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John Henry MacDonald has been called “the Will Rogers of modern times.”

Today’s guest post features one of the world’s treasures, a person whose attitude toward life I’ve decided to adopt. A few years back. I met John Henry MacDonald on the hiking trail. He is a musician, philosopher, a one-of-a-kind singer songwriter, a man with a healthy attitude toward life, an outlook well suited to these Corona Virus Times. His is a philosophy that I’ve adopted.
And who is John Henry MacDonald?
In his own words: “From the streets of San Francisco to the jungles of Vietnam, from drug addiction and alcoholism and homelessness, to finding his strength and becoming a reigning figure in financial services in Austin Texas for more than 40 years, John Henry McDonald has lived many lives in one. And throughout the years he always kept a common thread: a love of folk, gospel, and blues music and a talent for telling a good story.”
A true survivor of many of life’s challenges, John Henry McDonald endeavors to tell his story of survival and hard-earned success by telling audiences about himself and about the man who saved his life. Entitled “A Guru Named Frank,” his beloved one-man show features 16 original songs wrapped around 11 vignettes and a ready encore. The stories and the songs describe his brokenness after the war, and the rite of passage McDonald undertook after meeting his guru, the man that would serve as John Henry’s guide to leading a productive and extremely successful life.

“Nuts and Bolts of Calm” by John Henry
First we must wish to be calm. Then we must wish to remain so. (A decision has to be made).

A morning prayer recited.
Listing things that make us grateful.
Guided meditation.
A reading for the day.
These are all activities that still the mind. And these moments of stillness are the treasure we are seeking. Moments of calm. Priceless.
Now we’ve established that we can be calm. Next the task of remaining calm.

A worrisome thought has a beginning. And all of those beginnings sound something like this: “what’s going to happen to me when”… (Fill in the blank with negativity).
So it’s our job to identify the beginning of a negative thought and stop it in its tracks. You see, I control my mind, my mind does not control me.
So when a worrisome thought begins, I stop it by saying “No!!” Then I recall the morning moment of calm.
A quick prayer
Listing a gratitude
Return to the treasure of the quiet time of day.

Decide to be calm
Identify negativity
Stop it in its tracks
Repeat Repeat Repeat.

Listen to John Henry MacDonald’s song “Hold On”


Subscribe to Elaine Pinkerton’s website for monthly blog posts on adoption, nature, and the writing life. She is working on a suspense novel, The Hand of Ganesh, slated for publication in 2021.