Archives for category: children

The struggle for life is ever-present in this image.   The birds, dolphins, and sharks all want to eat the small fish in the bait ball just below.   They want nothing more than to survive.  The same goes to the small fish that are being devoured.   The good news is that their passing will give other life the energy they need to survive.  The circle of life in the sea is both cruel and beautiful.

Eat or be eaten

Eat or be eaten

Humans don’t have to dive amongst sharks and birds for dinner as we have supermarkets to purchase our food.  Each of us has a choice to eat food that has been grown and harvested in a particular manner, that is organic, non- GMO, that has been processed, or not been processed, that contains high fructose corn syrup,  natural sugar, artificial sugar, fat, non-fat, fast food, and more…….

What we eat has a direct impact on how we feel and on our environment.  Smart choices help our bodies thrive and leave a gentle footprint on your body and the planet. Unhealthy choices lead to polluting your body and our environment.

With diabetes and heart disease ever-present in our world wide communities, choosing the right food has never been more important.  Limiting sugars, fast food, soda, and processed foods are great ways to live healthier.

Food for thought……….

 

Image provided by Douglas J Hoffman

It is that time of year again where stores force their employees to work like dogs, in order to sell us well – everything.   Some stores are selling certain things on sale, so you pay normal prices on the things you really want.  They figure since it is 2 AM and their are hundreds of people frantically rushing through the isles to take advantage of the great sale prices before the item is out of stock.  When it comes to the items that are not on sale the stores hope you just say to yourself well I am here I may as well buy it anyway…..

On one hand you got to love the capitalism.  These companies are trying to survive in troubled times  and want to make hay while the sun shines….  I get it.  On the other hand, many of these companies seem too aggressive with their extended hours and repetitious emails.   Last November, I saw some stores advertise they would be open 72 hours straight for our shopping convenience.  Perhaps its just me but with t.v., internet, and social media it feels like were already exposed to much advertising and spin.

Don’t misunderstand, I have the holiday spirit. I just think as a culture we need to evaluate our values.  Just as an example what if instead of printing and airing only advertising to sell fast food, cars, clothes, perfume, e.t.c., networks, newspapers, cable, and radio stations aired an appropriate number of community service type commercials so people could give back something rather than just take.  Just mentioning the different kinds of places people can volunteer their time, different projects going on, committees of citizens working to make better policies, after school functions, big brothers  sisters, e.t.c., could have a huge impact. We need to do this at a grass roots level, however if you have a different mindset no worries.  Rather than thinking local,  think global.

the path to peace

the path to peace

Is there one thing you can do to make our planet a better place.  It could be as simple donating to a water, food, or health related NPO.   The optimist in me sees so much potential to help preserve & conserve our natural resources, educate the world population, and promote values of love, forgiveness, and acceptance .  Where energy flows results show and I am sure giving your time, energy, and love will have a positive impact.  One person at a time we can make a difference.

With aloha

Still waters run deep

Still waters run deep

turtle 1

Do you think turtles get mad and want to yell.  Can you imagine what this turtle encountered to make it beach itself and scream. Turtles after all live underwater along the reefs and rocky shoreline. What ever caused this Turtle to behave like this  must have been terrifying. People have a tendency to think the worst, but what if you you changed that thinking and thought the turtle was laughing cause he just heard the funny joke about what one sea shell said to another…..  Or, perhaps the turtle is getting ready to take a nap on the beach and I just was there at the right moment to see him yawn.

So while there is one picture, there are several different possibilities as to what the story is.

This is an example of how we can interpret a situation by a visual cue that is likely biased to our individual mindsets. It could also be that people can hear words being spoken and receive a meaning different from what the sender was trying to communicate.  This could be do to many factors.  Two examples are if english is a second language  or your listening to someone speak with an accent.  it is very easy to understand just enough that you assume things.  This is where problems start.  You cannot ever know what is in someone else’s head, so assuming you do is really a waste of time and energy.

The way to find out what is going on with another person is to talk to them.  Ask questions, be present when they answer, by this I mean pay attention.  Don’t look at your watch every few minutes.   Maintain face to face contact. Invest your attention on the other person and that effort will produce effective communication.

Now, as for the turtle it was late afternoon and it wanted to haul out for a nice rest. I was just lucky to be able capture it yawning.

Take care everyone!

There has never been a better time to make things happen.  Rather than just go through the repetition of daily life, create the life you want in your mind and envision it. Believe in it. Each day take at least one action to help pave the way to get the life you want.  Where your mindset takes you, results will show and you will achieve it.  This kind of positive attitude and energy attacks like energy.

If you want a new relationship prepare for it in your mind and heart, then take some action to make it happen.  This could be anything from signing up to take a class, volunteering at a charity that you like, joining a club or group that you have an interest in. You might even consider joining match.com or other popular online dating services.  The point is to make it possible to meet people.

If you are in a relationship that is going nowhere, but you feel its better than the unknown, then you might want to consider facing the issues and dealing with them, or ending the relationship so that you can thrive.  Divorce is scary, but fear is the mind killer.   Face the fear and all that is left is you.   Sometimes long term relationships don’t work.   It’s sad but true.  The reality is that you don’t have to settle for less than you want or deserve.

If your a parent make this the year you spend quality time just being with your children. They grow so fast and soon enough are gone.   Make the most of it.  Give them your time and love and they will grow up well.

If you have an idea for a business.   Explore it.  Do the leg work.  You will never know if it is a great idea unless you do the research.  If you get a set back accept it and then determine how to get around it.   If your passionate and determined there is no obstacle you can’t overcome.

Life is for believing, creating, contributing,  loving, and enjoying.  Life is a blessing and not a curse. So for it!

Wishing you all love and peace….

the path to peace

the path to peace

 

This photo was provided by Maui Photo Tours and Douglas Hoffman.

It is all to easy to get caught up in the moment of everyday life circumstance and think about what is not going well in your life. These people are living with a negative mindset. I bet that everyone reading this knows someone that is quick to blame others or get angry.  This is because placing blame rather than accepting what is real has become commonplace.  All too many people just go through the motions of living and do not actively participate in life. These people are living in a way that their past pain and circumstances influence the current life situation.

When people take responsibility for their own happiness and quality of life they accept their life circumstances, realize they cant control what others do but can control what they do, and how they feel. This is called living in the present moment and it provides a level of clarity which allows them to live in peace.  These people tend to think about what is going well in their life and have a positive mindset. When problems arise they work through them, and move on.  They do not dwell on the negative nor do they harbor animosity towards others.

I am not suggesting that people who have a positive attitude wont face challenges. Every human being alive has problems, issues, painful memories, expectations that were not met, e.t.c.  What I am saying is that a person with a positive mindset does not let these life circumstances make them hostile or angry.  They do not blame others but accept what is going on, then move on to resolve the situation.

So how does one get from living in the past and blaming others for things that occur in daily life to one who is living in the present and accepts what is going on now. The answers lie inside you.

What has worked for many people is to start meditating on a daily basis.  This helps clear the mind and heart.  Investing time to look inside and clean house enables you to remove negative emotions & painful memories. Accepting what has happened, and forgiving yourself and all those concerned is crucial to the process.   This acts as a giant eraser and removes all that stored negativity.  In that space you can now put in love and positive energy.

This sounds like a daunting exercise but once you start you will find that your feelings, attitudes, and behavior changes and before you no it you have transported yourself from past pain to living with love and peace in the present.

I went through this process in 2012, and it the result is a happier me. If I can do it.  Everybody can do it. So if your reading this and realize you have a negative mindset and want to change go for it.  You have nothing to lose but negativity and past pain.

2013 was the most challenging year of my life. It was also a very good year in that I learned a lot about myself. As 2013, is about to end, I want to say how grateful I am for all the support I have received from friends and family.  This year I learned about forgiveness, acceptance, awareness, and how important it is to live each day and not dwell on the past or fear the future.   I live in the present, plan for the future, and forgive the past.

I begin 2014 as a divorced father of two, and look forward to working with my ex in order to raise our girls with love. I am so fortunate that we ended our marriage in a fair and friendly manner, which will serve us both well as we move forward in our lives.  I wish every success in her career and happiness in her life.

I plan to continue writing this blog with the desire to be of service to other people and to share my insight, stories, and thoughts about life, love, and living in peace.

Happy new year everyone!

Wishing everyone a year full of love and peace

Wishing everyone a year full of love and peace

 

When a long term relationship ends people always say they are sorry. While it seems to be an appropriate response, one might also say congratulations. The reason being what you had is over and now the healing can take place.  This is a process that includes forgiving your partner as well as yourself and learning to manage your ego.

Contrary to public opinion it does not have to take a long time to be able to forgive. However, as long as people cling to their pain they are anchored in the past and are not be able to live in the present. Being present is the key to love and peace.  We have all heard that the past is over, the future has not happened yet, and now is all we have. That is why the present is a gift.  Well those words are true.  The way one gets from having pain and living in the past to erasing the pain and living in the present is through forgiveness.

What is required to heal, is a change of attitude in your heart, mind, and soul.   As soon as that happens, just like a switch being turned on you will see the light. True forgiveness gets rid of all the pain.  It allows for love and peace to enter. Where there was once negative energy now positive energy can enter. This will change your entire mindset.

Speaking of mindset, the way to stay in a peaceful and happy state  is to manage your ego. To do this you need to become aware when your ego starts stirring up emotions inside.  During these moments it is common to feel something going on in the body.  It may feel subtle like butterflies in your tummy or or it could pronounced like the onset of acid reflux, but what it is, is your ego waking up and starting to take control.  The best way to keep that from happening is to be present enough that at the moment you realize their is an emotional feeling stirring you recognize it.  Just the knowing that the ego wants to unleash itself, is enough that you actually remove its power. Think of the feeling as an alarm clock or light switch and turn it off.

So now you have gone from dwelling in the past, to living in the present and can live the life you deserve. A life of love and peace.

Remember that having pent up anger, frustration, and other emotions hidden in the confines of your heart serves no purpose and is like carrying  around old emotional baggage. As long as it is in your heart it will recreate itself as often as possible and affect your behavior, and happiness.  When you recognize what you felt (past) and are able to let it go, surrender to what is real (now), and  not give in to what exists in your mind of what if’s….. (Future),  you will be in control of your life and emotions.

Rather than live in a shallow pool of negativity, dive deep into the ocean of hope and possibility. When your heart is full of love and peace it attracts the same thing.  When you love yourself, it shows and serves to attract love. So rather then feel down that your relationship as ended.  Celebrate it for the good times, and move on.  Know that when your ready, someone new will come into your life.

 

waterfall

The water in this river flows from point A to B.  Along the way it passes through calm periods, and rapids.  Life is the same way.  We have periods where everything seems to go smooth, then other times when problems are ever-present  This is the nature of life.

On the river there are places called holes.  This where a small body of water stops flowing and stays in one place.  There are often currents that spin the water round and round called eddies.   Other times the current stops and the water just stands and stagnates.  This is another good metaphor that explains life.  Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and we seem to go nowhere. Only by changing our state of mind, how we feel, and how we interact with others can we get unstuck, and move forward on our journey.

Just like the river has rocks and obstacles, so do we.  We have speed bumps, work and relationship issues, financial worries, health issues, and community problems that rise up from out of nowhere.  By facing these issues and working through them, the dissipate and lead us into periods of calm, beauty, and love.

flowershadowfor bolgLife contains periods of light and darkness. Mixed in among them are the shadows.   Photographers and artists love the shadows as it is the shadows that create contrast, dimension, depth, feeling, and emotion in paintings and photographs.  They are key elements to effective story telling.

Shadows have another meaning when thinking about the ego, human behavior, and emotions.   In this sense there are feelings, and emotions stored inside, that may affect how you deal with and respond to what is happening in your current life experience. These are hidden emotions  which can be the catalyst that promote self doubt, lack of confidence, anger, resentment, poor decision making, e.t.c..  The good news is that if we are aware and living in the moment, shadows serve to help us recognize our emotions stirring.

Recognizing these feelings as they are happening provides us the opportunity to deal with our issues in a positive manner serving the needs of everyone involved.  The alternative is to let the emotions inside awaken the ego and allow it to take control. When this happens things are often said and done in reaction without having taken a moment to think things through.

When you think your having a hard time in your life.  Take a minute and realize that no matter how difficult your current life circumstance is Somebody else has it worse.  Perhaps a lot worse.  So be grateful for whatever is going on.  Try to remember that your problems will pass and that you will remain.  Look for the lesson in your situation.  Look at the problem as an opportunity to grow and expand your horizons.  Consider that it is through difficult times and mistakes that we learn who we really are , and what is really important. Try to rise above your ego, and be selfless.  Look at the situation from outside yourself.  If you see that you could have handled things differently keep that in mind, so if the situation should rise again you handle  it differently.

This is how we learn and grow into our true selves.  Remember we life does not come with a manual and you have to learn as you go.  Perhaps this will help make the hard times lead to good times.