Friday, August 15

Sit in a Different Chair

Think about it for a bit, we spend most of our lives, sitting and looking at life from the same point of view. Sure, there are things that might change it sometimes, but most of those don’t last. Let’s face it…we LIKE the comfortable, familiar view that we have developed. And besides…it took a long time to develop it!!! Let me keep it, damn it!

Our life views are developed by our mind, ego, and heart over a rather long time. From the day you are born, your mind starts taking information in and forming your life view. As we grow, our ego develops and is fed more information and it adds to the life view. And finally, we reach the point where our hearts contribute greatly to our life view. At least…that’s how it’s supposed to be.

So, what happens when we run into problems, hurts, disappointment, challenges, and all the other things that life throws our way? That’s when our life views can be changed and we might not even notice it. You ever run into someone that seemed angry at the world? Might be that somewhere his life view was changed to show that the world is a hurtful place and he developed a certain response to it. Or maybe the person that is afraid of everything, taking no chances, timid, and withdrawn? Think they might have a life view that tells them that the world is dangerous and something to be feared?

I think that, for the most part, most people are pretty balanced and stable. They have, let’s call it, a normal life view. :-)

Now, I’m going to ask you all, get up, move your chair, and get yourself a different point of view. It will be refreshing to gain a new perspective on your life, your problems, your successes, and every part of your life. Look at it without the same old familiar blinders. Don’t accept anything as gospel, yet. Challenge all the old beliefs and thoughts and feelings that come to you as you review yourself.

Why in the world would I want you to do this? Because I love to get people to do crazy things? HA…well, maybe. :-) But really, this is a good way to do a little bit of mental, emotional, and spiritual housecleaning. Sometimes, we gain blinders that are in NO way good for us or our lives. However, since we are already wearing them, it’s hard to realize that we need to, and can, take them off. The only thing we can do is to take some time and review and challenge every blinder we wear. And throw out the ones that don’t help us anymore.

Why do I want you to do this? Listen to this story that Stephen Covey shares at his seminars.

"Picture yourself on a quiet subway ride home. Everyone is quiet there are several people sleeping while others are reading. At the next stop a man gets on with some children. The children are very disruptive throwing things running into people, just kids behaving rottenly. You turn and say to the man 'your children are being disruptive maybe you could do something to control them.' Then the man turns and says 'we just came from the hospital their mother just died and I guess they don't know how to handle it, neither do I.'”

This is the essence of changing your life view. Suddenly, your world and life start to change and you begin to redefine certain things. Some things will take on new meanings and other things will be put into a more proper perspective.

I would say that it’s good to change up the life view regularly. I’m not saying to play musical chairs with it, but rather keep challenging the things you blindly accept. Challenge the things that you worked to understand and accept as well.

Stagnation kills most things in nature. We are no exception. A stagnated life view will lead you away from the life you were meant to live. It will cloud your judgment in situations where a better alternative may exist and may cause problems that didn’t have to be in the first place. It’s refreshing and renewing for your mind, heart, and soul.

So, let’s pull off all the blinders and check them out one at a time. Make them prove why you should put them back on. And MOST importantly, throw out the ones you don’t need any more or those that are simply no good for you.

Here, I’ll hold the trash for you. :-)

Thursday, August 14

Patience is a…Virtue?

We’ve all heard that particular saying; in fact, we’ve probably said it a few times ourselves. But if you look around, there is a definite lack of patience in people today. We want what we want and we want it right now. We have come to the Instantaneous Gratification Generation. And it’s a belief that has infected most everyone alive today. I had to laugh when my 12 year old actually told me that waiting 35 seconds for his food to cook in the microwave was “just too long!”

What has happened to us as a people? When did the winner become the guy that died first? What in the world is the rush?!

Just so we can communicate easier and be on the same page…let’s see what Mr. Webster has to say.

Patience is the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient. OK, so here, Webster is really of no help.
Patient is bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint. That’s a bit better. It actually gives us something to think about. So Patience then becomes the habit of bearing pain and trials calmly and without complaint. OK, I’ll come back to this in a bit.

Virtue is a beneficial quality or power of a thing. So, it’s good to have virtues. :-) But not vices.

So, let’s rewrite our old saying. “The habit of bearing pain and trials calmly and without complaint is a beneficial quality.” I know, it sounds SO much better the other way. Sue me.

I want to have you think about the idea of patience being a habit. Habits are something that are developed of time and through repetition. Repetition you say? That means that I have to repeat the process of bearing pain and trials calmly and without complaint? Wow. That just sucks doesn’t it? Again, I think about people today and how we are always looking for the quick fix. “I need patience and I need it NOW!” And further than that, I can actually recall times that I have said, to myself and others, that “OK. Now I’m patient.” Like it was only a sticker that I had to attach and I was there. :-) I want to laugh out loud now anytime I hear someone say something so ridiculous.

So, how can we develop the habit of patience? Living in this world where we measure things by the millisecond and constantly want everything faster and easier, what are we to do? Here’s a thought that goes a little against the world today…SLOW DOWN! :-)

What would happen to your day if you actually stopped and took 15 minutes just for yourself? Would the world come to a crashing halt? Or would you be able to take a few moments just for yourself?

I believe that it comes down to a paradigm shift in our mindsets and beliefs. See, for whatever reason, we all seem to believe that we need to get more done as fast as possible. But do we really have to? Yes, I know that we all have deadlines and due dates. But what would happen if we took a little bit more time and rushed a little less and made certain that what we did was the best possible for ourselves?

“If you don’t have enough time to do it the first time, how will you make time to fix it when it’s wrong?”

Patience is one of those virtues that will benefit you in SO many ways. It will allow you to weather most any situation without completely losing it and bashing someone in the head with a brick. Oops, did I just say that out loud? :-) Patience is necessary for any sort of personal growth or spiritual exploration. You will NEVER be truly successful in life if you do not find a measure of patience for your own life and EVERYTHING that will happen in it.

I know that it’s hard to keep calm in the face of personal problems, tornados and whirlwinds that blow through our lives. But what are the other options? You could rage with or at the storms, and, honestly, become a part of the problem. You could cower down and hope that it blows over, and, again, become part of the problem. You see, I fully believe the following quote from the movie Die Hard: “You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem, now stop being part of the fuckin’ problem and start being part of the solution!”

You have everything inside you to develop patience in your life. Just take your time, remember to put everything into its proper place and priority, then take a few moments and think of the best way to respond or handle whatever is happening.

Life is not meant to be a race to the finish. It’s a journey; one that is meant to bring out all the hidden treasure of your soul. Be sure to stop and take a moment, or LOTS, to enjoy this journey and look around. See the beauty that surrounds us daily and ENJOY it. You might even want to sit and take it all in. That’s OK. Look, I’ve saved a spot for you, right here beside me.

Wednesday, August 13

Help…I’m stuck!

As I look around at people in the world today, I’m struck by a commonality that they all share. Everyone has something, usually several somethings, that they are holding onto that they need to simply let go. We all have them. That something that you might even know you need to release, but just can’t seem to figure out how, or find the motivation to just do it.

Don’t sit there and tell me that YOU’RE the only one that doesn’t hold on to anything. Don’t lie to me in that way. :-)

Oh, you might not have thought about your little insecurity blanket for a long while, but it’s there. And the moment that you DO think about it, all those old feelings and thoughts come rushing back in and you are right back where you were before. That’s the way it works when we hold onto things.

I find it almost funny the things we DO hold on to. Have you ever noticed that people don’t hold on to the BEST of times? But rather, they hold on to those awful, hurtful moments that brought them pain and heartache. Boy, are we a masochistic species or what?

OK…so, here we go. Let’s do some spring cleaning and get your ass UN-stuck.

First let’s figure out why you are holding on to these things in the first place. I think that there are a few reasons that people use to justify holding on to bad things. We hold on to things because we are used to the feelings they provide. This seems, to me, to be almost the abusive reasoning. It’s the one where you tell yourself that it’s always going to be like this, so, why let this go and be hurt again. People also hold on to things because they get stuck in the cycle of revenge, or “one-ups”. They will hold on to an event as an “ace in the hole” to use against someone. Some people simply don’t know how to let things go and be OK with letting them go.

I’m certain that there are LOTS of other reasons…after all; I don’t think I’m THAT smart to know them all.  But it’s a start and you will already know why you’re holding on. So, take a moment and pick something that you’re stuck with. Look at it, feel it, hold it at arm’s length, and then tell yourself why you’re holding on to it.

Now look at what you just said. Was the reason “because keeping this with me makes me a better person to myself and the people around me”?

Yea…somehow I didn’t think that was your reason either. So, if this is something that’s not making you a better person, why ARE you keeping it? I vote to just throw it out right now.

No? You don’t want to yet? OK. Then look at it, and tell yourself how you feel when you’re thinking about it.

Was your answer, “I feel better about myself and the people that are in my life. Happy or peaceful no matter where I am and what I’m doing”?

Yea…somehow I didn’t think that would be your answer either. :-)

I have a thought I’d like you to think about, and maybe even adopt as your own. “You are NOT the sum of your failures.” Most of the things we hold on to are related to times when we believe we have failed. And it’s almost as if we hold on to them so that we can continually poke ourselves in the eye with them.

STOP DOING THAT!!! I like your eyes…and I bet you do to. You don’t have to hold on to things to beat yourself up with later. Or beat anyone else for that matter. The only thing you are doing by holding on to negative things is giving the negative a chance to grow in YOU. And it’s a booger. It’ll grow fastest when you’re not looking and try to smother everything else out of your life.

So, let’s take your something and look at it one more time. Was it hurt? Heartache? Pain? Betrayal? Embarrassment? Whatever it was, accept that it happened to you. Realize that in some way, this helped to make you the person you are today. Turn your hands over and let it fall. Tell yourself that you’re OK and let’s just move on, our step a little lighter and our burden a little easier.

I’m going to close with a quote that I want you to think about. Hell, print it out and stick it in your bathroom to see every day. Remember it and just know that I believe in you, always.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, August 12


It’s every child’s favorite question. And every parent’s greatest irritation. Why?

You can ask this question about anything. But let’s focus it a bit today. And let’s ask the question, why do we do this? Why discover yourself? Why struggle and go through all the things I’ve talked about before?

In all honesty…I can’t answer that question for you.

I can’t even make up something that’ll sound really good to everyone that reads this. :-)

You see…everyone will have a different reason for walking the path or starting the journey. For some people, it will be for someone else. Sadly, those people won’t stay on the path with that reason. It’s too hard to do for someone else. That’s just the plain truth. Some people will be here because they know that they are missing something in their lives and are reaching out for anything that might give them a clue about what to do. These people are still looking outside for guidance and direction in a quest to know their self. Some will be here because it seems like the right thing to do. They will be here until it starts to get difficult because they don’t believe in what they are doing.

So, why are you still here? Wait, that sounded bad. I don’t mean, go anywhere…I just wanted to know where your head and heart were at.

Maybe it might help for you to know why I am here.

OK…here goes:

I am 33 years old, and I know that I am not living my life to its fullest potential and possibility. I myself am not to the point yet where I am able to do, see, hear, speak, and act to my personal best potential. Sure, I’ve got some things going for me. But the things I have are transient. I know that there is a deep core to me that contains everything that I could be. I can tap into it at times and that helps me when things get hard and I get down. I know that the ideal image I have for myself, is attainable. I can be everything that I want to be. My life can be what I want it to be. So, I believe, with all my heart, that I will eventually become that image I have for myself. I just beat one mountain down at a time.

It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. ~ Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

OK…now you know why I do what I do…let me ask you another question. One that might be a bit more pertinent to your situation. :-)

What is keeping you from starting today?

Ouch…sorry. This one might hurt, if you’re honest with yourself. But, I want you to take a real long, good look at the reasons and tell me if they are honestly valid, journey ending reasons. Or, if they are simply the excuses that you use to keep from pushing out of your comfort zone and into an unknown place. Yeah, I know. That’s a hard one to take. Kind of like a punch in the face, but I’m simply not willing to let you wallow in some half-assed, lame excuse, when you should and could be doing something to make your own life the best it possibly can be. See, even if I don’t know you, you’re my people, my friends, in all honesty, my family. And I care that you are actually doing something about whatever it is that is causing you pain. So, go on…list them out and see if there is any merit to the reasons you use to keep you from trying.

I’ll wait right here while you do. :-)

That way, I’ll be right here to take your hand and help you start. After all, everything is less scary when you’ve got a friend by your side.

"We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of a whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do? Be strong and of good courage. Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes... If death ends all, we cannot meet death better." — James Fitz.

Monday, August 11

What are you willing to sacrifice for?

It’s really a simple question…but only if you know yourself VERY well first. :-) I know; there’s always a catch to simple things right? Most everyone can give you an answer to this question, some right off the bat. But what kinds of answers to you get from most people?

“I’d give anything for that boat!”
“I’d give anything to have her/him!”
“No matter what the cost, I’m going to get that eventually.”

Have you ever listened to people when they start talking like that? They all want stuff. Or some want someone beautiful. You very rarely hear those most important things discussed. Why? I think that’s easy to answer, most people just don’t know themselves well enough to know what’s ultimately important to them. Why don’t people know the deeper answers? Cuz it’s hard to get to know yourself in that way.

We have become experts in going through our lives at a level no deeper than a shallow puddle. If you ever take the time to listen to the conversations people have you’ll hear them discuss things like: sports, cars, celebrities, movies, TV, general gossip, etc. I’m sure that you’ve all overheard the surface, pointless conversations that I’m talking about. Hell, you’ve probably had them yourselves. I know that I have.

We seem to have a difficult time in sharing the important thing in our own lives with “just anybody”. I find that almost funny. After all, we are all human beings stuck here on Earth and in reality; most of our lives resemble each other. We all deal with some common stressors, family issues, crazy friends, etc. Oh sure, some of us go WAY above and beyond to clear the bar of normality, but for the most part, I think that most everyone could empathize with whatever it is that you’re going through or dealing with right now. And sometimes, by sharing the important parts of your life with “just anybody”, you could help them to deal with something that they are stuck in. There’s just no way to know what the results will be with “just anybody”.

But, back to the question…What are you willing to sacrifice for? It’s not a question of how much you are willing to sacrifice, but rather, what’s important enough to you to sacrifice everything for. Of course, there are the “safe” answers that anyone should give. Family, children, closest friends, etc. You all know those safe answers. But what, just for YOU, is important enough to give everything up for?

In order to actually answer this question, you will need to be able to pull yourself out of every other role and relationship that you have. This is a question just for YOU. It’s hard to do, separate yourself. We find security in the roles we have of father/mother, brother/sister, friend, employee, care giver, etc. And setting that security aside, even for a moment is hard and even a little scary. But if you don’t know YOU, then you will be lost if your roles are ever taken from you. And believe me, eventually they will be. How many times have you heard this story? We were SO in love when we got married. Then we had the kids and we loved them even more. But, when the kids left, there was just nothing there between us anymore.

Kind of sad isn’t it? How many people are so tied to their roles that they simply cannot function without them? Are you someone like that? Or can you, just be YOU?

Hopefully, you’ll make some time to just spend with yourself. Figure out what it is that YOU want, like, desire; if there are absolutely no demands placed on your time. Figure out what would make you happy, just because it’s for and from you. But here’s the kicker…once you figure that out, GO FOR IT! Work to incorporate it into your life. Make it a part of the life you already have and share it with the people that are already around you. You might find that there are some people that will be excited to help when they find out how much it means to just you. :-)

Don’t keep walking through this life only having half of what you want. Make life a complete package. You’ll be happier and everyone in your life will be happier because of it.

P.S. – Mine, if you know me or have heard me talk, is to “work” from the boat. :-) And in the words of General Custer – “I have a plan!”

See you on the other side! :-)