I’m going to tell you right away. I failed at this experiment. I gave it my best shot, but I’m afraid that I did not find a single purple feather. Should I elaborate?
E Squared by Pam Grout — Experiment #2
Theory: What shows up in our lives is a direct reflection of our inner thoughts and emotions.
Pam gives one example of this theory at work in her book E Squared, but my boyfriend Greg told me another story that mirrors hers exactly: He was waiting in line at the grocery store across the street when an older lady marched up to the counter asking to use the washroom. The cashier said yes and was about to tell her where it was when the woman started yelling at her: “I am a loyal customer. If you do not let me use the washroom I will not be shopping here again…” and so on. The cashier said “YES” and she immediately responded as if she had been told “no.” Before she even asked the question she knew what she was going to be told.
In a similar vein… A couple of weeks ago I remember being on a bus on my way to work. After a couple stops, a woman near the front got off and spat at the bus driver “thanks for nothing.” What was that about? Everyone on the bus and the bus driver felt extremely confused and had to laugh as she stormed off for a reason that no one could understand. That’s an awesome attitude to have in your life.
Anyone else ever witness something like that? Ever witness a person in action who believes, without a shadow of a doubt, that the entire world is out to get them? Are you that person?
When we devote our attention to things we don’t want, they show up everywhere. BUT the reverse is also true. When you devote your attention to things you do want (ie opportunity, love, connection, fun, inspiration etc) you find them everywhere. I didn’t realize how often I had seen this theory at work until I had it named by Pam.
Ever have the experience of learning something new, and then seeing what you just learned everywhere. “I learned that just in time” you might think (that’s what I thought), but maybe there’s something else going on. I remember my mom teaching me what the middle finger meant when I was in grade 4 (she’ll kill me for writing this, but she taught it to me so that I could mentally give it to the referee that was giving me a hard time at my soccer games), and after that I saw references to the symbol EVERYWHERE. They were probably everywhere before, but I didn’t know what it meant before so naturally they all went over my head. This new piece of information opened up an entire new world that I had never been able to appreciate before.
This information has the opportunity to do the same thing, and that’s what this experiment is about.
“According to physicists, there’s a zero-point field where every possibility exists… [But] negativity and fear start the minute we’re bor. We learn to limit. We learn to believe in scarcity. We learn that our natural inclination to love and to create and to dance is impractical… But guess what? It’s all a big ruse. A bad habit.”
Excerpt from E Squared by Pam Grout
It’s all about learning different habits, and helping yourself to start noticing different things. In her book, Pam actually shares several real life scientific experiments that actually PROVE that we only see what we believe is possible.
This experiment is supposed to prove that “you see in life what you look for. And that you can find anything that you look for.”
Like I said, I failed at this experiment. Pam gave you 24 hours to look for sunset beige vehicles, and another 24 hours to look for purple feathers. So first I had to look up what colour sunset beige actually was.
And then I started looking. The problem is that I’m nearsighted (which I recognize is just another “belief” about myself that I’ve cemented into reality, but give me a break on this one thing) and I don’t wear glasses, so I had trouble distinguishing this colour from grey and white. I also consistently got distracted and forgot to look. I started this experiment on Tuesday of last week and 24 hours later I had not found a single sunset beige coloured car. The next day I decided to change the colour to bright green and try the experiment again (I hate failing).
Immediately I saw at least 12 things that were this colour. Learning from my mistakes from the day before, I realized that the only way that I could realistically find the correct coloured car was by walking around the city. So instead of taking a bus down the hill towards the skytrain, I walked (perhaps it was unrealistic to believe that I could do this experiment successfully from a table in coffee shop that was facing the street, and looking up occasionally). During this quick 15 minute walk I saw a green popsicle, several green jackets, green advertisements on bus stops, green hair. I mean this colour was EVERYWHERE. Alas, I did not see even one green car. I did, however, see THREE sunset beige cars on my walk home from work. Go figure.
Two days later I decided to try the purple feather experiment. Same idea expect that this time you had to look for purple feathers. For the first 12 hours of this experiment I was either inside, or writing at a coffee shop. I REALLY wanted to find a purple feather so at 7pm I put on my boots and coat and decided to go for a walk around Vancouver. This being winter, it was dark and my mind was so distracted that I again consistently forgot what I was looking for. I think I may have seen a purple feather on a boa on display in a sex shop window, but it was too dark to tell.
I arrived back home with a giant painting that I had bought at winners for $35, and still no purple feather. I thought I’d get up early the next day and try to find one before 11am. But I didn’t get out of bed until 10am… so, yeah.
What did I learn?
I learned that if you want to find sunset beige cars, you can’t stay in your house all day. You need to walk around. Therefore, if you want to be a successful actor, writer (whatever) you need to go to the places where people who are successful hang out. You need to put yourself in the environments where you’re most likely to find what you’re looking for. A green or sunset beige car isn’t going to come driving into your living room.
If you do the experiment, let me know how you do.