- Thoughts for inspired living

June 16, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:26 am

Speaking from personal as well as professional experience, we wage a war against unhappiness and lose every battle.

The problem is the declaration of war. It would be much more healthy and productive if we learned to peacefully co-exist with unhappiness. It’s like dog poop; it’s everywhere and it will always be around.

Reminds me of a story . . . about 20 years ago I took training in the martial art of Aikido. After being instructed in the basic movements, holds and falls, the most counter-intuitive thing to learn was to step into an attack. Every natural instinct seems to want us to move back and away from our attacker. The objective is to move in smaller circles than your attacker. When you enter their larger circle with a smaller one, you control where the action flows. It’s a simple principle to understand but harder to put into action due to our conditioning.

Our conditioning is to traditionally fight with unhappiness. We have plenty of help. Our entire advertising culture preys upon the conditioning that there is something wrong with being unhappy and offers us a quick fix. The medical and psychological community follows suit with prescriptions and remedies to chase away the blues.

Unhappy does not feel good and who in their right mind would want it to hang around?

We would be better served as human beings to let unhappiness have a time share unit within us. When it shows up, treat it with respect and spend time with it. It is a powerful emotion that can be a driving force to what’s next. But you have to let it take a seat and be with it in order to benefit by the energy it brings.

If you fight it, you are negating its energy field and you never get the upside from the downside. That’s because you are taking sides and making unhappiness be your enemy. Unhappiness is relentless and will keep battering the castle door until it gets in.

Fighting with unhappiness is more destructive and painful than letting it in. You make unhappiness an enemy by resisting it. “Make Unhappiness your Friend” is a book title that probably wouldn’t sell and a practice that wouldn’t catch on, but making it an acquaintance delivers benefits.

When you accept the unhappiness within, you give it free reign to roam around your body where it eventually tires out and takes a rest. If you keep resisting it in your mind, it will tire you out with countless weary battles.

There is something on the other side of unhappiness but you’ll never get there unless you allow it to naturally move through you.

Again, like Aikido, this is counter-intuitive and highly effective. It takes practice and the rewards of peace outweigh the spoils of war.

All the best,


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June 13, 2008

Death of the Onion

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:49 am

Ever peel an onion? The interesting thing is when you get down to the last layer there is nothing left to peel away. An apple has a core, a peach has a pit, and a grape has a seed, but an onion has nothing at the core.

That’s what happens when you peel away your illusion. You remove one layer at a time until there is nothing left. That empty space is you.

Many people are afraid to peel away their illusion (the self they made up and got comfortable with) because they are afraid of what they will find. There is nothing tangible or definable when your illusion is gone, but what’s left is more real than any layer you removed.

What’s left is the emptiness out of which everything is born. The ancient Chinese Philosopher, Lao Tzu called it the Tao.

When you peel your illusion apart, there will be unsettledness in you. It’s the storm before the calm. Did you ever notice that if you are caught in a storm, you have to deal with it? Pretending it’s not there doesn’t work and fighting with it is pure comedy. Moving through the storm is the only option that gets you to a calmer clime.

Ruffled feathers are a sign that your illusion has been peeled at. Who is really responding to the stimulus that got your Irish up? Is it the peaceful you or the conditioned you?

Someone may be playing the role of antagonist in your movie. Their part may be scripted so that you can begin to peel away your layers of learned responses to reach the infinite you. Your response to other people helps you find out more about yourself. If you respond by defending your illusion, you’ll never peel deep enough to have a good cry. If you get curious about what other responses you could have past the conditioned ones, you are beginning the peeling process.

It takes courage to peel away our layers because our illusion dies in the process. This death of the onion is our springboard to life.

All the best,


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June 10, 2008

Internet Jukebox

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:52 am

Yesterday I saw an old jukebox, the kind that used to populate diners many years ago. It was loaded with songs from my dancin’, prancin’ and romancin’ years as I like to call them. It was a fun excursion down memory lane as I was spinning the hits. It got me to wondering . . .

It’s as though we have a mental jukebox that has access to a finite number of songs. When we depress the keys C3 or J5, we always get a predictable old song. We seem to be at the mercy of the current playlist on the jukebox.

These are our “Greatest Hits” and we play them over and over again. It’s a case of conditioned stimulus/response. When we or someone else depresses L9, they’re going to get a predictable tune. This is the way our life gets programmed and stale.

(Cue the announcer) “Introducing the Internet Jukebox.”

Pretend for a minute that your mental jukebox had a search engine on it like Google and it was hooked to the internet. You could search the entire internet for just the precise song you needed and download it to play on your machine. You wouldn’t be limited by the same old songs.

You have the ability to own the internet jukebox today. No money down, no interest to pay. In fact, it’s free.

The only thing you have to invest is your attention. Just notice that you are playing one from the “Golden Groove Yard” for the umpteenth time. Your noticing will interrupt the song long enough for you to activate the search engine to come up with the appropriate song for this occasion. When you are hooked to the internet jukebox, you have access to a bigger database to choose from. The selections are endless.

So the next time you’re about to give an anemic, predictable response to someone which will have the same predictable result, interrupt the song that’s about to play and search for another. This interruption and search will add delightful new songs to your playlist and keep you fresh.

You can certainly keep your all time favorites if they are still working for you. But if they’re not, hook yourself up to the internet jukebox. And as we use to say in the radio business: “The hits just keep on comin’,”

All the best,


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June 9, 2008

Life’s Purpose

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:20 am

Since 9/11 you need a personal history to board an airplane in the U.S. or at least an ID.

When you meet passengers on a plane, they may ask who you are and what you do. I used to tell people I was a raspberry salesman just to notice their response. I haven’t worked up the gumption to identify myself as a child of the universe or formless spirit yet, but that day may be coming. So how do we identify ourselves in the meantime?

I’m someone with a purpose comes to mind.

Do you have a purpose? What are you allowing to flow through you for everyone’s consumption?

I can remember being stuck in a career for a long time because of the money it paid. I was going through the moves, and because of some developed discipline, I was able to pull off doing the job successfully, but the warm fuzzies were few and far between. My purpose at that time was to remain employed, look forward to the weekends, long weekends, vacations and holidays. That left over 200 days a year of me looking forward.

The difficulty of the “someday” philosophy is that, even when it comes, it’s anti-climactic in nature. Much of the time you look forward to includes taking time to decompress from your week or whatever, and taking the more time to ramp up for your return to your dreaded, purposeless existence.

Many people go on the search of “Who am I?” That usually puts you into a thought loop that never ends. It’s like trying to consciously figure out infinity. A more productive thing to wonder about is, “What’s my purpose?”

There are clues being left for you like a trail of breadcrumbs to follow. One of those trail markers is your natural skill set. What natural abilities do you have? What does everyone who knows you say about you? “You’re good with people,” you work well with your hands,” “you’re a born salesman,” “kids love you,” “you are a wonderful communicator” are just some of the signposts.

Next, there is your personal passion. What can you get lost in for hours at a time without thinking about anything else? This is another clue.

Your body is the ultimate clue sensor. What activity or pursuit delivers the most contentment in your body?

You may have a developed skill set for a purpose that delivers none of the body contentment I have just described. That is not your purpose. It may be a stepping stone to your real purpose but it lacks the warm fuzzy factor.

I remember reading something many years ago that has stuck with me. It said, “Find your style by the time you are forty.” If you are 40 or over, it’s time to find your purpose.

This isn’t a prescription to be a stick in the mud or not to try anything new after a certain age. It’s more about noticing that the key to finding yourself cannot be achieved without finding your purpose.

Purpose leads to the free flowing, unmistakable you.

Make today the launching pad for finding your purpose. If you’ve already found it, congratulations! Now take the time to help someone else find theirs. The more people with a purpose, the friendlier and more peaceful the world becomes.

All the best,


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June 6, 2008

I’m Confused

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

How often do we issue the declaration, “I’m confused”? I wonder if you ever looked on confusion as positive versus a negative?

When you are confused, you have an opportunity to learn. When you are certain, there is no room for new learning or a new way of doing things.

If you know, your curiosity is taking a nap. If you don’t know, your curiosity can kick into high gear and get you wondering about a bevy of conclusions to clear up your confusion.

If you can set aside what you know, you’ll have an opportunity to grow. When you know, you are shut off to innumerable possibilities. Believe it or not, there is more than one way to get to heaven.

Knowing is the biggest obstacle to learning and the quickest way to bore the pants off anyone who may be listening to you. When you know, there is a tendency to parcel out that knowledge in the same patterned way where it becomes hackneyed and trite. Your knowledge fails to connect due to a lack of attention and aliveness in its delivery. This may be a bitter pill we have to swallow when taking a math course, but worn out communication and lack of growth doesn’t have to permeate our life.

Here’s a novel idea: Pretend you don’t know and see what new perspectives you can come up with. You’ll never see them if you know.

Certainty is solid and impermeable. Not knowing is filled with holes that can absorb new knowledge and perspective.

When you don’t know, you pay attention more often. This attention is what allows you to see the possibilities. When you know, you go on automatic pilot and miss the new learning that is always there.

Knowing causes a blind spot to what’s available. If you want to remain an old dog, stay attached to your knowing. If you want to grow, drop what you know.

Confusion can become the cornerstone of creativity, if you set aside your certainty.

Now you have something new you can make merry about. Celebrate your confusion!

All the best,


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June 5, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:32 am

I came upon a quote from Albert Einstein while reading Jill Bolte Taylor‘s book, “My Stroke of Insight.” It read:

I must be willing to give up what I am to become what I will be.”

It’s a powerful idea to meditate on.    

“What I am” for most of us is the person we made up and got comfortable with. When we begin to get uncomfortable with “what I am,” there is usually a fork in the road presented. One fork leads to more of the same (same s**t, different zip code), and the other leads to “what I will be.”

You’ll know which road you are going to head down when you make this decision: What to take with you. Reminds me of a story . . .

My long time friend and business partner and his wife were moving from upstate New York to Florida about 5 years ago. They had a cozily decorated home featuring an Early American décor. They decided to have an auction of all their furniture and many other household items so they could start from scratch when they arrived in Florida. When I visited their lovely, new home, the only thing that remained the same was the pictures of their grandchildren on the new refrigerator.

This uncomfortable period of standing at the fork has been labeled as “falling apart.” The patterns that make up who you think you are start coming unglued. The road most people take at this point is the one that takes you backward. On this route, you begin to buy into the “cake and eat it too” illusion. People usually seek more “stuff” at this point. They become more superficial. This is an effort to add more to their personal illusion so they can finally feel like they are enough. The mistake they make is simply mathematical. They add when they should subtract.

Most people eventually figure it out that adding will never fill the hole in their soul, and then take the other fork. It’s what Eckhart Tolle and others refer to as the “return movement.”

A portion of our life is spent amassing and adding layers and layers to our image. The return movement is removing the layers to find out who we really are. The uncomfortable area in between is a signal and an invitation for us to go deeper. Many don’t R.S.V.P.

Underneath all the layers of addition is the foundation of our core – the animating life force that is who we all are. Once we make that discovery, the fork that most others take becomes the road less traveled for us.

You will find “what I will be” when you drop what you were hanging on to for dear life. Life gets simpler when we give up carrying around the backpack labeled: “What I am.”

All the best,


P.S. My dear friend, Jonathan Manske’s new book is now available. It’s called: The Law of Attraction Made Simple:  Magnetize your Heartfelt Desires. Jonathan provided me with the manuscript months ago and it’s a wonderful book where you get to discover more about you. Order online at

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June 4, 2008

We Have It Backwards

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:48 am

What if what you were living was a mirror image of life and not life itself? Did you ever notice that your reflection looks different in a mirror than does your image on a photograph? The mirror does provide great, unbiased answers, but backward images. That’s why they spell the word “ambulance” backwards on the front of the ambulance. When you see it in the rearview mirror, it appears to be spelled in forward fashion and you can recognize it quickly.

You are living your reflection rather than your life when you associate with your thoughts and disassociate from your feelings.

When you associate with your thoughts, you are once removed from reality. Your thoughts aren’t reality, only a report on reality. Your thoughts aren’t you, only a report on who you “think” you are. Your thoughts are patterned loops that are repetitive and illusionary. Pretend for a moment that you recorded a bunch of statements into a recorder and then played them back on loop mode. Then imagine how silly it would be to call that tape recorder and its sounds, you. They are once removed from you.

You have misidentified yourself as a tape recorder. Imagine your tape recorder standing in for you in your wedding photo or in a family group shot. That’s how ridiculous it is to think of yourself as a bunch of recorded loops. You are much deeper than that. The first step in reaching the depths of you is to disassociate from your thoughts. They are not you; they pretend to be you and you let this impressionist live your life.

We also tend to chase away the sensations that show up in our body that are associated with emotions. We want to disassociate from them. When we do this, we extend the time the emotion hangs around. We have many ways of disassociating – denial, alcohol, drugs, food, and endless other diversions. Our purpose seems noble – to get away from pain.

The fastest way to relieve the pain of a splinter is to remove the splinter. There is pain involved with removing a splinter but it is much shorter in duration than the other methods – walking around with it for days, weeks, months, years, taking pain killers to make the pain subside as we continue to carry the splinter, denying it’s there, or the worst – talking about the pain with everyone who is willing to listen and still doing nothing about it.

The fastest way to let an emotion move through you is to accept it and feel it. Notice the sensations it produces in your body and sit with them. Let them have their natural flow through your form. You can prolong your torture by slowly wading into cold water or you can take the plunge. The plunge is always the quickest way to reach past the cold sensation.

Feeling the emotion in your body has nothing to do with telling yourself a story as to why the emotion is there in the first place. The story prolongs the torture. Constant storytelling to yourself and others about your emotional state is drama of the highest order. It doesn’t work. Accepting and being with the pain and allowing it to move at its own pace through you is always the quickest route. Its natural pace is always the fastest way through. All of our plans to mitigate it, elongate it.

It’s OK to be sad, angry, fearful, etc. We have been sold such a bill of goods that we shouldn’t experience our emotions. The experiencing of our emotions puts us in touch with our body which always lives in the present moment. Being in touch with our body takes us away from being associated with our thoughts which always prolong our pain.

Here’s a line Shakespeare never wrote:

“Associate or disassociate: that is the answer.”

All the best,


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June 3, 2008

The Silent Embrace

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:50 am

Did you ever notice that a hug doesn’t need words? It works its magic all by itself. I’m heading to Florida next week and will have an opportunity to visit with my son, Michael. Mike is the best hugger I have ever experienced and his embrace is always looked forward to and cherished.

I’ve been reading Wayne Dyer‘s interpretation of the Tao Te Ching and he mentions that the 56th verse of this ancient book of wisdom is the most popular. You may have heard the opening verse in some form or another:

“Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know.”

A hug doesn’t talk.

But what if you are not in proximity of someone who needs a hug? You employ “The Silent Embrace.” Wayne Dyer triggered this idea when he used the words “Secret Embrace.” Either name will work with this exercise that just came to me. The name isn’t important; the practice is what makes it worthwhile.

Think of someone you know who needs a hug or someone you would like a hug from. Imagine giving or receiving a silent, melt-your-muscles-like-butter hug. Hold the embrace for as long as necessary and feel the calming sensations throughout your body.

You can use this silent embrace with anyone. They can even be passed on and you will receive the peaceful benefits in your body. Please don’t delay this exercise. It’s real powerful and you can do it right now in less than a minute.

My sense is that you are not the only one who will feel the therapeutic effects of this embrace.

I’ve begun a new practice today – The Silent Embrace. I offer it to you and encourage you to report back on your experiences with this heartfelt hug.

All the best,


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June 2, 2008


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

I was entering the supermarket on Saturday and spotted a group of young Asian people collecting for earthquake relief victims in China. I was following a woman, her husband and their child into the store. The woman says to one of the people collecting, “What’s this?” The young woman replied, “It’s for earthquake victims in China.” The woman replied, “What about America?” and kept walking.

Give or don’t give.

What a poor example to set for your child. This us against them mentality gets passed from generation to generation and it doesn’t allow for the salve that heals – compassion.

Notice the prickliness of the following statement in your body: “I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire.”

If your body had an uneasy reaction to that stimulus, get curious about what your version of that statement is and vow not to pass it on.

Everyone has some sort of prejudice. If you notice yours, you have an opportunity to outgrow it. Even if you choose to keep it in place, make every effort not to pass it along. You may want to ask yourself this question, “Does my prejudice deliver peace to me?”The answer is Never! So we choose to keep something in place that keeps us hurting. That is the closest definition to insanity that anyone will ever come up with and the practice of keeping this madness alive is global.

Many of us inherited our prejudices by the conditioning of our parents, teachers, peers, clergy and culture. We got a lot of this stuff without our permission. We have never examined some of our beliefs that cause us and others pain; and we blindly pass along that pain to those we love. What loving parent knowingly passes along unnecessary pain to their child?

Teach compassion by being compassionate. This has nothing to do with reaching into your wallet. It’s more about reaching into your heart and wringing out the hatred that keeps you in pain and recognizing that another is a mirror image of you. You may not share the same heritage, skin color or ideology, but you do share the same life force. If you cannot be compassionate for another’s misfortunes, you’ll never be able to fully feel another’s compassion for you.

Compassion is meant to flow and you dam it up for yourself and others when you selectively offer it.

Make the effort today to offer compassion where you may have withheld it in the past. It can be a silent offering that no one needs be aware of but you. Notice the release of tension that goes along with your offering, and feel the flow of peace that permeates your body.

Compassion works for everyone and adds to your peace. Indifference is a barrier that keeps us isolated from compassion and all its healing properties.

Practice compassion.

All the best,


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