I find myself stuck, anxious and disconnected at times with all the uncertainty not only in my personal life currently but with what’s happening in the world around me. I’ve learned the best way for me personally to get unstuck is to take action and follow the discomfort. So here is my attempt to take action and hopefully “hack” my way to more days of peace and joy. Introducing the Morning Grate-fuller. 10 days where I write 1-3 things I’m grateful for. Today was day two for me as you can see in the next picture. Anyone is welcome to participate however you feel compelled to. I’d love to see what your grateful for by tagging me, messaging me or using the hashtag #morninggratefuller. Making this social holds me accountable and meets my need to connect and share. This is me taking action and following the massive discomfort of sitting here debating whether to hit share or delete 😂
I’m uncovering that the only answers to life’s questions come from within ourselves.
There are plenty of experts who’s research leads us many different ways. It seems the best advice is to go inward and get in touch with your self. One must pick a path and follow it through because the best way I’ve found to learn and answer questions is through experience. We are all different in some aspect with different needs and abilities. Therefore I’ve come to the conclusion that we should be the only expert when it comes to our own lives or well being.
How does one find the words to express what they feel in their heart? For me it is following the overwhelm of emotion and gratitude. That feeling of tingling in my chest. Watering of my eyes. My voice changes and I have to pause to acknowledge and articulate what I am feeling and about to say. It is a beautiful feeling which I have ignored for so long. I dismissed it as being too sensitive. I’ve dismissed it in others as it made me uncomfortable. Now I follow that feeling. I long for that feeling. It is my north star guiding me through life’s choices. When I wrote what I’m going to share in my next post I did not realize how it would impact my life and shape my perspective. It flowed through my heart and everytime I read it I feel that tingle. I wrote it during what I perceived as divisiveness within our world over covid. Now as another world wide issue is being brought to light I can not help but to share. Black lives absolutely matter and I hope in my lifetime we get to a point where all lives matter. Even the ones we deem to be not of value or unimportant. I am curious of how we got to this point of constantly “cancelling” people for their view or what they say. I am curious how we got to the point where we cause physical harm to one another in reaction to words said or things/property being damaged. I am choosing to lead with curiosity to better understand because when I personally lead with my judgements or view it immediately closes the door to anything someone else is saying or feeling. Honestly there is so much I do not know or understand as I only have my life experiences to lead me. That is why I am committed to create conversations around uncovering what we do not know no matter how challenging or how I personally feel. I believe the power to move forward lies in the unknown. Moving forward doesn’t mean we forget or brush this under the rug as most of us have done for so long. To me it means we keep our hearts open and we keep communicating. We are all a product of our life experiences. Those experiences shape our view of the world. So I invite you. No matter where you stand. No matter what color your skin is. To pause and feel it all. The pain, the anger, the fear. Whatever you are feeling is valid and I acknowledge you. I don’t know if there are answers or a solution to so much and a lifetime of bias and hate. Like anything it is going to take constant work and life long conversation to remain open and aware so we don’t go back to our collective mistakes of the past. What I do know is that no one deserves to die because of who they are or who we perceive them to be.
Charlotte: daddy can we fill that up with water?
Me: (in my head: that’s going to be a mess) okay lets do it!
At times I am present to myself not wanting to deal with a mess or the potential injuries that come with being/having a toddler. I’d rather keep her in a bubble sparkling clean and unharmed. I guess just being present to it allows me to interrupt my helicopter parent ways at times just enough to cultivate that curiosity and allow my child to actually be a child. She is very smart and mature for a 3 year old in my opinion. I find myself holding her to a higher standard and almost forgetting how new and exciting everything can be as she experiences life’s lessons for the first time. She held up a sand toy with holes used to sift the sand and asked “lets put water in this and see what happens”. I immediately said “it has holes and won’t hold water… maybe grab your bucket”. It’s amazing how much inner dialogue one can have in such a flash of a seemingly small exchange. (I should of let her figure it out. Am I hindering her creativity and learning? I should just let the wheels turn and let her come to that conclusion. What other situations do I do this in?) Just to name a few thoughts. I find myself now questioning is it valuable to entertain these thoughts or is this just taking me further from the present moment. It never ceases to amaze me how much meaning I can put behind a simple interaction. Makes me wonder what other parts of my life I do that in… oh wait… here we go again.
At first glance these appeared to just be over grown weeds. Then the beautiful purple blooms caught my eye. It’s amazing what nature creates when given the space. It’s interesting how such a small detail shifts my #perspective from over grown weed to beautiful gift from nature. Makes me wonder what else or who else deserves a second look through the lens of appreciation to see the/their beauty.
“The only difference between a flower and a weed is judgement” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
We all seem to be going around in an infinite circle placing blame on each other for various things that we disagree on. I am trying on the idea that there are no facts, only our perspective based on our unique experiences and views. Just as I don’t want my rights taken away or things forced upon me during this covid era. I believe people and companies should have the freedom to put out whatever products they want and it is up to the consumer to choose. As hard as it is to know ingredients may be unhealthy and animals are being slaughtered it is simply my perspective that those things are wrong. My perspective is not a fact. I repeat… my perspective is not a fact. There are unlimited examples of this I could explore as everything I see and do is filtered through my unique perspective. Time to flip the script and consider the alternative perspective of others as they are their truths and valid no matter how uncomfortable. I really really really find that challenging but I also find it creates more mental freedom and peace. I switch the judging/anger to curiosity/understanding which allows for empathy and acknowledgement. I believe that getting angry and making people wrong only pushes us all deeper, blindly into our own perspective/truth. In my mind life is not just black and white. It is far more complex than we wish to know. Right and wrong feel like a simple solution to the majority of “problems” we see in the world. I invite you to consider the complications that adds to everyday life. Try on others perspectives to see how that feels. Maybe see how it feels to get in touch with your truth and the truth of those around you.
Fact checking… who wears the heavy crown? Who is deemed so “correct” that they are allowed this almighty privilege?
Can a fact or truth be free of opinion or perspective?
Or is it just a belief?
That voice inside our heads. That view of how we see the world and want the world to be seen. Does that attach or skew the “fact”. People with colorblindness may see things differently but does that mean you are “right” and they are “wrong”? It is a “fact” that they see colors differently than you. In crime cases people often have different recollection of the events that transpired. Facial recognition software even suggest the wrong person for the crime as do people from time to time. Perspective is a powerful thing. It has the power to shape and dictate our actions/memories. It’s like putting on your grandmas glasses and everything is so blurry and skewed. But to grandma without those glasses everything is blurry and skewed. Does that mean that the glasses are wrong and defective since you are unable to see clearly while wearing them? They work perfectly fine for grandma. As time passes you may find one day you put on grandma’s glasses and can see just fine. As our vision changes with time so does our perspective. What we believe or believed to be true or fact constantly changes as new information or perspectives are found. It happens all the time in main stream diets or health advice. One may moment something is “good” for you and the next it may cause cancer. The world we live in is constantly evolving due to its complex inhabitants. I’m curious how your perspective has changed? Is there something you remember being so sure of that now you aren’t?
I don’t think we will ever know if our response as a society was too much. I’m one to always proceed with caution. You know.. better safe than sorry. But this all just feels a bit much when you start to dig in. You hear reports of nurses being furloughed and hospitals emptying among other things. It’s hard to find the actual truth or facts these days if it even exists. It all seems to be a lot of opinion and personal perspective. My personal perspective leads me down this road. Look at the preventable deaths in this country each year. I’m not saying we shouldn’t take precautions with covid or that it’s not real. I’m just saying we may have overreacted and the staggering amount of preventable deaths from lifestyle/diet, accidental or suicide deserve some thought and more attention at the very least. Not to mention the mental toll this “social distancing” and “quarantine” will have. I don’t fear a virus. I fear us losing our freedom, ourselves and what matters most… our connection as humans and to the world around us. Life has risks, ups and downs and some roller coasters of emotions. But it was meant to be lived in full connection with love for each other and all forms of life. Step out of fear and face the present one moment at a time. It’s time to move forward.
A lot of people ask me why I eat a plant based diet. Do I feel healthier? Have you lost weight? What do you eat? It started as a self serving mission to be healthier and live longer by possibly avoiding diseases that plague my family. Then another layer came to mind. The environment. Based on statistics and research I’ve come across it appears to be better for the earth to eat a plant based diet. Then I really started to think about why I put so much effort into a plant based lifestyle. I’ve always been an animal lover. But actually stoping to think about and watch what happens to these animals changed me. In stores nothing has a face, eyes or really resembles an animal. These items are simply thought of as fuel for survival and a means for culinary pleasure. I’m a believer in energy and karma. I believe when a terrified animal whether abused or treated ethically(if that exists) is about to be killed hormones and toxins release into their bodies. It’s like how stress and anxiety can cause disease or health issues in humans. Whether it’s spiritual or scientific, people are consuming these animals and their toxins or karma. I believe what you put into your body not only affects your health but also our minds and our soul. If you had to kill and butcher everything you ate would you still eat animals? Whether your answer is yes or no, I invite you to look at that. I personally thought I needed so much protein and meat to survive. I’m a 200 pound active male who is mentally and physically able to do just about anything. I thought I would possibly get sick or become weak. Here I am over a year later eating only plant based feeling mentally clear and maintaining a weight with out yo yo-ing constantly. It’s a lifestyle not a diet. It’s about your health, the earths health and compassion. Everything on this earth human or animal just wants to be loved, safe, recreate and thrive. Who am I to take that from them? Animals have souls and are very aware of what’s happening. There is no difference between your pet dog, cat, rabbit, cow, pig or chicken. Just someone decided hey we can eat these guys but these other animals are pets. We live in a society of made up rules and ideology. That’s doesn’t mean we act out and disobey them. That means we challenge them. We question them. We always pursue and strive to be better. We evolve and adapt using the information we have today not blindly following the beliefs of the few from years ago. In today’s world I believe anything is possible. That statement is proven true daily. I invite you to find out what’s possible for yourself by considering what rules and ideology you follow or believe to be true. Then challenge and question them. Anything that is true to you does not need justification or defending, just being. If you find yourself being defensive or angry that’s something you should explore.
Peace, Love and Cacti,
Below is something I wrote to my daughter before she was born. It felt strange writing it at first, but looking back I’m glad I did it. Even years ago while exploring my spiritual side I would talk to her and dream of her. It’s like she was waiting for her turn in life and had already chosen us as parents. We just needed to choose each other. The more I dive into my spirituality and honestly just life as I feel being here is a spiritual experience. The more I embrace the unknown. To me spirituality requires a lot of trust and letting go in the face of the unknown. Believing in something bigger and more powerful than ourselves. For me the word I use is Universe. I believe everything and everyone is connected creating a universal power within us all and everything around us.
Where do I begin…
I’ve always dreamt of having a little girl.
I feel like I have been waiting for you my whole life.
I knew the moment your mother and I connected she was something special.
Little did I know she would be the one to make all my dreams come true.
From the moment we started dating it felt like I had known her forever.
Even when times were tough,
something inside me knew she was the one I would love forever.
The best choice I have ever made will always be loving your mother.
I know in my heart that you will love her as much as I do. Maybe more.
If there is one thing you should know,
It is that as my heart continues to grow there is enough love for both of you.
I am excited to meet you and I will always be there whenever you both need me.
I have always wondered what my life’s purpose was. Now I know it is enjoying every moment I have with you and your mom.
The two of you make me a better human.
I love you.