Three Ways in Three Days to Escape the Maze… September 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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maze

Feeling trapped.

It brings out the worst in us.

Once we have the sensation of being a mouse caught in an endless series of twists and turns, we very quickly turn into a rat, clawing at our surroundings.

Perhaps it is a flaw of human character, but we have a tendency to blame others for our limited circumstances in an attempt to avoid the inclination for self-destruction.

It usually falls into three categories:

  1. I don’t like what I’m doing.
  2. I don’t like who I’m doing it with.
  3. I don’t like doing it here.

If you think about it for a moment, these three statements can become the descending path that plummets us into inactivity, depositing us at the bottom, grouchy and unproductive.

So what can we do?

Take three days of your life and try to generate a GPS to escape your maze.

DAY ONE

Set in motion a culture of candor. You will be astonished how much freedom and peace of mind you can achieve simply by stating the facts or trying to live up to your press release.

In a twenty-four hour period, if you will be completely honest about your desires, as long as you’re not attacking people, they will appreciate the revelation.

A culture of candor relieves at least half the burden.

DAY TWO

Show what you mean. Don’t explain what you want, demonstrate it. Create a prototype for your heart’s desire. Even if it’s crude and not exactly to spec, let people know what you want to do.

Let me say, working in the music industry over the years, I have run across two types of individuals who dub themselves “artists.” There are those who believe they are camera-ready and studio suited and they’re just waiting for the big break. And there are those who are tired of waiting for the big break and have found a way to use their talents every single day, to demonstrate their ability, while improving.

If you’re not going to show what you mean, don’t expect people to understand your explanation. We all need a visual.

DAY THREE

And finally, move towards the movement. If you’ve had a day of candor and a day of showing what you mean, a bit of movement will come your way. It may not mirror your final preference, but if you always move toward the movement, something is always moving.

When you feel trapped in your maze, trying to reconnoiter your environment is exhausting because you never know if you’re going in the right direction.

But if you’ll take three days to create a culture of candor, show what you mean and move towards the movement, in no time at all you will begin to understand that there is a way to escape the mundane. 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Three Ways to Make a Difference … September 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Three-Little-Pigs_-Pinnochio-Little-Red-Riding-Hood-Wolf1

Making a difference often requires that you differ from the contemporary rhetoric that passes itself off as conventional wisdom.

This takes cleverness, humor and spunk.

It takes one eye on history, another eye on yourself and if you have a third one, an eye for cracks in the door, to shine in some light.

Can I offer three concepts that might aid you in your task of making that difference?

1. Avoid big ideas.

If the mantra of our generation is “think big,” have the insight to know the error of that way.

For after all, the world is not becoming a better place because large ideas are being chased down. Truthfully, avoid anything that touts itself as “big” and instead, pursue small adventures with lovely borders, time limits and the immediate satisfaction that comes with achievement.

2. Welcome mistakes–they are your best friend.

Mistakes help you avoid two nasty deterrents to accomplishment: (a) being locked into a dead-end project, and (b) making excuses for why you’re still pursuing it.

Mistakes happen because there is a flaw in the original floor plan. Make quick changes, laugh about it and never hide your errors. Then when you have righted the course, you will receive double praise: honor for being cool-headed in the midst of difficulty, and also great regard from others for making an evolution toward excellence.

3. Know when things are done.

Don’t beat a dead horse. It’s cruel, if not stupid. Sometimes things have a season and then they’re over.

It’s important to acknowledge when the work that you have pursued has come to completion. Put out a press release, stick a fork in it and move on.

You can make a difference, but it will require that you have the gumption and passion … to differ.

 

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Do As: Heal … January 26, 2013

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Spirited set

6:52 P.M. last night–eight minutes until show time in Lake Worth, Florida. Above you see a shot of the stage, which I am about to enter. What do I know?

First, if you don’t mind, let’s look at what I don’t know:

  1. I don’t know if anyone will be out there, in the audience. I mean, the event has been advertised. We tried to stimulate interest with an intriguing press release. But the slightest little thing can come along and keep people from showing up to ANYTHING–even free turkey sandwiches passed out on the street.
  2. I don’t know whether these folks are going to like me or not. I am not famous, so they feel complete freedom to reject me at will. “Reject” is a little strong, but you get the idea.
  3. The best thing I possess is who I am, free of lies.
  4. And finally, I don’t know if everything is going to work. The presumption of the status of all things being tuned and ready has often left me embarrassed, with my pants down emotionally.

So what do I feel eight minutes before the show? Invigorated, excited, careful, curious and humble. And here are the two things I know:  first, I need to walk out there and do what I do as well as I possibly can, without offering lame reasons for why I am not ready. Secondly, in pursuing what I do, if I am intelligent, I will perform my duties and mission as if I were doing it for myself. Yes, I always look out at the audience, viewing a sea of faces which all resemble me. I am not about to give folks less than what I would require for myself.

That’s why it’s important that I begin the process with feel–understanding that if I am not touched by the infirmities of life, admitting that I am tempted like everybody else, I can become a first-class jerk with no heart for mankind, just spouting a bunch a rules and pretending that I’m God‘s hall monitor.

Once I have purified feeling, I am ready to worship in spirit and truth–to symbolically kneel before my gathered host, letting them know that I honor the heavens so much that I’m trying to build a branch office here on earth.

Whenever I am in front of an audience, it’s helpful to be prepared not only to think, but to learn from them. In the process, healing occurs. Sometimes the healing is in them; occasionally it’s in me. But if I insist that I am the thinker and they’re the learners, they will quickly be repelled by my approach and protect themselves from the onslaught of my domineering attitude.

I am inclined to DO AS–to deal with what is going to happen and use it to my advantage instead of recoiling in fear because some unknown factor has surprised me. Yes, I will tell you good folks a simple truth: preparing is better than planning. Yes, preparing your heart, spirit and mind to feel, kneel and heal is ten times more effective than thinking you have covered every eventuality and closed the doors of difficulty.

Right now the stage is empty. In a minute, it will be occupied by the human-flesh spaces known as Jonathan Richard Cring and Janet Clazzy. We owe it to ourselves and those we are about to meet to feel, kneel, heal and finally–deal with what is available.

Are we ready? Have we made a plan? More importantly, are we prepared to be ourselves without shame?

Deal–the process by which we arrive in life with a pure heart, a truthful spirit, a healed mind, without any hidden agenda to control but instead, are grateful just for the opportunity to be alive and breathing deeply.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Redlands… May 21, 2012

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I keep searching.

Every week I climb into my big, black van and go from town to town across this expansive country, trying to find a spark of revival. (I do take the precaution of bringing along my own “matches”…)

And when I speak of revival, I’m don’t mean merely a spiritual awakening, but rather, a complete human awakening, fueled by spirit. I will not bore you by telling you about the disappointments along the way. I have never been one to belabor the darker edges of the quilt of my experience. What I would rather do is tell you how encouraged I was yesterday.

I arrived in a church that had rejected complexity in preference to simplicity. They relished communication over the repetition of mere religious practice and liturgy, and they had enough vulnerability that even a stranger such as myself could come in, and as long as I was willing to be equally as transparent, they were of a mind to listen.

It’s not really very complicated. It’s all about ingredients. If you talk to four or five chefs about spaghetti sauce, each one will tell you what elements he prefers prefer to make the ideal concoction. Some want more oregano. Others insist on large doses of basil. Of course, there’s a strong contingency that will tell you it’s all about the garlic. These are all issues of flavor. The truth of the matter is, you can’t make spaghetti sauce without tomatoes. And in our society, emotionally, spiritually and mentally we lead so strongly with taste that we forfeit the tomatoes. Yesterday in Redlands, I discovered a lovely group of souls who were still focusing on the main act.

  • For instance, I talked to a trombone player from the band, who lamented that there was not printed music in the bass clef for his particular instrument–BUT he was still playing. Unlike so many other folks, who have given up playing in the band due to the lack of perfect conditions, he still remained–tootin’ away.
  • I met a women who had recently lost her husband, but rather than making that the focal point of her communication, she uses the experience to spring off with greater concern and love for others.
  • I met a fine fellow with a great interest in independent films, who transfers that passion for the movie industry into his own interpretation of how his life in the spirited realm should be revealed.
  • I saw young humans sitting in the front of the church instead of texting in the back, allowing themselves to be affected by a good thing instead of resisting it simply because it came out of an older vessel or sounded like God-talk.
  • And I met a pastor, excellent at golf, and successful in taking the same energy and intelligence he uses in perfecting his back swing, bringing it into the church service as he claps his hands during the songs and rejoices over being with his congregation–a “holy in one.”

Last night, as I mused over these comrades, I realized that they had discovered a simple procedure that makes spirituality work. It is the blending of three words: need, ability and power.

Although many churches are persistent in expressing how much we need God, it rarely gives us the impetus to tap our abilities and grant us the power of our own conviction. Then there are the more out-of-the-box religions that focus on the power without insisting that we perfect our abilities or ever express need in any way, shape or form. Both approaches leave us void of what is necessary to use our humanity effectively.

No, it’s getting things linked in the right order that gives you the kind of results that allows you to remain human without being obnoxious, while still touching the heart and mind of God. Here’s how I see it–the way I think it should work, confirmed yesterday with my visitation to Redlands:

1. A need to do better. Human beings become ugly when they cover up their inadequacy with false bravado–self-sufficient. They become equally as grotesque when they insist that they’re constantly needy, devoid of any goodness whatsoever. It’s just the admission that we have achieved something, but upon closer examination, we have a heart’s desire to do it better. it makes us sexy. It makes us happy; it makes us powerful. And mostly, it makes us tolerable to those of our own species.

2. An ability to pursue a goal. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But there are many folks who can not remain faithful to a plan simply because they feel more intelligent when they are critiquing it, ignoring it or trying to prove why it won’t work.  Just having the willingness to learn how things work, shutting your mouth and pursuing to the best of your ability may be the definition of godliness. I know this–what we call faith is really when need and ability sign a peace treaty. Faith is the magnificent emergence of a new energy created by the convergence of admitting our need while still pursuing our abilities. And as the Bible says, “without faith, it’s impossible to please God.” Some religions are too needy. Therefore, their adherents are always repenting–reluctantly. Some theologies are too arrogant about personal domination. The result is that those who follow that philosophy end up making claims to everyone else around them, who are privately hoping they fail.

 But when you combine need and ability, you get faith. And then faith gives you the third element:

3. A power to change YOUR world. You need to stop trying to change MY world. Also, you need to relieve your mind of any Pollyanna notion that you’re going to change THE world. Faith gives you the power to change YOUR world. As Jesus said to all the people who came to him, “Your faith has made YOU whole.” My faith can’t make anyone else whole. But it does give me the power to be a light to those who desire to escape the darkness.

When you get those three things placed in the correct order, human beings are really delightful, God seems like a wonderful next-door-neighbor, and the universe is absent a devilish vendetta against you.

Redlands, I hope you continue to understand how wonderful you are in your innocence. And if you do forget, perhaps you can refer back to these words I have shared this morning.  Because when you take a need to do better and mingle it with an ability to pursue a goal, you get the power to change YOUR world.

And the fact of the matter is, if we singularly change enough worlds … who knows? Maybe someday we can surprise the planet and change the whole blessed thing.

 

  

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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