GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


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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March 26, 2018

The Acceptance Myth

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:23 am

NewImageHere is an observation from exactly 5 years ago:

The prevailing myth surrounding acceptance is that you can will it to happen. You can’t.

Acceptance has nothing to do with setting your mind and all to do with opening your heart.

I’ve likened acceptance to the Christian concept of Grace in the past. You can’t will Grace to come to you, only open yourself up to it being possible. The same is true for acceptance.

You can certainly give lip service and say you accept something, but that act of will doesn’t deliver the feeling of acceptance.

What does acceptance feel like? The same question has been asked about love over the centuries. It’s different for everyone, but everyone who experiences it knows it instantly.

If you are wrestling with the concept of acceptance in your mind, you are not experiencing acceptance. “I know I should accept this but I just can’t.” As The Grasshopper reminded us just a while ago, “Should is evidence that there is an argument going on in your mind.” Arguing and acceptance both begin with the letter “A” but that’s their only similarity.

If you are arguing for acceptance, you are arguing for your limitations. Truth be told, you don’t have the conscious ability to accept. Your consciousness can set the process in motion by being willing to experience acceptance should you encounter it, but that’s all you can do with your will.

Acceptance will come when it comes and not a moment sooner, no matter how much you attempt to will it to happen. Willingness is the softer side of will and when you employ it, you have a much better chance of acceptance responding to your invitation.

“I am willing to accept” is a more useful mantra than a declaration of will that states, “I will accept things as they come.” No you won’t; you’ll resist them, and anything you resist always takes longer to happen.

If you are struggling with acceptance, end the argument now. Just be willing to accept acceptance. Willingness is a lure; will is a cement wall.

Are you willing to give up arguing for something that can’t be argued for? When you are, you free yourself from The Acceptance Myth.

All the best,

John



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March 19, 2018

Apologies Are Necessary

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 4:15 am

ApologySome people can’t apologize or, more to the point, don’t apologize.

But this isn’t about them; it’s more about the rest of us and the healing property of an apology.

When we seek an apology, we’re looking for something. It’s truly not about wanting the person to wear sack cloth for their deed. What we really want is acknowledgement.

What do we want acknowledged? The recognition of how deeply we were hurt by their actions.

The reason some people don’t apologize is because, in doing so, they think they’re saying they’re sorry for what they did. Chances are good that they are quite OK with their actions and feel they would be insincere in apologizing for them.

The apology, in this case, has to be about the hurt they left in their wake.

“I’m sorry I hurt you so badly” is a healing phrase. It doesn’t mean the person is sorry about their action. It means they’re acknowledging the effect it had on you.

I’m as certain as one can be that this is what’s wanted from an apology.

I read a study that doctors got sued less when they offered an apology to the person who wasn’t helped by their procedure or prescription. Instead of offering some form of, “the operation was a success but the patient died,” they offer condolences for the effect it had on you. Phrases like “I’m sorry I couldn’t save them” or “I’m sorry I couldn’t help you” not only helped foster healing, but kept their insurance premiums from going through the ceiling.

Healing can more easily begin when we receive acknowledgement for our hurt. Pure and simple, that’s why apologies are necessary.

All the best,

John



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March 16, 2018

Everybody’s Prejudiced

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:08 am

DiscriminationI’m always hesitant to make a bold, all encompassing assertion but I think I’m on solid ground when I claim that “Everyone’s Prejudiced.” It’s just a matter of degrees.

There’s all sorts of prejudice: cultural, political, racial, religious, social, etc.

The stunning reality is that a person displaying prejudice doesn’t think they’re prejudiced. I recently read an interview with a couple in their late 60s from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. They were portrayed as church going, solid citizens of their community. But these salt of the earth, devout folks referred to the National Football League (NFL) as “Niggers for Life.”

As offensive as that characterization is to me, I’m sure these folks don’t believe they’re prejudiced. I’ll bet, if asked, they would make countless rationalizations to prove they’re not prejudiced, none of which would convince you or me.

But I’m just as prejudiced on other topics as they are about the NFL. I think that recognizing your prejudice to something is the first step in outgrowing that prejudice. Prejudging is the broad brush of prejudice. We prejudge by our conditioning. (Think Hatfields and McCoys).

When we decide something is going to be a certain way before we get there, we’ve prejudged. It may be prudent to anticipate what may await you, but if you’re married to your position, nothing productive will come out of your interaction.

Notice your penchant to prejudge and then notice your preconceptions each time they raise their intolerant heads.

When you recognize that your position is rooted in prejudice, you begin to dilute your conditioning and start taking things on face value, not judging with the false face of prejudice.

All the best,

John



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March 14, 2018

Interruptions

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:31 am

NewImageI’m about to interrupt your day with a post from 7 years ago.

It occurs to me that our lives contain countless interruptions, so much so that they’re a part of life.

For example, just about every phone call you receive is an interruption of what you were doing before the phone rang.

Anytime someone unexpectedly walks into your cubicle, office or the room you’re in and seeks your attention, it’s an interruption.

The same is true for countless emails and texts.

And if you want to really know about interruptions, talk to the mother of small children.

Interruptions happen everywhere – in the supermarket, on a bus or train or plane. They even happen when a stranger says, “Good morning.”

I believe I’m speaking for more than myself when I say the word “Interruption” has a negative connotation.

I wonder what would happen if we redefined the word “interruption” and made it a synonym for “Opportunity.”

It would be an opportunity for us to experience life in a new way.

Interruptions are life’s way of tapping us on the shoulder and alerting us to new opportunities.

I realize this notion could be taken a bit far, especially if you decided to listen to the entire pitch of every telemarketer, even the recorded ones.

But many interruptions can be opportunities to reset ourselves to neutral and notice what the interruption has to offer.

Often we half listen to the interrupter as we attempt to continue doing what we were doing before they sought our attention. That scatters focus and waters down results.

I’m curious what would happen if we got in the practice of giving our full attention to an interruption.

My guess is, more often than not, we would be staring opportunity in the face.

All the best,

John



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March 5, 2018

The Cure

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 6:02 am

NewImageHere’s a post from 4 years ago that’s worth getting curious about.

Who hasn’t experienced humdrum? It’s a state of mind that keeps us humming the same tune. Is there a cure? Yes, I’m happy to report that there is.

The remedy arrives by adding four more syllables to the word “Cure.”

Cure then becomes curiosity.

Humdrum put down roots and settled in the day we stopped getting curious.

You don’t have to roust humdrum from your mind; it will leave on its own volition when you get curious.

Did curiosity really kill the cat or was it just the catalyst to kill off a dull existence?

Find out for yourself by getting curious.

What you will find is that curiosity opens your mind to options. Those options often lead to passion for something that was lying dormant under the doormat of humdrum.

The cure is to get curious.

Start to wonder about things to get curious about and act on what you come up with.

Curiosity also engages your creativity. How curious are you about what creations you can come up with? New possibilities become more probable when curiosity becomes your mindset of choice.

There is nothing to buy and no 7-step plan you need to follow. Just decide to get curious and discover the cure for humdrum.

All the best,

John



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