Jonathots … January 29th, 2019

 


Jonathots Daily Blog

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handbook for touching

It’s touching.

I’m touched.

Touch me.

From the minute we plop out of the womb, we scream—not for food, not sight, or to hear comforting words—and not to smell chocolate chip cookies.

We scream for connection.

Goddamn it—put me back against my mother’s skin. Let me feel some touch.

Then society, our educational system, religious training and our entertainment industry attempt to make us overly dependent on what we merely see and hear.

Touch is removed except for obvious situations, when we require intimacy.

We are told that touch is dangerous. You can contract diseases. You can over-commit your emotions.

Therefore, we reserve touch and withhold it. Matter of fact, when we even hear the word touch, we associate it with sexuality instead of humanity.

Some ideas persist:

Shaking hands, for instance. But we’re changing that to a fast fist-bump.

Holding hands. Isn’t a high-five enough?

A pat on the back. “Come on! You know I support you.”

There’s a national pastime to make things that draw us closer together seem unnatural. As a result, we cloister into smaller and smaller units, only allowing for fellowship in the catacombs of our own understanding.

I see you. I see what you’re doing. I want to let you know I appreciate it. I touch you.

I hear you. I love the sound. It makes me what to touch you.

I smell your human odor—your fragrance. Yes, I wouldn’t mind being close.

And certainly, I taste you. We are intimate. It makes me yearn to caress you.

It is impossible to foster human progress without touch.

Even as we argue about people coming to our country from other nations, is it not possible for us to honor those who emigrate while still being careful about their immigration? Can’t we be touched by their journey, and still ask them to stand in line and fill out an application? Why must we portray them as evil, nasty, rotten and devious?

When you remove touch, you hamper the hands, and when the hands retreat, the ability to assist evaporates.

Being touched is not a feminine thing, nor is it a masculine no-no. It is the only way that we’re sure we’re alive…and it means something.

 

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Jonathots … January 22nd, 2019

 


Jonathots Daily Blog

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handbook for touching

Thinking that something which is not real is going to happen is called crazy.

Believing that something that is not real is going to happen is called faith.

Faith and crazy have a lot in common.

This is why, over the centuries, many who thought they were moving in faith ended up looking crazy—and there were those deemed crazy who historically are proclaimed people of faith.

The difference between faith and crazy is what energizes them.

Crazy is energized by fear—fear of rejection, fear of the future, fear of other human beings, or fear of responsibility.

Faith works by love—an appreciation for opportunity, a deep respect for other humans, and a desire to take what is given and work with it.

So how do I know I have the hands of faith instead of the mitts of crazy?

It’s the energy that comes off me, which will tell you whether I’m being controlled by fear or motivated by love.

There’s a story in the Good Book which says a woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed because “virtue came forth from him.” There was so much energy of love, hope and faith that it literally radiated from him into her body.

Sounds a little weird, doesn’t it? But we actually refer to it all the time:

  • “I pick up a good vibe from you.”
  • “You have a great aura.”
  • “When you’re in the room, I feel like everything is possible.”
  • “You make things pleasant.”
  • “You make things work.”
  • “You help me believe.”

The power of touch includes the ability to generate the energy of love, which is able to be transferred from one person to another.

Yes—we can infuse our authority and power into another human being.

Yes—faith and love can be passed along, just as we know that craziness and fear can ricochet through mob, turning them into killers.

I’m on a journey to make sure that my faith is not crazy by confirming every day that it is fed by love instead of fear.

 

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Ask Jonathots… August 18th, 2016

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What does Jesus mean when he says “Let the dead bury the dead?”

Jesus was neither extremely religious nor just a “lovey-dovey hippie.” Any extensive study on the life of the Nazarene will bring out two strong impressions:

1. He believed human beings had great, untapped capacity

2. He also believed human beings were capable of being judgmental jerks.

So when you consider Jesus’ words as recorded in the Gospels, apply these two principles. He is always trying to get us to tap our greater humanity by learning to deny our selfishness.

One day he meets a fellow who really wants to be a follower, but uses the excuse of burying his father to delay his decision.

Jesus responds, “Let the dead bury the dead.”

This is not a disregard for giving honor to a family member, but rather, a realization that missing the moment of our greatest conviction normally means that we never get back to what we originally set out to do.

A crossroads of contrition: where we focus on what we really want to be and what we really want to accomplish.

This person had decided he wanted to follow Jesus. Jesus’ point was simple: You will never, ever feel this energized again.

Find a different way to give tribute to your father, but truly show your respect to him by pursuing your heart.

Nothing should stand in the way of an inclination to make our lives better. Too often we use family responsibilities, such as weddings and funerals, as a way of excusing ourselves from chasing our dreams.

Give your tribute to the dead some other way than showing up to the funeral.

Share the responsibility with another family member.

But don’t miss your day in the sun … when the warmth is on your skin and it’s clear what you need to do.

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Make My Day… December 30, 2011

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Jonathan in Miami

It all really boils down to three hours and where you decide to plant that 180 minutes of fertile possibility. Because even though there are twenty-four hours in the day, we all know that those passing moments are not within our grasp and care. Failure to realize this causes us to procrastinate and end up frustrated and fretful.

No, it ends up being about three hours. And I find that people make one of two choices on that matter–they either choose their three hours of sanctified time late at night or early in the morning. If they choose it late at night, kind of following the pattern of a college student, they usually wake up pretty groggy and a bit wasted until mid-day. If they choose it early in the morning, they may lose some of the glittering promise of the nighttime glitz, but wake up fresher and more ready to go.

Here’s how it breaks down for me (and I must caution you that my lifestyle is not yours, nor are my particular preferences perhaps to your liking. The goal of this particular essay is to just get both of us to agree that twenty-four hours do pass by, leaving us only a small window for our own personal use.)

I usually get up about six o’clock in the morning–so six o’clock to nine o’clock becomes what I call MINE. There aren’t a whole lot of people vying for appointments or interfering. I can get up, enjoy myself, write my jonathots, send out some personal emails to friends and family, plan my day, have breakfast and pretty well do what I want to without intrusion. I always start off my day by being silly. I do it on purpose. I sing silly songs, say silly things and even think about silly matters. I believe the brain needs a chance to flush out all of yesterday’s fussiness before it starts trying to take on today’s sufficiency. You may find that childish. (Of course, my morning habits are completely irrelevant to you unless you happen to find yourself hanging around my presence at about six o’clock in the morning.)

I have breakfast–not because I believe it’s the most important meal of the day–but because it’s a chance to eat, which I have never found to be unpleasant. I know that about nine o’clock, humanity will start teeming around me and I will need to be ready to interact with folks. So I refer to the time between nine and twelve o’ clock as OURS. Emerging from MINE, I proceed into OURS. My goal is to have enjoyed myself so much during my previous three hours that I’m ready, decent and welcoming enough to deal with my fellow-human-beings.

From twelve to three o’clock every day I enter a phase I call RESTFUL. I separate myself off, have a meal, talk to a few friends on the phone and even slide in a small nap. I have had six hours of private time and interaction with people and I would like to give my heart, soul, mind and strength a chance to absorb the blessings or survive the ordeal.

From three to six o’clock I RE-ENGAGE. I like that time of day–a second burst of energy, a chance to do a trailing project that didn’t end up making my early-morning list, and just a delicious opportunity to finish the day on a high note instead of a discordant one.

From six to nine o’clock at night, I RELAX. I try not to take on anything that’s too important unless I happen to be doing a gig. And even if I am in front of an audience, I find that the relaxed profile does me–and them–well.

And then about nine o’clock, as I’m moving towards bedtime (always before twelve), I enter a precious position of power I call THANKFUL. Too many people spend the last moments of their day upset over what has happened or worried about what will happen. I become thankful. It’s interesting–thankful always makes me sleepy, because as my heart opens up in generosity to the goodness of God and life, my tension disappears and rest comes easy. And that’s usually what I do–from about twelve to about six in the morning, I rest. Since I’m getting older, that solitude is occasionally interrupted by the need to trot off to a bathroom. Or an inspiration may strike my fancy about a jonathots I could write. But usually it’s a very restful time because I have ended my day with thankfulness.

And that’s how I make my day. I recommend portions of it to you, as you’re able to apply it, because trying to grab your private time late at night can make you nasty in the morning, and trying to squeeze some self-worth into hours after work can be hectic and unfulfilling. For me, six o’clock to nine o’clock in the morning is MINE. Nine o’clock to twelve noon is OURS. Twelve noon to three o’clock P. M. is RESTFUL.  Three  to six o’clock  P. M. is ENGAGED. Six to nine at night is RELAXED. And nine until I go to sleep is THANKFUL.

Time passes quickly, my dear friends, and when you really only have three hours a day to grab for your own, it’s a good idea to invest wisely.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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