Following my path

May 16, 2021

Good morning friends.  It’s already the middle of May.  I hope you’re all staying happy and healthy.  I plan to keep this week’s blog short and sweet!  I’ve been in Zion National Park nearly the entire week.  This means very little time to write, and possibly no internet.  Part of my time has been spent exploring the amazing natural beauty of this area.  I truly reveled in its scenic wonder.  Several days were dedicated to a Ragnar trail team relay run.  I’m always excited for the opportunity to get outside, enjoy the beauty of nature and a new 2021 adventure.  Running has been my passion and stress outlet for decades.  I’m grateful my body continues to allow me the opportunity to enjoy the physical aspect of exercise, while basking in the glory and beauty of nature.   Life really is quite incredible!  Enjoy every moment while you continue to work hard to achieve your dreams.  Follow your path with an open heart and guidance from the universe.

The magic, energy and majestic glory of nature never cease to amaze or astound me!  Zion is a creation of staggering beauty.  Our planet is filled with many natural works of wonder.  They are each astounding and stunning in their unique way.  Mountains, deserts, rivers, valleys, oceans and everything in between; make up our incredible planet.  God and the universe worked in unison to mold these feats of splendor for us to enjoy.  How often do you take the time to sit and bask in their energy and magnificence?  I know I don’t do this often enough.  My solution; I’m planning many more trips that deepen my journey to new lands.  Each time I travel, one of my priorities is to get outside, explore and seek new adventures.  I would much rather build my knowledge with experiences; rather than reading or watching a movie that describe it.  The best way to accomplish this, is by getting outside; hiking in nature and seeking wisdom from local individuals who inhabit these lands of enchantment.  This past week in Zion has been incredible, amazing and filled with happiness and joy.     

We live in an ever-changing world.  Events, here and abroad; along with social issues, politics and mindless attitudes, continue to sway beliefs and defy reason.  I often wonder where or how people are educated as to what’s happening in a wide variety of issues.  From some of the displays I’ve witnessed, or seen via the news or social media, it’s interesting how little effort people put into discovering the facts or truth related to events or occurrences.   It’s evident some people are biased due to race, gender, nationality, religion, creed or color.  This is both sad and disheartening.  It’s crazy to think good has become evil and racist mentalities exist in ALL types of people.  There are some individuals that just can’t seem to let that stuff go.  It’s seems they have nothing better to do than push their idiotic agenda and create more division among nationalities.  Why it that?

We all experience struggles, deal with fear and have negativity invade our thoughts.  This continues throughout our life.  Don’t ever think you’re the only person feeling stress, pressure or anxiety from issues or daily occurrences.  The difference between remaining positive or not, is how each of us deal with these situations and find resolution.  One successful solution for me, I never allow these demons room to enter into my mind.  Yes, attempts always occur, but I keep myself aware of when these intrusions happen.  When they do, I immediately repel them and push them out of my thoughts.  You cannot allow negativity in, as once you do, it becomes increasingly difficult to push them out.  When negative thoughts penetrate your brain, don’t allow them space.  Instantly dispel them and regain your positivity.  I keep several memories of my favorite people, places and things available in my thoughts to help keep my mind focused on happiness.  I begin each new day with gratitude and joy.  I meditate, stretch and incorporate yoga postures each and every morning.  I do this ritual with each new sunrise, to set the tone for my day and keep me on the right path.   These activities assist to keep my body, mind and spirit centered for the day.   

I hope you take time to slow the speed of your life, so you can recognize when changes occur.  Don’t allow this time or the opportunities to speed by you.  Ensure you keep your heart and soul open to the possibilities; for growth and to adjust with the new times.  I’m not saying to sway with the prevailing wind or attitudes.  Be a forward thinker, living in the present and planning for the future.  I’ve found it’s best when I maintain an open mind in all aspects of life.  I’d much rather be an independent thinker in my approach to my decision-making process.  Don’t be a follower.  Be a leader, always seeking the truth and facts.  Pay attention to the evidence that supports your conclusions.  Listen to all sides of the story.  The truth is typically found in the middle.  Be your own person, make your own decisions, but stay aware when changes adjust your perspective or life. 

What happened to the me I use to know?  Where did he go?  As time passes, our knowledge, attitudes, outlook, experience and lives change.  I came into this world a different person than who I am today.  As I’ve grown, matured and aged; I’ve gone through a metamorphizes of sorts.  Learning through education and experience has offered new ideas, thoughts and processes.  My intellect developed, to expand my knowledge, skills and expertise.  Wisdom from many years of life has further transformed me.  This evolution continues with each new sunrise.  The majority of individuals travel through life unaware or not concerned with this process.  I was one of those humans for many years.  I was running down the path, often not aware or caring what direction I was heading.  My focus wasn’t always on what served my best interest and it rarely involved passion.  My life centered on egotistical behavior and self-satisfaction.  Luckily that changed with age, wisdom and experience.

I learned the value of life, friendship and love.  It took some time, heart breaks, sadness and lessons learned.  When I was able to be educated by life, it became clearly evident the meaning and purpose of my life.  So many individuals continue to seek direction and purpose.  I wish I could easily assist and point you to the correct path.   The journey is for each of us to seek and discover.  I know there are many who struggle with this expedition of life.  The words of wisdom I can offer are simple.  Begin each day with gratitude.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  It serves no purpose.  We are all humans, but we each are different and unique.  Treat yourself and other with kindness and respect.  Be mindful in your thoughts, words and actions.  Stay focused and positive on your path, while you take time to enjoy your journey.   Being “positive” doesn’t mean I never have a negative thought or become fearful.  For me, it means that when negativity or fear does enter my mind, I don’t allow it to control or manipulate me.  I dismiss them as quickly as they cross my thoughts.  I remain steadfast in my dreams and desires.  Fuel your body, mind and spirit with healthy food and thoughts.  What enters our body can enhance it or hinder your progress.   

I am right where the universe wants me to be.  I continue to follow my path, with happiness and gratitude.  I kept my heart and soul closed off for far too long.  As I allow them to open more each day, the feeling of defeat no longer affects me.  I feel better, living free and happy.  It’s like being awakened or enlightened to new found pleasure.  Discover what is holding you back or defeating you.  Conquer those issues with a positive and powerful mind.  Believe in yourself.  Cast fear aside and live free.  Life, or events, don’t necessarily change or interfere with my path or ability to achieve my goals.  Planet earth continues to spin, rotating around the sun in this vast universe.  Seasons change, plants and animals grow, wither and die as each year passes.  Humans share this process of life and death.  We participate in a multitude of experiences, as we grow and mature.  These processes alter our perception, that ultimately change how we react or interact with life.  We all struggle from time to time.  Don’t allow the difficult time to define you or divert you off your path.  Rid your mind of negativity by quieting your movement.  Focus on your dreams and passion.  Work hard to achieve them daily.  You will reap the benefits in time.  This is all part of this magnificent journey called life.  So many individuals seem to struggle with “finding their purpose.”  I believe when we let go of the daily stresses and ordeals our minds create, this is when we discover our true purpose on this planet.  Simply defined for me, it’s called” happiness.”


Visiting Zion has provided enriched enlightenment and solace.  I remain grateful and thankful for the many gift’s life has bestowed upon me.  I have much to be thankful for, including; family, friends, love and life.  Take the time to recognize what you have, what you’re working to achieve and where you’re going.  Stop whining about what you don’t have; and just be grateful!  Life is happening in the present, so enjoy every precious moment.  There is no time to waste on foolish endeavors.  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!

It’s the simple pleasures

May 9, 2021

Good morning friends.  Let me begin by wishing all the Mom’s a very Happy Mother’s Day!  What a fabulous day to celebrate these wonderful women.  Take the time to thank your mother; whether you spend time with her, call her or say a prayer for her; be grateful for her and all she’s done in your life.  These amazing women are truly incredible humans.  They are the reason we’re here today.  I wish I had the opportunity to share this special day with my Mom.  She has been confined to an Alzheimer’s care facility for nearly five years.  It’s a horrible, debilitating and deadly disease.  The difficult part has been watching her mind and body slowly degrade.  It’s been years since she’s known herself, remembered her past, her family or who I am.  She exists in a world confined by her withering mind and body.  She no longer speaks, walks or can care for herself.   This is no way for a human, or any living creature, to exist.  It’s a sad and heartbreaking situation, for her, and many others suffering from this tragic disease.  I urge you to cherish every moment of life; with your Mother, family and friends.  Life is a special limited time opportunity.  Don’t waste it!  “Thank you Mom, I love you.”

A few nights ago, I was sitting on my living couch relaxing.  The sun was setting as I looked out the sliding door window, to my patio.  I noticed a hummingbird perched on the feeder.  This red goblet of delight hangs from the eves of the roof, just outside above the patio deck.  By no means is it out of the ordinary to see a hummingbird there.  The local crew engage in playful daily feedings from dawn to dusk.  What set this evening apart, from any other, is what occurred over the next 15 to 20 minutes.  This tiny creature of God just sat there.  This is highly unusual behavior for these little flyers.  I watched from the couch for several minutes.  Then I had to get up and walk to the slider to get a closer look.  Typically, if they spot movement coming near them, they tend to fly away.  This didn’t happen.  Instead, this little bird turned to look at me, then continued to sip on the sweet nectar from the feeder and relax.

This beautiful little gem sat, sipped, looked at me and continued to observe the surroundings from this perch.  After five minutes or so, I reached for a cell phone to record the visit.  Over the next ten minutes, or so, I took pictures and recorded a video to document this interesting phenomena.  I watch and talked to this little creature.  Then it dawned on me on how special and amazing life can be.  How often do we take the time to slow our lives down to actually enjoy the world around us?  I’ve had the pleasure to observe these tiny creatures on numerous occasions, but never really relishing in their glory.  There is so much life happening on our planet every second of the day.  Next time you’re out in nature, or you observe life in action; take the opportunity to stop and enjoy the show.  Don’t be like many people (humans), who are often too busy, or engrossed in their own little world, to witness these amazing feats.  Nature is truly incredible.  We just need to open our eyes and senses to the world around us to enjoy it.

Hummingbirds are considered magical and spiritual creatures.  When their continued presence is directed at you, it’s believed to be a visit from angels or spirits.  They vibrate at a higher frequency than any other creature; creating energy, harmony and peace.  Whether you believe in the symbolism these incredible tiny beings represent or not, I hope you respect their beauty, agility and significance on earth.  There are so many things we miss because we aren’t looking.  Slow yourself and allow your mind, body and spirit the opportunity to bask in the energy the universe provides.  I’ve enjoyed many encounters with these majestic beings.  I’m thankful I had the presence of mind to recognize them as happy and insightful contacts.  Each has stayed with me and reminds me to stay present in life.  I remain grateful and blessed each day.  We can learn many life lessons from other creatures. 

During my decades on this earth, it’s become apparent to me that life is about the simple pleasures.  It doesn’t matter how big my house is, if I drive a fancy car or wear the latest fashions.  Greed, ego or selfish behavior have no place in my world.  Life is about humility, kindness, respect and integrity.  I begin my days with gratitude, positivity and happiness.  I fill my hours with good thoughts and wonderful people.   You don’t have to agree with what I say or do, it’s just my opinion.  What I hope; is that you seek the truth, educate yourself with knowledge and make intelligent decisions based on facts.  Stay positive, happy and healthy my friends.  Show kindness and love to all beings on this planet.  Our lives move at an incredible pace and we often speed past fantastic scenarios occurring all around us.  Get outside, breathe and enjoy nature.  Life is happening all around us.  There is an entire universe filled with activity and wonder.  Often times it only requires us to open our eyes, look out our window and recognize the world of beauty set before us.  The activity begins at sunrise, continuing 24/7 daily; with plants, trees, flowers and all of God’s creatures, full of life and living.  Take time to notice this magnificent and magical world.  Seek solitude in nature.  Quiet your mind and body so you can rejuvenate.  Peace and mindfulness allow answers to our questions to become clear.  Stay grateful and kind to all humans, animals and living creatures.  Cherish these simple pleasures of life.

Today is a special day, so make your Mom; or any Mother you know, feel the love and gratitude they deserve.  Tell your Mom you love her, give her flowers or take her out for some fun.  If you haven’t spoken to her for a long time, (or if you just saw her yesterday), use today as the catalyst to say, “Thank you, I love you Mom.”  Without our Mom’s, none of us would be here.  It’s such a simple gesture to tell someone, “I love you.”  It’s even more grand when you can show them by your action and deeds.  Don’t miss the opportunity.  Remember, life is short.  Be grateful and thankful for what you have and continue to work hard for what you want.  Enjoy a Happy Mother’s Day, filled with love and happiness.  “It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.”  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!

Healthy Love

May 2, 2021

Good morning friends.  It’s crazy thinking we’re already at the first Sunday of May.  Time keeps marching forward, with no slowing down.  I hope you are all doing well, while staying happy and healthy.  Be sure you take plenty of “you time” to relax, de-stress and breathe.  Self-care and self-love are an important ingredient to maintain your personal health and wellness.  Living a healthy lifestyle requires each of us to care for our physical body, while we nurture a positive mental outlook and ensure a grateful spirit.  Loving ourselves is a necessity to set us on the right path, to enable each of us to share our love with others.  If you don’t respect and appreciate the love you have for your own being, how can you expect to share love with another human or living creature?  Loving yourself is the first step on your journey to share love with others. 

This coming week is my Dad’s birthday.  He would have been 99.  It’s difficult to believe he’s been gone over seven years.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him or speak to him.  I know he’s here, watching over me and our family.  He was always that kind of man; that ensured we were safe and happy.  His love for us and my love for him are stronger than ever.  Love of this intensity never falters or fades.  It is truly a love eternal.    

Love is an incredible and fabulous feeling.  It’s an intense, deep, pleasurable, intimate, amazing sensation, and so much more than words can describe!  Buddha beautifully answered the question, “what’s the difference between, I like you and I love you.”  He said, “When you like a flower, you just pluck it.  When you love a flower, you water it daily.  One who understands this, understands life.”   My life experience has shown me, when I “water” my soul daily, I am more grateful for life and appreciate love.

Have you ever taken the time to just sit and contemplate what “love” means to you?  When I returned home, after being on the road for two weeks, I did just that.  I reflected on the people I spent time with, saw, interacted, overheard or engaged in conversation.  My interactions with family and friends were filled with bountiful amounts of love entwined with all of our encounters.  My other contacts and situations (in airports, airplanes, hotels, restaurants, etc.), were with strangers, or simply overheard dialogue.  What I concluded; “love has a variety of meanings, interruptions and definitions for everyone.”  We each visualize and experience love through our own eyes.  How we perceive it is based on our past experience, how we think and how we’ve shared these feelings.  They’re all valid to each of us, typically based on the past events, lessons learned or beliefs.  I believe, like with most topics and life issues, it’s always important to take time to reflect on the present.  We can learn valuable information from our past; then we must leave the past behind.  No one should carry all that excess baggage with them.  It just wears us down and causes more harm than good.  Live life in the here and now, while we continue to seek knowledge, insight and maturity with each new day.  Knowledge provides the power that energizes us to grow into our future.

People all over the world use the word “love” to describe feelings for a variety of persons, places, objects and things.  They express a love of food, animals, cars, flowers, music, etc.  You name it and I’m sure someone somewhere says, “I love it.”  I have no doubt for some, they may actually “like” an object or thing more than love it.  We do tend to over use this tender and caring word; often taking it to excessive extremes.  The word love and emotion it represents, for me, is the love we have and share with other humans.  I’m sure we all share a love of our family and friends.  This feeling is typically developed from an early age.  As we grow and mature, our emotions, attachments and connections develop and blossom.  We learn the importance of these relationships and the love of others and ourselves.

I sometimes fear the true meaning of love has been lost or pushed aside.  When you express your love for another human, it shouldn’t be based on a physical looks or sexual attraction.  Let’s face it, there are people in our world who are less scrupulous, egotistical and self-absorbed attitudes that only see things that benefit themselves.  They tend to live life, sucking the energy and good out of everything around them.  I doubt these individuals love themselves, yet only anyone else.  These people use “love” as a catch phrase, rather than a feeling or emotion.  Love is so much more than a word to be used for objects, things or self-centered behavior.  For all the romantics and amazing people out there; healthy, honest and trusting relationships develop over time. These wonderful connections blossom into friendships, close knit bonds and love.    

When two people meet, to create a relationship, they may experience an instant connection, or it may take time to develop.  They spend time together to establish and build a friendship, that might stay in that form or develop into more.  Individuals connect physically, mentally and spiritually, to form a bond that joins them together as one.  Love can be developed slow or fast, while the union of two individuals can remain both complex or simple.  If you’ve experienced an amazing love, you know it’s an extraordinary and intricate connection of two humans.  Saying those three incredible words, “I love you,” have the ability to spark many emotions.  When you speak this to another person, be sure you feel it and convey your emotions.  Telling someone you love them over and over is nice, but showing them your true feelings is even better.  Show them with displays of kindness, good actions and deeds.  Reflect your love in everything you do daily, using passion, gratitude, integrity and empathy to show your love.  All relationships require effort by both parties to ensure they last and grow.  Love, like beautiful flowers, only grow and develop when nurtured with care.  “Water” your love daily.   

When I sat in silent meditation, thinking about love, this verse came me.  My thoughts and experience with love, invigorates my soul, brightens my heart and energizes my spirit.  Don’t fear love.  Open yourself to the emotions and passion.  I hope you relate to some of my words.  You may experience a sense of how love invades my mind and body, and fills my soul with joy. 

Loves Emotion

“Maybe you never met that person that makes your blood boil, like you do to me.

Whenever I’m with you, my body shivers with chills that make me feel free.

My mind is consumed with sensations of fear and joy.

You make my temperature rise and my heart pound in deep in my chest with joy.

Every time you’re close, I want to hold you forever and never you let go.

When I hear your voice, my heart skips a beat.

I enjoy every word you say, whether it’s cold or with heat.

You enlighten my soul and fill my spirit with hope.

Each time our eyes connect, and you smile the way you do,

I melt a little more and feel your love too.

I can tell by the way you touch me, hug me and kiss me too,

Love surrounds us, just me and you.

Love isn’t always easy and it hurts at times,

because we’re both stubborn and foolish,

as we let our past and fears cloud our present as it entwines.

It doesn’t help us in our pursuit of happiness and the divine.

For now, I’m content to be your friend and enjoy your grace with time.

I want you to be the happiest you’ve ever been, with or without me in your place again.

I hope you feel what I feel when I see you too.

It’s crazy, amazing and a bit scary, but it’s our puzzle to do.

It’s loves great emotion and part of the universe’s master plan,

 to join two people together, uniting them as one.

Love is an incredible and consuming feeling of bliss.

It can drive you crazy, but always makes you want to hug and kiss.

You don’t need to say, “I love you” but I love it when you do.

We will forever be joined and bonded, whatever we do.”

We are living in days filled with division, anxiety and fear.  Populations and governments around the world are at odds.  These are difficult days, and it’s not easy to get people to agree.  It becomes increasingly difficult to place your trust in the “so called experts” when they aren’t even sure of the correct answer.  The one heart felt emotion we should all agree on, is that love is an amazing, eternal and encompassing energy.  We need to share and believe in its power! 

Love means opening your heart and soul to the possibilities of life.  We often hesitate when presented with opportunities, for fear of failure or hurt.  Failure is a misconception and the hurt we feel is because of how we process life events.  The real loss is never taking a chance to pursue happiness or love.  I admit, it’s difficult to place my heart in the hands of another.  When I allow myself to fully open my soul, this is when I reap the rewards of love.  I strive to be the best possible me, with gratitude and kindness.  Love is worth it, every time and in every place.  Don’t be scared, you may just win and be the happiest you’ve been.  Always hold these feeling close in your heart.  Take them with you wherever you go and never be fearful to let them show.  Love is worth the effort, because there’s nothing more amazing on this earth.  You deserve every wonderful moment the universe has to offer.  Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, they know the way.  Let the universe guide you to happiness.  It’s the best way to live.  Stay healthy, happy and positive my friends, allow love to find you. 

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

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

I miss your smile

April 25, 2021

Good morning friends.  I hope you are all doing well and enjoying life.  Happy final Sunday of the month.  My daughter and I were talking about how this year is flying by so quickly.  Unbelievably, our conversation was on April 1st, which seemed like just the other day.  Now we’re already nearing the end of the month.  It would be nice to slow time down a bit.  I know that isn’t possible, so the next best thing is to slow myself.  It’s easy to get tangled in societies fast-paced life style.  The endless speed at which life flows has the ability to drag us through each day.  It’s up to each of us to make a conscience effort to slow ourselves down.  Take time to relax your mind and body.  The rewards and energizing benefits are amazing.  Be mindful; relax your breathing, control your thoughts and be aware of what you say.  Find joy and comfort in a friendly smile.  These can be incredible sources of happiness and bliss.  A smile can speak a thousand words in a single heartbeat.  Think about the endless possibilities the next time you pass someone and smile.  When you make eye contact with someone, and they smile, this is one of the best sensations you can experience.  Hopefully we’ll return to smiles without restrictions soon.

A smile is truly an incredible creation.  During my travels, it’s definitely evident how much I miss your smile.  Each time I see your bright and beautiful smile, it sends chills of joy through my soul.  I can instantly visualize your emotions by your facial expression.  When you flash your cute smirk across the room, I know when it’s filled with love.  Your eyes twinkle with joy, that I know are meant just for me.  I know when you’re happy, sad, fearful, determined or passionate.  The radiant glow of your smile commands the immediate attention of all.  Seeing you smile is one of the many beautiful experiences of life.  I find it very interesting how smiles have the ability to convey so many emotions, changing in fractions of seconds, to fit reactions or situations.  Smiles are an instant magnificent message for each of us to share.       

It’s sad we’re not yet free to experience these simple pleasures of life.  I was waiting for a flight this past week, when a mother and daughter walked past.  I wasn’t wearing a mask and I smiled politely as they walked by.  I could hear the woman tell her daughter after they passed, “I smiled back, but with this mask he didn’t know.”  I look forward to the day when smiles are visible and free.   Hopefully our world will once again be able to smile and travel freely.  I have been fortunate to visit some incredible destinations to this point in life.  I plan to visit many more before I’m no longer physically able.  I pray our world realizes it doesn’t need to impose bans or restrictions; based on masks, vaccination cards or illness fears.  I understand why this is a “Hot” topic for many.  There are a variety of opinions on all sides.  These are my thoughts.

The virus arrived over a year ago when our country was being divided by politics.  I find it interesting how the pandemic was utilized as a political tool to further divide, “us versus them.”  We don’t need a 24/7 blitz of coverage to keep us informed of an illness.  On the contrary, the scope and coordinated effort of this total and encompassing campaign is required when it’s a propaganda machine.  This brand of intense constant information is meant to manipulate, control and alter your rational thinking and decision-making process.  That process has been successful, especially when you recognize how it has altered the behavior of many individuals.  This agenda continues to be pushed today; with masks, “social distancing” and the virus injection.  The campaign has always utilized division and fear.  The virus isn’t my first concern, but it has generated fear among many people.  It’s interesting how individuals, politicians, the media and big business continue to push this shot as the savior of humanity.  The entire scenario is quite fascinating, since officials have never explained (or revealed) how, where or why this virus began.  The controversy and conflicting information surrounding this entire situation is quite baffling.   

How can I place faith in a “vaccination” that was conceived, developed, produced, “tested” and rolled out in less than a year?  The flu vaccination has been around for decades.  It’s only 50% effective and has side effects.  Consider how all manufactured drugs typically require years of evaluation, testing and approval, prior to distribution for “safe” use.  All these drugs, or medicines, have side effects; nor are they always 100% effective.  The newly developed coronavirus shot will most certainly have side effects beyond what they know or understand. How safe is it; really?  Has anyone considered or even care what the potential side effects could be in the coming years?  I understand all the information, hype, propaganda and manipulation that has occurred to bolster our confidence.  The question, is this injection truly necessary for everyone, or anyone?  There are many people who have “pre-existing conditions.”  Medical experts say these individuals appear to be more vulnerable to the virus.  For the billions who are not “at risk”, why should we be required to be injected with this serum?  If you think the vaccine is in your best interest, that’s fine.  I have no objection, so please get the shot. That’s your choice and decision.  Please don’t insist I need the shot because of your fear or indoctrination.  This is my decision to make, not yours or the government.

The pandemic ensuing craziness and media hype have created a new and divided age.  Wearing masks and “social distancing” have created a new stigma.  Watching people over the last year, including and up to the present, has been educational.  I see lone individuals wearing a mask while driving in their car or outside walking alone.  When I go for a walk or run, people cross the street so they won’t have to pass by me.  People refuse to ride in elevators with others, visit family or friends or socialize.  Conversely, I’ve been in large crowds of people in grocery stores, markets, home improvement or big box stores; where I assume they must think it’s “safe.”  I’ve flown on multiple airline flights packed full of passengers.  We suffered through the hypocrisy of “imposed restrictions.”  Churches, houses of worship, restaurants and small businesses were closed by the government.  The absurdity of the restrictions concerning the virus, masks and social distancing; simply astounds me.  People across our nation are not against being safe.  The idiocracy is when numerous individuals, agencies or politicians spout information to bolster their own agenda.  Chaos and lies flow between political parties and politicians.  It’s sad what their personal vendettas created for our nation.    

Events across America, created increased fear, anxiety, hostility, as well as critical social and economic issues.  Many of these situations are beyond our control.  Some events are influenced by politics, idiotic leadership, anti-American groups, news or social media.  These occurrences have the ability to occur when leaders are weak, unwilling or unable to properly deal with issues as they arise.  Some situations or circumstances can weigh heavily on a person; causing your mental, physical or spiritual strength to decay.  This is when we each need to step back from the chaos and ask ourselves what it right and wrong.  Educate yourself using reliable and honest sources.  Make intelligent decisions based on facts, not fear.  Be responsible for your well-being and self-care.  Show respect for all people and don’t be driven by the manipulation or fear of a political agenda.  

The ill handled (or controlled) pandemic caused death and economic destruction.  I ensure health precautions, deemed important to me and others, are followed.  I know how to maintain my own safety and good health.  I eat healthy foods, while limiting or eliminating processed sugar and foods.  My lifestyle includes exercise, drinking plenty of water, enjoying sunshine and the outdoors, while getting the proper amount of rest.  It isn’t difficult or boring.  It’s simply healthier.  Life is about balance.  Use it properly and enjoy it.  I stay informed and educated, without fear, knowing the death rate is less than 1%.  Death is sad and tragic, no matter when or how it occurs.  Living in fear is paralyzing and unnecessary.  It’s devastating watching people lives and businesses ruined (physically and economically), by closures, restrictions and misinformation.  We are bombarded with fear daily.  Do not to allow it to control your life.  Take the time to educate yourself.  Seek sources of truth; not social media.  Knowledge is freedom.   When you know and understand the truth, you free yourself from the fear.  Some political leaders are among the most prolific offenders of truth.  Some news stations and social media outlets spread this fear and misinformation.  My career in law enforcement taught me to evaluate situations logically, using facts and evidence to support my conclusions.  Don’t confuse false information or political rhetoric for facts.  Do your research and seek the truth.  There are credible journalists and news sources that report with honesty and integrity; seek them out. 

Our lives move at an incredible pace in the 21st century.  Respect, honesty, integrity and communication are integral values, for all humans.  Some individuals seem to have forgotten the importance of these valuable characteristics.  Have we become so entitled or arrogant to believe we are better than others?  America is a great nation with a diverse population.  In some respects, there are individuals in our country who have forgotten or tossed away these important ideals.  We, the people, need to hold our elected leaders accountable for their decisions.  Politicians should be enacting laws or making decisions based on what we want.  Their actions should reflect what’s best for our nation, while addressing and rectifying critical social and economic issues of today.

We need to re-open America and the world to smiles.  My travels, at home and across our nation, are revealing more beautiful and precious smiles each day.  Smiles are such an amazing form of comfort and communication.  They share a universal language of friendship.  A flight attendant recently told me, “we use our eyes to smile now.”  Let’s all do our part to communicate our passion, desire, strength and solidarity to each other, our nation and the world.  We are all humans, coexisting on a rock floating in this vast universe.  Be grateful for the life and the amazing opportunities we possess.  Place your faith in knowledge, not in fear.  Smile more and share your happiness with others.  Life is a precious gift and limited time offer.  Be happy and make it count!  Get out of the house, love your life and share your smile.  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!

Healthy Medicine

April 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthy Travel

April 11, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Easter Gratitude

April 4, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entitlement

March 28, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Blossoms

March 21, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Power of Change

March 14, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Build your inner strength and discipline to motivate your soul. 

Be happy where you are right now.  

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

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

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

Speaking of change and dreams: 

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

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

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