As it Comes together…

A great weekend summarized

It’s a Sunday afternoon, just after noon.  I’m sitting at a shaded table near the white water rafting loop overlooking the stage where bands play in the evening.  I just finished a terrific yoga sessions under the trees on the opposite side of the US National White Water Center.  It’s a beautiful partly sunny/cloud day. The clouds are helping keep the temperature perfect. There’s a regular shifting breeze that is earning a lot of props too.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a terrific morning running a 5k with my youngest daughter. It was a spring Girls on the Run race.  Both of my daughters have participated in Girls on the Run over the years, multiple seasons and years in a row.  After the race, I went paddle boarding with friends. I was on a paddle board, they were in kayaks, their beagle in a doggy life jacket.  

Yesterday was perfect and today is working out terrifically too.

The line of the suns rays are inching across the table I’m seated at towards my laptop.  Mentally, I’m telling myself that I’ll stop writing when the sun gets here, end the reflections and move forward again with my day…

I’m looking forward at my day tomorrow, my week coming, my summer, and my future.  

I need to do some planning.  I put off updating my 6 month vision board a month or two back.  I need to get back on track with this.

I was busy living, busy building my life. Sometimes, I was stressed and anxious and hanging by fingertips. Sometimes things were flowing and working well and easy. There was no constant scenario.

  • I was not broken all the time.
  • I was not functioning all the time.
  • I was not successful all the time.
  • I did not fail all the time.
  • I did not make mistakes all the time.
  • I did not ‘do it right’ all the time.
  • I did not learn from every mistake all the time.
  • I did not mis learning opportunities all the time.
  • Nothing happened all the time. There was no constant at one end of the imaginary scales of my mind.

However, even in the absence of a constant, there was a trend that sort of plotted out with hills and valleys going up and down and up and down and scattered away from a correlation line with occasional outliers…

I persisted throughout.

I did continue to make progress. I built momentum and kept at it, even when I wasn’t moving at all.

I was able to maintain a level of mindfulness more often than not.

There were days when I was uncertain and thought it might all fall apart.  But it didn’t.

So on with my week planning….

I need to identify some needs, turn those into goals, maybe create a list of things that can start to get me towards those goals. 

I do not need the magical plan that will solve all of my problems and cover every little problem or exception.

I simply need a quick push start…

I’m on a motorcycle or a bicycle with no kickstand. I have no way nor the talent to balance this thing while sitting still.

I need to get going to achieve balance. I know how to do that.  (Some other day maybe I can learn balance without momentum. Maybe that’s what monks in a monastery do?  maybe that’s a grass is greener on the other side perception, because I have no idea really what monks do.)

Listing the Needs…

  • I need to line up some largish projects for the next couple months.  
  • I need leads on largish projects.
  • I have several ongoing medium sized projects.  They are not enough to sustain me alone.  I have recently completed other largish projects so I have a little momentum going already.  
  • I want to build on that.
  • I need to automate small things.  In a lot of the work that I do, I believe there are opportunities to automate the steps in the processes I perform.
  • I really need to do this.  I need speed and flexibility.
  • I need to be free to solve larger problems with more complexity. 
  • I need to dive into some data analysis projects to grow in my ability to perform ‘conversion optimization’ and a number of other deeper skills involving my ongoing work in marketing in general.
  • I need some classes for this. These are easy to find. More importantly, I need some projects to run my new skills and education through.  Preferably, I need some projects that are 60-70% comprised of things I am very skilled in and include 30-40% of new things. 
  • I need to write.  I need to write about what’s going on with me as I am here. I need to write for my own business and use some of the same skills that I provide for a number of my clients.  I need to apply my own mojo to my own business to bring in those leads and larger projects, just like I do for some of my clients.
  • I need to continue finding more balance with my health and physical healthy lifestyle. It is something that helps keep a happy positive perspective that can fuel my work and make it easier for me to connect with clients.

Losing the focus and riffing

When I mention balance, I mean that I need to insure that I do not over due it physically, injure or exhaust myself such that I can’t get other things done in my relationships or work.  

This last week has helped me see that my health is important to me, but I can’t just ‘top off my cup of health’ and then slowly drain it with work.

I’m working through a number of small injuries this weekend. They mostly come from not doing enough on a regular basis and then trying to ‘catch up’ and over doing it physically.  

The sun is approaching. Its a about 4 inches away. The clouds are coming and going in a way that makes me forget my writing deadline set in the a sunbeam coming from a ball of fire that I recently sent my email address to on a mailing list for NASA.  I love space and science fiction.

The Beatles are singing “She loves you” on my iPhone as I write.

She does love me.  And I love her.

I’m writing with my nearsighted glasses on.  That makes it a bit difficult to see the screen, but the breeze is such that if I don’t wear my glasses, I get a bit of dust in my eyes. I forgot my sunglasses in the dusty parking lot.  🙂

It’s ok.  I’m just flexing in yet another way.

As I have increased my exercise this week, I have also worked to purge the house of sugary foods.  Some of that I let go by throwing it out. Some of it I let go by eating it!

I’m losing weight slowly.  I don’t have a lot to lose, but there’s some balance to achieve here.  I’ll get there.  

Throughout my life I’m either maintaining weight, or I’m losing some fat or I’m gaining fat or I’m losing muscle or I’m gaining muscle.

Sometimes I’m doing a couple of those things at the same time.

Currently, I’m losing fat and gaining muscle, so the weight is shifting slowly.

That’s totally ok.

Weight is just one gauge.

I track it not to obsess over my weight.  I could care less.  I’m tracking it to be mindful of where I am.

I have some new bicycle tubes (literal tubes, not hypothetical tubes like the motorcycle or bicycle in my head that I mentioned above…. real tubes that will be delivered by Amazon Prime in 2 days, or at least that’s when they were supposed to be here as of 6 days ago.

Anyway when they get here, I’ll add biking back into my mix.  Initially I’m gonna short for 2 miles per day.  That’s not much.  I’m specifically looking to keep it short, short, short.

Not overdoing it

I’m going to keep doing the other things I’m doing at the same time I add biking into my mix.  (yoga, running, walking, pull ups, upper body stuff, weights, yard work)

I’m almost hungry now.

It’s time to wrap this up.

Maybe I’ll get that vision board started today.  Make a pass at it at least.

If the first draft sucks, I’ll do it again a different day.

Bob Marley’s singing ‘Satisfy My Soul’, that’s what I’m working on.

Finding a way to satisfy my soul, working towards my purpose here on this rocky rocket ship spinning around a sun that is itself firing across the galaxy such that my planets own path is a spiral forwards into the unknown.

I’m spiraling my soul forward.  Repeating some stuff, but not really because I am thousands of miles past where I did the same things before.

I’m in the same place and I am definitely not in the same place.

Time to go and make some magical soul stuff come together again!

WiFi Comes to the Charlotte VA medical facility

I have been spending quite a bit of time at the VA medical facility in Charlotte, NC over the last year.

I can’t say enough good things about this place and the care I have received here.  I have never in my 45 years on this Earth experienced soup-to-nuts medical care at this level.  It is excellent.  It is better than the care I received, while I was still in the military (over 23 years ago).

It is far better care than I have received outside of the VA  too.  I have been covered by some excellent ‘insurance care’ over the years. I have been to some very good doctors.

Fortunately, I have been relatively healthy and needed little help.

But

I have never been somewhere that gave me this level of thorough and overall care, physically, mentally and more.  It’s been mostly a one stop shop and that really makes a big difference.  All the clinics inside the clinic have access to my medical records.

There are 2 different labs in the same building too.

I do not have to drive from one doctor to the next specialist and then to a lab and then to a pharmacy. It’s all right here.

The staff is helpful. There’s even something extra friendly and connected with all of the other Veterans here.

We all share a similar experience and have learned and been trained in making eye contact and acknowledging each other.  We may not know each other here as we arrive for a visit, but no one is a stranger either.

I am very grateful for the help I have received here.  Part of me definitely feels like I ‘earned’ it, and part of me feels simply grateful. I am very aware that in years past, not everyone received this type of care.

My experiences here make me hopeful for the rest of America.

I do believe we could all experience a higher level of ‘health care’ not just ‘good insurance’ but actual care.

I can’t begin to express how much easier it is to get ‘care’ somewhere when there is no fear or stress associated with hidden costs, extra charges, insurance approvals for a specialists review and so many other areas.

Before the VA – Experiences with health care & ‘Great Insurance’

In years past, I have experienced what it is like to get the ‘mystery medical bill’.  It’s that moment when the first medical bill comes from a normal doctor or hospital.  And you look at the letter and open it wondering how much the total will be and how much of that bill will have actually been covered by my very good insurance, which did not always cover everything.

I have felt that sinking feeling when the bill is far more than I could afford, when it was more than a months salary, when it was more than 6 months salary.

I have felt that compounded feeling after reading one of these letters, when I then realize  this bill is probably not even the only one associated with the visit I was billed for.

At the VA

None of those feelings are loaded into my psyche when I come for a visit here. I’m simply coming somewhere that is trying to help me get healthy and stay healthy.

Now there’s one more Benefit

I work online.  I work from home and also from a coworking office.  If there is wifi, I can work.

I need that work.

For the last year, the VA here, which is relatively new, did not yet have a WiFi network setup.

Today, as I paused to try and get a hotspot signal connected through my cell phone, it failed. Cellular signals are just not that great here.

Then, I happened to notice that there was a new VA Guest Network available in Wifi.

I connected, and now I’m online. (4th floor, not sure if it is available in the entire building yet).

This is a big deal for me. I often try to schedule multiple appointments on the same day to reduce trips. But that means I spend extra time here between those appointments. There’s no close food place or coffee shop down the street.

Now, I can keep myself productive, getting things done, which will help me take care of myself, take care of business and take care of my clients.

For another 5 months, I’ll be coming here at least once per week.

This means, that I have at least 20 days, where I’ll recoup some productivity while here.  That’s a big deal for me, and definitely will help me make this a better year.

To the staff and everyone involved in the VA medical center here in Charlotte.

Thank you!

focus on lack of focus

Focus on lack of focus

I feel unfocused. I am very focused on this.
The extra focus on my lack of focus makes it very difficult to focus.
Let me try to explain….
I moved into a new place three weeks ago. The moving part is over.
The unpacking is 99% done. The last 1% will not happen. That’s how moving works.
I am back to work but the new surroundings, the change in my regular habits, my local everything….
I have lost balance. This is not a big deal. I am assessing where I am and where I am going. With both points in mind, I can chart a course.
If I could focus.
Yesterday, I had focus. I created a vision board for the last half of 2017. I was on my game, yesterday.
Today, I can see the vision board hanging on the wall. It resonates. It has feeling. It identifies three things I need to do to achieve my vision.
But the unfocus…
I am caught in my own head.
I know of dozens of ways to correct this.
 
  1. Go for a walk
  2. Go to Yoga
  3. Meditate (tried it, didn’t help today)
  4. Go for a Run
  5. Go for a hike
  6. Hike and practice yoga on top of a mountain
  7. Swim a couple miles
  8. Go paddle boarding
  9. Dance (where I am)
  10. Go somewhere and Dance
  11. Change my scenery, talk to people, something
  12. Do more things on my list to build a sense of greater accomplishment
  13. Write to get in touch with where I am at (doing this now)
 
Ok, so there were over a dozen things not ‘dozens’. There have been a few things that have decreased my focus today.
 
  • Not quite enough sleep last night
  • A check in the mail has not yet come
  • It has been too long since I did many of the things in the list above. I’m moving forward on fumes.
  • Experiencing various aches and pains in my body
  • Anxiety (money, time, work, kids, life)
  • Distractions of many varieties, little things, but lots of them
 
There have been a few things that I have done well to improve my focus or at least prevent it from getting worse.
 
  • Helped three clients (1 knows that I helped them. 2 others are on a service plan and do not. Currently, this matters to me. I know not why.)
  • Earned money through my business
  • Received a small commission. This was not expected.
  • Ate a good meal for lunch
  • Finished 2-3 crosswords puzzles with my girlfriend before work
The second list is not long enough. I am grateful and happy about the things that I have accomplished today. It was an ‘OK’ day. Not a good day. Not a great day. It was ‘OK’.
 
Meh
 
At this point the writing is helping to improve my focus. It has helped me know that I’m feeling meh. I’m stuck in my head. I have not accomplished enough today for many reasons.
 
But
 
The day is not over yet.
 
Time to do more….

Impressions from a Beach Retreat

I am lounging after hiking a few miles. I’m sitting on a blue chair on a wood platform over looking a beach on a lake.

The sun is out and it is about 58 degrees and getting warmer by the minute. There is just the hint of a breeze and the waves are very gently massaging the beach.

I hiked with my love Sharon. Initially, our conversation was all over the place, or so it seemed.

I made random jokes and shared stream of conscious witticisms about people out ‘shitting their dogs’ and crows laughing at us for walking when it was only 46 (then).  (it made me laugh. Sharon put up with it.) 😉

Eventually, our conversation came around to the topic of control dramas.

A week or so back, maybe/probably longer, maybe closer to two weeks?

My memory for time and dates gets worse and worse as I live more and more in the present.

We had spent a day, something of a ‘day date’, that could have gone better. It could have gone worse. In retrospect, it might have been just what we each needed!

During the outing, we had engaged in control dramas. I’m not going to share the details of the private conversation nor the dramas used.

Control dramas include four different roles that people might ‘play’ in interpersonal relationship dynamics.

These are roles that people do not play all the time. These roles are not healthy for relationships.

However, people in all sorts of relationships, work, personal, love, family, and more play these four roles. (Some schools of thought offer more than just four.)

The four control dramas that predominate and those that I am most familiar with are the following:

  • The ‘Poor Me’
  • The ‘Aloof’ person
  • The ‘interrogator’
  • The ‘Intimidator’

Some people are totally stuck in just one of these roles all the time. Some people bounce in and out of a couple depending on who they run into.

Often times if someone plays out one role, then a person that engages with them, will find themselves being nudged into another role.

When a person acts aloof, hides the truth or hides the full truth or plays hard to get, or acts mysterious, a person that encounters this might find themselves behaving like an interrogator, asking lots and lots of questions. The aloof person might keep up the drama by finding aloof ways to never fully open up and share, triggering more questions.

It becomes a vicious cycle of two people competing, stressing to take energy away from the other, and ‘WIN’ the conversation either by keeping something hidden or by exposing the thing that was hidden.

There are many ways and scenarios these things can work themselves out.

The best way to stop a person from playing the role of a control drama (and taking our energy or manipulating us) is to simply expose the control drama to them and if we played a control drama role our self, acknowledge what we were doing.

It becomes very difficult for someone to keep ‘acting’ out a control drama once the sham, the act, of the drama is exposed.

Many people are very unaware of the control dramas they play out. They may resist or be defensive when exposed. They may try to switch to a different role until at the end of the encounter, both parties are simply being themselves and not being aggressive, or they go their separate ways taking a temporary time out from each other or maybe a permanent time out.

So we found and caught ourselves in one of these scenarios. We stopped and took a timeout from it and each other.

Today, during the hike, we were able to talk about it and find new ways to move forward aware of our tendencies and careful not to slip back into this behavior.

We also then grew the conversation and had a very cool conversation about control dramas that we have experienced with others.
One of the topics that came up early in the hike was whether or not it was the right thing to do to totally avoid people in control dramas, people with issues, people that are stuck, people that are not conscious and working on their inner issues.

There are a number of memes out there that hint that. ‘We should keep toxic people out of our lives’ or that we should stay away from negative people. The idea is that w if we surround ourselves with only positive, smart, happy, beautiful people, we will find that we and our lives are full of just positives, smartness, happiness, beauty and all the good things in life.

This concept lacks empathy and compassion.

It also indicates that the key to happiness is exorcising unhappy things from the world.

Don’t like your spouse or significant other?

Leave them.

Don’t like your job or career?

Leave it.

Don’t like your kids or your parents?

Send them to an orphanage or the old folks home.

Don’t like your friends?

Never return their calls and have nothing to do with them.

Obviously, I have taken this to an extreme. This is the outside limit of this ‘theory’ and it is obviously a flawed theory.

Now, there are many reasons someone might be unhappy, ugly, negative, or in a bad place.. It does not mean they are devoid of any potential and deserve to be labeled, banished, shunned, kicked to the curb, voted off the island, thrown out the air lock, walk the plank, removed from the gene pool, etc.

Sometimes people are in this ‘less than’ place because we or people just like us, sucked out all their energy and positivity and left them for dead.

If you keep encountering wonderful people, only to have a friendship or relationship with them and encounter or discover a few months later that the person is not who you thought they were at all, that they are actually ugly, negative, mean, angry, very wounded and hurt…

Well, maybe it’s because we made them that way. Maybe we took that cute little puppy and turned it into a scared, wounded and rabid dog.
Never fear, there is hope for all of us.

Whether you have been wounded or are doing the wounding or whether you are fine, and become wounded only to then wound others to survive, we can break out of these cycles.
We can pierce the veil of the control dramas that we get sucked into. We can pop the bubble and let the fog and smoke that filled the bubble dissipate and see again with clarity.

Once we are clear, we can engage or re-engage with those around us in a healthy manner.

We do not have to suck their positivity, their energy away from them. We do not have to ‘control’ them through a drama to survive.

We do not have to let them control us through a drama either, letting them sap us of our vital energy to be good, healthy, productive happy people who other people want to be around!
We simply need to 1) become aware of what is happening in our relationships and interpersonal dynamics and

2) when an unhealthy dynamic starts up in the form of a control drama, we need to expose it and stop it and

3) if we can’t stop it, then, this is the point where we have to remove ourselves from the person that refuses to stop playing the ‘controlling’ drama.
We can show people compassion by being there for them. We can empathize with people when they are hurt or wounded or ailing or sick whether that is physical, emotional or mental.

We do not have to fall victim to them.

Just because they are drowning, it does not mean that we have to swim out to them and let them claw their way to the surface while shoving us under.

We simply need to be aware and train our selves ‘how to save a person from drowning’ while protecting ourselves from the same.

So as Sharon and I finished our hike, we found ourselves down on the beach that I am now looking at.

We were having a great conversation by this time.

I was getting restless. I started picking up trash and debris and Sharon joined in.

The lake had washed up some plastic from bottles, some construction wood, even a few tennis balls that some awesome doggy had probably lost off a boat or a dock further up stream.

We gathered the trash and put it int the trash can by the beach. We deposited the drift wood in a pile set for a bon fire. We picked up more and more until there was no debris on the beach.

All the while we continued this conversation about control dramas, until we came upon this perfect real-life example of a control drama that seemed like it was a Poor Me person sucking someone in.

The response had been to avoid the conversation and the person and the dynamic.   This had saved the person being approached from being in the control drama.

But the Poor Me person kept coming back from more.

They would not relent.

That was when it suddenly became clear.

By avoiding. The person and NOT pointing out the Poor Me control drama, the act of ‘avoiding’ was actually an act of playing out the Aloof Control drama.

The person was coming back over and over because they were being sucked in by an aloof drama. They knew that control dramas could be played here. We were open for control drama business!

The Aloof responses were an invitation, playing hard to get, ‘Hey, here’s our control dram, what is yours? Do you want to. Play control drama? We like Drama’

That was the unintentional message being communicated.

We talked this out and saw it for what it was. It was an amazing revelation.

Ignoring the person. Or shunning them or removing. Negative people. From our lives is not the answer.

That is simply the fish hook to reel them in, and make them chase us and bring their own control drama game to us, whenever they find an opening.

Ignoring negative people. Does not make us more positive,, it attracts more negative people to mess with us.

Instead, we need to expose the drama and prevent the drama and not allow the drama to be played in our interpersonal relationships.

This is the solution.

We do not want to chase negative people away,  we want to prevent people from controlling us with play acting control dramas with us.
Now, I’m just basking in the. Sun, enjoying a Guiness extra stout, listening to the waves, watching Sharon dance about with her freshly painted toe nails and soaking in this lesson and sharing it with whomever might be interested or ready to hear it.

It took me close to 26 years to be able to do something useful with lessons about Control Dramas. Maybe as you read this, you will recognize that you are already avoiding control dramas in a healthy way by piercing the bubble. Maybe you will find opportunity to improve your game and try harder or try something new.

Maybe like me, you will find an epiphany here, but require twenty five years of study and re study before you get around to being able to do something useful about this in actual conversations with people controlling you or their relationships with you.
That

That is ok, as long as we all eventually improve!

Whether it took you 5 years or fifty or whether you. Are still working on it and whether it takes you another fifty, knowing and trying will help you get there. I am confidant.

When or if you get there, it will make this world a better happier place and I am happy to have you as part of. My life and part of this world we share.

Happy Friday the 13th on Crowders Mountain

Good morning from the top of Crowder’s Mountain. I am closing out this week on Friday the 13th a few hundred feet above my normal elevation.
It has been a very good week. I have experienced a great deal of ease and progress this week. I have experienced some disappointments as well, but on the whole far more ease and good stuff. Even the disappointment had seeds of awesome in it.
I moved into the week relatively confidant that an ongoing project was on the right track and doing well. A new project was very likely to be approved and it was. Plus, lots of little helps along the way as well.
Add to this, my children had a little more than two snow days and I did not have to over tax myself with extra busy mornings getting them off to school and dealing with school traffic for all but the last two days of the week.
My youngest daughter is even starting to choose to go to bed at night, instead of waiting to be told to go to bed at her bed time and then fighting it, prolonging it for every extra minute. This has led her to get more rest and wake up on her own too! I haven’t dealt with the bear at night nor in the morning and that has made my life a lot easier in many ways, but especially starting the day on a positive note.
I had sought a full time job opportunity with a great company, but learned that a local candidate had been chosen instead. (I would have been a remote employee.) There were many aspects about the job that I really really liked. Still, in the email passing on the information about someone else earning the position, I learned that there might still be a future place there for me in a different role. I am not hanging my hopes on this, but the positivity of it was terrific.  
My business week has gone very very well. It keeps getting better as I just learned that a joint venture with my twin flame, Sharon was approved for retail and web sales. So now, we’ll be off to the races getting that setup and further launching even more new things together. It has been a long time dream of mine to engage in a loving relationship with someone and also create and manage a business together peacefully and easily too. We are making it happen and Sharon is doing amazing things. It is wonderful to see her grow and be there to witness it and provide synergy with her efforts. It is also humbling and helpful for me to learn how to communicate with her in a relationship with this extra facet built into it.
Often times in past relationships, I have experienced and witnessed a disconnect between couples when they cannot fully share their life’s purpose or current projects with their significant other. Sharon and I still have our professional compartments and specializations but growing a bond together personally and in some areas professionally is helping create an even stronger connection. I love this about our relationship and I love her.
It is the middle of January and the temperature is in the low 60’s. The sun is out and people are trickling up to the top of this mountain with me. It has been almost 2 months since I was up here last. Often times I make it here 2-3 times per week, so 2 months is a long time. The mountain has changed and stayed the same. It is beautiful and enables me to breathe easily as the trees and the winter lichen blume and clean the air and my soul.
I always marvel at how much hiking up this mountain lifts people’s spirits. By the time people walk to the top and catch their breath, they are more often than not happy and smiling and walking back down, saying hello to strangers, smiling and encouraging them up, knowing they too will be happy and paying it forward soon as well.
I worked through some sun salutes when I got to the top and loved the long shadows of my arms while in down dog. I’m wearing jeans so I didn’t get to wild with yoga. The rocks are very wet after melting off a few inches of snow from last Saturday. It was grounding to put my hands on the wet granite, but I wasn’t interested in lying in it.  
The coldness of the stone on my ass reminds me to keep this entry quick, and hike back down and close out this week with wonderful effort and ease for myself and my clients and my family and friends and for Sharon.
I hope you join me in ending this week with love and happiness and ease. If instead you are finding this challenging, know that I have extra of all of these things and gladly share them with you now!
Happy Friday!!!

Can You hear me now?

I’m perched (is that a place or a fish?) almost atop Crowder’s Mountain. This particular rock is not the most comfortable nor the warmest on this fall morning.

I hiked up the road, the longer and ‘easier’ path watching the mountain slowly wake up to the rays of the oversleeping sun. Daylight savings time has not adjusted our sleep patterns. Even as I drove my daughter to school, the sun had not yet risen at 7:45am. It was only starting to breech the trees after 8 as I walked and warmed to my movement and breath.

always love seeing the auras of trees in the morning

always love seeing the auras of trees in the morning

the trees are beautiful but the outline of the rock structure in the background, always reminds me of an ancient building


I had taken my jacket off as I hiked, but put it back on to type this. The wind is blowing steadily through the trees at the summit. This is a little unusual for the Piedmont of North Carolina, just east of the mountains and a few hours west of the Atlantic Ocean.

I grew up in the winds of the plains. The movement of air up here reminds me of home.  Looking out into the horizon, also reminds me of home. At ground level here, there are not too many horizons.

Hmmmmm

A bit of truth just flowed out of my finger tips with those last words…

At ground level here, there are not too many horizons.

I love the warmth and lush feel of this area. I loved living on the water here for 7 years or so.

Down at low levels lost in the lush, it is difficult to maintain perspective. Maybe it is easier for locals that are used to a short horizon. I grew up being able to see the horizon for a dozen or more miles in either direction. It gave me perspective. It helped me develop a forward and distant view. It helped me plan.

Living in the immediate now of a place that offers few horizons (not counting up on a mountain) away from congested interstates, It is not as easy for me to think forward, to think into the distance.


This has been a comforting push to keep me happily in the present for many years now.
Keeping ‘happy’ was not difficult for many reasons, primarily because I love myself and have for a long long time.

Content is another thing.

As I drifted off to sleep last night, I realized that I am happy but not content. There is a fine difference in these sentiments.

I have many more things to see and do. I am happy. I can be happy doing almost anything.

I retook a personality test the other day. It is one I have taken many times throughout my life.

For those familiar with this one, I came in as an ENFP. Over the decades I have either been an ENTP or an ENFP.

The two different modes allow me to work in very different capacities. I had not taken the test recently and mentally still felt like I was an ENTP. More accurately, I remembered I was an ENTP.

I have known for a couple years that I had shifted.

The ENFP is a much better fit and description for where I am emotionally these days.

It helps me to understand the discord I have felt doing work as a WordPress Web consultant via my company Softduit Media. Instead of doing hard and cold and logical and analytic web development, I have (in my head) provided counseling and guidance to clients guiding them through new evolutions with their websites and, web businesses, and work to attain their goals.

I have been functioning more as a a coach and counselor as opposed to paid labor to build stuff.

I feel the most discord with clients who simply want and need the paid labor to build stuff.

This specificity of words and perspective and reflection, is an important epiphany for me. It helps me better understand why my efforts are misfiring. It helps me to understand why I feel I am doing one thing and that context is lost with some clients expecting something very different.

With this in mind, I need to review and reset my own story and copy on my site. I have been looking for new work and clients and new ways to grow my business and evolve my skills.

I think it might help me tack into a better course.


Not sure exactly what that will be as I stand up here in the wind. In fact, that is something for me to consider as I walk down from this waking dragon of a mountain. 😉

Today’s Standup Desk Brought to you by Nature

Good Morning!


It is a beautiful Thursday morning on October 13. I am standing on a ledge by Crowder’s Mountain’s summit. I have found another amazing standup desk. I collect my thought…

Just above my screen I see the branch of a pine tree jutting out of the rock holding my desktop. My reflection is prominent in the screen I type on.

I am self reflecting.


A couple a few ledges up and to my right are fooling around a bit. Judging by the laughter, tickling is involved. Nothing crazy, it is a public spot. Just a happy morning.

Sting plays in my earbuds, Desert Rose is just starting.

I am emerging into something of an easier, time. I can feel it. I can witness it.

My recent past has included lots of challenges. Major challenges, not little ones, have popped up at each turn.

The turns are straightening out. I have been bushwacking a bit of a path through the woods of my life.  I seem to have hiked out onto a distant path in the midst of nowhere. The path back became obstructed and my only option was to make a new path.

There were times when this was easy and there were times that I had to hack my way to earn every step.

Lately, it has been more difficult as I struggle with my business and career. Other things have settled a bit, or at least have found amazing new comforts and life in a relationship started last December. I fell in love then. I kept falling in love every month after that, more and more.

Falling in love is a terrific feeling, it is a terrific experience.

I wasn’t completely prepared for it, not personally nor was I even stable enough financially or anything.

Love has a weird and great way of grabbing you when you least expect it sometimes. I do not take it for granted.. I do not take the woman I love for granted.

I am healing. I am growing. Together even, we are healing individually and healing together. We are growing together as well.

I’ll be able to see this wonderful lady again in about 36 hours.

This is one of the powers of love. You count the minutes, you count the hours, you savor every minute. You live.

It is all too easy to ‘feel’ that the other person is giving you this feeling. Sometimes as we grow, the feeling recedes. We can move into a new stage of a relationship even. If we mistakenly felt the other person was ‘giving’ the feeling of love, and then we move into a different stage and do not feel it in the same way, we can mistakenly feel  that the other person took the love away. We can feel that they love us less.

I do not feel this at all, right now. I have become aware of the stages of love and relationships through educating myself. (See some of the recommended books on this site, they were eye opening and very useful and practical. They should be required teaching for anyone that is married or getting married. They are as important as birthing classes for expecting parents.

I found my lesson late in life. I am living it now.

I know now that the feeling of love I have is a feeling I am giving myself. It is a feeling I am nurturing and growing. I am mindful of my love for Sharon. The love I have for her also reflects the love I have for myself.

It is very easy in this moment in time to know that I am ‘open’ to love in general and that the energy it gives me is without limit. I am literally basking in sunlight on a mountain top. In fact, I just took my shirt off and rolled up my shorts a bit. I’m taking a sun bath.

It is only about 50 degrees outside, but in the full morning rays of the sun, it feels like it is 80 degrees.

I feel like I am on a breezy Caribbean beach.

I do not take anything away from Sharon when I say I can love her because I love myself. She is amazing, beautiful and has an energy and a light shining from her that is as strong as the sun I bathe in now.

Together, we are growing something very special. It is perfect for what we need right now. I believe we will be able to grow that to be perfect for what we will need.

This is an amazing part of my work.

I get to stand on top of a mountain half naked in the sun and write about the woman I love on a Thursday morning.

Well, my work is evolving. I am writing more again. This will become a more and more important part of my future income.

I have a lot of skills and experience to draw from. As I work to heal and fix my career and business, one of my challenge is too many options.

One of my frustrations has been that in my past, when I was young. I could throw a dart and pick any option and use any skill and succeed.

Those skills have not decreased, but I am now in a different phase of life. I feel like the universe or maybe my inner consciousness or whatever … It is forcing me to be mindful and make a very specific choice. When I try ‘anything’ and choose from any of my skills, the results do not work nearly as well.

I am fighting my own destiny.

I am an optimist. I look down a hall and see and endless line of doors opening to options. Picture Neo in The Matrix, he can see through the code that makes the doors and the walls even. He has unlimited options. How does he choose?

He is past the binary choice of one pill or another. Now his choices are infinite.

This is me. I have infinite choices.

There is another difference.

The doors are locked. There are only a few that are open.

I could ‘force’ any of them. Forcing them wastes time and creates frustrations and I end up having to leave that room and move on down the hall, my path towards the right door.
I even know what door I need. I know what I am looking for.

I am not at that door yet.

I have to keep walking.

Plus, there is a toll to navigate this hall!

I have to keep feeding the hall coins or tokens, money. To earn that money, I have to force a few doors every now and then and make things happen that are not really a part of my destiny.

Some are better fits than others, but some of them do not even pan out!

I am so close and yet not there yet.

Sting is singing ‘Fill her up’ talking about traveling on the open road.”I need a full tank of gas where I am headed… Up in the front seat, a pretty red head. We’re going to Vegas and getting married.”

Sharon is a red head.

🙂

My iPad cursor is slow. It is far behind the words I have typed. I step away and stretch. I have already done yoga on this ledge.

I step forward and type these additional lines knowing that it will just increase the time it takes for my iPad to catch up with my writing.

That is ok. I can type well and sometimes in life we need the reminders to slow down and think more.

Deep breath!

Time to head down this mountain. I have some amazing things to do for my clients today. Yesterday was a very good day and I have some amazing clients doing great work and things for many many people near and far.

I am helping to make them successful and helping by extension to help thousands and maybe millions of people from coast to coast and even around the world.

I hope wherever you are today, if you have read this, maybe I have helped you in some way and you will be able to pay that forward first by making a great day for yourself and second, maybe for those that you love.

If lucky, no if you are mindful and do what you can and explore your potential and demonstrate the power of your own mojo, you are going to make a difference to many people too.

I love you for trying and thank you for reading this!

Settling Into A Beautiful Day

Over the last year, I have learned an invaluable lesson. I learned how to get settled into the start of a beautiful day.

 Some people might call this getting grounded. Others might call it clearing their head or many other things.
I have found multiple ways to achieve this. They generally involve moving, breathing and seeing or feeling something beautiful.
As I write this, I sit nestled on a ledge on the top of Crowder’s Mountain. I just hiked the steep mile or so up to the top.
Crowder’s sits next to an elementary school that my daughter’s used to attend. 

Traffic away from the school is very far from settling or beautiful. Interstate 85 North into Charlotte, driving into the rising sun is just the opposite.
To avoid the stress of congestion, I started driving over to this mountain and hiking up it in the mornings 2-3 times per week. It was a wonderful way to clear my head and start the day.
I have also gone to yoga in the morning which is another amazing way to start the day.
Sometimes, just walking on a trail or even through a city for a mile or more can do the same thing.
Moving and breathing are two important aspects of getting settled.
Finding beauty, that takes practice at first. We simply have to look for something beauty on the unfolding path ahead of us. This is similar to practicing gratitude in life.
We just look actively for something beautiful. It might be a flower, or the way sunlight catches a tree or rock. It might be a kind and beautiful face walking towards us on a side walk, or sitting across from us on a subway. It might be the grace by which a fellow walker, hiker or runner glides past us.
As we move, we simply need to seek out something that catches our eye. Then focus on it until we move past it. Then we repeat this process over and over again.
It is a magnificent way to get grounded, settle our souls and feel connected to the world. It helps bring on a level of serenity that makes it much easier to navigate the challenges of the rest of the day.
It does take a time investment, but the former cost accountant in me knows that this is an opportunity cost. The opportunity cost of showing up to work happy and balanced and serene versus showing up just a few minutes faster, furious and unbalanced and going way to fast to reflect on what is important.
This morning, I after climbing to this summit, I reached out to my son Corbin and helped him edit a script he is working on for a video segment for Doctor Pepper. 

I waited until I was good and balanced and then replied to a client seeking an appointment to talk later today. 
I shared my love with my girlfriend on Facebook. It is her birthday and she is having an amazing day as she completes the process of leveling up and preparing to repeat an amazing transformation over the last year.
I drove to this place earlier passing several miles of cars going 10 mph in the opposite direction. I could have turned around and joined them immediately after dropping off my youngest child.
Instead, I chose to move and breath and settle into my own skin, clearing my mind and sharing this with you. The sun is shining on me. I can feel it on my shins as my body starts to produce vitamin D. I started the day sick and tired with an oncoming head cold, but already feeling infinitely better from recharging with a flowing movement up a beautiful mountain.
I hope you find a way and then another and another, to settle into your own days. 

It takes practice. It takes balancing other commitments. It takes rescheduling and it is no small thing to do for yourself.
I guarantee when you do it, you feel and perform and BE so much happier.
I hope you join me in this adventure and make yourself a wonderful day!

Healing on a beach with a keyboard in the sand

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjVSNlRgqQE

I wrote the following yesterday. I did not publish it immediately. I was caught up in a world wind of feelings and emotions.

I knew that I had written my truth in this moment, my take on my feelings and perspectives.

This was however only a snap shot of the day. I could not capture all the other good and bad, positive and negative, happy and heart breaking things that transpired.

I did need to capture something and what follows is a reflection of where I was in that moment. I was very different ten minutes before and thirty minutes later…

Not to give anything away, but this snapshot of my feelings also reflects why I chose to remove myself from that time and place. I was on an emotional roller coaster and did not need to let that get out of hand….
Thank you for witnessing my experiences.


I write this from a familiar beach on Tybee Island. I probably know this beach better than any other beach in the world, save one small sandy bit at the edge of a lake that most people would consider a pond.
I came to celebrate, but I’m sitting here healing in the sunset.
I witnessed my son transition to college this afternoon. He moved away from home and into his first dorm room.
I am extremely excited and happy for him as he begins a new life, the start of his life really. His transition from boy to man seemed to happen early. Now he gets to make something of himself. He is going to be amazing.
The pride that I am feeling for him is off the charts.
I am also in the midst of experiencing my own feelings of what is probably best described as fight or flight.
I had zero desire to fight and no reserves to calm down and find balance, so flight it was!
I drove to Savannah by myself and met up with my son and his mother at his new dormitory and helped move his stuff from the unloading area to his room. I was able to meet his room mates and one set of their parents. Corbin and I were able to walk and hang out a bit as we went to get his ID card.
But the rest of the time, I was also there with my ex-wife. We met in Savannah and fell in love here about 24 years ago. We started a life here. It culminated in three wonderful children and almost 23 years of marriage.
Tonight, I am simply feeling robbed of that life. It takes two people to kill a marriage. I take my share of the responsibility emotionally and intellectually.
But emotionally, I also feel robbed.
There were no ugly words or looks shared. There was nothing untowards projected as far as I perceived it.
But a year has simply not been enough time yet. After spending a couple hours in the presence of my ex-wife, I feel drained, robbed, and my old pal grief.
As we left Corbin, I wanted to feel celebratory feelings of accomplishment. I wanted to congratulate her. I wanted to congratulate us.
I couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t in me today.
All week this day has been coming. I didn’t really feel dread or anything. But after my girls transitioned for their week with their mother, I had already realized that the dynamic in the family without Corbin present was never going to be the same.
The family split just over a year ago.
This is very different, but as probably every first time empty nester knows, there is a feeling of loss here too.
That’s not even the loss I am feeling though, and part of me is angry about that.
I did not want this reminder of my divorce, but that is what bubbled up through the compost in one giant nasty methane bubble of grief and anger and frustration.
Make no mistake, I do not want my old life back or reinstated or time reversed.
That past life was spoiled by things that cannot be undone.
After the separation I eventually found acceptance. I moved on. I fell in love again. I was reminded of many many positives today.
I drove down from North Carolina listening to an Elizabeth Peters audio book. I have read at least a dozen of her books over the years. I have read this one before sometime around when Corbin was born.
I stopped at a nature preserve just outside of Savannah and witnessed a large alligator crawled out of the swamp to sun itself just down from the road I had stopped on. I drove on to walk amongst the ruins of an old plantation trying to imagine the lives of the slaves that had worked and died there. I wondered if they had been able to find any happiness or joy? I have lived and worked in these swamps myself. A hard days work in a Savannah swamp can literally rot the clothing right off of you.
I have experienced this more than once.
When I was stationed here, there were times when I felt like a convict or a prisoner.
That was just a feeling. I cannot imagine what that would have been like to be a reality.
I moved on through the preserve and had lunch underneath some of the most beautiful spanish moss covered trees I have seen in this area and that is saying something.
I said a little wish or a prayer to the ghosts of those slaves, wishing them peace and love.
The sun has gone down and the moon that was already out is getting brighter. As a woman with long hair walks by, I am reminded that the second time I ever met my ex-wife, it was on this beach.
I can see a lines of pelicans flying in formation out over the ocean. I captured some of them on video as I walked next to the ocean.

I think I may sleep on this beach tonight.
I can feel myself healing just being here. I needed this more than anything.
All week, I knew that I was going to come to the beach. The plans for this trip with my son, changed about twenty times as schedules and requirements shifted almost every other day. 🙂
It was chaos.
But I knew that I was going to see myself to this beach. I knew it would not be easy. I have a lot of memories with my ex here. I have memories of family vacations here.
I also have a lot of memories here that predate her. I have memories in Savannah that post date her too!
I have slain some of these emotional demons before. Each time I put them down, I feel better. I grow. I heal. I become more of myself. I become more capable of many many things.
During the last years of my marriage, I became bound. I became codependent and did everything I could to ‘make’ my ex-wife happy and try to help our family survive.
I had lost myself. I could no more make her happy than I can make the sun rise back up in reverse. I knew better than this as well. Never the less, I tried it all the same.
I think she was trying to push me away for years. I didn’t understand. It was never communicated to me. I had no idea that she had stopped loving me.
I have never been a big believer in marriage nor the sanctity of it. I was faithful and never stopped loving her.
I do not believe even in death do us part. I do believe though that if you marry someone, you take on the responsibility of letting them know when and if your feelings change.
Two people get married together. Neither one can marry without the other consenting to do the same.
To leave a marriage without saying anything for years, its not in the vows or the contracts or legal agreements, but that just seems to be the bare minimum human decency.
I never even thought about this concept until after we started to separate.
With a lot of time past now, I think this is a simple enough moral code.
A vow should be something like, “I promise to love you as long as I can and if I can’t any longer, I will let you know and promptly.”
(I’m chuckling to myself.) That is so silly and wishful thinking maybe.
Well it is getting darker. I’m typing in the dark. I need to figure out what I am going to do with my new healed up soul.
I may sleep on the beach, something I have not done since I was 19. I may drive home to Charlotte. I may go find a place to stay the night. I may go have dinner or walk around Savannah a bit.
I have no idea, but it is time to move and flow again.
I hope you have make a wonderful new life for yourselves as well. It starts today!

‘This is what healing feels like’

I am working to knock loose negativity from my head this morning. I have retyped this first line a half-dozen times. I erased the first few, then felt compelled not to hide from the negativity. I’m facing it, but not going to feed it.

  • Mornings, that time of day that is furthest from me at my best.
  • Mornings, not my best time of the day.
  • Mornings, cursed moment of deepest despair.
  • Mornings, shit.

Those are some of the lines that did not get deleted. I woke slightly late this morning about a half hour after the second alarm on my phone. Somehow, I managed to hit snooze and snooze never resumed with a new alarm.

I probably needed the extra half hour. I had nowhere to be specifically this morning, besides a trip to the grocery store to buy more yogurt for tomorrow ‘morning’s’ breakfast. I do have a lot of work today.

As I stumbled out of bed, I am not sure-footed in the morning, I walked back and forth through my place tidying up here and there. I was trying to wake up. I put away a half basket of laundry that I didn’t get to yesterday. I through the towels that washed over night into the dryer.

I’m establishing momentum.

Initially, I feel anxiety. It has crept in since late last week. Lots of reasons for this, but anxiety is not welcome now.

I pause my writing to pour a glass of cranberry sweet tea, grab my vitamins and supplements, including my caffeine pill.

I’m a diet coke addict. I can handle tea, but do not drink coffee. I take a caffeine pill as a supplement each morning. I learned this useful thing about myself last spring. Without a little caffeine, 200 mg about the same as a cup of coffee, I experience a low-grade level of depression or anxiety.

I pause again to actually swallow the pills and capsules. (Vitamin C, Men’s Multivatimin, Claritin, St John’s Wort, 200 mg caffeine, and new this weekend a Juice Plus+ Vineyard Blend)

My place is very clean, but I’m looking at the pans from a breakfast of yesterday in my sink still. My girlfriend, Sharon, stayed the weekend and left yesterday just before noon sometime. We had a great breakfast of omelets, greens, goat cheese, hash browns with Tony Cacheres seasoning, plus some breakfast sausage patties cooked in coconut oil (in the pans I’m now looking at).

As I stumbled to and fro in my apartment trying to shake the dregs of anxiety, I realized a couple of things.

  1. I needed to write.
  2. The organization and lists I had created yesterday were a huge help to my psyche today(more on that in a minute).
  3. I needed yogurt, craving something sweet, but my best option seems to be my daughter’s frozen waffles with syrup. I’m passing.
  4. I need to build momentum quickly for this day and maintain it.
  5. I created a lot of good things for myself over the weekend, but also paused some of the good things I do everyday.
  6. The feeling that I had that I was ‘hurting’ (this was a key recognition), I told myself as I tried to honestly assess my feelings that I was ‘hurting’. (That was anxiety talking.) About a half second after I said it, I realized it was not true. I am healing, not hurting.

There is a difference between hurting and the feeling of healing.

They can be very similar especially because healing often follows hurting. What’s more, hurting can get in the way of us doing things. Healing can enable us to do more things. Like the slight pain of a sprained ankle or the itch of newly grown skin, or maybe the scratchy tightness of a scab that sometimes still cracks and oozes a droplet of blood, I am still emotionally healing.

I have come a long way since I started the process of separating and divorcing almost 15 months ago. I have come a long way in the last 12 months of my life.

It was only about a year ago, that I finally found some acceptance in my marriage really being over.

Arriving at acceptance in the grief cycle is an amazing gift. It does not mean we are done grieving as the grief cycle is not round like a wheel, it is more like a connect the dots system where we are the dot in the center, and all the stages of grief are outlying dots and instead of connecting the dots in a circle, we connect the dots from our center to a distant dot, then back, then to a different dot, then back, and do this over and over and over and over.

It feels like we are getting nowhere at times.

We retread some familiar territory.

We are progressing. It is more like weaving a web that turns into a cocoon. We stretch a strand from ourselves to each stage of the grief process and back again. Over time, the strands get thicker and eventually form something of a band-aid, or maybe a new layer of skin or replacement appendage or a new organ. We go back and forth and back and forth, towing the strands, creating our new whatchamacallit, the thing that is our healing.

Many of my strands are built with thoughts and with words, like these. I have written thousands and thousands of words over the last year. At times, I have written more than 40k words per week.

Taking supplements on an empty stomach, not a good idea. So now I am eating some of those frozen waffles after all to counter the growing sour feeling in my belly as if I just drank a wine cooler and instantly regretted it!

Building Momentum

I have done some amazing things over the last year. I have met many amazing people. I have reconnected with friends and family and loved ones in ways that I can barely begin to describe here.

  • I have grown as a person, as a father, as a friend, human, as a son, as a coach, as a writer.
  • I have done a lot of very good things for myself to heal.
  • I have done a lot of very good things for others and that probably helped me to heal even more.

I did these things to consciously heal at times and sometimes I did them because they needed doing and the healing was a surprising or unknown side effect that happened afterward.

Putting one foot in front of the other, creating forward momentum, this was essential.

I can not fully explain why, but I needed to move.

Maybe I had been stagnant for too many years. Maybe I was drafting, like a vehicle behind a semi truck for a long time and the relative feeling of going slow, made it feel like I was ‘finally’ moving as I pulled out and swerved around and forward, even faster.

Whatever it is, I needed to feel new momentum, a change in velocity.

Insight about Mornings

This morning when I woke up and my brain was still fogged with memories of being ‘Alice in Wonderland’ during my dreams, facing the option of one pill to make me smaller and a different pill to make me taller and in my twisted dream, two more identical pills with images of a mouse stenciled on the pill to presumably turn me into a mouse…

My brain was still clouded with dream visions.

I was not yet living in the present when I woke up. I was half in my dream world and halfway coming into this awake world.

During this time of transition, I am not able to envision the big picture. I cannot see my day unfolding. My vision of where I am, where I am going, what I need to do to get there, they are foggy and obscured.It is in this fog, that anxiety comes in and attempts to slow my momentum, miring me in

It is in this fog, that anxiety comes in and attempts to slow my momentum, miring me in muck.I lived in Monterey California almost 26 years ago. It is a beautiful place, but also often exists in a perpetual fog. In fact, they filmed the made for tv horror movie, The Fog there when I was a kid.

I lived in Monterey California almost 26 years ago. It is a beautiful place, but also often exists in a perpetual fog. In fact, they filmed the made for tv horror movie, The Fog there when I was a kid.

I grew up in the midwest where you can see at least 10-15 miles of horizon most of the time.

Moving to Monterey, where seeing the end of the block could often be a challenge depressed the hell out of me.

I was still very young then, but at that time, Monterey and its wet, drizzly and chilly fog did not serve me well at all.

It is the metaphor which helps me understand the fog that I experience when I awake.

Today, when I awoke, I had a fog piercing, no that is too strong a term, a fog-dissolving fix.

Yesterday, I had taken every scrap of note, list, bill, un-tended paperwork item and spread them out on every surface and wall I had in my apartment. I needed to see everything all at once. I needed to organize it both physically and mentally.

I needed to deal with the low hanging fruit to accelerate my momentum. That momentum then allowed me to make progress on some larger client projects I have worked through (with agonizing slowness this last week).

Some projects go at light speed, and some take a much more methodical approach. Neither is right or wrong, each project takes what it takes to do it right.

Yet, at a personal level, I’d like to complete them quickly and move to the next and the next and the next…

I digress.

I organized everything. I set up two white boards. I listed old business projects on one that were in progress and then new project opportunities that I needed to make happen.

On the other white board, I listed personal projects. Things that were not really ‘business’ or not yet at least. It included writing this blog article!

This is one of those healing things that I mentioned before. If I do not make forward, personal progress, it inhibits my ability to do good things for other people. I need to keep the balance to be at my best. That requires planning for it as well!

As I was feeling anxiety about being stuck in the muck, I glanced at the far wall and saw my lists of old and new business.

I was feeling a cash flow pinch (that is tricky but not entirely real) and being able to view the actual old and new business opportunities, helped me see my way forward.

It was not a helpless situation. I was doing well. I was not stuck. I was moving.

The fog slowly started to clear just a bit.

I glanced at my other whiteboard and top of that list was my to do to write this blog article.

I started writing, and the first words out were negative. It was a pain to write the first sentence and then delete it. It was harder to repeat that. It felt like I was working kinks out with every letter.

The words felt negative. I felt like I was whining. I knew that I needed to rework my life’s narrative. I could not frame my story in a negative light and expect to have a positive experience.

Yet, the positive framing was not happening. I am still new to framing. I am just a white belt, or maybe a yellow belt in experience and skill. It will be years, maybe a lifetime before I attain a Muhammad Ali level of framing things the way I need them to be successful, again.

I have been successful before. I did it with brute force, intelligence and lots of methodical planning.

I could not maintain it though as my ability to frame things was non-existent and probably even served to hinder my progress.

I’m fixing that now.

As I write these words, the words are flowing. I can barely contain them from my finger tips.
The supplements and caffeine and waffles and syrup are laying some foundation of the things I need to do in the morning to make a day a good day.

Getting in touch with my own feelings and emotions and redirecting those in a direction that coincides with the direction I need to travel is also a critical element to my success. This is why I write.

I cannot spend all my day writing. I have to spend a lot of my day doing as well. There needs to be balance.

I can list to-do’s on a wall. I can diagram my vision in a map and put it on a wall as well.
These all help me immensely as they did this morning to cut through the fog and chase the fog demons away.

My current visualization practice though also involves writing. Working through these thoughts in writing, helps me to reframe.

What do I mean by framing and reframing?

This is one part a visualization thing. I am stepping beside myself, outside of myself and looking at who I am and what I am doing. I am looking at myself as if I am a character in my novel, this thing I call my life.

  • I can be anything I want to be in this novel.
  • I can be the character in an adventure novel or a love story or a greek tragedy.

If I choose tragedy, I can find all the tragic opportunities to live that experience out. I can find all the worst things that can happen to a person and observe as they start to happen to me. I can view these things as if they are ‘frames’ in a picture or a movie.

The key point is that I can choose the frames.

Like a cinematographer, I can choose where and when. Like a director or a writer, I can choose the what.

Knowing this, I can also wisely choose not to live in a greek tragedy.

I can frame and find the good things in life.

A lot of people speak about practicing gratitude or focusing on the positive, or avoiding negatives and negative people.

These are related concepts to framing.

If we are filming our life and focusing our mind’s eye of a camera on the amazing things in the foreground and some negative person walks up and says, ‘Oh my god, look at that awful thing over there, and we turn the camera away from the good things and towards the bad things, and the camera is out of focus, so we sharpen our mind’s eye and bring the negative things into focus, more infocus in our minds, we start to bring that visualized negative into our minds.

To understand it, we have to empathize it. We have to create a model of the thing in our mind. We start to follow the arch of its existence and the story it brings and the negative things it is connected to. We follow the arch of the negative things it leaves in our wake.

In the meantime, all those positives that are now out of frame and not being focused on behind us and our mind’s eye camera lens, they pass us by. We have lost the positives and replaced the negatives, because a negative person redirected our frame.

Now the simple solution, and one that I do not agree with, is to shut out negative people from our lives. Be done with them. Avoid them like the plague.

‘If someone says something negative, that’s it. Cut em off, turn em out. Never cross paths with them again. Burn the bridge, blow up the road, build a barrier of a wall and a moat to block their return into our lives.’

I do not agree with this tactic of shutting out negative people nor judging them as negative in the first place!

The example for this came to me from watching an analysis of Muhammad Ali’s ability to reframe.Even when he met a person that tried to redirect his camera in a negative direction, like ‘Did he almost beat you?’ Or ‘Did you ever have any doubts?’ Or ‘What about that time when all seemed terrible?’

Even when he met a person that tried to redirect his camera in a negative direction, like ‘Did he almost beat you?’ Or ‘Did you ever have any doubts?’ Or ‘What about that time when all seemed terrible?’He would not take the bait. He would seem to ignore the question, but in reality, he reframed it entirely from the positive vision of what he was focused on.

He would not take the bait. He would seem to ignore the question, but in reality, he reframed it entirely from the positive vision of what he was focused on.In this way, he did not have to burn bridges and ‘hide’ from negative people like a recluse. He was able to live and be ‘the greatest’ without any distraction.

In this way, he did not have to burn bridges and ‘hide’ from negative people like a recluse. He was able to live and be ‘the greatest’ without any distraction.When my momentum is strong enough, I can do this at times today. I will get to a point when I can do it all the time. I will do it soon.

When my momentum is strong enough, I can do this at times today. I will get to a point when I can do it all the time. I will do it soon.In my writing, I am able to do this often.

In my writing, I am able to do this often. My writing sometimes starts out caught in a negative, and I punch and dance and work my way out of the illusory paper bag I am in to find the light and beauty and wonderful things that I knew were there all along.

My writing sometimes starts out caught in a negative, and I punch and dance and work my way out of the illusory paper bag I am in to find the light and beauty and wonderful things that I knew were there all along.I’m not in the light all the time. I get there through rhetoric.

I’m not in the light all the time. I get there through rhetoric.Someday, as my vision and strength increase, I will be able to turn away from the rhetoric as the vehicle that gets me where I need to go and I’ll be able to do the same thing with vision alone.

Someday, as my vision and strength increase, I will be able to turn away from the rhetoric as the vehicle that gets me where I need to go and I’ll be able to do the same thing with vision alone.I’m making progress.

I’m making progress.Over the weekend, I was very aware that

Over the weekend, I was very aware that I move and operate at different speeds.

I often use the analogy of changing gears. I shift from fast to slow to medium speeds.

I shift from fast to slow to medium speeds.

I shift from doing sales and marketing to web development or copywriting or coaching, or teaching or tutorials, or counseling or parenting or shopping or driving to cleaning and exercising and dancing and meditating and many many more things.

There are times when I am going ‘so fast’ that I get spooked. I want to slow down as a feeling that going this fast cannot be maintained. Then there are times, when I feel like I am going so slow that I am surely going to crash my bike and fall over. I need to speed up…

Then there are times, when I feel like I am going so slow that I am surely going to crash my bike and fall over. I need to speed up…I am getting a lot better at accepting that the speeds and velocity that I am moving at are the ones that are right for the situation.

I am getting a lot better at accepting that the speeds and velocity that I am moving at are the ones that are right for the situation.When I was at the height of my diet coke addiction, forward and fast was really the only speed I knew.

When I was at the height of my diet coke addiction, forward and fast was really the only speed I knew.I have learned new flexibility. It is much easier for me to apply the best speed for the given situation.

I have learned new flexibility. It is much easier for me to apply the best speed for the given situation.I have been working on two websites at the same time. One is a restaurant website and it needs and is getting a menu system.

I have been working on two websites at the same time. One is a restaurant website and it needs and is getting a menu system. I felt that this would be an easy and fast project. Something seemed to be slowing me down on it though. I felt like a horse with a bit and bridle being reigned in, even though no one but myself was doing this.

I felt that this would be an easy and fast project. Something seemed to be slowing me down on it though. I felt like a horse with a bit and bridle being reigned in, even though no one but myself was doing this.As I was moving agonizingly slow through things, I discovered a cool new layout option or design last night. If I had blown through the project at the speed I had ‘expected’ I would have finished a week ago, and never found this great new design layout.

As I was moving agonizingly slow through things, I discovered a cool new layout option or design last night. If I had blown through the project at the speed I had ‘expected’ I would have finished a week ago, and never found this great new design layout.

The slower speed allowed me to be aware when the opportunity came along.

 

I needed to write about now to cement the lesson into my skull so that I can use this for lots of good in the future.

Wrapping Up so we can Move forward to be amazing

So as you go through your week this week, I hope you find a way to frame things in your own story in a more positive fashion. It is ok to witness friends and families experiencing negative things, but try to focus on your own positives and frame that back to them. Be a positive example to the people that temporarily feel negative, even if they have seemed to be temporarily negative for a little too long.

Your good example and the examples of others will eventually help them find their own way.

Focus and pay attention to the things that work for you, the things that allow you to get through your foggy moments with more and more ease. Plan those things into your life to help give yourself the opportunity for more balance and momentum.Find the things that work for you and do them. Practice gratitude and being grateful for the good things as that helps you frame your world view towards the positive not in a fake way, but in a real way.

Find the things that work for you and do them. Practice gratitude and being grateful for the good things as that helps you frame your world view towards the positive not in a fake way, but in a real way.

It’s time for me to shower and wash away the last vestiges of the fog that touched my skin, scrub it away and then go forth through this amazing day knowing that I have done something pretty terrific already. I have woven this new web of healing, a bandage or appendage growing my heart even larger than it was and polishing and focusing my mind’s eye, which can take in even more positive and find a path forward to greatness

I look forward to seeing you traversing your own path to greatness too! Thank you for joining me!