We spent a few days up at the beautiful Lake Arrowhead, CA with some family. Even on vacation in an amazing place I find myself worrying about the past and the future. Not being present enjoying the gorgeous scenery and the time with my family. I don’t know about you, but I usually seem to get distracted and caught up in my thoughts about work, stuff I need to do or just silly unnecessary baloney. It really takes a pep talk with myself to snap out of it and realize that this moment right now is what I need to be focused on. The work. The stuff. The baloney. It will all be there waiting for me. Dwelling on them does nothing but create anxiety and an absence from the moments happening now. One thing I’ve noticed is the pep talks get shorter and easier the more I do it. So next time you feel yourself distracted and not in the present moment just focus on your breath and remind yourself that this moment right now is all you need to focus on. We may not be able to slow down time, but we can be more focused and present with the time we do have.
Did you just hear a little voice in your head? Did I lose your attention for a second? Were you making a judgement about the empty space above? Well, I’m here you to tell you that’s okay. It is okay to acknowledge that little voice in your head. Just don’t always take its advice. It is okay to let your mind wander. Just gently bring it back to this moment. It’s okay to have and feel judgement. Just know it’s not always real or relevant. We are human and this is life. We are not perfect. Next time your mind wanders or that little voice in your head speaks up. Acknowledge it. Then choose what to do from there. However you choose to proceed, be gentle and present.
As a father being a son has more meaning. I can now begin to grasp the attachment and the love my parents feel towards me. People say that your children will eventually blame you for something. For me this was true. I would blame my parents for my short comings and emotional stresses. My parents divorced when I was very young. I remember the arguments at night. Staying with my Dad every other weekend. This was very hard and confusing for me growing up. It really didn’t give me a chance to develop a strong bond with my father as a child. I also know it was hard on my father because I always missed and cried for my mom when I was without her. I could not even imagine not being able to see my child every single day. Now as an adult I know they did the best they could and they had their own issues to deal with as well as their children’s issues. They were carrying the similar titles and demands around with them just as I am today. Having these realizations later in life does not make it any easier. It just brings some clarity and compassion. Although it was and is a tough situation I would not change it. I am a big believer in everything happens for a reason. I feel I would not have waited until I was thirty and emotionally ready to marry the woman of my dreams. I may not have met my wife, although something tells me we would have been drawn together at some point in our lives. I possibly would not have my beautiful daughter. Thinking about all the things that had to go wrong for my life to go right really makes me emotional, humbled and appreciative. I am beginning to tear up as I type. Rather than ignore or fight these emotions. I am acknowledging them and appreciating them. Our emotions and feelings are what make us human. To me that is one of the keys to living a positive, meaningful and present life.
Being a father is a title I am proud to have. Being a parent in general is truly a blessing. I was recently talking to my wife about how in most relationship you grow to love a person over time. The more experiences and time we share the closer our bond. When it comes to our children the love and bond is instantly there. It is a feeling you can’t quite explain. Maybe because it is so many feelings all at once. For me I experience love, joy, fear and worry daily. The love and joy I have come to know well and rarely acknowledge because those emotions are comfortable for me. The fear and worry are on a whole other level. I try my best to avoid and dismiss these feelings. Lately I have tried a different approach. I allow the fear and worry to be present and I allow myself to be present. Then I ask myself why I am feeling this way and is it truly what’s happening or going to happen. 99% of the time I am just projecting or creating a vivid story in my head. This has been truly life changing, being present and soaking up every moment I can with my daughter really amplifies the joy and love in my life. Next time some uncomfortable feelings come your way try acknowledging them and asking yourself why. You do not have to like these feelings but they are there and they will pass. They just pass easier when we remain present and acknowledge them.
Getting married is a huge life event and big commitment. Not only is it a big commitment, it is a choice. No matter what denomination you believe in you make a commitment and a choice during the ceremony. Here is a bit of a different outlook. Here we are newly married. We are now legally bound together. We are now committed to each other. I personally looked at marriage as nothing more than a contract signing followed by a party. Everyone is just there for the free drinks and food, right? I thought it was nothing more than another step in my life. It took me some time but I realized it was more than just a commitment or a step forward in life. It was a choice. We chose to marry each other and we choose to stay married every day. We did sign some documents and have a big party afterwards. But it was different and so much more than just a life event. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family who had been there through the ups and downs of our relationship to this point. It was really a special day. A day that changed the way I saw things forever. Although I am very committed to my marriage and love my wife deeply. Commitment always and still sounds like a choice mixed with an obligation to me. I choose my wife. By choosing her as my life partner I feel it takes us deeper than commitment. Deeper than legal documents. Deeper then love. I believe a marriage as well as all relationships are like a recipe. It takes a lot of little things added up to make a beautiful dish. The same is true for relationships. Although every recipe isn’t the same for everyone, I do believe it takes more than love and commitment to make a relationship last and thrive. Some days may be easier to make that choice than others. For me, even when times get tough I remember we are only human and that I am responsible for my own happiness. Probably most of my own sadness as well. If I can offer any advice, it is when times get tough just think back to why you chose and continue to choose this person. Also take responsibility for your own feelings. Only you have the power to make yourself feel sadness or happiness. Do not blame each other, work together because you are a team with a common goal. What is that goal for you?
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.
It has been about 3 years since my last post. Over the last 3 years I have accomplished a lot. I am set to be married to my fiancé of 6 years in about 26 days. I have grown a successful company after many years of struggle. With the help of my fiancé we purchased our first home which we fall in love with over and over every single day. We have traveled to many beautiful places and spent a lot of time with our loved ones.
After reading my above paragraph I look back and remember so many wonderful memories. Yet I still can’t help but feel stuck and in a way unfulfilled. It is like my spirit has been yurning for more or something different. Don’t get me wrong I am very happy with my current life, home and beautiful fiancé. The only way I can explain it is the feeling of something is missing. I find myself constantly saying”there has to be something more to this life”.
The last 3 years I believed I was taking time for myself and building a lasting legacy. When in reality I was stuffing my feelings deep down and doing whatever it took to succeed at the expense of everyone else around me. I have always been kind hearted and generous. Over the last few years I started to feel disconnected and alone. I had literally suppressed every emotion I had felt.Which led to issues in my personal life and business life.
About a month ago I was about to liquidate my company, sell all my possessions and disappear away from everyone I ever knew. The pressure of life and the pressure I put on myself had finally reached a breaking point. I found myself rude to people I cared about and I ran my company only in my best interest with out regard for others at times. Luckily I finally started listening and feeling some of my emotions. I had hidden my passion for spirituality and nature for fear of being different or unliked. Which in some cases only made me more unliked. I feel as human beings we have this urging connection with each other. As much as we try to fight it or be different from the rest, there is always a feeling deep down of unity and compassion.
I meet a lot of people daily who appear to have life all figured out and that are fearless. Once I actually connected and listened to people I started to realize the majority of us have the same concerns and fears. Whether you are a homeless person on the street or a multi millionaire with everything you could ever want. It becomes very apparent that we are all searching for something more.
I still have a long journey ahead of me and I will do my best to continue posting on this blog. Being open, vulnerable and acknowledging my emotions is not really my cup of tea. A few wise people have told me that sitting in that “uncomfortableness” not only helps you grow as a person, it also can lead to ideas and things you least expect.
Life is simple, when we get back to basics… We get back to life.
So I have been going through life searching for the next best way to change myself into a better person. I have been to numerous therapy sessions and spent many late nights reading self help/motivational books. The reason I started this blog was to help myself. Recently I became aware of an amazing fact. I am complete, whole and amazing just the way I am. Some of you may already see where I’m going with this. 🙂 For those of you who do not let me explain. I recently attend the Landmark Forum. I must say I was shocked to find that not only did I get everything I intended to get out of it, I really got so much more. I walked into that place terrified of life and wanted to work on being more decisive and confident in my decisions. Through the amazing forum leaders, my peers and the pure genius format of the forum I uncovered a fictional story I had been holding onto for 27 years. I always had a feeling of never being good enough. So I blamed my father for these feelings. In realizing this was simply a story I had developed over 27 years I now created the possibility for myself to have a loving and close father son relationship. Because my dad is who his and he is an amazing dad. He wore the hat of being the bad guy for 27 years and still was there to support and love me. That realization is truly priceless to me. I also walked into that place not validating my feelings which in turn led me not to validate others feelings. I realized that wether your problems are big or small. They are still a problem and important. I always had the tough guy “suck it up” mentality. I had that mentality because I did not value myself enough so how could I truly value others. Again to me that is priceless. I have created the possibility for myself to have more meaningful relationships not only with loved ones but perfect strangers and have a better understanding of people in general. I could go on and on for days about the amazing time I had at the Landmark Forum. If you feel something is missing from your life. If you feel your relationships with others are missing something. Even if you feel you deal with life amazingly I could not encourage you to attend the Landmark Forum enough. It truly has transformed my life in ways I never thought possible.
If you would like more information about all this feel free to email me personally:
Or go to their website:
I invite you to really take a look and sign up as soon as you can because I honestly care about you as person. I know this is changing world one person at a time. We are all in this together and we are all the same.
Here is the email from Bunneah Munkeah of bunneahmunkeah.wordpress.com:
If it isn’t too late, I would be really impressed to see you drop off a donation of needed items to a local homeless youth or domestic abuse shelter. You can use my name Bunneah Munkeah or not. It’s not about credit. If you take pics I will share them with my blog (if you want) It’s about giving back to the world. I’m a lifelong community servant and we can certainly talk more but first…. FIREWORKS!!!!
Have a beautiful extended weekend!
A donation of $100.00 was donated to the Leroy Haynes Center.
Just so you know I am looking into volunteering opportunities and other ways I can physically help. I figured this was a good start.
To donate go to http://www.leroyhaynes.org
Here is the email from Christine of projectlighttolife.wordpress.com:
I hope I’m not too late with my email, as I saw the deadline for your giveaway is July 4th and since I just found your wonderful blog post & blog, it looks like I’ve got eight minutes to spare until the deadline comes to a close. First off, I’d like to say that I think what you are doing with this giveaway is absolutely wonderful; it is so nice to see others giving back in such a way and expecting nothing in return, except maybe that we pay it forward sometime. I hope to do something similar through my blog’s mission (doing kind deeds for others while crossing items off my own bucket list) and found your post so inspiring.
I would love it if a donation could be sent to the American Heart Association. I have lost many family members and people I love to heart disease and it would mean a lot to see money going toward that cause, so that maybe someday others won’t loose family members and loved ones to this disease. I will never forget how in elementary school when all the kids participated in Jump Rope for Heart, my aunt donated $1000 to the cause, which, also allowed me to win a ton of prizes; although, as a college student, the prizes seem petty now, looking back I realize she not only gave to a good cause, but helped make a child’s day. Your post reminded me of that time.
Again, it is so nice to see someone so genuine out there and no matter what, I look forward to seeing who the winner is and what lucky cause will receive this donation thanks to your giving spirit.
I’m about six minutes over the deadline now, so I hope that’s still okay, but thank you for such a nice opportunity.
– Christine B.
Project Light to Life http://projectlighttolife.wordpress.com/
$100.00 was donated to the American Heart Association.
To donate go to http://www.heart.org