If you assign to yourself that you’re going to be happy and joyful, then in some way you need to take advantage of the moments that say, “Let’s dance.” – John Morton
This article was originally published in the New Day Herald on May 20, 2009 and seems quite appropriate for us today.
As we look at being of service, let’s also look at the idea of contraction, which some call “taking,” versus the idea of expansion, which some call “giving.” There are certain things that involve both expanding and contracting, such as breathing and heart beats. Those two things are pretty essential, but sometimes we put a negative interpretation on the idea of contracting/taking, instead of seeing that it’s a natural part of life to contract.
If we really understand this, we have the opportunity to cooperate and to find out how we work with it so that when we’ve got to contract, we really do that. Those of you who have been through childbirth know all about another way we do it. It’s like, “You’ve got to contract,” and even if it hurts, there’s a purpose in the contraction, and in some way, it’s going to hurt anyway, so you might as well cooperate with the process.
When we cooperate, we may still experience hurt because it just kind of goes with the territory of this world. There are also a lot of ways you can manage yourself while you’re here so you can spare yourself hurt, but I wouldn’t count on never being hurt again. In fact, I embrace hurt as an idea, and it’s similar to contraction, where something about it doesn’t feel good. This is where we learn things like patience and endurance while we go through a painful contraction.
To avoid hurt, some people move into a default position: “Well, then, I’ll just do nothing, or I’ll avoid it. I won’t participate. I’ll take my marbles and sit at home.” But the reality is that life moves, and we really don’t have an option of not being involved in the movement of life. So, since you will participate, how are you going to participate? If you want to do it kicking and screaming, fighting, cussing, moaning, groaning—those are options. And sometimes I find I can’t help it. It’s just like there’s a moan in there I didn’t consciously know I had until something came along that I didn’t like—and there’s the moan. So, there’s something to be cleared or cleansed.
We could spend all day, every day, cleaning house, but what’s the house for? Certainly, more than that, like having people over to the house, or enjoying the view out to the front yard. Maybe there’s a wall ten feet away that you don’t like looking at. But what about the light that’s between the wall and you? Can you enjoy that? If you wish you didn’t have to look out on a wall, maybe you are disrespecting the wall. It’s a beautiful wall. But maybe you don’t like the bricks it’s made of. Can you see how bricks are different, and have you ever appreciated their differences?
So, there is a way to find usefulness, if nothing else, in the way you respond. One of the good games is how to come into an enjoyment with what everything is, even a concentration camp. Why is it called a concentration camp? There’s a whole lot of concentrating going on, which looks like pain and suffering. Did you know that’s a version of concentrated? It’s just to get things more dense and harder and maybe more difficult. And at some point, if someone deems you not serving the purpose any longer, then it’s time for you to go. We can interpret that as unfair and reject it, and there you go all over again. How are you processing this? There were a few—and it only takes one—who demonstrated you can actually thrive in a concentration camp and come out of it with an amazing life. There are quite a few of those stories, as well as stories about people who suffered and never, in a sense, recovered fully. We can observe both of them.
Another thing to look at is being grateful that you are not in a concentration camp. Some people are in one, in a way, when they feel imprisoned in their life and controlled by outside forces that don’t really have their best interests in mind. If you feel like this, what are you going to do? It comes down to real, practical, basic things, like, “How am I going to get my next meal? Where am I going to lay my head tonight? How do I get from here to there if I need to do that?” These are all part of the adventure. You can set the tone inside of yourself about what your intention and willingness are. You can make quite a difference for yourself.
There’s a Larson cartoon that’s one of my all-time favorites. The scene is hell, and there are guys with pitchforks, tails with arrows on the end of them, and horns, and they are looking down at the people with wheelbarrows going every which way, heavy-laden, burdensome wheelbarrows. Everybody’s got a dour look except one guy, who is happily whistling to himself. So, one devil says to the other devil, “That guy’s just not getting it.”
One of the basic decisions to make in your life is, “What is your life about? What is its purpose? What are you serving?” Do you answer positively, or do you answer negatively? I see the answers as free choice which I can answer positively—because it’s my clear preference.
You may say, “Well, I don’t know what the truth is. I just know what my preference is. I’d like my life to be happy and healthy and wealthy and thriving.” Then what are you going to do about that? Part of it would be not to let anything out there take that away from you. And now you’re going to find out what kind of strength and dedication and loyalty you have to your intention. Every day is a new opportunity to find out how it works: What’s your dedication today? What’s your intention today? What’s your willingness today?
What if you have lost your enthusiasm and can’t “whistle in hell”? I learned a method from my wife who I sometimes refer to as Miss Leigh. When she runs into something like this, she’ll say to herself in a childish, sad, pathetic tone, “Poor Leigh, poor Leigh,” and something just happens. Sometimes just that acknowledgment sets it free. I’m kind of amazed that acknowledgment can really work, even when it’s towards the negative. By acknowledging the negativity, even in an extreme way, maybe there is something that turns it around. It’s in the MSIA teachings that acknowledgment is our friend, so don’t avoid it or move into denial or should like: “I shouldn’t be feeling like this.” But you are.
You’re saying, “I feel so lousy, and I feel like it’s no use. And that’s not helping.” So, you might look at what would help. When a sailboat needs to sail to a certain place and the wind is blowing from that place, the sailors need to tack. That means that in order for the sails to catch the wind, they go in a zigzag course to the left and right of the destination, always staying focused on the direction of the destination, but not straight towards it. That’s how they keep making progress towards where they want to go.
When you don’t have much enthusiasm, you are in the doldrums, a condition that may not allow you to go straight towards your goal. So maybe this is the time to get out and row. The doldrums are a place on a body of water where there is no wind, so the sailors have to row to move at all. Ship captains and navigators over the years would track seas, winds, weather, seasons, and so forth in the ship’s log. Just knowing the prevailing conditions can help the ship move—and these are the kinds of things that can help you keep your intention. It can be as simple as saying, “Well, I’m going to have a good day,” and you have a good day.
You might be lacking enthusiasm and feel sad and sorry for yourself like: “I had all these expectations that at this stage in my life, I’d be coasting, I’d be ordering my mint juleps.” In this case, I’d ask, “How’s your family today—your multidimensional consciousness?” Are you scattered, confused, clear? What are your conditions? Knowing what those conditions are, you can take advantage of your situation.
Once upon a time in my life, I had something referred to as weekends. But when you’re working all the time, you don’t have weekends, you don’t have time off. So, I worked it out, so I play all the time, and somehow that works. You may think that’s just something I’m telling myself, that is not reality. I can make it my reality by claiming what I want to create. What I declare can become how I construct my life. So, then I’m working all the time and playing all the time. I don’t have weekends. I don’t need them. Every day is a day off, vacation. I don’t look for relief—“Thank God, it’s Friday”—and I don’t get down when Monday comes.
We really have to look in terms of our own temperament, what works individually. We can look at what we want to create for ourself rather than try to adopt what somebody else does that works for them. In reality, we are constructed differently so what makes us happy may be different.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. It’s wise to go after the weaknesses and clear them. The way that will clear them every time is if we love them. And with loving comes a responsibility to care about what we love. Loving naturally makes things better. Loving can increase to all people and things.
One of the best ways to know if something is loving is to really look at the highest good of all concerned. “Well,” you might say, “this person is bothering me. This couldn’t possibly be love.” But maybe you need to be bothered because you’re stuck in a position and holding to your weakness and denying and betraying your strength.
It’s helpful to remember that if God permits it, it’s in the field of perfection. On some level, we have a God that allows only perfection, and part of that includes that we sometimes may not consciously “get it.” Like the guys standing up there with the horns and tails, looking at the guy happily whistling—they don’t consciously get it, so they think there’s something wrong with the guy whistling. So, if something is bothering you, take a look at it. Maybe it’s just an attitude shift that “oh, poor me” can help move, so there’s a release.
Negativity has a finite existence. You could have a revelation that “I don’t want to do this anymore,” and sometimes that’s it. And sometimes you have to row the oars for a while to get through to where you want to go in a positive way. You might ask yourself who you are doing that for and why you are doing it. Take a careful look, as the god of opinion often masquerades as an authority that represents that you are not good enough. Is it coming from the false self? The negative power can shoot things through the thoughts and the emotions, and you can be influenced by the negative power as it tests you. It tests us all in our weaknesses when we are not standing up in our true nature, and it does a magnificent job. Sometimes we’re tested in our pain and suffering. Perhaps we could have passed on the pain and suffering and said, “No thanks.”
A major key in the process of moving to the true self is in caring for our self and caring for others. Conversely, we stop judging and, in any way, hurting our self or others. This is sourcing the true self for influence and direction that becomes intentions that become better choices and better results.
That’s really where Soul Transcendence is playing: Where are your origins? Where are you sourcing? Where is your true self? And when you find it, you have this great, giant opportunity to let negativity go. When it goes, it’s not worth even thinking about for one more minute. In the Spirit it’s gone, like the past is gone. You then might wonder why you keep remembering negativity. It’s because you keep looking at it. So let it go and forgive yourself for judging yourself or anyone else. The forgiveness is there all the time. And when you let go of the judgment, then the Soul takes its place by registering into your conscious field more fully, more completely, so you’re brighter and clearer. The soul has this energy of the Light and the love.
You can always redirect yourself, no matter what is going on in your life. You might say, “Hey, I just got a raise. I’m dancing.” You could also say, “Hey, I just got fired. I’m dancing.” Why not? Why make a firing mean that you have to have a contraction and a conniption fit, that your life has to convulse and shut down, and that you mourn for the next six months? Who assigned that to you? If you assign to yourself that you’re going to be happy and joyful, then in some way you need to take advantage of the moments that say, “Let’s dance.” It might be, “Well, the only place I’m getting that is from inside myself. There’s no music out here. People are sobbing and weeping. But my conductor is saying, ‘Let’s dance.’”
You could even go to a memorial service and dance while everybody else is sobbing and weeping and sad and missing their dearly departed. Some part of us relates to this: Let’s celebrate. Let’s not be morbid. And just because some people think it’s disrespectful, I’m having my own relationship to my dearly departed, and what I’m seeing with God is cause for celebration. So, ask yourself, “What’s on my dance card today?” When you identify with the “I Am”, with God as your source, it comes out with jubilation and light.
The following blessing was given by John at the completion of the two-day workshop “The Gifts and Blessings of Spirit” at last month’s Conference of Joy, Fun, and Laughter.
Blessing This Place for Joy, Fun, and Laughter
Dear Lord, we give thanks.
We are thankful that You just got us here so we could play and act like silly kids who want to have a good time.
Thank you, John-Roger.
Thank you, Jesus,
And all those who are in this line for preparing the place,
preparing us as the place for joy, fun, laughter.
That it can be a way of life, and we can still do what we need to do.
We openly ask for the clearing of what’s going on in this world at this time.
And that we ask for the powers in Spirit, through the whole Spirit,
and the consciousness that is the Beloved that would come into manifestation because we hold open the place in each one of us.
We hold it open as demonstration that we are willing to serve in this way.
You tell us just be yourself.
You are beloved of God.
You are adored.
Release whatever it is inside that is the containment that keeps us unnecessarily focused on the
negative, on the disease, on the disturbance.
That we ask that You come in and shake what needs shaking.
We know You would do that in ways we can handle
so that we are cleaning up what needs cleaning.
It is time.
We ask for the wisdom, whatever are the tools and the abilities.
You show us that it is first inside, to see the world in a beautiful way, and then act accordingly.
And every day renew, seeing the world in a beautiful way, and act accordingly.
It’s that simple.
And we are in a place where we can take that out.
We can do it together.
It is this community who loves God, who loves one another.
Those are the commandments.
And all the rest, it’s a beautiful life full of light and love and greater opportunities to flourish.
If not in this world, in that place we call Home.