Honoring 9-11

September 12, 2021

Good morning friends.  Twenty years have passed since the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.  On September 11, 2001, at 0845am (eastern time), our world was shocked and horrified by the events that occurred that day.  Thousands of innocent people perished, as a result of these cowardly and criminal acts.  Many were injured and others died, from various causes, years later.  The attack on our nation triggered a war against terrorism.  That battle continues to rage today.  On this blessed Sunday, I want to honor all the victims and individuals affected by these tragic events.  So many families were torn apart by the sadness of one single day.  We continue to feel a variety of emotions and effects of that catastrophic day.  These past twenty years has done little to sooth our souls.  The devastation, death and sorrow continue to fill our hearts, as well as the hearts of many individuals around our globe.  Whatever this day means or conjurors in your memory, be sure to talk about it with those that have no recollection or knowledge of this day.  Remind them that we don’t want this to occur anywhere on our planet ever again.  History allow us to remember, so it won’t be repeated.

The victims are from various cultures, races, nationalities, ethnicities and professions.  On this fateful September morning, they would be forever united by; four jet airliners, world renowned twin towers, our military headquarters, an empty field and America.  These hallowed grounds became battle zones on American soil.  Many first responders (police, law enforcement, fire, medical personnel and even bystanders) who rushed to the aid of the injured, perished that sad day.  Terrorists (Al-Qaeda Jihadists), committed this horrendous act directed at our nation.  The evil actions that occurred that day, incited a lingering twenty-year battle; which continues to boil and is not yet resolved.  Recent actions have created a renewed evil in this volatile region of our world.  It’s sad and disturbing knowing more death, destruction and sadness will be the result from the continued madness.

I will never forget the events of September 11, 2001.  I, like many of you, remember exactly where I was and what I was doing at the moment of the attack.  These memories, and the sadness I feel, are forever etched into my memory.  At 6am (pacific time), I stood in a classroom at the Davis Training Facility, in Granada Hills California.  Use of Deadly Force was the topic for the early morning class of LAPD recruit police officers.  I was a sergeant, assigned to the Tactics Training Unit, and primary instructor for the class.  Just after the first plane was flown into the North Tower, an officer knocked on the classroom door to alert me to the news.  I turned on the classroom TV monitor.  We were all stunned by the images, as we watched together in silence.  We witnessed in horror as the second airliner hit the South Tower.  The attack on the Pentagon, in Washington DC (at 0945), occurred an hour after the North Tower was hit.  Less than fifteen minutes after the attack in our nation’s capital, the collapse of the South Tower occurred.  At 1010am, another hijacked jetliner, crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, after passengers and hijackers fought for control of the aircraft.  At 1030am the North Tower collapsed.  It was a devastating, tragic and sorrow filled day.  Sadness turned to hate and disgust of people I knew little about.  Today we mourn again, for all the lives lost.  We must always preserve the memory of this incident and the individuals taken suddenly and tragically.  The world has suffered greatly, from the loss of life and ensuing conflict to fight terrorism.   

The actions of that day radically changed the rules and policies of travel and airline flights worldwide.  Safety and security systems were implemented to reduce, and hopefully illuminate, these scenarios.  Please don’t be complacent or uninformed.  Knowledge is power.  All Americans, as well as people across this planet, need to be aware of this critical situation.  Don’t be self-indulgent, as to shrug off the reality of the world.  Our world, is and has been a violent place since mankind evolved into the dominate species.  We all want to live in peace and harmony; or at least the majority of us do.  Life isn’t about what kind of car you drive.  It isn’t about the home you live in or how many toys or possessions you accumulate.  When I visit other countries, it’s easy to see, life doesn’t revolve around possessions.  This fallacy was created by companies and businesses to get people to buy more stuff, so they make more money.  Products are advertised, like a competition, to buy, spend money and accumulate things to create happiness.  The problem is, you won’t achieve happiness from buying more items.  Possessions may bring some enjoyment or satisfaction, but this isn’t where happiness comes from.  Happiness is an internal feeling within each of us, that we ourselves control.  I’ve witnessed this phenomenon in many nations, where people are grateful and happy with much less than even our poorest Americans.

While I mourn and honor all those who were killed or injured that day, I don’t live in the past. It serves no purpose to languish in pity or self-despair.  I live in the present, learning from past mistakes, so I can build a brighter future.  I can’t change what occurred, but I can educate the world, vowing never to let these dark events repeat themselves on our planet.  Like with all world history (older than myself), I wasn’t alive to be a part of it or the events that occurred decades ago.  If you constantly live in the past, then your actions are part the problem.  If you dislike the present, then change your attitude.  When you change your thoughts, you can change the world.  What happened hundreds of years ago has nothing specifically to do with me (or you) today.  I didn’t cause it, wasn’t here and can’t be held responsible.  The knowledge I garner from history, especially if hatred or inequality is concerned, helps me to build a brighter future. Attempts to alter or eliminate history; by removing it from books, changing how its taught or tearing down its monuments and writings, is ludicrous.   

Today, I honor the thousands who perished on 9-11, and beyond.  The ensuing twenty years of conflict and war that followed; killed, injured and displaced millions.  Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Yemen and Pakistan were some of the battlefields to fight terror.  Over 800,000 people died from the direct cost of war violence during the past twenty years.  Thousands of American service members, civilian contractors and Allied forces have died in these war zones.  An estimated 350,000 civilians have been killed in the fighting.  The fear, hatred and distrust remain ever present in our land today.  These tools for manipulation and control are used as political or media implements to spread anxiety, discourse and division across our nation.  What happened to the days when mutual respect and understanding existed among all individuals?  In years past our differences were discussed and resolutions created.  Today we stand as a divided nation, with seemingly no middle ground.  It’s easy to understand why we live in fear.  Politicians, social media and news outlets use fear daily to influence how we live, what we do and how we think.  Don’t be part of a population of people who believe all you hear and see; spouted by individuals who want to control your life.  Wake up America.  It’s time you educate yourself with the truth.  Don’t believe the lies or fall victim to fear.  Seek the truth through reliable and trusted sources.  I doubt will it come from local news outlets, social media or agenda motivated politicians.  The more you know, the better you will be at making informed and honest decisions.      

Please take a moment to honor all the victims and heroes who lost their lives in the name of freedom.  In many respects, we are all “victims” of the 9-11 tragedy.  This includes the ensuing last twenty years of violence and war.  The last two years have been particularly difficult for the entire world.  Fear, hatred, manipulation, control; and often populations being held hostage by their own governments, have been the theme.  Together, we must remain strong and vigilant to deter the evil that persists in the world.  Never stop questioning our leaders or demanding they do what’s in the best interest of our nation and the world.  We must demand them to be better.  Be the positive change you want to see in our world.  Be kind and caring to others, as we often don’t know what pain they may be experiencing in life.  Reach and work to achieve your dreams daily.  Discipline, integrity and hard work always pay off.  I know, because those character traits are integral parts of my life.  Be happy with yourself and life will be happy with you.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.  Never forget.

September is suicide prevention month.  Veterans, military, law enforcement, first responders and many other front line workers feel the anxiety and pressures of life.  Stress, sorrow, doubt and many others emotions, can become heavy burdens in daily interactions.  Let people know you care.  One simple act of kindness can brighten a person’s day more than you realize.  One smile can start a friendship.  One word can end a fight.  One look can save a life.  One person can change the world.  Be there for them, with a smile and open door. 

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!

Labor Day

September 5, 2021

Good morning friends.  Happy Labor Day weekend and the first Sunday of September!  I hope you enjoy a blessed and beautiful day.  The Labor Day Holiday was instituted to celebrate the achievements of American workers.  It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century to thank our work force.  It became a federal holiday in 1894.  It was later moved to the first Monday in September, to become a three-day weekend.  There are typically five, three-day weekend holidays, spread across each year.  These holidays were developed and instituted to allow working parents time to share extended days off together with their families.  They have long served their purpose and have been enjoyed by many.  I’m not sure the same family values and traditions exist in today’s age.  For many people, instead of spending quality time together as a family, it’s become an obsession of individual pursuits and electronic devices.  Family units have been replaced with various types of entertainment, pacification or numerous other appeasements.  It’s a sad commentary to our society and fast paced lives (obviously speaking from a California perspective).

Holiday weekends are typically the best days off!  Everyone loves an extended three-day weekend with no work.  Oh wait, maybe not everyone has the day or weekend off.  There are many workers who don’t have the opportunity to enjoy these fun holidays.  Our military, police, fire, hospital and care facilities; and basically, all essential services personnel, are working 24/7.  These workers can include grocery stores, gas stations, utility workers, hotels, restaurants and other service providers.  During the first 20 years of my career, I rarely enjoyed a holiday or extended weekend off.  As a young officer, I worked many holidays and weekends.  This held true until much later in my career.  I worked all field assignments during that time.  That meant I was working out and about in the streets of Los Angeles.  I spent the next five years assigned to Training Division, giving me the opportunity to work mostly Monday through Friday, like a normal person.  My first two years were as the Assistant Officer in Charge of the Tactics Training Unit.  The next three years, as the Officer in Charge of the Firearms Training Unit.  In January 2005, I promoted to Lieutenant and returned to field duty.  Change and trauma were a constant back in the streets of LA.  Those events never shook my dedication to duty or service to the community.

How would you feel if everyone just decided not to go to work?  Life would be chaotic at best.  I have no doubt panic and disorder would ensue.  It’s not a pretty picture.  Luckily, we live in a great land, where most people share the responsibility of work.  There are some people living in our nation, who decided they’d rather do nothing.  These individuals believe the government should care for them; via welfare, food stamps, unemployment pay or free college educations.  That equates to the people working and paying taxes, are paying for everyone and everything.  We do have individuals who legitimately require our care, but they seem to get trampled in the shuffle.  Unfortunately, our current political leaders believe handing out “free money” is the solution.  These “leaders” are more interested in retaining their power and high paying jobs, than helping others.  While they give away the money of hard-working Americans, they continue to increase their wealth and political power base.   None of this is in the best interest of our nation, nor all Americans.

A friend and I were discussing the ills of our land, when she asked me my opinion on the homeless issue.  My initial thought focused on how our nation has allowed this dilemma to propagate and grow worse each year.  When I became an officer in 1980, there always seemed to be homeless living in the “skid row” area of downtown LA.  When California emptied its mental health institutions, the problem developed into a crisis.  I doubt anyone in leadership has ever wanted to tackle this critical issue.  They continue to throw more tax payer dollars at it with aid, programs or policies that do nothing to solve or change it.  Law enforcement was left to police it, when it has never been a law enforcement issue.  Politicians and lawyers used it to push their own agendas, while solving nothing.  They protect the rights of homeless, while trampling on the rights of every hard working American affected by this crisis.  Our nation is slowly transforming into a “3rd world country.”  Business and manufacturing companies continue to be moved to other countries.  Our nation (and its leaders) need to bring industry back to our nation; creating jobs and a new labor work force.  Maybe a “Depression era” modern day Conservation Corps would boost life into this land.  America needs something to get people off the streets, back to work, into homes and become productive members of society.  We cannot exist in this politically correct mentality, where everything is free.  Everyone needs to contribute, or we will continue to sink.      

This past week has been an especially difficult time for many.  Storms, fires and a botched military withdrawal created additional sadness.  Please keep these victims, families and our military personnel in your thoughts and prayers.  Our brave soldiers protect our borders.  Our law enforcement officers protect our communities.  Combined, they all keep US safe.  Now, more than ever, all people (of our nation and the world), need to unify in our fight for freedom.  We are stronger together, when we stand in support of one another.  Don’t allow the negative or hateful words of a few divide us.  Our nation was built on unity and trust.  We need that now more than ever.  Division, manipulation, propaganda and fear are instruments used by those attempting to control the population.  Remember, fear, negativity and limitations are fabrications of the mind.  If we allow these thoughts to creep into our brain and persist, they have the ability to paralyze and consume us.  We must use our strength and mental fortitude to control our thoughts, actions and deeds.  Seek knowledge and the truth.  That is where our power and strength are born.  Each of us possess the character traits to use our mind and thoughts the way we wish.   It doesn’t take a special talent or some obscure tool to accomplish this feat.  It only requires each of us to make the conscience decision to know what we want; including honesty and fair treatment from all those who hold decision making power.

I have no doubt there will be people flowing through this Labor Day weekend, unaware or unconcerned with current events, or with the direction our nation is headed.  Yes, I wish I could be filled with joy today, but that’s not possible.  I’m happy and grateful every day to be alive and for the many blessings in my life.  Those feelings of joy are overshadowed by death and evil in our world.  The recent events in Afghanistan are sad and tragic.  The loss of life is unacceptable and the lack of leadership disgusting.  Abandoning millions of dollars’ worth of “war” equipment is reprehensible and insane.  By allowing this to happen, we have outfitted an evil army with a modern day arsenal.  This really is a sorrowful time in our world history.  America is in serious need of a political overhaul and reality check.  Our seemingly clueless leaders are guiding us down a path to disaster.  Where are the representatives we’ve elected to maintain a strong nation, rather than manipulate and control its population?   If appears if you show any sign of logical thinking or seeking accountability, you’re immediately tossed aside like a “Judas” or traitor.  We are facing serious issues, yet it’s business as usual for our asleep at the wheel political dictatorship.  Many of these individuals are old career politicians.  They haven’t presented a viable idea or logical solution to improve our nation in decades.   

The hurricane in the east and fires in the west, presented our leaders, and the media, an escape route.  They redirected the focus of attention from this military blunder, to the weather, floods and fires.  Where is the accountability for their actions??  Where are the voices of reason and justice for all?  Where are leaders who will stand up to this insanity.  Where are journalists who see what’s happening, yet turn a blind eye.  These are atrocities that need to be recognized and shouted out to the world.  Stop sitting on your hands, with your mouth closed, afraid of what others may say.  Get out of that caged in political box and start thinking for yourself.  This is a time we need, and should demand, honesty and integrity from our leaders.  Today, we need powerful leaders with innovative ideas and solutions for the many critical issues facing our nation and the world.  What we no longer need are political dinosaurs with worn out ideas, doctrines and policies that only fill the pockets of the rich.  Governments (and their leaders) should protect their nation and the rights and freedoms of their people.  It shouldn’t run their lives or make personal health decisions for them.  I want our nation, and the planet, to be a better place for all to live in a free peaceful society.  I want to experience love again; watch my daughter, family and friends thrive in happiness, joy and love.  This is possible, if we believe and stand together, unified as one voice.  Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker.  Let’s get our nation, and all our people, back to work.       

This coming Saturday, September 11, 2021, we commemorate and honor the twentieth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center.  Thousands of innocent people lost their lives in this cowardly and heinous act of violence.  Please take time to remember and honor all those who perished that day, and after.  Educate your children, so they know what evil lurks in our world.  Today, we face another evil and continue to see more violence perpetrated by similar thinking individuals in Afghanistan.   The Taliban are a deadly and evil menace to our entire planet.  I pray for peace, or swift and decisive action to quell their rampage of brutality.  We live in turbulent times my friends.  We, in America, and other free lands across this planet, share amazing and happy lives.  This is the time we need to unite against tyranny and injustice.  If we do not stand up for freedom, decency and individual rights; we too may see our rights erode and be slowly taken from us.  Reach and work for your dreams daily.  Put in the effort to turn your passions into reality.  I possess the ability to make each day happy, while working to achieve what I want for my future.  Believe in your power.  Our energy is real, within each of us. A little self-confidence and positive thinking go a long way.  Be grateful, kind and show respect to all living things.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

On a lighter and happy note, I want to wish my brother in law and a special second cousin a very Happy and Joyful birthday today.  They are both fabulous individuals and deserve all the best life has to offer!  Enjoy your day and remember you’re both in my thoughts and heart!

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!

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

What now

August 29, 2021

Good morning friends.  Please keep our soldiers (and others), murdered in Afghanistan, and their families, in your thoughts and prayers.  These individuals are the real heroes of this nation; not sports athletes, Hollywood celebrities or political figures.  We, America, owe these brave men and women our respect and debt of gratitude.  They serve for below standard wages, inadequate health care and brutal conditions, while protecting us and our country every day.  These are truly sad and tragic times; and an incident that could have been prevented.  Unfortunately, our current leadership hasn’t the skill, knowledge or experience to be making complex decisions of this gravity.  Lives are at stake and the security of our nation in is peril.  Sad times for us all.  I hope and pray we will prevail in this fight against evil.

I hope you are all doing well.  Here we are again, already in the last several days of August.  It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time continues to fly.  I hope you’re taking time to enjoy the adventure of life.  Make time to get outside and relish in the abundance and power of nature.  The energy and magnificence of our earth is astounding and beneficial.  It’s important for me to bask in its splendor.  I’ve been on the road again, searching for my new home.  I never expected to be in the position of starting my life over, but here I am.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just different.  I feel a bit in limbo, without a home of my own.  I’m not fearful, disappointed or hurt.  I’m a little numb at times, but always grateful for all I have.  I know the world will keep turning (or at least hope it does a while longer), as I still have lots I want to do, accomplish and enjoy.  I keep pushing forward every day.  Positivity, patience and determination are my super powers.  I enjoy each new sunrise and the magic they hold.  I’m excited for every opportunity that comes my way.  I continue to reach for my dreams and live my passions.  I cherish life, doing my best to enjoy every moment.  Life is a rare and special gift.  I hope you aren’t wasting a second on trivial pursuits, worries, stress or events out of your control.  Life is short, so please enjoy it.

I’ve asked myself, “What now?” a number of times during my life.  As I age and mature, the answer becomes abundantly clear.  I don’t worry or dwell on the past.  It serves no purpose, as I can’t alter past mistakes or what I should have done.  I can only learn valuable lessons from the past, while I grow and evolve.  I no longer stress over the future, or what it will bring.  Instead, I am grateful with each new sunrise.  I live in the present, knowing the future will be revealed with each new breath.  I know many events are out of my control.  I can’t fear what may or may not occur.  I won’t allow anxiety to consume me.  I am the master of my thoughts, deeds and actions.  Each time I allow negativity to creep into my mind, it can create harm.  I am in control my happiness, positivity and kindness.  I do have moments of doubt and concern (we all do), but I refuse to let those thoughts derail my happiness.  I don’t say, “I can’t” or “that’s impossible.”  I believe in my power, strengths and self-confidence.  Living my dreams, fulfilling my passions and finding my path all hinge on one thing; me.  Our mind is one of the most powerful tools on this planet.  When you maintain an open attitude, control your mental fortitude, have self-confidence, believe in your own power and open yourself to the possibilities; nothing in the universe can stop you.

How do you make a difference in someone’s life?  The best thing you can do to assist anyone is to show up, show them you care and act with kindness.  These simple acts can have a huge impact on a person who is struggling or experiencing pain or suffering.  As we traverse our daily lives, you never know what others are dealing with.  Their outward appearance may not always reflect their internal conflict.  Even when a person appears calm outwardly, their ability to retain internal emotions may conceal how they feel.  As humans, we all share similar emotions and feelings.  How we display those outwardly, may be completely different.  We may not all react the same, but the common factor is, we all need help to resolve or release critical issues during times of stress.   It helps to have a trusted friend in your life to lean on when needed.  

My Dad is my hero and best friend.  He always knew when I was struggling and what to say to help me through.  He passed away seven years ago.  I’d give anything to have my Dad back, for one more hug, one more conversation or one more opportunity to tell him, “I love you.”  It’s not possible for me to hug him, but that doesn’t keep me from talking with him every day.  I tell him how I feel and ask for his guidance and support when I need it.  I’ve often seen his response in various forms.  I may not always know the exact meaning, but I know he continues to watch over me and our family.  Let me share two examples of his interventions.  One experience occurred about five years ago.  I was feeling down emotionally, so I went for a walk on the beach.  The beach always has a magical sense of power and beauty.  Its energy has always brought me comfort and understanding.  This particular afternoon was cloudy and dreary.  There was no one else around, as I walked and talked with him.  I felt broken and wanted to cry.  I asked him to let me know he was there.  I really needed his support and love.  At that moment, a single ray of sunshine broke over the ocean and through the clouds.  The bright light ran down the water and directly onto me.  I turned to stare at this phenomena and said without hesitation, “Thanks Dad.”  The clouds slowly moved together and pinched off the sunlight.  What a fabulous and uplifting experience!  A more recent event occurred several weeks ago.  Similarly, I was talking to my Dad, and a friend’s father who is in Heaven.  I asked them, during my bedtime prayers, for a sign they were watching over us.  I said, “maybe some butterflies would work.”  The next day I was running along a trail when two white butterflies flew directly into my path.  They fluttered around next to me for several minutes.  When I acknowledged their presence, “Okay, I know it’s you,” they flew away.  Then a darker butterfly flowed them.  At that instant I knew our dog Cinnamon was with them too.  Geez, that’s a whole other story.  You can choose to believe or dismiss these events.  That’s your choice.  I believe.

Life is a learning experience.  I live in the present, knowing the universe is filled with an abundance of opportunities.  All I have to do is open my heart and soul to recognize them as they appear, and before they pass me by.  When you make a decision and it doesn’t work out just how you want it, how do you react?  You can’t allow yourself to get upset or angry.  If you do, that defeats the purpose of life.  Instead, you learn from each experience and move into the present better educated for the future.  We can’t control life or how it changes.  What we can control is how we react to situations, events and circumstances that impact us daily.  Don’t allow negative influences to diminish the positive and good in life.  There are many daily events that seem to add stress to our lives.  Watching the news, social media, traffic and relationships can create instant anxiety.  I’m not bright and happy 24/7, although I try my best.  Let’s face it, we’re all human and some negativity slips into my thoughts.  This is when it’s most important to be present.  I’m able to recognize it and kick those thoughts out, rather than allowing them to manifest internally.  Mental fortitude is a wonderful trait, but remaining ever present in life is most important.

The next time “What now” pops into my thoughts, I know the answer.  I stay positive knowing that my timing in my timing.  I trust God and the universe will bring me what I need when I’m ready.  I relinquish control and open my heart, mind and soul to the possibilities of life.  I remain patient and happy every day, with gratitude for life, family, friends and love.  Life shouldn’t be so much about finding what we want.  It should bring us what we need, to assist us in living in peace and harmony.  Love and gratitude are the main ingredients and gateway to living a happy life.  Stay patient and trust your journey.  My new path to adventure begins with a move to Charleston South Carolina; in a new home, city and state.  I ready for my path to continue forward.

I don’t fear change.  I relish in its diversity.  Our planet is spinning through troubled times my friends.  Do your best every day to be a positive influence in our world.  We need individuals who lead by setting an outstanding example for all to see.  People with courage and fortitude, stand for the freedom and rights of all.  Be the change you want to see on this planet.  If you have the power to makes others happy, do it!  I’m wishing you happiness, contentment, peace and love.  Open your heart to the possibilities.  Our influence and power can change the world.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

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

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

Don’t just exist

August 22, 2021

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are all doing well, staying happy and healthy.  Have you ever asked yourself, “What’s the most important part of life?”  Do you see the beauty in life or do you just exist?  My journey has brought me down a path that hasn’t always been easy, simple or fun.  I’ve experienced sadness, trauma, heartbreak and pain; along with many fabulous, amazing and incredible experiences.  Most humans on this planet share similar feelings and emotions.  We all struggle with life issues from time to time.  How we resolve these issues and move forward are of great significance.  If you only see negativity in life, then it becomes a daily struggle.  I’ve always had the ability to maintain a positive outlook.  It’s made my return to happiness, after dealing with critical life events, much more seamless.  Taking that path wasn’t always easy, but it aided me in retaining my sanity and health.  Returning your life to normalcy, after experiencing trauma or emotional distress, is extremely important for your mental, physical and spiritual well-being.  Life will always continue to evolve and happen.  Many life events are beyond our control.  Challenges and changes will occur, altering our path.  How we move forward with each new situation or day defines us in the present.  These incidents have the ability to alter our journey into the future.  Do your best every day, while you work hard to live your dreams in peace and happiness. 

When I think about what’s happening in our world (and our nation) today, it breaks my heart.  There are many people suffering, in various ways and for a variety of reasons, around our planet.  War, sickness, famine, poverty, natural disasters or lawlessness continue to plague many lands.  Cuba, Haiti, Hong Kong and Afghanistan are only a few lands embroiled in turmoil or sadness.  Knowing how many brave individuals sacrificed their lives in Afghanistan, to free this country, only to have it slip into the hands of sadistic and evil vermin, is heartbreaking.  The thought of what hideous acts are being perpetrated against innocent men, women and children are both sad and horrendous.  The Taliban is a modern day evil.  They don’t respect rights or freedom; only their own brand of wickedness.  Our nation has been experiencing it’s own difficulties at our southern border.  The Mexican border has long been the site of illegal crossings; of people, drugs and all sorts of contraband.  With the current administrations “open border” policy, our land is at additional risk.   

Political leaders are elected to make wise and informed decisions that unify our nation and the world.  They’re supposed to safeguard our people, our borders and allied countries.  So far, little to nothing is being implemented or encouraged to enhance our safety, or that of the world.  These are sad and difficult times.  Worrying about it won’t solve the problem.  We need strong individuals to stand up for the rights of all people.  Somehow, in appears our current administration isn’t concerned, with our nation, our people or anyone else (other than themselves).  We need to generate our energy and power, to push politicians who aren’t working for our common good, to act on our behalf or remove them from office.  Our nation, and the world, is dealing with critical issues.  We are in serious need of leaders with knowledge, understanding and courage to resolve issues, here at home and abroad, before we sink further into chaos.

I realize my issues are trivial compared to what many people are dealing with across our planet.  None the less, I spent the last several weeks on the road again, searching for a new home and visiting family and friends.  I was lying on my hotel bed somewhere in Arizona, listening to traffic noise on the main street below me.  The television, and Olympic coverage, provided some distraction from the vehicles speeding along the roadway.  TV announcers were discussing diving, gymnastics and track and field events.  They talked about the deduction of event points, for the smallest infractions, dropping contenders out of medal contention.  I immediately recalled a conversation I overheard earlier in the hotel lobby.  The hotel manager was asking an older couple how they enjoyed their stay.  She urged the couple to complete the online review, giving the hotel “tens” indicating high marks of praise.  She told them it would help the hotel.  It had recently opened, and this would assist it being recognized as a great establishment.       

I find it interesting how we are so interested in perfection, when it doesn’t even exist.  We strive to have everything in our life just right; or it’s a failure (which doesn’t exist either).  We need to understand we can’t control life; every outcome, relationship, sickness or situation.  Life and the universe are in a constant state of change.  Rather than placing so much emphasis on perfection, be satisfied with reaching a state of personal happiness, bliss and love.  Don’t worry about being perfect, just be you.  Stop wasting your time and energy on worry.  Instead, focus your energy to believe, create, trust, grow, glow, change, evolve, heal and love.  My best advice, be grateful for life, love and happiness!  When you begin each day with these thoughts, they grow and multiple throughout the day.  It becomes exciting to share the joy associated with everyone you see.  My outward attitude towards life reflects in my entire being.  I smile with a radiant glow, communicate more freely and open myself to the magic of life.  

Our nation, and the world, continue to struggle with issues of critical importance.  Lives of innocent people hang in the balance daily.  If you doubt this, research what’s happening in many cities in our own country; not to mention the atrocities occurring across our planet.  There’s a significant difference between existing and actually living life.  Please don’t sit back and expect the world to just care for itself.  If we don’t get involved, stand up and take action; our world will continue to experience drastic changes.  Educate yourself with knowledge.  It’s a powerful tool.  Let your voice be heard.  Pressure our political representatives to act for all people and in our best interest (not their own).  America is a fabulous land of opportunity and freedom.  We need to do our part to ensure it remains that way.

I gain solace in seeking additional insight, wisdom and understanding.  These empowering sources, along with adventure, challenge my capabilities and expand my intellect.  I continue to grow and learn about myself and the universe daily.  I understand what it means to live life with gratitude.  Happiness is my daily choice.  I see the beauty of life and I enjoy each moment.  I find comfort and power in nature.  I relieve stress and anxiety with exercise and meditation.  I enjoy excitement in new adventures and old ones too.  I cherish in my family and friends.  My passion for life is created with love.  It’s time to show up in the present and live.  Life is short and a limited time offer.  Don’t just exist.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Be a positive influence and don’t screw it up!  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

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

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

What you don’t know about Cops – Part 2

August 15, 2021

Good morning and happy Sunday my friends.  I hope you’re doing well; staying happy, healthy and enjoying life.  Remember, happiness is a daily choice.  It’s a decision I make as soon as I wake up and greet each new day.  I’m grateful for life and the opportunities the sunrise offers. It’s up to each of us to maintain our own happiness.  It’s doesn’t matter who you are, what you may or may not have.  Happiness doesn’t come from money, possessions or other people.  Yes, money can buy more stuff; but it won’t buy you happiness or peace of mind.  Happiness is a reflection of your attitude and state of mind.  It’s your decision, so use your energy wisely.  Be grateful for all you have, while you work every day to achieve your dreams.  Control your mind and actions.  Don’t allow negativity to creep into your thoughts.  You have the power to keep your ego in check.  Now is the time to greet each new sunrise with gratitude and happiness.  Thank God, and the universe, for another opportunity to do good, succeed and help others.  Don’t just exist; live a happy life.  Begin today by living in the present.  Learn from the past and move forward.  Make every moment count.  Nothing is guaranteed.   

A couple of weeks ago, my blog was titled, “What you don’t know about Cops.”  I want to share more on this subject, so here is Part Two.  My law enforcement career spanned nearly 34 years.  I spent over half my life (and the majority of my adult life) in law enforcement.  I’m sharing my, perceptions and opinions, regarding how Police Officers and Law Enforcement personnel are perceived by the people we serve, the world and you.  Compare your knowledge about my profession with my story.  We’ll see how it matches.  Learning, expanding your experience and knowledge is always good.  Knowledge is a powerful tool.  I always enjoy learning new things, exploring new ideas, places and cultures.  We never stop learning. 

I’m human (like most people on this planet); which means I’m far from perfect.  I was a perfectionist (or tried to be) for years; and it sucked!  Now I enjoy being normal me.  I laugh, cry, have feelings, emotions, passions and bleed.  The fact that distinguishes law enforcement officers from society; we risk our lives daily (sometimes sacrificing our own life), to protect you, our community or fellow officers.  Living life is all part of the process of being a real person.  Oh wait, we’re all human, we all make mistakes, have intellect, make our own decisions (good and bad) and none of us will ever be close to being perfect.  It’s best if you just drop your ego and be a real person.  Kindness and gratitude work wonders to bring happiness and love to the world. Most of the planet would like nothing better than to coexist; to live free and happy lives.  Unfortunately, there are some individuals that don’t respect the rights of others or share the thought of lawful order.  These vermin are thugs, criminals and the evil that keeps us all from living lives of peace and harmony.

When I was growing up, my parents taught me respect and equality for all people; regardless of race, creed, religion or nationality.  The hate and bias, that persists todays, seems to spread from a variety of sources.  Individuals, groups, social media, news sources, teachers, radicals and some politicians perpetuate this madness.  I’ve encountered and seen far too much destruction and death during my life (and career).  My trauma filled body craves joy and happiness.  My opinions about people are based on direct interactions with them (or established via reliable sources); not what social media or news networks want me to believe.  I’ve learned, through thousands of interactions and encounters, that the vast majority of people on this planet are good, hard working individuals.  When I refer to “people,” I mean all races of people.  I’ve enjoyed travel to foreign countries, meeting many amazing humans on our planet.  My consensus; there are many individuals with few possessions that live simple lives; and are among the most humble, happy and grateful humans out there.   

Conversely, there are evil individuals that exist among us and around the globe.  Trust me, I’ve dealt with them and the criminal element right here at home.  Many are heartless and ruthless; with no remorse, no compassion, no soul or just pure evil.  Crime and criminal activity, isn’t based on race, poverty, political or religious beliefs or affiliations.  Crime and criminals have existed on our planet for thousands of years.  There are individuals across our nation who don’t want to work, want everything handed to them (which our government tends to do) and then we have those involved in criminal activity.  There are millions of Americans who live below the poverty level.  Being poor doesn’t make you a bad person or a criminal.  Issues associated with the pandemic seemed to open the flood gates for all types of criminals, thieves and opportunists to pilfer our aid and assistance programs.  Even some big businesses scammed the system for money.  It’s sad when we have many who actually need assistance, but have so much difficulty receiving it.  Our veterans, small business owners, and other individuals (trampled on by the pandemic) need support and aid.    

Poverty, homelessness, mental health, drug and alcohol addiction are not law enforcement issues (nor should they be).  Law enforcement personnel respond to situations when threats or unlawful order exist.  When violent behavior has been curtailed, police officers are often left to resolve associated social issues.  If a crime has been committed, that’s within an officer’s scope of duty.  It becomes a misuse of vital resources when officers take a role of therapist, counselor or mental health expert.  Why is this burden placed on our officers?  Outrage shouldn’t be directed at the police, especially when no one else is willing to take on the task.  Politicians, mayors, governors (and our president) are responsible for failed decisions, policies, rules and laws.  They should be held accountable for the biased and hypocritical decisions they enact.  They create and spread fear, division and hate; while social or economic issues remain unsolved or improved.  The Criminal Justice system is a prime example of a failing institution.  It is broken and in need of an extensive overhaul.  Criminals walk free, only to commit more crimes against humanity, while victims and society suffer.  When issues don’t directly impact our way of life, then many Americans don’t care to get involved.  That attitude needs to change.

There is no shortage of thugs and criminals spread across our planet.  They prey on the helpless, weak or anyone who stands between them and their criminal deeds.  They use force, fear and violence to create terror and anxiety among us.  These individuals aren’t willing to exist in a peaceful and harmonious society.  They aren’t interested in anything or anyone, but their own criminal sadistic pleasure.  Criminals are disgusting, hateful and despicable.  Individuals that perpetrate hateful activity against others should be dealt with accordingly.  In todays political climate, criminal behavior is applauded.  Criminals assault, rob, steal, abuse, sell drugs, murder and commit heinous crimes and atrocities.  Why do we allow this behavior to continue?  These individuals or groups, spread fear, hatred, division, separation and racism.  Some individuals use this to push or perpetrate their own agenda.  Power, wealth, greed and dominance have been sought after since the beginning of time.  Criminal activity ruins our cities, influences our youth, divides our people and creates tragedy and sorrow.  Law enforcement and police officers are the guardians of our society and safety.  We need them and they need our support, now, more than ever.

As an officer, it was easy for me to recognize the good and bad in society.  Evil has always used its influence to exert control over the good.  At the present time, evil influences are working to convince our population (and maybe the world) that law and order are bad. These despicable individuals want you to believe we don’t need law enforcement, rules, or the police.  The spikes in crime, around our nation, prove otherwise.  Politicians are changing their stance, as criminal activity continues to rage out of control.  This change is occurring because good people are demanding safety for all people in our streets, neighborhoods and cities.  The insane movement to defund police is a ludicrous political tool utilized by fools, interested in maintaining power and control, instead of caring for our people and nation.   

I believe in accountability, integrity and honesty (in all aspects of life).  If you violate laws, hurt others or go against the good of society; you should be subject to the consequences of your own actions.  We (each of us), are responsible for our decisions, actions and the outcomes associated with our deeds.  We each have free will, should know and understand the difference between right and wrong.  Our choices will determine our future.  If your actions adversely impact others, you are accountable for that outcome.  This simple rule should be the same for all professions and all people.  Rules, regulations, policies and laws are enacted to ensure all individuals do the right thing.  It’s sad corruption and evil influence so many aspects of life.  The majority of humans want to live peaceful and happy lives.   

There is more I want to share about my life in law enforcement.  In the coming weeks look for, “What you don’t know about cops, Part Three.”  I want to discuss the trauma I experienced during my career and how it affected me into retirement.  Many officers experience the sorrow, anxiety and stress associated with this profession.  Others may have difficulty dealing with the emotions and trauma related to these events.  Sadly, similar to our military, the loss of life to suicide continues to grow each year.  Remember, we’re all human.  Amidst the craziness, fear and anxiety in the world today, please stay positive, hopeful and grateful.  Together we can conquer evil.  We must work together for a better and happier life, for us all.  For now, stay healthy, happy and focused on living each new day.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

My sister’s birthday is coming up this week.  I want take this opportunity to wish her a blessed and beautiful day filled with love and happiness!  I Love You Sis!!

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.

Great Couples = Better Health

August 8, 2021

Good morning my friends.  I hope you’re taking plenty of time to enjoy summer and celebrate life this year.  The craziness of 2020, which seems to continue in several variations today, should have shown us the importance of life.  It is a fragile, limited time opportunity to live a happy and prosperous life.  We should be thankful by showing our gratitude and love with each new day.  Don’t settle to just exist throughout your journey of life.  If you remain in the same mindset, closed, without growth, nothing improves and dreams are not lived.  Consistently challenge yourself to learn, develop and increase your knowledge.  New experiences and learning stimulate intellectual and physical growth.  Seek adventures and activities that complement your mind, body and spirit.  Accept change with openness, confidence and positivity.  Live life without fear.  Stay focused, healthy and happy.  If you’re in a wonderful relationship, with a partner or significant other that shares your dreams and visions, nurture and cherish its beauty.  Never take life or love for granted.  Great relationships are good for your health.   

I’m back on the road this week searching for a home and new place to live.  My life has been an interesting journey.  As much as I wish I could alter some past events, I do my best to live in the present.  The last seven years, since retirement, have been filled with an amazing mix of fun, emotions, break throughs and experiences.  For a variety of reasons, it appears I’ve run the full gamut of feelings; ranging from happy, heartbreaking, exciting, sad and back again.  I’ve learned much more about myself, relationships and life.  I’ve shared amazing adventures, experiences, memories and love I’ll forever cherish.  I discovered love, happiness, openness and emotions are free and wonderful feelings to share.  Let’s just say in the past, I wasn’t the most open person in the world.  Events and circumstances, from childhood and throughout my career, influenced my behavior.  It’s been an adventure and journey of my opening, growth and self-discovery.  I’m not  relationship expert, but even with heartbreak, I have learned it’s all part of the continual develop and processing of life.  At the present time I find myself in a new space filled with contentment and gratitude.  A new and improved version of me emerges more each day.  I’m confident the universe and God have a plan for me to follow.  My heart and soul are open to the possibilities and adventures of life and love.  Each new day is filled with amazing possibilities to expand my horizons and live my dreams.  It’s really pretty freaking cool!

This past week rekindled fond memories of loving couples.  Couples are an amazing and fabulous phenomenon of love.  When two people join together in a committed relationship, their bond unites them.  They form a partnership and lasting friendship to support and build their unique and special connection.  Working as a team, they can turn their dreams into reality, individually and together.  Their unity can be an unstoppable force of nature.  Great couples are truly a unique and special breed.  My parents would have celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary this past week.  My Dad passed away several years ago.  Death is part of life and something we will all face.  My Mom now resides in an Alzheimer’s care facility.  She exists, but she no longer lives.  This sad and tragic disease robbed her of her mind and memory; while it slowly devours the rest of her body.  My parents enjoyed 65 years of marriage.  That feat, in itself, is pretty fabulous!  What an amazing adventure it was for these two fabulous individuals.   It’s difficult for me to imagine being married that long.  They were a great example of amazing couples.  They had their moments, as all couples and individuals do, but they knew how to resolve their issues.  They were always able (and willing) to work together to get through to the other side.  When my Dad passed away, it became extremely evident how lost my Mom was without him.

Over the years I’ve heard stories, read articles and seen research studies about couples and health.  The analysis indicates couples connected in great relationships are happier, healthier, more successful and live longer.  Are you asking yourself, “why” or “how is this possible?”  I believe the answer is relatively simple.  My understanding reveals that contentment and harmony play a huge role in this theory.  Obviously, it’s easy to recognize the love amazing couples share.  I believe it comes down to more than just that.  It’s a compilation of many factors.  Honesty, trust, communication and knowing each other well are key factors.  Great couples share the same objectives and similar traits to make it all work.  What makes good couples great?  Let’s face it, we all have different personalities, characteristics and traits.  Life isn’t perfect and neither are humans.  Love that bonds all great couples, but understanding and commitment bind their actions.  They know how to blend their personalities together to build their love, trust and understanding.  Communication, clarity and compromise play a significant role in these great and lasting relationships.  I hope to reach that level of love and understanding some day too.  When you share a similar vision of life and love, it connects two individuals with a special bond.  Knowing how to achieve your desires and dreams together, assists in building that rare gift and connection.  You live your dreams together; as friends and lovers.   

I am lucky to know family, friends and relatives that all share phenomenal relationships and marriages.  I love to spend time with these people.  I know other individuals, similar to me, who haven’t always fared as well with love.  Typically, past events creep into my present, exposing unresolved issues that helped to derail me.  I’ve been working to resolve those issues, to ensure my future is bright and beautiful.  I strive to share the love and friendship with a woman; friend and partner.  Those relationships don’t just happen.  This week (and a few past) saw the union of two more wonderful couples.  The two men associated with these marriages are my great friends.  One is a fabulous cousin and the other a awesome work colleague.  They each found amazing new love with incredible women.  I just realized, both of their new wives share the same first name!   That’s pretty cool and interesting!  They are all great people and deserve a world full of happiness and love.  It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from; humans on this planet are all basically the same.  We may look different, speak various languages, live on continents across the globe and have a variety of personalities.  We all have feelings, emotions, make mistakes, but ultimately we all want happiness.  Remember, no one is perfect, nor is any relationship.  We’re all just human beings, living life the best we can.

Love and opening our hearts to others has some risk.  We all fear rejection and heartbreak.  It’s only natural to have some anxiety or hesitation when putting yourself “out there.”  I know and understand these experiences first hand.  I also know how amazing and awesome a fabulous relationship feels.  Several years ago, when I least expected love to find me, I experienced an amazing connection with an incredible woman.  The love we shared developed from the union of our spirits.  Issues from the past hindered our ability to sustain that blissful bond.  The heartbreak  and sadness is something we each suffered.  Knowing she experienced pain, hurt me beyond measure.  I know love exists and I know I want that feeling to envelop my entire being again.  I’ll gladly welcome love, and the intense and incredible sensation it brings to my mind, body and spirit.  Being in love with the right partner, is brilliant beyond all description.  It’s fantastic!

Like most great accomplishments in life, great relationships don’t just happen.  You must be present and put in the effort daily.  You can’t force or control the great love of two individuals.  This is a natural process that occurs over time.  It’s built from the mutual respect and admiration they share for each other.  Finding the right mate, partner, companion or friend shouldn’t be based on looks, money or possessions.  It should be based on so much more than physical attractions.  Communication, openness, shared desires and the blending of two personalities are the beginning.  When you find an incredible person, you enjoy spending time with, it may be a match made in heaven.  Build your friendship on a solid foundation of trust, honesty and love.  Shared activities, dreams and desires are a fabulous beginning to establish a unique and special connection.  Great couples share, grow and experience the fabulous treasures of life together.  They offer each other unconditional support, understanding, insight and love.  Do you see the beauty in life, or just exist?  I chose to see the beauty in each new day on earth.  I live each day with gratitude, happiness and love.  Life and love are amazing gifts.  Please don’t waste a single moment.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

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

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

My Health and Wellness

August 1, 2021

Good morning friends!  I hope you are all doing well.  Geez, it’s the first Sunday and the first day of August.  These months and this year are flying by too quickly!  I hope you’re making time for your self-care.  Maintaining your well-being is an important part of healthy living and wellness.  “You time” is an integral, wonderful and needed part of the healthy life puzzle.  Your personal time (“you time”) can include anything that brings you joy or happiness.  I enjoy including nature, serenity, alone time, relaxation, adventure or fun (with or without friends); as fabulous time for me.  I’ve been spending time visiting my sister, brother in law and family in the bay area; while I continue my search for a new home.  Actually, I’m living with them during this transition.  They have been super incredible and accommodating for allowing me to invade their space.  It’s crazy to think nearly two months have passed since I moved out of my home in SoCal.  The housing market and home search has been crazy!  I was past due for some excitement, so I hit the open road a little over two weeks ago.  My adventures began by traveling into the Pacific Northwest.  I visited friends, saw beautiful sights, made new friends, enjoyed plenty of fun and the solitude of nature.  It was just what I needed to refresh my soul.  Now I’m even more excited to get out, travel and see more of the world (as soon as it reopens)! 

My ultimate destination for this journey was Whidbey Island Washington.  I’d been invited to attend a four-day retreat for men.  I was excited to accept the invitation!  Since my life is in transition, at the present time, so it was very easy to say, “Yes!”  The man that invited me, ran the Zion Trail Ragnar on my team in May.  He wasn’t signed up to run, but his girlfriend was, and she brought him along.  Our team had a runner withdraw at the last minute and he filled the spot nicely.  I met them both at a yoga retreat in Costa Rica two years ago.  I was able to spend time with them, before and after the Ragnar race.  It was great to talk and get to know them both better during the Zion event.  It’s interesting how you connect with people when the timing is right.  God and the universe have a plan for everything and everyone.  New connections, friendships, travel and adventure play an important role in our lives and health.     

My adventure kicked off by driving about seven hours north into Central Oregon.  It was sad as I drove through the Shasta National Forest.  A massive wild fire ravaged the area for weeks.  The destruction was devastating and complete.  Forests, once filled with trees, vegetation and animal life was void.  It was sad to see how unbelievably low the water level of Lake Shasta has dropped.  There was additional destruction as I proceeded north into the Klamath National Forest.  Another wild fire created similar carnage to parts of this once beautiful forest.  Nearly 60 wild fires were burning at the same time in the western states.  I pray for the fire personnel and all those affected by these tragic occurrences.   I suppose nature works in ways that often appear harmful to us, but assist in maintaining the natural order of existence.

I reached my first destination and had the pleasure of visiting with amazing friends in Oregon.  Wonderful people and awesome sights, excite my spirit and fill my heart with joy.  We enjoyed two fabulous days of exploring trails, waterfalls and mountains.  The lush forests; filled with pine trees, vibrant vegetation, raging waterfalls and bountiful blue sky made my drive easily worth every second.  I was thrilled to enjoy, what seemed to be, a walking meditation through this landscape.  Getting outside and spending time in nature never disappoints my soul.  It’s like a cleansing and healing experience for my mind, body and spirit.  The harmonious feeling and connection to the earth is real.  The energy of the universe is boundless and present in all things, including us.

From Central Oregon, my travels took me north.  I stopped to visit Mt Hood, a potentially active volcano, with an elevation of 11, 250 feet.  The Timberline Lodge is located on the south face of the mountain.  The lodge was dedicated in 1937 by President Franklin Roosevelt.  The exterior of the hotel was used for the movie, The Shining.  “Here’s Johnny!”  It hosts a ski resort and a section of the Pacific Crest Trail traverses the mountain.  If you’re ever in the area, be sure to visit.  The mountain and hotel are amazing.  I continued my journey into Washington state.  I’ve visited Vancouver Washington twice before, but never further north.  This is a beautiful area, with lots of pine trees and green filled mountains.  The Columbia River runs along the Oregon and Washington border, which accentuates the areas magnificence.  The drive from Vancouver to Olympia was a scenic experience.  My attention and concentration was on traffic and driving; while I was still able to enjoy the splendor and beauty.  I spent two nights in Olympia.  I rested, explored, worked out, ran, hiked and saw deer so close I could hear them breathe.  The splendor of nature never ceases to amaze me, while it calms my spirit.  

I reached the final destination of my adventure, Whidbey Island.  I won’t go into great detail about the retreat, other than to say it was a fabulous experience.  The location is indescribable and absolutely beautiful.  I’d only seen pictures of this amazing area.  Now I can say with all honesty, it is incredible.  I suppose all that yearly rain ensures this area stays green and lush with beauty!  The four days included food, conversation, sharing stories of life, horse shoe matches, relaxing, building new contacts and making new friends.  It was a pleasure to meet some amazing men.  I enjoyed two full days of horseback riding, which was fantastic.  I last rode a horse on a friends ranch in Australia about five years ago.  Twenty-five years ago, I rode in the LAPD Mounted Unit for nearly two years.  Riding the same horse daily during that time, built my skill level and abilities.  I rode Otis for both rides on the island.  He had the looks and beauty of a Palomino, with an easy attitude and personality all his own.  It was so fun to be back in the saddle.  The rides through the tree covered forest were serene and beautiful.  This was a fabulous adventure in so many ways!  It soothed my soul.

Driving isn’t my first choice for travel, but it’s a fabulous way to see and experience the countryside from ground level.  Lately, I haven’t been thrilled to drive long distances; especially alone.  Flying is typically easier and quicker.  I’m happy I had the time and opportunity to get behind the wheel and go.  I can’t say I enjoy traveling alone; because I don’t!  I enjoy having someone special to share the fabulous adventures and experiences life offers along the way.  I’m a firm believer that life is better, and meant to be, shared with an amazing partner.  I know she’s out there.  I’m patiently waiting for the universe to connect us.  I know it’ll happen when the time is right.  For the time being, I’m comfortable and confident with me and who I am.  Being on my own, or with friends or family, all works.  It doesn’t scare me being on my own; just not forever.  There’s a distinct difference between living life or just existing.  I discovered beauty of actually living life.  It’s a fabulous experience!  I hope you find it too.

You don’t have to take a road trip to boost your health or wellness.  Your “you time” can be anything that suites your needs at any particular time.  I do my best to ensure I’m caring for my own physical, mental and spiritual well-being.  Self-care, self-love and personal happiness are a responsibility for each of us to maintain.  This is not up to anyone else to do for you.  If you aren’t maintaining any portion of these elements, then you need to step up your game.  Health and wellness include a variety of puzzle pieces; including food, exercise, rest, hydration and time in nature (which includes air and sunshine).  I eat healthy, drink plenty of water, but still like to indulge in treats now and then.  This is life, so you have to live a little; and treats are an awesome part of that puzzle.  I do my best to get enough sleep at night.  I use exercise to release stress and anxiety, while maintaining my fitness.  Spending time outside, breathing the air and soaking up some sunshine, is vitally important to my better health.  The ocean with sandy beaches and mountains with tall trees, are two of my favorite places to relax.  I lived at the beach for many years and absolutely love it.  I share an equal passion for the mountains and beautiful pine trees.  Both these places emit an equal amount of energy.  When I spend time on the sand or in the forest, I feel that power entering my spirit.  It’s an incredible sensation.  This trip north provided an opportunity for me to enjoy a bit of both.  

Moving toward my dreams has truly been a journey of self-discovery.  I may not always have the correct answer or know which path to take.  I’m not afraid to make a decision and move forward.  If you sit in uncertainty, nothing will ever change or improve.  Life has challenges, don’t fear them.  It hasn’t always been fun, exciting or pleasant.  It’s been filled with emotions, learning and self-growth.   There’s been frustration, sadness and humbling acceptance along the way.  I open my heart, soul and myself more each day to the possibilities the universe has in store.  I’ve learned that I can’t control my life, so I accept each new day with gratitude and happiness.  My new mindset is far more beneficial than I could have ever hoped for.  I remain consistent on my path to wellness.  Each subtle change within me empowers my entire spirit.  Reach for your dreams every day.  If you don’t get up and take an active role in your present, your future won’t improve.  Be grateful and happy with your life.  Work to challenge yourself, accept change and don’t be afraid to seek assistance if needed.  I’m always here if you need me.  Just ask.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

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

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

What you don’t know about Cops – Part 1

July 25, 2021

Good morning friends!  I hope you are all doing well.  We’re already closing in on the final days of July.  I’m not sure how that happened so quickly, but the days and months keep flying by.  It was a month filled with family, summer fun and happiness.  Some anxiety was thrown in too, since I’m still searching for a new house.  Thanks to my sister and brother in law for sharing your home.  I traveled north this week, driving through Northern California, into Oregon and Washington.  I needed an adventure and this definitely fit the bill.  I visited friends along the way, saw new sights and enjoyed some solitary moments.  I’m currently attending a retreat (of sorts) for men on Whidbey Island.  Good times, new friends and fun is always a plus.  I’ll write about this journey in the coming weeks.  Today, I want to share my insight into my world and career; law enforcement.  This is a snippet of me, looking out during my nearly 34-year career; plus now gazing in from the outside during seven years in retirement.   It’s my opinion and perspective, gained from years in the street and dealing with a diverse group of people.  My intention is to add some personal enlightenment on the subject.

So much of what I see, hear and read; about people, our nation and society, is slanted negatively.  It’s makes me sad thinking our nation (and our people) are struggling with so many issues.  Crime, hate, racial strife, violence and trauma continue to plague our nation.  Don’t even get me started on the virus, lockdown and injections they continue to push.  Continual fear and controversy over who’s right or wrong clouds our vision, even when we know in our heart what is right.  Our world continues to struggle with so many issues across our planet. 

When I became a police officer I knew or understood very little about the communities and people I served.  My initial reaction was that everyone, in many communities, disliked or hated me because of the uniform I worn or the law I represented.  It didn’t take long for me to realize, from interacting with people (in all communities), that these neighborhoods were filled with good, hard working individuals.  Good, God fearing and law abiding people vastly outnumbered the bad.  They were interested in living the American dream in peace just as much I.  They didn’t like crime, drugs, gangs or thugs lurking around their homes and families.  They shared support for us, even when they feared criminal or gang retaliation.  Now crime is soaring and violence is raging across our land.  If you want to live in peace, without fear, without violence and with less crime; law enforcement needs our full support.  Without them and their dedication, our freedom and society will be lost.  It’s interesting how the political leaders that screamed to defund and do away with law enforcement, are now calling for the financial support and addition of more officers.  It’s sad what their misguided manipulation has created in our beautiful country.     

I don’t tell doctors how to operate, attorneys how to practice law, pilots how to fly or anyone how to do a job I know little about.  Why do you feel qualified to tell me how to do my job?  It never ceases to amaze me how people seem to think they know so much about the profession I dedicated over half my life.  Many people have no idea what we do or why.  The sad part, is they base their information and perceptions on misinformation, untruths or lies.  My immediate observations, from past and present contacts, reveals this opinion.  I know you may find this difficult to believe, but law enforcement officers (both male and female), are actually human beings.  Law enforcement personnel have parents, were once kids, went to school, played sports and enjoy life like everyone else.  Police officers have lives; relationships, families, attend church, have emotions, passions, dreams and seek inner happiness and peace.  Like all humans, I have dealt with my share of struggles throughout life.  We live our lives, make mistakes, learn and move on.  Let’s face it, we all experience similar issues and life events.  No one is perfect and neither is life.  We either face our challenges, resolve them and move forward, or we continue to struggle.  Isn’t that what most humans do?

The difference between law enforcement professionals and other individuals is, we recognized a life path calling to serve.  Similar to some other service oriented careers, officers want to give back and protect their communities.  Officers dedicate their lives to maintaining law, order and our safety.  They leave home, not knowing if they’ll return after their shift ends.  Families, friends and loved ones often experience the trauma they deal with daily.  I never fully understood the challenges (mental, physical and spiritual) an officer faces on a daily basis.  I believed my training in the Los Angeles Police Academy was extensive and comprehensive.  When I graduated from the academy and was assigned to a Patrol Division, it became immediately evident I had lots more to learn.  I’d been taught the basic tools; local, state and federal laws, patrol procedures, report writing, investigative techniques, interview skills, tactics, self-defense and weapons training.  Spanish language and cultural training; along with a myriad of other topics were included with my training.  The foundation built in the academy enabled me to easily gain new skills and knowledge, based on my field training.  Nearly two years had passed after I was sworn in on my first day in the police academy.  A year and a half of field training rounded out my probationary period. 

What I encountered during my first 18 months as a patrol officer was beyond what I imagined. My expectations of life on the streets was limited to what I saw from the news media, movies or television.  I never realized the lack of conscience, empathy or humanity of criminals.  There is an evil lurking in some individuals that indicates a true absence of a soul.  Experts have a difficult time explaining the rationale of criminal minds.  My very first shift on the streets of LA began a day after academy graduation. My training officer and I respond to a grass fire in an empty lot next to a convenience store.  I watched the fire fighters extinguish the flames.  I detected an odd odor to the smoke that morning.  I recognized the detestable smell from my previous job as a fire fighter with the US Forest Service.  The fire captain approached and stated, “You need to see this.”   We walked through the smoldering field.  I saw a partially burned body of a man face down in the charred brush.  The other immediate detail I observed was the back of his skull had been broken open.  The weapon was most likely a steel pipe laying close to the body.  The burnt field quickly transitioned to a murder investigation.  This was day one in the streets of many years to come. 

Violence, carnage, death, destruction, sadness and trauma continued throughout my career.  There were times I cried on my drive home after my shift.  Witnessing the brutal acts committed by thugs, parents, friends, strangers or just criminals; especially when directed at children, women, elderly and helpless individuals damaged my soul.  At some point in time, tears no longer flowed as they needed so I could heal.  The only tears shed were for my fellow officers killed doing a job they loved and believed in; even when others mocked our service.  There have been far too many of those deaths and murders over the years.  I always envisioned life as being beautiful and wonderful.  I knew evil existed in the world, but not in these forms.  When I became a police officer of the streets, from that point on, I realized life wasn’t filled with peace; but with trauma and heartache.  There came a point in time where my emotions reflecting the sadness, death and trauma, were buried under a protective shield.  Closing myself off and protecting my heart seemed to be the best solution.  I could not allow emotions to cloud my judgement during critical incidents or investigations.  If I allowed emotions to enter my mind or body, it would make the completing of my job much more difficult.  Potential moments of interrupted concentration could spell tragedy in the safety of myself or those around me.  When all you witness daily is trauma and sadness, it alters your perception of the world.  It takes constant effort to maintain my mindfulness and serenity.  I thank God for all the amazing and wonderful officers and personnel I worked with and around during my career.  We assisted in keeping each other safe, sane and focused.  Without them, and all the law enforcement professionals around our globe, life and society would be very different.     

If you think being a law enforcement officer is an easy or simple profession, please rethink that mind set.  It’s much easier to sit on the sidelines and criticize everything you dislike.  I’ve listened to ill-informed individuals; news media and politicians criticize police officers and decisions they make in critical situations.  When fractions of seconds are all you have; decisions are never easy, simple or clear cut.  Some individuals have no clue what it’s like to make a decision, let alone a decision made under stress in a critical life or death situation.  Law enforcement officers don’t have the luxury of sitting behind a desk, weighing options, researching information or taking as much time as they want to render an opinion.  An officer must react to prevent death or serious injury, defending themselves and others.  I’ve been in situations that required use of force.  It’s not something I wanted to do, but was necessary for my survival or apprehension of criminals.  Yes, officers receive training in tactics, use of force and critical incidents, but nothing fully prepares you when you encounter it during a physical confrontation.  Training, training and more training to form muscle memory is helpful, but like many skills, it’s perishable.  Many agencies, especially after the recent defunding effort, do not have the personnel or budge to provide necessary recurring skills training.   This is sad for all parties involved and can place them in jeopardy.  Protecting the community and all people who reside there is our job.         

I suppose it’s easier for some people to deny that atrocities exist in our world.  When was the last time you responded at a vehicle accident with mangled bodies?  How often have you comforted a child or woman who has been abused, beaten or sexual assaulted?  Have you been at a suicide or murder scene, then had to notify family members of the death of their loved one?  There are countless other situations, events and traumatic incidents I could tell you about, but would it open your eyes further or just make you turn away in horror?  That’s the life of our law enforcement heroes.  The next time you wake up in the morning, go out to lunch, have dinner with your family or lay in your bed at night; we (police officer) are out there placing our lives in jeopardy to insure you can sleep well and enjoy your family.  If you think you’re better qualified, please come out and join our ranks, to protect and serve.  Good people are needed both in the departments and in our communities!  It’s time to step up, take action and do what’s right, every day!  

There is so much more I can say and share about this subject.  Needless to say, it is a topic (and profession) that is near and dear to my heart.  I’ll have to follow up with additional parts to this story; or just write a book.  For now, stay tuned for Part 2 in the near future.  I wish you a happy and healthy day.  Get outside, enjoy some nature and cherish life.  Our time on this planet passes much to quickly; often ending before we said and did all we wanted that we deemed to be important.  Live in the present, with gratitude and happiness.  Sending love and positive energy to you.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

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

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

How do you nurture Love

July 18, 2021

Good morning friends!  I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the second half of July!  Be sure to make time daily to enjoy the outdoors.  Nature is an amazing and natural cure to physical, mental or spiritual stress or struggles.  Breathe in the air, soak up some sunshine, enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature.  Take off your shoes (and socks) and walk on the sand, grass, dirt or whatever you have available.  Allow the energy of the earth to penetrate your being.  Let it empower you with gratitude.  The grounding transformational force will energize your spirit, attitude and thought process.  Life is meant to be lived.  Be present, so you don’t miss a second.  Seek new adventures, make memories and cherish every single moment.  When you remain at home, stay indoors or devote all your time to work; you can’t enjoy the magic.  Set aside your cell phone, laptop or whatever you’re doing.  Get off your rear and get moving.  Go for a walk, find a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the magnificent splendor God has created!  The universe is filled with incredible power and enlightenment to guide you along your path.  Don’t fear life, live it with an open heart and kindness to nurture love.

When you love someone, how do you nurture that incredible feeling, so it grows and flourishes?  How do you express your inner feelings, emotions or passions?  Love is an amazing, crazy, fantastic and intense feeling.  I find it interesting, as a parent of an awesome daughter, how love varies in relationships.  Parents, siblings, family members and friends share special bonds of loves.  My daughter and I share a unique and fabulous bond.  My love for her is strong, committed and never ending.  She is a part of me and I cherish our connection.  Our union is built by blood, but forged through our communication, interaction and respect for each other.  I love her because she’s my daughter, but also for the woman she has become and the friendship we’ve established over her lifetime.  The love I share with her (of our children) can be difficult to explain or understand, until you experience it for yourself.  This can be true for how you encounter love in general.  Until you experience that sensation or feeling, you may not know or understand it fully or completely.  Like many things in life, it’s easier understood when lived.  If you want to achieve or maintain something amazing and fabulous, it takes effort and work.  Greatness isn’t accomplished by doing nothing.     

When two individuals share love in a romantic relationship, it creates an incredibly powerful and fierce bond.  It energizes every nerve, every muscle and every fabric of my soul.  I know that feeling well and want it back!  For many years I have struggled with fully opening my heart and soul.  This is particularly noticeable in relationships.  My issues have nothing to do with honesty, commitment, loyalty, trust or anything like that.  My struggles have always been about opening and sharing my emotions at their deepest level.  Crucial communication and self-expression, in a couples intimate setting, has never come easy.  When you have trouble bearing your soul to your partner, relationships struggle and diminish over time.  I have no doubt this began for me as a child and continued into adulthood.  My life and career in law enforcement reinforced my closed heart or emotions.  Years of suppressing my emotions to maintain safety and a clear thought process, to resolve critical incidents, further compounded my personal issues.   I closed my emotions off at work to diminish the pain from the trauma and sorrow.  As years passed, it become increasingly difficult for me to open myself to anyone.

I always believed I could tackle any issue, concern or problem.  I pride myself at living each day in the present.  I’m a confident guy; mentally tough, disciplined, honest, strong and intelligent (to a certain degree).  I know how to communicate, talk and express myself.  This was true until I entered into a committed relationship, then I seemed to collapse or withdraw.  My past had a way of unconsciously creeping into my head.  That unknowing nonsense only creates negativity and destruction.  My last relationship is a prime example of how the past can create havoc.  I spent the majority of my life attempting to control or manipulate outcomes.  I was accustomed to controlling every situation I encountered during my law enforcement career.  It only seemed natural for me to control my life, relationships and events.  I eventually realized that type of control wasn’t possible or healthy in any aspect of life.  During my career in law enforcement, it became routine managing crime scenes, volatile situations, combative individuals and other incidents that create immediate risk.  Attempting to alter my life, or specific outcomes, just isn’t natural or possible.  I made the mistake of taking an awesome relationship and love for granted.  Stubbornness or ego are selfish bastards that can destroy the beauty of love.  When you don’t cherish and believe in what you have, it can become a painful experience.  That pain is felt by both partners.  Losing love; whether it’s through break up, separation or death, can cause sorrow and agony.  Pain in life is always possible.  I am no longer allowing it to control me.  When you find yourself in difficult times, allow your emotions to freely express themselves.  How you resolve, process and move beyond those times, allows you to heal and grow.          

I fell in love with an amazing and incredible woman.  She is the epitome of openness, kindness, support and love.  We both experienced the immediate connection of our souls and lives.  The best part of our relationship was finding my partner and best friend.  Our love developed and grew naturally.  We shared an array of “likes,” from food, music, exercise, adventure, travel and more!  My issues and communication insecurities became evident.  She had no difficulty sharing her emotions and passions.  Her support and confidence in me, assisted in opening me further than anyone had before.  She was the catalyst that forced me to seek relief from trauma, which had been trapped and suppressed for years.  When my heart and mind were opened and wounds allowed to heal, I felt like I could breathe again.  It was like having a massive weight lifted from my chest.  A new and happier life began for me.  I later discovered past childhood issues that had been a part of my communication blockage.  Until I took the time to fully explore my past and present being, I never fully understood what made me the way I am.  The path to my resolution continues.  I’m no longer afraid to look deeper into myself.  It brings new found appreciation of who I am, where I’ve been and how far I’ve come on my journey.  I know the pain of a broken heart.  No one wants to feel or experience that type of sorrow.  It creates more pain for me knowing that my partner, and friend, has to feel this pain too.  I also know the vibrant joy and energizing rush of true love.  The thrill of passion and the deepness of a bond and connection are exhilarating and freeing.  They create an absolutely indescribable feeling of joy.  The sensations are beyond the limits of excitement or bliss!  I know I can experience love again.   

Love has nothing to do with looks, physical attraction or sex.  In the early stages of meeting, you may be attracted to specific aspects of a person’s physical appearance.  You may share likes, dislikes, hobbies or activities.  These features assist in building your relationship foundation, but have little to do with love.  Over the course of time; sharing, conversation and interaction; a connection occurs within your soul that leads to a new feeling.  The pathway to love is an intense bond between two spirits.  When you allow your heart to open, that is when souls become intertwined by the desire to exist as one.  You no longer wish to be independent.  You know, beyond a doubt, that sharing life together, with your partner, is your ultimate passion.  This union doesn’t change who you are or what path you’re on.  It begins an incredible new journey of two souls together.  You support, encourage, share and build on your foundation to increase your love.  Nurturing love means working together, to achieve your partners goals, dreams and desires; while working on your own and the discovery of new dreams you set together.  I’m my loves biggest cheer leader.  I know she is mine as well.  Like most things in life, love takes effort.  You can’t sit around thinking everything will just happen.  Love is like two beautiful dancers.  They let their egos go, so they work together in unison.  They flow together as if they’re floating as one.  There may be a misstep or stumble along the way, because life isn’t perfect.  They recover easily because they trust in each other and know the rewards are so much more wonderful together.  They stand united as a couple.  This doesn’t mean they’re tied together.  They each retain their individuality, yet are fully connected.  We all require a certain amount of personal space.  This is where balance and understanding your partners personal needs are key.  You may be separated by time or space, but love is forever strong and eternal.  

When two souls join together in love, it’s a collaborative effort for success.  They believe and trust in each other because they know it feels right to be together. Nothing else can fill that void when they’re apart.  Their hearts feel the pain of separation in absence of the other.  They feel the energy and power of their connection each time they touch or share a special glance across a room.  Their souls flutter with happiness and anticipation of their union.  Together they can realize their dreams.  Lovers accept each other as they are, not trying to change each other.  They offer support as they develop and grow together.  I’ve struggled with some life issues over the years.  We all struggle from time to time.  As I discover the solutions to assist me in becoming a better version of me, I’m confident love will find me once again.  It seems like a long road, but I’m happy to have discovered the root causes of past issues.  It seems silly, and also truly sad, realizing how some past childhood events can impact my present life.  Knowing and identifying the problem is a crucial step in moving forward and onto a new path.  If you struggle with issues, seek qualified assistance to resolve them.  We all need a helpful hand sometimes; and reaching out is the first step toward wellness.  Don’t fear change.  Believe in yourself and let your inner power shine.  Don’t dwell on the past.  Live each new day as a rebirth of your soul.  New opportunities abound with the sunrise.  Don’t wait!  Be grateful and thankful.  Kindness reflects your spirit.  Let it shine on others.  I believe in myself and in you too. 

Sending you very special birthday wishes Jessica!  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

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

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

My dream of change

July 11, 2021

Good morning friends!  I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the (nearly) middle of July!  I went to bed late last Sunday night (July 4th), wondering what people were celebrating.  Were they acknowledging the Independence of our great nation, or do they even know or care about the sacrifice so many Americans have made over the last 245 years.  My observations, during both my law enforcement career and life experience, has revealed some interesting assessments about humanity.  The virus lockdown of 2020 created additional complications in a variety of ways.  I doubt many of these issues were expected or even thought about prior to the restrictions and mandates confining everyone to their homes.  Humans are interesting creatures, often motivated by their own ego or desires; including greed, wealth or power.  Attempting to decipher or explain their actions is still something the experts are trying to determine.  My thought process on the subject kicked into high gear as I lay in bed listening to the noises in the darkness.  I have no doubt there are some individuals that would benefit from a good history lesson.  A dose of respect, humility and kindness wouldn’t hurt many of these same people.  I keep hoping humans will come to their senses.  I believe it’s possible to manifest my dreams into reality and change the world.  It’s a great place to start, as long as you believe.     

I spent the 4th of July weekend with my sister and brother in law.  I’ve been using their home as my base of operations since I sold my home in SoCal.  It’s always nice to enjoy holiday events with family, no matter what the celebration.  Their dog is about 12 years old and they’ve had him nearly all his life.  He was found roaming on a college campus.  Their son brought him home when no one claimed him.  He’s been part of the family ever since.  It was easy to recognize from the start he was fearful and hesitant, especially with loud noises.  He’s a lover and lap dog, in a big dogs body.  Each time I visit, he’s always anxious to join me on my mat for morning yoga and stretching.  If he isn’t in savasana or down dog, he’s doing his best to give me kisses or just stay as close as possible during my postures.  It’s a collaboration and celebration of mindfulness for us both.  

The morning of the 4th began like most days.  Yoga, stretch and a work out for me.  My sister began food prep for the day.  My brother in law did some work outside.  Their daughter had dropped off her cat days prior.  She was headed out of town for the weekend.  Their son and his girlfriend dropped off their dog Sunday morning; on their way to a wedding.  We enjoyed the trio mixture of pets during the relaxing day.  As daylight began to turn to twilight, it became readily evident it would a difficult evening for the animals.  Sunset brought an array of explosions.  Their home sits on a hillside in a residential area.  Sounds from near and far seem to carry with the winds.  They have been coping with issues of frightened animals for years.  It never gets any easier.  I suppose for them, and millions of other pet owners, you know it’s coming and prepare accordingly.

As darkness grew deeper, the sounds and explosions grew more intense.  My career in law enforcement afforded me the ability to distinguish between the sound of firecrackers and gun shots.  Needles to say, it was easy to recognize the gun fire that evening.  The plentiful mix of firearms, blended with the many other noises that night.  As the intensity increased, the dogs and cat cowered, while seeking safe haven inside the house.  Their anxiety and fear was real and felt by all of us.  My sister and brother in law were well prepared to deal with the situation.  The pets were moved to their bedroom, where comfy beds, hemp treats and stress relieving music played.  My sister has a special vest for their dog to wear during such occurrences.  It was a long and loud night.  The noises finally began to subside after 1am, although sounds were heard until 4am.

Here are my thoughts about what occurred in my state (California) and across the nation during the 4th of July weekend.  Summer weather is in full swing.  The water shortage in our state is reaching critical stages.  The brush covered hillsides across our state are tinder dry.  They could explode into flames with the smallest spark.  Fireworks are illegal in many cities and counties throughout the state.  Firing guns to “celebrate” anything is illegal.  There have been mass media campaigns to deter both of these illegal activities.  I doubt much of that had an effect on the lawless behavior this holiday weekend.  Fireworks and fires were reported across the state.  News stories of weekend violence were worse than I imagined.  Media sources reported approximately 400 shootings, with about 150 killed across the United States.  Many incidents occurred in Chicago, while major cities across the country (like Los Angeles and New York), experienced violent and deadly behavior.  What is wrong with people in this nation?  I don’t blame the violence on the pandemic, the lockdown or “rogue gun dealers.”  The burden for this madness rests directly and solely on the unfit and misguided leadership of our nation.  These one sided individuals have fueled and condoned this behavior over the last 18 months.  I watched the President of the United States address the nation from the White House on Sunday.  He stressed how he wants us to work “together” and knows we can.  That’s wonderful, but what is his plan to unite Americans, instead of pushing them apart?  Where is his support for law enforcement, police and first responders; instead of demoralizing, defunding and casting aspersions upon their actions and credibility?  His actions and lack of concern (including other leaders like him), are solving nothing, while driving a division of fear and hate across America. 

Political double talk, pointing fingers of blame at others and no plan of action to stop the violence, only leads our nation further down this sad path.  Crimes go unpunished or unprosecuted.  Criminals are released without bail or early from prison, only to become repeat offenders.  Attacks on law enforcement officers, criminal activity and lawless behavior continues to increase daily.  Where are our leaders?  Why aren’t they making efforts to curtail the violence and craziness in our streets?  Is America slowly being manipulated, divided and split apart by violence created by some of our own leaders?  I hope we aren’t becoming like the pets we kept safe Sunday.  We cower in fear from the threat of violence.  Many are fearful of speaking our truth, so we won’t offend others.  The liberal push to be “politically correct” in all we say and do is nuts.  I am a firm believer in freedom, equality and fair treatment for all people.  I’ve defended and lived by those words and our Constitution throughout my life and career.  Freedom is the corner stone on what our nation is built upon.  Being free doesn’t mean you can break the law or do whatever suits your needs.  We are a free country, but that doesn’t mean everything is handed to you while you sit idly and complain.  Living the American dream means working hard and putting in the effort, to turn your dreams into reality.  Positive change occurs when you make the change to be a better human.  Politicians using tax payer money to further their own agenda or power doesn’t help America.  Actions of unscrupulous and arrogant leaders further divide and separate our population.  They are driven by greed, corruption and control; to manipulate us for their personal gain and power. 

This is the time to be concerned about freedom.  We don’t want to lose it.  Be respectful, have integrity and do the right thing.  Be the positive change you want to see in our nation and the world.  Be a great American first; and change the world.  I don’t understand the arrogance of some individuals.  Are these people so unhappy with themselves or life, that their displays have to be loud and obnoxious for the world to see.  Maybe this behavior make them feel strong.  All actions really do is to move them further away from society. It doesn’t heal them; or fill their void for love or happiness.  It’s sad for everyone.  I was happy to share our Independence Holiday with my family.  I wish I could have done more to help with their pets.  It’s sad knowing people, especially veterans; as well as pets and animals, suffer stress and anxiety from loud noises.  These afflictions, created by a variety of reasons, are real and debilitating.  Unfortunately, there are individuals in our world who don’t care about the welfare of others.  Please don’t be that person.  I’m responsible for myself.  I do my best to be a good person and a good American.  It’s time we all step up to assist each other and be better people.  Challenge yourself to be the best possible version of you.  You can achieve anything you desire, if you believe in yourself.  It only works if you put in the effort and work every day to make your dreams reality.  Show gratitude, humility and kindness to your fellow humans.  Begin each day with a happy heart.  Having compassion and tenderness doesn’t mean you’re weak.  These are strengths; while positive affirmations reflect your passion and love for others, as well as yourself.  Be the change!  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

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

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