- Thoughts for inspired living

December 29, 2015

Forgot My Wallet

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:41 am

PickpocketYesterday I drove over to the gym. Halfway there I discovered I had forgotten my wallet which contained my driver’s license and other forms of ID. I said in my head, “I hope I don’t get pulled over.”

I arrived without incident, did my workout and was preparing to drive home. Then this idea hit me. Suppose I was all of a sudden stranded in a town that was new to me with no ID and no financial means, how would I survive?

It got me to thinking about a course Jerry Stocking does called THE GLOW. Part of the course is taking away all your forms of ID and money and communication devices and have you live on the streets over a couple of days.

What do you rely on during such times? The answer seems to be your internal resources. You never leave them behind.

We get so used to relying on our tangible resources that we forget to exercise one of our most prized possessions: our internal resources.

I’m reminded of a line from one of Robert Frost‘s poems: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” What do you do then?

Most of us look for an outside savior when we find ourselves in such a pickle. What if there isn’t one? Often there’s not. Our choice seems to be to find a way forward or die on the vine.

Internal resources are the way to save the day. We first must recognize that we have them and then decide to use them.

“Get Resourceful” can be our mantra as we head into a new year. Find your way forward by finding and using what most of us keep hidden: our internal resources.

The old proverb found in Plato‘s work comes to mind: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I think it best not to wait until necessity shows its face. Practice using your internal resources well before the house is on fire and you’ll be in a better position to use them when necessity comes a-calling.

Practicing could be as simple as what I did yesterday: wondering what I would do in the face of the unforeseen. The wondering puts you in touch with parts of you that haven’t seen the light of day for quite some time.

It’s these internal resources that will create something new when your missing wallet is gone from view.

All the best,


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December 28, 2015

Levels of Love

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:08 am

LevelsThe Grasshopper presented this post-holiday gift: “If you have ever experienced love with someone, you still love them at some level.”

I will defer to Jerry Stocking‘s one word definition of love: Inclusion.

My guess is that pure love is inclusion of everyone. I’m not sure any of us are at that level but as the old adage goes: “Shoot for the moon and settle for the stars.”

So that brings me back to “levels of love.”

Even if you profess to hate someone that you once loved, that love still exists at some level even if you can’t consciously include them any longer. The short version of this is: “Love never dies.”

It’s always present but not always recognized or acknowledged. Reminds me of a sad story . . .

Years ago, I attended my grandfather’s funeral with my mother. She professed her whole life that she hated him. She would cite chapter and verse why he was such a vile person worthy of loathing. I didn’t understand it when she cried at his funeral. I do now.

At some level she loved him and the sense of finality of his earthly existence let that love surface, even if for a brief moment.

Love is present. We just have to create a space for it to fill. If you find someone “unworthy” of your love, make the effort to create a space within you for that person. You may find that making a space for them is followed by a level of love. I’m not saying you should love them; I’m only suggesting to create a space for them. That way, a level of love has a chance of coming through.

If you can’t do it for them, do it for you. Any level of love feels better than hatred, so act in your own self-interest and create a space. It just may bring a smile to your face.

All the best,


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December 22, 2015

Leave Your Assertions at the Door

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:46 am

CoalHere’s a holiday tip from one of Santa’s older elves – me.

If you want to leave arguments out of your holiday gatherings, leave your assertions at the door.

Notice how one assertion (the way things are according to you) opens the door to a barrage of counter assertions that lead away from the sugarplums you may have been expecting.

An assertion is most often an opinion stated as fact. Many of them start with the words “all, every or never.” “All left-handed rodeo cowboys are cattle rustlers.” “Every person who wears a red hat is looking for attention.” “I never do that.” (Yes you do).

An assertion is a guaranteed argument starter. Did you just notice I made an assertion? Did you also notice how quickly you can come up with a counter example?

Get in the habit of asking questions rather than making assertions.

If someone else makes an assertion, let it go without response or ask a curiosity question as to how they came to that conclusion. If you counter the assertion, plan on turning your holiday gathering into a call-in talk show where you’ll be using your outdoor voice indoors.

One way to avoid this type of interaction altogether is by saying something like, “You know, that’s a discussion we can have anytime; I’d rather hear about your (fill in the blank).” Blank Fillers: Your visit with your grandson or your girlfriend who came to visit or the yoga class you’re taking. There are many things you can inquire about that move you away from the avenue of argument.

You can help insure pleasant and peaceful holiday gatherings by leaving your stocking, filled with coal-fired assertions, at the door.

All the best,


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December 18, 2015

Not In My Stocking

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 5:37 am

Christmas Stocking

Hi Santa,

This year I’m going against my normal routine of asking you for what I want. Just for fun, here’s a list of what I don’t want:

– The company of people who always complain.

– Drug ads on TV that promise to keep people alive longer.

– Calls from strangers who read scripts to me.

– A conversation with anyone that ends with “have a good one.”

– A Fruitcake.

– Another dieting tip from Oprah.

– Yet another “Sitcom” with canned laughter.

– To hear pro athletes using the word “myself.” As in, “We won the game – the team and myself.”

– To associate with anyone with manufactured sincerity.

Santa, I know you won’t be able to not bring me everything on my list, but every effort by you and the elves is appreciated. As always, your low-fat milk and gluten free cookies will be waiting.

Thank you,

LJ (Little Johnny)

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December 14, 2015

Check it Twice!

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:35 am

Santa s ChecklistI’m a checker. My dad was a checker and it just got passed along osmotically.

Here’s the rub: I still make plenty of mistakes even though I check.

My observation is this: There are people who don’t believe they have to check. My experience with many of them is as follows: They’re not lazy. They believe they have superior memories and consider that checking is a waste of time.

They’ve never taken the time to do the arithmetic on how many times their memory has failed them.

I believe that today’s instant communications (email, texts, IMs) illustrate the memory myth. Add in Apple’s auto correct and the mistakes get even more compounded.

We can get a pass for sending a mistake filled message to a friend or family member but here’s what I notice: This practice of thinking you don’t need to check carries forward and creates far more errors than need be in things more weighty than a Facebook posting.

Fact: Your memory is not as good as you think it is.

If you don’t think you need to check, check on what hubris precedes.

Take this holiday tip from Santa and you’ll go from “haughty” to “more precise”: Check it twice!

All the best,


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December 10, 2015

I Made It Up

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:18 am

Make believeWhat is the story of your life? It’s like a Jacqueline Susann novel: You made it up!

We didn’t make up the facts of our story, only how we present them.

It’s the telling of our story that has us go into the imaginative world of illusion. And it’s there that we get trapped by our own narrative.

We are held captive by our stories but we continue to tell them in hopes that one more iteration will be our salvation.

The great author Byron Katie asks us this question: “Who are you without your story?”

We would be well served to answer Katie’s question for ourselves and discover the life beneath our life story.

A telltale sign you are trapped by your story is when you say something like: “I’m this way because . . . ”

“Because” is a story telling word that has you make up zillions of reasons why things are the way they are. Rather than get sidetracked by the why and wherefore, just notice how things are without assigning a cause. This Joe Friday “just the facts” approach keeps our focus on “what is” rather than taking us into the made up world of what isn’t.

Every time you tell your problematic story, you go in the opposite direction of a solution.

How powerful is our make believe story? Powerful enough to hold you in place for an entire lifetime, unless you notice.

I have this notion that goes against the Hollywood version of deathbed confessions. My sense is people who are highly invested in their stories don’t know they made them up and take them to their grave. They die not noticing they’ve been handcuffed to an illusion.

Perhaps, while we’re still here, it’s time for us to start noticing that we aren’t our stories. The life we discover without our story is a lot more peaceful and a lot more open to seeing opportunities that story telling prevents us from noticing.

Dropping your story is like dropping a 50 pound backpack that you’ve been carrying around your whole, story telling life. The lightness alone is reason enough to retire your illusion.

If you’re hellbent on telling your story again and again, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of unnecessary pain.

This holiday season, rather than adding another chapter to your life story, give yourself the gift of life by giving up what you’ve made up.

All the best,


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December 9, 2015

Denial Wins!

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:13 am

DenialIn the category of “‘Most Losses,” denial wins!

We keep winning the denial argument and losing the war.

What are we denying? Just about everything that’s happening in our life that we don’t want happening.

Denying that it’s happening just keeps it happening.

We have become experts at the game of denial. I remember playing hide-and-seek when I was 5 years old and thought that if I closed my eyes the other person wouldn’t be able to see me.

We can easily give a pass to an imaginative 5-year old but what about now?

The game we play now is thinking that if we deny it long enough, people will stop noticing what we’re in denial about. We lose even more when we play that game with ourself.

Denial is a pattern that we’ve learned that we believe absolves us of responsibility. It’s never the case. We’re always responsible for that which we deny.

The first objective is to notice that denial isn’t working. Yes, you may have shouted someone down and temporarily chased them off with your denials but arguing for your limitations just keeps them in place. Notice that denial = loss every time. It’s a surer bet than death, taxes and gravity rolled into one.

Just noticing that you’re denying is often the first step in any recovery model. Here’s a very personal example:

I was in denial for over 10 years that my wife left me. The game I played was that she really didn’t want to leave and would be coming back at some point. Refusing to recognize her departure as real kept me in denial and kept me in pain. Finally noticing my denial opened the door to reality and I stopped losing at that game.

If you’re looking for more wins in life, notice what you’re denying. Noticing will open the door to unseen opportunities that were previously blocked from view by the blinders of denial. Now that the door is open, all you have to do to get a win is to walk through and leave denial behind.

All the best,


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December 7, 2015

The Myth of Change

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:13 am

BalloonsThe Grasshopper visited yesterday and brought this gift: “Myth: Believing something will change if you don’t change.”

What have you been hoping for, dreaming about, waiting on for countless days, months and years? If it hasn’t happened, it’s either a pipe dream, a delusion, or belief in the myth that you don’t have to change to make it happen.

I marvel when I watch the antacid commercials that let you know that if you take one of these you’ll be able to eat the food that aggravates your condition. Nowhere in there does it suggest that you change the behaviors that cause the condition in the first place. Advertisers know you believe in the myth that you don’t have to change.

Are you unhappy, lonely, bored, overweight, unloved, a sot? If it’s been going on for a while, it will go on for a lifetime if you expect it to change without you changing.

Waiting for change to happen is like waiting for The Great Pumpkin. It’s always a waiting game.

What can you do to accelerate change? First, you can stop hoping for change. After that, you can stop praying for change. After all this time they haven’t worked, so let’s set them aside. Next, begin to notice the behaviors that contribute to your current condition. There is a recipe.

Notice how good you’ve become at baking that cake. It’s second nature now. You’re caught in the loop of continually baking a cake that’s making you sick.

If you can come up with that recipe, you are clever enough to come up with another – one that puts you on a path forward, rather than one that led to Marie Antoinette’s demise.

In short, what you’ve been doing isn’t working. The answer: Do something else.

Change requires action, not more thought. If you’re thinking about changing, you’re caught up in the myth that thinking will do it.

I’m reminded of the opening line from a hymn that is a favorite: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” You could easily substitute the word “change” for “peace” and get the same result.

Change begins with you changing. It’s that simple.

The only question you have to answer now is: Am I willing to put a pin in a ballooning myth?

All the best,


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December 3, 2015

No Agenda

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:33 am

No AgendaI wonder what it’s like to enter an interaction with no agenda? It’s something we rarely do but I wonder how much more deeply we would affect each other if we did it more often.

Try it out in low risk situations and see what happens. My guess is you will get out of your head for a bit (which is always a good thing) and have more welcome sensations in your body.

Your “no agenda” interaction can begin with “Hi” and then see where it goes from there. Let the experience guide you rather than you guiding the experience.

I realize we have to give up the illusion of control to have this “no agenda” approach do its magic, but the end result casts a spell over our mental quell (which comes from the German word for torture).

Make it a “No Agenda Thursday” and see what you get. My guess is you’ll find a lot less things about which to fret.

All the best,


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