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Paper, plastic or the teeming dazzle of life its own self

“By figuring things out, by labeling them, we restrict what we let into our awareness, we block the field of infinite potentiality that wants to come forth through us.”– From my book, E-Cubed
top chef

A couple years ago, I was invited (for free) on a cruise to Bermuda with three sexy chefs from the Bravo show, Top Chef.

There were private cooking classes, Quick Fire challenges and meet and greets with bad boy celebrity chefs Ash Fulk, Angelo Sosa and Spike Mendelsohn.

And while this travel writing assignment certainly illustrates how amazingly awesome things started happening when I began giving up meaningless ideas, I’m telling you this story because of the cardboard cutouts. That’s me in the picture with the cardboard cutouts of the three guests of honor.

You also see cardboard cutouts at the movies—Kevin Hart and The Rock, for example, are currently at my local theater posing for their movie, Jumanji. College basketball fans often hold up cardboard cutouts or big heads, as they’re known, to distract the opposing team.

So what does that have to do with Lesson 13 from a Course in Miracles?

The purpose of the first 50 lessons is to unravel all thoughts that block our good. To help us realize that everything we see is a cardboard cutout. It’s a picture of the past frozen in time, serving as a stand-in for the real thing.

We decided long ago that life is this certain way and that’s all we can see.

Our crafty brains literally reconstruct empty shells, caricatures of the teeming life that exists in every now moment.

We look at the people in our lives and don’t really see them, not as they are now. We look around at the world we inhabit and see nothing but the cardboard cutout of our story. The invisible grace, the never-ending abundance is invisible to us.top2

I’ve seen cardboard cutouts of Angelo Sosa and I’ve seen the real thing.

Believe me, the cardboard cutouts pale in comparison.

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.

How to get past the bouncer of your limited thinking

“Enlightenment is the unlearning of the thought system that dominates the planet.”—Marianne Williamson
bouncerPicture a big, muscle-bound bouncer, a Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson type. His arms are crossed and he’s got that “no way, no how” look on his face.

Anyone with a lick of sense can figure out it’d be best to come back later, to try again when Mr. Tough isn’t so diligently blocking the entry.

Our current beliefs about the world are just like that bouncer. They block all the joy, peace, meaning and other Divine goodies that the Universe so desperately wants to bestow.

Which is why the Course in Miracles is all about clearing our minds, about undoing the beliefs we think are absolute fact.

Enter Lesson 3: I do not understand anything I see (in this room, out the window, etc.)

Again, we simply take a moment or two to look around and say, “I do not understand this pillow. I do not understand this cat. I do not understand this hand.”

Remember, we don’t have to believe these lessons. We just have to do them.

And as we surrender our old certainties (the world is flat, the table is solid, what we can’t see with our physical eyes does not exist), a new kinder, more loving reality comes gushing in.

Our old beliefs are dominated by fear, separation, limitations. And because our brains are private investigators looking for proof of our beliefs, we collapse the wave (a physics term that describes plucking a single superposition from all possible superpositions) to show us the “desired” superposition that supports our beliefs.

So sure, I may think I understand this pillow, this cat, this hand. But it’s possible I don’t.

And I’m willing to surrender my feeble understanding of the world to the infinite field, acknowledging that even my most brilliant ideas and plans are nothing compared to those of my Creator.

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.