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a flight of stairs

 

Marcin-web

Bartek

I owe the love of photography to my father Franciszek.  By simply looking at the seemingly ordinary family moments over the years, I had shaped my sub conscious mind to intuitively know what a great image looks like. 

I am so very grateful that I still own his old Praktina camera.

But he was not the only photographer that has influenced my life.

The pictures you are looking at are from a different time in my life, a moment which I wish to share with you.

The first photo was taken somewhere around my old neighbourhood.  I grew up nestled comfortably in building number three of Bohaterow Westerplatte, in Bydgoszcz, Poland. 

That’s me on the right.  Posing stoically for the camera.  Those are my hand me down shorts and shirt.  An inheritance from someone who outgrew them, and let’s not even mention the haircut. 

My friend Marcin is on the left, sitting on his bicycle. 

In Poland, I had three sets of friends.  I had friends that I went to school with.  Friends who lived in my apartment building and friends who I grew to love as an altar boy.  Finally the fourth set, which isn’t really a set, was my best Bartek.

That’s him and I, in the picture below Marcin

The photo was taken right outside the only building I knew so well as a child.  If you were to see the building as a while, mine was the third.  In this photo however, it is the first ugly slab of concrete pictured on the right. 

The Soviet inspired architects at the time, designed this very mathematically efficient distribution of living spaces, and it held three apartments per entrance, for a sum of sixty inhabitable holes, and five points of entrance.

As you entered, there was an apartment on the left, the right, and in the middle.  The left and right ones, had balconies on the pictured side of the complex.  The people in the middle apartment had a balcony all to themselves, on the other side.

Marcin lived on the right, on the second floor. 

We lived in the left apartment, on the fourth floor.  Our little penthouse.

The picture of me with my hands wrapped around Bartek is a bit unusual.  Looking back, I am in extremely grateful for our friendship, because on the surface we were exact opposites.

I was healthy. 

He was a hemophiliac. 

He had a very rare disorder that prevented his blood from clotting, which meant that if he ever cut himself, he would face to possibility of bleeding out and dying.

The fact that he is standing next to me, next to my home, is nothing short of a miracle.

Bartek’s family was very cautious, which is why I often visited him in his apartment.  He didn’t go out very often.

I am not even sure how we got to be such close friends.  Looking back, I remember my mother one day, giving me an address on a piece of paper, and asking me to visit a boy who lived there.  I went, and we really hit it off.

We had other differences too. 

My dad was a member of the Solidarity Movement and pain in the ass to those in authority, culminating in his unwelcomed stays in Potulice, as a political prisoner.  Bartek’s dad, if you can believe it, was ironically a devoted member of the Polish Communist Party.

At the time, I served in the capacity as an altar boy, in at least two or three Masses a week.  Bartek on the other hand, was an Atheist.

I can’t help to smile and think that we were the best of friends. 

I smile because this is how it should be.  Precious little matters at that age, until someone later convinces you that the things you take so joyously, are actually nothing more than a gigantic mountain that you simply cannot overcome.

The two pictures were taken by a nice, wondering, neighbourhood photographer.

I guess you could say that he was an amateur photographer of sorts.  He went around the neighbourhoods and graciously took pictures of us, and later came back to give us the photos.

He never asked for anything in return.

I felt sorry for this man.  He seemed like a gentle giant at the time.  He was going a bit bald and he was very large.  Not in a good way.  He was simply fat, if I may be blunt and honest here. 

He had a huge bulging stomach and a dress shirt that was always untucked to cover up by his massive girth.  A bit unusual, considering the country had a difficult time finding something to eat.

He spoke in a very deliberate and slow manner, as though he had a learning disability.  But regardless, he was very kind and friendly.

I have to be grateful because, if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have any picture of my friend Marcin or Bartek.

I should note that the older kids in the neighbourhood, the teenagers that is, were extremely mean to him.  They called him names and would punch and kick him.

I remember feeling so bad him and the way he was treated, that my mother had to spend time hugging and consoling me on several occasions.

I didn’t see him too often, but I was always happy when I did.

I will never forget him.

I won’t easily forget him not because of what he gave me.  I will never forget him because of what he tried to take away from me.

I’m not sure if it was the picture on the left or the one on the right, that he came to deliver to me one sunny afternoon, but that was the reason I saw him. 

He caught me coming home, when I was almost at the edge of the entrance to my apartment.  There was no one around and I remember him calling my name. 

After some time, I found myself alone with him, just inside the entrance.  There was a flight of steps leading to my home, and a door leading towards the cold cellars, where we stored our food for the winter months.

He put his hands on my shoulders, looked me in the eyes, and asked me if I would do him a favour and show him my ‘peepee’.  He said it would be quite easy.  Lots of boys have done it and liked it.  All we had to do was just quietly walk downstairs.  No one would know.

This forgotten memory from my early childhood days flooded back to me when I was sitting in Canada, in grade eleven, years later, in a law class, learning about pedophiles and the need to protect young children from predators.

A voice of an angel inside my head simply told me to run.  I found the whole notion of me showing him my penis, absolutely hilarious.  I giggled and I told him I had to go.  I ran as fast as I could.

Looking back.  I don’t know what I was doing.  I don’t know why I said no.  I don’t know why I ran so fast.  I really don’t know what I did to deserve being saved, while so many other children do not get that opportunity.

I have tears in my eyes at this very moment, not as a victim, but because I really don’t understand why I was so lucky to be spared something so ugly.

I can’t even imagine who I would become.  I shudder to think what choices in life I would have made.

Today, I certainly know why the older kids would beat the living shit out of him.  At some point, all kids grow up and get bigger.  If I stayed in Poland, and didn’t run up those stairs, I might have eventually put in a few licks in myself.

I don’t think about this moment very often, but it does come flooding back, especially when I accidently gaze upon the two wonderful faces in those pictures.  As wonderful as Marcin and Bartek are, I will be forever be connected to the hand that held the camera. 

I feel a bit ridiculous, that I spent any time shedding tears for this man.  The man who wanted to hurt me.

I am grateful for those ugly concrete stairs, for my instinct, and my fast moving feet.

I thank you for reading.

This wasn’t easy to write.  I can’t remember how many times I sat down to write it over the last few years, but have always changed my mind.

I’m not even sure why I needed to write this today, or why I did, but is certainly scares me to post it, so I definitely will.

There is a hidden story in every photograph. 

There is much that lies beneath the surface.

This is why I have such a tremendous passion for photography.

 


petitioning the Lord with prayer

 

In 1969, the Doors recorded and released what would become their least popular album, The Soft Parade.   On the title track, and one of my favourite compositions I may add, Jim Morrison examines the proposition that you can petition the Lord with prayer.  If you listen to the anger and angst in his voice which ultimately becomes a bomb of a primal scream, you will glimpse at the truth, that you simply cannot petition the Lord with prayer.

Don’t worry. 

This is not going to evolve into a sermon, or some kind of religious exploration of dogmatic faith formation.  I do not intend, nor do I have any desire to convert you or validate your beliefs. cBecause when I started these musings over half a year ago, I promised myself to write with absolute freedom and explore anything and everything that entered my mind.

Please note:  if a discussion of prayer offends you, or makes you uncomfortable, I highly recommend my blog post on nudity and porn.

Ok.  Back to baby.

Soren Kierkegaard had the following things to say about prayer:

 

“The function of prayer is not to influence God,

but rather to change the nature of the one who prays”.

 

It bugs me when people instinctively and haphazardly tell others that they are sending their love, thoughts, and prayers.  How the hell does one do that?  I am certain that those are empty words that signify absolutely nothing.  It’s like signing your name to some sentimental writing on a Hallmark card, which doesn’t really say anything, and finds itself in the recycling bin, shortly thereafter.

The function of prayer is not to influence God.  Our sad tears, decisive moans and groans, threats, pleas, and empty promises to change, to never be hungover again, are not going to subvert love or the laws that govern us.

As dignified as we are, we are no more and certainly no less important than anyone else.

You cannot prepay your way into heaven. 

Prayer is not a thing to do.  It is not a thing at all.  It is a state of being, not a state of doing.  It is either something that you are, authentically and expressively, or you are just an ignorant fool.

The whole purpose of prayer is to gain insight into who we are, so that we can have the courage and gumption to change. 

Prayer helps you to leap. 

It takes the things that confuse and confound us, and brings us into a state of faith and trust.  It is the road map that help us to evolve.  A way to become fully human, fully alive.  And when we begin to move forward and evolve, by doing the things we have never done before, living lives we have never lived before, God, or the Universe if you will, sends us what we need, so that we can sneak our way into Heaven.  So we can experience happiness and steal us a little bit of joy from up top.

Prayer is not a petition. 

Kneeling in pain to pray when all hell seems to break loose, or when someone gets hurt or even dies, is not very prudent. 

Why not pray and change when things are good?  Why not be like Job?  Despite being where find yourself at this moment, you crawl your way towards a state of gratitude.

Why not say a little prayer?  It is nothing more than a means to communicate with everything.  Why not be grateful for the things we have, the things we’ve learned, the things we’ve tasted and experienced.  Why not say a little thank you for all the people that we have gathered on our little thin raft?

The Dutch philosopher was right. 

Never pray to change God or the situation you are in.  Pray for the strength and the courage to leap, so you may find yourself in a new situation all together.

If you pray.  You will find the courage to leap. 

If you leap.  You won’t crash.

Try it. 

Maybe the great religions of the world aren’t crazy.  Maybe they are onto something.

In either case.

Leap!

 


Sharad

 

I waited far too long the last time I needed an oil change.  I think I drove for twelve thousand kilometers.  Far too long. 

When I had my car serviced, I learned that there was sparse amounts of oil left in the engine.  A lot of it had simply burned off, and that is never a good thing.  I was lucky I didn’t damage the engine.

I had a few minutes of spare time yesterday afternoon, and with a little bit of trepidation because of my previous experience, I decided to go to Mr. Lube for a quick oil change.

I assumed I would be in and out.  Fifteen minutes, tops. 

Not so.

I waited patiently for about twenty minutes just to get in, trying to avoid the vape mists that were waffling into my car, from the gentleman that just was ahead of me.

It was finally my turn.

Sharad served me.

I was not very patient at that moment and I will admit that I was a touch irritated.  I didn’t even try to pretend by giving courteous responses, or forcing a superficial smile.  All I wanted was to get an oil change, to be out of there fast, and to spend no more than forty or fifty dollars.

Sharad kept talking and talking.  He was upselling me. 

He told me I needed an air filter.  He told me my coolant was too acidic.  He recommended a transmission service and a radiator flush. 

He was not doing well.  He was certainly not endearing himself to me and all I really wanted was some 10W20 oil. 

That’s it.

He spoke very little by the end, but did ask me if it was ok if he checked the air conditioner filter. 

My car has an air-conditioner filter, I thought?  But I politely nodded yes.

I have been driving for over twenty-five years.  I have known my car since 2009 when my dad bought it, and no mechanic or any other car specialist has ever recommended to check my air-conditioner filter, until now.  It seems so obvious, yet I couldn’t believe I missed it.

Sharad opened the glove compartment of my car to get at the filter, which I still somehow thought was just a figment of his imagination.  He pulled it out, and it was filthy.  It was horribly disgusting. 

There was at least half an inch of dirt, leaves, branches, and small rocks, covering the entire surface.  It’s no wonder over the years that I had to crank the fan to maximum speeds, to even feel a farts breath of cool air.

Simply amazing.

Sharad shared with me that this was nothing.  Last week he pulled out a mummified rat.  A few months before a dead bird.

My irritation, my sense of haste, and any frustration I felt, had somehow left me without permission.  I was suddenly overcome with a tremendous sense gratitude.  Gratitude for Sharad and his professionalism.  I was being a little bitch and he ignored my unpleasant temperament, and simply focused on what he needed to get done.  He focused on what I needed, not on what I wanted.

Gratitude is extremely underrated.

I thanked him multiple times for his time and for putting up with me.

He said it was no bother.  It was just part of his job.

By this point the forty-dollar oil job, had become a two-hundred-dollar invoice, and surprisingly, I somehow felt very comfortable with it.  I would have paid more if I had to, just to experience that glorious rebirth of the cold air which was now flowing through my vents, with tremendous ease.

Sharad left me for a moment, and returned with his supervisor.  The supervisor offered me a twenty-dollar discount.  I paid.  I said goodbye.  I drove away.

Gratitude.

What a powerful human weapon!

I came in for a quick and cheap oil change and I left having learned what a pain in the ass I can be.  How little I know about cars.  But most importantly, I had the grace to learn how powerful gratitude can be, and how great it feels.  Gratitude is self-diffusive.

I want to be like Sharad. 

I want to see people for their greatness, and not their deficiencies, mistakes, and failures.  I don’t want to ever stop looking for the good in people, even if they resist, and try to drive me away.

Most important.  I need to remain grateful. 

Grateful for anything. 

Grateful for everything.

 


dealing with negative people

 

If we are to reach our dreams, or just live in peace and harmony while we’re trying to get there, it is essential to know how to deal with negative people.

I’m not talking about mean people, but about the negative creatures in our life. 

There is a difference. 

Mean people suck!  While negative people, mean well, but suck the life out of you. 

There is a subtle difference, and it’s important because if we’re not careful, we will suffer greatly for it.

Mean people are simply that; nasty, callous, cold, cruel, and vile. 

They plain don’t like you.  Their goal in life is for you to writhe in pain, or wallow in your own miserable sense of failure.  They are firm in their resolve to deliver their best blow, in the fastest possible time frame, and with maximum amount of force. 

They are after all mean, and you happen to be their target.

Unlike mean people, negative people seem to like us, or at least they pretend to like us, and some of them, deep down, actually do.  Negative people are everywhere.  They are members of our immediate and extended families.  They are our friends and our coworkers.  They are the people we do business with.

Deep down they don’t like themselves. 

They hate their life and they evaluate their happiness based on a fragmented sum total of their personal failures. 

They don’t know what to do with themselves, especially when presented with even a hint of optimism or a glimmer of hope. 

When a happy person enters their midst, they either run away to gossip, or stay to save us from ourselves.

They are everywhere, and they cannot be avoided.  They cannot be ignored either. 

Sadly, if you look in the mirror, you may even lay your eyes on one of them, or at the very least discover that you spend a big part of your day living as one.

Negative people hate waking up in the morning and ultimately, with the weight of the world on their chest, have trouble falling asleep. 

They haven’t kissed their wife in over three years, but want to shoot the man who dares to try. 

Negative people are depressed when it’s raining, and hide from cancer when the sun is shining.

They want to get rich, by picking six lowly numbers on a lotto ticket. 

They want to get slim, by sucking on magical veggie shakes.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

The key to our own happiness and the realization of our dreams is to avoid these soul sucking creatures as much as we humanly can.  That seems to be the best solution. 

At the same time, while we cut them out of our lives, we must replace them with friends and neighbours who truly encourage us, or at the very least embody a spirit of hope and joy.

Sometimes our little negative rodent friends cannot be avoided, because they will ultimately gather at our house for the next family function, but at the very least, we must learn not to give them too much time, or listen to their tales of woe.

We cannot change negative people  and we shouldn’t argue with them either.  Any argument with a scum sucking pig (inside joke), will simply spin us into a vortex of emptiness and nonsense.

So stay hopeful.  Grasp tight to your faith.  Love your neighbour.

Repeat.

 


the immeasurable significance of a tiny rowboat

 

We can’t get there on our own. 

We are social creatures.  We need each other.  We need to help people and someone in turn needs to help us.  This is how things are.  This is how things are meant to be.  We are part of a masterful design, a preordained drama. 

Although we feel alone and isolated at times.  Unsatisfied and fraught with the reality of being human.  We have always been wanted.  We have always been loved. 

Our mother carried us inside her womb, and after that, she was never that far away either.  With supersonic hearing, she always managed to respond to our cry for help, no matter how tired, and sleepless she may have been. 

Our father was never too far away either.  Always nearby, to tickle our feet, hold us, to make us laugh, and inspire a giggle. 

Perhaps this wasn’t your life. 

Perhaps you don’t know neither of these people.  Perhaps your biological parents were too young, or were too drunk, or even mean sons of bitches.  I accept the fact that this is indeed a rough way to begin a life, but I hope a part of you is open to the idea that this is not the whole story.

Someone always steps up.  If you look back, you will see them.  It’s usually a grandparent, or an older brother or sister, an aunt, a stepfather, or a stepmother.  Perhaps it was an adoptive parent.  No matter.  There was someone.

Someone embraced your early and adolescent mess, and rowed with you across the river, to the other side.  The baggage you carry today however, is your own choice and you’re your responsibility.

It is time to grow up, take the helm, and begin to row other people across the lake.  I was going to say ocean, but that kind of voyage should be reserved for only a few, as the ocean is one big puddle, if you know your geography.

We are all connected.  We are resilient and can overcome anything.  We can get healthy, or stay healthy, if we are fervent in our deep desire to stay connected.

We need to connect to others.  We need to help other people.  By helping friends and strangers, we are going to help ourselves.

When you help your daughter with her homework, when you play soccer baseball with your son, when you do the dishes after dinner, when you help your friend move, or listen to the tears of a broken heart; you will inevitably take them on a journey.

As human beings, we have the capacity to help strangers, by simply sharing our lives with them.  We can help tourists find their way.  We can help immigrants feel welcome.  We can even give young mothers a break by helping them catch their breath or get some sleep. 

We can help people if we stop judging.  Stop insisting.  Stop pontificating.  Raving.  Raging.  Yelling, and screaming. 

We can use the time we have, to gather people together on our little rowboat, and guide them safely across the turbulent waters.

We are the perfect riverboat captains.  We have sailed the tempestuous sea, over, and over again.  We have such great power inside all of us, yet it is such a shame, that many of our boats are so often tied up to the dock.  They fail to sail.  We fail to live.

There are two magnificent things that happen when we decide to row people across the water. 

First, they will gaze at life from the other side.  They will see things they have never understood and felt before.  They will have an opportunity to plant their feet on solid ground.

Second, we will learn from the experience, and that is not an insignificant accomplishment.  We must see life from the other side, as well.  We need to observe and understand people, but we have a duty to also understand ourselves.  We need to meet people where they are, and by helping them, discover who we are becoming.

When we row a person across the ocean, we help them, and in turn we help ourselves.

If you’re a grandmother, keep raising those grandbabies.  If you have made grave mistakes in your life, continue the path of reconciliation, because your redeemed life is a beacon of hope to others. 

If you raise bees, teach others, and make some delicious honey.  Raise awareness.  Sweeten up this place. 

If you’re an artist who painting her portraits with tears and hope, never, ever stop, because your brush strokes have become a solid foundation that has never been built before.

So, let’s get in our little rowboats together, as a tribe, and let us look for someone that needs to reach the other side. 

There are far too many planes that never take flight, countless exotic cars that remain tarped and nestled inside a dusty garage, and there are simply way too many row boats, who simply rot and take on water, because they refuse to leave the comfort of the shore.

Let’s heed the cry of the ancient philosophical muses.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

 


weekend quotable - 4

 

Ignorance and arrogance

are the artist and entrepreneurs indispensable allies. 

She must be clueless enough,

to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be

and cocky enough,

to believe she can pull it off anyway.

Steven Pressfield

 

There is great wisdom here.

We need to learn to be ignorant and arrogant.  The trick is knowing the proper application.  You wouldn’t want to reverse them, that’s for sure.  It would be somewhat disastrous if you were arrogant about how easy things are going to be, and ignorant in the knowhow in getting them done.  Let’s be ignorant and arrogant about the right things.

So, dream out loud.  Dream big.  

Leap.

Stay ignorant and arrogant.

Stay hungry and foolish.

 


weekend quotable - 3

 

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation,

for the freedom of thought,

which they seldom use.

Soren Kierkegaard

 

People defend all kinds of stupid things.  They quote the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  They quote the Constitution.  And those truly far gone, quote the bible.

Freedom of speech is important and it must be defended.   Our freedom of thought, however, cannot remain idle and forgotten.

There is a greatness inside all of us.  A greatness that will never shine so long as we keep choking it with our toxic thoughts.

We live in a petulantly negative place.  Just check the news.  Or talk to your coworker or neighbor.  If you have real courage, dare to be conscious of the things that enter your mind and leave your mouth.

We need to put good thoughts in our mind.  We need to silence the cancerous ideas that resist our greatness. 

Exercise your freedom of thought.

Begin to breathe again.

 


a cheque and some preditions

 

I’m taking a calculated risk, sharing my thoughts today, because a part of me is on a mission to be more foolish.  I have a hunger that had been dormant for most of my life, and now I am going to share something with you, and make two predictions.

I was meaninglessly scrolling people’s Facebook posts yesterday and for some reason I half watched a video about success.  I didn’t get through the whole thing, and stopped after the Jim Carey appearance on Oprah Winfrey, where he shared his story about the $10 million-dollar cheque he wrote to himself, three years before becoming famous.  He signed on to do Dumb and Dumber for exactly $10 million, only a few days before the actual date on the cheque. 

He cashed the cheque.

On its own, it’s a nice story, but where it takes a turn for me, is that while reading a Jen Sincero book last night, about being a Badass with money, the new chapter began with this exact Jim Carey story.

Weird.  These days, I pay attention to weird.

I put the book down for a moment and thought to myself, what do I have to lose, except a piece of my dignity, but more importantly, what do I have to gain?  So, I went into my photography studio, found my dusty cheque book, and wrote a cheque to myself in the amount of $18,000 dollars, due on January 31, 2018. 

Why $18,000?  I picked this amount because it would clear all my bad debt.

I could have asked for ten million, but this is just a test.  The next amount will be bigger, trust me.

I’ll be honest.  I’m not expecting magic fairies to sprinkle every room of my house with twenty dollar bills.  This is not a mystical hokey-pokey journey.  I’m don’t intend to sit back and wait for the Brinks armoured truck to accidently on purpose drop a bag of money on the edge of my driveway.

What I am going to do however, is bust my ass to get that $18K.  Part of me is scared.  I won’t lie to you.  Who the hell wants to look foolish?  But another part of me has awakened to a world of possibilities.  To a world of why not.  I’ll put my aluminum hat, chant my money mantra, work my ass off, and revisit this post on February 1st, 2018.

I am also going to make two predictions.

One

I weighed myself this week and I stressed the scale at exactly 265.2 pounds. 

Going to the gym and weight training has become matter of routine.  A habit. 

December 13th, 2016, is now a distant memory.  Up at 4 am.  At the gym at 4:30 am.  Three days of weight training.  Two days of cardio-vascular exercise.  The weekend is reserved for play and rest.

Surprisingly, I have not lost a single pound, but have noticed changes in my body composition.  I am a lot leaner and stronger.  What is holding me back is my eating habits.  They leave much to be desired, and the day for change is here. 

Prediction One.

I give myself 10 months.  On May 1st, 2018, I will happily report back to you that the scale now reads 225 pounds.  There is a reason behind the number 225, but let’s get through this exercise first before we tackle the next challenge. 

I am going to also predict that in less than a year, my ass cheeks will have the ability to bounce quarters into the far reaches of the galaxy, and I will celebrate my flat stomach by buying myself a very sexy designer shirt, which I have already picked out.

Two

This blog started in mid-December of 2016, because I decided to follow Seth Godin’s Habits of Successful Artists.  Writing daily, in number eight on the list.

This is just the beginning. 

Publishing books and becoming a sought after public speaker is part of the master plan.

Prediction Two.

While I work on losing forty pounds of flab, I am giving myself the same timeline to finish writing the biography of my friend Winston Roberts.  It will be called Winston.  I will write at least one thousand words per day, which in ten months will amount to 300,000 words.  I think that is plenty for a good biography, and in the early months of 2018 I will begin the process of getting it published.

So to summarize.

I wrote a cheque and I made 2 bold predictions.

We’ll revisit this on February 1st, 2018.

In the meantime.  Go do something great.

Go make a ruckus.

 


a tower of possibilities

 

Does positive thinking really work?

Yes, but before we can unequivocally answer that question, we need to define what positive thinking really is and it most certainly is not negative thinking (the double negative is most positively intentional).  Positive thought is not a collection of available facts and memories, leading to the distorted belief that you are a failure.  You are simply not the sum-total of your mistakes.

Positive thinking is also not a sprinkle of fairy dust.  You can’t just feel it, will it, invite it, or conjure it up into existence, when you want to. 

Positive thought must be built every single day.  In good times, as in bad.  In rain, and in sunshine.  In a rainbow or a thunder cloud.

Positive thinking must be constructed every day, by stacking one solitary brick upon another.  We are not building a wall here (that’s the other type of thinking).  We are constructing a majestic tower. 

A tower that will allow us to see things as they will be, not as they are.  A structure we can only imagine and dream of in part, when our feet are insecurely planted on the ground below us.

Our dreams slowly begin to take flight when we take a step to the next floor, which was constructed through positive thinking, validation, determination, and hard work. 

We will certainly be happier on the next floor, but we will never be fully satisfied.  Our human nature forbids it.  Our nature wills that we remain perpetually hungry.  It urges us to see more, to be more, and to do more.  The world we inherited will forever be brimming with a life full of infinite possibilities.

Positive thought is also not a substitute for hard work and talent.  If you want to learn how to tango, you will have to move your body, like you’ve never moved it before.  You will have to strengthen your muscles, and develop your core.  You will have to learn to hear the music; differently.  You will have to develop a sense of anticipation.  You will need to find the courage to lead, and the humility to follow.

Positive thinking is not fairy dust and it doesn’t absolve us from hard work.

Positive thinking is a perpetual desire to fulfill our destiny.  A desire that is based on the possibility of an unwritten future, and not the distorted reality of the present moment.  We can never know where our steps will be leading us, but without those steps, we will never have the opportunity to find out.

Sitting alone in your room, feeling sorry for yourself, dreaming of one day finding a lovely creature you can connect with on a deeply emotional and spiritual level, is not enough.  Dreaming of someone to hold, to admire, to support, and to share your life with, will not materialize on its own.  Nothing will happen sitting or lying down.  I know, because I tried.  I tried for too many years 

All that will happen is that you’ll spend more and more time at home.  You will nap and sleep a little more.  Eat a little more.  Dig a whole of loneliness and sadness, a little more. 

Sitting alone in your room only leads to more late-night pizza deliveries, more seclusion, more day dreaming, and bit more of the same.

Positive thinking is what gets you out of your room.

Nothing can happen in your room. 

But outside.  There.  Where your sprit dares not tread.  On the outside of the unknown.  On the edge of opportunity.  You might awaken the world of possibilities. 

Scary possibilities, yes.  Uncomfortable prospects.  An uncertain future.

You will have to become who you have never been, in order to live the life, you have never had.

You can only encounter people in your room.  They cannot invade your space uninvited.  We have some pretty good laws against that.

In my case, negative thinking led me to slow and steady weight gain.

What I have learned from the experience is that your weight doesn’t determine your human value.  There is no room for compromise when it comes to your human dignity, but being overweight is a definite sign that you simply don’t love yourself.  Not enough to get some fresh air, anyway. 

Who in their right mind, unless they are themselves as desperate as you, wants to date a long-term project?  Who wants to eat spoiled fruit?  Embrace a soiled mind?

What artist, with two good ears that is, wants to begin their experience with a torn canvas, cheap diluted paints, and a frail brush?

Positive thinking is very important.  It is vital if we are to build our dreams, and get out of basement of our parental refuge.

Positive thought happens in two ways.

First, you need to quit.  You need to quit gossiping, wasting time, over eating, smoking, and over indulging. 

Make a list.  Quit everything.

You have to change your habits, and even quit your pissy friends.  You may even have to leave your job, and for God’s sake, quit having so many damn naps.

Second, you need to read and listen to inspiriting books and insightful speakers.

If you’re like me, you need a constant stream of reminders.  The more the better. 

I need to know that there is someone doing what they love, following their dreams. 

Shaking their thing. 

I need to know that it all works.  I need to know that I am loved; redeemed.  I need to believe that stumbling and tripping over your feet, over and over again, is just part of the fabric of success. 

I want to know that this will work for me, as it will work for you.  I need to keep my gaze on the mountain, and not on my bare, callused feet. 

I need to keep trying.  I need to dig the possibilities. 

We are afforded one life.  

It is all we really need.  At some point.  At any point of our lives.  No matter who we are, or how dark a place we find ourselves, we need to drum up the courage to finally create a life we were meant to live.

Positive thinking is the key.  It feeds the mind and strengthens the soul.

Positive thoughts are beautiful bricks.  They were left here for us by God; by the architect and builder.  They were left behind so we can become co-creators.  Friends, not subjects.

Let’s help each other build a tower of infinite possibility. 

Let us tear down the wall that suffocates our soul.

 


Boudoir No. 2 - Lauren

 

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Lauren

 

A few weeks ago I posted the photos from a boudoir shoot with Summer and if you scroll through some of my earlier posts, you'll recall that Summer took Lauren's spot at the very last minute, when Lauren was sick.  

Our original plan was to do a pin up type of shoot, and we finally managed to see that through.  I think Lauren did a marvellous job transforming herself to a beautiful Norma Jean.  The boudoir images were an add on, but I think we worked well together.

I have booked a beautiful hotel room in Cobourg for 'An introduction to the Art of Boudoir'.  These are little mini-sessions that are scheduled for July 17.  Limited spots are still available and I can't wait to work with the some strong, beautiful, and determined women who have reserved their time.

If you are a fan of boudoir, there will be more images slowly trickling in over the next few weeks and months.

Thank you kindly for your patronage.

 

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