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Creating Enjoyable Goals

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When I am not blogging or writing I actually do work. I don’t call it work. I call it getting paid to have fun. It was a goal of mine for a long time and about ten years ago it came true. It was the culmination of dreaming and believing in a lot principles and ideas when other people gave me one of those odd sort of looks. The thing about my job that I enjoy the most is guiding people through a process that helps them reach their goals and objectives. It doesn’t matter whether they are personal or professional goals, just as long as they reach them. I believe that when we start reaching our goals it becomes a legal steroid for our self esteem.

Most of our goals are long term goals that require a lot of effort and diligence and all the really great stuff we learn from each other every day here in Sparkville. They are noble and worthy goals and just talk to anyone who has reached one of those goals and they will puff their chests out with pride. But they do require us using an awful lot of our internal resources to reach them. If you are not in a habit of enjoying your successes you can run out of steam in a hurry… just ask me!!! I know from personal experience.

What do you want to do that’s fun? I mean right now, while you are reading this blog. What’s your daydream? (I keep wishing for a full head of hair) Why don’t you do it?

A goal can be something as simple as planning a day of shopping with some friends or going to an athletic event. It is something to look forward to, something to be excited about. I know tracking every last bit of food that goes into my mouth is important but I don’t get up in the morning look at Joan and say “I am so looking forward to tracking my food today, honey. Care to join me?” I look to have some sort of fun to look forward to each day.

A good goal should provide us with stimulation. I had two very crazy short term, fun goals. I wanted to be in the nightly parade at Disneyland and I wanted to have my picture taken with Snow White. I achieved both goals. I have a pin to prove I got to march in the daily parade. (I got to dance with some large bug) There is a picture on my desk of Snow White and I. (The cast member who was portraying her did an excellent job. She asked me where I was from and when I told her Kentucky, she asked me if I had come all that way on horseback!)

Big deal John. I agree. But it was fun planning them and I got to tell my friends and family about them and my children still roll their eyes when I bring them up. They caused me to ask myself what else I could do? It got me in the habit of setting goals, reaching them and in the process feeling better about myself.

I am getting healthy so I can be happy. Losing weight, working out, and smoking cessation are all activities that help us reach our goals. They are a valuable means to a wonderful end. This is the most important lesson I have learned so far in this journey. All of the things I do every single day are activities that will lead me towards my life goals.

That’s why I am in the habit of setting daily and weekly goals that serve no one but me. They are fun things but every day when I flip over a calendar page I have something to look forward to. And I do. Then I put a gold star after my name because I deserve it.

I hope you do to.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 3/11/2010 6:08AM

    I really like your job.... emoticon

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KATJAMN 3/10/2010 9:56PM

    That is awesome, John.
That is kinda what I was doing when I made the reward to my goal, reteaching myself how to sew.. It is something that I want to do, and it is something useful too. sure I got side tracked with new shoes but hey.. I started the process...LOL
Any ways, you are right, I am going to follow your lead and set weekly goals that are just for me. LOVE IT

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STORMTMB 3/10/2010 8:26PM

    BTW - if you check out my pics, you'll see a special one from WDW. I only had to wait about 20 mins for it, but you only get this chance at special ticket events... Me and my men.

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WANDAH3 3/10/2010 7:30PM

    I love your goals...I think being in a Disney parade would be so exciting and you just can't top having your picture taken with Snow White! (We had ours taken with Goofy!)
John, I love that you let your inner child out to play and have fun.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful quotes you supplied our team with, they were a big hit.
Now I know who to call on when I need a hand again!


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DOLLBABE56 3/10/2010 4:41PM

    The mere idea of a fun goal is exciting. Why haven't I done that? Well, I most certainly will now. lol I mean, most days I make a list of the things I'd like to accomplished that day. As I mark each one of it makes me feel good about myself. The very first items on my list are almost always: 1) SparkPeople, 2) Read Spark for 10 minutes (one of my challenges), 3) Yoga, 4) WiiFii or dvd, 5), Walk Poppet a.m., 6) Walk Poppet p.m. After these I will add the "chores" I need (would like) to take care of that day. I don't always mark off everything, but I do most. And that's okay with me.

Now. I need to think of something fun to add to my list at least once a week, if not everyday.

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CMBELISLE 3/10/2010 2:03PM

    Thanks for the reminder. I think I need to go set some fun goals for myself. It's one of those things I often forget during the daily grind.

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STORMTMB 3/10/2010 9:39AM

    One of the best "exercises" I ever started (it's still in progress) was a challenge to complete 101 goals in 1001 days. It took about 4 months to come up with something close to 101 goals. I'm nearing the end of the 1001 days now and it's so much fun to look back at what I've accomplished.

One goal was to see a friend perform his own music live (he does all cover songs in his regular job). To accomplish that goal, I flew to Phoenix and back home in one weekend to see his Saturday night concert. We traveled Friday night and Sunday, so I didn't really get to see much in the city other than the concert.

He was amazed that I came, but he was really excited too. When he asked me why I'd take the time and spend the money for that one concert, I told him honestly "It's a goal on my list." I'm so glad that I did it. I may never get that opportunity again. That experience was worth so much more for me than what I spent in cash and it's all because I had set it as a goal. I decided that I wasn't going to miss the opportunity when I had it.

I totally support what you've said here. I'm obviously a huge believer in setting and accomplishing goals, especially the fun ones.

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/10/2010 9:26AM

    I completely agree with your blog! I love having goals - something to look forward to.

I journal each day and give myself credits for positive things I've accomplished, because they're bringing me closer and closer to certain goals.

Keep up the great work, bunkie!!!


emoticon emoticon

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REMODELINGPAT 3/10/2010 8:52AM

    John, you truly have the perfect Spark-itude! Being able to pass that enthusiasm and direction on to others obviously gives you great pleasure.

Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Too many people have, consciously or not, decided not to be happy. We ALL need to recognize that the power to change our lives lies within ourselves.


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KLEONIKI 3/10/2010 8:18AM

    Taking pleasure has always been my secret motivation power.
If i want to build a habit it has to involve a certain amount of satisfaction in it.
This is why i feel happy and secure when i started to get pure pleasure from exercising. I now know that i may stick to it for long...
My best wishes
emoticon emoticon

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AMABILE75 3/10/2010 7:57AM

    I have really started to see just how important goals are, and your blog really helps support that for me. It was The Spark that opened my eyes and I'm so happy it did.

Thanks for such a wonderful blog! emoticon

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NJMATTICE 3/10/2010 7:55AM

    I battle apathy. Sometimes job one is motivation and even before that comes purpose for me. I stick around here because I constantly need reminding that I have a responsibility to care for myself. As I typed that, the phrase had new meaning to it. Care for self has always meant to make responsible choices in grooming or feeding, etc. Reading that phrase today I see that it as meaning not to be apathetic or numb and care about myself. Give a hoot. Hmmmmm.
Thanks John. Your blog has given me new insight. Again, that's why I stick around here.
Have a great day. My fun goal for today is to color some bug pictures. Thanks.

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MARCYNA 3/10/2010 7:26AM

    emoticon emoticon
I've always thought of setting goals as something boring and perhaps unattainable, but reading your blog, John, I'm changing my & goals is something I'll try experiencing , thanks for's a new blessing.
emoticon emoticon emoticon
PS Love your new pic.

Comment edited on: 3/10/2010 7:28:37 AM

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Becoming "Undependent"

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

My wife looked over my shoulder as I typed the heading and said, ‘Are you sure “undependant” is a word?”

I laughed. “It is now.”

I am a dependant person. In many ways I depend on the good things in my life. They are as someone once said “the fabric that is me.” They are my family, my friends, both three dimensional and virtual. They are my principles and my values. They are my compass. Without them I just drift.

I have struggled with my weight for what seems like a life time. My self esteem was tied to that number. If it went down I was wonderful. If it went up I was a complete and total failure which meant it was time to bring out the donuts, which meant thirty minutes later I was in a sugar induced state of depression contemplating my total and complete lack of value. I was so ashamed. Here I am this bright eloquent, charming person, who is so quick to help others and he can’t even help himself. I would look in the mirror and I would avert my eyes. If you really knew me you would hate me.

I was dependant on a number of things but mostly the scale. It ruled my life. Ever go weigh yourself before you decided whether to have a candy bar or a piece of fruit? Ever get to feeling kind of shaky and go to the scale to make yourself feel better? Ever go buy a new scale because the perfectly good one you have had for only a month, “just couldn’t be right?”

I would begin a diet and my total and complete self esteem was tied in to “the number.” If it was a big one, I would do the happy dance. If it was a gain I questioned my entire worth. I would dread weigh in day. I was dependant.
I don’t feel that way anymore. Yes, I am conscious of what the scale says. It just doesn’t control me the way it used to. How come?

In the past three months I have worked very hard on discovering myself. As one of my Spark Friends said, “Flying high sure beats digging deep.” Amen. It’s nice to stand up and cheer, give yourself gold stars when things are going well. It’s difficult to dig the foundation to sustain those wonderful feelings. But every time we find some dingy old box in our metaphorical basement shouldn’t we give ourselves a gold star anyway?

What was I really saying when I looked in the mirror? I was questioning my value as a human being. It wasn’t about the additional hundred pounds hanging off my frame it was the lack of value I saw in myself. This stunned me because I have always prided myself on being positive and upbeat and all that other cool stuff. It was a wakeup call.

I am working very hard on being happy. The weight loss is a manifestation of my happiness. Yes, I weigh once a week, but with each successive week I am less and less dependent on what that number says. I am building confidence in what I do during the week. I am beginning to know that if I follow “my plan” I will get good results.

I believe in me. I believe in what I am doing. I spend forty minute each day exercising. I would like it to be at the same time each day but it always isn’t. Some people I know tell me I should push myself harder, do more, be more. I will, when I am ready for it.

I have a plan and my plan allows me to grow which allows me to shrink. I couldn’t have done it without starting to live a complete life that wasn’t dependant on a lot of negative factors.

My journey is blessed by my family, by my friends and by this wonderful process I have embraced.

I am “Undependent.”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINBOWMF 3/13/2010 7:32PM

    emoticon emoticon to working on you!

You write great blogs.

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WANNABTHIN02 3/11/2010 7:23AM


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GEINAHG0757 3/9/2010 1:07PM

    Your blogs are SO powerful! (I have "lurked" them for a while courtesy of Annie - BIBLIOHOLIC57... emoticon ) This one really hit home with me. I just accomplished a huge goal I had set for myself and am left with the "Now What's?" I fell off the wagon BIG time the last time I met a goal. Your idea of being UNdependent on anything except your self motivation and your PLAN is what I am going to hold onto from here forward.

Thank you for sharing - it means a lot.

(P.S. YOUR plan is working - go, go, GO!)

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SPARKENISTA 3/9/2010 11:51AM

    I know I always look for the easy way out, and certainly hopping on the scale is just that. It's a shortcut. It's more difficult to ask myself whether I have been true to myself in following my program. It's easier than measuring with a tape measure. Measuring self esteem by the number on the scale is the easy way out, too. Becoming "undependent" is an amazing way to disconnect from the easy way out and tune in to the more important issues that are really driving us.

Thank you for this!

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DEWBERRYJAMIE 3/9/2010 11:36AM

    Great blog post. Becoming undependant of the scale is such a huge step in your journey. I wish I has your courage, becuase my scale calls to me every morning. Thank you for sharing such insightful thoughts!!

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/9/2010 11:26AM


I think that becoming "undependent" on the scale is a huge sign of progress (on so many levels!).

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STORMTMB 3/9/2010 11:16AM

    Well, between you and another Spark friend, WorkingStiff, I was slapped upside the head twice already this morning. I'm thinking of signing off before I get beat up any further!!!

I have been overweight so long that I can't remember a time when I wasn't. All I remember is my Mom bribing me to lose weight. She still hedges there occasionally. My weight has always defined me - or at least been an excuse for whatever I couldn't do.

I like what you said that I am happy now and the other things follow. I have to work on that. Just like the motivation I discussed yesterday. The happiness has to come from within or else I won't be happy even when I lose the weight. Thanks once again for saying it like it is and giving me good stuff to think about. I always look forward to your insights.

Have a great day - and a healthy one.


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CMBELISLE 3/9/2010 10:22AM

    Whether or not I comment on your blogs, I read it every time you post. I see bits and pieces of me in you, whether now or previously. I'm growing and learning and still have lots of digging to do, but as you say about pushing yourself hard, I'll do the digging as I'm ready to make those discoveries.

Thanks for sharing!

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TAZZAT2003 3/9/2010 9:52AM

    Good luck, John! Keep that positive attitude. I know you know but, do not forget...what works for others may not work for you. You are the one trying to make a change. You are the one looking in the mirror. You are the one trying to find that mystical happy place. So accept what people say because you know they mean well and are trying to help you but, do what you gotta do. I know you will find that path to happiness. Just know that we are all here to help you rake away the leaves that have been blocking it all this time.


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WORKINGSTIFF 3/9/2010 9:47AM

    The scale can be evil!

We are more than a number-so much more!

Digging deep is difficult, but necessary in order to fly high. Without understanding the "whys" (is that a word?) behind what we do, we can never change them if we need to, or feed those whys if they are working for us.

Personally, the scale is getting ready to leave my house and go to Goodwill. There are those number munchers who will say, 'you're in denial,' but honestly, each person has to do what is best for him or herself. If I don't love myself at a high number, I will never love myself completely at a low number, because that's not what self love is about.

Best to you!

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    Your blogs are always a delight to read. You see inside our struggles and pull out something new for us to chew on. I like that!

It's common for caring people to forget to take care of themselves. That's one of the reasons I had to have bypass surgery...too busy taking care of others to take care of myself. But I'm back, 6 months Thursday, and better than ever, with no heart damage.

Now to get on with the business of taking care of ME so that I CAN take care of others!
emoticonfor some great reads! emoticonyour progress is worthy of celebration emoticon

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KATJAMN 3/9/2010 9:08AM

    I love new words.. LOL Undependant is def a word if you can use it in a complete sentence. That is what I always say.
Ya know what? I had to learn this lesson.. I will tell you a secret.. I was a person before I was a fat person. I was loveable before I was fat. I was cheerful before I was fat.
I am all the same things, just bigger.. LOL
The scale doesn't give you anything but numbers.
Here's another little secret.. God gave you your joy.. not the scale.. only God can take away your joy and HE isn't gonna. The scale is SATAN!!! Sorry, but it's true.. even when it shows I have lost, sometimes it says to me..."looky looky.. you lost 2 lbs.. now you can eat whatever you want today..let all the other lbs worry about themselves. MU WA HA HA!" SATAN!!
You are doing great. I love reading your blogs and I love your comments on mine.
Thanks for being you!!

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COVINGTON69 3/9/2010 8:56AM

    Great blog and great attitude. I am proud of you and your undependence. I am codependent and recovering so I feel your pain. No longer does my thoughts and moods depend on others. I am myself and will celebrate this.

Keep up the great work. You are dedicated and strong!

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KLEONIKI 3/9/2010 8:38AM

I like people courageous enough to experiment and test new words, attitudes, perspectives.
They are as rare as precious.
Keep up with the good work! Not with a scale but with ourselves.
SCALES ARE FOR FISH (i 've read it somewhere and i adored it)
Good luck , co-buddy

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KAT573 3/9/2010 8:27AM

This is so right; It is odd because I was thinking about the fact that so many people realize they need to exercise their bodies but forget that they also need to exercise their minds and that does not mean doing the things we have always done, every day, but challenging ourselves to become more, to become stronger;
When we exercise, we realize that there is a lack of balance perhaps, in sets of muscles, or sides of bodies or whatever; we always find something and we also as we move along if we are mindful, realize we may need to work on those before we can do the exercise that requires a DIFFERENT set of muscles!!

This is building the foundation; digging into where we are off balance in our minds and spirits is similar; and if overlooked, can undermine all the other more "obvious" things we are trying to do or build up. To me, the mind and spirit ARE the foundation, the body is the temple. So while it is fun to fly high, you need to have a ground or base off which to even HAVE that concept!

YOU are on your way! emoticon

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MARCYNA 3/9/2010 8:25AM

    We're all 'undependent' if we set ourselves free. If we discover our true worth and act as children of God:
'Truth will set you free'
We're called to embrace freedom.
PS Added the new word to dictionary... emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/9/2010 8:26:57 AM

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DOLLBABE56 3/9/2010 8:14AM

    I sure can relate. I used to weigh everyday. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. Then I would decide "if" I could eat. Anything. This started in high school - starving for days at a time. At one point in my life my idea of a "vegetarian" diet consisted of a piece of lettuce. My parents were very worried. I am proud to say that I have not "eaten" this way for over 30 years. It is true that you can get wiser the older you get. Emphasize the CAN. I have found over the years that I SHOULD NOT WAY MYSELF EVERYDAY! It plays with my head and is not a realistic measure of my weight. And it sets of that old diet mentality that is so dangerous. When I was growing up my role models were Twiggy and Barbie. Unrealistic and impossible goals to reach for. And very damaging to young girls when they want to be like them, which I did.

Sorry, I don't know where all of this came from. I rarely talk about this. And you know what? I feels good to face up!

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AMABILE75 3/9/2010 8:01AM

    I would love to sit and chat with you every day!! I love the way your mind works, I love the way you write. Your words are always so moving, always! I'm always so uplifted after reading your blog.

Every morning I get a huge smile on my face when I check my email and see the words:

"New entry or comment on JOHNTJ1's SparkPage Blog which you are subscribed to at SparkPeople."

You have made such progress, you are doing such a great job. emoticon

Thank You! emoticon

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Dont Quit

Monday, March 08, 2010

Steve was orphaned at birth. He spent the first eighteen years of his life in orphans homes. At age eighteen he joined the Navy. After four years in the Navy, Steve used the G.I Bill to become a gemologist or as we call them, a jeweler. Steve lead a comfortable life in a major Midwestern city until the day Sadie called.

Sadie was one of Steve’s “high end customers.” After forty years of marriage Sadie and her husband were getting a divorce. Sadie had caught her husband in the back seat of their Lincoln with a young lady of questionable virtue and a significant amount of marijuana. In the divorce settlement Sadie was now the proud owner of an industrial manufacturing company. She didn’t know anything about running a company nor did she want to. So she called the only person she really trusted, her jeweler.

Sadie’s instructions were clear. Get the place ready to sell. Since her husband’s interests lied elsewhere for the past five years or so things weren’t in great shape. Steve, by his own admission, didn’t have a clue. He was a jeweler.

He told me years later that he tried very hard to employ basic common sense. Apparently it worked. Eighteen months after taking over the company was showing a profit and all of a sudden Sadie didn’t mind owning a manufacturing company.

I asked Steve one time what motivated him and he shared with me that his life was a series of challenges and just as soon as he would deal with one challenge another would pop up. He had no family, no real friends when he was growing up.
He opened his desk drawer, smiled at me and pulled out a sheet of paper.

“I found this when I was in seventh grade. I am not sure who wrote it but you can keep it. I have plenty more.” He said.

A copy is hanging on my office wall. I have sent it to countless friends over the years. I share it with you this morning because it seems so appropriate in our journey towards health.


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will.
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low, and the debts are high.
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit.
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns.
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about.
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow.
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you can never tell how close you are.
It maybe near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit.
It's when things seem worst

That you must not quit!

Steve has been dead for close to five years, but I wont ever forget his lesson. Have a good Monday

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATJAMN 3/9/2010 9:10AM

    Love it

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KLEONIKI 3/9/2010 8:44AM

    valuable poem, thank you very much! emoticon

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KLEONIKI 3/9/2010 8:43AM

    valuable poem, thank you very much! emoticon

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REMODELINGPAT 3/9/2010 12:32AM

    What a wonderful story. I've always loved that poem. God bless you in your journey toward health!

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KAT573 3/8/2010 9:15PM

    THANK you for sharing this wonderful story! There is that underlying character of strength where one always sees a "challenge" rather than a "problem" and engages it in a pro-active manner! THAT is it!
Keep on keeping ON emoticon emoticon

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JUSTLYLE 3/8/2010 7:52PM

    A great story and blog John, thanks so much for sharing it with us.
Skeeter emoticon

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1WALKINGMAN 3/8/2010 6:41PM

    That is a very inspirational poem. Thanks for sharing it. emoticon

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FREDIA2 3/8/2010 5:50PM

    What a true inspiration. Hopefully when we get down and want to give up we will think of Steve's poem and nor quit. Thanks for sharing emoticon

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FREDIA2 3/8/2010 5:50PM

    What a true inspiration. Hopefully when we get down and want to give up we will think of Steve's poem and nor quit. Thanks for sharing emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 3/8/2010 5:03PM

    emoticon This is an amazing inspiration. I printed it out to keep in my office with a host of other affirmations. When we hear about someone like Steve we learn to count our blessings. emoticon emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 3/8/2010 4:57PM

    What a great blog. I believe I'm going to have to copy this and put where I will see it everyday. Thanks John

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LADYNLI 3/8/2010 3:42PM

    Great blog!!! I love the poem. It is just what I needed to see today. I plan to keep a copy of it where I can see it. I have recommended your blog to the members of a team I am on.


Comment edited on: 3/8/2010 3:50:11 PM

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VEACHXCL 3/8/2010 3:07PM

    Great blog, great poem, Thank you

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TEENY_BIKINI 3/8/2010 2:55PM

    What a great story. I was referred here by AMABILE75's blog, and she was right. What an uplifting blog.

Thank you.


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MARCYNA 3/8/2010 12:32PM

    Hey, this is really food for thought. A great lesson to be learnt - and gracefully taught. emoticon emoticon

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TAZZAT2003 3/8/2010 12:01PM

    I had this hanging by the door in my room. I put it there to remind myself why I moved to Va in the first place. I have moved since and I am not sure where it has gone. I think I should go and find it and put it back where it belongs. Happy Monday, John!

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YOYONOMORE1 3/8/2010 10:19AM

    Yes, this is a great poem, I have seen it before, but always enjoy reading it again. Steve was a special person and your blog was a nice tribute to him. Have a nice day!


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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/8/2010 9:37AM

    Very touching blog, very inspiring poem.

Thank you and have a fantastic day, simply because you're you!


emoticon emoticon

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STORMTMB 3/8/2010 9:27AM

    As stated before, this applies not only to the journey for better health, but to many aspects of my life... good reminder. I haven't seen this in a long time.

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/8/2010 9:18AM

    Thanks for sharing this, John.

Steve was a wonderful soul. Sharing this poem is a great way to celebrate him.

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CMBELISLE 3/8/2010 9:06AM

    This one can apply to so many areas of our lives. Thanks for sharing!

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AMABILE75 3/8/2010 8:30AM

    It's me again!!!

I haven't been able to shake the feeling that I was missing something here!! I went on about my work, but it was nagging in the back of my mind.

It just hit me! While I haven't read this in YEARS... when I first started working at 16, I came across a beautiful plaque with a beautiful sunrise and this poem on it. This was one of the very first items I bought for myself with one of my first paychecks. It hung on my wall all through high school!!

How did I let something that inspiring slip my mind?

Do you mind if I create a blog about this poem? I'll link back to yours and give you credit for bringing it back into my life. Promise. :-)

emoticon emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 3/8/2010 8:11AM

    That is one of my favorite poems. I think I saw it & memorized it as a teenager because I liked it so much.Thanks for sharing the blog.Your friend, Steve, just now, touched many lives through your story.

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AMABILE75 3/8/2010 7:59AM

    What an awesome lesson we all need to learn. Thank you so much for sharing this, I really needed this. emoticon

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A Moment of Faith

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I decided to change my workout music yesterday. I was getting tired of listening to the same stuff. It’s not that the music is bad but when you have 1,256 songs on your IPod you can choose from a wide selection. So as I am walking around the track I decided to go old school --- Kansas. I had always liked their music and it has a good beat. Maybe it was where I was emotionally yesterday but the words to the first song, The Wall, caused me to literally stop in my tracks. It went something like this:

“I'm woven in a fantasy, I can't believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall
And with each passing day I feel a little more like something dear was lost
It rises now before me, a dark and silent barrier between
All I am and all that I would ever want to be”

Okay, so I am not your average run of the mill, sweating to the oldies sort of guy. I’ll bet I have heard that song a hundred times and never really listened to it. And please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about gloom and doom. Quite the contrary. As I finished my exercise here is what I came up with, and it caused me to smile.

If you had told me a year ago that a forty five pound weight loss would be number four or five on the list of things I was proudest of I would have suggested you go get drug screened. I am very happy with my progress, so far. I am happier about the person I am becoming. I am becoming John. I am slowly, but surely getting rid of those things that are keeping me from being and doing all the great things I want to do. I believe my self awareness is what is driving my healthier life style. I have always believed in this but I never knew how to put it all together. But as I listened to the song a few times I realized that there was this wall between” All I am and all that I ever want to be.”

No blame. That’s hard not to do. I have to let go of the blame and I have to realize that things were as they were just as they are now as they are. No one is too blame for being unhealthy other than me. No ones to blame for poor habits
other than me. No one is too blame for all the excuses, except me. There is a wall.

I went to church last night and I thanked God, for that minor revelation. I saw, as I prayed “What I needed to do.” Or so I think.

Just about that time my inner voice spoke four words: “A Moment of Faith.” Between me and you I hate it when that happens.

The wall comes down during that one moment of faith when I made the choice to just have faith just let go. It was God saying “Give it all to me John. You can’t handle all of it anyway.’

Inside of me there was this uncomfortable silence. I had always thought an entire host of angels, saints and assorted holy people would show up at this moment and cheer. Instead it sat before me, a decision. I heard this voice tell me I was loved no matter what.

“All I am and all that I would ever want to be”

So I let go. It is really hard for me to explain the next few minutes. I felt this tremendous sense of release along with this awesome feeling of awe. I just sat there and it was like everything was okay. Then I got scared to death. Then I started crying. Joan is used to me crying so she just patted my arm. The lady on the other side of me probably finished Mass in the next county.

I am not the rose colored glasses type of person. I am not trying to make this all sweet and surgery. It was inside of me another moment of awareness and peace. Without being disrespectful it was a holy moment.

I offer this to you not as a “Look at me aren’t I wonderful sort of moment.” I offer it as a sign that no matter what happens, no matter how often we stumble fall or fail, that one moment of faith can sustain us for a long time. I was faced with a decision. I want to be healthy and happy and I want to help other people do the same. I will never be perfect but as I learn to use my gifts and talents, I can become a ray of hope to others

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAT573 3/8/2010 9:22PM

    JOHN: I decided that since you wrote this on my birthday, I should read it after coming in here via a link from Amabile75's blog and reading the newer one;

I cannot begin to tell you how similar what I am going through this Lenten season is with what you are describing; It is not new; I have always known that the barriers I have are the ones I inherited when I was dependent on others and had nothing to compare it to, for better or worse; once I became independent, so to speak, is when my journey to me began, and that is how it is with us all; the degree to which we claim ownership for our part in where we are at, is the degree to which that wall begins to be dismantled.
Keep on keeping ON! emoticon

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MARCYNA 3/8/2010 9:40AM

    I just can't believe it. It's such a wonderful moment.
It's when you touch 'the hem of His garment' and you're healed.
Keep this feeling, John. It's total beauty, heaven on heart.
Thank you for sharing.
God bless you!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon
PS Have you ever heard 'One Touch' by Nicole Cullen????

Comment edited on: 3/8/2010 9:44:07 AM

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PINETREEGIRL 3/7/2010 9:00PM

    Faith, hope, continue
(thank you!)


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TNTEACHER2 3/7/2010 7:35PM

    good for you, John!

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CRYSELLE 3/7/2010 3:35PM

    what an awesome thing. It's great to be aware when the universe, God, the Angels have a message for you, and the be open to receiving it, and to really take it in and understand it. I'm glad you had this moment. What a meaningful time for you, and something to aspire to for us all. You are truly an inspiration, John.

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DOLLBABE56 3/7/2010 1:50PM

    A magical moment indeed.

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STORMTMB 3/7/2010 1:08PM

    Awesome. You were listening when God had something to tell you.

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/7/2010 12:53PM

    Fantastic insight, John. I am so happy for you!

It is wonderful that you are so open to change and willing to do the hard work involved.



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KATIEGLEN012 3/7/2010 11:23AM

    Yes, indeed.

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URSULA125 3/7/2010 10:29AM

    God is awesome! I am so thankful He can and wants to carry us.
God continue to bless you.

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AMABILE75 3/7/2010 10:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LEEANNE1980 3/7/2010 10:15AM


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Healing Part 2

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Before I write this morning post I want to stop and thank those of you who posted responses to my blog on healing yesterday. It is my normal practice to respond individually to each person with a short note. However, lol, I did not get home from my trip last night until close to 8pm and I was tired. So please accept this universal thanks for all of your support, your comments and especially your love.

Sometimes I think I would rather feel just plain old miserable as opposed to feeling “off.” As I said yesterday I hadn’t been with Karen for awhile and while I wasn’t really anxious, I wasn’t my usual confident self. You might say I loathed what I thought might happen. At any rate, things got worse before they got better. When I walked into the office yesterday, Karen’s secretary commented on how good I looked, wanted to know what I was doing to lose weight. I told her how much weight I had lost and she did a sort of fist pump and said “Go John.”
Karen was standing in her office door and made a scowling motion with her face. Her secretary looked at me and whispered, “Sorry!!!” I took a bit of consolation in the fact that I am not the only person Karen has a hard time getting along with.

I am not sure what I was expecting to happen yesterday. My goal was to get through the day civilly. I had this nagging feeling inside of me that there was something here I was supposed to learn. I was just missing it.

I had lunch with one of Karen’s coworkers. He and I hadn’t talked in a long time. He lost a family member recently and is going through some serious health issues. He told me once that outside of his family I know more about him than anyone else. So as we sat and ate our lunch, he just let everything spill out. As I listened to him I began to think. “How damn selfish you are, John.”

I mean, I am worried about some very small and petty ongoing argument I have with someone and this guy is stuck in a well of despair. It made me recall exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

My motto has become “Helping Good People Become Better” I do that by bringing hope to people in situations where they may not see the hope. That’s my “gift.” I gave up trying to figure it out a long time ago. I just do it.

I took my eye off of the ball. I was so worried about Karen and what she’d say or what she’d do that I’d miss that I may have missed a lot of opportunities to be present to other people who’s need to heal was just as great as mine.

I went back to our afternoon interview session and I wasn’t worried about anything other than the six people I was charged with interviewing, and yes they took a little longer than normal because I made a very conscious effort to be present to those people who were sitting across the table from me and not worry about what Karen thought. I felt whole. I felt like I had done the right thing.
On the way home it struck me that I will never change the way Karen thinks or feels, all I can do is be present. All I can do is in the truest sense of the word, love.
While there is a lot of water under the bridge and while I don’t think we will ever be best buddies I think I can look at her as the child of God she is and begin to heal that hurt inside of me.

The humor God presented to me is that the real healing here has to come from inside of me. Then I am more capable of being present to other people.

"Just love and let God worry about the rest."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINKERBELL200 3/9/2010 8:28PM

    emoticon John!!! As I deal with the some of the same issues on my job!!! I can relate! I think what we need to get as a bigger picture , is these people don't know Jesus like we do! All we can do is love them into the kingdom! Have the confidence in ourselves that we are children of God! We can do ALL Things through CHRIST who strengthens us!!!! People in the world need to see Jesus' love shine through us. Just listening to people ministers to them! And also it should bring us to reality as to our problems really aren't that big compared to others! We have so much to be thankful for!! Keep being yourself and showing the love of Jesus! It's beaming out of you!!!

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MARCYNA 3/7/2010 8:40AM

    It's wonderful!!!! God turns our wounds into healing, as in Cana water was turned into wine.
I'm so happy this healing process has started in you and I'm amazed how this involves all the people you're meeting.
May the Lord bless you now and forever emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 3/7/2010 8:39AM

    Sometime, somewhere, I read that we are to express thanks for all trials that come our way...for it is they that will be leading us to growth. No one yet has said that the journey was supposed to be easy. It can be difficult for me to practice this...but always when I can it is fruitful.
We do the best that we can...and you, John, do an amazing job of reaching out to others.

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CMBELISLE 3/7/2010 8:34AM

    I'm glad that you could see beyond Karen and understand that there are more people that need your unique wisdom and abilities, even when Karen is around. You are also fortunate that Karen is only a part-time situation in your life.

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WALKNLOVE 3/6/2010 9:29PM

    Great blog! There is so much more to people than what we see on the surface.Loving people, in spite of themselves, is what we are called to do! Thanks for being real! emoticon

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YOYONOMORE1 3/6/2010 3:11PM

    A pleasant word is a bright ray of sunshine on a saddened heart. Therefore, give others the sunshine, and tell Jesus the rest. L.B. Cowman/Streams in the Desert

I think you gave your friend at lunch the sunshine yesterday, it's sad to think of all the sunshine Karen is missing out on. Well done John.


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FREDIA2 3/6/2010 1:34PM

    John, you are awesome ! When you continue to look at people the way you are then things only improve. Remember that you can't change other people only yourself. You appear to be on the right path. emoticon

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FREDIA2 3/6/2010 1:34PM

    John, you are awesome ! When you continue to look at people the way you are then things only improve. Remember that you can't change other people only yourself. You appear to be on the right path. emoticon

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FREDIA2 3/6/2010 1:34PM

    John, you are awesome ! When you continue to look at people the way you are then things only improve. Remember that you can't change other people only yourself. You appear to be on the right path. emoticon

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 3/6/2010 1:06PM

    John, you are such an amazing person!

You've got to feel sorry for all the "karens" in the world because seriously, what kind of life does she have? She can only see the worst in people, her main goal in life seems to torment others. My guess is, her personal life is nonexistent.

You on the other hand, are there to encourage, uplift and help others grow, blossom, and become the best they can be.


If nothing else, keep smiling at her. It will make her wonder what you're up to.

And the answer is, absolutely NOTHING!

Keep blogging, keep living, keep hoping.


Thanks so much for giving me such a wonderful start to my day.


emoticon emoticon

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OHYESITSME1 3/6/2010 12:47PM

    It is amazing how alive we feel when we stay/live in just the present moment! Namaste! emoticon

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NJMATTICE 3/6/2010 12:33PM

    I call Karen"esque" types, prickly people. It has helped me to see those people as "gifts for growth". Without her, you would not have had the pleasure of the self-discoveries that you received. Loving people who make themselves so unlovable makes you feel like SUPERMAN when you have a victory. That is a good feeling! So have a great day SUPERMAN and say a little prayer for your prickly friend! I will say one for both of you :-)

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STORMTMB 3/6/2010 11:53AM

    What struck me is that you know your gift and you use it. Clearly you were blessed by using it yesterday and the man you shared lunch with was blessed as well. I'd call that a Fabulous Friday!


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DOLLBABE56 3/6/2010 10:48AM

    Well John, I hadn't read yesterday's blog so I went back and did. I remember people like her. Most of us probably do. It is very hard to let go of those feelings. I'm very proud that you had yesterdays's epiphany.

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    Woohoo John!!! That's a really good outcome and it sounds like you handled it all in a very dignified way.

It's too bad someone can't reach out and help these people like Karen, but when people don't want help or are in denial, there's no way they would ever change.

But, in reality, there will always be a Karen out there... and it's really (as you said) how we react to it that matters the most. Thanks for sharing your story and setting an example here.

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AMABILE75 3/6/2010 8:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

I'm so glad that things worked out for you in this situation. It feels like you really did get something out of it, your eyes were opened and you didn't let her win.


Thank you so much for sharing with us.


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