Friday, January 31, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Every Day

My New Daily Meditation

THE FIVE PRINCIPLES: WISDOM OF THE AXIAL AGE

1. Be compassionate. Compassionate in both thought and deed. Learn to recognize that the actions of others is often caused by spiritual pain. Avoid contempt. Avoid those mental judgments we always make of others. Compassion leads to harmony and harmony and balance is the key to inner peace.

 2. Be kind. Very simple. In every interaction you have you have an opportunity to add to the sum total of good. No act of kindness or charity is too small. It does not matter if you receive gratitude. At times your acts of kindness will even cause resentment in others. That is their way. Let yours be kindness.

 3. Be Forgiving: Forgive others and mostly yourself. Forgiveness is not easy. It requires effort to let past harms and slights go. You may be perfectly justified in your anger, sorrow or resentment but it does not matter. Resentments do not harm the object of your resentment. They harm only you. Much of our spiritual disharmony is caused by our own self contempt. We magnify our failings. We mull over our mistakes and shortcomings again and again. We compare ourselves to an impossible ideal and then hate ourselves when we fail to measure up. Forgive yourself. Let it go. There is so much that is good in you and tomorrow brings a new opportunity to achieve your dreams.

 4. Be Loving. When you have been compassionate, kind and forgiving you will sense a flood of a unique form of love. Love of all. It will well up within you and influence your every action. It will baffle and confuse others. People who would confront you, engage you in argument or dispute and who would transmit their own anger to you will be astounded when they see that you are unruffled. They will not know what to do. Your calm and peace will affect them.

 5. Be Accepting: You are not in control of the universe. Stop taking everything so personally. It is not all about you. Be humble before the majesty of the universe knowing that it is you and you are it. Things are often not going to go your way. You may be treated unfairly by others, or be the target of hatred or cruelty. You are not going to get everything you want. Accept this. Move on.


These five principles form the foundation of just about every major religion and philosophical system which emerged in that incredible span of years called The Axial Age when Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Classic Greek Philosophy and Christianity all flowered in the same time period. Why? Simple, it is because they are universal and when put into active practice in our daily lives they work. Practice of these principles will garb you in a suit of spiritual armor. Even in the midst of chaos and in the face of evil your heart will be unsullied, calm and serene.

 ๑ Samsaran ๑



Credit

Monday, January 27, 2014

1.27.14

"All I’m saying is simply this: that all mankind is tied together; all life is interrelated and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of identity. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” 
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1.21.14

So tonight we busted out the game "Apples to Apples". The object of this game is to pick a word out of the 5 in your hand that most closely matches with the subject word in the middle of the table, as revealed by the rotating judge, who then decides which chosen word was best. I'm assuming most people know this game, although tonight was my first time playing, having just got the game for Christmas, and having had just enough time after Sean's basketball game and doing homework tonight.

So we played, and I found myself tied with Sean, each of us one good hand away from the win.

And Ireland pulled the word "Untame". So I chose my card "Pimples" thinking it was pretty obvious as to why they are untame/unruly/wild (the synonyms that are suggested on each of the cards are there to guide). Sean had dropped the word "crayons" in the mix. I didn't get it.

Part of the game involves the "table talk", in which you make a case for your word, and why it should be chosen. Well, I thought mine was pretty obvious, and didn't feel the need to convince Ireland, the judge for that round, that there was even a contest here.

Then Sean just sat back and made his case...a slow, '60's stoner voice ala the bus driver on the Simpsons, or Roger my elementary school bus driver, for that matter...just picture THAT guy, and somehow Sean channeled that voice when he said "I don't know man, it's just like crayons...they're always going outside the lines."

Laughter.

Sean for the win.


Such funny kids.



Thursday, January 16, 2014

1.16.14


Sibs
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
These kids just love each other, and life, and I love them, and shit is good.

That's what I have today. It's from last night, and it's plenty.

It's all I need.

I mean, LOOK at those stupid cute faces...who wouldn't be proud to be their dad?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1.15.14

Today has had it's challenges, and I can tell that this is not going to be the most monumental week in my existence, so I'm going to tell a brief little anecdote about joy.

Last night, coaching the first game for my Boys and Girls Club 3rd and 4th grade basketball team, "The Superstars" (a name we came up with after the game, having only been given "team 9" by the league), I had some pretty awesome moments watching the kids I was pretty sure weren't going to put more than 4 points on the board hang with the opposing team. In fact, it turns out, we were very equally matched up, and I was proud to have had some semblance of an offense and some defensive fundamentals in place. There were some real standouts on the court, and I felt a great rush of competition, and pride.

And on the note of that competitive edge that I have and which I have kept in check in the whole of my coaching career to date: the itch and the intensity in my voice was probably apparent to everyone around when, at the end of the game, we were down by 2 points, and got the ball back with only seconds left. Sean was on the court, and as the ball made it down, he was right under the basket when he took a pass from a teammate.

-He had been killing it all night, running the point guard position, and to my sincere amazement, switching directions at the top of the key with behind the back ball handling which I had no idea he was even capable of. -

So there he was, ball in hand, under the basket with the seconds ticking off the clock and the game on the line. And he threw up what was probably the worst layup I have ever seen him shoot...it was so strong it went to the top of the backboard, which then becomes out of bounds and a turnover. I couldn't' believe that this kid who I consider to be the most clutch under pressure (he wears the t-shirt, and has earned that moniker) player I've had on any of my teams, would BOOF a shot like that so badly. And I almost got upset, until right at that second I looked at his face.

Sean had the biggest fucking smile on his face, and was laughing at what a ridiculous shot he had taken, and jogged back down the court as the buzzer sounded and the game ended, laughing at himself, and enjoying the moment with his teammates.

That's when it clicked.

This is what it's all about.


That kid just, ONCE AGAIN, taught me something.



Thanks, Bubba. I love you more than words could ever say. Thanks for showing me that it's about having fun, and enjoying the ride, and it's all just a game. Because it is. And I'm so proud of you and the fun that you have playing sports, and the joy that you bring to me and everyone else who gets to watch you do your thing.

Don't ever stop doing your thing. You got a special kind of thing going on.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

1.14.14

I read something cool this morning. 

"Unhealthy love is being powerless, selfish and enabling. It has no boundaries. Unhealthy love is unconditional and yet contingent. It is immature, irresponsible and dependent. Unhealthy love is urgent. There is a desperation behind it which produces manipulation and compromise of self. Unhealthy love is a pissing contest, a tug of war, a mute silence and a kick stand. It is obvious. Unhealthy love promotes the false self and stunts growth. It is a drug.

Healthy love is a choice. It is something you decide to give as a gift. It has conditions that shape the self and strengthen the other. Healthy love is feeling powerful and independent. It is grilled cheese and vegetable soup on a rainy day but not every day. Healthy love is patient, kind and accepting. Healthy love requires a tremendous amount of responsibility which involves communication on all levels and constant reflection. It is building trust, having faith and holding a commitment. Healthy love promotes growth and two strong containers. Healthy love is rare."

Via: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5425/The-Difference-Between-Healthy-Love-and-Unhealthy-Love.html


Such an accurate observation and simply a sad truth that such love is so rare. But also dangerous, I think, to paint the picture that these two types of love are so black and white. I think that any love can become a healthy love...if healthy people are both making the efforts. 


I'm trying to become a healthy person again. In all honesty it's been a while since I could say that I really was healthy inside and out and deep down to my core. So many choices and situations have stacked up over the years and there is so much physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually to work through in order to be the picture of health that I have in my head.


But I do have an image in mind...a memory that becomes less distant every single day. I know that I deserve that first kind if love and so does everyone else. I want it. And I'm really working on having it by being that particular kind of reflective, kind and patient and learning to trust myself. It's healing and it's building and it's just what's going on with me right now. 


And not much else, unfortunately. You have found yourself on what might possibly be the most boring blog in the world these days. If you want more sexy pictures of motorcycles and butts and buildings, I suggest you find your way over to my tumblr. 

In the meantime, here...from inside me...this is where I'm really trying to keep it real and this exercise of writing it all down is like a process of goal setting and follow through. An important part of the action of growth. This is, after all, the evolution. 


Monday, January 13, 2014

1.13.14

“Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex; But eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, Stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories and make peace with them.”
Iyanla Vanzant 

Friday, January 10, 2014


1.10.13

Its Friday night and I'm home reading. Studying some ideas about the way we think and act and thinking about making more conscious choices to leave the battlefield instead of fighting the battle. 

Another day at my new gym tomorrow. 

Another opportunty for production at the office amidst what will be a relatively quiet day. Well...less hectic, at least. 

And another opportunity to put one foot in front of the other. 

I wonder what else the day will offer to me? These days there is not much that will surprise me and almost nothing that I wouldn't be open to. 

I feel good. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

1.9.14

I can't believe we are already 9 days into the year.

Sometimes I can't believe how far behind I am. Then sometimes I think about how far I have actually come on a lot of fronts that plagued me personally lately. I'm doing OK.

Proud to say I haven't smoked in a month. Or more? Not sure, but it's been a while. It's nice to have that craving and then find the power inside to say fuck off.

I'm on a different level with the kids lately. They are blowing me away. They are dealing with some serious stuff in the most mature way I could have ever imagined. I am beyond proud of the people that they are. They teach me how to be a better person every single day.

I like where I am going. I just can't get there fast enough...but the patience has been part of my lesson, and I know that this time I'm learning it from some of the most amazing and most patience-filled people I have ever met. And inside of me is one of them...listening, waiting, learning, opening up and releasing all kinds of negative energy and creating a deeper level of awareness than anything I have ever known.

Every day my energy levels get better and better, and as a result, I am beginning to believe I will catch back up with my work and my life, and I don't get so anxious or bent out of shape about it when I'm not there yet. Hard to explain, but it's pretty monumental for me.

I'm building a new temple.

I'm open to the divine.

I'm always, if nothing else, grateful every minute of every day. I still think it's the secret. Always have.


So...Thank You!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

1.8.14

Don't stop, get it, get it.

This day is flying, but for some reason, I am still breathing, alive and energetic, and it's not even the afternoon yet. I'm kind of surprised, seeing as how, for the I-don't-know-how-many-nights-in-a-row I have still not been able to get much sleep at all. Plenty of time to sleep when we're dead, right?

I had a great time after work coaching my little basketball team at the Boys' and Girls' Club last night...trying to teach them little things like pass and screen away is even a challenge, as so many of them have literally never been on the court before, but that's OK...I have Sean there picking up slack and helping everyone learn. He could easily be on the Ballers program this year, but we both agreed that based on my apprehension about the coaching integrity with them, and his desire just to play ball no matter where or with who at his age...that we were just going to take it weary this season and help out some newbies learn the game. He is serious, too...that's not a joke and his empathy blows me away every single day.


And then this morning, I had a long overdue coffee with my Uncle Mark. His love and wisdom is such a gift. I dumped a little bit, and feel a little selfish, but he listens and cares, and hits me back with real world tough love shit, which I NEED. Thanks, dude. Life is good.

Monday, January 6, 2014

1.6.14

It's almost 8pm and I'm catching up at the office, having already posted close to 12 hours today. All good though...the energy levels are high, and this is but a pause for reflection before I bang out 3 offers and head home to eat, feed the dog, and get back after it on the laptop. It's going to be a late night. I'm OK with that, too. It's not what I plan on doing for the rest of the week, or the rest of my life.

But there are times when you have to dig deep and get what you want. There are times when you need to gut check and figure out what you are made of. Tonight is one of those times for me and work.

This week has been one of those times for me and my emotional well being.

This month has been one of those times for my self and my spiritual well being.

And right here, right now, I can say with all sincerity that I AM doing OK.

The struggles I have are partially still tied to that one person I just can't seem to stop thinking about but which I'm working on every day. I have learned to let the anger go almost instantaneously...it is simply a result of my desire and inability to control that which I can not. So I remember that fact almost immediately, and I move on. I can't control certain things.

Sadness, resentment, remorse, guilt...those things I have to feel. But I breathe, I think about where I am and what I smell and feel, and that in this moment, it's OK to experience all of that...and now I envision what it will be like when the day comes that I wake up and I don't feel any of those things any more...and what I will do with myself on that day. Who will I be.

I fucking love that guy.

He's right around the corner. I'm catching up to him slowly as I crawl out from below...climbing up to take his place...to enter his space and feel the power of complete peace, self-respect, love for all and ability to handle anything. And he has forgiven and he is forgiven, and he is capable of anything.


This blog has really turned into a outer-space journey into my psyche...there isn't a lot of interesting reading here for anyone right now, I get that. I don't care. It's for me. It's my journey. If you take something from it, God Bless you...enjoy and I hope that the lessons assist you in avoiding the pitfalls. But if nothing else, know that if you're here, no matter WHO you are, I appreciate your presence, and I know that you care for one reason or another...love or hate, it's all good to me. Because I am.



Back to work.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

1.5.14

I haven't got as much (any) "work" done today as I had intended to do. A little bit of housecleaning, preparing for the week, and as I am truly remembering to believe every Sunday should include...some serious reflection, meditation, and rest. 

I want to be emotionally available when my kids come over tonight, and I think that losing a few hours towards the progress of my career is a small sacrifice towards gaining whatever insights and treasures await us 3 tonight. 

This solitude is a difficult thing for me. I find myself seeking companionship and being drawn towards the available, ready and willing comforts that would swoon me away as a siren, from the lessons and secrets revealed in this place. But right now I'm committed to real change, to a sober and reflective and introspective appreciation for me and for what I want, need, and deserve. It's selfish, I believe, and for once in my life I'm trying to learn that this kind of selfishness is really a good thing. This solitude. This gift. 

And in reality I am not alone...there are some amazing people...and quite possibly angels...around me providing intricate, insightful and inspired pieces of clarity and cleansing, healing time. It's hard not to give something back immediately. But I believe what I have to give is bigger than me right now...and it is absolutely something I can not yet understand. So I'm going with it and trying to trust my heart. It's only for me at the moment. It still has healing to do. 

Today, on the advice of my friend Amy, I channeled some excess negative emotion and released it as far away from myself as it would go. Thanks, A...that was a solid. I feel amazing. 

Today I caught myself getting caught up in a familiar spin of miscommunication and misdirection with Marissa and stopped it all and hugged her and made sure that she knew who I am and that I am ok, and that she is my best friend. She is. Thanks, Babymama...it's pretty amazing being on such a good page with you. You have been amazing to me. I love you. 

I'm feeling grateful and energized and clear headed and confident again. This new year has come at a monumental time for me, and the symbolic has turned into the real, for the first time that I can recall. And I have no idea what lies ahead...no control over what will come...and no fear of any of it. 


Friday, January 3, 2014

1.3.14

Mid-day flow post up:
 "Three Ps

One of the most difficult aspects of change is the need to make a day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and minute-to-minute commitment to change (Every time you miss an opportunity for change, you further ingrain your old obstacles). A helpful reminder of this necessity is what I call the Three Ps. 

The first P, patience, is a constant reminder that change takes time and that if you maintain your commitment, you have a good chance to make the changes you want long lasting.

The second P, persistence, means you must keep vigilant and, as the saying goes, "keep on keeping on" in your journey to change.

The third P, perseverance, refers to your ability to overcome setbacks and maintain your motivation and confidence in the face of periodic failures and disappointment."

  via

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

1.1.14

And it just happens to be 11:11...not planned, just serendipitous. It's another new year, and ending of a heavy chapter, and most importantly...a fucking beginning that has been a long time coming.

This last epoch of my life has had it's ups and downs, and I have made some moves. Sometimes they are backwards, or lateral, but I have also managed to move forward at almost every opportunity. I want to do a better job at that now. I've committed to some serious changes and marked them just like most cliche'd resolutors, by the lap around the sun. I'm going to try and make this update more of the daily ritual if I can, a journaling of my thoughts the way that it has the power to take the transformed word, and change my words into action. The action of the writing of my goals and my hopes and my fears as important as any first step in any journey...it all begins somewhere. So here I am, at the beginning of what I think has the power to be the most amazing and growth filled year of my entire life. I say this with all sincerity, having found myself in yet another bottom emotionally very recently after some life-changing personal events sent me spinning down into a bit of an abyss. This time around, however, I have been aware of some differences despite myself, and they are the very real, very appreciated, and very spiritually balanced angels around me. They take many shapes and forms, and I am positive that the ones I don't see behind me in the darkest hours are the ones working the hardest.

Well, my angels, allow me to give you a little break from your duty...I won't say it's permanent, because whatever brought you to me for my protection is a connection that I hope to some day repay in whatever way that is possible...and part of me believes that the only possibility I have left is to take flight myself. I'm making some more permanent and lasting and COMPLETE physical adjustments to how I treat my body and my mind. I am seeking a deeper level of sobriety and bodily cleanliness than I have known for over 20 years. It fills me with a profound amount of hope and joy and it strips some of my fears just with the awareness that respecting the temple that supports my mind will thrust me into the most amazing state of being that I have known in my life...I have the gift of combining hard knocks and wisdom with strength and an intestinal fortitude that only a few of my personal heroes have ever really shown to exist. I have no doubt that there are bigger challenges than even what I can comprehend in front of me but I do know of a few of them that are knocking at the door of my January and promising me to burn the fire hotter than I have known and force me to walk right through it.

Fucking. Bring. It. On.


Every year that goes by brings me closer to the day when Sean and Ireland will find themselves reading into me in a way that I have not yet been able to express to them in person...although our dialogue over this last month has in fact grown more open and deeper than I could have EVER imagined, with quiet peace and truth at the core of our relationship...this blog of mine has a different level of candor, and so I say to you kids, when you've landed here soon: Your dad has had struggles and I do not hide them in this place. And that's OK, because you will have choices to make and decisions in your youth that will be about how far you want to go in this life, and in this next year, I intend to show you what real focus, real clarity, and real concentrated effort out of love for myself and for you is all about. I will be walking the walk. I love you two, and you have given me cause and strength.

And to you other angels out there that have shown me a ton of support in this last couple of months, and been there right at the bottom...heads up: I'm on my way up again. Thank you.

I remember one hater making a comment on my blog a few years back that it's a selfish or ego-based thing I'm doing here...that I make myself into the hero in my stories. Well you couldn't be more right about that. This isn't about you. This is about me. I'm doing me. And I'm back after it again with nothing holding me back.

Thank you.