Healthy Medicine

April 18, 2021

Good morning friends.  Happy Sunday!  I hope you are doing well, staying happy and healthy. I continue on my journey away from home.  As I wait for flights or connections, I often hear travelers discussing their medications, or keeping them in carry-on bags.  Whenever you’re traveling, it’s always best to keep those items safely with you.  This started me thinking about how many people across our planet (especially in the USA) take a variety medication.  I’m curious how many of these drugs are actually required to maintain life.  I’m not completely convinced all these “prescribed” drugs are always necessary.  Let me preface today with, “Don’t stop taking medication if you need it for survival.”  I realize medication has a specific function.  I wonder how many individuals blindly take meds because a doctor said they needed it.  I suggest doing your own research and seek out every possible source of truth and knowledge.  Know what it is, what it does and how it works before saying “Yes.”  Self-education is your source of power.  Be sure to make wise and informed decisions.     

There are nearly 2,000 manufacturing facilities throughout the world creating pharmaceutical drugs that supply medications to the USA.  Many of our drugs come from China, India and a host of other nations.  There are over 20,000 various drugs and medications manufactured worldwide.  Advertisements for drug products saturate every aspect of media.  Television, social media and print ads reference drugs as if they are a cure all to any aliment or physical issue.  Marketing campaigns for medications are produced with movie flare or a biographical history.  The pharmaceutical industry is a trillion-dollar worldwide business.  At the end of 2019, the total global pharmaceutical market was valued at approximately 1.25 trillion dollars. The industry significantly increased from 2001, when it was valued at about 390 billion dollars.  That’s an incredible gain in just 20 years.  I have no doubt those profits have increased considerably.

Since the pandemic began last year, I’ve seen an increase in advertising for all types of drugs and medications.  There are pills, injections, creams or liquids that help with nearly any illnesses, disease, ailment or issue.  Drugs are advertised to help your depression pills keep you from getting depressed.  It’s literally quite crazy how these produces are pushed on us.  Listening to incessant advertisements, both frightens and sickens me.  Hearing the potential side effects of many drugs is scary and sad.  The effects caused by these drugs can be ghastly.  I realize some of these creations have life-sustaining or saving possibilities, but at what cost to physical health?  The added monetary cost is quite outrageous.  I know people want to live as long as possible, but is all this really necessary.  Is this the best way to pursue that life?  My personal experience has shown me how some treatments simple mask the symptoms, rather than treating the root cause of the problem.  Ads create an illusion of health; if you have an ache or pain, take this to make you feel better, younger, healthier.  Wouldn’t determining the source of the issue offer a better cure.

I contracted an upper respiratory virus at the end of October 2019.  I’d been traveling abroad for two months prior, visiting several foreign countries, across several continents.  My journey ended with several days in New York City and nearly a week in Washington DC, before flying home.  The virus hit me like a “ton of bricks” when I walked in my house.  I had difficulty breathing, coughing non-stop and I was exhausted.  If I laid in bed, it felt like I was suffocating myself.  When I attempted to sleep, it was seated upright on the couch.  In typical guy fashion, I’d been in agony for several days, before calling for the doctor’s office for an appointment.  After a brief examination, the doctor confirmed it was a severe upper respiratory virus.  He said, “There’s not much I can do for the virus.  I’ll give you cough syrup to knock you out and pills to help you sleep.  We’ll let it run its course.”  He immediately wrote a prescription for the syrup and pills.  What really caught me off guard was his emphatic plea to prescribe high blood pressure medication.  My blood pressure has always been consistent and within normal ranges.  During this visit it was slightly elevated.  I found it odd and astounding how he wanted to instantly push these pills onto me.  I’m not a medical professional, but it’s easy to recognize when we’ve gone a bit overboard with drugs.  I declined the prescription and advised him I would work my own magic with diet, exercise and rest.  The virus was kicking my rear, I wasn’t happy with my trip to the doctor, so I believed the elevated BP may have been a side effect.  It definitely wasn’t a newly formed chronic condition.  The cough syrup did nothing (which was supposed to knock me out). I didn’t bother fill the sleeping pill prescription.  This wasn’t the first time I had prescription meds given or suggested, when really not necessary.  

I’ve been in this body, on this planet, for many years.  I’ve twice completed EMT (emergency medical technician) certification; once as firefighter with the US Forest Service and again while assigned to LAPD SWAT.  I have many years of knowledge and understanding of how my body works; along with the medical training and experience.  I’ve read medical journals, listened to stories, talked to individuals and experienced healing without synthetic medicine.  I realize there are some illnesses or medical conditions that may require specific treatments.  Let me reiterate, “I’m Not suggesting anyone should stop taking their medication.”  I am asking you to educate yourself before you decide.  Knowledge is power.  It provides you the understanding and enlightenment needed for many things.  Do your own research.  Seek other sources of knowledge and expertise.  Know everything you can about what is it, why it’s being given, how it works, the research and potential side effects or risks associated with use.  Check to see where these drugs are being manufactured.  Just be safe and use common sense.  My Mom has been taking prescribed medication for many years.  She was taking eight or ten different pills, for a variety of issues.  About a year prior to her being placed in an Alzheimer’s facility, I asked her if she knew why she needed so many pills.  Her only response was, “Because I have to take them.  The doctor said to take them.”    

This brings to mind stories of individuals using natural remedies to heal themselves.  These experiences are real and documented.  It’s possible using a balanced combination of healthy eating, exercise, rest, hydration, air and sunshine, to work wonders for your body, mind and spirit.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but it beats being on medication for the remainder of your life.  These methods are carefully crafted and planned.  There are holistic and functional medical practices that take a unique approach to medicine.  These individuals seek the root cause of the issue or ailment.  It’s not about treating symptoms, it’s about finding the cause.  They use natural substances from nature, rather than chemically engineered drugs, to treat patients.  Maybe this approach isn’t for everyone.  I know the sources are available and can be of great value.  I’ve utilized these services, methods of treatment and they work. 

When I completed my yoga teacher training certification in Bali, it was an incredibly spiritual and healing experience.  The month-long training; included instruction six days a week, from dawn to dark.  It was fabulous; including the hard work, dedication, discipline, concentration and effort.  There were some days that included struggle and emotional release.  What I did not expect, was the humor.  Our primary instructor was born and raised in India.  He lived and breathed yoga from childhood.  If our class felt down or tired, we would dance, tell jokes and hugs were a must.  What an incredible cure to energize and fill your spirit with happiness.  His knowledge of the practice, the body, mind, spirit, and how each of the seven the chakras intertwined with the mechanics of movement, was extraordinary.  He possessed an incredible ability to recognize what you were experiencing in any particular posture.  He knew if you felt pain, where it was located, what caused it and how to correct it.  To assess ourselves, requires intuition and knowledge of our body.  This can be accomplished if you slow down and listen.  Our fast-paced lives, leaves us little time to listen to what our body is saying.  We each possess the ability to listen and understand what our body, mind and spirit are saying.  We just need to slow down and listen. 

There’s an old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.”  I first heard this when I was a kid.  The phrase is still in practice today.  I want to take this a step further and add, hugs and love.  For me,

“Laughter creates excitement, joy and fun!”  During this fantastic experience, you expel old air from your lungs, while inhaling fresh oxygen.  You work your muscles, clear your brain and release endorphins.  These naturally released chemicals assist in reducing stress and pain.  They can be experienced during exercise, dance, music, eating dark chocolate and sex.  When we share laughter we’re no longer fearful or divided.  Laughter brakes the confines and constraints of this world.  It frees us to open our hearts and souls to the enjoyment we deserve.  Too often we remain shuttered and closed off to everything and everyone around us.  Hugs generate hope, comfort and gratitude.  They are greetings of joy and happiness.  When we share hugs, we embrace each other in compassion and love.  Love brings strength, courage and faithfulness to a relationship, union or connection.  Love is the most incredible expression humans share.  Love is a unique and special gift.  It bonds humans in an incredible and magnificent way.

These simple declarations of humanity bring bliss to the mind, body and spirit.  What better way to begin self-healing.  These are gifts from nature, that bring us closer together as humans.  We share them in common with all people.  They are unique and amazing gifts, that should be experienced daily.  We were placed on this earth to live, not to be controlled or manipulated.  Educate yourself before placing trust in drugs that are fabricated and created by people.  I prefer to place my trust in God, the Universe and the healing abilities of nature.  There are many natural remedies available, rather than reaching for the medicine cabinet.  Live your life in gratitude, respect and courage.  Laugh often, hug tightly and love with all your heart and soul.  Life is a gift.  Enjoy it in good health.  It’s your decision.  

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!

Healthy Travel

April 11, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you are all do well; staying happy and healthy.  It’s a fabulous day to be alive.  I love to travel, and being restricted (as we have been over the last year), has not been fun or healthy.  I’ve been able to escape a few times during the lock down, which was fabulous.  I’m on the road again, visiting my favorite people!  It’s an exhilarating feeling.  It’s been months since my last visit, so I’m enjoying our time together.  I’m excited to be out and about, loving life!  I feel alive when I’m able to travel and create new experiences!  There are so many amazing and spectacular places to visit, here in America and across our planet!  Italy, Spain, Australia, France and New Zealand are at the top of my destinations to revisit.  Alaska, Japan, Belgium, the South Pacific, and many others remain on my bucket list.  There are still many National Parks, here at home, I want to explore as well.  I’m looking forward to the world and civilization re-opening soon.   

Since I’m on the road, I’ll keep this brief and to the point.  How do you stay healthy while traveling?  I don’t characterize myself as a workout or fitness fanatic.  Let’s say I am far less of an exercise fanatic now, than I was while working in law enforcement.  I do enjoy living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining my personal well-being and conditioning.  I know from experience that building a healthy way of life can be challenging.  It takes work, effort, dedication and discipline.  I don’t want to hear you say, “I don’t have enough time” or “I can’t do that.”  Those are convenient excuses.  When you decide to reach for the stars and live your dreams, it begins with a positive mental attitude.  Tell yourself, “I can achieve anything I desire”, because it’s true.  You just have to believe in yourself.  The first order of business is to set goals, say “I can” and step forward into action.  Your dreams and passions are possible and attainable.  Get out of your own way, change your attitude and starting working for what you want.  Always remember good health isn’t just physical fitness.  Be sure to take great self-care of your entire body, mind and spirit.  This will lead you to happiness and inner peace.  The possibilities are limitless.

What is it you wish to achieve?  Do you want better health, fitness, weight loss, conditioning, strength training or endurance?  Any of these are great starting points.  Building and maintaining a training program is easier accomplished at home.  Set your desires and goals into action by following a regular routine.  When you create good practices, they will become habits with desired results.  Habits, like making your bed every morning, brushing your teeth or basic hygiene are good examples.  These patterns have a way to rewire and challenge your brain.  The actions can become automatic, engrained into your daily life.  If you need to adjust along the way, that’s okay.  Just keep moving forward; taking small steps and building from there.  Adjust your schedule to what works best for you.  I enjoy exercising in the morning.  It’s always works well for me.  I’ve adjusted many times to accommodate work schedule changes or life events, but I always remain true to my fitness plan.  Morning workouts continue to fit my life style.  My body and brain feel the benefits immediately.  They know when I finish a workout or miss it.  Beginning my morning with fitness, sets the tone for my entire day.  My body is strong and my mind clear, preparing me for whatever lays ahead.  It provides an energetic and vibrant boost; physically, mentally and spiritually.

When I hit the road and travel, fitness becomes more of a challenge; although not impossible.  Being away from home, whether it’s for business or vacationing pleasure, can create a few difficulties.  If I visit with family or friends, my time becomes further limited.  I’m always excited for the adventure, but I don’t lose sight of my health.  This is where some travelers may either give in or stray from the process.  We tend to tell ourselves, “I’m on vacation.  I deserve a break.  I can get back to fitness when I get home.”  This may have some truth, especially for Americans who work hard, don’t take many breaks or follow healthy life patterns.  These individuals may need a vacation, but more than that, they need better health.  This can be achieved through an easy fitness program (exercise and healthier foods). 

Let me outline two important topics for healthy living while traveling; food and exercise.  It doesn’t matter what your travel plans include, health remains an important and integral part of life.  Don’t look for an excuse to avoid it.  For me, fitness and my health are a constant endeavor.  I love to eat and enjoy amazing food.  When I’m visiting a new place, I enjoy sampling the local dishes.  There are amazing foods across the USA and the world.  I may indulge a bit more freely, because let’s face it, life it meant to be enjoyed and experienced.  This, however, doesn’t mean I go crazy and eat everything and anything in sight.  I’ve learned that it’s okay to say, “No thank you.”  It’s more important to know, before it happens, when your tummy is full.  It’s always good when you can push yourself away from the table before overindulging.

At home I enjoy fun foods or treats every so often.  Ice cream is my kryptonite.  I don’t deprive myself of foods that bring joy.  I don’t eat these treats all the time.  If I’m sampling every gelato shop in Rome, I’m walking and not riding.  When done in moderation, eating decadent or fatty foods become more of a treat.  I enjoy them much more, making them even more delicious and fun.  There are many foods I rarely eat, because I value my health.  Stay away from processed foods, limit sugar intake and watch out for those fried treats.  I intend on living for a very long time.  Many countries around the world have healthy food options; some are even better that what we have here in the US.  When I travel across our nation, healthy food choices can be greatly reduced depending where I’m visiting.  I do the best I can to keep it healthy.  Maintaining a healthy balance of food, fun and exercise is always important.  Like with many things in life, make good choices.

Don’t listen to people who tell you it’s difficult or impossible to exercise while on vacation or away from home.  The only impossibility is what your mind tells you.  We often tell ourselves, “I don’t have time to do that.”  “I don’t have workout equipment.”  “I can’t do that.”  This, my friends, is an evasion (a trick fabricated in your mind).  It’s an easy excuse to avoid something your mind is saying “no.”  Procrastination and fear are the killers of dreams, passions and goals.  Do not allow your mind to control or prevent you from acting.  Tell yourself, “I can!” and you will.   If you haven’t established an exercise route at home, it will obviously be more difficult to maintain while away.  Build those good habits now, while in safe and comfortable surroundings.  The next time you travel, it will be much easier to set aside time to exercise.  You will literally crave it, because if go without that movement, your body will miss it and demand it.

Even before I leave on my adventure, I consider where and when exercise time will fit.  A full gym is not required to get a good workout on the road.  I’ve discovered it’s relatively easy to maintain my fitness, even in exotic or faraway lands.  When I travel, in the USA or abroad, many hotels have fitness or a workout room.   Some may have arrangements with local gyms.  I have found this to true, here at home and abroad.  Walking, running or hiking can easily be accomplished, at no cost.  Cities have bike rental shops, if you’re into cycling. There is no shortage of spin, yoga and fitness studios scattered across the planet too.  As a backup plan, I typically carry a couple of workout necessities with me whenever I travel.  I bring three stretchy bands, of various lengths and strength.  These rubber/synthetic bands are light weight and roll tightly into a small size for packing.  They are convenient, durable and allow a variety of exercises, either in your room or outside in nature.   I plan according to my destination; bringing running, hiking or swimming accessories.  It’s always fun getting outdoors, whether you’re walking, running, hiking, biking or swimming.  It’s a fabulous way to see the sights and share in the beauty up close and personal.  I’ve enjoyed many incredible adventures, in beautiful nations across the global, while reaping the simultaneous benefits of exercise.      

When you book your next adventure, set a goal to exercise and eat healthier while away.  Check for hotels with fitness rooms, nearby gyms, walking, running or hiking trails.  Pools, oceans and lakes are great for swimming.  There are so many options for exercise and fitness.  Fit it in wherever and whenever you can.  Seek healthier food options, while enjoying the fabulous cuisine and delicacies of the region.  Just open yourself to the possibilities.   Fitness is much like life.  You can hide from it, push it aside, speed by it or deny we are part of the process, but it’s always there.  It’s best when you face your fears, whether in life or health.  Treat your body with respect and love.  Your body will thank you; while hopefully increasing your longevity.  I hope to be on this earth as long as possible.  I have much in my life to enjoy and be grateful for every day.  If you stop and look, you’ll discover the many important people around you that make life worth living.  Be sure to get outside, explore new places, talk to new people, sample new foods, take time to relax and enjoy life.  The simple pleasures really are what make life fabulous, fun and exciting!  Get some exercise, sunshine and breathe.  Living your life in good health is a choice.  Choose wisely.  Cheers!

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!

Easter Gratitude

April 4, 2021

Good morning friends.  Happy Easter Sunday!  I wish you all a blessed and beautiful day filled with happiness and love.  Easter rekindles childhood memories of coloring eggs, chocolate bunnies and baskets of goodies.  It also reminds me of attending church with my family and celebrating what this day truly represents.  Similar to Christmas, todays celebration of life can often be swept to the side by commercialism.  It’s a wonderful day to spend time with our family and friends.  There’s nothing more fun or exciting than watching children on Easter egg hunts, search for hidden treats.  The significance of today is centered on much more than chocolate bunnies, decorated eggs or marsh mellow chicks.  Celebrating this day should be for a vastly different reason.  Easter is one of the most important days in Christian religions.  This day celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It ends the season of Lent and repentance for all people.  Today represents new life; for us here on earth and in the afterlife. 

I’m not writing to sway your religious beliefs or preach to you.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian or not.  Please take a moment to contemplate the new beginnings of Springtime and the glory of Easter.  It’s a magical time, that creates a renewal and rebirth of all living things on earth.  “Fat Tuesday” and “Ash Wednesday” began the season of Lent over six weeks ago.  Easter seemed so far away in mid-February.  Now it’s here!  Take time to enjoy life; remove your foot from the gas pedal, slow down and pull over.  Get outside, relax, breathe and bask in the glory of the universe.  Allow its energy to empower and boost your soul, bringing clarity to your thoughts.  Open your heart and spirit to the possibilities and goodness around you.  Life is truly a magnificent creation.  It’s up to you to be happy and enjoy it.   

I was raised in an Italian Catholic household.  My family, heritage, traditions and religious beliefs are strongly embedded within my soul.  I believe in God and pray daily.  I’ve struggled with various religious interpretations of God’s word.  I haven’t always agreed with the decisions of religious leaders.  My issues with the church, and various aspects of religious institutions, have only intensified over the years.  My transition away from organized religion began after my first divorce.  My family encouraged me to seek an annulment.  I met with the parish priest to discuss the process.  I learned my personal life and the amount of my monetary donation seemed to be the most important issue.  I gracefully declined the process.  More questions were aroused when the abuse scandal began in the late 1980s.  I recall a conversation with my Mom, when the church was involved in many lawsuits.  She told me, “Our priest is asking each family to donate $2,500 to help them.”  I told her, “Don’t do it!”  Then I explained why.  Several years later I visited the Vatican, in Rome.  The ornate wealth and opulence of this symbol of Christian faith was both magnificent and disheartening. 

I’ve attended a variety of spiritual and religious celebrations with different denominations and faiths.  Many religions share similar beliefs in God.  These institutions seek their parishioners to give money for their financial support.  I witness this as a double-edged sword; from requesting aid, to increasing wealth and power.  A compilation of past and present events discouraged attendance to religious services.  I distanced myself from these structural institutions, but my faith and belief in God have remained steadfast.  I hold all people, and religions, who celebrate God, in the highest regard.  Religious leaders of all faiths, (priests, ministers, rabbis, evangelists and all those who oversee or direct services), need to be role models for truth, honesty, hope and faith.  Many of them are leading examples for good.  Unfortunately, we are all human beings, and we’re all subject to the same temptations of evil.  There’s a wonderful quote from the Bible, John 8:7, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”  I am definitely no one to cast any stone.

My perception of Easter Sunday is centered in gratitude for life and praise to God.  Life is truly a precious gift.  Our time on earth is limited.  It shouldn’t be wasted, controlled or stifled in fear.  I believe we were placed on this earth for far better reasons than social controversy, economic issues, interpersonal struggles or world wars.  Our happiness is the key to our success.  It’s taken me many years (and some difficulties) to make this revelation.  For many years I was consumed by my ego and drive for success.  That nonsense didn’t relate, assist or correlate to my personal happiness.  Life isn’t centered around greed, wealth or possessions.  When I generated the courage and fortitude to open my heart and soul to the universe, this is where my self-discovery began.  

I’ve discovered my internal happiness, by changing my attitude and focus on life.  I’m content with who I am; excited to greet each new sunrise and be grateful for life.  I do my best to live each day in the present, with passion and love.  I’m not perfect and never will be.  I’m just me and hope you accept me as such.  I’m grateful for my many blessings; including family, friends, health and lots of love.  I look forward to sharing my joy with others, exploring new places, living a balanced and healthy life.  My life isn’t about stuff, but more about living through experiences and joy.     

I’ve been fortunate to visit some amazing countries and interact with incredible individuals from different cultures.  These experiences have provided vibrant life lessons.  The education and knowledge learned from other people can be a source of energizing power.  I recall my first visit to Italy.  It’s a stunningly beautiful country; with friendly people, amazing food and incredible history.  The landscape and food are widely diverse; contrasting between regions and areas.  The country ranges from the snow-covered Alps, to the tip of the boot, dipped in the Mediterranean Sea.  Each region boosts breathtaking scenery; as well as varieties of delicious cuisine and delectable delights.  Businesses; including restaurants, shops, stores and banks, close near or after lunch.  People go home and spend quality time with their families, friends or just to rest.  Many businesses don’t reopen until late afternoon.  This phenomenon occurs in many European countries.  At first, I thought it this was crazy, but then realized it’s an ingenious social institution.  It makes sense why these people have less stress and enjoy life.

When I visited Peru, I discovered an amazing and spiritual land.  The majority of people are not wealthy in material possessions.  They are however, among the happiest, most fun and incredibly grateful people I have encountered.  Visiting Machu Picchu, located in the Sacred Valley, has always been on my “bucket list.”  The 15th century home of the Inca, at nearly 8,000 feet, is both spectacular and beautiful beyond belief.   Everyone I encountered along this journey; from locals, to transplants, tourists, and everyone in between were simply wonderful.  I spent the majority of time in a lodge in Pisac.  The people of this small town are welcoming, hospitable and kind souls.  The festival of the Virgin of the Carmel, took place while I was there.  It was a fabulous cultural gathering of people, food, drinks and celebration of life like no other.  A contagious type of happiness provided an amazing boost to my spirit.  Their wealth extends far beyond the confines of currency or possessions.   

I can share a similar story and experience when I visited Bali.  It’s a beautiful island of Indonesia.  The people are very friendly, grateful for life and extremely spiritual; respecting their culture, land and ancestors.  The people many not be wealthy in terms of money, but are rich in heritage and happiness.  They are deeply religious, devoted to the land and traditions.  I visited this beautiful island to complete my yoga teacher training.  The month-long instruction took place at a facility outside of Ubud.  I often walked next to the rice paddy fields during breaks or after meals.  If workers were close by, they never hesitated to say hello or begin a conversation.  This was true in Ubud, where I spent several Sunday’s walking the streets, or out sightseeing in the nearby countryside.  People I met along my path, were always interested in greeting me and sharing conversation.  That was a bit odd at first, because walking the streets at home (our in most US cities), people hesitate to look at me, let alone start a conversation.  It didn’t take long for me to realize the genuine goodness of these people.  I settled in like a local, talking with anyone and everyone.  It was an incredible and amazing journey.             

The world is filled with incredible and grateful people.  They share a similar trait; knowing how to live a relaxed and happy life.  In America, we seem conditioned to the fast-paced life style.  It offers little time to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  We are a nation pushed, where having more is the object; rather than taking time to enjoy what we have.  We work longer hours, drive faster vehicles, always in a hurry or rarely slowing to enjoy simply being present.  Social media outlets and some news sources drive and condition our society to fear, outrage, anxiety, depression and anger.  I refuse to adhere to this lifestyle or associated madness.  I’m in control of my own life, happiness and have no intention of relinquishing it.  You have the same choice.  Happiness is a conscience decision.  Life is short.  I refuse to be bullied or manipulated to follow what others dictate.   It’s time to live a happy and healthy life.     

The encounters, experiences and lessons learned have given me a new outlook on humanity and life.  There are many incredible individuals that inhabit our world.  Happiness, success or contentment have nothing to do with material possessions.  Start respecting life and the many simple rewards it provides.  Change your perception of the world and how you relate to it.  Learn to resolve the stresses encountered along your path with positivity and goodness.  We each have our own individual expiration date on this earth.  We don’t know when that day or time will come; but it is a certainty.  Don’t allow your ego, or societies drive for possessions and greed, to consume you.  It would be wonderful if we could all learn new lessons from other cultures on our planet.  Let them be your motivational force to happiness.  As I continue my journey, I urge you to live your life with courage, integrity and respect.  Have faith in the empowerment of life, as you reach for your passions and dreams.  I’m sending you energy and love for a healthy and happy life.  Life is a daily choice.  You can live in happiness and love, or not.  Choose wisely.

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!

Entitlement

March 28, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you are all well.  It’s already the last Sunday of March!  The first quarter of 2021 is coming to a rapid close.  Time keeps on ticking.  I offer my condolences and prayers to those affected by the shootings in Atlanta and Boulder.  In a time when God is needed most, it’s important to recognize two days of religious significance.  Passover began yesterday at sunset.  I’m not Jewish, but I am reverent to all religious beliefs that serve God.  “Passover, Hebrew Pesaḥ, or Pesach, in Judaism, commemorates the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, and the “passing over” of the forces of destruction, or the sparing of the firstborn of the Israelites, when the Lord “smote the land of Egypt” on the eve of the Exodus.”  It continues until April 4th (Easter Sunday). 

Today is Palm Sunday, celebrated by Christian religions as the day honoring Jesus Christ’s victorious entry into Jerusalem.  It’s an event mentioned in each of the four Canonical Gospels.  While this was a joyful, special occasion for his followers, this event took place towards the end of his days on Earth before being crucified.  I recall attending mass as a kid and coming home with palm leaves from church.  I pray our world begins to renew its faith and devotion to God.  Faith is a powerful force.  It represents two important attributes; hope and kindness.  These are both significant traits and much needed in our world today. 

How do you counteract “entitlement” and seek happiness in your life?  Here’s what helps keep me grounded and focused every day.  The world doesn’t revolve around me.  I’m grateful to be alive.  I appreciate what I have.  I respect myself and others.  I drop my ego.  I control my thoughts.  Life isn’t about me.  We are all human beings, created equally.  The pull of good vs evil, positive vs negative or Yin vs Yang, is what creates differences in our character and actions.  I find my balance in the duality; knowing the forces of the universe each have an interconnected and opposing reaction.  I stay centered in the positive.  I’m here to live life, doing the best I can each day.  When I wake up to greet a new sunrise, I thank God and tell myself, “this is a new opportunity to live, love and be happy.”  Positivity is my focus.  Gratitude is where I begin.

My Wednesday morning began like most days.  I greeted the sunrise with gratitude and thanked God for the opportunity.  Stretching, yoga and meditation were followed by a protein shake and some time to write.  I knocked out a quick three-mile run; which wasn’t fast or difficult.  A nice warm relaxing shower sounded wonderful.  I turned on the faucet and waited for the water to warm up before stepping in.  I felt the spray with my hand; something wasn’t right.  The water wasn’t warm.  I turned the knob to full “Hot.”  The temperature didn’t change.  It was cold!  I turned the shower water off, then back on, thinking something would change.  It didn’t.  I checked other faucets for hot water.  There was none.

I gave the water heater a thorough examine and saw no obvious signs of failure.  I didn’t smell a gas leak and nothing jolted my thoughts.  A video chat with my brother in law and sister pointed me in the right direction.  The internet provided pictures and I recognized the problem.  The culprit was identified; a bad thermocouple (where the pilot flame is ignited).  A quick trip to the hardware store and an easy installation resolved the problem.  I remembered watching my Dad, on many occasions; repair all types of appliances, vehicles and machinery.  Whatever skills I have today, I first learned from him.  I thanked him (my brother in law and sister), for the assist!  The reignited pilot light glowed brightly as the water in the tank heated.  A warm, relaxing and much needed shower was enjoyed. 

As I showered, it hit me, “how lucky am I to have hot water.”  Growing up in America makes me sometimes forget how fortunate I am.  I’m blessed to have so many wonderful comforts of life. There are many people, here and across the planet, that don’t have water in their home.  How many people don’t have a home or water readily available?  I’m grateful (as are many people living in free societies), to exist in a modern and economically secure country.  We have food, shelter and water (both hot and cold), at out finger tips.  In sharp contrast, there are countries, and places on earth, where people are less fortunate, oppressed or lack freedom of any form.  In some of these lands, people live without the “basic needs” to survive.  Food, water and shelter aren’t readily available; or options or supplies are extremely limited or scarce.  Americans, and others around our world, share the necessities and comforts that make living easy. 

In some countries, like the USA, we have an overabundance of material goods, food and supplies; yet America still struggles with poverty, homelessness and hunger.  We have large grocery stores and big box chains where multiple selections for a single item exist.  Young children to adults have cell phones; where technology provides easy access to order products at the touch of a button.  Many young adults were raised with this concept and know little else.  Our free way of life and our many luxuries have spoiled us.  Parents provide their children with every whim or desire.  Too many individuals have grown accustomed to living this undemanding lifestyle.  Today, with all this nation has, there are still individuals, groups and some politicians that are dissatisfied, unhappy and complain about whatever they dislike or perceive as inappropriate.  Some of these people are among the entitled elite.  I’m thankful to live in this nation, while enjoying its many benefits and freedom.  

Entitlement comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.  We live in a “disposable” society that is spoiled with abundance and greed.  If we don’t like something, it’s discarded and we procure a new object.  The pandemic, social chaos and political madness have created further division among are people and nation.  The resulting economic devastation has created additional social disarray and deepened the entitled culture.  Individuals, and groups, complain about privilege, yet live similarly spoiled lifestyles.  Entitlement breeds complainers who see themselves as victims.  Politicians preach idiotic ideals, while protected by armed security.  People soak up the benefits of our society, while they demand free college educations, various debts absolved or more free handouts be provided by our government.  The once considered luxuries, across our nation, no longer carry any special meaning or significance.

Stop complaining!  You’re alive and thriving.   How can you be dissatisfied with life; here or anywhere?  We live in a beautiful nation, where we enjoy freedom and prosperity.  After the events of the last year, a segment of the population is just never happy or satisfied.  Living a wonderful life isn’t about accumulating more possessions, a huge home, expensive car or millions of dollars.  True happiness is something that shines from within.  It’s a personal satisfaction and contentment with life.  There’s an old saying, “Money can buy lots of things, but it can’t buy you happiness.”  Teach your children the value of what they have and how to appreciate it.  Guide them to develop good character.  Integrity, respect, kindness and gratitude are the foundations that need to be instilled into every human.  It’s up to you to alter how you perceive life.  We are each responsible for our happiness. 

I’ve never considered myself “entitled.”   My parents taught me to appreciate everything I was given or earned.  I’ve worked hard all my life to achieve my own success.  I always find it interesting how events occur at the exact time I need some reinforcement in a particular area of life.  God, or the universe, seem to find a way to intercede when needed.  My Dad passed away several years ago.  I always know he’s with me, watching over me, offering support and guidance.  His spirit intervenes when I begin to drift below positive, providing encouragement and strength.  These interventions occur when I least expect, but need them the most.  There are times in life I have taken things for granted, in one way or another.  I have no doubt many people do this on a daily basis.  Life, maturity, career, travel, hardships and lessons learned have provided me with knowledge and experience over the course of time.  I’ve learned valuable lessons and have become more aware of all the wonderful gifts we’re blessed with daily.  I’m not rich, wealthy or poor.  I’m just me.  I respect people and treat them how I want to be treated.  I assist others when he can and am eternally grateful for all I have.   

Life isn’t complicated or difficult, humans are.  Bumps, bruises, pain or suffering will be experienced along the journey.  How you process or resolve each of these situations, is where you succeed or drift into darkness.  If you attach negativity to each event, this is where the complications begin.  Egotistical behavior or thinking you are better than others, has no place in our society.  We each carry our past with us; some memories may have heartbreak, sorrow, deception, trauma or who knows what.  If you don’t pack that bag and leave it beyond, it can creep into your present.  Those issues have the ability to consume you, eroding your energy, destroying relationships and creating more damage for your future.  The end result can create stress, anxiety, depression, sadness or a decline in your mental, physical and spiritual health.  No one wants to live with their heart locked up or paralyzed by fear.  Positivity is a choice.  It may not always be easy, but “I am responsible for my thoughts, actions, deeds and happiness.  No one else controls us.”  Life is happening now, so decide wisely.

There is much to be grateful and thankful for every day.  Begin each morning with gratitude.  Open your heart to the possibilities; lead with positivity and faith, while working hard to reach for your stars.  Life is a gift and limited time opportunity.  Control your thoughts; seek the positive, good and happiness in life.  “When I change my thoughts, I can change the world.”  As each day passes, take time to reflect on how fortunate you are to live in a great nation.  Be thankful for life, health and the opportunities that enable you to move forward into each new day.  Please don’t waste your opportunities.   Happiness and prosperity already belong to us; we just have to realize it and believe. 

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!

Spring Blossoms

March 21, 2021

Good morning friends.  This past Wednesday, March 17th, was Saint Patrick’s Day.  The day commemorates his death in 461AD.  He was born in Britain, kidnapped into slavery at age 16 and brought to Ireland.  He escaped after six years of captivity and returned home.  He was later beckoned to return to the land of his captors.  St. Patrick returned later in his life as a missionary, bringing Christianity with him.  The people of Ireland loved him, dedicating the day in his honor.  His memory is celebrated worldwide. 

Yesterday, Saturday the 20th, was the first day of Spring.  I’m sure there are many people rejoicing for more sunshine and warmer temps.  The months leading to summer are typically the most beautiful.  Spring and St. Patrick’s Day share a lucky appeal.  Whether you’re searching for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, or blossoming flowers on a beautiful Spring day; love buds as relationships grow and develop.  Springtime has a way of revitalizing the earth.  It nurtures the soil, creating new growth and development of our planet.  It reenergizes us as human beings; carrying us from winter, into the warm glow of a new existence.  It’s like a rebirth of the land and all living creatures.  Flowers and trees blossom into vibrant colors filled with jubilance and joy.  Spring is the perfect season for budding relationships, romance and love. 

Relationships cover a wide spectrum of associations; whether we’re discussing family, friends, associates, workmates, partners or a lover.  Each situation brings their own individual rewards and challenges while you navigate your connection.  Not all relationships are the same, and neither are people.  We each have a unique set of qualities, characteristics and values.  Love varies in intensity and feelings; from family, to friends or to a love partner.  Embracing the love and support of a someone special can energize life; creating an amazing journey.  The attention and encouragement they provide, as a loving human, bolsters better health, both mentally and physically.  There have been medical and health studies conducted that detail how being in a loving relationship has a direct impact on our happiness, and keeping us healthy too. They can improve our immune system and blood pressure to helping us heal quicker and enjoy life longer. A happy and loving relationship is life’s greatest medicine.  Relationships can be fun, fabulous, stressful, happy, challenging, frustrating, incredible, blissful, spontaneous, passionate, emotional and loving!  I could keep going with the adjectives, as relationships are many things. 

Navigating the journey of life is even more amazing when you experience it with a like-minded companion.  A successful relationship doesn’t hinge on whether you share all the same views or agree on every situation, event or theory.  A healthy and vibrant union is based on the respect, honesty, trust and the love you share; while living your true self.  Relationships are a mix of give and take.  One partner shouldn’t be doing all the work, while the other absorbs the energy and benefits.  Partners must be committed to each other, offering support and care.  You work collectively to set and achieve goals, both individually and together.  When life is good, we seem to be on cruise control.  When tensions or difficulties arise, life (or love) can become a bit more tenuous or bumpy.  Let’s face it, we’re human beings, so conflict along the journey is always possible.  The primary reason for this; as much as we are all similar physically, we each have different thought processes, views and ideas.  We have varying opinions on how life, or a relationship, and the interaction or communication associated with it should work.  Our life experiences and past play a role in our development.  We all carry past “baggage” that differs from person to person.  We each visualize life through our own eyes.  It’s best if we don’t taint the future with our past, or allow it to impede our progress in the present.  The fears or experiences of past memories have the ability to linger in our thoughts.  These struggles can create division or damage, if we allow it.  Leave the past where it belongs.  It takes effort to live in the present and work toward the future.  This should be your focus.  Open your eyes to the possibilities that life and love offer. 

Love is about kindness and understanding; while dropping your ego, being real and open.  We all want the same things; happiness and love.  Communication in a love-partner relationship hasn’t been my strong point.  I’ve had difficulty fully opening my heart and soul.  I am much better at demonstrating my inner feelings than verbal expression.  I won’t hesitate to tell you how I feel or “I Love You.”  My obstacle is more with revealing my deepest inner spirit and thoughts.  I’ve done work to improve this, but I continue to be a work in progress.  Communication is an important component to any relationship.  Whether it’s verbal or non-verbal, it’s only an affective tool when you are both actively listening.  If you aren’t hearing what your partner is telling you, nothing will improve or change.  Words convey wonderful messages, while actions speak louder and display your true feelings.  The quality of a person’s character is in their actions.  You can talk all you want, but if those words aren’t backed up by your actions, the words are meaningless.  If you have difficulty expressing yourself, show your partner by your positive deeds.

Don’t rely on preconceived notions on how each relationship should be or how it will work.  Every relationship, connection, friendship, partnership and love are unique.  I’ve experienced my share of conflict; both at work, with family and from relationships.  Partners share responsibility when dynamics change or when navigating bumps in the road.  Issues or concerns are best resolved together.  Critical conversations may be necessary, and can be difficult; if they’re brought up at all.  In my attempts to keep life harmonious, I’ve often avoided these tough conversations.  Conversations aren’t about being right, better, the loudest or toughest.  Listening to each other, sharing thoughts, seeking resolution or compromise are integral parts to restoring harmony.  Don’t be fearful of those difficult conversations.  They may be needed from time to time. 

Recognize how your partner communicates and shows their love.  Remember this isn’t all about you; it’s about “us.”  When issues or conflicts arise, think about your partner first, and communicate.  Too often we think of ourselves, never opening the conversation when needed.       When you lose someone you love because you feel you didn’t do enough to keep them, it’s frustrating, heartbreaking and sad.  It feels like you’ve lost a part of yourself.  We’re all responsible for our own actions.  Honesty and openness, without anger or aggression, helps restore understanding.  Treat each interaction with care and respect.  Partners nourish the growth of their relationship, when they each know the other is fully committed to its success.

We each bring different qualities to a relationship that connect or bond us to one another.  This is where the magic begins.  Allow your interactions and personalities to blend.  You can’t always explain how or why a connection happens.  I’m the kind of man who enjoys keeping a partner safe, secure and comfortable.  I show love through doing and connection.  I’ve realized with age,  I’m more selective in finding my partner.  I’m a bit more “set in my ways” now, but I’m always open to new ideas, thoughts and experiences.

Don’t base happiness or love on having a “perfect relationship.”  Perfection (like failure) isn’t possible.  We can only strive to be the best version of ourselves.  We all have work to do and self-improvements to make.  No one (or relationship) is perfect.  Relationships and love can’t be forced, chased, engineered or controlled.  Let go of your own imperfections, or expectations, on what you believe others should be.  We are each responsible for maintaining our own happiness.  When you’re happy with yourself, it empowers others; especially your partner.  This allows a couple to share the joy of happiness together.  If you want to enjoy a fabulous relationship of love, it takes effort.  Be yourself and allow the journey to follow its path.  Relationships, like love, grow and develop naturally; like blossoms on beautiful flowers in Springtime.  Let the universe guide you to love. 

Life and love have taught me many lessons over the years.  I continue to learn and evolve each day. I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff, live in the present and enjoy each day.  I’ve experienced love and the incredible connection between two people.  It’s an exhilarating and nearly indescribable feeling that consumes my mind, body and spirit.  When it happens, fireworks ignite within my soul, filling it with energy and passion.  It’s truly one of the best feelings in life.  There is nothing more special than being in a committed relationship, especially with a person you connect with on so many levels of existence.  Find a partner that lets you see the world through their eyes, while you show them your vision.  Share your thoughts, emotions and experiences together.  Accept that while you each have flaws; together you are stronger and so much better.   Build a relationship based on trust and admiration.  Open your heart, mind and spirit to the possibilities the universe offers.  There is nothing more amazing than sharing a beautiful connection with the person you love.  The friendship and bond you forge together leads to romance, passion and love.  Giving up is easy.  Success takes strength, courage, dedication and desire.  Life doesn’t stop or slow down.  Get out there and live.  It’s a gift!

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!

The Power of Change

March 14, 2021

Good morning friends!  It’s a bright new day to pursue your dreams and make them come true.  Each new sunrise provides the perfect opportunity to instill a little change in your life.  Exploring new ideas, pathways or goals has the amazing ability to become the catalyst to fabulous successes.  Don’t allow fear or self-doubt to deter you.  Recognize the chances as they pass and reach for them before they slip away.  The instant change for today is daylight savings time; which began very early this morning.  I hope you remembered to spring forward an hour.  I’m excited to enjoy a little more sun as each day closes.  This simple change can create opportunities to enhance your productivity or fun.  Either of these can be fulfilling and constructive.  In a crazy and chaotic world, be the empowering change you want the world to be.  The rest is up to you.

Sunrise brings with it a new day; new life, new possibilities, new learning and new growth.  It’s like being born again; with the ability to create our day as we see fit.  Each day is different and never duplicated.  Have you heard the phrase, “Same stuff, different day?”  Don’t believe it.  Each day is unique in its own way.  Changes occur, in and around us, often without our knowledge or approval.  When we seize the initiative and make new alterations, we remodel our present to create incredible new possibilities for our future.  This is where we empower our life.  Stay focused on the present, always moving forward.  Don’t dwell in the past.  It serves no purpose.  Each and every sunrise and sunset are different.  They are each magnificent in their own way; as we are equally stunning.  We all have the power to control our mind, attitude and thoughts.  This ability is unique to each of us.  Daily actions create positive or negative influences placed throughout each day.  Events, incidents or situations will undoubtedly occur during life that stir negativity and emotion.  How you process and respond to each experience is what’s most important.  Do not allow negative energy associated with any occurrence to consume you.  Fear, anger, anxiety, stress or depression are strong negative forces.  Resist their temptation by creating more positive energy within and around you.  Self-empowerment is a strong force that can compel you into motion.  I’ve utilized this boost to energize my spirit.  You are in control of you.  Your happiness and positivity are yours to command.  When you make simple changes, the world becomes a better place.  Small changes make way for larger, more fruitful ones; with less fear and easier to step forward into each new scenario.  We all hesitate from time to time.  Don’t allow fear to restrain or defeat you.    

We all have the ability to be just where we want to be.  It will take effort, dedication and work to achieve your goals.  How often is something rare and amazing just handed to you?  To make your dreams come true, you have to reach for them.  This typically requires some change along that path.  Don’t be resistant.  What is it about this simple process that frightens people?   If I took a poll, it would reveal many reasons for this interesting phenomena.  I believe it all comes down to fear.  Humans are fearful of altering their daily habits or routine.  Are we frightened something new will bring some horrific calamity, paralysis or success?  As I listen to individuals clamoring about the mere possibility of new ideas on the horizon, I hear anxiety in their voice.  Even the simple event of turning our clocks forward in the spring, or back in the fall, draws frustration or criticism.  Many individuals fear the unknown, when their real fear is within their own mind, controlled by the past.  We all have a past, and that won’t ever change.  Learn from it, grow, leave it behind and move forward.  Your life is here, in the present.

Some of these thought patterns are influenced, initially learned from our parents.  As children we learn or emulate the behavior of our family or friends.  We tend to mimic these ideas and patterns, until we mature and begin to make our own decisions about life.  We form our own habits and patterns of living.  I’ve experienced the fear or hesitation of change many times throughout my life.  The process began as a child.  There were many times at the beginning of the new school year, when fear would grip me on that first day.  By the end of that first week, I realized how silly I’d been to be scared.  Fear of change comes in many forms; new school, moving to a new area, changing jobs, friends, relationships, world events and just life; can all create the same effect. 

My career in law enforcement created many changes over a 34 year span.  I worked over 20 different assignments and numerous shift and detail changes.  Change always initiated some apprehension.  There were moments I would have rather been chasing an armed and dangerous person, than enduring more change.  My self-confidence, work knowledge, expertise and self-empowerment grew as time passed.  I began to welcome and encourage change.  I recognized it as my new opportunity to learn, grow and increase my experience and expertise.  This motivated me to study and promote through the rank structure of the department.  It was always a little “scary” beginning a new assignment.  Once settled in, it became evident the choice was a wise decision.  I never realized how locked into my career I was until I retired.  It’s an interesting transition when you’re accustomed to going to work every day for the majority of your life.  Now I have altered my course, continuing to thrive on change, following a new path.

There are circumstances, events and situations (like the time change) beyond our control.  The weather, traffic, costs of goods and services and so many local, national or world events are far out of our reach or sphere of influence.  For example, I typically run three days a week, or at least get some trail hikes done for exercise.  I’ve been following the same streets and trails for many years.  I notice the changes in sidewalks, streets, trails and vegetation.  It all changes as time passes.  New cracks and separation occur in the concrete, pavement and hillsides; where there were none.  Trees, bushes shrubs and weeds continue to grow, be trimmed, wither or grow more.  The ocean tides rise and fall, rivers flow, volcanos erupt, the earth moves and we roll with each alteration.  Our planet and universe are constantly changing and evolving.  We are part of those daily changes.  Our growth, through knowledge and experience, is equally as important.  Don’t worry about change.  The best thing to do, is be prepared to deal with it and adapt as necessary.  Change will always occur whether you try to prevent it or not.  Why resist, when you have the ability to flow with it and grow.  New ideas, concepts and opportunities arise with often good for us.  Be true to yourself, your beliefs, goals and dreams.  Always believe in the power and energy of you.  You can create real change.

Here are a few simple suggestions to start you on the road to change:

Don’t get caught up in other people’s drama.  Unless you’re a therapist, first responder or their attorney; don’t do it.  I’m certain you have enough to deal with in life. 

Keep life simple.  When you add unnecessary complications to life, it has the ability to wear your health down mentally and physically. 

Make proactive changes, instead of hesitating or resisting them.  When you actively make alterations to your life, you are challenging your brain to adapt to new ideas.  This stimulation is wonderful for building brain power, self-confidence and success. 

Build your inner strength and discipline to motivate your soul. 

Be happy where you are right now.  

Actively work to achieve your goals and dreams, while living each day in the present. 

You’re not in a race.  Enjoy life as you navigate along this journey.  

Change can create incredible new opportunities.  Don’t close yourself off from others, or the world, in an attempt to avoid it.  Allow change to happen naturally, using it to your advantage.  When you have the opportunity, seize the moment and make your own alterations.  It will be an energizing experience.  I don’t have all the answers.  I continue to learn new things every day, and knowledge gives me power.  We are never too old to be educated with new ideas, make improvements to ourselves or live better lives.  Take time to slow the tempo of life and let it flow.  Use the power of change to boost you toward your dreams, be happy and enjoy life.

Speaking of change and dreams: 

Congratulations to an amazing young lady, who begins a new job tomorrow morning.  I know her successes will be wonderful and beyond compare.  Don’t ever allow negativity to paralyze or make you feel helpless.  Seize control of your thoughts and turn your actions to achieving your goals and dreams.  You are so much stronger and confident than you realize.  Stay positive and disciplined.  Slow down, breathe and let your soul shine.  I’m excited for you! Remember Jess, there is no one else like you!  

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!

Healthy Humans

March 7, 2021

Good morning friends!  We’re already a week into the month of March.  It never ceases to amaze me how fast time passes.  I remember my Dad telling me, “Time just goes by faster as you get older.  Go do it and enjoy life.”  I didn’t comprehend the full meaning of his statement until I retired.  When you have time to relax and enjoy life, it definitely passes much too quickly.  My suggestion; live in the present, while you enjoy each and every moment.  Make time to spend with those you love.  Travel and explore new places, lands and civilizations.  Visit sights, near or far, that interest you.  Too often we say, “I’ll visit that someday”, or “When I have time”, but that seldom happens.  Happiness isn’t built on how much money you have or how many possessions you own.  Tomorrow is not promised and someday doesn’t exist.  Don’t wait to expand your horizons, live your dreams, share your passions or tell someone you love them.  The possibilities are endless and you’re your only limitation.  Do it now, before your time on earth ends.  Life is a precious gift, so don’t let it pass you by.

Are we healthy humans?  Health isn’t limited to your level of fitness.  It’s not all about the food you eat, what you drink or how much exercise you do consistently.  It encompasses your entire being and life style; physically, mentally and spiritually.  Health includes what you say, your actions in what you do and your thoughts and how your mind thinks.  Humans have inhabited planet earth for thousands of years.  They built incredible cities, created amazing inventions, produced fabulous works of art and insightful philosophical thoughts.  When you examine history, even with all the goodness and greatness; greed, corruption, power and control have been the core sources of destructive events throughout time.  This scenario persists to this day.  In the past I believed intelligence translated into common sense, morality, values or integrity.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.  I often wonder how we’re considered the most advanced species.  Cruel and evil individuals have existed since the beginning of mankind and continue in our present.  It’s shocking how incredibly vile and vicious humans treat one another.  The lack of decency or respect for others is sad.  I witnessed this behavior too many times during my career and I see it now.  Is power or greed that strong, or is there an underlying evil within these perpetrators?  I’m not here to analyze them or their actions, just remain aware they’re among us.

Humans are an incredibly interesting group of creatures.  They’re a mix of good and bad, curious and adventurous, fearful and happy, and mostly intelligent beings.  We’re a diverse and different species.  We come in a variety of physical sizes, shapes, colors and appearances.  Our mental and physical operating mechanisms are generally the same.  Genetics may vary or differ in some aspects, but we really are all just human beings.  We share the same capacity to experience emotions, feel pain, joy, increase our mental capacity, learn and grow.  We have free will, to make decisions and control our own lives.  Our individual fortitude, determination, ability and willingness to build on the foundations we were born with is what truly sets us apart from others.  We have the brain power to achieve whatever we desire.  We manage and control our personal happiness and well-being.  In order for you to be happy with others and life, you must first be happy with yourself.  One of earths greatest pleasures is our ability to love.  It’s a desire of all humans; in families, friends and relationships.  It’s an incredible and amazing feeling.  Don’t miss out!

Do you know who’s blocking your path to happiness, success or love?  It’s you!  We are our own worst enemy when it comes to personal satisfaction, love, happiness, success or achieving goals.  We constantly stand in our own way, either physically, mentally or both; because our mind creates stories that aren’t factual or true.  We ruin our own attempts because our mind fabricates nonsense.  Is this part of being human or can we overcome this obstacle on our own?  It didn’t take me long to realize how simple it was to control my thoughts, especially when my mind would wander.  I became self-aware and the sabotage my mind created was easier to remedy and control.  Sometimes we need to get out of our own way to succeed.  Self-confidence, discipline and determination will assist in this fight.  It takes hard work and dedication to make your dreams come true.  Set your goals, put in the effort and keep moving forward. Your effort will always pay off.  People sometimes get discouraged along the way because their vision of success doesn’t materialize fast enough.  If you truly want something, motivation and effort will never falter, especially if it’s a true passion.  You have to keep working.  Don’t give up.  Stay focused and your self-confidence and esteem will grow as well.

Many of my favorite people are humans.  Some individuals make you wonder if they’re from this planet or evil aliens.  It never ceases to amaze me how some humans say or do things that defy reason.  These individuals seem to be more interested in their own scheming endeavors, rather than others or their rights.  Some weld power as if it’s their world and we’re their subjects.  They constantly complain about whatever doesn’t suit their particular political or personal agenda.  They spew hate, create division, ban books, manipulate free speech or deem things as offensive.  They cry racism, play the victim role and slander others; yet do nothing to help the struggling or poor of the communities.  These individuals do nothing to offer solutions to homelessness, hunger, addictions, drugs, suicides or the ever increasing violence in our cities.  Unscrupulous individuals may always exist in our world.  Society has always banded together, to fight against criminals and evil deeds.  I pray our strong morals, values, integrity, character and conviction are not a fading quality, but only temporarily silenced by a one sided narrative.  Americans are not limited to one race, color, gender, nationality or ethnicity.  We are a mixed people seeking freedom and equality for all.

I can only speculate why some humans are dissatisfied, unhappy, fearful, miserable or evil.  Complications of a fast paced, technologically advanced and socially disruptive life can be one of many reasons.  We have so much, yet some remain fearful, scared, unsatisfied or less socially connected.  We live in a society where life is over analyzed, victims rule and fear abounds.  Simple interactions and social contacts have faded with technology.  We live under a microscope of scrutiny, manipulated by biased groups or leaders seeking only more control.  We’ve adopted the “I’m right, you’re wrong” mentality.  Whoever shouts the loudest and silences the other group prevails.  If that doesn’t work, then these individuals resort to name calling, slanderous phrases, vulgar verbiage or violence.   Too many political leaders do what’s in their best interest, instead of what’s best for Americans.  This treatment is neither fair or sane.  I don’t want to live in a society where our freedoms and rights are manipulated, restricted or controlled by unjust, one-sided, devious humans. 

Our government, leaders and our nation should be focused on building a stronger and unified America.  Our leaders should be solving problems in our nation; creating jobs, enhancing economic growth and supporting all businesses, so they can flourish.  Our veterans need assistance; they deserve so much more than our government has provided.  They should be a top priority.  Individuals should be moved away from unemployment, homelessness and welfare.  Assist them to earn their own way and become contributing members of society.  Jobs build self-confidence, while creating security and increasing self-esteem.  Let people get back to work and school, instead of restricting their lives.  I want politicians to place humans and humanity before their own desires.  This isn’t about race, gender or equality.  This is about being a good human, doing what’s right, fair and equal.  It’s human decency.   

The world remains an amazing place, filled with wonder and excitement.  The vast majority of humans on this planet are good individuals.  We were all put on this earth for the same purpose.  No person is better than another.  God’s blessing is upon every race, color, creed and nationality.  We’re all created the same; and should have equal rights and liberties.   Respect begins with self-love.  When you respect yourself, it’s natural to show respect for others.  This simple form of reverent recognition breeds an array of positive character traits.  Honesty, loyalty, trust, discipline and honor are honed from this admirable quality.  It’s easy to recognize the lack of respect some humans display.  Now is the time we all become better humans.  I treat others how I want to be treated.  Instead of hate think love; instead of anger think kindness; then lead with integrity and respect for all people.  Be happy with who you are, reach for the stars and turn your dreams into reality.  Belief and positivity are your starting points.

Congratulations are needed for some very special people today.  First, I wish my sister and brother in law a Happy Anniversary; along with great friends: Karen and Doug & Julie and Dana (who are celebrating today).  I’m sending a special Happy 30th Birthday wish to Jay.  A great young man and human.  Thank you for being one of my new favorite people.  Wishing you ALL a fabulous Sunday Fun day filled with Love and Happiness!  Enjoy life!  

Along with the celebrations of life, follows the sadness of death.  My aunt passed away, joining her husband (my uncle), now in Gods care. Two amazing and wonderful humans, more like my second set of parents, with their children like my brothers and sisters.  Her passing leaves only my Mom as the final sibling from both sides of the family.  In my sorrow, I know they have joined my Dad, and family, with God.  They will forever be in my heart, as I rejoice in my memories, until we meet again. 

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!

Struggles and Fear

February 28, 2021

Good morning friends.  Happy last day of February!  I hope you are all doing well, staying happy and healthy.  If you aren’t, then it’s time to get busy and make it happen.  You should be your first priority.  This is your life and that stuff is your responsibility.  Life is a gift; please don’t waste it.  Time doesn’t slow down, so get moving.  I’m not sure if you feel the same, but this month flew by in a flash!  There were special events, celebrations, holidays, pain, heartbreak and sorrow.  Some of these I was a part of, while others just drifted and passed me by without notice.  A wonderful couple near and dear to me joined God’s angels.  This is the part of life that tears at my heart and the sadness only subsides with time.  Lessons learned from the passing days are difficult; life continues.  Our lives are ever changing, and hopefully we change for the better as time ticks away.  Remaining open and positive to the universe is one of my new best features.  I’m grateful each morning I open my eyes, realizing I have a fabulous opportunity to create happiness.  The sunrise provides a blank canvass to live my life and turn my dreams into reality.  I’m excited for the chance to just be here and be a better human.

Happiness is my choice every day.  That’s what I strive to achieve and want to facilitate in others.  I may not always succeed and hopefully I’ll learn new lessons along my path.  We all deal with various struggles during the course of our life.  Don’t ever feel you’re alone or the only person experiencing these difficulties, dilemmas, situations, frustrations or fears.  We are all subjected to doubt, anxiety, stress, trauma, or emotional issues while navigating life.  We all feel and share the journey of existence.  If someone tells you they have never been burdened by these, I doubt they’re being truthful with you or to themselves.  Whether issues occur during childhood, adolescence or adulthood, it’s all part of our evolution.  We’re humans and no one is immune from these events or feelings.  Some circumstances are real, others are perceived and some are simply fabricated in our minds.  Whether physical or mental, big or small, each has the potential for being equally debilitating or destructive.

Fear is a powerful weapon that has the ability to control our minds, immobilize our actions or completely restrain us.  It can keep us from living a happy life.  It’s a tool utilized by leaders, politicians, media outlets or others as a device to establish or maintain control.  I’ve witnessed it used by power craving individuals in the work place, in families, domestic abuse incidents, relationships or for manipulating the masses.  Keeping fear from invading your thoughts or being able to move past it can be a difficult process.  Once it establishes itself as a mechanism of control, it is keenly effective.  Individuals become conditioned to the constraints by constant indoctrination or abuse.  Continual worry about events and things out of our control drags us down.  Some thoughts seem to hold us hostage.  Breaking the cycle or moving beyond it is a continual battle.  How you process and dismiss fear is important to ultimately allow freedom of thought and expression.

Our indoctrination to life typically begins as young children.  We’re all raised in different settings, with a variety of values and character traits.  We are each subjected to various stimuli, situations, issues or events that trigger apprehension, anxiety, fear or some specific reaction or emotion.  We grow and perceive fear based situations through our past experiences.  As a young child I became ill for several days with a very high temperature.  At night, the intense fever brought vivid dreams of a raging inferno with demons rising up from beneath my bed.  As they grabbed at me to pull me under, I could only do my best to hold on and resist.  This memory (and fear) was etched in my mind.  It lingered within me for many years.  Another fear based incident occurred as a teen while body surfing at the beach.  I was rolled by a sizeable wave, bouncing me off the bottom while I guzzled salt water.  I gasped for air as I broke the surface, excited to be alive.  I immediately swam for shore as fast as possible, shaken and scared.  The incident created fear and took considerable mental fortitude before re-entering the ocean.  The scary memories faded as I matured and increased my self-confidence and personal security.  Fear, trauma or death are no longer my deterrent.  Life is precious and finite; to be lived and enjoyed.  Wisdom and knowledge provide me the power to move past the apprehension to some life events.  Not participating isn’t an option.  Sitting on the sidelines paralyzed or overthinking is not living.  Life is an experience meant for all. 

Human beings have an amazing brain capacity to think, create and build incredible feats.  When our mind creates thoughts or stories based on faulty information, this is where more problems begin.  If you allow your thoughts to wander freely, the more fabrications it creates.  One moment you are innocently silent and a second later your mind has manufactured an incredible tale in your head.  An innocent comment, read or heard, may trigger your mind to create an entirely false narrative.  I remain mindful to know when my thoughts begin to create such a tale.  I end this process before it takes my brain on a crazy journey.  If you allow these negative issues to be sown, it creates additional harm.  My past experience has taught me physical struggles can be easily overcome.  Hard work, discipline and a positive mindset gives me the energy to achieve and succeed.  For many of us, it’s the manifestations in our mind that create the most significant difficulties.  Our thoughts are extremely powerful and controlling.  This is where the real struggles begin and end.  There are many things in life that can scare us, want us to hide, not go out, cease interactions with others or be fearful.  Facing fear and moving beyond it is the path to happiness.  During my law enforcement career, I was involved and witnessed events and people that showed me sides of fear I never knew were possible.  These incidents made me more aware of the dangers surrounding us.  Some were deeply traumatic, painful and caused me to withdraw within myself.  I realized living in fear or hiding isn’t an answer.  I would much rather be an active participant in life than just exist.  I took charge of my thoughts and life (with some assistance).  My positive and happy outlook allow me to live in freedom. 

My Dad rarely showed fear.  He served in the Army during World War II, fighting from the beaches of Normandy across Europe.  I’m sure those fears and scars were deeply imbedded in his mind.  He fought and defeated much of the adversity thrown at him in life.  He never seemed to worry.  He recovered from a heart attack, high blood pressure, bypass surgery and prostate cancer.  When he was diagnosed with MDS (a blood disorder), he continued to fight.  I took him to many of his doctor appointments over the four years before it consumed him.  I knew it was slowly wearing him down, but he never complained or was fearful.  After each appointment he’d tell me, “Michael, I can beat this.  The doctor said I should eat healthier foods and exercise, so that’s what I’m doing.”  He told the doctor, on several occasions, that he felt better after eating a particular food.  The doctor would say, “That’s great John.  Keep doing that.”  Dad never gave up; always remaining positive and strong.  I’d always agree with his assessments and reciprocate with my strength, encouragement and positivity.  Fear wasn’t an option.   

Death has the ability to create fear, sadness or a full spectrum of emotions.  Maybe it’s the manner it’s introduced to young children, or how it can be used as a scary device.  We know it’s an inevitable part of life, but few people are eager to acknowledge this fact.  The death of a loved one is heart breaking.  Their memory remains close in our heart and forever in our thoughts.  We never know when our time will end on this planet.  Culturally, being Italian, death was an open subject.  The death of relatives or family friends gave cause to mourn and celebrate.  As I’ve grown older, more relatives and friends succumb to their final breath on earth.  I have no control over death, but I do have control on how I live my life today.  I want to be here as long as possible to enjoy my daughter, family and friends.  I believe the more I enjoy life in the present, the more I am at peace with giving my soul to God when that time comes.   

I live a healthy lifestyle to maintain good health and increase longevity.  I enjoy nutritious foods, fitness, exercise, restful sleep and quality time in the sun and nature.  My intention is to live the best I can, in happiness and with love for others.  Life is an amazing and beautiful experience.  The first step in this process is allowing life to happen.  You can’t control everything, so don’t try.  It just creates more stress or worry.  It’s natural to be fearful, but not to the point where it keeps you from living life.  Pull back the ego or the belief that you’re the center of the universe.  We are merely tiny specks in this vast expanse of space.  Limit your time viewing social media and main stream news.  Get outside often and enjoy nature.  Remember you’re never alone in your struggles.  Don’t allow fear to consume you, prevent you from living your dreams or enjoying happiness.  When you free yourself from the constraints within your mind, you discover the joy and splendor of life.  Our world can be fraught with struggles and fear.  Protect yourself with knowledge and knowing what is truly dangerous, rather than what’s created in your mind.  Stay positive, strong, self-confident and courageous.  Be fearless to live a happy and healthy life.  I’m here if you need support or a helping hand.

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!

Priorities

February 21, 2021

Good morning friends.  Happy 2-21-21!  I hope you are all doing well, staying happy and healthy.  This past Monday, February 15th, we celebrated President’s Day.  It’s the day our nation honors two of our historic leaders.  Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12th; while George Washington’s birthday is tomorrow, February 22nd.  Combining the celebration of both these great men was initiated in the late 1960’s.  It was part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which created more three day weekends for Americans.  This change took effect in 1971.  Prior to that, our nation celebrated both of these holidays independently.  I suppose having a three-day weekend is the more important issue, not the actual men or their accomplishments.  It always amazes me how humans attempt to manipulate or alter historic dates to fit our own agenda.  If you haven’t, please take a moment to appreciate what these two men represented.  Their strong character and values assisted in building this great nation.  They are truly remarkable individuals, who turned their dreams for our nation into reality.   


What are your priorities as we journey further into 2021?  I’m sure neither of these two great presidents could have imagined what the future of our nation would hold.  We have made great strides of progress since the colonial and civil war days.  Unfortunately, some politicians and biased individuals, cast aspersions on these great leaders, our people and nation.  I have found that when people make attempts to discredit strong leaders or others; they are pushing some diluted or radical agenda.  Do not be fooled or influenced by unscrupulous manipulation of the truth.  Remember that knowledge is power.  The more you stay educated on what’s happening in our world, nation and your community, the better you will be in fending off the untruth.  There are those who only seek to spread fear or mislead you with foolish notions.  They only seek to gain more control.     

This past week shared several significant events.  February 17th, was Ash Wednesday; the beginning of Lent.  This is primarily celebrated by Christian religions and a time of repentance.  It precedes the coming of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ (the Son of God).  On Thursday the cork was popped with National Wine Drinking Day.  The trajectory of the day drastically changed course later that afternoon when the Perseverance rover landed on Mars.  Whether these events were the highlight of your week or not, they are all amazing in their own regard.  If you gave up drinking wine for Lent, then the celebration Thursday tapped out.  The Mars landing is truly a remarkable and significant event.  It seems like we are truly reaching for the heavens.  This mission; the search and exploration of the “Red” planet, could potentially produce interesting facts about the history of the universe.  Evidence may be discovered revealing the existence of other life in the universe.  Consider how far our space exploration has progressed.  It really blasted off on April 12, 1961, when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.  Then on July 20, 1969 American Astronauts landed on the moon.  The launch and construction of the International Space Station began on November 20, 1998.  The first crew to reside in the space station were American Bill Shepherd and Russians Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, on November 2, 2000.  They worked together for several months.  I’m certain a celebratory glass of wine is the proper thing to do for these occasions. 

Our world has witnessed incredible individuals; from all races, nationalities and genders; share their dreams, passions and exceptional insight.  These men and women graced our planet with their presence.  Throughout history people with extraordinary capabilities, visions and integrity have stepped forward to take a stand on moral, civic or controversial issues.  They introduced new methods to promote freedom, equality, fairness and educate the world.  Individuals with fantastic ideas brought them to life.  These people fought to forge new ground in order to bring creativity, imagination, inventiveness and inspiration to life.  America was built on visions and dreams of individuals promoting a better way of life.  Our nation continues to travel forward along that same path into the stars.  People who are supportive of growth and diversity, of our free society, are the backbone of this great country.  As Perseverance begins its exploration for signs of life, let’s stand together, united for a better and greater America.  Now is the time for strong voices to be heard.  Your voice matters.  It’s our responsibility to ensure our political leaders are doing what’s best for us, our nation and the world.    

People around the globe continue to experience difficult and turbulent days.  These are crazy and chaotic times.  The struggles are real and often unavoidable.  Worldwide pandemic madness is inflicting damage, both real and perceived.  Fear, created by politicians, leaders and the greedy foolishness of wealthy individuals continues its spread.  Tech giants are limiting use of social media outlets, applying their own brand of censorship and blocking entire nations from their platforms.  Many businesses and individuals are struggling to maintain their livelihoods, while dealing with health or financial concerns.  The economic devastation is both heartbreaking and sad.  The mental, physical or spiritual health of everyone has been significantly impacted in one way or another.  We are being hit hard each and every day.  Fear, stress and anxiety seem to be working overtime, even when we attempt to convince ourselves otherwise.  The effects from this devastation will linger for years.  Those severely affected are in desperate need of aid and assistance.   

Even planet earth was exhibiting its own problems; with severe weather changes, earthquakes, volcanic activity, avalanches and the like; plaguing our world.  A large swath of America experienced bitter cold storms.  Winter continued to sweep across our country from coast to coast.  Frigid cold temperatures created deadly accidents, power outages and wreaked havoc on humans, animals and the earth.  I’ve heard many accounts of the support and reliance of Americans during those dangerous storms.  Some politicians and media outlets would have you believe otherwise.  These individuals create more fear, while they point the finger of blame away from themselves or the true causes.  I suppose they could blame the chilly weather on Punxsutawney Phil.  He saw his shadow on Groundhog Day, February 2nd, which ultimately predicted six more weeks of winter.  At least his prediction has been accurate to this point.  It would be wise for these leaders or media sources to be more truthful in their accounts as well.      

The events of this past week provided much to digest.  How much of this can you control?  The simple answer is, “Take good care of yourself. When you are confident with yourself, then you can assist others.”  It’s not rocket science, but it definitely propels me.  Why would I waste precious time on things beyond my scope of influence or control?  Life is a one-time limited opportunity.  Focus on what you can do to make your life the best.  Stay focused, disciplined and continue to push forward.  Ask yourself, “What’s my priority?  What is most important to me?”  The answers will vary from person to person.  I can only tell you what my response is; “life.”  I am grateful each and every morning I wake up and roll out of bed.  Each new sunrise provides another day to fulfill my dreams, cherish those closest to me, share my love and live my best possible life.  My gratitude leads me to an array of many things; including my daughter, family, friends, health and happiness.  Decide what you want to accomplish, make a plan, believe in yourself and work hard every day to make it a reality.  Don’t let your foolish thoughts or the fear used by others to block or restrain your progress. 

Life is an ever changing mystery.  It can flow smoothly, it can be complex or as difficult as you make it.  We (humans) attempt to control whatever we can, by engineering specific events or altering outcomes to fit our own intentions.  Don’t make life about possessions, things, money or greed.  These only serve to create more dissatisfaction and unhappiness.  My best method for navigating the universe is to allow it space to ebb and flow.  Life always has a way of working its own magic.  It creates and manifests itself without our knowledge.  We can always do our best to work hard; with integrity, diligence and honor; to achieve our dreams and live our passions.  The events beyond our control may seem to block or plague us at times.  Don’t be discouraged.  Life really is an amazing opportunity to thrive and succeed!  Happiness is a choice. Positive thoughts begin when you believe.  Be happy with who you are and believe in your own capabilities.  Anything is possible.  The stars are attainable, if you reach for them.  Show yourself love, then it’s possible to show your love for family, friends, relationships and others.  Make life your priority and live the best possible life for to you.

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!

It takes two…sometimes

February 14, 2021

Good morning friends.  Happy Valentine’s Day!  I wish you a bright and beautiful day.  Today provides a fabulous opportunity to honor your “significant other.”   Don’t allow advertisers to fool you into believing this occasion is limited to couples.  Some businesses like to emphasize that aspect to increase sales.  Marketing agendas invade many simple holiday celebrations.  They create commercial money making schemes to sell cards, flowers, candy, gifts or dining out experiences.  This isn’t what holidays were meant to represent, but right now it’s good for businesses that are hurting during these crazy days.  I realize today might be considered more fun if you’re in a “couples” relationship.  For me, this day represents the joy of life, while celebrating my family and friends.  I’ve shared some wonderful memories over the course of my life.  I’ve also been alone or at work for many of these days too.  Holidays have the ability to dampen spirits or depress attitudes, especially for those of us that are single.  Some people may be separated from partners, while others may have lost their loved ones to death.  Remember, you are never alone.  Be happy and in love with you.  You’re in control, so don’t let depression or anxiety influence your mind or behavior.  I make today all about being thankful for the many gifts and blessings I enjoy.  I celebrate my daughter, sister, mom, family, friends and life.  My heart is filled with gratitude. 

I was one of those individuals who thought today was only about couples.  It took many years of struggling, maturing and educating myself about what’s really important in life.  Showing the special individuals in our life that we love and care for them is what makes living exciting.  Giving flowers, cards or gifts is nice and appreciated, but saying, “I Love You” is a heartfelt tribute.  Physical items can be fun or help represent our feelings.  Showing them with actions and deeds is an incredible gift as well.  We all utilize various methods to show or express our love and emotions.  You might enjoy giving gifts or doing kind acts.  Spending quality time together is always nice.  Physical touch; such as hugs, kisses or holding hands is an amazing conductor of energy and emotion.  Communication and telling someone how you feel is always best.  I believe it’s more impressive to tell the special people how and why you love them.  Don’t ever be fearful to communicate your feelings with the exceptional people in your life.  Being close to others and sharing love is all part of being human.  

Since the inception of humankind, couples have come together to live united and propagate the earth.  Today is not much different; other than the advancements in technology and social skills. Maintaining strong relationships takes work and constant maintenance to achieve success and longevity.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a loving couple, family, friendship or business arrangement.  We must nurture and care for that union to ensure it develops and grows.  Honesty, trust, loyalty and communication are few ingredients that make them last.  Relationships should be a cooperative effort.  If you are truly vested with your partner, you are equals when it comes to care and love.  Two individuals join together to achieve specific goals and enjoy their dreams.  You enhance each other through mutual respect, admiration and understanding.  Every person wants to be successful.  Couples (or partners), help push, motivate, console and share everything life offers.  Together we conquer the bad and relish in the good.   We share our dreams, passions and goals; both independently and together.  We work as one to set new aspirations, while always supporting each other in the pursuit of their desires.

In order to have great things in life, it takes work.  When you put forth true effort and continual care for a shared vision you will achieve fabulous results.  If you sit by idly expecting everything to be okay, or just work itself out when issues arise, doom typically awaits.  We’re human and live on a planet spinning around the sun in a vast universe.  Yes, there may be turbulent times.  There are many aspects of life beyond our control.  Communication (open and honest), helps keep life in order.  Don’t hesitate to share your feelings, thoughts, likes and dislikes.  If you withhold any of these, it can create potential misunderstandings, hurt feelings or worse.  The best solution is to talk about everything.  The real joy of an amazing relationship is knowing opposite ideas do not mean you no longer care or share love for your partner.  The balance of love is in how couples share, communicate and resolve their differences.  My parents were married 65 years, before my Dad passed away.  I’ve had aunts, uncles and cousins who were married just as long.  I have friends that share amazing relationships.  I’m sure they all have moments of disorder.  I know my parents had theirs.  They were always willing and able to resolve anything thrown across their path.  All of these individuals share similar traits when it comes to maintaining a great relationship.  They don’t take things personally.  All these wonderful people share commitment, understanding, respect and love for each other.  It’s a true bond.  I envy the dedication and love these couples share.  I aspire to reach that level of joy with a partner someday.  There are many amazing and wonderful individuals in this world.  We all strive for success, appreciation and love.  Begin with self-love and let it grow outward.  You’ll be amazed at what transpires with your friendships and relationships.

On this Valentine’s Day, consider how fortunate you are to live in America.  Free nations across the planet share so many wonderful privileges and rights.  Dreams come in a variety of visions and colors.  Do you ever dream that you’re strong, confident and achieving everything you want?  Our dreams can be as big as the universe.  I recall staring at the stars when I was a kid.  On warm summer nights I’d lay in our backyard and star gaze.  Dreams do come true.  If you can dream it, you can live it.  If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.  You are your only limitation.  Start living life and enjoy every moment!  Your happiness and success are completely up to you!  Even with all the craziness, political madness and virus fears, we should be grateful and happy each day.  Success is simple; believe in yourself, then believe in your partner.

Singles and couples, just enjoy life!  If you’re stuck in wintery weather, then stay safe and warm.  Take time to talk with your partner, kids, siblings, parents, family and friends.  Share your feelings, thoughts and let them know you love them.  Life is a gift.  Time flies by at a blazing speed.  Don’t waste a moment worrying about the small things or events out of your control.  Humans are social creatures, so don’t sequester yourself due to fear or anxiety.  If nothing else, step out into the world, breathe and enjoy some time in nature.  It can be incredible medicine; for your mind, body and spirit.  Happy Valentine’s Day!! 

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!