“…the minds of men, which like fluids always adjust to the level of the objects that surround them, become hardened…” – Cesare Beccaria

How do you take your coffee? With sugar? Milk? Black? Alongside the morning news, Facebook or twitter feeds? Or do you do crosswords to get your mind going in the morning? Or, maybe, you never really gave it much thought…

There is an expression, You are what you eat. And, there is another expression, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The essential idea in both messages is that what we put in, we get out.

When we watch a scary movie before bed, is it really a wonder why we have strange dreams or nightmares that night? Similarly, if the first thing we do each day is read all of the horrible stories in our news feed, or on TV, should we not expect to be more anxious or worried all day? What would happen if you read, or wrote, or listened to something empowering first thing in the morning?

The fact is, even for the toughest of people, are minds are incredibly sensitive instruments.

We have the option to choose what type of mental and emotional chemistry we want to create in our mind. This will then guide virtually all of our actions in life. It is important, therefore, that we choose how we take our morning coffee.

We are all a little crazy. And the pressure to fit in can be quite burdensome – especially when deep down we all want to belong in some way, to be loved deeply for who we are. However, when we don’t seem to fit in, when we aren’t sharing that unique human bond that unites our soul to another’s, our spirit is weakened.

In life, when it begins to feel as if everything is too far outside of our control we are susceptible to depression. Sherwin Nuland experienced depression first hand – as many of us have and do – and witnessed the phenomenon to a terrible degree. This man went from a surgical resident who had graduated from Yale Medical school, to a mentally-ill psychiatric patient at a very startling rate. In the Ted Talk titled, “How Electroshock Therapy Changed My Life,” Nuland tells the tale of his spiritual resurrection using science, wit, and emotional intensity. What starts as a slow, first-person narrative, becomes a shocking revelation.

(Strong Language, viewer discretion advised.)

Nuland’s recovery was remarkable. And it came about primarily through a change in his neurophysiological state. We often seek the help of a pill in order to accomplish this, or perhaps a drink will do. It’s true these things do have the ability to change our state. Yet, the side effects seem to cost more than the potential short-term fix. It’s not that we can’t have mild pain reliever when we have a migraine, or have a night out with friends in order to cheer ourselves up. But, there is grave danger when our spirit is dependent solely on a substance. Additionally, when we rely on stronger, more intense drugs, and longer bouts with them, the risk hardly outweighs the reward.

Changing the state of both your mind and body is necessary if you are not well. This change can be accomplished in many different ways, most of them short of electroshock therapy – which, I feel the need to add, is NOT being recommended here, and should only be done under the supervision and administration of professionals, if at all. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Listen to music, cook, dance, play with a child, talk to someone about nothing. Just break the pattern. Get out of the state you’re in just choose your method wisely.

Adversity never ends. And as Nuland said in his talk, “Anything can happen to you. Things change.” People can help you if you give them the opportunity, but you need to know where you want to go. Nuland concludes with a powerful statement: “There is recovery. There is redemption. And there is resurrection.”

Learn to be the Phoenix, resurrect yourself, allow yourself to be reborn time and time again. In sickness and in health – RISE!

Image result for national veterans cemetery

Image Taken from Creative Commons

We are likely to begin to feel entitled over time. It’s easy to feel like we have earned something, or done something in life, that puts our singular existence above other people’s lives, above something larger. And too often we forget all that went into that which has become so commonplace in America, our freedom.

Our generation, the millennials, are among the most self-centered, narcissistic people in the country. Yes, my friends, we, a generation of incredible opportunity, privilege and potential, take for granted the gifts we have been given all too often, and we are under the illusion that we had something to do with the success of this country, this world, thus far.

Let me be clear, this post isn’t pro war.  With these words, I am not stating that we should blindly accept the views thrust upon us from childhood. Racism exists, in this country and across the globe. Deceit, discrimination, and prejudice  can be seen in many areas of life. And if you feel that you need to speak up about an issue, please do. If you feel that you need to take action to prevent injustice, then, again, please do. We need astute people with reasonable voices to lead this country. Democracy, and the freedom to have open discussions about truth and the best course of action, make this country powerful. But, without respect for those who have come before us, all of our individual views are likely to become trifling and inconsequential. Or, worse yet, as we become more self-absorbed, our emotions get the better of us and we turn on each other, our honest views becoming warped and swept away in hysteria, like what happened at Berkeley in February of 2017. In these cases, our passions for making the world a better place become the opposite, destructive forces harming the very people we wish to help (Click to view New York Times article of extreme left protesters accusing a young Muslim man of looking like a Nazi).

As I said, we have opportunity, privilege, potential, and those same characteristics of our generation can lead both our country and the global community to a kind of success that previous generations can’t imagine. But we will squander the gifts we have been given if we do not respect those who have come before us, those who have paved the way and provided that foundation of opportunity and potential. Without gratitude, the degree to which we are self-absorbed, self-centered and narcissistic, will only engender us to a country of isolated individuals instead of a unified team leading the human race to its next zenith.

We have a special quality, a special perspective and technological tool belt that, if used wisely, could pioneer an immensely prosperous existence for all sentient beings. And we also have the capacity to develop the qualities of gratitude, respect and appreciation. It is time we bow to the people of the past and concentrate our thoughts and actions on the future. This is how we should live in the present: standing at attention, paying respect.


                    excursion-machupicchu                          (Image taken from Creative Commons)

 Creativity, intuition, genius, prophet: these words describe a dark and mysterious force that has lent itself a certain kind of magic  to some people, a magic that we envy and worship. It is often in the categories of music, drama, athletics, and academics that we bestow upon people such words: think of the musical genius of Beethoven and Mozart; we admire the talent of our favorite actor or actress; we are enchanted and mesmerized by the dancer’s movement; we worship the creative intuition of famous writers, such as Hemingway, Austen and Poe; we marvel at the prophet, the epitome of genius itself, in Albert Einstein. We believe these people have something extra we don’t have, a kind of divinity. It’s likely, however, that it is all of the things these people didn’t have weighing them down that gave them the magical ability to fly above the rest….

Click Here to read more…


Especially when we have a long list of to do items, or a mountainous goal ahead of us, it can be so difficult to know what to do next. 

The worst thing to do is to force it, making yourself miserable simply to please your conscience; because, if you make a habit of  it, you will be living a life for other people, one of frustration and discontent; pretending everything is fine on the surface, although deep down you may want to hide under the blankets and cry. I have been there, and I will tell you from experience that, sooner or later,you will break down. That’s okay, though; at this point, you are finally starting to be honest with yourself…

Click here to continue reading…


circle evolvent  by Lazur URH

 The wise say it never begins and it never ends; there are openings and closings, but, ultimately, it all just goes round and round. In the case of Christianity, God created the world, and, thus, we have a beginning. However, then I must ask, who created God, and when? And, if He has always been and always will be, then don’t we once again have no beginning and no end? History, then, is only a specified point in infinity that we call now, the present, the last 5,000 years or so. Similarly, science has given us an approximate beginning called the Big Bang, a beginning dated approximately 14 billion years ago – the time frame is difficult for our human minds to comprehend. Still, I ask, what was present before the Big Bang? Nothing, you say? Well, imagine nothing – this is another concept our minds have a difficulty in understanding; show me nothing and I will show you something…

Click here to read more


We are meant to be explorers, navigators, problem solvers, and physical movement is a necessary component of a healthy, vibrant life. If you want to feel the force of life flowing through you, if you want to feel strength and vitality permeating your cells and nerve endings, then get out there! Pictures and life on the screen are only a snapshot of a world you could see, touch, hear, and feel.



This post was intended to be a not-so-lengthy anecdote about my first go-round with surfing. Suffice to say, it’s a little bit longer than I intended. The story weighs in around 4,500 words. So grab some coffee or tea – or beer, if you’re one of my friends 😉

I would also like to say thank you to photographer John Cocozza for letting me use some of his awesome work to add a visual element to the story. If you click on any of his photos they will automatically link back to the page on his website containing that photo. Thanks, John, I really appreciate it.

Great Wave of Kanagawa - Hokusai
Great Wave of Kanagawa – Hokusai

I hope you will take the time (30 minutes or so) to read and enjoy this piece, and that it inspires you to lean into your fears, maybe doing something you have always wanted to do, yet couldn’t seem to find the nerve.

Click here to read.



The most difficult thing is the decision; the decision to push send, the decision to speak up, the decision to take the first step, the decision to sit down for 10 minutes and breathe. As difficult as it can be, once we make a decision it starts a cascading effect, momentum takes hold, and it’s time for the ride. The joyus ride of freedom and openness. Until we come upon another decision.
The moment you realize you have a decision to make, especially if it seems difficult – a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of thing – there arises a great tension. Whether in your gut, a heartache or a headache, the apprehension or anxiety always expresses itself in a physical way. Then, the calculating begins. “If this, then that. What if…? Then what?” Tighter and tighter, the noose becomes as you writhe your body through the projections and potential outcomes that probably won’t happen:

For example, suppose you knew the future, and could control it perfectly. What would you do? You would say, ‘Let’s shuffle the deck and have another deal.’” – Alan Watts, “The Images of Man”

Some people avoid these moments altogether; others freeze cold, stock still, mummified; but, a select few thrive. Because the select know difficult decisions indicate a life lived on the edge. It’s different for everyone; a cliff is the edge for some, for others it’s the couch. Wherever a person’s edge is, he or she should live there, relaxing and loving into it. It could be the decision to go to war, or to love again; to take a walk, or say hello to a stranger. The magnitude is nothing compared to the intention to grow and inch outside the comfort zone. 

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within

The magic happens as soon as the feeling of freedom takes over, releasing the tension and hardship. We hear the music of life again, our new favorite song. We see, with depth and clarity, that all we had to do was lean out and open up. Living at our edge, we have things to talk about with others once again. Life begins to feel fulfilling, righteous. We want to share more, do more, help more, and live more.

Freedom lies out there. The unknown. The wonder.

And then, we find we have another decision to make. We are confined once again by our own doing and fear. Calculate, contemplate, dither as long as you must, but, eventually, take the leap!


  (Image taken from Creative Commons)

When the buzz of the alarm or our song of choice jolts us into that miserable, groggy, half-wakened state state of mind, often all we can think about is the list of obligations we have throughout the day. Obligations we really don’t want to fulfill. That sound of our day starting – beeping, buzzing, screeching – while we shield ourselves with blankets and pillows, attempting to lay in our warm and comfortable bed, that sound can be equivalent to nails on a chalkboard. But, what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if the sound of waking signified love, creation, and the brightest life one could imagine?

Click here to read more…