Category Archives: Inspiration

They Grow So Fast

Thick-tree-in-the-fog

Look how far they’ve come.  It’s a helpless feeling to see how fast they grow.  It feels like falling.  It feels like that nightmare where everything spins.  Everything spins so fast you could puke from the lack of control.

I think about how they will soon be like us: constantly lost and searching, worrying about the obstacles, doing their best: broken.

It’s painful to think about how fast we age.  Soon we’ll be old, and they’ll be everything we wish we were again — youthful, full of life and wonder.  We’ll live vicariously through them, and they will ask us all questions.  They will learn to speak and think about all possibilities.  We won’t know the right answer to most of their questions just like our parents never knew.  We will use our experience to answer in a way we hope will lead them on the right path.  Our deficiencies will be built into these answers.  Luckily they know us better than we know ourselves.

We will do our best like our parents did before us to build a system that will last.  A belief system, a trust, a methodology.  We will do our best like our children will do after us.  Maybe not our absolute, unwavering best. But a real version of our best given the changing nature of things.

We can’t be great all the time, and we need to be okay with that.  Humans are fallible but resilient.  We can’t be too hard on ourselves, and we always need to get back up.  We will be defeated more times than we can possibly remember.  Our worst defeats will be burned in our souls, but they will make us who we are: for better or for worse.

Our children will know we’re coming from a place of love as long as we continue to strive to give them our best.  Maybe not our absolute, unwavering best.  But a real version of our best given the changing nature of things.

They’ll understand why we fight for them, but they wont understand why we can’t sometimes just get along.  They’ll only see the best in both of us.  It must be our duty to never break their trust.  It must be our mission to show them how to love, how to care, how to do a good job and how to work hard.

Strong trees don’t become strong without having survived strong winds, hard winters, cold nights.

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The One Who Wins is The Man Who Thinks He Can

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will-
It’s all in the state of mind,

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!

Stop Regretting. Start Living.

While we work away tirelessly to provide for our families and ourselves, it’s easy to forget why we’re doing what we’re doing. Sometimes, it’s helpful to step back and look through a different lens. Consider the perspective of these folks facing imminent death and what they regretted most about how they lived their lives.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Article here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying

Your time is finite. Don’t regret anything. XLIV your life.

That 44 Life: Raw and Unedited

Strength is required to be sensitive. Vulnerability is raw and unedited. Compassion can only exist if you’re capable of envisioning pain that is not of your own. Insecurities don’t HAVE to be considered unattractive. It’s sexy to confront your flaws. It’s admirable to admit when you’re wrong. It’s especially charismatic of an individual to do so WITH difficulty. Beneficial modifications are NEVER easy. Self-awareness requires pivotal moments in your life to occur. Be it heartache, euphoria, acceptance, rejection, disappointment, loss, or immense gain.Your weaknesses must be exposed and examined, but done so without judgment. Do not dwell and do not be discouraged. Be soaked in excitement. Be doused in what’s genuine. If you hear a song that captures what makes you feel what you need to feel, then play it again, and again, and again. Play it until its notes replace the marrow that is inside of your bones. Then turn the volume up, and play it the fuck again.

It’s about being an individual. It’s about NOT being meant to be carbon copies of one another. I was never meant to blend in. I was destined for the extreme. Not all that is subtle. My companion is passion. Not this indifference. It doesn’t mean I am arrogant. It doesn’t mean, “L.A. got to me.” And it doesn’t mean I’ve put myself on a pedestal. I breathe for those who can’t do it on their own. I’m healthy for those who don’t have the opportunity. I ask questions without apologizing. I learn, so that I can understand. Not to correct someone else in the future. I love to feel close. My sexuality immense in intensity. I speak to communicate.Yes, it does feel difficult. Yes, it does get tiresome. Yes, I question myself. But when life becomes hard, I ask myself what exactly I’m comparing my challenges to. I’d rather drown from getting too deep, than suffocate from the boredom of shallowness.

by Ry Truax: Actor, Model, Rapper, and Overall Bad Ass.

See his newest joint, “I’m Truax” here: [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv6b_v8JcFc%5D

Dance With Fear: Embracing Your Fears to Reach Your Potential

We all should embrace our fears of risk taking in order to meet our full potential. The problem, most people don’t.

Risk creates fear for many people because there is always something at stake, and because of that, their minds automatically go into the stage of “what if’s” and “I could fail”.

The issue with this train of thought is that NOTHING in life is guaranteed (even the safety net you may currently be in). To a degree, everyone and everything is interchangeable. You may think you are sitting comfortably in your job today but get laid off tomorrow. The worst thing you can do is be complacent — to float through life just to get by. And maybe some of you do and that’s completely fine because that’s your own decision. But for those of you who want to be great, you need to take chances … you need to take calculated RISKS. You’ll never know your limits and you’ll never know if you can succeed unless you venture out into new territory.

When you make calculated risks, you open yourself up to more opportunities, creativity, empowerment, confidence, and most importantly, break free from the average way of thinking/living (this is where breakthroughs come). Welcome fear, it’s a wonderful thing!! When you get that itch in your body from fear, it’s usually a sign that you’re on to something remarkable.

So instead of getting anxiety from taking risks, EMBRACE it. Dance with it. Use fear like fuel, and let it guide you toward some of the biggest rewards you’ll ever see…

by Chris Garafola, Founder of Stop Breathe Bump.

sbb
http://www.stopbreathebump.com/
“Life is too short for bad music.”

On The Road: Distance Doesn’t Matter

Being on the road makes me realize things I cannot at home. The words of great ones; my wife, my best friends, my mother and father: their advice and ethereal whispers gently whisk through my thoughts. We are connected regardless of the ground that divides us. When I’m alone, there is time to seriously contemplate the meaning of the seeds they have planted in me. The true purpose behind the pressures they’ve placed become obvious with the clarity of distance. I have time to digest, to appreciate, and to love. I see the truths they’ve spoken, and I give those certainties the courtesy they deserve. The road may be lonely, but when considering the definite fact that we’re all connected, it feels like they’ve been by my side all along.

As I Walk Through Fear

Growing up I was nervous kid, full of anxieties and self-esteem issues. It was difficult growing up. I had a great family and I didn’t want for anything. Still, something inside me was definitely wrong. I was angry, sad, scared and lonely. I can remember a particular day at the babysitter’s after school. It was twenty minutes after the scheduled time my parents were to arrive and I had a panic attack. My blood ran through the roof. My sick and twisted mind at that time told me that my parents had died in a car crash. I couldn’t get the image out of my head. I know I cried uncontrollably until my parents finally came. I remember that day because of the very real feeling of fear that had totally dominated my body and mind. It grew steadily and steadily until I was incapacitated. What caused that fear? Was I just an anxious kid? Overly nervous? Crazy? I just couldn’t figure it out and neither could my parents. On my first day of kindergarten I threw up all over the front steps. As I progressed through middle school the fear was kept at bay but only just. I had some really good friends that I could play and hide with. I could forget for awhile. The time did come however when I would be alone and vulnerable and the fear would enter me fully. I would stay up late hiding beneath my covers. Every kid has “afraid of the dark” fear. Mine was absolutely terrifying. I didn’t even dare look out my window lest a demon with red eyes and dark fangs would spring up from under the still and kill me with his stare (true story). I am overweight and have danced with this problem for years. During school, especially middle school, I had to undress in front of other boys in the locker room before practices and what not. I would not do it. I would duck into shadows and blanket my self-consciousness with the firm plastic of the bathroom stalls. I was picked on for it, but the alternative I thought was worse. I played hockey which helped with the weight problem but I wasn’t very good. I skated with guys always wanting to be special. I had a huge ego for such a self-conscious person, kind of ironic.

High school came around and things became easier. I walked onto the varsity ice-hockey team which gained me instant “cool” status. Even though I didn’t play a lot, I still felt like I had finally arrived. I was getting attention, had a gorgeous girlfriend and even picked on a few kids. There were times however when my emotions and fears were on high. My girlfriend cheated on me and I freaked. The old horrors came back. I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t a man if I couldn’t keep a girlfriend, I was fat, blah blah blah. Eventually things smoothed out and I graduated from high school and enrolled at a local private college. In January 2003, my best friend in the world was killed by a drunk driver. He had been walking with another student who died as well. When I found out, my world shattered. If I had been anxious and fearful then, I was downright terrified now. I drank heavily. Too much for such a young body. Booze helped hide the fear. I was never really good at drinking, but I did it all the same. I drank everyday, all day. If I wasn’t an alcoholic then I don’t know what I was. When I stopped the terror was so real that I would not sleep for days, I couldn’t go to work, I could do nothing except drink more. I never drank for pleasure. I drank to escape. I feared death more than anything. I feared letting go. I could easily have killed myself if I had the courage to, but I didn’t. I was broken. I was booze soaked and doomed. I dropped out of school, got a job, lost the job, got another and lost that as well. I was a walking shell of a man.

Sooner or later, I snapped out of it. It had to stop. I ventured into Alcoholics Anonymous via rehab. They spoke of a higher power there. This fascinated me. I not only saw people living without fear or worry, I saw people seemingly happy. At that point I could give a shit if I was happy or not. The fear portion however intrigued me. I’m an agnostic and have no idea of who or what “God” is. The bible speaks of “God” as a man. If that be the truth then I could not claim Him. Already I began to rebuke. If God was a man, then men rule over woman which would be completely against equality and supreme happiness right? Still even more powerful, I was given a choice in my conception of God. Higher Power is used often in the realm of AA. I wish it was used more often elsewhere. As I worked the program of AA, I realized that I would soon confront all of these fears head on. It was terrifying!

Throughout history men and women speak of “walking through fear”. Classic good versus evil stories have that like idea. The famous FDR quote makes it plain and simple: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” When looked at from an outside perspective I realized that fear was irrelevant. I heard a man speak on alcoholism and about fear (he will remain nameless). “I was full of fear. What I had to realize is that that fear wasn’t real. It’s a manifestation of other feelings that create fear. It’s a jump off point to instant catastrophic results. Fear is a reaction. Like cause and effect. Fear is the bi-product of sin.” I soon realized that at that moment, I had ceased to live in fear. I would just try like hell too be good. I am not perfect and I continue to sin, but I now know that the fears I have, is because of my actions. Fear is generated only because of my doings, these are my fears and mine alone.”

I certainly woke up right there. It made complete and utter sense to me. I was the master of my own fears. Fears do not originate. They are created by human action, by my actions. I approached this man who had just broken open my mind and let me into the light. I asked him how to live without fear. He said it was easy. I didn’t believe him.

– Find the people you’ve wronged
– Make it right
– Become spiritually centered
– Place your needs and wants second
– Help your neighbor
– Ask for help

The world today is filled with fear and bitter resentment. Waring ideologies, poverty, politics, jihads, bigotry, oppression etc. I took me a long time to understand fear. Sometimes, I do welcome a healthy dose of fear to let me know that I’m still human and can make mistakes. The things that the man instructed me on are simple and true facts on altruism. The definition of altruism is as states;

– Loving others as oneself.
– Behavior that promotes the survival chances of others at the cost of ones own.
– Self-sacrifice for the benefit of others.

These definitions may seem extreme but definition number three is the most important. Self-sacrificial practices in a “practical use”. Helping the neighbor with their groceries, taking your nephew to school, instead of buying something for yourself that you most likely don’t need, buy something for the needy guy you passed on your way to the dept. store, drop a twenty dollar bill in your needy co-workers coat pocket. These are just some types of self-sacrifice that altruism calls for.

The Beatles said, “All you need is love.” I believe that is true. Love is the opposite of fear and the cure. True, unhampered, unselfish care for others will cure the everyday fear that crushes millions.

“There is a power in love that our world has not discovered yet. Jesus discovered it centuries ago. Mahatma Gandhi of India discovered it a few years ago, but most men and most women never discover it. For they believe in hitting for hitting; they believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; they believe in hating for hating; but Jesus comes to us and says, “This isn’t the way.” And this morning, I think of the fact that our world is in transition now. Our whole world is facing a revolution.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are a lot of great things to take from that quote. We live in a world of take. There is no give. If we reprogram ourselves to give, this world would be less fearful. It’s a no-brainer.

Give yourself a break, fear sucks. Help somebody else out today and I guarantee your stress levels go down. Concentrate harder on helping your family. That’s where real fearlessness lies. It lies in love for another.

by Anonymous