What is our Reality


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We don’t live in the world of reality; we live in the world of how we perceive reality”. – Bryan Singer

Life can be seen as beautiful, it can also be seen as ugly, it can be lived as being tough or it can be lived as relaxed. We have the power every moment of every day to make a conscious decision about what we give energy too. We can see life as one hardship after another or we can see life as many lesions and some having better outcomes than others.

My life is nowhere near where I planned it would be and it’s perfectly okay, I haven’t failed at life I’m living life and learning along the way. As I reflect on where I have been, where I am now and where I am going I no longer have fear or anxiety of the future, I am relaxed in knowing that today I am healthy, alive and have the opportunity to live today however I want.

Maybe its understanding that I have gained from the changes over the last few years or maybe it’s just the acceptance that I have no control whatsoever over anything in my life with the exception of how I see life.

Change what you see, by changing how you see”. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Once you understand something the fear loses its grasp on our thoughts and once you accept the situation for being nothing more than another day in life the power to move on and be content with life is suddenly an achievable goal.

Today I am completely content with everything in my life and the feeling of contentment leaves so much room for emotions that I have lacked the room to experience in the past.

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Be Grateful Regardless of the Circumstances


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“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have”. – Frederick Koenig

This has been the motto of the year and I have never been in this space in my life before.

Today I went to the gym with my oldest daughter. As I was watching her working out I caught myself critiquing her form on some of the exercises as she did them.

Honestly it was hard to see her and not say anything. However I withheld telling her anything. About 5 minutes from being done as I was finishing up my last set, she approached me and was wanting to try what I was doing.

It was a moment that I soaked up fully as I smiled at her. So I quickly set her arms in the correct position and explained to keep your elbows from moving to let the muscles do the work. She completed one set of my tricep exercise at half the weight I was doing, it was a very proud moment for me.

You see its something I understand and believe in. I love explaining new workouts, protein synthesis or macro and micro nutrients. But what about the bigger topics of life.

I’ll be real for a minute, how can I explain life without being a hypocrite? How can I explain life when I have failed at more than been successful at.

Don’t get me wrong I am content with life at the moment, however how can I expect something that I truly didn’t succeed at, or even believe in myself lately.

I drank before I was 21, experimented with drugs, had sex before marriage and I’m now part of the population that falls into the high percent called “the divorced”.

I have not hit the mark on almost anything in my life. So how would I ever look either of them in the eyes and tell them to do something I couldn’t, and believe it?

To be a good motivational speaker you must first believe in what you are speaking about to show the heart behind what you are saying. Without believing in what you say your words will be flat, shallow and meaningless, and nothing more than words.

Lately I find myself thinking, day dreaming and drifting into thought of where life is taking me and my girls. It can completely take over a 30 minute walk like it’s nothing.

“With gratitude, all life appears as a blessing – without gratitude, all of life is perceived as a burden”. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I’m grateful for having such a good relationship with my girls regardless of the changed that completely shook everything they knew.

I’m grateful for the new relationships I have made and having the chance to get to know them all.

I’m grateful for finding love again and having the chance to take it slow and grow inside at my own pace.

Most importantly, I’m grateful that my daughters still think I’m a good father after everything they have been through.

I guess my questions do not need answers as much as actions and my love doesn’t have to come with stipulations. It’s not always black or white and I don’t need to talk as much as listing to when they need to tell me something.

Funny how life can set you down in your seat and tell you to shut your mouth long enough to listen..

Flatter me, Criticize me, Ignore me, Encourage me


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“Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I will not forget you.” – William Arthur Ward

There are many people in my life that I will never forget, those who hurt me and those who moved me with inspiration and encouragement. We chose our interactions with everyone we come in contact with.

It’s our choice how we impact others and what mark we will leave.

The Fight to Reach Contentment


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“Life is not about perfection –
or a quest for perfection.
Life is about enjoying what we have –
for as long as we have it.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

If you’re striving and struggling to obtain perfection at anything in life you will always be let down.

Trying to work for the perfect body, perfect relationship, perfect faith, perfect friendships will only lead to letdowns, heartache and discouragement. Eventually reaching a state of complacency and in extreme cases giving up all together and further fueling the fire of disparity of your dreams.

“Find your balance and stand with it.
Find your song and sing it out.
Find your cadence and let it appear like a dance.
Find the questions that only you know how to ask and
The answers that you are content to not know.”
– Mary Anne Radmacher

Understanding that as humans we will never reach perfection in anything and doing your best at whatever it is that you are doing is enough.

One tip is to never quite reach “good enough” but get close enough to feel empowered to continue.

I started truly working on my overall health about 3-4 weeks ago and the difference I am seeing is more than enough to fuel my motivation to hit the gym harder and longer.

Everything in life works the same way, find what works and what doesn’t, what feels natural and what doesn’t because that is where your heat and mind will meet and provide the energy to continue.

If you have to force it, maybe the priorities are wrong. I have heard a saying “fake it until you make it” and I do believe there is some truth to that within reason. Short term, and not settling will help to move from that to where you want to be.

Most importantly, knowing what is in your power to change and what should be given to God is imperative. Be the best you, you can be and let the rest go.

Life is too short to worry about what everone else is doing and trying to fit into what they have going on. Do what you need to do and life will place exactly what and who you need in your path.

That’s what faith is, living your life with love,intention and believing that God has the rest.

Shit happens regardless of what you do or don’t do… live life, don’t miss out waiting to become your dreams.

Image source: http://www.thenester.com

After I Gave all my Firsts Away


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When I give my time I give the deepest part I can give to another human. I choose very wisely who I give my time to.

Sitting with my daughters tonight and looking at their interactions and thinking of their future, something hit me. I am watching their future unwind right in front of my eyes.

Who will they become?
What will they do in life?
Will they have children?
How many?
Will they live here in Michigan?
Will they be ok in life?

Life is all about firsts, who gets your first. In Christianity they teach give your first to God, as if to say everything else is not important.
Well, is it?

I have given all my firsts away… First love, first kiss, first of my time, first children, first of myself.

Sure throughout life there were many people that made their mark on my heart. But we all remember in detail the firsts. There’s something special, or should be about who we give our firsts too. I’m not talking about the first time we have sex as much as the first time giving away something from your heart. In many cases they might be very different times.

Gosh, what first of anything do I have left to offer?
What new can I give to the one I love?

Life has unfortunately left me with far more questions than answers as I grow older. The feeling of hopelessness can creep in and destroy joy and the hope for a new future if all I focus on is what I have left to give. Most of the time I have nothing to give and nothing to offer, is that what my life has become?

The short answer is no, it shouldn’t be and is not what I will allow my life to become.

To find someone that doesn’t ask for anything, no requests, no requirements and no expectations is what I needed in my life.

I bet your saying wow, how shallow has he become..

Let me explain, when you do not require anything everything is a blessing, when you don’t expect, everything is beyond what your planning. Its as simple as a lunch date that wasn’t planned, a phone call after a hard day at work, a hey would you like to walk today. Everything is a gift and I think this is the key to having a happy life.

Let life simply happen, let love just be and let time worry about itself.

I have no firsts to give, I have nothing to offer for the first time. What if the true meaning of human relationships isn’t to hurry and gain all the firsts we can and somehow make a mark in others lives.

What if it’s really giving our last? What if that is where we are meant to focus a relationship between one another?

I have plenty of lasts, in fact every day I have an entire new inventory of lasts. Looking into a new future, a future of giving my last, my time has no limits that I can see.

It makes sense to me, by the time I figure out I gave my last, will it really matter, I’ll be gone.

Here’s to my last, last love, last kiss, last of my time and that has brought a huge feeling of relief to my life. Everyday I get to give my last of every minute to who ever I choose, and every night I am blessed by giving my last good night for the night. Tomorrow is a brand new day full of opportunity, unseen blessings and gifts.

Image source: http://www.goodreads.com

I Thought I Knew Everone


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“You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view”. – Harper Lee

I love this quote and have to remind myself quite often not to judge someone before actually getting to know them. You never know what someone has experienced until you can understand it from their point of view.

In the past I caught myself judging others very quickly and could have have been very wrong, unfortunately the opportunity to get to know them has passed.

I attended a conference a while ago and there was an exercise during this conference that hit me hard and made a clear point about how I think and how far off my thinking is when it comes to people I do not know.

During the exercise you were instructed to look around the room and find someone that you may not like, we were instructed to do what most of us do so frequently without even thinking about it. This time we were asked to consciously think about it. It could be for any number of reasons; hair color, the way they smile, the way they talk, they may remind you of someone, their laugh, etc.

Take a good look at that person…. And now walk up to them! huh! walk up to them..

Now at this point  my palms began to sweat and my heart stopped as I approached this gentleman, everything I was thinking about him that I couldn’t stand was flashing through my mind. Wow, now he is going to know I have an issue with him.

10 minutes after meeting him and getting to know him I couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

He was an amazing man with an incredible life story and I was wrong. Not only was I wrong, what I believed began to crumble. The thought process I believed in so much, the thought that “I know people” could be wrong.

I had this process down too, so I thought. It’s what I told myself to justify being right, I would say to myself “he is creepy and I don’t like him” and in most cases would have not ever approached him to find out, therefore being right.

In this case I was very wrong, and it made me question all the others during my life that I judged, disregarded and never gave a chance to know.

I began to question myself and my beliefs about “knowing how to read people” and I’m not going to lie, I still judge people with one exception. Now I give more of them a chance by meeting them and finding out if I’m wrong or not. I am in most cases wrong now.

People are not the monsters I make them out to be in my head, yes there are still the people that drive me crazy but that’s inevitable. Our judgments end up saying more about who we are than who we judge.

Image source: http://www.pinterest.com

Evolution of my Relationships


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Stranger, acquaintance, friend, best friend, lovers, stranger.

Think back in your past, how many friends fall into this process? This is not the case for everyone, however for me this quite often the case.

I have a few friends that have been my friend for as long as I can remember and yet the are strangers in a sense due to life changes or distance between us.

A friend is someone who understands my past, believes in my future, and accepts me just the way I am, even with a messy thought process and ADD at times”.

As I sit and write this a sobering realization hits me. I have become more alone than I have ever been in my life. Yet I am at peace with it, does it mean that I needed a break from people to work on my life or does it mean that I desire to be alone. What does it all mean.

I have seen so many people come and go, some I never thought I would say goodbye too and others I saw it coming.

So are we simply here to get what we need at that time in our life and move on when that comes to an end? To me that sounds terrible and selfish. Yet time after time my life has proven just that and I find it easier to be alone.
A life with a future living selfishly will end alone, and I personally don’t want to die alone.

As a child I remember having a warrior’s heart, as I get older I see my battles becoming less and less and for sure lacking intensity. The dragons I fought were life changing and important to create who I would become as an adult. Is this how life should be or is this the small steps towards becoming what I was meant to become.

I may not have loved the life I had, however even the struggles when I was younger give me a little smile and jolt in my heart. I won so many battles, fought against many odds, got out of the neighborhood that would definitely have killed me.

Look at my life now, I have a great job, two beautiful daughters, family that has my back and friends that even if I don’t see often enough would be here with one phone call, and a new life and relationships in front of me.

So in my onion life is nothing more than a bunch of beginnings and endings. The time we spend between the beginning and ending is life. It could be for months or years or it could be for life and it’s all exactly as it should be.

Life is a funny crazy adventure, and I’m glad to have some people that are just as messy as I am on this journey with me.

To my acquaintances, I hope your friendship brings joy to our lives.

To my friends and family, thank you for everything you have done, and I appreciate you all.

To love, this is the last step in my evolution of relationships, and I am looking forward to living here for a while.

To the strangers, it’s been nice to have you while you lasted, let life take you in new direction and don’t look back.

Image source: http://www.pixteller.com

A Better Life


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“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to my fellow-creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again”. – William Penn

Its easy to do for yourself, at times can be demanding to do for others, however that is where the gifts of life exist.

Photo Credit: www.lifepathshala.com

 

The Price We Pay In Life


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“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them”. – Ann Landers

Anything in life worth having will not come easily. Hard work and determination are essential to achieving anything better than average.

“today I’m not where I want to be, one day I will be and I’m better than I was yesterday”. I have so many dreams and at the same time I am content with where I am today. It’s a balance between being thankful for everything you have and having a desire to become more.

The things that mean the most to us come with a price.

Be willing to take the time,  focus the energy and form the patterns that create the life you envision. It might not happen in a week, a month or a year, however if it’s worth it to you and you stay focused one day you will be exactly where you imaged you would be.

Unfortunately this works equally for a positive vision as it does a negative vision. You will walk in the direction your looking, keep your eyes focused on the life you dream of having, not the life you may dread today.

What is Your Life Saying About You


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Life is not a tragedy; it is a comedy, to be alive means to have a sense of humor”. – Osho

Life, the ultimate movie, It can be a comedy; it can be horror movie, romance or drama, life can be what you choose it to be or you could see everything in life as a tragedy. What if we have a destiny in life, a point at which our lives are meant to reach a certain “goal”? What if it wasn’t about Democrat or Republican, Christianity or Islam, gay or straight? What if we all had a purpose? What if there was no judgment, no hate, or no prejudice motives?

What if we just loved one another for what we have to offer not what they may have done to hurt or offend you. We all have been hurt,  offended, abandoned by someone whether it’s through death or life changes.

There’s a difference between accepting that we are all far from perfect, and moving on with life and hating someone because they in some way impacted your life in a way you may see as negative. We all need to drop the entitlement mindset and quit living as a victim of life.
No one is here to live for you, no one is here to be a servant to you and no one is here to please you. All of them can be a part of your life, but it should be given as a gift from them, not a requirement you place on them being a part of your life.

I am learning the truth about forgiveness,  I have always heard “forgiveness is not for the one your forgiving, it’s for you” I am beginning to feel that and I have a long list of people to forgive. I’m sure there are many people out there that need forgiveness from me too, and when that day comes, do not fear the healing that comes when you can forgive someone in your heart.

I want my life to tell others that I understand we all have messed up, and I am learning to forgive you, all of you.