Wow! A New Post

How don’t know how long it has been since my last post but I do know I need to get back to writing.   I have been reading some new books. I’ve been fighting the good fight of losing weight and gaining a little control over what goes into my body. Or should I say I am taking back some of the control I though was not under my control. Either way I hope that I am on a roll. I completed the Veteran’s Administration MOVE Intensive program which is a 12 day program of classes, weigh-ins, exercise and eating an 800 calorie diet all under the guidance of the best medical personnel in the VA. Since June 22, 2017 I have lost over 30 pounds and I continue to walk around 10,000 steps a day. Many days I do this with Gus, our new rescue dog. I’d like to thank the people at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw, Michigan for their tenacity and love in providing this program. So that is one very positive aspect that is happening in my life these days.

As I sit down to write this post, I know there are many negative things happening in our world, most of which I have little control over, but I also know the blessings which are even closer to home. I have an awesome wife of 46 years, who has been with me and did a fantastic job guiding our children into adulthood. She continues to play her violin, viola and sing to praise the Lord and uplift those she touches everyday. I am very remiss in communicating to her the very special blessing she is in my life. In fact, right now, she is sharing a “tea time” with her granddaughter and friends (It was her idea and she provided the necessary utensils for this to happen for our 5 year-old Pepper Sue).  So my life is full of blessings and it is my desire to share the practices which will help to raise your level of “positivity resonance” as Barbara Fredrickson says, in Love 2.0.  (This is a very good book to hep you get started in finding ways to bring positivity into your life and family.

Until next time, Seek your Positivity,

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

“Jolly” John

A Sunny Day

Tree2How does a sunny spring day make you feel?  Even when it is cold but sunny, it seems to add a brightness to my mood. Sunny days seem to hold out so many more possibilities. Could it be that the darkness of gray overcast days really keep us from seeing the great details that add a vibrancy and excitement to life in our world. Our eyes just seem to soak in the light and our bodies bask in the vitamins that enrich our whole being.

However, changing a bad mood into a good mood is not as easy as walking out into the sunshine and breathing in the cool fresh air of spring.  The process is a little more complex than that.  The sunshine may produce a chemical reaction when out skin or eyes sense its presence, which then may tell the brain to release other chemicals into our blood stream. And yes, this is where it becomes more complex because if there are no receptors within the body to “feel” those chemicals the process stops and our mood remains unchanged. Or the change is so small it’s not recognized. Or the change does not happen because there are too few receptors and now the body must produce more receptors, so the “feeling can be felt” and registered as change..  If I’ve lost you by this point in this convoluted process do not become stressed because even though I may not be clear about the way it works, just know that it does.  Yet, also know that the process of changing a mood is not that simple and it takes time. In our instant everything world, however, finding the patience to allow the process time to happen just derails the process even more, so relax.  Get some sunshine and enjoy the feeling, anyway!.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Sunshine, Jolly John

Words and Meaning

I took this picture on Mackinaw Island looking east toward Lake Huron. Is it just a natural rock formation? Or is it several natural rocks that have been piled up on one another? IMG_0168 Each one of the words in bold above has a dictionary definition. The picture may also be helpful in discovering the meaning of the words as long as you recognize the connection between the words and the picture. But, what would happen if the picture didn’t have anything to do with the words on this page? Everyday our brain in coordination with our eyes, memory and thought processes are making choices about meaning based not only on the words, ink on pages or pixels on a screen but also what we’ve learn about the meaning of those words. If I were not able to remember those meanings, these words and the letters that bring the words and pictures together would not communicate or provide any type of information. Yet, having learned the meaning on some day in the past, today we take this process of reading, understanding and being informed for granted. If we were blind, we’d have to rely on someone else’s description to pain a mental picture and bring meaning to us.

Having typed these words, what is the underlying message? People naturally take much they’ve come to know in the past for granted. The processes that were not so easy as a small child are now forgotten until we are faced with learning something really new. Remember, back then learning new stuff came naturally as we were like sponges soaking in things about our world. Then we didn’t ask if and when that stuff would be useful, we just enjoyed the journey. Friends, that’s the real lesson we adults need. Just enjoy learning new things. It’s fun!

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Learning, Jolly John

The Power of Thoughts

A concept I came across while reading THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D. is “thinking regulates action.”  In order words, what I think about the most is where my actions spring from. Copy of FullSizeRenderIf my thoughts are negative and filled with stress, than my mood and actions will also be more negative and depressive. One the other hand, if I find the positive realities in my environment and consider those things which are blessings or positives in my life, my actions will be more upbeat and positive. I’m not a research scientist, but I do understand that certain chemicals affect our thinking. One alcoholic drink or two can lead to changes in behavior brought about by the chemicals influence on the brains function. This is why we have laws concerning these chemicals. Our bodies and brains in particular use chemicals in many parts of its everyday functioning. Some are depressive and suppressive substances while others are positive and uplifting. So there are chemicals which can encourage positive moods and work with your thinking and there are chemicals which will fight with our thinking and work against a positive mood. What one dwells on in their thoughts either assists the body in producing the natural feel good substances or the negative feel bad chemicals. Open your thoughts to see the blessings in life and meditate of them. Try it for a week or two and see the difference it can make in your life.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope & Laughter,

“Jolly” John