Today’s post is the monthly reflection from the August 2004 issue of  The Front Porch Newsletter.  If you would like to automatically receive The Front Porch e-newsletter on the last Thursday of each month just click here to sign-up for your complimentary subscription.

moments-cd-coverBy Janice Rubin
For those fortunate enough to have experienced a dynamic energetic presentation by John Blumberg, it may be a stretch to imagine him quietly motivating you while being accompanied by piano. Moments of Substance: A guided journey to a more fulfilling life provides just that surreal opportunity. John teamed up with professional pianists, Tim and Ryan O’Neill to create a CD that inspires people to reflect on the direction of their lives and to connect with powerful personal insights. Whether listening to John in person or on CD, the result is the same — it is a clear call to action.

Time away often allows us to dig deeper into who we are and who we can become. I had the opportunity to remove myself from my Chicago pace and enter the southern lifestyle; Austin, Texas. Much anticipation surrounded this trip. Not only was I looking forward to precious time with my daughter who would be competing in a national volleyball tournament, but was also planning a time of renewal and discovery. I consciously packed my running shoes, reading materials and John’s Moments of Substance.

Each day in the early morning I had the joy of running around Town Lake, which is 5 miles long and winds past downtown Austin. It is a beautiful place to allow your mind to wonder and wander. I was encircled by wildflowers, cactus, fog rolling off the lake, kayaks, rowboats, and even 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats roosting under Congress Avenue Bridge. The 9 miles of trails surrounding the lake are juxtaposed next to city high rises and the electric music and nightlife of 6th Street. This was the perfect environment to experience the combination of challenge and peace found in this Moments of Substance CD. John’s poignant questions, visualizations and analogies are couched within a soothing piano accompaniment. They uniquely allow your mind to flow freely into incredibly powerful personal insights. I’m not sure which was more daring, confronting some of the questions posed or the young moms with jogging strollers doing a hill workout — running backwards up a steep hill. Both opportunities required focus and provided an improved quality of life. OK — so I was the one running and thinking, not the one running backwards up the hill! I am thankful for this mental workout that clarified and enlarged my vision and new possibilities for the future.

Not many professions provide sabbaticals. In order to be lifted to a new level, I believe we should all create time to connect with our values, vision and aspirations for life. John’s CD, Moments of Substance, is truly a sabbatical of the mind. It’s one you can choose to take over and over again as you focus on your personal journey in life. Choose a sabbatical and make it a “moment of substance.”

Janice Rubin is a co-founder of Family Impact and the co-author of two books: “Let’s Talk Parenting” and “Let’s Talk Teens”. You can visit her website at www.familyimpact.net