A Summer View

As the summer days continue their march forward and the sun beats down many people stay in doors to remain cool. Today was just such a day for me. I really wanted to write another post for this blog and this time instead of adding the pictures as a after thought I decided to place one in the heart of it all.

 

East Across the River

East Across the River

By why this picture? As I I was eating my lunch today, my wife was reading about balsamic vinegar and how it is made. She read that to make it some is aged for 25 years. The person or company that makes this stuff must be thinking twenty-five year into the future. Will there even be people who want this stuff in 25 years? The idea of creating something that takes that long before it is ready to use in a world of instant gratification is so refreshing. It is like taking in an amazing vista for the first time. Then I look at this building and so many older building that were built to last a long time. I also think about the way they must be cared for by their owner in order that to provide for the future generations.

Today, I am thankful for those individuals, groups and companies that have sacrificed rewards today to provide blessing and benefits for those in the future. I know that struggling with  choices today can be very difficult when the resources are not there and waiting is not something I do well, but when I think of what it means for someone’s future it makes is much easier to bear.

Thanks for listening to these words and may the gifts we’ve been give and have been blessed continue to remind us of how we are living for those who will follow us. May God grant us the wisdom to live with compassion and grace.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Your Summer Days, Jolly John

Positivity, Life & The Wholehearted

Viking Ship

Viking Ship

Sometimes, no all the time, it is tough to be positive in a society that is constantly belittling, criticizing what is wrong ( and there are things which are wrong) and just looking at all the mistakes. The sad thing is that most of us regret hurting others, choosing the wrong path and then finding out later how wrong it really was, but by then it is too late. Remember, hindsight is clear and 20/20. Yet, the damage has been done.

So making different choices and seeking to live with honesty and wholeheartedness will be difficult. You will be swimming upstream and going against the tide. However, the life we create for ourselves and others will be worth it.The more smiles we can give to others, the more smiles we will get in return. The more smiles going on in our world means there is more of the positive, fell good hormones or chemicals coursing through the blood streams in the folks around us as well as our own.

BC Street Art

Street Art in Bay City, Michigan

Taking time to write this, putting words to page and thoughts out in the open, has already made a difference in my life. I’ve said in the past that I’d really like to write more often. So I’m going to make another great attempt to share my thoughts with my readers. I really pray that you have an opportunity to smile today and share some hope and positivity with someone in your life.

The pictures are of some positive things in my life this summer. The top one is of the Draken Harald Hårfagre which is the largest Viking ship which was sailed to Bay City, Michigan from Norway. They have had some challenges as they made the trip. You can read about the journey by clicking on the name above.

The second picture is the Bay City Street Art that was a project completed through a “Leadership Bay County class, a giant, colorful compass featuring a sailboat has been stamped in the middle of the intersection of Center Avenue and Water Street, just outside the entrance to Wenonah Park.” The cool part for me is that they asked my son, Adam to design the piece of art for the project. Again you can check the link for more details.  I am going to try and continue to share the pictures of my journey.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Sharing a Smile :-), 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

Staying Current

I can’t believe it. It has been a year since I started sharing Up With Positivity. One thing I found out about myself, while keeping up with the aspects of my life that really do matter most to me, is that it all takes time. To stay current, I need to spend time writing and posting, reading and growing. Yet, in the midst of all the “positivity work”, there are grand children, family events, a little work, eating, sleeping, yard sales, and de-cluttering (which I have been in the process of doing for the last year).  In the midst of it all, I still have to stand strong against the demons of negativity and “what’s the use” thinking.  Today, I logged in to put something new on my website. I do this to tell you all I have not forgotten the promise of Up With Positivity. I realize we all need encouragement. Our children, students, employees and even the strangers we meet during our daily journey, need encouragement. Yet, when our mood is depressed by the negativity of life it is hard to do that for others, which is really just what we need. When we encourage others, when we smile at others and seek to give joy to them, it raises our joy and our mood. I hope to do a whole lot more mood raising in the future. Please keep me in your prayers.

 

Blessings, Peace, Hope, Joy & Laughter,

“Jolly” John