If you are still reading this blog, you have probably been touched by the content in some way and specifically by John’s writings. My mission is to help keep John’s message and teachings alive. The following passages were written by John’s students and friends, and shared at his memorial service. I hope you enjoy them.
“Don’t be dismayed at good-byes.
A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.
And meeting again,
After moments or lifetimes,
Is certain for those who are friends.”
Richard Bach, Illusions
We have been so blessed to have John in our lives. Few people have touched me as deeply and influenced my life as much as John was able to do for me during the time I knew him.
I think what I always admired most about John, is that when he talked with someone, that person was the most important thing in his life, at that moment, and he gave them all of his energy and love. Words cannot explain the man that he was to me and others he touched daily. He was a healer and a counselor; he was blessed with the healing gift through words and touch. He used the energy of love to heal physical pain and mental anguish. One of his most profound gifts was to speak the truth and to see deeply into someone to help them heal. He opened my spiritual eyes and helped me become a more loving and genuine spirit. As importantly, he helped me overcome patterns in my life that I didn’t even know existed, and for that gift I am eternally grateful.
He was there for anyone who needed him, whether they knew it or not. John had a way of seeing into someone and giving them guidance, wisdom and insight when they needed it most. He would drop what he was doing to help his seekers, even if it was to just offer an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on.
Two things he wanted most, was to love his wife with all of his heart and to create a spiritual community built on love and service. He had an incredible vision to heal the world one person at a time bearing the gifts of love and generosity. He told me a story once about a white wolf and dark wolf. “We all have both of these wolves inside us” he would say. “So which wolf wins?” the student asks. “The one that we feed.”
There are so many pearls of wisdom that John passed along to me, that I will treasure the rest of my days. He taught me that all things are love and he himself loved openly and deeply. He gave of himself eagerly and shared his wisdom with those who listened. He gave a piece of himself to all of us as he sought to help us on our own journeys. John looked at this world in a different light; a light of love, generosity and service. And the world always seemed a little brighter, a bit full of magic when he was around.
His legacy lives on in the hearts of all of us. I am blessed to have been able to walk in his company for just a little while. We are all richer for the words of wisdom, healing touch, and time spent in John’s company. His legacy will live on in me and the others he touched, and he will be missed by all of us.
John Heckers- My Friend
I’m honored to have the chance to share some thoughts to celebrate his life.
A native Coloradan, John was taken from us much too soon. For many of us it’s hard to understand why things like this happen to good people. However, it’s a question without an answer…and we should not dwell on the loss of our friend, colleague, author, columnist, partner, husband, father, son, brother and…trekker.
While many of us first got to know John in a business setting, he was a deeply spiritual man. He once wrote that he intended to go “at the age of 112.” He managed to get halfway there, but he did not fear death. Rather he saw it as a new experience and part of a journey. With this view, John was able to live his life fully with “gusto and gumption.”
As a teacher, we’ve all learned much from John. Even some of the jokes he used to tell had (not so hidden) lessons. Take this one for example:
“An incredibly wealthy man made a deal with God that he would give half of his wealth to the poor if he could just take two suitcases of his wealth with him.
“The man arrives at the Pearly Gates with two very heavy suitcases. St. Peter questions this, but confirms with the Big Guy that the suitcases are OK.
“St. Peter asks if he can see what the man brought, and the man agrees. He opens the suitcases to show that they are filled with solid gold bars.
St. Peter’s response is, “You brought pavement?”
The point of this story that John shares is that what many see as valuable – money, property, and so forth – have no real worth. What is truly valuable is the “life we live, the love we give, and the love we receive.”
As a spiritual person, John knew that regardless of what happened in this life, he did not allow fear to control his decisions. He was willing to put himself on the line for what he believed in and loved. No better example of that is becoming one with the love of his life, Nicole.
Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony. And it played well with John’s own outlook on life. In a nod to Chief Crazy Horse, Star Trek’s Klingons and Shamanism…John believed that each day is a “truly good day to live.” He made each day of his life as full as his body and spirit would allow, without regrets, with love and with joy.
It is sad that John’s life ended so abruptly and I cannot express fully how much I will miss him. You know, if John were here today, he’d probably wonder what all of the fuss was about: “Why on earth are people taking the time out of their lives to pay respect?” A modest and humble man at heart, he would be surprised by the impact he made on so many people’s lives.
Even though John may be gone from this world, his memory will live on in all of us forever. John…I am fortunate to have had you in my life. Thank you for your friendship and your love.
I will never forget you.
The message during the holiday season has always been to share what you have, be grateful, show your loved ones you care and to be compassionate and giving. We should be doing this all year round and isn’t it funny that it seems more difficult to display these virtues over the holidays? There is so much stress, so many expectations and feelings get easily hurt. How can you be loving and giving when others have slighted you, not met your expectations or forgotten about you during such an important time of the year?
It can be difficult to keep your emotions in check. Here is a list of pointers to help you survive during this challenging time.
1) Relinquish expectations. Unrealistic expectations are the #1 source of depression and why people feel let down over the holidays. We somehow think our Christmas dinners should turn out like the holiday family dinners you would see on the Hallmark channel. Or that our dining room table should be decorated to please even Martha Stewart. Should we let the media tell us how to celebrate the holidays and what that should look like? No! The more power we can take away from them, the better. Should we take everything personally and expect everyone to operate the way we think they should? No! Define the holiday season, your traditions and how you want to celebrate it on your own terms.
2) Be easier on yourself. Take a few short-cuts for your holiday meal preparation, get help somewhere so everything doesn’t fall on you, send out e-cards instead of handwritten holiday cards, or cut out things altogether. This doesn’t make you a bad mother or father (or sister, husband, aunt etc.) And your children would appreciate having a parent who isn’t stressed out, irritable and in a bad mood. You want to set the example of being joyful, giving and grateful. Modeling these behaviors is one of the best gifts you can offer your children that will make a lasting impression.
3) Don’t feel obligated to participate in events you don’t want to attend. Sometimes this is not possible. But whenever feasible, politely decline. You have your reasons. And your reasons for not attending something is your business. Enough said.
4) Be reasonable in your gift giving. How much you love someone doesn’t equal the amount you spend on them. Sometimes it’s nice to save up so you can get your husband the expensive watch he’s always wanted. But you don’t have to do this every Christmas or Hanukkah (or whichever holiday you celebrate). Some years you’ll have more money to spend than others. Your spouse, kids, family and friends will be pleased when your gift is your ability to share and give of yourself, which includes your time, talents and treasures.
5) Stop comparing yourself to others. Let all the other families and kids in your neighborhood try to outdo one another year after year. You’ll quickly see how their striving and maintaining the illusion of perfection is just silly and exhausting. It is OK to want good things for yourself. But don’t let things get out of hand to the point where you feel badly about yourself if you don’t measure up or angry that things you feel you are entitled to are not provided for you.
6) Decide that you have enough. Enough of what? Well, everything. I’m not referring to people who are really struggling financially but to the average person who has everything she/he needs. Acknowledge what you have with gratitude, realize that you have enough of X to last 5 lifetimes and be content. Another irony I’ve found is when you feel satiated, you are in the flow and even more things come your way. And to remain in the flow it helps to give things away you’re not using and to let go (perhaps material possessions, negative thought patterns or unsatisfying relationships).
With the new year ahead, it is a good time to mix things up, try new behaviors, celebrate what you currently have, and help those in need who don’t have as much as you do. As you decide to lower your expectations for yourself and others, it is likely your experience will be less stressful and maybe you’ll really come to enjoy this time of year.
As many of you know I am mourning the loss of my husband and founder of this blog, John Heckers. During this holiday season it has been especially difficult to find peace and my way back to the place where things make sense again. This “place” I’m looking for might not exist. Or I have yet to find it.
As I was driving home this evening in terrible rush hour traffic, many bursts of deep sorrow washed over me. Deep pain due to some things I am experiencing with my family, and mountains of grief over losing my husband. I needed something to keep my mind occupied and couldn’t find anything worth listening to on the radio. I had a stack of CDs on the passenger seat, ones I hadn’t listened to in years. At the top of the pile was Spirit, by Jewel. After inserting the CD, I immediately changed it to my favorite song on the album, track #3, “Hands”. And the message was profound.
If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we’re all OK
And not to worry ’cause worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I won’t be made useless
I won’t be idle with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear
My hands are small, I know
But they’re not yours, they are my own
But they’re not yours, they are my own
And I am never broken…
I see now that I never left my sanctuary. It’s been right there all along. Please know in your heart that during periods when you experience intense emotion, whether it be pain, anger, fear, rage, despair, loneliness, grief…..remember that you are already whole. There are no holes to fill. No lost pieces to find. Everything is all right. It is taken care of. Don’t worry. Don’t despair. Everything is your choice. It is up to you. And you, you entirely, are enough.
Hello everyone, this is Nicole Heckers. I unfortunately have sad news to share. I wanted to let you all know of John’s passing last Monday, 11/19. His death was very unexpected and a shock to everyone. The cause of death is still unconfirmed at this point. If you need to reach me to talk, have questions or want to offer condolences, please contact me at 720-261-4405 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We thank you for your readership whether you’ve been reading John’s spiritual posts for years or are just new to the site. I do plan on continuing the ongoing discussion about spirituality and welcome receiving guest posts. I will also contribute to this site as frequently as I can. I’m dedicated to keep this site alive, interactive and useful for those of you who want to learn more and grow in your spiritual walk. I believe John’s passing was partly due to the fact that he had much work to do “elsewhere” and am grateful for all that he accomplished and for those he healed during this lifetime. Although this is a time of great sorrow for me and for others, it is also a time I’d like us to remember to truly celebrate LIFE. John absolutely lived life to its fullest. In remembrance of John and his legacy, let us work towards freeing ourselves. Now is the time for you to let go of your fears, self-imposed limitations, prejudices and shed the need to operate according to meaningless and useless societal expectations. John’s mission was to help all of you to enjoy freedom. He understood that once you are free, then can you truly live.
In peace and light,
Are things falling apart in your life? Are you wondering why you seem to have such a streak of bad luck? If nothing you do to fix things seems to work and you feel stuck after trying everything, then you may want to look at your life differently. Try looking at what your spirit is telling you.
So what is this spirit? God? The universe? Your inner voice? I don’t know. Maybe all these things. But what I do know is that your spirit is relentless. It will not stop bugging you until you get on your right path. Sometimes it feels like your spirit is torturing you because it calls you to do the very last thing you want to do, ever. But that is what spirit does. It leads you to uncomfortable places. And it doesn’t like to be ignored. And yes, it won’t just go away.
Tag Romney’s company just bought the company that manufactures AND PROGRAMS the voting machines in several swing states. I don ‘t want a repeat of 2,000. If the Republicans win this time, they should have to do it fair and square….or lose fair and square. If you think it is OUTRAGEOUS that the son of a candidate has purchased, only a couple of weeks before the election, the voting machine company, please sign the petition at Change.org here.
Why is this Spiritually important?
1). Honesty is a spiritual value. Whether they cheat or not, it looks bad for the United States.
2). Freedom for women. The Republicans are sworn to get rid of legal and accessible abortion, fair pay for fair work, and many other things women value.
3). Compassion. Many are in need of assistance. Ryan’s budget would cut IN HALF the assistance offered to the poor, leaving many to die or to be dumpster diving. Many more will be homeless and the Medicaid rolls will be cut by 50% leaving many in pain or dying.
This is vital. Don’t let the election be stolen by dishonest people!
At some point in your Spiritual Growth you will come to a period of crisis. It is very easy to blame Spirituality itself, or your Teacher or even nasty forces. But, in fact the culprit for the period of crisis is easily found. Look in the mirror. The entity that is causing a period of Spiritual crisis is likely your own spirit moving you forward toward more understanding and growth.
Of course, everyone, including me, hates this and would like to kick the crap out of our spirit at that time. We get comfy. We get complacent. We get “happy.” And we sure as hell don’t want to grow. In fact, I refer to my times of growth as AFGOs. “Another F***ing Growth Opportunity.” Growing sucks. Complacency and comfort are so much more…well…comfortable. Read more
Another vital Spiritual trait is generosity. Generosity does not just refer to generosity with money, but to generosity with all of ourselves. We need to be generous with our time, our resources, our spirits, our bodies, our minds, our love and our money.
Stinginess or hoarding comes from fear. There is a fear that we won’t have enough of something, whether that be money or love or other resources. We, therefore, withhold. When we do give, we tend to make a big deal of it. If we give, we want people to be eternally grateful, even if we’ve given from our surplus. This is not Spiritual.
When we withhold, Spirit withholds. It isn’t some sort of punishment thing. It is simply the law of cause and effect. If we withhold, Great Spirit cannot give to us. When we stop withholding, things in our lives will flow once again.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we should pauperize ourselves, give everything away and never expect reciprocity. That is just as damaging as withholding. But there are few people for whom “overgiving” is a problem. We should expect to have reciprocity for our time if someone is able. We should also expect reciprocity from those who are able for any other gifts we give — for both of our sakes. We don’t do people any favors by being giving but never expecting anything in return.
But we should also give abundantly. While we need to remind some people of the need to give back, in the end Spirit is the one that gives back, not the other person.
True generosity does not require asking, however. It sees a need and acts on it. If a friend needs money for food or rent, true generosity steps in without the friend needing to ask. If someone needs our time or resources, true generosity offers them without the other asking. Thus, in true generosity, we preserve the dignity of the Other and offer ourselves freely. We see an imbalance and counter it with what we have to balance it. We see an injustice and do what we are able to right it. Our efforts will often be quixotic, but our peace and serenity in return come from Spirit, not the success or “failure” of the effort.
When we see a need we can easily help with and do not do so, we are part of the problem. Our job as Spiritual People is to be the hand of Spirit to those who need to feel that hand. We are Spirit’s feet. Spirit’s eyes. Spirit’s ears. Spirit’s heart and generosity.
The one caveat is to be slightly cautious. Do not give when doing so would harm another person. I do not give to those holding signs on street corners. They will only spend it on booze and drugs, not food or housing. I give to shelters and the Food Bank of the Rockies instead. Do not give to an alcoholic, an addict, or someone who misuses money to harm themselves. Being generous does not mean that we can be enabling for consistent dysfunction.
But, for the vast majority of the world, our job is to be Spirit to them. A simple gesture of generosity may, unknown to us, turn someone’s life around.
I gave an hour of my time free to a man over 10 years ago (I consistently give free hours of my time, but this is one of them). I didn’t think I’d hear from him again. I was at a business organization luncheon and this man came over to me and said “I’m sure you don’t remember me, but you changed my life in what you said in our time together.” I was blown away because, no, I didn’t remember him. I meet about 1,000 people in a year and give away about 100 hours of time each year (business-wise). My advice, which I promptly forgot, changed his life for the better. He sat next to me at the luncheon and told me how. It was a great day for me to hear what he said.
We often think our generosity doesn’t make a difference. But, as the above story shows, we never know the actual difference we do make. We never know what our impact might be, nor should we think about what it might be. Our generosity, like other parts of our life, should be in the moment and address the need, not be about our legacy or what affect we’ll have.
We often withhold our money. This is a large mistake. Spirit is Source for money. There is plenty. We tap into that eternal Resource when we give when it is needed and give regularly to alleviate some needs.
We often withhold our love, or reserve it for one or two family members. We need to be open and loving toward many people.
We often withhold ourselves. We need to give of ourselves to others freely and without withholding, though we, regrettably, need to be a bit cautious in how much of ourselves we show others and how much we let others in.
We withhold our bodies and affection. When we hug people, we often give a half-hug or hold back. Give of your body and affection to others in appropriate ways. Open up and understand that your body and affection can also be a channel of Spirit.
We often withhold our time, or get so busy and overscheduled that we have no time to give. Clear your decks somewhat so you do have time to give to others in need. Leave openings in your schedule to serve others and be there for them.
Generosity is a core attribute of Spirit. We need to emulate it in every way possible. Open yourself and give generously, before you are asked, and more than you initially think you should give. It will flow back to you….generously.
Love, peace, joy and serenity,
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. Maya Angelou
The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you. Tony Robbins
Many of us are in deep physical, psychological and/or spiritual pain.
It may be due to an injury, a trauma, an illness, a betrayal, a loss, a disappointment, or even our whole lives. Some people live whole lives on the tree of woe. Some seem destined to experience pain that, to most of us, would be unbearable. Yet they bear it.
Some pain is unavoidable in this life. The human condition is such that none of us will live without disappointment and loss. Most of us will experience illness, injury or disease in this life. To be human is to have pain in our lives, as well as joy. Sometimes it does not seem worth it. Other days the joy makes it very worth it.
The saddest pain, however, that I see as a healer, is the unnecessary pain. The pain that people choose to live with when the solutions are available. The pain that people simply accept. And, of course, the pain that they cause themselves through being stubborn or recalcitrant and refusing to change and grow. Read more
The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission. John F. Kennedy
I’m not going to talk about the high cost of maintaining our civil liberties or our freedom as a country, but, rather, the very real price that is paid by those walking the Spiritual Path.
To be truly free and thinking for ourselves, we must, in walking the Spiritual Path, deprogram ourselves from a lifetime of disinformation and brainwashing. This is agonizing. All we have believed, all we have been taught, and all that society feeds us must be questioned and, probably, rejected. This is the job of a good Teacher — to deprogram and de-brainwash people. And we often get killed, jailed, ridden out of town on a rail, or ostracized. I’ve been hated, demonized and ridiculed for the “sin” of helping people to think for themselves and not blindly and idiotically accept what society wants them to accept. Read more