While I Walk

Today, as on many days, I walk along the Saginaw River as I listened to a book on tape. I finished the newest book byby Glennon Doyle Melton titled  “Love Warrior”. I cannot begin to tell you how powerful a message she shared . She gives us an understanding of what love is. It is a very profound  reality as she opens up about the “rules of the world” she  believed and the way those beliefs or should I say “lies” she used to guide her choices and the choices of those she trusted. These “lies” lead to some very grave problems and separations that have destroyed many people and families. This was the very first thing I have read by the author. As she shared things about her life and journey, I knew such things really do happen in this world but she shared her behaviors. What they did and eventually the meaning these insights opened on her journey of healing. The honesty and tragedy of some of the events broke my heart and I found myself, as a male, waiting to see if the broken bits of her life would ever find a positive resolution. If I hadn’t had things to do when I first began to read, I most likely would have read this book straight through.

Along the River

Along the River

As I finished listening, today,  a ship taking cargo downriver passed by. It happened about the same time the author recognized or shared that she saw herself as a ship bringing gifts to “her people” as she called them throughout her book. The gifts she gave them and us included love, courage, vulnerability, true beauty and wisdom. As I list these few gifts, I know in my heart this list of blessings she bring or gives is very incomplete. I wish I could share all the unique ways this book’s message touched me, I struggle to remember it all at this time, but please know this if more people had the courage to make such a journey our communities would be much better off. Check it out.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Wisdom, Courage & Vulnerability of Others, Jolly John

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

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

The Challenges of Life

Do you have time to just be? I know this sounds a little odd, but we are so caught up in doing that we hardly have time to just think. We have been taught that taking a few minutes everyday to step off the merry-go-round of life to find some perspective and ask ourselves where we are going, is a waste of time.  It is not a waste of time. Trying to stop everything, even thinking and just breathe helps us to get centered.  It helps us tune into the blessing of who we are. Allowing ourselves time to consider who we are, can be of great assistance when we would also like to help others. Taking time to be is also called mindfulness. Mindfulness practice, as it is called, is a way to go “out for recess” while still on the merry-go-round. Just plain standing on a merry-go-round takes practice but the more we do it the better we become.