Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Are You Happy Now?

Greetings from the land of fruits, nuts and flakes! It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged so I thought I’d take some time to sit down and write.

I’ve been thinking about moving to a place that is slower-paced than Los Angeles. A place with lush green vegetation…where people still offer up a smile when you pass them on the street. It is a little taxing on the soul being around so many faceless people day in and day out. The city is too big to travel much outside of a comfortable 5-10 mile radius. Traffic is a beast and prevents me from having a ‘nice drive’ anywhere….even on Sundays. The beach seems close to the average person – only about 25 miles. But add in an hour or more drive time and a minimum of 30 minutes to find parking (which can also be pretty expensive) and enter buzz kill. The water is cold-- even in the hottest part of the summer. I’ve never been able to get more than a calf in the water without the shrill cries of frigid agony.

For me, I think the city has lost its appeal. It may be because I don’t really like it here. I don’t care for the people – they’re too self-absorbed. It may be because I’ve grown complacent and tired in the pursuit of a writing career. I’m getting older, I have no retirement plan, no health benefits and no job security. But my desire to be happy is fully intact. So today I asked myself, “If you were truly happy, how would your life be different?”

I have been energized by the allure of moving to a calmer, nicer place. I was getting excited looking for houses and a different job. I was excited about being closer to friends and relatives. And then it hit me. Am I doing everything I can where I am to make change happen in my life? What will moving solve?

I think sometimes the enticement of something new is deceiving. It’s a huge task to take on – this moving business. It can be exhausting. And there’s no guarantee that in the end I will be any happier. What would it take to make me happy now? What changes need to occur to be happy where I am?

So, I ask you….are you happy now? What would it take? Are you doing everything you can to MAKE YOUR OWN HAPPINESS? It’s long since been said that you can manifest your own happiness. It’s a state of mind. It’s hard work and requires constant effort, this staying positive in such a negative world. But if we can truly manifest what we want in our lives, then what are we waiting for?

I have some work to do. How about you?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

One Love

Everyone has their own battles
Some fighting the good fight
Trying to stand up for what’s right
Some use their holy books
To spew hate and challenge your eternal fate
If you don’t walk the same path as them
This is nothing new
Been going on long before me and you

Things that happened in other lands
Have now made it to our shores
Now there’s bloodshed and words said
That make people rethink their worth and
They choose to leave this world too soon
Believing it will help the cause
Hoping to give the enemy pause
But even in their end they can’t effect change
The way you and I can

The only way is united we stand
Divided we always fall
Since the beginning of man
That’s been our downfall
What we need is one love
One universal love
Security for all, peace for everyone
I hope this is the battle
That can be won

Keep the faith
Use your power for good
And stay away
From those ignorant fools
By default they’ll have
To come around
When the rest of society
Is on them like a bloodhound
Breathing peace and tolerance
Down their neck
They’ll only have one move left

This could be the end of pain
Feel the drops of the healing rain.

Friday, February 1, 2013

What An Amazing Place!!

I was flying across this wonderful country recently and made it a point to look out the window for most of the flight. As I marveled over the differences in terrain, from lush green landscapes to barren brown deserts, I thought to myself, "We live in one of the most incredible places on Earth!"

I've often thought that I wanted to travel the world; to see and experience all of the breathtaking things this planet has to offer. And that day I realized we take a lot of things for granted here in the States. I rarely stop to think of how easy it is to just hop on a plane and be anywhere you want in a matter of hours. That's pretty convenient, now isn't it? And pretty flipping amazing!

On this cross-country journey, I changed my thinking a little. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'll never take the good 'ol US of A for granted ever again. I'm just saying I've vowed to stop and enjoy the moment more often. I see the need and benefit of living in the moment and having a grateful heart. There is so much more to life than planning for days that haven't yet arrived. Life is happening NOW, right in front of us. Whether or not we choose to notice might be the difference in total happiness....completeness.

Stop for a moment and think about all those times you didn't live in the moment. Did you enjoy that moment to it's fullest? Or were you so worried about this or that, that you didn't fully enjoy the ride you were on?

My point here is: we all live busy lives with jobs, responsibilities, kids, hobbies, etc. But why must we rush through everything just to get to the next meeting, engagement, kid's soccer game? Slow down. Life already goes by too quickly and before you know it, you're wondering where it all went. You can do something about it right now. Slow your roll, stop and smell the roses. Breathe.

Life is too short to take shallow breaths. Breathe it all in and savor every single moment that you're LIVING in. 

Just. Live.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What Is Love....Baby Don't Hurt Me.....

Life is a vast canvas that we paint with our life experiences. If your painting was unveiled today, what would it look like?

I've always felt that we are all here for one central reason....LOVE. That means, we seek to love and be loved. Without it, there is no reason to exist. Everything that we do incorporates some form of love - our work, our philanthropy, our time, our conversations, our relationships. We are not always born into love, but the human condition craves it, making it our lifelong journey to find happiness. And along this journey, it is inevitable that we experience hurt. Hurt is a derivative of love.

Love is in full bloom when you open up your heart with vulnerability, honesty and complete abandon - not caring what happens in that moment that you love as long as you can FEEL that one crazy emotion that would make you lay down your life for another. If you have ever been lucky enough to feel that rush, to ride that high, to look in another's eyes and see nothing but good, then you have felt love.

But, what happens when something gets a little whopper-jawed and love doesn't seem so easy anymore? It's no longer effortless, but more of a chore to get to that feeling of bliss. Let's examine further.

Relationships take work, effort, and action -- and it's the constant, sustained action that keeps the home fires burning. Sometimes life just gets in the way and there's no time for nurturing, so we just roll along with complacency and eventually things start falling apart. Wouldn't it be fair to say if we took as much time out of every day for relationship maintenance as we did on Facebook, Twitter or texting, we'd all be in a better place?

Arguably, some say it takes more than love to make a long-term relationship work. I say love it is a flower, and you it's only seed. (Wait, isn't that a song?) Moving on. It takes a lot to make a relationship work: patience, respect, time, trust, communication, understanding, compromise, etc. I could go all day. But, ALL of those qualities arise out of love. If you truly love someone, you never forget the reasons why you were drawn to them. You never forget what makes them smile or laugh. You never forget those amazing moments when you couldn't see spending any moment of your life without them in it. And you'll never forget how they made you feel.

So, if you're wondering if you should continue in a relationship that seems more like a friendship these days, stop and think about all those moments that were great. Search your cerebral hard drive and call up some older files that you haven't accessed in awhile. You might be pleasantly surprised at your findings. Make a list of all the things you adore about your mate. Stop focusing on what's wrong with your relationship and start thinking about what's right. You're certain to find more good than bad. After all, YOU were the one who invited that wonderful person to be a part of your life in the first place. You can't be THAT terrible a judge of character, right?

Change IS life, that's why the canvas is so vast - to include all of the seasons of your many experiences. Adapting to those changes is human nature. Things rarely remain the same, so you have an opportunity to shine as you adapt and become stronger with your faith and your relationship. If you care about any other more than yourself, then you are one of the lucky to have found love. Don't throw it away because you think it will be too much work to fix it. Chances are, it was never really that broken.

So, get back in the game - not with your head, but with your heart. The greatest advice anyone ever gave me was "Listen to your heart. It will never steer you wrong."

Peace, love and change...it's what makes the world go 'round.