Three Ways to Enjoy Family… December 25, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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family

Sitting around a delightful Christmas Eve gathering with the members of my family, I was blessed and enlightened.

Family has provided some of the most treasured moments in my journey, and also a good parcel of the frustrations that have come my way.

Let us never forget that the sweet little family in Bethlehem, which birthed the Savior of the World, turned into a fussy, argumentative clan, which was part of the reason that Jesus was run out of his hometown of Nazareth.

Balance.

It is important for us to know how to deal with our families, or we will end up giving either too much emphasis or too little value to these kinsmen.

Let me give you three ways to always enjoy your brood:

1. Avoid too much reliving and instead, work on restocking.

There is a peril in sitting around reminiscing about the past because it makes us tend to live there. For every time you remember a special occasion, you should simultaneously work on creating a new one. Reliving can be beautiful, filled with tenderness, and is especially effective if you’re in the midst of creating new memories.

2. Honor boundaries.

Once I was Dad. Now I have sons and daughters who are performing their own task of parenting.

I need to find my place–pass the torch. Honor the boundaries.

For instance, my children do not believe everything I believe. I can spend time focusing on our differences or I can revel in our similarities.

My son is no longer my son. He is someone else’s dad. As long as I remember that I can continue a relationship with him which is rich, adult and free.

3. And finally, don’t stay too long.

Every family has a length of time which is perfect for peaceful co-existence. If you exceed this barricade, you will begin to try to heal old wounds but instead, open them up, creating pain and bleeding.

Stay long enough that you’re still enjoying yourself, disappointed to leave, but ready to commence your life, to return again.

Have a great Christmas, but do so by enjoying your family.

Restock your memories, honor each other’s beliefs and boundaries and have the wisdom of making a beautiful exit.

 

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Enough to Live, but … January 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2129)

buffet Chinese …not enough to enjoy.

I’ve gone through a serious transition over the past month, discovering that a rudimentary concept in my mind has been faulty since I was a child.

The realization crept into my consciousness about three months ago when I was eating at a Chinese buffet and I looked around the room and saw that all the patrons, just like me, were egg-shaped–and I don’t mean Foo Yung.

It was a location where people had come to eat–to have fun. For after all, isn’t that the message? “All you can eat.” In other words, tap the greatest desire for your appetite for food, envision how much that might be, and then go for it.

I also discovered an interesting thing about myself at this  feeding trough. I started off by going to the buffet bar on my own, until I got so stuffed that I was too gorged to get up from my chair. So then I sent someone else to acquire additional “fun” to eat–all the while convinced that I was having the time of my life. Until, that is, I had to get up from my chair and waddle to my car, nearly breathless from the excursion, having ravaged my digestive system with over-abundance.

At this point I did not incriminate myself. I realized it was quite simple. Food, which was meant to be fuel, I had turned into fun. Just for the record, food is not supposed to be fun. It is intended to be fuel. And then, once we understand that it is offered to us as “enough to live but not enough to enjoy,” we can find our good cheer in the planning instead of through overeating.

Food was never meant to be spontaneous–and if we make it a split-second decision we will get busy and start looking for fast food.

So as I realized that food is not meant to be fun, but instead, fuel, I found that planning my food, making really neat choices when I go to the store, is the true fun.

Yes, I am allowed to have fun at the store so that when I sit down to eat my portion, I am partaking of fuel.

We wonder why America is becoming obese. Let’s consider this: sex, which was meant for enjoyment, is now viewed as life. And food, which was meant to be life, is our source of entertainment. Yes, many people would rather eat than have romance.

The same thing is true with spirituality and education. We’ve flipped it. Spirituality is meant to be a rejoicing in our soul, permeating our entire being, while education is the knowledge that allows us to function better.

We’ve done a switcheroo. Spirituality has become austere, a learning process, while we are trying to make education more fun for the kids and ourselves.

I am not saying that what was meant to keep us alive cannot become a source of contentment. But this state is derived by gaining control through selection, purpose and discovery.

And I’m not saying that which is fun in our lives does not have intrinsic value. But this is tapped when we understand that feeling energized does not need to eliminate the possibility of learning.

Today is my twenty-eighth day of my food regimen. It revolves around the realization that eating is intended to be enough to live–not enough to enjoy.

My radical pleasure in the experience comes from planning, considering nutrition and from amazing myself with the types of food that are available to satisfy me without killing me.

So the next time you start a project, ask yourself, “Is this to live, or enjoy?”

If it’s meant to be enjoyed, suck the experience dry and then take the passion from that endeavor into your next venture.

If it’s meant to give life, then allow it to do so, and find your good cheer from pursuing the angles, choices and revelation that make you feel really smart and powerful.

Will I succeed in my latest adventure?

As long as I can keep life and enjoyment in perspective, I’ve got a fighting chance.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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