Remembering my Dad

December 5, 2021

Good morning my friends.  Happy first Sunday of December.  As we enter the last month of 2021, take time to reflect on the life we all share on this planet.  Existence as human beings on this rock (we call earth) spinning in space is pretty incredible.  I am thankful each and every day I’m here to enjoy the ride.  It’s wonderful and perfect in so many ways.  Even though nothing is ever actually perfect, it is if we believe it to be.  We are each perfect individuals in our own way.  Our body, mind and souls function in unison, making each of us truly incredible creations.  Don’t waste a precious moment of your time on this planet.  Begin with gratitude each morning.  Let that guide you to happiness.  Enjoy your life.  It’s a gift with an expiration date. 

Today, December 5th, has significant importance for myself and my family.  It marks the passing of my Dad, on this day, eight years ago.  I honor him, and his memory, with my writing today.  He deserves this and so much more than I can offer.  He is my hero, friend and father.  He is the man I can share any thought, feeling or emotion; without the threat of being judged or criticized.  He was a man of the Greatest Generation.  This is fitting, since he truly was a great man! Amazing people, that share this trait, are rare in our world.  I am lucky to know and trust several amazing people, including my sister and brother in law.  There is one person, in particular, I’d like to acknowledge today.  She has always shown me the same courtesy, support and love; just as my father has in the past.  She is like my second mother in some respects (although no relation).  She is an outstanding human who deserves this recognition.  Thank you, Linda, for your wisdom, insight and unbiased advice.  You, and your daughter, have always helped me see the world and life through different eyes.  I appreciate all our talks, discussions and your love.  I am truly grateful to know you and honored to have you as a friend.  Great individuals, who truly care about others, possess incredible gifts to inspire, support and push us to be better humans.  I will forever cherish their guidance and love.

My Dad was just one of those men that everyone liked and loved.  He always shared a positive outlook on life.  I can’t recall ever hearing him talk about anyone in negative or derogatory terms.  He was kind, caring and just an awesome man and father.  I know he carried scares and trauma from his past.  Many of us have some sort of trauma from our past that haunts us in our present.  He was the strong, silent (and handsome) type that just never showed that dark side.  Dad grew up during the Great Depression.  He was drafted in the US Army at the beginning of World War II.  He served our country with distinction and honor.  He landed at D-Day, traversed France, Europe and found himself in the Ardennes (near Bastogne, Belgium) during the winter of 1944.  It placed him in the midst of the German offensive, known as the Battle of the Bulge.  The German army pushed through an 85-mile-long front, which began on December 16, 1944, (77 years ago).  Christmas, that year, was a fight for survival in the snow covered battlefields.  It was a worldwide struggle for the freedom of this planet.  A loss would have altered our history forever.  The battle raged until January 25, 1945, after American and Allied forces pushed the German army back into their homeland.  Germany would surrender and the war would end on September 2, 1945. 

My Dad continued his service here in the States, after returning home from Germany, only to be deployed to Japan during the Korean War.  When his tour of duty concluded, he returned home and moved my Mom and sister to California.  I was born the day he was discharged from the  Army Reserves.  I had no idea of this fact until after he passed away.  I collected his military documents; petitioning to have him buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia.  Having him laid to rest in those hollowed and scared grounds was an honor he deserved.  Looking through his service records, I learned more about the man I called “Dad.”   Besides being an honored veteran, he was an amazing father and man.  I hope we all cherish our fathers as much as I love and value my Dad.  He was definitely one of a kind.  I miss him, but still talk to him every day.  He answers me in unique ways, and lets me know he’s next to me.  I know he is watching over our family, because that’s the kind of man he was raised to be.  Whether you believe in spirits, guardian angels or not,  it doesn’t really matter.  I know he’s here with us.  I cherish honoring him whenever possible.  Thinking of what he, and other soldiers, experienced and endured during the Christmas of 1944 is heart breaking.  So many of our military and law enforcement officers sacrifice so much to ensure our freedom.  Remembering them during the holidays is recognition well deserved.  I miss my Dad every day and sad he’s no longer here to share the glory of the holidays with his family.  I know you’re watching over us Dad.  Thank you for showing me how to be a better man.

I send my thanks to all the members of our military, law enforcement, police and first responders, especially during the holidays.  These brave men and women are working to protect us, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure our safety and freedom.  They are a dedicated and loyal breed of amazing individuals.  I am honored and blessed to have worked alongside many of them during my career.   Please take the time to thank them during the Holiday Season, and then remember them every day after.

I want to leave you with one important thought today.  We don’t know when our time on this planet will end.  Life, happiness, kindness and love are gifts that are free to each of us.  I encourage you to live a life filled with passion and gratitude.  Humility doesn’t mean you’re weak.  It signifies your strength in how you care about others and yourself.  Be a leader and roll model, standing tall and unafraid for all to see.  I continue to show the same respect, fairness and kindness to all people.  These traits don’t mean I’m weak in the face of evil.  I’m willing to stand up for what’s right.  I am unfaltering in my quest to fight the hate and negativity in our world. The battlefield I’m on is vastly different than my fathers during the war.  None the less, we are still fighting that battle against evil today.  Do the right thing and take a stand against dishonesty, lawlessness and tyranny; even if others refuse.  Make the choice to be happy.  It won’t cost money, there’s nothing to buy or gimmicks to obtain it.  The simple decision, within each of us, is yours to make.  The dividends you earn with happiness will benefit you for years to come.  If change my thoughts and attitude, I can change to world.  Think of what we can all accomplish together.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

What if…

November 28, 2021

Good morning my friends.  It’s crazy to think we’ll close out the month of November in a couple days.  December is upon us and the Holiday season is already in full swing.  With only 26 days until Christmas, it baffles me how quickly 2021 has passed by.  I’m looking forward to Christmas and the New Year, but not quite so soon.  My daughter will be visiting and that makes me super excited and happy!  The possibility of another visitor is thrilling too!  The holidays are always magical when they include family and friends.  The “icing on the cake” for any celebration (especially for me), is sharing them with those we love.  Life’s journey really is all about who we spend our time with; not necessarily the destination and definitely not the stuff.  Quality time shared with fabulous people makes living worthwhile and wonderful.  Any time spent with these special individuals, is a fantastic time of year for me.

I know, from my personal experience, holidays have the ability to increase anxiety, stress and sadness.  I’ve already experienced an array of emotions; especially when it comes to family, friends and loved ones no longer with me.  I do my best to cherish their wonderful memories and happiness we all shared.  These thoughts of the past have the ability to bring on sorrow or create depression.  The key for me, when experiencing these emotions, is not slip too deeply into the past.  Remembering the legacy these amazing individuals created while they lived alongside me, always brings joy to my soul.  The times shared and memories made, are what makes these people so special to me.  The recollection of the joy always brings me back to the present. Special people in our lives deserve to be remembered, honored and cherished.  Take the time to share your thoughts and feelings with the individuals still here, so they know exactly how you feel.  Don’t hold that stuff in or wait!  Express yourself and allow the positive energy to flow freely.  It doesn’t matter if you like someone or love them.  Show them through your actions and tell them how you feel every day.

What can you do to make the holiday season a little easier?  Would reducing some of the stress and anxiety associated with this time of year help?  The first thing that assisted me, not only in increasing my happiness and reducing stress, was letting go and releasing my own negativity.  Changing my own attitude worked magic for my soul.  Next, I did all I could to eliminate the chaos created by outside influences; like the media, retailers, manufacturers or anyone pushing an agenda.  Reducing my daily exposure to social media (etc..) brought huge relief.  I discovered limiting my time staring at a screen freed my mind and soul for wonderful things.  I don’t spend as much time shopping at retail outlets, as in years past.  When I do shop, I learned to shop smarter.  Shop for what you actually need, rather than wandering from store to store.  Make a list!  This is a perfect time to shop at local businesses, especially with all that has occurred during the last two years.  These small businesses can benefit from our support; plus they’re often less chaotic.  You can always shop from the comfort of your own home to avoid traffic and crowds.  I’m sure the deals will be out there, so don’t feel like you need to rush out or you’ll miss them.  Why people continue to put undue pressure on themselves is beyond me.  The reality is, we can create stress that is inflicted upon ourselves.  Slow down my friends.  What’s the huge hurry?  Take time to relax, breathe and enjoy the holidays.  These special and sacred days come but once a year.   They will pass us by quickly, they always do, so cherish every moment.

“What if” you actually took the time to enjoy every moment?  How would that make you feel?  Then, “what if” you stayed mindful and present for all the days that followed?  What a crazy concept to consider, right?  It’s time to let go and forget about the past, it’s gone.  Why are you still stressing over it?  You can’t change what happened, but you can change your attitude and perceptions right now in the present.   Don’t worry about the future, it hasn’t arrived yet.  It’s great to make new plans, set goals or dream new dreams.  Work every day to turn them into your reality.  We are never too old to change or dream big.  “What if” all your dreams actually came true?  Would it be a Christmas miracle, the magic of the universe or just part of Gods plan?  I’ve heard the phrase, “What if” many times and have experienced my own questioning moments.  What I’ve learned during my life is, I can’t control others or all aspects of life.  The more I try to alter events or people, the less success I experience.  I have the ability to make decisions and turn those thoughts into actions.  It doesn’t necessarily mean I am always doing what’s in my own best interest.   There is a bigger plan, which always seems to intervene and push me onto a new path.  It might not happen instantaneously, but it will happen.  It has taken me many years to just sit with myself, breathe and allow the world to happen.  Patience has become my new virtue, while I place my trust in God and the Universe.  Slowing my pace, taking the time to appreciate and be grateful for life and everything around me has been a process.  We don’t know when our time on this earth will end; so just enjoy the present, breathe and live today.  Here I am; living, breathing and enjoying my life.   

We’ve all endured struggles during life.  We typically respond with, “Why is this happening to me?”  The truth is, we all share many of the same or similar feelings.  Many of us share and grapple with some of the same issues, thoughts, concerns, anxiety, stress and even negativity.  These can range from personal, financial, health, relationship or loss related.  Conflict in our life can sometimes be as routine as change.  We may not like or care for either, but it’s important to know how to navigate through them when they occur.  No one likes conflict, including me.  When I encounter a change or issue I struggle with, it really comes down to how I perceive and resolve each incident.  Maintaining a positive mental outlook, coupled with good health, always works its magic.  Take the time you need to resolve or deal with each issue as it arises.  Don’t allow the situation to envelop, consume or destroy you.  Too often we allow ourselves to be surrounded with negativity from these types of scenarios.  They drag us down and hinder our ability to cope and move forward.  The antidot to this is to utilize your strengthens to move you forward.  We are each equipped with them.  You have to believe in yourself.  Build your self-confidence and you can overcome any obstacle in your path.  Believe me, I know you have the power.  If you have doubts don’t hesitate to lean on family or friends to help support or pull you through.  Don’t ever be fearful to seek assistance if needed, even if it means seeking professional guidance.  We all need a helping hand from time to time; after all, we’re only human.  I’ve been there too.  Words of wisdom create hope and direction.  Keep your attitude focused on your welfare and health.  You are your best asset.

What I’ve discovered over the course of my life, “What if” has always been part of the plan.  These are our dreams waiting to unfold in front of each of us.  I work and reach for my dreams daily.  They may take time, but always appear when I least expect it, or when I need them the most.  This is all part of Gods universe.  I know if I change my thoughts and attitude, I can change my world.  I begin each day with gratitude and happiness.  Stay positive and work hard every day to turn your dreams into reality.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

I want to celebrate my Jewish friends and their holiday heritage today.  Hanukkah, begins today at sunset.  The celebration is also known as The Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication.  This holiday celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.  In the second century BC, legend says the Jewish people revolted against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.  The holiday takes place over eight nights.  This tradition commemorates the burning of the menorah, which burned for eight days, while only having enough oil for one night.  Lighting a candle each night, singing special songs, eating foods and giving praise are all part of this holiday tradition.  The celebration will conclude at nightfall on December 6, 2021.  It’s nice having friends and acquaintances of different backgrounds, cultures and religious beliefs.  We can learn so much from an amazing and diverse group of friends and other humans.  Happy Hanukkah!     

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Thanks at Thanksgiving

November 21, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you’re doing well today.  Stay happy, healthy and focused with kindness and gratitude.  This coming Thursday, November 25th, we celebrate Thanksgiving.  If there was a specific day to be grateful and give thanks, this is definitely it!  We’ve experienced many turbulent events, difficult times and tragedies over the last two years.  This is the time to heal from those wounds and move forward with life.  Please take the time to give thanks for all your blessings; the most important of all is the gift of life.  There is always something to be thankful for, beginning with waking up with each new sunrise.  During the last 21 months, many families have been affected in various ways by the difficult times.  Events across the planet increased frustration, stress and anxiety.  Social issues, financial difficulties, sickness and death touched many lives.  I offer my thoughts and prayers to my family and friends who share today in sadness.  

I thank God and the universe for bringing us through to this day.  I have so much to be grateful and thankful for in my life.  My amazing daughter, family, friends and acquaintances are truly a blessing every day.  My journey into this world began with loving parents and a supportive family.  I continue into the future, with some of them no longer seated at our table.  I miss their physical presence, but am grateful they showed and taught me the importance of life and love.  I am grateful and happy for each new day of life.  I honor them with my ability to do my best each day to assist others.  Positivity and happiness are my daily choice.  I hope you do whatever you can to spread the wealth of these blessings every day.    

I often hear individuals talk about happiness like it’s an elusive object or possession.  The fact is, happiness is something that comes from within each of us.  It can’t be bought, sold or acquired from possessions or others.  Happiness is our personal choice.  Why wouldn’t you or anyone want to be happy?  I thank God for each new day I awaken.  I’m grateful for the many opportunities that appear with the sunrise; for me to be happy, reach for my dreams and succeed.  I begin each morning with gratitude, positivity and happiness.  When I do this, not only does my day become more vibrant, but I recognize what this amazing journey we call life is all about.  Living a great life shouldn’t be based on how many possessions I accumulate, how much money I have or where I live.  For me, life is more about being a good person; treating others with kindness, respect and love.  I enjoy my life because I’m happy with myself and who I am.  It’s taken me some time and work to get here, but I’m a better man for the difficult times I’ve faced and the challenges I’ve overcome.  We all experience difficult situations, hardships and sadness.  How we pull ourselves beyond those times, helps mold our character, values and personality.  When I begin each day with gratitude, my place in the world, and life, are much more focused and clearer.  I don’t worry about events or issues beyond my control.  I live my life in the present; striving to be a better human and enjoying each moment as it unfolds and transpires before me.  Yes, it takes constant effort and maintaining my mental stability.  I’m definitely not perfect.  I experience anxiety, stress and negativity like everyone else.  Exercise, yoga, meditation, healthy eating habits and a lot of determination help me through each day.  I’m definitely not perfect and don’t pretend to be even close.  My struggles may be different than yours, but we all struggle at times.    

I realize there is uncertainty in the present state of our nation and the world.  Financial, social and political issues continue to plague our country.  We should all know by now, there are evil and unscrupulous individuals scattered across our planet.  Unfortunately, we have many here at home.  Often, through no willingness of our own, we’re forced to interact with some these people.  These interactions often include our own political leaders (who some lack the ability the lead).  Individuals like these seem to be the biggest offenders and often the root of our social, economic and cultural problems in this land.  Until voters get tired of these ridicules people, positive change will be lacking.  Remember, we are all in this together.  Earth is a tiny planet in this enormous (never ending) universe  The vast majority of the world (including people here in the USA) want to live in freedom and peace.  Let’s do our best (wherever you are) to ensure we come together in kindness and love, to bring our planet and nation together again.  

The Holidays are a magical time of year.  We all can use some magic in our lives right now.  I know I can.  If we each do our part, showing kindness and love to others (including ourselves), I’m confident the world will begin to heal.  Slow your pace, and take time to enjoy your life, nature, our planet and all of Gods creations.  If you feel the hurt, sadness or negativity pulling you down, don’t panic.  Allow yourself (and your being) to experience the emotions associated with whatever is the cause.  It’s okay to cry and feel sad.  I have lost too many family members, friends and coworkers to death.  I have cried many days after my Dad passed away.  Thinking of him on certain days still makes me cry.  I cried when our dog (Cinnamon), of nearly 16 years, passed away several years ago.  Holding her in my arms, watching her close her eyes and leave this world was beyond heartbreaking and sad.  I’ll admit I cried just the other night watching a Hallmark Christmas movie.  It may seem silly, but the Holidays do trigger an array of emotions.  My daughter and I began watching these movies years ago.  Now she has me hopelessly hooked.  It’s okay to show your emotions and let them be felt.  Holding emotions in and restraining them only damages ourselves.  We’re all human beings and emotions are one of our beautiful traits.   

A friend recently reminded me of the significance of life.  After returning from a trip abroad, the words resonated with me.  “Living to my fullest potential, giving back and humbled,” reminded me of similar experiences and thoughts of my own.  We are truly blessed and fortunate to live in America.  We have so much, yet are not happy.  We move at a fast pace, yet are not grateful.  Why is that?  It’s time to change our attitudes and mindset.  My goal this Holiday season is to slow myself down each day.  Time keeps ticking away, while the days keep moving forward at the same pace.  When I’m in a rush, it just seems to speed up my day and I miss the tiny important moments in time.  I want to cherish each minute of my life; as I’m sure you do as well.  I wish you all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving week and day.  Be grateful and happy with each new sunrise.  I start each day off with a happy heart and positive attitude.  That sets the tone for goodness all day long.  Make the choice and right now.  Don’t stop just because Thanksgiving has passed.  Continue with a grateful heart, and carry this new mindset and attitude into the New Year.  I guarantee when you change your thoughts, you’ll change your life.  Love your life.  I’m loving mine.  It’s a gift and limited one time opportunity.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

You can’t plan spontaneity

November 14, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you are all doing well and staying happy and healthy.  Here we are, it’s already the middle of the month.  This past week we celebrated two very special events.  Both dates were for, and in honor of our military.  The first event was November 10th, celebrating the 246th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  I have the honor of knowing and working with many of these outstanding men and women over the years.  My USMC family members, friends and co-workers are among the absolute finest people I know.  Happy Birthday!  The second date of significance was Veteran’s Day, November 11th.  Thanking the members of our military (past and present) for their dedication, service, sacrifice and protection of our nation is my privilege and honor.  I always enjoyed spending this day with my father; to honor him and his service to our country.  He served in the United Sates Army during both World War II and the Korean War.  I know he enjoyed our time together on this holiday.  It was our special day.  I supplied the fresh pastries (bear claws were his favorite) and coffee.  We shared stories of life; past and present.  I think we both enjoyed it, even more than his birthday or other holidays, because it was just the two of us.  We talked about his military service, me, us and just life.  I miss this day with him.  I’m grateful to have so many wonderful memories of our years together.  Our nation is filled with many more incredible men and women who served our nation, keeping us all safe.  We are fortunate and blessed to live in a country with so many loyal and incredible members of our armed forces.  These patriotic individuals are truly our protectors.  American is the land of the free because of the brave.  Please do your part every day to maintain our freedom, independence and unique way of life.  I want to ensure its splendor is retained so my daughter, family and friends (and everyone) can enjoy these privileges for generations to come.     

I have two additional anniversaries, of my own, to share with you today.  This coming week marks my two-year anniversary since I began writing this blog.  My first post of sundaymorningwithjohn.com hit the internet air waves on November 17, 2019.  I’ve experienced many changes in my life since that date.  Good, and some challenging, events have reshaped my life and direction.  The occurrences during these last two years, not only for me, but for the entire population of this planet, have altered life.  Changes continue to occur in various ways, shapes and forms.  Change is the only constant in our ever-evolving world.  It continues, with or without our approval.  In some cases, it occurs without our knowledge.  Changes just happen, and when they do we either adjust with them in a positive manner or resist.  Hopefully you have learned you can’t control or alter it.  It’s best to blend with the changes and grow with them.  How you process these alterations of life is what’s most important, and extremely valuable to your health; mentally, physically and spiritually.  I learned it’s best to stop resisting, fighting or refusing to change.  I welcome change with open arms and an open heart.  My minor attitude adjustments, now allow me to enjoy peace and harmony in my life.  Opening yourself to the possibilities of the universe is quite a freeing experience.  When you change your thoughts, you can change the world.  I know this is true, because I’ve changed my world.

My second anniversary this coming week; ironically is on November 17th.  On this date 41years ago, I was sworn in as a Los Angeles Police Officer.  My career with the LAPD changed my life, attitude and perspective multiple times during my nearly 34 years with the department.  It altered my life, battered, bruised me and left some scares.  I’m happy and fortunate to come out in one piece.  Some mind and body work, after retirement, blessed me with a new outlook and attitude toward life and people.  The rigors of the job and outlandish expectations of society trashed my soul and crushed my spirit.  The love and support of my daughter, family and one amazing woman provided the insight and guidance to help me heal.  I sympathize with law enforcement officers across our land and the world.  Their jobs, duties, expectations and ability to perform their duties have been radically altered.  Some politicians, leaders and media continue to criticize them, defunded departments and remove support.  Morale may have been reduced, but our officers will and desire to protect the people of our nation has not failed.  I know the vast majority of Americans (including myself), support law enforcement officers everywhere.  The good people on this planet know without law and order, society, our way of life and our nation, as we love it, would crumble and be doomed without it.  Please support and thank our police, law enforcement and military personnel at every opportunity.  They need our assistance, kindness and positive energy.  Let’s work together to maintain a safe and free society.    

The changes I’ve experienced in my life, during the past seven years of retirement, have created an encompassing variety of development and self-growth.  In the past I attempted to “control” nearly every aspect of my life for many years.  Some of my personality traits can be attributed to a childhood with a controlling mother.  The remainder of my issues were formed as a protective mechanism during my law enforcement career.  Emotions, passions, activities, creativity and love weren’t necessarily felt or experienced, but often planned, withheld or controlled.  Luckily, I met a special woman who showed me, you can’t plan spontaneity, passion or happiness.  I discovered I didn’t always need a plan.  It really is fabulous to let go and just experience each moment as it happens; instead or attempting to alter an event or outcome.  Life is best experienced when you open yourself, trust the universe and just breathe.  The adventure of life is a fabulous, yet brief, encounter filled with emotions, adventure, passion and love (if you allow it).  Happiness is yours free for the taking.  There is no special key or mystery to solve.  Just be happy! 

My journey through yoga brought new insight and clarity to my soul.  In early 2018 I visited Bali, and completed my Yoga Teacher Training (200 hour certification).  After returning home, I lead therapeutic yoga at a local studio.  These sessions provided personal satisfaction.  The best experience of my life was volunteering at a senior apartment and memory care facility.  It was an honor to lead residents in chair yoga.  The residents who attended were grateful and appreciative every week.  They often asked the same questions and I was always happy to provide answers.  I prepared a new plan of postures each week, but was always open to the spontaneity of the day.  This experience was rewarding, fascinating and fun for so many reasons.  Their kind hearts and gratitude will always be in my heart.  My exploration continued, becoming a Reiki practitioner, a blog writer and a man with a heart open to the universe. 

The past several years have been filled with change, transition and personnel development.  My personal grown, hopefully becoming wiser in the process, has helped make me a better man.  This year included my move from the west to east coast, just two months ago.  I no longer want to “control” or manipulate my life or love (or anyone else’s).  I enjoy being free flowing and spontaneous to what the universe brings.  When we (especially me), try to control life, we just end up ruining various aspect of should be a fabulous journey.  I still enjoy planning trips and adventures, but now I’m more present, adventurous and open to what will happen when the time is right.  I don’t need every detail of my journey or life mapped out.  It’s amazing and wonderful just living today in the present and enjoying it as it unfolds.  The thrill of life is being open to the universe and trusting it will deliver you to where you need to be.  The adventure of life only comes once.  Don’t waste any moment of this limited time opportunity to share happiness and love.  Take the time to enjoy every passion filled minute.  Let the spark of love ignite your soul.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Today is an exciting day for me, as I have more news to share.  I plan to launch two new sites, both tied together via Word Press and Instagram.  Both new profiles will be open to everyone.  The content will be positive, uplifting and informative.  I have been formulating this idea for the last few years.  I was hesitant and fearful to take that step and push the launch button.  Now I have the strength and courage to pull the trigger.  No fear!  It’s only another part of this amazing adventure called life!  I want to be able to touch more people and let them know they aren’t alone.  There are many individuals, like me, who struggle from time to time with various aspects of life.  Let’s face it, we all encounter struggles at various points in life.  It’s just the nature of living.  If you don’t grapple with any issues then you must be perfect.  We all know real “perfection” is a myth and doesn’t exist.  My advice, lets drop our ego and live in the present with gratitude.  Hopefully you’ll find value in what I share on all these sites.  My intention is to assist you in moving forward each new day.  We’ve made it this far already.  There is only one thing standing in the way of your individual goals, dreams or successes.  It’s you.  Be stronger than your own mind.  I know we each possess the power to accomplish whatever we desire.  An amazing new chapter of life is coming.   I want to be here until the very end, enjoying each and every new moment of this incredible journey.  I’ll let you know in the coming weeks when the two new sites go live!

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

What you don’t know about Cops – Part 3

November 7, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you are doing well.  Stay happy, healthy and grateful.  These three simple things make life so much better.  Today’s the first Sunday of November.  It’s also brings Daylight Savings time to an end.  The time change means we fell back an hour this morning.  This adjustment may have added a little extra sleep or some cozy bed time.  What did you do with your extra hour?  I’m pretty sure I spent my sixty minutes in bed.  I’d be happy if we just selected a time and left it alone all year long.  Either way, the sun will continue to rise and shine, just as it has for thousands of years.  Sunshine is a wonderful and amazing source of energy.  Hopefully, you take advantage of the sun daily and bask in its power.  Get outside, enjoy some daylight and time in nature.  These ingredients provide a magical mixture of beneficial wonder.  Sun, air and nature are three components; that when combined with exercise, rest and healthy eating, blend together to balance us physically, mentally and spiritually.  These mechanisms constantly work together to maintain our health.  Unfortunately, these complex functions can’t do it alone.  Our actions and what we do with our bodies can add or reduce their success.  Do your part to assist with a positive process to stay happy and fit.         

The last (nearly) two years have been brutal on our bodies, minds and spirits in various ways.  We have all endured many life changing events, tragedy, sadness and sorrow.  The survivors are still here today; breathing, pushing forward and living.  We’ve witnessed fear, destruction and death; but that’s nothing new.  We’ve dealt with adversity before, maybe not in this exact form, but in many other modes throughout our existence.  The cycle of life has been part of Gods design on earth since it was created.  I find it intriguing and interesting, how social media, news outlets and politicians have weaponized this information.  They’ve turned statistics into fearful outcomes.  Anxiety provoking numbers and percentages are thrown around like a Vegas bookie.  They create division and fear from invisible sources; including sickness, differences and health.  Don’t allow these divisive individuals to influence your behavior, thoughts or into believing we are at odds against one another (because we are not).  Please remain vigilant and informed, while you logically and openly decipher the fear, manipulation, control and hidden political agendas.  Seek knowledge and the truth.  Honest and reliable information is the most valuable source of intelligence and power.  Don’t let fear dissuade you from doing what’s right.     

I’ve dealt with fear, destruction, evil and death, throughout my law enforcement career and life.  I know evil well, as I’ve faced it, staring into its lifeless eyes.  I don’t fear death, as many individuals do; instead I respect its power and finality.  I have no intention to leave this world anytime soon, but that’s not for me to decide.  I’ll be here until my final breath is done.  That’s God’s choice.  I find it fitting to be writing about my career and law enforcement today.  When I wrote Part One, “What you don’t know about Cops” (months ago), I didn’t know how I’d feel sharing my thoughts with you.  I had no idea how you’d react to what I had to say, or about my profession or life.  Law enforcement and police officers around the globe, hold a very special place in my heart.  Our profession has existed for thousands of years.  The first policing organization was created in Egypt, approximately 3000BC.  People then, and across the planet now, want to live their lives in peace and harmony.  The forces of evil and corruption wage a war against the values of goodness every day.  There are individuals and groups that crusade and battle against laws, rules and their perception of unfair treatment.  The fact is, if you followed and obeyed the rules and laws, life would be equal and safe for everyone.  On average, law enforcement officers contact millions of people daily.  If you do your research, you will find there is a very low percentage of incidents of unfair treatment.  Similar incidents, complaints and percentages exist for many other service providing professions.  There are relatively few police related cases that occur, that cause injury or death.  When these do occur, they garner instant media attention.  Some of these incidents gain immediate traction because they fit a certain agenda or political objective.  They’re instantly spread across the internet and media circus (worldwide).  These incidents are pushed upon us to influence our perception, thought process and typically include their own hidden motivation.  Dividing and conquering a nation is easy when you divide its population against one another.  Please don’t believe everything you read or hear.  Before you render judgement, based on biased dialogue, seek the truth first. 

I’ve mentioned several times (in my writings) that we are all human beings.  We all share similar thoughts, feelings and emotions.  We all bleed and die.  No one is exempt.  The vast majority of our planet’s population wants to live in peace and harmony.  These individuals follow the law and are good people.  One thing my career revealed, is how there are some individuals who do not adhere to this philosophy.  There is a segment of the population across our planet who do not respect others, peace, freedom or individual rights.  It was my job (and the responsibility of all law enforcement officers), to weed out the evil that preys on the innocent.  I never wanted to discuss the evil deeds done by monsters, because it was often too horrific to comprehend.  Seeing dead bodies was only a small part of my life.  It was the repeated gruesome murders, suicides, car accidents and just death; that took a toll on my physical being.  The majority of my traumatic harm came from these incidents and abuse cases.  It is sickening how many abuse incidents occur on a daily basis, yet receive no media outcry.  These are the crimes you rarely hear about.  Social or news media outlets don’t necessarily show an interest, because these cases probably don’t fit the agenda they are selling.  Women, children and men are the victims.  These heinous acts are often committed by parents, relatives or friends.  The abuse perpetrated against these innocent victims is violent and damaging.  These attacks create serious trauma, and sometimes result in deaths.  To see a child whose be tortured, beaten or abused by their own parents (or by anyone) is both disturbing and sad.  It makes me sick to my stomach, yet as an officer, I must remain calm and professional.  These cases truly break my heart.

The next time you want to bash the police; consider what they see, who they interact with and what they do on a daily basis.  We’re all human beings, have feelings and shared emotions.  None of us are immune.  My years on the streets of Los Angeles and the trauma I witnessed, was like a plague in my brain.  I restrained my emotions for decades, so I could be strong and vigilant while performing my duties.  It’s not an easy task, when you just want to be a “normal” person like everyone else.  Humans are supposed to be the intelligent creatures on this planet.  From what I’ve witnessed, during my career and life, I know humans are capable of cruel and hideous acts. Violence is only one small part of the abuse humans reign down onto their fellow beings.  The memories that filled my mind and tortured my being ripped apart my life.  Failed relationships, lack of communication, resistant to change, little social interaction and silence controlled my life.  The nightmares and agony persisted until I had the courage and strength to seek help to release these demons once and for all.  Being free and open is a fabulous and fantastic feeling and experience.  The people that love me and pushed me to be a better version of myself, know who they are.  I know I created agony for you along my path, but I am eternally grateful for your support and love every step of the journey.  Without others who share their love, guidance, support and friendship, our world would be one screwed up mess (even more so than it has been lately).   I’m grateful to be who I am today.  It feels good to be “me” again.

No one dedicates their life to help others, only to be called vulgar names, spat at, attacked or killed.  I really do hate it when I hear people say, “they knew what they were signing up for.” Law enforcement officers sign up because they care about their community.  These individuals serve and protect us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  They leave their home not knowing if this might be the last time they see their family.  The loved ones of these heroes, watch them go to work every day not knowing if they’ll return after their shift.  When I left home to go to work, I couldn’t think those thoughts.  I would mentally prepare myself by closing myself off and protecting my heart.  I’d don my uniform and body armor, in symbolic fashion, like wrapping myself in a protective cocoon.  I would tell myself, the abuse wasn’t directed at me personally, because these individuals didn’t know me.  Their hate, anger and fear were focused on the uniform, and badge I wore on my chest.  These people aren’t interested in living in peace and harmony with others.  These individuals are only interested in their own devices and not in the greater good of society.  I’ve been called vulgar names and had objects thrown at me.  I’ve been threatened, as well as my family.  I’ve been physically attacked, shot at and had vehicles attempt  to run over.  No, the people that did these acts didn’t know me, but their hate was real because I represented law and order.  What do you represent or support?  The next time you need help (for any reason), think about who is out there that will come to your aid.  Who will be willing to place themselves in harms way or sacrifice themselves to protect you and your family?  They (police officers) respond no questions asked.  Think about that the next time you complain about being stopped because you were speeding or doing something unlawful.  I pray for all officers who do a thankless job daily.  You are my heroes.

Let’s all be the people we want the world to transform into for vibrant futures.  Don’t be a facilitator of negativity or evil.  Don’t be a follower.  Be the person who leads by good example, and isn’t afraid of what others may say.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Be an advocate for the truth and kindness.  Make positive choices; that are healthier for you, good for your family, friends and better for the world.  Stand up for morality and goodness.  Begin each day with gratitude.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

I’m sending “bon voyage” wishes and love to a very special friend flying to Africa today.  You deserve this amazing and incredible adventure more than anyone I know!  Be safe, have blast, enjoy every moment and have lots of fun!

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Halloween already…

October 31, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you are doing well, and staying healthy and happy.  Here we are, it’s Halloween.  Trick or treat means we’re at the end of October.  Now, all we have that stands between us and the New Year are two months filled with holiday celebrations.  This time of year equates to more food, drinks and fun!  2022 will be here soon, yet many people are still trapped in 2020 restrictions, mandates and chaos.  We need to open up the world and start living again.  Life needs to resume, especially with the Holidays looming.  I walked into a home improvement store a couple weeks ago.  I was looking for a couple items, and of course enthralled with the power tools, when I found myself in ghostly world.  It was a large selection of Halloween products.  Lots of items to decorate your home and scare the sh*t out of the neighborhood kids.  Then, with the blink of an eye, I was in the midst of a winter wonderland.  I was knee deep into more Christmas stuff than you can imagine.  It blows my mind how soon holiday items hit the stores each year; typically months before the actual date.  What struck me as even more interesting, was watching shoppers buying Christmas items.  I’m sure that’s great for retailers; and I suppose some shoppers too.  Somehow it just seems way too early to be shopping in mid-October for Santa.   

My other observation that day; there was definitely no shortage of holiday items on the shelves (or any other products for that matter).  The vast majority of stuff seems to be manufactured in foreign lands.  It made me wonder how much of the “supply chain” crisis is real or manufactured (so to speak).  Your guess is as good as mine.  I’ve been all over the Charleston area, the past six weeks, shopping for home goods, etc.  I haven’t seen any shortage issues; only plenty of people shopping and buying.  What’s the market scene been like where you live?  Social media and news outlets are continually enthralled with creating fear, doom, gloom and disaster.  This type of reporting sells, and people get wrapped up in the madness.  Big businesses capitalize on the anxiety and stress associated with the shopping supply and demand.  They peddle their products to the masses with a unique flare.  I believe most people are more interested in resuming their lives, as normal and happy as possible.  Living without fear makes the most sense to me.  Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the chaos and manipulation of the times.  The Holiday season is upon us.  My best advice, relax and breathe. 

I have to say, celebrating my birthday this past week was pretty easy.  I spoke to and heard from the people I love the absolute most; plus received many more fun wishes from family and friends.  Now I’m already a week into my next trip around the sun.  Time moves much too quickly!  My birthday resolution is to slow down as much as possible, to enjoy every moment of life.  I’ve already slowed my life down over the last seven years, but I believe I can add a bit more mindfulness to my days.  I was one of the non-stop workaholic types; from career, to household duties/chores, to helping others in need.  Now, I want to explore, be adventurous, passionate and excited to live a life filled with love.  Moving to the south has provided a new appreciation for slow living.  I am grateful and happy every day for all the opportunities life offers.  For me, life begins with my happiness and gratitude.  Getting outside more, enjoying nature and just breathing, is the key to my success.  I’ve already learned the secret to my happiness.  It’s me.  I hope you find yours, because I know it’s there.  You just need to make that decision every morning.  Drop your ego, negativity and foolishness.  Open your heart, mind and soul to the universe.  Don’t try to control life.  When you open yourself to the possibilities, that’s when the real fun begins.  I want you to take the time you need to ensure you are loving every day of your life, as much as I love mine.  This time of year is always filled with fun and excitement.  The holiday season has a unique way of creating good cheer for all.  Be sure to enjoy it! 

Remember, as life continues, so do struggles, hardship and loss.  I love this time of year, but it also holds sad memories too.  My Dad passed away in December 2013.  There’s an old saying, “Time heals all wounds.”  I believe some events you learn to live with over time.  Keep this thought in mind; you never know what others may be struggling with, that may not be publicly known.  All humans share similar types of events in life that bring happiness or sadness.  The best thing I can do is to be kind to everyone.  Last week I mentioned how my attitude plays a large role in how I maintain my happiness.  I was thinking about that comment further this past week, and came to this conclusion.  I’ve always been a good hearted guy.  This is primarily because my parents raised me properly.  They taught me respect, honesty, loyalty, discipline and kindness (among other important traits and values).  That instruction began at a very early age.  I learned saying, “Please” and “Thank you” were just as valuable as saying, “You’re welcome.”  People in positions of authority; like law enforcement, doctors, teachers, and others, were given respect.  I have lived and breathed these traits all my life.  Many of these simple values have fallen by the wayside.  I struggle when I see  families at a restaurant or event, and they each have their face buried in their cell phone.  Family values, are due for a resurgence.  It’s time these valuable attributes are re-introduced to society.  Humility and kindness can counteract the negativity of corruption and greed.  Our world needs less hate and fear; and lots more understanding and love.

Our time on this earth is limited.  If you want positive change to occur, you have to be willing to change for the better.  If you want to be happy, then be happy.  It’s completely up to you.  There isn’t a magical formula.  Happiness is a choice.  It’s not an object or thing.  As opportunities come your way, don’t be hesitant or fearful to reach for them.  They may only pass by once. Don’t miss that chance.  Don’t live a life wishing you had done more.  I want to empower you to reach for your stars and live your dreams.  Anything is possible, just believe you have the strength, power and courage to succeed.”  When you believe in yourself, you are capable of achieving any goal you desire.  I am putting in the work and effort every day.  My discipline and dedication is focused on being a better human and living my true life.  Be kind to yourself and all people.  The vast majority of humans on this planet want nothing more than to live in peace and harmony.  Release your fears about life, including all those thrown upon us daily from media sources, manipulative individuals or those seeking our exploitation.  Live your best life in freedom and happiness.  Show gratitude and thanks every day.  We each have so much to be grateful for, beginning with life.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Happy Halloween!  Be safe out there and enjoy some treats!  Sending you love and happiness.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Another trip around the sun

October 24, 2021

Good morning my friends.  I hope you’re enjoying every moment of life.  It’s a precious gift not to be wasted.  We are blessed with many opportunities for happiness and success as each new day blossoms.  Staying happy, positive and grateful are my choices every morning.  It doesn’t mean the world or my life is perfect.  Nothing is perfect, including me.  I deal with negativity, stress and anxiety, like most people.  What sets me apart from others, is my attitude.  I know when I maintain a positive attitude my world changes.  My life improves, as do the people around me.  When I change my thoughts and mind, I can change the world.  It really is that simple.  It’s your choice every day to be happy or not.  Why would you want to be anything but happy?  It doesn’t make any sense to be miserable or negative.  The best thing you can do this very instant, is to make a new decision.  Decide each and every morning, when you wake up, to make the new day the best day ever.  Utilize this mindset with every sunrise and your life will begin to change.  I know it will happen, because it did for me.  Positivity and personal happiness are incredible forces.  Happiness can’t be bought and isn’t an object or thing to grasp.  It’s an amazing feeling within you, that you alone control.  I enjoy being happy, but also believe love is the most powerful energy you can experience.  True love forever connects you with another person with a magnificent and magical bond.  It’s one of those emotions you have to experience to understand.  Even if you try to ignore or walk away from it, you can’t.  It’s not something you can shut off or run away from.  The love you feel and experience is eternal.  Keeping love in my heart is an incredibly satisfying feeling!  Try it, I guarantee you’ll love it!

As I sit on the eve of another trip around the sun, I ponder what my life has meant for me.  Each passing year isn’t just another number added to my grand total.  At this point in time, the number doesn’t carry much significance, but the importance of what I accomplish is.  I may have increased in the numbers game, but my mind still functions much in the same manner; just with some added experience.  I don’t linger on age.  I only focus on what I want to accomplish with my time left in this body on this planet.  There are a few physical aspects, associated with age, that affect how my body moves or operates.  I may be a bit slower to function or not have the physical strength I once had; but I can still run, jump and have fun.  I may not run as fast or jump as high, but I definitely do know how to have fun!  I enjoy living life, being adventurous, exploring cultures and experiencing all the exciting aspects of my world!  There is so much more I want to say, write, do and share.  It’s crazy when I think it’s been nearly two years since I began writing this blog.  Each time I think, “What else can I say or write,” a new idea pops into my mind.  I am so thankful to have the ability to share my thoughts with all of you. 

I never, in my wildest of dreams, imagined I’d be doing this.  The seed may have been planted years ago, while I was in high school.  I wouldn’t consider myself a good student back then (until college).  I didn’t enjoy homework, reading or sitting in a classroom all day.  I did, however, enjoy a creative writing course I took during my senior year of high school.  It was a liberating experience, with freedom to be open and innovative.  I don’t even remember what I wrote about.  What I do remember, is my instructor telling me to follow my dreams.  He said, “Don’t be afraid to be who you want to be.  You’re a good writer.  Creativity and imagination are exciting dreams.  Have fun and enjoy it.”  It’s funny how that simple statement remained with me.  I doubt, at the time, I had the self-confidence to believe I was creative or anything else.  It took many years for me to build that self-esteem in myself and my abilities.  Once it began to gain traction, anything seemed possible; because it was.  College, work with the US Forest Service and my career with the LAPD, provided me with many physical and intellectual benefits.  In 2010, while attending the FBI National Academy, as part of my daily curriculum, I attended another writing course.  The class focused on writing clear, concise and well managed material.  This class, and a stress management course (and my two instructors), were my catalyst to pursue writing.  It took the better part of my life (and lots of work and digging deep into myself) to become the man I am today.  My enlightenment and growth wasn’t always easy.  The love and support of family and friends, including one amazing women, contributed to my transformation.  I am forever grateful, for them and all I have.  The universe works in mysterious ways when you open yourself to the possibilities.           

The more I relax in life, the less stress I feel.  This allows me to be anything I want to be (and nothing I don’t want to become).  Life experience, yoga and meditation have played a role in getting me to this point.  Exercise, spending time in nature and living a healthy life help maintain my balance.  I enjoy being me.  I’ve always been confident with my career, work, projects and critical incidents.  My confidence struggles centered around romantic relationships.  Today, I work and strive to be the best possible version on myself every day.  Nothing positive is achieved without effort.  As I continue to age and grow, it’s amazing how much I learn; as that wisdom becomes clearer each day.  Knowledge and experience are incredible and amazing sources of power.  I wish I could have had the foresight to save a relationship or two along the way.  As much as those difficult times hurt (for both of us), I know I have grown from each experience.  I am passionate about love and forming that amazing bond between two people.  It’s an incredible feeling that is nearly indescribable.  The love I have, will forever be in my heart.  I know I will have that connection and bond again one day again soon.  In the meantime, I’m happy with who I am and how my transformation has occurred over the years. 

Change is inevitable.  Ensuring the alterations that occur are positive, takes work and effort.  My changes won’t be the same as yours (and vice versa).  We each need to put in our own work to improve ourselves and our individual situation.  Make the effort every day, put in the work and I know a positive outcome is on the horizon.  It may not always be easy, but it’s definitely worth your effort.  Positive change all beings with happiness.  It never ceases to amaze me how so many people struggle with personal happiness.  It’s treated like an elusive creature or goal achieved with success, money or some magical object or process.  Our society has created its own definition and ways to gain happiness.  They tell you, if you buy a certain car or product, look a particular way or do specific things, you’ll be happy.  Happiness has been hijacked by a society that gages what you have to how you feel.   As with many things, society has transformed it into a money making scheme.  Believe me, the more you have won’t bring you happiness.

2021 brought many changes for me.  Most of them have been easy to adjust too.  Others have been more challenging, or not my first choice.  I’ve done my best to accept them as they’ve occurred.  Life continues to flow no matter what.  We all live on the same planet, experience struggles, deal with demons and negativity.  How you navigate the changes and overcome the issues of life, is what’s most important.  Maintaining good health (physically, mentally and spiritually) and seeking balance in your daily life, creates inner peace.  Don’t be afraid to be happy.  It doesn’t cost anything, nothing to buy, no gimmicks, special diets or pills to take.  It’s free and yours for the taking.  Don’t wait.  Life is short.  Make the decision to start right now!  

As I prepare to add another year to my grand total, I remain grateful and happy to be here enjoying life.  I cherish each new day, as a blessing from God.  I am thankful for family, friends and the people I love the most.  You know who you are.  My love is and will forever be first and foremost in my heart.  For me, it’s always been you.  I loved you yesterday.  I love you today.  I’ll love you tomorrow.  It’s that simple.  Be yourself and be happy.  Cheers to another trip around the sun.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

ps…Happy Birthday Adee, Margaret, Kristine, Sue, Kim, Deb, Mike and Glen.  Enjoy life!

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Ragnar fun and me

October 17, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you are doing well, while staying healthy and happy.  We are already mid-way through the month and on our way to Halloween.  As you may know, if you read my blog last Sunday, my body was feeling a bit beat up.   I took last weekend off, to give my body a rest.  The relaxing days worked their magic, as by Sunday evening I could feel myself bouncing back.  Rejuvenation is an amazing feeling.  Some friends reached out during the day, Sunday, to check in.  I wasn’t expecting that, and definitely wasn’t looking for any sympathy.  What I learned is, there are many people out there who care.  Even if I didn’t hear from you, I know I have many more friends and family who are amazing and fabulous individuals who support me, and others, as I do them.  On top of that, there are millions more people in our world that are good, hard working, caring individuals across this planet.  They care about one another, do the right thing every day and truly love and cherish life.  I also received valuable information from several parts of the world.  There are still many people in various forms of lockdown and confinements from virus related mandates.  Entire nations remain isolated due to restrictions and decisions from skewed leadership. 

I spent this last week preparing to run a Ragnar trail race in Texas.  It occurred to me, while I was packing, how many are still struggling across our nation and the world.  What is going on with our planet today?  My thoughts on this subject are not about if you are for or against anything.  I’m simply sharing my thoughts on freedom, as both individuals and country.  I’m not here to tell you what to do.  The beauty of freedom, is the ability to make your own decisions.  I do not believe politicians have the right to tell me what I should or should not do with my own body.  Today, it seems elected leaders believe they can impose their will onto the nation; limiting freedom, rights and our personal choices and decisions.  Governors of states continue their tyrannical rule with lockdowns, mandates and closures.  People are losing their jobs because they refuse to get an injection.  The virus fears are hyped by social media, news outlets and big business, (who continue to profit from the insanity).  Countries across our planet are still closed to outside travelers.  Do our national leaders, or local elected individuals, have the knowledge, skill or right to do this?  Their flawed policies continue to ruin businesses and people lives.  Our economy has been on a downhill slide since the new administration seized power.  The voice and authority, of America as a world power, diminishes daily.  Where are the outspoken leaders, with new and innovative ideas to guide our nation?  Is there anyone out there willing to stand up and say, “Enough is enough!”  I find it difficult to believe all politicians are just political puppets collecting large salaries for sitting around being “yes men” while our nation crumbles.  When elected leaders begin making decisions that affect entire populations, without the consent of the people they represent, freedom and democracy cease to exist.  The land eventually becomes like a dictatorship, with little or no freedom.  If you want proof or an example of how this occurs, look at Hong Kong, Cuba, North Korea or China.  Is America headed this way?

I’m not disputing the fact that there have been thousands of hospitalizations and deaths attributed to the virus.  The problem is, fear is being used as a weapon to create compliance, while the facts and statistics don’t support that rationale.  Like with other subversive things in life, many people have swallowed the “Kool-aide,” believing the virus is a global killer and the injection a saving power.  This shot doesn’t seem to offer any more protection than an average flu shot (which is still only about 50% effective).  Apparently, individuals who receive the covid shot can still contract and spread the virus.  The manipulation of millions of people here, and billions more across the planet, continues to occur.  The American economy is in serious need of repair.  Our own president continues to struggle to find a solution, or have a viable thought of his own.  He has no new ideas or solutions, only old worn out policies from the past.  The government has been handing out so much “free” money, that people don’t want to go back to work.  Businesses are struggling to hire workers.  Now we have thousands of essential workers being fired (or the threat of termination) for not receiving a covid injection.  Medical professionals, teachers, civil service employees, airline workers and many others are being treated like the plague.  Respected and valued individuals are being tossed aside like trash.  Months ago, we were heralding these individuals for their care, compassion and dedication during difficult days.  Last Sunday, with the threat of firings looming, a certain airline experienced issues with delayed and canceled flights.  I seriously doubt weather was the issue.  How this nation expects to survive, by forcing its misguided ideology onto the entire population (and the world) is ludicrous.  I pray that someone in our political leadership has the courage to stand up and address need for logical change.  I know many of us are thinking similar thoughts, you may just be afraid to say it.  What is happening in our nation (and around the globe), is truly frightening and sad.  The mandate madness, manipulation, control and fear need to stop.  I thrive and tout good health, but not at the cost of individuals rights and freedom; especially when left in the hands of power hungry fools.  Wake up America and world.  Educate yourself on the truth. 

I’m tired of virus and vaccine mandates; not to mention the antics of the uninformed.  I just want to live a peaceful life in freedom and happiness.  Running has been my fabulous outlet of relief for many years.  As far as my body is concerned, my energy level rose to the occasion for the Ragnar race.  Over the last several weeks, I didn’t follow my own advice of self-care.  I pushed myself (mostly my physical body) to its daily limit.  I wanted to get unpacked and settled as quickly as possible in my new home.  Sleep, diet, rest, sunshine and nature weren’t being nurtured, so physical fatigue began to take hold.  When your body begins to break down physically, your mental abilities will being to fade as well.  These deficits can often lead to accidents; like stumbling, tripping, dropping or worse.  What I learned is that I always need to stay mindful to what my body is telling me.  It might begin with tiny indicators.  If you don’t recognize them, then it will send larger messages (that typically shouldn’t be missed).  It took a large dose of “hurt” to realize I needed to back off.  Once I took a couple days off to rest and relax, my body responded accordingly.

I flew to Texas, to join friends for the Ragnar Trail Race (Friday and Saturday).  It was about 36 hours of relay running fun.  The rainy days preceding the event didn’t dampen my Lone Star adventure.  Ragnar events have always produced plenty of comradery, outdoor fun and lots of exercise.  My body, mind and spirit crave and enjoy activity.  It brings solace to my soul; while providing calm to my mind and physical benefits to my body.  I’ll be happy to head home and add some additional recovery time.  By next weekend I’ll be ready to continue my new adventures down south.  There’s lots more for me to do; excitement to have, adventures to explore, life to live, messages to share and love to give.  No matter what your current opinion may be on the virus, vaccine or political leaders; please always seek the truth.  Don’t believe everything you read or see on social media, news sources, the internet or from friends.  It’s easy to find truthful sources when you take time to search.  Knowledge is power.  You are never too old to dream new dreams, seek new adventures or show your kindness and love.  We, as individuals, possess our own dreams, passions and goals.  It’s not a “one size fits all” thing.  Be the best possible version of you.  Health and wellness need your mindfulness and consistent balancing to work properly.  Maintain your body; physically, mentally and spiritually, and live a happy life.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

Moving and my body

October 10, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you are doing well, while staying healthy and happy.  It’s been just a bit over two weeks since I moved into my new home.  I forgot about all the details that go into moving from one house to another.  I had no idea what moving from the west coast to east coast would entail.  The factors associated with that became extremely evident.  The vast majority of my furnishings and personal items made the transition safely and in one piece.  Inevitably there are always a few items that come up bruised or damaged to varying degrees.  The article that appears to have suffered the most trauma, has been me.  Let me be a bit more specific with this startling development.  Relocating is tough on the body, both physically and mentally.  In this particular case, my body has taken the brunt of the damage.  I have to say that my mental and spiritual health are fine and thriving in my new environment.  The physical beating my body has endured, is both in metaphorical and literal terms.  At this moment, I feel the literal part of that punishment.  I’m not complaining, just stating facts.  Life is full of changes.  Let’s face it, as we age, our bodies continue to change too.  I wasn’t fully prepared for the down side of that fact of life to be thrown into my face just yet.

Since I became a “senior citizen” (whatever the correct definition to that is today), I believe I’ve maintained my physical health as good as anyone.  I know a few people, my age, in better health; and then are many who appear to be a hundred years older.  I’m not being mean, but haven’t you experienced that too?  You find out a person’s age, younger than yourself, and think, “OMG they look so old, used, beat up or just worn out.”  I suppose some of that has to do with genetics, how you’ve lived your life and where you spent those years.  I grew up in SoCal, eat fairly healthy and have done pretty well at taking care of myself.  I routinely exercise, typically doing something physical six days a week.  I enjoy lifting weights a couple days a week, to maintain my physical strength.  I incorporate running two or three days for cardio health.  I enjoy riding my bike, for a different form of cardio, that has far less impact on my body and joints.  {On a quick side note, I’m currently waiting for movers to delivery my bikes (and other possessions).  I can’t say I’m happy with these guys, as my items were packed over three weeks ago and still haven’t made it here.  That fiasco is an entire story in itself.}  Getting back to exercise; I enjoy hiking or just walking.  Being out and about in nature is not only beneficial for your mind and soul, but wonderful physical exercise too!  I stretch, including some yoga, every morning when I roll out of bed.  These past several mornings I’ve been literally doing just that.  I’m happy my body continues to hold together and function to get me through each new day.  I’ve been on the road the last four months, after selling my home in SoCal.  Driving down the east coast, through California and across the country, didn’t help my body much either. 

The last two weeks have been spent unpacking, organizing and arranging the new home.  Now my body, for the first time in my life, is telling me something I have never heard before.  It’s yelling at me loud and clear, and in some instances insisting, that I slow down or fall down.  I haven’t fallen, but have definitely saved myself with some stumbles.  I am a believer that the “saves” were from outside intervention.  I know my Dad, and guardian angels, have saved my rear a few times.  This feeling of being worn out and beat up isn’t completely foreign to me.  I’ve been there a few other times in life.  Working the fire lines on Hot Shot crew, long nights and critical incidents with the LAPD and at various times as a parent, have brought on that feeling.  There have been other moves, other circumstances, that created intense and laborious days.  My current physical situation is by far the most difficult.  I’ve been there before and know how my body typically reacts and bounces back.  This time, bouncing back isn’t so easy.  When I go to bed at night, I expect to wake up refreshed and ready to start the new day.  I am always grateful to wake with the new sunrise and more opportunities to thieve.  Now, however, I wake up sore and tight; from over used muscles, far too many days in succession.  The multiple trips up and down stairs, carrying heavy objects, up and down and back and forth aren’t doing me much in the way to assist.  The first week ended with me nearly falling or tripping several times on last weekend.  I decided it would be best to add some rest and relaxing time.  Sunday afternoon, I thought I could hang some pictures.  My mistake was in attempting to hang the largest picture first.  That proved to be a damaging error, especially for the art work.  I was heartbroken when I lost my balance and nearly lost this precious piece.  A scratch several inches long made me want to cry.  I realize I’m not as strong or as fast as I was years ago, but geez this isn’t right.

This coming week I fly to Texas for another Ragnar trail team relay run.  I’m excited for the event and thrilled to see our team from Zion Ragnar (from May).  I’ve been running nearly every morning, these past two weeks, attempting to get my body ready.  Too many days of not running over the last two months have taken a sever toll on my stamina.  I’ll updated next Sunday on the race and me.  Hopefully I’ll survive to post on October 16th.  Wish me luck.  I not playing the “old age” or “victim” card.  I am neither.  I refuse to engage in that silly and exhausting behavior.  Technically, I’m considered a “senior” because of my age.  I don’t feel like I’m old.  My mind works as good as ever and my body has endured life.  I’m still happy and excited to greet each new day.  I don’t think or act like the current “younger” generation, because that’s not them.  That’s fine with me.  What matter most is how I treat myself and others.  I continue to reach for the stars and my dreams every day.  Age is just a number.  Don’t let it hold you back.

Like everything else in life, you can be positive or negative about your circumstances or abilities.  You can believe in yourself, have self-confidence and know you can succeed.  You are your only limitation.  Negativity is not an option for me (and it shouldn’t be for you).  It never should be!  Always maintain a positive and strong outlook about yourself and life.  Yes, life changes and there can be difficult times.  There may be situations when life doesn’t go the direction we want.  If that occurs; don’t ever give up, say “I can’t” or become disillusioned.  Change is constant, but it brings new opportunities to learn, grow and succeed.  I maintain my gratitude and happiness with each new sunrise.  My positive attitude, determination, discipline and drive keep me focused and pushing forward.   I’ve incorporated some extra rest time into my days, while I stay fueled for success.  Self-care is self-love and does wonders for my body, mind and spirit.  Believe in yourself; I do.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

ps…October is breast cancer awareness month.  Show kindness and respect to everyone, as you never know what others are silently dealing with in their lives. Be grateful. Life’s a gift. Enjoy it. 

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!

I need a vacation

October 3, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you are doing well.  It’s crazy to think this is the first Sunday of October.  The hours and days seem to be moving faster as we near the end of 2021.  While I’ve been engrossed in my cross country move, the world continues to spin.  There have been difficult times, sadness and death.  Along with all that, we’ve enjoyed some amazing and great times too!  The world and life just keep happening all around us.  This hasn’t changed since time and human activity on this planet began.  I have no intention to make light of sadness or death, but they are indeed facts of life.  We can’t change, alter or avoid these inevitabilities.  What we can change is how we view and process them when they occur.  When I change my attitude, I can change my life; making these incidents easier to bear.  I mourn for the family and friends I’ve lost over the years.  I keep their memories in my thoughts and their love forever in my heart.  What I’ve learned during my time on this earth; life is precious and valuable.  So many individuals waste their time on ego driven satisfactions.  These things provide limited entertainment, but nothing lasting or nourishing for your soul.  I much prefer to live my life doing what I love, while maintaining my gratitude for all things I’ve been blessed with.  Live a life full of experiences, adventures and love.  Life is too short not to fill your life with your dreams and passions.  Start today and watch your gratitude and happiness grow.

My thought for today; don’t be fearful, hesitant or deterred from living a happy and fulfilling life.  Don’t sit back thinking your situation or circumstances will change by themselves.  Yes, change occurs all the time, but if you aren’t working every day to achieve what you want, it won’t just happen.  You cannot be complacent, uninvolved or ego driven.  Negativity hinders us, and can derail many individuals’ efforts before they even begin.  I remember, at an early age, being so fearful in school.  This fear began somewhere in early elementary school and carried into the first years of high school.  I lacked self-confidence, but what held me back the most, was myself.  I was afraid to succeed, because I didn’t want to fail.  It might seem silly, but our mind works in crazy ways at times.  If it hadn’t of been for a strong and determined Dad, I’m not sure how my life would have ended up.  Lucky for me, he showed me how to enjoy being a boy, and allow myself to grow into manhood.  The 50’s and 60’s were a different time and thought process.  My childhood encompassed a time where boys didn’t cry, they treated females (and all adults) with respect and courtesy.  Boys (or men) never showed emotion.  Allowing your feelings and emotion to be seen by others was a sign of weakness.  Well my friends, I’m here to tell you that showing your emotions is one of the strongest parts of being a man.  If a male can balance his emotions with every other aspect of life, this guy has his stuff together.  That simple characteristic makes a man stronger than any others.  Strength comes in many forms, not just limited to physical power.  It can mean being disciplined, intelligent, spiritually balanced, mentally tough and emotionally strong.  When you open your heart and soul to the opportunities of experiencing life, the universe becomes a magically place.  I know this s true, because I’m living it right now.  So, I’m sure you’re asking yourself right about now, “What has all this got to do with “vacations”?”  Let me share and tie this story together for you.          

I was talking to a friend who had just returned from an amazing family vacation.  It seems like she is always going away, to someplace fun and exciting; almost monthly.  I haven’t been on a real vacation in a while and am a bit envious.  The entire covid thing put a stop to open travel for some time.  Sad.  Yes, I’ve been on the road a lot, flying across the country (even during the pandemic), but that’s been to visit my daughter, attending some family events and visiting friends.  Over the last five or six months, my primary focus has been spent searching for a new home.   Much of my travel has been fun, but it hasn’t been like a vacation.   My vision of a vacation includes: sharing time with someone you love, relaxing, sightseeing, laughing, playing, lounging, poolside fun, sunset cocktails, walking on the beach holding hands, hiking, sleeping in, great food and so much more!   Geez, just thinking about it brings back fabulous memories of some of the most amazing and wonderful vacations!  I definitely need more vacation time.

 So, my friend is a nurse.  She conveyed how, especially now during the covid madness, the stress from work has been particularly difficult.  Her work days are long, plus dealing with a family and home issues compound life and work related stress even more.   Her saving grace has been being able to take several days (or more) off to get away and de-stress.  This has been a life saver for her, and many others; physically, mentally and spiritually.  When we were discussing the circumstances surrounding this, it instantly all made perfect sense.  It reminded me of how important time away from work can be.  During my years in law enforcement, time off (especially vacation time away) was essential to my mental and physical health, as well as my general well-being.  There are careers that often don’t allow for emotions or feelings to be openly shared.  This is evident with law enforcement, first responders and the medical profession.  These is careers involve life and death decision making, and these individuals need to be 100% focused on their role during these crucial times.  The stress and anxiety associated with these types of careers can often be unbearable.  Too many days of dealing with critical issues, without taking the necessary time to decompress and release the stress, can lead to personal health issues or more serious complications.


When I began to write todays’ blog, it became evident that this is really more about self-care than anything.  Remember that all of our senses and bodily functions are tied together, working in unison to maintain our good health.  It is imperative for us to balance our physical, mental and spiritual health all of the time.  This means staying mindful about what’s occurring in your life; at home, on the job and in your off time.  Food, rest, exercise, nature, sunshine and hydration all play a role.  I have another friend, who lives abroad, but works for a US based company.  Making the adjustments for time zones, to complete jobs functions, means longer works hours and exhaustive days.  We were recently discussing vacations and the importance of time off.  Her career may not require life or death decisions, but her work is her livelihood and family support system.  She is working toward a goal of more job control and independence.  The balance of work and off time, again are an important factor for her health (physically, mentally and spiritually), just as much as it is for her family.  It’s interesting, how she’s relayed to me, that her children can recognize when she’s be working too much.  The stress associated with long hours or critical decision making take a hard tool on our bodies.  Time off (especially extended time or vacations) allows your body the time required to rest and de-stress.

Don’t ever be content to passively live your life or just go with the flow.  So many individuals are resistant to change, deterred by self-doubt or consumed with unnecessary fear created by others.  Please don’t be one of these people.  Life should be enjoyed; including what career you select and how you spend your free time.  The world is filled with fear and uncertainty, because so many want to control what you do, what you buy, how you spend your time or money.  These individuals do not care about you or your health.  They only care about how they can manipulate you to do what they want.  This, my friends, is not living, or enjoying life in a free society.  Get outside, enjoy nature and the abundance of the universe.  Take a vacation.  That’s my plan as soon as I can.  Travel, make experiences to share and adventures to remember.  Go learn about different cultures and places.  Meet new people, without fear.  Knowledge is power.  The more you know, the less fearful and more self-confident you will become.  Be grateful, kind and happy with each new sunrise.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation.  Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!

Thanks for your love and support!  Embrace Life!  Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!