubator for original ideas with the potential to overturn the dominant paradigm.

The yearly grant will be given to innovators, artists, inventors and entrepreneurs who have a vision for creating a meaningful and generous world.

It will be awarded to go-getters and problem solvers who know that squeezing themselves into a big machine is a limited ambition and will never be as interesting and satisfying as creating their own thing.

As I wrote in Art & Soul, Reloaded, nearly everything we once counted on, invested in and believed in is, for all practical purposes, grinding to a halt.

The old life plan (go to college, get a job) worked for a long time. It created jobs and wealth and lifted people out of poverty. But turns out, the American Dream, a term coined by Fannie Mae to convince two-income, post-World War II families to take out mortgages, has a Dr. Jekyll lurking in the back closet.

The only way to keep the old system chugging along is rampant consumerism. And we all know that makes NO ONE HAPPY!

But giving of our gifts does.

Any donkey can tear down a barn. But how many of us are willing to build a new barn, create a new world, envision a beautiful world that works for all of us?

Speaking of beautiful worlds, here’s a shoutout to Torie Tiffany (that’s her artist name) who created the logo for the 222 Foundation, the one pictured on this blog. Isn’t it gorgeous??!!!

Finally, here’s the mission statement:

The 222 Foundation was started to honor Tasman McKay Grout who spent her 25 short years on the planet inspiring everyone who knew her to live and love better. Everything she did was some variation of this theme: create relentlessly, love fiercely and do quiet, kind things for the underdog.

Each year on February 22, a $10,222 grant will be given to an innovative project or person with a big idea to change consciousness and therefore change the world. We look for projects that support the following ideas:

1. A change in perspective is our greatest need. We believe all people (no exceptions) long to be generous and create beautiful things.

2. Today’s hopelessness is based on false premises. We look to defy the old story of scarcity, lack and the need to fight for resources. We look to prove that the universe, once liberated from no-longer-working paradigms of scarcity, is generative and endlessly abundant.

3. The us against them model is kaput. We believe all humans are interconnected and that even tiny actions have great significance.

A call for applications for the 2/20/2020 award will be posted the summer of 2019.

And, for those who have asked, there will eventually be a link to donate. For now, anyone who is interested can send a check to the 222 Foundation, c/o DCCA, 900 Massachusetts, Suite 406, Lawrence, KS 66044.

I also need to alert you that there is another 222 Foundation (again, I found out from a message that popped into my inbox), but it has a very different mission and is not Taz’s Foundation.

Thank you all SO, SO MUCH for your kind thoughts and messages over the past few months. Please know they have kept me going.

Like all relationships, my journey with Taz evolved over the years. First, I loved her as a baby. Then as a toddler, a teenager and finally a independent, free-thinking adult. And now, I’m continuing to love her as the unfathomable, unlimited spirit she always was and will always be. taz7 (2)

Here’s to a brilliant, inspiring 2019!

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.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

“Closure is a perfectly good word for real estate and business deals, but it’s a terrible word in human relationships. Once you’ve become attached to somebody, love somebody, you cannot cut it off. It is part of your being. It’s a part of who you are.”–—Pauline Boss

Since writing E-Squared and hearing from so many readers around the world, I’ve noticed a trend. Many of my blog posts tell stories about signs–signs that the universe has our back, signs that miracles are freakin’ everywhere waiting for us to pay attention, signs that something infinitely greater than we are is running the show.

Lately, I’ve been getting my own signs from Taz and signs from many of you that involve 222. Like being reminded of the Emmy-award winning TV show Room 222 that ran for five years in the early 70’s. Set at the fictional Walt Whitman High School, this popular show delivered gentle message about tolerance and understanding, which was Taz’s M.O. and the purpose of the 222 Foundation.

When I was in India, I got a very clear sign at the Taj Mahal–thank you Taz for the goosebumps. Mary and I almost didn’t go there, figuring it would be a too-busy and potentially cheesy tourist attraction. Au contraire!

Taj Mahal is a magical, spiritual place that, as our Spanish-speaking guide informed us, took 22 years to build and involved 20,000 craftspeople. Commissioned in 1632, its 42 acres were designed as a tribute to love and to Moghul Shah Jahan’s favorite wife who happens to be named, Taj Mahal. Taz McKay made it very clear that part of her ashes should be memorialized there, as well.

Back home, I hear songs, see our special number and, because I can never get enough, I ask (beg, more like it) for indisputable proof that she’s still here and that we can still communicate.

The other day, a soap bubble appeared out of nowhere and began bouncing around my kitchen. It soared up. It soared down. It danced around the room for a good 10 minutes. Had I not been so stunned about this rainbow-hued soap bubble, I might have noticed if it was writing out words.

For now, I’m just happy knowing my beloved daughter is very much still with me only now, as the Red Hot Chili Peppers sing, she is “everywhere just like the sky.”

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.