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

lost loves


On a canvas paint
Brushes dipped, color filled tips
Expressed from a heart not faint

Inaudible strokes
Deep resounding tones
Echoing words never spoke

Splashes of reds
Over blackened notes
Silent spaces filled with dread

Demons in the shadows hide
Secrets haunting
Found as the light shines inside

As the strokes on the canvas sing
A picture begins to form
Contrast eerily screams

Macabre to some
Hideous to others
Beautiful to one

Darkness, light
Day, night
Life is not black and white

Just wanted to share a thought or two.. I was doing some inner exploration and had a realization that I had not written a poem for some time. I found the poem flowed from my inner self and as I wrote the words I thought I may share them here. I rarely write from such a place yet there are some that may appreciate the sentiment I was inspired to express. Raw and uncut (not edited… sorry I just felt like sharing it as it is)

I am in a process of new beginnings and am quite grateful for all of my life’s experiences… especially that shared with my former loves.

Thank you all for being beautiful you!

Namaste

Simple Me… a poetically expressed thought


Scattered energies
Fragmented dreams
Nothing is ever as it seems

Dark and light
I embrace
Clarity in stillness not haste

Silence understood
Never bad never good
Judge not

Accept
Love
Just be

I am beautiful
I am focused
I am simple me

Intent
Aligned
And free

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The Key… Acceptance unlock your heart and mind.


“Our watchword, then, will be acceptance, and not exclusion. Not only toleration, for so-called toleration is often blasphemy, and I do not believe in it. I believe in acceptance. Why should I tolerate? Toleration means that I think that you are wrong and I am just allowing you to live. Is it not a blasphemy to think that you and I are allowing others to live?” (Swami Vivekananda, The Complete Works Vol.2)

I was inspired to share the quote as I observe the world around me, I accept that it is a beautiful world and it is by working together as human beings and accepting our differences that our world will evolve and the ignorance as well as the violence will transform into wisdom and compassion.

key

Acceptance is the key to changing ourselves and our world. Accepting responsibility for our thoughts and actions is the first step towards changing ourselves and our world. Start with accepting that you are you and loving yourself just as you are and embracing who you want to be. Accept it will take effort and know that you are doing the best you can. It will allow you to accept that those around you are human just like you!

Acceptance is a form of love, I happen to feel it is one of the ultimate expressions of love!

I accept that you feel how you feel. I accept that you did what you felt you had to do. I accept that at this moment in time….. I am where I am, I am present, I accept that it is what it is and it is accepted with love. I accept you as you are and me as I am all of us are a part of this wonderful existence we know as life.

Thank you for being beautiful you and changing the world with your love and your smiles, You are making a difference and having an impact. Thank you for being the positive change our world so needs, you are making it better for all we share it with! Thank you!

Namaste

Taking the time to smell the flowers!


 

I wanted to share a few thoughts. It is my first post of the New Year; In fact it is my first post in a few weeks. I was reminded recently of my past, I lived a fast hard life during my twenty’s and thirty’s. Work consumed my time and money was all that was on my mind. So much so that I missed out on smelling so many roses… Have you ever stopped to think about and feel something that really brought you great joy? I have observed as I talk to people and help them step into the life they dream of that it is easy to remember the not so pleasant things that happen in our lives. I also have noticed as I step into my dream life, and implement the things I have learned and teach I had the same problem.

Funny how other people’s story can remind us of our own story, the good the bad and the ugly. I read Stephen Kings memoir “On Writing” recently. I had been told it was the number one guide to becoming a better writer, to master the craft of writing this book is a must read. I agree it is a must read for any writer, as a writer you have to be a reader. Some of the characters in his story were very reminiscent of some of the characters in my youth.

One or two of his characters along with their situations, and experiences hit quite close to home for me. The truth is they would probably hit quite home for most of us. One of the stories he shared was about two girls and a boy that were in some of his classes while he was a teacher at a High School. They were not wealthy students; one of the girls wore the same skirt and shirt all year. By the time it was winter the skirt was faded, the shirt was stained and for the most part translucent. The kids all picked on those unfortunate students because they were basically stuck with what they had.

One of the motivating factors for my obsession with making money and having the means to buy my children the finest of everything materially was my own childhood memories. When I was in fifth grade I was given the nick name “K mart”. I had one pair of shoes to wear through the school year, plastic ones that were always a size or two larger than my feet at the start of the year so I could grow into them. One pair of jeans and a couple of homemade shirts completed my wardrobe. The shoes were what they used to call K Mart specials shiny patent leather knock offs. Most other kids I knew wore them on Sunday to church.

I got my first job at 13 so I could buy myself clothes that were more in style, and lose the nick name. I never wanted to hear the name” K mart” again especially if it was what I was being called. I was determined to make a million dollars and know my children would never be ridiculed for the clothes they wore. I would never again feel like I was poor!

Here it is 2015, I was speaking with a friend about a seminar we had recently attended. It was a Law of Attraction seminar and the speaker (A close friend) was talking about the visualization process. Find a memory of a time in your life when you had great joy and success. Feel that moment remember how you felt. Bask in that moment!

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It was that moment that I realized… How important it is to stop and smell the roses. I had the hardest time finding a moment that truly resonated with that feeling of joy. Not that I have not known or experienced joy, there have been many times in my life that I have. I was trying to think of a financial moment as it was again money on my mind. There was a time I got a check for twenty thousand dollars, I will remember that moment and the feeling I told myself. I suppose that is where I am going with this post.

I don’t remember the feeling, I don’t remember the joy, I don’t remember celebrating, I remember telling my former wife to deposit it. I remember going to work a fifteen hour day, coming home and checking on the balance in my checking account before I went to bed. Ten years later I can’t say how I felt about something that would have made “K mart” jump for joy, laugh, dance and sing.

I start this year with a great smile, and the intent to bask in each moment, find the joy and feel it savor it just like it was a rose. I have changed my life and path, choosing to do what I love. I am writing, painting and creating things with love and joy. I believe and know just like I did when I was 13 that I will make millions. This time doing what I love and savoring the moments, not neglecting the most beautiful part of life.

Do you live in the moment, do you smell the flowers? Can you recall the first time you felt love? The feeling you had when you had your first kiss? I had to dig very deep to remember those feelings. Isn’t that a shame?

I encourage you to stop and smell the roses, savor the moments in your life that bring you joy! Bask in those moments, and remember them when you start to think about the not, so pleasant things. That change of perspective will brighten up a cloudy day. The more you remember how beautiful that rose was to look at, the smell, and how it made you smile… The more beautiful your life will become!


Thank you for stopping by, thank you even more for being you!

Namaste

Waiting… A poetically expressed thought


Everything thing is in motion
Dreams planted like seeds from ocean to ocean
What to do next I haven’t a notion

The energy is so thick and dense
Being in alignment it only makes sense
Not to worry about what’s over the fence

I know that things are beginning to grow
Things that are special I truly know
My heart and my mind they tell me so

The work of alignment meditation of mind and heart
Truly the best way to make a new start
Now for the waiting…
The hardest part

Years of learning, implementing and contemplating come to an end and a new beginning. Seeds planted with intent from a place of true body mind and heart alignment. All that is left to do is let it all go water those seeds with love and the knowing that they will grow… Now all one can do is wait for the flowers to grow and then bloom!

It is quite an amazing feeling to know that you have taken the time to plant your seeds in your field of dreams after you have learned from the Masters. Baby steps and positive thoughts are all you can do as you move deeper into the unknown, knowing that something is happening that will make all the efforts worthwhile. Change is sometimes harder than we would think yet the rewards are far beyond what we could ever imagine even if they are not the ones we thought we would receive.

From a chunk of coal to a diamond it is quite a process, I want to say thank you all for being you, diamonds shining bright and beautiful through the darkness we all at times travel through!

Namaste 🙂

The Elephant… Don’t you see it?


The Elephant in the room….

Why is it that many of us human beings don’t acknowledge the obvious? We can look at the Elephant in the room and act like we don’t see it.

There are many issues in our personal lives and in our communities, cities, states, nations, and our world that the old saying applies to. (war, homelessness, racism, hunger, poverty, to name a few)

Do we just choose not to see it? Is it fear that stops us?
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I had several conversations with friends about the issues they were experiencing in their lives that reminded me of the old saying “The Elephant in the room” first it would be helpful to define the saying for those who may not have heard it or those that really have taken no time to understand what it means.

Wikipedia says: “Elephant in the room” or “Elephant in the living room” is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first recorded use of the phrase, as a simile, as The New York Times on June 20, 1959: “Financing schools has become a problem about equal to having an elephant in the living room. It’s so big you just can’t ignore it.”[3]

The conversations were for the most part about the issues that they were dealing with; the largest cause of those issues was their own negative attitudes and perspectives. Most of them were running from the issue rather than going within and changing their perspectives. I was guilty recently of trying to shut out the rest of the world and focus… Not how it works!

Much like what was happening with my friends and family I was ignoring the “Elephant in the room.” Life doesn’t work that way nor can I just be a master of my mind and heart in solitude. I did need to take some time and get focused, mastery would be something that I have to do in my everyday life, in my encounters with the energy and attitudes that others.

The only one that can make things change in your life is you, what is your relationship with the Elephant in the room? Are you ignoring your pains and your negative attitude or those of your friends and loved ones pretending that they are not the problem?

We owe it to ourselves, our friends, our families to deal with the elephant! Go deep, confront then release your fears and negativity, and let those feelings go free. They like the elephant they do better out in the open than caged up in the room!

Thank you for being you, you are beautiful and quite awesome, I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and read my posts. It brings a great smile, speaking of which… Your smiles and the love you share are making our world a better place for all we share it with! Thank you for being the positive change our world so needs!

Namaste 