Books

the world of judgement

 

In their inspirational book the Art of Possibility, Ben and Rosamund Zander speak about the world of measurement. A world we all know too well. A world that judges us and in turn is judged by us. The results are often crippling. We hide from the life we wish to live, but I wouldn’t be writing this if there was no hope. Indeed, there is an infinite universe of possibilities. 

We judge not because we are mean, but because as children, we were somewhat helpless and needed to identify, with some gusto and efficiency, the things that would help us or hurt us.  There were indeed many dangers lurking on various corners and staircases, when we were young, and our ability to measure and judge served us well by increasing our safety and preserving our security.

The problem is, as you and I grow up, less and less dangers present themselves, at least here in the free world.  As we become adults, we became capable of handling many situations, and are prepared to handle many things.  We are no longer afraid of campfire ghost stories, our school bullies, or our countless nightmares.  We became confident in navigating our way through the brave new world, but our childhood habits of judgement and measurement, are never quite abandoned, and so we continue to employ them in our service.

The world of measurement and judgement limits us.  It sentences us to repeat our past mistakes.  It forces us to do the same things, and reap the same rewards.

We become our own nightmare, our own worst critic. 

Our hearts are filled with doubts and our minds are often full of regrets. 

Full of I told you so.  I knew this would happen.  What was I thinking?  Nothing good ever happens to me.  Full of thoughts that you’re not worthy.  That you don’t deserve this. 

But who do you think you are?

Who gave you right to judge yourself?

When we attack ourselves, those closest to us are rendered helpless.  They are more than willing to spring into action when a stranger raises his fist against us, or a keyboard warrior spews garbage in our direction on Facebook.  They are rendered helpless however, when we run away and judge ourselves useless.

They become helpless to help us.  They are unable to show us who they see.   

And we are blind to their attempts anyway.

They hold part of the truth of who we are, and we need to listen and hear them out.

It’s not easy to silence the world of judgement.  It is a habit that comes easy and springs up in everything we do.  Regardless of how hard it may be, we have no choice but to fight against it.

Beautiful women hide from the world, because they have come to compare themselves to a Photoshop illusion.  They cringe and cannot accept a genuine compliment.  They are unhappy with their weight.  They are unhappy with growing older.  They are unhappy but they persist in measuring themselves against others, of judging themselves against their younger self.

It is a war they cannot win.

Young people try so hard to achieve in top marks school, and some end up depressed, burdened with ulcers, or opioid addictions.

They are so quick to struggle and fight against the world.  To tell you how unfair the whole system is, and in the same breath they accept and embrace the world of measurement.

The world of measurement says that our resources are limited.  There is not enough for everybody.  We have to hide and protect our stuff.  As Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman so beautifully puts it, “its fuck your buddy, cheat on your wife, and send your mother a mother’s day card on mother’s day”.

We measure and judge ourselves to death.

We have created a culture of death.  A ladder which keeps us from meeting and getting to know each other.  A world of doing that keeps us away from being.

You need a universe of possibility.

A place where anything is possible.  A magical land where dreams take flight.

You need hope.

You need tomorrow.

 


weekend quotable no. 37

 

 “All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be, the blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.”

JRR Tolkien

 

Take heart, especially if you’re down.

Take heart because not all that is gold always glitters.  Not everything that you do may make any sense.  But a good way out is to make an actual decision.  A way out is to actually stick to a plan.  A way out is to get to work, sling that dirt, dig your ditch, and just let go. 

Let go of everything.  Turn away from everything you have done.  Close your eyes on who you think you are and where you think you are going.  Just let go.  Leap forward, and let life reveal the best direction to go.

You may feel like you’re lost, but in truth, there is nowhere you must be.  There is nowhere you must go.  There is nothing you must accomplish.  It is all imagined and you control the thermostat of your dreams. 

Being lost implies knowing how to take the certain path, but most of our happiness comes about in joyfully stumbling along.

You must let go of the world of measurement, and embrace a universe of possibilities.

Embrace what could be.  Imagine what will be.

Your mistakes probably sting a great deal.  Your failures sometimes feel like you’re really broken.  But take comfort in the thought that a fire can be awoken, with some effort, even from seemingly cold, abandoned ashes.  A light can always spring through the shadows. 

Hold on to hope. 

Don’t quit too early. 

Don’t lose heart.

You will once again be crowned a Queen.

 


the Inconvenient Indian

 

Yesterday I erased a post and then replaced it. 

Today I had really good intentions to become like a Trappist monk and remain silent, but shit happens. 

Plans change.

So, let’s begin.

On a relatively gloomy and wet Friday afternoon, I went to get a coffee and a cranberry-orange scone, and I walked out having bought a book by Thomas King, entitled The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America.

As a little aside, I would like to note, that while the 50 Shades of Gray aficionados have copious amounts of books permeating the rather firm and bulging shelves of an entire Erotica section at our local Chapters, the Native people of our country, do have their very own, dusty, but half-filled shelf, but hey, they should feel lucky I discovered it.

But let’s get back to Thomas King and the Inconvenient Indians.

I started reading Thomas King’s account of the struggles and frustrations of North American Indians as soon as I got home, and fifteen minutes prior to writing this post, I had finished. 

I made some notes, and I finally put it down.  It is sitting right here, next to my laptop, staring at me as I type this.  All 296 pages of it.  All six years of hard work and a lifetime of experience that provided the courage to write it.

This is a book that will certainly divide us, but I’m feeling giddy these days, and getting to a point in my life where I really don’t give shat.  (That, by the way, is the past tense of shit, in case you were wondering, and wanted to know).

I really don’t know where to begin, and I have so much to say that I am partially worried that this piece of writing will become an uncontrollable mess.  A loose and baggy monster.  But I will keep it short and call it a day.

The Inconvenient Indian is a bitter, honest, satirically funny, well researched, and by far, one of the most insightful works of non-fiction I read in a very long time.  This book is so good, that I don’t believe any educational system will have the courage to do anything with it. 

Once you get kids talking, they will never shut up, and how will we get to the important things, that they won’t remember in a few years?

I’m not a Native person, although that is not totally true.  I am part of the Slavic nation, a tribe of Polaks, from the European land mass, but unlike the aboriginal people in North America, my tribe has a distinct homeland, sovereignty, economic security, a richly preserved, written and oral tradition, and a bountiful history.  In a sense, I am very lucky.  Our Nazi and Soviet occupiers were destroyed or outgrew us.  The Inconvenient Indians are still waiting for their uninvited guests to kindly remove their fingers from their throats.

I just know if I continue writing a lot tonight, it will not end well. 

I find myself overwhelmed with so many thoughts and emotions, but I am most definitely most embarrassed and angry, by the ignorance and malice of a Catholic Church, that tried to ‘kill the Indian, in order to save the man’.

Ecce Homo

Behold the man. 

They certainly didn’t. 

North American history is nothing more than a bloody crucifixion. 

A systematic annihilation of a culture and many peoples.  It is Darwin’s gift, I guess.  Nothing more than the survival and triumph of a species.  The triumph of the master race.

Without the love of my mother and father and deprived of an innate knowledge of their faith and courage, not to mention their sacrifice, I would be tempted to second guess my obedience and my faithfulness to Rome. 

Perhaps I am being a little melodramatic, but you’ll have to forgive me.  Great books, bring that out of me.

This is the probably the best time to leave.  Soon, I hope I will have another opportunity to resume this curious account of the native people in North America, but I will save that for another time.

I do want to leave you with a little something.

The Almo.

It never happened. 

There was no massacre.  There are no records indicating any truth of this fictitious account.  The whole thing was made up by a man who had a little too much to drink.  And what amazes me is that the humble people of Almo, Idaho, are fully aware of this. 

Yet the plaque remains.  It stands tall and proud.  Erected in 1938 and dedicated “to the Memory of those who lost their lives in a most horrible Indian massacre of 1861”. 

Now we know certainly know where Kellyanne Coway got her inspiration for the ‘Bowling Green Massacre’.

 


the war of art - part 2

 

The Resistance is powerful and it stops us from being creators.  It distracts or seduces us from being the masters of our destiny.

Rational Thoughts, and our Family and Friends are the other contributing factors that burden our struggle.

What are rational thoughts?

Rational Thoughts are intimately connected to our ego.  They are rational and that is the problem.  In order to create something great, we need inspiration and it does not come from within.  The Greeks and Romans believed in the Muse who would whisper things unseen into the poet's ears.  Living a good life is human domain.  Creating Art is divine.  Just listen to any exceptional singer songwriter like Neil Young or Bob Dylan, and the process is almost identical.  They never take any credit for creating the music.  They all say the same thing.  They were only the vehicle that let the songs out.

Genius doesn't live on the inside.  She is found on the higher plain and it is our responsibility to look for her.

What about our Family and Friends?  Surely they would not resist us?

It is clear that our family and friends loved us.  They love as for who we are, but they want to keep us the same.  It starts when we are babies.  Our mothers don't want us to grow up.  We are so cute that they wish we could stay like that forever.  It would cripple us and destroy us if we did.  

Family and friends don't like change.  It is sudden, and feels uncomfortable.  It awakens the resistance hiding inside of their being.  That sudden fear and anxiety will not be beneficial to our dreams and ventures.

Steven Pressfield is in no way suggesting that our personal relationships with those we love are not important or central to our lives.  He is talking about their usefulness to us as artists.  My boss will never consult my wife or children, so why should we consult them either?  Only you can draw the non-existent map and reach your unrealized potential.  

Our family and friends do not understand the artist that is trying to awaken inside us.  We are truly unborn to even ourselves.  Our only option is to face our destiny and assume our rightful part of the sculptor.  We need to take charge and chisel out our own new life.  

We are not responsible for the marble.  God is.  It is clear that we are the only ones capable of executing masterful strokes with immaculate precision.  We alone can shape ourselves into who we wish to become.

No one can lift wights for you.  No one can stop you from lighting up your next cigarette or pillaging your children's Halloween candy.  Nobody will pick up a pen for you.  No one will tell you what you should photograph next.

Read The War of Art.  

Prepare for battle.

The world needs new warriors!

 


the war of art - part 1

 

I have recently discovered Steven Pressfield.

His book, The War of Art, is brilliant and cuts to the heart of the matter.  Becoming an entrepreneur or an artist will not be easy and the book doesn't present any quick formulas, nor any magical mantras.  It does have brilliant insights though and I am beginning to appreciate the effort and dedication it takes to overcome the force of resistance.  I highly recommend you get a hold of a copy today.  Don't resist.

This is part one of two.

It's not easy to start a new business, write a novel, or become a new father for that matter.  Steven Pressfield calls the powerful force that rises against us when we attempt to realize our dreams - the Resistance.  We resist many things.  We resist our great ideas and we hide from our higher nature.  Every human mind is full of infinite dreams and an inexhaustible number of innovative ideas, but they are often strangled, buried and left unrealized.  Sonny summarizes this beautifully when he tells Calegoro, in The Bronx Tale that, "the saddest thing in life is wasted talent".

Let's not waste our talents

But how?

The War of Art illustrates that we must first understand the forces that work against us.  Prescott gives an example of three (Resistance.  Rational Thought.  Family and Friends).

Today, I want to briefly explore Resistance.  Tomorrow, we'll touch on our Rational Thoughts, Family plus our Family and Friends.

Here are the most common examples of the Resistance.

 

fear

self-doubt

procrastination

addiction

distraction

timidness

narcissism

self-loathing

perfectionism

 

Read the list again.  Read it slowly.  Which force are you wrestling with the most?

My struggle is right now is with Self-Doubt.

Self-Doubt is that intimidating voice in my head which forcefully demands to know who I think I am?  The voice which demands to know who I am to try to do anything? 

What do you know?  What have you accomplished?  What makes you think that you have anything to share?  No one cares.  No one will see.  No one will hear or listen.  You're a hack.  A timid copycat.  A plagiarist at best, and probably not a well edited one at that.

Self-Doubt has stopped me for years, but in truth it probably has probably harmed me for decades.  Nobody likes to be yelled at, especially when you recognize the voice because it comes from within.  The Trojan horse has crippling consequences.  

Time is our friend though, and a great healer.  With time, all the painful sentiments can grow a little less crippling, a little more worn, and a whole lot more predictable.  Time makes self-doubt a little less pronounced and muted.  As we grow older we slowly run out of options.  There are only so many tomorrows. 

The time to do something is now.  The resistance will never change.  It is always rested, relentless and tireless.  There is much more at stake today, then yesterday.  There are little eyes watching my every move, listening to everything I say, trying to learn how to properly navigate this world of ours.  If I fail, I will fail them also..

I'm conquering self-doubt by digging ditches.  I start at 4am and I dig.  I dig until I can't dig any more.

At night, before bed, I reflect in my journal and allow myself a moment to marvel at what was accomplished.  (The little things add up over time). 

The next day, I dig again.

 


my mid-life crisis

 

I think it's time to speak about my mid-life crisis.

Let me first clarify before you jump to the wrong conclusions that I have not lost my mind.

I have not lost my identity, nor have I lost my self confidence.  My mind is not overwhelmed with melancholic thoughts, and I am not anxious or filled with deep regret.  I don't want to get younger, or grow my hair.  I have not purchased a new shiny sports car, nor do I have any desire for a sordid love affair.

I am happily married and immensely grateful for my beautiful family.  I can also confidently say that I am content with my profession. 

Our family debt is slowly getting smaller.  My health is good.  These are the prime years of my life, and in just twelve more years, I get to retire, and French kiss my pension with open arms. 

All that is left, it seems, is to preorder a good pair of dentures, invest in a modest rental property in sunny Florida, buy a mahogany rocking chair, and pick a good stain for the pine box I'll be buried in.  Maybe a nice Hawaiian shirt wouldn't hurt either.

I have everything I think I need, and yet I find myself at the crossroads of my life, and in a state of crisis.

I've been here before, but not quite like this.  

Not all crossroads are wrought with pain and agony.  Quite the opposite. 

There is a relentless little voice inside my head and it speaks in an inaudible whisper.  I hear it with my soul and it calls me to greatness.  It calls me to heights I never dreamed possible.  To be honest, I want to ignore this little voice because it entices me to the edge of the Abyss.  An Abyss that is dark and cold.  Ready to collapse upon itself at any moment.  When I think of the artists I admire, I see people who were predestined and somehow chosen for their mission.  I don't feel chosen.  I don't feel predestined.

Artists are human caricatures.  They are people who seem so distant and far away.  They seem to live scripted lives.  They are gods and goddesses among us.  Individuals who start revolutions,  brand movements, and destroy to make new.  Their lives are those of legend, the anointed ones, the chosen people.  

There is nothing about me that seems remotely chosen, yet here I sit and wonder who I am not to believe and try? 

That is my crisis.  

I am living inside a moment that is without a doubt calling me to greatness.  I feel pushed and compelled to take swift and decisive action.  I can no longer stand by and wait.  

Part of me is very numb with fear.  Not the fear of failure, but the fear of success.  If I am right, then I have misread the meaning of my life, or perhaps wasn't quite ready to see it before.  I fear that over time, perhaps today or maybe tomorrow, I will have to say goodbye to some of my friends and acquaintances, or rather, they will secretly say goodby to me.  I am undergoing a Kafkaesque metamorphosis and facing my trial.  I am Joseph K.  It feels like I have awakened in the Tower and Babel and I no longer speak the same language.  I think and feel estranged and distant. 

I have decided not to be afraid of the Abyss and to walk with fear and trembling, down a road I do not know or see.  I'm not sure if I am more afraid of the unknown path, or making the return.  If I don't succeed, I will have to crawl back into my old stretched skin, and I'm afraid to imagine how dark and empty it will feel.  Heraclitus was right.  We cannot step into the same river twice, because it is not the same river, and I am not the same man. 

Life perpetually moves forward.  No exceptions.  It is only our mind that is stubborn and braces itself to live in the past.

The word crisis has several meanings. 

It is possessed by the three weird sisters: chaos, anxiety, and uncertainty.  This is why the moment of crisis never feels right.  How can it?  There is nowhere to run.  There is nowhere to hide.  No safety nets.  No underground bunker.  Panic sets in and fear is never far behind, yet despite all of our natural instincts, the only way through, is to stand still, motionless, and watch the storm pass us by.  It always passes by.  Only those that go through the storm are greeted by the new sun.  Only those who are courageous to leap, experience weightlessness, and emerge transformed.

There is a fourth often forgotten sister.  The one we never speak of or ever write about.  She, like Cinderella, is made to sweep our house and be enslaved to others.  Her name is Catharsis and she embodies an opportunity and a chance for growth and change.  

Catharsis is the process of releasing.  A point of purity.  A moment of cleansing.

No, I have not joined a cult.  I'm not a big fan of the secret whispers, the midnight meetings or the sweaty handshakes.  I also think I didn't follow the application process correctly.  If there is one thing I know about cults, it's that they are efficient.  The office was closed, so I might have to wait 'til Monday.  They just hate it when you call them outside of regular business hours.

What does this all mean you ask?  

I don't know.

These are the only words swirling around in my brain and it is all I have in order to try to make sense of where I am and where I want to go.

I have been a photographer for almost ten years, but never took it seriously.  I was lucky to have inherited that passion from my father.  I have never written with meaning and purpose either, at least not until I started these little musings of mine.  I believe I also inherited my love of writing from my father.  

My mother on the other hand game me my soul; the heart to love the broken and forsaken.  I have never met a more beautiful and kindhearted woman in my life.  I had the privilege of meeting one once, and so I married her.

Two men stared out their prison bars.  One saw stars, the other saw mud.

I am standing in a pool of mud, still behind bars, but what is different about me today is that I can see the stars.  

They are beautiful.  They are majestic and they cannot be counted.  

It is not only the sun that happens to shine bright.  She has a seemingly infinite number of brothers and sisters.  Our ancestors spent their life contemplating and rejoicing over those little points of light.  So far away; yet so real and visible.  We don't look at the stars anymore, we only watch them on Oscars night or the Grammys, on our precious little glowing screens.  

I plan to continue writing.  I plan on creating breathtaking photographs.

There is no more dreaming.  No more standing still.

It is time to do the work.

 


monatizing your dream is the only way out

 

Being an entrepreneur is the best way out of this mess. 

The unreflected life is not worth living, Socrates once remarked, but I have recently learned that without an opportunity to earn that living, there is little chance for reflection. 

Being a part of a family has been the single most meaningful experience I have ever accidentally stumbled upon.  But that is not the only plane of existence, we are complex and multi-dimensional beings.  In order to maintain a happy life, we must live and grow in all of our dimensions.  It would be foolish to put our dreams on hold.  This sacrifice is foolish.  The people in our life are the reason why the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, but they don't want our sacrifice. They want love.

Capitalism is an unforgiving machine.  It is beast with no conscience that beats us down with debt and cleans our wounds with credit so we are well enough to face another day.  Capitalism is a beast we cannot tame. 

However, David did slay Goliath.  There is a way out of this madness.  There is a means to win.  That way is through our dreams, but only if we can turn them into something tangible.  

It is not the money or success that matters, but the process.  The money may never come, and every thing you touch may shatter at the slightest touch.  Oscar Schindler failed at every business he ever started, before and after the holocaust, but he was the only entrepreneur, broken as he was, to dream and make a difference.  Ask the families of those he saved and you will understand.

We are on a similar path.  We both have families or someone close to us that we care about,and somewhere along the way we went to school and bought into the illusion that a profession, or a decent job, is what will give us what we need.  With a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, we could be anything we wanted to be.

That is a lie.  The world reinvents itself.  Jobs disappear.

We don't choose our life.  We only choose how we live it. 

Like you, I went to school.  I worked hard.  I graduated with a double honours degree thanks to government assistance loans, but as lucky as I felt at the time, I always knew deep down that it was not enough.  I just could not articulate it.  Today, I am bold and arrogant enough to believe that I was born for more.

We all have dreams, or at least I think we do.  Some may be broken and a little dusty, but I sincerely believe we all have them.  Young and old; able and unable, conscious or unconscious.  

Dreams are important, but the steps we take towards them is what makes all the difference.  This is what people mean when they say that life is a journey and not a destination.  It is an old and moldy metaphor but it  tries to point us in the right direction.

We must dream.  We must work towards that dream.  We must monetize it. 

Remember, money is not the root of all evil.  It is the love of money that lies at the root of the problem. 

We are meant to love people and use things, but there is nothing wrong with money. It has its own energy, and the hands that held it tells a story.  If more kindhearted people controlled the world's wealth, we would have a more peaceful planet.  The more you and I can stuff in our little pockets and share with others, the less there is  in a bank vault, doing absolutely nothing for anyone.

We must pursue our dream.  We have a purpose.  We must fall again in love with that dream.

Unfortunately, love alone will make our dream stagnant.  It must be monetized.

Don't quit your job and don't ever abandon your family or friends.  Perhaps go easy on the gossip instead, or chicken wings, reality shows, or football games, if you need to find some extra time.

Don't ever quit.  Work instead, with whatever limited time you have left in your day, and become an entrepreneur. 

Begin today, and take another step.  The world won't notice, but you and I will know that it has made all the difference.

 

 

 


a home but no country

 

I am blessed to belong to a wonderful tribe. 

There are five of us and these magnificent soul are the reason for absolutely everything.  They are the centre of my life, the epicentre of all that is good and meaningful.  There is something so authentic about family life.  It provides a reason to live, not just a shelter to merely survive.

Belonging to a country, well that is a whole other matter.

I was born in Poland and had it not been for the evil of socialism, I would not have made any footprints in Canada.  You would not be reading this.  I would have lived a different life.

1985 changed everything.

My thoughts tell me that I am Canadian.  So does my citizenship card.  It would be irrational for me to deny my residence or to think otherwise.  In my heart however, I don’t belong anywhere. 

I guess I just don’t embrace Nationalism.

As an outsider, I have no desire to stake my claim and I hope my children don’t want to stake a claim either.

I have been told many times since I arrived that I just don’t belong here, that I have a weird name with too many consonants.  I should really change it or think of a new one because it is not good to start any type of enterprise.  No one will find you.  They will forget you or worse, simply ignore you. 

Don’t forget that you will always have to ask for permission, just like a child, because your family didn’t contribute enough or build any of this.  Your dad picked up garbage.  You are easily replaceable. 

And don’t forget, you speak with a slight but a noticeable eastern European accent. 

I have no desire for pity.  It is a waste of time.

I don’t cry very often but when I do, I cry for others.  Other immigrants have had a far more horrifying experience.  No one has attacked or killed me in my place of worship, told me I smell, or commented that my ethnic food is disgusting.  No one has punched me, or refused to serve me.  No one tore up my resume because I am the wrong kind of person.

What is strange is that I don’t belong to Poland either. 

A few years ago I went back to the country I love, because I longed to reconnect.  It was a wonderful experience, but it didn’t feel like home.  I met the most generous people.  I ate dishes I had not tasted in a long time.  I understood Poland’s history and a culture at such depths because before,  I simply  too young to absorb it. 

Despite it all, I felt like an outsider.

It’s funny.  You’ll laugh when I tell you that I was told several times that I spoke with a funny accent.

I belong to my tribe now.  I will remain loyal and true. 

Wherever they go, so may my footsteps follow.

 


never fry bacon with your pants off

 

Stay safe and don't burn your dirty bits.

We are all connected.  This connection is much easier today thanks to social media.  We continue to listen to music, watch the news, obsess over reality shows and glace quickly through tantalizing magazines.  Every moment of our life brings with it the reality of being influenced by anyone, by everyone.  Although these can sometimes be very deep and meaningful encounters, they are often very infrequent.

In the last three decades, psychologist Matthew Killigsworth has learned that the human mind wanders 47 percent of the time.  It wanders 30 percent of the time while we are reading or talking, and it also wanders 10 percent of the time during sex.  Someone is thinking about frying bacon, aren't they?

Furthermore, we tend to exclusively wander to the negative thoughts in our minds.  The fearful, dark, and isolated places that suffocate us. It is a miracle we have any confidence or courage left, when nine out of ten thoughts are self defeating.

But what about the genuinely happy people?  We all know they exist because we have encountered them at some point in our lives.  I mean the real happy people, not the pretenders who post selfies to prove how wonderful and busy their lives are.

The genuinely happy people have a secret, they discovered somewhere along the way how important it is to eliminate triggers.

There is a voice in your head which speaks of fear and trembling, longs for safety and comfort, and is a difficult animal to tame and train.  There are also voices on the outside that are not much better, but are a little easier to master.  They cannot be silenced, but they can be ignored.

All of the voices come with triggers. 

If you don't like how you look, remove some of the mirrors in your house and the beasts who insult you will have to wait their turn.  If you have friends or family members who always peck away at your dreams, taking a break from them will allow you to take a breath and be who you are meant to be.

Burn photos of your ex-girlfriend.  Stop following your ex-boyfriend and obsessing about his new girlfriend and how you were never good enough.  Stop listening to Country Music (kidding).  Stop watching CNN and consuming yourself by Donald Trump and the end of the world as we know it.  Stop thinking that it's your road, and that you were there first.  Stop saying sorry that you are rich, talented, funny, smart, beautiful, handsome, or that you cannot speak English properly.

Identify the triggers.  Eliminate them.  At least slow them down. 

Focus on the tyrant inside your head.  That is where the real battle is, but you cannot fight it, if you swat at horseflies all day long.

Keep your pants on.

 


diggin' ditches

 

Change is easy.

We all do it and we do it often. 

Just ask yourself how many times we have joined a gym and quit?  How many times we have begun to eat better and quit?  How many times we have vowed to watch less and read more, talk less and write more, or perhaps be less connected and become more involved?

We have experienced change often in our lives.  We can change right now if we want to.  What is hard however, is the momentum necessary to sustain that change.  The difficult part is building a lasting habit that will anchor us where we want to be.  We have not reached our harbour yet. What is truly hard is our will to stay hungry and stay foolish.

When we choose change, we inevitably set ourselves on a path that brings challenges.  They hide, but they always arrive.  Sometimes they even bring friends with long sticks.

How do we fight these challenges? 

We dig ditches.

We need to learn a lesson from construction workers.  They work all year long and there is never a good reason to stop digging.

I have never stopped being a son, or a brother.  I have never ceased to be a father or a husband. 

It doesn't matter what the weather is doing, how I feel, what I think, or if the Universe has conspired against me.  I remain who I am.  My love never changes.  Someone has to dig the ditch, and you're the only one holding a shovel.

When the flu comes, we feel rotten, but we must keep diggin'. 

When we lose our job, we will be scared and uncertain, but must keep diggin'. 

When we face arguments, criticism, or laughter, we must just keep diggin'.

Lets make a vow today to keep diggin' ditches.

Whatever change you seek, or whatever dreams you imagine, resolve to live and be at peace with fear and uncertainty.

Dig.

When you get to the yield sign, and that little voice inside your head, the one that seemed to go mute, but now hands you a apple and tells you how great life was and wants you to go back again - dear God, don't listen.

Pick up your shovel.  Straighten your back and breathe.

Breathe deep and keep diggin'.