The Universe

July 17, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  The Universe is a magical place, filled with wonder, excitement and uncertainty.  This past Monday, NASA released the first full-color photo taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.  This is by far the deepest, most distant, image captured of our Universe.  When I saw the image, I was struck by its incredible beauty.  I’ve recognized the vastness of space, and our universe, for many years.  Seeing this image solidified my belief that we aren’t alone.  NASA released four additional photos on Tuesday and others during the week.  Each new image is more spectacular than the last.  It becomes more clear each day that our planet is just a tiny speck in the enormity of space.  This may sound silly, but it’s nice knowing earth isn’t the center of the universe.  If you haven’t seen these photos, take a few minutes to look, and allow your imagination to dream.  The images fuel my curiosity, as to what’s out there.  Remember, these snap shots are just a mire tiny piece of deep space.  Open your heart and mind to the possibilities.  Who knows what will be discovered, or secrets revealed, in the unexplored universe.  Consider how much of earth has yet to be explored and what awaits us on our own planet.  Both hold many undiscovered mysteries to offer in the future.  The universe is inconceivable, unimaginable, unbelievable and absolutely incredible!  

Life and the universe keep moving forward; evolving, changing and expanding every moment of every day.  I use the term “universe” with great respect.  I’m sure many humans on planet earth, believe we are alone, or are the most intelligent species in the galaxy.  From everything I’ve seen, read and heard; that bit of information seems to be less likely as days go by.  It was just last July, that the US Government released a statement, to the effect, that UFOs exist and might come from beyond earth.  I think millions of people around the globe were already thinking the same thing.  Where these crafts come from, or if our planet has been visited by other worldly beings, remains a mystery.  I believe we inch closer, every day, to solving this century old puzzle.  We have minimal information about our own planet, yet alone our solar system or the vastness of space and the Universe.  When I take the time to think about myself and our planet, in comparison with the immense and never-ending universe, it can be mind boggling.  Trying to comprehend the concept of something being endless (in every direction), can be difficult, to say the least.  I suppose the first order of business is believing that the universe, and beyond, exists in ways we don’t know or understand.  It’s similar to the concept and belief in God; you either believe or you don’t.  My faith in God has always been comforting and unwavering.  My beliefs are strong and deeply rooted in trust.  I pray new discoveries will yield blessings for our planet and all living creatures.  I believe in both, God and the Universe. 

I hope I live long enough to witness more discoveries, about earth and what’s beyond our galaxy and solar system.  I doubt we are alone in this vast expanse of space.  There’s life (of some sort) out there.  It may or may not be life as we know it, or even what we imagine.  Unfortunately, we won’t know for sure until we do.  There is so much more out there than we can ever conjure up in our minds.  I’m sure the doubters can’t, or won’t, allow their ego to acknowledge the possibility that they could be the inferior beings in the universe.  What these “elitists” think or say doesn’t concern to me.  It’s what these individuals do, that can often be scary.  Their attempts to control and manipulate others and the world, while they impede our progress is utter nonsense.  Navigating life can pose enough problems, without having foolish egotistical individuals blocking our path.  I have no issue with nations wanting to learn more about space.  It never ceases to amaze me how much money our government can spend (or waste) on things it deems important.  I’m not sure exploring the universe outweighs important issues here at home or on our planet.  We’re dealing with many social and economic issues; such as energy production, inflation and leadership concerns.  I applaud new discoveries in space, but at what cost, when many are struggling here on earth.  Our nation could be taking better care of our veterans, solving homelessness, making us energy independent, improving our economy, or many more issues, that should be important to our leaders.  

We, humans, enjoy believing we’re in control of everything on this planet.  The fact is, we are in control of very little.  We can control our thoughts, attitude, actions, deeds and happiness.  We attempt to manipulate everything else to our desired effect. On Friday night; Mother Nature, the Universe and God showed their power and authority over this planet.  An incredible two-hour display of lightening, thunder and rain; was both crazy, amazing and beautiful.  We (humans) may reside on this planet, but we definitely aren’t in charge.  We all share difficulties and struggles throughout life.  Take some time to put those issues aside and enjoy a moment to direct your thoughts skyward.  Think back to what it felt like, as a kid, to stare into the heavens and dream about what’s beyond the stars.  The proverbial “icing on the cake” for me this week was the full moon.  It always provides energy and solace.  Our Universe is full of mystery and may eventually reveal what’s out there.  Witnessing the new vision of what mysteries lay beyond, the universe, makes me wish I would have listened to my heart more during this life.  If I could begin my life again, I’d recognize the importance of opening my heart and soul to love.  I’d place my faith and trust in you and release my grasp on control.  Protecting oneself in a career is one thing, but living a guarded life in reality never allows self-discovery or growth.  When I see these incredible photos or bask under a full moon, I envision myself open for the world to see.  I’m unguarded, raw and vulnerable to life and love.  This is where the adventure of life begins; when you open yourself to the possibilities and just live.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

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

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

The Blame Game

July 10, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  This past Monday, our nation celebrated its 246thbirthday.  Freedom and independence are glorious rights.  Our nation isn’t perfect, but then no country, or human, will ever be perfect.  Please keep this fact in mind if you analyze, or decide to pass judgement on critical incidents or those involved.  Individuals render inaccurate conclusions; when all the facts aren’t known, or they lack any independent knowledge or expertise on a subject or incident.  My law enforcement career taught me many valuable lessons; about people, co-existing, decision making and life.  Humans can be like a coin; two sided, cruel, irrational, unpredictable, evil; or they can be rational, intelligent and kind creatures.  Unfortunately, not knowing what to expect can be a challenge.  What I have learned, is how quickly our thoughts can be misdirected to focus our attention elsewhere.  It seems each time a shooting occurs, especially when children are victims, there is a massive outcry for change.  Politicians point fingers of blame, yell, shout and ensure us they will enact laws and policies to protect our kids.  It’s been weeks since the Texas incident.  Has anything changed?  The lack of action by our leaders has been going on for decades.  America’s attention has been carefully diverted away to other affairs and nothing has happened to create a safer environment.  

I refrained and took time to collect my thoughts regarding recent shooting incidents.  I don’t know all the facts, can’t speak to the training, or what was going through the minds of the officers that responded to this (or other) scenes.  I know what I would have done; based on my past, training and experience.  It’s not my job to judge or criticize.  My insight is based on my collective expertise, and what I’ve done as an LAPD officer and supervisor.  In active shooter scenarios, I was trained to take action and stop the threat (the shooter).  If immediate police action was needed to stop an individual, I was going in; whether I was the first officer to arrive, or the last.  My job was to neutralize the danger.  During my nearly 34 years with the LAPD, I responded to hundreds of critical incidents.  I took appropriate and decisive action when situations arose.  I also recognized, decades ago, the need to change gun laws and police training.  Convincing political leaders to listen, let alone pursue logical change, is never an easy task.  During the last three decades, what have politicians proposed, attempted, drafted or done to put an end to school shootings or mass casualty incidents?  Why haven’t politicians passed laws or legislation to deter these atrocities?  Often times, these representatives, are receiving campaign contributions from organizations, corporations or individuals, whose affiliations or agendas could be adversely affected by new policies or laws.  This type of activity can be related to many other issues of concern within our society today.    

In today’s world, everyone is fast to give their opinion on events they have little or no factual information about.  News outlets and social media coverage are quick, unrelenting and often misleading.  These sources want to be the first to report on any story.  There are times they are critical, point the finger of blame, misstate information or facts.  Please don’t believe everything you hear or rush to judgement when all the facts aren’t known or clear.  These tragic incidents are sad beyond belief.  The feelings they invoke can be used to manipulate you to make irrational or illogical decisions.  Death creates grief, sorrow and heartache.  Don’t become a victim of emotion and allow yourself to be manipulated by these events.  My personal experience with death is extensive.  The loss of friends, family members, co-workers, parents and others; overwhelms my entire being.  Life as a police officer brought new meaning and clarity to death and the evil mankind possesses.  People, groups and nations have attacked each other for thousands of years.  Implements of death have changed with technology, but the cruel intentions remain the same.  Greed, power and domination are a few elements that influence the evil in mankind.  Managing the weapons used in attacks only goes so far to impede the activity.  I support the second amendment, but I believe new laws, to monitor sales and acquisition of firearms, need to be enacted.  It doesn’t matter what state you reside, who you are or your social status.  Laws regarding the manufacture, sales, purchase, ownership, transfer or use; of all firearms, parts and ammunition, should be the same nationwide.  A mandatory national system would regulate all weapons, parts and ammo (especially targeting internet sales); while identifying potential “at risk” individuals.  I do not believe taking weapons away from good citizens is a solution.  The wrong people, especially criminals, seem to have easy access to guns.  A stringent program, to identify and monitor individuals suffering from mental health issues, needs to be implemented across our country.  How criminals, or any individual, acquires a weapon should be our primary concern.  No one should have the ability to walk into a store and walk out with a firearm and ammo the same day. 

Our nation has become a country of “social (and political) correctness.”  Respect, honor, integrity, love of our nation and God continue to fade.  As family units break down, or no longer exist, kids are left to their own devices.  The decay of moral standards, once the fabric of our nation, continue to dissolve.  Criminals are released without any accountability for their crimes.  Drugs continue to be another critical issue of grave importance being neglected.  How do we, America, not recognize the mental health crisis tearing our nation apart?  It’s a serious and unresolved issue.  Mental health, like guns, garners lots of talk, but very little in the way of action.  The mental health, especially the younger generation, has deteriorated over the last several decades.  What kind of mentality thinks killing innocent kids in school is an answer or response to any issue?  This has everything to do with the evil in our world.  Similar to the gun control debate, each time there is a critical mental health incident, it becomes the “hot” topic, then just fades into obscurity.  It’s often discounted because it doesn’t serve to do anything to further political issues.  These issues are no longer just about guns and violence.  

In the past, I’ve discussed my views to implement national standards and training for all law enforcement personnel.  At the present time; towns, cities, counties and states have various hiring and training programs for their law enforcement officers. I believe, if all US law enforcement officers are required to receive the same training, adhere to the same policies and procedures, and follow the same tactical operational guidelines; American police would be better equipped to respond to any situation.  Standardized selection, hiring, training and continuing education would assist and simplify the entire process.  Potential law enforcement candidates must be thoroughly evaluated; physically and mentally.  Their training should be comprehensive and complete, before being sworn in as officers.  Continuing education and training are imperative.  Police operations and tactics evolve and change; as does equipment, laws and procedures.  This logical alteration would increase officer and community safety.  The sad reality, many leaders want complete control and autonomy; but are unwilling to grow or change for the better, if at all.  We are doing a disservice to all law enforcement personnel when high standards of training are not met or continued.  A standardized system would eliminate issues when two (or more) agencies interact at any incident; large or small scale.  The system would allow officers to transfer to any city or state, if the opportunity arose or was necessary.  One of the most valuable tools I learned, while with the LAPD, are the highest standards of training received in federal, state and city law.  When officers follow strict guidelines, receive quality and recurring training, they are less likely to make mistakes or violate policy or procedure.  As with any aspect of life, we’re all human beings and not all potential scenarios can be planned.  Quality training helps officers prepare for dealing with the unexpected.

We, the American voters, need to stop electing (re-electing) politicians who have done nothing to solve current and critical issues.  These individuals continue to profit every day they remain in office.  The leaders, who are actually trying to do good, are typically drowned out or shouted down by their weak and control seeking constituents.  Why do we allow this insanity to continue?  How many deaths could have been prevented, or children saved, if action and change occurred years ago?  It’s time we demand our leaders take action.  Americans, swallow your ego and get over yourself.  There are two sides to every issue, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.  No one, on either side, wants to listen to the other.  Issues like Roe vs Wade, Pro Choice or Life are prime examples of how no one wants to hear anything but their own rhetoric.  Everyone wants to be right, so nothing ever changes.  It’s time to get your “act” together America.  Don’t allow this tragic nonsense to continue. 

Let me leave you with this quote by Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt; 26th president of the United States.   “We do not admire the man of timid peace.  We admire the man who embodies victorious effort, the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who as those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual 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!

Our Independence Day

July 3, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Tomorrow, July 4th, is America’s Independence Day!  Our country earned its freedom 246 years ago.  If you are looking for a special date to celebrate, this is it!  Since the inception of the United States of America, our nation has had its share of struggles, controversy and heartache.  The nation continues to deal with social, economic and political issues.  There are good and bad memories associated with the founding of our country (as there are with any nation or land on this planet).  We continue to seek solutions and innovations to current (as well as old) matters, that plague our nation.  When you look at the history of our world, this planet has endured much in the way of hardships, grief and growth.  No one, or country, has been exempt from the evolution of time.  We’ve survived disputes, conflicts, battles and world wars.  Our military has provided protection, beginning with the Revolutionary War, until today.  Without the service and sacrifice of these heroes, we wouldn’t be here to enjoy the day; or be able to celebrate our rights and freedoms.  As you enjoy this special holiday, be sure to remember the men and women, in the service of our country providing protection, here at home and around the globe.  Remember all the heroes (military, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel) across our nation, who risk their lives daily to ensure we are safe in our homes, communities and cities. Please include all these incredible individuals in your thoughts and prayers.  

What does it mean to be an American?  The answer to this question is very easy for me.  The process began at an early age, when my parents taught me the meaning of “respect.”  This education included respect for them, our family, other people, my country, our flag and the rights and freedoms we share living in this great nation.  It also included how I must respect myself and others; in my thoughts, words, actions and deeds.  This moral value built my strong foundation for many other character traits; including honesty, loyalty, integrity, discipline and work ethic.  I grew up with respect for all people and things.  It has been my cornerstone throughout my career and continues throughout my life.  We (America) are a diverse people; culturally, ethnically, politically, religiously and socially.  The binding factor is, we are all Americans.  I wouldn’t expect us all to share the same beliefs or opinions.  What I do expect is, for us to all honor the rights of others and their ideals; as long as they aren’t contrary to the laws of this nation.  Expressing your thoughts or opinions does not entitle you to break the law or infringe on the rights of others.  This nation wasn’t founded on your ethnicity, political affiliation or religious beliefs.  Our country was created because people wanted to live in a free society; without tyrannical leaders or suppressive government rule.  Somewhere over the course of time, our nation lost its moral character, beginning with respect.  This simple trait is evident in how people treat one another, the value they put in their work and quality of their own lives.  It’s reflective in our political leaders and the lack of respect many of them have for our land or its people.  Our leaders (politicians or not) shouldn’t base decisions on religious, ethnic, political or cultural beliefs.  The government was formed to maintain the nation; and to ensure our rights, freedoms and protection.  The Constitution and Bill of Rights were written to enact policies, guidelines and laws for our nation to govern the land and keep us safe.

Today, our nation (and the world) is facing difficult and turbulent days.  This is the time our leaders (political, social and religious) need to step up and do what’s in the best interest of all people.  Decisions, policies and laws should be based on what will make America better; not what will get politicians re-elected, fill their pockets or increase the profits of their campaign contributors.  I realize that in todays’ age, it’s impossible to satisfy everyone.  There will always be individuals who expect something for free and feel they were denied their fair share.  It makes me sick when I read about a statue, or piece of American history, being removed because someone was “offended” by its presence.  If it was only as easy to remove “offensive” individuals from this country, it might be a better place.  Why do we continue to bend over backwards to please this stupidity?  Do people (or our leaders) believe if they remove historical artifacts, history will change or be wiped clean?  Attempting to erase history won’t alter the past.  It only serves to create further division and fear.  What happened in the past is gone and can’t be changed.  Today, we are living in the present.  We’re responsible for our decisions and actions, that will carry us into the future.  In my opinion, we (and our government) are to blame for creating a society that believe they can have everything without doing any work to achieve it.  The entitlement, apathy, lack of respect or laziness of our nation amazes me.  Until we have leaders who instill strong values; like integrity, respect, discipline and confidence, to build a better nation, our old leaders will maintain and perpetuate their low standard of achievement.  It’s time for Americans to demand revitalization in our government.  We need honest, strong and determined leaders, who do what they are elected to do and will build a better America.

Keep this thought in mind today; we’re all non-perfect human beings existing on this planet together.  Begin each day by being kind to others.  Our opinions may not be the same, but we share the freedom to disagree.  Many populations lack the many rights, privileges and freedom; that we take for granted.  If you don’t love being an American, or you have a difficult time respecting the rights of all people; this is your opportunity to change your perspective.  If that doesn’t work, then you may want to consider why you live here.  This nation affords all people rights and freedom.  Don’t use it to further your own ego or agenda.  Be open minded; a simple change of attitude can change your life.  I’m tired of how some people make assumptions based on political views, religious beliefs, social media posts, news stories or hearsay; and then render judgement.  I don’t have the right to judge anyone, that’s God’s job.  If you feel the urge to judge me or others, good luck.  We all struggle and have moments of doubt and fear.  I encourage you to have faith, be strong and don’t allow difficult times to cloud your thoughts or rule your life.  Be grateful for your existence, have respect for others and don’t whine or throw a tantrum if you don’t get your way.  Be responsible for your thoughts, words, actions and deeds.  Let’s make the world a better place, starting here at your home, and spreading it throughout the world!  My message is simple; cherish every moment of life.  It’s a gift.  God bless America and Happy Birthday!  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Today is a special day. Happy Birthday Linda!  Thank you for your friendship, insight and unbiased “motherly” advice over the years.  Thank you for your encouragement and reading my weekly blog too.  I wish you all the best for a fun and fabulous day!  Enjoy amazing birthday adventures!  Cheers!

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!

Who Loves Summer?

June 26, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  It’s already the last Sunday of June 2022.  The Summer Solstice was this past Tuesday, June 21st.  The day officially kicked off the Summer season; for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere.  For the people in the north, it was the longest day (with the highest amount of daylight hours), of the year.  The simple definition means the sun is farthest north in our sky (due to the earth tilting).  In December, the sun will be farthest south in the sky, bringing us winter here in the north, and summer weather to the Southern Hemisphere.  Summer months will soon be in full swing, bringing hotter temperatures.  It definitely seems like hot weather has already hit a good portion of the USA, especially over the last couple weeks. The weather has been heating up across the lower half of our country (from the desert to the sea).  I don’t mind the heat, but the east coast of America (and the south) have that fun component known as “humidity.”  This fabulous weather phenomena always has a way of making summer life interestingly sticky.  I’d be happy with chilly temps, instead of any humid day.  Since I have no say in the weather, I just enjoy the flow.  I’m very happy to celebrate life with each new sunrise and not let the weather influence my days.   

Growing up in the foothills of Los Angeles, in Southern California, was pretty fabulous.  As a kid, and an adult, life outside, any time of year, seems perfect.  There are several key factors that made living on the west coast the best.  The first item is the continual consistency of the weather (especially by the ocean).  From summer to winter, and everything in between, the weather can’t be beat!  The summer months are the absolute best!  My last twelve years of living in SoCal, were spent living by the beach.  The ocean was blocks away and definitely something not to be missed.  For me, the ocean is a magical, energy filled and tranquil place.  It truly soothes the soul, relaxes the mind and body, while rebooting your entire internal system.  The sunsets (year-round) are beautiful; but especially so during the winter.  The mountains were within easy reach; from foothills to snow covered peaks.  The desert was just as close as the mountains, and always fun and relaxing.  Life doesn’t get much better.  Living on the east coast is nice, but definitely has its differences and own flavors.  Much of the eastern seaboard is flat, or very minimal elevation gain.  The mountains are hours away and deserts nowhere in sight.  I’m enjoying the southern coast, but miss certain aspects of west coast life too.  I still love the beach, but there are many differences between the Atlantic and Pacific.  You’d think an ocean is just an ocean, or sandy beach just another gateway to the sea; but these large bodies of water each have their own characteristics and personalities.  I apologize east coast fans, but the west wins again.  For me, the Pacific Ocean, and west coast still have my heart (as well as some people there too).  

Today, politics, crowds, traffic, crime and cost of living; make California not so wonderful.  These issues (and many others) exist in most all large cities.  Various versions of these are occurring in states and towns across our nation.  The world continues to experience its own difficulties and hardships.  Unfortunately, there are some things we just can’t escape from these days.  Values, morals, religious beliefs, opinions and quality of life are under attack.  Law enforcement agencies continue to be constrained by incompetence, yet are blamed for our social problems and criminal acts.  Sanctuary cities protect criminals instead victims, don’t prosecute violators (let alone arrest them) and handcuff police enforcement efforts.  Violence and criminal behavior continue to increase its rage.  The rising cost of everything, along with crazy days, incompetent politicians, fanatical beliefs and life; makes me wonder what we need to do to turn this mess around.  It would be wonderful if politicians stuck to making political decisions (although some of them can’t even do that very well).  They’re elected to do what “We the people” think is best, not what’s in their own interest.  Politicians aren’t religious leaders.  They should do more to protect the rights and freedom of everyone; instead of attempting to control and manipulate every aspect of our life.  We all deserve the right and freedom of choice.  No woman or man should be exempt.  I pray something good, in the way of change or perspective, happens before our world implodes.  We all experience difficult times.  The important aspect to remember, never give up.  Together, we can make our world a better place.  Love yourself and love others.  Do your best every day, stay happy, healthy and keep moving forward.  We’re all imperfect humans and God continues to love us all.  Okay, it’s time for me to get off the “soap box,” breathe and relax.  I need a good dose of vitamin sea, time on the sand, staring at the ocean and regaining my sanity.

I always thought I loved summer, but it turns out, I just love life.  I’m not a fan of extra hot temperatures, high humidity, endless clouds or snow filled winters.  They each have their own beauty and wonder; but for me, only for a limited amount of time.  Like the old saying goes, “It’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”  I can deal and survive in the extremes, but I’d much rather be in a climate that’s moderate year-round.  It just seems to suit me be best.  Give me tall green trees, a sandy beach, a large body of water and some mountains; and I’m set.  We all have our favorite places; to visit or live.  These special locations bring us joy, contentment and happiness.  I realize there are some individuals who have little choice where they live; as they don’t have the ability or means to move.  Wherever you are in this vast equation, do your best every day to live life to its fullest.  Be happy, grateful and kind.  Always continue to reach for your dreams and stars.  Don’t let fear hold you back.  If you never try, you will never succeed.  It doesn’t matter what the season or where I am; I’m grateful and happy for the opportunities each new day brings.  I know my time on this planet is limited (as it is for us all).  I don’t know when my time will end, so I embrace the present and live my best life right now.  That’s my choice.  I hope you’ll join me.  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!

Father’s Day

June 19, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible Dads around the world!  A Dad is an integral part of the family.  He has the ability to share a unique perspective on life and everything that goes with it.  Moms are wonderful too, obviously; but each parent has role to fulfill in the development of their children.  Kids need both parents in their lives to help them learn, grow and become successful adults.  Even if parents’ divorce, being there for your child is still your first priority.  

I know this for a fact, because I was divorced when our daughter was young.  We set aside our personal differences, realizing she was the most important part of us both.  We worked together to ensure we were “parenting” with the same objectives in mind; especially her well-being.  She’s our pride and joy.  Kids need their Dad, now more than ever.  Being a great father isn’t about giving gifts, cash or stuff.  Your gift of time is the most important and precious commodity you can share with your child.  Spending quality time with our kids yields amazing adventures and dialogue.  Communication and conversations lead to growth and development.  Give your children your undivided attention and love.  Share knowledge, education and yourself daily; it’s the key to their success.  Don’t be selfish, egotistical or closed minded; when it comes to how you relate to your children, spouse or parenting.  Be an adult; take responsibility for your actions and do what’s best for your children.  I’ve seen parents ruin their children by using them as pawns against one another in their egotistical battles of control and dominance.  The innocent children are the ones who suffer during these turbulent times.  It can ultimately scare them for life.  If being there and available for every step of your child’s life isn’t your mindset as a parent, then you may just be part of the problem. 

Father’s Day brings me great joy, along with some sadness.  My Dad passed away a little over eight years ago.  A day hasn’t gone by, since his death, that I don’t talk to him, have him in my thoughts or miss him.   He was an incredible man and father.  I’m grateful I had a fabulous Dad to show me the path to manhood.  I wasn’t sure what kind of a “dad” I’d become.  I learned, grew and matured along the way.  I hope I turned out okay.  Sharing time with my daughter is one of the most important parts of my life.  Often times, it’s the simple things that make the greatest impact and create the most fun memories.  I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge during my 30+ years of “Dad” experience.  It’s crazy thinking my little girl, isn’t a little girl anymore.  She’s grown and matured into an amazing young woman.  I’m very proud of her; for so many reasons.  She is intelligent, amazing, beautiful and everything anyone (especially her dad) could wish for in a daughter; plus, lots more.  Her fabulous, fun and witty personality is an endearing quality all hers.  She continues to excel and develop her skills and charm, while building a fantastic life of her own.  It’s been a learning experience, for us both, from birth to now.  I continue to do my best, while I follow the lead of my Dad.  He taught me many things.  His love, generosity and kindness were the traits that helped mold me as a father.  I always enjoyed watching him interact with my daughter and his grandkids.  Every time I’d tell him I was bringing my daughter to visit, he would always make her barbeque ribs (her favorite).  He enjoyed every moment of our visits.  Like him, I love being a Dad!

It’s taken me many years, of on the job experience, to build my expertise and knowledge base of parenting.  Being a great dad includes many traits and characteristics.  It’s not just about the parenting skills; although they definitely help.  As a dad, refine your ability to communicate, render discipline, give direction and share wisdom.  Dads, this is your opportunity to fill your children with love and happiness.  Teach them respect, honesty and how to dream.  Educate your kids with truth and strength.  Set rules or guidelines to assist them in developing good habits that will carry them through life.  Be their inspiration, direction and truth to discover their passions of life.  Encourage them to work hard, while they reach for their stars.  Remember that the simplest moments can create the greatest memories.  My Dad loved waffles and ice cream.  I recall some amazing summer nights, having him make my sister and I waffles; allowing us to put as much ice cream on them as we wanted.  I loved going to baseball games with him too!  It was our get-a-way.  Those memories carried me over to my daughter.  I loved played sports and taking her to baseball games.  One of her favorite breakfasts she always wanted me to make (and she still asks for now) is waffles with strawberries and whip cream.  These are among my most favorite and cherished memories that I will love forever.    

Being a great dad is also about maintaining my own health and physical well-being.  Longevity it the key to my success.  The longer I live, the more time I’ll have on this earth to share the wisdom of life with my daughter.  Mental, spiritual and physical health are just the beginning.  What I put into my body; via thoughts, words, actions and actual food or drink; all have an influence on my length of time on this planet.  These things also influence my behavior.  The better I care for myself; regarding how I perceive life, what I eat and how I fuel my body, all play an important role in my health.  Exercise and physical activity, will only take me so far.  These need to be combined with healthy foods.  Being spiritual helps keep me grounded and close to God.  Meditation allows my mind to relax and soothes my soul.  Gratitude and kindness reflect my spirit.  My intention is to be healthier and happier every day.  I plan to enjoy each sunrise and the opportunity to live many more years.  

I believe this quote by Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt; 26th president of the United States, is very fitting today.   “We do not admire the man of timid peace.  We admire the man who embodies victorious effort, the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life.”  

Today, more than ever, we need strong new leaders to make decisions that will bring positive change.  We need men (dads, uncles, brothers and friends), who can bring inspiration, guidance and support; while lifting up everyone around them.  Men who share empowerment, vision and energy; and are capable to boost others into greater and more vital roles; are an amazing asset.   Be the change you want to see in the world; and I’ll be there with you.  Happy Father’s Day Dads!  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!

Honoring our Flag

June 12, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  On Tuesday, June 14th, our nation will celebrate Flag Day; the symbol of Americas freedom, democracy and independence.  The American flag was officially established by the Continental Congress, on this day in 1777.  Our flag has changed and evolved, as our country grew and added more states.  The flag is rich with symbolism for our nation.  The stripes represent the original thirteen colonies.  Red represents hardiness and valor.  White symbolizes purity and innocence.  Blue stands for vigilance, justice and perseverance. The fifty stars each represent a state of the Union.  Our flag, recognized worldwide, denotes us as Americans.  Yes, our flag and nation come with a history and past.  America has seen the good, bad, sad and happy times many countries experience.  Our country has overcome conflict and adversity, since its inception 245 years ago.  We’ve evolved, learned and grown to meet many challenges; yet today, there are individuals who cling to the past, in an attempt to create fear and chaos in the present.  It’s sad there are people, living in our nation, who disrespect our flag and our nation (under the guise of free speech).  I miss the days when our country was actually unified and proud to be Americans.  Gone are the days, standing in front of our flag, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  Now, singing our National Anthem seems to be “politically incorrect” these days as well.  Will that token of our national pride soon be taken away too?  I know there are millions of good Americans living across our land.  Now is the time we need to stand together and say, “Enough is enough!  Let’s be proud and happy to be Americans!”   

I’m grateful to be an American.  As a kid, I learned about our flag and what it means to be an American.  I respect our country and the hard working men and women that make it great.  My Dads parents immigrated to the United States before 1920, becoming US citizens.  My father was born and raised near the east coast.  My mother and her family immigrated to America in the late 1930s.  They too, all eagerly became American citizens.  Both families arrived in this country via Ellis Island (where the family names are proudly displayed on the Memorial Wall).  They were all grateful to be Americans.  My parents grew up during the Great Depression and a world consumed by war.  My father entered the US Army at the beginning of World War II.  He landed on the Normandy coast on D-Day (with thousands of US and Allied soldiers).  He traversed a war-ravaged Europe until the war ended.  My parents were married after my Dad returned from Germany, at the end of World War II.  Eventually, my family settled in Southern California; where I was born and raised. My Mom refused to teach my sister and I how to speak Italian, because she said, “We’re Americans. We speak English.” I wonder how many families think in these terms today?  I doubt many people, living here, adhere to that philosophy.  Some people come here, not to be Americans, but to take advantage of its freedoms and resources.   

I took my oath of office, as a Los Angeles Police Officer, in 1980.  I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States and all rights it guarantees.  During my career in law enforcement, I witnessed the hostility of individuals speaking out against our government, our way of life, country and flag.  The distain and negative sentiments for our nation continue, even more openly today, with radical malice.  I’m a firm believer and supporter of our constitution, rights and freedom.  Peaceful protesting is one of these rights.  I don’t consider burning our flag and yelling, “Death to America,” peaceful.  It baffles me how we allow individuals to desecrate our flag on our own soil.  This behavior should be criminal.  I doubt there are many nations on this planet where this type of disrespect would be tolerated.  If you don’t like our nation, flag, what they represent or our way of life; why are you living here?  Our nation has a past and it isn’t perfect; but then no country or person on this planet will ever be perfect.  Based on my observations and experience, many Americans tend to be critical of just about anything and everything these days.  Please keep in mind that we (humans) aren’t perfect, especially when we analyze or pass judgement on critical incidents or each other.  I’ve witnessed this behavior on numerous occasions.  People rush to conclusions, often without knowing all the facts of an incident, or having any independent knowledge or expertise on the subject.  Too many individuals, media included, are so hasty to be first to share a story or add their opinion; often without all the facts, while adding their own political twist.  Maybe if theses outlets told the truth and just relayed the facts, their actions wouldn’t create fear, hate or further divide America. 

On Thursday, news outlets reported security, in Washington DC, would be increased.  They suggested there may be “unrest” due to “political differences” during the summer.  Are they referring to the rising costs for fuel, food, energy and everything else?  I haven’t heard any new policies, plans or ideas, from the current administration or leadership, to reverse or halt the rapidly increasing inflation.  This situation, and our economy, is looking bleak.  These issues could be resolved if we (our leaders) took care of our nation, businesses and industries.  Instead, our leadership seems to pit political parties against one another.  Why is it so difficult for these people (adults) to play nice together?  Our leaders need to put our Nation and Americans first.  We have our share of politicians who continue with their own twisted political agenda, deceit, lies and manipulation.  My advice to America; instead of talking trash, be helpful and kind.  Don’t be swayed by fools attempting to manipulate, control or push us into chaos.  America was built on strength, grit, determination and hard work.  Sure, we have a past (as does everyone on this planet).  Let’s work together to make our nation and our planet a safe and peaceful place to live once again.  Stop whining for recognition.  Start working together.  We’re all humans, no better or worse.  A simple change in attitude can have a profound effect on your outlook and interactions.  First, open your heart and soul to knowing that change is good.  Now, begin each day with gratitude and a happy heart.  Be compassionate and mindful; rather than judgmental or condescending.  Try it out and let me know how you feel.  Educate yourself by reading, while seeking truthful content and knowledge.  The American Flag has been our symbol of freedom and independence for decades.  Let’s respect it and our nation.  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!

I love my country

June 5, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Here we are, it’s already the first Sunday of June.  Tomorrow, June 6th, the world will commemorate the 78th anniversary of D-Day.  I honored Memorial Day last week, so it’s fitting that I pay tribute to all the men and women who served during this world altering and profound time.  This event is not only an important part of American history, but it is a significant day for the world.  I honor the memories of all those who participated, fought and died to keep our world safe and free.  World War II created death, tragedy, sorrow, and destruction; while it challenged world freedom   America and our Allies united, bonding together, for all mankind, to defeat the global threat posed by Hitler; while we also fought the Japanese in the Pacific.  Without the valiant efforts and sacrifice of so many, our world could have been a very different place.  Please remember and preserve these individuals, and their memories, in your heart forever.  Cherish life, as we live in the freedom they provided.  There are so many amazing things I love about my country.  There are a few things I don’t care for that happen here, but nothing in life will ever be perfect.  Hopefully, together, we can fix some of those critical issues.  Now is the time we need to bring back the morals and values we hold most dear.  These traits are the fabricate of our society.  Many of these special qualities established our nation as a world power.  Do not allow our nation to decay any further.  If you love this country, as I do, stand together with me to transform it into the amazing America I remember.

I often wonder how many people, both here at home or around the world, remember these important dates in history.  My observations lead me to believe many individuals are so caught up in their own life events, they have no time for anything (or anyone) else.  People are in such a hurry these days.  Respect, cordial greetings and manners are sometimes lost in the chaos.  People race from point A to point B, never taking the time to enjoy or savor what they are passing by.  I’ve discovered that the more I slow myself down, the more new things appear for me to enjoy in life.  I don’t need a large screen TV, the latest cell phone or social media to show or tell me what’s important in life.  The best part of living, is enjoying my time with family, friends and the people I love.  Whenever I spend time in nature, I recognize the significance and meaning of life.  When I allow my brain to slowdown and I control my thoughts, it reveals the answers I’ve been searching for, but wasn’t taking the time to recognize.  Life will continue to speed by, unless you make a conscience effort to enjoy each moment as you experience it.  Stay present, remembering where we came from and where we want to go.  Now, more than ever, I want to pay tribute to the valiant men and women of the “Greatest Generation.”   My Dad lived in the midst of these turbulent years.  These individuals grew up, lived and fought to survive during extremely difficult times.  When Hitler set out to dominate the world and destroy entire cultures, brave individuals from all walks of life didn’t hesitate to answer the call to arms.  They believed it was their duty to serve and to protect the rights and freedoms, of our nation and the world.    

The construction of the Atlantic Wall, between 1942 – 1944, was Hitler’s priority after the Nazis invaded and occupied much of Western Europe.  The coastal defensive structure of fortifications, stretched nearly 2,400 miles.  It began near the Scandinavian border on the north, extending to the border of France and Spain on the south.  Hitler knew Allied forces would be coming, but he didn’t know where or when, so he did all he could to deter their ability to suppress his domination over Europe.  The German army had approximately 50,000 soldiers along the Normandy coast.  They were heavily armed and waiting.  The launch of this invasion, onto European soil, would ultimately save the world from Nazi rule.  Nearly 160,000 American and Allied forces took part in the assault that day.  They utilized 3,000 ships for the assault.  Five beaches were assaulted along a 50-mile front.  Each of the landing zones were treacherous and deadly.  The loss of life was brutal and horrific, but the determination and tenacity for our troops never faltered.  At the end of the first week the number of troops doubled.  Allied forces landed 50,000 vehicles and 100,000 tons of equipment.  By the end of June, over 850,000 soldiers and 150,000 vehicles had entered France at Normandy.  I can only imagine the magnitude of this undertaking; including planning, coordination and execution of this operation.  It was a massive effort, with soldiers, vehicles, equipment and transportation across the English Channel to the Normandy beaches.  We breached the Atlantic Wall defenses and began a bloody march across Europe to Germany.  The downfall of Hitler and the Nazi army were inevitable.  Germany would ultimately surrender a year and a half after the D-Day invasion.   

I had the honor and privilege to visit Omaha Beach and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, located in Colleville-sur-Mer, France.  The cemetery overlooks the beautiful coastline next to Omaha Beach.  It’s the resting place of nearly 10,000 graves of American war dead.  Many of these men died during the landing and ensuing operations.  Similar to Arlington National Cemetery, which is nestled next to the Potomac River; the Normandy American Cemetery sits on pristine, immaculate and hallowed grounds.  The French people are grateful and take loving care of this revered earth.  As I walked through the exquisitely maintained site, I felt the presence of the souls who perished that day.  Their energy is real, while their power and sadness are deeply felt.  I experience similar feelings when I visit my Dad at Arlington.  Death may bring an end to the physical body, but the energy of the soul is eternal.  Instead of me giving you a history lesson, I suggest you take a little time and read about D-Day.  It will either refresh your memory, as to the events that transpired or it will provide new knowledge of how our way of life was saved.  Better yet, go and visit the beaches and cemetery of Normandy.  The experience will change your outlook on life.  Either way, I highly recommend you take time to seek knowledge and truth.  I find reading and learning about past events, especially those of major significance, very important to sustain my ability to move forward into the future.  I never want our world to regress into past situations or circumstances.  We seem to teeter back and forth, sometimes precariously close to the edge of evil.  Knowledge is power, and knowing about the past will assist us in living a positive and happy future.  Take a moment today to say a prayer of thanks, expressing your gratitude for our freedom.  The valor and heroic actions of the thousands who saved our world should be held in our hearts and minds forever.  My Dad was among the brave souls who landed on Omaha Beach, traversed France, Belgium, Luxemburg and into Germany.  I honor and thank him, and thousands of other soldiers who fought, and those who died, to preserve our freedom.  Thank you to all our Allies who stood together with us through those dark years.  Let’s continue to support each other now.  2044 will mark the 100th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.  A time capsule will be opened at the site that day, revealing memories and memorabilia.  I hope I’m still here to witness this event and the contents of the capsule.  For now, my friends: 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!

Memorial Day

May 29, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love Always Wins

May 22, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Music to my ears

May 15, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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