Sit Down Comedy … August 30th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

The eyes pop open and the feet are heading toward the floor—it’s the beginning of another day. Right there, in this pivoting moment, you get the message.

A feeling sweeps over your body, informing you where you are and threatening to control your whole living space.

Stop rushing.

With your still feet on the floor, ask yourself a question—out loud, if you’re alone:

How do I feel?

Don’t be surprised if the answer comes back, “Shitty.” Or maybe, “Great.” It could be, “I’m not sure.”

Unfortunately, many people believe it is wrong to run your life by how you feel.

Since educational systems are very similar for all of us, our religions don’t differ that much and our politics bluster controversy but don’t render anything unique, what ends up setting us apart are feelings.

Please do not think you can control your existence through “mind over matter.”

You aren’t a goddamn Ninja and you certainly don’t have a sword.

The best and the worst you’ve got are your emotions. Therefore, speak the question, “How do I feel?” Make it your morning drill.

Then, when you get the answer, ask a second question:

Why do I feel this way?

Sometimes it’s because you watched a scary movie before you went to bed, or you have to pay a bill or take a test. Or maybe you spent your nighttime hours eating like a four-year-old in a candy store.

You will be surprised that the physical, psychological and even spiritual can often hijack your feelings. Identify the reasons.

This is what I refer to as a S.O.D.—a sense of dread.

Something is going to come up that you don’t want to come up and you’re frightened about how it’s going to come down.

It won’t be resolved by a good breakfast. You can’t get the shower hot enough. Playing music in the background has limited possibilities.

Make note:

You aren’t living a life—you are learning to masterfully maneuver your emotions.

And by maneuver, I mean find them, identify their source and open yourself up to other people. Yes, never be afraid, when you emerge from your room in the morning, and someone asks you how you feel, to speak the truth out loud.

“Physically I’m pretty good, mentally I’m a little scattered and for some reason I’m a little nervous.”

This statement is for your benefit–because we gain power and healing as human beings when we confess who we are openly.

So let’s review:

First question: How do I feel?

Second question: Why do I feel this way?

Confession: Based upon what I know thus far, these are my beginning sensations today.

Candidly, if you try to ignore your starting feeling, you will fail the day. On the other hand, if you identify the feeling, you will receive a much greater sense of well-being. Once you know how you really feel, have figured out the source of it, and you’ve confessed it out loud—either to yourself or someone else—then you’re ready for the door.

Sometimes it’s a door in, and sometimes a door out.

But many of us ruin our morning, still bleary-eyed and uncertain. We’re not maneuvering our emotions, and we miss the door. But if you know how you feel and you’ve identified where it came from and you’ve confessed your profile, then you’ll see the door in or the door out.

It’s probably one of the most exciting things—and one of the most unexplainable happenings in our lives.

A way is made for us if we are ready to see the door.

Then, once you see the it and you have yourself primed, enter the door. Change, adapt, include, evolve. When you do these things, you find yourself in greater unity with the world around you instead of going into situations kicking and screaming, blaming others and eventually laying it at the doorstep of God.

So find the door in or out, then change—happy that you’ve alerted yourself. And finally you end the day grateful.

There is a much better chance that you will wake up the next morning feeling better if you end your day grateful.

It’s not luck. It’s not chaos. And by the way, God does not have a wonderful plan for your life.

This is your space and your doing. If you want to do it with power, begin each day with, “How do I feel and why do I feel that way?”

Then confess, look for the door in or out, change, and move toward the solution.

And finish it off by giving a big chuckle in gratitude.

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Not Long Tales … August 20th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Underneath

Lance sat quietly staring at his hands.

They didn’t seem small—at least, he didn’t think so. But the bully who lived seven houses down on the right-hand side had made fun of them yesterday, in front of four or five guys, and worse, two girls.

It wasn’t easy being eleven years old, anyway you looked at it. But being ridiculed for your little hands in front of friends was more than humiliating. It was debilitating and left no recourse. After all, you couldn’t scream, “My hands are big!”

But Lance had anyway. And when he objected, everyone laughed at him. Because tears that were lurking in his eyes suddenly avalanched down his cheeks.

Lance hated summer vacation. As bad as school was—and it certainly had some really stinky things about it—at least your day was filled, and you didn’t have to try and figure out a reason for getting up in the first place.

It was especially difficult because Lance had a mother who insisted he “go out and play with the other kids.” She didn’t understand that he had just been targeted for having tiny paws.

Yes—he felt like a puppy being mocked by the big hound. He was afraid to leave his doorstep.

There was one friend who never deserted him—what you might call the saving face. His name was Jallus. Lance’s mother always referred to him as “the black boy” and Jallus’ mother called Lance “the white boy.” Sometimes the two buddies joked with each other, calling each other “black boy and white boy,” just to get the giggling going. Of course, it was ridiculous. Lance was the color of dirty sand and Jallus looked like chocolate milk diluted by water.

But the two boys needed each other, because the bully also told Jallus that his hands were puny. They found comfort in each other’s company.

But during this particular summer, Lance had discovered an escape. He hadn’t told anyone, not even his buddy, Jallus. In the back of the house, just underneath the steps, there was a piece of white lattice covering up the crawl space. There were a couple of screws missing from the top—just enough that Lance could pull it back, squeeze through and climb in beneath the house.

When he first discovered it, he was scared. His mind went crazy thinking about what might be in that crawl space, lurking to harm him. A rat, a snake—and most certainly, any variety of bugs made their homes in the sludge.

Yet it was so peaceful in there—especially on hot days, it was just a little cooler, and on rainy days it stayed dry, but gave Lance a front row seat on the beauty of the pelting rain. He adored the place.

He cleared it out a little bit. There was some trash—discarded bags of cement and rocks getting in the way of affording him total space. He sat in there for hours at a time thinking about life, small hands and his daddy. Lance had never actually met the fellow. He had departed before Lance had a full brain for knowing. His mother told him that his daddy probably loved him, but lived far, far away, in Mississippi. It made it nearly impossible to come and visit.

One day when he was snooping through his mother’s closet, he found a picture stuck in a box—a fellow sitting on a motorcycle, wearing a cowboy hat. He assumed it was his daddy. Sitting behind him on the bike was probably his mother, back when she was a girl.

Seeing that motorcycle reminded Lance of the time his mother said that his father had sent a birthday present of a bicycle. It came in a big, huge cardboard box, but it wasn’t put together. Mama had tried really hard to get all the bolts in the right places, but it was never right. So it just sat in the garage in a heap. Every once in a while, Lance would pull out a piece or two and play with the back wheel for a while. The bicycle was so much like the rest of his life—everything seemed to be there, but nothing came together.

But when Lance went underneath the house into his chamber of privacy, it was a whole different situation. He took a flashlight with him so he could keep an eye on the surroundings, in case he was invaded by one of nature’s uglies. He also found an old canteen in the garage, which he cleaned and filled with Kool-Aid, to sip on as time passed by. The Kool-Aid was so refreshing that the next time he brought a plastic bag of Gummi-bears. Goldfish crackers and M & M’s. It was so peaceful and satisfying.

Lance never thought he’d ever want peace. Being a boy, he was rather fond of chaos. But occasionally, he needed to feel like feeling was okay and nobody was staring, wondering what he was doing.

Sometimes he would lie on his back and listen to the floorboards creak—Mama preparing dinner in the kitchen. Sometimes she would sing. It made him feel so good when he heard her sing. Other times, she just talked to herself. He couldn’t hear what she said but could tell from the tone that it came from an unhappy place.

Summer persisted, as the summer sun often does.

Then one night, right before bedtime, sirens went off from the nearby town. Mama was frightened. She explained to Lance that the sirens meant there was a tornado coming. It didn’t take very long before great winds began to sweep by their house, rattling the windows and striking terror into their souls.

The two of them lived in a very simple house. There was no upstairs, no basement. Just the one floor—and Mama had no idea what to do. She was looking for a safe place for them to hide from the danger, but she couldn’t move. Her head turned, her eyes peering in all directions, as if waiting for someone to give her instructions.

All of a sudden, she prayed—no, nearly screeched, “Oh, Jesus! Help us!” Just about that time, a tree blew over in the front yard and landed on the top of the house, mashing in the roof.

Lance looked at his mother. He knew two things—she wasn’t going to move, and Jesus wasn’t going to stop the storm.

He took his Mama by the hand and started to walk toward the back door. She wouldn’t come. He pulled a little harder, but she resisted. Then, as if inspired by forces far beyond his understanding, Lance decided to run out the back door, figuring that Mama just might follow, terrified that Lance would be swallowed by the big twister.

As he ran toward the door and opened it, the screen flew back, broke off and landed on the ground. He hurried down the steps and when he reached the landing, he looked back. Sure enough, there was his mama, faithful lady that she was, chasing him.

He slid around the steps and over to the lattice, pulling back as hard as he could, to make room for him and also his mother to get in. He climbed into his precious space. She trailed, peeking inside. “What are you doing?” she asked.

Lance realized there was no time to explain, so he whispered. “Trust me, Mama. Trust me.”

She stared at him for a moment, trying to make out his image in the darkened space, and then wiggled forward as he grabbed her hands and pulled her down to sit next to him. As soon as she was seated, they heard a cracking—breaking glass and horrible thumps coming from all directions. They sat in the dark, holding each other and breathing heavily, hoping…hoping there would be a life left for them, since they would still be living.

Then, as quickly as it began, it was over. There was just the sound of rain splashing against the broken lattice. Mama shivered. Both of them were afraid to move.

Lance thought his mom would eventually release her grip, but she stayed where she was, squeezing him. He could hear her heart pounding. Finally, after a few moments, she relaxed. Her arms came free, and she wrapped them around her knees. She took four, maybe five, deep breaths.

He watched her. Either there was more light or his eyes had adjusted, because he could see her face clearly. She looked like a little girl. After all, that’s what bad storms do—they turn us all into children.

He leaned over and stroked her hair. “Mama,” he said, “what do you think about my place? I call it ‘Underneath.’”

Her eyes filled with tears as she looked around with her limited view and managed, “I like what you’ve done with it.”

She started to move, as if she was going to head out of the protection. Lance grabbed her arm. “Let’s not,” he said. “There’s no need for us to find out anything right now. You see, if we don’t know, then we don’t know.”

He offered her a drink from the canteen and some Gummi-bears. She accepted, putting a Gummi in her mouth and then taking a swig from the canteen. She emitted a tiny giggle.

Lance reached over and grabbed her hand. “Mama, this is where I come to get away from all my storms.”

Her face brightened, with a glint of understanding. She scooted across on her bottom, pulled him close to her and hugged like she had never hugged before.

The two just stayed there, hugging, crying and breathing in unison…

Underneath.

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week That Will Always Make You Seem More Successful

 

Stop Announcing

Put down your trumpet.

Cease clapping your hands to your own beat.

Let the braggart be silent.

Don’t share your plans

Why?

Your plans are susceptible to chaos, the natural order or the fact that you may sleep through your alarm clock.

Hush. Please don’t tout your prowess.

There’s always someone better than you.

There’s always someone more talented.

Endurance and Humility

What makes quality rise to the top is its endurance and the blessing of humility, which allows other people to lift it up instead of needing to put it down because it’s pompous and arrogant.

And please, for the love of God:

 Stop proclaiming your purpose

Your purpose should be obvious as the fruit of your work. Telling people what you intended to do does not qualify for actually doing it.

If you simply stop announcing your great battleplan for your life, then you will be able to acknowledge the small victories instead of having to win every single conflict to prove your point.


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3 Things … March 14th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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 (It is in the first thirty-five seconds after a mistake, foible, surprise or even tragedy that human beings often complicate their situation by being stunned into either over-reaction or no selected profile.)

John Krasinski

You Can Choose to Do When Confronted with an Unexpected Trial or Tribulation

 

1.   Reach over, hold your own hand and remain totally calm in the midst of the chaos

 

2. Always add humor when distraction tries to swallow up the moment

 

3.  Remain silent and do not add your voice to the confusion

   

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3 Things… April 12th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3640)

That Are Powerful to Learn Before You Draw Your Next Breath

1. Nature always invites a portion of chaos

 

2. You can survive if you can adapt

 

3. Evolution is more successful when undertaken with good cheer

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Published in: on April 12, 2018 at 1:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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G-Poppers … May 12th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop wants to talk to his children about a bit of idealism. A case could be made that it’s fantasy. But in its purist form, it is a story.

It is a tale of a Garden–a secluded, private, precious and holy place, where the very best of Earth was begun and blessed. According to the plot, this Garden contained delicious food and was cared for by a man and woman who existed in total equality, with the encouragement to pleasure one another, enjoy one another and interact with one another.

These two had a mission to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the Earth–in other words, tap their creativity. Take their talents and dreams and expand on them, while making sure they continued to respect the Garden, its contents and its creatures.

G-Pop will refrain from discussing the more common aspects of this yarn–the parts where theologians note that disobedience to the Creator caused the equal pair to be punished and placed into a world laced with chaos.

The same theologians insist that an action of mercy and grace brought humanity back into favor with the Creator through the death and sacrifice of the Son, Jesus. But what they fail to interject is the knowledge that this gift of salvation by Jesus brought us back to the Garden. Although people claim to be saved, they are not salvaged from the post-Eden sentence, imprisoning them with inequality.

Why would we want to be a people who are saved but not salvaged–going to Heaven but still cursed while on Earth?

Why would we want to settle for turmoil between men and women when the possibility of equivalence is readily available?

Why would we use the Earth as toilet tissue instead of valuing our surroundings as God’s gift to us, to maintain with caution and dignity?

Can G-Pop get his children to be idealistic enough to return to the Garden? It takes three simple steps:

  1. Respect all people as your equals.
  2. Take authority over your life by being creative.
  3. Respect Mother Earth.

Implementing these three missions will place you back at the gates of the Garden of Eden.

Entrance is only possible by becoming like a little child.

 

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 8) Priority … January 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

I am often reluctant to quote directly from the Good Book.

It is not due to a lack of respect or devotion to the volume. I would have a similar sensation about reading passages from Moby Dick if historically the Melville work had brought about horrific division and chaos.

But sometimes a particular passage from the Bible needs to be shared in its simplicity–and entirety–to point out how misunderstanding has driven us away from the consensus of what makes things good.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

It is virtually impossible for a theologian to interpret that verse without adding his or her religious convictions, practices and pious overtones.

Yet it’s really quite simple. It’s divided into three sections:

  1. The kingdom of God.
  2. His righteousness.
  3. All these things.

To identify what these mean, you must have an awareness of the overall and abiding principles that are represented.

The kingdom of God is not a church, a belief system or a denominational approach to religion. Jesus made it clear that the kingdom of God is within us.

So the first step to establishing priority in our journey is to find ourselves.

The creation story tells us that God breathed into humans the breath of life and we became living souls. So if we can’t find that breath, we don’t know how to breathe. And all attempts we make to find the kingdom of God outside the confines of our own created space are not only futile, but often lead us in the wrong direction–trying to become sanctified without really being holy.

Here is the kingdom of God: I am happiest when I can be strong enough to help others.

  • We are not happy when we are weak.
  • We are not happy if we have sufficiency and choose selfishness.

The breath of God is the blessing of finding ourselves and then dispensing mercy to others.

We are told to seek this first.

Dare I say that many religious people are so riddled with insecurity and superstition that the only way they know how to express salvation to others is to load them down with guilt, intimidate them over their lifestyle, then stand back and judge their actions. It is a waste of time.

Get happy, be happy, and from that position of joy, find a way to make others happy.

Which brings us to His righteousness.

This is not my righteousness. This is not a general righteousness. This is God’s righteousness.

It doesn’t take too long in perusing the Good Book to discover that God is content when we grow in confidence so we can help others around us whom He would love to touch with His grace.

If you believe that God is stomping around Heaven, angry about the Ten Commandments being broken, you should probably read the Good Book a little more carefully.

“It’s not His will that any should perish, but that all come to repentance.”

Exactly.

Which brings us to the final thought: “all these things.”

While Wall Street and business tycoons try to figure out the secret to accumulating loot, the process is accessible. Satisfied souls who manifest a creative and passionate life become a magnet to material goods.

It’s just the way it works.

Everybody who chases money, fights for money or kills for money always ends up vanquished by those who are stronger. All the things we desire in life will be at our disposal when we find the breath so that we can breathe, become creative and allow our lives to be filled with passion.

So this little journey we have taken in the Gospel of Matthew is summed up best in this way to discover priority:

I will find the breath of God within me, which will enable me to breathe and become strong so I can help others. I do this because God has one great mission statement: help people. And in the process of finding my confidence, being creative and having a passionate life, the opportunity to gain what I need will be readily available.

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