I wonder what is our biggest fear that stops us from looking within and knowing who we are?


I believe we have all heard the expression that” we are afraid of our own power “and that limits many from looking within themselves to find and be who they are. I would like to share an observation from my recent experiences that says otherwise. Not that the expression of being afraid of our own power isn’t true, it may be we are afraid to see what is inside of us for another reason.
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A few people have asked me recently how to find who they are or getting to know themselves. One in particular stands out and is the inspiration for this post. His name is Dennis; he is a very beautiful human being with a kind heart. He like many of us has done some things he is not proud of; his fear is that he will find he is ugly!
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I can embrace and understand that fear and see how it may limit many in a way as well as discourage many from seeking the truth about themselves. We all have our own inner demons so to speak that we must confront in order to know who we really are.
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Unfortunately some of the perceptions about ourselves come from places that we hold in high regard such as our religions and our communities as well as those very close to us such as our partners or our family. Guilt is the largest single hurdle for many it seems in truly going deep enough to know who we are. I personally had a difficult time in learning how to deal with guilt and losing the labels as well as the fear placed on my actions and choices by religion and my loved ones.
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Guilt makes us feel ugly and unworthy, to hang our heads in shame and hide our other qualities from the world. With your head hung in shame it is hard to look someone in the eye even yourself in the mirror. Guilt is a form of feedback not a sentence… Take the feedback and modify your thoughts, stop looking at your past choices as sins, or shameful acts and accept that they were perhaps not the best choices to make. They however do not define who you are, that is where the perception of being ugly comes in for Dennis and to be honest it was a slippery slope for me to climb as well. For years I sought relief by confessing my sins and dwelling in shame rather than looking for the beautiful side I was staring at the ugly side mesmerized. My mind screaming somebody find me a Priest, knowing that the Priest could not take away that feeling of guilt or the shame I felt for having done those things that were labeled ugly and sinful.
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My way of helping Dennis as well as a few other people with the same issue lately was to encourage them to look into that mirror deeply and then see what they find. Go within beyond the ugly and see what they find. It takes a great amount of courage to go so deep through that darkness that you find the light on the other side. The beautiful thing is as you do so with the intent of knowing who you really are a light glimmers even if it is faint at first to light your way through that darkness. How we let go of the pain and the guilt for each one of us is different yet as we do so the light grows stronger and the ugly transmutes to beauty.
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So I would like to ask you the questions…

Do you fear that you are a powerful spiritual being?

Do you fear that you will find that you are Ugly?

Do you know who you truly are?

Are you going to find out?

How deep inside of you have you traveled? Only as far as your love of yourself has allowed you to go!
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Thank you for allowing me to share a few thoughts and perhaps even some inspiration on your journey to see the beautiful human being you are. I hope you look deep into your eyes in that mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful and love the beautiful you that you see!

Thank you for being you and for making our world a better place for all we share it with you are the positive change our world so needs!

Namaste

Special request… The next page :) from my new book


Things started burning and the flames began to rise on of all days Thanksgiving, I was setting the table for dessert when the fire alarm went off its blaring screech started the eye opening process although I didn’t quite know it yet. I asked my daughter who was 13 at the time to bring the sugar bowl and creamer to the dining room table. It was not wrong for me to ask for her help, I rarely asked her to do anything hell I was rarely even home so I guess when she told me to wait as she was busy I snapped. I yelled so loud they heard my in town some three miles away. My guests were quite shocked as my voice echoed and the walls shook, not only at my reaction, also in reaction to my daughter’s rude response. All that were present were raised to do as they were told when they were asked by their parents. I would have gotten an immediate smack and a beating later if I ever told my parents to wait. My step daughter was the first to speak she was also the reason my daughter was busy (they were talking) she turned and said “You are an abusive as!@#%*e and need to go get help.” The family was divided at that point between my rights and choice of yelling and the rights of my daughter to be disrespectful. In my mind I was however asking if I was abusive.

The next day as I drove to work I decided to get help for my children, obviously they were not being raised properly. Since I was always working it was my former wife in my mind that was to blame. What could I do? I had no clue so I decided to ask for the help of a professional. I called several social workers from the yellow pages, not one of them answered yet they all had answering machines asking for a brief message regarding the issue and the promise of a return call. It took two days before Nancy returned my call; she was a Clinical Social Worker that specialized in children and family therapy.

In truth the greatest most beautiful renovation and valuable renovation I have ever undertaken began the moment I chose to make that phone call. My meetings with Nancy that were intended to help my kids actually lead me on a path of discovery to help me let me become a kid and eventually help my kids. Nancy actually never had a therapy session with my kids, they spent time with another therapist that however is another story. My meeting with Nancy was to be the biggest eye opening experience of my life so far. In fact that is where the story I wish to share begins…

In any major renovation the foundation is the most important part of the project. The foundation I would say is the most important part of any project. If the foundation is weak or in need of repair it is best to get that assessment done first. My time with Nancy taught me how to see my foundation, from the first meeting the cracks in my foundation showed and the wiring of my structure were exposed, for the first time so I could see them. The first hour with Nancy I shared with her my perceived issues with my children in regards to their disrespectful behavior and their seeming lack of care or concern for the material things they had in addition to their neglect of doing the few chores they were responsible for doing.

When Nancy said that I was the issue not my children I lost my composure even started to walk out dismissing her like my parents did when I was 13. My step dad’s words echoed in my head as I heard the bone jarring truth and felt the sting of the slap across my face that the words carried with them. “You are a quack all you psychologists are quacks this is all Bullsh!@$ I am not the one who is out of line my kid is. I am leaving and you are all idiots” I remember him saying after the social worker told him he was responsible for the way I behaved. I had taken the family car for a joy ride; I had done so a few times until one night a neighbor saw the car rolling down the driveway in the middle of the night and called my parents to say they had forgotten to set the parking brake. When I got home I didn’t want to take the beating I had coming so I called the police and asked them to take me to jail. They didn’t take me to jail however they did order an evaluation by a psychologist and family services. That experience left a bad impression tainting my young mind; it took many years before I would appreciate the fact that my step dad was in a sense “an idiot”.

“What the hell do you mean I am responsible for how they are acting” I asked? Nancy responded with a question that really set me on fire “do you read?” she asked.

“What the hell does that mean now you are insinuating that I am stupid? Of course I can read, just because I am a carpenter doesn’t mean I am illiterate.”I yelled! The walls reverberated with the aftershocks of my scream, she was visibly shaken as she responded carefully choosing her words. “I was asking if you were a regular reader in your free time, I was not trying to insult you. I was going to ask you to read a book and let me know if you wanted to continue seeing me. I will see your children after we have a few sessions and I get to understand their needs a little better if you want.”

What the heck.. I need a complete renovation!

I left Nancy’s office and went straight to Barnes and Noble to get the book she had recommended it was a book about parenting. I must say it made sense to read a book about parenting to help my kids. I had no idea where it would take me however as far as changing my life and perspective. At the same time I was working on getting my former wife Janet to see a marriage counselor with me. Janet agreed to do so as I had taken the steps to get help for my children and as she saw it” Nancy had put the blame on me for the kids” and she knew I was the problem in our marriage as well. She thought it would be awesome to see a therapist shred me in person.

Between my first appointment with Nancy and my second one I had arranged for a marriage counseling session with Carla. Carla I must say had indeed shredded me in our first session; I walked out feeling truly battered and in all honesty a little bit ashamed. She seemed to know every button to push in order to see my darker reactions. I took a bit of consolation in the fact that she was willing to help us work on our marriage. Taking a page from Nancy I had looked at the books on Carla’s shelf seeing a few of the titles I chose to make a trip to Barnes and Noble on the way home and pick a couple of them up. After all the book Nancy had recommended was a true eye opener and was already pointing the way to why I was responsible for my kids behavior. The books the marriage counselor’s shelves would be just as eye opening I had no doubt.

Parenting!!!! Was the root of my problem, not just the way I was parenting my kids, the way I was parented and my parents were parented was a major issue. I want to share something and make something perfectly clear at this point in my story.

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” I am responsible for” who” I am, how I behave, as well as what I do and say!”

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My parents did the best they knew how as they raised me, the key is what they knew. As it was with my parenting I had thought I knew what I was doing and never bothered to learn to be a good parent. I did as many people do decided that some of the things my parents did sucked and that I was going to do things different. I did do many things different yet I didn’t learn how to do things the best way for my kids. Just did things different, the things they did like grounding me for weeks at a time, hitting or even beating me, bed without dinner… Those things I would not do ever yet I did not do what would have been best for them and learn how to be a good parent.

Not always as it seems…. a poem


Although happy I may seem
Reaching for the stars and following my dreams
Sometimes I feel sorrow, and wonder what it means
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I know I am not alone
Even though at times I feel lonely in a house not a home
Not falling in the despair I used to feel to my bones
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Happy is a state of which I am aware
As I follow my dreams along a path traveled by those who dare
I rarely show the sorrow especially to those that care
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Sometimes it seems like a carrot dangling from the sky
I almost can reach it and the harder I try
The more I need wings so that I can fly
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I share this feeling and this thought
To express that sometimes happy I am not
Even a dreamer in sorrow sometimes gets caught
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Tomorrow they say a better day will bring
The magic of a new day a smile will make your heart sing
I choose in each moment to do the right thing
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As I sometimes slip into sorrow and wonder what it means
Reaching for the stars and following my dreams
Sometimes I am not so happy or so it would seem
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Sharing the truth makes my heart sing
Sometimes even I can feel sorrow and the tear that it brings
Tomorrow will bring a smile and bring better things

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Thank you for allowing me to share a thought or two with you… ( Doris you make me smile…) I won’t forget again or neglect to say thank you. I got it although it took a while :) I always say thank you as it is just what I should do.  If I didn’t do so it would be disrespectful to both you and I.

Public Speaking… and fear?


“Always do what you are afraid to do”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Microphone Clip Art

I wanted to share a thought or two today as I reflected on my first time public speaking. I was honored with the gift of representing one of the writing groups I participate and mentor in, the Veterans Writing Group in Salt Lake City Utah. I was scheduled to speak about half way through the reading and unveiling of the Community Writing Center’s annual Anthology and I was starting to feel afraid. This year the title was “For Everything a Season” an awesome choice and chosen from the first poem in the book a masterful and beautifully expressed sentiment by a local author and poet Ked Kirkham .

The preface was written and read by Shauna Edson the coordinator of the Diverse Writing Series. In the preface she speaks of her first experience reading one of her stories with a local writing group. Her description of the feeling she had painted such a picture that I could feel her voice and the energy behind her emotions and her fear as she wrote it. She was reading in front of a writing group of six or seven members a story of heartfelt and a deeply personal discovery in her life from her childhood. She describes the first moment as she started to read aloud the first time in a public situation. “My hands shook and I felt like no words would come out as I read the first line out loud. My voice so soft the writers had to lean in to hear what I was saying. As I read my voice became louder, my pulse slowed to a somewhat normal pace and my story came alive.”

I wondered as I listened to her speak in front of the hundred or so people in attendance how she felt at that moment. I was about to speak in front of an audience for the second time in my life. The first time was reading a couple of poems in an art competition in a group of Veterans people I knew and were friends and was still nervous. I am still not sure how well I did yet it was a great gift to have had the experience. I had been raised to be modest and was a little shy, yet can talk and move people when I speak. I watched her with the greatest of respect and admiration for her courage knowing my turn would soon be here.

The first few writers were also members of Toast Masters International, a public speaking group, this year in fact there were several members and most of the writers were quite used to speaking publicly either in their churches or in other capacities as in teaching or coaching. The year before it seemed all the writers that read were doing so for the first time I had come feeling that this time I would be in a great group and a room full of first time speakers. I was in for both a treat and a shock as I watched and listened to the first seven or so writers. I began to get a little nervous, I was the only one in the group of writers that did not have a story published in the Anthology and had thought that would be to my advantage. Yet the people speaking were amazingly talented and well versed in the art of public speaking.

My turn arrived and as I walked towards the microphone the thoughts and feelings running through my person were amazing, I thought about Shauna Edson, as my hands began to shake. I smiled and adjusted the microphone and did what I do best I opened my mouth and expressed myself. I read two poems after I expressed my gratitude at being there with such a wonderful and diverse group of writers and speakers. The poems I read were of two of my favorite things smiles and hugs, the writing group asked me to read the poem about hugs and share a little of the story behind it. I shared it on my blog and was comfortable speaking about two things I so enjoyed. I wondered as I finished and walked away how I must have looked and sounded as I spoke trying my best to conceal my nervousness.

It wouldn’t be long before I found out and was given many compliments and smiles after the reading at the reception. I was even given the greatest compliment by the president of one of the local toastmasters groups as he said” You have a great presence as you walked right up there like a CEO of a Major corporation and used that radio voice you brought life to a hug and as smile”. I was invited to attend their meetings and to share a story on a local radio show along with the other members of the writing group.

I wondered as I sat drinking my coffee this morning was I afraid to speak publicly or was I just nervous… Perhaps a little of both yet I was inspired to do my best as I watched a lady who inspired me with her courage and her heart as she shared her story of the first time she spoke publicly… Thank you Shauna!

 

I want to thank you for allowing me to share a thought or two and for sharing your smiles and your love in our world making it a better place for all we share it with.. Thank you for being the positive change our world so needs… :)

 

400 days… A poeticly expressed sentiment.


400 days since you walked away,

 feeling like I was meant to be alone,

not to have a loving home

 the rest of my time to roam,

 or roll like a rolling stone.

 Although the time has past, my love will always last until the end of time

 forever etched in my mind

 the words I can not find to express what’s on my mind.

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400 days I looked inside

 questioned my foolish pride,

 with every tear I cried the pain began to subside.

 Although no longer with you I reside,

 I feel you deep inside, a truth I can not hide.

 I told myself 400 days ago

 that’s the way it is just let it go,

 the love I have so deep in my very soul for you

 says to leave it be is best for you,

 even if it isn’t what I want to do.

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 Happiness is what I want for you; I must do what I have to do, even if it hurts,

 to hurt you would be worse.

400 days of loneliness, longing for the tenderness

, feelings of despair repressed believing you would say,

sorry I walked away.

 The words I longed to hear from you,

 to know your love was true.

 the words I forgive you, sang in my heart so blue,

 I believed your heart sang them too.

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400 days have past I have given up at last numb

lost all hope of ever hearing your voice, accepting your choice.

 400 days have taken their toll,

 the only thing saving me my soul, has helped me let go,

 your walking away helped me grow in a way you will never know.

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400 days since you walked away,

 I am finally ready to say… i love you and its okay!

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I am ready for a love that will stay, one that won’t walk away

 the love I found deep in my soul 400 days in a row.

Tears no longer flow, as the smile begins to grow

 a gift of grace from my soul

 one that you will never see,

 the beautiful smile on me

 400 days after you walked away from me.

I thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts in an artistic way. I was asked by a dear friend why I chose to express myself in such a way. I had expressed that when I feel a powerful thought or feeling I choose to share it from my heart in a loving and beautiful way. Not being one that has learned colorful expression I do the best I can to share in a non vulgar way. I am from a family of farmers and construction workers that didn’t learn to express their thoughts or feelings as men and rather than speak from their hearts they embraced the crude and vulgar ways of old. I choose to evolve and grow in a positive way leaving the vulgar and base behind expressing from both my heart and mind in a loving way that is kind. Even the negatives in our lives are positives if we change our perspectives and our attitudes. At least that is my feeling and I believe that poetic expression even basic or crudely expressed has a softer more beautiful effect on me as a human being and a writer.

Thank you for sharing with me your time in reading my posts and the smiles you share by doing so. I also wish to say thank you for being the change positive in our world sharing your love and your smiles making our world a better and more beautiful place for all we share it with. J Thank you! Peace!

My Friend….


I sit cold and alone

My freezing heart turning to stone

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I reached for your hand in despair

It wasn’t there

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I slip into the abyss

No longer wanted or being missed

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In the darkness I reach for the light

Overwhelmed I choose not to fight

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Forsaken as I feel

I know God is real

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I ask in genuine humility

Help me take away the pain

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Let me live again

With love as my friend

Thank you all for your time and your smiles… I had to just let it out! I am happy, spiritual, and living!

The bend


As I travel the path I am on

The twists and turns I can’t see beyond

The day is here now it’s gone

What’s around the bend? carry on

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The dreams like rainbows shine

The past gone the storm left behind

Treasures gifts sublime

The pot of gold in my rainbow mind

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As the stars some streaking shoot by

Spreading mystical wings through the heavens I fly

Like the eagle and goose high in the sky

Such a beauty such darkness fills my eyes

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Time and space and my place within

Before the sun shines I begin

The morning with a grin

As I look ahead to where I have been

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Dreams like eagles flying with the goose

Only let you fall if you let them loose

It doesn’t matter where you eat or where you roost

Live your dreams give your soul a boost

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Sometimes I may take a bumpy ride

Be forced to swallow my foolish pride

Sleep on a bench no one to wipe the tears I cried

Yet I always come up standing as I rise

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If I never reach my elusive dream

I have the treasures serene

Gathered along the way it would seem

From the things around the bend

I can’t yet see

 Thank you all for allowing me to share a thought or two, sometimes it seems we wait to long to follow our dreams. Things happen and challenge us sometimes doing damage to our self esteem. Someone commented to me the other day as I tore out carpet soaked in dog urine from a rather large house that I seem like I feel above that work and entitled to something. I smiled and said I am entitled to the 100 dollars I am getting paid for the days work it will take me to get the carpet out. I smile and hold my head high in dignity I am obviously doing this and you are not. How can you say I feel I am above doing this I am doing it and have busted my butt to do a good job. I suppose I am sharing the thought that even the crappiest jobs don’t have to take away your dignity or self esteem.. I find sometimes it makes me a better person than I was before the experience by not being above or below anything, even nasty carpet and curious observers.

I hope we can all share a smile and share some love and help make our world a better place for all we share it with. Thank you for your time your smiles and for being the change positive our world needs to be a better place for all we share it with!:)