Gratitude Day

A JohnnyO Celebration!

Each week John writes at SAME Cafe to a prompt for Coach Matt Salis which is “as fresh as each day’s breath.” Each month on the 28th we can look forward to a new piece to celebrate Gratitude Day for another month of wellness.

Thank you, John!

Image by Pixabay.


What do I like?

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I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

On February 28, 2022, John celebrated his 14th month of sobriety. Today and tomorrow, I’ll be sharing two of his recent poems. Then every month on the 28th going forward, John told me that hopes to share new material to celebrate each anniversary of his new journey. Congratulations, JohnnyO! Thank you so much for your creative gifts and for your friendship over the years. ♥.
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Newsletter Video 2:37

I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend. ♡
This week on ¤ under1000skies ¤

´¨) ¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ #JohnnyO ¤

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Dear Stranger

Gems 6.216

The Stigma and the Turning Point

Gems 6.217

Anger vs. Heart

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Joy to Write

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Music by Vivaldi, The Four Seasons, Op. 8 from

Photos by Niki Flow

Poetry by John Steven Olander, Change Agent, Poet, Performer, Artist, and Rocky Mountain Volunteer Coordinator,

Thank you, John, for a week of inspiration. Thank you for your beautiful, creative contributions over the years since we met. Thank you for being such a shining light in the world.

I hope we have a great weekend.

♥. nf

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I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Photo by Niki Flow.
“Hope” – A Spoken Word Performance by John Steven Olander

Written November 18, 2020
by John Steven Olander

It’s hard to keep your attitude straight
When daily you are forced to wait.
Everything takes so damn much time.
A quarter might as well be a dime.
What can I do?
Where should I go?
Is it going to rain or snow?
It’s not too long before you’re thinking,
Ah, what the hell.
I’ll just start drinking.
Disaster’s pending with every sip.
A sip, a drink, a guzzle, and then you trip!
And so begins the predictable fall,
And you’ll be mocked by one and all.
But don’t give up.
Your chance is not gone.
From the Spirit above your strength is drawn.
So take a deep breath, and sit still.
Realize that hope and desire create
All you will.
But as with any arduous climb,
It requires a goal, resolve, lots of time.
So concentrate on your goal
And ignore the problems at hand.
Dig in, grit your teeth and
Journey hard to the Promised Land.
To live the life you want to live,
You’ve got to be committed to give, give, give.
And if you feel like you want to whine,
Just help somebody else out.
You’ll be fine.

Spoken word by John Steven Olander.

Videos shorts by Thuan Vo, Fundacja Dla Biebrzy, Zaidoopro, Alexander Helbig from Pixabay.  

Thank you, Johnny O!

Gems 6.218

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Photo by Niki Flow

Joy to Write
What do I feel like when I write?
Exuberant. Excited.
Expressive, Informed, and Unique.
Anxiously anticipating a New Creation.
Curious, From the Caustic to the Casual.
Quick with the quip.
Rarely am I at a loss for words.
So I feel privileged to discipline the time
To be specifically expressive,
to really nail the experience in as few words as possible.
I am frequently left with the thought, “Damn John,
“That was pretty good
“We’re going stick with you because we believe you have potential.”  

John Olander

We’re back on IG:

John is too. Here’s a link to his page.  He doesn’t have content yet but promises he will soon.

John will be appearing on television on PBS soon.  He submitted one of his poems and he will be interviewed on Monday.  We’ll be speaking that day afterward.  John has a job and a place to live now and Monday is his only day off so that’s become our new interview day for Volunteer Biographers.  As soon as I get more information about the day his show will be aired, I’ll let you know.


Gems 6.217

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Photo by Niki Flow

Anger vs. Heart
Am I angry or just compassionate?
Do I really care?
My heartfelt pronouncements actually SCARE people.
My heart is vibrant light. My heart projects my aura,
My love, my genuine concern.
My anger while well intentioned, backfires.
That feeling is understandable.
But the application of that feeling constricts my heart.
It constrains the veins, the very vessels that fill my body.
That said, there is a place for tough love, hard lessons,
Calling someone out, being called out.
Sometimes a person needs to catch the ruler on the knuckles.
Sometimes the negative is required to birth the positive.
The heartfelt payoff comes when the enemy who was engaged,
stops seeing and knowing everything and becomes a friend.

John Olander, 11/7/2017

Gems 6.216

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Photo by Niki Flow

The Stigma and the Turning Point
The turning point. We are who we are. A myriad of possibilities.
Does it cause me to feel shame that I may be mentally ill?
Absolutely. Should it? Absolutely not.
Determination. Am I closer to dealing with it? Absolutely.
Am I a winner? Absolutely. And not a beginner.
Am I bi-polar? Probably. But in the best exuberant sense of the word.
I AM exuberant. A full joy and anticipation cometh in the morning for each fresh new day.
There are turning points all the time in any person’s life.
One turning point for me was my eviction from Saint Francis.
One turning point for me was the death of Carol Lee.
One turning point for me was Healthy Food for Kids and reminding myself of how great I am when I apply myself and how much I enjoy helping other people do what is right for them.
One turning point for me is accepting the fact that I sometimes need help and I need not be ashamed of it. I AM WORTHY OF IT.
One turning point for me was using my idle time to pick up the trash of others and saying, “Thank you Spirit for letting me serve your earth.” I am blessed every day in some unknown and unexpected way.
One turning point for me was understanding how much support, love, prayers, and loyalty I have from SO MANY others.
One turning point for me is understanding that life will go on in so many ways that are completely beyond my control. So in order to be my most effective, I must present the best John Olander I can be.
Understand that I am not in control and accept the results whether or not it required the help- of others without shame, knowing that I have done my best.
Now that my friends, is a turning point.

John Olander

Gems 4.29

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Gems 4.29 under1000skies

Photo by Picmonkey

Tell Us a Story

under1000skies story

The theme for February and ongoing throughout 2018 is “storytelling.”  We are always looking for your story, poetry, photo and art submissions.  Here’s the Submission Guidelines post from earlier this month:  Tell Us a Story.

Changemaker JohnnyO

John Olander

JohnnyO of Denver and Nicole Huguenin, (Dream Together) one of our most generous contributing photographers.

Big shout out to JohnnyO in Denver who has some amazing stories to tell (coming soon).  Johnny was recently featured in Channel 9 KUSA Denver News reading one of his poems, Climb Again.  When I spoke to John on Tuesday, he told me some wonderful news. He has secured a venue in Denver for two different Gallery shows which will feature the art and writings from under1000skies. One show will be in March and and the other in June.  These venues are quite expensive and exclusive but Johnny was able to get the venues pro bono!  This is amazing news.  Johnny has been passionate about helping spread the word about under1000skies since he learned about us a couple of years ago.  As more information becomes available, we’ll share it here with you.  Kudos to Johnny O and deep bows of gratitude for your enthusiasm, kindness and creative vision.


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