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The Benefits of Kissing Your Own Ass

It’s become standard operating procedure of late. The passing of a music icon disrupts the preprogrammed corporate music playlist of radio stations of the same genre. Now when I hear three songs by the same band or artist played back-to-back-to-back on the radio I assume someone has died.

That was the case recently with the loss of David Bowie. His passing filled the airwaves with his songs, his life celebrated through a lifetime of the music he created and shared with the world.

Sometimes hearing songs for the first time in a long while allows you to appreciate their artistry and message. Time changes us all and often with it our perspective of songs we’ve heard most of our adult lives.

“Insanity laughs…under pressure we’re cracking.”

Back in 1981 when it was recorded by Bowie and Queen, “Under Pressure” was lyrically insignificant to me. It was a great song driven by an infectious bass line. But I couldn’t relate to any meaning the words may have contained. The only pressure I had at that point in my life was making sure I had enough beer for the weekend as Massachusetts liquor stores were closed on Sunday back then.

Fast forward through life. Career. Mortgage. Kids. Then another. Child care. 401k? IRA? “College costs how much?” Life filled with obligations and responsibilities.

This ain’t 1981.

“Pressure, pushing down on me…”

Life presents it’s challenges, especially when you are responsible for the well-being of others. But all challenges contain one inherent characteristic built into them. We get to choose how we respond to them.

I haven’t been keeping score but I know there have been times when challenges have gotten the best of me. And if they didn’t get the best of me they left me a little bruised and bloodied in the process. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 31, 2016   No Comments

The Universe is My Dog

Who knew a saliva-coated stick could teach us something about how life works…

When my dog was a little younger and a little lighter he was quite active. With a big open yard there was always plenty of space for him to run and chase squirrels. Every once and a while we’d play fetch with an old tennis ball or a stick. No matter where or how far I threw it he’d always find it, run it back to me and drop it at my feet, ready for me to throw it once again. Throw, run, gather, return, repeat.

Kind of how the Universe works.

Whatever we throw out, the Universe will go get it and drop it back at our feet.

The Universe, like my dog, is extremely loyal. And like my dog, the Universe doesn’t differentiate between what we want and what we want to get rid of. What we throw out is what it assumes we want more of. Offer the world your anger and disappointments and it will happily bring you even more things to be angry and disappointed about. Because, like my dog, it doesn’t know any better. Good or bad, it’s job is to bring back to you what you throw out there.

Life can be rather frustrating. Our unmet expectations clashing with our own version of reality. Our hopes and dreams delayed. Anger and disappointment lead to impatience, bitterness and pain. We feel justified in our frustration, which becomes the dominant emotion we radiate to the Universe, which, through it’s steadfast loyalty, is more than happy to go fetch us more of exactly what we don’t want and drop it at our feet.

Our feelings reflect our focus, and what we focus on always expands. Our emotions always do get the better of us and greatly influence our expectations for what lies ahead of us. Life usually gives us more of what it is we honestly expect to receive.

I’ve become rather good at monitoring my own emotions, especially when life isn’t turning out the way I want it to. I listen to how I instinctively respond to what is unfolding in front of me. Sometimes I’m able to respond from a position of strength, embracing my own divinity to rise above and keep moving forward. In my weaker moments I lower myself down to the level of negativity I allow the situation to possess. No matter how negative the situation becomes, at some point I’m able to see my own influence in perpetuating the negativity of the moment. Whatever my response the Universe is always there to bring me more of what it is I’m throwing out.

Life presents us with its inevitable challenges, and when it does we are always empowered to choose how we will respond. Regardless of our choice, rest assured the Universe is ready.

The Universe is your dog, too.

It’s a great day to be you!

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January 16, 2016   No Comments

Embracing The Momentum of Accomplishment

Yesterday I ran my first-ever 5k road race. In the grand scheme of things, running a 5k race is far from a major accomplishment. But in the grand scheme of my things it was.

“I suck at running.” That’s what I told myself for years, and it served as the perfect rationale for why I shouldn’t even bother trying. Over a year ago I had purchased some expensive shoes and some high-tech clothing designed to keep me dry. What I couldn’t purchase was the motivation to really try.

I went out a few times. My legs hurt. I would often speak to God, asking for the strength and stamina to get to the next telephone pole. Yes, I guess I really wasn’t good at running and now I had some current data to base my conclusion upon.

A couple of months ago I revisited running. This time I brought a better attitude on the road with me. I’d been reflecting upon life and noticed a pattern where I’d enthusiastically jump into a new hobby or activity and then slowly watch the excitement fade away. The dust-covered guitars hanging on the wall were daily reminders. It was time to lace up the Asics and decide once and for all if Read the rest of this entry »

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October 10, 2015   No Comments