- Thoughts for inspired living

October 31, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:16 am

The Grasshopper asked me to ask you if you wear a social mask. Today is Halloween and wearing masks is the custom for many people – young and old alike. It’s fun pretending to be someone else – not to mention the fabulous treats in store.

How much fun is it pretending to be someone you are not the other 364 days of the year? Only you can answer that.

The social mask is the ego – the part of you that you made up and got comfortable with. It has your name, your occupation, your social security number, so it must be the real you. Sorry, it’s only a costume!

Because you dress up as Batman or Wonder Woman, doesn’t make it real. I’m reminded of the line Joan Cusack delivers in the movie Working Girl. It goes something like this:

“Sometimes I vacuum in my underwear. It doesn’t make me Madonna – never will.”

It’s amazing how much of what we do or don’t do is governed by this fictitious facade. Here’s a test you can take to see if this character you play has taken you over. Do you ever plan in advance what you are going to say if someone says a certain something? That planned response is coming from your ego. What would happen if you just sat with what the other person said for a moment and just let a response bubble up to the surface that you hadn’t pre-thought?

That answer comes from the real you. The result of this practice is a more authentic communication that is not governed by the predetermined stimulus/response that the ego thrives on.

Seems everyone is curious who is under the mask – be it The Lone Ranger, Zorro, Spiderman or Catwoman. People are wondering who’s behind your mask too. Give them a peek today and see what happens.

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October 30, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:06 am

The word serendipity creeps in my conversation from time to time. I have a general idea what I mean by it but wasn’t sure I could define it if asked. So, I went to the dictionary and looked it up.

Ser-en-dip-i-tyan aptitude of making desirable discoveries by accident.

Then I had the thought that there are no accidents – just reality. When reality doesn’t go the way we would have hoped, we call it a misfortune or an accident. When reality matches up with what we expect or hope for, then we label it good luck or the way it should be.

Serendipity seems to be one of the disguises that reality wears. When something desirable shows up to enlighten us, we put it in a special, separate box and think that this is a one of a kind item that only comes along once in awhile. We then tuck it away for safe keeping.

I think that practice is misguided. And since we are close to Halloween, here’s a little treat. It’s a little trick I learned from Dr. Dave Dobson to schmooze reality so that it shows up more often in costume.

Thank the part of you that sent the gift and ask it to keep those cards and letters coming.

My 7rd grade teacher would probably rap me on the knuckles with a ruler for how poorly constructed the following poem is. I only offer it as a reminder rather than a poetic piece for posterity.


When a gift shows up from out of the blue

Express your gratitude with a sincere “Thank You”

Rather than stowing it away with lock and key

Then watch more presents come to be

All the best,


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October 29, 2007

Mud Wrestling

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:16 am

How many of your interactions are sugarcoated? How many times do you walk on eggs? Each time you do this, you paste a piece of your soul to the statue of superficiality.

Every time we withhold something and stuff it back down, we do a disservice to our humanity and to the humanity of others. We give them and ourselves an inauthentic interaction that benefits no one. You walk away with a handful of air that will compress and get stronger and come back as a Category 5 hurricane.

This is not a recommendation to go out and tell someone how it is. That’s basically throwing up on someone which only benefits one party.

Many years ago I heard Dr. Robert Anthony say,

“Teach people how to treat you.”

Perhaps an example will prove helpful. Suppose you are a woman who doesn’t like to be touched – especially by people that you don’t know that well. You are standing at the copy machine and your new co-worker comes over and greets you with a “good morning” and puts his arm around your shoulder with a friendly squeeze and then lets go. You tense up, return the greeting and stuff down your response because you want to be polite. This replicates itself 3 times a week for 3 weeks. Finally on the 9th time, you shout at the coworker and tell them not to put their arm around you. This is the basic throw-up.

What would have happened if you, on the first or second occurrence, said to the co-worker, “Bill, I’m sure that’s a very natural thing for you to do, to put your arm around someone, and I request that you don’t do it with me because it makes me feel uncomfortable”?

You’ve done 3 things:

  1. You’ve had an authentic interaction
  2. You send the hurricane out to sea
  3. You have taught someone how to treat you

I think we were unwilling to talk about what we want to talk about for fear the other person will become angry and/or go away. So our strategy is to sweep it under the rug. Then everyone ignores the big, visible hump in the middle of the living room and pretends it’s not there. That has the aforementioned consequences. So the snowball you are avoiding becomes an avalanche when allowed to roll off your back. The ancient Chinese Sage, Lao Tzu said,

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.”

But if you have ignored that advice, I think you have to get in the mud from time to time for a relationship to deepen or clarify. And you have to be willing to accept the outcome. If you enter the mud with a pre-conceived notion as to what the result should be, you’ll stay muddy. If your outcome is to win, you’ve missed the purpose of getting into the mud. If you’re willing to travel the road the mud fest leads you to, you’ll get to take a shower and feel cleaner than you would have had you never got in the mud. You get to know someone better after wrestling with them in the mud. Mud wrestling doesn’t always lead to bliss but I believe it gives you a better idea of what your relationship with another is.

This is not a prescription for a knock-down, drag out confrontation. They never work because the objective is to beat the other person into submission. This is a just a heads-up that you may have to first get dirty (translate that to uncomfortable) in order to clean things up. If you continue to avoid that discomfort, plan on boarding up the beach house.

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October 27, 2007

I Hate My Body

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:17 am

In my hypnotherapy business, I receive more emails than the average bear. 90% of the ones regarding weight loss have some form of the following declaration – “I hate my body.”

Sadly, culture has added fuel to that raging fire. The last time most women felt comfortable in a bathing suit was at age 10. That alone should tell you something about how we perceive our bodies.

Here’s a question to ponder? How cooperative would you be with a person who detested you? My guess is not very.

Your body is to be loved and treasured. It does exactly what it was designed to do. If you consume more food and beverages than you expend energy for, your body will turn that into excess fat. That’s miraculous! Your body is doing what it is supposed to do. Hating your body for doing what it was created to do is like hating the weatherman for doing his job.

Here is a recommendation that will be helpful in your quest to lose weight and keep it off. I recently found out that the word “attitude” is an aeronautical term which means angle of approach. If someone told you to change your attitude, that may sound harsh and parental and you may not have a great response to that request. If, however, they said to change your angle of approach, that is a lot less easy on the ears and there is not quite the emotional response to that suggestion.

I’m suggesting that you shift your angle of approach a few degrees in how you view your body and begin to notice how cooperative it can become.

Your body is deserving of recognition, respect and love. It has served you through life and has done precisely what it was created to do and you may be treating it like an evil step-sister. Your body loves you and it only does what it’s been programmed to do. There are some strategies that are helpful to jumpstart a weight loss program in my latest newsletter. These approaches are very helpful AND the most helpful thing you do at the foundational level is to give your body some love.

Acceptance is the starting point. Accept your body just the way it is. If you think about it, that’s really the only choice in reality that you have. Not accepting what’s right in front of you is an illusion. That’s denial. If you are having difficulty with acceptance, here is an excerpt from my new book, LIFE – IT’S YOUR MOVIE (available in early 2008).

“Acceptance is the catalyst for transformation. Willingness is the catalyst for acceptance. Willingness is the cornerstone of the Radical Forgiveness Model of Colin Tipping. Read his wonderful book RADICAL FORGIVENESS for insight as to the value of acceptance and willingness. Somewhere in there Colin intimates that anyone who is not able to accept something, or express willingness to accept something, can still benefit by acceptance. He asks them to accept the fact that they can’t accept. Just getting a taste of acceptance is often enough for you to want to sample more.”

Honor and acknowledge your body for the miracles it performs every day. Express your gratitude for all that it has done for you and begin to show it your love. Then stand back and watch what happens. The Tipping Point
is reached when you sincerely start communicating that “I LOVE MY BODY.”

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October 26, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:37 am

Denial is a planetary pariah. It eats away at the core of humanity. “My bad” has deserted our vocabulary. Admission has been equated with submission in the human psyche. When you admit, you do not surrender your power to another. By owning up, you are proving that you are a person plugged in to thee power source – the one that enables you to acknowledge and atone and move forward to make the slate as clean as possible. Denial will always keep you looking over your shoulder concocting stories to support your lies. In short, there is no peace.

Denial always stands in the way of a brighter day. With it, days are artificially lighted and nights are dark.

The natural athlete who refused to practice and can’t turn it on at will anymore feels like the focal point of a conspiracy. That’s when s/he concocts a story about their deficiencies and how it’s someone else’s fault. The story works with some for a while and then reality sets in. The spin doesn’t work anymore – even s/he recognizes that. Yet the denial continues. Everyone eventually catches on except them. They plow on and become a spectacle – a poor imitation of their former self.

If they admit that they can’t do what they used to, and add some walk to the talk about getting themselves in better shape, that’s when they’re able to be the best they can be. In order to make a successful comeback, they do have to mend fences and they do have to admit to the fabrications they tried propping themselves up with.

It’s really a shame there can’t always be a bad guy to blame it on. Yet, there’s always seems to be a bad guy paraded around. The saddest news is even if you position a bad guy as a scapegoat, you can’t chase away the dreadful thoughts you have when you’re alone. “The emperor has no clothes” is the freeing answer.

It doesn’t smooth out the road; it just lets you know there is a road to travel on. The destination is worth the effort. You can deny the road is there and say that everything is “fine.” Everyone knows that’s a lie. As the great attorney, Gerry Spence says, “everyone has their own BS detector.” Always remember this: when you deny, you lie.

Denial is the thread that ties your story together. It becomes dissolving sutures when it’s exposed to the light. Stay in the dark and continue to tell yourself that everything will be okay and tomorrow will be just like today.

To unglue yourself from denial, your story needs to fall apart. That also means your ego has to fall apart. Here’s a suggestion: Fall apart around people who will support you as you put your life back together, rather than being with those who continue to support your illusion. When the illusion falls apart, they will disappear.

Reality is always here.

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October 25, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:07 am

The Grasshopper gave me a note a few weeks back. He said,

“Life doesn’t have an undo button.”

I have yet to flesh out a full Grasshopper Note on that piece of wisdom but the immediate thought was this. The closest we ever get to having an undo button is to apologize.

I wrote this piece back in August of 2001 and thought I would include it in this blog. Let me know if it makes any sense for you.


Almost everyone longs for The Opportunity but this chance doesn’t present itself to most.

The Opportunity is presented to only a few and most of them do not act on it.  

The small percentage of people who do act on The Opportunity have peace and contentment for the balance of their days.  

The unsettling news is that the people who never had The Opportunity presented to them, and the ones who did and passed it up, share something in common.

They either regret for the rest of their life that they never got The Opportunity, or they forever rue not acting on it.

Maybe you’re one of the fortunate ones who has The Opportunity right now.

What are you going to do with The Opportunity if you’re lucky enough to be one of the chosen?

It takes courage to act on The Opportunity.

Will it be peace and contentment or lifelong angst? It’s your decision.

What could The Opportunity be that eludes most, is presented to few, and is acted on by fewer?

The Opportunity to make it right.

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October 24, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:54 am

I have a theory about subtraction that is best explained when thinking of young people – especially teens.

Many teens do things to externally add to themselves – like wearing a lot of make-up, getting a tatoo or body piercings of some sort. They become culturally fad conscious and add to themselves by adding the latest clothing craze to their wardrobe, or they start smoking, or dye their hair purple to add to their persona. Drinking and drugs are also additions, as is hyperbole. Joining the Marines or entering the convent at this age is another way of adding to yourself.

The immediate conclusion is a poor self-image and that’s pretty accurate for most teens. The focus of this particular blog, though, is about attention and subtraction.

Eventhough they add all of these things to themselves, the rub is, they don’t get what they are craving – attention. They may attract attention to the addition but they won’t attract attention to themselves.

Think of a young girl with 3 different piercings on each earlobe and one on the top. Where is your attention? It’s on the things, not on the person. The less you decorate, the more YOU are noticed. I’m reminded of the Coco Chanel quote from the movie, Working Girl.

“Dress shabbily; they notice the dress: dress impeccably they notice the woman.”

Most young people don’t think they are enough so they add things. It’s a part of growing up. This addition process calms down for most as they get older but not for all. They strive to be noticed because they want attention.

Sadly, the result they want will never come from external addition. The attention will go to the things or the behavior, not to the person.

Start simplifying and watch the attention increase. Start giving attention and others will reciprocate. The addition process returns for some people as they approach middle age. They may start perceiving themselves as old and decorate themselves with fashions, fads, or behaviors that draw attention to the things versus the person. The comments they don’t hear aren’t “look at that fashionable man.”  They’re more like, “look at that guy trying to be hip.”

When there’s a 60 year old man with a ponytail, what do you notice – the person or the ponytail? I remember when I was 19 and my mother was 42. She came to my girfriend’s graduation party with earrings that were the fad with much younger people – dangling balls. She wore fake eyelashes that were the rage with teens and women in their early 20’s, and she had on an orange outfit with a mini-skirt. I can assure you the attention was on her apparel – not her. She added to herself because she didn’t think she was enough and the comments about her that day were about her shortcomings instead of her substance.

This isn’t a critique on style and fashion or telling people what not to do. This is about the one thing that every human being wants – attention. If you are adding things to yourself to be accepted, you may want to get curious about subtraction. Subtracting any addition that causes peoples’ attention to go to it rather than you is a worthwhile endeavor.


All the best,


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October 23, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:37 am

When we pick apart someone we assess as more skilled than we are, that keeps a sense of “Im not enough” stuck. Putting them down leads us to the mental notion that “they’re not so hot.”

The natural other-than-conscious correlation is: neither are we because we already perceive ourselves a rung down.

This flaw finding makes our intellect feel superior and gives us a sense that we are better than them. This translates to us not having to get any better. It’s like picking apart rich people. It will keep you stuck on the financial rung you are on.

Bless success wherever you see it.

The same stuckness happens when we go the other way and find fault with less skilled people than we are. Our intellect gets a superior mindset that locks us into place. The idea that forms as an offshoot of this attitude is, “I don’t need to get any better because I’m already superior to someone less skilled than me.”

We get sandwiched in the middle everytime with fault finding.

It’s human to judge and discriminate.  And if we keep the judgement alive by having extended, ad nauseam conversations regarding it, that’s when the glue starts to harden.

So here’s a little maxim to remember: If you judge and won’t budge, you are stuck.

All the best,


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October 22, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:51 am

Gently move in the direction you are going.

As I mentioned yesterday, I had the occasion to be in New York City over the weekend. The pace of New York City is a  frenzied, manufactured pace – one that is demanded by the architects of culture. People moving fast going nowhere. The image of a hamster in a revolving cage comes to mind.

The last time I was there in 2004 was the impetus to create my CD RELAX IN 2 MINUTES. I asked myself how could I help people slow down their pace so that they didn’t rush past the moment in an effort to get to another moment. The simple answer came to me quickly. It was to focus on the body.

Your body is always in the present moment while the mind frenetically darts back and forth between the imagined future and your personal history, commonly called the past. The body is always here and now – so focus on your body when you want to ground yourself. It is such a terrific way to get yourself out of your head. That’s one of the main reasons people enjoy massage. The contact made with their body keeps them focused on the movements being made by the massage therapist and the soothing feelings being generated in each muscle group. This focusing on what is happening now naturally leads to a quieting of the mind. The result is your pace slows down to a natural, rhythmic movement – not an artificial tempo generated by a pulsating drumbeat from your head.

You don’t even have to buy my CD to learn how to relax, recharge and get grounded in the moment. You can just take a couple moments out of your day and do this exercise.

Take a nice, deep breath and then exhale slowly. Then just gently close your eyes. Next, start putting your attention on your body parts. You can start at your feet and work your way up or start at your head and work your way down. Just notice or sense what is going on in the body part your are focusing on. Don’t try and make that body part do something – just focus your attention on it and sense what’s going on there. Once you’ve noticed the sensations in that body part, gently move to the next body part until you complete the sequence. With practice, you will eventually be able to do this in 2 minutes or less. You will feel, calm, recharged, and more space will show up between your thoughts.

If you want formal instruction in the exercise, order my CD RELAX IN 2 MINUTES and I will hand walk you through the exercise. After listening for a few times, you will be able to do this simple exercise anytime, anywhere and come back to the only place where life is happening – the here and now.

Focusing on your body is a passport to the present.

All the best,


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October 21, 2007

2 Presents

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:10 am

Friday and Saturday I received 2 rare presents. There aren’t very many of these presents in the world and I managed to get two of them. I have yet to fully appreciate Astrology but to use their their terminology – the planets were aligned.

I’m not using the word “presents” as a synonym for gifts here – although both these presents are gifts.

These presents are Jerry Stocking and Eckhart Tolle. By presents, I mean each one of these people are in the present moment when they shower you with their gift – thus the term “presents.”

I went to New York City with the express purpose of experiencing Eckhart Tolle – Author of The Power of NowStillness Speaks, and A New Earth. Just before I left, I found out that Jerry Stocking was going to be in New York over the weekend as well.  

Before I blog on about Eckhart and Jerry, let me share a personal piece of serendipity that also happened over the weekend. I walked from my hotel to where Jerry Stocking was conducting his Embodied Relating Workshop. When I arrived, the group was at lunch. I sat on a bench at the meeting center awaiting their return. I noticed a young woman sitting across from me and I felt compelled to strike up a conversation with her.

Her name was Mary-Claire and when I asked what she did, she said she was an actor. She was from Birmingham, Alabama and was in New York to follow her dream. I asked if she did anything else while her dream was becoming fully formed. She said that she was a Yoga instructor. I then asked if she was here for the workshop and she said, “No, I’m here to see Doug O’Brien.” I said, “Doug O’Brien the hypnotist?” and she said, “Yes.”

A little background here may prove helpful. Doug is one of the finest hypnotists on earth and he conducts seminars for me and lives in New York. I haven’t seen Doug in almost 3 years. We talk regularly but we had not chatted about my trip to NYC. So I said to Mary-Claire that she was about to see a hypnotist go into a trance when Doug arrived because the last person he would expect to see would be me. It was comical. Doug walked in and greeted his client and then looked at me. He looked away with a dazed expression and then came back to me and said, “What are you doing here?”

I told him I was here to say hello to Jerry Stocking. Doug didn’t know Jerry was in town but Doug, Jerry & I all met close to 20 years ago at a seminar conducted by another wizard named, Dr. Dave Dobson. Then Jerry walked in and we had a bit of a mini reunion before Doug went off with his client and Jerry went to conducting the afternoon session of his workshop.  I don’t know the odds of all that happening but I’m sure glad it did. It was great to see Doug in the flesh and it was a pleasant quick trip down memory lane for all 3 of us.

So back to the 2 presents. Jerry invited me in to the afternoon session of his workshop and his work is truly amazing. It’s difficult to put into words because it’s really an experience. Watching Jerry field questions is spell-binding. His answers cut to the core of a person’s spirit so that the person can discover the answer themselves just about the same moment that  Jerry wraps some words around his answer. Jerry rarely gives you a pat answer. He gets quiet and goes to a place where all the answers are and he takes you there with him. Jerry is a gift because he is present. Thank you, Jerry!

Eckhart Tolle was giving his talk on the upper west side of Manhattan at the Beacon Theatre – one of those old theatres loaded with architecture from an era gone by. People came from all over to see him. The woman who sat next to me was from Quebec, the people behind me were from Pennsylvania, and another woman I rode a city bus with was from Tampa, Florida.  Eckhart Tolle is an international phenomenon and people are drawn to his message – which is simply this – you are not who you think you are, you are something much deeper than the thought forms in your head.

Eckhart speaks from a place of presence. There are no notes, there is no pre-rehearsed patter. His message comes from that place of stillness where all the questions are answered. He was magnificient. The transformation that you get to observe in yourself and others when drawn into his state of awareness is to be treasured.

I watched one of the security people from the Beacon Theatre get caught up in this awareness. He was a hardened city person. You could tell he had built up layers and layers of defenses over the years just from gowing up as a minority in a city that’s filled with things you have to dodge. I saw this man begin to soften and open up to the message being delivered and saw him beaming at the end of the session. He was there to do his job – not to hear Eckhart Tolle. In the process of doing his job, he got a perk he wasn’t expecting.

I highly recommend that if you ever get a chance to experience Jerry Stocking or Eckhart Tolle, grab it. Whatever you invest – time, money, travel – will deliver benefits that are priceless.

All the best,


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