Entangled in Your Own Web…Spiderman!


untitled I’ve been fascinated lately with the subject of “mindfulness” and living in the moment.  I just finished a great book about meditation and its benefits called, “Mindfulness ~ Finding Peace in a Frantic World.”  Now before I go any further, let me clarify what it means to meditate.  Meditation doesn’t mean emptying your mind of all thoughts because we all know what happens when there’s a vacuum (things rush in to fill it!).  True meditation means getting quiet on the inside.  It means slowing down your thought processes and experiencing what “is” rather than your interpretation of what “is.”  In other words it’s about getting out of your own head.

There is an epidemic taking place today in that folks are no longer living and enjoying life but instead are spending their lives analyzing and cataloging and double-checking and over-thinking!  It seems we have so much information available to us that we can’t seem to get outside of our own heads.  It’s funny that we criticize young folks for not thinking enough and acting rashly, yet at the same time admire them for being spontaneous and free.  It seems like the older you get, the more cautious you become and pretty soon everything is dangerous, everything is scary, everything could bring some trouble your way!  And while you are basking in your comfortable safety, avoiding all that might get you, life just rolls on by with you no longer a participant in it.  You have become in a sense, entangled in your own web.  That beautiful processor that takes over your drive to work, while you sip your coffee, adjust the radio and read a text message, also volunteers to take over your life.

Being mindful and aware is about getting outside of your preconceived notions of life and setting about to experience it anew.  It’s about taking a fresh look at things.  And apparently it’s easy to take a fresh look when you are 20, but how about when you’re 50?  We think we know so much, but in reality we don’t know anything.  It’s that processor man, that automatic pilot!  It’s habit man (or woman) that just does it the same way they always did it while expecting nothing to change.  The problem with that is that life is dynamic and all about change.  At some point, your old habits no longer serve you, you are serving them!  Same old tired opinions; same old worn out assumptions; same old soured and cynical view of life – ughh!

The remedy?  You gotta get outside of your own head for a bit.  I don’t mean turn it over to something else, I mean stop thinking and rethinking and get out there and live.  What if something goes wrong?  Ohh emm geee!  What if there’s a worse alternative – death by boredom!  Change your habits; change your routines!  Go hang out with a young person!  They aren’t bound by the clock or the day of the week!  Isn’t it more important to spend an evening with the people you love and not get enough sleep for work the next day than to stay at home and commit mental suicide with your DVR?  (haha)  Go a day without makeup!  Dive in the water and get your hair wet!  Quit obsessing over the fact that you have a one inch bulge on your belly or that your butt is too big or that your legs aren’t long enough or that your hair is turning gray.  Thank your wrinkles for reminding you how much you have laughed in your life and for reminding you, you may also have spent too much time worrying as well!  Live man, just live.  Oh and while I’m on a rant, silence that inner critic that has fooled you into thinking that you aren’t good enough for anything.  Has that little voice inside you that magnifies everything you ever did wrong and is silent when you’ve done right, ever really helped you get better?  Do you know anyone that was ever successfully shamed into being a better person?  Living inside your own head, all over your own back, only serves one purpose and that is to keep you weak and afraid and defeated.  Get out there and live!

And there’s a very simple way to do it.  Quit making it all about you and make it about somebody else.  You can stop “pretend” living inside your own head by making the decision to change your focus from you, yours and now to him, his and how or if you prefer her, her’s and how!  (smile) What can you do to make someone’s life better?  What can you give (that you have to give) to help someone else along the way?  What warm, loving energy can you bring to the room or the conversation or the mood?  Who can you go and visit?  Who can you call or text?  My barber told me the other day how God told him to pull over and talk to a young man walking down the street and give him a little cash because he needed it.  And although he clearly heard it, he kept on driving.  You know why?  The same reason I, I’m ashamed to admit, have gone past that thing I was supposed to do as well, because I’m too caught up in my own head and what I normally do and when I normally do it!  (I mean what would people think?)

You see folks, the beauty that is this life is full of new things, new experiences, new people, but we are never going to recognize those things while we are caught up in our own web of living inside our heads analyzing everything from here to breakfast!  Quit second guessing yourself and make a bold move!  Tell someone you love em!  Talk to that stranger!  Don’t ask what everyone else thinks, but get back to what YOU think!

You’ve only got one shot at this thing Spiderman.  Break out of that web of your own weaving and take a breath, a new, fresh breath where this is no fear.  See what’s all around you and experience it to the full.  Live your life now Superhero, right now!

Breathe…

Just some good thoughts…

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Another Brick in the Wall…


images2 “We don’t need no education!”  Well, actually we do.  “We don’t need no thought control!”     Hmmm, I beg to differ.  Yet, despite my disagreement with some of the song lyrics, Pink Floyd was actually on to something…  Often we find ourselves in life facing many recurring difficulties that play themselves out over and over again.  We doggedly persist in our bad habits, with their bad outcomes, that we cannot seem to shake.  We can’t seem to find that “great” job.  We never seem to have quite enough money and when we do get some money, things quickly come up that take it all away.  The list of frustrations is endless.  As soon as you get healthy, some other malady shows up.  You can’t find the right girl or the right guy.  And when you think you’ve found them, something always seems to go wrong.  Why?  Is life supposed to be a frustrated journey, where you can never quite get what you want; where what you want is always just a little out of reach?  Well, despite the pessimistic majority, the answer is actually no!

All that you could ever want in life comes from what you choose to believe in your heart.  Believing (or expectation) comes from your heart.  And believing is easy.  Children do it with ease.  But adults, not so much!  Okay now stay with me.  If everything you ever needed or wanted in life can be accomplished by you being able to believe for it to happen, then what stops or stymies your believing?  What gets in the way and hinders you?  What’s the blockage?  If adulthood means you are smarter than a child, then what advantage do children have when it comes to believing?  They have no “bricks” in the wall…

When Jesus Christ came as promised, he had a mission from God.  His mission was (and is) to teach people how to live abundantly and how to destroy the works of the adversary.  Both missions actually represent the same thing.  Absent any hindrance from the adversary, all that you wanted in life would come your way without any difficulty.  And whether you believe in an adversary or not, you are quite familiar with the difficulties and hindrances to your success, right?  The difficulties (or apparent difficulties) come from bricks in a wall that surrounds your heart.  Those bricks are errors in your thinking; errors in your expectations; errors in your believing.  They are superstitions, illogical conclusions, falsehoods and wrong doctrines.  And, we learned them because some taught us them.  (“Hey, teachers, leave them kids alone!”)  Religious people taught us.  The media machine taught us.  Television taught us.  Our parents taught us.   Obviously everything we have learned isn’t bad, but much of it is.  We think it is just the way life is.  So instead of dreaming lofty dreams like children do, we settle into a life of mediocrity and expect things not to work out.  (Just listen to what you tell yourself when things are going well…)

So, how can we get those bricks that stubbornly cling to us and surround our hearts, removed once and for all?  How can we get back to being tender-hearted and have the believing expectation of a child?  The answer can be found by understanding what Jesus meant when he said he came to destroy the works of the adversary.  The Greek word for destroy means to “dismantle.”  Dismantle means to disassemble, component part by component part.  It’s similar to making repairs on the engine of your car.  You have to take off part after part until you get down to where your problem is.  Error is like that.  The adversary, through an entire system of error, has layered brick after brick of wrong thinking in and around your heart.  He sold you a lie, then another, then another.  And he did a damn good job on all of us, because look how negative and cynical the world has become.  When someone tells you to believe for it to work out, you think he must be nuts!  Yet, when someone tells you it’s not going to work out because of this fact or that economy or that symptom or this percentage, you believe it without giving it a second thought!

You can only take on error and eradicate it one thought at a time.  Brick by brick, thought by thought until it’s gone.  Ask yourself, when you are thinking negatively, why do you think that?  Sure a lot of people say it’s true, but is it?  Really if you followed the world’s logic, no-one would have ever invented anything; no business would have ever succeeded; no miracles would have ever occurred, no healing, no results, nope hope, nothing!  The truth is that you can believe God to overcome any malady.  You can be healed of anything-anything!  You can have that job, that money, that husband, that wife, that happiness, if you’ll just take on and sort out that error in your head and heart.  Start pulling those bricks out until they are gone.  Will it take some time?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely!

Find out the truth about things.  Look up what God says about your situation.  Don’t spend another day buried in the bricks of illogic and fear.  You know in your heart what is really true, so pursue your own life and happiness with vigor!  It’s all right there waiting for you, folks!

Hey!  Teachers!  Leave them kids alone!!!

Just some good thoughts…

PS You just removed a few bricks…

Real Relationships Require Real Talk…


395526520_640  As my wife and I approach our 30 year anniversary (Lord, am I that old?), I started thinking about how two people who got married so young, could have made it this far.  Now that’s not to say we didn’t fight like “it was our job” early on or that it has been a fairytale ride without any issues, no not at all!  But I can say one thing with complete honesty (hmm there’s a concept we will get back to later), after all these years, I really would rather not be with anyone else in the world.

So, what did we do that helped us get through those hard times?  What did we figure out, albeit by trial and error, that saved us time and time again?  What did we learn to do when the pressure was on and it seemed like maybe we wouldn’t make it after all?  The short answer?  We talked.  Real talk…

Now, when I say we talked I don’t mean that superficial stuff.  “How was your day?” – something you might say to the grocery checker at Target.  I mean we talked about things that mattered.  Side note – don’t you love it when you find someone who you can talk with about things that matter?  The best conversation is a real one!  Real talk means having the courage to say what you really think about something.  If your partner does something that makes you feel anger (which, by the way, is a secondary emotion that indicates something needs to be resolved) then who in God’s name could you possibly be helping by deciding not to bring it up?  And while I’m on this rant, how could you ever allow yourself to be afraid of your partner to the extent that you decide not to say the things that need to be said?  If you’re honest, you know that the worst that could happen is that your partner would decide to leave you!  Okay, so follow my logic here for a minute.  If your relationship is so precarious that one heated argument could lead to an immediate break-up or divorce, what kind of relationship did you have to begin with?  Thankfully, my wife and I started out with the end in mind.  We decided day one that marriage was forever and that no matter what happened we would work it out.  Did stuff happen?  Of course it did.  Did we work it out?  Yes!

Arguing does not mean that your relationship is in trouble, in fact it’s just the opposite.  People that argue still care enough about themselves and each other to fight for what they think is right.  The trouble comes when that dreaded silence comes. Once you reach the place where you just roll your eyes and say “whatever” on the inside, that’s when you are in trouble.  And even then it’s not too late to say what you really think (which brings me to the most important part of “real talk.”)

You may be thinking at this point, well what exactly should I say?  Another simple answer – exactly what you are thinking!  That’s honest.  Now I don’t mean that hurtful kind of so called – honest.  “Honey you are getting fat!”  That’s not honest, that’s hurtful.  I mean honesty from your heart about how you are feeling in this moment of time.  What if she or he doesn’t like what you have to say?  What if they get mad at you?  What if they go silent on you for the next three days?  Again, follow my logic here, so what?  Don’t you matter as much as your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend matters?  Don’t your feelings count?  Is not your heart as important as their heart?  So, quit being so afraid and work it out.  I could never wrap my mind around those couples that were so afraid of their partner that they felt they could not speak up about something!  That’s not a relationship, that’s a dictatorship…  Naturally these conversations occur in private not in public. but make no mistake they must take place.  If your spouse says something that hurts your feelings or makes you feel stupid, bring it up!  That’s honest.  How can the other person ever modify their behavior if you don’t ever bring it up?  And refusal to modify a behavior that needs to be changed is going to result in a break-up anyway (now or later).  So SPEAK UP!

At the end of the day, you are not going to be happy if you aren’t true to yourself.  Oh you can play the game, assume the role, but like any actor you will soon tire of the role and need to get back to who you really are.  Don’t you want your spouse to know who you really are anyway?  Again I’m very blessed in that my wife knows who I am and I can be myself with her.  I can tell her where I’m weak without dreading that she might somehow know I have some weaknesses (as if she didn’t know anyway..LOL)  She can tell me likewise.  Really if you could look inside other people’s heads you would find that we humans are all very similar.  We have similar fears, similar concerns and similar needs.  Trust that.  Know that and speak up!

My prayer for all of you that read this is that you will have the courage to say the things you have been thinking for days, months and years and repair those breeches between yourself and the people who you love.  A healthy dose of love from your heart will solve a multitude of problems.

Wishing you 30 years of committed marriage and beyond…

(I love you honey)

Just some good thoughts…