GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


August 31, 2012

Walking Not Talking

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:45 am

C328367 mI was out walking yesterday and had a lots of conversation going on in my head. I noticed that I was paying more attention to my thinking than I was to my walk. It was then that The Grasshopper popped in and said, “You’re always feeling but you’re less likely to notice it if you’re thinking.”

The feeling apparatus goes on ’round the clock, non-stop for our entire lives. Thinking can be suspended when we focus on the sensations our body is feeling.

Feeling sensations is being in the moment; thinking takes us away from the moment.

Getting out of our head and into our body is one of the most therapeutic things we can do for ourselves on a daily basis. Reminds me of a story . . .

Years ago we had a gathering at our home and the topic of exercise came up between two of the guests. One of the men was in terrific physical shape and the other wasn’t. The out of shape man said, “I tried some arm shaping exercises but didn’t see a lot of results.” The in-shape guy said, “Show me what you did.” The man put two kitchen chairs about 2 1/2 feet apart and placed his hands on the seat portion of the chairs and began to do some dips to work his triceps. He was going through the exercise as though there was a timetable and he had to do a certain amount of dips in a certain amount of time.

The in-shape man said it wasn’t the exercise that was at fault; it was the way he was approaching it. He then demonstrated how the out of shape man did the exercise and then he showed him how he would do it. He did the exercise much more slowly, but he said the secret was to feel the muscles being worked. He said, “Give your attention to the muscle being worked rather than rush through the routine without attention.”

There was a noticeable difference from when he just went through the moves to when he gave attention to the muscle being worked. It’s safe to say he was focused on the sensations his body was feeling.

This isn’t a treatise on exercise; it’s more about how thinking keeps you from feeling and how it takes you away from the moment and how ineffective that is.

The gift I got yesterday was that I noticed I was in my head when I needed to be in my body. After that realization, the rest of the walk had a lot less talk.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

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August 30, 2012

I Don’t Care

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:11 am

C480909 mI dare say it’s one of the biggest copouts of all time – “I don’t care.” It’s often a protection mechanism used to deny being emotionally hurt by another’s actions. It’s also a repellent.

Too often when we say, “I don’t care,” we mean exactly the opposite, but saying so makes us vulnerable (read “weak”) and, for many, that’s a fate worse than death.

So saying “I don’t care” gives our ego protection but can do nothing to chase away the feeling of not being cared for.

Also, pretending not to care hardens us in the eyes of others. It makes us appear uncaring and that’s nothing that’s high on anyone’s attraction list. Not caring leads to being avoided.

So how do you care if you don’t care?

A start is to be more open about how you actually feel. Showing a little underbelly goes a long way on the way to caring.

You’ve heard the expression, “thick skin.” What does that mean other than someone has hardened themselves against being hurt? What they don’t know is that it makes them less approachable and harder to care for.

When you say, “I don’t care,” you are advertising that you need to be cared for in the worst way, but most people don’t see it that way. They will take you at your word and begin to move in a direction away from you.

There are certainly things that we don’t legitimately care about. The Olympic sport of Curling comes to mind for me, but there are a host of things we do care about but deny.

I invite you to notice how often you say, “I don’t care” when you actually do. It will give you deeper insight into what you really care about. Then adjust your language.

Begin letting people know that you do care. It feels risky at first but gets easier as you practice. It’s Quid Pro Quo in action. The more you let others know that you care, the more they will start to care about you.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF

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August 28, 2012

In Search of a Feeling

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:20 am

C108968 mI’m always quite hesitant to ask a “Why” question, but it seems to fit here. Why do we do what we do?

There are so many answers to that question but I would like to focus on one. We are searching for a feeling.

There is a questioning technique that goes something like this:

Q: What do you want?

A: I want to be famous.

Q: What will that get you?

A: Money, cars, jewelry, headlines.

Q: What will they get you?

A: Respect, acknowledgement, satisfaction

Q: What does it feel like to have respect, acknowledgement and satisfaction?

A: It’s hard to describe but it feels good.

We are searching for a “good” feeling in just about all that we do and pursue.

Whether you are chasing away the blues with Jack Daniels or Ben & Jerry’s, you are searching for a feeling.

If you are attempting to be the best in your field, you are searching for a feeling.

Whether you’re moving toward or away from something, you are searching for a feeling.

It’s helpful to become aware that we’re all searching for a feeling. When we become aware, we can just go for the feeling itself rather than be shackled to the vehicle we use to take us there.

It’s one of the reasons we like “method” actors. They go for the feeling of the character and when they have it, just about anything they do or say on screen is infused with that feeling. Contrast that with the performance of the “movie star” who may dazzle us with their looks or moves but leave us devoid of feeling for their character.

A helpful question to ask yourself is: What do I want to feel?

By going right for the feeling, we have an opportunity to avoid the detours.

It may have never occurred to you that you are searching for a feeling. Just being armed with this knowledge helps us avoid many of the pitfalls and side roads we normally use to get there.

The next time you catch yourself about to use a “vehicle,” know that you are searching for a feeling. A quicker way there is to ask yourself, “What do I want to feel?” and then search for that feeling in your body.

When you know what you’re searching for, it’s much easier to feel it.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF

STOP SMOKING FOREVER

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING

I LOVE MY BODY

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August 27, 2012

Comfort Zone

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:04 am

C274749 mThe Grasshopper offered up a tidbit in the wee hours this morning: “You’re all alone in your comfort zone.”

It was immediately apparent that this message had nothing to do with comfort and all to do with being stuck.

If you’re stuck in your comfort zone, you’re truly in a rut.

Our comfort zones are patterns of behavior that contain a lot of inertia that cause us lots of discomfort.

The being all alone part became clear as well. These are our patterns. They belong to no one else but us. We can certainly assign blame to others for our patterns, but at the end of the day we’re the ones going home with them.

So to recap, we have an assortment of patterns that are causing us pain, are unique to us, that we blame others for, and we relabel these ruts as our comfort zone.

Pure and simple, patterns are ruts. The discussion then becomes: “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” It seems that the ruts that keep us from recognizing we’re in one are the bad ones.

There are telltale signs of being in a “bad” rut. These are the ones we defend to the high heavens or deflect conversation about. We all have our own version of “That’s just the way I am.”

That’s just the way we’re patterned is much closer to the truth. And our strategy for blaming others or citing circumstances doesn’t seem to be working to extricate us from this pit.

If you are looking for comfort in the fact that other people are stuck too, you’ve missed The Grasshopper’s wisdom of being all alone. These are your patterns and no one else’s. They are unique to you and require your attention to free yourself from their gravitational pull.

Noticing that you’re stuck is a beginning. It’s amazing how we put blinders on to our level of stuck-ness. Once you notice, it’s time to notice again and again. Noticing a pattern and repeatedly giving it our full attention, if only for a moment or two, is enough of a catalyst to break through.

One problem I have with traditional counseling is that the obvious is rarely stated – It’s your problem to solve. Others may have the same problem, but you’re alone with yours and no one is going to solve it but you.

Solving begins by noticing and then giving your unique situation repeated attention. Attention doesn’t mean commentary. No “alas” or “woe is me” allowed. Attention means noticing exactly what’s going on without judgement. There is silence in this cone of attention – just pure observation without recrimination.

It’s in this space that you discover you’re really not alone, and it’s here that you’ll escape your comfort zone.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF

STOP SMOKING FOREVER

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING

I LOVE MY BODY

SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT

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August 23, 2012

Sanctimonious

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:05 am

Lsm map2I have a new criterion for voting – Sanctimony. The dictionary tells me that means morally superior.

A little back story . . . I left the voting process a number of years ago with no interest in elections. Prior to that, I mostly voted out of duty, not interest.

I became reinterested in politics about 6 years ago and this time I made it more of a study than I had in the past.

I had let my experience with politicians get in the way of me making my way to the polls. When I was in broadcastng, I got to meet and interview political candidates of all stripes. Whether it was someone running for the town council or Governor or President, I usually wanted to wash after the interaction.

The answers I received were well rehearsed and rarely did they ever answer the question asked. But just about all of them answered that way, so it was hard to make a choice based on that criterion. That lead me to a period where I made no choice at all.

Fast forward to now. I have adopted a new voting rule. It’s independent of political party or ideology. Here it is: If you appear morally superior to me, I will vote for your opponent.

In a nutshell: If you are a sack of sanctimony, you’re full of baloney.

The sad news is that I expect the candidates to lie because shading the truth seems to me what campaigns consist of. So I used to vote for the one who lied less; now I have a different rule.

The studies on voting all come to the same conclusion – most people vote their emotions, not issues. Quoting Winston Churchill: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

I’m now more than the average voter and I still vote with my emotions. The difference is I now have a new filter to put my emotions through that won’t let me vote for you – Sanctimony.

If I¬†were in 6th grade, I would probably say, “If you are morally superior, go jump in Lake Superior.” But I’m more adult than that now. Here’s what I would say today:

Your sanctimony causes me acrimony, so shove it up your ass.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF

STOP SMOKING FOREVER

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING

I LOVE MY BODY

SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT

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August 22, 2012

Struggles

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:12 am

C410250 mEveryone struggles with something. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your station is in life. If you’re human, you struggle.

The question is: What are most of us struggling with? It seems we have one struggle that we all have in common – The struggle with our self worth.

We question our worth. We then measure it up against others’ perceived self worth in an attempt to get a handle on our own. What we rarely discover is that our self worth is independent of anyone else’s and independent of any thought we may have about it.

How often have you had the “I don’t measure up” conversation in your head? Notice you are measuring your worth against another’s. What is sibling rivalry other than a comparison of your self worth with another’s competing for a parent’s attention?

When we attempt to measure up to someone else’s standards, we will have struggles with self worth.

There are no standards. That’s a head trip. Attempting to apply those standards will keep you unworthy for a lifetime.

When we attempt to measure our self worth, we are using a standard that can never be reached, so the struggle is ongoing. The standard seems to be perfection.

Perfection is consciously unattainable. There will always be someone more perfect than us and they are struggling as well.

So the struggle stays in place for everyone because the goal is unattainable for all. Sounds like the house odds in Vegas.

How do we end the struggle with self worth? Begin by noticing that perfection is an illusion – a mind made concept that’s more addictive than heroin. Once you notice that perfection is a false god, you begin to get in touch with your worth.

Everyone has it in equal measure; it’s just a matter of finding it. Here’s a hint: it’s not between your ears. Anytime you are having a conversation with yourself about worthiness, you distance yourself from your worth.

True perfection is finding the place in you that negates the conversation in your head about who you are or aren’t.

Each time you visit this quiet place of perfection, you bring back more of your worth and you find your struggles to be fewer.

You can spend the rest of your life struggling with how worthy you are by keeping someone else’s idea of perfect as your standard. Or you can find out that you’re already perfect when you get outside of your head.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF

STOP SMOKING FOREVER

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I LOVE MY BODY

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August 15, 2012

Who is I?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:50 am

C167924 mAside from being an improper use of the English language, “Who is I?” is a question we rarely ask. We often have that existential moment when we ask, “Who am I?” but that question doesn’t provide a satisfying answer from our conscious mind.

“Who is I?” is consciously quantifiable. In the simplest terms, this “I,” about whom you are asking, is the conditioned you – your self image of yourself based on your upbringing and conditioning. It’s a relative sense of self – relative to the type of programming you received. It’s different from all other “I’s” you encounter because we all got different programming, even identical twins.

The “I” most people identify with is a false I-dentity. The formula for this sense of self is simple: I = Conditioned You.

We come to believe that is who we are because of the evidence trail it leaves.

It’s hard for us to comprehend that we are more than the “I” can see.

It’s the same problem we have when we attempt to contemplate infinity; we never get a conscious answer.

So it’s time to stop asking the question, “Who am I?” and time to experience that I. Notice that once you have an experience with something, less explanation is needed.

“How will I know I’m in love?” is a question that won’t produce a satisfying answer until you experience being in love. Once you experience the deeper than the surface “I,” you’ll stop asking the question, “Who am I?” and just go directly for the experience.

There is a difference between “Who is I?” and “Who am I?” Once you experience the difference, you’ll know you are more than your conditioning.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF

STOP SMOKING FOREVER

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING

I LOVE MY BODY

SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT

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August 14, 2012

Coming and Going

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:06 am

C485864 mThoughts that make you stand up and take notice come at the oddest times. Who carries a pen or pencil into the bathroom? “Have you no respect, Grasshopper?”

Here’s an outhouse offering from the cute little katydid: “You may not have had a choice in how a pattern came to you, but choice is the best choice for having it go away.”

Most of our patterns came to us accidentally. Think no further than your pattern of speech. You weren’t born with it; you acquired it, and that acquiring came without your knowledge or permission. Most people will have their pattern of speech, as broadcaster, Paul Harvey used to say, “From here to the hereafter.”

Some will want to change a lifelong pattern. They want it to go away in the worst way. As many have written, noticing is the first step in outgrowing a pattern. Here’s a secret most people don’t know: Patterns really don’t go away, they just get out of the way, so you can have the opportunity to make another choice. Perhaps an example would be helpful.

I don’t like rude people and I don’t like it when I act rudely. When I notice my rude behavior, I choose to set it aside so I can interact more effectively with others. But there are some rare times when being rude is the best choice. If you no longer owned the pattern, you wouldn’t be able to use it. Please trust me on this: Once acquired, we always own a pattern.

So after noticing our pattern in action, what do we do? We make another choice. It’s a simple concept but not easy to execute. That’s because patterns have a powerful lobbying group with the ability to rationalize anything.

Once you notice a pattern in action and wish to make another choice, you will get arguments to the contrary from this lobby group that would make famed attorney, Clarence Darrow cower.

What to do? Here’s what not to do: Don’t engage in a debate. You will lose and lose badly. You are outmanned and out gunned. What you can do is begin to notice the pattern of argument. Once you decide to make another choice, just watch and listen to the arguments to the contrary form. They will be eloquent and they will all be for keeping your pattern in place.

So not only do you have to notice the pattern of behavior you want to set aside, you also have to notice the arguments for keeping it in place. Once you get a bit of practice with your observations, you begin to get entertained rather than entrained by the arguments.

Few people like practicing; but when you make the choice to do so again and again, your patterns step aside giving you the ability to decide.

There’s an old Motown song called, “This Old Heart of Mine” which contains the lyrics, “You’ve got me never knowing if I’m coming or I’m going.” That’s the way you’ll feel when you don’t perceive you have a choice.

Final thought: Practice noticing and choosing and you’ll do a lot less losing.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF

STOP SMOKING FOREVER

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING

I LOVE MY BODY

SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT

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August 9, 2012

Succinct

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:06 am

C420487 mI woke up with the word, “Succinct” on my mind.

I checked a few dictionaries and here is a brief explanation. Succinct: Briefly and clearly expressed.

This isn’t about writing or speaking more clearly because sometimes I’m even confused about what I write or say. It’s more about getting to the essence of something – a cutting through process.

When I pay attention, I have the ability to see through the window dressing and clearly observe the succinct essence of what’s being offered. In the past, I’ve always patted myself on the back for having some kind of special talent, until I discovered that we all have it.

Famed trial lawyer, Gerry Spence calls this ability a BS detector; I believe it’s deeper than that.

I believe we all have the ability to see another’s essence clearly and succinctly by doing two things.

1. Know it is there before looking.

2. Pay attention when we look.

If you know “Gold is in them thar hills,” you’re more likely to find it. And secondly, if you pay attention, you’ll not be fooled by “Fool’s Gold.”

Fool’s Gold, in this context, is the surface structure we all present. If you get caught up in going tit-for-tat in that arena, it’ll take a long time to find the succinct core.

Paying attention goes past noticing; it has deeper roots. Paying attention is mainly feeling.

Please don’t confuse feeling with how you feel about another. That’s just surface emotion. Feeling is extracting yourself from your head and all it’s prejudices, and getting in touch with your body and what it’s communicating.

The body is quick and dependable when it comes to getting to the core. You just have to pay attention to the signals it’s sending you, rather than give that attention to the conditioned argument your mind is presenting.

I’ve worked with thousands and thousands of clients over the years and I don’t like everyone I work with. If I let that prejudice get in the way, I’m more likely to be of less assistance.

My judgement of them is not important and it gets in the way of seeing through, especially if I label that judgment as “True.” When a judgement goes on too long (meaning past a few seconds), it prevents me from getting out of my head and into my body.

If you haven’t already begun, start paying attention to your body. It’s the quickest way through to a connection between me and you.

A succinct way to hook up with another is to go past what they say by paying attention to your body. It clears all the surface distractions out of the way, so you can quickly find their core essence on display.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF

STOP SMOKING FOREVER

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING

I LOVE MY BODY

SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT

IMPROVE YOUR SELF IMAGE

RELAX IN 2 MINUTES

FEEL FOREVER YOUNG

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August 7, 2012

Offense/Defense

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:44 am

C166474 m“When you defend yourself too often, it’s offensive,” so said The Grasshopper yesterday.

It took a day to process the message and here’s one interpretation.

When we play defense all the time, we’re on edge because we believe we are under attack and all our effort goes into defending ourselves. But the question we rarely ask is: “What are we defending?”

We defend the image of ourselves that we’ve become comfortable with, whether it brings us comfort or not. How much time do you spend making a case for yourself?

The more often you’re in defensive mode, the more offensive you become. Think of the overbearing salesman who’s making the same point over and over again in an attempt to get you to buy. That’s how offensive we become when we defend who we think we are.

The authentic you needs no defense. It can stand on it’s own no matter how offensive someone else is being.

Note: There is a difference between physically and mentally defending yourself. Defending a physical attack is prudent; mentally defending yourself is madness.

Who you think you are is a collection of past pictures you have collaged together in your mind. Who you really are is all of the pictures, not just the ones that made it to your mental cork board.

You are the whole panorama, not just the snapshot you pretend is you. But when you start defending that one image, you diminish yourself by going on offense.

You are much deeper than who you think you are. The real you is like an ocean, and the made-up you is like a thimble.

You can spend the rest of your life offending others by defending that infinitesimal part of you OR you can begin to see the big picture – that there’s more to you than the surface reflects.

You can begin exploring your depths when you stop defending your limitations.

Begin to notice how defensive you are. Every time you notice and interrupt your defensive behavior, while it’s happening, the deeper you become. You finally get to a point when your defensive behavior starts to fade away, just like the false image that it was based on.

In football, they say the best offense is a good defense. In life, you can win without either.

All the best,

John

JOHN MORGAN COACHING

LOSE WEIGHT & KEEP IT OFF

STOP SMOKING FOREVER

ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING

I LOVE MY BODY

SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT

IMPROVE YOUR SELF IMAGE

RELAX IN 2 MINUTES

FEEL FOREVER YOUNG

VIRTUAL MASSAGE



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