- Thoughts for inspired living

December 31, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:56 am


Last April, The Grasshopper delivered the following Nip of Nectar:

“Struggling is an insurance policy to keep whatever is bothering you in place.”

Unless you are physically jostling with someone, all of our struggles are mind made manifestations. The Grasshopper’s message is very similar to the peace keeping question that was prevalent in the late 1960’s: What if they gave a war and no one came?

Going to war with yourself is a common occurrence. It’s called struggling. Even when you are in an adversarial position with another, you may not be struggling with them. Perhaps, you are being pushed into struggle by the notion that everyone should think like you. Either way, it’s a battle going on between your ears.

What if you put your normal response on hold? I learned a very interesting piece of management philosophy a number of years ago that is quite effective. If you are a manager, you know from experience that you are presented with a bevy of fires that need extinguishing on a regular basis. The mantra for managers is action. But what if you acknowledged certain situations and just let them sit for awhile? What you will find is that many fires self extinguish without any action or struggle.

I had the good fortune to be at a meeting where radio mogul, Lowry Mays was speaking. Someone asked him what a typical day was like for a man who oversaw as much as he did. His answer was, “When I arrive at work and sit behind my desk, I just shoot the snake closest to my foot.” That’s an exercise in prioritizing from someone who has mastered the skill.

So how do we know which fires to tend to and which ones to put on the back burner?

If you look at the above grid, you will see two columns. One column is headed ME, and the other one GOD. I first saw this grid when exposed to Colin Tipping‘s work.

The ME column is where you put down all the things that you are capable of doing. These are measurable tasks that have obvious beginnings, benchmarks and conclusions.

The GOD column is where you put the struggles – the things that continually go back and forth in your mind with no obvious solution.

The conversation with God goes something like this: “God, I know I can get out the monthly report, make the necessary phone calls, clean the garage, and wash the dog, but I have turned over every rock I can think of in regards to (put your struggle here) and I have no answers. I’m putting this one in your column until you send me a solution.”

You may have heard the prayer, “Let go and let God.” That’s the essence of ending the struggle.

By the way, make sure you don’t put everything on God’s list. You were given certain skill sets by your creator to work on the items on your ME list. God put those items on your side of the ledger because that’s your job. Those are your snakes to shoot.

It’s really a misconception given to us by our ego that we can handle it all. Our minds have been conditioned that if we struggle long enough, we will get what we want. Unfortunately, the grindstone has caused many to lose their sense of smell.

Here’s a thought for the New Year: Give God the things that you can’t handle and trust that a solution will be forthcoming.

Happy New Year!

All the best,


P.S. Every Monday morning look for new Nips of Nectar at While you are there, you can also sign up to have a new Grasshopper Note arrive in your email in box every Monday morning.

P.P.S. If you are struggling with a nasty smoking habit or are carrying around more weight than is comfortable, please visit and get help with your struggles.

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December 29, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 10:44 am

I am currently not in relationship with anyone and haven’t been for awhile. That causes some people to ask or wonder if I am lonely.

The answer I give is that I am alone. That’s a far cry from lonely. Alone is a fact; lonely is a state of mind.

Lonely is an emotion – a conversation you are having with yourself that is causing certain sensations in your body. You would have to mind read, as the NLP people would say, to make the leap from alone to lonely when assessing another.

We’ve all been lonely. It’s part of the human conditioning to feel separate and apart when we find ourselves alone. Reminds me of a story . . .

20 some years ago I worked with a fellow who was about the age I am now. We were attending a bachelor party for one of the guys we worked with. I knew that this man dated and I also knew he was never married and lived alone. I asked him if he ever thought of getting married and he said that he did years back but it wasn’t likely for him now. I was curious and asked him what made him think that. I remember his answer. He said, “I Know that being in a relationship means making room for someone else in your life, and I’m comfortable with the way things are, and I don’t think I’m capable of clearing that space. I don’t think it would be fair to them.”

His honesty was refreshing. He wasn’t lonely. He chose to be alone.

Loneliness is a direct derivative of separateness. When you assess yourself as a separate entity from others, you will have bouts of loneliness. When you recognize the connection you have with all humanity, then loneliness ceases to be an option. This connectedness is a sacred feeling that contains “the peace that passes all understanding.”

If you are feeling lonely, I encourage you to explore your connection with everything that exists. It’s a never ending nexus where loneliness cannot survive.

All the best,


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December 28, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 10:18 am

I was musing last night about a talented young man who hasn’t enjoyed much success. I wondered, what prevents him from catching fire? Then The Grasshopper chimed in with this phrase: “Lack of character.”

It got me curious to what he meant by “character” because the pronouncement felt right and rang true.

I had to find out what “character” meant to me. I immediately thought of Alan Watts and something he outlined when giving a lecture on Taoism. He said the Chinese character “li” represents the non-symmetrical essence of something – the markings in jade, the grain in wood, the fiber in muscle, the flow of water.

That was it. This fellow lacked authenticity. He doesn’t display the natural markings of jade. They are airbrushed away when you experience him. His character is obscured by layers of veneer. You never get to meet the real him because his cardboard cutout is interacting with the world.

There is always a discomfort registered at some level when you are in his presence. Also, you would never want to be in a foxhole with someone who doesn’t display character, because they would give you all the appropriate answers and none of the actions to back them up. You may label that as cowardice. That’s a harsh characterization so let’s explore what may be the real issue. The coward can never courageously act because he thinks his bravery comes from the imaginary movie role he plays versus from his authenticity which he is afraid to put on display. The real fear is not being enough, so he adds layers and layers to his essence to protect himself.

He thinks his natural self doesn’t measure up to the cultural image he has crafted. That’s why he keeps it hidden. The sad news is that his marquee image of himself reeks with superficiality and everyone recognizes it. The only people he connects with are the people with the same character issues – mainly superficial in nature. There aren’t any deep connections because you have façade interacting with façade.

His talent is also affected by his artificial coating. When we do whatever it is that we do, we put energy into our work. If that energy is the low grade variety that comes from shallowness, our work will never catch fire. The results of this work may have all the earmarks of success but for some reason not many are buying in. Your work lacks character which stems from you.

If you seem to have all the requisite skills, but continually make no headway, you need more than a break. You need a breakthrough. You’ve got to crack the hardened, painted plastic that you are calling you and reveal your natural grain. When you get down to the bare wood, your natural beauty will be recognized by all – except the superficial. They will leave you for the next cultural grand opening.

All the best,


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December 27, 2007

Stuck 2

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:30 am

Did you ever get stuck in snow or mud or worse? Reminds me of a story . . .

When my oldest son graduated from college, he and his friends cooked an appreciation dinner for their parents. It was at a dorm home near the beach. After dinner, I took the other two sets of parents for a four wheel drive on the beach. It was great fun until I got us stuck in the sand near the water’s edge. Did I mention we had wine with dinner and that the tide was coming in?

We got out and tried to push to no avail and the tide kept creeping closer. We found pieces of wood to dig the sand from beneath the tires, but it wasn’t working. I was stuck and the waves were licking their chops. I could hear them laughing. In the midst of all the chaos, I managed to tell one of the other fathers, whom I had just met, that this wasn’t the stupidest thing I had ever done in my life. We had a good laugh and then I called AAA. They sent a tow truck.

The tow truck operator was smart enough not to bring the truck on the beach. He had 80 foot chains that he affixed to the rear of our vehicle and he began to extricate it from the sand pit. The second he freed the car from the hole, a huge wave came crashing onto the beach and completely filled the space where our Blazer was an eye blink before. How fortunate we were that day.

Maybe you’re stuck in another area of life – professionally, personally, emotionally, etc.

About 5 years ago, I remember The Grasshopper giving me this definition of STUCK:

“When your thoughts tell you the projectionist has gone home, but your heart remains in the theatre.”

It’s a sticky-wicket we have all encountered.

Thoughts by nature get stuck. They repeat themselves over and over, like a skipping CD, until our mind latches on to something else to take our attention elsewhere. And then when that mental attraction wanes, the old thought comes back again for more visiting time in our mental prison. Observing your thoughts, without judgement, is the way out of this dilemma. Just notice that the thought is occupying your mind. Just the practice of noticing will have that thought visit less frequently and you will free yourself from this solitary confinement.

But what about your heart? Is your heart stuck? Your emotions are more dimensional than your thoughts because they contain a feeling component. You have feeling sensations attached to emotions – a lump in your throat, a quickening of the heart, a knot in the stomach, a gurgling of the bowels. These sensations are actual feelings in your body. The truth is no one ever hurt your feelings; they triggered your emotions.

Eckhart Tolle describes an emotion as the body’s reaction to the mind. Jerry Stocking describes an emotion as when your illusion bumps into reality. Both are describing the same phenomenon.

A feeling is something you can quantify – a pressure on your knee, a tingling in your hands, etc. An emotion is really a thought that your body has a response to.

An emotion cannot remain alive if the triggering thought has been paroled. The thought acts as the emotion’s body guard. Once thought is freed from the mind, it no longer has to protect anything. The energy associated the emotion dissipates and you get unstuck.

Begin observing your thoughts and notice how quickly they and the attendant feelings start to dissolve.

All the best,


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December 26, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:49 am

I was reading a passage from Maya Angelou‘s, “Wouldn’t Take Nothin’ for My Journey Now” this morning. She was telling a grand story about her grandmother’s warning about complaining. The quote that caught my attention was:

“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”

And then I remembered something I read about Uma Thurman, the actress. She said she has a T-shirt that says:

“Save your drama for your Mama.”

We all complain. It’s part of the human software package. I think it’s healthy to register a complaint to the appropriate person when necessary. When the complaint drags on and is coming around the bend again for a second or third rendition, it’s drama.

The complaint takes on the dramatic component when the facts get buried with emotion. Take a simple example of being served cold soup at a restaurant. You could easily ask the server to take it back to kitchen and ask them to warm it up, or you could put on a high school play. “I’d expect a restaurant of this stature wouldn’t serve cold soup. At these prices, they should pay more attention to what they’re doing. People don’t take their jobs seriously anymore. No wonder we were attacked on 9/11. Nobody cares.”

You can easily see how drama escalates a situation into something it is not. There is a natural avoidance of people who complain and whine all the time. It’s obvious to anyone willing to pay attention that most people who complain all the time need attention. At the base level, this person feels ignored. That’s one of the reasons they keep complaining. It may have never struck them that the attention being paid to them when they complain is manufactured by others. It’s not genuine. It serves for the moment, but it has no lasting effect – kind of like a high school pep rally.

The prescription for complaining is a dose of gratitude. Just take 2 minutes out of your day and focus on things to be thankful about. Just this little spiritual practice puts a different filter on the day. You will begin to notice a decrease in drama in your life by making this a regular routine.

The major benefit is that people will begin giving you their natural attention which is the commodity that all humans desire.

All the best,


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December 25, 2007

Sup Sip . . .

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:03 am

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December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:01 am

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope The Grasshopper leaves you the gifts that Santa forgot. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, enjoy the time off, put your feet up, relax and enjoy the gifts The Grasshopper brings.

You see, everyone has a Grasshopper. It’s the part of you that lets the truth slip out from time to time. Not the relevant, debatable truth, but the truth that can only come from the one source of everything. When you get quiet and contemplative, The Grasshopper and his bag of goodies shows up. He visits more than once a year and you don’t have to leave him cookies and milk.

And let us remember that Christians all over the world are celebrating the birth of Jesus. The Grasshopper states the obvious when he says:

“There would be no celebration if not for him.”

Merry Christmas!


P.S. Give the gift of Grasshopper for the New Year. Let those you care about know that they can sign up for FREE messages from The Grasshopper to show up in their email inbox every Monday morning. They can sign up by clicking here.

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December 22, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:30 am

Back in November of 2005, The Grasshopper gave me this note:

“Not every acorn becomes a tree. The power is contained in each one, but some never root and fall by the wayside.”

I got curious about what he meant by “root.”

I got that it meant that some acorns never find the fertile soil in which to grow. They have all the requisite potential, but some wind up being a squirrel’s dinner instead of its home.

Does the unfulfilled acorn know about fertile soil? My guess is he senses it at some level, but dismisses it as some fairy tale that his acorn friends discussed when they all still lived together in the tree.

He did believe he was going to fall to earth one day because he had seen it happen to others. But when it happened for him, he got caught up in all the glitz this new environment had to offer. He never went looking for the lush loam he had heard about because that seemed too farfetched, and who wants to grow up anyway?

He went on his way rolling from one hardened surface to another in search of his earthly thrills. Then one day it happened. His shell began to crack. Maybe it was from all those narrow escapes from those pesky squirrels, or the wear and tear from rolling on hard pan and clay.

Whatever the reason, he was not as indestructible as he once thought. He intuitively knew he had to root somewhere or he would wind up like Humpty Dumpty, or worse be Bullwinkle‘s buddy’s breakfast.

Then out of nowhere, a giant storm with gale force winds blew this acorn far away from its familiar stomped grounds. Fortunately, he experienced a soft landing into something that was unfamiliar yet very comforting. This felt like home. He nestled into this new surrounding and felt sensations that eased all his fears. Could this be the loam the others had talked about?

He started to notice roots coming out of his cracked shell and digging deep into this accepting earth. “This is what they were talking about. It really exists!” he joyfully exclaimed.

This story has a happy ending. Our once confused little acorn now stands as a tall oak tree in a park where families picnic and children play. He continues to marvel at how rooted he has become and how fulfilling it feels to reach one’s potential. If he had any advice for aimless acorns, it would be this:

“Find the substance that helps you grow.”

All the best,

John   �

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December 21, 2007

Christmas Greeting

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:58 am

Every year for the past 25 years, I have worn the button you see below during the Christmas Season.

It is a true delight watching peoples’ minds at work as they stare at the button and try and make sense of it. Some even attempt sounding it out. They get this dazed look on their face as they go off into “thinkville.”

When you go off and think, you are in a trance. That’s what hypnosis is – having your intellect go away. The other part of your mind doesn’t go away. It’s present even when you sleep. It pays attention and, given some space, it figures things out.

Look at the button and see if your mind figures it out. You can try if you like, but trying usually gets in the way. Look at it and then go off and do something else and let your other than conscious mind work on it.

If you get it right away and it’s not a challenge for you, go to work on this:

What would chairs look like if your knees bent the other way?

Happy Holidays!


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December 20, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:57 am

Now there is a power packed word. Enlightenment conjures up myriad responses.

The Grasshopper chimed in with theses Nips of Nectar on the topic:

“Enlightenment is seeing without naming.”

“Divinity doesn’t think; it just creates.”

Jerry Stocking says that when you perceive your enlightenment, you have access to a bigger database. He also says that enlightenment is closer than your next thought. Jerry has a book called: Enlightenment is Losing Your Mind. It’s not an easy read, but it will get you contemplative and provide moments of enlightenment.

I am not an expert on enlightenment. I have investigated the topic and it seems to me that it has been dressed up to be something that it isn’t. The common thinking is that it’s reserved for holy men and women, who dress in sack cloth, eat nothing but wild berries, and never have any wild sex. That may be an exaggeration, but it’s not far from the point.

It seems that when we are free of thought, that’s when our creativity begins to flow. That’s also when answers to questions seem to come. We come up with pieces of information that don’t come from our patterned intellect. It seems that being “thoughtless” is the key to enlightenment.

How many times have you washed the car, taken a shower, knitted, or have been absorbed in some other activity, when all of a sudden a light went on? That’s enlightenment. It’s meant for everyone not just the seemingly dull and boring.

When the thought machine stops or gets occupied with something else, that’s when these moments of Satori show up.

I call my newsletter, S P A C E S. The reason for that is because when spaces show up between our thoughts, calmness & creativity arrive.

Investigate ways to generate space in your intellectual real estate.

Make it a point to engage is some meditative or contemplative practice each day. Don’t make it a religion. Start slowly at first so that you can easily find the time. You’ll eventually arrive at a comfortable amount of time that’s just right for you.

All of my CDs and DVDs are designed to get you to that place. Investigate my website and see which ones make the most sense for you.

You can still plan your pilgrimage to remote India, but you don’t have to be anywhere but where you are to have these special moments.

All the best,


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