heart shaped balloons floating up into the clouds of a beautiful sky

Love & Fear & Lifting & Dropping Energy in Group Dynamics

This morning I’m listening to Jackie Wilson’s “Your love is lifting me (higher and higher)” while I eat breakfast. Jackie Wilson’s song makes it very obvious how the ‘higher and higher’ part can work.

It’s only one piece to the puzzle.

All week I have re-read Jame’s Redfield’s Tenth Insight, a sequel to The Celestine Prophecy. I watched the Celestine Prophecy on Amazon last week too. I have read The Celestine Prophecy dozens of times. I enjoy it for the lesson and path examples as much as I enjoy studying the writing style for teaching philosophy.

We Lift others up with love

This is one of those concepts that it is very obvious.  Anyone that has ever received loving feelings, words, hugs, appreciation knows first hand that this can energize a person.

The Celestine Prophecy as a teaching tool, guides us to love ourselves first and establish a connection to a source of love.  Once we do that we can safely shine that love on others and energize them, without depleting ourselves.

Fear Drops everyone involved down

The flip side of this is fear.  When fear is present, it can take the energy out of any person experiencing it, and sometimes it can deflate the energy from a group.

As the energy leaves the person or group, the person or the people in the group simply need to recenter on love.  Once reconnected to love, like an oxygen mask on a jet, they can then shine that loves on others, like assisting a child with their oxygen mask on the same jet.

People, we make mistakes.

As the positive energy of love dissipates and is replaced with wisps of fear, confusion can enter and remembering to recenter, immediately, can be tricky. We might miss a beat for a moment. Sometimes the moments stretch for seconds and sometimes for minutes, hours or even days.

When we are with one or more people, we all need to be on the lookout for this.

But we are just human and we do not have canaries in a basket hanging around to let us know when the oxygen of love is suddenly being replaced with fear.

We have to look for other signs.

Fear is a big wide stretching thing.  I think I’m going to refer to it as a super emotion.

The canary that we need to look for, might show up in other smaller emotions and the words that relate to them….

They might show up in non-verbal expressions as well, but I’m going to leave that larger topic for a different time.

The Canary Emotions to look for in words

  • We can look for words that express Anger (aggravation, agitation, annoyance, bitterness, fury, grouchiness, and more).
  • We might see Disgust words (antipathy, aversion, contempt, repulsion, spite, repulsion)
  • We might notice Envy word (greed, pettiness, wishful, ‘green-eyed’ talk, longing)
  • and Fear sometimes has its own direct words too (anxiety, dread, edginess, panic, overwhelming, shock, worry)

These words or feelings are not inherently bad anymore than the canary is bad.

These words and the emotions are the signals we are looking for.

These words or feelings are not inherently bad. They may have merit or point the way to miscommunications, opportunities for better understanding.

Why is this important?

Just like flying in a jet, if it depressurizes and loses oxygen, we need to know how to find and put our oxygen masks on.  It’s the same when we contend with our fear or fear in interpersonal group dynamics.

If we attempt to communicate when we feel fear or others are feeling fear, the odds of miscommunication are going to increase significantly.  The fear can push us far into an emotional mind, and we lose the balance of our rational mind.  Without that balance, we cannot engage with others in the middle, balancing in wise mind.

wise mind venn diagram from pinterest, source is BPDFamily.com

wise mind venn diagram from pinterest, source is BPDFamily.com

We need to look for the sign that love is dissipating and being replaced with fear.

We need to stop the fear.

Not by shutting down the fear words or emotions or even trying to ‘reason’ with them in our head or from an external source.

So what do we do with all of this?

  1. We need to put our love breathing mask back on and get connected.
  2. When we can feel love for ourselves again, we know the love mask is working.
  3. When we can feel love for the people in the present group dynamic, then we our ready to re-engage with them as well.
  4. We need to shine love on them, and acknowledge recognition of the existence of fear or the other emotions present that are displacing love.
  5. If anyone in the group dynamic cannot reconnect, and this includes ourselves, then we need to back away from the group. We need to regroup ourselves and allow others to do the same.  This can help if we leave on a note of love. The late Dr. Wayne Dyer would call this ‘End on love no matter what!’
  6. Later at some other time and place, when people are reconnected with love and we are too, it might be time to reconnect and communicate.
A quick selfie under the Oak Tree while Sharon walked back to her car for something

Smitten – a perfect first date

A year ago today, I wrote this memory of a perfect first date from the day before… A year later and I am even more in love with this woman.

Self Assessment – Smitten – 12-15-15

For just over a week I have become and been completely smitten by a new person in my life.  She found me via OkCupid and yesterday, we met for the first time, spending the entire afternoon in Asheville, NC.

It was beyond magical.  From the moment we met in person and hugged, a long deep lengthy hug and then proceeded to walk the sidewalks of Asheville, trying to catch our breath, it was just perfect and kept getting better.

We had started by messaging through the OkCupid app, then switched to emails, long awesome amazing emails.  Then text messages and a couple two or three phone calls, before we decided to meet.

On my way to meet her, I phoned my friend Lenny.  After a long marriage, he’s been divorced now for about two and a half years.  He gave me the good advice (on my way to meet this amazing lady) to meet people soon after making a connection online.  Don’t let weeks or months go by before you meet in person and confirm the electronic chemistry, the textual and audio chemistry, translates into physical presence and in person chemistry.

I was following his advice before I’d even heard it! It gave me even more confidence that the day was going to be great, despite the continuous rain that was pouring down as I drove.

As I got closer to Asheville, the rain dried up a bit and was gone by the time I parked.  She was running just a bit late after getting stuck behind a ‘lorry’ in the North Carolina mountains (she’s from the UK). ☺

I had gotten an email while driving stating that I had less than 24 hours to renew my health insurance so I went to the soda fountain in the old Woolworth’s grabbed a chai latte, and jumped on the internet and renewed my insurance in the remaining time it took her to arrive.  It was perfect timing, and helped ‘insure’ I would not be distracted with worry about my insurance, while I was with her that day.

As I mentioned, we hugged when we first met.  It wasn’t easy to keep our hands off of one another.  We mostly accomplished this, and then decided to walk to keep from lighting on fire right in the outdoor foyer of the parking garage.

She had lived in Asheville for a couple years some time ago and knew her way around well, even though the place had changed significantly since then.  It allowed us to wander easily, and apply our focus to not getting run over in intersections because we were looking at each other as we walked instead of where we were going.

We held hands while walking the entire time.  She’s just a couple inches shorter than I am and in medium heels was at eye level with me and our strides and speeds just felt perfect.  So natural, so untroubled, it was very good.

When we were smiling like fools at each other, she occasionally pointed out a local attraction or building.  It was amazingly cute and charming as she occasionally thought to play tour guide and then was lost in my smile and myself in hers.

We walked for about an hour, maybe a little less and eventually started to get hungry.  It was just after noon, and we had passed an Indian restaurant, which she knew to be amazing.

The restaurant was Mela.

I looooovvvvvvveeeee Indian food, but had not had any really good Indian food in a very long time and had not had Indian food at all in at least a couple years.  I would have made the trip just for the food, but the company was out of this world.  We trekked back to find it.

Inner door to Mela Indian Restaurant in Asheville, NC fm Facebook page

The door of the restaurant, was very wide and all wood and amazingly beautiful and once through it, the smell inside was heavenly.

We eventually were seated with little delay.  The food was so very good, even better than the smells.  I sat across from her fighting my involuntary control to close my eyes and savor the food and wrestle my eyelids back open so that I could feast on her.  We’d been walking side by side and I hadn’t been able to take her in as much or as intensely nor for so long.

We ate and talked for at least an hour.  While we were there the skies opened up and down poured.  There was a downspout just outside the door of the restaurant that looked like a raised fire hydrant had opened up to flood the street.  It was the perfect reason to stay longer.  I had a second, very full helping of food.  Then we slowly sampled the soup and the dessert.

It was the best lunch I have had in decades, maybe ever.

I was so full and so un-satiated at the same time.

We left and started to walk again, when she had the idea to turn the other direction.  We walked down hill and found a tea room, named Dobra I believe, but I probably have not spelled it correctly.  How I managed to read any words at all that day amazes me.

All Photos by Taylor Johnson © 2012 Dobrá Tea

We went in and looked for a bench or couch to sit on, when she noticed two friends having tea.  Serendipity had kicked in and her intuition had brought us here.  She caught up with her friends, introduced me to both of them and explained that we were on a date.  She was glowing as she said this and I felt very happy for her and happier to be contributing.

We sat down and ordered a Rose tea eventually.  We only made it to about page 50 of the tea book, menu.  We sat side by side and started to slowly get to know each other’s feel.  The benches were padded but not exactly the type that you could sit back and lounge comfortably.

The awkwardness probably helped us from becoming completely indecent and getting arrested.  Asheville has a tourist slogan, ‘Love Asheville’ which definitely seemed to apply, but I don’t know that Asheville was completely ready for love, live in the tea room!

Who knows, maybe I’m wrong and missed an opportunity.  😉

We held hands, put arms around each other.  I played with her delightfully wispy hair at times and discovered her beautiful ears.  I was very full from the amazing lunch, but still snuck a couple ear nibbles in from time to time.  We watched a young guy come in a couple tables over and sit down and start crafting some jewelry.

We stayed for maybe an hour, and then walked again.

We followed our intuition and chased the sunbeams around the buildings to stay warm.  It was December in the mountains, but the sun felt wonderful.

The Oak tree, I snapped a quick selfie while she walked back to her car for an extra jacket… scene of the end of a perfect first date on 12-14-2015 in Asheville, NC

We eventually drove to an old and beautiful cemetery in town.  We first sat on a bench and kissed.  Then we moved towards a large beautiful oak tree.  We didn’t have any blankets or sheets.  She had driven since she knew the area.  I had an unused blanket packed away in my car, but hadn’t thought to bring it.

We ended up spreading our jackets and sweaters down on the ground.  It was relatively dry under the tree despite the heavy morning rain.

We remained under that tree for ages as the sun bathed us from just over distant mountains and trees.  When we opened our eyes, we saw each other and when we closed our eyes, it was hot red white light coming through our eyelids from each other and a little bit from the sun.  We kissed endlessly and got to know each other very, very well.

Neither of us wanted the experience to end and we went from ecstasy to fits of giggling attacks of laughter as we discovered each other’s sense of humor.  We kept our clothes on and held back on this first date and the teasingly perfect pleasure of each other went on until the sun finally started to set into the trees and hills.

We eventually peeled ourselves up from under that wonderful tree and walked and stumbled down the hill back to her car.  Somehow, I do not know how, she managed to drive us back.  We went back to the parking garage where we said our goodbyes after making tentative but very firm plans to see each other again and soon.  She drove off and I walked back to my car and did the same.

It was absolutely amazing.  I barely remember the drive home.

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!

Does the hidden truth of the past (that was great) sabotage repeats?

A couple days ago, I stumbled upon 3 short, Christmas videos from 2008 with my family before we split apart in divorce last year.

I was reorganizing some training videos from my business. I build WordPress websites for people.After they are built, I often build customized tutorial videos to show my clients and their team or employees how to do things in their new site with their custom configuration. The videos are in full screen and in high definition.

After they are built, I often build customized tutorial videos to show my clients and their team or employees how to do things in their new site with their custom configuration. The videos are in full screen and in high definition. I have made the videos like this for years, far before high definition was a standard or an option on YouTube. So in the early days, I paid $10 per month for high definition video hosting from Screencast.com, a side web project from TechSmith the makers of Camtasia and Snagit.

I made videos like this for years, far before high definition was a standard or an option on YouTube. So in the early days, I paid $10 per month for high definition video hosting from Screencast.com, a side web project from TechSmith the makers of Camtasia and Snagit. As my finances and cash flow suffered a setback this summer, I looked for new ways to reduce costs. $10 per month was never a great deal. But I paid $120 per year for ten years now.

That’s $1200 paid for high definition video hosting. I can get this for free through YouTube now. I already put most of my new videos on YouTube, and I have been on YouTube since 2006.

As my finances and cash flow suffered a setback this summer, I looked for new ways to reduce costs. $10 per month was never a great deal, but I have been paing this, $120 per year for ten years now. That’s $1200 paid for high definition video hosting. I can get this for free through YouTube now. I already put most of my new videos on YouTube, and I have been on YouTube since 2006.

The challenge was my 30 GB of videos on Screencast. My legacy for past clients.

I did not want to simply shut down the account and delete the videos. These videos were uploaded over the span of 8 years and at least 4 different computers. I have copies, somewhere.

Wherever…

Instead, I opted to download all of these videos to my current computer and re-upload them into a Private section of my YouTube channel.

This took a couple days of work. It didn’t require much time, I was able to let this run in the background while I did a hundred other things.

I did need to check the status of the videos. Once uploaded, I deleted the local copy of the video from my hard drive.

The very last batch of videos happened to include 3 Christmas videos from 2008. They must have been uploaded by accident or for a lack of a better place to put them at the time. They were not HD. I think they were shot with one of those old flipcams.

I saw them, and proceeded to hit play. I was transported back in time to memories of my children when they were small opening up presents on Christmas day. My family was ‘happily’ whole still.

Last year, their mother and I started a divorce. It will be finalized in October.

Our family was happily whole until about 14 months ago.

Or so I thought back then.

The reality was that my ex-wife had become unhappy. I learned about it 14 months ago. She felt it years earlier and became conscious of it about 2 years ago.

These times are my attempt to put the puzzle pieces together. She has not volunteered actual times or dates. I will never know the whens of the thing.

While wiping away some tears of grief one more time, I had an epiphany relating to time travel and the Donald Trump movement and politics in America.

Doesn’t everyone think about Donald Trump when grieving their lost family?

Can we truly go back?

This was the essay prompt given to me by a college professor whom I fell in love with in 1996. She asked my class to write an essay about the duality of whether it was possible to ‘go back’.

Is it possible to truly go back to somewhere we have been? Not as much in the physical sense, but in the sense that we are different when we go back to anything.

Our cells refresh about every three days. Physically we are not the same people from one moment to the next as we refresh and renew.

Mentally, emotionally and spiritually, we change constantly.

Looking back on that Christmas from 2008, I see two things in stark relief. I see our family together. I see the happiness and the joy of a family that loves each other. I loved my wife in that video. She loved me.

This is the lens of my memory. This is the view I have looking back through my feelings and memories of that time. I remember loving her. I remember her telling me that she loved me. I remember that we expressed this love regularly.

I also see a family breaking apart back then. I see the seeds for a faltering relationship. I did not see them then. In fact, I was about 19 months away from the first shot across the bow that raised my awareness that there was a serious problem. I was two wedding anniversaries away from witnessing an online emotional relationship and the mental awareness that I had become codependent.

Part of me would like to go back to a time when our family was whole.

Part of me now knows that the wholeness of that time was a myth.

We were keeping it together while falling apart due to some intrinsic fatal flaws built into our relationship. In 2008 we were successfully keeping a marriage of 15 years running. We had just made an extremely difficult decision to move from our home in Atlanta to find better medical care for my youngest daughter and we had moved because my wife needed the support and help of her parents. I had moved because I recognized that my daughter could get better adolescent care in North Carolina and because I would do anything to give my wife what she needed.

I was codependent already, but unaware of it.

Today, I am aware. Today, I know there is no going back to that relationship. Today, I know that I will always love her, but she is not someone that I can be in a relationship. The person that she was in 2008 is definitely not someone I could be in a relationship with. I can see the demons in her face in the Christmas video. I can see the apathy. I can see the sarcasm. I can hear the shaming comments and the tone that I took for loving banter.

I cannot go back to that beautiful time when we were hole and ignorantly happy.

The choice is not always clear

Can we erase the memories of our lessons learned?

This becomes the question. Can we take what we know now and go back and recreate a past with that new knowledge? Can we recreate a present based on the model of the past when we are wiser, physically different, mentally informed with the knowledge of experience that took us out of that past….

I cannot Make our Marriage “Great Again!”
😉

This is not a political post. This is my connection of an epiphany that spans personal experiences.

During this last week, I also experience a good deal of anger relating to politics and my reaction to politics. There is no way short of 100k words that I could even begin to dive into all of my feelings related to this.

My Christmas video insight did allow me to better understand why the concept of Making America Great Again appealed to so many people.

I could now put myself into the shoes of friends and family and other Americans that had experienced something great in America’s past. I could sincerely connect with their feelings of wanting to get back to a time like that again when they felt life was better for them.

Like the one perspective of my family in 2008, it was great to be whole and in love and together and happy.

Part of me would like to live in a time loop of that period.

To do so, I would need to 1) go back in time and 2) be ignorant of everything I have learned since that time. I’d also be destined to relive the pain of the consequences that came about afterward.

I do not choose this option. I have gained too much from the experience, the lessons, the knowledge. I paid a high price in pain to get where I am.

I have never given birth to a child. I have witnessed it three times. I could never give up my child now to return to a time before that to live something great in that time sans child. The joy and benefits of the child far exceed the price of the pain. Some science even indicates that women biologically forget and let go of the memory of much of that pain. If true, that is a blessing.

The political part of the insight…Can America go back?

For many people, they experienced a great America in their past. For many others, they experienced an America that had flaws and problems that had yet to be exposed, fixed, healed or improved.

Going back to the America of the past is the equivalent of giving up their child that they birthed through significant pain and price.

The United States of today was first birthed in 1776. The America of today was first birthed ten to twenty thousand years ago. America has been birthed and reborn again and again ever since.
We are not the same United States nor America that we were in 1776. We are not the same United States or America that we were in 1860 or in 1866 nor in 1896 after Corporations started to become people.

We are not the same United States that emerged from the crucible of the Great Depression to be cast into the mold of a super power following World War II. We are not the same America nor the same United States that was rebirthed again in the 1960’s when the people who were minorities at that time were given more of the equal rights that they had been promised in 1776 and again after the Civil War.

We are not the same United States that was reborn after witnessing so many young men sent to Vietnam and the voting rights that were given finally to all young people soon after.

We are not the same United States that survived and was reborn during the AIDs crisis nor the fall of the Soviet Union nor during the terrorist attacks of the 90’s and 2001 that led to a decade of new wars.

Today, we are a different America than we were. We cannot forget what we have learned. We cannot give up the child of a nation that we have recently birthed.

We cannot go back in live in a 1950’s America where minorities still had to use separate bathrooms, drinking fountains and much worse.

We cannot go back to a time when women were not allowed to work without sexual harassment or on the job molestation. We cannot go back to child labor realities with children pulled from school to work in mines or in the fields instead.

Watching the Republican Convention last week, I witnessed many people that benefited during those times. Many of them are caucasian.

Soon Caucasians will be the minority in the United States and soon after the margin of that minority will start to become extreme.

There is no path back to an America of the past that includes Caucasians controlling the political process.

There is an (ugly) path to an America where some other minority group controls the political process. To get there, all we have to do is setup the mechanisms by which minorities today are not protected again.

If we roll back to that model, then in the near future, the new majority will have the mechanism and they will have the precedent to respond in kind.

Farnham’s Freehold

Farnham's FreeholdYears ago, I read a book by one of my favorite authors, Robert Heinlein. He was a naval intelligence veteran and became a science fiction writer. He wrote a book called Farnham’s Freehold.

This book set in the early 1960’s of the United States tells a tale of racial inequality and then of nuclear annihilation. The one scenario was true and the other could have been. Following the annihilation of the world, the ruling race of people at the time, Caucasians, were replaced as people of African descent around the world became the majority as their continent had not been bombed to the extent of ‘white’ America, Europe and the Soviet Union.

In this fiction tale, the African descendants create a new system of racism controlling the few whites that remained and keeping them as slaves, justifying this in part on their knowledge that the deficient whites had wiped out most of the planet with their stupidity.

In the second half of the book, the scenarios of racial discrimination were flipped.

As we look to where we want to go with our current America, we have to be careful about romanticizing the past. Maybe we need to ask questions like…

  • If it was good for you, was it good for others?
  • If it was bad for you, would you do it again to let others be happy?

An even trickier question is…

“Knowing what you know now, can you choose to forget it all and be naive again?”

As I write this it is 2016. America is approximately 240 years old. There is a possibility that I may live to see the 300th birthday of America, the original. In reality, it is not the original and has been reborn with almost every generation.

My former marriage lasted for 22-23 years depending on how you count the years.

With the exception of the last of those years, when people asked either of us, we told them positive things about those years. We felt like we had been successful in our marriage. At least that is what we both told people. I know I felt it and thought it. I cannot speak for my ex-wife.

Does time completed, does total time achieved equate to success?

America has completed a lot of time. Some people would view that as a success. Maybe some of those years were good. Some of those years were not good years. We survived and kept learning and adapting and rebirthing our nation. We are not alone.

Many countries and regions do the same. Sometimes the rebirth is peaceful and easy. Sometimes it is violent and dangerous. It can be hard in either scenario. Sometimes the new child adds more and more years to their life span. Sometimes they die and start over completely instead of in part.

Have you ever been reborn?

Do you see similarities in rebirth at a national level?

Do you see similarities at a continental level? A global level?

These are more questions that my epiphany brought to me. There are lots of trends here.

I can feel through my personal experience now how many people including friends and family feel.

I can understand their desire to follow someone that promises them an opportunity to go back to a time when they felt the most ease or success or comfort.

I do not choose that path. I have too many other friends and family that were hurt, disenfranchised, abused, killed and more due to the way that past process worked. I do not choose a path forward that knowingly harms people I love.

I do not write these words to support a different politician. I simply write them to point out that the past is not for me. I see more than one viable option for voters to choose from this fall. Your choice is your own. My choice is my own.

I have not decided whom I will vote for yet. I have eliminated one option from my own list.
I trust you and your decisions to find your path forward for yourself and for your family and for the people and friends you love.

Mountain Office Stand Up Desk


I’m standing with my back to the cliff face of Crowder’s Mountain on a misty Monday morning listening to Sting’s Brand New Day album with a Thousand Year’s of Light just starting.

I hiked up here to allow the traffic of I-85 to free up and flow away from me allowing my return trip from dropping off my daughter at school to ease my path. This last year I have changed completely after my personal life crashed and I was devastated by a divorce and the fallout that comes with the experience. I later met someone new and fell in love for the first time (again) in over two decades even as I continued to heal and open up more continuing to change more and more.

I’ve learned in this last year to focus on making the best of each situation and not just making but finding the best and the happiness available in each situation. Somedays my skills in this new exercise are far more successful than others, which become my fodder for reflection and more growth.

I normally write less complex sentences too!

This morning I feel the need to share the juxtaposition and the complexity of my changes even as I seek to embrace even more change…

As I hiked up the mountain I focused on trying to spot rocks that might normally escape my focus and attention. I always seek out beauty when I’m walking, hiking, running, paddleboarding or simply moving through life. Beauty energizes me with a feeling of love and wonder and this helps me remain connected to life and the positive things in life. It keeps me focused on the things that uplift me, open me up and allow me to move forward. I’m choosing my words carefully and consciously this morning working to maintain a similarly positive focus and keep my thoughts easy and free.

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The sun is streaming over my shoulder and in my periphery creating a beautiful outline to my opposite side as the outline of the forms blocking the suns rays make their own presence known.

Sting is singing about writing a letter telling a love that he is happy now in the third track of the album.

A year ago I listened to this album on repeat for months. It was safe and healing music for me at the time and remains so for me now.

The uneven granite rocks below my feet help me to shift from position to position to gain different levels of leg stretches as I type. The shifting helps me to take pause and regain my focus. My purpose today is to maintain a level of ease with my thoughts of feeling grateful and happy and feeling the bounty that has allowed me to be here. My soul is rich and I have made many opportunities for myself throughout my life. As I face forward with my back to the cliff I am allowing the ease of my path to open up before me as I choose between these opportunities that I have created and those that are about to manifest next.

I occasionally lean into the rock that my iPad and wireless keyboard rest on which gives me a different type of relief and relaxation while the pointing edge of the rock keeps my focus sharp. The focus that I am applying here is new to me as I am working to evolve beyond my skills of compare and contrast and critical analysis and cost and benefit. These skills have served me well during my adult life thus far, but as I level up in this forty-third year of my life, I need and am working to build additional skills.

Sting is moving into the song After the Rain has Fallen “After the tears have washed away your eyes…. There’ll Still be love in the World

There is a single strand of spider web coming down from the pine tree at the cliff’s edge to the rock I am using as a stand up desk. As I shift right, it sometimes teases my forearm. Its existence is warming in a life affirming way, this single thread is either all that has been created so far this morning or maybe all that is left from one a spider created yesterday and it is enough to build more upon as the day continues.

I have many positive threads to build on myself and I’m doing just this. Like the spider I too am trying to remain sensitive to the twinges of vibration that might indicate activity and opportunity and more abundance that has come my way. I can glance out over the cliff at the beautiful tree tops and communities below that stretch out towards Spencer Mountain to my Northeast and Charlotte to the East and South Carolina to the Southeast.
This is my current location however my own webs reach out and around the world. I have worked as a business developer, web developer, marketing consultant, business coach and trainer of trainers in many of these things for the last ten years. This was my second or third career depending on how I count things. As I stand on this ledge, I stand on the cusp of what feels like the dawn of a new career.

With each new career I have begun, I have always taken some new evolution of my soul into my new endeavor. I moved beyond simple jobs after gaining some amazing confidence in myself and into a career in the military twenty five years ago. Then I moved from the military into several small business roles as a manager or owner after gaining a sense of accomplishment that gave me a taste of my own potential. I moved beyond this role as I simultaneously added to my education and knowledge through formal education and a double major in Finance and Accounting while working full time in a career with the Postal Service. Leaving that I moved into the role of a business executive starting at with an entry level position and racing upwards quickly while again simultaneously building my education with a Master’s in Tax Law and International Business.

I moved from that role into my current role with a new appreciation for the global dynamics of business and its rules and challenges and a taste for what truly felt like a fit and eliminating some of the things that no longer served me. I was just beginning to learn how to leave behind the things that I no longer needed after filling my cup a bit and then making room for a new brew.

These last ten years have offered up a microcosm of self education and experience growing my own business, while growing and improving the businesses of many dozens of clients as well not to mention helping hundreds of thousands of people through my writing and video tutorials.

“I’m going to pick my girl up tonight. I’m going to fill her up and head west” is sung by Sting on ‘Fill Her Up’ as I keep working through my thoughts. The chorus, a literal chorus, is just starting to back up Sting with a soulful religious sound replacing the country twang that preceeded it in the same song. “You gotta fill her up with light”

I have been filling myself up with light for the last year as I have worked to open up my soul and heal. This was an hour by hour, day by day thing. Sometimes I felt as if I simply needed to survive a bit at a time and eventually the light would help me get there and often move beyond to feelings of peace and bounty and happiness. I have been focused these last few months on trying to bring these feelings and this process to my business in everything I do.

This is a new challenge and area of growth for me. I am emptying my cup of some of the business and the business practices from the old brew that did not provide both me or my clients with this experience and feeling. I am making space for the light I need to provide for myself and for my future endeavors.

The shadows are moving and I feel a peace far below and can sense that road before me has opened up. Its time for me to wrap up this post and article and find my path down from this mountain and to the next place I will be able to orchestrate and build my future, find my light and share that with others. The bounty I will find is this light and its time to dip my fingers in the light and let it soak into my skin and rejuvenate me for another day.

Find your peace, find your light, allow your own beautiful day to unfold!