How shall I begin?

Isn’t it funny sometimes how things turn out even when we put forth the effort required to make things happen as we intended them to? January is over and I have yet to post anything on my blog this year even though I have been working on this post for weeks.

Oh come on now Joe you’re a paid writer. Do you mean to tell me that you do the research and write 600-700 word articles for your clients in a matter of hours, but a simple post for your own blog has taken almost a month to write?

Not to make excuses, but the dead of winter is an emotionally challenging time for many of us, and this winter has been especially challenging for me. The fact is I’ve been hesitant to share what’s been on my mind.

As I stood among my friends the Aspen, Cottonwood, and Spruce a couple of weeks ago on a frozen mountainside I caught site of a lone bird sitting on a bare branch. The crooning of the lonely songbird invoked a deep mourning for one that I loved and missed dearly.

You may not know it, but last January my son Dennis passed away after a long bout with the a demon I know all too well… the devil that lurks inside of the bottle.

I searched for the silver lining in the sorrow I was experiencing while a ferocious arctic wind pummeled my face with ice rain, sleet, and snow. With frostbite about to set in from the waterfall of tears cascading down my frozen cheeks it dawned on me that tragedy was the perfect segue into my upcoming series about writing.

Tragedy… After all a series of tragic events was the impetus for me to write something for the first time since I left high school.

What was so tragic that I would pick up the pen and express myself in writing? A better question might be why did I pick up the pen?

It was February of 2007 as I sat in my car during a freezing rain storm. I stared at the bottle of Wild Turkey 101 I held in my hand, and contemplated whether or not it might be better for those I loved if I stepped in front of a truck. I was about to pop the cork, when out of nowhere a poetic thought came to mind.

Fortunately I chose to set the bottle down and followed the urge I had to drag the backpack that contained my laptop out of the back seat. I snatched the laptop out of the bag, fired it up and watched the letters appear on the 15” screen as my fingers hit the keys. When I finished reading the poem that I had just written, a wave of emotion overcame me. I felt so happy to be alive, that I took a walk and let the freezing rain wash away the tears.

Several poems and a few months passed before I started my first major writing project. Even though I spent the next year writing a story that will most likely never be published, I knew as I wrote my life story that I wanted to become a paid writer.

So how does one become a paid writer? Especially when you don’t have a college degree.

First of all you have to love writing enough that you are inspired to learn how to write in a way that reaches an audience. Learning to write for the audience you want to reach doesn’t require spending thousands of dollars, and sitting in classes for years. It does require study and dedication to learning the craft of writing though. I have spent at least four hours a day over the last eight years learning the craft and if I were to guess I will spend the rest of my life studying the art of writing.

My first mentors William Strunk Jr., and E.B. White, authors of The Elements of Style opened my eyes to the simple truths of the importance of style and grammar in my writing. No I don’t personally know either of these two masters of the craft, none the less they have mentored me by sharing their wisdom and knowledge.

Over the next few months I will be sharing with the cherished readers of this blog the adventures I have enjoyed with the many mentors I have had the gift to learn from over the years. Some of them are known to many, Masters of the craft like William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, Nora Roberts, and Stephen King to name a few. Then there are those that you probably never heard of like Brendan Schemrie, who taught me the importance of writing for a specific audience. Or Shauna Edson, who spent an hour every Wednesday for a year coaching me and teaching me the mechanics of writing dialogue. Then there is my friend, editor, and co-mentor of the Veterans writing group at the Salt Lake V.A. Hospital, Peter Muller who has taught and inspired me in ways that the masters would admire.

Thank you for stopping by and allowing me to share my thoughts with you. Until next time please keep being beautiful you as you are the change we need to make our world a better place for all we share it with.

Namaste with love,

Joe Bradshaw

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!
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!


I must be nuts…?

I am quite sure that what I share at this moment in time is one of my greatest challenges, as I look in the mirror of myself and my soul. Sometimes one can get so down and so hard that nothing matters anymore or so soft one just wants to walk in front of a bus because nothing matters anymore. There are those days I suppose for many as I read what people share in what they write and the people I have talked to who are in such a way.

I am in a rather awkward position at the moment and wonder with wonder what is next for me, it is sometimes the hardest thing I have to do to look at myself in the mirror of my soul with dignity rather than shame. It is the gift of looking in that mirror that gives the dignity and the love that lets me know it all matters and nothing else matters.

One may have ones money taken, ones roof taken away, the job gone and things just taken be left with nothing other than ones clothes and still have dignity. Circumstances even if they are beyond ones control  or ones that are self-created don’t define who I am or who the person going through or having gone through what I am experiencing.

The reason that I am so hesitant is that feeling of shame and fear, yet I am a very beautiful and kind soul so I share a bit of my tale. I am not quite sure how the spiritual Masters of our time would look at me or the therapists and psychological experts would view my thoughts or whether they would even appreciate them. I know there are those who will appreciate and empathize and there are those who will smile and say I am beautiful when they look in the mirror because I shared these few words painful as they are for me to share.

I had thought a few months ago I had turned a major corner and I did only not the corner I thought and not the way I envisioned it. I did however turn a major corner and it is the gift I of self expression I have that compels the sharing of the gift of having nothing and having everything.

I sat last night in silence after speaking with my stepson I have been staying with him and the plans we had have turned a very different direction. He and his wife have a very bad problem, they are drinkers.. And both of them angry mean drunks. The have three beautiful children one is my stepsons the other two his wife’s. I am the only grandpa they will ever know and I love them dearly, the kids are the reason I am here I believe and in a week I am leaving to see my two natural children both of them just had children little girls. I have an urge to call the child services on my way out yet know where they are even though it stinks they do have love for each other and the kids would be separated breaking their hearts and mine.

I was going to go last week I didn’t because I didn’t want to get trapped in the little town my kids live in in PA. I had enough to get a room at a hotel and a bus to see them but not enough to get to San Diego where I may have a job opportunity and if nothing else the beach to write on and enjoy as I pass the time and get the finances to get a place to stay. I didn’t want to see my grandchildren or my children stepchildren included and have to sleep on a park bench. My daughter didn’t want to see me when I was sleeping in my car a few years ago when it all came down on me. My 25 dollar an hour job after child support and the IRS garnishments leaving me with 275.00 at the end of the week and needing half of that for gas money to get to work the next week. She definitely wouldn’t want to bring my granddaughter to visit me in the park..

Well as I sat and pondered and looked at me I don’t feel ashamed, I don’t feel like I am a lost cause I am quite at this moment in time aware of my greatest gift and how I got it. It was given at birth and it is dignity.. the love of who and what I am no matter what I have or don’t have where I am or where I sleep, I am a beautiful kind and loving soul as I was meant to be. No matter what the rest of the world sees I see the world as I love me. I may not have enough loot to stay all week with my kids and grandkids the work with my stepson is in a pause as it takes weeks to get materials and the job he was scheduled to do was shipped the wrong materials. My granddaughter Lillyann  is having surgery this week and has been in the hospital  for the three weeks she has been alive and I need to see her and hold her.

The hardest thing I did today was love myself with nothing to know I love everything around me and am grateful I get to see my children and grandchildren even if I have to sleep on a bench. I am even more grateful I won’t have to although I may not make it all the way to San Diego.. Maybe Texas, Corpus Christi or Austin.. hell Houston and Dallas both are booming with art artists and opportunity. I wonder if I have learned the greatest lesson of all and I am feeling like I am getting closer.. Love unconditional of every creation in all of creation.. I am in awe!  My friend Clark Kent shares his words of love deeply.. I agree start with yourself and the love you will know is as deep as your soul..

Thank you for allowing me to share a thought or two and perhaps a smile.. Love yourself share your love and help make our world a better place for all we share it with. Share a smile and share your love, be the change positive.. Thank you!

The most important post I can share please stand up and do the right thing

This is without a doubt the one post I wish to share.

I am an avid reader of blogs and books as well as anything that may enrich my mind, heart and soul. I had recently written a post on the Women and Girls roles in a changing Global society. A fellow blogger had stopped by and shared a like on my post. I visited her page and have had the profound desire since reading it to share my thoughts.

Her post was one of a very heart felt nature to me and should be to all of Mankind it was about the torture and mutilation of one of our greatest treasures “Women and Girls”. As I read this post I was reminded of a movie the hardest movie for me to sit through and in fact it took three times for me to finish watching it I was so hurt and full of pain. The movie was “Tears in the Sun” and the vivid and horrific way that the evil creatures treated women and then mutilated their bodies sickened me so deeply that my vow of nonviolence would have been broken had I a way to travel to Nigeria where the story took place.

I am appalled to think that these things happen every day in some of these Nations where the media and technology is limited and controlled by some of the most evil beings to be on our planet. The fact is that these things are still being done and the global society still does not make a move to change it and eradicate the evil as well as those that perpetrate such acts. I had been reading about the Gang rapes of little girls in India and the rapes and murders of women and girls in the more technologically advanced nations where these issues cannot hide from the media or perhaps these society’s have enough courage and outrage in mass to affect change by showing the world that they are no longer going to tolerate such behavior even if it means firing their leaders and protesting in mass stopping their economies and standing together for equality and justice as well as the dignity of the Victims and their own dignity by standing up for what is right.

I for one will not just sit on the side lines as women and girls who have no voice are mutilated, raped and left to live with the evil consequences of evil beings that have no consequence for their actions as no one holds them accountable. I would ask that we as human beings step up to the plate and hold them accountable and see that justice is served and that the Women and Girls of our Planet have the Equality and dignity as well as are cherished and recognized for the gift they are.

I am sharing the link to the blog post that moved me so and ask that all who share on WordPress please take action and stop the evil of these vile creatures who would commit such heinous acts. Standing together as a Global community we can ask that our own Governments and our own citizens take action in such a way that these evil acts can no longer be done without consequence and justice being served by those that perpetrate such acts where ever they may try to hide or perpetrate them. True Justice and true equality for women girls and all mankind demands that all mankind participate and end such evil.

Stop Abuse of Women

January 30, 2013 1:37 pm / 4 Comments

What is Female Genital Mutilation

Please read share and re post or share in your own way this post as well as mine or your own just take action. Call your newspapers and TV stations and ask why we are not hearing about these atrocities ask you Government officials why no action is being taken ask your religious leaders to help and speak up for the Women and Girls with no voice and representation. Represent them and stand up for all mankind in a positive way. I would challenge all the men who have families as well as mothers to just take a few seconds and think about some evil creature mutilating your mother or children and no one even seeming to care as she lays there in a pool of blood and the vile semen of some evil creature mingled in it as her tears fall.

I am not going to ask to share a smile and share your love as I traditionally do. I am going to ask that you please share your love and stand-up be heard for those with no voice and change the world! One time in our lives we can make a difference no matter what race, creed religion, no religion, man woman or child from what ever country or space on this planet please be the change positive and take action.

Heaven and Earth the Battle within

Dragons fighting high above

Heaven and Earth fight with love


Not to main or to kill

Drawing blood against their will


Gentle Kind and discipline

How they fight a win, win


Sparks and Lightning all around

Emanating on the ground


Grounded deep within

Change begins we all win


Dragons fighting high above

Bringing light to darkness with love


Heaven and Earth

The Realm within

Joe Bradshaw (c) 2012


My thoughts expressed as influenced by a very treasured set of writings. I was actually doing to post a poem about sailing on a ship that came in and well that one one in my mind written I shall share another time. That Ship has great sails and the winds blow enchanted breezes.Some rather erotic poets on here..

I thank you for your taking the time and allowing me to perhaps share a smile and even some love. I ask that we all share a smile and share our love and make our world a better place for all we share it with.

A short post as I still let my deep thoughts resonate… A thought and sentiment to consider.

I share this song as I am listening to some music and consider how to express my thoughts. I was challenged and inspired by a friend and fellow Blogger Clark Kent. The subject and the conversation shared with my friend has given me much thought and as is my nature the depth and significance of his challenge intrigues me and inspires me to find the truth within.  I will say in advance the song I share has some vulgarity yet it has its place in the message shared.



I share this song and its sentiment as it is an everyday thing and is all around us and in us. I do know what it is like as I look in the eyes of those I share with that are far less fortunate and fight demons that most will never have to confront from street level. Some people have no support of family or a group of friends and society shuns them as well the song says it all.

Those that benefit most are all of us when we share even a simple smile and a gift of love with those in a bad way or those in a good way. Love shared is a win win! Please be the change positive share a smile and your love making our world a better place for all we share it with. Thank you for your time and your shared smiles it is an honor to share with you and you with I.

A rare gift shared with my mom.

The world and life are indeed very beautiful as are the rewards or gifts if you prefer are priceless. Knowledge is always priceless and a gift so is time spent with your mom, usually me excursions and time with my mom is a long hour or so then the negative energy sometimes overwhelms me and I have to go, you know, “Gotta Go no you don’t understand I gotta go”.


Today she and I had the day off so I asked if she wanted to go to the book store a favorite place of hers in my youth was a rare and used book store. She also had a book store she had wanted to visit since the days of her becoming a young Lady, a place where poetry readings where done and tea and coffee as well as intellectual conversation could be enjoyed.


When I arrived she was looking through old photographs and had taken out a pile of my pictures over the years and a few special ones I enjoyed as well as a couple I was shocked to see. One of a handsome 21 year old in a White Tux next to a Beautiful young Lady in a White gown the faces vaguely familiar and the young man no longer exists.


We made the trip to the book store and of course they had no William Blake books collection even random poems. Bummer off to the book store with tea coffee and poetry readings, bummer no William Blake ever one else one could desire to read yet not what I sought.


The gift of gifts, the humility and sincerity, as well as grace to share the truth and once and for all build a real loving relationship with my mother. My mom has racked and tortured herself for years as a mom can sometimes do over her mistakes or perceived mistakes in upbringing her children especially a rebellious oldest son. She does have right to acknowledge the mistakes and to be responsible and find the truth however ugly it may be for her.


The conversation started about my sisters feelings being hurt by our grandmother the last time she went with my mom to visit her. I wondered what my sweet 94 year old Grandma could have possibly said to hurt my sister. She asked if my sister had seen her father recently. My sister told her, “her dad died 8 years ago”. My Grandma was in a way hurt and said ‘no your father”. My sisters response was “You mean the sperm donor”.


My mom then shared her darkness, and in doing so found the man in the tux was no longer there. The man she raised was in fact not the same man he was yesterday. I shared in the most loving and kind way the path to her soul… The truth will set her free her true heart I explained could not hide from me nor herself. What good or what love is expressed when you share such nasty words and thoughts with me when you call my father a man you once loved and had 4 children with a sperm donor? Or the man I loved and thought of as my hero for my childhood, 7 or 8 I was when the two of you destroyed our world. One of your husbands abandoned us and one beat and abused me and you were there. It sometimes is very hard to find the silver lining the answer is in the truth and when you find the truth dark and light you find love.


My mom knew her son was and is a beautiful loving man and chose to share her faith in my transformation by acknowledging her part in my becoming one. Her contribution was almost as brutal and every bit a lesson in love true as well as unconditional love. My mom knows in my heart she is what she is loved forgiven and loved. I am humbled again by the power of the Divine and the love shared. My love of the divine is reflected back in the lessons learned and living a life of love and goodness. It is a gift to have your mother truly acknowledge your goodness, I didn’t get angry and her anger melted with the gentle truth.


Thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts and words perhaps even a smile with you. It is my hope we can all share a smile and some love making our world a better place for all we share it with. A relationship can begin anew even 27 years later with love and the truth. Mankind can fix a thousands of year old relationship by fining inner truth and sharing the love we find there. Share a smile share your love and be the change positive.