Independence Day = Freedom

July 5, 2020

Good morning friends.  My daughter suggested I begin todays blog with an Independence Day joke.  She told me, “We need to lighten things up a bit Dad.”   Her first joke, “Why doesn’t the United States begin with a knock knock joke?  Because freedom rings!”  Her second, “What did one American flag say to the other American flag?  Nothing.  It just waved!”  I love her sense of humor and pride in our country.  “Thanks Sweetie!  Freedom is an amazing thing! Let it ring!”

Friends, these are drastic, crazy and sad times.  Our nation is under attack.  If you’ve been attempting to stay off social media, not watch the news or stay away from ultra-extremists, you aren’t alone.  I ask you to remain vigilant to what’s happening in your community and our country.  Take a hard and truthful look at what’s occurring.  A fragment of our nation has broken away from our values and what we as Americans hold dear.  Extremist groups (like black lives matter and Antifa) are pushing to overturn our government and destroy our free way of life.  They are openly calling for the killing of police officers.  They are actively tearing down our history and destroying our nation.  This isn’t about color, race or nationality.  These are anarchists.  When did this behavior become okay in our society?  These individuals are all about creating hate, fear, discontent to achieve their own political agenda.  The lies and fake stories are relentless.   They want you be afraid and fearful.  They want control.

Yes, this began, as it has before, with the death of an African American (George Floyd) by police.  What about the hundreds of Blacks killed across America by other Blacks?  African American men, women and children are killed in shootings by people of their own race, yet there is no outcry for them.  Six Chicago children were shot and killed in a single week.  Where is their justice?  The black lives matter group doesn’t care about them.  These deaths stir no political agenda for them.  This group is all about creating more racial tension where it doesn’t exist.  Far left and right extremist groups are using these events as a catalyst to launch their attack on America, our way of life and all of its people (US).  It’s time we remember our history, where we were and how far we have progressed since our countries inception.  We have fought many battles against formable foes who sought to oppress the world. 

News outlets, social media and extremists have fed years of lies to us, our kids, teens and young adults.  Many young minds have been corrupted to believe they deserve everything handed to them.  Now we are witnessing this divisive agenda play out in real time.  Peaceful protests are part of our rights as Americans.  Violence, looting, burning, destruction of property and vandalizing memorials is anarchist behavior.  Some politicians and billionaires are seeking to gain more control and power.  They only seek to further their own radical agenda for our nation, while increasing their own lust for greed.  Don’t be fooled.  We are facing an enemy from within our own borders. 

Words like “systemic” and “privilege” are used to describe racism in our country.  I’ve lived an active 66+ years on this land and I do not agree.  Yes, there is an element of racism in every nationality, race, ethnicity and color.  It isn’t something attributed to only one people.  Luckily it’s only infected a small percentage of the population.  Individuals want to drag us back into the past to describe what’s happening now.  Our past is our history, but it isn’t who we are today.  If you believe racism is embedded in the fabric of our society, then you either don’t interact with many people or you hang out with the same group all the time.  There may be a person in your group who sways your point of view.  Like all nations, the United States has endured good and bad events since it’s inception.  No place on this planet is exempt.

Our country was formed July 4, 1776, when members of the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence.  With this act, they declared their freedom from England.  This began years of struggle to achieve a dream and create the United States of America.  Our country has grown over the years.  It has endured hardships, wars, internal conflicts and social unrest.  We learn and grow from each event.  Race relations, women’s rights and social aspects of life have progressed in many ways over the last 100 years.  It’s sad the disunity of a few continue to drive us backward.  My profession provided close interaction with some extremist individuals and groups.  It’s sad knowing they exist and harbor such hate for other people.  Their ideals and agenda are scary, to say the least.  Our freedoms allow many things to exist, including evil.  Now more than ever, strong laws, backed by a powerful judicial system, are needed to deal with these law breakers.  Somewhere along our path we have lost that ability.  Now criminals are set free and continue to prey on innocent victims.  Subversive politics and personal agendas chip away at our foundation, as some put their own needs first.

We are a nation comprised of many races, nationalities and ethnicities from around the globe.  We are all humans.  This nation was forged from conflict to establish its independence and freedom.  We have fought many battles and wars to maintain that freedom.  The majority of people work hard to achieve their dreams.  There are a few who believe they deserve more. 

Some don’t work because the government gives them many things for free or close to it.  When a person is handed food, housing, health care, cell phones and cash, what’s the incentive to work? These individuals have been given a free pass for far too long.  Jobs need to be created, along with a better educational structure.  Knowledge and a career build a better more vibrant community.  

Now we have a new generation, who expect everything to be handed to them.  The students of dissident professors or teachers, brain washed into believing socialism is the answer are violently misguided.  Socialism, fascism, communism, or any other ideology, all lead to one end; oppression.  Factions of our political leadership have failed in building a strong nation.  They allow apathy and poverty to thrive.  What people need are jobs so they can work building their own successes.  When you’re handed things, you don’t have the opportunity to develop self-respect or dignity.  You must be a contributing member of society in order to have pride in what you do.  We’ve allowed poverty, drugs and lack of family values to thrive in our cities.  Yes, we have issues that need to be resolved.  We need leaders who aren’t afraid to take action.  True leaders build unity, trust and cooperation among all people.  Violence, destruction or socialism isn’t the answer.           

Do not be drawn into false or fictitious narratives about who we are today.  History is often used (like statistics) to sway people with prejudice and hate.  Extremists use these skewed inaccurate statements to fit their own bias or agenda.  They construct fabrications and spread lies to further their own cause.  People with power only want more power.  They are greedy individualistic manipulators.  These ultra-wealthy billionaires and old politicians want more control.  They will do anything to leverage an increase of their power and financial gain.  They manipulate news outlets and social media sources to spread hateful rhetoric and discontent.  Do not believe their despicable and repulsive garbage. 

Toppling our government or defunding of police departments is not the answer or solution to our issues.  Abolishing law enforcement is both ludicrous and dangerous.  Consider what this land would look like without the Thin Blue Line of defense.  The vast majority of our law enforcement professionals are amazing and hardworking individuals.  They put their lives on the line daily to protect the community and keep us safe.  Most people have no idea what this career entails, but are always quick to judge and evaluate every situation as if it’s a sporting event.   

Change and reform can be good for any institution.  Growth is an evolutionary process for individuals and businesses.  Education and knowledge bring improved hiring, training and tactics used by police.  Establishing national standards of hiring and training, so all police agencies maintain the same policies and procedures, would simplify this issue nationwide.  All agencies and officers would be held accountable to a single standard. 

Several key steps are necessary to better assist law enforcement in creating reform.  Begin by improving the selection process; including background investigations, mental evaluations and physical fitness qualification.  A complete and thorough assessment of candidates social, economic and personal history should be mandatory.  This process will assist to identify potential biased or unsuitable candidates.  This system should be integral parts to the selection, prior to hiring. 

Once candidates are hired, extensive and comprehensive academy training is required.  Trainees must maintain high standards and scores throughout the training.  Testing must ensure recruits understand all phases of training.  This should be accomplished via written, oral and scenario training and test situations.  Continual mental and physical evaluations should be mandatory throughout hiring, training and their career.  This would be a great start to effecting positive and relevant change.  

We live in an amazing country.  We have incredible freedoms that many people around the world only dream of attaining.  We (All of US) are not responsible for the actions of people that forged our history.  We are responsible for our actions here and now.  My parent’s families immigrated to the USA 100 years ago seeking a better life.  Many people still try to enter our nation because they believe it is a land of opportunity. We all want the same thing: freedom.  The United States of America isn’t perfect.  No country will ever enjoy that status.  Humans will always be humans.  The extremist groups crying for their rights don’t realize what they already have and enjoy.  They want to take our nation down a road that leads to socialism or something far worse.  Apparently they believe the ideology they’ve been sold will bring equal rights, leveling the distribution of wealth and status.  What they do not realize, if they achieve their goal; the chaos, disorder and restrictions of freedoms this will create.  A socialist way of government leads to only a single result.  Totalitarianism and total government control.  Only the rich will survive, the middle class will be eliminated and only poverty will exist.    

The youth of our nation are our future.  We cannot allow them to be led astray.  Better understanding is needed to stop and prevent future discontent.  We need to exam the sources of where they learned about extremism, fascism, socialism and hate for their own land.  Weren’t they taught the same values (respect, integrity, honesty) I was by my Dad?  Were there other individuals or outside sources instilling subversive doctrines and evil into their minds?   Extreme liberal agendas have filled our schools, colleges and universities.  Radical teachers and instructors around the globe are spreading the socialist / fascist agenda.  These people profess their own brand of anti-American trash to our children.  Our educational system is in need of reform, so our children can learn, without being indoctrinated.

North America has a unique history, as does the world and all countries on this planet.  When mankind was born and people first lived on this soil, the history of the world began to take shape.  Much has occurred over thousands of years.  Our world and society are no different.  I didn’t write our past history.  None of us were here when our history was created.  Groups like black lives matter and Antifa apparently believe they can erase the past by destroying things from our present.  The things they are destroying don’t control or dictate our present or future.  Many things, like statues, monuments, places, things and people, are reminders of our past history.  Some remind of the good, while others of bad events who were a part of it.  You cannot rewrite or change history by destroying, removing or re-writing it.  Painting graffiti, knocking down statues or defacing monuments won’t change anything or improve our future.  It only reveals what true morons we have living in this country.   You are ignorant if you believe attempting to remove history makes our nation better.  Knowledge is an amazing power.  It gives us the ability to learn, evolve and grow.  Destruction of knowledge and inhibiting the ability to learn is the device of a totalitarian society.

Our present situation can seem daunting, but with strong leadership we can bring our nation together.  The key ingredient that sets our nation apart from other countries on this planet, is our freedom.  We live in a free society.  We are governed by laws.  The order these rules create protect all people, allowing us to live together in peace.   When people no longer obey the laws, our free society crumbles.  I stand for freedom, equality and fair treatment of ALL people.  Now is the time for you to stand up, all of us united, for freedom.  Anarchists, law breakers and extremists cannot be allowed to continue their destructive behavior.  A democracy is all people working together to achieve a common goal.  If you don’t want to work or provide for yourself, or you dislike America, then please feel free to leave.  There are plenty of hard working individuals that would love the opportunity to live here.  That is the privilege this country offers.

Our country has made huge strides for freedom, equality and civil rights.  Life and history isn’t perfect.  We continue to grow and change each day.  Let’s be united, let freedom ring and wave your flag with honor.  Freedom is never free.  Let’s ensure we stand up, defend our country and all the great people within our nation.  God bless the United States of America.  

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!

A Domestic Tragedy

Sunday – June 28, 2020

Good morning friends.  I hope you are doing well.  It’s nice to see life sprouting once again.  The closure of businesses and lock down took a hard toll on so many.  The primary cause isn’t because of sickness from the coronavirus.  Being ordered to “stay at home” induced harm beyond an approximate 1% death rate from this pandemic.  We are all well aware of the economic devastation we continue to endure.  What we don’t see, and the media fails to report, are the significant physical and mental health issues associated with the isolation.  Seclusion, fear and anxiety create many unforeseen circumstances.  The situations which result, bring devastating consequences.  Healthy living is based on how we maintain our balance of physical, mental and spiritual health.  The continuity of each is important for all of us.  They are interconnected to bring harmony to our life.  Now, more than ever, we need to realign ourselves and our loved ones with good health.

I began writing my blog over seven-months ago.  My intention; to share information on health and wellness.  I spent over half my life in law enforcement.  This gives me a unique and interesting perspective.  A formal education, along with a life time and career packed with learning gives me new found insight.  This is my opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with you. 

I’m not a psychologist, doctor or extremist pushing an agenda.  I have witnessed an array of life and death events; only a few have the opportunity to experience.  I wouldn’t want anyone to experience many of the sad and heartbreaking situations I have seen.  The years of trauma take a toll mentally and physically.  It’s important for you to know that these tormenting situations exist.  They are part of our everyday world.  We need to understand this in order to assist and help others.

The lockdown and home confinement created catastrophic events.  The quarantine may have slowed the spread of a virus, but the fear and isolation created undue stress and anxiety for many.  Unemployment, financial hardship, food insecurity are a few other factors that contributed to an enormous spike in violence and suicide within homes and families.  I doubt this was anticipated or considered when the initial order was given.  Incidents of domestic abuse, violence and suicide continue to rise worldwide. 

When I became a police officer, I thought what many others think the daily duties would involve.  I dreamt of spending my days chasing bank robbers, car thieves and burglars.  Well that was far from true.  While I did have the opportunity to crush crime and arrest criminals, I (as many other law enforcement officers) spent much of my time responding to family dispute calls.  These incidents are now termed “domestic disputes” or “domestic violence” calls for service. 

I received quick on the job training; becoming a relationship advisor, counselor and referee.  I had no idea I’d be required to receive this education.  The end result was, solving domestic, relationship and often violence related issues.  When a crime occurred, it was my duty, as an officer, to arrest the aggressor or abuser.  Domestic situations can range from mental abuse, dominance, control, yelling and screaming, to physical abuse, aggressive and violent behavior.  There were many occasions that were violent beyond belief or repair.  All of these incidents are sad and trauma filled for all participants.  They are extremely dangerous situations for law enforcement officers to respond to and attempt to resolve.  They pose a significant threat for great bodily harm or death.  Officers must be extremely vigilant while responding and controlling these situations

Domestic violence isn’t just about couples arguing or men abusing women.  The scope and violence is much larger, wider and deeper.  Confrontations involve men and women abusing each other, their children, parents, families and friends.  During my career I witnessed men as more prolific perpetrators, but have dealt with women abusers too.  Each situation is unique, different, sad and dangerous.

Participants can display a variety of emotions, feelings or characteristics during the course of any incident.  They may be calm, depressed, silent, loud, argumentative, agitated, combative, violent or any combination of these and more.  Alcohol, drugs or other mental or physical stimulus may be present and a contributor in escalating the severity of the situation.  Women, children or family members; beaten, battered, tortured or murdered.  The reality slaps you in the face and breaks your heart.  People can be brutal, like savage animals.  Experts render opinions about factors that could cause such an incident by the perpetrator.  Maybe it’s due to mental or physical issues from their life.  I am no one to judge another.  When I witness the tortures a child or helpless person has endured, it causes me to wonder if these criminals have a soul or black hole in their heart.        

Suicide is the other heartbreaking reality I never thought I’d deal with, or with such great frequency.  The loss of friends is devastating.  You wonder what you missed or how you could have helped them.  I had the opportunity to render assistance to humans considering this fate.  It brought a feeling of gratitude when I could offer relief.  While I often never knew where their life took them, I was happy I had the chance to show alternatives and hope.  There were far too many other situations where my response was after the fact.  These were difficult and traumatic for multiple reasons.  It was sad to witness a life lost, that could have potentially been saved.  The trauma I experienced was real and brought the harsh reality of life into view.  Death notifications to family members; due to suicide, accidents or any means; was never easy and always sad.   

Our veterans, law enforcement and first responders continue to turn to suicide to relieve their internal pain and suffering.  We continue to lose far too many of these individuals during the course of their service, at home and abroad.  Why are we allowing them to suffer in anguish and take their own lives?  All of these brave men and women have given so much of themselves to protect US.  When are we, as a people and nation, going to stand up and take action to protect them? 

The loss of teen life seems to rise yearly, as society places increased social pressure on our kids.  We need to let our kids just be kids, instead of rushing them into adulthood at such an early age.  While wanting to grow up is a universal phenomenon, the speed at which this takes place is at an incredibly young age.  Society, social media and the fast pace of the world intensifies for our children each year.  Peer pressure, bulling, drug and alcohol use further compound and destroy our kids.  The closure of schools and doctor offices resulted in a drop of reporting of child abuse incidents.  Now at risk kids are isolated at home.  90% of abuse is perpetrated by a relative, with 4 out of 5 cases caused by a parent.  Children now become the target for frustration and anger.        

Hot lines have exploded with activity over the last couple of months.  Physical and mental abuse, domestic violence and suicide are the driving force.  The grim reality of “staying at home” has increased domestic violence and suicide dramatically.  The Crisis Text Line experienced a 40% increase in volume.  A New York Times article reported suicide and abuse cases are on the rise worldwide.  The percentages in the USA vary from city to city.  Some cities report a 30% increase in law enforcement calls for service.  Social isolation, anxiety and natural disasters are factors that increase anxiety and suicidal thoughts.  A doctor in Walnut Creek, California, reported he’s seen more death from suicide than from the pandemic.  The mental health crisis is real.   Experts believe the numbers will continue to rise over the next year.  Statistics from past major events provide insight into what is in store in the future.  The repercussions of events like this do not simply disappear.

Now civil unrest, demonstrations, riots, chaos, madness and anarchy is added to the situation.  These further cause additional anxiety and stress for the already traumatized individuals.  The uncertainty and lawlessness can manifest into violence or suicide.  The strain, mentally and physically, is often difficult for some to adjust to, deal with or process.  The trauma is real.  The negativity, continuing to circulate, can become toxic until it’s resolved. 

This is an important time to remain focused on your good health.  There isn’t much support from the outside right now.  Once you balance your own physical, mental and spiritual health, it becomes easier to maintain.  When you feel good, then you can concentrate on your family and friends.  Be sure to check in often with people who struggle.  Men often have difficulty asking for or seeking assistance.  I know this from my own experience.  Guys want to maintain that tough and strong persona, but are often in anguish.   We all know them and worry about them.  Like me, they may be hesitant to reach out when they need a helping hand.  Don’t be afraid to ask or offer.  Their life may depend on it.   There are many factors, variables and uncertainty during this time.  It is so easy for one of us to get lost along the way.  Keep all your avenues of communication open and available.  You never know when the time may present itself and action is required.   Be kind, gentle and always grateful.    

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!

Father’s Day

Sunday – June 21, 2020

Good morning friends!  Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads in the world!  Today is truly a special day.  We get to celebrate our amazing Dad!  Whether your father is with you, close by, across the country or no longer with us; be sure to express your love and admiration for him.  I am sure he will love knowing you’re honoring of him today.  Our father’s deserve praise and thanks, so don’t hesitate to reach out with all your heart felt love.

I know from experience (as a Dad) our role can be packed with fun, but it also carries much responsibility.  We must be guiding lights of information and integrity for our children.  As a father, it is our job to set the example that our kids will view and emulate.  Always strive to be the best possible version of yourself.  Talk with your family daily.  Be honest, open and always share your heart with them.  Let them know it’s okay to express and reveal their emotions, thoughts and feelings.  Allow them to set goals, live their dreams and discover their passions.  Keep them on a path of goodness.  Teach them about the universe, diversity and God (if you believe).  We have the ability to impact their lives in a positive way each day.  Give them the skills and ability to make our world wonderful.   Most of all, be there for them with love!

Father’s are truly unique and interesting individuals.  They are often the parent who allows that extra hour of play instead of homework.  They buy ice cream, take kids to the beach, teach them how to change a flat tire, or bring them to sporting events.  They enjoy singing along with their children’s favorite songs while driving and holding hands while walking.  Our kids bring us to the park to push them on the swing or spin them on the merry go round.  They want to be close to us.  We, in turn, need to keep our children safe, secure, happy and out of trouble.  A father should be a resource of greatness.  We give them strength to move forward and hugs when they are sad.  Dads have incredible power to share so much of ourselves and the world around us.  Be sure you take the time to teach your kids right from wrong, good from bad, to seek knowledge, truth and empower them to into adulthood.  We need this now more than ever.

My Dad passed away several years ago.  I had the pleasure of enjoying his company for many years.  Not a day goes by that I do not think about him or talk with him.  He was an incredible man and father.  He showed and taught me respect for all humans.  I have a mind full of great memories.  We shared amazing times together.  He worked hard Monday through Friday to provide for his family.  He often did various construction jobs on the side.  I was always excited when he’d ask if I wanted to join him on a Saturday morning.  I loved it and never hesitated to say, “Yes!”  There always seemed to be a variety of people working around the job site; different races, nationalities and colors working together.  It was like a cultural smorgasbord of people.  I learned at a very young age to respect all people.  He would always introduce me and I’d shake hands with each person.  Dad would say, “The world is filled with good people.  There are a few not so good ones out there too.  You’ll know who they are.”  He always treated everyone the same; with respect and dignity.  Everyone like him, as he was “just one of those guys.”  Those were amazing days.  I met some incredible and wonderful people.  They never seemed to be concerned with the past.  They were living in the present; all working for a brighter future.  There are some people today still caught in the past.  Why is that?  If you really want to progress, you need to move forward, not backward.      

As I grew, matured and had my own experiences with the world, I understood what he had been teaching me all those years.  It was easy to recognize there are many good people in this world.  As my knowledge and interactions increased, it became clearly evident there are some evil people mixed in too.  My career in law enforcement was no different.  I treated all people equally and fairly.  I gave dignity and respect, expecting the same in return.  I met good people in many communities.  Unfortunately, life isn’t always pretty.  The majority of my interactions were with people that may not have learned the same values of honesty and respect.  Not all encounters went smoothly.  Evil and misguided people do exist.  You don’t know what choices a person will make, but you must remain vigilant to the outcome.  Individuals on the fringe of society are few in number, yet they garner all the media attention.  The vast majority of people living in America want freedom, equality and peace.  The poor choices of a few continue to play a significant role in where their path take us all in life.  It’s time we shout louder than the few and make our voices heard.  Like our fathers, let’s choose wisely.  

Sad and crazy days continue.  Misrepresentations of the truth lead to more violence and hate.   Some media outlets maintain a steady dose of fear and hype. They revert back to the virus whenever there’s nothing else to fill their agenda.  A few dig up our countries past history as a way to stir more controversy and discontent.  A segment of our nation’s youth and young adults think society owns them something.  Some of these individuals believe they’re exempt from the law.  They (all races and colors) display a sense of entitlement never seen before in this land.  The majority work every day toward a better future.  The others want everything handed to them.  Some groups push to remove authority and laws.  The socialist or Marxist ideology they seek is not a savior, but a destructive force they don’t understand.  The solutions they’ve been fed in school or by others, is nothing but BS.  The agenda of these individuals is to destroy our nation.  This is anarchy, nothing more.  All of our fathers and grandfathers, those who served in World War II, or those serving our country now, must feel betrayed, beleaguered and devastated.       

Domestic terrorists, extremists on the left and right and other fanatics continue their rein of madness.  This is lawless mob rule.  Seattle, Portland and other cities are prime examples.  They are doing a good job of dismantling our society and country one brick at a time.  It’s absolutely astounding how many people are buying into this chaos.  It never ceases to amaze me how individuals from the entertainment industry, sports world or social media spout off silliness they pass off for authentic words of wisdom.  Then we have a myriad of elected political people tossing out opinions that are just as foolish.  All of these individuals make far too much money and do little to no worthwhile work.   Where are their competent solutions to our issues?  Where are our real leaders?  We must have someone out there willing to take a stand for America, our freedom and our citizens.  We, the people of the “silent majority” need to rise up, express our views, take action and regain our country.     

Dads, it’s time we step up and fill that leadership role for your children.  Kids need father’s in their lives.  Our guidance and support is crucial to their development.  This has nothing to do with race, nationality or the color of your skin.  It’s all about being the best possible father.  Be a role model for good.  There are times that means just being there for them with your love.  I was divorced when my daughter was seven.  That didn’t stop me from being there for her as much as possible, and more if she needed me.  I love being a Dad more than anything in this world.  I went to her school plays, teacher conferences and sports event.  I knew who her friends were and made a point to meet their parents too.  I helped her with homework, passed on the character traits my Dad passed to me and made sure we talked.   It’s an amazing and rewarding experience.  I share a uniquely special bond of love with her that is absolutely spectacular.

Our children need both parents in their lives, full time, so we can ensure they develop into outstanding adults.  Parents don’t be wrapped up in your own world.  Be there for your children.  Help them to learn, grow and mature.  They will be our future leaders, teachers and parents.  Do all you can to teach them respect, honesty and integrity in all they say and do.  Let’s ensure they have the necessary skills to make our world a wonderful place for us all to coexist in peace.     

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!

Flag Day

Sunday June 14, 2020

Good morning friends.  Happy Flag Day, June 14th!  The “stars and stripes” are the symbol of our countries freedom.  Our nation has imperfections.  No country or government is perfect.  The United States of America has the unique distinction of being “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”  Freedom is an incredible and magnificent standard only some countries achieve.  The rights we share have come at a tremendous cost in human lives.  Our brothers and sisters have sacrificed all to ensure our independent way of life.  There are some individuals and extremist groups, who live among us, that do not share our values or ideals.  These anarchists would rather create chaos, loot, burn and destroy our freedom.  Today we need to stand united, as a nation and people, to support each other and all lives.  Together under our flag, we can banish the oppressive, eliminate hatred and racism, so we can all live in peace.

What does our flag represent?  The original American flag represented the unity of the thirteen colonies.  It commemorated their freedom and independence from England.  On June14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution.  This designated the stars and stripes as our nations official flag.  The flag is made up of thirteen horizontal stripes, including seven red (top and bottom) and six white.  The thirteen stripes signify the original thirteen colonies.  Today, the blue canton (background) contains 50 stars.  Each star symbolizes a state in the union. 

The red, white and blue colors have their own meaning.  Red symbolizes valor.  This equals great courage in the face of danger.  It can signify standing for your ideals or especially for bravery in battle.  Valor doesn’t have to mean you’re courageous.  It represents the boldness of our country.  White stands for purity.  The pure nature under which our nation was formed has taken on a less than pristine look lately.  Equality and respect need to be re-established for all in order to prove our purity.  The blue canton behind the stars symbolizes vigilance and justice.  We have been a nation maintaining a careful watch for dangers that threaten our land.  We began as a just and fair country.  Now more than ever we need to ensure equal and fair rights for all.

The beauty of our country (represented by our flag) is our freedom.  We enjoy these rights under the protection of the laws provided by our Constitution.  Personal, religious and political freedom are amazing rights to share.  George Washington, and other colonists, wanted a better and free way of life for our country, then and now.  It is up to us, “We, the people,” to again make that a reality. 

There are countries around the globe that do not share the personal rights, civil liberties and freedom we often take for granted.  North Korea, China and Russia are among the largest, while there are other countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America, that are ruled by dictators or totalitarian governments.  In those countries there are no individual rights or freedoms.  These are authoritarian, communist or socialist politics at their finest.  Total oppression of the population is maintained through force and fear.  If you dare to share your own thoughts, ideas or oppressive government views, you are subjected to torture, imprisonment and often death.  This is no way for any human to live.  This is not how I want to live.   

From the dawn of civilian, many countries on this planet have experienced oppression.  World War II was fought to end the hate and racist regime of the Nazis.  Hitler brainwashed the population with lies, hate and deceit.  They murdered millions of Jews, Germans, Russians and others they deemed inferior.  The United States, along with our Allies, paid a significant price for ensuring the worlds freedom.  The lives sacrificed haven’t been in vain.  We need to ensure the legacy of freedom they provided does not deteriorate.  The anarchy we are experiencing right now is a coordinated effort to subvert our laws, government and free way of life.  I wake up grateful every day to be a citizen of the United States of America.  It’s time for you to wake up and see this activity for what it is; anarchy.  This has very little to do with racism and everything to do with destroying America for all people.  Don’t allow yourself to be brainwashed by the hate and deceit being wrought on our soil.

I fear young adults and teens do not know or understand enough of our American history.  We have made amazing strides for equality and freedom for all.  Our youth have no idea and have not witnessed the oppression and suffering in countries with socialist rule.  Our youth have been led to believe, by teachers, professors and organizations with radical political views, social change can only be achieved through revolution.  These left wing extremist views express the fundamentals of Antifa and black lives matter.  Our children are being recruited into “climate change” or other social organizations.  These groups guide them down the rabbit hole into their socialist ideology.  The ensuing indoctrination makes them believe a revolutionary agenda is the only way to effect change.   Extremists on the right are no better, wanting to topple our government by any means necessary.  We cannot allow these subversives to be the only voices heard.

My Dad served in the U.S. Army during World War II and Korea.  He landed at D-Day, traversed Europe, Battle of the Bulge and into Germany.  The defeat of the Nazi regime and their radical ideals was a heroic triumph for good.  My Dad was proud to be an American.  He loved our country.  He would be devastated to see Americans kneeling during our national anthem.  Some people say it is disrespectful to their cause when we do not support their kneeling.  I believe there are other avenues rich athletes can use to influence their fans.  Too many people see these individuals, as they do actors in the entertainment industry, as their hero’s.  Kneeling in front of the flag during our National Anthem is disrespectful to our nation, military and our citizens.     

Our freedoms are under attack.  We All (races, colors and genders) need to stand together to ensure equal rights for every person.  I do my best to maintain an open mind about people who kneel during our national anthem or in the presence of our flag.  I see this as a display of disrespect to our country.  I avidly support our Constitution and the freedoms it affords us.  The first amendment provides freedom of speech, including peaceful protests and voicing opinions.


I respect Drew Brees for expressing his opinion and taking a stand in support of our flag, National anthem and Nation.  How dare others, especially his fellow athletes, for chastising and bullying him for voicing his views.  Saying he is “insensitive” to their cause is absolute bull!  How dare they!  If you don’t show support and love for the country you are a citizen of, why are you here.  When Drew shared an apology (several), it makes you realize this country is in dire straits.  Did his opinion jeopardize something?  When did freedom and equality for all people become about bending to the demands of others.  The same applies to Terry Crews.  Why does speaking for equality for all people invoke a hate filled backlash and rebuke?  It shouldn’t!  The people responsible for these rebukes are shameful.  Where is their respect and love?  Freedom of speech (a First Amendment Constitutional Right) is not a one-way street, only given to a few.  The Constitution of the United States of America guarantees these freedoms and rights to ALL.  This right allows people to conduct peaceful protests, and even burn our flag, as a sign of discontent.  I do not condone the burning of our flag, or people kneeling during our countries National anthem, but it is their right under the law.  Because we have a Constitution and laws, these individuals are free to exercise their rights.  These rights do not allow extremists or any individual to commit crimes, loot, steal, burn businesses, commit acts of violence or insight anarchy.  These behaviors are not acceptable and should not be tolerated.  

Athletes and actors are paid millions of dollars to provide entertainment.  Why are they placed on pedestals and provided “star” status?  What makes them so special to be paid outrageous salaries?  What qualifies them to know anything more about our world than any of us?  They preach their own agenda and influence others by their “status.”  They sit protected in large gated mansions away from the chaos they generate.  Similar to others like them, it comes down to wealth and power.  Where are the individuals that stand for the equal and fair rights of all people?  They are walking among and next to us.  Why aren’t we listening to people who speak the truth?

One of the many things that make our country great, is the ability to have different opinions, yet still live together in peace and understanding.  We are a mixed variety of peoples, united under one flag, one country and the common goal of living in freedom. 

Yes, this country has serious political and racial issues we need to resolve.  The lazy or corrupt politicians keep spouting meaningless words, but never deliver any positive actions or change.  Many of these career office holders have never made an attempt for significant improvement or unity among our diverse peoples.  It’s easier to point fingers and blame others.  Why are these elected people continually voted back into office?  Don’t listen to their lies and false rhetoric.  These hypocrites and the wealthy keep building their rich and powerful lifestyles.  They continue to spread discontent and a division between us.  The poor and middle class are the people who suffer.  Nothing changes. 

Some protestors are screaming to “defund the police.” These leftist radicals want to eliminate the police, laws and all social structure. They have elected officials throughout our government, working diligently to destroy us from within. Looks what’s happening in Seattle, Minneapolis and other cities.  Without law and order our society, rights and freedoms will vanish.   There will no longer be freedom, only anarchy and oppression.  If you want to regress 200 years and live in a lawless land, why not simply move to another country? This is an extremist worldwide moment. It’s time to recognize this as much more than race issue. If we do not act to stop these groups, we may see dire days ahead.   Do not allow bullies to intimidate or sway you.  Stand tall together, all colors and all people.

We All deserve Respect.  If you are unable to give it, how do you expect to receive it in return.  If you say I’m a racist because I’m a cop, white or any other color, you need to look in the mirror.  Search your own soul for your biases and hate.  My Dad taught me at a very young age to respect all people.  Maybe some people never learned that valuable lesson.  It’s possible some may have received an opposite view.  My integrity and values have never changed or wavered.  All people are good until they show they are not.

We cannot allow extremists from the left or right, domestic terrorists, or foreign influencers spread their agenda of division, hate and discontent.  Their mission is to tear our government and country down by whatever means necessary.  Their direct action forum uses violence and fear to achieve their goal.  They wasted no time in seizing the moment, turning peaceful protests into violent assaults against law enforcement, innocent people, businesses, cities and our government.

If you advocate braking the law, violence, hate or anarchy; you do not belong in this country.  We need all people to stand together; all colors, races and nationalities, to ensure our freedom.  I look forward to our country and people healing.  We have endured hurt, pain and sadness from so many tragic events this year.  We need to put the hate of the past behind us and move forward from today.  If we keep living in the past, we can never move forward into our future.    

Over half of my life has been dedicated to public service.  My years of life and career have brought me into contact with diverse groups of people.  I have met and interacted with people from all races and walks of life.  The vast majority of these people are good, hard working and decent individuals.  I’ve had the opportunity to travel and visit wonderful foreign countries.  The people I’ve met from around the world are good, while many struggle with daily quality of life issues.  They all seek what we have; peace and freedom.  Each time I return home I thank God to be an American.  

We all share a common goal and belief; the right to be free and equal.  Our combined effort, along with ensuring our elected officials do what’s in our best interests, will achieve our desired goals.  Do not sit back, surrender, become helpless or feel paralyzed by the actions, misdirection and misinformation by politics, the news or social media.  I stand united and with respect for all to maintain equal rights and freedom for All people. 

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!

Our American History

June 7, 2020

Good morning my friends. Yesterday was the 76th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Thank you to the brave men who landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Their valor and perseverance would eventually bring an end to the Nazi rein of terror, hate and racist regime. We owe our thanks and a debt of gratitude to these American heroes and our Allies. They ensured our freedom and way of American life. They saved our world. Remember them always.

It’s been a difficult week for us all.  The death of George Floyd is tragic and sad.  I am sure justice will be served.  The violence, looting, destruction and killings that resulted are both disgusting and despicable.  We need to come together to achieve change to make our world better.  This can only be accomplished with peace.  I stand for freedom, justice and equal rights for ALL people.  I oppose racism and bigotry in any form or fashion, by any person, race, nationality or color.  Violence, criminal activity and anarchy are not a right or freedom of expression.  When I became a police officer, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and to protect and serve all people.  My oath included enforcing laws, maintaining order and keeping the peace.  Without laws our society would decay into chaos.  My morals and integrity have not changed or faltered.  I was taught respect for all people at an early age.  The color of my skin means I’m human, like every person on this planet.

People, it’s time to wake up!  It doesn’t matter what your race, color, nationality, religious belief, gender or political affiliation.  America, our way of life and freedom is under attack.  What matters most is what we, as a nation, do right now.  We are being manipulated and played into our own destruction.  We are pawns in a game controlled by rich and powerful sources.  It may have begun with the coronavirus and ensuing pandemic.  Was it a natural or manmade calamity?

Soon the lock down order was given.  Social distancing, wearing masks, anxiety and uncertainty followed.  Shock, sickness, devastation and death engulfed the planet.  Just weeks ago we began to immerge from our refuge.  Our future was beginning to improve.  Then, on Memorial Day, a tragic and terrible incident occurs.  It happens in broad daylight, on a busy Minneapolis street, while people film in disbelief.    

The killing of George Floyd happened right before our eyes.  As I watch the video, I ask myself, “why.”  Why would a police officer kneel on a handcuffed persons neck?  It’s obvious Chauvin knew he was being filmed.  He appears so nonchalant during the entire event.  The three officers close by seem unphased by the behavior.  They’re a politically correct poster; a White, Black, Hispanic and Asian. Their combined unacceptable behavior is like nothing I have ever witnessed.  I doubt it’s racism.  It’s an evil neglect of duty.  We learned of Chauvin’s complaint history and the fact both he and Floyd worked security at the same night club.  Did they know each other?  I can’t imagine why their paths wouldn’t have crossed before this encounter.  Does any or all of this appear odd to you?  Is something more sinister behind it all?

Civil unrest begins immediately, which is no surprise.  The media wastes no time in spreading the hate and injustice theme.  Any time law enforcement is involved with an injury or death of an African American, it sparks the cry of racism and police brutality.  I doubt I’ve ever seen this for any other in-custody death involving another race.  The protests begin in peace, but quickly ignite into the flames of violence.  People are urged to get out and protest.  Hold all of law enforcement accountable.  Factions from the far left and right jump in to spread their evil deeds.  This leads us into the mass civil unrest crisis that is consuming our country. 

The peaceful protests are easily hijacked.  Far left groups, like Antifa and black lives matter, quickly interject their own brand of direct action into the protests; with looting, burning, destruction and violence.  Far right groups, like white supremacists, do the exact same thing. Both extremist sides attempt to further their own destructive political agendas.  These groups advocate violence and the destruction of our free society.  The cry of racism, disbanding law enforcement and the collapse of our governmental system is their focal point.  Their political agenda is clear; the destruction of our society.  

So is racism and brutality against any individual race, nationality or people embedded into law enforcement?  My nearly 34-year career, knowledge and experience says, “It is not true!”  I would not have spent my lifetime doing a job filled with hateful people.  I urge you to do your own research of the facts regarding police use of force incidents and people of all races, creeds and colors.  During my life I have seen racism in many forms, from all races, nationalities, people and society.  The hiring of officers encompasses a host of hurdles to ensure integrity and honesty.  The true fact, officers are hired from the same society we all belong to and live in.  There are a few bad in every group that destroy the good efforts of the majority.  These evil individuals must be removed from positions of trust.       

Police work is a brutal business.  It’s not a pretty or delicate job.  It involves placing hands on people, who often do not want to comply or go to jail.  If everyone, especially criminals, were nice and allowed officers to arrest them, force wouldn’t be necessary.  We obviously don’t live in a perfect world.  There are bad people out there doing bad things every day.  There are racists from all lands mixed in our society and the world.  Sadly, there are some cops who share that ideology.  We are slowly finding them and weeding them out.  I pray we find them before more pain and suffering surrounds us all.     

A nationwide four-year study revealed law enforcement officers kill nearly 1,000 people yearly.  The vast majority of these situations involve armed and dangerous individuals.  Fatal shootings are rare when you consider the millions of daily encounters between police and people throughout the nation.  In 2019, 23% of those individuals who died were African American.  It is tragic when anyone dies, especially during police encounters.  Deaths of anyone shouldn’t be a necessary part of maintaining law and order.  Our society has criminals that use force to prey on others.  Protection of life sometimes involves deadly force.     

During the 2020 Memorial Day weekend, there were 10 African Americans killed by other blacks in shootings in Chicago.  The following weekend saw 82 people shot and 22 killed on Chicago streets.  I’m sure research will show similar incidence occurred in other cities.  Where is the outcry for these individuals?  Where is the outcry for this violence?  Be an independent thinker.  Sources for news and social media have their own agendas they are pushing.  Why is division and discontent part of their continual rhetoric?  Take a stand for your community and our nation.   

Is “systemic” racism real?  Is it just a phrase invented by the rich and powerful to further enhance their own political agenda, which is driven by the media.  I know racism does exist in our society.  It is a worldwide crisis and affects every nation.  It encompasses all races and nationalities.  I’m sure we have all experienced some form of racist behavior.  Obviously some groups experience it more than others.  Racism and the division between races and nationalities in the United States took shape at the end of the Civil War in 1865.  You aren’t born a racist.  It’s something you are taught by others. 

Here’s a quick lesson in American history.  Ulysses S. Grant was born in 1822 in Ohio.  He attended West Point Military Academy.  In 1848, he married Julia Dent.  The Dent family were land and slave owners in Missouri.  Grant did not share these ideals.  He believed all men should be equal and free.  In 1849 he purchased a slave from Julia’s brother.  Grant brought the man to the local court house and freed him.  Grant served in the US Army from 1839-1854.  He served with distinction during the Mexican American War.

Abraham Lincoln become president in March 1861.  The south had already begun its succession from the Union.  It was their intent to maintain their slaves and way of life.  The Civil War between the states began on April 12, 1861.  The confederate battery in Charleston, South Carolina, began the war by their artillery bombardment of Fort Sumter (located in Charleston Harbor).  The fort was held by Union soldiers until it’s fall.  Lincoln followed with his abolishment of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Grant re-enlisted and joined the military.  Lincoln sought out Grant after he distinguished himself during several key battles.  General Grant was the brilliant commander of the Union Army during the Civil War.  He shared the same views and visons of Lincoln; freedom for all men.  Lincoln had full confidence in Grant to defeat General Lee and the south.  Those goals were achieved on April 9, 1865, when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, Virginia.

On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a confederate spy, assassinated Lincoln.  His plan including killing the vice president, secretary of state and General Grant.  The assassination of Lincoln, ended his plans for emancipation, freedom and reconstruction of the south.  Andrew Johnson became president on April 15, 1865.  Johnson, a democrat, did not share Lincolns views or vision of freedom for all.  The southern states, along with wealthy people in the north were not happy with the outcome and freedoms allowed to freed slaves.  Former confederate soldiers formed the Ku Klux Klan.  It spread across the south bringing widespread hate, torment and death against blacks.  Johnson did nothing to stop this activity.  He served as president until 1869.  Johnson was defeated in a landslide presidential election by Ulysses S. Grant. 

President Grant followed in the vision of freedom for all men.  He added Article 15 to the United States Constitution.  It prohibited discrimination against any citizen for any reason.  He won voting rights for African American men.  Their voting power elected new black leaders from the south.   Grant also sent Union military troops to the south to seek out members of the KKK and bring them to swift justice. 

Some versions of history have been re-written slandering both Grant and Lincoln.  They attempted to paint a more elegant version of the Civil War and the plight of the south.  Some historians want you to believe the south simply wanted their own freedom and independence from the north.  The truth is, it was all about retaining their slaves and this brutal way of life. 

We, as Americans, should be happy men like Lincoln and Grant lived and shared a common vision and ideals for our country.  It’s sad Lincoln didn’t survive to further his dream.  Maybe things could have been different in our present day.  Segregation was ultimately suspended in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act.  We’ve continued to see the struggles of many since then.  It’s been on a long and hard road.  I am not responsible for the actions of those individuals.  We are each responsible for the here and now.  In order to build our unity, we need to respect each other.  Our children and grandchildren must be taught that respect and trust, so we can all grow as one people and nation.

We can’t change the history of our country.  We can only learn valuable lessons from that time period and move forward.  It took many years of suffering and heartache to end segregation.  Unfortunately, racism remains in the hearts of some people.  I have witnessed it in many forms from all nationalities, races and humans.  We are still fighting the same battles today that our countries ancestors fought years ago.  Why?  Now is our time to make a difference together.  It’s not about color or your political views.  This is all about humans existing and living together as one people.  Let’s each pledge to be the positive change we want to see.  It all begins with us as we heal together.

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 an

Choices

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Good morning my friends.  It should have been a happy final day of May 2020.  The circumstances and occurrences over the last several months make this less than a stellar day.  The tragic loss of life from the coronavirus continues, but is often beyond our control.  The sad and unnecessary deaths of two African American men is tragic and senseless.  These incidents leave me heartbroken for their families.

Ahmaud Arbery was killed while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood on February 23, 2020.  George Floyd died after being detained by police on a street in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. I’m sure you’re familiar, or heard about, both of these shocking deaths.  The circumstances in each case is different, but neither of these men deserved to die.  The killing of these men is both despicable and cowardly.  I grieve with their families and all people. 

When I began writing this blog I told myself to stay away from political, religious or controversial issues.  I wanted to write about health and wellness.  Now I see that our nation and people are falling ill for more reasons than a virus.  There are times in life I must speak up and let my voice be heard.  This is one of those times.  I believe it’s my duty, as a former officer and as a human living on this planet, to address both cases. 

My career in law enforcement spanned nearly 34 years.  During my life time, I’ve witnessed injustice of varying degrees, from many sources.  The cases were not limited to one group, culture, race or nationality.  It isn’t always about race, as much as it’s a socio-economic issue.   I know many officers who worked long and hard hours forging unblemished careers.  They did the honest and right thing daily, even during stressful and confrontational situations.   Unfortunately, there are a few people, in all walks of life, races and nationalities, that are less than honest, respectful or good.  These people cause trauma and heartbreak for us all.  

My career, training and experience in law enforcement taught me many things.  What it Never taught was kneeling on the neck of anyone.  My academy training, plus specialized crowd control training while in Metropolitan Division and SWAT, provided many skills to handle people and arrests.  I spent two years as the sergeant, assistant officer in charge of the tactics training unit for the LAPD.  Our tactics, training and policies were cutting edge.  Ongoing training and review occurred regularly to ensure officers knew how to handle nearly any field situation.  I fear these Minneapolis officers may have lacked sufficient tactical training, but also a severe lack of common sense and decency.  The video I viewed, taken during the restraint of George Floyd, is appalling and disgraceful.  No one dislikes bad cops more than the good cops, no one!  Unfortunately, like all professions and people, there are a few who do not belong and need to be weeded out.  That effort is an ongoing endeavor.    

I sympathize and grieve with the families of both George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.  I agree a serious injustice has occurred and action needs to be taken.  I pray our judicial system will take the appropriate action in both cases.  All involved individuals should be brought to justice in a court of law and verdicts rendered.  I do not agree with the lawless actions of some people and groups as a result of these deaths.  I share your distain for the actions of a few, but destruction of property, looting businesses, burning our cities and causing injury to others is not an answer, solution or lawful.  Our country isn’t perfect, but freedom is an amazing thing.  Think about it.  

Violence isn’t an answer.  It’s an excuse.  There have been great men of wisdom and vision since the beginning of mankind.  Socrates, Confucius, Siddhartha, Ben Franklin, Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr are a few of these individuals.  Take time to read about them.  They were men of peace, honor and professed nonviolence.  The “protests” I’m seeing, as a result, is a disgrace and dishonor to these men, the memories of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery and our culture.  Nothing good or positive ever came out of attempting to correct violence with more violence.  Some will say, “it’s the only way our message will be heard.”  I do not agree with that statement.  When has violence ever provided a worthy solution for something good to result?  This is just an opportunistic excuse to inflict harm and loot.  This should be about justice.  It is not about burning businesses and stealing what you feel you’re entitled too.  I do not condone criminal behavior as an expression of sorrow or protest.  I do not condone the flagrant unlawful actions of any person, especially a law enforcement officer.  Racism in any form, from any person, directed at any individual, shall not be tolerated.  

These are truly sad, uncertain and gut wrenching days.  What kind of a society are we living in?  Yes, we need to weed out and expel police officers who commit crimes.  We also need to do the same to anyone in our nation who breaks the law.  Whatever your social status or wealth, no one is exempt.  This includes doctors, lawyers, actors, athletes, workers, teachers, billionaires and politicians.  Everyone shall be treated equally and fairly by the same laws.  Money and power have no place or status when it comes to breaking the law or committing crimes.  

Racism and violence is a decades old problem.  It wasn’t caused or created by our president.  It has been allowed to thrive in our nation since its inception.  I grew up in Los Angeles.  I lived through the 1965 Watts riots.  I was an officer and experienced the LA Riots up close and personal in 1992.  Neither of these events, or others that have occurred around our country, have solved issues.  It appears nothing has changed.  Politicians, from many years past, failed to do their job as our elected officials.  Where are the changes or laws they promised? 

America is a great country.  Our political system is less than great by any means and flawed in other respects.  I’m not placing blame on our government.  I believe some elected officials do far more to harm and divide us, while doing far less to stimulate growth, harmony and peace.  The division and animosity between our political parties creates adversity, stimulates the rich and very little to help those in need.  Our government should be building our people up instead of placating them with handouts.  Education, skill building and jobs should be attainable for all people.  Welfare, food stamps and meaningless words only serve to further suppress people.  Knowledge and jobs are needed, especially now during this time of economic crisis.  Our political system party is in need of repair.  Helping people who truly require assistance goes unnoticed.  Our veterans, elderly and disabled are pushed to the side, while they deserve our thanks and gratitude.  We are in dire need of reform and action.  The continual rhetoric between parties is exhausting and getting US nowhere.

There are those who will make this an “us against them” or “police are racist” issue.  I hope you will see beyond words of discontent and hate.  We, people of all races, creeds, colors and nationalities, inhabit this planet.  We have been waging war on hatred for decades, yet still propagate the spread.   It’s time to wake up people.  We need elected leaders not there to collect large pay checks and the spoils of office, but who will actually serve us.  Our leadership should be making sweeping changes that enable the rights of all to prevail.  Our law enforcement needs effective tactical training to resolve critic situations, while protecting all people, as well as themselves.  There are still criminals among us.  They prey on everyone.  These individuals belong in jail, not wandering our streets searching for more victims.      

Support, drive and motivation needs to begin at home.  Families have to come together.  Discipline must be instilled in order to set the course for kids to grow, learn and develop into adults.  When there is no set direction or order within the family or home, how do we expect our children to succeed.  Parents need to set the vision for their family and future.  Anything is possible and attainable.  Hard work and perseverance reap the goals of those who dream.  We need our elected officials to take action.  Stop arguing and speaking meaningless words.  How many mass shootings have we seen where there is talk and never any action?  How many more people must be killed before political BS is put aside and laws enacted.  Don’t become a victim of the media hype or agenda of a few who only seek to divide us more.  Be your own person.  Make the critical decisions that will create a better life for yourself and our world.   

Wisdom and peace are not sought from violence.  Honor George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery with respect.  Together we can make our world a better place for all to live in peace and harmony.  

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!

Memorial Day What are you looking forward to?

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Good morning friends.  It’s another beautiful Sunday! I hope you are doing well, staying healthy and happy.  These are difficult times for us all.  It is up to each of you to do everything in your power to maintain a positive outlook.  Eat healthy food, exercise (move your body), stay active physically and mentally and get outside to enjoy nature.  Cherish these days and the people around you.  This weekend (tomorrow in particular) is a day of important remembrance.   

Tomorrow (Monday May 25th) our nation observes its Memorial Day commemoration.  It’s also known as Decoration Day.  This holiday has a sacred and solemn history and meaning.  It is the day we honor our war dead.  It is similar to Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand.  April 25th is their national day to commemorate those who served and died in all wars, conflicts and operations.  We owe so much to so many who made the supreme sacrifice for our freedom.

The circumstances surrounding today (and last couple of months) is cause for us to reflect more on the gratitude and thanks we should share.  This is not the time to put stock in the differences many are using to divide us and our great nation.  This isn’t just another three-day holiday weekend.  Please revere the day, its importance and all those lost.  Visit a National Cemetery and say thank you.  Let their headstones be a reminder of their sacrifice.  

The United States of America was founded on freedom.  Our independence began with the Revolutionary War in 1776.  It continued into the Civil War, where it is said that the tradition of decorating gravesites first occurred.  Abraham Lincoln dedicated the cemetery at Gettysburg in 1863 and memorialized the fallen soldiers.  After Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 the memorial tradition grew across the states.  Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) became an official Federal holiday to honor our war dead in 1971. 

Our military continues protecting us through World Wars, conflicts and operations worldwide.  Today we share the same rights and privileges our forefathers sought in their fight for independence.  Men and women of our military have paid the ultimate price to maintain our freedom.  The cost in human lives has been great indeed.  Since 1776 we have lost over one million soldiers who have died in combat.  Well over a million have died in military service (other than combat).  The deaths and suicides of our veterans continue daily.  Is this their thanks for protecting you and our nation?  I believe we need to do much more to thank these brave men and women.   What we do from this day on, sets the tone for our future. 

The new day brings with it opportunities and possibilities for each of us.  Every sunrise is filled with choices, paths to follow and the potential for growth.  This enlightenment may only require a single nod to share its success.  Often we are too busy with our own life to see these moments before they pass us by without any notice.  I hope you have utilized some quiet time over the last couple of months.  Self-reflection is a powerful and magical tool.  It’s an amazing process when you can calm your body and mind.  This simple effort creates inner peace and resolve.  It allows your mind an opportunity to relax and awaken with new ideas.  A refreshing boost of energy is often all you require to make awesome discoveries.  It can empower us in wonderful directions, help us overcome fear and set us on a new path.  Life can bring exciting adventures if we allow it.  What path do you want to follow?  What are you looking forward to now?  

The key element here is not to wait.  Life is moving forward each day.  Every moment you waste or not taking action, may mean a path has been passed by.  We are living in the here and now.  Don’t sit back.  Let’s make great use of this time to get started.  What are the dreams or passions you desire?  Now is the perfect opportunity to make a plan.  Write it down, share it with those close to you and get the wheels of reality turning. 

Goals, dreams and aspirations are visons that drive us beyond mere living and existence.  We all have them, but how often to you act on them?  We should be living them every day.  Our creativity should be unleashed at every opportunity.  Whatever you want to achieve in life is possible.  It all begins with that first step and building on that plan daily.  Dedication and discipline are required to put in the work to make dreams a reality. 

I thrive by setting new goals and making future plans.  It provides me with added motivation to achieve a certain outcome.  Short term and long term goals are both significant.  They bring focus on whatever is most important and desirable to you.  Structure them for self-improvement in health, fitness, business, personal or relationship life.  My girlfriend and I have been working on a six-week fitness and health goal.  The first four weeks flew by.  We enjoy pushing each other physically, plus it’s fun having a partner to share in the tasks and motivation.  We’ve made healthy food choices for years.  Now our focus is just a bit tighter.  We reassess every two weeks and are enjoying seeing the results.  Small steps lead to a healthier path.    

Writing, yoga, health and fitness are other passions that drive me forward.  My background, law enforcement career, training and life have provided great experience.  I have learned so much about myself and life along the way.  Being a dad has also brought new insight and wisdom.  Now, I can share that with my daughter, as well as others seeking inspiration and motivation.  I am blessed to have this opportunity and enjoy sharing my life with others.  If I assist one person in life, whether with a helping hand or kind word, then my life has meaning.  We all have our own perspective and experience we can share.  All you need to do is open your heart to the experience.   

Traveling and visiting new places is another passion.  I love to plan trips; long or short, local or international.  They are all exciting.  When you make a plan; whether it’s date night, a casual outing, a trip or vacation; you have created a glorious new goal.  The intention provides you with something to look forward to.  The thoughts create happiness and delight.  Planning begins with a discussion, research and selection of the destination.  The intensity builds when plans begin to unfold and solidify.  Making reservations for travel and ultimate destinations provide a vibrant rush of joy and exhilaration.  Whether you’re planning a trip across the country, painting a master piece, making music or saving humanity; this is the time to live that dream.  Don’t keep it buried or hidden.  Fear can often keep us from seeking out our dreams.  You are your only limitation!  It’s time to be your own measure of success.  Write your plan on paper, then get out there and get it going. 

Whatever your passion may be, take time to pursue and enjoy it.  If it’s something you love, don’t ever let anyone deter or convince otherwise.  I’m grateful to live in a nation, not ruled by a single ideology or dictator.  The United States is a nation where we are free to express ourselves.  We are allowed to live our dreams.  This isn’t about politics or what side of the fence you may be on.  It’s about people; all humans living on this planet.  Don’t listen to fools making it about politics or their ideology.  This is still “the land of the free and home of the brave.”

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’s my Opinion. Do you know yours?

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Good morning and happy Sunday, May 17, 2020.  It’s nice to see plants, flowers and trees blooming into spring time.  I’m happy our nation and world are beginning to rebound, slowly returning to life.  This is the time we need to nourish ourselves and everyone around us.  I will flourish into the future.  This revival isn’t just for me.  It’s for my daughter and all of our children.  It’s time to take a proactive step to rebuilding and growing.

My career in law enforcement taught me many things.  It broadened my thinking, increased my knowledge and built experience.  I learned to be a great investigator, among a variety of skills.  I became more of a skeptic.  I searched for facts that would ultimately lead me to the truth.  I was never one who pushed conspiracy theories.  I still don’t put much credence in them.  My thought process takes me outside the box and down every path.  When you collect pieces of evidence, the puzzle begins to come together.  This isn’t about politics or what party best represents you.  This is a world health and humanity issue.  I don’t care for people who lie or bend the truth to best suit their vision or agenda.  We are in a crisis!  It’s time to educate yourself so you can make informed decisions; that are not promoted by fear.  Use your wisdom and intellect to vet the fact from fiction.

How do you process information presented to you regarding topics of local, national or world importance?  Do you believe everything you read or hear?  Do you take the time to research topics and seek the truth?  Over the nine weeks I have been “locked down,” my curiosity grows stronger and increasingly restless each day.  When sources first began outlining the coronavirus situation, information seemed skewed from all sides.  Experts and media sources were providing a variety of opinions and input.  Topics ranged from where it came from, how it started, what it was and how it would impact the world.  Months later, there is still a lack of clarification on many points.  The current evidence indicates this virus began in Wuhan China.  Beyond that, there is still speculation, not only about where it began, but how and why.  Experts, researchers and scientists around the globe are working on these questions, but there are few true answers.

I completed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification twice.  My first certification was when I was a firefighter with the US Forest Service.  The second, while I was assigned to the Los Angeles Police Department, Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT).  The certification process for both, required months of classroom education, working a number of hours in Hospital Emergency Rooms and riding with paramedics responding to emergency calls for medical service.  During my career I had direct exposure to many hazardous diseases.  I know and understand the protocol for protection and prevention.  I do not consider myself a medical expert by any means.  What I do know, from my training and all my experience, including nearly 34 years in law enforcement, is the importance of following procedures, policies and the best practices for achieving specific results.  In this particular case, it involves the treatment of patients and saving lives.

It doesn’t take an expert to know how we build our immunities to viruses and disease.  This natural process is done through interaction with everyone and everything you come into contact with on this planet daily.  Our bodies build up resistance and immunity naturally to various diseases and viruses.  The interaction with bacteria is actually a good thing.  I’ve watched several informative interviews regarding this topic.   If we remain at home for months, wear a mask when we venture outside and continually disinfect ourselves and everything around us, our immune system will decline.   We have overcome past influenza and coronavirus outbreaks

During the imposed confinement I have expanded my search for knowledge and education on the coronavirus.  I want to understand why various forces are working hard, continuing to push an unknown agenda down my throat.  Mainstream media thrives on daily doses of statistics, uncertainty and fear.  They all seem to be saying the same things over and over.  So what is the truth and who do you believe?  Here in the USA, information is being expelled all day every day from many sources.  Knowing what is true, factual, exaggerations, fake or fabrications can be difficult.  The president, state governors, city mayors and even the news media have their selected “experts.”  The rhetoric spouted daily (especially by mainstream media) spin their reports that instill fear, increase panic and stress. 

The world has experienced illness and disease for thousands of years.  Mankind has survived plagues, pandemics and epidemics.  Cancers, AIDS/HIV, Ebola, Zika and other diseases persist to this day.  Yes, deaths occur, even though modern medical services are thriving.  The more we work to control nature, the more adverse reactions we receive.  Why is our nation ruining so many lives, and our economy, by reacting as it is?   This and the promotion of fear doesn’t make sense.

In 2002, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) began in China.  This viral respiratory illness is caused by coronavirus.  The reporting of cases was delayed several months, as the virus spread globally.  It had an estimated 9.6% fatality rate worldwide.  Two years after the outbreak it had all but disappeared. 

In September 2008, H1N1 (swine flu pandemic) began in the USA.  Deaths, confirmed by tests, were relatively low at 18,000.   The CDC estimates there were between 151,000 to 575,000 deaths globally.  The majority of deaths occurred where testing was not completed for various reasons.  A vaccine was developed and administered, with a 56% effective rate.  Accusations were raised that a false pandemic was created in order to profit from vaccinations worldwide.  The vaccine caused a number of serious side effects.  This virus continues to circulate today. 

According to the CDC, each year various influenza strains cause or contribute to the death of people around the world.  These totals are between 30,000 to 60,000 in the USA and nearly 600,000 globally.  The flu vaccine varies from 40%-60% effective.  COVID-19, based on World Health Organization research, has a fatality rate of between 1.3 to 3.4%.  Why is a vaccine touted so highly for COVID-19?  Why is a billionaire pushing for worldwide vaccinations?

Cancer deaths in the USA were over 600,000 in 2018, as per the National Cancer Institute.  New cases were estimated to be over 1.7 million.  Deaths worldwide were approximately 8 million.  Experts have been doing research for a cure for decades.  Now we’re expected to believe a coronavirus vaccine will be ready for humans in six months.  What’s wrong with this picture?

I question if we’ve received all the information or truth about this virus or pandemic.  Like many things out of our control, it is difficult to say if we will ever know the truth.  Information continues to be disseminated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This is our nation’s federal health protection agency.  The CDC recalculated the cause of death totals from coronavirus in the USA.  Apparently the only cause of death the last few months is the coronavirus.  Hospitals and doctor offices are closed to “elective” procedures.  I’m sure people are still experiencing life threating emergency medial situations; like heart attacks, strokes, cancer or a variety of other health issues.  All of those fatalities were being lumped together as coronavirus deaths.  The CDC reduced the virus death total by nearly half.  The numbers on the CDC website have been adjusted, but the news media continues to attribute all the deaths to the virus.  This is misleading and untrue.  Why would they continue to do that?  

The World Health Organization (WHO) has rendered its own view.  This is an international health organization, directed by the United Nations.  It is set up to respond and take the lead in global health crisis.  Their face mask protocol states to wear a covering if you’re caring for someone with the virus.   Other healthy individuals should not be required to wear masks.  The Surgeon General reaffirmed this week that healthy individuals should not wear masks.  I think it’s particularly interesting and somewhat comical seeing people driving alone in their cars wearing a face mask and gloves.  My intuition tells me these are actions based on fear.

The WHO accepts donations to enhance their worldwide mission.  It’s easy to research the top donors of this organization.  When you discover where the majority of funding is coming from, then their picture becomes more clear.  When certain individuals contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to an organization, hidden agendas begin to emerge.  You may be telling yourself that world leaders wouldn’t do anything harmful to their own people.  It may be time you rethink what you’re telling yourself.  There are evil people in the world, from all walks of life.  These people are driven by power and greed.  Control and dominance of the masses is what compels them.  This is stronger than any passion or truth. 

Many times during my career I was involved in critical incidents that garnered media attention.  I recall seeing TV reports and newspaper articles depicting these events that made me wonder if I was at the same situation.  Sensationalizing and fabrication for the sake of garnering headlines was rampant.  I think it’s almost comical how several networks are using similar terminology during the pandemic.  They like to say we’re reporting the truth, or this is where you’ll only find the truth.  This verbiage makes me suspicious, instead of believing them.

Is the lock down and stay at home order slowing the spread?  The order continues to destroy our economy and many families.  The closure of everything “non-essential” has sent unemployment soaring beyond 35 million.  It is crippling businesses large and small.  People are struggling to survive beyond belief.  We are told the reason behind this is to slow the advance or spread of the virus.  It will keep our health care system from being overwhelmed and reduce the amount of deaths.  Do we really believe we can control everything, including diseases?  Experts speak daily, but offer little true insight.  I’ve watched interviews and read articles from respected individuals, clearly experts in their field.  They provide information and understanding of the virus.  Their insight is enlightening to say the least.  Why isn’t their wisdom being broadcast to the world?  This is baffling.  Maybe it’s because their truth contradicts our so called “appointed experts.”  Maybe the ego of these individuals won’t allow themselves to be corrected, even it means more people will suffer or die. 

Advertisements for drugs flood commercials on TV, radio, the internet and social media.  The pharmaceutical industry pushes drugs for everything.  These industries have been researching diseases for decades.  Where are the cures?  Now we are being pushed toward a vaccine for the coronavirus, while researchers around the world are studying and learning about this virus.  Medicines require years of research and testing before being approved to be safe and effective for human use.  The years of testing and development root out potential serious side effects, including death.  All drugs have side effects.  Some are severe.  These policies and procedures are in place to protect everyone.  The intention is vaccinating the world.  Do you think this is safe?  Is there an underlying agenda for the haste? 

I’m not anti-medication or anti-vaccine.  Medication, used wisely with proper treatment, play a significant role in saving lives. Drug treatment for life long treatment tends to be a money making opportunity.  Vaccinating the world would be a multi-billion dollar profitable payday for those involved.  Is a vaccine the answer, or will this virus run its course and be gone?  We, the people, need to press our elected leaders to ensure their honesty and integrity. Billionaires, (or other power hungry individuals), seeking to control our freedoms, rights or destiny, should have no decision making power.  We, as Americans and humans, need to stand together for all humanity.   

Where do we put our trust?  I’d like to believe our leaders have our best interests are heart.  Decisions should be based on complete and accurate information.  Leaders make sweeping decisions that affect millions of people daily.  We are in such a rush to control this, that it’s killing us in many ways; economically, mentally and physically.  Do you blindly follow or examine the facts?  There is so much information being thrown out daily.  How do you know what is credible?  The unsettling issue is how some politicians play political games with our lives and future.  This should be a time of undivided unity to assist all people.  Don’t allow politics or fear to divide us.  

I want the America I love to thrive!  When did we decide it’s okay to put a mother in jail for trying to earn money by opening her store.  People are desperate to feed their families.  The need is real.  A judge kept her in jail because she refused to say she was “selfish” and “sorry.”  Then there are many sad situations at hospitals around the country.  Why are we letting people die without family by their side?  A women lost her grandmother and three uncles within a couple weeks.  Her sister is in the hospital as well.  The woman is a health care worker herself.  Another sad story is of a security guard, killed at a store for telling someone they couldn’t enter without a mask.  This is insane!  These incidents are occurring in many parts of our country. 

The desire for money and power wield enormous cravings in some people.  I’ve seen firsthand what a taste of power creates.  Individuals, once honest and forthright, become incredibly driven for the control and dominance of others.  I hope our own government and leaders (at all levels) wouldn’t throw us under the bus, but money and power have an incredible pull.  

Closing parks, hiking trails and beaches, when we need exercise and the healing power of nature most is ludicrous.  Arresting people for not “social distancing” is just sad.  Releasing criminals from jail to slow the spread in prison is another interesting strategy.  Some leadership decisions make me wonder who’s in control.  This is a time we need healthy food, exercise, air, nature and human interaction.    

I ask you to look at the facts, not what we’re being preached about daily.  Do your own research.  If you feel the need to wear a mask, social distance or stay at home, then please do that.  Please don’t blindly follow the masses.  You have the power to seek the truth.  All you need to do is open your heart.  Turn off the TV, get off social media and seek other sources of information.  There are sources out there if you expand your thought process.  Knowledge is power.  Turn off and put aside your fear.  It’s created as a measure of control, so we will think less freely and openly.  Educate yourself with facts, not fiction.  These are our lives.  We’re not toys that can be played with or manipulated.  The lives of our children and their children may hang in the balance.  Do the right thing.  We are (the entire world) all in this together.

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!

Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Good morning and Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms around the world!  I’m sure you all realize what an important and amazing role you have in the lives of your children and families.  You really are a one of a kind hero.  Thank you to you all, especially during our current situation.  A mother’s job is never done, no matter what the age of your children.  Enjoy this special day in your honor!  You definitely deserve the praise and recognition.

Let’s begin this special day with a little self-care and love, not only for our moms, but everyone joining us today.  We’ll start with aligning and relaxing our mind and body.  You can do this from a seated or standing position.  If you’re sitting, please ensure your butt and back are flush to the back of the chair.  If you’re standing, I want you nice and tall.  If you need help, stand with your back against a wall.  Your feet are positioned on the ground, hip width distance apart.

Begin with a nice straight flat spine.  Imagine you’re pulling a long string straight up your body through the crown of your head (similar to a marionette).  Your head is level and your gaze is forward.  Now I want you to relax your upper body.  Roll your shoulders back and then relax them down your back.  Your arms are hanging long and relaxed next to your sides.  For those standing, you’re now in Tadasana or Mountain pose.  If you’re seated, it’s what I’d call a relaxed Tadasana. 

In today’s age, we spend much of our time with our shoulders, head and neck hunched or bent forward.  This occurs from a variety daily activities; like driving, seated at a desk, on our cell phone or computer or watching television.   These simple movements can assist to straighten our spine, opens our chest and lifts our heads.  It brings our upper body back into natural alignment. 

Now I want you to close your eyes and relax.  Stay in this position for several minutes. 

Begin to slowly breath in and out of your nose with your mouth closed.  As you inhale, slowly count to four and hold your breath for a second.  Now release and exhale very slowly to the count of six.  Hold your breath again for a second before beginning your next inhale.  Maintain that straight posture, relax and continuing breathing for a couple of minutes.  As you continue your count, clear all the thoughts from your mind.  Allow your mind and body to relax.  My yoga master often told me, “When you find the gap between your thoughts, this is where you will find bliss.”  Take the time to pamper yourself as often as you wish.  The more you can find bliss, the better your life becomes.     

I am sending a very special thank you to my mom today.  I wish I could hug you, with you hugging me.  Those days are not possible now.  She has been confined to an Alzheimer’s care facility for over three years.  The disease continues to consume her daily.  It always made my heart jump with joy when she’d smile as I walked in the room to visit.  Now there is just a blank stare.  There are no more conversations, no interaction and no smiles.  This disease has robbed her; taking her mind, memory and ability to function or enjoy life.  Alzheimer’s and Dementia are horrible and debilitating diseases.  It’s a sad existence, to an eventual death.

Even if I wanted to hug my Mom today, I am “not allowed.”  The “virus” has closed off any possible contact with my mom.  It has eliminated all our contact with those we love; in hospitals, nursing homes or medical institutions.  How many mothers (and others) have left our world without having a loved one by their side.  This is absolutely crazy, sad and unnecessary.  I do not want to be dictated to about what is or is not safe for me or my family.  Next Sunday I will share my thoughts and insight into this worldwide situation.

My advice on this Mother’s Day, please take the time to thank your Mom.  Let her know how much you love her and how much she means to you.  Hug, cherish and never be afraid to tell or show her how you feel.  Moms are truly one of kind, incredible and special.  Do it now, because you never know when you won’t have that opportunity to do it again.  Staying at home or the virus threat shouldn’t be an excuse or stop you.  Call her, video chat or go visit…even if you have to be six feet apart.  Share you heart, love or maybe even some chocolate, flowers or TP.   Let your Mom know how special she is today and every day!

I know these are crazy and sad days, with the loss of moms along the way.  There are many others who have lost their mothers, family or friends too soon.  It’s always difficult to share your emotions or say I know what you’re feeling.  With the loss of my Dad, I know and understand the emotions and feelings you must be experiencing.  Cherish and value your memories and love.  I firmly believe our loved ones never leave us.  Their spirit and energy remain with us.  It’s up to you to open you heart and tell them you know they’re by your side.  I talk to my Dad every day.  Tell your Mom how much you love them and appreciate all they have done for you.  They’ll hear you.

So Moms, do your best to enjoy a fabulous day wherever you may be.  I am sending you all lots of love from my corner of the world.  Cheers!  As for you Dads, don’t despair, your day is coming soon.       

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!

Mental Fortitude vs Fear

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Good morning and happy first Sunday of the month! It’s crazy to think we are already into May!  Even with the pandemic and stay at home order, this year is flying by too quickly!  We’re already seven weeks into staying at home.  What’s one or two more weeks, right?  Make each day count.  Live life with hope and energy.  We’re on the road to recovery.  Do your best to maintain your motivation, discipline and mental fortitude.  Eat healthy, exercise, rest and enjoy nature.  My tip for the day; exercise doesn’t have to be conventional or organized.  Get up and move your body.  Take it one day at a time.  Keep those muscles strong and joints limber.  Get outside and enjoy some sun.  I know I’ll be out there!  Good health is a lifestyle.

I have been experiencing a wide range of thoughts and a variety of emotions over the last several weeks.  Many of us may share similar patterns or concerns.  I find it difficult to believe a person could not share in the ups and downs brought on by all this.  If you’re lucky enough not to feel the anxiety, my question is, “Are you living on planet earth right now?  What are you doing differently?”  Everyone around the globe is experiencing and living this together in real time.  The pandemic is inescapable.  It is just so crazy how the entire scenario continues to run its course.  The consequences of the virus, quarantine and economic fiasco are unbelievable.  There are times comprehending all of this is difficult, but then again, it’s not so difficult at all.  Our world is an immense sphere with billions of people living on it.  The virus has made the earth feel relatively small in comparison right now.  We truly are, all in this together.

The situation in the USA really began for many of us in mid-March.  It started with the initial call to “stay at home.”  I said, “This should be pretty easy.  What’s a couple weeks at home.”  Little did I realize the drastic turn of events the coronavirus would create.  The virus is taking us down a road never travelled in our time.  Strange, interesting, difficult and sad times for so many.   The disease and sequestering has brought new challenges physically, mentally and spiritually.

I have been mentally strong for many years.  My transformation began in high school running on the cross country team.  I learned about endurance and mental toughness.  I realized my body could physically last much longer than my mind was telling me.  After graduating from college I worked as a firefighter on a Hot Shot crew for the US Forest Service.  My initial fire season pushed me far beyond what I ever imagined my physical body and mental fortitude could withstand.  I learned I could push my body much further than imagined.  During my second season as a Hot Shot, I was given the task as a sawyer.  A sawyer operates a chain saw.  We had two sawyers, each with a brush puller, leading the crew at the front.  It was challenging and arduous work to say the least.  I became so much stronger, mentally and physically. 

It became easy to recognize when my mind would want to shut me down.  When my body began to experience fatigue, my mind would say stop.  Learning it’s possible to push beyond is an amazing educational process.  Realizing what my mind and body can withstand, pushing myself to the limits, was incredible.  It is quite amazing what you can accomplish when you control your will and mental capacity.  I was able to work past the fatigue and pain.  I could block those sensations, continue to push forward and work harder and longer.  This mindset ability became a truly valuable tool during the police academy and my career in law enforcement. 

Similarly, fear can become an overpowering demon if we surrender.  It can appear like an ominous force.  If you do not confront your fear, it has the ability to paralyze or render you helpless.  We all feel or experience fear in our lives.  It’s a natural human response.  The question to ask yourself; do you allow it to consume you or do you have the ability to control those feelings when initiated.  Whenever or however fear presents itself, your best defense is in understanding it.  The better we understand ourselves and the world around us, the easier it is to conquer the unknown.  Remember, knowledge is power.  It gives us the ability to rule over fear.  It’s also about finding the truth; over lies, misinformation or fake news.

To win in your battle over fear, consider the origin, source or basis of the fear.  How or why is it being perpetuated.  Is it real or perceived?  Is it something you can control?  Often times, fear is based on what we do not know.  If there is a threat, we react based on our control of that fear.  We evaluate the situation and logically make a decision.  If the threat is immediate, our decision making time speeds up.  The coronavirus is an unknown.  Even our scientists and experts are still learning about it.   Do your own research from trusted sources.  Make informed and intelligent decisions based on the truth, rather than fear.  

I have to admit, even being mentally strong, I find it increasingly difficult to watch network or mainstream news programs.  No matter where I turn; television, internet or social media, it’s all about the coronavirus.  Watching this day after day makes my head spin.  The local and national news outlets seem to rehash much of the same daily or weekly events.  They spout statistical data and opinions but don’t necessarily provide anything new.  It is amazing how many of the news outlets use the same verbiage in their broadcasts.  The only difference between media sources is their agenda or political slant they place on the story.  It would be wonderful to hear what’s happening here and in the rest of the world without all the clutter.  I’m sure there must be other things happening beside the pandemic.  It becomes frustrating when you’re just seeking the truth.

In my search for global news, I’ve tuned to public stations sharing international news.  Many countries initiated lock downs and social distancing protocols, similar to the USA.  There are other countries that have followed different approaches to limiting the virus outbreak and spread.  I find this information very intriguing.  The vast majority of information still revolves around the virus and the “new normal.”  The encouraging stories are outweighed by spouting more fear.  This tactic only serves to create more stress and anxiety.  I no longer wish to be bombarded by the agony the virus brings or feel powerless by staying at home.

Now I limit my news sources and amount of intake.  I go outside as much as possible; walk, run, exercise or just enjoy some sunshine and nature.  Remember, good physical and mental health are key ingredients to better living.  I know this is a disease similar to others.  In maintaining a strong immune system, I am confident in my health.  This is all part of our world.  We can’t control everything.  The virus will run its course.  I will continue to focus on what I can control and live my life.       

Having a better knowledge and understanding of what is happening around the world encourages hope.  I know this virus has and will continue to affect many across the globe.  By maintaining my personal health and assisting those close to me, I know I increase my physical and mental outlook.  Countries like Denmark and Sweden are already moving forward beyond the virus.  I embrace the fact that certain procedures should be maintained to protect those most vulnerable.  I also recognize the importance of getting our economy up and running very soon.  The economic devastation caused by the quarantine and “stay at home” order is wreaking havoc across the nation and world.  So many businesses and people are floundering to stay safe and secure; economically, physically and mentally.      

It’s nice to see our country, as well as other nations, beginning to rebound.  Don’t give in to the “fear.”  Be selective in where you seek your news and information.  Please choose wisely.  Limit your amount of time spent on social media or news outlets regarding the virus.  Do your upmost to maintain your health; physically, mentally and spiritually. 

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!