Memorial Day

May 29, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  My heart is overwhelmed with sadness.  This special weekend honors our nations war dead.  Now, it will also be a time for remembering the tragic deaths of innocent children and teachers.  The horrific attack in Texas; coupled with other recent events, including the war in the Ukraine and other situations occurring across the planet, bring great sorrow.  Tomorrow, America will celebrate Memorial Day.  Why is this National Holiday important?  Memorial Day was established to honor all our beloved military, soldiers and personnel who have died serving our great nation.  It’s not necessarily meant as a time to rejoice, or a day to thank our troops or veterans.  This day is dedicated to commemorate the memory of fallen soldiers, of all U.S. Armed Forces, who are no longer with us.  This is a day of gratitude and remembrance.  The holiday originated during the Civil War, when people would place flowers on the graves of soldiers killed in battle.  It began as Decoration Day; transforming after World War I, into what we now know as Memorial Day.  As you prepare for your day (today and tomorrow), take a moment to reflect and remember our soldiers and service members killed while protecting our rights and the freedom of our nation.  

Our countries worst fighting occurred here at home (on our own soil), during the Civil War.  Approximately 620,000 Americans (Union and Confederate soldiers) lost their lives, fighting for freedom.  The United States sent American troops to Europe during the First World War (WWI).  Our casualties grew to over 116,000.  More than half those who died, were from disease.  Our nation lost over 400,000 brave men and women, while serving our country and protecting the world during World War II.  Thousands more have been killed in various wars, conflicts and incidents, from the founding of our nation until today.  Events like Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, Iwo Jima and Midway stir my memory.  Do you recognize the significance of these places; China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Beirut, Granada, Libya, Panama, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya (again) and Syria.  These are some nations where American soldiers lives were lost to ensure our freedom.  Our soldiers and military personnel didn’t go to war seeking valor or medals.  They fought because they believed in preserving the freedom and rights afforded all people, both here at home and abroad.  Please honor the memories of these individuals and thank them in your prayers for their sacrifice.  Without the dedication, commitment and heroism of these courageous men and women; our nation and our freedom would not exist.  Rest in peace my brothers and sisters.      

My message today is simple and brief.  Honor our soldiers, military service members and personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice to protect our nation, the world and our freedom.  From a very early age, I recall how so many people couldn’t wait for Memorial Day weekend to arrive.  During my childhood, this weekend marked the unofficial beginning of summer.  It meant barbeques, parties, the beach or just getting away for a long weekend of fun.  It’s always important to celebrate, cherish and embrace life, but it’s much more important not to lose the true meaning behind this special holiday.  How do you commemorate the day?  I remember and pray for all those who died, so I can live in freedom.  I think of my Dad, who’s in eternal rest at Arlington National Cemetery.  He served in the US Army during World War II and the Korean War.  There are thousands of others resting with him in that hallowed place.  I also recall my visit to the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, nestled along the Normandy coast of France.  Like Arlington, it’s a place of honor, tranquility and beauty.  America has battlefield cemeteries, like Gettysburg, Antietam, Vicksburg and so many others, here at home and scattered around the globe.  Take a moment to remember these places and the individuals who rest there.  Remember their sacrifice and say a prayer of thanks.  Their valor saved our nation, so you can relax in freedom today.

There are tragic and sad events transpiring throughout our nation and the world right now.  Here in the USA, politics are a mess, our economy and inflation are crazy; while the world continues to suffer through war and oppression.  The planet isn’t imploding just yet (as far as I know).  I know for a fact our earth would be a very different place if it wasn’t for the valent actions of our military.  We (America and the world) owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers, and armed forces personnel, who died preserving our way of life.  Without the sacrifice and dedication of our military, we would have never been able to maintain our rights or freedoms.  Thank you for your sacrifice.  I only hope all Americans recognize what this day represents, and forever preserve it in their hearts.  Stay present my friends.  As our world slowly degrades around us, this is the time we need to unite for the good of all humans and living creatures.  There is still much goodness in the world.  America (and all nations), now is the time to rally and boost kindness, gratitude and love for all people.  I’m not a fan of our country’s current political administration or the course of action they are pushing on this nation.  We have lost so much in the last six months; economically, politically and spiritually.  I often wonder what some of these individuals have in their heads or hearts.  Are they representing our nation’s best interests or themselves?  I continue to pray and do what I can to improve life; here at home and around the planet.  There are many aspects of life beyond my control.  There will be events that make no sense, especially when the evil in our world continues to invade our lives.  I remain positive, present and listen for God.  I find His words in kindness, respect, humility and gratitude.  Romans 12-9: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Don’t be fearful to confront evil my friends.  Together, we can all make a difference.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together, 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!

Love Always Wins

May 22, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Yesterday, Saturday May 21st, our nation celebrated Armed Forces Day.  I hope you took the time to thank a soldier serving in our military.  This holiday honors all our military troops and personnel (from all branches of service), that are currently serving our nation.  Don’t confuse this day with Veterans Day or Memorial Day (as some people tend to do).  Each of these unique holidays serves a specific purpose and recognizes an institution all their own.  Please don’t lump all of our military personnel (presently serving our nation) in with our veterans or our deceased soldiers.  It’s not correct; and for me, it’s just disrespectful to all our nation’s heroes.  Our service members, military and their immediate families deserve so much more respect and gratitude than they receive.  These holidays were established to memorialize and honor our troops; past, present and those no longer with us.  There are some individuals who think these holidays were created for their personal enjoyment.  It’s time our nation (and our population) re-learn the meaning of some important holidays in our country; along with how to honor the individuals associated with them.  Call me “old fashioned,” but I believe in manners, respect, honor and loyalty.  We need to bring these simple traits back into wide spread existence and use.  I say, “Yes, please” and “thank you” to that.  Let’s show a little more compassion and love!  I know you can do it.

I believe LOVE can and does conquer all.  Some individuals may think of me as “romantic” because of this statement, but that doesn’t bother me.  I’d much rather be a lover and a dreamer, than anything else right now.  I’m a true believer in the power and the energy this word possesses; along with its emotional fervor.  It always makes my heart happy knowing what a strong emotional feeling love can create.  I can honestly say, I never really gave love much thought in the past.  I knew it existed, but it has taken me far too long to appreciate it’s amazing value and meaning.  I’ve cried tears of sorrow for loved ones; family, friends, co-workers and pets; that were taken from this earth far too soon.  I’ve known and felt sadness and heartache, that accompanies these and other experiences.  I’ve held back my tears for far too long (or hidden them in private); thinking I was showing my strength or manliness.  All I did, was to reveal my own weakness.  True strength and power are found by allowing my emotions to flow freely.  Opening my heart and revealing my vulnerability is where being a man takes new shape.  I have no doubt many men have shared this feeling, or have been caught in the silly dichotomy of it all.  I suppose the real question is, “Are you willing to admit and show your strength, or are you destined to be weak?”  Being a man (or a human) is difficult enough as it is; especially now.  Don’t be fearful to show your true feelings and emotions.  When you open your heart and soul to love, it will set you free.

It’s time we re-connect with the meaning of the word L-O-V-E.  A little understanding, kindness and love go a long way.  Peace, joy, compassion and happiness all spring forward when you inject any of these virtues into your life.  Love has the ability to bring the greatest rewards and pleasures.  In recent years, I’ve written several poems about love.  They express my emotions with the love I experience, have lost and continue to seek.  I never imagined I’d be writing poetry; (or admitting and sharing my emotions with the world), but here I am, open and sharing.  Since retiring (nearly eight years ago) from a long career in law enforcement; my heart, mind and spirit have opened in ways I never thought possible.  I’ve been told in the past that I lacked emotion and passion, in various forms.  I agree that this was true to some degree.  Opening up my heart and soul was extremely difficult; especially in close “love” relationships.  My childhood influenced that behavior, while my career reinforced the demand that I hold these feelings in and not share them outwardly.  I’ve learned that this process couldn’t have been more wrong or harmful.  Suppressing or withholding these human expressions is a natural and a pure part of our existence.  I’m discovering a new wealth of passion deep inside my soul.  It needs to be expressed, set free and shared.  I’m happy for my new opportunity; to live an expressive, passionate and loving life.  I have an opinion to share and a voice to be heard.  I have a lifetime of love to give.

It’s interesting how age, maturity, experience and knowledge have altered and changed my priorities in life.  Things I considered important years ago are no longer a concern now.  What I value most in life are my family, friends and the interpersonal connections with amazing individuals.  Happiness and love have enormous value over possessions and wealth.  I’d much rather share amazing experiences and adventures with people I love, than nearly anything on this planet.  I’m not hiding or running away anymore.  I’m here, standing my ground, firmly planted in the present, seeking your love.  I’m grateful and thankful every day for life and the new opportunities to thrive.  Don’t waste time on accumulating more stuff.  Build connections, relationships, friendships and love.  These are the important things in life, and they matter the most.  There’s an old proverb that says, “The secret to living well; eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.”  If you believe in your own power, anything is possible.  All you have to do is open yourself (heart, mind and soul), to the possibilities.  Like all good things, it takes work and effort to achieve greatness.  Things don’t just happen by sitting on your rear doing nothing.  We have the ability to make this world a better place.  Think of all the lives we can change; bringing happiness and love to all.  My friends, life can be easy, simple and joy filled if we allow it.  Be happy with yourself and love your life.  I’m grateful for each new sunrise and happy for another chance to live.  My intention is to share a forever kind of love with an amazing partner.  It’s a magical, special kind of love that never ends.  This is the best kind of love worth having; the forever kind.  Love always wins.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together, 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!

Music to my ears

May 15, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  If you aren’t happy or loving life, something is wrong.  Don’t waste any more time languishing in the past, stressing over the present or worrying about the future.  Live life focused on what’s most important to you.  My family and friends are my priority and what matter most.  I live each day for them; to be a better me and enjoy every aspect of life.  It’s not about possessions, stuff or money.  Today, right now, presents a huge opportunity for you to alter your life and happiness.  Change your perception and attitude, to view life and our world through new eyes.  Don’t blame other people, or the circumstances you believe control events of your life.  If you aren’t happy, it’s not anyone else’s fault.  We are each responsible for our own happiness, success and positivity.  These simple pleasures don’t come from other people, possessions or the result of some other factor.  My life isn’t governed by the circumstances that occur around me.  Sure, life events happen daily; but how I react to each situation or event is controlled by my own perceptions, fears and attitudes.  Hopefully, you won’t allow the negativity associated with any situation, to creep into your life or mind.  Each morning, as soon as I wake up and roll out of bed, I ensure I begin another day with happiness in my mind and heart.  I lift myself up with positivity, and remain focused on what’s most important in my life.  I choose to maintain an open and unbiased mind regarding people, events and situations around me.  I don’t make snap judgements or decisions.  I typically give individuals the benefit of the doubt, until they show they reveal their true self or provide unforeseen information.  Life will never be absolutely perfect.  There are many things beyond my control; but I can always maintain my own happiness, no matter what happens.   

I strained a groin and thigh muscle, a little over a month ago.  It’s been five weeks since I’ve been able to run.  Needless to say, my frustration level is high!  Physical activity (running, hiking, working out, etc.), have always been my “go to” for anxiety or stress relief.  My recovery has been a roller coaster ride.  I realize I’m a bit older and healing takes a little more time, but this is ridiculous.  I’m doing my best not to rush the process or do anything that would inflame the injury. I’m working with a pelvic/hip specialist, a chiropractor and a therapist to resolve issues from my past and present. Learning how or what caused trauma or problems within me, assist my effort to determine the root cause of these issues.  Being on a path to find a solution to any root issue is what works best.  In order to rehabilitate my body (physically, mentally or spiritually), I’m determined to understand why this happened and get it fixed.  I’ve learned enough over the course of my life, to know I have no intention of going backwards or falling into “past practices.”  I want solutions, no matter how difficult or painful they may be.  I don’t want a temporary patch to mask the pain, only to have it resurface again later.  Healing my entire being; while living in the present and moving into my future, is my new journey.  A muscle strain, or inability to run, are light weight issues on the scale of depressive things right now.  The war continues to rage in the Ukraine, people in oppressed nations continue to live in torment, natural disasters ravage lives and people die daily from a variety of causes.  The political and economic upheaval in our nation is devastating and heartbreaking. These are especially sad times because many of the issues creating problems, here in our nation, could be easily remedied if we had leaders who actually cared or would act in the best interest of all people (instead of for themselves).  Unfortunately, in my estimation, our current leadership has only their interests at heart and continue to push our beloved nation downward.  Let’s pray our direction changes for the better very soon.  

People often ask me why I write about a particular subject or make a certain statement in my blogs.  My response to these questions, “I write about what I feel at any given moment.”  There are times (like last week), when my blog coincided with a holiday, so I focused on Mother’s Day.  This past week was filled with magic, fun, interesting and insightful times.  I dealt with my share of frustration during the week too.  I don’t allow negativity to dampen my happiness or disturb my positive attitude.  Like most life events; there are times I have to pull myself up, dust myself off and keep moving forward.  Every small step in the right direction is a plus.  These gains allow me to increase my momentum as I move into the future.  I identify and reconcile any issues as they arise.  I don’t allow minor set-backs or annoyances dictate who I am.  I maintain my composure, pray and thank God and the Universe for each new opportunity to succeed.  This past week had a few bumps, but life is always a fabulous adventure.  Music makes my heart dance and it lightens my spirit.  On Thursday, I shared the company of wonderful friends and attended the Little Big Town / Miranda Lambert concert in Charleston.  Even a few stray rain showers didn’t dampen the beginning of this fantastic evenings event.  We went expecting rain, so the light sprinkles just heightened our spirits.  The events of the evening were music to my ears.  

Music of many genres (country, rock, old standards or even nature soundscapes), can have the same desired affect for me.  Music picks me up, lifts my spirit, soothes my soul, makes my heart beat or invokes a variety of feelings and emotions.  How does music make you feel?  Whatever music does, it assists in maintaining my sanity.  Its ability to suppress negative feelings is similar to sitting in nature.  Hiking in a forest, sitting on the sand at the beach or many other natural settings; possess healing qualities all their own.  Seeing these sights and listening to the sounds created around me at any given moment, have an energy all their own.  If you feel down, stressed, frustrated, depressed or unmotivated; get outside and listen to the music all around you.  You can always include some music of your own liking if desired.  If you need help along the way, I’m here too.  Stay happy, grateful and focused on living in the here and now.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together, 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!

Mother’s Day

May 8, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Moms around the world.  This is a special day, as mothers have earned a well-deserved and fabulous day of recognition.  These amazing women, work and toil daily, to ensure their children grow, develop and mature into good adults.  Unfortunately, the world we live in is far from perfect.  As in all aspects of life, we have varying degrees of individuals (as well as moms); from great to not so great.  It’s sad to say, but there are always a few humans who don’t measure up to the standard; for various reasons.  It would be nice to paint all people as great and trustworthy, but that just isn’t reality.  Today, I celebrate and offer my praise to all the Mom’s doing it right, making the effort and putting in the hard work.  Being a mother isn’t an easy task.  I applaud all moms for your commitment and dedication.  Today, I honor you all.  Go out and celebrate the day in style and grace.  Let yourself be pampered, because tomorrow, it’s back to work.  My Mom will be enjoying a Heavenly Mother’s Day today.

The first week of May has been an emotional mix for me.  This past Friday was my Dads birthday.  He passed away a little over eight years ago.  There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by where he isn’t in my thoughts.  I miss him every day.  He is forever in my heart.  I love and miss my Mom too.  She passed away three months ago.  She’d been confined to an Alzheimer’s memory care facility for nearly six years.  The disease quickly robbed her of her memory, thoughts and life.  She continued to exist in a functioning body during the vast majority of that time.  The sickness slowly deteriorated every other aspect of her being.  It was sad and heartbreaking to watch my Mom wither away before my eyes.  It’s been far too long time since I could celebrate any holiday, let alone a Happy Mother’s Day, with her.  I feel cheated, in some respects, that our family was deprived from sharing so many wonderful times together.  Now, I know, she is at peace with God, my Dad and her family.  My Mom wasn’t perfect, no one is.  We all have our imperfections, flaws and personality issues.  She was a product of her upbringing and environment.  She was born and raised during difficult and traumatic times, both in Italy and America.  She did the best she could, to be a good mom and home maker.  She was a stay at home mom, while my Dad worked.  Our family was a basic “middle class” household.  We were blessed in many ways.  We had a nice home; which was always clean (my sister and I were delegated chores, especially to ensure our bedrooms were always tidy and orderly.  I had clothing, food, shelter, an education, a pet dog and many things others do not.  Mom was an amazing cook, so we always had enough food on our table.  I’ve found few rivals to her (spaghetti) sauce or meatballs.  My Dad loved dessert, and my Mom always ensured she’d have something freshly baked or tucked away for him (us).  My Dad’s like for sweets was passed to me, and I passed that trait on to my daughter.  When she and I are together, it takes lots of will power to abstain from dessert treats.  Typically, just say “yes.”  It’s not bad thing to enjoy treats once in a while, as long as you don’t over indulge.  Will power can be tricky in some situations.  You have to know when to be strong and when to bend a little to enjoy life.  It’s all about balance!     

A “mom” has the ability to be a very special woman in your life; even if she isn’t your own mother.  I am very fortunate to have (had and still have) some amazing “mom” figures in my life.  Thank you to my many aunts that played significant roles in my life.  They are each unique and wonderful women who showed love, encouragement and support in their own way.  They all provided their own incredible individual perspectives on life; that was typically different than my own mother.  All of these interactions gave me additional information on what motherhood means.  Aunts, like grandmothers, are individuals who love you unconditionally, yet still have no issue in correcting you, discipling you or ensuring you’re a happy person.  They were all very influential in my development.  The passing of these women gave way to others, who have shown their own talents and skills as moms.  I want to thank one individual in particular, Linda, who I consider a great friend and my second mom.  You have always treated me like a son; giving me advice and insight into life and love.  Your consistent and positive guidance, wisdom and honesty have meant the world to me.  When my own mother was no longer able to be there for me, you provided your own brand of motherhood.  I appreciate you and our friendship.  Thank you for your support and love.  I’m sending you very special wishes for a Happy Mother’s Day!  

Today, my thoughts reflect on life in the present.  The past is gone, and unchangeable.  I do my best, with each new sunrise, to live in the here and now.  This is where life is happening.  I’m grateful for each new day and the opportunities it brings for wonderful things.  I have the ability to make my life happy each and every day.  The tiny chore of happiness is totally my responsibility; and no one else’s.  If you aren’t happy with your life, then change it.  Don’t sit around or complain about all that you perceive as “bad, unjust or not to your liking.”  Get over yourself!  Instead, work for you want and turn your dreams into reality.  Take the initiative to spread joy and positivity in our world.  It may not always be easy, because life can be tough and cruel sometimes.  Happiness is a daily choice, but when you begin each day with a happy and grateful heart, anything is possible.  It’s always in my best interest to lift myself up when I’m down, dust myself off and keep moving forward.  Even small steps, in the right direction, are carrying me into the future.  When I start my day with happiness, it’s good for your soul and confidence.  If I want to accomplish something (anything), I have to take action, work for it and make it happen.  The rest is up to God and the Universe.  Be happy my friends.  Life is too short not to live life to the fullest.  Seek adventure and live.  Happy Mother’s Day!  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together, let’s be healthy and strong; mentally, physically and spiritually! 

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

The Dynamics of Dedication

May 1, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Today is the first day, and Sunday, of May.  Open your heart and soul to discover new opportunities for happiness and success.  We are provided a fresh canvass to fill with our artful creations as we greet each new sunrise.  Take advantage of each day to change your perceptions and attitudes.  Allow your soul to shine, as you walk into a new state of enlightenment.  Create kindness and love in every contact and interaction from today forward.  You have the ability to alter the course of the world.  Together we can change our planet, even if it’s one person at a time.  If we dedicate ourselves to this endeavor, we can alter the future of all people living on this spinning rock.  I’m a firm believer that Dedication, Discipline and Determination, are among the amazing characteristics and cornerstones to personal success.  When you possess the motivation and self-confidence to achieve your goals, dreams or desires; nothing can stand in your way.  Commitment to your own individual plans or ideals is important, but being dedicated to the greater good of mankind and humanity, is of the utmost importance as well.  We’re all in this together; even if at times this seems like a far-fetched idea.  You will never realize your full power or potential, until you get out there and try.  Change your thoughts and you can change the world.        

I’ve witnessed some fabulous revelations about nature, and the workings of God and the Universe, over the last several months.  My neighbors, across the street from my home, consist of animals in a large pond and wooded area.  It’s interesting and exciting to observe “nature” happening every day.  I have no doubt many individuals take this evolutionary process for granted.  There are people who go about their daily lives with blinders; while the rest of the world exists around them.  I enjoy watching the world around me.  My beach home in SoCal sat at the edge of a canyon.  Coyotes, bunnies, hummingbirds and other creatures were ever present.  Life and nature were a little different there than it is here.  It remains intriguing, but now with various (east coast) animals.  My new home on this coast, has a different eco system within the same world of nature.  My new neighbors consist of geese, ducks, fish, birds, squirrels and an occasional alligator (depending on which pond you’re near).  The last four weeks have been filled with fun family events and new life.  A pair of geese have begun a new journey, making my pond their home.  Mother goose sits on her nest, while Dad watches over the area; either standing guard on the grassy banks or while floating on the water.  Each morning, after sunrise, the couple takes a leisurely swim around the pond.  Afterwards, they return to their assorted parental duties. If an intruder or uninvited guest descends onto the scene, Dad immediately intervenes, chasing the unknowing subject away with a hasty advance.  If a landing occurs near the nest, both parents fly into action.  As the day draws to a close, the couple meet at the edge of the water, for an affectionate sunset swim.  The dynamics of their relationship, interactions and dedication are interesting and beautiful.  The wonders of nature never cease to amaze me.

This past week, a new family moved in across the street.  I was outside, about mid-day, when I was greeted by my new neighbors.  A brilliant duck couple, and their seven chicks, came curiously close to shore to say hello.  The tiny chicks were the size of a very fluffy golf ball.  They swam in a tight formation behind their Mom, while Dad circled around the group.  He ensured no one was left behind.  For several days, it appeared the duck family had taken up residence near Mrs. Goose and her nest.  At some point the ducks moved their home to the other side of the pond.  I hadn’t seen them for several days, when they reappeared swimming around the pond in their tight knit family circle.  Life around the pond is in constant motion.  I was working in my front yard the other day, when I heard the geese splashing in the water.  They were swimming in the center of the pond.  I turned away for a moment, when I heard a loud splash and honking by the geese.  My attention immediately diverted back to the water; in time to see a large hawk had touched down, plucking a fish from the surface between the geese.  I was happy the duck family were nowhere to be seen during this high-altitude incursion.  The dedication and commitment these parents have to each other and their families is incredible.  It’s been an exciting and amazing experience for me to witness my new neighbors’ interactions.  It’s a free daily adventure, right across the street.  

You may think the life of animals is far less complicated or stressful, than the lives of humans.  The fact is, they still must take care of themselves; with shelter, food and safety.  There are predators and intruders in their world, as in ours.  The consequences are real in both scenarios.  The world is what we make of it.  It’s time for us to focus on the good of all humanity.  Don’t give in to evil or it’s ideals.  Be strong and stand united for the good of all mankind and our world.  Don’t confuse misguided priorities with what’s most important in life.  Dedicate yourself to your family and the people you love.  A job or career, shouldn’t dictate how you live your life.  Money may buy more possessions; but love, happiness and great relationships aren’t forged on how much stuff you have or how big you inflate your ego.  Don’t sacrifice yourself or those who love you, for “things.”  Work hard and pursue your dreams every day.  Change happens when get off your rear and you allow it.  You are in charge of maintaining your happiness.  Be present and open to change, while working for a brighter future.  Seek your passions and live your dreams.

The intriguing cycle of nature and life never stops happening.  Never doubt the incredible power of God and the Universe.  Maybe you’ve been wondering what’s been tugging at your mind, body or soul the past week.  If you’ve been experiencing restlessness, sleepless nights; or feeling on edge, anxious or uneasy; you’re not alone.  My nights have been restless and my body aching the last several days.  I realized the solar eclipse has been setting up and happened Saturday evening.  The event wasn’t visible on the east coast, but if you live in South America or Antarctica, I hope you enjoyed this incredible occurrence.  I’m hopeful that my brain will settle down and I’ll be able to sleep uninterrupted again soon.  It’s time to focus on the positive energy in myself; in yourselves and our planet.  Be dedicated to happiness and love.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

This week holds a very special date for my family and I.  Friday, May 6th, will commemorate my Dad’s 100th birthday.  He passed away several years ago, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t talk to him.  He is forever in my thoughts, heart and soul.  Happy Heavenly Birthday Dad!  I love you and miss you!

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together, 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’s your reason why

April 24, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Here we are, it’s already the final Sunday of April 2022!  Each time I think I’m slowing my life down, another week ticks away quicker than the last.  If time fading away faster and faster isn’t scary enough, I keep wondering how many more topics of interest I can write about each Sunday.  Fortunately, ideas keep appearing in my thoughts, so here I am again.  Journaling is a great way to collect your thoughts, goals or intentions; put them on paper and release them from the confines of your mind.  Writing, for me, has become my new escape and is basically journaling for the world to see.  It’s my reason (or at least one of them) to keep pushing forward into each new day.  Putting my thoughts into words provides a cathartic release of energy.  For many years, exercise (running or working out) was my “go to” for stress relief.  I’ve learned over the years that physical activity only focused on one aspect of my anxiety.  Journaling, writing and documenting my ideas, assist in releasing and relieving the mental stresses I experience.  Yoga and meditation are amazing tools that have helped relax me in ways I knew existed, but never fully understood their power.  If you don’t have a great escape (or several), it’s definitely time to find some to help relax your entire body (physically, mentally and spiritually).  I’m not referring to actually running away, although that can be fun to do sometimes too.  Travel, visiting new places and cultures are fabulous ways to get out and experience life.  You don’t need to “escape” to find yourself.  If you take the time to look deeply into your own being, you’ll discover what you’re searching for.  Maybe it’s time to re-discover your reason why; if you haven’t found it already.  It’s never too late to dream new dreams, seek new adventures, live your passions or reach for the stars!

It’s taken me many years to discover my reason “why.”  Discovering the joy in my personal life wasn’t always easy.  When I began my career in law enforcement, I experienced many joyful rewards in helping others.  The job provided more satisfaction than I knew was possible.  For over half my life, my focus has been my career.  Work was my salvation and escape during all those years.  Sinking myself into my career, wasn’t for monetary gains, becoming rich or famous.  I enjoyed my job, the comradery I felt, the great individuals I worked with and the opportunity to make a difference in the world.  I might not have made a huge impact, but it was mine.  The positives propelled me forward and it helped pay my living expenses along the way.  Work was like having an amazing place to hide.  I didn’t have to deal with my personal life issues, anxieties or fears.  I was good at what I did, because I believed removing evil from society was an honorable and right thing to do.  Fear was never an issue for me at work.  I had confidence in myself and in the courageous individuals I worked alongside during that time.  Law enforcement, solving crimes and bringing criminals to justice became my obsession.  I enjoyed a great career, but I lost myself along that path.  Please don’t follow in my footsteps, and become obsessed with your job.  This rings especially true, if you focus on work for the wrong reasons (like ego, greed or power).  Do something that fulfills your passions and dreams, while providing a deep satisfaction for your soul.  Remember this old saying, “work to live, don’t live to work.”  Life (or success) isn’t based on how much money you earn, how many possessions you acquire how many long hours you spend at work.  Find a healthy balance between work and play, or you’ll miss out on the best parts of a happy and fruitful life.

When my daughter was born, the majority of my attention was rightfully diverted to her.  She became my “why” and has remained there since she entered this world.  Work continued to be my escape, until I retired nearly eight years ago.  The years that have followed have been filled with probing deeper into my past to find myself in the present.  There have been struggles, heart break, soul searching, self-discovery, shadow work and new growth along this winding path.  Ultimately, the journey has brought me to a new place in life.  I’m here, right now, no longer struggling or fearful to be me.  It makes me a bit sad, knowing it’s taken me so long to discover who I am and why I’m here.  There were many opportunities that were missed or tossed aside, because of how my past interfered with my present.  Counseling led me to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy, which changed my life and outlook.  I now know and understand how lucky I am for each new day and the opportunities that are provided with each new sunrise.  It’s easier for me to recognize how my past influenced and created negativity in my life.  Being aware of these issues helps keep me focused on where I am and where I want to take my future.  Life is so much better when I can open my heart and soul to others and share my thoughts; as well as myself.  The realizations, alterations and changes in my attitude and perspective have created a new balance in my life.  

For those of us who struggle with issues or events (of any kind); know that assistance and help is easily obtained.  I realize making that assessment and decision can be a daunting task, because I was one of those people.  No one wants to admit that they need help, but that admission is really the first step to healing.  The sooner you have the courage to dig deep into yourself, seek support, guidance or professional therapy; the sooner you will be on the road to being healthier and happier.  A good starting point is examining your balance between work and play.  Do you live for work and monetary gains?  What’s important in life?  If you’re in a job you dislike, that causes stress or anxiety; only because it pays great, it’s time to re-think your priorities.  Seek what brings you joy and happiness.  Create your life around your dreams and passions.  Don’t become blinded by what society or social media dictate or their ideas of what’s right or wrong.  Don’t fear change.  A metamorphosis can be good; even if it means evolving several times over a lifetime.  I have grown from childhood; from student, firefighter, police officer, yoga instructor and now a writer.  The greatest version of me is being a Dad to an amazing daughter.  I’ve had the pleasure of helping others along my path; while individuals have assisted me along the way too.  It’s been a journey of growth and development.  Take time to breathe, while you bask in the magnificence of nature.  Believe in your own power and strength, while you empower others in the journey.  Stay positive, while you work hard every day to turn your dreams into reality.  A little self-confidence goes a long way, especially when you believe and have faith in the Universe.  Be the person God intended you to be.  Open your heart and soul to the possibilities.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together, let’s be healthy and strong; mentally, physically and spiritually! 

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

Easter isn’t about bunnies

April 17, 2022

Good morning and Happy Easter my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Today is a celebration of hope, joy and our existence.  Christian religions around the world commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This special day should also be a reminder that our time on this planet is limited.  Human beings, like all living creatures on earth, enter this life with an expiration date.  Only God knows when our time here will end.  I don’t know when my last day or breath will come, but I do know it will happen.  My intention, for whatever time I have left on this rock, is for it to be filled with positivity, happiness and love.  Today is a wonderful opportunity to cherish and enjoy your family, friends and just living.  Have fun with Easter egg hunts, marshmallow chicks and chocolate bunnies; but remember the true meaning behind this day.  I’m not asking you to share my religious beliefs.  It doesn’t matter how religious or spiritual you are; or if you believe in God or not.  I’m only asking you to be thankful for life.  It’s a gift to be embraced every moment.  There are many people struggling around the globe.  Say a prayer for them, because one event could alter our way of life in an instant.  Gratitude and happiness are traits that begin within each of us.  You are in control of your mind and thoughts.  Don’t allow fear or negativity to manipulate, subdue or hold you back from living.  Stay positive, present and relish in each new sunrise.  Reject anger and hate, so you can spread joy and kindness.  A simple change of attitude can change the world.    

Today, I pray for continued strength and insight to be the best possible version on myself.  The clarity to understanding my reason for life becomes more evident with age and wisdom.  When I was a kid, life was simple and pure.  As I grew and matured, living in our world became more complicated.  Changes in society and technological advances made for incredible alterations to our planet and life as I knew it.  Many of these creations and innovations have revolutionized our existence.  There have been so many amazing things that have made life better; but there are some that have added negative issues too.  Evil has always existed in our world.  It’s been a part of our history since the birth of mankind.  Villainous and hideous behavior are unfortunate facts that continue and spread across the world.  As the population, industrial and technological advancements grow, so does evil.   It continues today, in various shapes, forms, individuals and groups.  The best we can do, is to empower each other to do good every day.  Each day of kindness can create a better world.  Neurologists claim every time you resist acting in anger, you are rewiring your brain.  This simple decision creates a new pathway in your mind, leading you to respond with kindness and love.  Change has the ability to create incredible and profound alterations in ourselves and our world.  I am a testament to the empowerment of positive change.  Consider what you can accomplish when you make similar discoveries within yourself; thus, rewiring your brain in other aspects of life.  Together, for us and our children, we can make our world a better place.

I can’t change my past, but I can definitely change my present and alter the course of my future.  Instead of rushing through life, missing the beauty of moments along the way, I am purposely slowly myself down.  This mindful act assists me in enjoying every aspect of life.  I am no longer fearful or hesitant to express my thoughts and feelings.  When I hold back, keep my emotions or feelings inside, this action has the ability to create negativity inside of me.  Be true to your own heart.  Don’t worry about what others think, say or do.  Don’t be fearful or hesitant in your decisions.  Express yourself with kindness and without ego.  Work hard to achieve your dreams and desires.  If you need a day off to re-charge, and give yourself some love, then do it.  Our bodies have a way of telling us what they need.  Pay attention to those inner feelings and signals, because if you don’t listen that’s when anxiety, stress and sickness take hold.  Nourish your mind, body and soul with good things.  What you feed your body is only as important as what you feed your thoughts and spirit.  A favorite saying of my Mom was, “if you walk with someone who limps, soon you will limp too.”  All of the component parts of our bodies are linked together, working in unison for optimum operations.  Balance, in work and play, is vital and important to your health (physically, mentally and spiritually).  If one part is lacking, it can affect the entire structure.  “Work to live. Don’t live to work.”  Stay connected and listen to your body.  Nurture and nourish each part of your health with goodness and love. 

Today, more than ever, life seems to move faster each year, month and day.  Don’t waste time on foolish endeavors, ego driven attitudes, anger or fear.  Be present in every moment, act with kindness and be the change you want to see in the world.  I begin each new day with gratitude and happiness.  It’s an easy choice.  I ask you to do the same.  It’s a simple request.  You’re in charge of you, so make it happen and together we’ll change the world.  Enjoy a blessed and beautiful Easter Sunday!  Rejoice, for He is risen.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together, 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!

Life doesn’t have to be perfect…

April 10, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Christian religions around the globe celebrate Palm Sunday today.  It commemorates Jesus entering Jerusalem, while people greeted him by waving palm branches.  Today, also marks the beginning of Holy week.  Next Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Easter.  I was raised Catholic, but haven’t been a church going person for many years.  I believe in God and life after death.  My beliefs are strong and deeply rooted in my faith.  I consider myself more spiritual today than ever.  I’m grateful for each new day of life and the opportunities it brings.  I am open to other religious teachings and beliefs.  Jewish tradition commemorates Passover beginning on Friday.  Other religious celebrations vary, based on their doctrines.  Religions, and peoples, across the planet call Him by different names.  My interruption, when I look deeper, is that we’re all united under one God.  I’m not asking you to believe, or to share my thoughts or views of God or religion.  That is your individual choice.  I am merely asking you to keep your heart and soul open to all the possibilities.  The universe holds incredible energy, power and unsolved wonders.  I’ve made my own discoveries, during my many years on this earth.  Take the time to release your fears and live in the present.  Happiness and love are created within each of us.  Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. 

Let’s face facts; life will never be absolutely “perfect.”  We all deal with various issues and struggles throughout our time on this planet.  Life is only as wonderful as we view it in our own mind.  Our attitudes, thoughts and perceptions dictate how we see the world around us; including people, places and things.  I believe life is meant to be lived, as is, each and every day.  Dwelling on the past serves no beneficial purpose, other than to create more negativity.  Worrying about the future only brings more anxiety and stress.  I do my best to remain focused on the present, while working to make my dreams reality.  True perfection isn’t possible, so why waste time attempting to change or manipulate it into something it isn’t.  I spent far too much time attempting to control aspects of life; my own and others around me.  All that wasted time and foolishness achieved nothing, got me nowhere and ruined some amazing relationships along the way.  Don’t let your ego, stubbornness or fear sabotage your life, dreams or relationships.  When negative thoughts creep into your mind, the divisive behavior has the ability to destroy dreams or the beautiful things that make life amazing.  Living in the present, gratitude and the gift of life, is my perfection.  I’m grateful and happy for each new day and the opportunities it holds for me to be the best human I can be.   

I realize no place (people or life) will ever be perfect.  I loved living at the beach; and being within a short walk was amazing.  The weather (along the San Clemente coast) was by far the best part of California.  Having the ocean so close, that I could smell and feel it, was incredible.  It was my place of solitude and reflection.  I became disillusioned with California; politics, crime, cost of living, traffic and just junk.  I believed a drastic change was needed to alter the direction of my life.  At the time, moving away seemed like the best option.  The feeling that I could no longer stay was overwhelming.  I left many amazing friends and love in that beautiful place.  My mind was telling me to go, and that it would make everything better.  I didn’t want to wait or hinder the journey of anyone else.  My path to discover who I am and what I need to do, became an obsession.  The darkness and negativity, that had been buried deep inside me for far too long, needed to be expelled completely.  Sometimes the journey to self-discovery can lead us down a twisted, but incredible path.  My road has been filled with emotions, both good and bad.  I had feelings that needed to be felt, uncovered, exposed and expressed.  The experience has brought me across the country, while my heart and soul remain deeply connected to the west coast.  Sixty-eight years in and around the same area bonds you to many places, things and people; including love.  I left many of these fabulous beings behind to pursue my meaning of life.  

Under the rubble of my childhood, and over half my life in law enforcement, the search for the “real” John was only mine to pursue and reveal.  If I could find the root of my issues, it would release me from unjustly blaming others, or the circumstances around my life or relationships, for my heartache.  The mind is an incredible machine.  It can create amazing things, both fabricated and real.  When we believe in our own abilities, the brain has the potential to energize us for feats of magic.  It also has the power to do us harm.  When we leave our mind to its own devices, it can spin untrue narratives within itself.  Negative thoughts, if allowed to run unchecked, can lead us down a different (and sometimes destructive) path.  When I became aware of what my past thoughts and patterns were doing to my present, it became evident how the unchecked chaos drove me in a downward spiral.  When I sought clarity and solace in my life, and controlled the negative rampage occurring in my mind, my life took a new direction.  I recognized the importance of positive thinking.  No longer do I dwell on the past or allow negativity to interfere with my present.  My thoughts focus on today and what’s most important; family, friends, happiness and love.  My life is clear, powerful and energized with each new breath.

Every day on earth is a great day.  I have the power and control to ensure my time on this planet is wonderful.  You have the same power.  It’s just one thought away and it’s all your own to alter for goodness.  Change your attitude and perspective to see the positive in all things.  Life has a way of throwing negativity at us.  It’s our choice how we perceive and respond to it.  Leave your anger and fears behind; just like the past.  Make the decision to act in kindness and love.  These simple acts have incredible strength for you; mentally, physically and spiritually.  You, and the world, will be a better for it.  Remember, life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together, 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!

No Fooling

April 3, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  This past Friday, the first, was April Fool’s day. It’s amazing we’re already three months into 2022.  Just when I thought life, and the world, was going to improve, it took a very different turn.  Life can be unpredictable, and a complicated mess at times, but it can also be a magnificent journey of happiness and bliss.  Much of the process of how we visualize events can depend on our perception, interpretation and attitude.  How our mind traverse’s life events and changes, speaks to our mental fortitude and power.  Negativity only breeds more of the same, while creating a defeatist attitude.  I greet the sunrise with positivity, gratitude and happiness.  It doesn’t mean my life is perfect or that issues won’t arise.  Maintaining this state of mind, even in times of struggles or adversity, keeps me focused on what is truly important in life.  There may be challenges along my path, but each new day brings opportunities for success.  Take the time to slow yourself, so you can recognize the positive pathways, before they pass you by.  How you respond to situations, good or bad, depends on your mind set and openness the change.  It’s in your best interest to remain focused on the present and optimistic for the future.  Don’t worry about the past.  It’s long gone.  I navigate each day with compassion and courtesy.  The better I care for myself, the more kindness and energy I reflect.  When I control my thoughts, I have the ability to change the world.  It might not happen overnight, but then sometimes it actually does.  No fooling!

So, what’s bothering you today?  Is it finances, relationships, health, loss, some other issue or maybe it’s just fear?  There are many things beyond our control; including how others perceive life.  Whatever you are feeling or struggling with today, you are never alone.  Remember, there are many people, across our planet, dealing with a variety of issues.  Many individuals are dealing with circumstances with far greater significance than our own.  I was checking news stories, this past week, when I read about a tragic incident.  A South Carolina woman is fighting for her life after being mauled by three dogs.  She lost a leg and both arms in the attack.  Her injuries are severe and only God knows if she’ll survive.  The incident is horrific, to say the least.  Tornados touched our soil, across the US, reeking destruction and taking lives.  We have no control over the havoc of natural disasters.  Then I read an update on the Ukraine, where millions of people are affected by the war being perpetrated on this nation.  Thousands have been killed and injured, while thousands more are being subdued and forcibly taken into Russia.  Millions are being displaced or fleeing to neighboring countries.  This entire scenario is devastating.  A friend reached out to me a few weeks ago.  She was collecting medical supplies to be sent to the war torn nation.  She asked if I’d be interested in joining a small team to deliver the materials.  I could hand them off in a bordering country or I could be in the convoy to deliver them to the Ukrainian border.  I considered going, but declined because my daughter expects me to walk her down the aisle someday.  If circumstances were different, and I was a bit younger, I would have joined her team.  I sensed it just didn’t feel right.  I read a post on Thursday; a convey of vehicles bringing humanitarian aid and supplies (including two of her vans) had been bombed.  Seven individuals were killed and several injured in the attack.  One (possibly two) of her volunteers were among those killed.  The story is sad and tragic; as are the horrific attacks and violence being perpetrated by Putin and the Russian military.    

How do these incidents compare to what you may be struggling with today?  Remember, there are people suffering, at this very moment, around the world.  We have food, water, shelter and no bombs being dropped on our neighborhoods.  In college, I was a political science major (international relations and comparative governments); with a history minor.  I understand the reasoning behind not dropping a huge bomb on Putin and eliminating the evil problem.  We witnessed what happened in Iraq when Saddam lost power and was executed.  The country had no real leadership to unify the various religious factions.  In countries ruled by dictators, who, within these nations, has the ability to unify or control the population after tyrannical leaders fall from power?  Not all countries are ready (or willing) to immediately transition to a democratic government, like America.  Nations that have existed for thousands of years often follow similar paths of rule and turmoil today.  When US forces withdrew from Iraq, the government crumbled allowing the Taliban to seize control.  With no preventative measures being enforced on Putin, does this open the door for other hostile leaders?  It would be devastating to see China or North Korea explore their militant options and push the boundaries of their confines.  Their dislike (hate filled propaganda in North Korea) for America and the free world is no secret.  If you believe the government of China is our friend, you better think again.  World domination is their goal.  It appears their plan continues to spread and grow, while some of our political leaders line their pockets with profits.  Wake up America.    

I’m not a “doom and gloom” type person.  I see my cup as half full, instead of the opposite.  I look for beauty in all living creatures and things on this planet.  I know evil exists.  God does more good, even if we don’t clearly see it; while the devil attempts the opposite.  I’m positive and optimistic about the future.  There are many things beyond my control, but there is still much I can do to change my world.  April (and spring time) brings new growth, new ideas and new development to life.  It’s happening all around you, if you take the time to notice.  Nature and the earth see visible new growth, as vegetation and animals spring back with life.  This is the perfect time to seek self-development, change your attitude, set new intentions or alter your persona.  Don’t wait for change to overtake you.  Spring time offers an amazing opportunity for you to create your own change.  Be positive in your own life and it will spread to the world around you.  As I’ve aged, matured and hopefully added some wisdom, I see life with fresh vision and clarity.  Life and love aren’t based on what I have, my physical appearance or how many possessions I accumulate.  My happiness begins from within me.  I am the sole proprietor of my well-being and happiness.  It’s no one else’s responsibility.  If I’m not happy, it’s no one’s fault but my own.  It’s very easy to blame other for our misfortune.  Stop talking about the negatives and focus on all the good around you.  This is a great time of year to explore the possibilities.  Don’t be fearful to live life, reach for your dreams or create new ones.  Open your heart and soul to love and happiness.  The possibilities are endless.  You may just surprise yourself with the results.  When you take the time to acknowledge the positive and express gratitude, a new you will emerge. This process will re-energize you and all those individuals you come into contact with.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together 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!

Dream New Dreams

March 27, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you’re staying happy and healthy.  On Thursday, this coming week, we will close the month of March and end the first quarter of 2022.  Life doesn’t slow down, so do your best to keep up.  Covid restrictions are finally being eliminated.  My hope is to see our nation, and the world, return to some type of normalcy very soon.  Is that even possible, as we find our land in the midst of an economic crisis.  Nations around the world continue to struggle with issues of varying degrees.  Putin’s egotistical bid to control neighboring countries, as well as energy resources, continues to fuel the Russian invasion and destruction of the Ukraine.  Why world leaders didn’t immediately unite to stop his aggression is beyond me. They knew it was coming, yet did nothing.  The oil and energy situation, especially here at home, is frustrating to say the least.  It would so simple for the USA to be energy independent.  This would free us from paying billions of tax payers’ dollars to Russia, or any other nation.  Why do we continue to pay anyone for oil, while we have it here within our grasp?  Our president maintains the illusion that we are saving the planet, by not producing our own energy.  Now we rely on other nations to produce oil, causing the same atmospheric conditions.  How ludicrous is Biden’s thought process?  How many Americans actually believe his nonsense? America is much more capable to manage our own energy production efficiently, with less environmental impact.  It’s sad how our economy is tied to world oil prices, which ultimately affects our gasoline prices (along will everything else; including food, clothing, housing, etc..).  Prices continue to increase; to drive, eat, live or just exist.  America, when will you wake up?  Our leaders are elected to make choices that are in the best for our own nation.  I doubt that’s really happening.   

As a kid, growing up in Los Angeles, I imagined I could be anything I wanted in life.  My visions and dreams were vivid and magical.  I envisioned a fabulous and fun filled life.  I was told, “you can be anything you want to be.”  There was a simple flaw with this statement.  As I grew older I was steered, pushed or pressured to be something I didn’t want to be.  Little did I know my dreams would soon be altered.  I never really enjoyed school.  It wasn’t fun and I never felt like I fit in.  I had reading issues that I didn’t understand; so I always felt inferior.  The controls my Mom placed on my sister and I didn’t help.  Dreams were for dreamers, who had no vision of the future.  Gaining a college education was apparently the only catalyst to a great career.  A good paying job, with benefits and healthcare, were the answer to living a happy life. I’m not sure who promoted this logic.  It didn’t sound right then or now.  After I graduated from high school, my dreams were derailed for a college education.  I wanted to join the military, but my Mom wouldn’t allow it.  I actually hoped I’d get drafted, even if it meant being sent to Vietnam.  Instead, I went to college.  Luckily, I followed in my sisters footsteps and went away to college in San Diego.  I’m happy and fortunate for an amazing Dad, who showed me anything was possible.  This is where I learned to dream my own dreams.       

My parents taught me to respect all people and things, including life.  Starting at an early age, they instilled character traits that would carry me through adulthood.  Honesty, Loyalty and Integrity were some of the corner stones that helped build my moral foundation.  Age and experience molded my personality and principles with a firm platform to get me to this day.  It took me many years to realize that hard work pays off, but then so does patience.  I am a firm believer in dedication and striving to reach for your dreams.  If you sit on your butt all day doing nothing, you’ll never get anywhere. Patience plays an important role, in unison with hard work, in its timing.  I believe the universe brings us what we need when the time is right.  When I look back at events in my life, both personal and professional, I see and understand the importance of the timing of every detail.  Nothing is impossible; especially when you incorporate ability, discipline, determination and motivation.  They’re all component parts of the puzzle.  I must believe in myself first, before I can succeed.  This is the time I can’t allow negativity, self-doubt or fear to creep into my mind.  When I control my thoughts, I can change my life.  Maintain a positive attitude, eliminate distractions and clear your thoughts.  Allow new clarity to lead you down a different path.  Life is an incredible journey, not to be missed.  

Based on my knowledge and experience, I’ve been my largest obstacle to my success.  This scenario was true during my early life, and it persisted in my love life and relationships.  Today, that storyline is changing.  I reached for assistance to conquer my past adversity and struggles.  I’ve done the work, dug deep into my mind and exposed the negativity that’s hindered my forward progress.  The past is gone.  I discovered it’s okay to be me.  No one is perfect.  We all have flaws.  I continue do my best each day to be the best human I can be.  I might not always get it right, but I continue to learn and grow with each passing moment.  Each sunrise provides new opportunities to be a better me, while I reach for my stars! Yes, you can be anything you want to be in life.  It’s never too late, and you’re never too old, to dream new dreams or seek new adventures.  You are only limited by the constraints your own mind confines you too.  Break free from the control, open your mind and heart, while living today and reaching for tomorrow.  Your desires are achievable with hard work, determination, discipline and dedication.  Be patient, listen to your heart and allow the universe to work it’s magic.  Believe in yourself, confidence is key, and you’re halfway to success.  

There have been several times in my life where I’ve felt down; but never defeated.  In times of struggle, I muster all my energy and strength to push myself toward my goal.  It’s okay to slide backwards (a little), if you must.  The challenge is getting up the next hill.  To accomplish this, and continue forward momentum, I seek inspiration from various sources.  There are certain individuals (family and friends), places and things that provide support, motivation and encouragement for me during these times.  My Dad was always a huge inspiration for me.  Shortly after I joined the LAPD, as a young officer, I outlined my dream to become a SWAT officer.  There were some people who laughed and scoffed at my idea.  Several officers and supervisors told me I didn’t have a chance; but there were always those who believed.  My Dad told me to work hard and I could achieve anything.  Seven years after being sworn in as an LAPD officer, I had the opportunity to apply to SWAT.  I didn’t make it past the oral interview.  I was told to trim my mustache to Department standards and try again.  The next opportunity was less than a year later.  It’s a lengthy and rigorous testing process, including a physical fitness test and oral interview.  I was selected to continue the process with a week-long deselection; which included firearms qualification courses, individual and team movement, building searches, tactical obstacle courses, repelling and crisis entry exercises.  Yes, I even trimmed my mustache.  Eight years and three months after I was sworn in as an LAPD officer, I was selected to join the Special Weapons and Tactics team.  My self-confidence and hard work helped propel my career.     

I wasted too much time attempting to control outcomes or worrying about how things would work out.  What I discovered; things always seem to a have way of working out.  Maybe it’s not exactly as I planned, but often times, it’s actually better.  My suggestion, “stop worrying and start living.”  Life begins when we break free from our past and truly enjoy the present.  When I released my mind from past events and trauma; this is where living, dreaming and enjoying life began.  This is true whether you’re in school, beginning a career or retiring.  Age doesn’t matter; just enjoy life!  If you aren’t doing that, then it’s time for you to re-evaluate where you are or where you want to be now and in the future.  It’s your life and destiny.  We can’t control many events, but when we make better, well informed choices; allowing life to unfold into a journey of beauty.  Take a chance, work hard, reach for your dreams, live your passions and enjoy life. Release your fears and cherish every single moment of time on this planet.  Believe in your own power and strength.  Seek adventures and love before you reach your final moment in time.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more!  The puzzle of life is always changing.  Change can lead to amazing opportunities.  Together 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!