GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


February 20, 2018

Solid

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:15 am

NewImageHere’s a post from 9 years ago that identifies where we were then and, still, where we are now.

“Solid as a rock” is an old expression as well as an old song. Solid is an illusion – one that helps us and hurts us.

We are hurt when we bump into “solid” things and helped when we discover that they are not real.

When they take a powerful electron microscope and view something under it, the object’s solidity all but disappears. The magnifying glass used on a newspaper picture gives us a layman’s version of looking through one of these powerful scopes. We see the picture is made up of dots and space.

I have this unproven theory that there is no solidity whatsoever. It’s an assumption that’s worth adopting even though it can’t currently be proved.

What if electrons, photons, quarks, etc. were not even remotely solid but “shadows of energetic activity” captured by the magnification of the microscope? What if everything is really nothing?

Everyone is entitled to their wacky theories, even Columbus.

So pretend for a moment that my assumption is accurate. How will it help you?

It seems that every man made thing comes from the nothingness of an idea. They haven’t built a scope to capture an idea yet. My guess is they never will. Out of nothing comes something. It didn’t exist, now it does.

We treat ideas in our head as solid. We build things with them and we also build walls with them – walls of disconnection. We postulate that if something is “this,” it can’t be “that.” Our labels won’t allow it. But underneath the label is the connection of nothingness that makes “this” and “that” the same.

Solid translates to separation and isolation. If it’s solid, it needs a separate space and it can’t live in the same space as something else that’s solid, so the two must be isolated from each other.

That’s what we do as a people. We divide and are conquered.

When we search for the solid things that make us different, we aren’t looking for the invisible things that make us the same. Our search criteria keep us separated.

Eckhart Tolle offers a powerful example of our sameness when people say they have nothing in common with someone. He points out that in a matter of years you will both be rotting corpses.

So just maybe it’s useful to come to that conclusion before you die – that you came from nothing, and are returning to nothing. This idea of nothing being the only thing there is, has us make more connections because we can make space for everything when we’re not solid.

The rigidity of solid ideas has rigor mortis set in well before you die. The stiffness that goes with solid doesn’t allow the flexibility to stretch and find life’s connections.

Solid is the “Monroe Doctrine.” Nothing is infinite law.

Here’s a scientific piece of homework that is beneficial for all of us: Take a peek inward with your own microscope and begin to notice that your idea of solid is filled with holes. The more holes you find, the more connections you make.

You’ll discover that you can make nothing out of something.

All the best,

John



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February 15, 2018

Facts

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 12:36 am

Shoe bangingFacts won’t sway anyone who has an opposing agenda, no matter how accurate the facts are.

Have you ever noticed when you produce incontrovertible facts to some people they move the goal post and say something like, “what about blah, blah, blah?” that has nothing to do with the topic being discussed.

Pivoting off the topic is an Olympic sport for many. The biggest offenders I’ve witnessed are politicians. During my radio days I interviewed everyone from local councilmen to candidates for president and, frankly, wanted to wash afterwards. I traveled a crooked road trying to get a straight answer.

Just getting someone to acknowledge a fact that doesn’t match up with their narrative is a losing proposition.

Is there a solution? I’m not sure. I know this for sure: you can’t fact people into submission. That doesn’t work. It seems the most successful convincers rely more on emotion than they do on facts, and the fact people never catch on. They believe if they come up with one more fact, that will be the convincer. Sorry, emotions don’t pay attention to facts.

I guess this is my way of cautioning you not to engage a true believer in a fact based argument.

I’m actually amazed that people continue with a strategy that’s clearly not working. Reminds me of a story . . .

Back during the Vietnam War people, especially politicians, would constantly argue the pros and cons of the conflict. No one was convincing the other even though the facts were the facts. What it took for the argument to stop and the war to end was TV networks beginning to show actual battle scenes on film. This action bypassed the facts and brought what was far away closer to home. It was one of the best emotional, convincing strategies that TV ever came up with.

You can continue to argue the facts but notice it rarely, if ever, works.

Joe Friday may have used “just the facts” to solve homicide cases, but you’ll murder your mission if you rely solely on the facts.

The old lawyer axiom comes to mind: “If you have the law, hammer the law. If you have the facts, hammer the facts. If you have neither the law nor the facts, hammer the table.”

All the best,

John



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February 14, 2018

Real Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:25 am

NewImageExactly 10 years ago today The Grasshopper sent this my way:

I was just musing about my favorite memories of Valentine’s Day. They stem from when I was a little boy and my sons were little boys.

I remember buying a big pack of Valentine cards and writing down everyone of my classmates’ names on the tiny envelopes – boys and girls. I can see myself scrawling a little message and printing my name. I can even see the blockiness of the letters. Then I remember putting my Valentine card on each one of their desks. How innocent and exciting that was. Everyone was included; no one was left out. That was real love.

When my boys were little, I remember vicariously having the same thrill watching them joyfully filling out their card for each class member. There were no exclusions.

Somewhere along the line we began to exclude and not everyone got our expression of love. The innocence was gone, the joy dissipated. Or was it still there and ignored?

As our ego continued to develop, it wouldn’t let us love everybody. We began to compartmentalize that this person is worthy and that one isn’t, and we found a way shut down the part of us that can include everyone. It’s one of the saddest stories ever told.

Real love is always present. It’s just covered over with so much conditioning and programming that we cannot seem to get to it. But we know it’s there because we can feel it from time to time. If you meditate or do some mind calming practice like self-hypnosis, or engage in the deep contemplation of prayer, you feel real love. You don’t feel separation in that state of awareness. That is our natural state – the state of love where all is included.

The more times we visit this inclusive state of mind, the more often we imbue our everyday life with the genuine expression of love.

Take a moment today and just wonder how you can expand that feeling of love that you have reserved for a handful and mentally drop a Valentine on everyone’s desk.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

John



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February 13, 2018

Better Place

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:22 am

BridgeIf you’re a people helper – someone who helps people make transitions from one frame of mind to another – there is only one question you need to answer: Did you leave them in a better place than you found them?

It’s easy to make people feel bad, just dwell on their flaws and failings.

That’s not to say that you don’t get them to acknowledge their shortcomings. That’s healthy. But if your next step is not helping them build a bridge from where they currently are to where they want to be, you’ve left them in a bad place.

That’s why arguments often end so poorly. We get so focused on being right and winning rather than seeking a solution that we lose sight of the next step: to get to a better place.

This is different than the perfunctory, funeral refrain: “He’s in a better place.” This is about making transitions while they’re here.

I don’t know where I first heard it but I’ll never forget it: Bring only good cheer when visiting a hospital room. The person is already in a bad place; bringing anything else is dereliction of your mission: to leave them in a better place than you found them.

Think of someone you consider a dear friend. Notice their natural inclination to brighten your day. They may be totally straight with you about your situation but they’re always ready with a demeanor to help you transition from here to there.

Want to get to a better place? Help someone else get there. Your kindness will rub off on you and will become a brightening residue. Which reminds me of a favorite biblical phrase: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

All the best,

John



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February 12, 2018

Deserve

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 5:48 am

090908 1338 deserve1Here’s a Grasshopper Note from a long time ago that came out to play again today.

The word “Deserve” popped into my head yesterday. It dawned on me what an anti-reality word it is and how it causes so much pain for the user.

“I deserve a raise.” I deserve a promotion.” “I deserve an opportunity.” “I deserve better treatment.” These are the type of phrases that we have all used and they most often promote disharmony in our mind.

We set up a tug of war between what we’re deserving of and what we’re not getting. This leads us to the land of illusion instead of the realm of reality.

Reality is one force. “Is” or “isn’t” are the only true definitions of its manifestations. “Deserve” doesn’t fall into the category of “is” or “isn’t.” Our mind carves out this make believe territory in an attempt to convince us there is more than the “is” or “isn’t” of reality. It’s quite the game and we get hooked into playing time and again with diversion being the only result.

Either you got a raise or you didn’t. The same is true for a promotion, an opportunity or better treatment.

If you desire better treatment, “deserve” will never get you there. “Deserve” puts any necessary action on hold as long as you sit in its way station.

You can certainly get a group of people to agree with you that you deserve whatever you don’t have, but all the commiserating in the world won’t change “isn’t” to “is.” Reminds me of a story I’ve told before . . .

Many years ago I was out of work and was offered a job and a lot less money than I was making. I was telling my tale to my friend, Paul and said, “It’s not as much money as I was making. I deserve more.” Paul in his succinct wisdom responded, “It’s more money than you’re making now.”

What I discovered was this: You define your worth when you agree to compensation. You are worth what you accept. No amount of “deserve” will add to your paycheck or any other area in life.

You ignore the reality of the way you’re being treated, compensated, held down or bypassed by entering the wacky world of “Deserve.” If you stay there, you truly get what you deserve.

All the best,

John



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February 9, 2018

Imperfect Perfection

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 1:24 am

091208 1414 perfection1Happened upon this hunk of reality issued about a decade ago:

“People who are perfectionists have a false sense of perfection. That’s why they usually come up short because they have an imperfect goal to shoot for.”

A perfectionist denies reality by constantly expecting the upside and being highly disappointed with themselves and others when that’s not the case.

When people accept the reality that shows up, then they will truly know perfect. The Grasshopper reminded us that “Reality is Perfection.”

You can always count on reality to deliver what it delivers. You may be disappointed with what lands in your lap and decide to do something about it. That’s the nice thing about reality, it offers options. You can spend time by railing that the result is not perfect and endure the mental assault of your mind, or you can respond to the reality and create something different – another reality, another perfect.

There is an old saying that states, “You can’t push a river, but you can guide it.”

Perfectionists waste energy attempting to push the river. The river is going to do what it does and it’s too big and powerful to be pushed around. It can, however, be diverted and directed to where it serves our needs.

To guide the river, you need to first accept the results that you get. Notice I didn’t say settle for the results you get. Settling is giving up and being exasperated. That’s where most perfectionists wind up.

Yes, shoot for the moon and expect to get what you go after. That’s quite healthy. But not having a contingency plan for reality is as imperfect as it gets. Perfectionists are short-sighted and live in the clouds. They lack the flexibility necessary to deal with things when they don’t go as planned.

Having high standards and being a perfectionist are quite different. One knows the perfection of flexibility; the other attempts to live in the artist’s rendition of the home rather than in the home itself.

Make today a perfect day and respond to the perfection of reality.

All the best,

John



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February 6, 2018

Sensational

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:48 am

SuspiciousCame across a Grasshopper quote from about 10 years ago that’s timeless: “Sensations need no debate – they’re either OK or not OK.”

I wonder how often we stall a solution by debating the facts. Facts are needed fundamentals to build a case, but the jury is still out on their effectiveness alone.

Sensations show up in your body way before you ever consider a fact in your head. They instantly register in our body but we’ve been conditioned that we have to quibble about what the sensations mean.

“Do the right thing” is more than a Spike Lee movie or an old adage passed on by your great-grandparents. It’s a directive from your gut. We instantly sense right from wrong but get caught up in mitigating the situation by attempting to bend facts to fit our narrative. That’s senseless.

If you’ve ever been scammed (and who hasn’t), you understand the folly of ignoring your not OK feelings. They were always there but the logic goes like this: This person seems so nice (Think TV preachers) that I should ignore what I’m sensing.

Ignore your senses at your own peril. As I look back over the many times I’ve discounted mine, I recognize that all I was left with was an empty feeling.

Perhaps it’s time to recalibrate your internal geiger counter. That means to start giving credence to OK and not OK feelings. Pay more attention to them and the guarantee is this: You’ll feel sensational.

All the best,

John



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January 31, 2018

Happy Endings

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 2:23 am

Bus stop

The Grasshopper offered this up a few days ago: “If you’re married to happy endings, you’re destined for divorce.”

On first blush it appears as a statement of resignation, but after reflecting on it for awhile, I find it to be a message of managing reality.

A happy ending may be the goal but happy has never been, nor ever will be, a permanent state. It comes and goes. When it’s here, it’s to be celebrated and enjoyed. When it’s gone, it’s productive to create the environment for its return.

Think of happiness that goes away as a bus that we got off of at the wrong stop. We can fret over our misfortune and get burdened with our angst, but the reality is another bus will come along.

Trying to capture happiness in a jar is like catching a firefly. Eventually its light will go out.

I think we spend too much time focused on how we can keep happiness in place rather than immersing ourselves in it while it’s here. We spend our moments attempting to catch lightning bugs in a jar rather than enjoy the light they bring while they’re present.

You set yourself up for disappointment by attempting to be perpetually happy. No one is and if they tell you they are, be prepared for them to try and sell you the “amazing” formula (think snake oil).

Creating the environment for happiness is having an optimistic mindset. That means to recognize there is a part of us that trusts the bus is coming again and that we’ll hop on when it comes to our stop.

Warning: If something specific has to be in place for you to be happy, you may never see that bus again. “I’ll be happy when (fill in the blank).” That’s a blank check that only buys unhappiness.

For me, it feels better to be happy than sad but life has taught me that both of these states are life-long visitors. The trick is to notice the temporary nature of each and expect the less desired one to go away soon and the more coveted one to come around again.

It’s kind of like my mother said, “If you’re mad, you’ll get glad again.”

All the best,

John



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January 17, 2018

You’re Not Your Reactions

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:30 am

Snorting bullHere’s something we all have in common: We react.

The best definition I can come up with for react is “Re-act.” We’re like an actor who has one gear. He re-acts the only role he knows no matter what the movie. (Think Steven Seagal).

Similarly, when we react, we do it the same way every time. Doing so, limits our choices and limits our options – not a great combination.

What do you react to the same way every time? If it’s crying while peeling onions, that’s an involuntary reaction and nothing to be concerned about.

But what about the reactions we’ve been conditioned to? Is there something someone can say or do that you have the same reaction to every time and vice-versa? If you’ve ever been married, it doesn’t take you too long to come up with the answer “Yes.”

Did you ever notice those reactions go nowhere new? You are stuck re-acting a movie you’ve seen a thousand times.

Here’s the good news: You’re not your reactions. You’re deeper than that.

You have a depth of responses to the triggering stimulus that you hardly ever use. When you take the time to respond, you’ll find that you overreact less and less.

“I’m a hot head, my mother was a hot head and my grandfather was a hot head; that’s just the way I am.” No you’re not. You just act like a hot head. You’ve conditioned yourself to react.

You can act in other ways and it will take some noticing on your part. Notice your same reaction about to come up and interrupt it. It’s that interrupting wedge between stimulus and reaction that will get you to the deeper land of response.

Reacting only gives you one option and the same, stale results you got before. Responses expand your horizons and present you with additional options. These new options, when acted upon, get you to play a different character with more depth and less angst.

All the best,

John



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January 16, 2018

Reasons OR Reasoning

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:27 am

FlunkingCall me late to the party but the duality of the word “reason” just dawned on me.

I’ve known since my grade school days that it’s both a noun and a verb but I never went deeper than that until now.

“The reason I was late was due to a traffic backup.” That use of reason provides us with an excuse.

“Reasoning,” on the other hand, is a process used to convince ourselves or another about a different way to think.

We can reason our life away and make excuses OR we can employ our sense of reasoning and find out our excuses don’t lead to a solution.

That statement should be reason enough to convince yourself to look for a new way to go.

Think back . . . you could come up with 15 different reasons why you were flunking algebra but adamantly avoided following a reasoned solution.

In closing, for the umpteenth time I will reference my 4th grade teacher Miss Wagner’s reasoning: “You can have what you want or your reasons why not.”

All the best,

John



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