- Thoughts for inspired living

March 31, 2008

The Magic Caldron

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:59 am

Back in June of 2006, The Grasshopper gave me a great name for a book, THE MAGIC CALDRON. I haven’t written it but if I do, this will be the framework.

There is a part of us that takes care of all that needs taking care of. It’s not our head; it’s not our heart, but something bigger – a gigantic caldron where magic happens.

Imagine for a moment that your head is a pint container and your heart can hold a gallon. Then imagine your magic caldron is as large as all the oceans of the earth combined. Pretend that your difficulty is a thimble full of arsenic. That amount in a pint container would surely poison your mind and it would do quite a job on your gallon container as well. What effect would a thimble full of arsenic have on the world’s oceans? It would become diluted and be taken care of with no ill effects.

The Magic Caldron is where all transmutation takes place.

The Buddha had a practice where he would ask you to give him your pain. He took your pain and deposited it in, what I’m calling, THE MAGIC CALDRON where it was washed away. He didn’t keep it in his mind nor did he keep it in his heart. He took it to the only place where it could be taken care of.

The major difficulty with difficulty is that we make the effort to solve it with our mind and our heart. They are not equipped to deal with this amount of poison. We need to deposit the stain of pain in a much bigger container where the cleansing power is powerful and effective.

Jerry Stocking uses the metaphor of the 3 bears in his teachings to help people get to where they need to be to dilute the difficulty – so their hearts and minds function more freely. I haven’t taken his course on this but experiencing his past work, I can attest to its value. He’s one of a kind.

There is self-help available everywhere. The main problem I see with the genre is that most of it is designed to get you something – health, wealth, confidence, etc. I have no quarrel with that. In fact, it’s part of my business to help people achieve those goals. Very little of the self-help field points you to THE MAGIC CALDRON. They use a bevy of techniques that deal with the difficulty on the head and heart level. That can be quite a relief for many, but it’s usually temporary and the problem shows up again dressed in another suit of clothes.

Self-help, in general, is like acne cream. It’s a topical ointment that does nothing about the cause of the condition. The quickest and simplest step is to get to the magic caldron. If you are a religious person, you probably have heard the phrase, “Let go and let God.” That is only a partial direction. The “how” is left out of that directive.

The mind and heart cleansing comes about automatically when you take your troubles to THE MAGIC CALDRON. You get there by employing some form of mind quieting practice – meditation, self-hypnosis, tai-chi, yoga, chi-gong, or paying attention to the present moment. Enter this activity with the intent of washing away your pain. It just has to be an intention – nothing more – no repeating of mantras or affirmations, or visualizations – just have the intention and do your practice.

Doing this regularly will drain the poison from your mind and heart and dissolve it.

The final instruction is most helpful. When you begin this practice, you may not achieve instant results. It does take practice. So when your pain surfaces in your non-meditative state, just mentally imagine your difficulty being deposited into THE MAGIC CALDRON where it can be cleansed. It will be enough to get you over the hump until the hump flattens out.

If you are a melting pot of misery, may I suggest you find a larger container and find out first hand that you can take care of your woes by putting them in THE MAGIC CALDRON.

All the best,


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March 28, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:03 am

What is true courage?

My sense is it’s the ability to recognize that who you purport to be is an illusion and to have the willingness to allow that illusion to die.

We are so wrapped up in our roles – mother, father, husband, wife, parent, breadwinner, middle child, misunderstood, etc. that we fail to notice that we are wearing a costume. That role is not us, anymore than Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones, yet we buy into it daily.

The recognition part is the easier of the two to comprehend. We can recognize that we are assuming a role but allowing that character to be written out of the script forever has such finality attached to it. That’s where courage comes in.

What role do you play?

The trap many people fall into when they recognize they are playing a role is to write another script – one that has them play a completely different character. That may be helpful to your acting career but it does little to prepare you for the death that is necessary to find life.

This is not to deny reality of your situation. You may in fact function as a parent, lover, animal trainer or something else but that is not who you are. Reminds me of a story . . .

My friend and business partner, John Leslie and I were walking down the street in Wilkes-Barre, PA a few years back and happened to pass a shop that specialized in costumes, novelties and gag gifts. There prominently displayed in the front window was some plastic vomit. We laughed and then he said, “Somebody sold that to them. There is a guy somewhere showing up for career day at his kid’s school talking about being the plastic vomit salesmen.” Imagine for a moment identifying with that role.

You can function as a parent or salesman but the minute you buy into being that role, you become a quivering coward.

The bully you have to face is the conditioned you known as the ego. It’s the collection of patterns and roles that you have learned that pretends to be you. When you can appreciate that you are more than a collection of controlling thoughts and behaviors, that’s when you can write your role’s obituary. “Today we are saddened to report that the role of misunderstood citizen of the universe has died. The role was played for many years to many adoring fans but has finally come to an end. In lieu of flowers, please send your congratulations to (fill in your name here).”

It takes courage to step out of a role and into the unknown. Not having that security blanket to rely on anymore, you enter a new territory that is unfamiliarly familiar. On the surface it doesn’t appear to be home, but it sure feels like it.

Once you step off the high dive there is no going back. This is in no way suggesting that you become a “deadbeat dad” and desert your family. This is more about finding the depth of your being and bringing a more complete you to any function you perform.

I wonder how soon you’ll muster the courage to stop pretending.

All the best,


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March 27, 2008

Wet Feet

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

I have a patterned reaction to someone stepping on the back of my flip flop. It makes me bonkers. I’m much better at my response now than I have been in the past. My son also has a potent reaction when he is wearing socks and steps in something wet. You can hear his Grrrrrr for miles. I recently heard him responding to wet socks and remembered a tidbit I got from The Grasshopper in December 2006:

“You don’t need to drown to get your feet wet.”

Then it immediately occurred to me that the corollary is just as useful:

“You don’t need to get your feet wet to drown.”

And then a year or so later I read this quote from Byron Katie:

“Am I drowning in water that doesn’t exist?”

The three musings have drowning in common. My sense is that they are somehow related. One suggests starting slowly on the learning curve until you have mastered each step. This prevents you from getting in over your head. The second suggests jumping into to something without proper respect for the undertaking.

Reminds me of a story . . . I think the evilest person on earth is the first person who convinced a local client to do his own radio commercial. They fed the guy’s ego with enough BS about how great it would sound just to get him to buy advertising. Then, of course, they put his kids in the commercial with him. It was worse than stepping on the back of my flip flop. I remember this one instance where the store owner came in and thought it would be a breeze to do his own commercial. He had a business that catered to women but he couldn’t say that word. He said the singular form of the word, “woman” when he meant the plural version “women,” and he sounded like a foghorn. He said, “You guys have the easiest job. Anybody can do this.” I recorded him doing a 30 second commercial for over an hour and he made mistake after mistake. Finally, he read one from start to finish and wanted to hear the finished product. He was horrified at how unprofessional it sounded. He went on a tirade about how awful and uneducated he sounded and how embarrassed he would be if this commercial went on the air. He talked about cancelling his advertising schedule which had the salesperson turn ashen. I then began to coach him. The first lesson was that you go “swimmin’ with women.” It took a while but he finally got that piece. Then I sat right across from him and had him say a sentence at a time to me as though he was telling me a story. I recorded each sentence individually and edited it all together and had him communicating like he did in real life. I played the final product and his original complete take for him and he was amazed at the difference. The best part of the session was when he left. He said, “I guess this is harder than it looks.”

The third quote suggests that your drowning is self inflicted. The floodwaters are in your head.

When you respond to the thought machine in your head with more thoughts, you are adding to the illusionary deluge. You are drowning in your own thoughts. The life preserver is presence. Become aware that you are letting the mental faucet drip and drip until you have “real water.” This recognition of the repetitive thought process while it is going on turns off the tap.

So what’s the message here?

  1. Break something down into manageable pieces.
  2. Have respect for something that you are currently unable to do.
  3. Have the presence to know that berating yourself will only make the drying out process take longer.

All the best,


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March 26, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:24 am

Trust is akin to being a high wire acrobat working without a net. It’s risky business for most, but for properly trained individuals, it’s as natural as breathing.

If you were training to be a circus wire walker, it seems your schooling wouldn’t begin 40 feet off the ground. My guess is you would begin about a foot off the ground and develop your chops before you practiced at progressive heights. Once you got to a certain height, you would have a safety net beneath you in case you made a mistake. There are the stories of ancient conquerors who burned their ships because it was the only escape route. It took a lot of trust in their abilities to be victorious on land to take such action.

Major league pitchers and golfers alike must trust the practiced program to be successful. A pitcher and a golfer drill in the mechanics of their motions. If you are throwing a 95 mph fast ball, all your mind needs is the location where you want it to land and then trust the practiced mechanics to get it there. The opposite happens, when the thinking mind jumps in between decision and execution. That’s when you have a hit batsman or the golf ball goes 40 feet right – into the lake.

We fall victim to the same lack of trust in our everyday lives. We are so intent on consciously figuring out every step along the way that we forget to notice that we are walking into a wall – again.

Trust takes recognition of the effectiveness of mechanics and practice.

Some people when exposed to the concept of trusting themselves buy in right away but fail. That’s because they think they can take a shortcut and not practice. Others practice and practice and also fail. They have not given up conscious control to just trust the mechanics.

There is a part of you that knows how to do what you want or desire. The missing link is trust.

Trust is not blind faith. People with blind faith usually are Pollyannaish in their approach. They want a pocketful of fairy dust to make things appear out of thin air. They are continually disappointed. They refuse to practice and hone this amazing skill.

So how can we get our level of trust to become an automated part of us?

You have to first own the belief that there is something bigger than us that is in charge of creation. Give it your favorite name. Then you must have the awareness that this creative force has your best interest at heart. Once those two pieces are in place, it’s time to begin your training.

Please don’t attempt to eat the cow at one sitting. You will lose your appetite. Start small and work your way up.

Begin to practice trusting yourself in activities whose results don’t have major consequences. For example, if you do your food shopping with a written list, leave the list at home and trust that you’ll remember to get all the listed items. It will take some practice to get consistent results. If you are going to give a speech, practice into a tape recorder without your notes and see how well you do extemporaneously. In a casual conversation, do not rehearse your response inside your head. Trust that you will have an appropriate response to what’s being said without having to calculate your answer before it leaves your lips.

Trust is such a freeing activity. It gets you out of your head and onto the playground. Work your way up incrementally until you can function at the top of the monkey bars effortlessly. I’ve mentioned this story before but it’s worth repeating here to illustrate the point. A young surgical intern was assisting an accomplished heart surgeon on a delicate procedure. The elder doctor explained that they had 45 seconds to do this specific procedure and if it didn’t happen in that time frame, the patient would likely die. His final instruction to the intern was, “We’ll have plenty of time if we don’t rush.”

His instruction was another way of saying “Trust the program.” Aspiring surgeons have lots of practice before they are put into life or death situations. If they have diligently practiced, they can trust themselves to perform when their time comes.

I wouldn’t want you to take this on faith. Practice polishing up your trust and notice the results. It’s then that you will know for sure there is a part of us to rely on when difficulty stares us in the face.

I trust this makes sense.

All the best,


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March 25, 2008

Laundry Day

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:43 am

Yesterday was laundry day for me. No not the kind where you gather all the clothes from the hamper and wash, dry and fold them. It was a practice that came to me during my morning meditation. I think you’ll enjoy laundry day.

I learned about Ho’oponopono from my friend, Mark Ryan about a year ago and my friend, Jonathan Manske is also quite taken by the work of Dr. Hew Len of Hawaii. One application of Ho’oponopono, as done by Dr. Hew Len, has you bring to mind a condition you see in another and realize that the condition is also in you – since we all contain the one life force that animates everything. Dr. Len then goes through a 4 phrase repetitive process that has him address that part of him that has the condition. The 4 phrases are: I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you. He believes this cleanses that part of you and therefore cleanses the condition in another. Dr. Hew Len calls it cleaning. He has used it with amazing results that can be read about in Joe Vitale’s book, ZERO LIMITS.

The process that came to me yesterday is not as involved as Ho’oponopono, yet I believe it accomplishes the same cleaning task without the 4 phrase mantra. Begin your meditative practice, whatever it is, and when you begin to feel the peace of the meditation, just mentally invite that person with that condition into your state of presence. That’s it. You can imagine that they are there with you bathing in the rejuvenating essence of healing peace allowing their spirit to be laundered. Whatever peace you are feeling is automatically having an effect on them.

It’s not necessary to visualize a specific outcome for them, nor is it productive. Just invite them into the peace you’re feeling and allow that peace to work whatever magic it deems necessary for that person. Don’t impose your will on what the peace should accomplish – just let it do what it does.

My favorite part of the Mass of the Catholic Religion is the sign of peace. The priest says the phrase, “The peace of the Lord be with you always.” The response to that phrase is, “And also with you.” Then he says, “Let us offer each other a sign of peace.” Then there is a sharing of the phrase, “Peace be with you” between parishioners as they handshake, hug, or whatever is the local custom. It is a sharing of the peace of God.

I think you can share whatever peace you feel with anyone you choose without too much fanfare.

Again, here is the simple practice:

1. Get into a meditative state where you are feeling the peaceful effects.

2. Mentally invite in the person you want to share that peace with.

3. Sit together in unimpeachable silence.

I can offer no evidence that it works. What I can attest to is the feeling I receive as a result of doing the meditation. It’s wonderful.

Drop me an email and let me know how it works for you at

Peace be with you,


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March 24, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:20 am

It’s a new word I just made up. It’s a combination of struggling and suffering – Struffering.

The Buddha’s essential teaching is that the human condition is suffering. He could have easily said struggling and the concept would remain the same.

What are we struggling with? The answer to this question always seems to be something out there, when in fact it’s something in here.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that most of our suffering doesn’t come from the situation itself but from our response to it. So where does our response live, out there or in here?

“In here” is the conversation going on in our mind. That’s where the struggle occurs and the suffering happens. You’re “Struffering.”

The conditioned you – the ego – resists reality and that always ends up with the same result – struggling.

Quoting The Grasshopper:

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

How many times can you go over it before you notice that you’re going over it again? It’s a repetitive thought loop that remains on auto play until the batteries run out.

There is a remedy, other than waiting for your mind to get tired of this idea before it latches on to a new one to struggle with.

This answer is like your first taste of alcohol – it may burn going down. The answer is always acceptance.

Accept that your mind is on auto pilot. There is a step before acceptance. It’s recognition. Recognize that you are in a thought loop. Then accept that your mind can struggle and suffer with whatever it wants. The noticing and accepting has an interesting side effect – the struggling subsides and the suffering ceases.

Again, quoting The Grasshopper,

“Acceptance is the clutch that disengages the ego.”

Accepting something gives it nowhere to go. It’s like the scene in the movie CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER when CIA analyst, Jack Ryan advises the President on what to say when the press comes to him and asserts that he was friends with the assassinated businessman who was a major drug dealer. I can’t remember the exact line he recommends but it went something like this: “We weren’t just friends; we were lifelong friends.” The result was there was no place for them to go once that admission was made and the situation was diffused.

Acceptance is diffusion. It diffuses the ego. Acceptance ends the struggle and opens the door to peace.

Struggling and suffering are twins who were separated at birth. When they reunite they become stronger than the sum of their parts and turn into the super villain called Struffering. Like Superman, Struffering has only one weakness – Acceptance.

All the best,


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March 21, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:00 am

Did you ever see the guy in the circus on a unicycle? It’s an amazing feat of frenetic balance to witness. Sometimes you are treated to juggling and other antics from the circus unicyclist. It’s quite entertaining and very difficult to do. In the end the unicyclist hops off his seat, jumps to the ground and takes his bow. It’s a relatively short performance.

Contrast that with the two wheeled bicycle rider. He too has learned to ride but it’s not as arduous a balancing task as it is for the unicyclist. He doesn’t have to work as hard because he has two wheels.

We all have a unicyclist – a flashy part of us that wants to thrill and be noticed. If that need to be noticed becomes all consuming, we will tire ourselves out on this one wheel ride in order to keep the adulation coming, and we will eventually fall.

The balance that comes from having two wheels is the advantage of the human being. You have a human wheel and a spiritual wheel. The human wheel works in concert with the spiritual wheel to provide a smoother ride. This ride will also run into things that may knock you off balance, but not as often, and it’s easier to get back up on this bike and continue the ride.

If you live your whole life on one wheel, your balancing act will take up most of your energy to preserve the illusion that you are in control of your life. The unicyclist doesn’t recognize that there is another part of us that gives the equilibrium that all riders need. As long as he is ignorant of that part of him, balance and life will be a struggle. As a bartender on an episode of LAW & ORDER said,

“Maintaining ignorance is hard work.”

Riding and hiding is what our conditioned self called the ego does. It puts all its focus on the thrill and hides from the truth that it’s not in control. Depending on your ego for energy is much like the new battery powered, electronic gizmo that you buy. Once out of the box, the battery is only partially charged and it will only last so long until you plug it into the recharger. The recharger is the spiritual part of you. Once you discover it, you no longer have to try and manufacture energy in your life.

The allure to leave home and join the circus is short lived because no one can survive on a diet of cotton candy. If you’re out of balance, chances are you are still on the thrill ride and surrounded by clowns.

Make the effort to find your spiritual wheel and your balancing act will be over. Then you can pedal your way down any path with the assurance that you have attained balance.

All the best,


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March 19, 2008

Present Moment

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:38 am

I remember a lot of roll calls in my life – school, military, meetings, and so forth. It dawned on me recently that when my name was called, I really gave a false answer. I said, “present” or “present and accounted for” or simply “here.” The response that came closest to the truth was “here.”

I was, in fact, there but I wasn’t present. Last June The Grasshopper gave me this gift:

“Chasing the horizon is a carrot, feeling the sand beneath your feet now is the essence of life.”

How much of our lives do we spend there – where we aren’t? It seems like it’s in the 90% range or better.

The Grasshopper’s remedy always works to bring you back to the present. Your body always lives in the present moment. There is no past or future for your body. It’s always here, now.

Our mind can learn a lesson from our body and receive a gift – the present moment. The mind is rarely in the present. It’s either in the “yay me” or “poor me” past, or in the hopeful or scary future. You cheat yourself out of peace and relaxation when you trap yourself inside your head.

Your body can rescue you every time. The trick is to start giving your body conscious attention. Eckhart Tolle says that a question to ask yourself to start this process is: “Am I breathing?”

This question provides more than a yes or no answer. You begin to notice a process that goes on 24/7 every day of your life (except when you see a sunset at Sedona. I’m told that will take your breath away). Just the awareness of the breathing process, even for a moment, delivers more presence – giving you more peace of mind and relaxation.

My CD called RELAX IN 2 MINUTES is an exercise in present moment body awareness. If you require assistance with this process, this CD will help you learn it. After you listen to the CD a few times, you will be adept at relaxation and present moment awareness. It’s so easy even a human can do it.

When you focus on something that’s grounded to the present, like your body, you transform the frenetic energy in your head into a calming sensation that permeates your mind and body.

Are you breathing?

All the best,


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March 18, 2008

Spiritual Seekers

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:35 am

It usually takes a trauma for most people to seek the spiritual realm. The burning desire isn’t there for people who are getting their needs met in the temporal world. When that world comes unglued, a posse is formed to find the satisfaction that escaped.

The first step is usually a misstep – searching in all the wrong places. We look for satisfaction by adding more things to ourselves. We focus more intently on the conditioned needs of our ego. We become more superficial until we recognize that isn’t working either.

There is an uneasiness that seems to be directing our actions towards something that we can’t consciously explain. It’s an unexplainable feeling that nudges us to discover who we are behind the mask of the form our imbuing spirit has animated.

The search isn’t for satisfaction; it’s for spirituality. That’s the goal of the inward nudge. It’s not to get you more of what the world has to offer, but to give the world more of you – the real you – the light that shines through your human form.

The amazing side benefit of finding your spiritual nature is more satisfaction with life. Your focus shifts from the desires of the ego, the conditioned you, that lead to more wanting, to a perspective of trust. The trust is that what you truly need will show up at the appropriate time.

Does one truly need a shiny, expensive new this or that? If you answered “yes,” your posse is on a long lunch break. This is not an anti-consumerism message. The desired shiny new doodad isn’t evil; it just won’t deliver long-term satisfaction. If you purchase something for its beauty and functionality, there is no ego involved. The minute you determine that it will add to your image of who you think you are, you have taken steps away from spirituality and back into the world of unquenched satisfaction.

Pushing spirituality on anyone will never work. Living a spiritual life provides an example that others will automatically be drawn towards. It seems most of us have to traverse a rocky road to get to a spiritual path. Once you find this path, pay attention to the step you are on in the moment and it magically leads you to the next step. There is no 5 year plan needed.

Trusting your spiritual nature is truly dancing with the will of God.

All the best,


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March 17, 2008

Lucky Charms

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:32 am

The Grasshopper emerged from a pile of 4 leaf clovers and came up with this bon mot about 5 years ago:

“Luck is the short end of statistical probability.”

I personally don’t have luck as far down on the dependency totem pole as “hope,” but it’s in the same neighborhood. (see March 12th blog)

We’ve heard all the motivating quotes about luck – from rabbit’s feet to getting sweaty – but none of them are worth betting on.

Luck seems to be the filtered piece of reality that we agree with – unless it’s bad luck.

Luck happens!

In the gambling world of statistical probability, it can be measured. You can tell approximately when it’s going to happen, but not to whom.

Yet, we seem to know people who are luckier than others – consistently. There is a common thread. These folks seem to have a lucky charm. It’s their attitudinal approach to life. We can verify this for ourselves by proving the negative. Look at all the consistently unlucky people you know. There is a thread, isn’t there? It’s their attitude – their angle of approach.

It seems they lack gratitude and are focused on doomsday – which is always right around the corner. That’s like sitting in a movie being unhappy that it’s going to end in an hour and 15 minutes. Participate in the scene that’s on the screen – now – and leave the happy or sad ending where it belongs – in the future.

Reminds me of a story . . . I like scrimshaw. I doubt that I’d ever develop the patience or expertise to do it but I appreciate it. I have some personal scrimshaw treasures that were designed for me and given to me as gifts. I have a pair of cufflinks that feature bonsai trees in the scrimshawed drawing. I also have a set of yin and yang scrimshaw cufflinks. I rarely wear cufflinks anymore but they bring me joy when I look at them. I took up golf 5 ½ years ago, and if you play golf you can personally attest to the unpredictability of your luck on the links. In golf, players use ball markers once they reach the putting surface. Many people use a coin. It’s quite functional to mark the spot where your ball is on the green and pick it up and clean it before placing it back down by the marker and then attempting your putt. I had the same fellow who designed my cufflinks design a scrimshaw ball marker for me about the size of a quarter. I had him carve the Chinese character for the Tao in the middle and also inscribe the words, “This too shall pass.”

This marker is my lucky charm. No, it doesn’t make me play golf any better, but it certainly focuses me on an angle of approach. We all get sidetracked by the little leprechaun in our head from time to time and our lucky charm is the awareness and attitude that brings us back to the present moment – what’s happening now – not 10 minutes or 10 years ago but right now. Not what’s going to happen in the future but what’s happening right now.

Lucky people recognize reality and have the attitudinal approach that the people in Florida have about the thunderstorms – Hang around 10 minutes and it will change. Lucky people know that they will have upsides and downsides and that each will pass. It’s this lucky charm of knowing that allows them the freedom to celebrate and be grateful for their luck whenever it shows up.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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