Friday, March 21, 2008

Life's "Sweet Shoppe" People

There are few places, in the course of our lives’ travels, where we enter in with the foreknowledge and predisposition that we are there for the express purpose of indulgent fun and pleasure. The Sweet Shoppe (also known as the “Candy Store”) is, without question, one of my favorite of those places. Even the anticipation accompanying the opening of that door brings a moment of giddy delight. Then, upon immersion in the surrounding sensory overload of fragrances, colors, shapes, and possibilities I find that I can be quite sated with just that experience alone (though I, admittedly, never stop at that.)

And so it is with some of the “Sweet Shoppe People” in my life. These are individuals who stir a smile at even the notice of their name in my address book. A momentary consideration of all of the treats incumbent to their individuality brings a delight not unlike that momentary giddiness (yes, even in the soul of a crusty old relic like me) at the door of the Sweet Shoppe. And, then, in the environment that surrounds contact with them, I am brought to a completeness of satisfaction that begs no activity, nor exchange beyond the gift of that Presence.

So, this morning, as I permitted my inner voice (that is the voice of Life) to speak clearly to my waiting spirit ... I was reminded of that treasure that is my life’s assortment of “Sweet Shoppe People.” And then, a sense of urgency to bring this thought to you, My Very Dear Reader. Take a look about you … spend a moment in reflection over that cup of coffee, or during that boring meeting or class (you didn’t hear it here), or with your own address book … and relish an appreciation of your own Sweet Shoppe People.

Then give your heart license to respond to that appreciation in some way (a phone call: “I appreciate you”; a potted plant sent with a note of appreciation; an Email with a quick "I love you"; a passing squeeze of a shoulder; or a 'comment' left at the threshold of a post made by your friend on their blog; or any other gesture acknowledging your appreciation of that individual.) Open your heart’s window of expression to the beautiful light of opportunity. Present a “Sweet Shoppe Moment” to that person.

Indulge your Soul’s “Sweet Tooth.”

IMAGES through the gracious courtesy of Ian Britton,


quilly said...

You know, this is exactly what I spent much of the day doing .....

John-Michael said...

quilly!! What an extraordinary day you must have had!

Isn't Life just so filled with promise! Thank you, quilly, for being a part of my day! I love you.

Classic Charm said...

Well...speaking of sweet shoppe people, um you are at the top of my list for SURE. I love you and your words, and your wisdom, and oh I could go on an on! So, I'll stop there...but you know that I truly appreciate you. And that you've quickly become, well one of my favorite blogger friends indeed! I was just thinking as I layed awake in bed this morning, among the other thoughts I had about leaving for vacation on Sunday morning. That one of the first things I was going to do when we returned was to catch up on your entries for the week since I will not have computer access in Mexico. And, I won't be able to visit - yes indeed I thought that! you see I for one truly appreciate you, and all the joy that comes with knowing John-Michael. I'll miss ya!
P.S. - Have a happy week!

John-Michael said...

Now you just wait one tiny minute here, My Darling Ms Rose!! A whole week devoid of your daily ((HUG))s? I don't know that I can give my assent to that plan. [big ol smile]

Bless you my Dear Friend. You have your self a holiday fit for the Sweetheart that you most certainly are. I'll miss the doodah out of you. But will await your return complete with holiday tales to be told.

I love You!

CrazyCath said...

Ah my dear John-Dad-Michael-

You are at the top of the list as one of my Sweet Shoppe People" and if you don't know that yet then you should!

You provide such guidance, lifting spirits without even knowing where your words are needed, yet you write them and post them for whichever soul is in need.

I boot up the computer and you know if you look at the stats how many times I might visit and read or back read your posts, taking the strength they offer. I bet I am not the only blogger who lurks and takes the strength and love you offer.

You definitely make me smile when I see your name in that address book, or comment on my page, or reply to my comment. You are a good man.

I love you John-Michael!

nitebyrd said...

This post brought back fond childhood memories of visiting "The Candy Store." When you could buy a bag of actual "penny" candy with pennies!

It also made me think of my "Sweet Shop People" some long gone and some right here. I'll be sure to tell them how much I appreciate them.

John-Michael, I appreciate your wit and wisdom. Your beautiful writings and lovely pictures. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Merelyme said...

I'm trying to see what your photo is...I need my glasses on. :>) are those jars of candy?

Suldog said...

Correct as usual, John-Michael! Thanks for the sweet reminder!

John-Michael said...

My Darling Friends,

I am breaking some "comment protocol" here, I know ... but "what the Hey!"

I just returned from a bit of a trip to the market (via Starbuck's [yeah!]) where I 'celebrated' the spirit of today's post. I made love to everyone who I encountered.

"Please forgive my intrusion, but that is simply a gorgeous cut" (to the woman in Starbuck's who had a beautiful hair style.) Then as I left and she thanked me for 'making my day' "And thank you, Dear Lady, for making my world a more enjoyable place, in which to be, with your loveliness."

The Manager of the Deli in the Market "Please forgive my intrusion, but do you know what you need here?" (she registers a look of consternation) "This!" (I slowly demonstrate a deep yoga style breath ... and smile) "You are saying that I need to take a breath?" she queried. "Yes, indeed. I observed the tension and anxiety on your face as you were on the phone just now. A good, healthy breath will do your soul a wonder right now." (she smiles ... relaxes ... and takes a deep breath) "Ahhh ... you are so right! I feel a world better." We exchanged smiles, nods of heads, and she turns to leave "Thank you for noticing and caring, Sir." "You are quite welcome, Dear Lady."

A child in midst of a tantrum and unwillingly submitting to placement in the child-seat of the grocery cart. (After speaking a word of encouragement and a comment on the beauty of her 3 small children to their harried Mom.) I stand in front of the unhappy little boy ... engage eye contact ... "Oh ... yes ... i see it now ... the reason for your ( I don't say the words ... but do all of the Robin Williams gestures indicating tears [for he {RW} and I are of the like-temperament and social style {how scary is that ... teehee}]." Then I do a few seconds more of pantomime gestures sprinkled with portions of words (all the while maintaining eye contact with the boy and his two sisters ... and communicating acknowledgment of their Presence in this world [and who, pray tell does not need that?]) The Mom looks around to see how her son and daughters' faces are responding to this impromptu engagement ... HUGE smiles all round! And I bid them "Adieu."

And on, and on, through the market ... the young man who sliced the meat for me in the deli ... the man placing cheeses on the shelves ... the check-out clerk ... all hungry for and receptive to Love. I had a BLAST!!

Then, upon my arrival here, back home ... your kind and loving messages from hearts that I have so-quickly come to adore. And my face is now awash in tears of happy gratitude for Life's blessing Me ... one single soul on this tiny globe of ours ... with such wealth.

I am so very fortunate to have the honor of Loving and being Loved by ... YOU.

John-Michael said...

My Darling Cath-Daughter (please forgive this tardy response. I have had to resuscitate for a bit.[quite literally ... for I am by innate nature an Introvert, to the extreme, and am drained and spent in my intimacy with my world] As opposed to my 'cousin' in my temperament-type, The Robin Williams, who I referred to earlier. He is he 'Extrovert' side of the Romantic/Idealist coin. and derives energy from his intimate interaction with his world. We of the Introvert side of that coin enjoy the immersion and involvement, but at the expense of our emotional energies. So, after the morning that I described, in part, I am well spent now!])

You and I, My Precious, have agreed to walk life's path as traveling companions, and intimates in Friendship. And I savour our 'taking in' of all of the sights along the way ... together. I am enthused in our shared reflections on the elements of our lives. I like this gift that we are blessed with!

And I love You Darling!

John-Michael said...

nitebyrd, I am not sure if I have ever 'spelled it out' to you, but I surely want to now ... and let your know that this Person who You have revealed your Self to be (in your comments with me, and in your presentation of your Self in your blog), makes my life richer and far more fun!

I do, indeed, love you, My Dear!

John-Michael said...

Well, merelyme, I do believe that there is, within those jars ... Something for everybody willing to Stop ... Enter ... and Open a jar and accept what lies within. For each jar just might contain sugar-free, love-filled treats to suit every taste. (At least in my personal estimation.)

May your 'jar' be so filled!

John-Michael said...

My pleasure, Jim, my SulDog Friend.

You have my best and most loving wishes for you and your 'MY WIFE's most enjoyable and rejuvenating weekend.

CrazyCath said...

Your responses are never tardy.
And as I get to know you better I so totally understand your need for rest and recharge. I too feel that drained feel when I have given myself emotionally for a sustained length of time, often in my work.
You, my dear Friend, do this on a daily basis, not once but several times as you respond to each individual who contacts you with personal insight and thoughts that support and encourage.
You truly have a gift that you use well. Actually, I think we all have this gift. You are just not afraid to use it and I applaud and thank you.
You are special.

Come on over mine and meet my dad on today's post. ;0)

John-Michael said...

Ca there be any whisper of doubt as to why I adore you, my precious Cath-Daughter?

You have me pegged in the "spent emotional battery" department. (And I have absolutely no hint of desire to slow down the usage of whatever resource I may make available to this delicious world that I am blessed to know.) I do enjoy, fully, each life, each individual ... with all of their possibilities, challenges, fears, and hesitations ... that Life allows me to discover. Such a blessing!

And Life knows of my own needs. Hence you! I love you!

Classic Charm said...

Nope, there are more "lurkers" out there, I assure you. See, I'm one of them :)


John-Michael said...

If only all that "lurks" about us could be as loving, supportive, and encouraging as You, Darling Rose, and my Dear Cath-Daughter, our world would have cause for unending celebration.

I bid you "Welcome" as often as you have opportunity or inclination to illuminate my life with the glow of your presence. You are Lovely to share life with, indeed!

Vi said...

Ahhh, J-M, you are my little marshmallow, all soft, sweet an gooey!

John-Michael said...

Wow Vi, I have never before been anyone's marshmallow! Way too cool!!

I love you Girl!

skinnylittleblonde said...

Sweet Shoppe People...I love it & feel so fortunate to have so many wonderful folks in my bubble of the world. My mother always told us that there was something good to take note of & to acknowledge in everyone & everything we came in contact with. I know that you know that she was right. P&L

John-Michael said...

Your mother endowed your Spirit with a gift beyond price, my Dear skinnylittleblonde. And I relish my own joy in benefiting from your carrying forward, and sharing the "good things" in your heart.

You bring love ... I return it to you.

aims said...

You are indeed on one of my Sweet Shoppe People JM!

I want to thank you for putting me down as A True Journey to 'True Love'.....that is so sweet! It embarrassed me somewhat I have to admit...but then I held my head up with pride!

Thank you JM! You are a treasure and I love that you are such a romantic!

John-Michael said...

aims, Dear considerate, and generously kind aims ... how you do fill my cup full!

Though you are killing me with your protracted story of your excruciatingly complex past, I will, certainly, read on with your telling of it. (I am hooked!) Just as I will carry on in my admiration of the wonder that is YOU.

I love you.

Jules~ said...

This is a wonderful analogy. Thank you for the mental picture and the reminder. It is the very way that God designed.

John-Michael said...

That this pleased you, Jules, pleases me.

Hilary said...

Reading this post was like walking into that candy shop... very, very sweet. :)

John-Michael said...

You are going to be so proud of me Hilary, because I am not going to subject you to my usual gushing responses to .... (well, you know.)

I AM going to say that I am genuinely pleased that you enjoyed this bit.

(SEE! wasn't I good! [smile])

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