Where will you be tomorrow?

Sunday April 26, 2020

Good morning friends!  Sending you all happiness and love on this beautiful day!  I am grateful to be here with each new sunrise.  It is an honor to share my thoughts, stories and insight with you each Sunday morning.  Please do all you can to maintain your good health; physically, mentally and spiritually.  More than ever we need to be strong right now.  We are nearly there.

So, where will you be tomorrow?  I enjoy imagining myself like a quote from Rumi.  “I want to sing like the birds, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”  I am definitely looking forward to being free and travel wherever I want very soon.  There is so much to learn, see and do.  I’m setting goals, making my plan, getting ready and beginning to implement them as I go.

You are never too old to set new goals, dream new dreams or live a better life.  I never thought I’d be writing a weekly blog, but here I am.  I never imagined I’d be trapped by a pandemic either.  Life goes on and we continue to move forward.   

Clear direction of what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go in life was not my strong point while going to school.  Fortunately, it all began to unfold after I graduated from college and things started to fall into place.  Even after spending nearly 34 years in law enforcement, my life continues to reveal itself every day.  After a long and successful career, yoga reappeared in my life after first being formally introduced in 2010.  That reappearance changed my direction and set me on a new path, with new goals.  Now, several years later, I am still dreaming new dreams, changing paths and living a vibrant life.  Since retiring, it has been my dream to write a book.  I have dabbled here and there with the idea.  I’ve done research and even done some writing.  Now, a simple conversation with my daughter has made this a top line project.  I want to share my life story, taking it deeper into the depths of my career, struggles and successes.  My book will provide a legacy for her and the world.  It will include experiences and lessons throughout my life.  There will be tales she can laugh at and situations to learn from, while learning more about me.  I’ve never been afraid of sharing with her, but limited the amount of police activity.  Now I want her to know and understand what my job was really all about. 

There are many young people today who struggle with who they want to be or who they think they should be.  Society, peers, friends, family and social media can create unnecessary burdens on our kids.  Even parents may unintentionally place pressure on their children to over achieve or reach for dreams not their own.  Our children struggle with how they’re seen by family and friends.  Additional anxiety and stress can be created by academics, sports or what “perfect” career path to follow.  Our children are bombarded with social media content.  There are society twists on who you should be, how you should look, how you should act and what you should do. 

As parents, it’s our responsibility to keep our kids grounded, safe and free to dream their own dreams.  High school and college students think they need to have all the answers to life before graduation.  During my life I have talked and interacted with many college students seeking answers and direction.  I wish it was an easier process to know your path, but life isn’t always simple.  Okay, life is a complex and ever changing ride.  When it is great and running smoothly, it’s something to behold and cherish.  With maturity comes the wisdom to learn how to navigate what life brings.  Let’s ensure our kids are on the right path for them.  Allow them to dream and set their goals.  They will hopefully grow and learn along their path.  Set their course early and provide the tools they need to help them navigate life.  Now it’s time to focus on you.

My career with the LAPD included many mini careers with each new assignment.  That may sound odd, as I was always a police officer, but that’s what was pretty amazing about my career.  Different work details, assignments and promotions altered or changed my opportunities, career path and goals.  I worked the streets in patrol, answered 991 calls for service at Communications, worked narcotics, was undercover in Vice, was assigned to SWAT, rode a horse, promoted to Sergeant, worked patrol, gangs, vice, tactics and firearms training.  When I promoted to Lieutenant I became middle management.  I was a patrol watch commander, in charge of Hollywood Vice and ended my career in charge of an auto and cargo theft unit.  Each of these was a career within my career.  All required learning and adjustments along the way.  They challenged and increased my skill level at each step.  Every day I grew and that made me a better person.        

We always continue to learn and grow.  Take the time to evaluate where you are and where you want to be.  This is the perfect time to take full advantage of this.  The pandemic has brought us into uncharted territory and rugged days.  The virus has created challenging, difficult and sad times.  Anxiety and stress brought on by the uncertainty of the situation are real.  These combined forces cause harm to our mind and body.  An important thing we can do as individuals to counter the negativity is smother ourselves with self-care and love.  These are key ingredients to improving our health.  When we improve our health it allows us better quality interaction with others.  When we are safe and secure with ourselves, then we tend to treat others with the same love and kindness we want to be treated as individuals.  

I want you to put away those thoughts of who you are and where you are in life at this very moment.  Take time to focus on your future dreams.  Now is the time to set new short and long term goals.  Who you will be and where you will be tomorrow when the pandemic ends?  What do you want to accomplish and how will you achieve your goals?  Seize this moment and the opportunity to take control of your life and your future.     

How often are we allowed time and solitude to reflect and rebuild ourselves.  I know many of you may have children, work and are juggling many aspects of life at this very moment.  Believe me, with the “stay at home” order, we still have plenty of time to sit in silence.  You just have to make the choice to reflect in a quiet space.  It is during these times that we allow ourselves to dream and consider the possibilities.

I was never one to believe in the power of the universe or what sitting in solace could provide.  As I matured in years and wisdom, I have recognized the power in ourselves and the universe. 

We are all part of the amazing and vast energy of the cosmos.  The power is vibrant and real.  We are complex beings, magnificent creations, with brains capable of incredible feats.  If you take the time and allow yourself to dream, who knows what may be possible.  We just need to allow ourselves the opportunity to tap into that part of our minds.        

Whether you are creating a new you, redefining yourself or just building on your current talents, let’s get busy.  Use your brain and energy to live your dreams.  Don’t be afraid to put your talents to work to do amazing things.  Imagine the possibilities.  When you have thoughts and ideas in your mind, I want you to speak them out loud.  Write them on paper.  Set a goal.  Make a plan.  Create the image of who you want to be and where you want to go.  I believe with hard work and dedication you can turn your dreams into reality.  I know it’s possible, because I’ve done it.   Remember, if you can imagine it, you can achieve.  If you can dream it, you can live it.  Life is ours. Where will you be tomorrow? Don’t wait!    

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

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

The importance of Outlook and Attitude

Sunday April 19, 2020

Good morning and happy Sunday.  Another week at home is in the books.  The virus continues to spread its devastating effects around the world.  I remain the perpetual optimist, spreading positivity and happiness.  We will move past this with our grit and determination.  I look forward to sharing time with my family and friends again soon.  I know that day is coming, as our country and world will re-open cautiously.  Keep the faith and keep moving forward.

My father was always a positive person.  “If you put in the work, things will pay off,” he’d say. He always encouraged me to look toward the future.  Dad would tell me how important it was to have a positive outlook and attitude.  I doubt I really grasped that concept until I was a senior in college.  When I graduated college and entered the workforce, those two character traits became all too important.  Great things aren’t just handed to you.  Success and achievement are earned through effort and determination.  Dedication, perseverance and hard work are a must if you wish to reach your dreams. 

Maintaining a positive outlook and attitude begin with knowledge.  As we grow and mature we become educated to many things.  This all begins at an early age.  It continues with receiving a formal education.  This process starts in elementary school and often extends through college.   Reading and learning more about life is always encouraged.  Going out and experiencing the world we live in provides us the practical aspect.  It bonds the two learning experiences.  The more time we spend out in our world, the more information we are exposed too and the more we absorb.  The socialization process brings us into contact with a wide variety of people, new ideas and thought processes.  The internet opens a vast array of material available at our finger tips.  While this is amazing for immediate discovery, there is nothing better than traveling to new places and talking to people.  All of our experiences have an impact on our educational growth.  The more we seek to know and understand ourselves and the world, the better we become.  We should question who we are, where we are going and what we want to accomplish.  This self-educational process is just as important as any school learning.  When you combine these, we really are incredible humans. 

I understand what motivation is and how it works.  It has been my spark to boost me off my butt and up into action.  I have always been able to draw from it when needed.  I didn’t learn how to incorporate discipline into that process until after college.  When I was hired by the US Forest Service, as a firefighter for a Hot Shot crew, discipline became my new mantra.  Motivation is great to get you pumped up for certain events, but like adrenaline, it only lasts for a limited amount of time.  Discipline is required to sustain our endurance past that initial blast of motivation.  Passion and determination assist in lifting us beyond everything life throws our way. 

Life can be challenging and difficult in so many ways.  I find it a must to always keep my outlook focused on attaining any goal.  Coupled with that, is our mental strength and a positive attitude to keep us moving forward.  This is where discipline plays a huge role.  Education, training and knowledge were a must for me during my fire crew days.  When I was dropped at the edge of an out of control raging forest fire, all these traits combined to provide focus.  Giving up or failure were not an option.  Maintaining discipline and strength proved to be extremely beneficial in all aspects of my life.     

Our ability and desire to learn should never stop.  We should constantly push ourselves to learn more, seek the truth, find answers and empower ourselves to know more.  Never settle on any explanation or story.  Go out and explore the possibilities.  Reading, watching, listening and doing, provide excellent sources to absorb new information and clarify old.  During my career in law enforcement I was constantly learning, growing and evolving.  The intake of information was a daily process.  If I didn’t know the answer, I made sure I sought it out.  I always strived to know all I could about my job or assignment.  The more educated I became, especially about my job and life, the greater my confidence grew and the better person I became.  Being more confident gave me the ability to better fulfill my duties.  It was a winning situation for the officers I worked with, for the community I served and for myself.   

Don’t allow others to dictate what you are capable of being or accomplishing.  I realized years ago I wasn’t built to be a world class runner or professional athlete.  I’m sure it could have been fun, but that wasn’t my path.  Our genetic makeup has an impact on some things.  Our brain provides us with the platform to learn and excel.  Knowledge is limitless because it allows us to imagine the possibilities.  It empowers us to reach for our dreams.  Hard work and discipline can make those dreams attainable and turn them into reality.

My best advice for all humans of any age, young and old, is the same.  Balance your knowledge base with both theoretical and practical experience.  As much as you learn from books, get out and learn from doing.  Reading about people, places and things is wonderful, but nothing can replace or replicate actual hands on participation.  Strive to be the best educated version of yourself.  Meditate, journal, sit in nature and take the time to relax your mind and body.  Allow yourself to release the stress and pressure of our fast paced lives. 

We all follow our own path.  Take the time to set the proper example for others to follow.  Lead by example.  Remember that sometimes bad things happen.  Life events, like the coronavirus, occur.  The pandemic is beyond our control.  It’s sad, frustrating and temporary.  You can’t allow these circumstances to control or paralyze you.  Live a healthy lifestyle and maintain your physical, mental and spiritual health.  Always begin your day with gratitude, compassion and love.  Make each and every day special, from beginning to the next beginning.

Our increased knowledge and understanding the world around us builds our attitude, confidence and outlook.  The universe is a massive unending realm.  That fact can make us feel rather small and insignificant in the grand scheme of life.  The earth was formed billions of years ago.  Man, in his earliest form first appeared thousands of years ago.  Use your time here to your best possible ability.  Enhance your experience, but always empower others along the way. 

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

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

Loved ones never leave us

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Good morning and Happy Easter Sunday!  Today is a blessed and special day.  Whatever your cultural celebrations or religious beliefs may be, we really need all the help we can get today.  The pandemic has created sadness and uncertainty around our world, but there is always hope for a bright future.  It can seem like this is a never ending uphill battle, but life continues to move forward and we need to keep moving with it.  We have been quarantined at home for the past four weeks.  To some it may seem like a life time, but there are many positives attached to it.  Take the time to remain focused on what’s important in life.  We will recover and heal; physically, mentally and spiritually.  Stay safe, strong, healthy and vigilant.  Together we will succeed and move forward with new life.  I wish you all a blessed and beautiful Easter day. Wherever you may be, let’s celebrate the day together.  I am grateful to share it with you.

Last Sunday I mentioned how I talk to my Dad.  I wanted to explain that in more detail.  He passed away six years ago.  That doesn’t deter me from talking with him every day.  I miss hearing his voice and the wisdom of his responses.  The death of a loved one is never easy, no matter what the circumstances.  So many people around the world are feeling this pain.  I always remember that with death comes new life.  My Dad was an amazing man and father.  I was blessed to have him in my life for many years.  Even now, knowing he has returned to energy in the universe, I often see his answers and where he is guiding me.

My Dad’s parents immigrated from Italy to the United States in the early 1900’s.  They became U.S. citizens and began a better life.  His family settled along the Ohio River, where he was born and raised with his brothers and sister. 

In 1942, Dad was inducted into the U.S. Army, after the outbreak of World War II.  After basic training he was sent to England in preparation for the invasion of Europe.  His unit was attached to the 101st Airborne.  This brought him to the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, and on through France, Belgium and Luxembourg.  December of 1944 the woods in the Ardennes was covered in snow, where he survived the Battle of the Bulge.  Several stories were recounted of seeing General George Patton and his pearl handle 45’s.  His unit pushed into Germany, where the war ended.  After achieving the rank of Staff (technical) Sergeant, he returned home and received an Honorable Discharge.  

My parents married and Dad remained in the Army reserves.  Active duty status called him back during the Korean War.  He served as a Drill Instructor, was deployed to Japan and returned to the States.  Prior to his military discharge he moved his family to sunny Los Angeles.  My Dad received an Honorable Discharge on the day I was born.  

My father was a beloved son, brother, devoted husband, loving dad, uncle, friend and adoring grandfather.  Dad was one of those guys that could fix anything.  Blessed with a friendly demeanor and personality, he was liked and loved by everyone.  Dad passed away with his family by his side.  He is inurned at Arlington National Cemetery, receiving full military honors.  As are many other unsung heros of his day, he is indeed part of the “Greatest Generation.”     

My father wasn’t just any ordinary Dad.  He was my Dad and so much more.  My parents raised me in the Catholic faith, to tell the truth, be honest and have integrity.  I believe in God and have spent the last half of my life more spiritual than church bound.  I believe there is “more” after we leave this life on earth.  We are all energy based beings, as is everything in this universe.  I believe our energy and soul maintain their existence.  I could share many of my experiences to illustrate my belief.  I want to share a couple of my stories with you. 

Several years ago I was going through an extremely difficult time.  I had recently retired from my career in law enforcement.  I was soul searching, looking for answers and guidance.  I left my house in the late afternoon to walk on the beach.  The beach, mountains, desert and other settings in nature have always provided energy and solace.  This dark and cloudy winter day seemed to further dim my spirits.  I hoped the beach would provide some inspiration.  I didn’t see anyone as I walked in the chilly air.  I talked to my Dad, as I often have, asking for his insight and guidance.  After about 20 minutes I implored him for some kind of sign that the path I was considering was the right choice.  I stopped in my tracks as a ray of sunshine hit my face.  I turned west to face the ocean.  The clouds seemed to part ever so slightly.  A thin ray of sunshine ran down to the water and right up the beach to me.  I stared at it in disbelief, as I realized it was only shining on me and nowhere else.  I thanked my Dad for his stunning display and his reply.  The clouds immediately closed and the sun disappeared once again. 

This is one story of many encounters I have experienced and witnessed over the years.  I often feel his presence and hear his message.  One of the first times that solidified his presence was shortly after his death.  It occurred during my first ever Reiki session.  During the session I could feel him standing next to me.  After the session ended, the Reiki master was telling me what she felt.  She detailed how she sensed a man next to me.  He had his arm around my shoulder.  She asked me if that meant anything to me.  I told her it was my Dad and how he would often put his arm over my shoulder to hug me.  That experience led me to opening my mind up to all the possibilities.  Shortly after that I completed my Reiki I and II practitioner certification.    

You may or may not believe in the afterlife.  I wanted to offer my belief that our loved ones remain close to us after they leave this earth.  If you haven’t allowed yourself to open your heart, mind or soul to these possibilities, it may be time you do.  The universe is a vast endless space made up of energy, of which we are all part.  

To boggle your mind further, consider this from Scientific American.  We live in a galaxy, on a planet rotating around a large star we call the sun.  The earth is rotating eastward in a counterclockwise motion at approximately 1,000 mph.  The earth is moving in a near circular orbit about the sun at nearly 67,000 mph.  There are other galaxies in our neighborhood also rushing at nearly 1,000 kilometers a second toward a structure called the Great Attractor.  It is a region in space roughly 150 million light years away from us (one light year is approximately six trillion miles).  The Great Attractor has a mass of 100 quadrillion times greater than our sun and spans 500 million light years.  It has both visible matter that we can see and dark matter that we cannot see.  Our eyes only allow us to see a small portion of stars in this galaxy.  Scientific exploration reveals the vastness of open space and the universe beyond.  We know it exists.

How often do you contemplate our planet or how we got here?  The earth was formed in our galaxy billions of years ago.  Modern day man has only been in existence a short period of time.      When you attempt to comprehend this information, it can be quite mindboggling.  I know thinking about our energy circling the universe after we leave this earth can be a curious process as well.  Keep your mind open to the possibilities.  Don’t discount it because you can’t see it. 

This is a time we all need to offer support for one another.  Believe in the power of positivity, but understand it takes work to make things happen.  Let’s begin with gratitude and move forward from there.  Be strong and let’s thrive together.                

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

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

Physical and Mental health maintenance are a must!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Good morning and happy April!  I thought I missed the April Fool’s Day joke, but realized we really are staying home for the entire month.  Give people a couple weeks of quarantine and they come up with some funny and creative posts.  It’s definitely no joke how many people are suffering through this pandemic.  The stress and anxiety are real.  Our lives seem to be in constant distress.  The virus has brought fear, sickness, death, economic and social disruption.  The days can easily bring on feelings of helplessness and frustration.  This is when we definitely need a boost to keep our mental and physical health intact.

These are difficult times for us all.  When you think back, our typical daily lives kept us busy and occupied.  Each day was filled with activity and constant motion.  We seem to stay so wrapped up in our own affairs that we have little time to dwell on issues that arise in and around our world.  Being sequestered at home provides us all plenty of time to reflect and think about our life, our family and what is important.  Each new day is much the same, giving us time to contemplate life.  The burden can be real and heavy.  The secret is to use this time wisely and listen to the silence.  Allow yourself, and your mind, the freedom to just let the universe speak to you.  Take a little time each day to sit in silence.  For many of us, this may be something that is unfamiliar or unnerving.  I guarantee new and enlightening thoughts will reveal themselves, if you allow them.  You just have to be willing and open your mind so they can be heard.  

Next, you need to make a plan for managing each day.  Let me share a few ideas and tips to assist building your own plan during the difficult days we find ourselves sharing.  I want to keep this as simple as possible.  We are three weeks into the “stay home” order.  Whether you go to your place of employment, work from home or just feel stuck, like many of us; it is of the upmost importance that we each take care and maintain our physical, mental and spiritual health.   If you have the feeling of being isolated, trapped or alone; believe me you are not alone.  Staying focused, engaged and busy will help in alleviating some of the anxiety and stress.      

This is a new and uneasy experience for the entire world.  You cannot allow fear to get a grip or paralyze you.  Yes, the virus is out there, we may or may not be exposed or contract it.  There are many uncertainties since it is a new virus strain.  Experts around the world are learning more about it daily.  If it’s similar to the various flu or coronavirus strains, it has the potential of being here seasonally.  The experts say if you do contract the virus, the recovery rate is approximately 98%.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), who is studying the virus, estimates approximately 4.7% people may die globally.  This is based on current numbers, but caution not all cases have been reported or examined.  As of Monday, the CDC stated approximately 1.8% of those infected in the USA may die from the virus.  Approximately 0.1% may die from the flu in the U.S. during the 2019-20 season.  The pandemic is worldwide and the numbers continue to fluctuate between countries and age groups.  This is not the time to panic.  We must all do our  part to slow the spread.  We will get through this together.

Let’s build a daily plan to help get everyone through each day and beyond.  As you may know, our physical and mental health are closely tied together.  When both are thriving, we feel amazing.  If one suffers, it has a profound negative effect on the other.  The key to good health is maintaining a balance between the two.  In times of difficulty, like being told to stay at home during a coronavirus pandemic, keeping that balance can be tough.  If you’re on social media, watch the news, do nothing all day or totally isolate yourself, I guarantee your health will suffer.  Let’s seize the moment and energize ourselves into action.  Empower yourself and boost others along the way.  We will conquer this together.      

Now it’s time to make our plan.  Here is a basic outline of my daily schedule.  Like any good plan, modifications or adjustments can be made at any time.  I have a routine I like to follow and have daily goals I work to achieve.  Every day is different and some goals are not always reached.  At the end of the day I re-evaluate my priorities and set goals for the coming day.  I begin each morning with several minutes of quiet time in self-reflection and meditation.  I express my gratitude for life and am thankful for the opportunities and possibilities the new day brings.  I always have a chat with my Dad and include my girlfriends father and Cinnamon (our family dog of over 15 years).  I know they are all together watching over us.  I’ll consider sharing more details about the connection I, and many others, have with loved ones who have passed.

This always kick starts my day.  From there I typically try to get some exercise.  This varies from day to day; so I could run, lift weights, bike, yoga, hike or just walk.  The optimum thing is to just get your body moving.  Movement throughout the day is highly suggested.  Don’t stay in one position too long.  Get up every hour and walk around.  It’s even better if you can go outside for 20 minutes to enjoy sunshine, fresh air and nature.  Walking barefoot on the grass, sand or dirt brings amazing grounding effects.  The earth and the universe are all energy.  Soak it up often and as much as possible.  Another great relief for me is to journal daily.  I enjoy writing about each day, my life, events and thoughts.  It is very personal to me and very different than these weekly posts.  Writing, or maintaining a journal, has amazing benefits for your mental health and well-being. 

After my workouts, I enjoy a healthy protein shake, watch a little news or read selected posts from my laptop.  I do not sit for hours, but just enough time to bring me up to date.  Sitting or viewing the news for hours is not my recommendation.  There are many days I don’t turn the TV on until evening hours.  I’d much rather gather my news in manageable sections from reliable sources.   Now it’s time to start whatever projects I want to work on.  Breaks are encouraged throughout the morning.  Lunch typically comes quickly.  I pick up where I left off and resume through afternoon.  Breaks to walk, get some sunshine or just stretch are included and highly encouraged.  Relaxation, conversation and fun with my partner are incorporated, especially during the evening and dinner hour.  With this “new normal” we make plenty of “us” time.     

We should all know our own body and what we need physically and mentally to get through each day.  Design and structure your daily plan to fit your needs and goals.  Be sure to set time aside for the things you deem important.  If you have kids, have a plan for them too.  Go outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Eat healthy food, exercise, move, do your work and reach for your goal.  Communicate, interact and have fun with your loved ones and family.  Reach out to family and friends as often as possible.  Many of us   have a keen sense when anxiety or depression begin to attack us.  At the first hint of those feelings, reach out to someone.  Staying connected to close family and friends has huge dividends.  Maybe others are close by so you can talk from a safe distance.  The next best option is to call or video chat.  One of my cousins arranged a video chat this week that included 18 family members spanning five states.  It was fun and so easy to do.   It was uplifting and full of laughs. 

We are not only fighting the threat posed by the virus, but a serious disruption to our lives, which brings on anxiety and stress.  The struggles this causes and looming isolation are real.  If anxiety affects your mental health, please do not wait to reach out for a helping hand.  Depression can consume you like a dark cloud.  There are hotlines and services available to assist.  Reaching out to family and friends can be a fabulous aid too.  Talking, sharing and discussing your fears and struggles can often relieve those pains.  Seeking more direct professional care is always an option.  I knew when I needed that care and making that decision was one of my best.  Please do not wait.  You’re not alone.  We are all experiencing this together.            

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

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

Time to Reconnect

Sunday March 29, 2020

Good morning and happy Sunday, March 29, 2020.  It’s hard to believe another month has passed so quickly.  Even with the “stay at home” order, the days have flown by.  Every day I spend on earth is another day that I am grateful.  I am blessed and fortunate to live in a beautiful city and great country.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Let’s take the time to reconnect with the important things in life, beginning with life itself.  Maintain your physical and mental health wisely.  Share this precious time with your family.  Make brightness, joy and love key parts of your days.  Gratitude, honesty and respect are additional ingredients to a healthy life.

I would love to be sitting at home, relaxing and thinking about where to visit on my next vacation, instead of being inundated with coronavirus news and social media posts 24 / 7.   It is difficult to think about anything else right now.  The virus is affecting billions of humans worldwide.  There are so many sick, while the death toll continues to rise.  Many nations have confined their populations to home and it is our responsibility to comply.  It is up to us to do what is best for ourselves and our fellow humans living on this planet.  This is truly the time to reconnect with ourselves.   

We are one day away from the end of the 15-day quarantine period imposed by the White House.  It has been interesting watching the daily briefings and the discrepancies voiced by other political leaders.  You would think in a time of crisis the people making decisions that impact our lives would unite with more solidarity rather than their own agenda.  Unfortunately, here in the USA, there are some people that make everything about politics.  I wish it wasn’t about what political party you affiliate with, but that we are all Americans.  Instead of pointing fingers of blame, it’s time for our elected, so called leaders, to work together and do what’s best for US.   Strength and a unified front would be awesome elements to bringing people together as we all struggle to get through this virus outbreak.

As I watch the news, the number of cases continue to increase and spread, both here and around the globe.  New York is by far the hardest hit U.S. state thus far.  Washington, California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have thousands of cases, while other states are experiencing an influx of the virus as well.  My logical guess is our stay at home period will be extended, but that’s just my opinion.  I know President Trump wanted to offer a glimmer of hope by saying Easter may bring some loosening of the restrictions, but I’m not sure that will be possible.  I read in an interview with Doctor Fauci, where he commented saying the President meant well, but this was an “aspirational projection to give people some hope.”  Hope and strength are definitely two qualities needed by us all right now.  

The best thing we can do at this very moment; stay home.  By doing this, we do what’s best for ourselves, family, friends, community and our nation.  Take the time to relish what we have.  I am very grateful and blessed to live in America.  We have food, shelter and a great health care system.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Pick up your phone, call family and friends to reconnect.  Actually talk to people and let them know you care.  It is amazing what solace a kind voice can bring to someone.  On the flip side, it is wonderful what hearing a friendly voice can do for you the caller.  It is a winning investment for both parties.  I know this isn’t an easy time.   It can be scary, filled with uncertainty.    

Many countries are suffering the deadly effects of the virus.  This is an unsettling period for us all.  The feelings of anxiety, stress and fear are real.  They can bring on increased sadness and depression.  If you experience these emotions, reach out to a friend or hotline for immediate help.  Reach out to me.  My best remedy is to maintain my physical, mental and spiritual health.  I do not sit in front of the TV all day.  I set a plan each day, to write, read or work on projects.  I go outside for fresh air, sunshine and some nature as much as possible.  I exercise, walk and ensure I move during the day.  I stay busy and focused on life and what’s important to myself and my family.   Yoga, meditation and healthy foods assist in my personal maintenance too.  When the healing begins we will return to those fast paced lives.  Cherish this brief time with your family.  Maybe you will reconnect in new ways.  The best part is building new habits for a happier and healthier you.  Stay well, safe and maintain a strong immune system.  Together we will get through this.   

There are so many people working in a united effort to lessen the effects of this pandemic.  I want to express my thanks and gratitude to all of our medical and support personnel.  Nurses, doctors, medical staff and all hospital workers are embedded in the trenches fighting this virus.  They are the first line of defense, working diligently to save lives, while risking their own.  There are many more people supporting their efforts, as well as ours, while we are asked to remain at home.  The food industry, grocery stores, trucking industry and suppliers continue to have food and products available for us.  Businesses continue to work, suppling household products, as well as medical supplies, must be thanked.  Restaurants and small eateries continue to serve food, while attempting to remain afloat.  Utility workers, gas stations, vehicle repair shops, city and county employees and other essential services remain open to aid us.  I offer a special thank you to our police, fire and first responders.  Thank you to everyone working to make our lives comfortable and safe.           

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!

Create calm during the chaos

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Good morning and happy Sunday.  I hope you all enjoyed a Happy (and quiet) St Patrick’s Day!

Like all Americans, and many people around the world, I am doing my part to social distance myself from others.  I am remaining home as much as possible.  Luckily, since my girlfriend just moved in, we have plenty of boxes to unpack.  Cooking meals together is fun as well.  I have been shopping for supplies a couple of times and enjoy running at the beach.  The times in nature are so beneficial for me, physically, mentally and spiritually.  We are ALL affected by this virus outbreak.  When I say “all” I am referring to all humans on this planet.  The effects are (and will be) far reaching, not only in sickness and death, but in every socio-economic part of our lives.  We must all do our best to support ourselves, our nation and the world

About a month ago I watched a Netflix documentary, “Pandemic.”  I was telling my girlfriend about it.  Her sarcastic response was, “Thanks for brightening my day.”  The documentary outlined the grim possibilities associated with a worldwide event.  Our information about the coronavirus was just getting ramped up at the time I watched this.  There was still much uncertainty, misinformation and things we did not know.  Now, things are quite different.  Many cities and countries, like the USA, are on lock down and quarantined.  These are indeed interesting, crazy and sad times; taking us into uncharted territories. 

During the first weeks of the virus outbreak my goal was to maintain life as normal as possible.  It was not my intention to write about it or what was happening as a result.  The events this past week, especially after watching the daily White House Task Force briefings, caused me to rethink this.  Now, I have to comment, as our lives are upended.  The daily televised reports from the White House are a great benefit and informative.  The team assembled by the President are doing an amazing job.  They are knowledgeable experts in their fields and working hard to ensure our nation is safe.  Having worked in a large bureaucracy, getting things done quickly is a task.  All indications show the task force is working diligently to get things done (such as producing protective gear and medicines).  Their efforts should be applauded.  What is annoying are the repetitive daily questions and sometimes disrespect displayed by journalists in attendance.  It was nice to watch Saturday’s briefing, as the President put a couple reporters in their place.  There are many fantastic journalists doing amazing work.  My cousin, at the Voice of America, is one of the great ones.  These people report the news with passion in an unbiased manner. 

In a time of uncertainty, I wish the news media would be working together, focused on honest and accurate news reporting.  A streamlined and more managed question period needs to be implemented, as the shouting of reporters to be selected is just ridiculous.  Fear and anxiety are having an overwhelming impact on many.   In such a short period of time people have shown their true colors.  Between the news media and some politicians, it has been a toss-up who to believe or who created the most anxiety.  The other issue are the people posting false or slanted information on the internet and social media sites.  These irresponsible acts create further stress and spread like wildfire.  Some people read these posts believing it’s the gospel and repost without verifying sources or truth.  None of this helps; often creating further uncertainty, misunderstanding and fear.  Let’s not forget the criminal element and all the scams and fraudulent activity via internet, emails, posts and calls.  Keep yourself safe and verify sources before moving forward.  Sad times.  The last few weeks have not been easy for anyone, here or across the globe.  

I have witnessed some slanted media coverage over the years.  Depending on who owns the news organization or network, they tend to add their particular agenda to stories.  This can be true among some politicians too.  There are many questions.  I know journalists provide a service in reporting the news for us all.  What I do not agree with are some of the tactics utilized, by either themselves or the news companies that bring the stories to the public.  In the initial reporting, after the virus erupted on our shores, in my opinion, some of this reporting brought less than a calm state of mind.  Redundant and useless information was tossed out from morning to night.  This serves to further create an uneasy and apprehensive society.     

Drama, fear and doom seems to mesmerize people and capture their attention.  The unfortunate part, this virus does not need any extra hype.  It is real, fast spreading and can be deadly.  I have lived in and around the Los Angeles area all my life.  Rain showers create massive media events here.  Yes, there can be mud slides or floods, but the media has a unique way to spin reports that create fear before it even occurs.  The mere threat of traffic, inclement weather, fires, natural disasters, events or just about anything bring that media fearful twist.  Why?  Fear sells.  I don’t blame the media.  Their job is to report the news.  The sad part is how some add their own twists to outdo the other guys.  Ratings and money seem to be a part of their agenda, even in difficult times.  I am all for accurate and fair reporting of any and all news.  Please just let it be that.      

Being in my mid 60’s means I have witnessed and lived through a variety of major events.  It started while I was in elementary school. The Cuban missile crisis in October 1962 set the tone for an already fearful world.  The Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union (and its communist allies) was at its height.  The USSR parked a bunch of missiles in Cuba, just off the Florida coast.  The 13-day confrontation created fear and anxiety.  I remember doing missile attack drills in elementary school.  The teacher would yell, “Get under your desk!”  We would scramble for shelter beneath our flimsy wood desks.  I doubt they would have offered much protection from a nuclear attack.  Some people had backyard bomb shelters built, but I do not recall witnessing panic buying like I have seen today.  

Other events throughout the years fueled fear and anxiety.  In 1965, the United States involvement in the Vietnam War began.  It continued until 1973.  There have been hurricanes, tornados, volcanic eruptions, natural disasters and horrific events.  On February 9, 1971, a powerful earthquake (6.5) struck Sylmar, California (just north of Los Angeles) in 1971.  That was followed up by another destructive earthquake (6.7) in Northridge (just several miles from Sylmar) on January 17, 1994.  I lived near both epicenters.  There have been major brush fires, around this area, for as long as I can remember.  What I do not remember is the hysteria created, as we are seeing with this particular virus.

I recognize how people can become easily influenced by a mentality created by fear.  I have witnessed this several times during my law enforcement career.  It is not a pretty sight.  The media and political fueled events, sometimes go beyond the true severity.  Hysteria and fear sells.  Today we enjoy instant delivery of information in the age of technological.  News, weather and anything we want is at our fingertips, as soon as we grab our cell phone or laptop.

Yes, the coronavirus is serious.  It has nothing to do with politics, race, creed or color.  I’m happy politics are not an issue (for the most part).  The virus does not spell doomsday for the world.  Together we can get through this.  Take the proper precautions and do the right thing.   Protect yourself and your family.  This does not mean buying everything you can.  There are plenty of people out there that need food and supplies.  There are others that do not possess the resources or ability to immediately gather what they need.  Think of the elderly, disabled or others that need more time.  They may need additional time or money to get to the store.  Think of how they feel when they arrive after stores have been emptied.  The impulsive actions of a few create a tidal wave effect.  Others follow thinking there won’t be anything left for them.  Soon all stores are depleted for no reason.  The entire TP thing is just crazy.  

I have seen the unsettled and disrespectful actions by some people, buying and hoarding all they can.  Where do those values come from?  Who created the urgency for people to feel the need to rush out and buy massive amounts of toilet paper, food and water?  This is not the time to push, shove or fight over items easily obtained.  Now is the time to remain calm and follow the guidelines to limit the rapid spread of the virus.  Be a kind person.  Seek to assist others.   Be who you’d want caring for your parents or grandparents.      

There is much to digest during the social distancing period.  Information is hitting us from every angle 24/7.  Take the time to absorb the news rationally, allow time for self-reflection and be grateful for all we have.  Our stores are massive, with plenty of food and choices.  There are many countries that do not share our abundance.  The quarantine affords us the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with our family.  Share that time wisely.  Be thankful for our medical personnel, store employees, delivery workers, first responders, military and all those working daily to ensure we have what we need and provide for our safety. 

I am more than willing to do my part to slow the spread of the virus.  What I don’t like are irrational decisions made by state and local politicians.  Our Federal leadership team set into motion a two-week quarantine plan for the nation.  These actions are intended to slow the spread and flatten the curve of the virus.  Why does California Governor Newsome feel he knows better, basically locking up the state for an unknown amount of time?  His initial declaration on Thursday night was 30-day stay at home order.  That was eased as of Friday morning to an undetermined amount of time.   His projections for sickness and death in the state further fuel the anxiety here.  My heart hurts for those with businesses here, and everyone with families.  Sad and uncertain times. 

Decisions like this fuel and create additional hysteria, as much as the 24/7 coverage of the media.  I understand why the Federal government made the decision for a two-week quarantine and they will re-evaluate.  Shutting California down for an undetermined amount of time will have a huge impact on millions of people.  The coronavirus will run its course and dissipate over time.  Let’s do our best to limit the rapid spread and potentially save some lives in the process.  To minimize stress and anxiety, go outside and enjoy nature.  Yoga, meditation, exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will offer relief.  Do the right thing; especially for your family and other humans sharing similar feelings, emotions and fears.  This is our planet.  Let’s love it as much as we love ourselves.      

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!

Create calm during the chaos

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Good morning and happy Sunday.  I hope you all enjoyed a Happy (and quiet) St Patrick’s Day!

Like all Americans, and many people around the world, I am doing my part to social distance myself from others.  I am remaining home as much as possible.  Luckily, since my girlfriend just moved in, we have plenty of boxes to unpack.  Cooking meals together is fun as well.  I have been shopping for supplies a couple of times and enjoy running at the beach.  The times in nature are so beneficial for me, physically, mentally and spiritually.  We are ALL affected by this virus outbreak.  When I say “all” I am referring to all humans on this planet.  The effects are (and will be) far reaching, not only in sickness and death, but in every socio-economic part of our lives.  We must all do our best to support ourselves, our nation and the world

About a month ago I watched a Netflix documentary, “Pandemic.”  I was telling my girlfriend about it.  Her sarcastic response was, “Thanks for brightening my day.”  The documentary outlined the grim possibilities associated with a worldwide event.  Our information about the coronavirus was just getting ramped up at the time I watched this.  There was still much uncertainty, misinformation and things we did not know.  Now, things are quite different.  Many cities and countries, like the USA, are on lock down and quarantined.  These are indeed interesting, crazy and sad times; taking us into uncharted territories. 

During the first weeks of the virus outbreak my goal was to maintain life as normal as possible.  It was not my intention to write about it or what was happening as a result.  The events this past week, especially after watching the daily White House Task Force briefings, caused me to rethink this.  Now, I have to comment, as our lives are upended.  The daily televised reports from the White House are a great benefit and informative.  The team assembled by the President are doing an amazing job.  They are knowledgeable experts in their fields and working hard to ensure our nation is safe.  Having worked in a large bureaucracy, getting things done quickly is a task.  All indications show the task force is working diligently to get things done (such as producing protective gear and medicines).  Their efforts should be applauded.  What is annoying are the repetitive daily questions and sometimes disrespect displayed by journalists in attendance.  It was nice to watch Saturday’s briefing, as the President put a couple reporters in their place.  There are many fantastic journalists doing amazing work.  My cousin, at the Voice of America, is one of the great ones.  These people report the news with passion in an unbiased manner.  

In a time of uncertainty, I wish the news media would be working together, focused on honest and accurate news reporting.  A streamlined and more managed question period needs to be implemented, as the shouting of reporters to be selected is just ridiculous.  Fear and anxiety are having an overwhelming impact on many.   In such a short period of time people have shown their true colors.  Between the news media and some politicians, it has been a toss-up who to believe or who created the most anxiety.  The other issue are the people posting false or slanted information on the internet and social media sites.  These irresponsible acts create further stress and spread like wildfire.  Some people read these posts believing it’s the gospel and repost without verifying sources or truth.  None of this helps; often creating further uncertainty, misunderstanding and fear.  Let’s not forget the criminal element and all the scams and fraudulent activity via internet, emails, posts and calls.  Keep yourself safe and verify sources before moving forward.  Sad times.  The last few weeks have not been easy for anyone, here or across the globe.  

I have witnessed some slanted media coverage over the years.  Depending on who owns the news organization or network, they tend to add their particular agenda to stories.  This can be true among some politicians too.  There are many questions.  I know journalists provide a service in reporting the news for us all.  What I do not agree with are some of the tactics utilized, by either themselves or the news companies that bring the stories to the public.  In the initial reporting, after the virus erupted on our shores, in my opinion, some of this reporting brought less than a calm state of mind.  Redundant and useless information was tossed out from morning to night.  This serves to further create an uneasy and apprehensive society.     

Drama, fear and doom seems to mesmerize people and capture their attention.  The unfortunate part, this virus does not need any extra hype.  It is real, fast spreading and can be deadly.  I have lived in and around the Los Angeles area all my life.  Rain showers create massive media events here.  Yes, there can be mud slides or floods, but the media has a unique way to spin reports that create fear before it even occurs.  The mere threat of traffic, inclement weather, fires, natural disasters, events or just about anything bring that media fearful twist.  Why?  Fear sells.  I don’t blame the media.  Their job is to report the news.  The sad part is how some add their own twists to outdo the other guys.  Ratings and money seem to be a part of their agenda, even in difficult times.  I am all for accurate and fair reporting of any and all news.  Please just let it be that.      

Being in my mid 60’s means I have witnessed and lived through a variety of major events.  It started while I was in elementary school. The Cuban missile crisis in October 1962 set the tone for an already fearful world.  The Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union (and its communist allies) was at its height.  The USSR parked a bunch of missiles in Cuba, just off the Florida coast.  The 13-day confrontation created fear and anxiety.  I remember doing missile attack drills in elementary school.  The teacher would yell, “Get under your desk!”  We would scramble for shelter beneath our flimsy wood desks.  I doubt they would have offered much protection from a nuclear attack.  Some people had backyard bomb shelters built, but I do not recall witnessing panic buying like I have seen today.  

Other events throughout the years fueled fear and anxiety.  In 1965, the United States involvement in the Vietnam War began.  It continued until 1973.  There have been hurricanes, tornados, volcanic eruptions, natural disasters and horrific events.  On February 9, 1971, a powerful earthquake (6.5) struck Sylmar, California (just north of Los Angeles) in 1971.  That was followed up by another destructive earthquake (6.7) in Northridge (just several miles from Sylmar) on January 17, 1994.  I lived near both epicenters.  There have been major brush fires, around this area, for as long as I can remember.  What I do not remember is the hysteria created, as we are seeing with this particular virus.

I recognize how people can become easily influenced by a mentality created by fear.  I have witnessed this several times during my law enforcement career.  It is not a pretty sight.  The media and political fueled events, sometimes go beyond the true severity.  Hysteria and fear sells.  Today we enjoy instant delivery of information in the age of technological.  News, weather and anything we want is at our fingertips, as soon as we grab our cell phone or laptop.

Yes, the coronavirus is serious.  It has nothing to do with politics, race, creed or color.  I’m happy politics are not an issue (for the most part).  The virus does not spell doomsday for the world.  Together we can get through this.  Take the proper precautions and do the right thing.   Protect yourself and your family.  This does not mean buying everything you can.  There are plenty of people out there that need food and supplies.  There are others that do not possess the resources or ability to immediately gather what they need.  Think of the elderly, disabled or others that need more time.  They may need additional time or money to get to the store.  Think of how they feel when they arrive after stores have been emptied.  The impulsive actions of a few create a tidal wave effect.  Others follow thinking there won’t be anything left for them.  Soon all stores are depleted for no reason.  The entire TP thing is just crazy.  

I have seen the unsettled and disrespectful actions by some people, buying and hoarding all they can.  Where do those values come from?  Who created the urgency for people to feel the need to rush out and buy massive amounts of toilet paper, food and water?  This is not the time to push, shove or fight over items easily obtained.  Now is the time to remain calm and follow the guidelines to limit the rapid spread of the virus.  Be a kind person.  Seek to assist others.   Be who you’d want caring for your parents or grandparents.      

There is much to digest during the social distancing period.  Information is hitting us from every angle 24/7.  Take the time to absorb the news rationally, allow time for self-reflection and be grateful for all we have.  Our stores are massive, with plenty of food and choices.  There are many countries that do not share our abundance.  The quarantine affords us the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with our family.  Share that time wisely.  Be thankful for our medical personnel, store employees, delivery workers, first responders, military and all those working daily to ensure we have what we need and provide for our safety. 

I am more than willing to do my part to slow the spread of the virus.  What I don’t like are irrational decisions made by state and local politicians.  Our Federal leadership team set into motion a two-week quarantine plan for the nation.  These actions are intended to slow the spread and flatten the curve of the virus.  Why does California Governor Newsome feel he knows better, basically locking up the state for an unknown amount of time?  His initial declaration on Thursday night was 30-day stay at home order.  That was eased as of Friday morning to an undetermined amount of time.   His projections for sickness and death in the state further fuel the anxiety here.  My heart hurts for those with businesses here, and everyone with families.  Sad and uncertain times. 

Decisions like this fuel and create additional hysteria, as much as the 24/7 coverage of the media.  I understand why the Federal government made the decision for a two-week quarantine and they will re-evaluate.  Shutting California down for an undetermined amount of time will have a huge impact on millions of people.  The coronavirus will run its course and dissipate over time.  Let’s do our best to limit the rapid spread and potentially save some lives in the process.  To minimize stress and anxiety, go outside and enjoy nature.  Yoga, meditation, exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will offer relief.  Do the right thing; especially for your family and other humans sharing similar feelings, emotions and fears.  This is our planet.  Let’s love it as much as we love ourselves.      

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!

“There’s no present like the time”

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Good morning and Happy Sunday the 15th of March!  Here we are, already midway through the month!  It’s amazing how quickly the days and weeks tick away.  Spring is right around the corner.  What a fabulous and wonderful time to be alive.  I spent the week adjusting to the time change.  Wish that was the only issue we had to deal with these days.  Unfortunately, there always seems to be some sort of chaos unfolding in the world.  Much of it we have no control over.  There are so many stories, fabrications and untruths.  We have a difficult time deciphering what is fact from fiction.  My Dad always told me, “don’t believe everything you hear.”  My advice to you, seek out the truth from reliable sources and then vet that as well.  Do your best to live your life with gratitude, honesty and respect.  Let’s all move forward along our paths knowing we are all in this together.  It’s crazy observing what misinformation and lack of knowing does to drive people to extremes.  Take a step back, clear your mind and be guided by the truth.

Honest and open communication is a fantastic way to begin any relationship.  It seems the world has lost a bit of that, including integrity and respect for others.  My observations, at home and abroad, reveal the inner struggles people are waging for dominance.  Our distain for varying views has reached an all-time high.  I don’t want my message to be clouded with politics, but when do we actually begin working together to build our nation up, rather than tearing it down from the inside out.  Too many people buy into the chaos it creates.  They spur its intensity.  The hysteria creates stress, anxiety and fear.  This serves to debilitate our mental, physical and spiritual health.  We live in a crazy time where false rumors spread in a matter of seconds.  Remain safe and vigilant with correct and accurate information.  It’s good to be prepared for the unknown, but not to the point of over reacting.  Ongoing and truthful communication serves us well.   

Maintaining good mental and physical health is a top priority.  This is especially true today.  We need to take the time to ensure we are fit and ready for whatever comes our way.  A positive outlook and great immune system go a long way to better fitness.  I feel great, or at least as good as I can be for being a mid 60’s senior.  I admit I enjoy food, including some food from the dessert group (my weakness).  I eat pretty clean, enjoy a nice glass of wine and do share some “pleasure” foods from time to time.  We have to enjoy life.  Living healthy isn’t about being boring or stingy about our diets.  I have taken the time and put in the work to stay fit and healthy.  It’s the combination of healthy food, exercise (or just movement), rest, sunshine, hydration (water) and air (or what I call, enjoying nature).  Believe me, I falter on one or many from time to time.  I’m just a human and far from perfect.  I do my best every day to balance all of these.  The better I can do that, the better I feel.  I know and feel the benefits from maintaining great physical health.  It is an integral part to our mental health.   So is communication.

Communication and opening up my heart have been my biggest challenge.  The last several years have proven to be times of significant growth for me in both areas.  I suppressed emotions, would not discuss feelings and feared opening my heart.  I held everything in for far too much of life.  This had a severe negative impact on my mental health.  One of the best decisions of my life was to put in the work to seek aid to repair and heal.  The years of trauma and destruction had taken its toll.  When the process began to improve my mental well-being, the effects were nearly immediate and very profound.  My total health and outlook took a tremendous turn into positive territory.  This is where the magic happens!  Not only did I feel better, but my communication, ability to open my heart and share true feelings emerged significantly.  Immediate gains were realized in many areas of my life.  I have always believed my relationship with my daughter was special.   My personal breakthrough brought new insight and communication into our relationship.  Our conversations deepened and we connected at a new level of trust and love.  It is an amazing feeling sharing such a special and vibrant connection with my daughter.  I am grateful and blessed to have such a fabulous bond with her. 

The changes in me were healing and inspirational.  I recognized a new light of life inside myself.  I began living in the present, enjoying and grateful for each and every moment.  My open heart and improved communication delivered me to a new path.  My relationship with my family and friends opened uncharted territory.  My love for my girlfriend was enhanced and grew.  Our communication opened and flowed easily.  The work we put into ourselves and our relationship provided clarity and understanding.  Our connection and desire to spend our lives together was true.  This brought us to today, March 15, 2020.  This is the day she closed her lease.  Now we are a couple; happy, excited and always in love.  The future is ours to share, explore and build our relationship with honesty, openness and communication.  This is our dedication to each other.         

Life moves in mysterious ways.  God and the universe have a plan.  Trust it and trust yourself.  Slow down so you can listen and actually hear.  When you can do this, you will understand the path best for you.  It might take some time and effort.  Don’t say, “I sat down for a few minutes and nothing happened.”  That isn’t silence.  Set down your cell phone, turn off social media and just listen.  Go outside into nature, with the sun and air.  Take walks, sit on the sand, visit a forest with trees or lay on the grass.  Enjoy the feeling and energy of the earth.  We are all part of this amazing connection.  Stay focused on moving forward.  Your past has helped mold you and it’s behind you.  There is no need to look back.  Now is the time to be here, right now in the present and enjoying life. 

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

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

The Power of Pets

Happy Sunday, March 8, 2020

Good morning and thank you for joining me today.  First, I hope you all remembered to spring forward one hour with the change to Daylight Savings time.  Besides the loss of an hours sleep last night, we will eventually gain more sunshine at the end of each new day.  Yay!  Bring on Spring and Summer!

I want to send very special wishes to some amazing and fabulous people.  Happy Anniversary to my sister and brother in law, and friends Julie and Dana and Karen and Doug.  Happy Birthday wishes to my nephew.  I will include my friend Jahna in the mix, since her birthday is coming up too.  All of these celebrations are within a few days of each other, so hope your special days are fun and full of happiness and love! 

All of these great people, and many others like them (like myself), tie into today’s topic.  It’s all about the power of pets.  Our mental and physical health is of the upmost importance to each of us.  Let me share how pets can play an active role in assisting in this process.  Our body is always working in a coordinated effort to maintain a happy and healthy status.  What we do or don’t do to support this work will obviously affect our body, mentally and physically.  Pets are an amazing pathway to supporting our mental health, which in turn has a positive impact on our overall well-being.  We all know the amazing benefits of service animals.  Consider the boost a pet can bring to energize your life.  Yes, they are a commitment, but one that provides awesome results.   If you do not have one, you can always visit someone who does and reap some benefits for yourself.  Pets are great for enjoying some outdoor time in nature.  Walking, running or just sitting can bring joy and comfort.

I have been a dog lover all my life.  As far as I can remember, we always had a dog in our family.  I believe this was because my Dad had a great love of dogs.  He often told stories of his dog growing up as a kid.  He was the youngest of seven children.  He said he loved following his five older brothers around, which typically got him into trouble.  The boys had a loyal hunting dog that was always with them.  One evening the five brothers came home in the early evening.  They had been out most of the day in the woods behind their home.  The family was seated at the table ready for dinner.  My Dad was visibly missing.  His mom asked the brothers where he was.  At first they were quiet, then said they didn’t know.  When my dad’s father inquired the boys admitted to leaving him in the woods.  Needless to say, they were immediately sent out to retrieve him and bring him home. 

My Dad told me his brothers told him several times to go home and leave them alone.  After his final refusal, they tied him to a tree and left him.  He said their dog stayed by his side the entire time.  It was well into darkness when the boys came back into the forest to get him, with the dog still there beside him.  I’m not sure what kind of punishment the brothers received, but knowing my grandfather, I’m sure it was swift and just.  Dad told me that was the best dog he ever had.   My sister and I were lucky having an amazing dog loving Dad.  As much as he would say he didn’t really care, it was easy to see the happiness and joy our pets had on his mental and physical health.  Looking back, I know our dogs made me a happier kid too. 

As I have grown in adulthood, my love of dogs and animals has increased.  I bought my first single family home in the early 80’s and a dog followed that purchase shortly after.  It was a sunny Saturday morning when a neighbor a few houses away knocked on my front door.  A cute little puppy had been dumped in front of their home in the darkness of early morning.  They heard it’s cries and rescued it from the cold.  Now they were searching for a home.  Many homes in the area had pets.  These people had two dogs of their own.  My back yard was huge and I couldn’t resist her cute face.  I named her Bailey, because she was the color of the Irish cream drink.  She was a sweetheart; a lab retriever mix and loved to chew on everything.   She brought lots of licks, companionship and constant love.   

Early in my law enforcement career I had the opportunity to apply and try out for the Special Weapons and Tactic unit (SWAT).  I was honored to be selected for the team.  The assignment afforded me the opportunity to work and train with many specialized police and military personnel.  One of my favorites was working with the K-9 teams.  We often worked in tandem during criminal searches.  To optimize these duties, we often conducted joint training exercises.  The handlers and dogs are highly trained.  I recall a training session when I was hiding in a vacant hotel.  I was secreted in a room wearing a bite sleeve.  The dog was released to find me.  I could hear him running down the hallway.  I heard him sniffing at the closed door.  When the door opened and he rushed into the room, I recall the sheer power of his bite on the sleeve.  His strength nearly took me off my feet.  They are truly incredible and smart animals.   

When I left SWAT, I requested to be reassigned to the Mounted Unit.  I have always dreamed of being a cowboy.  This provided me the perfect setting to be a law man on horseback.  I had only ridden a couple of times in my life, so learning to ride properly was an incredible experience.   Cowboy hat, boots, spurs and a horse named Almond capped my dream.  She was an awesome horse; intelligent, attitude and a personality all her own.  After a month of extensive training, I was ready to hit the streets of Los Angeles in the saddle.  It was my very first day on duty.  We were deployed in the Westlake area, west of downtown LA, where our horse trailers were parked.  My partner and I rode south and crossed into MacArthur Park near Park View and 6th Street.  As soon as Almond’s hoofs hit the grass she fell to her knees in an attempt to graze on the lush green grass.  Her sudden movement down nearly launched me forward like a rocket.  Luckily for me my reflexes were fast enough to tighten my grip with my legs and grab the saddle horn just in time.  I would have surely been ejected if I hadn’t already been expecting the unexpected.  My partner laughed, while I pulled her face away from the grass and regained my composure.  Needless to say, that never happened again.  Over my nearly two-year partnership with Almond, we became great buddies and teammates!

K-9’s and horses, like Almond, may not fall under the description of pets.  They still bring the power of compassion and love.  Let me share this story to clarify.  I always brought my daughter to visit me at each of my assignments during my career.  SWAT and the Mounted Unit were no different.  I wanted her to see where I worked and understand what I was doing.  It was important for me to share that with her so she wouldn’t be fearful of my job.  When I brought her to visit the stables, and Almond, it was amazing to see the connection between the two.  She is a true animal lover and watching the two interact was heartwarming to say the least.  We, of course, had to visit each of the other horses during our stay.  It was crazy watching each horse poke their head out of their stall as she approached.  They were all anxious to say hello and have their face rubbed as they would dip their head toward her.  If that isn’t friendly pet behavior, I don’t know what is.  I developed a new found respect for horses, their abilities and intelligence.  It was an empowering and thrilling ride to work there.

When my daughter was ten we set out to rescue a new pet.  We went to the local animal shelter to take a look.  She immediately found and fell in love with a puppy.  When she showed me the dog, I recognized an immediate resemblance to my old puppy.  It was Bailey reincarnated.  My daughter named her Cinnamon, because she looked like the spice.  This dog was a retriever lab mix and loved to chew everything in sight.  Like Bailey, she was a lover and brought great joy and happiness.  As much work as she created, she brought one hundred times more fun.  We shared lots of walks, runs and camping trips.  Cinnamon was very much a part of our family.  She always provided love, friendship and lots of snuggles.  Pets make great companions for kids and adults of all ages.     

Dogs, pets and animals in general, can bring wonderful calmness and pleasure into our life.  Their unconditional love is never ending.  They help us reduce stress and anxiety.  Pets have the ability to calm our fears and enhance our mental stability.   Along with being great companions, they truly work their magic on our brains.  When we maintain the balance of our mental and physical health, we enjoy more vibrant and meaningful lives.  Animals have the amazing power to energize and boost our moods.  It doesn’t matter what your preference is; dogs, cats, horses or some other fun pet.  Allow your inner child to come out and play.  Relax and calm your mind while sharing fun pet times.  They really can improve and revitalize our health.   

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!

Movement

Happy Sunday, March 1, 2020

Sunday greetings and happy March 1st!  Here we are, already two months into 2020.  I hope you are all doing well and enjoying life.  I try my best not to dwell on the past or get strung out on what the future may or may not bring.  I do my best to live each day in the present.  I focus on the important parts of life and love.  I have been discovering great benefits from my weekly writing.  I hope you find useful words or thoughts in my posts.  Your comments, thoughts and interaction is always appreciated.  I am not a one-man band and definitely don’t have all the answers by any means.  We are all here together, living life daily.  Healthy and happy are key ingredients to making our lives the best they can be.

I want to talk about another piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle.  It is called movement.  A couple of months ago I wrote about exercise.  I find it quite remarkable how a single word can make some feel uneasy and absolutely terrify others.  I realize that not everyone enjoys strenuous physical activities; like running, biking, weight lifting, etc.  Fitness has been a part of my life since I started running in junior high school.  I always found benefits in discovering more ways to build my physical strength, work off stress and maintain my mental health too.  Branching out into other movement oriented regimes, such as yoga, walking and hiking has been a blessing in disguise.  If you are not feeling the exercise bug, then let me suggest just moving your body in natural ways daily.  Don’t just sit there!  Get up and just move!  There are amazing health benefits with something so simple.

I have been on the move my entire life.  My generation, and those that came before mine, always seemed to be doing something that involved movement.  Our lives today differ in many respects from years past regarding movement.  Starting at a young age, I walked to school.  Participation in physical education was mandatory, so I was on the go at school too.  I played sports and spent plenty of time outside.  Typically, during the week as a kid, time I spent in the house was to complete homework, read or stay inside due to inclement weather.  Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles meant those rainy days were few and far between.  Time allowed to watch television was very limited.  There were no remote controls, so getting up to change channels or adjust volume was done by hand.  There were no food deliveries.  Shopping meant going to the store.  The grocery store was close by, so walking was often involved. 

The lives of kids, teens and adults start off very differently today.  I did not have the benefit of all the electronic devices of the modern age.  All this technology seems to have overrun our lives, with the use of cell phones, lap tops and other things that make life simpler.  We have to move very little to garner what we need or require during the day.  Everything is literally at our finger tips.  Food, services and material goods can be delivered to our door step at the touch of a button.  Ultimately, life today keeps us seated far more than anything else.  So instead of natural physical movement to obtain things, we spend much more of our time in a sedentary life style.  All of this lounging around promotes poor health, both mentally and physically. 

The work force has changed and evolved over the years too.  It seems there are many jobs or careers that involve sitting or in static positions these days.  That translates into lots of office work or confined to a work space.  This all means much less daily natural movement.  I was lucky that my career allowed for lots of movement.  When I promoted to lieutenant, later in my career, I found myself sitting in front of a computer much more often.  It definitely wasn’t by choice, but I always found ways to get out of the office.  Getting out of the office to work with the people I supervised or just leaving my desk to walk around outside every hour or so helped keep me grounded and sane.  All this movement during the day helps keep our muscle, joints, internal organs and entire body functioning at a healthy level.           

Movement plays a significant role in how we feel and our overall health.  It does not necessarily have to be an exercise based activity to obtain these benefits.  There are so many variations that can be fun hobbies; like walking, hiking, surfing, skating, yoga, tai chi and many others.  Try walking as much as possible.  Take the stairs for something a bit more challenging.  Get outside in nature and combine that into your movement.  The basic premise is to just move your body more often in natural ways during the course of the day.  Try not to rely on the convenience of modern technology to do things you can do yourself with a little more bodily movement.

Strength, endurance, flexibility and balance are all key components to our health.  Movement is a fabulous way to assist in maintaining them.  My suggestion, get outside.  This can be a fantastic new beginning.  Anytime you have the opportunity to incorporate any of this with nature, it is a win situation.  Go walk among the trees.  They radiate tremendous energy.  A tree covered park or forest can bring amazing benefits.  Forest bathing has long been popular with many cultures.  It is a practice to incorporate all your senses for natural healing, stress reduction and calming of the mind and body.  Walking in the sand on the beach or in a grass covered area brings similar earth energy benefits.  A restaurant I visited in Bali, had 2 x 2 foot small pads of grass you could bring to your table.  You could relax with your toes in the grass while enjoying your meal.  An amazing and simple concept to get some grounding, but much better done on the move. 

Sleep quality and length are important aspects of restoration after movement and exercise.  Realizing the benefits of anything we do is very reliant to our sleep.  Our bodies require sufficient rest and down time to rejuvenate, replenish and rebuild.  We all know how we feel physically and mentally when we are sleep deprived.  We may feel sluggish, slow and foggy.  When proper sleep is achieved, we are stronger, vibrant, with sharp and clear thought process.  Great sleep can have the potential to change our entire day and mood.    

I worked the graveyard shift (or morning watch) for a few years.  Sleeping during the day was never easy or natural.  If I had to be in court during the day, it made the days and nights that much more difficult.  I spent the majority of my career working afternoon shift (or night watch).  Although I often got home late, it provided enough time to sleep.  That was true unless court appearances were involved.  Then all bets were off!  Sleep plays a significant role in how our mind and body handles the stress and strains of each new day.  The best quality slumber in deep sleep is a necessity to keep our minds and bodies happy and healthy.     

There are many components to the healthy lifestyle puzzle.  The best part, it’s all up to you how you achieve it.  This is your body and your life.  I just want you live it happier and healthier.  Keep your mind, body and spirit strong, calm and connected to the energy of the earth.  So what do you do to maintain movement?    

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!