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"Why Do You Do It?"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 8/26/2010 3:18PM

    Great blog/vlog! I would add to this that I do it because I can, and that's a powerful thing to acknowledge. I'm just beginning to realize how much mind can triumph over matter.

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DEE797 8/26/2010 2:09PM

    John, I am so glad I came across your blogs/vlogs. They are thought provoking and insightful. The "Why do I do this" and "How do you define success"; have given me some things to think about for sure. Thanks again for sharing them with us. Wishing you continued success on your journey! emoticon

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JPRICE217 8/26/2010 2:00PM

    Thank you for the great blog as always, I am on this journey for me!

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KATRIONAH 8/26/2010 2:47AM

    John...I am new to your blogs...and I watched and left feeling pretty good. You are so right bout things. After watching I asked myself "Why Do I DO THIS?" Sadly at this point in my journey I feel I have to. I am not very good at it and don't have any stamina. HOWEVER....I Do what I can do. AND....I hope that one day soon like you...I can say I do it cause I like it. That I want to do it. Your blog was very motivating. Thank you......Karen emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 8/26/2010 1:03AM are definitely making me cry now! I feel so honored that you mentioned our conversation in your Vlog! I have been thinking alot lately about power, ummm, ok influence, and how people influence one another. I am a student of human nature I guess. You are right in so many ways, we MUST do this for ourselves. We need to find what lies within us that is the "crisis" , the turning point. Once you reach it, truly reach it, you don't go back. The guy that asked you why you do it..........well, he hasn't reached it yet.

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1WALKINGMAN 8/25/2010 11:06PM

    Good thoughts.

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HONORINGGOD 8/25/2010 10:25PM

    another great blog thank you my spark buddy emoticon

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 8/25/2010 7:00PM

    You are right on thanks for posting

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TEDYBEAR2838 8/25/2010 6:03PM

    Thanks for the good blog, again. :)

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KSGROTHE 8/25/2010 4:44PM

    Thanks for another great vlog, John!

I'll join the chorus in saying that I don't think 57 is old. The thing is, I think how old one seems is based on how they act. My mother seems older than she is because she is not active at all and mostly seems to prefer to sit around and maybe read. Her older sister seems younger to me because she is very active and enthusiastic. "Old" seems to be more an attitude than an actual age! And you do not have an "old" attitude to me.

Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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WANDAH3 8/25/2010 4:28PM

    Hope your day was good too!


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OUTDOORSWOMAN 8/25/2010 3:57PM

    Is it possible to set your video blogs to not load and play when the page is accessed? I know on other video blogs I've seen elsewhere, you have to press Play or Start before it begins. The way you currently have it set up causes problems with my ISP.


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SPCLLADY02 8/25/2010 1:30PM

    Thank You John!!! I keep falling of the "Wagon" but after listening to this Vlog, I asked myself "Why do I do it?" and posted my thoughts on the bathroom mirror and the refrigerator door so I won't forget when I fell like I am falling off again. I look forward to listening what you have to say tomorrow. I am going to go for a walk before the heat starts soaring. Have a GREAT DAY..

emoticon emoticon

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VAMPIREQUEEN1 8/25/2010 12:17PM

    Love the Vlog! After I watched this I asked myself the same question "Why do I do this?" It opened my eyes to my true reason for losing weight: To feel better about myself! I know those other answers are true to, but not the first and most important reason, though! Thanks! You inspired me!


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LUVMYK9S 8/25/2010 12:07PM

    Thanks John for another awesome vlog!

You are so right that I do this because it makes me feel good about me! That is not only the best reason, but the only reason!

57 is certainly NOT OLD ... I have an aunt that I have NEVER thought of as old and still don't ... and she is in her 70's! Still works part time and is very active.

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DANAB1106 8/25/2010 11:27AM

    Makes Me Feel Good About Me - That is it right there. I think that is best reason in the world to do something...anything. This was another awesome blog! And 57 is NOT OLD...that is coming from a 33 year old.

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ROGUE_RUNNER 8/25/2010 10:41AM

    Im so glad I found your VLOGS :o) You make me smile and giggle. Thank you for your wisdom! I think it's AWESOME that you listen to Kelly Clarkson and Lady Gaga :o)

You know, when I first started back at this (I lost 70 lbs 2 years ago and then gained most of it back) I decided that I needed to figure out WHY I was doing this so that I could be successful. I decided that "To look good" wasnt a good enough reason for me. I couldnt determine a "good enough" reason so I stopped thinking about it for a while. This vlog has helped me re-visit that. You are right, my reason should be "because it makes me feel good about me". I need to feel good about Adrienne and the woman that she has become (and is becoming). Thanks for this!

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STORMTMB 8/25/2010 10:34AM

    I said to my doctor yesterday..."I want to get old and to be in the best health possible." I am doing the work now to get things straightened out so that I will be one of those spunky old women still extremely active in her 80's, 90's...

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 8/25/2010 10:21AM

    I really like this blog John. I do this because it does make me feel better about myself. I can't believe how great I feel when I've completed a run/walk on the treadmill. I never, ever thought that I, of all people - and 53 at that - would be able to run. I surprise myself every time I get on the treadmill. I can't wait for the cooler weather so that I can take the training outdoors. We have a wonderful nature trail that I can't wait to try. Anyway, great blog.

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SARAWALKS 8/25/2010 10:16AM

    57 is certainly not old! I am 65 and that's not old either! LOTS of life left to enjoy! It's funny how sometimes we can be blind to that. Doing it for yourself - the best way since you will be your own closest company for the rest of your life and the more you like yourself, the better company you will be! emoticon I think that's way different from "self-ish!"

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Defining Success and a Big Thank You

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEEMAWEST 8/26/2010 12:26AM

    You sing much better than I do. LOL

Great blog, as always. I love being involved in beta testing. Sounds so technical!

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DOLLBABE56 8/25/2010 9:43AM

    Well thank you too John! I think I'll go check out your BlogSpot!

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HDHAWK 8/24/2010 10:20PM

    I hope your presentation was a success! I'm sure it was! Enjoy your time in Nashville!

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KELLEA927 8/24/2010 6:58PM

    Thank you! What a great message and so true!!

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WANDAH3 8/24/2010 6:17PM

    Thank you for another wonderful blog John. I believe that your session today was a complete success...because you are a success in my eyes and in the eyes of many of us here on SP. If in someway we contributed to your are welcome and on the same have contributed to ours.

Enjoy your time in Nashville,

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TEDYBEAR2838 8/24/2010 4:47PM

    I know it's gonna be emoticon

You are such a positive person!

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LUVMYK9S 8/24/2010 4:28PM

    I hope your seminar was well received this afternoon as I am sure it was! Thank you for sharing.

"If you're telling the truth it isn't bragging." Love it!

Sometimes its hard to give yourself credit for your own accomplishments.

Have a great Tuesday and a great trip!

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JENNY888 8/24/2010 10:30AM

    I hope your presentation today is everything you want it to be and that I know it will be.

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DANAB1106 8/24/2010 10:01AM

    I knew it! I knew as soon as I "meet" you what industry you were in because I used to represent motivation speakers and corporate trainers. I am so glad you do that because you are so so talented.

Oh I so needed this today! I have the biggest self worth issues, but I am getting better. It's one of those where I have acknowledge the issues.

Thank you John for each of your posts and all of your comments. I really hope you have a great trip.

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YOGINI_JACKIE 8/24/2010 9:47AM

    Hehe, I loved the singing. I totally agree with your sentiments about self worth and saintliness. Oh, I am right there with you that Spark is for so much more than diet and exercise. Thanks as always for your words of wisdom, and I hope you enjoy your time in Nashville!

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SARAWALKS 8/24/2010 9:39AM

    Thanks, John! Your 5K experience inspired me last night! Happy Tuesday to you too! emoticon

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NJMATTICE 8/24/2010 9:32AM

    Good Luck with you presentation this afternoon. I look forward to hearing how it is received. Have a good one!

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SWEETMOMMY41 8/24/2010 9:29AM

  thanks so much for sharing,John. you are welcome! have a wonderful day!

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ELLYN63 8/24/2010 9:22AM


Good morning, and thank you for starting off my day well! emoticon

Good luck on your seminar this afternoon.

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ZURDTA- 8/24/2010 9:04AM


"If you're telling the truth - it isn't bragging." Excellent motto!

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WISEONE68 8/24/2010 8:48AM

To bring back an old phrase, and I may date myself here--"You are the BOMB!!!"
I have found through my journey--since 2001 when I first started Weight Watchers (my first REAL effort at weight loss) that there is SO much rich information, encouragement, and REAL caring out there. In the WW meetings I received so much info; as an employee for WW, I learned even more; and, here at Spark, even more.
If you can find a way to "bottle" that, and present it in a way to help others---then GOOD FOR YOU!!! Sounds like you are using what you have learned, put it alongside your talents and gifts, and are using it to help others. That is what this is all about, right??? Wonderful!
I am proud to call you "Friend"! Hope your day goes well and the new seminar is well-received!!!

Blessings, Friend!! emoticon

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When Real Growth Comes From Real Pain

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday was supposed to be an oasis at the end of a busy and chaotic week. It turned out to be a desert island. I had a personal training session scheduled at nine and a massage at one and the rest of my day had been cleared so I could get ready for a labor seminar I am teaching Monday-through Wednesday in Nashville.

My personal training session went great until five minutes before it ended. I got very sick to my stomach and thought for about five minutes I was going to pass out. Usually I have two meals in me or a meal and a light snack before my workout. Friday I had only eaten breakfast and a light one at that. Not only did I feel embarrassed but I physically felt crummy. But there was hope!!! I had my massage at one and I felt wore out and drained when I arrived. The massage didnít help much. As she explained when she finished, massage often thins the blood and since I had almost passed out that morning I was going to feel a bit crummy. By Saturday morning I felt great, but Friday at two I felt like a large boulder had landed upon me.

I went home and sat in the living room staring off into space. I started questioning everything I ever did and wondering how in such a short period of time it seemed like everything I touched crumbled apart. (Read any of my blogs over the past few days. You will get the picture.) Two of my friends here had written really insightful and open blogs about being ďpeople pleasers.Ē That weighed on my mind as I sat there. They were describing me to a tee. As bright, witty and handsomeÖÖÖ.. Okay you might argue about the handsome partÖÖ. as I am there is no real reason for me to feel as insecure as I do at times. I have a really hard time relaxing and feel that if I am not busy I am pretty worthless.

I am reading a book by Joyce Meyer and itís about her road to health through diet and exercise. One suggestion she makes is that when you are faced with a dilemma you canít figure out or your willpower is in short supply, ask God to do the ďheavy lifting.Ē So I did. Be careful what you ask forÖÖÖÖ

I was thinking about my kids. They are great. We are proud of all of them just like you are proud of yours, no matter what anyone else says. Theyíre your kids!! I thought how I donít tell them that often enough, how proud I am of everything they do and then I got that queasy feeling again. It has to do with stuff I havenít dealt with.

In a nutshell my mom and dad have never told me they were proud of anything I have ever done in my life. Now the rub is that they never told me I was bad, they just told me anything I ever did could have been done better. When I started losing weight and was featured in our local newspaper my mom wanted to talk about how my brother had lost weight also. Not one word of praise. I hadnít seen my mom and dad since Thanksgiving. They are getting older; they are both in their eighties so if I get a chance to see them I take advantage of it. Last Sunday we drove to Milwaukee from Chicago to spend the day with them.

When my mom walked in here was her first comment. ďWhy isnít Paul, (our son) getting married by a Catholic priest.Ē No hello, no hug, just that. I just sort of looked at her. My dad says ďWhen Mary and Joes kids get married I know they will marry Catholics and be married in the Church.Ē (Mary and Joe are my brother and sister.) Geena is Lutheran, her dadís a deacon in their church and thatís where they want to get married. Thatís my life. Whatever I do there is usually something wrong with it. Donít get me wrong, this is not a bash my parents blog. I was clothed, fed and generally taken care of. I was just never affirmed as a human being.

So as I am sitting in my living room Friday and I begin to realize why I had become such a people pleaser. I always felt I had to better to be equal. I always felt the whole world felt like my mom and dad did. No matter what I did, it was never good enough and once we started having kids it transferred to them. Let go on record by saying I donít think I was really terrible growing up. I did normal kid stuff but no real biggies. I am different from my brother and sisters in how I think and mu opinions. My parents also believe I donít have a ďreal jobĒ because I work from home, etc. I moved away from Milwaukee when Joan and I married, my brother and sisters kids attended five star universities while we always told our kids the most important thing in life was to be happy.

As all this whirled through my mind I cried. I cried because I was hurt, because I was mad, and because why couldnít I have seen this sooner? It was a crummy weekend. I felt like I was detached from everything and everybody. In one respect I had ďseen the light.Ē In another I kept wondering why they didnít love me as much as they did everyone else.

I was angry. I was angry with me because I hadnít seen this sooner and taken steps to fix it.

When I woke up Sunday morning I realized the only feelings I could control were mine. I went to the gym and I proceeded to run a 5K on the track. I had never run that far in my life. I cried the last lap. Bawled like a freaking baby, and they were tears that cleansed me. They were tears that were happy tears. I did it!! I posted my accomplishment on Spark and on Facebook. One of my Spark friends has also become a Facebook friend and she sent out congrats as many of you did on my accomplishment. But then a funny thing occurred. I started getting congrats and accolades on Facebook from people I donít even know. For a while they were exploding my cell phone. Gosh it felt good.

You take recognition, you take love, and you take praise where you find it. It may not come from where you want it to come from, but love is love and if it comes sincerely, itís equal to any other. You start to realize you are not alone and that now that you understand the obstacles in front of you, you can work to remove them. Itís all mental. The picture in your mind has to match the one you live. Itís a struggle for sure, but one thatís worth it in the long run.

Thanks to my two friends who got the ball rolling by having the courage to be open and vulnerable about themselves. You helped give me the courage to open up too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WANDAH3 8/24/2010 7:39AM

    John, how wonderful that you have reached such a milestone in your life. Congratulations on seeing and being your own validation! It took me years also to get to the point of where I realized that any true and meaningful validation had to come from within. Yes, it is nice to receive from others, but it's only when we get in touch with our spirit inside and believe from within that we truly set ourselves free. You my friend, make me humble. Thank you.

Have a wonderfully blessed week.


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TEDYBEAR2838 8/23/2010 9:57PM

    You are emoticon
You are LOVED by your Spark Family!
You are made by God and HE DON"T MAKE NO JUNK!

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MOMTO3BOYZ2000 8/23/2010 7:56PM

    John, thank you for your post. I think you might be surprised how many of us has felt that way in the past. And while you don't want to lay the "blame" on anyone, it helps to understand or come to grips with some of the feelings that we have kept deep down inside...scared to let them surface. But they need to be brought in to the light and dealt with...that is the only way we can move on.

I hope your week goes better than your weekend!

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CLOVER2 8/23/2010 7:07PM

    This one hits pretty close to home for me. I haven't talked to my mother in months, I was living with her to help take care of my dying dad, when she couldn't emotionally do it anymore. After he died she changed, the cruelty she would shower on him then became mine. She would say things to me that were incredibly cruel and always hostile and sarcastic to the max. Finally when she hit me during a fight I knew I had to move out. She moved in with my cousin and any time I was around her at some point would just have to say something cruel. I almost made it one day, I was on my way to the car and thought that maybe this time it wouldn't happen. No such luck...the knife came out. Her lot in life then became my fault, if I hadn't moved out none of the things that happened after that would not have happened, all I had to do was do as she said because "I'm your mother and you WILL do what I tell you!" This to a 56 year old woman. Now the problem is that the longer I go getting in touch with her the harder it gets to make that step. The guilt is constant, but I don't think I can take pulling a knife out of my back too many more times. Especially when it's someone who is supposed to love you. Thank you John, you are so inspiring, but what to do, what to do??


Comment edited on: 8/23/2010 7:30:35 PM

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HDHAWK 8/23/2010 6:54PM

    I am a people pleaser too John. Unfortunately, my children have a father like your parents. My son finally decided to go to school to be a motorcycle mechanic and my younger son wants to do something similar when he graduates. Of course, they've been told to find a job where they "use their mind, not their hands in order to make more money". I support them in whatever they do. At the end of the day I want them to have passion for whatever they choose to do and to be good people.
I have some of my own "issues" to work through as well. I'm glad you're sorting through some things for yourself John.

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GEEMAWEST 8/23/2010 5:20PM

    OMG John!! I think we have the same parents!

Congratulations on your personal breakthrough and your 5k. That's awesome. And you are awesome!! Don't ever let anyone convince you otherwise.

Love, Cheryl

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MYRNACARRIER 8/23/2010 4:35PM

    Thank you.
Forgiveness and possibility.
What a wonderful gift we give ourselves when we see our struggles through this lens.
I must remember also to affirm my children and my grandchildren.
I will print out this blog to continually remind me that "small things done consistently create big results". How profound that effect on someones life.
Thank you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Good grief, John. What is wrong with your parents?? The next time they say something that you feel criticizes you or hurts your feelings I want you to promise to to tell hem how it makes you feel. Tell them like you told us. This blog was meant to be shared with them. I can guarantee they don't realize what they are doing and if they do then it's better for you to know the truth. Maybe in the time they have left they may be able to make this right. I can't believe that they would not be proud of a son like you.

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LUVMYK9S 8/23/2010 3:33PM

    Thank you for being so open with your feelings ~ great blog!

My parents were divorced when I was very young and I never really had a close relationship with my father. I know my mother tried her best, and I know she was just trying to push me to be better to reach my potential, but I never thought I was quite 'good enough'. Thank you for the reminder to tell my son how proud I am of him and that I love him just the way he is!

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SANDYK4BAMA 8/23/2010 3:26PM

    Wow. Everytime I read your blogs I am so stunned that someone else thinks like I do, feels like I do, and now, was even raised like I was: never ever good enough, someone else did it better, etc etc etc. I expect that is why we feel and think the same, because that's exactly how my growing up life was. Now if I could just have that cleansing cry ~ but it wells up, then I get mad, and it just eats a hole in me. Maybe you can coach me on that part some day, or maybe someday, when I just can't take it anymore, it'll all just come running out like yours did. I hope to someday be as enlightened as you are, and please know, you are sincerely one of my heros. You touch my heart everytime I read about your journey. Thank you so much for sharing!

I Love You, man!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 8/23/2010 3:09PM

    Wow, with different people and different circumstances this blog could be about me as well. I do not understand my mom and I never will. I also know that the way she perceives me is more about her than me and that I cannot change her or make her love me the way I deserve to be loved.

I have been trashed by well-meaning people who think that I am cold and uncaring by putting my well-being ahead of my mom's. I envy people who had ideal upbringings and have healthy, happy relationships with their parents, but I also want to tell them to put away the rose-colored glasses and accept that the rest of us might not have been so blessed!

You are doing very good things for yourself and facing down this pain will free up a chunk of your soul to do other wonderful things. While I am sorry you have experienced so much pain, I also thank you for sharing it. I am quite alone in some areas of my life, and today you closed a gap for me.

In the words of my favorite therapist, "sometimes family is best loved from a safe distance". In my words, "I try to love them from outside the splatter zone"...

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JAMJOJAM 8/23/2010 1:18PM

    As I read your story and about how you cried when you finished running the 5K, I had tears in my eyes. Way to go, you rock and you are also a great writer. emoticon emoticon

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CMBELISLE 8/23/2010 12:55PM

    It's funny how much our parents can affect us even LONG into adulthood. I'm glad you finally made a realization that you needed.

My Methodist mother and Catholic father were married by a Catholic priest who told my father that my mother would never be a good Catholic, but would honor the contract she had to sign promising to raise her children as Catholics in order to be married by a Catholic priest. While she did as promised and raised us all in the Catholic church, none of us currently attends a Catholic church and half of us have joined the Methodist church. Funny how her own beliefs were passed to us even though we were raised differently.

As for your son and his soon-to-be bride, thank goodness you have the good sense to know that it's best not to unduly influence your son's choices. My step-daughter was dating a nice young man whose mother decided she didn't like my step-daughter simply based on religion - he and his family are Catholic, my step-daughter is not. It's a shame that so many people can't see beyond their own religious beliefs and accept that no one religion is perfect for everyone.

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BOURNBABE 8/23/2010 12:42PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JENNY888 8/23/2010 12:02PM

    I am glad you are finding that affirmation that you needed earlier in your friends on Spark and Facebook. That type of affirmation can be just as valid as the affirmation from your parents. Recognizing the hurt and also seeing the best in your parents at the same time is a big step, just as finally running the 5K was also. Yes, you are right. It is a mental thing. You have taken the physical steps to get where you want and now you are taking the mental ones. Congratulations John.

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GRANDKATZ 8/23/2010 11:37AM

    John, your blog has opened up some thoughts about my parents. They did the right, clothes, shelter, but neglected the emotional part. I really only remember the criticism and put downs. Anyway you have given me lots to think about.

Congrats on your 5K run. A wonderful accomplishment!

emoticon emoticon

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NJMATTICE 8/23/2010 10:57AM

    Making some nice progress! Way to root out that old baggage and move forward. I'm proud of you! I am continually moving toward total forgiveness. It is a daily task. Keep on top of it, Johnny!

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LOOKY-LOU 8/23/2010 10:44AM

    Well John, you made me cry this morning....thank you for sharing such a personal story.

Now, I am off to tell my kids how proud I am, and how much I love them...thank you for the very important reminder!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 8/23/2010 10:02AM

    My parents are in their 80s too. I wonder if it was a generational thing? They often tell me how wonderful my siblings are... are they saying I'm wonderful to them? Ugh!

I'm so proud of your 5K. I cannot wait to post that very thing. I wanna be an athlete!

Great job!


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GETFIT2LIVE 8/23/2010 9:44AM

    It is not until we face our pain head on and where it came from that real healing can begin, John. Affirmation from our parents is the deepest need a child has, and when it's missing, it affects us in the very core of our being. My parents loved me and cared for me well, but somewhere along the line I got the idea as a child that I was somehow not quite as good as I could be or should be; if I got a B, it should have been an A because I was 'capable of more,' that kind of thing. (Children are the best recorders of information but the worst interpreters.) I hope all the well deserved affirmations that have been coming your way will help fill in the void somewhat and allow you to heal deep within.


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STORMTMB 8/23/2010 9:38AM

    I was verbally bashed by my Mom on my birthday 2 weeks ago, both in my birthday card that she sent and on the phone when she called. Same as what you described. Not even an "I love you" just busy telling me what I don't do for them. Hurt so much that I cried myself to sleep. I know where you're at. Most people think I'm cruel or weird for not being close to my parents (or wanting to be) but I have too many stories like what you described - and darn, it hurts.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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YOGINI_JACKIE 8/23/2010 9:22AM

    "Donít get me wrong, this is not a bash my parents blog. I was clothed, fed and generally taken care of. I was just never affirmed as a human being."

--I totally know what you mean by this, and although my parents were very supportive, I was often made to feel small when I was at work, even after slaving away to make sure everything was perfect.

I agree with your comments towards the end though--your affirmations may not always come from the source that you are expecting it (read: your parents), but what matters is that there are people out there who appreciate all the good that you do.

Congratulations on running your cleansing 5k!

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DOLLBABE56 8/23/2010 9:00AM

    It is wonderful that you and Joan have been so loving and supportive of your children - especially given you experience. You are such a giving person. Yes, it is a shame, and it is hurtful to not get the support and love you deserve and are due - you are worth it and so much more. Your children are very lucky to have a dad like you - in spite of your own parents. It is what makes you you! A terrific, caring person. You have begun healing. We are all here for you.

Comment edited on: 8/23/2010 9:01:07 AM

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SARAWALKS 8/23/2010 8:25AM

    I am so happy that this "knot" has begun to untangle for you. It is amazing how much can be healed by the light and the mercy and the comfort of the Holy Spirit! I'll be praying for that, for you. emoticon

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TIME4AFITME 8/23/2010 8:17AM

    I can so relate to some of that. Congrats on the 5K


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NANN66 8/23/2010 8:04AM

    I admire your courage and I so can relate to what you wrote!!!
Thank you!!!

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EDWINA172 8/23/2010 7:55AM

    This really hits home. Is sad that we don't get what we want from the one related to us. A kind word. Recognition. Is not too much to ask for. We shouldn't even have to ask. Makes the old saying, "friends you pick,'re stuck with" ring so true.
I'm so proud of you and your 5K. There is no going back.

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ZURDTA- 8/23/2010 7:34AM

    Oh John - your parents sound like my mom. And so I too am a people pleaser - for very similar reasons. I am glad you managed to clear you head about it all - cleansing tears - and hope you have a much better week!

Oh yes, and congratulations on running the 5K - that's just brilliant. I cannot run just yet - but I will get into it once my back is stronger.

"The picture in your mind has to match the one you live. Itís a struggle for sure, but one thatís worth it in the long run."

So true - so very true.

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HONORINGGOD 8/23/2010 7:28AM

    Wow some of that really hit home! emoticon emoticon

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HONORINGGOD 8/23/2010 7:28AM

    Wow some of that really hit home! emoticon emoticon

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My Struggle With A 5K

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Availible on YouTube at:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLYNN311 8/23/2010 9:08PM

    Hey you awe inspire me! I haven't run in 25 years, but I can walk 5 miles. Maybe I can do a 5K run one day like you!!! I am happy for you. Keep it up!

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HDHAWK 8/23/2010 6:47PM

    John, I'm so happy for you. I hope you're very proud of your accomplishment! I have no doubt you'll be running that 5k outside in no time!

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LUVMYK9S 8/23/2010 3:15PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Congratulations on meeting your goal! And darn right you SHOULD be very HAPPY and PROUD of yourself! You set out to accomplish something and you did it! Great job!

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DEE797 8/23/2010 1:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon on running your first 5K emoticon

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JENNY888 8/23/2010 11:43AM

    John, this is awesome. You have worked hard and have earned all of our congratulations. Keep meeting those goals.

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CATHERINEL66 8/23/2010 7:02AM

    Hey John, congrats to you on your "breakthrough" run! I had a similar experience after hitting a meander with my running ... and it was like a bolt of "wow" achievement! Good for you! And yeah, it's amazing that it really IS all mental (I had been blaming the heat/humidity!).

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CUBFANGIRL1 8/22/2010 9:56PM

    Good for you for accomplishing what you set out to do! I hope you are very proud! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AQUABUNNY 8/22/2010 8:23PM


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DOLLBABE56 8/22/2010 8:20PM

    Wow John! YOU DID IT!!!! I am soooo proud of you. And, through your success I am given the courage to reach for my goal too. Good on ya!

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BSAGE47 8/22/2010 8:02PM

    John, I am so inspired. Look at you! When you started out I was sure it was about your struggles and your struggles only but but when you started accounting for the end of your run today and victory you were describing, I was crying, literally crying.

GOOD FOR YOU. Awesome Job. emoticon

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BAM0827 8/22/2010 7:58PM

    Congrats to you!!

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BEANPOD77 8/22/2010 7:18PM

    Awesome ! Awesome! Awesome! So happy for you John. It's quite an accomplishment. I was also glad to see that it made YOU happy..So true, that so much of running is mental. One seasoned runner said to me, " it's not your body that will let you down, or cause you to stop, it's your mind" There will be days when it will be a struggle and days when you feel like you could run for ever..It's ALL normal.
I am always so excited to read about others as they "graduate"..Six months ago I could barely say the word "run" and now I do it 4 x a week..and look forward to it!
Thanks for sharing your experience...I cried too. (when I ran 5K, and listening to your experience.It's quite emotional and wonderful to share with others.

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JURI62 8/22/2010 6:57PM

    Congrats John!!! I'm still hitting the wall, so you are inspiring!! I did walk/jog 5k outdoors yesterday, which to me was amazing.
God Bless!

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JUSTFOXXY 8/22/2010 6:34PM

    Congrats on your 5k! I remember training for a 5k to take place in December. Don't know what I was thinking with me living in Michigan. The road was icy and although the race sponsors said the roads would be salted, I was downright scared. I didn't want to throw away all my training so I went home and did the 5k on my treadmill. I already had my race packet so i even wore the fleece scarf that came with the packet. I think I sweated off an inch or two on my neck. I called it my Jazzy 5k. I believe you have every right to claim this as your JohnTJ 5k.


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EDWINA172 8/22/2010 6:30PM

    How awesome for you! You should be very proud of yourself. Running is VERY mental. You are stronger than you believe!

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SARAWALKS 8/22/2010 6:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks for sharing! Wonderful story! I am inspired. emoticon

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STILLPOINT 8/22/2010 6:19PM

    I'm very happy for you!!! Congratulations friend!!

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    Way to go on running a 5k! You are so right, a lot of running is mental, and we all struggle sometimes, but you can and are doing this!!

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Dealing With The Clutter

Friday, August 20, 2010

In thirty six years of marriage there is only one thing about Joan that ever really irked me. Her side of the closet is a mess. She has a ton of shoes and they are sort of piled there with some belts and some boxes and only God knows what else and well it just drives my anal retentive, well defined sense of order up the wall. Did I tell you I was toilet trained at 18 months? My mother sat me on the commode with a book and I sat there until I produced the desired result. To this day I canít use the rest room without having something to read. But I digress.

Joanís closet is the perfect metaphor for how I feel right now. There is so much crammed in there that none of it makes a lot of sense. Ten pounds of sugar in a five pound sack. More on my plate than I can eat. You pick one and you wonít be far off.
We got personal training, power pump, C25K, and then I went out and got the ten minute workout for Wii. $14.95, what a deal!!! I am reading three books, trying to write one myself, juggle some new clients, and work on a DVD that will launch the new training program I am rolling out. There are three blogs published regularly, my web master graduated from college and shut down his server. I am designing a new web site, and looking into a business Facebook page.

On top of that my massage therapist thinks I am her therapist. What do you do though when the woman could snap your neck with one twist? I havenít been to church in about five weeks and if you try to point all this out to me rationally and reasonably, well itís like trying to explain heaven to a bear!!! Is it any small wonder that I believe I am eternally stuck on a seventy four pound loss? I am not happy. I am not sad. My mood swings like a trapeze!! Happy one moment, sad the next, no ability to focus on anything. The harder I try the slower I move. I am failing.

My closet needs cleaning. I am doing too much and as I wade through this mess called my life I realize that nothing good happens when you are trying to get into or out of a room and canít find the door simply because you canít see the door.

Sometimes I just want to be normal. I want to be like those skinny people on TV who drink wine, eat caviar and wear size zeroes. So I push and I pull and I get damned impatient when it all doesnít happen overnight. It all comes from this massive misperception I have of myself. I have always felt that in order to be equal I had to be better. You run a 5K then Iíll run a 6K. You exercise an hour a day I have to exercise two hours. If I'm not better I am not loved.

I was a mess until this morning. I get a daily meditation via email thatís titled God Calling. Iíd like to share part of it with you because it spoke to what I am feeling:

ďAnd so to My followers today, as then, there come the shame and remorse and contempt of themselves, of the weak selves. They meant to be so strong and brave for Me. And then I have to protect them with a shield of love, or never could they have the courage to fight and conquer. But this facing of the real self has to be .
That is a stage in development, but only a stage. What use the glad wings of a butterfly if it remained Earth bound, weighed down with the thought of its contemptible past? And so now today I say to you , that you are not to dwell for one moment on your sins, and mistakes, and faults, and bad habits of the past.
You must be as one who runs a race, stumbles and falls, rises and presses on to the goal. What avails it if he stays to examine the spot where he fell, to weep over the delay, over the shortsightedness that prevented his anticipating and avoiding the obstacles?

So with you, and I lay it on you as a command -- no looking back. Give yourself, and all you have ever met a fresh start from today. Remember no more their sins and failures, or your own. The remembrance is a current of disappointment that hinders the swimmer.Ē From God Calling

Tomorrow Iíll sit down and clean my closet and put things in some workable order. Iíll reflect on my successes and realize that well, if you donít love me, there is not a damned thing I can do about it, so worrying about it isnít going to change it one way or another.

Have a great Friday. Time to clean out some closets.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHERINEL66 8/23/2010 7:07AM

    Ugh! I've been there!

I started working with a professional coach (yes, for work, not working out) in January of 2010. She really helped me prioritize my life in ways that I probably could have done on my own, but I think being pushed and walked through the process was worth its weight in gold.

That sort of evolved into spark ... and a holistic house cleaning of my life. Even super heroes can only have so much on their plates, and multitasking *really* doesn't work.

You have my support in whittling that to-do list down to a human level. Do it and give yourself a chance to shine .... otherwise you're setting yourself up for not just failure, but negative coping with the stress of it all. :( Don't want that!

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AZCUPCAKE 8/22/2010 9:38PM

    Oh, John, these thoughts you expressed in this blog are PRICELESS. I love the whole thing. I want to read it again tomorrow when my own fear of failure is 'large and in charge' of me, instead of ME being in charge of that fear. You are so right on in so many different directions, all I can do right now is nod my head and agree with you wholeheartedly. I DO know why your massage therapist thinks you are her therapist! It is because you are so unlike so many people who focus only on themselves. You really CARE about others, and it shows. Unfortunately, there's no doubt people "dump their junk" on you oftentimes because you are so understanding and kind. It is a compliment, but you just don't happen to need ONE MORE HAT to wear, and people don't think about that!

I hope you know how wonderful it is that you share so much of yourself with all of us. I look forward to every single blog you write or blog-video you do for us. Every morsel of your words is like cake that is actually GOOD for a body! If that makes any sense. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights time and time again! Truly precious!

By the way, my husband said to tell you his father used to hold his labor union meetings in Serb Hall during the 1950s and 60s....what a small world, is RIGHT! emoticon emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 8/22/2010 12:50PM

    emoticon POST!

I'm in the process of cleaning out stuff too. It's a big mess and sometimes I just don't know where to start. So I think I'll procrastinate a bit longer and get to the mall for a nice long walk. Then maybe I'll tackle another box of stuff to be sorted.


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MOMTO3BOYZ2000 8/22/2010 7:50AM

    Thank you for your post! I think we all tend to over do it a bit sometimes and need to remember to just slow down once in awhile. There are so many things I want to do now that I never thought of before and part of me wants to do them all NOW. I have another blog that I was trying to keep up with, but I had to let it go because, unfortunately, there just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done that needs to be done. You just have figure out which is most important and concentrate more on least for the time being until another "NEW" thought comes into your head... :)

You will make it past the 74lbs bump and I can't wait for the report when you do!

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WALKNLOVE 8/22/2010 6:26AM

    I am right there with ya John. I think the key is holding tight to THE ONE who teaches us all things and leads us into the truth....on what things we need to do to be better people and all that that encompasses.The secret is listening to his voice directing & guiding this & not that, hire this trainer, have you considered this web person, drive this way today. He speaks a lot.We rarely slow down to listen.We try to do it on our own & then wonder how we got into this mess.

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    I'm a person who thrives on being busy and having a lot on her plate. But you can have so much that it becomes a cause of stress. I make lists and when I do I ask myself what the most important thing on the list is and then I prioritize them all. Sometimes I can get it all done. Sometimes not. I don't stress and dwell on it. Most likely there will be another day.

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SARAWALKS 8/21/2010 10:41AM

    oh emoticon
LOVE your blog and your sense of humor!
"The remembrance is a current of disappointment that hinders the swimmer.Ē
Yes yes yes yes yes!
So pressing find the find the floor...
And let some of those "shoulds" self-destruct!

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HLPRATT 8/21/2010 10:25AM

    Wow- just reading all that's on your plate makes me tired. Of course alot of things are accomplished by small steps over time. Just keep in mind the small steps and keep making those.

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VTORIA3 8/21/2010 5:08AM

    Great blog, John. Life's busyness can impact our life in many ways, in particular, destroying our focus, ability to can cause us to feel like a little mouse on a wheel. The core of your blog, the driver that can create such busyness, was a profound introspection and "God's Call" lovely balm for the soul. Lately, I'd been wanting to deepen my spiritual walk on and everyday basis and I believe finding this new resource was "God's Call." He does work in mysterious ways, doesn't He? Feeling a little used? You should be. But in a good way.

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PAMNANGEL 8/20/2010 6:43PM

    Take a time out, inhale, hold it...hold it....let it out. Repeat.

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HDHAWK 8/20/2010 6:36PM

    This is my life right now. I should be losing 5 lbs. before my wedding in 2 weeks, but the harder I try the more I struggle. School started yesterday so I'm also very busy with that. I keep holding my breath, knowing that in 2 weeks life will settle down. Try to delegate some things or put some on the back burner. You're only one person and can only do so much in a day.

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CLOVER2 8/20/2010 6:29PM

    Thank you for your post on my page. You do realize that you have a fan club of about half a million people, all waiting with bated breath to see how you are each day, and what bits of life and wisdom you want to share. It hurts me to see you suffering, but I read what you have to say and know that you can help yourself as much as you help me! You ARE strong, one of the strongest people I know, and you know just where to go when you don't feel that. Any given day we all face being "alone" but we aren't, not ever. We have each other and that is one of the best gifts God has given us.

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DEBRALGARY 8/20/2010 3:23PM

    Have you seen the TV show Hoarders? Your blog reminded me of that show. emoticon

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JPRICE217 8/20/2010 2:34PM

    You certainly do have a lot on your plate. Way more than I could handle.

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JAMJOJAM 8/20/2010 2:11PM

    What a wonderful analogy of being in a race, and when you fall don't stand there and look at where you fell and give up; press on and reach your goal. No looking back. emoticon

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WORKINGSTIFF 8/20/2010 2:11PM

    "Sometimes I just want to be normal.I want to be like those skinny people on TV who drink wine, eat caviar and wear size zeroes."

Hey there John. I hate to tell ya, but those "skinny people on TV" are not real and the skinny people in real life have issues and problems. It comes with the "being human" part.

I heard a saying once, "Everyone you meet is carrying a burden." Do they all wear their burdens for others to see? Is each person's burden the same size as everyone else's? No to both. But nobody gets through this life unscuffed.

Are you busy? Yes, indeed. But even better-you recognize that this doesn't make you feel good and you want to do something about it. And THAT, friend, will make all the difference.

You'll figure it all out, I'm sure.

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SLY_REDUX 8/20/2010 1:46PM

    Oh my God, you're me, except with testosterone!

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LUVMYK9S 8/20/2010 1:12PM

    WOW! And I will never feel like I have too much clutter in my life again! emoticon

You are putting too much pressure on yourself to do all and be all. You are special and important just by being John. And who's to say what is 'normal' and heck! why would you want to be that when you are so much more!

You have made great progress in your journey to better health ~ you are an inspiration and motivator. Never doubt that you are loved just the way you are!


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MSSUNBUG 8/20/2010 11:23AM

    Yes, Yes, YES. I always relate in some way to your blogs, John, but this morning's is a direct line to my OWN brain. I was going to write a similar blog today--and I still will, but now I have some new/additional things to think on before I do. I'm in need of some mental, physical, and spiritual house-keeping, house-cleaning, re-organizing, and de-cluttering. It's always nice to see I'm not alone.

Thanks for sharing this!

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JENNY888 8/20/2010 10:37AM

    I love the thought of a God Calling daily email. I signed up for it also thanks to you. Yes, the language is a little difficult to follow but there are many great concepts in the message to be gained.

Prioritize and figure out what works for you and what doesn't. Don't burn out by trying to do too much and keeping too much. This is something I struggle with myself. I think I am making progress in that area now though.

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BOURNBABE 8/20/2010 9:34AM

    Bah, you've got to stop reading my mind. Was awake last night trying to figure out why I held my self to a standard I wouldn't visit on my worst enemy last night. lol.
Thanks for sharing. Might need to engrave this on my forehead.

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STORMTMB 8/20/2010 9:17AM

    Whoa, Dude, don't even try to do all of that!!! My suggestion is to step back and prioritize this weekend. Decide what stays, what's on hold for a later date and what gets discarded. We will love you no matter what, but you'll be happier for it and that's what really matters.

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/20/2010 9:08AM

    In our quest to become 'better' we can also become overwhelmed and try to do too much. Peace to you my friend as you 'declutter' some things and wisdom in what should go and what should stay. Something I heard recently that I have been chewing on and seems to apply for you as well: What seems like death to the caterpillar, God sees as a butterfly. We need to learn from the past while letting go as well; it's a hard balance to find, but it's worth the effort.


PS: I do websites and web hosting if you need help there. emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 8/20/2010 9:07AM

    First paragraph - TO MUCH INFORMATION - LOL

As for the rest, I'm right there with you, except in my case I may not have enough on my plate (so to speak). My youngest daughter started her job yesterday. My eldest started back to school to earn another degree. So, I am alone except for Poppet (my dog) and Teazer (my daughter's cat). Maybe it is time I start searching for a job. Seriously searching. I don't know.... I'll keep you posted.

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KAT573 8/20/2010 8:55AM

    I have to say, I am of a slightly different mind; I think avoiding or discarding that which was our past, tends to be an illusion that creates stumbling blocks as we forge forward stubbornly 'denying' or ignoring those parts of us; sort of like trying to stuff the wrong boxes in that closet without realizing we might need to adjust shelving, insert rods of a different length, height, create drawer space or move it....or, as an artist, to take the shards of the past and create a mosaic of meaning.

And in that sense, you DO stay within who you are, (and you DON'T become preoccupied with being better than them, so much as bettering your position, attitude, space of who you are NOW relative to who you want to BE), you DO own all of you, and you DO have a say in how you perceive what now seems to be a mess, and to order it, in a way that makes for much smoother navigation; but NOT static; Life is organic, and so it is always good to come back and see if some more modifications need to be made in our ''closets" as we grow in Life. emoticon

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NJMATTICE 8/20/2010 8:45AM

    God still talks funny, eh? Seems the Creator of all language could communicate in a little more straightforward "speak". Seems God talks a lot. Could have gotten to the point sooner. Maybe God likes the sound of his/her own voice? " Live in the NOW." A great point. I like the part about running, getting up, running some more, oops! I fell again, now I'm up, here I go. . . (seems Nancy likes the sound of her own "voice" as well) Thank you, John (if that is your real name) for starting my day off with some good intellectual nutrition. I did read some "frantic" into your situation. Be careful not to crash and burn. Find your peace. Then all the busy-ness of life will flow. Have a Fabulous Friday.

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KATHRYN1955 8/20/2010 8:45AM

    I just finished commenting on one of your other blogs, and now have just read this one. I realize there is a fine line between that pushing oneself too hard (obsession?!) and just "being". I keep saving new recipes, new exercises, new workouts, new motivational thoughts etc. etc. and then become overwhelmed and rebellious and do nothing! Comparing my progress to others only adds to the inertia. Somewhere in the midst of all the information, we need to find our own way that works for us.
Maybe "good enough" for a while is not such a bad thing.

"Give yourself, and all you have ever met a fresh start from today. Remember no more their sins and failures, or your own. The remembrance is a current of disappointment that hinders the swimmer.Ē Since I have been swimming, I felt quite drawn to this part of your quote. It truly is our perception of our "sins and failures" that hinders our progress.

Here's to fresh starts....our way!
Take care,
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EDWINA172 8/20/2010 8:40AM

    I have the same massive misperception of myself! Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? It makes no sense?! To be better is to be equal. Where did I learn to do math?
I'm having a bit of the same mood swings. Feeling a little burn out, over whelmed and stressed.
Guess I should clean out my closet and rearrange my things too.
Have a great weekend. Thanks for sharing!

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DWROBERGE 8/20/2010 8:29AM

    I find getting rid of stuff is good for the soul. Go for it.

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