Opening Up

March 20, 2022

Good morning, happy Sunday and happy first day of Spring.  I hope you’re doing well.  Stay healthy, happy and grateful every day.  Life is truly a gift to be cherished with each new sunrise.  I was touched by Ukrainian President Zelensky’s speech and saddened by the video he shared with Congress on Wednesday morning.  The war Russia is waging on this nation is senseless, tragic and horrific.  Events in life, like this, leave me baffled by the brutality in our world.  I consider myself very fortunate to live in a free country.  America isn’t perfect, but we are blessed with many luxuries, easily within our grasp.  Freedom and independence are amazing rights we share in our beautiful nation.  Don’t allow your thoughts to be influenced or manipulated by negativity or the evil agenda of others.  Individuals use fear and division to subdue and control the population.  Do not fall prey to these predators.  Never doubt how blessed you are to live in the USA.  There are other free nations around the globe, but none like America.  Living in peace and freedom is a wonderful place to be.  Wherever you reside, you are responsible for maintaining your own happiness.  It doesn’t come from money, possessions or other people.  It all begins within you.  Control your thoughts and actions to do good.  Focus on the positive things in life and allow them to unfold every day.  When you change your thoughts, you can change the world.  

I met someone new two months ago.  I found her though a yoga friend.  We initially met online; then met in person.  Meeting new people via the internet isn’t my first choice, but it definitely offers a unique perspective.  She’s been listening to me talk and slowly open up about my life.  I’m learning more about myself as I traverse this new territory.  I’m enjoying her feedback, which spurns new motivation within me.  Her responses to my issues and the questions she asks are intelligent and insightful.  She’s shed new information and ideas for me to further develop my ability to move forward.  It was my decision to meet, because I needed to release my past.  I don’t want to go backward, as living in the present is the best place to be.  I no longer wish to live in fear or silence.  I never thought I’d be talking to a counselor, or spilling my ‘guts’ to anyone; like I am for a second time.  I sought professional assistance nearly four years ago.  I knew I needed someone to assist, or guide, me to a better place.  It’s difficult to believe it has been that long since my first visit and introduction to EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.  I was nervous, hesitant and skeptical what counseling may accomplish.  Needless to say, I was surprised and thrilled with the results.  My first therapist was also a woman, who I found online through recommendations from my police union.  I had no idea what to expect; yet while it was difficult at times, it proved to be, both sobering and enlightening.  The process opened my mind, cleared away the negativity from my brain and created a new pathway for me to follow.  The journey hasn’t always been easy, but each new destination provides clarity and peace. 

EMDR therapy had a significant impact on my life and provided a new outlook for a brighter future.  I learned how it’s utilized to assist trauma victims or individuals suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  The experience literally changed my mindset and life.  I had no idea how counseling, combined with this therapy, would help me heal.  I desperately wanted to share my experience, so others may benefit.  A friend urged me to write about my experiences.  My writings were transformed into my Sunday blogs and eventually an article that was published in the FBI News Bulletin.  I wanted everyone (law enforcement officers, first responders or any victims of trauma) to know help and assistance is available to relive painful events buried deep inside our mind and body.  I suffered guilt and trauma from work related incidents experienced over many years.  The nightmares, that raged within me nightly, were violent battles of life and death.  My girlfriend immediately recognized my trauma.  She encouraged me to seek assistance.  It wasn’t until after we broke up that I realized I couldn’t resolve these struggles on my own.  There are times in life you have to hit the bottom before you realize you need help.  I thought I could deal with anything.  I was a man, cop, strong, tough and driven.  Unfortunately, none of those traits would help me through this fight on my own.  Sitting alone with my thoughts, I knew I needed help.  The assistance and clarity I received placed me on a new journey.     

I never imagined I’d seek assistance from a therapist.  When I became brave enough to admit I needed guidance to save myself and love, I didn’t hesitate to reach out.  The world isn’t a perfect place, and neither are the humans living here.  I’ve done my share of attempting to manipulate my life and relationships into perfect situations.  That never succeeds, as life is messy and perfection just isn’t possible.  Moving away from California, several months ago, provided more time to reflect on my past.  I sought the aid of a new professional; to talk with to resolve issues or concerns.  This follow up had nothing to do with feeling bad or needing help.  It centered more on wanting additional clarity to who I am, why I do what I do in relationships and never wanting to lose another love.  I’ve discovered, discussing issues with an uninvolved third party can be a useful tool.  I’m not talking about telling your problems to just anyone; but someone who actually has specific training and experience in assisting others.  It’s been an interesting and enlightening process discovering how my childhood molded (and sometimes controlled) my adulthood.  These discoveries and reflections into my past, now assist me in building a bright new present and future. 

My new found therapist has proven to be a fabulous blessing.  Her insight and use of EMDR therapy has opened new revelations within me.  Understanding why or what influenced my behavior, reactions and lack of meaningful communication, especially in relationship situations has brought incredible clarity to my soul.  I’m extremely hopeful and optimistic, the obstacles from my past are being processed and resolved for good.  She’s confident the hurdles of my past; concerning fear, self-doubt or abandonment will no longer plague my present .  She believes in the therapy methods she utilizes.  I feel more confident in myself and continue to open my heart and soul each day.  The EMDR sessions I experienced are incredible.  Living life, with or without dragging the past with you, has the ability to create a vast array of complexities that we (as individuals or in relationships) deal with daily.  Life isn’t always easy or simple.  It’s messy and real.  For a segment of individuals across the planet, these issues can seem to be insurmountable.  We all struggle with circumstances, events and situations over the course of our life.  How we handle, resolve or deal with each of these can be based on our past.  The tragedy, is when we allow our past to influence the present.  Often times, our brain acts without our knowledge or approval.  Don’t live in fear or isolation; held hostage by your past.   Let go of the past and live in the here and now.  

The use of therapy, shadow work and much self-introspection, has helped guide me to recognize my past and how it’s hindered my life.  I’ve processed it, understand it and am leaving the past where it belongs; in the past.  Now I’m free to move forward into a brighter and happier future.  I can live in the present, not held back or incumbered by events that occurred years ago.  I can share my thoughts, heart and soul without fear.  My personal attitude, outlook, positivity, happiness and self-love all play a significant role in my mental, physical and spiritual health.  I begin each day with gratitude, focusing my attention on living in the present and a life filled with bliss.  Don’t allow your past to influence your behavior, decisions or relationships.  Live in the present and thrive.  You’re the only one responsible for what you think, say or do.  Change your thoughts and attitude, and change your life.  It’s time to live in happiness and love life. 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!

My time to wine


March 13, 2022

Good morning and happy Sunday my friends.  Did you remember to spring forward an hour this morning?  Day light savings time is in full bloom and Spring is right around the corner.  I hope and pray the coming months will bring better days and happier times for our planet.  The world needs more kindness, positivity and love.  I pray strong leaders, who can create peace and not war, will step forward to assume control.  I can sum up life in three words; “change is inevitable.”  Struggles along our journey, large or small, will occur.  Uncertainties are the nature of life.  Live each day in the present, without fear.  We can’t control life, others or what the future may bring.  Each new sunrise offers more opportunities and adventures.  I’ll utilize whatever experiences the world brings, to propel me into a brighter future.  It’s never too late to dream new dreams or reach for the stars.  I have become much more open to change and seeking happiness in life.  My ability to venture beyond the constraints of what my mind attempts to limit me too is freeing and energizing.  Living a life in gratitude and contentment creates peace within my soul.  When I open my heart, mind and soul to love; the possibilities are endless.  Seek new adventures and challenges that create positive change.  Always work to increase your knowledge and understanding of our world.  Changes occur with action, not opinion.  Each step forward increases your power and strength to influence the world.  Be the positive change you want to see each day.    

If you know me, or have read any of my blogs, you have some understanding about why I try to live a heathy life style; or why I promote it.  I enjoy being outdoors; breathing fresh air, roaming in nature and seeking adventures in life.  I love to travel, explore different places and learn new things.  I exercise, in an attempt to maintain some level of physical fitness.  What I eat and drink are important components to my puzzle of healthy living.  I’m not a fanatic or rant about it, but I know it’s important.  I’m just a human, like everyone else on this rock.  I believe the more I maintain better health, the more time I’ll have on our planet.  I enjoy life, even though it can be messy.  It would be fabulous to increase my longevity, sharing life with the people I love, simply by taking better care of my body.  I know it’s possible, but also without guarantees.  None of this means I’m perfect, as I’m far from it.  Every so often I do drift outside the healthy box.  I love great foods and enjoy eating.  A delicious dessert or juicy burger are fun now and then.  I typically don’t overindulge or eat tons of junk.  I do my best to refrain from sugar, processed and manufactured foods.  I rarely eat fast foods; as they’re just not good.  I don’t consume a lot of alcoholic beverages, but I do enjoy some in moderation. Growing up and living in California, wine was abundantly available.  Being Italian made drinking wine nearly a necessity, although I rarely drank any type or variety.  If I did drink a glass (red, white or champagne), it would give me a massive headache.  I never gave this phenomenon much thought until later in life.  When I visited Italy and France, I developed an appreciation for their wonderful wines.  I realized many manufactured or mass-produced wines, contain an array or high contents of not so healthy additives; such as sugar, chemicals, sulfites and possibly some toxic pesticides.  

Several years ago, a close friend introduced me to Scout and Cellar.  I’ve since acquired a new enjoyment of wine.  Now, I’m excited to announce I’ve joined the team to be an “Independent Wine Consultant.”  I have an appreciation for their core values and ideals; especially how they relate to wine and its production.  They offer a fabulous variety of amazing ‘Clean-Crafted’ wines and wine products.  The business was founded in 2016 by a woman in Texas; when she began a quest to find clean, biodynamic and organically produced wines.  She continues to partner with vineyards and wineries around the globe, seeking the same results.  I’m definitely not a wine snob, expert or connoisseur by any means.  I do know what appeals to me and what I like.  I enjoy the selection of wines offered by Scout and Cellar.  I definitely have my favorites, in red, white and bubbles.  I’ve often talked about this company (and their wines); with family, friends or anyone who’ll listen.  Now, I’ve decided it’s time for me to promote this incredible organization and their wines.  I’ve often asked myself why anyone would want to ingest alcohol packed with sugar, chemicals or toxic ingredients.  Our body, mind and spiritual functions are all interconnected, so it’s best when we keep it clean.  After an extensive career in law enforcement, I’m well aware of the consequences of alcohol over indulgence.  I do not promote or condone this behavior.  I encourage you to drink responsibly; whenever you consume any type of alcoholic beverage.  It’s the appropriate and safe course of action.

If you’re asking, “Why?”  My response is simple.  I want to promote wine that’s actually great.  I believe in the Scout and Cellar philosophy and production standards.  If I decide to drink a glass of wine, I want to ensure it’s amazing and without many of the unpleasant or harmful additives.  Their grapes are grown naturally, with no toxic pesticides, no added chemicals, no added sugar and low in sulfites.  This ‘Clean-Crafted’ process make these wines perfect for me.  As with any issues in days age, do your own research.  Knowledge provides power and strength in your decision making process.  If you want the benefits of drinking ‘Clean-Crafted’ and organic wines, please take a look.  They maintain specific standards and guidelines (from growth to production) to ensure this process is maintained from start to finish.  If you want enjoy great wine (red, white, bubbles, sparkling and other wine products), please take a look via my web page (below), wine with john.  You can view the selections and place your order online.  The wines are shipped directly to your door step.  It’s an easy and simple process, completed at your leisure.  If you live near company headquarters in Texas, pick up is also available.  If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

If you’re interested in checking out the amazing selection of ‘Clean-Crafted’ wines from around the planet offered by Scout and Cellar, or if you have a desire to bring these fabulous products to others by becoming an Independent Wine Consultant; please check out my link: www.scoutandcellar.com/winewithjohn

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!

Beyond my Control

March 6, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe.  I wrote a wonderful blog that was ready to post today.  I wanted to share some exciting news with you, but now it will have to wait until next Sunday.  We’re nearly a week into March and the world seems to be imploding in our midst.  The last eleven days have been filled with tragedy and sadness.  It’s also shown the strength, toughness and resilience of the Ukraine and its people.  The continued horrific events prevent me from posting a happy story today.  In good conscience, how can I talk about my fun life, when innocent men, women and children are being murdered at the hands of Putin and his military.  I can’t just stand idly by, pretending life is fabulous, when it isn’t.  Watching the news, I’m reminded of scenes reminiscent to Hitler and the beginning of World War II.  I see beautiful cities being bombed, people being killed and a nation crying for aid; as their country is being ravaged and destroyed by Russian invaders.  A psychopathic dictator ordered his army to invade a free and sovereign neighboring nation.  Is the purpose for his egregious behavior his own greedy obsession for wealth and power?  The evil being perpetrated is real and the affects will be long lasting.

Here we are my friends, going about our daily lives; complaining about traffic, steadily rising prices for food, gas and just about everything else.  I often wonder if some people have a clue about what’s really happening in the world.  I know it’s easy to just bury your head in the sand and not think about it.  Unfortunately, that tactic won’t change or solve anything.  When you aren’t looking or aware of your surroundings, it just makes you more of a target or potential victim.  It’s time we stand together and call our leaders out; to take better care for our nation and the people of the world.  We have various “so called” treaties in place to protect the world, yet here these nations sit, allowing this bully to dictate what he wants.  Watching the beautiful nation of the Ukraine, it’s cities and people, being destroyed is heartbreaking.  I believe if America had stronger and dedicated leaders, our nation would have rallied, with our allies, to prevent this maniacal invasion by Putin.  He’s a sadistic dictator.  It’s as if he knew what to expect from us in the way of consequences.  This well-planned assault was just waiting for the word “go.”  I have no doubt Putin has been designing this take over for some time.  It’s obvious he has no fear of Biden or his weak foreign policies.  If you allow a bully to take your lunch money, without repercussions, what prevents him from taking more in the future?  I am not one to rush into war or committing ground forces to another far-off land.  I do know, in these types of circumstances, a bully understands just one thing.  Diplomacy is a useful tool, but there are times force, or the threat of it, is necessary.

My question to our leaders, “How can you allow these atrocities to occur without raising an eyebrow?”  After watching Joe’s “State of the Union” this past week, why is he trying to maintain the appearance that he’s actually doing something to affect climate change or anything positive?  He’s like a con artist, who’s trying to convince us he’s actually making achievements.  The fact is, he isn’t doing anything productive, here or abroad.  He is more concerned about his own agenda, not human life.  Joe’s logic seems to say; if the USA stops producing oil it’ll look like we’re leading the way for climate change.  Rather than utilizing our own resources, the president continues to pay Russia billions of dollars to buy their oil.  This ultimately does nothing to alter climate change on our planet.  The financial sanctions imposed on Putin and Russia, have little meaning or strength, as long as the US continues to buy oil from this deranged leader.  The money we give Russia is a daily slap in the face to the Ukrainian people.  Our president is allowing American capital to fund the Russian assault and killings in the Ukraine.  Biden’s thought process on eliminating “greenhouse gases” using these tactics is idiotic.  He halts oil production in the US, but then buys billions of dollars-worth of oil from Russia.  How does that make any sense?  We could be utilizing our own oil production to eliminate outside purchases and become energy independent.  Our nation is capable of working on environmental issues, without funding the agenda of foreign adversaries. 

I have many questions and not all the answers.  I realize I have no control over what’s occurring in the Ukraine or in Russia.  I have little influence over many matters that occur in my own nation.  I cannot sit back and not let me voice be heard; so, I’m writing this blog to voice my concerns.  We can all contact our congressional representatives, and other political leaders, to share our opinions.  These individuals represent us, the American people.  I often wonder, based on their actions, if they have our best interests at heart.  Hopefully, if enough Americans voice their views, letting our leaders know we dislike or do not support their actions, positive change will occur.  I pray our president will wake up and stop the flow of our money to Putin.  We have the resources to produce our own oil, which will in turn lower our fuel costs at the gas pump.  I know God has a plan that is beyond my scope.  The difficult part is, standing by watching a mad man order his army to destroy a country for his own power-hungry greedy obsession.  These are difficult days for us all my friends.  Take good care of yourself.

I’m not here to tell you what to think, what to believe or what action to pursue.  Do your own research, using reliable and trusted sources.  It’s your responsibility to seek the truth and educate yourself on the events in our world; not only here at home, but around the globe.  Knowledge is power.  The more you know and understand, the better equipped you are to make well informed decisions and take decisive action.  We are definitely in need of some decisive resolutions to the problems impacting our lives.  I’m grateful every day to live in America and for all that I have.  I’m sure the Ukrainian people may have felt the same way on February 23rd.  What a difference one day made in their lives.  Now they are fighting for their very existence.  You never know how strong you can be, until being strong is your only option.  United we stand and divided we fall.  Don’t allow anyone to drive a wedge between us, our nation, or for what is right and wrong.  Stand up for what you believe in and encourage others to do the same.  I will look forward to sharing my new venture with you next Sunday.  Stay happy, healthy, safe and positive.  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!

Power and Greed

February 27, 2022

Good morning and happy Sunday my friends.  I hope you are all doing well.  How’s it already the last Sunday of February?  Tomorrow will be the last day of the month.  It’s crazy how quickly the first two months of 2022 have flown by.  As much as I try to slow time down, it seems to keep speeding up.  I realize I have no control over time, space or many other things.  I do my best to live in the present; enjoying each day of life.  I hope you’re making time for self-care and love every day.  Don’t wait for the proverbial “someday” to come along.  The last time I checked, there were only seven days in the week and someday wasn’t one of them.  Get outside; breath, bask in the sunshine (vitamin D), enjoy the beauty and splendor of nature!  Work hard each day to live your dreams and reach for your passions.  Time won’t be slowing down, for any of us, so don’t wait.  Share your love and happiness with your family and friends.  Cherish them and every precious moment of life.

When I started writing my blog, over two years ago, it began as an idea to spread my thoughts about health and wellness.  My intention was to share what I had learned and experienced during my life; including the good, bad and everything in between.  I never intended to write about politics or world issues.  I’d much rather be sharing my life experience and thoughts with you on how to guide you to a healthy, happy and positive state of living.  I wanted my words to assist you in understanding, or learning, how to better maintain your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing in new or different ways.  Here I am, getting involved in critical issues facing our planet.  It’s time for me to take a stand and voice what I believe to be right.  I am fortunate to live in a great country; where we enjoy many freedoms.  I’m grateful for each new sunrise.  I live in a nation where I am free to share my thoughts and beliefs.  There have always been unscrupulous individuals in our world who seek to manipulate or control others.  These radical bullies use force and fear to exert their influence over people and nations.  If no one stands between them and what they seek, or if we allow them to gain this power, they will continue to further their dominance over everyone.

Waking up to the news that Russia invaded the Ukraine, Thursday morning, made me sick.  No, I don’t want to see our nation in another conflict or war.   No, I don’t want the men and women of our military put into harm’s way to protect others.  Neither do I want to see any nation being invaded because some fool wants to further his own wealth and power.  Putin is a bully; whose only intention is to dominate the world.  He isn’t interested in peace, harmony or freedom.  His motivation is greed and power.  My question to you, my friends; when do you stand up to bullies, whose sole interest is dominance and control.  When do we band together to put knock these idiots off the pedestal they have placed themselves on.  We allow this nonsense to occur daily here at home; in families, schools, relationships, workplace and society in general.  This behavior is inexcusable, disgusting and wrong; yet we allow it to occur.  Are we afraid we might upset someone because we say, “No! I won’t allow or stand for this treatment, to me or anyone else.”  Standing up for what is right really is really a simple process.  It takes courage and fortitude to stand up to a bully and for what is right.  What will you do when the bully’s standing at your door?  

Now this egregious behavior is happening in the Ukraine.  We are facing another world crisis in every sense of the word.  Putin is nothing more than a greedy deranged power-hungry thug.  He is using the strength of his military to exert power and control over a free and sovereign nation.  The Ukrainian people have been living in peace and freedom, since they were able to break free from the Soviet Union years ago.  Take a few minutes from your busy day and educate yourself on the history of the Ukraine.  It began as a free country, until it was invaded and brought into Russia (later becoming the Soviet Union).  The best part of this history is when the USSR dissolved in 1991 and the Ukrainian people achieved their independence and freedom.  I’ve seen several uninformed statements on social media on the subject.  Why anyone would think or make ridiculous statements baffles me.  It’s like saying, “It’s okay for Mexico to invade the US and take back Arizona, New Mexico and California. They were part of Mexico before.”  Maybe you don’t care, because this invasion is happening on the other side of the globe.  World Wars began under similar circumstances.  We’ve allowed bullies to use their nations as implements of dominance and control.  These individuals sought to spread their power beyond the confines of their borders; into surrounding free nations.  Where do we draw the line and say enough is enough?  Is it one country, or is it until they are at our border ready to invade?  This is the time for us to unite against this aggression and demand our leaders to stop this action. 

I don’t pretend to have all the answers or solutions, to the problems our world or our own nation is facing.  What I do know, the freedom of our world will not last much longer if we remain apathetic in these matters.  Never be fearful to stand up for what is right.  There are millions of people, thinking the same thoughts and wanting the same resolutions to the problems at hand.  Here’s some interesting information.  This is no secret, just look for it.  Russia supplies many European nations with oil and gas.  Many of the pipelines that carry these fuels run through the Ukraine.  This is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and I can see why Putin wants to control it.  The sad part of this story is why our political leadership (our president and his buddies) are allowing these atrocities to occur.  America (our government) continues to purchase oil from Russia; approximately 22 million barrels per month.  This accounts for about 7 or 8% of our oil use.  You may ask yourself, “why are we buying oil from a dictator invading a sovereign nation?”  The answer may be that our president has a hidden agenda to maintain his Green New Deal proposal by lowering our own oil production.  This would also explain why he cut the Keystone Pipeline project.  Our weak leadership only serves to influence others to remain subdued and uninvolved.  They have chosen to protect their investments and environmental deals instead of lives.  Our president’s response to the attack are “sanctions.”  During a news conference, he said the sanctions would take time (months) and we must remain “resolved.”  They have done little to nothing to protect and save the innocent people of the Ukraine who are being murdered in the Russian assault.  The lives, homes, cities and nation of a beautiful country are being crushed by Putin’s military.  How long do we, or our nation, remain uninvolved to act?  Please don’t wait until it’s too late for us all.

I’d rather be writing about happier topics.  I needed to share my thoughts about this situation, as much as the healthy and happy thoughts I love.  We live in a scary world and ever-increasing dangerous times.  The fear and dangers are real; while the consequences are significant.  We are in an age when the powerful only seek to increase their dominance and control.  The only way we can deter these actions is by standing together.  Show your courage and strength, by standing tall, united as one people.  A unified group against the atrocities of bullies is stronger and more powerful than the evil these individuals represent.  I trust in God and pray He is watching over our universe.  Stand up for what you believe, even if it means standing alone.  Every human on this planet deserves to live in a peaceful and free society.  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!

A Slow Death

February 20, 2022

Good morning and happy Sunday my friends. February hasn’t been the month I expected. I was thinking it would be a fun and fabulous time. I hoped life would improve, but that hasn’t necessarily been the case. I know changes in life are inevitable. The events that occurred weren’t expected, but then why would anyone be thinking about death. My Mom was diagnosed with Dementia / Alzheimer’s over six years ago. She has been confined to a memory care facility for over five years. I know and understand the progression of this debilitating disease. The end result is sad and final. I’ve done my best to prepare myself for the last stage of this journey, but how can you actually prepare yourself for the loss of a parent or loved one? It’s an odd dichotomy. Even in my sorrow, I’m able to find some joy and happiness in the ending of her journey. During the span of my career, and life, on this planet, I’ve witnessed many incredible feats of life and the tragedy in death. I’ve seen a baby’s first breath, as it enters the world (including my own daughter being born). I’ve also seen the last breath, as a person departs this life and moves on to another realm. The life and death experiences I’ve witnessed have been peaceful for some and brutally painful for others. The horrific ends to life are the most traumatic to understand or process. I continue to place my trust in the plan of God and the universe. This is where I find my solace and comfort. Maybe it’s time we take a closer look at life and death; to better understand it and not fear it, before it closes in or surprises us.

No one wants to die, as life is a precious commodity. I knew this day would come for my Mom; as it will for us all. I didn’t know how or when, but I knew it would come for her. Death is an inevitability we all will face. Some fear death, others welcome it and I’ve grown to understand it as our human outcome. It’s never easy or simple, and always seems to come when least expected or wanted. To put it mildly, death sucks! I’ve witnessed death in many forms. I experienced the brutality that occurs with murders. These horrific, torturous and criminal acts are tragic. I’ve felt the sadness that accompanies suicides. These victims see it as a solution to end their internal pain or suffering. These are truly heartbreaking incidents. The grief that accompanies sudden death and loss of loved ones is the absolute worst. The harsh reality; death creates sorrow for the living and represents a finality of life on earth. If you aren’t prepared for death, it will knock you down and keep kicking you until you relinquish yourself to the pain. No matter when death knocks at your door, we can never be fully prepared or ready to deal with its consequences. My advice is simple. Face your fears now, so when the time comes, you’ll have a plan and the ability to navigate it when it arrives. I can’t promise it won’t stop the pain, because it won’t. What it will do is prepare you for the sadness and help you to get up a little quicker from the initial blow. They say, “Time heals all wounds.” I’ve found it takes a lot of time to recover from the grief and sorrow associated with loss. When you hit the bottom by being crushed by life, you have the ability to rise stronger and more vulnerable to the world.

Seeing trauma and death, in so many incidents over the years, desensitized my emotions and feelings. It blocked me from sharing my passions and love with those closest to me. It closed my heart and locked my spirit tightly behind my Kevlar body armor. It prevented me from experiencing the simple joys of living life. Since I was a young kid, I’ve had a difficult time just being me. I sought the love from others, I thought I needed to exist in a happy life. When I didn’t receive the gratification my soul thought it required, I just tried harder. It wasn’t until much later in my adult life that I realized what others thought or did had nothing to do with me or who I was. I simply needed to love myself and produce my own happiness to live a wonderful life. My compassion and gratitude developed by experiencing the hardships life brings along our path. My career provided an accelerated version of development. I’ve been touched by death and looked deep into its darkness. I was fortunate and grateful to be able to spend the last days of life with both my parents. Their last week of life was completely different. My Dad was lucid and active, while my Mom slept in peaceful slumber. They both passed on to the next life peacefully. It wasn’t easy to let go of their bodies, but I remain tightly connected to their spirits, until we meet again.

After my parents passed away, I realized how vastly different they lived the last five+ years of life. My Dad was happy and full of life every day. He was excited for each new day and enjoyed every moment of life. He knew his time on earth was limited, so he didn’t hesitate to take full advantage of its pleasure. He shared his heart, soul and love with me, his family and friends. Dad told me to live and be happy, saying, “Whatever you’re doing, just go do it. Enjoy yourself.” He waged a five-year battle against an unseen enemy, in the form of a blood disorder. There was no cure, as it morphed into Leukemia, eventually whittling away at his body until he could fight no longer. Every day he would tell me, “Michael, I can beat this. I know I can.” I accompanied him to many doctor appointments, where he’d tell the doctor the same thing he told me. The doctor would say, “John, keep fighting.” Dad was a great fighter and he fought a long hard battle. He never gave up hope or gave in to the pain. My Mom wasn’t that fortunate. Conversely, she lived her last five years, by merely existing. The disease took her through changes and various stages unknowingly; while robbing her of her memory. It transformed her mind and body without her permission or control. She didn’t have the ability to understand, fight or defend herself from the inevitable. After my Dad passed, it was easy to see her mind and memory were beginning to fail. The brutal assault and effects of this disease were rapid and crushing. She was confined to an Alzheimer’s memory care facility for over five years. The disease quickly seized control of her mind and ravaged it. She was reduced to living in a functioning body. As her memory failed, so followed other bodily functions. This sad existence wasn’t living! This debilitating state has only one outcome; death. When death arrived, it took its time to linger; as it sucked the remaining life from her body. She went to sleep, remaining in a state of slumber, as her body and organs slowly ceased to function. It’s a sad process to witness, especially when it’s your mother. I said my “goodbyes” while I shared my thoughts and love. I don’t find joy in death, but I do find comfort in knowing my Mom is at peace, without pain.

Every day of life brings us a step closer to death. We know change is inevitable. Life can change in an instant. I’m grateful for each new sunrise and the opportunities it brings. Enjoy, cherish and live a life full of happiness and love. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about what the future may bring. Work daily to dispel the fears and anxieties of life. Be kind, humble, respectful and grateful every day. Seek your passions and live your dreams. Instead acquiring more things; share experiences, adventures and make memories that will last a lifetime. Share time with your family, friends and especially with the people you love. Never hesitate to tell them how you feel; or tell them you love them every day. Life is short and our time on this planet is limited. Don’t waste a moment on foolishness, stubbornness or egotistical endeavors. Help others along the way, because you never know when you may need help on your journey. In the end, a life lived in happiness and love is what matters the most. It’s never too late to dream new dreams, seek new adventures or change your life. I’m a prime example of what positive change can do to improve life. Now is the time to live life in the present; full of passion and love. 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!

A Heart Full of Love

February 13, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you’re doing well today.  I have to admit, it’s been a difficult week for me (and my family).  Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  I have serious doubts it’ll stir up much joy this year.  I’ve had mixed feelings, in general, about this “holiday” or many years.  The day typically has the potential to be filled with lots of fun and love.  This is especially true when you have someone special to share it with.  It can also be a total drag if you allow it to control your thoughts (with or without a partner).  I don’t dislike the day, even if I’m not sharing it with a love mate.  It’s just another day that I’m happy to be alive, living life on this earth.  Our time on this planet is a gift and limited time offer.  If you have a partner, let them know how you enjoy and cherish them; including life together.  If you don’t have a special Valentine, share your happiness and love with family and friends.  I’m always here if you need me too.  The day reminds me of a couple old sayings that seem appropriate for the occasion.  “You can’t see the forest because of all the trees” or “you don’t recognize when you have something special standing right in front of you.”  You may be asking yourself how do these two sentences fit this romantic holiday.  For me, or for those who have lost love, you may understand or relate to my emotions on the subject.  My Valentine pleasure over the years has consisted of sending tokens of my love and appreciation to my daughter, sister and special people in my life.  My gifts this year consisted of chocolate and homemade granola.  Sending you all Happy Valentine’s Day wishes!

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of love.  I’ve been in love a couple times in my life.  I’m not referring to the love that I have for my daughter or family.  I’m referring to the intimate and passionate love shared with a special partner.  As I look back on my relationships, I realize how my daily interactions and attitude helped love flourish or sometimes simply diminished its luster.  I’ve spent the bulk of my life trying to please others, while shielding my emotions.  My defense of not opening my heart to allow others in or see the “real me” was often done unconsciously.  The fear of rejection was real and limited my ability to relax or actually enjoy my life.  Unfortunately, it took a failed relationship for me to discover what drove my obsession to control life and love.  There have been times in relationships, where my focus was not to hurt or get hurt.  This process ultimately hurt us both.  My past had a way of creeping into my mind to control my emotions and actions.  The perfectionist attitude I tried to escape somehow took over, making me do the worst, instead of just being me.  Negative thoughts controlled my mind, destroyed my relationships and rarely allowed my heart to open, to expose my true feelings and emotions.  My excitement intensified and anxiety level soared when I met an incredible woman and begin a new relationship.  I knew she was special and different than any other woman.  This is when I should have been relaxed and enjoying every moment of life together.  I just wanted to be me and not controlled by past insignificant childhood or relationships memories. 

This very special woman changed my perspective, life and love.  I wish it would have been easier for me to share my thoughts and shown you my true self all the time.  She saw glimpses of “me” before I’d fade to the background.  Unfortunately, the fears in my mind sometimes paralyzed me from responding or communicating my feelings, emotions and love.  This may sound silly to someone who is open and not afraid to share their inner most feelings.  My fear to share, so I wouldn’t scare her away, eventually was the reason she left.  It’s crazy how fear can be overpowering at times.  It had nothing to do with her or us, but were shadows from my past.  Now that I’ve done my own “shadow work” I understand myself better and why I’ve been like this for so long.  It made me realize that even in our tough times, I felt better with her than I have my entire life.  Her love, support and closeness made me feel safe and secure.  I wish I could have opened myself to love and not allowed her to slip away.  Events of my past and ego driven stubbornness created grief within me.  It’s taken me years to decipher myself.  I never really gave it much thought, as to how I acted or reacted in relationships.  The loss of our connection forced me to take a deeper look in me.  I discovered a man (me), controlled by the past, who struggled to please his mom, but was never able to receive her approval or satisfaction.  The lack of gratification turned me into a perfectionist.  My attempts to make everything perfect never turned out the way I expected or wanted.  Those attempts made me try harder, doing all I could to earn the praise I thought was important.  Translating my actions into relationships meant I put all my effort into making them perfect.  When I was with the woman of my dreams, I became like that boy trying my best to be perfect.  She just wanted me to be myself, not perfect or a super hero.  I was trying to give her the moon and stars, when all she really wanted was me.

I’ve learned over the years that I can’t control the thoughts, perceptions, feelings, emotions or responses of others.  I don’t worry about the weather, politics or things beyond my control.  The experiences, events and trauma from my past can manipulate me only if I allow it.  I now understand my negative responses and what caused them.  I work to eliminate these issues from my life, not allowing them to alter my present or future.  I don’t want past events to control or cause fear within me.  Living in the past is not where I am or ever want to be again.  Now (the present), is the time for me to shine and continue moving forward.  I’ve learned from my past, understanding myself better, while leaving those old fears behind where they belong.  I’m transitioning into brighter future.  I continue to trust God and the universe, knowing my beautiful plan awaits.  It’s a blessing to discover the “how’s” and “whys” of me.  The journey hasn’t always been easy or pleasant, but the end result is allowing me to learn and grow.  My personality, appearance or who I am, haven’t changed.  My insight into relationships and love are open and fresh.  Love isn’t always easy, because we often allow our past to interfere with our present.  When two individuals can stand before one another and truly live in the present, friendship develops and love flourish’s.  I want to show you every day how much having you in my life means to me.  Telling you, “I love you” is wonderful, but turning my words into actions has much more meaning and significance.  I’ve grown to love myself more and be at ease with who I am.  I’m not fearful to live my life.  I know how much more fun and exciting life is when it’s shared with a fabulous love.  For now, I’m just me; open, free and loving life with a heart full of love.  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!

You already know

February 6, 2022

Good morning and happy Sunday my friends.  I’m beginning todays blog with some happiness.  Groundhog Day was celebrated this past Wednesday.  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, predicting another six weeks of winter.  You may or may not be interested in Phil or his weather prediction.  I’m not concerned about the weather, as it’s far beyond my control.  I’m grateful to wake up each morning and thankful I have another opportunity to enjoy my life.  It was fun to watch the event for a little while, live as it happened.  Seeing the crowds of spectators happy and living their lives in freedom made me forget about the madness spreading across our planet for a brief moment.  My daughter thought Phil was cute and fluffy, while my sister was more concerned about his well-being.  I’m sure he’s well cared for.  It’s nice to see various areas of our nation returning to living life.  I’m tired of the manipulation and fear thrown at us daily.  My current assessment of the situation; the vast majority of people on this planet already know.  They’re tired of the political controls and want to get back to living.

This past week, (including many weeks before), continued to be devastating for law enforcement and first responders.  These brave men and women are being attacked and murdered with increasing frequency.  New York, California, Virginia and other states across our country share these tragedies.  Violence continues to rise in cities across our nation.  It’s deeply disturbing when I hear individuals bash law enforcement.  The people who advocate the removal of police, or label them as racist or unnecessary, are truly ignorant or touting some crazy agenda.  If these individuals would rather live in a lawless or socialist society, I suggest they move out of the USA asap!  They need to live in another country and experience the difference.  Unfortunately, that won’t happen, because these foolish folks have the freedom here to say and do things never allowed in socialist or communist nations.  When your personal political ideology or bigotry places lives in danger, then you are part of the problem and not a solution.  When will we (America) put an end to this insanity?  If you believe we can live without our police protectors, you are sadly mistaken.  What do you think would happen without laws or law enforcement?  My interpretation visualizes a complete breakdown of society, utter chaos and lawlessness.  Not a pretty picture.

Life happens every day.  I can’t change it, control it or escape its outcome.  There are times I find it difficult to understand or comprehend the “whys” or “what ifs” of life.  The violence aimed at law enforcement, police and first responders are tragic, sad and against the greater good of humanity.  Where is the outcry from our community members, civic, religious and political leaders?  Communities across our nation are under siege by thugs, gang members and criminals.  People are being attacked in the streets or in their homes.  When will Americans demand an end to this insanity?  Is caring about others not part of your agenda; or until your loved ones are threatened by these villainous monsters?  I realized a long time ago we don’t have the power to control death caused by various diseases, illnesses or disasters.  We do have the ability to unite as one voice to put an end to the atrocities and violence being perpetrated in our streets.  This ever-increasing problem isn’t about controlling weapons.  Our so called leaders have done little to stop the flow of deadly illicit drugs to our children.   Movies, video games and sensationalized violence and drug use depicted on social media or news outlets has desensitized our society.  The removal of respect and authority at home, schools, authority figures and law enforcement, has crippled our society.  The ability for individuals to perform their duties and serve our communities is limited (putting it mildly).  Our justice system is an utter joke; allowing criminals to go free and continue to roam the streets.  Liberal district attorneys, judges and elected officials are perpetrating this madness.  This isn’t a liberal, conservative or racial issue limited to any single group.  It’s a problem of critical importance that places all Americans in jeopardy.  Why do we allow inept, greedy, corrupt or manipulative politicians to control our lives and dictate their ridiculous policies?  California and New York are prime examples of the insanity occurring in our nation.  Foreign countries are experiencing similar circumstances.  Our freedoms are being slowly eroded away, without any effort to stop this.  Individuals talk, but little action evolves to produce effective results.  We have become so indoctrinated with this media blitz, that we seem to care more about the weather than life.

What is your most important aspect of life?  Is it success, possessions or is it something that is so much more significant; like freedom, happiness and love?  It seems today that many individuals opt for more stuff; thinking that will bring them the contentment in life they seek.  Sure, having more money can buy you more things; a big house, fancy car and lots of toys, but it will never buy you peace, freedom, happiness or love.  Rich, powerful or politically driven individuals seek to manipulate and control our freedoms and lives.  Many of these people have no desire to assist us or improve our lives.  Their only goal is to keep us living in fear.  This subversive mentality has been increasingly perpetrated on our nation and the world for the last two years.  It continues to grow with each passing day.  We can’t wait any longer to stand up for what’s right, our freedom or before the “wolves” are at our door.  It’s time to wake up, step out of your protective bubble and take a hard look at what’s happening all around us.  I realize I have little to no control over many events, both here at home or worldwide global issues.  I can still let my voice and opinion be heard before it’s too late.  Conflicts across the planet continue and the threat of war looms.  We need to stand together as one people and one planet.  This is the time we need to tell our leaders enough is enough.  It’s time for our planet to exist in peace and freedom before it fades away.  Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone. 

I’m not here to tell you what to do.  Do your own homework and investigation.  Take the time to educate yourself on what’s happening here (at home and abroad).  Knowledge is power and the more you know the more powerful you become.  Reflecting back on those times in my life, I wish I would have listened to the wisdom of those individuals who experienced life before me.  You can read all the self-help books you want, but if you never put into practice the information learned or wisdom gained, nothing will ever change.  If you don’t like your life, change it.  We all deal with struggles.  If you remain negative, nothing will ever be positive.  When I change my thoughts, I can change my world.  Humans are complex creatures.  We have free will and are capable of making our own decisions.  Typically, I’ve found that if I ask someone for advice, I already know what I want to do, but am merely seeking validation before I do it.  As I share my thoughts, experiences and life with you writing this blog, I hope you find some of what I say, interesting and useful down the road.  For me, it’s a cathartic release of my past and present.  It helps me maintain my mental grounding, in knowing where I want my future to take me.

Do you want to change your life, but keep asking yourself how can I do it?  My suggestion; slow down, stop, silence your body, slow your breathing and just listen.  The answer will come, because you already know.  The answers to life’s question are already inside of you and you already know.  The problem is, you’re just moving too fast all the time to see or hear the answer.  When all else fails, what do you do to seek aid or assistance?  Do you pray, run away or stand your ground?  Fear and doubt created in the chaos of life can cripple your forward movement or progress.  Even in those times of doubt, you already know.  When you take the time to slow your mind and control your thoughts, clarity will appear.  It’s true.  This is because you already know what you want or what’s best for you.  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!

It’s going to be okay.

January 30, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are all doing well.  It’s already the last Sunday of January.  The first month of 2022 flew by, as it concludes tomorrow.  It’s been nearly two years since the “virus” began controlling our world.  Life, death and change continues on this planet every day.  That’s been a constant since living creatures came into existence on this rock millions of years ago.  Let’s face it, life can be a struggle.  It doesn’t always go smoothly, fit with our plan and it’s never (or is only) as “perfect” as we perceive it to be.  We know humans or life will never be perfect.  Life can be messy; whether you sequester yourself or you’re an active participant.  If you’re fearful to “live,” if you restrict your movements or hesitate to reach for your dreams; in my definition, that’s not living.  For me, living involves being an active member in the journey of life.  Making decisions, seeking adventure, enjoying experiences, feeling emotions, creating memories and living in gratitude make living life fabulous.  Yes, there are difficult times and issues to deal with along the path.  Using your strength and power to move beyond those issues, or the sadness they may create, make the good times so much better.  Sitting on the sidelines or shadowing yourself in fear (for whatever reason), isn’t living.  There will be tough days to work through.  Life happens.  Sitting in a space of constant sadness or anxiety only compounds these issues, creating more negativity and fear.  Breaking free from the confines of your minds control can be challenging.  When you take that first step to loosen the grip, a better world and happier life will appear before you.  Success requires action.  You can talk about your dreams, or getting off your rear to accomplish something, as much as you want.  Until you actually turn your words, thoughts or desires into action, nothing will ever happen or change.  It takes work to achieve the positive mental or physical outcomes you desire.  Stand up for yourself and put in the effort for productive results.  Your power, strength and resilience are buried within your being.  It’s there whether you realize it or not.  Now’s the time to tap into these incredible resources of energy and make them work in your favor.

A friend recently commented, that it would be great if I explained how I move past the pain and trauma I experienced in my career or in other issues I’ve discussed in my posts.  Before I began publishing my blog over two years ago, the opening of my heart and soul continued to be a work in progress.  Sharing my stories and journey with you becomes easier each day.  I’ll continue to do my best to offer my insight and experiences to help you along the way.  Reaching out to the people who care for me, has always been an amazing platform for comfort.  It’s pretty wonderful when someone recognizes when I need a word of encouragement or reassurance.  There are times when a simple hug can convey a powerful message without any spoken words.  I’d love to have someone walk up to me one day, give me a hug and say, “It’s going to be okay.”  It’s a powerful gesture when someone tells me they understand my pain or can relate to what I’m feeling.  In today’s world, the virus has made personal contact difficult or even taboo for some.  Shaking the hand of an individual is a gesture of respect; while hugs are typically for intimate greetings with friends or loved ones.  Many people have become indoctrinated, over the last two years, fearful they may contract an invisible illness if they come into close contact with anyone.  Sickness has been spread by human contact for thousands of years, yet here we are, still living.  Many people remain hesitant to be near others, yet alone touch someone else.  Is it the fear of death or fear of the unknown that scares these individuals?  I know my existence on this planet is for a limited time.  I take the necessary precautions to be safe, but I also realize I don’t have control over life or death.  My choice is to live my life without fear.  I place my life in the hands of God and the universe.  I’m not here to tell you what to do or how to live your life.  What I will tell you, if you don’t rid your life of fear, you will never truly enjoy living.

I’ve witnessed far too much sadness, tragedy and death over the course of my career and life.  This past week continued to reveal the madness of our world.  The attacks and murder of police officers break my heart.  These crimes are senseless and brutal.  It’s time to wake up America.  We need to unite to protect all lives.  The mental anguish takes a toll on our physical well-being.   Some people may think I should be able to cope with anything; since I chose my profession.  There are those who believe simply because I’m a guy, nothing should bother me.  The truth is, men and women (law enforcement or not), aren’t exempt from feeling sadness or experiencing the same trauma felt by all humans.  Who you are, what you do as a profession, your gender, nationality, color, religious beliefs or monetary status have nothing to do with emotions.  People may assume men, or police officers (of any gender), can handle and deal with trauma without experiencing any emotional response.  The biases created by society disgust me, especially when so many individuals buy into this nonsense.  If a woman cries, society say, “she’s having a bad day”, or she’s emotional because of the time of month.  Men can show emotions, without being considered weak.  Do we ever ask ourselves what the root cause of these issues really are?  Are we so conditioned to the “rules” or “social norms” of what society expects, that we forgot or don’t care about humanity?  I hope and pray that isn’t the case, or our world is doomed for sure.  It’s time we realize we are all just humans doing our best to exist.  For me, a career in law enforcement (like the military) reflects the courage required by all officers (Male and Female) to go out every day, to risk their own life in order to offer protection for All people!  During my nearly 34 years of service, I, along with the officers I worked with and knew, provided the same high level of service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year after year.  Dedication and the drive to assist the community are our common thread.

Don’t allow foolish social norms of a misguided society, or peer pressure from media outlets, dictate what is needed for you to feel happy, or satisfied with who you are.  These institutions coerce us (from a young age) into believing various “rules” or “gender roles” for how we’re supposed to act, look, treat each other, show emotion or basically just live.  We continue to see this fabricated junk on social media, television, movies or in product advertisements.  Businesses do their best to convince you their products will transform your life, cosmetics will make you look younger, pills or supplements to give you more vitality or testosterone.  Women should be beautiful, sexy, fit and glamorous.  Men should be strong, good looking and confident.  Male displays of emotions should be limited, because it means you’re weak or inadequate.  You may laugh and say these stereotypes don’t really apply to you, but take a closer look.  We don’t need certain cosmetics, medications, clothes, cars, possessions or things to be better or happier humans.  We need respect, humility, kindness and gratitude to appreciate what we already have, so we can be thankful for life.  You don’t need to act or look a certain way to fit into society or our planet.  Self-confidence begins with knowledge.  The more you know and learn, the more confidence builds within each of us.  I’m a prime example of this transformation, as I’ve grown nicely into my own skin.  I have evolved with age and wisdom.  I have faith in knowing we can all reach our goals for better lives.  Life begins with understanding and kindness.  Start each day with gratitude.  Work to achieve your dreams, or to improve our own situation, instead of expecting everything to be handed to you for free.  People aren’t entitled to more free stuff.  A free democracy means everyone works together to ensure a better life for all.  When you put in the time and effort, living your dreams becomes a sweet satisfaction of accomplishment.  Toss aside the fear and anxiety.  Be happy with you and you’ll soon see, it’s all going to be okay.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

ps…Groundhog Day is coming up Wednesday, February 2nd.  Will Phil see his shadow or will it be an early Spring?

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!

My Strength

January 23, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you’re doing well; staying happy and healthy.  Life can change in an instant.  Don’t delay living a happy and abundant life.  Break free from your doubts and fears.  Happiness and love are yours to enjoy.  We are all born with free will and the power to make decisions.  I realize for some individuals; the peace and freedom we each seek in life comes with more difficulties.  Don’t allow anxiety, fear or self-confidence issues deter your ability to move forward.  We are often our own largest obstacle when it comes to achieving what we desire.  Our inner thoughts have the ability to block our path or restrict forward progress.  If you experience difficulty moving toward your dreams, goals or to just getting out of the house, do not fear.  If you believe you’re not at your optimum level of mental or physical health or need help to increase your inner fortitude; you are not alone.  Inspiration, guidance and support can come from a variety of sources.  These can include family, friends, work associates, professional sources and more.  If you know someone who is struggling, don’t hesitate reach out to them.  Be willing to assist so we all may reach a safe pathway to success.  Utilize kindness, empathy and humility to achieve these interventions.  Helping others is always the right thing to do.  You never know when circumstances may change and you need similar assistance.  Change is a constant in life.  It has the ability to alter our course in a heartbeat.  I’ve experienced dark places during my life.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, physically and mentally, by the chaos and stresses of living.  Don’t be deterred by fear.  Together we can rise from the depths and accomplish amazing things.

When my daughter was two years old, I fell from the roof of our home.  Just before the ladder slipped out from under me, my daughter yelled, “Hi Daddy” and waved.  I turned to wave to her as I was stepping onto the roof.  I fell backward, landing on a concrete paver.  I broke two ribs, fractured my shoulder and skull.  The impact knocked me unconscious.  The blunt force to the left side of my head caused a traumatic brain injury (with blood clot in my brain).  During my recovery the neurosurgeon told me that I was lucky to be alive.  He said if I had hit the concrete with the back of my head, it’s possible I wouldn’t have survived.  In essence, when my daughter called and waved, causing me to turn and look at her, saved my life.  It took months for me to return to my previous fitness level, both physically and mentally.  My recovery, getting back to work or just enjoying life were a tedious process.  Regaining my physical strength was much easier than rebuilding myself mentally.  Determination, discipline and tenacity were the strengths that assisted me throughout the process.  My intention was to be stronger and better.  I worked to ensure I’d be healthy for my daughter and family for years to come.  These goals still hold true today. 

Several years after healing, I promoted to the rank of sergeant.  Late one Saturday night, just before Christmas, I was driving to the station to end my shift.  A radio call was broadcast of a vehicle collision not far from the police station.  I immediately responded to the scene.  I saw two badly damaged cars at opposite ends of the intersection.  Paramedics were administering aid to a young female driver, who had been extricated from her car.  They placed her on a gurney and moved her to the ambulance.  I stood alone looking into her vehicle.  I illuminated the interior of the car with my flashlight.  I noticed a small foot protruding from an upside down car seat on the rear floor.  I called to one of my officers, as I smashed through the rear window and climbed into the car.  I discovered a little girl, maybe two years old, lying face down, covered by the car seat.  I gently lifted her and handed her to an officer.  She didn’t want to let go and immediately reached for me when I climbed out.  I held the unharmed child for what seemed like an eternity.  The little girl called for her “mommy,” not knowing where she was.  I walked toward the ambulance, as one of the medics looked at me and shook his head no.  The woman died, despite of their life saving efforts.  The sad realization struck me, the child I was holding would never see her mother again.  All I could think about was my own daughter; how precious life is and how quickly it can change.  I cried on my drive home that night, knowing I couldn’t cry on the “job.” 

Emotions I experienced at work, even when felt deeply, never fit into resolving crisis, life or death situations.  My emotional reactions, if they were released at all, occurred later after work; either alone or drowned with alcohol.  Typically, I suppressed and tucked away all those feelings.  Traumatic incidents experienced during my career, along with others in life, were buried and hidden deep inside my soul.  Over the course of time, I stopped counting the number of ugly horrific incidents I experienced or witnessed.  The carnage of torture, abuse, and death remained within me untouched, yet alive and unresolved, for years.  I recently read a quote by Emery Lord.  “My dark days made me strong.  Or maybe I already was strong and they made me prove it.”  Reading these two powerful sentences ignited a flurry of thoughts about my own personal struggles and strengths during my darkest days.  Beginning at an early age, I never considered myself strong, physically or mentally.  I’m sure being sheltered by an overprotective mom didn’t help.  Luckily, my dad was a man of strength, courage and mental fortitude.  During my life, my father taught and showed me what being a man encapsulated.  I learned and grew from my experiences.  Decisions, I made for myself (good or not), taught me more about my power and strengthens.  When I became a police officer, I realized my abilities, physically and mentally, ran much deeper than I ever imagined.   During my nearly 34-year career I learned strength isn’t always about physical ability.  Our inner powers help keep us balanced.  Motivation, determination, empathy, kindness and other traits, assist to maintain our mental strength.  These qualities contain the vibrant energy of life within each of us.  The mind, heart and soul often convey our greatest strengths. 

Years of trauma; perceived, witnessed and experienced; did more harm while buried within.  The negativity was unknowingly spinning its evil like a plague.  Closing my heart for protection wasn’t the answer.  Nightmares were defeating me and tearing me apart.  After I retired I met someone who forced me to take a hard look at myself.  Her love and support pushed me far beyond my “comfort zone” and to the literal “edge of the envelope.”  All my strengths were no match for the trauma within me.  I was unable to open my heart and mind to release the pain.  The fear of failure consumed me.  Expert assistance and counseling was needed to resolve my inner demons and fears.  Recovering from my physical injuries (of which I’ve had a few) was much easier to accomplish than healing my mental trauma.  We all face struggles during life that can cause trauma and pain.  There are times when we don’t have the power to heal ourselves.  Don’t be afraid to reach out or seek help from others.  Trust the people who love you.  Trust yourself, God and the universe.  Sometimes hitting the bottom is needed so we can rise.  Don’t be afraid to face your inner fears. They can be resolved.  When I began facing my fears, I recognized the amazing and beautiful life I was missing.  Believe in your strengths and let them carry you to happiness and love today.  Tomorrow is never guaranteed. 

Positivity and fortitude are among my strengths.  I share my thoughts, stories and life with you, via my blogs, because I care.  I know I can’t control what you think, how you react, what you say or what you do.  I realize it’s not up to me to make you happy or feel worthy.  We’re each blessed with free will.  You’re responsible for maintaining you.  My intention, as it was throughout my career, is to share my thoughts, to make life a little easier to navigate.  Life is never perfect.  We all face challenges of various degrees.  If I can use my strength to assist you along the path of life, then I’ve succeeded.  Don’t ever give up or give in.  Your strength and resilience are more powerful than you realize.  Happiness is like a super power.  When you maintain your inner happiness, gratitude follows.  When you change your attitude, life changes and your power influences others.  It’s time to stop focusing on what you perceive as being “wrong” with your life.  Concentrate your energy on what you have and taking your life to where you want to be in the future.  I begin each morning with a grateful heart.  I thank God I’m here for another day of life; filled with opportunities for success.  My happiness begins with each new sunrise.  Perception plays a huge role in our thoughts, how we act, what we do and say.  Bring your perception and thoughts into your control.  The more you focus on your blessings, the less you will complain about your misguided thoughts.  Love your life and it will love you back.  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!

Control Issues

January 16, 2022

Good morning my friends.  The new year is off to another roaring start.  We’re already in the middle of January!  It doesn’t surprise me that the year is beginning with more virus mania.  I hoped we were pulling beyond the craziness, yet here we are back in it with more control, manipulation, tragedy and heartache.  Virus variants make news headlines daily, while little to nothing is said about police officers being ambushed, assaulted and murdered.  Where is the outcry for our men and women of law enforcement and their families?   Violence continues to rage in our inner cities, taking lives daily.  I haven’t seen any indication from our leaders (religious, civic or political) that they care or are willing to take any positive steps to stop this insanity.  The lack of leadership, not to mention the lack of plans to regain a grip on our inflating economy, all point to the dismal realities of our current administration.  They appear to be intent on controlling our thoughts, activities and minds with virus madness.  When are we going to say enough is enough?  How many injections or boosters are required before you realize there are many things in life beyond our control.  Why do some humans believe they have the ability to manipulate every scenario, including life?  There are times our supposed “intelligence” baffles me.  It reveals just how unintelligent we really can be.  Is this an ego trip for some individuals, or is there something more at stake for us?  The human race has been attempting to alter the course of existence since creation.  We have the power to manage certain aspects of our lives, but total control isn’t part of that equation.  It’s time humans realize “control” comes in limited quantities.  The universe is a vast boundless expanse that’s existed for billions of years.  We are merely a tiny speck of dust in time. 

I no longer attempt to control every aspect of my life or anyone around me.  I (me, myself and I) am responsible for what I think, say and do.  The remainder of the world is beyond my scope of influence.  When I learned that I can’t control what others think, how they react, what they say or do; life became much easier for me.  Our past experiences often influence our thoughts and responses in our present.  I work to understand my past and what part it played a part in my life.  Knowing my past, helps me to live and thrive in the present.  I was enlightened and learned valuable lessons from these revelations and what it meant for me.  I remain vigilant each day to block these old responses from re-entering my mind.  It’s taken me years, and some extremely difficult life experiences, to learn the how’s and why’s of me.  Now it’s time for me to live in peace and freedom from my past.  Living in the here and now is an incredible new beginning, for my happiness and love.  2022 is a new year full of opportunities for me, and all of you, to achieve our dreams.  My plan is to live my life authentically, in the present, with an open heart and mind.  I relinquish control, no longer need to be perfect or correct.  I just need to be me; happy and grateful.  I’m not fearful of being myself or what the future has in store.  My life will all be revealed with time.  Becoming more self-aware of who I am and how it influences my behavior, creates deeper self-development and allows me greater growth.  Digging deeper into my soul reveals who I was yesterday, who I am today and where I want to be tomorrow.  I love myself more each day and I’m enjoying life on my new path.  Life shouldn’t be lived in fear or the past.  I continue to move forward with each new sunrise. 

When I realized how silly it is trying to control all aspects of my life, I stopped attempting to manipulate outcomes.  This simple change in my attitude ended the stress associated with what might or might not happen.  I opened myself to the possibilities of the world.  Living life instantly became more fun.  I know the universe and God have a plan.  I enjoy living in the present, while watching the world unfold all around me each day.  I can name a laundry list of what’s beyond my control, as I’m sure can do as well.  When I think about the world and life logically, it makes much more sense.  I understand what I can influence in my sphere.  I begin by managing my own thoughts, words and deeds.  Controlling my thoughts and not allowing negativity to enter my mind, is a huge step toward happiness.  If I allow my mind to control me, it’s very easy to lose my sense of what’s real or right and wrong.  Allowing negativity to flourish can easily overwhelm anyone.  We are complex creatures and our mind is capable of doing good or evil.  Fabricated and manipulated stories manifest into words and actions.  Let go of your ego and open your heart to what’s truly important in life.  Gratitude, kindness and honesty provide a fabulous beginning for a better life.  Don’t worry about what you can’t control; like the weather, traffic and other people.  You can’t control any of that, so stop trying too.  The anxiety and stress you create only brings on more negativity.  Don’t live in the past.  It’s gone and there is nothing you can do to change it.  Learn, grow and be a better human from those experiences.  Focus on yourself; your personal happiness, self-care, living healthy and remaining in the present.     

I never gave this much thought, but while I was lying in bed the other night, this popped into my mind.  I was saying my prayers, before closing my eyes to drift off to sleep.  I thanked God for the gift of life; and thanked my Dad and a friend’s father, for watching over us and our families.  It’s part of my nightly prayer ritual.  I began thinking of how much time I’ve wasted during my life over frivolous pursuits and issues.  Egotistical diversions, lack of understanding or shear stupidity have created or caused havoc at various times throughout my life.  As much as I’ve attempted to alter or control events for a perfect resolution, I often just screwed things up more.  I am thankful and grateful to be here in the present.  I’m enlightened to be a better me and living a happy life.  The sunrise each morning provides me a greater value and respect for life and my time on this planet.  I love my life.  I have an amazing daughter, a fabulous family and great friends.  I miss a fantastic love and someone to share all the experiences and moments life offers.  I’m confident love will reveal itself when the time is right.  When you find the person you can’t live without, life becomes an amazing and fabulous adventure!  There are several individuals who were instrumental in assisting me along this journey.  It wasn’t always an easy or pleasant road.  There were painful times I wish I could erase.  The good times were the absolute best of my life.  The love and support you have given me will remain with me forever.  My love and devotion to you is eternal.  Through the ups, downs and sideways times, always remain happy, grateful and appreciative for your time on this planet.   It’s a one-time adventure, so try not to mess it up.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

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

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