How To Accept A New Chapter In Life!

walking-with-papaI’ve been on a bit of a learning curve… Oops! Let me apply a lesson learned by correcting myself. My Learning Curve Continues!!!

We wage internal battles inside our singular brains sometimes, strong enough to wet the thirst of a thousand commandos on a forced-march. Dreams can be temperamental bed-fellows. As cranky as a dissatisfied passenger riding shotgun with an adult dose of colic. Geez! Can’t we all just get along???

All I want to do is rise to my potential. Bust through the doors of mind-boggling resistance to wrap my arms around some undeniable success. Why so much opposition? Doesn’t the world know, all I want to do is make it a better place?  I throw my feet over the side of the bed every morning with the intention of serving others. What exactly is the point of everything being so doggone hard?

I’m a good student, eager, ready to apply the AHA! Moments that constantly bombard my consciousness… I’m often insulted, rejected, and misunderstood along with my contributions of grace and kindness. I’m better at dismissing angst and disgruntled thought-memes looking to put their hot black wheels down on me as a landing strip, leaving skid marks across my sacred space. But, it’s still a nuisance. If treachery does in fact, have an assignment, surely it drew my name by mistake. Right???

Nope! Turns out negativity isn’t happy unless it has turned everyone into premature rigor mortis. My mind-block takes a break – understanding comes barreling through my tender grip of commitment to remain scripted in ignorance. (ignoring the facts) Oh, if there were only a real conspiracy that I could laden with the abundance of confusion I have nurtured with unimaginable precision.

What do you know? Just when I’m about to settle into calling common normal, originality declares, I’m here!!! Back off, Bud… I’ve worked long and hard to keep myself stunted with the redundancy of habits not likely to ever produce change. Snorting through my nose and digging my heels in the dirt like a bull who takes red flags personally, I let the words roll off my lips as if I were a polished southern gentleman, “I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood.”

We are all due to a blessing, from time to time, that isn’t in disguise. Clearly visible, purely designed for our enjoyment. Providing an opportunity to do what we love. Without force or conniption. You know? The kind of thing that tempts you to believe in magic carpet rides.

Two months ago I was not thinking about being on TV. But, I was thinking about what was next. The invitation came as simply as, Hi, Rick,  I’m interested in promoting you and your work. Which led to an interview. Which led to, “How would you like to have your own show?” My own show? Are you kidding? You’re free to talk about whatever you want, the things that matter to you. You mean, I can create a show that helps other people? Exactly! It’s your show.

I still don’t believe in magic carpet rides but, I do believe in the magic of love!!!

And, I accept the notion that good things happen simply because they are supposed to!!!

And, I believe some things don’t work out so that better things can!!! 

And, I believe in walking by the ocean with my grand boy!!!

“Rick on Life” You can find it at http://www.facebook.com/TLBTV   Beginning 8/6/17

 

 

How To Know IF You’re Seeing Things Correctly!

All seeing eye Max Pixel

Image courtesy of Max Pixel

I’m a mixed breed! Accepting that is as pure as it gets for me. Giving up trying to be a thoroughbred, of any kind, has freed me from pining about pedigree.

 

Recognizable Specificity

I don’t fit everywhere. Thankfully, I no longer want to. The assumed task of pleasing everyone is an indomitable endeavor. And, I have never been content forfeiting me. Approval can be fleeting and laden with hypocrisy. When other people celebrate you, only because you accommodate their desires, conflict is inevitable. Peace of mind can’t happen in your absence.

I know people who listen to only one type of music. That just doesn’t work for me. Rhythms and lyrics affect me, like all mediums do, and I want to have a say in the feeling I’m experiencing when I’m listening, reading, or observing. I’ve learned to appreciate difference, any single point of view could never account for my multiple channels. I have a simple requirement, I insist on being lifted up.

I avoid things that bring me down, make me conscious of negativity, or disrupt my intention to reside in a state of harmony. A single focus doesn’t mean narrow in scope. Paintings, books, science, nature, an ambient restaurant, a small child, or a cloud formation are just a few of the many opportunities for tranquility. Life is full of beauty.

Every vibe isn’t virtuous. Anything that causes me to turn-on myself has slipped past my radar. I know immediately if I’m berating, belittling, or hating on me I’m  suffering vision impairment. And, whenever I’m flirting with consternation, pouring out wrath on others, smoke is in my eyes. Clear vision builds you and others.

CORRECTIVE LENSES

Anger has never had 20/20 vision. I speak from experience. I was angry for much of my life. I plunged into being angry at my anger. Much of my anger was justified. But here is the problem; anger, left to its own devices, blurs vision. We can be upset for good reason but, unless we are willing to turn our passion into purpose, we are left to stew in destructive heat.

Eye exam staff sargent Jason McCasland USAF

Image courtesy of SS Jason McCasland via USAF

Anger is not an invitation to hate, though it is often interpreted that way. It is, in fact, a call to action. Anger is a compliment of trust. Its simply requesting our attention. Desiring to show us a way forward. Giving us opportunities for growth. Providing insight to our unique set of challenge solving skills. Anger chooses us, to make something better.

Being betrayed and violated is disturbing. Almost as troubling as personal dysfunction. When we are done wrong… (Hey, it happens, and will undoubtedly happen again) its decision time. Just because someone decides to live in the basement is no reason to move out of the penthouse. We can be thankful that we won’t be investing anymore of ourselves in things we don’t want in our lives.

As Maya Angelou so ably instructed, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” I believe in forgiveness, redemption, and second chances; I couldn’t be here if I didn’t. But disrespect and broken trust leaves little to build on. Repairs are possible with collaboration. I try to remember that what people do is not as important as why they do it.  Understanding that what happened might be the best there is in the moment.

When I resist the temptation to cause pain and intentionally strive to serve my mission, serving others, that’s how I know I’m seeing things correctly.

How do you see it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Determine The Questions To Ask!

question-mark- pixabay.png

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

It was a friendly environment and the speaker seemed warm enough. I was about to ask my question when… what if it’s a stupid question? The popular adage, “the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask” won’t actually protect you from uncontrollable sneering. I decided to forgo the chance at enlightenment, opting instead, for self-preservation.

THE BUFFET TABLE

The constant barrage of voices vying for influence, in our minds, can be daunting. We can grow weary and become vulnerable. Or, we can become frustrated and dismiss potential opportunities to increase understanding. Whether we slip into one of these, or some other immobility, we can’t ignore the lingering desire to learn. Being “in the know” is empowering. Questions abound but are only virtuous if they lead to solutions.

What scares us is the thought of feeling belittled, inadequate, or incompetent. Wanting to avoid negative feelings can be a strong driver. I disagree with the old saying, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”  While fear has a place of honor,  it is often out of place. Questions are a key component of any progressive strategy. I question myself first, then I test my answer in the form of a question to others.

Contrary to pervasive confusion, answers are not hiding. I’m convinced answers wait patiently to be discovered.  They are positioned in merited investigation. Whenever I’m struggling with advancing toward my aspirations it’s always because I’m not asking the right questions. Intuition is at peek performance when it suggests highly personalized interrogation. We benefit significantly when we realize the gift of the question that just won’t go away.

PORTION CONTROL

The people who stock the buffet have no responsibility for what we put on our plates. One of my favorite saying from Maya Angelou is, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I get her meaning. Completely. However, I’ve had to tweak its power.

What we feel is the result of the invitation being extended. How we feel is the result of the invitations we accept. Nobody can make us attach to a feeling. In order for any feeling to resonate it has to be met with agreement. If someone hands us a helping of negativity and we “know” what they’re saying isn’t true, we can turn down the invitation. If we think there’s some truth in what’s being said, we are likely to overeat junk-food.

Partial truths are loaded with hidden calories and lead to unwanted weight gain. Our positive thoughts, and good intentions, go straight to our waste-lines when they are not allowed to flourish in healthy feelings. In my quest for personal excellence, I have come to understand, my well-being is not only found in what I’m eating but in how much of it I’m devouring. I try to ask only those questions I actually want the answers to.

DIGESTION

Our world is filled with limitless information and yet, solutions remain aloof. The endless chatter seems fermented in knowing exactly, what the other person needs to do, to make things better. When remedies beg for something more we need to ask a different question. I refuse to let anyone, by coercion or otherwise, take away my right to inquire.

The noteworthy work of aligning our good intentions with our prevailing feelings demands we know the value of questions. When my best answers don’t change my trajectory, I rephrase the question. If my findings don’t improve things for me, and those around me, I find another question. Being in the dark gives me heartburn.

I determine the questions to ask based on whether or not things are working the way I want them to. The most important questions are the ones you ask yourself!

Any questions?

I demonstrate my Q & A journey in my book: If Only I Had A Dad,  http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously, Check Your Voicemail!

My six year old grandson came for Christmas.  We did a Dream Board together for a project. I want him to get use to prioritizing. I showed him some examples of Dream Boards.  I had him make a list of things he wanted to do or happen. I collected a bunch of magazines for us to cut out pictures and words or phrases. I purchased a small tri-fold display board so it would fit into his suitcase when he flew home. With markers, sticky buttons, and stencils we were ready to begin. He did an outstanding job.

dreamscometrue pixabay

by pixabay

One of the things he wanted on his Dream Board is, for someone in particular, (not me thankfully) to know how they sound when they talk to him. We came across a caption that said, Seriously, check your voicemail! He got very excited and said, I want that on my board, Papa.

If you’re Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millenniums, you may not be that acquainted with voicemail. Opting for email or text messaging instead. In fact, if your’re under 40 chances are you don’t utilize a TAD. Why bother? You can FaceTime or Skype faster. But for us Boomers and early Gen X members, we came to appreciate such an advance in technology. This was cool, man!

Knowing that my grandson had no experience with a recorded message machine I wondered how this fit his need. I asked him, why do you want that on your board? With great command he said, because people need to know how they sound to other people. OMG! The message we deliver with tone and attitude. Wow!

I learned a few things from a study I did about communication skills. Psychology Today, Sept. 30, 2011 presented the following; Communication is believed to be 55% body language, 38% tone, and 7% spoken words. There is some debate about exact numbers. Albert Mehrabian gave us the 55/38/7 rule. Two research studies in 1967, Mehrabian & Wiener and Mehrabian & Ferris, addresses this conclusion. Another popular formula is the 60/40 rule. It applies 60% to facial expression and 40% to vocal expression as components of a person’s attitude.

dfwwriters

c/o dfwwritersworkshop.org

I spoke to someone at one of the writers groups I attend. I told them I would like to get to know them. I find them interesting and want to learn from them. They said, really? smiled and thanked me. After the meeting I mentioned that I started a Blog. I didn’t expect them to follow me but asked if they would take a look at it and give me any advice. They gave me a look of, you must be kidding. They turned away from me while I was still talking. I walked off disappointed. But had no doubts about their level of interest in my blog. Or me.

Relationships are the corner-stones of life. I want to be accepted, appreciated, and affirmed. The way I communicate is key to success. If I only want people when I need them chances are they won’t be there for me. If I see people as an option it might be unreasonable to think they will take me earnestly. A little respect goes a long way.

I communicate. Everyday. With multiple people. What is my level of proficiency?  I want people to talk with me. Interact with me. I desire to share ideas. Life is a collaboration to me. Why perfect a message, brand, or image if I will be the only one involved? I believe words are a sacred exchange between people. I ask myself; how big do I want my life to be? I don’t want to be small, selective, and closed. Not every person will click with me. Or I them. But if there cannot be a union let it be because of substance and not attitude.

saddog pixabay

by pixabay

It only takes a few words, with a less than virtuous tone, to lose a potential ally.  Even my loved ones can feel cheapened by inappropriate syntax and emotion. What is more distasteful than to sense rejection? Ridicule? Belittling? Being dismissed by condescension invites withdrawal. This level of communication is perfect for a lonely hearts club. I remind myself that position is everything to opportunity. Not titles. But how I treat others. People will want to be around me because of how I make them feel.

socialmedia yoel ben-avraham

by Yoel Ben-Avraham

I’ve recently wadded into social media. An activity I have avoided for a long time. The recklessness and insensitivity I see staggers me. I agree that I have the right to say whatever I want – the way I want. But should I exercise that right without being responsible?  Poor manners corrupt good communication. The virtual world is real. It involves people. It is a platform. It has a diving board. A launch pad. Every time I engage it I telegraph my value and values. I choose to be involved. I get that. And, I accept.

A good place to work on myself is while driving. I can’t believe what people do while operating a motor vehicle. It’s hard for me to understand the way some people endanger others. I cannot believe my eyes half the time. I confess, I talk. All the time. I call names. I’ve even made gestures. Alright already; I’m embarrassed to admit it. It dawned on me that my time behind the wheel is a great opportunity to tighten my conveyance techniques.

handsoverears melissa gutlerrez

by Melissa Gutlerrez

I know other drivers don’t hear me, but I do. My transmissions affect me. I create a space of diminishing returns. I don’t want to be effective some of the time. I want the whole world to follow my blog, buy my book, (coming soon) and hear my message. I can help others. I have something to offer. But if I’ve treated people with disrespect I probably won’t get invited in.

We all have different gifts, talents, and capabilities. We have varying degrees of education and economic status. We represent multi faceted areas of authority and decision making. But let’s get jiggy wit it. All human value is the same. It never depreciates. Its one of the few constants we have. I want to recognize every moment as an occasion to show reverence. I know this is about my ability to minimize self-centered thinking. And, elevate others to their rightful place. Even if I can’t appreciate the behavior I can value the person. The world if full of systems that don’t work. I’m smart enough, capable enough, and determined enough to rise above them.

babyyelling by phil

by phil

I owe my grandson a debt of gratitude. He made me look at myself through his innocent eyes. He has reminded me about what’s really important. Whether I’m in a car, in front of a computer, or interacting with a real person I want to be a safe place. Because of a precious little boy, I have…. Seriously, checked my Voicemail!