1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Clear Your Mind

Stop, look—but don’t listen.

Turn down the noise.

Enjoy the visual without hearing a view.

Be careful how you hear.

The light of the body is the eye.

Let it enlighten you.

Step away, where there is no sound.

Graze with your gaze.

Give your brain a sweet reprieve from polite listening.

In no time at all, the partly cloudy mind will brighten its corner.

Be clear, don’t hear.

Just for a while.

 

3 Things … April 2nd, 2020

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That Happen Right Before Joy Appears

 

 1. I refuse to tolerate sadness for one more thought.

 

2. I realize I am in control of all things “me.”

 

3. I ignore the obstacles constructed by the competition.

 

3 Things … August 1st, 2019

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That Let You Know Your Mental Health is Improving

1.  Worry is transforming into action

 

2. Fear is melting as the pursuit for love grows

 

3. Rage calms as anger gains a voice

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Sit Down Comedy … November 23rd, 2018

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Common comments from politicians who just happen to also be turkeys

 

1. “We must stop the useless slaughter that happens every fourth Thursday of November, killing millions of our brothers and sisters” (The Alarmist)

 

2. “The problem is the hatchet. Not everybody should be allowed to have a hatchet. If we were able to curtail the sale of hatchets, thousands of turkeys could be saved.” (Weapon Control)

 

3. “Farmer Joe’s crazy. Not every farmer in this area is crazy. We have farmers over there growing corn. It’s Farmer Joe who’s crazy. We need to isolate Farmer Joe, treat him, and if not, imprison him to protect our turkey family from a mentally deranged person such as himself.” (Promoting the Mental Health Industry)

 

4. “I know this isn’t politically correct, but I think if you check the statistics, this problem has increased as the number of brown turkeys have crossed the border of our farm and joined us. Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with them but we have noticed that many of them are raping the hens and they need to go through the correct channels if they want to be part of the ‘turkey in the straw.'” (Hidden Bigotry)

 

5. “I think it’s due to the fact that the climate is changing here on the farm, especially among the gobbles and gizzards. The weather is fowl. Anybody else notice it? It seems hotter in November and it’s more difficult to be able to distinguish the kernels of corn from the rocks in the ground because the soil is so dry. I think it makes the poultry crazy.” (Climate Change)

 

6. “It’s the liberals. They’re the ones who stopped liking red meat, and God knows, we are exceptional white meat. So of course, they want to come here and deplete our ranks. They hate us for our freedom.” (Conservative Commentators)

 

7. “I know they mean well, but the conservatives have brought down this violence upon all of us because they’re always pecking at the people who feed them, chasing away other birds, and they are just so hostile that eventually they bring about the terrorism that kills and destroys the flightless.” (Liberals Blaming Others for Violence)

As you can see, all the creatures on Earth could blame every other creature on Earth if they wanted to.

Here’s the truth: Thanksgiving is here to stay.

People will not stop eating turkey–although it might be intelligent, if you are one, to advertise ducks, and then enjoy the other 364 days of the year.

 

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G-Poppers … March 24th, 2017

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Jon close up

G-Pop wants his children to learn two massive universal initiatives:

  1. Don’t forget to remember
  2. Always remember to forget

Without the institution of this pair into human life, it is easy to become overly sensitive to danger and unappreciative of salvation.

Over-sensitivity can lead to insecurity which breeds fear, and fear chases away the love that would come to assist us.

So in a strange sense, the thing we need the most–support–is cast aside because we’re frightened of what might happen if we trust.

So what should we forget and what needs to be remembered?

  • Forget the ordeal.
  • Remember the survival.

Even as you recount the stories in your life, make sure that you place much more emphasis on the solution, the blessing, the great idea and the healing than you ever do on the actual difficulty itself.

It is a transforming miracle in our emotions which feed the soul with hope. If everything is survivable, then the present ordeal is on a time clock awaiting its departure.

There are other examples, too:

Forget the offense that others may have brought to you and instead, remember the recovery.

Forget the sadness of losing loved ones and remember the joy they continue to bring to your life.

Forget the pain, remember the healing.

Forget the inconsideration that was thrust your way and remember the conclusion, when time and chance gave you the opportunity to bless those who cursed you.

And of course, forget the past and remember the way of escape that God, Mother Nature and common sense provided in your moment of need.

Great mental health can be ushered into our being simply by practicing forgetting, and welcoming remembering.

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Confessing … September 19th, 2015

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XX.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

Some time ago in a parish far away, I joined with some friends who had a creative bend and believed that art and faith were intended to be wed, and rented an H & R Block building, which had completed its taxing season and was available for occupation, gathering with these sweet folks at least twice a week to discuss the beauty of music and words, and also how we might be able to help others.

Yes, there was just enough hippie in us that we chose to have a concern for the needy in our midst.

So one day at our little headquarters, a large, cocoa-complected young man strolled through our door with an appearance that foretold his lack, possessing only a huge, toothy grin.

He wondered if we had $1.99 so that he could go to Church’s Fried Chicken, which was two doors down, and pick up their special–two pieces of chicken and a side.

We all liked him immediately.

We told him we would give him the money if he would pick up the same deal for the rest of us. Then we could all sit down, eat together and get to know one another. I think my friends were a little surprised when I pulled out a twenty-dollar bill, gave it to the big fellow and told him to purchase seven of them, come back, and bring me the change.

By the way, he told us his name was Johnnie, and I’m sure that all of my acquaintances were convinced that Johnnie was going to abscond with the twenty dollars.

He didn’t.

He came back, we ate chicken and it became a daily ritual for the next several months. We got to know him as a person instead of merely an object of charity.

So one day, when Johnnie told us that he was supposed to go into the Social Security Office and apply for disability, we took him to the local Goodwill, and after much shopping, we found a suit big enough to cover his girth.

He was so proud of it.

He went to the meeting, and then we didn’t hear from him for several weeks. I was concerned, so I went out into the streets, looking for my buddy.

I found him sitting next to a dumpster about a half-mile away. He tried to run away from me, but I was able to stop him. I asked him why he was avoiding us.

He explained that he was embarrassed because he had sold the suit so he could purchase a bucket of chicken.

I gave him a hug and explained that we didn’t love him because he was wearing a suit–it was just a gift, for him to use as he wished.

Shortly after that encounter, our little group decided to move our headquarters since the H & R Block building was no longer available. We found a place about three miles away and told Johnnie about our exodus.

He was sad.

I was bewildered. After all, we weren’t leaving town. So I made him promise he would come and see us.

He didn’t.

After about three weeks I went out on another search for Johnnie. Finally the lady at the Church’s Fried Chicken told me that Johnnie had been arrested for erratic and disorderly behavior, and that they were holding him in the mental ward on the 13th floor of the local hospital. I got in my car and went to see him.

Amazingly, since I wasn’t kin or connected to him in any logical way, they let me in to talk to him.

When I walked into the room he was sitting next to the window, staring into the distance. I was very disappointed when Johnnie didn’t recognize me.

He was heavily medicated and docile. I tried to stir his memory but was completely unsuccessful.

So I took his hands, which lay limp in his lap, and prayed for him. I stood to leave and was just about out the door when Johnnie turned his head and said, “Chicken.”

Just as quickly, he turned away and resumed his vigil of nothingness.

I cried.

He remembered.

But you see, I also learned. People are not projects. They are human, with real needs. We can’t just pick them up and handle them when it’s convenient to our charitable inclinations and then drop them off in the middle of nowhere without a map on where to go.

We thought we were so damned generous, but we didn’t realize that Johnnie needed daily care, daily love and a daily location in which to go to give him a sense of balance.

Johnnie taught me a lot.

Johnnie taught me that since the poor don’t go away, if we’re going to start helping them, we have to have a plan to keep from abandoning them.

Confessing Johnny

 

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G-7: Move or Stay… January 17, 2014

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allergyIt is not healthy to remain in an unhealthy situation.

This might seem an obvious assertion, unless you consider that people have a tendency to do what is “normal” instead of what is beneficial.

We just get used to stuff. Then we convince ourselves that it’s meant to be, God’s will, our lot, a cross to bear, or even worse, a mission field.

Keep in mind, you have a certain amount of energy. It is a daily gift which should be used wisely–because honestly, it can’t be conserved. You can’t save up Tuesday’s passion for a Thursday adventure.

So we have to be careful to be in surroundings that move us. And if we’re not moved, then we need to move.  Staying is not an option.

How do you know?

1. Is there a hunger and thirst for life? If you’re surrounded by an atmosphere of negativity, despair and complaining, it’s going to be very difficult to forge a future. Even if they’re your relatives, it doesn’t change the level of obnoxious.

2. Is there change in the air? Human beings are either evolving or they’re going extinct. It’s just the natural order. If there isn’t a sense of wonder about innovation, you will start settling for things instead of choosing them.

3. Is there enough heart around you to be touched? There are individuals who think it’s adult to remain aloof and free of emotion. I will agree that too much sensitivity becomes annoying. But if a climate of your choosing does not have people in it who are capable of being touched in the heart, then you have to depend on them to be spiritual. Human beings are not naturally spiritual. Or you’re expecting on them to be smart all the time. (I don’t think I have to even speak to that.) The ability to be emotionally impacted is a sign of mental health.

4. And finally, is there still an abiding faith? Listen to the next five things the people around you say. Is there anything positive in them? Of course, we can all get aggravated and turn dark in our mood, but generally speaking, if the next five things said don’t have love and encouragement, you have found yourself in a dark cave where light is considered an intrusion.

Of course, you can continue to stay in bleak environs and try to be “this little light of mine.” But remember–there’s a reason people have chosen the path of despair, and they won’t be satisfied until you despair along with them.

The most important decision you will make in your life is where to invest your ching.

And if you stay where there is no movement, you will eventually be forbidden to move those who stay.

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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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