Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Availible on YouTube@ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2w0bGGZtxw
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
I participatded in a weekly discussion group last night on spirituality. It was my turn to go last this week because I went first the week before. I had a good hour to soak in other peopleís ideas and opinions. I noticed something as each person spoke. They all began by apologizing for some alleged fatal flaw inside of them. As I listened I realized I do that too. Iíll use humor. Iíll talk about my weight, my age, my lack of hair, something mildly to moderately negative and go on from there. Iíll let you know Iím clumsy, not very mechanically inclined or donít often ďget thingsĒ right away. I almost had to leave the group because I was going to break out laughing. Given everything that is supposedly wrong with me why would anyone want to be my friend? But I continue to do it.
Somewhere inside I use this sacrosanct notion that to be self-deprecating is to engender humility. If I minimize my goodness and maximize my faults I am earning a place in heaven. After all, no one likes someone bragging on themselves all the time do they? My grandfather always told me that if you are telling the truth you are not bragging.
Itís uncomfortable isnít it? Itís hard to stick your hand out and say ďHi Iím John. Iím amazingly intelligent, witty, charming and I have an exceptional singing voice. Did you know I won a karaoke contest once? I am a good writer, a good cook and my wife thinks Iím just swell.Ē We donít process our lives in those terms even though everything I just told you is Gods honest truth. Itís just best I keep all that stuff for myself and wait until you tell me how great I am and then I can tell you that Iím not. Madness!!!
I bring this up because I often find myself staring up at the steep mountain that is my goals and objectives and begin believing Iím not ever going to make it. I look at everything thatís wrong with me and find excuses to give up. But if I look at that steep hill and I begin to look at all the amazing tools inside of me I have at my disposal to not only reach those goals but exceed them, well maybe the mountain isnít so steep. I see this happen to people who reach a goal they struggled long and hard for and begin to believe they do not deserve the success they have achieved. Itís like it all was a mistake. Quickly they revert and well you know the rest.
I challenge myself each day to find something unique and special about myself so that when the road gets rocky I have something to hold on to and remind myself that there is more value in me than I realize. Maybe it will help you too.
Monday, January 31, 2011
I do not believe in coincidence, not at all. I could sit here all morning and talk to you about the right thing happening at the right time and everything falling into place. Itís really not surprising. Positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative. Itís why I am so big on who I hang with. I take a lot of heat from people for living like that and I have far fewer friends than many but I have learned that toxicity only slows you down and ultimately can keep you from reaching your goals. Before you say what you may be thinking itís not a judgment thing. I respect everyoneís right to live their lives as they choose, believe what they choose to believe etc. If it retards my journey or poisons my soul I take a quick step back and move on. Live and let live is a healthy motto.
Tuesday night I was prepared to head for the gym and a brisk two mile run. I had been traveling most of the day and was wishing at that point I had eight arms and legs, sorta like an octopus. I was slipping my coat on and reading a blog response form PRINCESSNURSE. She wrote three words at the top of her response ď Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance. Ē I had no idea how glad Iíd be to read those words.
I had a terrible run, coupled with the fact that my left knee started hurting again and both my feet felt like they had been run over by a truck. I stepped running after roughly seventh tenths of a mile. I looked like someone hit me over the head. I walked for a bit, tried running again with the same result. One of the kids told me later Joan told them she had never seen me so discouraged in the thirty seven years we have been married.
I got up Wednesday and hit the elliptical for forty five minutes to the point where there was a puddle of sweat all around me. If nothing else it released a lot of tension and energy. I called the ortho doctor and he squeezed me in. I didnít like what he said. ďI really canít find anything wrong, John.Ē He went on to say we could run all sorts of tests but he doubted theyíd show anything different.
One of my clients called to cancel so I took a long walk. I gotta tell you there were more than a few tears shed during that walk. I wasnít angry, wasnít cursing my fate or the heavens, I was at a loss. A lot of who I am has become tied up in running and I enjoy it so much and to think that I couldnít run anymore Ö..
Somewhere during this long ďOh poor meĒ walk a light went on. ďWhat about Jaime?Ē Jaime and her husband run a gym for high powered athletes, mostly in high school and college. Jaime is the trainer for two local college volleyball and soccer teams. She has a MS in kinesiology. Her husband Robert is a fire fighter. I got in the car and went to see her and spilled out my tale of woe. To make a short story long Jaime told me I probably wasnít running right and that what she could do is break down my run through video tape and computer and having me run on this tread mill that looked like it was a mile long and surrounded by huge mirrors on three sides. Once she broke it down sheíd reconstruct it so I wouldnít be in pain. We argued about price Ė she didnít want to charge me Ė and settled on ten dollars for a half hour session. She told me Iíd probably need about six sessions. I start tomorrow morning. She didnít want me running for a week before our first session.
Perseverance or as my grandma said ďEverything happens for a reason, everything works out in the end and if it hasnít worked out then itís not the end.Ē
Thank you PRINCESSNURSE for being in the right place at the right time
Saturday, January 29, 2011
The only thing I can figure out is that my appointment with God, His angels and His saints occurs between four and six am. I never get amazing insights during the day. It is only for a host a reasons that when I wake up that early, lie in bed letting my head clear that the trumpets sound. This morning Rocky and Mallory decided they were going to play with each other. This involved the one of my socks. They quickly became bored with each other and decided, on their own, that I should join in the fun. This is also code for "Put us outside John."
I crawled back into bed and tried to fall back to sleep. Fat chance of that!! So I do what I always do, I started to think. Joan tells me this is usually dangerous to do because sometimes I get so deep I confuse myself and then she has to help me sort it all out. She does a good job with that.
I started thinking about all my friends. I dont differentiate between physical friends and virtual friends. A friend is a friend. I may not be able to knock on your door to ask you if your internet is working or watch a football game with you but I dont separate.
I started a parade of people in my minds asking myself why they are my friends. The answer was simply this "I dont know!!" There are some givens, for sure, but mostly you are my friend because you are you and that is so very cool to me. Simply put you are in my life in one manner, shape or form simply because you exist.
What a great way to start your day.
Friday, January 28, 2011
I hope this makes as much sense when you read it as it does in my head when as I am writing it.
We are the most well intentioned people in the world here at Spark. We are supportive, encouraging and helpful. If I ever need advice on anything all I have to do is post a blog asking a question and within an hourÖÖÖ. POOF I am getting all kinds of valuable advice from all different points of view. I learn things too, like how you really shouldnít post a comment on a team message board that was meant to instruct and inspire rather than provoke discussion. LOL
With all of that in mind I received a Spark Mail from a friend who was having a rough go of it. I have been there and done that and I know sometimes there just arenít words to ease the pain. If I was sitting across the table from them it would be easyÖÖÖ. GREAT BIG HUG. But alas the hug emoticon looks like a narcoleptic zombie to me when Iím in a great mood so I can quite imagine what it feels like when your lower lip is bouncing off the pavement. It IS reassuring to know I am loved and some days that gets me through and keeps me from holding every donut in creation hostage.
I try to be supportive. Thank goodness for my guardian angel, spirit guide or whatever you choose to call the other world support that floats within you and without you. Because I was getting ready to tell my friend what a great source of inspiration and motivation they were to me personally and itís as if my angel grabbed my hands off the key boards, took her halo and throttled me because I was suddenly hit with the thought that being told how inspiring you are when you canít seem to muster up the energy and effort to feel good about yourself may be the last thing you need to hear I know that sounds a bit cold but stop and think about carrying all your woes and worries and then being told you have to carry around the burden of being an inspiration to people. I wonít give someone else that responsibility for me and my journey. Love me, cheer, for me and support my choices but its selfish to say you motivate me because that implies if you ever stop Iíll fall off the face of the earth.
During my meditation period yesterday I was made privy to a beautiful vision. It was if I was in a balcony and I was looking down on a whole sea of heads. They were all the same shape, and height. They were equal. A voice inside of me said: ĎNo one is loved greater or lesser than anyone else. Love is love. There are no degrees of love. Love is not earned it is a gift. Be loved John and when you learn to be loved, then love.Ē Okay, maybe Iím slow that it took almost 58 years for me to learn this concept.
Thatís when it became clear to me. We all stand side by side, equal, loved and loving. None of us is better, worse or any other modifier you may choose to use. Quite simply we are loved.
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