GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


April 19, 2018

Never Had

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:27 am

ChecklistI had a list of things pop into my mind the other day: a list of things I never had.

I never had a . . .

• hole in one

• fish taco

• parent who read to me

• music recital

• turkey burger

Then I really had to put on my thinking cap to come up with more “never hads.” It was then that it occurred to me that my list of the things I DID experience was vast and ongoing.

This may fall in the category of gratitude but I think it’s even
deeper than that. I think it’s a realization that we can get focused on the smaller picture and get stuck.

The bigger picture is more encompassing and leads to brighter moments, brighter thoughts and more options.

The bigger picture includes not only “had” but also “have.” That’s why it’s ongoing and filled with movement rather than stagnation.

I encourage you to shift into “have” mode any time you think you’re missing something. It’s from this frame of mind that overlooked puzzle pieces appear and complete a bigger picture.

All the best,

John



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April 12, 2018

Old/Young

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 9:07 am

Old YoungI was responding to the question “how old are you?” the other day and replied with a surprising answer. The answer was, “Old enough to remember, young enough to forget.”

What the heck did I mean by that? I had no clue until reflecting upon my answer.

“Old enough to remember” seems to be the easier part. It suggests I’ve been around a while and have seen or heard a thing or two.

The “Young enough to forget” was puzzling. Did it mean that a younger me would let go of something more quickly or did it mean I’m still young enough now not to carry around unnecessary weight? I’m guessing both.

A younger me would move on to the next thing; an older me would stay steeped in the memory. The trick seems to be separating the two.

As long as I have the faculties to do so, I will remember. But I also still have my youthful ability to disperse quickly the energy surrounding a past injustice, affront or offending action.

A younger me wouldn’t waste the energy; an older me wanted to hang on to it. I think the older me interpreted that energy as “being alive.” Upon further inspection of that sensation, I found it to be a pile of hurt that I never acknowledged.

Acknowledging that something hurts takes away some of the sting. You can still remember but are not incapacitated by the memory.

It’s OK to hurt. We all do, but many of us bury the hurt in a memory instead of letting it come out into the light of a new day.

Please don’t misinterpret what I offer. Dwelling on the hurt is drama in its highest form and just keeps hurt in place. Acknowledging the hurt is recognizing it exists without exacerbating its intensity. Spiritual Author Eckhart Tolle reminds us to get in the habit of saying, “I have unhappiness within me” without assigning it to an outside event. That’s acknowledgement in its most productive form.

Lots of people don’t know they’re hurting. They just think they’re justifiably angry. Beneath all long-term anger sits unacknowledged, long-term hurt.

If the older you can acknowledge your hurt, the younger part of you will wake you up to brighter days.

All the best,

John



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April 10, 2018

Hiding

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 11:55 pm

Hiding TurtleDid you ever play “Hide and Go Seek” so well that they stopped looking for you? I have.

I can tell you this from experience: no one is looking for you if you spend your time hiding.

You can wonder for the rest of your years why they don’t come find you, but if all you do is wonder, all you’ll be doing is continuing to camouflage your existence.

Why do we hide? The simple answer is fear. By hiding, we rationalize that no one can hurt us here. That may be true but it’s equally true that no one will find you.

This is more than being a turtle in a shell; it’s a turtle in a shell hidden under a pile of rocks and leaves deep in the woods.

There is some good news about hiding: you do find yourself. Anyone who has come back from a “dark night of the soul” will attest to that. You do become more comfortable in your own skin, which is a plus.

The flip side is that fear has become a habit – one that keeps you pinned under a rock.

I’ve come to find out that the first step in outgrowing any habit is to recognize that you have it. For some, unproductive behavior is so habitual they believe that it is a natural part of them. It’s not; it’s conditioning.

If you can condition yourself to be scared, you can condition yourself to be a bit bolder.

Here’s my prescription for members of my tribe: Hermits Anonymous: Notice that your hiding spot is in a flood zone. After that, begin to build an ark and populate it with others.

Other people are the first sign that the game of Hide & Seek is over. Then it’s time to get together and celebrate your coming out party.

All the best,

John



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April 5, 2018

A New Discovery

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:44 am

IMG 1657For more years than I care to count, I’ve had this notion that there are no such things as discoveries.

“Discovery” is one of the words poorly defined by dictionaries. They use the word in the definition: “the action or process of discovering or being discovered.”

For me, a more descriptive word is “uncover.” It’s my un-researched contention that things are not discovered; they’re uncovered. They always existed but were heretofore unnoticed.

You won’t find the following word in any dictionary but I believe there are only “Uncoveries.”

An “ah-ha” moment is a moment that always existed, but not for you until now.

Here in the northeast, snow covers up just about everything for the period we call winter. But as we enter the spring, we begin to see things that were covered over reveal themselves. For some, seeing what’s uncovered is a first time experience. What was actually revealed always existed.

Take the case of British doctor Alexander Fleming who is credited for discovering penicillin. He found mold growing in his unattended Petri dish. He found that the mold surrounded an infectious material in his dish and prevented the normal growth of staphylococci.

“When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I guess that was exactly what I did.”

Give credit where credit is due for Doctor Fleming putting together two and two, but what he uncovered always existed.

This is a long way of saying there is an answer to your question. It’s always existed. You just have to uncover it.

Just knowing there’s an answer keeps us moving towards a solution rather than stagnating with pessimistic mind pollution.

I hope you discover what has been covered.

All the best,

John



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April 4, 2018

Assertions = Desertions

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 7:33 am

PompousTruth be told, I’m not fond of most men. I find myself more comfortable around women. It got me curious.

What is it about men I don’t like? Since I’m a man, it must be the same thing about me that I don’t like. I believe I found the answer.

I find that most men live in the world of assertion: a world where opinions masquerade as facts.

Assertions are like barbs and contain a fair amount of embedded anger. “I won’t buy a Japanese television because they’re not made in America.” If you dare look, most parts of any TV brand are made somewhere in Asia. Some may be assembled in America but the parts are not made here, yet many refer to it as an American TV brand. That’s an assertion.

Assertions are like rocks: Solid. Yet, in the atomic structure, all solid things contain a fair amount of space.

When I enter that space, I like me a lot more. When other people enter that space, I like them more.

Most people, men or women, rarely, if ever, enter that space. It’s noticing that space that allows you to recognize that your solid positions are porous.

“All Mexicans are left handed” is an absurd assertion but how many of us have equally absurd rocks that we throw at people.

To my fellow males, if you stop “telling it like it is” according to your self-written bible, you’ll see the wisdom of the request that Jesus made millennia ago: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Notice he said “He.”

Before Jesus, we heard from the Buddha: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” He could have easily changed the word “anger” to “assertion” and delivered the same message.

And finally let me quote Mother Teresa. “One of the greatest diseases is to be a nobody to anybody.” Want to remain a nobody? Just remain in the world of assertion. It’s a guaranteed way to keep people away.

All the best,

John



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April 3, 2018

Hubbub

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:21 am

NewImageI found this silent gem from 9 years ago today in my Facebook feed.

Can you imagine the sound of many voices singing off key at once? That would be my definition of hubbub. The dictionary describes “Hubbub” as a confused noise of many voices. Such was the case for my four hour visit to New York City – Hubbub.

The city moves at a frenetic, disjointed pace. I’m sure there are some foreign cities that could match or outdo New York’s patchwork quilt of cacophonous sounds but I haven’t experienced them yet.

I took some video footage of the Empire State Building and didn’t notice until I played it back at a video store that under the din of the streets was the silence that’s always present. You just have to listen for it.

Even in the midst of a noisy, plate clattering restaurant at midday in Manhattan, you can find the silence. You just have to pursue it.

You can define your life by the noise that surrounds you or you can dig a bit deeper and find the soothing silence.

I’ll admit that New York is a challenge but even amidst its hubbub, there is a quiet spot that each of us can find.

The word “Universe” literally means one song. There is only one song on the subterranean juke box and it’s by Simon & Garfunkel. It’s “Sounds of Silence.”

Everyone is singing that one song at a deeper level. Sometimes it’s difficult to notice when we’re surrounded by hubbub.

Everyone has their own version of mental noise. You don’t have to travel to New York City to find it. You also don’t have to travel anywhere to find the same stillness that sits deep beneath the turbulent surface waters of an angry ocean.

You can attempt to soundproof your life. Based on my experience, that project will fail. The alternative is to take the noise of life as it comes and seek the quiet spot that’s always present. It’s from here that you’ll find that quiet confidence to bring to the surface to manage the hubbub of life.

The quiet we all seek is between our thoughts. Take a moment today to notice the spaces that show up between your thoughts. Those spaces, when noticed, expand into even more silence. Notice how the noise on the outside becomes less of a burden when the noise on the inside disappears.

Become your own experiment today. Find the silence beneath your hubbub and notice how quickly your life quiets down.

All the best,

John



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