There will come a time when all of a sudden, a light comes on, and just like that, we see things a bit more clearly. We see things in a new way. Maybe we grow. If anything, maybe we grow tired of being afraid.
Something happens that causes us to take notice of the things we never saw before. In whichever way this happens, a light comes on. Maybe we hit a wall. Maybe we just grew tired of living more of the same. Or maybe we just out grew our scene and at last, we decided to change it.
We look around, and suddenly the big bad wolf or the boogie man just isn’t so scary anymore.
There was a time when I was on a basketball team. Perhaps you might remember this. I know I’ve told you about this before so I will spare some of the details and stick to the point.
I was the little skinny kid that could hardly reach the basket when I took a shot remember?
I was smaller than everyone. I was uncoordinated and uncomfortable at my best. I was also different in ways that made this team difficult for me. I was a stranger to the other kids on the team. Or, maybe the other kids were strangers to me. Either way, they all knew each other but they didn’t know me. They were all friends and me, I was this little skinny kid that rode the bench and went to a different school.
I have been watching one of the new buildings rise from the ground up in the middle of New York City. I saw this build from a hole in the ground and reach its tallest peak of more than 1400’ above ground level. The spire is high up with an American Flag at the tip, flying high and waving free. I love this.
I am a firm believer that we are more than meets the eye. I believe we are more than one person.
There is who we see ourselves as and who we try to be. Then there is us. This is the true us. This is where we decide our favorite color. This is where we store our favorite memories. This is where we find our love for music and our favorite songs and we enjoy them regardless to what the rest of the crowd might say.
Snow falls and the town is quiet. It is nighttime and yet the fields are covered in a white blanket, which softens the appeal of the late night hours that come after midnight. The snowy grounds warmly illuminate a dull gray, which is nice to see because this reminds me the snowfall is not a threat, but instead, a reminder to stay in and be warm.
The streets are unused at this hour, which is good, which is why I never minded the idea of living in a small town. I like the quiet now. Perhaps this matches my age. Perhaps this is a sign of maturity. Or, maybe I’ve just outgrown the noise and hustle of New York City.
On nights like this in the mountains, everyone is cuddled in their homes, safe and warm, family is with family, and the entire world around me is hushed to a soft lullaby. I like that.
I am thinking about the words that are said by a referee before the start of a boxing match. This is when they say, “Protect yourself at all times.”
Once the bell rings, the two fighters come out fighting. They have trained to do this.
They have trained to do both; protect themselves at all times and yet, at the same time, they have trained to protect themselves while imposing their way upon their opponent.
Someday they say things will all make sense. Someday the reasons why things happen and why they don’t will become clear. At least, i’m told this will be so. There’s a reason for everything, or, so they say.
I sit like most people, wondering, and thinking too much, too often. I’m a deep thinker, which can make sleep difficult. I have a thousand questions or maybe more. I have a thousand ideas and counting. I think about about life on life’s terms. I think about man’s inhumanity to man and sometimes the inhumanity we cast upon ourselves.
In times like this, I am reminded about the old message that used to come across our television back when I was a kid. This happened whenever the television station lost reception. I believe this was due to atmospheric problems or conditions. A message came across the screen that was followed by a well-spoken voice which explained, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by.”
There are several times in my life that I met new people. We went through something together. Whatever it was and wherever that something might have been, whether it was a class or just an intense part of life; whether this was during a time of great healing or even back in the days of my treatment, there were people I knew that I swore I would always know forever.
I am thinking now of a time, sitting on an airplane, heading from one side of our country to another. I am reclining back to a comfortable flat position. The stewardess had just kindly offered me a hot towel, which I accepted of course, with thanks.
There is a musician nearby, sitting with some of his entourage, and flying back from his hometown in Jersey. He explained that he was heading back to the West-coast life, which he built for himself with his talent and a guitar. I said nothing to him though—although, admittedly I was an excited fan, I was also here to accompany someone to their previous life with help to create a new one.
You will know when the time comes. you will know when it is time to move on or when to get out or move away. You might not want to know. you might not want to move. Even if you do want to move, sometime, we just don’t understand how to let go.
Either way, you will know when the time comes. We can lie to us all the time but either way, we still know.
Everything will be right there to see. All the facts and all the reasons why will be right there.
They say that adrenaline can release great strength. They say that when we go into emergency survival mode, we can move what would otherwise be unmovable.
I can say I remember when I was a kid and I was playing around with my brother’s weights in the basement. Somehow, the bench fell on me in a way that would be too hard to explain in words. I was trying to crawl through the weight bench and then the entire bench flipped on me.
However, how and why is less important. More important is what happened.
The crash was heard upstairs. Mom shouted down the basement steps asking if I was okay. I answered no.
Before we move forward, let’s be clear. We are doing more than losing weight. We are dropping habits and dropping our old routines. We are dropping our excuses and rationalizations and creating a new hope along with a new vision.
There is more than one aspect to the bullying problem. This is important to understand. Of course, there is the physical side, which is obvious. However, the emotional aspect is even more punishing.
This part lingers in the mind and hides in the cracks of our memory. The emotional influence is the ongoing conversation that doesn’t always go away, reminding us of things “We wished,” we said or did. Bullying hides in the crevices of our subconscious programming, which roots deeply and sprouts our biases. Put simply, bullying is a weed that steals the nutrients meant to feed our soul. This silences laughter and creates internal blame. This shatters identity and damages hope, which, is above all an actual theft of time and services.
My goal is to open doorways to an alternate way of thinking that helps us most. Rather than follow the same patterns and subconscious programs, my aim is to create new ideas that lead to success. I want to create new concepts that will remove the limitations of personal bias.
The idea of wellness is simply balance. This is achieved through a means of practice. The tools that come along with this practice help us with life on a personal level. This also creates freedom with our interpersonal life as well as in the business world and behind the confines of the corporate walls.
The thing about life is it’s enough to drive you crazy. The more we try to make sense of it all is the more we find ourselves insane while trying to understand why things happen. It is beyond me to know why good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good. It is beyond me to understand why children get sick, or worse. I can’t make sense of it. Neither can you. Or maybe you can, but still, I see no explanation that can validate the crazy tragedies we go through.
There is a
word I have heard my entire life. The word is potential. I was always told I
have so much potential.
You have so much potential . . .
You can be anything you want to be . . .
You can do anything you want to do . . .
There was no one else but me in a pair of my ratty blue jeans and my denim jacket. I was dressed in one of me crazy ripped up shirts with a skull on it and standing to the best of my ability in my steel-toe Timberland boots.
Of course, I was equipped with the usual tools of my trade.
I had my pack of smokes and my little pipe. I had my lighter to light my smokes and a sheet of psychedelics, which I was sold off, one piece at a time.
Safe to say,
at some point, I had to realize my memories has often lied to me. At some
point, I realized my opinions, predictions, and fears that churn my worries and
anxiety are based on the inaccuracies of my perception.
I want to see the world from the highest peak, like a picture I once saw as a child of a man standing somewhere high above it all, south of the border with red-brick mountains, defining to me a recollection or reference of an old and unmolested tribe world of Native Indians, which is somewhere high in the peaks of South America. Young as I was, I was old enough to understand there is an entire world out there—and somewhere beyond my imagination and somewhere beyond my wildest dreams is a world I that I hope to see someday.
After all the evaluation and after the stages of contemplation to preparation, the next phase begins with determination. This is followed by action. This is the stages of change. Put simply, change is creating a new normal. That’s it. that’s all there is to it.
There are jobs that come our way that will be less than simple. This is inevitable. Like it or not, this is life. Either way, the job still needs to be done. No amount of avoidance or procrastination is going to change the task at hand. Oftentimes, however, the most intimidating idea that keeps us from attacking the challenge is the first idea, which is, where do we begin?
There will be times when you don’t know what to do. Welcome to life. Welcome to adulthood. Welcome to parenthood and welcome to the world we live in.
There will be days with no answers and days when it seems like the sky is falling. Or maybe the walls are closing in or floor beneath us is about to give, but either way, there are days when this is very real.
I knew a man that lived in the town nearby. He was a friend. Safe to say I knew him well enough to understand the more personal aspects of his life. It is also safe to say that I knew his personal truths. He was a broker. Or more accurately, he was a market-maker. He was a stock broker and earned a decent amount of money.
Years passed after leaving the first firm; however, just before the statute of limitations ran out, this man was sitting at his desk in his office. He was on the phone with his five year-old child because his child just learned how to tie their shoes when suddenly; several agents approached the doorway. The man knew why they were there.
Whatever it is you have, trust me, you have it. Everybody has something, big or small is not the question. Size doesn’t because size is always relative. Either way, no matter how little this may seem or big or in-between; everyone has something. Everyone has a trick they’re trying to pull off. In the end, the ultimate goal is to unveil their masterpiece someday and say, “Ta-Da!”
Today, my Mom would wait to the very minute after an acceptable hour because she didn’t want to call too early. She would tell me “Happy Birthday.” Then Mom would tell me how she remembers the day I was born.
Sometimes, you have just look around. Sometimes, you have to see the world is not such a bad place. There are beautiful things everywhere you look. Sometimes, it just takes a moment to notice.
Mom used to tell me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Another friend of mine used to go shooting with me. He used to tell me, “Aim small, miss small.”
We give in to too much distraction, you and me. we lose sight of much bigger goals.
With this being a month of awareness, I wanted to add another entry about a topic which is familiar to us all but seldom spoke open so openly and honestly.
This might be helpful to someone that feels lost or hopeless. Maybe they feel that constant sense of impending doom. Or, maybe this will help someone that literally feels like they are drowning, slowly and sinking in, and yet, it seems like there’s nothing they can do to stop themselves from being pulled under.
Every so often, I will see a poker tournament on television. I watch to see the players, all of them with their own style, most of them wearing sunglasses to keep their opponents from seeing their eyes, or catching their “Tells” as they call, which means their eyes might tell a story about the cards their holding.
The stakes are high and the pressure is too. Everything is all dressed up loud and colorful—there’s a crowd and the people cheered on occasion, which glamorizes and glorifies the event even more. This competition attracts all kinds of competitors; all different types of people from different backgrounds and different heritage. and all of them jabber at each other in one form or another. This is to get under the skin of their opponent.
The tide moved in early to show the face of an old memory. I
feel the sands surrounding my footsteps, and moving closer to the edge of an
ocean, I am me between the land and sea, hopeful as ever, dreaming, thinking of
the time I was a small boy and placed my footsteps in the path of my Old Man.
This is for you:
Once upon a time,
there was a little girl that had no voice.
But it’s okay, little girl.
You can come out now.
It’s time for us to talk.
Do you remember the first time you were really hurt? Do you remember the first time you fell off your bicycle and skinned your knee and then felt the sting after Mom sprayed something on it to keep the scrape from being infected? Did you ever fall or break a bone or do something so silly or stupid or idiotic and as a result, you learned your lesson through physical pain? Have you ever felt physical pain and someone told you, “Oh, come on. it’s not that bad!” but to you it was that bad?
Way back, years ago when I stood in the doorway of a small apartment and looked around, the rooms were emptied again, the furniture had all been moved out. The couches were gone, cable television was disconnected, and all the photographs from the wall had been removed. I stood here in awe of my change. I lived here. More accurately, I transformed here. My world became mine again.
When there is no further left to fall, then there is no reason to worry about the long list of inestimable tragedies that may or may not take place.
This is it, here and now, the bottom. This is where there are only two choices, which is to remain or rebuild.
That’s all . . .
I think about the places I have been to and places I have never seen. I also think of places that I’ve only dreamed of and hope to visit someday. I imagine myself elsewhere, at someplace that I’m not even sure if it truly exists.
Perhaps this place only exists to me. Or maybe I pictured this from a piece of literature, read from one of the great poets, like my favorite, Kerouac, or someone like him.
Either way, I see myself somewhere far from my usual routine and visiting an unknown crevice of the world that has not been been bordered by some man made boundary . Maybe I could be near the border, between reality and my dream. Perhaps I can see is the Gulf of Mexico from where I’d stay and the shoreline to a land of a country I know so little about.
There was a decent sized meeting room next to a bookshop in a Church over on 31st Street and 7th Avenue. As a matter of fact, the place was called the book shop. I used to go here, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon. I went here to get my share of help from a fellowship of men and women that share the experience, strength, and hope with each other, so that they may solve a common problem.
It seemed like I was always in a corner. As I saw it, there was always someone looking to cause me to question, “Why?
There was always someone causing me to question myself. Meanwhile, none of this was real—at least, not as real as I seemed to believe.
Either way, the main question or should I say the only real question that I had to ask myself was a simple one, which was within me, same as the answer was within me.
I did not understand my personal blindness. I did not understand what it meant to be emotionally colorblind. But how could I? This was just the way I saw things, right?
There is an inner voice to some of us, which is unspoken, yet, it says everything at the same time. There is an idea we have, deceived by our perception and our growing concern, which starts small, like a tiny piece of ground that moves before the mudslide—and then crash, it all falls down like an avalanche.
In a short while, I will be making my way to my first empowerment class, which I hold ever Sunday morning. The first of my two classes is held at the drug rehabilitation center in a county jail.
The population here changes somewhat frequently. There are some that come in and go our relatively quickly. There are some that remain for a while and await their sentencing. There are others that are looking to leave and end this portion of their life as quickly as easily as possible.
I love this time of year.
I love the transition from summer into winter.
The leaves change.
The kids go back to school.
The mood changes too.
I like the switch that gradually moves us into the colder months.
Want to laugh?
I’m going to be 47 in a few weeks. Some way, somehow, 47 years have gone by. I laugh to myself and say, “Who’d a thunk it?”
47 years . . .
There are times when my eyes open wide enough to see clearly, and suddenly, I am aware of my actual size. I am aware of how so small I am.
In comparison to so many things, I am aware that we are all so infinitely small, and yet, I am also aware how something so small can be so amazingly huge, enormous, in fact—like a child, for example—or like an infant, or like a two year old I had never met but donated platelets from my blood. Then of course, there was a small boy that I only met for five minutes, but yet, this brief interaction changed everything for me.
There is a road we travel, which we all travel. However the distance may not be the same. The distance between now and then or before and after is not always the same for everyone.
Either way, we all start from somewhere. Either way, we all travel down the road of life. Some travel longer than others but again, either way, some travel differently, some have shorter runs, and some have longer trips. This means there is a start, beginning, and there is an end to us all. However, what we do in-between is everything. This is the meat to the ribs of our life. This is our substance and our memory. This is the mark we leave behind and the fabric of our existence.
I think they call this human nature but it amazes me how simple it is to complicate the easiest things. We fall off somehow. We give way to distraction, which is hardly real and often imaginary.
We mistake want for needs and need for wants. We think too much. That’s right.
We think too much—and what do people suggest to help us?
Try not to think so much.
Is it that simple?
This is for you, the parents and the families. Now, of course, if you have been following me, I understand some of the information might seem repetitive. However, if you read along, perhaps this text might be useful in future interactions between you and your family.
This is also for the “Not in my backyard,” fanatics, who seem to believe this is a fact (until they see that it’s not) and they learn their lessons too late.
So to them, I say this. I have news for you.
It is in your backyard. And it’s in mine too.
The following is a rehearsed note that is said by many and delivered by few. This is not about me or you or us. But yet this is about me and you and everyone else.
This is about the goodbyes I wished I had always said. This about the people I wished I walked away from, long before we even met. This is about pain and feeling and emotion. This is about the celebration of leaving. This is about the life I had and never want to revisit and the people I knew that I never want to be surrounded by again.
I wrote this while thinking about life and life’s situations, which we talk about, and then we look back and we wish we could have found the bravery to stand up and walk away.
Let’s face it though. Change isn’t easy. Neither is walking away sometimes. More accurately, neither is being alone or being an after thought or regarded like say, “Hey yeah, remember him?”
Please read on and if you can relate then perhaps this might encourage you to take the next few steps because after that . . . you’re gone
. . .
It’s hard to get up in the morning.
it’s not that we’re sleepy so much
No . . .
it’s just, pointless
am I right?
When I began to consider my life and contemplate the ideas of taking on a new direction, I thought to myself, honestly, and I looked around at the fixtures on my wall in my home.
I looked at the photographs I had and the smiles on people’s faces. I swore, i didn’t want to be the way I was, but yet, I was.
I considered the people in my life. I thought about my friends and my family. I thought of this and after surviving me and defeating ideas of “Why me?” and, “Why do things like this always happen,” I took an honest look at me and my role in this opinion.
I looked at the things I did and all the projects I began but never finished. I looked at my perception of hope. I looked at my ability to endure and to continue.
Today is day five of a five day, 30 hour course I am taking to gain a new certification. This will help propel me one step closer to my goal. The course has been broken down into five parts, all of which have been helpful and educational.
Most of all, I learned that I should always keep learning. I learned that I should always keep growing, that I should always seek and not be satisfied or complacent with old models of thinking, and more importantly, I should always remain teachable and learn how to learn.
I used to fight a lot. I used to argue. I used to complain a lot too but nothing changed. I used to shake my fist at the sky and cursed and spit.
I fought with people. I fought over places and things. Most of all, I fought with myself.
I fought with me about me, in which, I mean I fought to be heard and to be justified. I fought because I swore if I didn’t fight, I would go down and lose control.
I fought to gain control but this is when I had the least control. Eventually, I lost sight of what the fight was for. After a while, I fought for so long, I had no idea how to retreat. I had no idea who my enemy was or what they looked like. I had no idea that in many cases, my enemy was me.
Surrender to win.