GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


May 31, 2011

Sophisticated

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:48 am

One of the definitions for the word “Sophisticated” is “Complicated,” as in we’ve made something simple, complicated.

We’ve added layers of sophistication or complication to our lives that make it difficult for us to get back to true north.

Over the holiday weekend, I went to a beautiful, local park with the express purpose of taking some photographs. I got more than some great pictures; I got a glimpse back at uncomplicated life.

There were scores of people having family gatherings and picnics in the park. Kids were flying kites, throwing frisbees and playing tag. The adults were laughing and telling stories and bringing out home prepared food for everyone to eat. It was totally unsophisticated and wonderful to watch.

Then yesterday, I got to watch uncomplicated life play out again. I got to spend some time with my three granddaughters at a barbeque at my son’s house. They were living life to its fullest on this very hot day – They were running through the sprinkler. It reminded me of being a kid when it was hot in the city. Someone would open up a fire hydrant and we would all run through the splashing water – Heaven on earth.

These two slices of life just served to remind me how far our sophistication has taken us away from the simple enjoyment of life.

How often have we said, “When I have this, I’ll be happy”? Happiness doesn’t require a “This.” That’s the complicated side of sophistication rearing its ugly head. We’ve convinced ourselves that we need more than we are to enjoy life. It’s just not the case – never has been and never will be.

When our goal is sophistication, our lives get complicated because we are chasing that which can’t complete us. The piece we miss in the chase is that we are already complete, already enough.

This is not an argument against the finer things in life; it’s more of a focus on the lost focus of life’s simpler things.

Money couldn’t buy what I experienced over the holiday weekend. You may argue that life is more complicated than a walk in the park, but, from my perspective, not much more.

 

All the best,

John

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
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May 27, 2011

Your Own Reward

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:37 am

About 25 years ago, I uttered these words to someone out of frustration: “You are your own reward.”

I was attempting to insult them because I thought they were acting spinelessly in a situation that affected me. My intent was to let them know they had to live with themselves, and that couldn’t be very inviting.

It wasn’t until much later that I came to the realization that my observation is universally true for all of us, at all times – We are all our own reward.

We live with ourselves 24/7. It’s either a welcoming place or it’s not.

What are we coming home to each day?

In the past, when I observed someone acting miserable, I would label them as such and shun them as though they had a contagious disease.

I’m still not entirely comfortable around miserable people, but I have more empathy for them now. It arose out of nowhere one day when I said these words: “Imagine what it’s like having to live inside their head.”

We all come back to the same mooring post each day and our life will be affected by the thoughts we are harboring.

The standard self help prescriptions don’t seem to work: “Change your thoughts, change your life” or my personal favorite, “Think positive.”

A positive thought doesn’t cancel a negative thought; it just sets up an internal argument.

There is a process that makes what you think more rewarding – Noticing your thinking.

Timing is everything in this process. The key is to catch yourself in mid thought and just observe your thoughts as though you are a third party.

The key for this to be effective is to just witness your thoughts as they go by, not judge them or engage them. What you will discover by noticing your thoughts is that your thoughts think you, not the other way around.

If the thoughts in your head are not welcoming thoughts, begin to observe them as though you are watching a movie. We all have the ability to do this simple process.

The reward is that, when observed, thoughts have less of a hold on you.

When you are watching your thoughts, you aren’t engaging with your thoughts, which gives them no one to argue with and they begin to fade away.

This isn’t a one-time quick fix. They will come back to tempt you into an argument. Did you ever notice that some people like to argue for argument’s sake? Your thoughts are the same way. That’s why some people are more miserable than others; they’re inside arguing with their thoughts.

By observing your thoughts, you are training yourself not to argue with them. The more adept you get at observation, the less you’ll deal with unwelcomed thoughts. When observed, thoughts know they can’t goad you into fighting and they come back less often.

Since we are all our own reward, observation insures that we are properly rewarded.

 

All the best,

John

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
IMPROVE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
I LOVE MY BODY
RELAX IN 2 MINUTES
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May 26, 2011

DOs and DON’Ts

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:55 am

I may have written about this before; it’s tougher to remember as I get older, so this is my take on DOs and DON’Ts.

We give too much attention to what we don’t want and too little attention to what we do want and the result is this:

We spend too much time evaluating and precious little focus on doing.

Goals are easier to reach when they are in focus. What keeps them fuzzy is spending the lion’s share of time culling through options that will never be chosen.

It’s an easy trap to fall into because “DON’T WANTS” have a lot of opinions attached to them, and who doesn’t like giving their opinion?

“I don’t want the yellow one because that’s not the color that signifies the message I’m trying to present. It’s too middle-of-the-road and it doesn’t present a strong image that’s needed in these times when people are looking for solid approaches, blah, blah.”

That rant could go on for days if you let it.

The trick is to notice that you are focusing on what you don’t want. That strategy serves as a detour away from what you do want.

DOs and DON’Ts are time management options. If you want to fritter your time away and stay further from your goal, choose “Don’t.”

“DO” is a more direct road to your desire, and it’s easier to formulate a strategy to get there when you can see your destination.

Reminds me of a story . . .

My mother was old school when it came to credit. Yes, she had a mortgage and car payment and eventually had a credit card, one that she paid in full each month. When she wanted something, she would find out how much it cost and determine how much money she would have to save each week in order to get it. The financial plan and its execution came after she decided what she did want.

It amazing how we seem to find a way when we decide what we DO want.

Here’s a suggestion: DO take a few moments and evaluate your personal DOs and DON’Ts strategy. What you may find is that what you DO want is closer than you think, especially if you take the time to bypass the DONTs.

Final thought: It’s productive to look before you leap, just make sure you don’t get sidetracked by playing leapfrog.

 

All the best,

John

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
IMPROVE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
I LOVE MY BODY
RELAX IN 2 MINUTES
FEEL FOREVER YOUNG
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May 25, 2011

Winter-Spring

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:49 am

 

All the best,

John

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
IMPROVE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
I LOVE MY BODY
RELAX IN 2 MINUTES
FEEL FOREVER YOUNG
VIRTUAL MASSAGE



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May 24, 2011

Lingering Drama

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:07 am

One of the biggest lies we have bought into is: MY STORY IS DIFFERENT.

No it’s not. It’s the same as everyone else’s.

Notice how you bristle when you hear that your’s is not different.

The content of your story may be different, but the drama and pain that stems from it is the same.

Do you hurt more than another when a similar circumstance happens to you? People make a case for that position all the time. “You think that hurt, well let me tell you about the time that Bobby . . .”

The one-upmanship story telling feeds drama.

Drama comes about when you buy into the illusion that your story is better, worse, or more important than another’s. This false sense of importance is what keeps the story being retold and keeps the drama alive long past its shelf date.

“No one hurts like I do or was wronged the way I was” is the driving force that keeps the story alive and keeps us trapped by drama and keeps us hurting.

Years ago I went through a divorce that was painful. Millions of people at that very same time were going through divorces, but mine was different, or so I thought.

I remember having a conversation with a boyhood friend whose wife had also moved on. I remember thinking that he didn’t love his wife as much as I loved mine and therefore his story was not on the same level as mine. Mine was more important. The words I forgot to put at the end of that sentence were “To me.” My story was more important to me.

It’s the “more important than anyone else’s” belief that keeps us telling and retelling our story, and it keeps our drama alive.

We are attempting to alleviate our pain through our never ending storytelling and we haven’t stopped to notice that it isn’t working.

If you pay attention to the people you are telling your story to for the hundredth time, you will notice them stifling a yawn. This includes your best friend, your family members and your therapist.

It’s more productive to feel your hurt than it is to tell your story again.

Feeling your hurt begins with eliminating the word “Because” from your situation. Your situation is “I am hurting.” Please notice the period at the end of that sentence. “I am hurting, period.”

“I am hurting because” takes you back to “Story-land” and Story-land is filled with never ending drama and life-long pain.

Addressing your hurt begins by locating the sensation in your body and sitting with it – not talking it over in your head again.

When you are hurting, no matter what the cause, there is a part of your body being affected. The sensation will most often show up somewhere between your head and your bowels along the midline of your body.

When you notice the sensation associated with your hurt and keep your focus on it, you will notice something transformative happen. You will begin to metabolize your hurt. That means it begins to dissipate. When you locate the sensation in your body, the temptation is to talk about the cause of it in your head. Resist that temptation and stay focused on the sensation in your body. This is how transformation begins.

It takes more effort to sit with your hurt than it does to share your pain through story again, but the results are worth the effort.

This is not a recommendation to silently suffer in your head; it’s an action to take to alleviate pain.

You’ll never talk your way out of pain no matter how convincing you are or how important your story is. You can, however, feel yourself out of pain.

If you think you need help with your pain, by all means consult a professional counselor. Just don’t fall into the trap that constantly talking about your feelings puts you in touch with your feelings. The opposite is true; it keeps you distant from them.

Drama and pain are synonymous. If you keep telling your story, you’ll have a lifetime supply of both of them.

 

All the best,

John

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
IMPROVE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
I LOVE MY BODY
RELAX IN 2 MINUTES
FEEL FOREVER YOUNG
VIRTUAL MASSAGE



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May 18, 2011

The Party

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:31 am

The Grasshopper showed up between the raindrops yesterday and had this to say: “The party never ends because the party never began.”

It sounded like a riddle within a conundrum, so I just let it sit.

What is “The Party”? My sense is it has different meanings depending on the angle from which it’s viewed.

One definition is that “The Party” is a lifestyle; another is that it is life itself.

The never ending crowd is the lifestyle wing of the party; life itself is a party of one.

To continually seek the party means you have never discovered how to celebrate yourself.

You bring the party with you wherever you go when you celebrate your own party of one.

If you’re looking for it everywhere you go, you’ll spend a lifetime attempting to begin. You can’t start from there; you have to begin from here.

“Here” is an appreciation of your connection to creativity. You find that you are a conduit from which the party flows; therefore it goes wherever you go.

Party seekers feel as though they are never enough. They feel incomplete. This causes them to endlessly seek out “The Party.”

They haven’t begun to search right where they are because they are too busy looking for the party out there somewhere.

For the party to begin for a party seeker, they have to stop their outward search long enough to find their inner party.

The self image of a party seeker sits on the lowest rung of the ladder because they’re afraid of new heights. Climbing up that ladder would shatter their image of not being enough – a position they’ve grown accustomed to.

Climbing that ladder takes some risks. You have to risk losing who you think you are to stop losing. When you discover that you’re more than the sum total of your thoughts, you discover “The Party.”

The endless seeking has to end in order for the party to begin.

If you feel as though you’re not enough, I encourage you to stop seeking long enough to find that you’re deserving of an engraved invitation to “The Party.”

 

All the best,

John

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
IMPROVE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
I LOVE MY BODY
RELAX IN 2 MINUTES
FEEL FOREVER YOUNG
VIRTUAL MASSAGE



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May 17, 2011

Allergic to Authority

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:55 am

In general, I sense that people don’t like being told what to do.

You could say that most of us, to some degree, are allergic to authority.

I believe that the degree to which we resist authority, determines how well we play with others.

Whether you are an iconoclast who challenges tradition or a “they say black, I say white” person, you are challenging authority. We all have a measure of polarity to being told what to do or what to believe, and the more of it we have, the less appeal we have to offer.

The degree to which you are allergic to authority demonstrates how much Peter Pan
you have in you. “I won’t grow up” is the silent mantra of seasoned adults still fighting for control.

Our first taste of control came as a child and many of us have never completely lost that taste. If there is any doubt about who is running the show, just witness who’s in charge when a two year old says “No.”

As we mature, that allergic reaction calms down. For most of us it gets to a manageable level, but for some it comes out to play every day.

If you are having trouble connecting with, or staying connected to people, take a look at how often you sneeze at authority.

It’s a repellant to others.

As fun as it would be to see, you’ll never witness a meeting of the “Polar Opposites Club” because they can’t agree where to meet.

In short, polarity is being allergic to authority. If you refuse to allow that part of you to mature, you douse yourself with a dose of manure.

Bottom line: You won’t pass the sniff test with others.

 

All the best,

John

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
IMPROVE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
I LOVE MY BODY
RELAX IN 2 MINUTES
FEEL FOREVER YOUNG
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May 16, 2011

Broad Strokes

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:00 am

It occurred to me that when you receive an idea from out of the blue, it doesn’t contain a step-by-step plan to see it through. It comes as a broad stroke.

It’s up to us to act on it and come up with a plan.

Yesterday, The Grasshopper delivered one of his broad strokes. He said, “How you broaden yourself is by including others.”

I instantly knew that there was something in there, but it wasn’t specifically apparent where to go next. It had to sit for awhile.

The first glimmer of light that came through was that others are our teachers. It’s very difficult to broaden yourself if you come from a position of self contained (that’s code for know-it-all).

We become stagnant when our learning comes to a halt. That happens when we believe no one else has anything to teach us.

I’ve been at that point many times in my life and each time that feeling took hold of me, I became an isolated island of smugness.

There aren’t any dancing girls on this island, in fact there’s no one there but you. Everyone else has left. They’re out learning something new.

The trick is to notice that you’re isolated and alone.

Others will always be our salvation. Others have experiences we don’t own and when our experience mixes with theirs, something new comes to both of us. We learn from others and this broadens us.

Many have a tendency to learn something new and then treat it as the only way there is. They shut down to anything that goes against what they’ve just adopted as the supreme position.

When we take this approach, we believe we have flattened the learning curve but in reality we have flatlined our learning.

Everyone has something to teach you but you’ll never enter their classroom if you only occupy the principal’s office. The only broadening that action brings is to get us more fatheaded.

If what you know is a closed loop, others will bore you to tears and you’ll avoid them and what they have to offer, only to be left crying alone in your beer.

In broad strokes: If your way is the only way, you’ve got a lot to learn.

 

All the best,

John

 

 



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May 12, 2011

The Price of Admission

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:21 am

“The price of admission buys you freedom from being bound to the rock of denial.” That’s what The Grasshopper woke me up with early this morning.

The great Smokey Robinson wrote these lyrics: “Mistakes, I know I made a few but I’m only human, you’ve made mistakes too.”

We all make mistakes and we too often compound them by not admitting them.

Denial is a boulder around our necks that keeps us bent over unable to see the way to be free.

Freedom comes with admission. It helps clear the air so we can breathe easy again and see a way forward.

What is it you can’t admit? When you answer that question, you’ll find your personal albatross.

It’s a heavy weight that we carry with us even into our dreams. It’s a life draining force that will fall away if we dig deep and pony up the price of admission.

This is not a recommendation to buy yards of sackcloth and create a whole new wardrobe. It’s only a suggestion to get you curious about the power of admission.

Start small and begin admitting to yourself. Once you have practiced and gained a level of expertise, branch out and admit to others.

It’s a scary process. It feels like you are unraveling at the seams. You are. At least a part of you is – your illusion.

The illusion that you are incapable of making mistakes becomes threadbare and you can see through the material of concealment. There’s nothing to hide anymore.

Unraveling our illusion begins with admitting our mistakes.

Justification is too often denial in disguise. It prolongs how long we stay burdened and bent over.

The price of admission will strip away layers of denial and let us finally stand tall.

Admission is a tall order, one that will rock us to our core, and the effort is well worth it.

One of the best purchases we can make is a permit to admit.

 

All the best,

John

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
IMPROVE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
I LOVE MY BODY
RELAX IN 2 MINUTES
FEEL FOREVER YOUNG
VIRTUAL MASSAGE



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May 10, 2011

Slow Down

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:57 am

Have you ever witnessed someone who types so fast causing them to back up and correct their multiple mistakes with just as much speed? If you put them in a typing contest, where accuracy and speed are conditions of winning, they wouldn’t do any better than the average typist.

Some people blow through life as though speed was the only criterion. I have a talented, Facebook friend who is the poster child for this approach. He would begin enjoying life more instead of fighting with it so often if he would only slow down.

The Grasshopper prompted this post yesterday when he said, “Slow down so you can catch up with yourself.”

It was instantly clear to me.

Many people are running in the opposite direction of themselves. They are running away from their life because they are afraid they won’t find anything there. And they are making lots of mistakes.

The purpose of being alive is to feel alive.

If part of us feels dead, we swiftly head off searching for aliveness to replace it. What we wind up with is one sugar high after another and we come crashing down in the same place we’ve been running from.

Feeling alive is an inward not an outward process.

There is nothing out there that will generate the aliveness we seek.

When you slow down your outward search, you discover that aliveness is where it’s always been – right there within yourself.

It’s imperative that you slow down or you will speed right past it and won’t see what’s in plain sight.

Running away from yourself suggests you have mislabeled who you are and are running as fast as you can from that scary image.

That image is an illusion – one you’ve built over a lifetime.

Who we think we are is a facade; who we really are is the aliveness we seek.

There’s a reason popular expressions stay popular; it’s because they’re accurate – SPEED KILLS!

Slow down your outward search and start reaping the rewards in the field where you stand.

 

All the best,

John

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING
LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF
STOP SMOKING FOREVER
SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
IMPROVE YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE
I LOVE MY BODY
RELAX IN 2 MINUTES
FEEL FOREVER YOUNG
VIRTUAL MASSAGE



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