We’re the Police

February 7, 2021

Good morning friends.  Here we are, already a week into February.  Time is flying!  Last Tuesday, February 2nd was Groundhog Day.  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.  This brings a prediction of six more weeks of winter.  I send my sympathy to those residing in wintery locations.  I’m a southern California native, where our seasons consist of spring and summer.  Fall and winter make occasional appearances.  If there’s a disruption in the weather, it’s major news.  I’ve witnessed my share of SoCal craziness.  Earthquakes, fires, mudslides, protests, celebrity nonsense, serial killers, gangs, drugs, riots and violence; are a few of our events.  Much of the madness is beyond our control.  We are responsible for our own actions and expressions.  We share this responsibility with all humans; to maintain a civil society and not let it slip into anarchy.  Adults (especially parents) need to educate our children and younger generations with intelligence, integrity and history.  We all should be aware of what humanity and goodness really stand for; and that evil is lurking nearby too.      

Children often dream of what they will become in adult life.  When I was a kid I wanted to be a fireman.  My backup plan was a cowboy or astronaut.  The fire department aspirations were based on the premise that it looked like fun.  Riding in big shiny red trucks with the lights flashing and siren blaring, just enhanced the thrill.  The cool looking fire station was a garage full of toys.  I recall going to open houses, climbing on the trucks and trying on equipment.  It was always a blast!  Who doesn’t like firefighters?  Part of my dream came true after I graduated from college.  I was hired by the Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service, as firefighter on a Hot Shot crew.  My four-year stint concluded working an engine crew on Angeles Crest Highway.  Years later I achieved a backup plan goal, assigned to the LAPD Mounted Unit.  Police work on horseback was a challenging endeavor and saddled with excitement.  The closest I came to becoming an astronaut was while assigned to SWAT and toured Cape Canaveral, at the Kennedy Space Center.   

Life and paths change over the course of time.  It’s interesting how the universe works its magic.  In 1980 I applied to the Los Angeles Police Department.  Four months later I found myself entering the LAPD academy.  My journey and passion for law enforcement began the first day of police training.  I had no idea my career would span nearly 34 years.  It took me down a variety of roads with twists and turns.  Some paths I had no idea existed or often no intention of traveling.  It was a grueling love hate relationship that slowly wore me down.  When I reflect on my many years of service, assignments worked, people I worked with, friendships, experiences, traumas and successes; I cherish each and every moment.   Each day brought new interactions, learning, experience and different individuals to assist.  The goals I set and decisions I made enhanced or altered my career in a number of ways.  I had the opportunity to work with many amazing individuals.  Several of my bosses were great mentors. They assisted me in developing my abilities and skills.  Their support and guidance pushed me to reach my potential in law enforcement.  I spent 16 years as an officer and 18 years as a supervisor (9 years as a sergeant and 9 years as a lieutenant).  The vast majority of my career was spent working field assignments (as opposed to sitting in an office).  As a lieutenant, in charge of personnel working the streets, it was my priority to be available to them.  I knew from my past experience what it meant knowing your supervisor was out there with you.  The support, mentoring and direction offered by a good leader is invaluable.     

Law enforcement, and the policing of any society, is not a simple or easy task.  The inherent dangers are ever present.  It can be rewarding and exhilarating work.  It can also bring pain, sorrow and heartache.  The stress you feel strains your entire being.  Countless incidents of trauma can debilitate you mentally and physically.  The pain and suffering of victims seemed nonstop at times.  Responding to trauma filled incidents became a normal occurrence.  I did all I could to assist people that were filled with hate, despair, anger, hurt and every other emotion you can imagine.  Witnessing abused women and children, death by suicide or murder, innocent victims brutalized, twisted wreckage of car accidents or people robbed of their possessions (taken by soulless thieves) was routine.  Maybe some people forgot, or maybe never really cared, what law enforcement represents.  For me, it stands for the good of our society and nation.  Large cities, or vast metropolitan settings, are filled with diversity, both good and bad.  Densely populated areas bring a variety of social, economic and crime related issues.  A career in law enforcement includes a life of dedication and giving.  It’s a calling rather than a job.  It often was difficult me to leave at the station what occurred during my shift.  I’d go home feeling exhausted from the mental and physical fatigue.  Trauma and tormented individuals remain with you forever.  Some days were uneventful, while the majority were filled chaos, madness, sadness or anxiety.  Your mind and body remain on “high alert” for potential danger or criminal activity.  I’m always aware of my surroundings, situations and people around me.  Knowing you’re a target, from attacks or from individuals seeking to discredit you, and what you represent, is forever present. 

We all know evil exists (or we should).  If you have doubts, please educate yourself on individuals that commit heinous and atrocious acts or crimes; like mass murders, serial killers, child predators or brutal dictators.  They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and nationalities.  Evil individuals have been on this earth since the inception of mankind.  Millions of innocent people have been brutalized, traumatized and butchered by evil and sadistic humans.  When laws were first enacted to protect societies, individuals were sought to serve as a buffer between the good and bad.  Law enforcement officers became the protectors of society.  Officers have rules, policies, procedures and laws (civil, state and federal) to follow and obey in the facilitating of their duties.  Criminals, or those who disregard our society; don’t obey laws, disregard moral conduct and will use any force to take what they want.  Individuals with no affinity to police, pose a dangerous threat to all.  Encounters with them can have deadly consequences.  There is no nice or pretty way for officers to restrain or stop the aggressive or combative actions of these individuals.  Criminals aren’t nice people.  Some humans do not have the ability, will power, mental fortitude or desire to control their illicit urges.  Using force isn’t delicate, politically correct or pretty.   Officers are guided by policy and law when force is necessary.  Lawlessness is bound by no code of conduct.  

We live in a country, where laws exist, so all people can reside in peace and freedom.  The defund the police movement grew as a political argument.  Politicians used it as a tool to spread fear and garner votes.  Extremists utilized it to discredit law enforcement and push their own agenda.  These individuals want you to believe we (Police Officers) are bad, racist or brutes.  Limiting police authority, freeing incarcerated criminals, closing prisons or opening our borders won’t solve any issues.  This only perpetuates more fear, division and unrest.  Following the incident at the Capital, democratic leaders used this to lock down Washington DC.  They set up fences, barricades and deployed thousands of military troops and police officers for protection.  Who are they afraid of, or was this just a cleaver disguise to create more fear and control?      

Today, law enforcement is under attack, both physically and politically.  The tactics to create fear, division, hate, while vilifying law enforcement are real.  Leaders call to defund law enforcement; then ensure their own security and protection with these same officers.  We should all be aware of the rising crime across our nation.  Murder rates, especially in large cities, gang violence, drugs, crimes against children and criminal behavior in general, is on the increase.  The threats against officers and dangers they face, horrific and appalling, grows daily.  Police officers and law enforcement individuals are dedicated to serving and protecting the community.  We are willing to do a job no one else wants to do or see.  We know the risks are real, but we want to maintain safe communities for all people.  When an officer encounters a dangerous or combative individual, split second decisions made under duress can be crucial to survival.  These encounters are scrutinized, picked apart and questioned to the smallest degree.  If an individual is injured or killed during a confrontation, officers are often condemned before all the facts of the incident are known.  People base their decisions on news or social media accounts, that often do not know the facts associated with the case.  Some news sources or media outlets alter, sensationalize, twist, fabricate or manipulate statements or facts to gain an edge on their competitors.  For some, news reporting is a business.  Who can break a news story first or provide more information than their revivals, wins.  There are people who do not care about facts or truth.  They only care to push information that supports and serves an agenda that serves their purpose.  There are hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers throughout our nation that provide outstanding, professional, fair and unparalleled service.  When you examine any career, nationality, race or gender, you find a few unsuitable individuals.  That small percentage can tarnish the entire group. 

I was blessed to work with one of the best police departments in this country (and the world).  The LAPD constantly sought new techniques and technology to resolve critical encounters with criminals or impaired individuals.  Our tactics, policies and training were constantly evaluated, reviewed and altered to ensure we were on the cutting edge of policing.  Before you render decisions on police actions, take the time so seek the facts, evidence and the truth.  The battle being waged against law enforcement is a sad commentary on our society.  We are becoming a world influenced by progressives and extremist beliefs.  It’s a fantasy world where good is now bad and bad is good.  I want to live in a world of law and order.  Our nation offers peace and freedom, but that will only last as long as we retain the good.  As long evil exists, or individuals prey upon others, the need for law enforcement and the military is required.

When evil is outside your door or you need help, who will you call?  I doubt it will be your congressional representative or state senator.  They have plenty of law enforcement security to keep them safe.  I guarantee you’ll want someone who offers immediate and unquestioned protection at any hour of the day.  We’re the police.  We’re here to help 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!


January 31, 2021

Good morning friends.  The first month of the New Year flew by in action packed fashion.  Antics by both sides of the political spectrum continued.  The decision making of our “leaders” confuse and dismay me.  It makes me wonder how some of these individuals were elected.  Tomorrow we roll into a new month.  February brings new avenues to achieve success. I have no doubt the month will go quickly; it always does.  Let’s do our best to make each day spectacular.  Tuesday, February 2nd is Groundhog Day.  I hope, for the sake of those in wintery climates, Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow; forecasting an early spring.  If he sees his shadow, then six more weeks of winter is possible.  The fate of winter and our future may be unknown, but I plan to enjoy whatever each new sunrise brings.  Challenges and change will always exist.  Success can be achieved when you stay focused, maintain a positive attitude, use fortitude and hard work to propel yourself through adversity.  Life is full of opportunities!  Open your mind and grab them before they pass you by.

America is a great country and amazing place to live.  It’s a land filled with possibilities.  I’m sure people around our planet share my sentiment about their homes.  There are many incredible nations with wonderful people across the globe.  I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with some of them during my travels.  We all have things to be thankful and grateful for; most importantly life.  Our existence on earth, and the freedoms we share, are precious and valuable gifts.  These privileges should never be taken for granted or assumed.  We have endured many struggles over the course of time to ensure freedom and our way of life is protected.  Complacent or apathetic attitudes have the ability to bring disastrous consequences.  Life shouldn’t hinge on being a democrat, republican, liberal, conservative; or what your race, nationality, gender or religious belief may be.  Life, here in America and across the earth, should be about being a person of good character.  Be a role model who values good principles in support of our nation.  If a person consistently displays integrity, respect, honesty and loyalty; they easily gain my esteem and gratitude.  These four character traits seem to have faded for some individuals over the last decade or two.  The moral qualities America represents and stands for continue to slowly erode.   Extreme interpretations of our ethics, laws and Constitution has created a nation of politically correct fear based fanatics; while some see themselves as “victims” of our society.  America is not filled with racists or evil individuals, as some politicians want you to believe.  Every nation on this planet has a segment of extremists within population.  We all have biases to contend with, because we’re all humans.  Coexisting with others on this floating rock in the universe has always been tenuous.  Some just seem hell bent on increasing that difficulty. 

Life is an interesting and challenging process.  Hard work, principles, discipline and determination are a few traits that help create success.  Sitting on your rear doing nothing or living on government subsidies only breeds disrespect and malcontent.  America is a nation built by immigrants.  People come to this country to live in a free society.  They have the opportunity to build a better life in freedom.  The majority of these individuals work hard to achieve success and live their dreams.  My fathers’ parents came to the United States from Italy in the early 1900s.  My mom and her family immigrated here from Italy in the late 1930s.  They, along with millions of others, were proud to become Americans.  My sister and I asked our parents why they didn’t teach us how to speak Italian when we were kids.  Their reply, “We are Americans.  English is our language.  You didn’t need to know Italian.”  This was the mindset of many hard working immigrants that were eager to become citizens.  The tax dollars of Americans fuel this great nation.  Now we have many people struggling with economic hardship; influenced by the pandemic and restrictions created by unscrupulous politicians.  Our country, its people and many businesses need assistance.  Instead, our leaders are sending billions of tax dollars to foreign lands, or giving it to wealthy corporations.  Their idiotic decisions ruin businesses, increase unemployment, while sending our jobs to other countries.  It’s evident some politicians don’t care about our nation.  When does our government actually start helping its own citizens?  I’m not opposed to helping others, but shouldn’t our people and country be the primary concern.  Our military veterans, homelessness, small businesses and a variety of other social issues are in desperate need of attention, care and repair.  Some political leaders work to keep our nation divided.  They spread fear and hate; having you believe your fellow Americans are evil or not deserving.  These deceitful manipulations are both ludicrous and wrong.  It’s time we all show gratitude for life and each other. 

Family values should be a primary corner stone for building lives in America.  The majority of us live fast paced lives; that is often demanded by society.  We can become consumed by the chaos and madness.  The speed at which we live erodes our time and the importance of families.  The pandemic restrictions forced many families to stay home, but has that solved the problem?  Children are left alone at early ages; when parental support and guidance is most important in their development.  Parents need to be role models, while they empower their kids with family values, structure and discipline.  Self-esteem, confidence and character traits that instill the difference between right and wrong are advantageous in their development.  We’ve witnessed the ravages of alcohol, drugs, extremist ideology, criminal behavior or suicide; from our youth into adulthood.  Why are we allowing this to happen?  Are we that obsessed with our own lives or pursuits of grandeur?  It’s a tragedy how some parents subject their children to this behavior.  This demonstrates how we continue to remove the love of God and country from many aspects of life.  The government shouldn’t control our worship of God.  We should be proud to recipe the Pledge of Allegiance and sing our Nation Anthem.  We’ve allowed political extremism to remove important pieces from life.  Removing respect and loyalty to others and our Nation is increasingly easy.  “One Nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for all.”  Our great nation was built on principles, that continue to be thrown away by an extremist mentally.  Let’s bring back our national pride, our self-respect, dignity and loyalty to God and Country.     

Innovation and education are amazing things.  New ideas, concepts, creations and advancements in technology bring us an array of amazing and time saving products.  Vehicles, electronics, medicine, manufacturing and housing are just a few examples of advancements over the last century.  Our nation, the world and civilization has come a long way.  Learning has developed and changed during that time too.  The educational process has provided many people the opportunity needed to achieve individual success.  It has given others the boost to reach higher goals to bring their dreams and creations into reality for the world.  While many aspects of education remain similar to previous ages, some aspects have altered into an evil mix.  Reading and writing are essential and have the process is the same.  Mathematics, science and medical studies continue to grow.  History is a subject a great debate and controversy.  This is where we have allowed professors and teachers take liberties in this field of study.  The problem began years ago; when individuals, school boards, historians or politicians, made decisions on what and how “history” should be taught.  Now we have “artificial intelligence” monitoring and caring for our needs.  Robots to keep us company are on the near horizon.  Talking to a small box in your home collects and tracks more than just data about you.  How long will it be until our advances reach “Technological singularity?”  Is that even possible?  I’m not sure I want a robot as a friend.  I’d rather share my time with other humans.    

We know there may be uncertainty and challenges ahead.  Change is one constant in life.  We are a nation of immigrants; mixed by race, nationality, culture, gender and religion.  Some political leaders continue to spread hate, fear and division.  Don’t allow them to shame or coerce you into believing this madness.  Don’t be manipulated by an extremist left or right mentality.  Educate yourself and be an independent thinker.  If you continue to believe this hate filled narrative, you will remain fearful and controlled by deceit.  I’m not naïve and I do recognize our planet has its share of idiots, extremists, racist and evil individuals.  They come in all colors, races and national origins.  It’s a sad fact of this world.  I respect the heritages of all people.  We are all humans seeking the same peace, equality and freedom America has represented for decades.  I enjoy my cultural heritage, but I’m always an American first.  Life is truly a magnificent creation of beauty and pleasure.  All people are equal and deserve to live in a free society in God’s universe.  How we care and respect ourselves reflects on how we will treat others.  Show kindness and love to yourself and then to others; it will in turn be shown to you.

Life really is an amazing and fabulous thing.  Don’t waste it on fear or hate.  Now is the time to do all you can to make this the best life ever!

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!

Conquering a Country

January 24, 2021

Good morning friends.  I’m sure we all had high expectations for January and the New Year. Even with the chaos of the presidential election, I had hoped our newly elected leaders would bring calm and unity.  Then devastating events at the Capitol occurred, Pelosi called for impeachment and disenfranchised half of America with her loathing rhetoric.  Hate and contempt only breed more the same.  Biden’s’ inauguration speech of “unity” offered more separation than inspiration.  As a career politician, including eight years as vice president and 36 years in the senate, I hoped for more wisdom.  Seeing only camouflaged spectators in a deserted DC was an unnerving sight.  What’s next for our nation?  Let’s pray that our country can come together, heal and move forward in peace and freedom.  We can’t allow our country to be conquered. 

Inhabitants of this planet have been engaged in conflict since the birth of mankind and inception of good and evil.  Animals fight for superiority within their kingdom.  The stronger, or more cunning, typically ascend to the top of the food chain.  Combat among humans is to conquer foes, gain dominance, plunder treasure or rule lands.  Arrogance and greed are the roots of control, manipulation and power.  Missiles, bombs and armies provide a show of power, force and invoke fear.  In this technological age, physical battles are no longer required to conquer or oppress others.  Chaos, uncertainty and turmoil from within can create desperation and panic.  Control and fear are a reality in communist, socialist or totalitarian countries; like China, Russia, or other countries without freedom.  People in these lands face imprisonment or death if they do not adhere to the oppression of fanatical leaders.  In the 1960s, Russia predicted the USA would fall without an invasion or firing a shot.  Communist China vowed to topple our government and control our nation from the inside.  Their intention; to spread fear, hate and division; reduce our rights, beginning with free speech; and by controlling our businesses and political leaders.  Look at what they have accomplished here, while in the midst of devastating the freedom of Hong Kong.  I pray our nation never comes close to falling into hands of communist arrogance and domination.  People of America are becoming increasingly complacent in their life style.  We allow fear to rule us; dictated by unscrupulous politicians, slanted media and idiotic billionaires.

I don’t know what the next four years holds for us.  I can only hope our elected leaders step forward to ensure our nation, rights and freedoms are protected.  It’s easy to recognize how foreign powers continue to gain a foothold of control throughout the world.  I have no doubt countries like China or Russia work to gain influence over political representatives.  What better way to conquer a country, than from the within?  I’m sure this scenario continues around the globe.  The goal is world domination.  Evil forces across this planet work diligently, focusing their efforts to achieve this agenda.  Large corporations, land, industries and natural resources are being purchased in massive scale around the world by China.  We need to wake up and become educated to what is occurring in our nation and around globe.  Americans, the battle is at our doorstep.  The only way we can win is through education and knowledge.  Begin thinking logically for yourself.  Unscrupulous billionaires and politicians control our lives, through what we see, read and hear; via main stream news, social media and the internet.  Now they are attempting to silence the sources of truth and honest reporting.   

The events across our nation during the last five years are compelling.  Democratic leadership, including some news outlets, boasted Trump could never win.  The momentum intensified against his presidential campaign.  I believe Americans were tired of the lack of action and finger pointing by politicians.  Some were eager to elect the first female president; but Hillary wasn’t the right option.  Did she lack the peoples trust?  Was her honesty or integrity in question; especially after Benghazi in 2012.  What caused Democratic leaders to attack Trump with such vigor and distain?  Were they that convinced he wouldn’t win the election in 2016?  Did an outsider’s victory (especially someone they could not control) completely upset their agenda for the US?  Answers to these continuing mysteries remain unsolved.  I’m confident the truth is out there.  For the sake of our freedom and nation, I hope and pray the story will be revealed in time.

When Trump was elected, it touched off a battle for control.  Pelosi and her colleagues intensified their assault on his character and administration.  He threatened to “drain the swamp.” This proposal presented a risk to their supremacy.  We (the American people) have been held hostage in the middle of this political feud.  Pelosi and the democratic party provided no support for Trump when viable solutions to real issues in our nation were needed.  How many mass shootings have there been or inner city killings; yet not a single bill or resolution has been tendered to address these issues.  Politicians receive large “donations” from a variety of wealthy individuals, corporations, companies and countries.  Why would they do anything to go against the will of these industries?  How many protests occurred across our nation in 2020; resulting in destruction, burning, looting and violence?  Pelosi and many democratic leaders condoned the behavior, as free speech or racial inequality.  They used words like, “systemic racism” and “white supremacist” to define people like me.  Law enforcement officers were unjustly accused, abused and murdered.  Where was the outcry for these men and women, who only wished to protect and serve?      

Is there more to the attack on the Capital than we know?  Was it really Trump supporters gone mad, or something more sinister?  It just doesn’t make sense.  There are so any unanswered questions.  I’ve visited Washington DC on numerous occasions.  Security and law enforcement are a highly visible component of safety.  The White House and Capital have restrictive perimeters and secured points of entry.  When rallies or demonstrations occur, security operations are much more rigorous.  On this particular day, the Vice President and full Congress were in the Capital.  Where was their protection and security that day?  How individuals gained easy access deepens the mystery.  Why, or who orchestrated it or how it was possible, remains a mystery.  I do not condone the lawless attack on our nations’ Capital or law enforcement.  The people who took part in this atrocity deserve to be behind bars.  The thousands of rioters who participated in the looting and destruction across our nation in 2020 deserve to be jailed as well. 

The dust around the Capitol barely settled when Pelosi (and her colleagues) branded millions of Americans as extremists, domestic terrorists, racists or white supremacists.  This is offensive and insulting to our nation.  Democratic leaders have been spreading this division and bigotry for years.  They use news outlets and social media to propagate their agenda.  I know evil exists in our world.  There are good and bad people (I hope we all understand that).  Unfortunately, the majority of what we hear, typically centers around bad deeds.  Fear and evil is easy to sell and manipulate.  Racism and extremist ideologies are not confined to any one people or country.  They exist in every race, color, nationality, gender or religious background.  These behaviors span our globe.  I do not agree with the term, nor have I witnessed “systemic racism” in our culture, as Democratic leaders want you to believe.  I’m aware of the social and economic issues facing our nation.  Pointing a finger of blame at everyone isn’t an answer or solution.  This country has issues in many aspects of society, but it’s easier for these leaders to deflect the real issues and their lack of action.  I worked in a variety of communities throughout Los Angeles, engaging individuals from many races, nationalities, religious beliefs and economic income.  I’ve travelled our country and the world, interacting with many people.  America (and the world) is filled with good, hard working, God fearing individuals, striving for a better life.  My experience, throughout the United States of America, shows me our economic and political issues are much more extensive than racial.  Unfortunately, some Democratic leaders want you to believe that nonsense in order to further their own power and control.  They’re actions have created sad days for America. 

Now large tech giants are tampering with free speech; as what we say or do can be deemed unacceptable, by merely voicing our opinion.  Where is the outcry from our representatives or the media?  The inhibiting of free speech, by billionaires, should make you fearful.  Our freedom and rights are being attacked.  I do not want to live in a country where what you think, say or do can be controlled by the government.  This is our “democracy.”  “Government by the people especially: rule of the majority.  A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly, resulting in free elections.”  Do you see where this road is leading us?  If we stay on this path, it takes us toward the destruction of America from the inside; just at the Communist Party predicted many years ago.     

Real life is much more intriguing than any spy novel or murder mystery.  Be aware of your sources for truth and facts.  Inaccurate and misinformation abounds; much of which we’re bombarded with daily.  It’s difficult to know who to trust or believe.  America was built by individuals who shared many voices, but united for a common goal; a free nation.  I know we have patriotic leaders within our representatives.  I am anxious to have their voices heard in this administration. In this first week of power, Biden and democratic leaders reversed and enacted a number of Executive Actions.  These measures have the ability to create additional economic or social havoc across our land, with far reaching effects.  The uncertainty of our freedom is real.  We can’t allow fear, hate and racial division to be continually pushed on us.  This is the illusion they preach to further manipulate their control.   

I was raised with morals, values and a belief in God.  I learned to respect all people; treating everyone fairly and equally.  I hold my characteristics of integrity, loyalty and honesty in high regard.  I’ve done my best to maintain these traits throughout my life and career.  I support our new president, even though many others refused to support Trump when he was elected.  I’m not a Biden fan, but it’s the right thing to do as an American.  Our nation must unite to preserve freedom and equality for all.  We need more kindness, more understanding and more God in our lives.  I know our nation (on both sides of the political fence) is filled with great people; rich in diversity, culture and respect for freedom.  We need our collective voices to be heard.  Let those voices speak up loud so we can regain control of our land and our political system.  I do not want to see our land conquered or lost; for myself, my children and their children.  God bless America.

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

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

Build your strength

January 17, 2021

Good morning friends.  We’re already mid-way through the first month of the new year.  Time keeps ticking away; never slowing down.  Take advantage of each and every day.  Live the best possible version of yourself.  These are difficult times for many individuals.  Good people are struggling to keep their businesses and lives afloat.  The chaos filled days of dealing with political madness, social unrest, violence in our streets, the virus and economic uncertainty; create consent fear, stress and anxiety.  I had hoped our nation would begin to heal in this new year.  Why do people continue to divide our nation?  Is there an advantage to dividing and conquering us?  It sure seems that way.  There are two days bearing significance this coming week.  Tomorrow, Monday, January 18th the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.  His legacy represents equality, peace and freedom.  We can all benefit from his enlightenment and kindness.  On Wednesday, January 20th, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.  I pray he will do what is right for our nation and all our people.  It would be beneficial for him to follow Dr. Kings inspirational wisdom; “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Many political and corporate leaders could learn a valuable lesson from his many quotes.  Some of them haven’t done the right thing for years.  These individuals are all about their own power, influence, control and wealth.  What have they done to unify our nation?  What have they done to end violence in our streets or stop mass shootings?  During the last five years many have focused their energy and attention on discrediting and removing one man.  Now, more than ever, it is becoming increasingly important to focus on building your strength.  We live in a society where fear is used as a tool for manipulation and control.  Powerful politicians, billionaires, mega corporations, (and even foreign countries) use this tactic on a daily basis to leverage us and our nation.  How is it possible for us to unite, when we’re constantly being pushed apart?   Do not allow fear or these evil ploys to consume you.

Fear is a powerful force.  We learn it at a young age, then do our best to avoid it.  The fear of failure, other people, leaders, politics, police, crime, sickness and death seem to drive our emotions and reactions.  We are bombarded with fear daily; from politicians, news sources and social media.  Unfortunately, the stress and anxiety associated with fear may be inescapable for some.  If you allow fear to control your life, it has the ability to alter your perceptions.  It allows you to settle for what doesn’t serve you; to say yes when you mean no, experience difficulty making decisions, become silent and no longer voice your opinions.  All of these reactions can make you feel sick, but the control is real.  Living in fear has the ability to constrain every portion of your life.  It’s natural to be cautious and afraid, but our strength is required to push beyond the initial reaction and the uncertainty. 

Now is the time to increase your knowledge and create self-care.  I want you to concentrate on your own personal well-being.  I know from my experience; change is the one constant in life.  People often say it seems to occur when we least expect it.  The other explanation is we know it’s coming, but attempt to avoid or deny it.  Like fear, trying to out run it just doesn’t work.  It’s better to face change head on and deal with it.  How we react, embrace or reformulate our lives when that shift happens is a key component to our stability and success.  There are a number of things we can do to assist in stabilizing ourselves, so any impact felt won’t throw us off our path.  It really is up to each of us to absorb any effects, without dwelling or allowing them to impede our progress.  The best thing we can do, is remain positive and keep moving forward each day.  Building your strength, so you are well prepared for change or making course corrections, if needed, is beneficial to your survival.  Self-care and building inner strength begins with maintaining your body physically, mentally and spiritually.  Make the decision to be strong. 

What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say, “Build your strength.”  Many people may immediately think of increasing muscular or physical development.  Maintaining physical strength is an important aspect of health, but it is not my complete definition.  For many individuals, physical fitness and strength training are a way of life.  For people in certain career fields, being strong in stature is a must.  In some professions it may even be a requirement.  Athletes of all types, shapes and sizes, use exercise and fitness to bolster their careers.  First responders, military and other professionals (like those working in the trades) utilize fitness as an element to their success.  I believe fitness is an important piece of the healthy life puzzle.  There are a couple of component parts that comprise this framework that are equally as important.  It’s beneficial to remember that all parts of the healthy fitness scheme incorporate exercise, rest, enjoying out down time, sufficient hydration and wholesome food.  They all complement each other, while working together in unison.  This encompasses a complete and healthy lifestyle. 

Mental fitness is an integral piece to this plan.  Maintaining an optimum level of mental stability does wonders for good health and our sanity.  One of the best things you can do to accomplish this, is to keep the stress or level of anxiety at its lowest.  Living and functioning in society today, especially when there is so much chaos and uncertainty in the world, can make this process difficult.  One method you can use to achieve this is to reduce your intake, or time spent, watching mainstream news and limiting interactions on social media.  Don’t believe everything you see, hear or are told from any of these sources.  They have their own agenda and it doesn’t necessarily match our own.  These are mega corporations, owned by wealthy conglomerates or billionaires.  These individuals have one thing motivating them, greed.  They are in the “sales” business.  They twist and manipulate stories and articles to fit their own needs or desires.  Social media content is closely controlled and orchestrated to achieve their desired goals.  Do your best to seek knowledge and truth from reliable and well tested individuals or sources.  Education and learning is something we can attain with moderate effort.  Knowledge provides us with the power of comprehension and understanding.  It’s an incredible tool and resource.  Another option to keep your mind calm, is to get outside.  Take some time daily to exercise, walk or just sit outside.  If you can go to a place that’s away from traffic and people, it works much better.  Whether you’re at the beach, in the forest or in your backyard, utilize the time to just relax.  Take 20 or 30 minutes to breathe and enjoy the serenity of life.  When you calm your mind and clear your thoughts, it really is amazing the new and positive thoughts that are revealed.  It can be a truly meditative experience.   A calm mind makes rational and intelligent decisions when needed. 

Spiritual strength is just as important to building and maintaining your overall health.  It doesn’t matter if you believe in God, a higher power, the universe, aliens or the power of you.  We all share a spiritual connection to one another and to the earth.  We are all comprised of energy and thus, products of the universe.  This is true, no matter how you believe we evolved on this planet. 

Gaining spiritual insight into yourself can be a process.  If you allow yourself the time and ability to gaze into your own soul, much can be revealed.  I believe in a Higher Power or God.  When I visualize our universe and our planet, I see us as a tiny speck in a vast cosmos.   

Building your physical, mental and spiritual strength, (like happiness or positivity) is a choice.  It requires your conscience effort.  We each have the ability to choose to do what’s in our own best interest, or not.  I’m happy to live in America, where I am free to make my own decisions each day.  When you are physically or mentally impaired, it may impede or prevent this; then that ability may not be possible.  Many humans on this planet have the ability to choose freely.  Sadly, there are many people living in totalitarian or communist controlled nations, where freedom does not exist.  I believe our nation provides strength to others.  We must maintain our nation, freedom, rights and unity to succeed.  I begin each morning with gratitude and thanks.  I’m thankful for free will, new opportunities and life.  Even before I roll out of bed, I tell myself, “Today is a great day to be alive.  I’m grateful to be here.”  Those few, but important words, set the tone for my day.  It’s literally really that easy.  Tell yourself to be happy.  Your mind will believe you.  Then you have to manifest it into life.  This isn’t a left, right or political thing (as some idiotic leaders would have you believe).  It’s the right thing to do.  In honor of Martin Luther King Jr., let’s unite as Americans, maintaining respect and freedom for all people.

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

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

What happened to America?

January 10, 2021

Good morning friends.  January was off to a relatively smooth beginning.  Then January 6th happened.  I don’t have an issue with the rally for Trump that occurred, because that is our right as Americans.  What I find disgusting is the assault on our Nations’ Capital and officers assigned to protect it.  This behavior cannot be tolerated or condoned.  It doesn’t matter where you sit on the political fence.  This isn’t about who you support, like, dislike, race or who is president.  This is about respect, integrity and doing what’s best for our Nation.  What occurred inside the Capitol is a disgrace.  It is embarrassing knowing the world is watching us.  I had several friends from around the globe reach out to me, inquiring what the hell is happening in the USA.  Our country is supposed to be a world leader.  The violent events of 2020, and this past Wednesday, make me wonder.

I can understand why thousands of conservatives, republicans and advocates of President Trump gathered to show their support that day.  During the last four years, he achieved significant accomplishments, although I doubt main stream media will admit or share that information.  I wasn’t a fan of his ego or antics, but I do support some of his policies and goals to better our nation.  I wasn’t a fan of President Obama, Clinton (or the democratic party), but I gave them my support as presidents of our country.  That’s my duty as a good, decent and honest American.  We stand together “through thick or thin.”  Our democracy and political system was established as a free society, with elected leaders.  Visions and policies of our political parties vary, as they have for decades.  We still need to render our support for our president, no matter who it is or if we like or dislike them.  That’s how America is built.  Individuals like Pelosi should have figured that out long ago.  She (and others) have been taking up space in office for decades.  They are all talk and offer no solutions to real problems or issues.  This is where “term limits” would be very beneficial in keeping individuals like her out of office.

Heaven knows our country has serious economic and social issues that have been festering for years.  Trump, as a president, had little to no support from our so called political leadership.  The last four years have witnessed hate, division, harassment and unscrupulous behavior; and that’s just within Congress and state leaders.  The vast majority of people (99.9%) who gathered in DC for Trump attended with peaceful intentions.  During my career in law enforcement I worked numerous rallies, protests and demonstrations, including the LA riots.  As with most events of this magnitude, they always draw an evil element with their own agenda.   You can label these individuals with any name you see fitting.  I believe extremists, on the far left or right political fringes, are evil adversaries of our nation.  They are a threat to our democracy, freedom and the world.  These people live in America, but do not believe or adhere to the same values as the majority.  We are a free nation, with rights and privileges for all people.  We can peacefully protest or demonstrate to show our support or dislike for an array of issues.  Lawlessness, anarchy, looting, violence and destruction of property are not part of those freedoms.  Anarchist behavior should not be tolerated; from individuals, groups or elected representatives.  It’s frustrating and upsetting when race is injected into any scenario as an issue.  Every time you raise “racism” as an issue as to why an incident happened, you push people further apart and impede progress.  The fact is, no matter where you are in the world, evil people exist.  The sooner we accept that and unite, the better our world will be.  My career in law enforcement provided me with a unique view into society and human interaction.  Years of working in various communities across Los Angeles, and interacting with individuals around the globe, provided much insight into humanity.  I learned that good people vastly outnumber the bad.  Don’t be fooled, evil does exist.  Evil, bigotry and hatred isn’t confined to one group, race, nationality, gender, religion, profession or economic level.  Criminals come in all shapes, sizes and persuasions.  Evil is real; whether it’s in front of you or attempting to remain hidden. 

During 2020, a number of protests and demonstrations occurred across our nation (including Washington DC).  All of these events quickly degraded in violence, looting and burning of businesses and buildings.  Police officers were attacked and killed.  The Democratic Party and its leadership condoned and often urged rioters to continue with this disgusting behavior.  The rioting that occurred last summer in Washington DC ravaged this beautiful city.  Marauding thugs defaced monuments, memorials and tore down historic statues.  Businesses were looted, fires were set, buildings were destroyed and people were injured.  Where was the outcry to these atrocities in DC, or other cities?  Violence isn’t an answer or solution to our domestic issues or problems.  Leaders of the Democratic Party have basically given their approval for this to occur.  They have been sympathetic, while utilizing their methods to regain control and power.  Maybe they believed, or feared, the Trump administration was diminishing or taking their power and control away from them.  Aristotle said, “Yes the truth is that men’s ambition and their desire to make money are among the most frequent causes of deliberate acts of injustice.”   The Democratic leadership has failed to bring unity or social justice for anyone.  They only spew more hate and division, while lining their pockets with our money.  

So, what’s happening to America?  This past year (and this past Wednesday) showed a much darker side to our nation and all the issues troubling this land.   Do not be naïve enough to believe one individual (over the last four years) is to blame.  Don’t be lured into believing this is a racial, political or leadership issue.  Career politicians have done nothing to solve or offer solutions to any of the urgent issues facing our nation.  They enjoy pointing fingers of blame at others, telling the American people lies and spreading fear while indicting other political party members.  Our so called leaders ridiculed law enforcement, created racial unrest and demanded change.  Many of these same individuals have been in office for decades.  Over this expanse of time, these individuals have done nothing to effect any significant or positive change.   These unscrupulous leaders use their political power, rhetoric, and the main stream media, to promote their own agenda while propagating fear and racial division across our country.  They collect large pay checks, have financial support from a variety of sources and yet do nothing to bring positive change for the masses.  Our nation needs new leaders who will bring creative and innovative ideas that actually make positive changes, for the betterment of all Americans.  We must demand our leaders to take action that make our country safer and bring equality for all.  Many people and businesses are suffering, physically and economically, from the pandemic.  The “stimulus” package tossed a few hundred dollars to individuals across our country.  The bulk of the funds Congress approved went to political constituents, big business billionaires, foreign countries and increased their own salaries.  This isn’t a solution.  It’s a slap in the face to every American. 

Washington DC is a symbol of our democracy and freedom.  Every visit to this city energizes my patriotism, making me proud to be an American.  It’s easy to recognize the various levels of security circling the Mall.  Protection measures are noticeably more evident at the White House and our nations’ Capital.  I find it difficult to believe Capital security was caught off guard on Wednesday.  They knew this large event was planned.  It wasn’t a surprise attack.  This is a building you just don’t open the front door and walk in, although it seemed to be on Wednesday. 

What occurred wasn’t a surprise, considering the lawless events of 2020.  These lawless attacks, were perpetrated by individuals with an agenda to achieve.  The individuals were visibly prepared; with helmets, shields, gas masks, ropes, backpacks and equipment intended for battle.  It was reminiscent of recent riots.  Anarchists, extremists, antifa, criminals or evil anti-Americans; and have no place is this country.  It’s tragic and sad several people died, including two who were killed.  A US military veteran attempting to enter the building was shot by police and Capital police officer died from injuries sustained during the assault.  These deaths could have been avoided.  So, where was the security at the Capital on Wednesday?  Who controlled the security detail on this day?  What was their security plan?  Who are the perpetrators?  What is their agenda?  Why did this happen, why did people die and why wasn’t it prevented?  There are questions that need to be asked and answered.  We deserve to know the answers to these and many other questions.  I want the facts and truth.  I believe there is more to this story than we know, or are being told.  Will unscrupulous politicians allow that knowledge to be revealed?  The Capitol Police Chief tendered his resignation Thursday, but that didn’t provide any answers.   

On Friday evening I learned about the silencing of free speech.  Tech giants (billionaires that control media companies) are attempting to shut down other social media platforms they deem “dangerous.”  Who authorized these companies to limit Americans First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech?  Social media outlets, like Parler and individuals like Candice Owens, are targets of this agenda.  Is this where the control begins, by closing avenues of free speech?  Be an independent thinker.  I do not put my faith in main stream news, social media, athletes, entertainers or billionaires.  What we see on main stream news or social media is what they allow us to see.  The content is controlled by them.  These wealthy elitists have their own agenda.  It typically revolves around their own greed.  Seek the truth from honest and reliable sources.  Outlets such as the Voice of America, AP News and 1440 Daily Post, offer fact checked stories.  As a police officer, I sought and examined the facts, listened to all sides of the story and relied on the truth before making an informed and intelligent decision.  Today, many people are making statements based on their own conclusions before hearing any of the facts; or only listening to one side of the story.  Gathering facts and evidence is crucial to any decision. Knowledge is power.  The more truth you know, the stronger you become. 

Honesty, trust and loyalty to our nation has evaporated with arrogant, greedy and hateful behavior.  It is troubling and sad watching our glorious country sink into chaos.  Consider the sources of discord and malicious misinformation being spread across our nation.  It began over four years ago when Trump became a candidate for president.  The Democratic party politicians began their propaganda campaign to sway voters into believing our country is filled with racism, hate and inequality.  Main stream news, social media and extremists continue their daily misleading barrage.  Don’t fall prey to this arrogant and entitled nonsense.  We are all merely human beings residing on this planet.  Our time here is limited.  Why would you place your trust in individuals that rely on fear, hate and prejudice?  These people only seek to control you for their own gains and satisfaction.

I pray the next four years create more solidarity and unity among all Americans.  I’m confident law enforcement will bring the anarchists responsible for the Wednesday assault of the Capital to justice.  Combined police authorities have been working nationwide to locate and arrest looters, law breakers and violent offenders associated with events across our nation during the last year.  We deserve to live in a free, peaceful and lawful society.  Our Constitution provides rights and provisions of law to maintain order and a free society.  Together we can bring our country back as a leader in the eyes of the world.  United we stand, divided we fall.  If we fail, we place the freedom of the world at risk.        

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!

Cheers to 2021

January 3, 2021

Good morning friends!  Happy New Year!!  We made it!  I hope you enjoyed celebrating the start of 2021!  I was happy to say farewell to 2020!  Cheers to setting our vision on a brighter year.  It can be filled with endless possibilities.  Are you willing to take a chance?  Just say “Yes” and move forward with eager anticipation.  It takes dedication and some work, but anything you dream is possible.  Believe in yourself and you will succeed.  The rewards will vastly outweigh your efforts.  Opportunities abound daily, but only if you recognize them.  Don’t let them pass you by unnoticed.  Open your heart and mind to becoming a better version of you.  Do your best to make it a fabulous and uncomplicated New Year.  The world is a wonderful place when we move forward, bringing joy and harmony into our lives.  It all begins with living a healthy life.  

2020 began with much hope and promise.  The first couple of months were filled with wonder and possibilities.  Those dreams quickly degraded into nine months filled with stress, anxiety and chaos.  The new year provides a fresh canvas for us to create and improve our life.  In order to live a healthy lifestyle, you must first begin by being happy and in love with yourself.  We are each responsible and in total control of our own attitude and moods.  If you constantly perceive everything in a negative manner, that’s what your world will reflect.  You have the ability and power to direct how your mind processes what you take in from others and all that touches you.  How we each react and internalize this material can manipulate our emotions or behavior.  It can be for good or bad; it’s your choice.  If an individual or event, creates negative or hostile energy toward you, the best response is to deflect it.  Do not allow negativity to have a place inside your thoughts.  No matter what the source, how you deal with these interactions is really up to you.  Each day should begin with gratitude and positivity.  Don’t allow what others say or do create an adverse reaction within you.  Typically, how others act, or what they say, has nothing to do with us, but is a direct reflection of their own attitudes, perceptions or insecurities.  It is up to each of us to maintain a clear and positive thought process each day.  

Here are a few simple suggestions to remember when you experience difficult circumstances.  Always be kind to yourself.  You’re never too old and it’s never too late to set new goals.  Remain focused and positive while working to achieve your goals and live your dreams.  Don’t allow the negativity of other individuals to influence your attitude or behavior.  If you fail, don’t give up; it has a way of keeping us grounded.  Each step forward takes us closer to achieving what we desire.  Discipline, integrity and dedication are the building blocks to success.  Change is an inevitable constant in the universe.  Don’t resist or fight it.  Embrace change, as you do life.  Maintain a balance between work and fun.  Add plenty of nature.  Gratitude equals happiness.

When you’re happy with yourself, life improves dramatically.  The moods of those around you will be impacted by your positive energy.  My Dad had an old saying he shared with me.  He said, “If you walk with someone who limps, pretty soon you will begin to limp too.”  It took some growth and maturity for me to understand the true meaning.  When I put forth an effort to be positive and live a life with integrity, my world suddenly changed.  I saw the enthusiastic change in myself.  It was easy to recognize how my attitude affected and encouraged the confidence in others around me.  Why would you limit yourself, when it is so easy to grow and expand your horizons?  Over the years I have done research, seminars, taken classes with professionals regarding all of these issues.  Many people will give varying advice, but agree the process starts with you.  Your life and happiness is in your hands.  You choose how to live it.  I sincerely hope you will choose wisely.  For me, healthy living includes exercise, rest, sunshine, water and eating foods that are good for me physically, mentally and spiritually.  Communicating your thoughts, feelings and passions with those you love is an integral part of the equation.  All of these combined abilities will lead us to living a healthier lifestyle.

There can be “traps, pitfalls or limping” along the path of life.  Why would you want to create another?  Whether unintentional or not, when we dig ourselves into an adverse situation, we need to get out of it quickly.  One pitfall to avoid, at all cost, is the use of a “crutch.”  I’m not referring to a device to help you walk.  This “crutch” is used by some individuals to deal with stress, depression or just life.  In my earlier years I used alcohol as a means to relieve anxiety and stress.  I thought it helped me fit in, while dealing with trauma and life.  I drank to ease the pain and bring me happiness.  It took me a several years, but I realized drinking only made my life worse.  It only succeeded in creating additional adverse issues, none of which were ever good.  It was poor judgement that became habitual.  “Bad” habits can seem to be the most difficult to overcome.  Whatever crutch, stimulus or habit you may be using (or considering), to help reduce the pain: alcohol, drugs, binge eating or some other addiction; they will only create more harm.  I’ve met many people that say, “I only have a couple drinks after work to take the edge off.”  I know from experience, a couple of drinks a day to relieve stress is not the answer.  It’s not healthy and it just doesn’t work.  It may give you the sensation of relief, but it wears off quickly.  Alcohol, or whatever substance you lean on, only creates more stress, anxiety and grief.  This is a great time to kick those bad habits, use better judgement and toss those crutches away.  If it’s an addiction or substance abuse problem that requires professional assistance, then please seek that help or treatment.  There is no reason to put your health in jeopardy or compromise it.  Life is short enough as it is.  Let’s be here to live a happier and healthier life together.  

I was fortunate, through advice from others, self-realization and the grace of God, that I needed to overcome the negatives in my life.  I learned how to love myself again, while increasing my health in mind, body and spirit.  These simple, yet definitive actions, propelled me forward into the positive.  From that point on my life has only improved with each step forward.  I am happier, healthier, loving who I am and living a grateful life.  There are many accolades I can share about discarding negative crutches.  Living a healthy and happy life is just the beginning. Dealing with the stress and trauma of life is real.  There are better choices to assist in dealing with daily stress or trauma.  Exercise has always been my “go to” for mental fatigue or spiritual enlightenment.  Going for a run, bike ride or lifting weight has always paid off with huge success for me.  Simple things, like going for a walk can bring magical effects as well.  Spending time outside, in nature, is a fabulous and natural method to seek stress relief.  I have spent many hours just sitting in nature.  Whether it’s at the beach, forest or in my own yard, the solitude provides greater benefits, mentally, physically and spiritually.  If you intend to benefit from this, you must allow yourself to connect with your surroundings.  Leave your cell phone and find a secluded location away from distractions.  Enjoy the beauty and magnificence of Gods creations.  This experience can be meditative and provide introspection.  It has often enlightened my mind and spirit, while empowering me to push forward.  When you couple these natural forces with healthy eating habits, better rest and a kinder spirit, it makes for a happier and more vibrant me. 

Don’t be afraid to talk with the people you love.  Good communication is not only healthy, but great for bonding and building better relationships.  There are many methods that will assist you in finding inner peace.  Yoga, meditation, journaling and exercise are great actions that will ultimately “take the edge off.”  You should be craving these amazing qualities in your life too, no matter what stage of life you’re at.  Enjoying good health, being happy and loving yourself (as well as others) is what we as humans need and crave.  The best part of this is they’re so simple and easy to achieve.  Yes, there’s a little effort involved, but that makes the rewards so much sweeter.  Think of how this will impact you and everyone around you; especially those we love.  It is so simple to cherish and nourish these qualities, allowing them to grow and expand within ourselves.  As we flourish, these qualities will spread and grow in those around us.

In keeping with my goals for the New Year, I want to start it off fresh and open.  My question is, “What do you want to achieve?”  We are rolling off an incredibly battered and chaotic 2020!  There were so many “issues” to deal with and understand.  I know it was difficult deflecting the constant barrage and assault from so many sources.  Now, more than ever, I want to move into 2021 with my own agenda.  My intention is to make this year about striving for a healthier and happier way of living.  I will seek truth over deceit, and honesty over corruption.  I value freedom and equal rights for all.  I stand for a strong America.  I value independent, rational and honest thinkers.  Individuals who are open to listening to all opinions before rendering any of their own views.  Our government is there to enhance our lives by encouraging economic growth and stability, while protecting our rights and freedom.  When unscrupulous politicians begin imposing their agenda, rather than the will of the people, we have a problem.  Laws are enacted to protect all individuals from the evil and sadistic side of our society.  When leaders threaten the community with unjust, unfair and idiotic mandates, they are no longer credible or worthy of our representation.  Now is the time for patriotic leaders, with love and kindness for all, to step forward.

Whether you set goals to achieve your dreams, make new plans to enjoy passions or follow an intuitive path you create; do your best to live a healthy lifestyle.  We are each responsible for our own being.  Hold yourself accountable that you are a valuable member of society.  This is the time to reveal your character and share the values you hold dear.  Together we can improve our lives and society.  Let’s create a better world.

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!

Set healthy goals for 2021

December 27, 2020

Good morning friends!  Christmas 2020 is a wrap.  I hope you enjoyed plenty of time with your family, friends and the day.  Life is truly a gift.  I’m grateful for each new sunrise.  The Holidays bring amazing memories filled with joy.  This time of year often holds sorrow for many people, including myself.  I learned at a young age these celebrations are best spent with the people we love.  This mindset has been reinforced in me over the years.  Now we’re a mire four days away from beginning a New Year.  I hope and pray 2021is filled with better days for everyone.  We definitely need lots more positivity in our lives.  Do your best to keep fear out of your thoughts.  It continues to be pushed on us from all sorts of media sources.  January 1st offers each of us a fresh reset with life.  Every morning when we awaken to the day, we have that same opportunity.  Let’s fill it with fabulous ideas, amazing goals or open attitudes, that we create.  We each have the ability to make our dreams become reality.  The opportunities can be endless if we believe in ourselves.  What do you what to do to make them happen?  Hard work is typically needed to achieve our desires.  The benefits are worth every moment of effort we put forth.

Today, right now, is a perfect opportunity to set new goals for the coming year.  Don’t wait!  There’s no better time to seize the present!  If you tell yourself, “I’ll do it later,” it just never seems to happen.  I have witnessed this phenomenon a time or two during my life.  I suggest you take a few minutes, think what you want to accomplish and set your goals before January begins.  Don’t be afraid or reluctant.  Fear, especially the perceived variety, has a way of creating hesitation or procrastination.  It has the ability to paralyze us.  It can cloud our judgement, delay decisions, impede progress or simply stop us cold in our tracks.  It’s easy to be negative, complain about everything or making each day a chore and unfulfilling.  Putting so much effort into a defeatist or cynical attitude is nonproductive.  When you live your life with that type of mentality, you often bypass pathways to success.  This type of mindset takes little effort, but can create the most stress.  You blame others for what you don’t have or for your failures.  This may seem like the simple solution.  Why is it, you ask?  Well, if you watch the news every day and believe all the “fear” based propaganda they’re selling, it’s easy to adopt that type of sad mentality.  Don’t allow yourself to adopt the “victim” role.  Seek knowledge, truth and educate yourself from reliable sources.   

Setting goals, without fear, provides incentive to achieve what you desire.  I understand how thoughts can sometimes intimidate or control our actions.  I’ve had my share of bouts with insecurity and self-esteem issues.  It can be an intense struggle to overcome.  The ability to succeed weakens with each negative thought.  If you need assistance, please seek it out.  I’m here and available as a source of inspiration.   If you have the strength and mental fortitude, boost yourself by taking action.  Clear your mind of, “I can’t.”  You are your primary limitation, so don’t hold yourself back.  If you tell your mind, “I can”, it will believe you.  Trust in your own power and energy.  Each step you take forward brings you closer to achieving your dream.  

Goals can be related to whatever you deem most important to you.  They can be simple or intricate, easy or difficult.  You might want to improve your health.  This can be accomplished in various forms.  It can start by introducing a healthier diet.  Reducing or eliminating processed foods, sugar or caffeine from your meals is always good place to start.  Beginning an exercise program is always beneficial.  These two parts of the health puzzle work very well together.   Ending addictions, especially tobacco or drugs, are wise achievements to seek.  Your goals, or long range plans, can be related to career, self-improvement, travel, relationships or anything fun or work based.  This is all about you and what you want to achieve, short or long term.  Being motivated and actually putting forth effort requires discipline.  Once you get started, maintain your energy level to succeed.  Be determined to make positive change(s) in your life.  We are rolling off a year filled with chaos, anxiety, stress, challenges and more.  Now is the perfect time to be a better version of you.  

What are some fun and simple ways to set a few and begin goals for 2021?  Do you have a past practice or favorite method to get yourself moving?  If so, then you’re ahead of the game.  I have a few ideas, suggestions and recommendations to assist with the process to get started.  Feel free to utilize any, all or seek out others.  Either way, let’s get moving forward.  Begin by writing your goals, including dreams, passions or things you want to achieve, down on paper.  That’s right, I said, “Grab a pen or pencil and physically write those ideas.”  When you take the time to use this method, it makes them real.  It engraves them into your mind.  Researchers indicate this creates better retention.  It provides for increased success in achieving what you want to accomplish.   You can arrange them in order of importance or how you want them accomplished during the course of the time.  This really is up to you.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  Once your list is complete, recite it out loud several times.  Check your list frequently, make adjustments as needed and keep moving forward to achieving your dreams.  Effort is needed, because they don’t just magically happen.

Creating a vision board is a fabulous method to visually set your goals into action.  I’ve done a few of these over the years, usually in conjunction with my written list.  It’s a fun way to bring your dreams to life.  The board can be as large or small as you wish.  Again, there is no right or wrong way to do this.  Make it a fun project.  Invite some friends or family members to join you.  Gather magazines or wherever you find photos or picture you can cut and paste together.  The idea is to match your goal(s) to a picture(s) and arrange them on your vision board.   When it’s completed, keep it someplace where you see it every day.  Typically, seeing it each morning is a great way to keep them fresh in your mind.  This helps to keep you focused and working toward what you want.  Each time you see them, it reaffirms the ideas and desires in your mind.  It also provides extra motivation and drive to get your day started.       

Journaling is a great way to open your thoughts and mind.  It allows you an avenue to express your inner most thoughts and expressions.  For some individuals, it is an excellent way to keep thoughts flowing on a daily basis.  Writing your thoughts on paper helps you release negative energy and can provide stress release.  This activity can stimulate your mind and creativity.  I have utilized journaling with many benefits.  It has the ability to become a meditative experience.  It can be done at any time of day and works best for you.  I have found I am much more open and creative in the early morning.  At night, before bed, works to clear your mind before sleep.  You can discover what works best for you.  Just write.  These are your own personal inner thoughts.  They don’t need to be shared.  This activity can provide deeper insight into your own personality.  It can bring new goals into focus.  It can also become a daily activity for clearing your mind.  Writing increases your insight of past events or a vision of future successes.  It keeps your mind, body and spirt energized.

Shared visions are always fun to work on with someone you love, a work partner or friend.  You may want to create something, improve a relationship, start a family, build a business, conquer an ambition, travel or seek adventure.  Dreams, when shared together, conjure a fabulous and amazing process to bring life to action.  Having someone who seeks the same passion provides inspiration, motivation and a shared desire to make it real.  There are no limits to what two motivated and dedicated people can accomplish.  Find yourself a “friend” with a shared vision of the future, and build a new reality.

There are so many other ideas or methods, that are great ways to get your goals set for 2021.  Imagine the possibilities.  Don’t surrender to a life without dreams or passion.  We each possess the ability to seek out, work hard and achieve the life we want or desire.  Having a plan and setting it into motion is just the beginning.  Set aside time each day to focus your efforts on making it reality.  Don’t falter or stop.  Believe in yourself and what you can accomplish.  Work toward the ideas, goals, passions or dreams you want to achieve for yourself.  There is no right house, no right car or no right life.  It’s all about what is best for you.  You can be the creator of a better life.  Being positive, displaying a strong mental outlook and showing mindfulness takes daily effort.  It might seem like hard work when you first begin.  Once you put forth a little effort at the start, it will all fall into place.  Take the time to incorporate these practices into your daily rituals.  They will become daily habits.  These abilities become part of your life.  It’s up to each of us to maintain our own happiness and quality of our lives.  Daily mindfulness to our needs builds our self-respect, integrity and self-love.  It makes us better individuals, which translates into better people of the world.  Don’t wait.  Let’s make our lives and world better with the coming of 2021.  Set healthy goals for life, relationships and love.

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!

Christmas Courage

December 20, 2020

Good morning friends!  It’s another beautiful day to be grateful for life.  We are only five days away from Christmas.  It’s the perfect time to be thankful for the opportunities and possibilities each new day brings.  2020 has been a year filled with a variety of challenges, decisions, financial hardships, sorrows, anxiety and joy.  If you’re asking how and where joy fits in, let me tell you.  For me, it is every time I wake up to greet a new sunrise.  Life is a joyous endeavor filled with fear, heartache, frustration and the most fabulous times you’ll ever experience.  Don’t allow fear to paralyze you.  Agonizing over what you can’t control creates helplessness.  Fear is a reaction.  Take charge of your life.  Create positivity, discipline and motivation to move forward.  Courage is a decision.  Let me share a story about our people, our Nation’s resilience and “Christmas Courage.”

Seventy-six years ago, our nation was deeply embedded in World War II.  Freeing Nazi occupied countries across Europe was no easy task for Allied forces.  The cold and snow covered winter of 1944 was settling into the area surrounding the Ardennes Forest of Belgium.  Battle weary soldiers, consisting mostly of US Army and British personnel (approximately 228,000 American troops), were thinly spread across the forested and rolling hills of the region.  Hitler believed he could break the American lines of defense and push the Allies out of Europe.  He ordered and launched a large scale counteroffensive, in order to reverse the turning tide of the war.  The Battle of the Bulge began on December 16, 1944.  The German army (30 divisions, consisting of over 400,000 soldiers) advanced on US forces in the Ardennes.  Nazi armored divisions and ground troops pushed across an 85 mile front.  Our forces were outnumbered and often overwhelmed by the advance.  Bitter cold weather and a dense cloud cover prevented Allied air support from assisting or rendering aid to our ground forces.  It was indeed a dire situation for our soldiers.   

By December 20th German personnel had encircled the city of Bastogne.  They began a brutal siege of the town held by American forces.  On the 22nd, the German General, in charge of the attack, sent representatives calling for the US Army to surrender.  Anthony McAuliffe, commander of the 101st Airborne, defending Bastogne, sent a one word reply; “Nuts.”  While this infuriated the German commander, it was a rally point for American troops, inside the town and out.  By Christmas, US and Allied reinforcements began to arrive to begin a counter-offensive and free the surrounded city.  On December 26th, elements of the Third Army, under the command of General George Patton, were able to break through the German strangle hold on Bastogne.  The tide of the battle began to turn in favor of the Allies.  US and Allied forces surged to over 540,000.  The weather began to improve, allowing US and Allied air support to begin operations.  The overwhelming air power of the United States was decisive on impacting the battle.  The air cover, bombing and supply drops were made with effective accuracy.  The combined actions of ground and air assets provided renewed motivation, tenacity and courage.    

US and Allied forces surged to well over 700,000 troops.  American forces incurred approximately 20,000 killed and 40,000 wounded.  The German army suffered significant casualties of over 120,000.  Their forces were vastly reduced to approximately 323,000 personnel.  A young US Army sergeant, my Dad, was 22 years old.  He, and his unit, were somewhere in the Ardennes, between Bastogne and Luxembourg.  They had been assigned to assist the 101st Airborne.  The 101st was ordered to move into Bastogne to support the American forces already deployed there.  The unit my Dad was with remained in the forest.  The nearly six-week battle would continue until January 25, 1945.  Hitler’s troops, defeated and demoralized, began a slow retreat back across the border into Germany.  My Dad’s unit would redeploy to Luxembourg (east of Bastogne), then continue their advance into Germany.  Nazi Germany would formally surrender less than four months later on May 7, 1945.

Dad was never one to go into great detail about what he saw or did during the war.  He would share some stories, but never discussed specific incidents.  I recall asking him if he wanted to watch the movie Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers with me.  He declined stating, “I was there and already saw all that stuff.  I don’t need to see it again.”  I know the memories were difficult for him.  I could see the emotion in his eyes, feel it in the tone of his voice and in his body language.  Dad did tell me about several experiences seeing General Patton during those months.  He always remembered the ivory handled pistols the general carried, strapped on his hips.  Patton was an imposing figure of power, strength and leadership.  The troops loved him.  His charisma and motivation were much needed during those days filled with uncertainty, death and the brutality of war.  It’s difficult to imagine the hardship, fears and horrors our troops endured.  World War II, like other wars or conflicts we have deployed our soldiers, was a harsh and grisly ordeal.  American troops bonded together to maintain freedom and democracy for our nation and the world.  Our military is disciplined, resilient, strong and never falter in the face of fear.  Their courage, honor and loyalty make them a fierce and determined force.  

Now we’re in the midst of the Holiday Season, with Christmas and the New Year rapidly approaching.  Remembering the difficult and deadly days our soldiers fought through, during this and other battles, inspires me to be a better person and a proud American.  Their sacrifice and dedication helped preserve the freedom of the world and our nation.  They had little time to think about Christmas or New Year’s celebrations.  Many of these heroes never returned home to their families.  I pay tribute to them and all our military members, past and present, who have proudly served our Nation, including my Dad.  He, along with so many others during those dark days, were truly part of the “Greatest Generation.”  They were men of honor, integrity, loyalty and respect.  Our society needs more of these positive character traits embedded in our culture.  Several years ago my father joined his comrades at Arlington National Cemetery.  Together, they rest as true heroes of our Nation.  All gave some and some gave all. 

We all experience difficult times throughout our lives of varying degrees.  A great deal of 2020 has been filled with physical, mental, spiritual and economic challenges.  Fear, whether real or perceived, has the ability to paralyze us, inducing helplessness and despair.  It creates stress and anxiety, which can take a severe toll on us in various ways.  For some individuals, the things they can’t see become the most feared.  Their thoughts create an overwhelming sensation of foreboding that consumes and controls them.  Should you come to a point in life where you experience a lack of courage or begin to feel defeated, consider this thought.  Think of what our American troops battled through to retain our free society during the Battle of the Bulge.  Their Christmas wasn’t filled with joy and holiday cheer.  It was a fight for their survival and our unified freedom.  They were truly in harm’s way, preserving our nation and way of life. 

How well we endure, overcome and recover from each situation, hardship or encounter with fear is what’s important.  We can’t allow these critical moments to control our thoughts or actions.  We must be the masters of our own mind.  The struggles may be real, but collectively we are strong.  When you have the ability to push negative thoughts out of you mind, you begin winning an internal battle.  The more positivity you can create within you, the better life becomes and the more successful you will be at moving forward into your future.  Think about our first responders, police, fire, law enforcement and health care front line workers and what they endure on a daily basis.  These dedicated individuals, like our military, preserve our safety and freedoms.  Gratitude is an incredible thing.  Next time you’re sitting in the serenity of your safe and secure home; consider this thought.  We have warm shelter, food, hot water and all the modern conveniences and comforts you can imagine at our finger tips.  Our soldiers (then and during battles now) survive on next to nothing, while they fight to protect us and our freedom.  While we complain about traffic, waiting in line at a store or not having enough stuff (among a multitude of other complaints); these individuals are working hard to protect us.  They place themselves between good and evil, risking their own lives for the greater good of our communities and country. 

The Holidays are a perfect time of year to reflect and be grateful.  There is so much to be thankful and happy about, rather than constantly complaining about issues out of our control.  Life, family, friends and good deeds make the world a better place.  Be positive, kind and create happiness.  Celebrate this Holiday Season with the people you love.  Cherish and celebrate the gift of life.  You never know what tomorrow may bring, so don’t wait.  Just be happy!  It really is up to you and all of us to make our happiness real and lasting.

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!

Holiday Health

December 13, 2020

Good morning my friends!  We are nearly mid-way through the beautiful month of December.  Christmas is less than two weeks away.  Are you ready?  Yes, I know people are decorating, shopping for gifts, organizing meals and visiting friends and family (or at least I hope they are).  The pandemic, and associated anxiety and fear, creates a new twist on the holidays.  The important question today should be, “Is your health ready?”  Many people around the globe take the time to ensure they’re ready for the holidays in various ways.  They might take time to prepare with food and cheer, greeting guests or filling Santa’s shopping list.  We all seem to always set aside time to celebrate the season.  So, what have you done to get yourself (and then your family) ready health wise?  I’m sure there’s a good percentage of people that are healthy and know what works best to maintain a level of fitness.  If you haven’t done anything or don’t feel you’re prepared, it’s not too late to get started.

Let’s start our health assessment by quickly reviewing the current worldwide situation.  We are in the midst of the Holiday season and an exhausting pandemic.  Whatever your opinion is about the pandemic, this should be one of the happiest times of the year.  Take the time to enjoy your family, friends and life.  It’s amazing how quickly this year has passed, even with the hardships and chaos many have endured.  The virus is out there, so take the precautions you need to stay safe.  Do what’s best for you, but more importantly, take time to live.  If you feel you’re all set for the fun, this will provide some positive encouragement, along with some useful tips.  Let’s discuss a few ideas to boost your health and immune system.  Once you’ve established a baseline of where you are, then you can proceed with making adjustments and improvements as needed.  Whether you know or don’t know your fitness level, building better health is always a plus. 

“Good health” can be a subjective term these days.  Some individuals believe they are healthy, even though they may have underlying issues.  There are others that may or may not know the extent of their own health.  There could be a variety of reasons why some may not know the level of their health.  Maybe they lack a general understanding or have an inability to seek medical advice or treatment (if it’s required).  You always have a few people who just might not care.  Whatever category best describes you, it’s always wise to have some knowledge of your health, condition and fitness.  Regular physical examines are a good method to determine and maintain the quality of your health.  A doctor’s perspective will provide many benefits, including laboratory results that provide factual numbers to make real assessments.  Depending on how you utilize these facts, and resulting analysis, it can lead you to better health.  It’s a great way to begin the process.

Thanksgiving through the New Year always seems to bring out emotions and feelings for many individuals.  The time of year is notorious for increased depression, fear and sadness.  For many, including myself, the Holidays remind us of loved ones lost, or other memories influenced by sorrow.  Late November through January 1st seems to guarantee more food, drink, fun and anxiety.  The rich meals, delicious desserts and assorted beverages can create a variety of effects on the body; physically and mentally.  The season has a notorious way of creating a sense of being overwhelmed and less able to cope with situations.  This is especially true in today’s environment with the coronavirus.  Fear and anxiety are huge stress builders.  While many people do well at navigating these factors, others experience a real sense of distress and foreboding.  Coping, dealing with and alleviating stress can increase your physical and mental health.  Stress creates tension within our body.  If we don’t alleviate or reduce stress, over time, it can cause harm mentally or physically. 

One method to reduce stress is to deal with it as soon as you feel it invading your body.  If you have the ability to recognize it occurring, then immediately taking the time to defuse it.  Being in tune with your body, especially in stress filled situations is a huge bonus.  It’s obviously not something we can all accomplish.  These experiences are often limited to your mentality, time, place and availability.  If it’s not possible to deflect tension as it occurs, be sure you deal with and release it as soon as time permits.  Do not allow it to settle and fester within you.  Physical activity, like running or exercise, always serve me best to release stress.  Meditation, listening to calming music or spending time outdoors (in nature) helps me reduce tension.  Reading has provided another avenue to assist me in bringing calm on various occasions.  These results are most successful when the content or subject material of the book promote a relaxing story or information.  The same can be felt with music, films or sports.  The intention is to release stress, not enhance it.      

I know this isn’t the best time to be discussing eating habits, but reducing the amount of sugar, alcohol, processed and unhealthy food choices would greatly assist in increasing your health.  Believe me, this is difficult time of year for me too.  I love food, especially all the holiday goodies and drinks!  I will continue to enjoy some of these, but in a more moderate (and hopefully controlled) fashion.  I’ve always had an issue with refusing good food, especially when attending a party or visiting the home of friends or family.  Being sequestered, controlled and manipulated makes regulating our eating and drinking habits even more of a challenge.  The stress and mental pressure of loneliness and solitude is real.  I’ve definitely been eating more during this chaotic year.  It hasn’t been because of hunger, but more anxiety driven.  We’ve been forced to stay at home, curtail normal activities and limit our contact with family and friends.  When you factor in the fear based media blitz, social and economic issues; it’s all taken a serious toll on many of us.  Basically, we are dealing with a lot of stuff!  Do your best not to succumb to the stress based “eating” temptations.  There are scientific studies that detail how foods can impact our mental and physical wellbeing.  Making healthier food choices has the ability to reduce stress.

Maintaining regular sleep patterns is great for increasing health benefits.  Rest is a key factor, not only for rejuvenating our physical body, but allowing our minds to slow down as well.  Spending time outdoors is another easy tool. If you feel like you need a boost, get outside, soak up some sunshine, breathe and enjoy nature.  I love this method, because it always seems to recharge me physically and mentally.  The benefits of 20 minutes at the beach, walking a trail or gazing among the trees are amazing.  If you encounter issues or thoughts that overwhelm you or begin to envelop your being, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.  Family, friends and professional organizations (counseling and hot line services) are useful tools in offering encouragement, support and solutions.  There are times when we all need someone to just listen.  Having family, friends, or experts available, who care about our wellbeing, is key for us all.  There have been times in my life when the support of others has been instrumental in my mindset and health.  We are social beings, where kindness and gratitude are priority.

We have been living in difficult times.  The fear, anxiety and stress has been overwhelming for many.  Most of the madness is created by “ratings” seeking main streams news, crazy social media and manipulative political leaders.  The effects are felt by us all in various methods and degrees.  Limit your amount of time spent on social media, watching main stream news or playing video games.  These simple solutions can lower stress and anxiety.  Maintaining good physical, mental and spiritual health is our first line of defense for fending off these assaults.  I urge you to educate yourself, not only on good health habits, but on what’s occurring in our city, state, across our country and around the planet.  Knowledge is power.  It allows us to resist the fear based propaganda that has been incessant this year.  The more we know and understand; the less fear, anxiety and stress invades our bodies.

Enjoy your Holiday Season!  Take time to share love and happy times with family and friends.  Take this opportunity to evaluate your health.  Make good choices to improve your quality of life, including physical being, mental outlook and spiritual growth.  Be kind to all, as you never know what others are dealing with in their life.  Be a good friend when someone asks for assistance.  I’ll be here if you want to reach out for moral support or advice.  I’m not afraid to listen.  Be well and stay healthy.  Life is a gift.  Enjoy it!   

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

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

Letting Go

December 6, 2020

Good morning friends.  It’s the first Sunday of December 2020!  The final month of this insane year is finally underway!  The holiday season is upon us.  I hope and pray we can actually enjoy this blessed and beautiful time of year as we should; without interruption from unscrupulous and idiotic politicians.  There are many people (across our nation and the world) suffering physically, mentally, spiritually and economically.  Now is a wonderful opportunity to spread kindness, joy, happiness and love.  Open your heart to the magic and wonder of what the upcoming days represent.  Be grateful and happy with each new sunrise.  During our daily encounters we don’t often know the struggles or issues others may be dealing with in their lives.  A smile or pleasant greeting has the power to make a positive impact.  A simple gesture of kindness has the ability to make a significant difference in a person’s day or life.  It’s time to be a good human.  We’re all in this together.

Seven years ago I lost my Dad to a blood disorder (MDS), which morphed into leukemia and took him from our world.  Letting go of him was the most difficult thing I’ve experienced in my life.  Death of a loved one is never easy, but near holidays seem to compound the grief.  Filling the void has been impossible.  He was an amazing man and father, but more importantly he was my best friend and hero.  Living with this type of loss changed my life perspective and path.  His passing altered my views and what I believed to be important in this world.  Five months before he passed, my parents moved from their home of 60 years to a “senior apartment” community.

As my parents aged it became evident living in their large home (the house my sister and I were raised) was too much for them to maintain.  When they made the transition my Dad gave me the authority to clean out their home.  He told me to do what I believed to be best in disposing of furniture, appliances, kitchenware, clothing, linens, tools, gardening items, household things, food in the cabinets and the house.  I agreed because I trusted him and believed he knew I would do what was in his best interest.  Little did I know what this task would ultimately entail.  I remember sitting in my childhood home thinking this will be easy.  That thought wasn’t even close to the range of emotions and feelings I would experience during the nearly three-month long process. 

Every item and piece of the home had some sort of memory, story or attachment.  My daughter assisted during several weekends and assorted yard sales.  We laughed, cried and shared so many special moments as we cleaned out cabinets, closets and boxes left behind by my parents.  My sister took a few items, as did my daughter and I, but you can’t save everything.  What didn’t sell, I donated to organizations that would get them to those in need.  Now new families can utilize them and make their own special memories.  Letting go of so many precious pieces of life was difficult and sometimes even agonizing.  I realized along the way that my Mom kept many items boxed and stored out of sight.  Some items were only used on very special occasions.  It’s sad how many were never used at all.  Nearly three years after my Dad passed, my Mom was confined to an Alzheimer’s facility.  Witnessing her decline was heartbreaking.  She was physically present, but no longer mentally aware.  The disease robbed her of her memory and the enjoyment of life.  The life lessons I experienced fostered new realizations of what is and is not important during our time on this earth.  Living a good and happy life is definitely not about how much stuff we have or what we think we need.  I learned many years ago the importance of family and friends.  I would much rather have those amazing connections than a new car, big TV or more stuff!! 

My goal is to live better, striving to be here in the present.  I do my best to live with an open heart; allowing God and the Universe to guide me.  I’m a work in progress; embracing life and the goodness of this earth.  Letting go of people, relationships, personal possessions and stuff isn’t easy.  We all establish attachments and connections; with family, friends, pets and things.  When we encounter a situation that pulls one of these from us, it has the ability to create anxiety, fear, heartache or sadness.  The turmoil within us is real.  If we cannot regain that connection within ourselves or rectify our mental stability associated with this event, depression can over take and consume us.  This is when strong family and friendship ties are significant and important in keeping us on the right path.  I recently returned home from an east coast trip.  I traveled to assist someone near and dear to me.  I don’t fear the virus, flying or adventures, because there are two things that will never hold me back.  My daughter and family/friendship ties are the most important parts of my life.  I will always be available for my daughter no matter what.  The same hold true for my relationships with those special people in my life.  If it’s possible for me to assist, I am always willing to be there and help those closest to me.  So, when this person was talking about how nice it would be to have help, I knew I had to do whatever I could to assist.  Her family is super special and I love them dearly.  They’re a hard working couple, often traveling for their work.  With kids in college, now they’re preparing to downsize and move.  Believe me, I know this is not an easy process.

It’s been a rough year already; with the pandemic, shut downs, restrictions, political craziness, social chaos and violence.  The anxiety from nearly a year of madness is real.  Her parents were moved to senior living, like mine.  Coping with declining health issues of your parents isn’t pleasant.  You pray things will improve, but then suddenly her father passes away.  The unexpected tragedy further fuels anxiety, stress and emotional discomfort.  Life offers a variety of challenges as we traverse our path that encompasses this journey.  When she threw her appeal for assistance out to the universe, I knew this was one of those times I had to offer my support.  She is one of the sweetest, most moral and ethical people I know.  I’m certain this is no accident, but due to several key factors.  The first and most important is being raised by loving parents and family.  Her foundations and character traits were forged from an early age.  She works in a profession that demands honesty and fairness.  Her integrity is unquestionable and maintained to the highest degree.  How could I not reach out to assist?  I had too.

Downsizing, purging and letting go of objects with sentimental value is difficult for us all.  I know because I’ve been through the process.  It hurts knowing others will suffer similar fates.  As I age, I know I need to purge more so I won’t burden my daughter with this experience.  So I discovered more about myself during my stay, while we purged, packed and released items to the world.  We shared our emotions and thoughts, about life, family, friends and objects.  I used exercise as a tool to regain yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.  Getting outside to enjoy the beauty of nature is always a huge benefit.  Whether you’re at the beach, forest, desert or in your backyard; being outside is the key.  Soaking up some sunshine, breathing the air (without a mask) and moving your body can be like heaven on earth.  Besides the letting go of objects and possessions, it becomes easier to purge the negativity from your mind.  The stimulus of movement and nature has a relaxing and calming effect on the mind and body.  Many of our special possessions have sentimental qualities or family connections.  When these items are released to the world, you release the attachments, but retain each incredible story that is associated with that object.  We may not be able to store all these things, but we have plenty of room for each memory.     

We never really let go of the important people during our time on this earth.  Relationships flow in and out of our lives for various reasons.  Individuals that make a significant and lasting impact we never forget.  Life, or choices we make along our journey, may take our paths in different directions.  The special connections we make leave a lasting imprint upon us.  We share a unique bond with our parents and family members.  Not a day goes by that I don’t miss or think of my Dad.  I know he’s with me and watching over me.  There is nothing greater than the love of our parents.  Death separates us physically, but the love and memories we shared remain in our hearts and minds forever.  The pain we feel is real.  It only begins to fade with time.  Their memory never goes away as long as we hold them in our hearts. 

I want to honor my uncle and cousin who recently passed away.  They are both remarkable individuals, who are loved by all.  I will miss them both and the joy they brought to our world.  I know their memories will live on in our hearts and minds.

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!