Tuesday, January 28, 2014
๑ Samsaran ๑
Monday, January 27, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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."
Sean for the win.
Such funny kids.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Thursday, January 16, 2014
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
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
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."
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
Friday, January 10, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
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.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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
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
Friday, January 3, 2014
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."
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
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.