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10888893_10153475880148032_6173539791970740877_n“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius

My day began early, driving through the darkness to a presentation in central Illinois.

Slowly light filled the landscape before me.

And then, during one singular moment, I glanced to the right and saw the most magnificent sunrise I’ve ever seen.

Although my phone could not capture it’s full majesty – I had to at least share what I could with you!

I hope you’ll take a minute, and enjoy this photo. The stunning pinks and oranges and reds cascading from the east; and note in the middle, pointing straight up, the single, massive beam of orange light.

It took my breath away, but I almost missed it.

Today, my friends, strive to see the beauty that is all around you. It is there, but you must have your eyes and heart open enough to see it.

Happy 2015! This year as a Rising Above community, we’ll celebrate the beauty each day holds. We’ll encourage each other to breathe life into every moment. And we will continue to live. Inspire. Now.

Thanks for reading my Monday Motivation blog and if you aren’t already – join me on Facebook and Twitter so we can share inspiration, tips and pictures every other day of the week too.

Can you recall a moment from 2014 in which you were in awe by the beauty present to you in a moment, a person or an experience? Please share in the comments below – one lucky winner will receive my Ignite Life Today online inspirational coaching program to kick of 2015 right!

0 replies on “Are Your Eyes and Heart Open to See It?”

I love your picture and your blog. Over 23 years ago as I prepared for my wedding, a friend told me to remember to step back (at the reception), look and behold all the love in the room for me and my groom as we began our lives together. I did and it was wonderful! So many of our family and friends are no longer on this earth…the memories are awesome. I often request “Lord, please help me not to miss it” because life is so very busy. In December my parents celebrated their 50 year anniversary and during the celebration amongst hundreds of family and friends. It was a hectic, busy time but I, the MC, sat down the microphone, stepped back and beheld their beauty, true beauty (they were decked out in all cream and gold). You could feel the love in the room as we watched them cut their three tier anniversary cake and feed cake to each other…I was in awe. My heart swelled with love as I thought about all the love they gave and sacrifice they made over the years for each other and me and my siblings. What a wonderful moment. Thank the Lord John…I didn’t miss it!!

My moment to kick off 2015 came from my twin, 16 year old daughters. They are both High School athletes and in the middle of their favorite sport, basketball. One of the best Girl’s Basketball Players in our area, from a rival school, tore her ACL just before Christmas. Obviously she is done for the year, and this is her Senior Year. While talking to my girls about it, they decided that they were going to get a Get Well Card for her, and get the rest of their team to sign it as well.
A parent couldn’t be prouder than to know that their children can look beyond competition and see the individuals involved and to know that they may be competitors on the court, but we all deserve compassion and respect.

what an awesome story. sounds like you have done one heck of a job raising those girls! and, tom, the best is still yet to come! J

A penny on the path, a cardinal on the porch, a butterfly fluttering by; I have always regarded these as signs, greetings from heaven. On September 1 2014, I had a visit from a butterfly that filled with me with awe. As my friend and I lazed about on the point of a beautiful bay, a small butterfly, with a missing bit of wing, landed on my right foot,
The butterfly moved to the arch of my foot, then flew to my left foot and perched on my toe. He fluttered to my friend and rested on her sore toe before moving back to me.
When I moved to the shade, the butterfly rode my foot for 4 steps and then flew away.
I went for a swim and when I returned he landed on my shoulder. Then he fluttered to my arm and rested there. Do butterflies sleep?
Finally, it was time to return to the house to begin making dinner and on cue he flitted away. As I was beginning the long walk back, I felt a soft touch on my shoulder blade. The butterfly was back.
I piggybacked the butterfly to the farm house, said goodbye and he danced around before he disappeared.
I marvel about this butterfly, so achingly beautiful with his broken wing and persistent nature, gently reminding me to revel in beautiful moments and to believe in the miraculous. I am so blessed.

Hi John, I was able to listen to you speak today in Chatham (Go Titans!). I was in absolute awe of the joy and happiness radiating from you. Your story captivated all of us. I am blessed to have heard your story, it truly had an amazing impact on me. Last year I began having health problems and during my own “pity party” I remember my 2 year old daughter coming over to me and while sitting on my lap she cupped my cheeks in her hands and said, “I always love my momma.” In that moment I felt more love and happiness than I thought my heart could handle. Thank you so much for making the trip!! I will never forget it.

I was in Ireland last March with my dad. The country was incredible with much greenery surrounding me. I even saw the beautiful cliffs that meet the vast ocean.


I had a similar situation but instead of me noticing it my son did. We were heading west on Hwy 40 and my 4 yrs old son Henry said “Dad look how beautiful the sunset is, WOW”. The sunset was incredible, more Purples and colors then I had seen before and the feeling that hit me was knowing that my son a 4 years old saw the beauty before I did. I believe that we all need to remember that kids see everything and we have to strive to give them every opportunity to see things maybe we did not get a chance to. Have a great 2015

Jeff — GREAT reminder, brother…thanks for sharing and hoping you are back to 100% physically…lmk. Stay on fire, my friend! J

Hi John, great to meet you last year in Columbia. Very much enjoy the emails and love the picture in today’s. Breathtaking! My 2014 moment was on 12/16/14. I have been walking with a friend for almost a year and a half through some very difficult and hard times. Initially, the friend was not sure there was a God, had never seen Him or really encountered Him. On the date above, my dear friend not only saw God and His hand, but surrendered, accepted and trusted Christ truly for the first time in his life. It was a wonderful blessing to witness God’s victory in his life. So glad that was able to see this unfold and continues in the journey. Your post today is a great reminder. Don’t miss today. Don’t miss those that are placed in your path. Walk with and love people where they are, God is at work!

Blessings for 2015, John.

Yes beautiful picture and I’m sure it was even much more beautiful than appears in the photo. In the summer, I meditate on my deck early in the morning, sometimes before it is light and watch the sunrise. One particular morning I was praying/meditating before sunrise. I was focusing on an issue I was struggling with making a decision. I looked up to the sky and there it was, there were 3 bright stars in a triangle pattern and the moon was right in the center of the stars. It was absolutely beautiful! I knew then the timing was right for me to move forward. I wish I would have taken a picture or looked up if this was a certain constellation in the night sky. I had seen the stars in the pattern before, but the position of the moon in the middle was just breathtaking. I enjoy your Monday emails and look forward to a prosperous 2015!

John, beautiful photo , but you DID miss it!!! Look again: it’s not just an orange beam! There is a horizontal beam as well, making it an orange cross!!! Wow, beautiful.

My 2014 moment of awe came from a sad story: we lost our one in a million dog, Snoopy, in March. He died unexpectedly. He licked us as we put him to sleep. Then a few days later, as I prayed for a sign that he was ok and looking down on us, he sent me two signs in one day:

Snoopy’s favorite place to travel with us was a resort in Georgia, and the plan was to spread some of his ashes there. One morning, a lip balm from the resort–which I forgot was even in my purse from the year prior–rolled out and landed perfectly so I could read the name of the resort! Then later than night I asked Snoopy for a shooting star and he sent me one!

I believe Snoopy is in heaven and was sending me these signs. And I was in awe and still am whenever I think of this day in 2014.

A week ago yesterday my mom past away. She battling her second round of cancer and this time it just took over too fast. We had her for 41 days after she was diagnosed. The beauty of it all is that she is now happy with God in heaven. Also all the support one receives during this time is incredible. I couldn’t believe the amount of flowers, food and prayers that everyone gave. It has been a very eyeopening experience in many ways.
Thank you for you words of inspiritaion each week. I love coming to work on Monday’s to see your message for the week. God Bless you!

Jessica; You, your family and your mom are in our prayers tonight…thanks for posting here….and stay in touch…the best IS yet to come.

Jessica, you are the winner of my Ignite Life Today web-based coaching program! Shoot an email to us at info@risingabove.com so we can get you set up to start receiving the weekly inspirational video lessons! Thanks for all who shared! J

Ever since Brian Buffini’s Mastermind in August of 2014 I have read your Monday Motivational Blog. There have been many days when I was worn out, burned out and not feeling grateful for the many blessings in my life. You have helped me time and again to appreciate what matters most in my life.
Each day now as the sun rises I reflect on my blessings and determine it is a great day no matter what.
Thank you John.

My beautiful friend Marcia’s son was going through chemo treatments. I felt helpless on how to help her. I thought what would I want if it were my child? I knew I’d want as many people praying as I could possibly have. So in November he was supposed to have the tests and get results over a two day period if he was cancer free or not. I was so scared for Marcia and JP. I organized with the help of friends a 48 hour prayer group with someone praying every hour from 7 am Tues to 7 am Thurs. I couldn’t believe the willingness of people to come together to pray. When I sent the list to Marcia I was so excited because I felt like they would be safe now. When she received the list she called me crying so hard she said I can’t even breathe. Never have I felt loved like this before. Naturally she was overwhelmed and my heart swelled and I knew I had done the right thing. I cried tears of joy with her and the good news is – JP is in remission now. So the beauty for me is helping someone in such a way it touches their heart for the rest of their life.

Lorna, what a beautiful moment. Thank you for rallying your community together for Marcia and John. I believe we can bring out the best in others, if only we ask the best of them. Thx for ALL you do. J

My most inspiring moment was Oct 4th, 2014, this was my brother’s birthday. He passed away Mar 1 2013 from cancer, for months I felt the growing feeling to talk with him, I missed him so much but no sign came….But on his birthday, I am driving alone on a street with no others cars and looked up and saw a tiny turtle in front of me. You say “so what” well my brother at one time would rescue turtles on the highway, he had over 20 before he had to let me all go.
So it could have been a hippo in front of me but a tiny turtle on his birthday, I knew this was a sign from him or God, telling me it is going to be alright. So yes you are given signs of beauty and encouragment from sunrises or even
a tiny turtle…..

Kay, I love this. Thank you for sharing and thanks to your brother for sharing a turtle, his light and the truth that the best is yet to come. Continue boldly, Kay. J

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