What makes it beautiful

What are we doing as people? Are we really listening to those around us? Do we even truly see someone who is right in front of us? Are things really what they seem? Work, social media, possessions and looking good among other things have consumed many of our lives. Maybe not 24/7 for some but I have felt, lived and observed our lives consumed by so many things portrayed/perceived as so important. In my perfect world there would be nothing more important than the person or people around you. And I’m not just talking about family. I’m talking about your neighbor. The person in line in front of you. Anyone who crosses your path. But again that’s my perfect world which I don’t always live in personally. I’ve caught myself rushing to work and seeing someone on the side of the road obviously needing help. But I don’t stop. I continue on with my day as if my being on time for work or whatever I’m doing is more important than simply taking the time to help or maybe just check on another human being. This used to make me angry. Now I just feel sad. In some aspects the disconnect grows and grows. Other times I’m truly amazed by the consecutiveness surrounding me. It’s not my place to judge or dictate how ones life is lived. But I do feel it is all of our duties as human beings to question ourselves as well as others. To really take stock of what’s going on within and around us. A sense of awareness coupled with connection. Life is a beautiful thing and we all get to choose what makes it beautiful. I invite us all to choose willingly, considerately and knowingly.

In my heart

I’ve been really struggling lately with the realization that I won’t be home and able to spend as much time with my wife and daughter. For those who don’t know. We sold our home in CA and moved to AZ in July last year. This move was thought about for years but also there was a lot I never thought about. Since Charlotte was born 23 months ago I’ve been blessed with being able to be home the huge majority of the time. Something most fathers and some mothers do not have the luxury of experiencing. I’ve been present and able to create a unique bond with my family which has allowed us to grow and become closer. It makes me think about the impact this will have going forward. The impact on me is profound but I’m curious the impact on my daughter. Based on current situations I’m not sure the next child (when we decide to have one) will get the same time Charlotte received. It’s kinda like a real life experiment with real life results. I try not to project to far into the future but as I get older life seems to leave me with more questions than answers. I find myself questioning whether providing a certain lifestyle and certain luxuries are really going to matter. Or if my time/presence is more valuable than any object or lifestyle I could provide. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I’m not looking for sympathy as I know how fortunate I am just to be here. In my heart I believe my time/presence is more valuable than anything but I constantly struggle with the balance aspect. Where is that line… when and where should I cross it?

Something Beautiful

It’s interesting to me how we grow to love people but with our children it’s instant. There isn’t a honeymoon phase or first impression. Just pure and utter love. There is something beautiful about it. It makes me think about love in my life. Whether it’s giving or receiving. I’ve always had a hard time telling people I loved them. It did not mean I did not, it was just uncomfortable for me to get the words out. But like anything the more you do it the easier it gets. Now I make sure to tell people I love them. I feel this unconditional instant love I felt for Charlotte has unlocked something inside me that was always there. It allowed me to be clear on what love is to me and where love is in my life. Which brings me back to… there is something beautiful about it.

This isn’t a test

At times we may not see eye to eye. We all have had different experiences that have shaped our perspective. I believe everyone’s perspective is valuable. No matter how abrasive or pleasant it may seem. It’s in the listening, asking questions and understanding that we grow as humans. I myself struggle with this daily. My ego flares up and I get angry or just emotionally shut down. There is this need to be right and look as if we know exactly what we are doing at all times. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to not have a plan. It’s okay to not have it all together all the time. We are human beings living a life through the lens(perspective) of our hardships, our joys, our failures and our successes. That should never be discounted but it should be checked constantly by being open to others ideas and ways of seeing the world. Stop what you are doing and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and let it all out. Now imagine you are free to share your perspective without fear of rejection. Imagine you can be open and unafraid of judgement while going through your life. What does that look like? How does it feel? To me it felt like connection, a sense of relief and peace. This isn’t a test and your are encouraged to feel however you feel. I invite you to hold onto that feeling and examine it. Maybe try that in other aspects of your life. Being human isn’t just about being here. It’s about thriving and enjoying this journey we call life. I don’t know nor do I speculate what’s after this life. That’s for everyone to create and decide for themselves. I just want to invite you to make it the best journey you possibly can. Whatever that truly means to you. -Jeffrey

Catching Flies

Guilt and vulnerability. Two words and feelings that usually do not go together. In my own life guilt has consumed me. It has ended relationships. It has hurt those that I love. Most of all it has hurt myself and shaped the way I interact with people daily. Guilt does not always mean that you have actually done something wrong or hurtful. For me guilt comes from not feeling adequate. Not being able to meet someone’s needs or wants. Not being able to relate or understand someone’s feelings. Guilt has many forms. I find when I come from a place of guilt I become more defensive and close minded. The guilt does not allow me to be vulnerable. When I am vulnerable I can get my feelings/point across in a respectful and positive manner. I can actually connect with people. When it comes from a place of guilt… look out!

There is a saying, “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. My wife always laughs at me and wonders where the heck I learned all these old sayings. I guess I was just lucky enough to encounter some wise old souls in my lifetime.

Treating people with respect and being vulnerable really does create a positive interaction the majority of the time. We can disagree or have a different point of view without feeling guilty. We can still relate and connect even though we do not see eye to eye. There was a quote I found from The Huffington Post website from a blog written by Charlie Maffei. (I will post the link below at the end) The quote goes: “Being nice to nice people is great, but being nice to those who are not nice to you is how the world becomes better. We should not want to defeat or humiliate those we don’t agree with but to win their friendship and understanding.”      I know from experience that it is not always easy. Some people have some outrageous point of views. But that is the beauty of being human. We all have a different experience of life and life’s little situations. We do not always have to agree with everything and everyone. But we should at least be open and vulnerable enough to listen and try to understand. We can simply take some thing positive or what works for us from a conversation or article. Then simply just let what you don’t agree with or understand go. I feel if we just tried to understand other people’s views rather than argue we would learn a lot more about them and ourselves. So I invite you to really listen and be vulnerable next time you have a conversation, read or watch something. You may not succeed every time and that is okay. It is about trying, being aware and recognizing what guilt and vulnerability mean to you.

Here is the link to the Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charlie-maffei/you-can-catch-more-flies-_b_1676353.html

I do not agree with or relate to everything in the article in the link above. But I did take away something positive and it was very enlightening to see a different point of view. Just as you may not agree with or relate to everything I write about. But my hope is that something you read or experience sparks you to find peace in your guilt and comfort in your vulnerability.

-Jeff

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Once in a blue moon

 

Pursuing Dreams

Do something fun this weekend or week. Whenever you get a chance to enjoy life take it. As kids we found joy in every little thing. Everything was new and exciting. If things seem boring and tiresome now… Maybe it is time for a change. Follow your goals, but chase your dreams.

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Happy?

What drives you? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What keeps you moving forward?
There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. We all are motivated in different ways. Whether it is your family, bills to pay or simply the money. Do the answers to these questions truly make you happy?

Life was meant to be lived and enjoyed. Somewhere along the way a lot of us lost sight of this. We get up in the morning to chase the dream of either making enough money to solve our problems or the dream of finding a distraction to temporarily forget our problems. Money comes and goes while problems will always remain. Happiness can not be bought. Happiness is enjoying the things you have. Enjoying the wonderfully unique people around you. True happiness is creating happiness within your self as well as others.

I am not saying it is not good to dream or strive for more. I am saying please do not lose sight of what really makes you happy. Money and power can be stripped away in an instant in this world. Do not let it define you.

Here are some tips on how to find happiness. Enjoy 🙂

– help others. Whether it is holding the door open kindly or listening to someone in need.
– eat healthy and exercise. What you put in your body and what you do to your body effect you more then you think.
– pray, meditate or just sit in silence with yourself often. This is a good way to recharge after a stressful day, week or month. It will be hard at first but I promise you will feel a difference.
– be thankful and remind yourself what you are thankful for. This really puts things in perspective.
– spend time with loved ones or volunteer helping people. Even if you do not have family near you or you do not have family you can still form a loving bond with good strangers in need. You never know where the relationships you make will take you. We are all one big family on this earth wether you choose to believe it or not.
– perform random acts of kindness. You do not need money to make a difference in someone’s life. You can offer someone one of your coupons. You can give them a compliment. You can spend time with them. You can just simply smile at someone. In business a happy customer leads to referrals of more customers. The same goes for life. One good deed will lead to many more good deeds. Think about it.
– be positive and put out clear intentions of what you want in this world. What you think becomes your reality. Why not make it a pleasant one? By having positive intentions and being an honest person you will receive the same in return. You may run across negativity and dishonesty at times. That is opportunity knocking. The opportunity to grow , learn and possibly change someone’s outlook on life.

When we go out into this world as our best genuine self others see and feel that. One person can not change the world but one person can change another persons world. Then that person will change another person and so on. We all need to change the world. Combined we have have all the answers. Combined we are invincible.

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Stronger

Life will never be as easy as it is today… We are always faced with new challenges. New problems. New hurdles. So why not live in the moment. Enjoy that hug or kiss. Bask in that glory. Celebrate your accomplishments. Celebrate you! Enjoy your life… Even when the hurdle seems impassable. You can always jump higher. You can always push further. Every hurdle you have passed before has prepared you for this moment. Just as life will never be as easy as it is today… You will always be stronger the next day.

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Confidence Within

Feeling confident is not always easy. Where does confidence come from? For me it comes from within. It comes from a compliment. It comes from helping another. It comes from my relationships with loved ones. Confidence can come from many different places. You just have to slow down and realize all the confidence boosts around you. So go out there and be your wonderful confident self! Even if you do not feel confident now, I guarantee you will find something or feel something to be confident about.

Below is another link from MSN.com. They have some great articles sometimes in their living section. This one was very personable and uplifting. When you get some free time please enjoy.

7 Kinds of Confidence to Gain

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