My Retreat into Yoga

November 6, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  My week-long Yoga Retreat at Prana del Mar, near Cabo San Lucas, concluded yesterday.  It was a fabulous week of yoga, mindfulness, introspection and fun.  I began each day with a sunrise four mile run along the beach.  It was my incredible moving meditation.  The retreat schedule started with meditation, yoga and days filled with movement and bliss.  It was truly just what the doctor ordered; with relaxation and empowering vibes.  The retreat center is beautiful, secluded, comfortable; and complemented with friendly and helpful staff.  The food was delicious, healthy and created with love.  The beaches were empty and the ocean an array of colorful blues.  As the sun set, our days ended with Yin and an amazing dinner.  It was an enlightening week with wonderful humans.  I want to thank Brittany Bamrick (Bliss Camp Retreats) and Naomi Fox (Yin and Reiki Master).  They provided motivation, support and insight.  I send special thanks to everyone at Prana del Mar, Wellness and Retreat Center.  Eric and his entire staff were phenomenal.  Thank you, to all, for a delightful, inspirational and vibrant week of joy.

The retreat was my birthday “getaway” gift.  I was confident the time away would provide enlightenment and inspiration.  The entire experience turned into far more than I could have imagined.  This blessing in disguise, helped center my thoughts and confirm new life goals.  Time spent on me is always time well spent.  I highly encourage it.  We live in crazy and uncertain times.  I urge you to take good care of yourself, your family, friends and loved ones.  Do your best every day to be a good human; with respect and gratitude for all of God’s creatures.  Don’t allow your ego to override your goodness.  Too often, especially here in America, it’s easy to take life, and everything we have at our disposal, for granted.  Our nation is truly blessed, even when it seems days are difficult.  We all struggle from time to time; but what’s most important is how we rise above the sad or bad times.  There are many sources for assistance, if you need it.  Don’t be afraid to reach out or ask for help.  Seeking assistance doesn’t mean you’re weak or inadequate.  It just means your human; like all people on this planet.  Yoga (and physical exercise in general) has always been a good form of release for me.  It’s helped me relieve stress and often provides times of solace to seek guidance from within or Above.   

This is your life and journey my friends.  I can’t tell you how to live it or what decisions are best.  These are choices only you can make.  Remember, you are the only person responsible for your decisions.  I can’t control what other individuals, think, say or do.  It’s not my responsibility.  I can only do what I believe to be true, correct and best for me.  I do hope and pray you live life with gratitude, integrity and respect.  These character traits were instilled in me at a very young age.  They have guided me throughout the course of my life and career.  Through the ups and downs, good and bad, they have been my corner stones.  Honor, loyalty, honesty, duty, commitment, country and God provide me the strength and courage to push through life.  I maintain my faith in God and the universe to guide me in my daily journey.  I trust the incredible and special people in my life, as I hope they trust me as well.  Life is a journey my friends.  Don’t attempt to control it, alter it or change it to suit your personal needs or desires.  Change is a constant throughout the universe.  It occurs without notice and seems to come when it’s needed; not always when we want or expect it.  Remain mindful and alert, to recognize the opportunities change brings; whether to help us create new experiences, learning or decisions.     

Yoga, and a chance to change, came to me in January 2010.  I was attending the FBI National Academy, at Quantico Virginia, for three months.  I lived at the facility; residing in one of the dormitories.  Monday through Friday I was busy with classes and training.  My weekends were free to roam.  An FBI agent lead a yoga session early every Saturday morning.  I was curious, eager to try something new, so I began attending the sessions.  I ultimately attended yoga every weekend.  By the end of my stay, I felt the benefits from the practice.  My lower back was no longer sore; while my muscles and body were more relaxed and energized.  I experienced clarity of my thoughts and mind; all of which provided a vibrant boost.  When I returned home, I dove back into work, attending only a few yoga sessions sporadically.  Change came again in 2015, after I retired.  I met an incredible woman who would transform my life.  Yoga became an important fixture for me.  My practice deepened as my body, mind and spirit benefited; empowering me further each day.  Meditation helped sooth my soul, as much as yoga improved my overall health.  It took me a little time to figure out just how much it helped; as my mind and heart weren’t fully open and receptive to the experience.  Attending yoga teacher training and 200-hour certification in Bali (early 2018) was an amazing life changing experience.  Immersing myself completely into this instruction was truly an inspiring time for me.  It unlocked a new path to allow me to open my heart and soul to heal and grow.  I know yoga works, because it was an integral component piece of the puzzle that changed my life; physically, mentally and spiritually.  

Healthy foods, exercise and nature; coupled with changing my thoughts, perceptions and attitude increased my personal happiness and positivity.  The support, guidance and love I received, especially from special individuals, helped me achieve my transformation.  The empowerment and push, I required, to get me to counseling (and eventually EMDR therapy), were due to the efforts of one person.  I had been floundering and powerless for so many years.  I know my resistance frustrated her beyond belief.  I’m grateful she didn’t give up, until I saw the light and realized my destiny.  Never under estimate the power of love, especially when it comes from the heart.  I am happy to be a new and improved me and the man I’ve always been meant to be.  Don’t fear life.  Relax, breathe and enjoy living this amazing gift of life. Stay grateful, happy and healthy my friends.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

America, we have three important dates this week.  Tuesday, November 8th, is election day.  Don’t forget to vote!  We also have two dates to honor and celebrate this week.  The first special date is Thursday, November 10th.   We will celebrate the 247th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  I salute the Corps (including family, friends, co-workers, past and present members)!  Enjoy a fantastic day!  On Friday, November 11th, our nation will celebrate and honor Veterans Day.  I send special thanks to my Dad, uncles, cousins, brother in law, nephew, friends, co-workers and all our heroes who have served in the United States Military.  Thank you to all of our Veterans.  Your dedication, sacrifice, service and loyalty are greatly appreciated.  Cheers to the USA!

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!

Self-Care is a Gift

Self-Care is a Gift

October 30, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  I celebrated my 69th trip around the sun this past week.  I flew to California to spend this special day in my home state.  It was fun sharing several days with close friends, catching up and making some wonderful and lasting memories.  I can honestly say, I never envisioned myself being this old.  It’s crazy how fast time passes.  The years between retirement to the present have flown by with amazing speed!  So much has happened in the last eight years, that I don’t even feel like the same person I was when I retired in 2014.  There are times I feel like a caterpillar that has transformed into a butterfly.  My metamorphosis isn’t nearly as colorful, beautiful or pleasant.  My transformation began when I met an incredible woman who forced me to take a hard look deep within myself.  My reconstruction and improvements continue today.  My journey’s had ups and downs, but it’s been an enlightening and inspirational path that’s been beneficial for me; physically, mentally and spiritually.  I have no doubt there are many individuals out there who could use, and benefit, from some introspection, shadow work, transforming and self-care.  The discovery of self-love, personal happiness and finding my inner peace created amazing and life changing events; for my mind, body and soul.  The new me began by changing my attitude, perceptions and thoughts.  Clearing the negativity from my mind provided an energetic boost and empowerment.  I opened myself to changes inside and out, without fear; for it’s the pathway to my future.  I trust my intuition and have faith and confidence in my abilities. Positivity cleared my path with a vibrant new vigor.  When I made the decision to relinquish control to God and the universe, it eased my soul and created new opportunities in my life.  I’m grateful for each new sunrise and the chance to shine.

My hardened exterior was constructed like a protective shell; to shield my heart and soul from the world, my past and long career in law enforcement.  The sad part; this “body armor” also prevented me from opening my heart, soul, emotions and passions to everyone around me.  It kept me from experiencing the deep and connective love I longed for throughout my life.  I believed this was just part of my life; never realizing I could break free from the constraints it shackled me too for so many years.  I was always of the belief I could tackle any problem, issue or crisis situation with easy resolution.  My profession taught and provided me that luxury.  Control and strategic decisions were part of my every day police life.  Those characteristics transitioned into my personal life as well.  Dominance and manipulation aren’t a good fit in any relationship.    

I didn’t know the trauma revolving in my mind was beyond my control.  When I came to the realization I needed help, I wasn’t sure how to reach out for it.  I was never taught that aspect of manhood.  The new journey was about to lead me down uncharted and unexpected pathways into myself.  I didn’t know what to expect or what would transpire during the process.  When I took the first step toward healing, it became clearly evident I needed help beyond my own resources.  I’m thankful for the push; broken by the loss of love, but happy for the new me and renewed opportunities life offers.  I’ve learned that love can last beyond the physical expression, and my love will last forever.  Today, I’m relatively the same man externally, but a much improved version of me internally.  I use to worry so much about relationships, dating and life.  I’ve learned it’s much better to let go, release control, enjoy myself and love life.  There are times when the things that are the most scariest, or make my heart race, are the best things to pursue.  Life always has a way of working itself out.  Patience and trust are my new best friends.  I place my faith in God and the universe; because they know what they’re doing. 

For my birthday, I’m treating myself to an adventure south of the border.  I arrived in Cabo San Lucas yesterday.  I’m here for a week-long yoga retreat and my first visit to Cabo.  It’s my self-care gift to me, because someone had to do it.  I needed a getaway (like this), to refresh my body; physically, mentally and spiritually.  I have no doubt the week will bring more introspection, clarity and solace.  The twice daily yoga sessions, healthy cuisine, ocean, exercise and group interaction will be wonderful as well.  I’ve had the opportunity to do several international yoga retreats.  They have never disappointed me; for their quality accommodations, amazing foods, fabulous individuals (both within the group and local peoples) and incredible sights to visit.  I’m hopeful this trip will be as amazing, as past retreats, and yield epic results.  My goal is to be the best possible version of me.  As I begin this new journey into myself, I hope and pray I have the inner strengthen and fortitude to be better human.  Self-care is an important component part to healthy living.  This begins with loving yourself.  Life is a fantastic journey my friends.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to shine.  Cherish every day and all the people in your life who are special to you.  Life really is an amazing adventure and journey; not to be wasted on ego, possessions or unhappiness.  Share your love, joy, happiness and just live.  None of this makes me weak or unable to fight off evil.  All of my internal work makes me stronger; mind, body and soul.  I am energized and empowered to live a happy life.  I’m sure my next blog will be about my yoga retreat week. 

Happy Halloween (tomorrow) and All Saints Day on Tuesday, November 1st.  Be safe and enjoy the magic of the holidays.  Halloween originated with the Celts, who lived 2000 years ago.  It marked the end of summer and a time when they believed the dead could return to earth.  When you look at the past history of our world, it’s interesting and incredible how our holidays have evolved over time.  The universe is filled with magic.  When I slow myself down, it’s easy to recognize the beauty and magnificence all around me.  Life is a gift to be cherished my friends.  I’m grateful for each new day to learn, grow and become a better human.  You are never too old to learn new things, change your attitude or seek new adventures.  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 Journey to Happily Ever After

October 23, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  I have always dreamed of living a “happily ever after” kind of life.  I believe in true love and that sharing your dreams and passions with a fabulous partner makes life so much more amazing.  I know nothing will ever be perfect, especially in a relationship or in life.  There may be “down” times or struggles.  No matter how much you love another person, occasional strife can occur.  That’s just life.  It can be normal and good for a relationship to have a few disagreements, from time to time; as long as you don’t react in anger or fear.  Respect, patience and humility are much more important and beneficial; instead of ego, selfishness or aggression.  The key ingredients to a happily ever after, include kindness, understanding and compassion.  Opening my heart and soul to the possibilities provided renewed hope that dreams do come true.  I’m hopeful the struggles I’ve weathered, the healing I’ve accomplished and knowing what I know now, my life and next relationship will be more easily navigated.  I’ve learned so much about myself in the last eight years.  I’ve dug deep into my past and trauma; did my shadow work, experienced EMDR therapy and still attend counseling sessions when I feel the need.  The constraints of my past no longer control or restrain me in the present.  My heart, mind and soul are free to dream new dreams.  The first step to achieving anything fabulous is finding your own inner happiness, peace and positivity.  I’m happy and content with myself, and I’m ready to face the rest of the world.  I place my trust in God and the universe.  We all deserve a “happily ever after.”  Let’s get this party started!

I have always held a deep respect and commitment to law enforcement professionals, both across our nation and worldwide.  The job is difficult, dangerous and often thankless.  It continues to be the heart of my passion.  During my working career, I never really stopped to evaluate my life, or how the job, and associated trauma, were taking a toll on me.  I rolled through everything at my own pace (which was typically fast).  Death, tragedy and trauma were a part of my everyday police life for nearly 34 years.  I was very aware of how quickly life could come to an end without warning, because I’d witnessed it far too many times.  Life can be brutal and trauma filled for the individuals that fall prey to the viciousness on humanity.  I didn’t worry about, or consider, what would happen if it come for me.  Now, more than ever, I’m extremely cognizant of how important good health and life are for me; physically, mentally and spiritually.  It wasn’t until after I retired that I realized my time on this earth is truly limited.  I still don’t worry about death or dying, because I’m aware of its’ close presence.  Death is a fact of life and inevitable for us all.  I only regret that I’ll have less time to share my heart, soul and love with those humans most important to me.  I remain committed to living each day in the present.  I don’t worry about the past or stress over what the future may bring.  The journey of life is an amazing and incredible experience.  My path has been interesting, enlightening and filled with hope.  You may not understand all of what I’ve experienced, but then you don’t need too.  It’s been my journey.  We each have a path to take in life.  The universe and daily events lead us to different places and people.  Our interactions, travels and encounters are where we learn lessons, gain insight and experience life.  Which course you choose to follow is your decision, and yours alone.  Humans may share similar circumstances and events, but in the end, every experience is unique and special to each of us.  Blaming others for the mistakes you make along that path is childish egotistical nonsense.  It’s up to you to create your own happiness and build the life you want.  Stop complaining and start building.

If I can offer any advice (to the young or old), from what I’ve learned and experienced during my time here is; “don’t wait.”  My career in law enforcement provided the stark revelation of how fast life can change, or be taken away in a heartbeat.  It’s a sad piece of knowledge to know and cannot be cast aside.  Life can be an amazing journey of joy and happiness.  It can also have sorrow and heartbreak.  How you view the world; your daily outlook, attitude, perspective and positivity play a significant role in how you live your life each day.  Humans will share similar, yet unique, experiences throughout life.  How you respond or react is dependent on your attitude, perception and interaction with everything and everyone around you.  I’ve discovered the more positive, grateful and happy I am, the better my life can be.  There are times, obviously, where everything doesn’t always work out the way I intend them too.  I no longer see this as negative, but as learning moment in my life.  I change and adapt as needed and continue to move forward.  I do my best not to focus my attention on the future, because I don’t want to miss what’s right in front of me.  I no longer worry about my past or allow it to drag me backward.  I remain present in each moment, to enjoy my life to the fullest.  If you need help or assistance along your path, don’t hesitate to reach out or ask.  I discovered the benefits of counseling can be amazing and very helpful to provide clarity.  Insight and guidance from a professional uninvolved third party is constructive toward self-improvement.  Don’t wait to embrace life and live.   

On Tuesday, October 25th, a partial solar eclipse will occur.  I have listened to much discussion regarding the energy flow associated with the stars, planets and coming eclipse.  The power and magic associated with these alignments are providing an energetic boost to my spirit.  While the eclipse won’t be visible near me, I’m sure I’ll feel the vibrant rays when it occurs.  I’ll also begin the final year in my sixties on that day.  I never ever dreamed I’d be this old.  It wasn’t because I didn’t believe I’d be alive; I just never considered being this old existed in my mind.  When I retired at age 60, it became more evident that I was on my way to senior living.  Now, eight years later, that thought is more evident and clearly on my threshold.  I don’t feel old, although my body doesn’t do everything it could when I was younger.  I’m grateful and happy to be active and healthy.  I’ve learned so much about myself these past years.  I’m comfortable with me and happy with who I am today.  I’m excited, because I know how life can be radiant when shared with a special partner.  I want to be in love and have a fabulous, fun and committed relationship.  I want to share and enjoy everything life has to offer together.  I know life will never be perfect, but it really is amazing when you have someone next to you that’s truly special.  I don’t want to wake up one morning and realize I didn’t say what I wanted to say, or do everything I wanted to do.  I know my happily ever after is coming and I’ll enjoy every moment.

I’m happy and excited to be going home for my birthday.  I can’t think of a better place, or more special people, to celebrate it with this year!  Then, it’s on to Cabo San Lucas and a fabulous yoga retreat (my gift to me).  The lesson I learned; “When I completely surrendered my ego and placed my trust in God and the Universe, I discovered the true value of life 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!

The Path to Enlightenment

October 16, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  If you’re waiting for a bolt of lightning to strike or a vision from above; you may be sitting inactive for a long time.  My suggestion; pull yourself up, get off the couch, move your body, go outside, enjoy some sunshine, experience nature, breathe and dream new dreams.  My path to enlightenment wasn’t an instantaneous vision of grandeur.  Instead, it’s been a long arduous journey; with ups, downs and difficulties.  During my years on this earth I have learned, grown and matured as a human.  The journey of life isn’t always easy.  It has struggles, hardships and sadness; but it also brings amazing joy and incredible happiness.  It’s interesting, as I get older, I’ve become more aware of how little I knew about myself and life; yesterday, last year or a decade ago.  I’m grateful to greet each new morning with a positive attitude, a vibrant outlook and personal happiness.  I look forward to new opportunities and experiences that enhance my life.  The last eight years, since I entered retired life, have proven to be my greatest years of self-discovery and transformation.  I didn’t know my life (and heart) could be so open, free and unencumbered.  My past and trauma locked me up for far too long.  I’m happy and thankful to be here today, mentally and spiritually vibrant and empowered.  The energetic boost allowed my physical body to benefit as well.  Some events that led me to my “epiphany” or “phoenix” moment weren’t always happy or pleasant.  The revelation I required, to push me out of the ashes, came at a high cost.  The loss of love is heart breaking; when your life-long dream of finding an amazing partner to share life is lost.  The valuable lessons I’ve learned have been more significant than I could have imagined.  I learned to love myself, as I continue to seek new adventures and experiences.  Changing my attitude, perceptions and beliefs increased my clarity and vision of life and love.  Don’t wait!  Get up, go out and love your life!  It’s never too late to dream new dreams (and then live them).

Halloween is a couple weeks away and the holiday season will soon be descending upon us.  The police officer (protector / dad side) in me always wants to keep everyone safe.  I’m well aware of the evil that exists in our world.  As much as some individuals may want to hide from that fact, it doesn’t change anything.  If you’re living in your own rosy world, it’s time to wake up to the reality of life.  Before I became a police officer, I was unaware of the magnitude of how cruel humans can be to one another.  In college, I majored in Political Science, with a minor in History.  I am well educated in the evil exploits of individuals, dictators, groups and tyrannical rulers throughout world history.  Their type of evil is easily recognized.  When I began my career in law enforcement, I was immediately immersed into the dark world of human behavior.  The abuse and torture suffered daily, in homes, and across our nation is immeasurable.  I was aware incidents occurred, from news reports, but never fully comprehended the sheer magnitude of this hideous behavior.  You can walk through a neighborhood, not knowing what occurs behind closed doors.  Children, spouses and animals are being violently assaulted daily.  Knowing that perverted and sadistic criminals roam our lands, truly frightens me.  If we don’t unit to recognize and combat evil together, we can never succeed against it.  If you believe something to be suspicious, trust your instincts and investigate further.  Call law enforcement if necessary.  Don’t brush it off, thinking, “I don’t want to get involved.”  Your actions may prevent a crime, stop the abuse or save a life.  Deadly assaults on law enforcement officers continue by murderous thugs.  When will we stand up America and end this insanity.  We must demand our weak and politically motivated leaders to put a stop to criminal attacks, for the sake of all people.

During my years in law enforcement, the holidays always compounded any incident, but especially those with sorrow or tragedy.  I have witnessed far too much death and sadness, both personally and professionally.  With Halloween and the holiday season looming, I’m compelled to share several safety ideas or tips for you, your family and friends.  Whatever you’re doing or your adventures take you, please use common sense to stay safe.  Keep your home locked, safe and secure.  Don’t leave items of value in your car, whether it’s in your driveway or parked anywhere else.  It’s sad to live in a distrustful world, but thieves are of opportunity are out there lurking.  If you’re driving, especially in residential areas, slow down.  If you need to look at your cell phone, pull to the side of the road and stop.  It only takes a moment of inattention for an accident to occur.  Anytime children are outside, especially after sunset (especially for “trick or treating”), remain aware and cautious.  For the parents and children out collecting candy and treats, remain vigilant that evil does exist in our world.  Some individuals will be dispensing items that can cause injury or death.  It’s best not to accept items unwrapped or suspicious looking.  Throw them away or call police if your suspect they may be harmful.  We know drugs like fentanyl (a synthetic opioid) has been made to look like candy.  Deaths from opioid overdoses in 2020 was over 70,000 and increased to over 80,000 in 2021.  Drug overdose deaths, this year alone, are already over 109,000.  Please protect your children, family, friends and yourself from potential catastrophic events.  Always pay close attention to your surroundings; don’t walk around with your face buried in your cell phone; as I see many individuals doing. If you’re alert and attentive, it’s less likely you won’t become a victim.  This isn’t meant to frighten you, but hopefully it will increase your awareness, to help yourself and others stay safe. 

The tragic and trauma filled incidents during my career, and life, remain as embedded visions in my mind.  They are real, don’t fade away and are everlasting.  Evil exists my friends.  We rarely know when or where it will strike next.  If we are vigilant and stand together, we can defeat it.  I don’t want anyone else to experience the type of horror or sadness I’ve witnessed.  Be mindful, alert and unrelenting in your daily effort to stay safe.  Enjoy and cherish each and every moment the holidays bring for you and your family.  These are once in a life time events.  Create new and fabulous memories from the amazing experiences of life.  I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to share the joy of this time of year with those I love and with all of you.  It took me many years to get this point in life; where I’ve discovered the real me.  My heart and soul are open and free.  I knew I was in there, it just took more work than I realized to release the past and trauma storied inside me.  The effort, support and guidance; with the assistance of loving hands; helped push me to the therapy I needed.  Now, I am finally 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!

Slow down and listen

October 9, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  This is my subtle reminder, just in case you weren’t aware.  Cancer awareness, in every aspect, is as important today as it’s ever been in our history.  Companies developed a serum for the coronavirus covid shot in less than a year.  How long have we been searching for a cure for cancer?  It’s time efforts are increased to end this devasting disease.  Please take a moment to say a prayer, offer your support and show your love, to all those (and their families) fighting this battle.  My heart goes out to the valiant individuals who have been taken from this earth far too soon because of this malady.  I am sending lots of positive energy, prayers and all my love; to friends, family members and everyone engaged in this ongoing struggle.  Stay strong, positive and never surrender.  I stand with you, eager for this disease to be conquered and vanquished forever.  Wear something pink to show your support! 

Here we are; it’s October, the Fall season and Halloween is right around the corner.  I shopped at several “big box” stores the last week of September.  Christmas decorations and displays are already in full force.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays and Christmas is one of my favorites.  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like stores begin selling these items much earlier every year.  Thanksgiving was typically the kick off for holiday shopping.  Those days are long gone.  Now, it’s beginning before the end of September.  Halloween merchandise had a small isle in the rear, while Christmas items were up front and dominate.  It’s appears retail life, especially here in America, is geared toward making money and widening companies profit margins.  What happened to actually enjoying and savoring each holiday associated with a particular month?  I sometimes wonder if corporations or CEO’s know what the true meaning of holidays are about or if they even care.  Apparently, that activity and knowledge is left in our hands now.  Don’t allow the pre-holiday frenzy to sweep you away.  Be sure to embrace and enjoy every moment of each month and holiday fun it brings.  Take the time to slow down and cherish life.

Even with the holiday craze settling in, I’m excited that Fall type weather kicked in here on Johns Island this past week.  It’s simply glorious!  Thankfully, the overnight temperatures have been more conducive to restful sleep over this last week.  Summer (as much as I enjoy it), has been refusing to relinquish control during the day.  I’m enjoying the relatively nice 70-degree days.  I have to be honest and admit; I miss the mountains, tall trees and milder temps.  I hope to return to you someday soon.  It’s nice here, but just so flat for as far as I can see.  The lack of contours is difficult for me to absorb sometimes.  Nature holds a special energy, magic and wisdom you can’t find elsewhere.  I’m thankful for the vibrant boost it provides in my surroundings.  The beach brings my soul serenity and peace.  The mountains, with incredible pine forests, fill my heart with excitement and wonder.  These feelings energize my body and empower my imagination and creativity; while soothing my spirit.  As with many things in life, you have to slow down to actually experience the bliss associated with these wonders of the universe.  The change of seasons and cooler weather will bring renewed interest in outdoor activities and new adventures.  I’m excited for the all the fabulous events coming my way this month! 

Here is something you can do today, with relative ease, to relax your mind and slow down.  Find quiet spot in nature, to release your thoughts and listen.  Take a walk, ride a bike, sit at the beach or hike in the forest.  Get away from the chaos of the world and just let go.  You may be surprised at what you experience and hear.  Too often, people believe they need external influences to carry them along the path of life.  While some of these modern pleasures are nice, they don’t hold the key to happiness.  The truth is, all you really need to do is listen to your internal source of enlightenment for guidance.  Slow down!  What’s the rush?  I suggest you do more things that make you forget about looking at your phone.  When you allow your mind the opportunity be calm, clarity often follows.  My blog last week outlined “the road” and how it works for me.  When I open my heart and mind, and if I listen, I can hear its response.  I’ve discovered the answer to many questions and have made difficult decisions, when I allow my intuition to guide me.  I trust God and the universe will share their insight and wisdom when I’m ready to hear the response.  I am a firm believer that when I change my thoughts, I can change my world.  First, you have to be open to change; then get off your rear and make it happen. 

I’ve made mistakes in my life.  I freely and easily admit this fact.  I’m not proud or happy for these, but I do take full ownership and responsibility for the harm or sadness they may have created.  Please don’t judge me for my past.   I’m not perfect and I realize I have flaws.  I’m human, and that’s something we all share.  My journey to enlightenment has been a long and difficult path.  It’s taken me far too long to realize I needed assistance to change my behavior.  My first step was admitting, to myself, I needed help and couldn’t heal myself.  Over the last seven years I’ve done the work, sought assistance, dug deep into my trauma and past, and focused on improving me.  At a recent EMDR session, I continue to make self-discoveries and heal.  I found my happiness buried inside me.  I’m grateful every day to be living a better life.  I don’t apologize for my human imperfections.  No one is perfect.  I don’t need to explain or justify who I was then or now.  The past is gone and can’t be changed.  It’s my responsibility (here in the present), as a good human, not to hurt others and be the best version of me possible.  I trust my intuition, as it knows what’s in my best interest.  I don’t have all the answers in life, but then no one does.  My faith in God and the universe continue to guide me. 

Life is filled with amazing adventures and experiences.  I realize we all deal with struggles and sadness during the journey of life.  It’s an unavoidable part of our time on earth.  Help is there if you need it.  Don’t be fearful to ask.  I wish I would have realized this simple fact sooner.  The best part of being human is our resilience and strength.  We are capable of achieving anything we desire.  We can turn our dreams into reality; with dedication, self-confidence and effort.  This incredible journey all begins with our own inner happiness and positivity.  It’s wonderful to have a great career or job that fills your heart with passion and brings you joy.  Don’t make work your primary focus; just so you can acquire more wealth or possessions.  Life should be filled with amazing experiences that energize your mind, body and spirit.  Make memories that boost your vibrations and empower you forward.  Slowing down and controlling your thoughts doesn’t mean surrendering the body.  Stay happy, healthy and fit.  The essence of a blissful life is sharing your experiences and love with the people most special to you.  When I consider the unending vastness of the universe, I realize how inconsequential it is to worry about the past or stress over what the future may bring.  Instead, I focus my attention on the present and living the best life possible.  I’m grateful to be here each day for the opportunity to 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 Road

October 2, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.   I want to begin todays blog by acknowledging everyone in Florida and all those affected by Hurricane Ian.  This devastating and catastrophic natural disaster wreaked havoc and destruction across this beautiful state.  The loss of life is sad and tragic.  Property, homes and things can be replaced or rebuilt.  The lives lost will be mourned by all.  I find it interesting how some people are astonished when events like this occur.  Experts say approximately 40% of the world’s population live next to an ocean.  Big cities, small communities, business and homes all enjoy seaside living.  Building structures and living in close proximity to any large body of water brings inherent dangers.  Please don’t have that bewildered look, ask how this can happen or wonder how to stop it.  This is nature reacting to our environment.  Powerful weather, across the planet, is an unstoppable and, at times, a formable and deadly force.  My thoughts concerning this event aren’t meant to minimize what occurred or the sadness associated with the tragedy this storm created.  Natural disasters often create issues across the globe.  These incidents know no borders, boundaries and they do not discriminate.  Humans have no control over nature, and it’s foolish to think otherwise.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Florida, South Carolina and millions of people affected in southeastern America.  Our nation will be dealing with the aftermath of this hurricane for months, or years, to come.  

Struggles come, for us all, in various forms, shapes and sizes.  These challenges have the ability to impact us physically, mentally or spiritually.  “The Road” is a perfect place to sort through the issues that may block your forward progress.  I find peace and solace when I venture out onto my road.  This is the place I go to when I feel down, frustrated, or need answers.  It’s the place I feel at home, vibrant and comfortable.  It’s always a good listener.  When I remain very quiet and open my heart, I can hear it’s reply.  It’s a passion, that brings me joy, energy and answers.  My relationship, that recently ended, should have been my last.  Unfortunately, my own ego and trauma-based issues ruined what was the love of my life.  I was blinded by a notion that I could handle any obstacle and heal myself.  It’s that male combo of testosterone and stupidity, that held me back from admitting I needed help.  I’m grateful she pushed me to seek counseling; which ultimately lead me to EMDR therapy.  That was truly the breakthrough I needed to set my life on a new, freeing and fabulous path.  It broke my heart to let go of an amazing and incredible love.  I know it crushed her heart, as much as it did mine.  

Men need to know it’s okay to be open and honest with expressing emotions and feelings.  It’s okay to talk about and share how you feel, to ask for help, to cry, to be vulnerable, need support, go to therapy or break down.  None of these make you weak or any less of a man.  Many males learn, at an early age, that any outward display of emotions or feelings isn’t “manly.”  Why do men think this means you aren’t tough or strong?  This nonsense couldn’t be further from the truth.  I know this for a fact, because I use to be the man that withheld all of these.  I controlled them, kept them locked inside and held myself back from showing emotions freely.  I didn’t ask for help or know how to show vulnerability, because I didn’t want to appear weak.  The other part of my dilemma was, I just didn’t know how to ask for help.  I was afraid to seek support or go to therapy.  It’s taken me years and the loss of an incredible relationship and love, to realize I needed help, support and counseling.  Seeking professional assistance provided the guidance I needed.  It transformed my life, opening my heart and soul in ways I never knew were possible.  Therapy helped me heal trauma that closed me off from sharing myself with anyone.  It allowed me to recognize my inner strength and ability to love.  I learned how to be happy with myself.  It cracked my protective armor, I’d wrapped myself in many years ago.  This break-through placed me on a new and amazing path.  My journey brought me back to my road; with openness, honesty and the ability to freely share myself, my emotions, feelings and vulnerability.  It’s an amazing feeling!

I don’t mind being on my own, but I know life is so much better shared with an amazing partner.  I want to experience the incredible feeling love creates.  I miss it.  Dating isn’t any easier at my age, and at the moment, it’s the last thing on my mind.  I know that searching for something you desperately want, typically doesn’t yield positive results.  I believe the best approach is to give control to God and the universe.  When the time is right, an unexpected love will return with an amazing woman.  Dating has the ability to be easy, fun, fabulous, frustrating, complicated or down right messy.  I have learned much on this subject.  I haven’t been on the “dating circuit” for many years.  I’m definitely not eager, excited or thrilled be get back out there.  Sometimes I wonder, “Why even bother” or “What’s the point.”  I’m not against dating or anti women.  Dating seemed to be easier when I was younger, but when I look back, I realize it wasn’t as simple as I thought.  This was especially true when I dated women who were interested in potentially building a committed relationship.  I share my story with you, in the hopes it will help other men (and women).  I know there are many individuals who are unable to open themselves, for whatever the reason.  I was guarded, closed and fearful to be free.  No one wants to get hurt, especially in a relationship.  I was one of those people.  Many of us protect our heart; but if you never allow it to open, you will never experience the full joy or magical connection love creates.  I may not be your first choice for dating or relationship advice.  The good news, I’ve learned so much about myself, opened my heart and am ready to try again. 

In the end, we are each responsible for our own actions.  It’s up to us to change; alter our attitude, perceptions and deeds that make us better humans.  For me, it’s not so much that I’ve changed, but that my heart and soul have been released and opened to be the real me.  My mind has been freed after being locked up for so many years.  Living in fear or with constraints on emotions is no way to exist.  Fate, the universe and God may bring us together, but it’s my decisions that make me a better and happier person.  Opening my heart and soul to love, may create fear or risk, but the rewards can be amazing.  Don’t allow something that happened in the past prevent you from being happy in the present, or in your future.  Open yourself to the possibilities.  God and the universe work in mysterious ways.  My new mantra is to live with an open heart, mind and soul.  I place my trust in the magical powers of love and believe it can happen.  My next relationship will be my last.  I’m not looking, rushing or worried.  I trust the universe will bring an unexpected and instant connection.  We’ll find each other and she’ll want me, as much as I want her.  We’ll share a forever bond, friendship and love that is eternal.  Our thoughts shape who we are and where our future leads us.  Control your mind and thoughts, to guide you in the present and shape your future.  What you think, you will become.  “The Road” can be different for everyone.  My road clears my mind of negativity, empowers my present and energizes my future.  It leads me outside; to enjoy nature or simply to find a place to breathe.  What’s your “Road?”  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!

Did I pass the test?

September 25, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  In five days, we’ll close out the month of September.  It’s crazy thinking we’re about to start the last quarter of 2022!  This means Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Holidays will be coming quickly; as the remainder of the year slips away.  My repeated attempts to slow time bring me peace of mind, while I enjoy the gift of life.  The days, weeks and months continue to pass by, sometimes faster than I like.  This is why slowing down, to enjoy each moment, becomes a priority.  As I look back on this year, I ask myself, “What did I accomplish?”  Did I succeed in achieving my goals or dreams?  What did I learn that was new, helpful or rewarding?  What did I do to assist mankind (or anyone for that matter)?  I moved out of California one year ago yesterday.  I’m still trying to decide if I made the right choice.  In many ways, I’m happy to be away from the traffic, congestion, chaos, high cost of everything, taxes, crime and politics.  I left loved ones, family and friends behind, when I moved.  I miss the people I love most of all!  I was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles.  It was a simpler time; people were friendly, respectful and grateful.  Now, the city of angels, along with San Francisco (and other beautiful places in my home state) are tarnished and tattered.  It makes me sad knowing what corruption, bad politics and egotistical politicians have done to this once glamorous and beautiful state.  

We all know life can be filled with struggles, ups, downs and challenges.  The issues we confront come in many forms, and can cover a wide spectrum of situations.  Events and circumstances that impact our lives and well-being can be frustrating, stressful and painful.  We deal with so many issues on a daily basis, that they often become routine; until we face a challenge that is paralyzing; leaving us helpless or in agony.  Every issue, big or small, takes time and effort to resolve.  Specific events, that are personal to us, can cause or create debilitating effects.  Health and wellness (mental, physical and spiritual), or events that involve family, relationships, friends, career or death; can create trauma within us. There are times our mind is our worst enemy.  It works against us by filling our thoughts with untruths and nonsense.  If we allow our mind to take control, an overwhelming negative feeling can be created within us.  Our perception and attitude can create added anxiety or stress; sinking us deeper into the abyss of darkness.  The human mind is a powerful source of influence.  If we do not control our thoughts, we can cause ourselves unintentional harm; which leads to hurting others.  I’ve been involved in variety of situations, circumstances, confrontations, events and relationships that have often leave me searching for answers.  When all is said and done, but my mind is still spinning from a particular encounter; I wonder, “why?”  I think to myself, “Did I handle this correctly?  What could I have done to resolve this in a more positive way?  Was this some sort of test”, and if it was a test, “Did I pass?”  

How many times have I walked away from someone or something wondering, “What lesson was intended for me, or what did I learn?”  Have you ever had similar thoughts or questioned the outcome of events?  Is life about “passing the test?”  We (me) all make mistakes from time to time.  Some are minor in nature, while others can seem large and looming over us for an extended period.  I’ve experienced both.  The worst case scenario for me, is when my decision or choice impacts another person negatively.  I’d never intentionally hurt anyone, but I know some of my “mistakes” have created heartache and sadness.  I can’t change the past, take away the pain or frustration.  Knowing I’m causing you pain, hurts me too.  The best thing I can do, here in the present, is change myself.  I can alter my attitude, my perspective and control my thoughts.  It took me years to realize I couldn’t accomplish this on my own.  I know, from my own experience, men (in particular) have difficulty showing emotions, sadness, vulnerability, talking about feelings or asking for support or help.  The thought of going to counseling, is often equated with weakness.  I discovered, opening myself up to change and the possibilities in the universe, reveal a bright and beautiful world in my future.  Therapy helped crack through my protective armor.  Professional guidance assisted me in making positive changes.  Each time I change, I grow and alter my past behavior.  I’ve learned how to be a better human, and for that opportunity I am truly grateful.

Much of what has happened over the last several years has increased my self-awareness.  I’ve learned it’s best to take the time to digest and evaluate critical issues.  No one wants to get hurt or suffer a broken heart, but opening your heart and soul to love and life is part of being human.  Be truthful and honest; with yourself and others.  Understanding and clarity, are always important for our well-being.  Good health / diet, exercise and nature continue to be my pillars of support; along with some amazing individuals.  Meditation is a valuable source of solace and clarity.  When turmoil and strife occur, be prepared to handle the oncoming blitz.  Don’t react with disregard.  Take the time to respond gracefully, with openness and respect.  Don’t be fearful to share your feelings and emotions.  Now, more than ever, it’s in my best interest to know myself.  My journey has taken me down a new path.  I’ve taken the time to learn about me, resolve the issues associated with past life critical events and relationships, that I consider to be defining moments.  This year has focused on my self-discovery and learning how to be the best possible version of me.  Digging into my past and trauma has yielded enlightening revelations into who I was then and who I am today.  It seems to be a bit easier, at this stage in life, to self-analyze myself.  Counseling assists me to recognize my past, see the present and set me on a new journey.  Now I understand the significant lessons that I learned and how they help me become me.  The opportunity to change and alter my life for the better was accepted with thanks.  I believe personal happiness and gratitude are key components to life’s puzzle.  

It took me far too long to realize what I needed to do, and take the first step to get me here today.  The test has been long and arduous.  The journey has taught me much.  The path assisted me to heal mentally and spiritually.  I discovered the simple answer to my question, “Did I pass the test?  No, life isn’t about passing tests.”  We all struggle at various times in life.  What’s important, is how we resolve these issues.  Life is an evolution, in various ways, for each of us.  We have choices to make along our journey of life.  What path we select weighs significantly on which direction we go and how difficult that road may be.  My education, knowledge and experience are intrgral factors into my ability to make informed choices and decisions.  Being open and willing to change is a powerful tool throughout life.  The better I know myself, and the world around me, the better equipped I am to be wiser, healthier and happier.  I may not always understand the universe, but I no longer question if I passed the test.  I focus on what I learned to be a better human right now in the present.  I learn more with each new sunrise and continue into a brighter future.  I’m grateful for each new opportunity to be a better me.  I am energized and empowered to be the man I want to be; here in the present and into my future.  The power of positivity and love remain strong and committed along my path.  Open your heart and soul to love.  Follow your dreams.  They know the way.

Two dates, this coming week, hold significance and special meaning for me.  The first is my daughter’s birthday.  It’s both exciting and interesting thinking how old I’m getting!   With each of her birthdays, it means her Dad is another year older.  I know another birthday is just a number (for both of us), but I like her numbers much more than mine.  Happy Birthday to my Amazing, Beautiful, Intelligent and Awesome daughter!  I have another one of those things coming soon too.  I’m not complaining, because I’m grateful for life and enjoying each day on earth.  

The other special date, is the seventh anniversary of meeting an incredible and amazing woman.   Our connection and love have been undeniable.  When I look back on our relationship, I wonder what drew us together and how we sustained our connection and love; and then didn’t.  It’s sad and heartbreaking when you lose a love; especially when it’s a bond shared by two.  I remain forever grateful for our friendship.  You saved me.

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!

Travel is Good for my Soul

September 18, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  I have always enjoyed exploring and seeking out adventure.  It all began as a kid, by climbing the trees in our backyard.  I felt like I was on top of the world.  When I was a little older, and allowed to venture beyond the fence, I’d walk, or ride my bike, to the mountains behind our home.  My mom was not thrilled about any of these activities.  The magic of the mountains and tall trees always captivated me.  I spent many happy days exploring.  My love of nature continued to grow over the years.  Attending college in San Diego, provided easy access to the Cleveland National Forest.  Towns like Alpine, Julian, Ramona and Mt Laguna were within reach; along with hiking trails and outdoor fun.  Trips to Mammoth Mountain, in the winter, for skiing became routine; as were water ski trips to the Colorado River in the summer.  I remember visiting Lake Havasu and walking across the newly re-constructed London Bridge; shortly after it was moved there from England in October 1971.  It was then I knew, travel to historic locations around the planet was in my future.  My quest for adventure and travel grew from there.  After graduating from college, I was hired as a fire fighter by the Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service.  I spent nearly four years on a Hot Shot crew travelling across the Western States fighting forest fires.  Spending the bulk of my time (often 24/7) in the mountains and nature was wonderful.  I fought some devasting fires during that time; which created sadness and heartbreak for the loss of wildlife and wilderness.  My soul was calmed, knowing I was part of the effort to save and restore the forest.  I wonder how my life would have been different if I remained with the Forest Service.  

I’ve been fortunate to travel and visit some amazing destinations, both here at home and abroad.  If you have the opportunity (and haven’t already ventured out), get out there to see and experience what our earth has to offer.  Let me rephrase that statement, “Make the time to travel; in your state, across nation and around the world.  Once you get out there, you’ll understand what I mean.  This will only peak your desire to want more!”  Travel is an incredible experience and journey; both into yourself and life; just as much as it is into visiting new places and cultures.  I’ve often wished I could write a blog for a travel service or publication.  Each time I scroll through the internet or look through a magazine; I stop to look at travel photos, descriptions and advertisements.  I’m always intrigued by new exotic places, old favorites and far off destinations.  The history associated with other lands, is both educational and intriguing.  Our world holds a vast array of incredible things for us to learn about and experience.  What are you waiting for?  Nothing will ever happen, or change, until you get your rear off the couch and venture outside.  You can begin gradually with trips into nature; or you can go big and head across a continent or ocean.  Whatever you decide, it will be a fabulous place to begin your quest for exploration.        

My travel destinations began locally, before expanding them across the United States and the Caribbean.  I didn’t take my first flight across the Atlantic until I was in my early 50’s.  I’d always dreamed of a romantic holiday in Europe, with the love of my life.  The timing for that never seemed to work, so I did the next best thing.  I took my daughter on a month-long excursion to Italy, the French Riviera and London.  She was a young teenager, and a fabulous and fun travel companion.  The best part was seeing her eyes light up with excitement and wonder, while visiting ancient cities and ruins of past civilizations.  We toured Italy, boot to the Alps; including where my Mother was born and raised.  My Mom’s sister (my aunt) was there visiting at the same time.  It was incredible to see their family home, elementary school and cemetery, where generations of family members are buried.  One evening, while in Florence, we were strolling through a park, back to our hotel.  I saw hundreds of people gathered, watching a soccer match on an outdoor movie screen.  Italy was playing Germany.  As we stopped to watch, I could feel the excitement and energy generated from the crowd.  It soared when the Italian team won.  A few days later, we were in Venice when Italy beat France; winning the World Cup title that year.  The streets were filled with people celebrating the incredible victory.  Italians definitely have a passion for food, sports and a love of life. 

We were in Cannes (along the French Rivera) to help celebrate French Bastille Day.  Celebrations across the country, and in this city, far surpassed any Independence Day celebrations I’d witnessed in America.  The day began with a massive parade down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris.  The event was televised live across the nation.  Locals and tourists, everywhere we visited, reflected their patriotic pride with enthusiasm.  That night, after dinner, we heard large explosions outside.  Our hotel was two blocks away from the beach, where an hour-long fireworks performance had just begun.  We made our way to the beach and saw two large barges; one positioned at each side of the harbor.  Both were firing duplicate fireworks displays over the Mediterranean.  There were speakers along the beach, with music playing, scroized with the fireworks displays.  It was truly a magical celebration of French Independence.  Touring Paris was brilliant and like being in a movie.  The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Pantheon, Versailles and Notre Dame are just a few highlights of this romantic city.  This trip sparked the desire within my daughter, and me too, for more travel! 

My other travels have taken me to incredible lands and locations, both near and far.  Some of these fantastic adventures included, Bali, where I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher certification.  My month there was magical; filled with joy and contentment.  The Sacred Valley, in Peru, was inspirational and energizing.  The hike to Machu Pichu was breathtaking and fantastic.  How this magnificent structure was built is beyond belief.  Visiting ancient ruins in Greece, Italy and Croatia were fantastic and amazing.  There are fantastic structures that are among the worlds’ incredible feats of engineering.  There are so many other cities, countries and places I want to share with you; but there’s not enough time to write about them all today.  Beyond the wonders of these incredible places, are all the extraordinary people living in these lands.  The individuals populating these nations and countries, are amazing, beautiful and blessed.  They are thankful and grateful for all they have (which in many places isn’t much).  Each new day is seen as a blessing and gift.  They aren’t captivated by ego, fancy cars, big homes or possessions.  Their greatest gift is their family, friends, culture and life.  Many Americans, and other people living around the globe, can learn a valuable lesson from these humble and enlightened individuals.  Life in the USA can be fast paced and ego filled.  I believe life is more vibrant and energizing, when it’s enjoyed at a mindful pace.  Slowing down gives me the opportunity to cherish the beauty of existence all around me.  Time travels much too quickly, so don’t waste a moment.  Cherish each day, with respect, gratitude and love.  This is where you’ll discover your happiness my friends.         

On a side note, Autumn Equinox is this Friday, September 23rd.  How did we get to this time of year so quickly?  The end of this month (for me) typically begins the procession of the holiday onslaught, winter solstice and a new year.  The last quarter of each year seems to pass by more quickly than the previous.  Do your best to remain mindful of the present.  Don’t allow yourself to slip backward into the past.  Enjoy each and every moment, creating new and fabulous memories.  You are never too old to dream new dreams and reach for your stars.  Start right now to create the brilliant future you deserve.  It’s never too late.  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 Patriot Day 9-11

September 11, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  Today, our nation honors Patriot Day and the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.  I celebrate the lives, heroics and sacrifices that day; as I honor all those who perished twenty-one years ago in this terrorist attack.  It’s difficult to believe this tragic event occurred so long ago.  Thousands of innocent lives were cruelly taken; in the World Trade Center Towers, Pentagon and on the four commercial jet airliners that were used as weapons of mass destruction in the catastrophic events that occurred that day.  Many others died later from injuries and health related effects of the incident.  Please use this day to remember, honor and say a prayer for the victims, their families and all the first responders (including hundreds who died at the World Trade Center).  The events of this day, like many other significant dates in world history, should never be forgotten or pushed aside.  Evil exists in our world.  Unfortunately, there are corrupt individuals who hide it or tell you it’s not really there.  It’s up to each of us to stay educated and informed with what’s transpiring in our nation and around the planet.  Don’t believe or rely on everything you hear as being honest and truthful.  Just because a person is considered a “leader” or spokesperson, doesn’t make them above reproach.  Seek the truth from reliable sources.  Many media outlets tend to “slant” news stories to fit their own political or ideological agendas.  Search for those individuals or entities who provide you facts, not opinions.  When we are armed with the truth, we are better equipped to make wise, intelligent and well-informed decisions.  I will never forget this day or those who perished.

The sadness and memories of this horrific and tragic day are forever etched in my mind.  I, like many others, remember exactly where I was and what I was doing at the moment I learned of the attacks.  Do you remember where you were or what you were doing?  Have you discussed the events with your children, family or friends?  Today, is the perfect day to share this important conversation.  The children that were young, or born shortly after, who lost parents or family members in the attacks, know and remember all too well what occurred.  This date is forever burned into their hearts and memories.  What about the rest of us; or children born just before or after 9-11?  What have their parents, school or we (society) taught them about the atrocities that occurred that day?  The dates in history, associated with tragic events, need to be remembered and memorialized.  This has nothing to do with placing blame or condemning a particular nation or nationality.  This aspect is important, not only to honor those individuals lost, but to be vigilant so these atrocities do not repeat themselves in the future.  Have we done all we can as a nation or people, or have we kicked this memory aside; as we do with many things that no longer serve our own needs.  

What happened to the America I know and love?  Here in the USA, instead of uniting as a nation, there are times it seems we’ve become more divided.  Individuals band together to seek recognition for their group, culture or nationality.  Politics and social influences continue to push us apart.  Rather than being an American; people are Latino-American, Cuban-American, African-American, Mexican-American, Asian, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Transsexual; the list goes on and on.  Don’t be offended if I didn’t mention your group.  There are too many on this long list.  I have no ill feelings toward any of these individuals or their groups.  We are all human beings, doing our best to coexist on this planet.  I blame egotistical and power hungry politicians and leaders who keep dividing our nation (and the world) instead of uniting us.  I dislike how our country, mostly by design of some politicians, has arranged everyone into distinct groups.  The only logical reason I see for this, is to maintain control and to manipulate the masses to achieve their own desires.  I don’t want todays message to be about politics or agendas.  I truly wish we had some amazing leaders who were honest, strong and not tied to donors, corporations, foreign countries or billionaire contributors.  Where are individuals with morals, integrity, loyalty and honor when America needs you the most?    

America is a great nation.  Our country has inflicted and endured conflict (internally and externally), over the last 246 years.  Now, our future hinges on what happens here in the present.  We need leaders who will bond our country (and people) together, instead of pushing us apart.  I fear, if we continue on this current spiraling track we are on, our land won’t be great for much longer.  I love America.  I want our country to succeed; primarily because I want my daughter, family and friends’ children to have a chance to enjoy their lives to the fullest.  I don’t want them to live in fear or oppression.  I hope this Patriot Day reminds you of the past and what we need to do so this atrocity, or others, are never repeated.  Honor all the brave men and women who lost their lives on 9-11.  They were innocent victims; and deserve our respect and honor.  Stay present, informed and always doing your best to be a better human; while helping our land (and the world) prosper.  Don’t live in in the past or fear what might happen.  We don’t know what the future holds, but the better we remain vigilant and ready, the better equipped we are to live happily in the present.  We each hold the key to a bright and happy future.  Begin with gratitude and respect, then, “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 just me, being me

September 4, 2022

Good morning my friends.  I hope you are doing well and enjoying life.  It’s already September and Labor Day weekend.  I suppose this marks the end of summer, especially for kids returning to school.  This is the perfect weekend to explore and find something new along your journey of life.  What are you waiting for?  Nothing will ever happen, unless you take the first step to make your dreams become reality.  If its fear holding you back, let that foolishness go.  Fear can be a powerful force, while it influences and dominates your perceptions.  It has the ability to control and constrain your thoughts, movements and actions; but this is only possible if you believe it’s real.  Don’t allow your untrue thoughts to manipulate your life.  I let my fears suppress my emotions and happiness for many years.  I won’t permit fear (or my past) to creep into my life any longer.  I don’t look back, because I control my thoughts and move forward into each new day.  I’m living in the present and working toward a happy and bright future.  At this stage in life, every day is a weekend for me.  Only the weather dictates what season it might be; which has the potential to be just about anything (depending on where I am).  I enjoy moderate temperatures; but I’m happy with what nature provides.  A pleasant atmosphere helps make life perfect and blissful (or as “perfect” as life can be).  I’m truly enjoying this chapter; as each day offers a clean slate to write my life story.  I plan to enjoy living as long as possible; or as long as God allows me to stay on this planet.  I’m still not completely satisfied with “me”, but I’ve finally realized I’m a good person and deserve good things.  I might have a bit more internal work to do, but I’m content and happy with who I am.  I dislike people who use their size or influence to intimidate or bully others.  These individuals have self-esteem issues, are unhappy, negative and who knows what else.  I believe in karma and what goes around comes around.  I don’t wish anyone harm, but unfortunately, there are some disgusting people in this world.  That’s all I’ll say on that subject.

So, how loud do I have to scream before someone hears me?  Is everyone so wrapped up in their own little world that they don’t hear or see anything else happening around them?  You might not know it, but I struggled with “body image” issues from a very young age.  I always wanted to be taller, stronger or better looking, etc.  I just wasn’t happy with the exterior me.  I’m not sure why or what created this problem.  It may have begun in kindergarten, when a couple older kids threatened me and called me names.  Whatever the circumstances were, thus began my odyssey.  The dilemma stuck with me for many years.  As a kid, I was never happy with how I looked or who I was.  Going to Catholic grade school didn’t help with any of these issues or concerns.  The nuns didn’t care how I looked or who I was.  Many of them seemed to be mean or angry individuals.  I won’t attempt to speculate why or what made them this way.  I do know some of them seemed to enjoy corporal punishment.  There were times when it was deserved, but sometimes it wasn’t.  When I transferred to public school, for junior high, I realized the teachers were less interested with control of kids and more with getting to the end of the day.  The kids were the same in private or public school.  Some were nice and some were cruel; it’s that simple.  Junior and senior high weren’t the best of times.  I didn’t like school and dreaded attending, but I was stuck.  When the military draft came (during the Viet Nam War), I wanted to go.  When I received my induction notice in the mail, I was both frightened and happy.  My Mom was horrified.  It was my chance to escape.  Anything to get me away from school and home!  As my luck would have it, Nixon ended the draft, my Mom refused to let me join the military, so I stayed in college.  Attending college in San Diego, and away from home, was a fabulous dream come true.  This is where I came to life, gained real self-confidence and began to actually live.

My struggles, regarding my appearance, continued into adulthood.  My difficulties with communication issues, primarily in relationships, didn’t help either.  It always seemed difficult for me to fully open my heart and soul to others.  My nearly 69 years on earth (including my career and just life), have taught me a variety of valuable lessons, about myself and interactions with others.  Everyone has struggles and issues they deal with; and if they say they don’t or haven’t had any, they aren’t being truthful.  We all struggle from time to time.  I read a social media post, by a friend, the other day.  She was talking about struggles with body image, beginning at an early age.  As I read her story, I could feel the intense conflict and sadness she experienced.  She discussed in detail how the issues continued to follow her until recently; and how she finally resolved them.  While our stories are different; the emotions, turbulence and struggles that were created are similar and very real.  It’s nice knowing we’ve both reached places of harmony and happiness with ourselves.  I’ve heard many stories associated with this; that often lead to physical or mental trauma.  Society, and humans, can be cruel and demanding; often placing appearance (and physical looks) over anything else.  It really is crazy how this process is thrown at kids at an early age.  I can only imagine the pressure and stress woman (and girls) feel, to look or act a certain way; in order to be accepted or considered beautiful.  It’s a sad and sick society we live in.  “Body image” ranges from body type, shape, make-up, hair, skin, clothing and whatever else factors in to physical appearance.  This is worldwide multi-billion-dollar industry.  It’s much like the pharmaceutical industry.  They influence entire populations into believing we need their product in order to feel better, look better or just be “normal.”  It’s all about making money and nothing to do with helping us, as humans.  It’s both comforting and empowering knowing women are rebelling against this nonsense.  Our physical body is nothing more than the carrier for our soul.  This is where the internal magic happens.  My outward appearance is irrelevant, compared to what my mind, heart and soul possess.  This is what makes us each unique and special humans.  If you’re judging me based on appearance, you’re missing the real me. 

As I’ve aged and matured with experience and knowledge, I’ve sat in silence and thought about my existence.  When was the last time you slowed down to contemplate life?  Have you ever taken a moment to consider where you came from, who you are or where you’re going?  Maybe if you pulled your face up from your cell phone screen once in a while, you’d actually witness life happening all around you.  I suppose some people can’t be bothered, or are too busy, to lift their head up a few inches.  That’s just sad.  If you came up for air, now and then, you’d discover this amazing thing called nature.  It’s all around us every day!  So many people take it for granted, (and that it exists), yet never take the time to actually go explore it.  If they did, they would find some amazing things out there.  Sitting in nature has a fabulous calming quality all its own.  Try sitting on the sand at a quiet beach, or walk through a forest of giant trees, or hike in the mountains with tall peaks.  These are the places you will find solace, peace, harmony and happiness.  I discovered; it doesn’t matter how tall or strong I am or what I look.  The only thing that matters, comes down to how I feel about me.  My self-confidence, inner power and my own abilities say it all.  Today is a new day to be a better me; positive, healthy, grateful and happy.  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!

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